Unbreakable hearts, p.18

Unbreakable Hearts, page 18

 part  #2 of  CEP Series


Unbreakable Hearts

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  “Best fucking trophy I ever got,” he mumbled, leaning down to kiss her again. “Be right back.”

  He got up and went to her bathroom to take care of the condom. He turned on the faucet and splashed some water on his face then looking at his reflection, couldn’t help the huge grin he sported. They were trying this. Fuck yeah. He’d gotten through and that made him want to howl at the fucking moon.

  Walking back into the bedroom, he saw that she was still naked and sitting up against the headboard, knees raised, her glasses on her nose as she looked over some paperwork.

  Holy God, she was sexy. He stopped and stared at her feeling himself getting hard again.

  “This insurance stuff is gonna be a mess,” she muttered. When he didn’t reply, she looked up at him over her glasses and her eyes got big, seeing him standing there looking at her, his erection growing by the second. “Wow,” she whispered.

  “Yeah, wow,” he mumbled as he put a knee to the bed and crawled toward her.

  “You’re so hot,” she whispered then bit her lip as if realizing she’d said that out loud.

  “And you’re fucking gorgeous,” he replied then proceeded to give her two more “wows.”


  Graham tucked the Glock into his waistband in back where it was hidden under his jacket then made a call.

  “You still got keys to Zim’s house in the Hamptons?” he asked Maddox.

  “Yeah, I do. Need ‘em?”

  “Yep. You heard anything else lately?”

  Maddox let out a breath and said carefully, “No. Nothing. Do know they found Zim’s body in his office…”

  Graham knew Maddox wouldn’t ask, so he continued. “Leave the keys in your mailbox. I’ll be by to get them shortly.”

  “I can do that. Graham?”

  Graham took a breath and let it out with a curse. If Maddox was developing a conscience, he was going to be pissed. “What?”

  “We gonna split Zim’s stocks?”

  Graham chuckled. He should’ve known Maddox would be on board. “Probably not the greatest idea. Besides, if Meegan keeps her yap shut, she’ll end up with a nice little nest egg for her and the kid.”

  “I guess. All right. I’ll leave the keys in the box. Roxie and I are about to attend some off-Broadway shit her sister got us tickets for. Rox insists we get more cultured. Whatever the fuck that means.”

  Graham laughed. “Yeah. Have fun. Thanks.”

  They hung up and Graham left his office getting in the elevator to go to the garage, wishing yet again that he had a trustworthy assistant to do this fucking grunt work for him, but he knew finding someone like that was rare. Loyalty seemed so hard to come by these days.

  In the garage, he got into his Lexus taking off for Maddox’s mansion on Long Island to get the keys to Zim’s vacation house where he planned to take the Maxwell woman. Before the night was over, the photo situation would be fixed and then he’d have a little fun with the photographer. After that, he’d have to decide if he wanted to end things then or keep her around for a little more fun. He smiled at the prospect of having a place to go when he needed to work off some stress. Maybe his fuck-up would actually lead to something from which he could benefit.


  “I found you.”

  “Hm?” Tilly asked. Her head lay on Oz’s chest while her fingers danced lightly over his ripped abs. God, what a body.

  “I found you once,” he mumbled sleepily. He pulled her to lie on top of him wrapping his arms around her waist.

  She cupped his face with both hands and looked down at him puzzled. “What do you mean?”

  Those amber eyes of his held hers and she saw that in his relaxed state they almost looked gold. God, he was beautiful. His skin tanned from his being outdoors looked almost olive in the dim light. She ran a finger down his perfect, straight nose then over his high cheekbones that left hollows in his cheeks that made him look rugged and badass. Brushing her fingers over his square jaw then across his perfectly formed lips before running them over his goatee just finished out the whole picture of him, making her sigh. In another lifetime he could’ve been a model, but she knew he had too much bad boy in him for that to ever happen.

  “Looked you up a couple years ago.” He ran his fingers up her back then down making her shiver against him.

  She pulled back in surprise. “You did? Why didn’t you contact me?”

  He closed his eyes and his long lashes made a shadow on his cheekbones.

  “John, why?”

  When he opened his eyes, he looked disgusted with himself. “I was a coward.”

  She frowned then leaned down and touched her lips to his. “I don’t believe that.”

  “It’s true. You ran from me once and I hated it. I was afraid you’d do it again, so I just left it alone.” He turned them to where he was on top now, his eyes looking intensely into hers. “I could’ve had this. You. Could’ve had you this whole time. But I didn’t because I was afraid. I fucked up, Tilly.”

  He was looking at her as if he actually expected her to run again because he’d just admitted to being scared. She reached up and pulled him down to her, kissing him deep and long. When he pulled back, she said, “You didn’t. I’m here now. And you’re right. I probably would’ve run because I was the coward, just like this morning.” She smoothed a finger over his bottom lip. “For years my heart has been locked up.” She bit her lip as she looked up at him, her heart beating wildly. As she lay there with him bearing her soul to him, she realized she wasn’t just physically naked, she was now mentally naked too, which was terrifying. And she knew it was crazy, but she had to tell him. She knew they’d only been together for a day, but the ten years between them had connected them, bound them, held strong, and she believed that this was right. To her very soul, she knew it was very right. “But there’s a reason you came back to me. It’s because you hold the key to my heart. If you want it, John, it’s yours,” she whispered.

  He crushed his mouth down on hers kissing her hard and wet then pulled away leaning down for his jeans.

  Reaching a hand out, she touched his arm to pull him back, saying, “No, please, I’m okay.”

  “I am too,” he answered then slid inside her so smoothly yet so powerfully, her head fell to the side, her eyes closing as her neck arched up and she breathed out a low moan, lost in him for good.


  “I’ll take a cab over when I’m finished,” Tilly said, smiling up at John. He smelled like her since he’d used her body wash in the shower they’d taken together earlier, which had led to their doing even more very naughty things than what they’d done after he’d come out of the bathroom to find her looking over her insurance papers. Oh, and also after the time when she’d bared her soul to him. God, she just couldn’t get enough of him.

  “Okay, baby. Make it fast,” he said, bending to brush her lips with his before he took her hand and walked to the front door.

  They’d planned to go downtown and take in all the sights, look at the Christmas window displays, maybe ice skate at Rockefeller Center, as soon as she was finished sending a few more emails of her pictures and filling out her claim forms.

  At the door, he turned to her again. “I don’t wanna leave you,” he said with a chuckle. “I just got you back into my life. Hate to say goodbye now.” He pulled her into a hug, kissing the top of her head.

  Dang. Tilly so loved this. She had definitely fallen for this man. Wrapping her arms around his waist, she chuckled with him. “I know, honey. I’m so glad you’re here.” She looked up at him, tiptoeing up to kiss him. “But I promise, I just need to do a couple more things then I’ll be right over.”

  He kissed her forehead then her nose. “Okay. Set the alarm. See you soon.” And he was gone.

  Tilly’s office phone rang just then, and she ran to her studio to answer it after engaging the alarm.

  “Hello?” she answered, out of breath from running.

  “Damn. What’d you do, ju
st run a marathon?” Quinn asked.

  “Just about. Why’re you calling my studio phone?”

  “Because I’ve called your cell a hundred times and you didn’t answer. What’s going on?”

  “Crap! Um, let me see. Where did I leave it?” She left her office, going into the living room and looking for her phone.

  “Wait a minute,” Quinn said. “I hear sex in your voice.”

  Tilly stopped in her tracks, shocked. “Y-you can?”

  Quinn laughed. “I knew it. You fucked him, didn’t you?”

  Tilly felt her face get hot at her friend’s bluntness. “Jeez, Quinn. You’re so crude. But, yeah, we had sex. I’m sure you were no angel last night either.”

  Quinn kept laughing. “Oh, babe, I’m never an angel. And I know you don’t want to hear the gory details about Rod, so I’ll spare you. But, please, do tell. I wanna hear about Mr. Hotter than Hell.”

  “Aha!” Tilly cried when she found her phone in the couch cushions.

  “Found it?”

  “Yep. In the couch. I had it on silent that’s why I didn’t hear it.”

  “Okay. Deets, girl, deets. So, is he hung like a horse? I’ll bet he is since he’s so tall. And he has huge hands!”

  Tilly cracked up. “He held my hand at dinner last night and I choked thinking it was so something you’d say.”

  “I didn’t get a chance to say it before you left! So how’d it go? Tell me!”

  Tilly told her about how she’d been broken into again and they’d left dinner early.

  “Are you kidding me right now? Fucking Doug!” Quinn huffed out.

  “I’m still not sure it’s him, but my laptop was taken this time. I mean, it’s so specific, the things they’re taking, my cameras and now my laptop. I could totally see him doing it.”

  “We’ll talk about dillweed later. Now, tell me the good stuff!”

  Tilly blushed again but told her best friend about going to John’s and what’d happened having to hold the phone away from her head when Quinn almost broke the sound barrier with her screams. When Quinn demanded to hear more, Tilly relayed what’d happened after she’d run out that morning but how things were good now and she was going to his place later.

  “Oh, my God, Till! This is it! He’s your destiny! I just know it! You’re gonna be together forever!”

  Tilly felt her heart squeeze. She hoped Quinn was right.

  “I’d like it if that happened,” she replied.

  “That’s awesome, babe. So happy for you!”

  “Thanks, Qui—what the hell? Hang on. I just heard something crash in the kitchen.”

  Tilly went toward the kitchen, sticking her head around the door to see what was going on. “Oh, God, Quinn, someone’s breaking in!” She took off running to the stairs when she heard the kitchen door bang open.

  “Tilly!” Quinn screamed. “Oh, fuck, oh, God, Tilly!”

  She was almost to the top of the stairs when she was tackled by a man wearing a ski mask.

  “Gotcha, you little bitch,” he hissed in her ear as he clamped a gloved hand over her mouth. He cursed when she bit it making him release her. She got up and ran toward her bedroom before he knocked her down again, landing on top of her. “Like it rough, do you? I can handle that,” he said turning her over.

  “Wh-who are you?” Tilly asked, crying, looking up at the man who’s fierce, gray eyes bore into hers from behind his mask.

  “Your worst fucking nightmare,” the man said before he punched her, knocking her out cold.

  Chapter 18

  After leaving Tilly’s, Oz dropped by CEP before going to his loft. Even though it was Sunday evening, there was usually at least one guy hanging around, and he felt like shooting the shit with someone for a while instead of going back to his place waiting for Tilly to get there. Besides, he had some paperwork to fill out on the skip from that morning.

  He couldn’t remember when he’d been this happy. How fucking lucky was he that fate had brought Tilly back into his life.

  “Hey, man, you look like the cat that ate the canary. What gives?” Brock asked coming out of an office.

  “Yeah, I think you left some feathers on your chin,” Gunner said with a smirk as he came out of Hank’s office.

  “Fuck off, Gun,” Oz replied not able to hold a laugh back. He looked at Brock, who’d been the one to get him this job in the first place. “Life’s good, man. All I have to say.”

  “He got laid.” Gunner snorted.

  “And good,” Brock added, looking him up and down.

  “Jesus Christ, what are you two, the sex police?” Oz retorted.

  “Nah, that’s Quaid,” Brock said. “He’s the one who gets off role playing.”

  That made them all laugh. Oz went to the kitchenette that was on the back wall in the reception area and poured himself some coffee then turned and leaned against the counter as he took a drink.

  “It’s drunk kiss chick from high school, isn’t it?” Gunner asked looking at him with those damned blue eyes that took in everything. Oz had told them all about Tilly in a drunken rant one night when they’d been out and they’d never let him forget it.

  “Yep,” Brock answered. The day before when he’d had to come back for parts, Oz had told him he was putting in a security system for her.

  “Jesus,” Oz muttered.

  “You get your guy to the cops today?” Gunner asked, sitting on the leather sofa that was positioned in the center of the room. The sofa, a couple matching chairs and a coffee table all made up a waiting area.

  “Yeah, after a couple hours.” Oz walked over and sat in a chair. “Made two wrong ID’s before finding the right guy.”

  “That’s embarrassing,” Brock said.

  “No shit. Had to apologize to one several times for trying to cuff him then almost ran a fucking marathon chasing the other one down. I mean, why the hell do people run if they’re not guilty? Not going out without all the info next time.”

  “Dad had a pretty good laugh after you called in,” Gunner told him.

  “I’ll bet. Told him if I was gonna get screwed over by him, he could at least give me a reach-around,” Oz replied dryly.

  Gunner and Brock cracked up as he laughed with them. And that was when his phone rang. Pulling it out of his jacket pocket, he frowned when he saw that it was the security company.

  “Hello?” he answered as he stood up.

  “Mr. Osby, this is HSI calling. It seems that your alarm has been activated at your residence,” the tech informed him.

  “Fuck!” Oz hissed, hanging up and immediately dialing Tilly’s number. When she didn’t answer, he ran to the door, Gunner and Brock on his heels. When they got outside, Oz stopped, realizing he didn’t have his truck. “Fuck!” he yelled again.

  “What is it?” Gunner asked.

  “Tilly. Her alarm went off. She’s not answering her phone and she’s there alone.”

  “C’mon,” Gunner said, running to his truck that was parked in the lot. Brock got in the back of the extended cab and Oz in front then Gunner peeled out of the parking lot, turning into the street before Oz had a chance to give him directions.

  “Brooklyn,” Oz said then gave him the address. “If anything’s happened to her…” He clenched his jaw and sucked a breath in through his nose.

  “It’ll be okay,” Gunner said, looking over at him. He drove as fast as he could before hitting traffic.

  Oz’s phone rang again. “Jeff? What’s going on?”

  “Is Tilly with you?” he asked.

  “No. I just left there an hour ago.”

  “I can’t get an answer from her.” Jeff replied.

  “I couldn’t either. Goddamn it!” Oz hissed.

  Oh, God. If they didn’t hear from her soon, he knew he’d lose it.

  “Got another call coming in. You headed to her house?” Jeff asked.

  “Be there in ten,” Oz said and hung up. He sat quietly staring straight ahead, the anger building inside, makin
g him clench his jaw.

  It was Tilly. His Tilly. God, she’d only been back in his life for a couple days, but he knew in reality, he’d never let her go, had held tight to her for the past ten years, hoping, wishing.

  And now she wasn’t answering her phone. Where the fuck was she?

  When they finally made it to her street, he saw the police cars with lights flashing and jumped out of the truck before it even stopped, running to the steps and up and inside the front door.

  “Hey! You can’t be in here!” an officer yelled at him.

  “It’s okay,” Jeff said, coming over and taking Oz outside onto the porch. Jeff was in street clothes so he hadn’t been on duty and Oz saw that he looked like his best friend had died.


  “What’ve you found out?” Oz asked.

  “Was gonna call you back but knew you’d be here soon. That was Quinn who called when we were talking. She said she was on the phone with Tilly when the guy broke in. Said she heard Tilly screaming and crying then heard the guy call her a bitch. Next, she thinks he hit her, knocking her out because she heard nothing after that. They found the house phone at the top of the stairs. She must’ve tried getting to her room to lock herself in,” Jeff said, choking up.

  “Fuck,” Oz mumbled, running a hand over his head a couple times. “What now?” he asked.

  Oh, God. Someone had her. Somebody had broken in and taken her.


  Gunner and Brock came up just then and Oz made quick introductions.

  “I don’t know, man,” Jeff said. “It’s my fucking sister. Christ!” He put his hands on his head, pulling at his hair. “This is gonna kill Mom.” He turned and walked to the side of the porch, standing there looking at nothing and breathing hard. Oz understood completely, the feeling of helplessness about to swallow him whole.

  “Jeff!” Quinn yelled after getting out of a cab making them all turn to see her as she ran to the porch and up the stairs, going to Jeff where she grabbed him in a hug as she cried. “I couldn’t do anything!” she sobbed. “She said someone was breaking in and all I could do was stand there. I couldn’t do anything…”

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