Protect Me by Cary Hart
Series: Spotlight Collection #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 21, 2018
Who will you be when no one is watching… when the lights go down?
I don’t know who I am anymore. It’s been so long since I’ve been allowed to think for myself. And now that I can, all I can think about is him. My protector. His massive build which should frighten me but makes me feel safe. And his intense eyes that linger on me when he thinks I’m not looking. But why would he want me? I’m broken.
I vowed never to get close to anyone again. Do the job, get paid and survive. That’s all. Then she’s thrown into my life, needing a place to hide. She thinks she’s damaged, but she just needs someone to show her how strong she really is. Damn if I don’t want to be that man. But I’ve got a past of my own, and no good deed goes unpunished.
Shapiro – POV
She wraps her arms around my neck and lets her body collapse against mine. Her front sliding down. Her legs wrapping around my waist before she hits the floor.
“I didn’t like you locking me in here.”
“I didn’t like locking you in here either. I didn’t know what else to do. If you would have left and something happened to you . . .”
“I wouldn’t have left.”
I know she’s drunk, but this conversation has sobered up fast.
“No.” She nods slowly. A small grin creeps up on her face.
Penny looking at me like this has me losing all resolve. It’s all I can do to keep from slamming her against this wall, but she deserves better.
“Why don’t we lock up and get you to bed.”
I reach to pull her arms off and set her down, but she resists. For being drunk she sure does have a lot of strength.
“Don’t put me down. I’m dizzy.”
“That drunk, huh?”
“Drunk on you.” She reaches up to tap my nose.
Okay so maybe drunk Penny is kind of cute.
“Is that a smile, Frances.”
I can’t help it. This girl, she makes me feel things I have never wanted to feel before. So I smile.
“There it is.” She reaches between us to trace my lips with her finger.
I’m sure in her head she is being soft and sensual, but in real life, she keeps jabbing her finger against my teeth.
“Time to lock the door.”
I walk us over and prop her up against the wall with one knee as I free a hand to lock up.
“Oh!” Her eyes go wide. “That feels so good.”
“What does?” I ask as I stretch up to slide the lock into place then set the alarm.
“This.” She puts all her weight onto my leg and grinds.
“You’re killing me.” I glance down and see Penny’s eyes hooded and filled with lust. “I think it’s time I take you to bed.”
“Hey! Remember that movie? Oh, what was it?” She taps my temple. I guess to help her think. “You know that one where they sing that song about fire balls or balls of fire.”
I bounce her up to shift her weight. Wrong move. With all her grinding I’m hard as a rock.
“Oh yes!” she shouts as she flings her head back.
I lose balance, and she slams it against the wall. “Ouch!”
I snake my arm up the base of her neck and into her hair. Massaging her scalp.
She leans into my touch. Closing her eyes for a brief second before they spring open.
“Take me to bed or lose me forever.”
I know it’s a movie quote, but damn, don’t I want those words to mean something. Standing there with her body wrapped around mine I would give anything to push her up against that wall and take—
Her mouth crushing to mine interrupts my thoughts. My mind is telling me to pull away but my body is screaming for me to stay.
Kissing her back? Nothing good could come from it. My guard would drop, and she would become even more vulnerable. I can’t do that.
“Shapiro.” Penny moans my name against my lips. Begging me to kiss her back the way she is kissing me.
I can’t. I won’t.
I try to keep repeating those words in my head.
“Fuck,” I growl
I don’t know what comes over me, in that brief moment, but the tension that had been building since I met her became unbearable. I had to let go.
Grasping her cheeks, I took control of the kiss. Owning it. Fusing our mouths together while our tongues intertwine I turn her around and pin her against the wall.
Her body stiffens, and I freeze.
“No. It’s totally me.” She breathes out an excuse. “I just . . . I don’t know. I guess I . . .”
“Let’s go to bed.” I swing her legs around and hold her in my arms.
“Ohh!” She giggles.
She’s so drunk.
“I’m a princess.” Her smile crooked, yet bright.
I kissed a drunk girl breathless. Great. Maybe she will be so out of it she doesn’t remember.
“Yes, you are.” I agree as we walk into the bedroom and I lay her down gently. The mattress barely dipping. “Here, lift up.”
“Why? Ohhhhh,” she coos staring at me with her doe eyes.
I know what she wants, but it can’t happen. The kiss was a mistake. Maybe if it happened another time. After this was all over with it could be more, but right now. It just can’t be.
Yanking the covers down, I let her get adjusted before I pull them back up.
“Get some rest.”
“I don’t want rest. I just want you.” She untucks her arms and makes grabby hands like you see in those memes.
Shaking my head. “You are something else. You know it?”
“I know it.” Her smile sleepy.
“Night.” I turn to leave the bedroom to get as much distance between us as possible, but Penny? She has other thoughts.
“You didn’t tuck me in. Tuck me in, Shapiro. Tuck me in real good.” Penny turns over onto her side, throwing the covers off.
“What are you doing to me?” I moan, rubbing my face.
I swear this girl is going to be the death of me.
“Don’t make me beg,” she whines.
Closing the distance, I reach for the blankets and pull them up as I go. Tucking them under her chin. Stepping back, I admire her from a distance.
Distance is safe. It’s needed.
I start from the bottom and tuck the blankets under her like she’s a burrito. “Snug as a big in a rug,” I whisper.
Her lips pucker and I walk out.
Tonight is definitely a moment to remember. I’m just hoping she forgets.
About the Author
Cary Hart hails from the Midwest. A sassy, coffee drinking, sometimes sailor swearing, Spotify addict, lover of all things books!
When not pushing women down the stairs in the fictional world, Cary has her hands full. Soccer mom in all sense of the word to two wild and crazy, spoiled kiddos, and wife to the most supportive husband. In addition to writing full time, she enjoys binge watching Netflix, laying around in her hammock and baking up cookies for her family and friends.
Cary writes real, raw romance! In her stories the characters deal with life’s everyday struggles and unwanted drama, they talk about the ugly and they become the broken. Everyone deserves a happy ending, but sometimes before you can appreciate the light, there has to be darkness.
As a child, if someone would have told her she would become a writer, she wouldn’t have believed them. It wasn’t until she got her hands on her first romance novel, that the passion grew. Now, she couldn’t imagine her life any other way – now her dream is her reality.