Home > Dominated (The Enforcers #2)(21)

Dominated (The Enforcers #2)(21)
Maya Banks

She hugged her arms around her waist and lowered her head to stare at the floor. Her eyes were burning and she’d endured enough humiliation without dissolving into tears in front of Drake. Again.

To Drake’s credit, he didn’t prod her or call attention to her near meltdown. Instead they rode to the top floor in silence. But Drake did wrap one arm around her, solidly anchoring her against him so that his body heat seeped into her chilled flesh.

Was she an idiot? Was she a naïve fool for agreeing to this lunacy after what he’d done to her?

Her head still bowed, she shuffled off the elevator and into Drake’s apartment. To her surprise, Drake stopped her just inside and simply pulled her into his arms, holding her tightly.

“Thank God you’re back,” he murmured. “Thank God I found you in time.”

She rested her forehead against his chest and stood there, absorbing his touch like an addict in withdrawal. He rubbed his hands up and down her back and then reluctantly pulled away, cupping her chin and tilting it upward so she met his gaze.

“Come into the living room and sit down while I fix you something to eat. You haven’t been taking care of yourself,” he chided. “You’ve lost weight.”

“I had it to spare,” she said dryly.

He scowled. “You were fucking perfect the way you were. Now come so I can take care of my angel. You’re going to eat and then get some rest, and I plan to ensure you do both.”

She frowned up at him. “Don’t you have work? You’re already late. I can manage on my own.”

He gave her a pinched look but didn’t respond. Instead he steered her in the direction of the living room and settled her onto the couch, tucking a blanket around her. He fussed for a few moments longer, ensuring her comfort, and then instructed her not to even think about getting up.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes and we’ll have breakfast together. And then you and I are going to bed and getting some rest. I haven’t slept since the night you left,” he said, a trace of pain in his voice. “And you don’t look as if you’ve slept any more than I have.”

She flushed guiltily but didn’t refute his statement.

With one last caress to her cheek, he turned and disappeared into the kitchen, leaving Evangeline to sag against the couch. She closed her eyes as weariness overtook her. He was right about one thing. She hadn’t slept. Not at all. She’d lain in her small bed at night praying for oblivion. For a few short hours where she could escape her pain and grief. Instead she’d spent the interminable nights wiping tears from her swollen eyes and asking why over and over.

She tugged the blanket more snugly around her, inhaling Drake’s scent, absorbing it. His presence was everywhere in the apartment. Even with him in another room she could still feel his overwhelming presence. It shouldn’t comfort her, but it did.

The last five days had been miserable. The worst days of her life. She never wanted to repeat them again. Maybe it made her a fool—a desperate fool—for taking him back so easily, but she needed him. Craved him. She only felt safe when he was with her, which was absurd considering he had been the one to destroy her.

Unease gripped her when she went back over his explanation, his justification of his actions. Just what was Drake involved in that would net him so many enemies? Inspire enough hatred that they would use her to cripple him?

She wasn’t stupid. She had no illusions that Drake was a model citizen, but she simply couldn’t imagine him being involved in anything truly heinous. But then she’d already acknowledged that when it came to him she was an ostrich with her head stuck firmly in the sand.

The simple truth was she didn’t want to know. Ignorance truly was bliss, and as long as she didn’t know for sure how he made his living she couldn’t very well pass judgment on him. She was happier not knowing, and if that made her a bad person, then it was something she would just have to accept.

Or perhaps she just needed time to work up the nerve to confront him about his business practices. At any rate, that time wasn’t now. Not when things were already so fragile between them. When the time was right, she’d broach the subject and then decide if she could live with the results of her inquiry.

Oh, Mama and Daddy. What is happening to me? This isn’t the way you raised me.

They would be so ashamed if they knew she was at least temporarily turning a blind eye to the right thing. The very last thing she ever wanted was to disappoint them. They were good people. The very best. And they’d always taught her to do the right thing no matter the sacrifice.

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