Home > Dominated (The Enforcers #2)(22)

Dominated (The Enforcers #2)(22)
Maya Banks

“Angel.”

Drake’s gentle voice roused her from her introspection, and she opened her eyes to see him carrying a tray with two plates.

“Sit up, baby. You need to eat and then you need to get some rest. We both need to rest and I can’t think of a better way to do so than with you in my arms.”

She sniffed appreciatively and her stomach protested the many days of not eating. Of not having the strength or will to force herself to eat. A hot flush swept over her body, causing her to shake, and sweat broke out on her forehead. Her stomach lurched and rebelled and then squeezed and tightened into a hard knot.

“I’m not sure I can,” she said honestly, clutching her belly with one palm. Nausea boiled in her stomach, leaving her weak, clammy and shaking uncontrollably.

Drake cursed and swiftly set the tray on the coffee table before sliding onto the couch next to her, enfolding her in his arms. He urged her to the edge of the cushions supporting her back.

“Lean forward and put your head down,” he said gently. “Take in deep breaths. In through your nose and out your mouth. I’ll get you some soup. Think you could handle that?”

She nodded miserably, her embarrassment growing with each passing minute. She was acting like a helpless twit who couldn’t survive without her man.

Drake sat there a few moments longer rubbing his hand comfortingly up and down her spine, and then he gently massaged her nape.

“Will you be okay while I get the soup?” he asked in a low voice.

“Y-yes.”

His lips brushed the top of her head and he disappeared back into the kitchen only to return a few minutes later with a steaming mug. He placed it between her palms and told her to sip.

The warm fluid soothed a path from her throat all the way into her stomach, and some of her tension eased and she relaxed. She managed to consume half of it before she leaned forward to put the cup on the coffee table.

“Enough?” Drake asked gruffly.

She nodded, tension suddenly reinvading her muscles.

“Then let’s get you to bed,” he said, rising.

She swallowed nervously, then nodded. As she started to rise, Drake simply slid his arms beneath her and picked her up off the couch. She landed with a soft thud against his chest, and he stood there a moment with his lips pressed firmly against her forehead.

She felt a shudder roll through him and realized he was as deeply affected as she was. And nervous.

Her heart tightened at the fleeting vulnerability in his eyes, and she reached up to cup his jaw, forcing him to look down at her.

“I’ve missed you so much,” she said softly.

Fire ignited in his eyes, and relief that was nearly staggering.

“God, I’ve missed you too, Angel,” he said in a husky whisper. “I’m never letting you go again.”

As he strode toward the bedroom, she allowed his impassioned words to sink in. Did he mean them? Or was he saying something in the heat of the moment? She didn’t want to ruin everything by asking him for clarification. She was afraid of what that might mean. Fantasy was preferable to reality even as she knew that fantasy always eventually gave way to the painful truth. For now, until she could better make sense of her relationship with Drake and where she stood with him, she chose to think he meant every single word and that she was something special to him, that he cherished her and that he wanted . . . forever.

The word trailed off in her thoughts. She was unable even to give it voice in her own mind because of the hope it inspired and the knowledge that if it was simply a dream, it would crush her. For once, she wouldn’t look ahead with the practicality her parents had instilled in her. She wouldn’t attempt to predict the future and prepare herself for the eventuality of her and Drake parting ways. Instead she chose to live in the moment. One day at a time. One precious fantasy and dream at a time. If and when the time came for her to face cold hard facts, she’d hold the cherished memories of her time with Drake close to her heart for the rest of her life.

Because one thing was for certain. As practical as she liked to think herself and knowing that nobody was the one and only in someone’s life, she knew without doubt that there would never be another like Drake for her. No one who would even come close. Drake knew her inside and out, perhaps better than she knew herself. He knew what she needed and moved to provide it before she even recognized it. And she was supposed to think there was another man out there who could possibly see into her heart and soul the way Drake did? Not likely.

Drake was a once-in-a-lifetime soul mate, never to be repeated or replicated. And damn it, she didn’t want to settle for second best. Ever. If she couldn’t have her other half, the one meant and made for her, then she’d choose to live her life alone and hold close the memories of the only man to know her better than she or her family knew herself.

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