Chapter 3 - Seven Nights of Sin (Penthouse Affair #2)


I’m frozen, staring at the guest room door. I can’t move an inch, not even to bury myself under the covers in the bed behind me. To think, not long ago I was in his bed, thrumming with the amazing clarity of knowing I was exactly where I wanted to be, giving him a gift I’d held on to for someone special.

Oh God.

The knot in my gut tightens with each passing second. My mind is racing with questions, and not for the first time, I berate myself for being so damn stupid.

What was I thinking? How could I have been so blind?

I should have never taken that file from Austin. He had seemed so harmless at first. He was nice to me, interested in my work, good with Bianca . . . but a complete parasite the entire time we spent together. The sheer arrogance of the guy—no. Dammit. My own arrogance. Why would I take the file if I knew that it would jeopardize my already unstable standing at Aspen Hotels? Why would I risk Michael’s future like that?

Why hurt Dom?

That’s the bigger question. Just when he was starting to open up to me, to trust me. He’d let me in— however briefly—and let me meet his daughters. I knew how big of a deal that was. He keeps them highly guarded from the public, the media, everyone. I was one of the few people he trusted to meet them.

And now I’ve made a real freaking mess of things.

I’m not one to let things lie, though. Especially not if I’m the one who dropped the ball. If there’s a problem, I’m going to face it head-on. Still, I don’t think I’ve ever been this unsure, this terrified about addressing a problem. This isn’t quite a spat between coworkers, or even friends. I don’t even know what we are, so there’s no sure-fire way to approach this situation. Regardless, I know what I have to do. I need to try, at the very least.

I place a firm hand on the doorknob.

I can see through the crack of his bedroom door that Dominic still hasn’t gone back to his room. Good. As I sneak down the hall, my feet pad lightly across the wooden floor. I can hear his murmuring voice, calming a scared little girl.

My heart falls from my throat to my belly. I wonder if the noise of our argument, discussion, whatever the hell it was, woke one of his daughters from a deep sleep. Am I to blame? I make a small promise to myself to make it up to her later.

I’m also struck at how, in the midst of his personal turmoil, Dominic still has to take the time to be a dad, to offer soothing words, to place his child’s needs ahead of his own. My heart breaks a little more at the thought that I’ve hurt this man.

When I reach Dominic’s room, I don’t think. Instead, I pull my dress off over my head. And since I already removed my bra before getting into bed earlier, I’m in my birthday suit in less than a second.

Showing Dominic how sorry I am—showing him that I’m willing to put all my insecurities, my doubts, my freaking self-preservation aside to get him to trust me again—is the only thing on my mind. I’m offering myself up on a silver platter. Offering to fix this without words.

Sex is a language that Dominic knows well, and one I need to use to communicate what he means to me. Just like I felt backed into a corner to go to work for Allure to save Michael, this is my last shot to salvage my relationship with Dominic. My only chance.

God, I hope it works.

I slip under the silky sheets and fluffy duvet, and wait, one elbow propping myself up so I can watch the doorway. My heart hammers wildly behind my ribs.

His footsteps sound from down the hall, and my heart rate picks up.

This is it.

The look on Dominic’s face when he enters the room is almost comical. He’s so confused, his beautiful eyebrows drawn together, his stormy eyes fixed on mine. It isn’t fair how this man can wear any expression and still look like some flawless male model on a billboard.

“Hey,” he says, almost as a question.


Here goes nothing.

Before he can say anything else, I sit up, letting the sheet slip from my breasts. His gaze drops to my naked chest, his eyes widening slightly as my nipples tighten in the cool air. His lips part.


“Can you forgive me?” My voice is soft, barely above a whisper, and my self-confidence is gone.

“Presley . . .” His tone is so broken, I feel it like a sharp stab inside my chest.

“I promise. I promise I was never going to sabotage you. You have to believe that. If that’s all that I wanted, I wouldn’t still be here now.”

I can’t read his expression. God, I wish more than anything that I could just get one tiny peek into the mind of this exquisite, confusing man.

Not that he’d ever let me.

Dominic looks at me with dark, seeking eyes. He licks his lips, his thumb pressing against the lower one as he watches me. “What’s your plan?”

“My plan?” Confused, I tilt my head.

His thumb slips away from his lip, and he nods. “What are you going to do to make up for it?”

Oh . . . my plan.

I rise to my knees, the sheet completely abandoning my bare flesh. I don’t know where this confidence has come from, but I’m plenty aware of what my body does to his—and vice versa. Maybe this is what I need to do. Be brave and make him forget all the ugly, messy things that have happened between us.

I cock my head at him and smile, holding one hand outstretched.

Come here.

He remains stock-still, watching me, and God, he’s so beautiful. So masculine and commanding, while I feel small and frightened and unsure. The balance of power is tipped entirely in his favor, and right now I don’t care at all. He has all the control. Everything that happens next is up to him.

God, please let him choose me.