Home > The Billionaire's Salvation ~ Max(11)

The Billionaire's Salvation ~ Max(11)
Author: J.S. Scott

Max met her at the checkout, silently handing the clerk his platinum credit card, his mood unreadable.

Mia reached for her bags, but Max beat her to it after retrieving his card, grabbing the bags in one arm and taking her hand in his, squeezing it gently as they left the store.

“Are you upset about what happened? I know you hate undignified displays of affection in public,” she asked curiously as they strolled toward the main entrance of the mall.

“Hell no, I’m not upset. I’m pissed off,” he answered bluntly.

“Why?” Mia asked, surprised. Max rarely got angry.

“Because I couldn’t finish what I started,” he grumbled, but his tone was slightly amused. “You have no idea how close you just came to being f**ked up against a wall by your desperate husband.”

“There was always the dressing room,” she contemplated, teasing him now. Having Max want her this badly was like a potent aphrodisiac that made her body ache to have him inside her. Anyplace. Anywhere. Anytime.

Max shot her a disgruntled look as he held the exit door open for her to walk outside. “Now you tell me.”

“Would you have done it?” she asked curiously, fascinated by her own husband’s desire for her.

“In a heartbeat, had I thought of it,” he told her huskily, need radiating in his voice. Taking her hand in his, he started walking toward the car, his security following at a distance behind them.

“We couldn’t have done that anyway,” Mia said regretfully. “Unless you’re carrying a condom in your pocket.”

Max shot her a perplexed gaze. “Why? We’ve never needed one before.”

Mia looked down at the pavement, shame burning her cheeks. “Because we don’t know what happened to me, Max. You have no idea what could have happened.”

“Are you afraid you were unfaithful?” Max asked huskily and hesitantly.

“No,” she murmured. “Whatever happened, I know myself, maybe better than I ever did before, and I never had thoughts about being with any other man but you. I love you the same way you love me. But we don’t know if I was abducted or…” Mia had a hard time saying the last word, but she spit it out, “raped. I can’t put you at risk, Max. Not until I know for sure exactly what happened. I’ll see my doctor and get a check-up, but I need to regain my memory.”

Max tugged at her hand, stopping her beside his vehicle. “You will. Sweetheart, you know if something did happen, I’ll kill whoever did it. And it won’t make a bit of difference in how I feel about you. Tell me you know that.” His eyes were pleading and tormented.

“If it happened, it wasn’t by choice,” she said, her voice choked with emotion. “I love you, Max. So very much it hurts. It makes my skin crawl just thinking about being with anyone else.”

Max tipped her chin up to look at him, his eyes blazing with emotion. “You’ll be with me.”

“I can’t.” God, her heart ached for him. I need to remember.

“I’ll empty every drugstore in Tampa and the surrounding area of their condom supply,” he told her sincerely, giving her a lopsided grin that made her heart surge.

He was trying to take her mind off what she might have experienced, trying to draw her back into something happier…and it worked. Max was irresistible when he was playing with her, and it used to happen so seldom. She was mush in the face of his wicked grin. “Kind of ambitious, don’t you think?”

“Not at all,” he told her arrogantly. “I’m thinking I might need more flown in from other cities.”

Oh God, she loved this man, and she loved the way he loved her now. Or the way he must have always loved her, but had never shown it until recently. “Thinking about finishing what we started in the mall?”

“Yeah. And then starting it all over again,” he answered, his voice graveled, low, and sensually potent.

Remembering Max’s dominant, uncontrolled embrace, Mia blurted out, “Later. You can definitely finish it later.”

“Count on it,” Max said, his tone low and dangerous.

Mia’s core clenched, her already damp panties getting wetter. Max had always been a man of his word. If he said something, he meant it. He might be different, but Mia knew that was one thing that would never change.

Thank God!

“I can’t find my wedding ring. I’ve searched everywhere,” Mia murmured quietly as she and Max were eating supper that evening. Max had arranged dinner at home, Italian food from her favorite restaurant.

“You had to have been wearing it when you disappeared. It’s never been here,” Max answered, looking up at her as he dropped the fork on his empty plate.

Mia could see the hurt look in his eyes, and it almost leveled her. Obviously he’d noticed it was missing, but he hadn’t said anything. “Why would I take it off if I was wearing it? I never took it off.”

“I know,” he answered grimly. “I wondered about that myself.”

Frustrated, Mia dropped her napkin on her empty plate and reached for her glass of wine. She took a sip, trying desperately to remember what had happened, to conjure memories, any information about the past few years. As usual, she could see nothing but a blank space of time, as though she’d been sleeping through the last few years. “I can’t remember,” she admitted softly, wanting desperately to know what had happened. She needed to know, and so did Max. Obviously the uncertainty was haunting both of them. “Tell me what happened after I disappeared. Were there ever any clues to where I went, what I did?”

“No,” Max replied darkly. “The last thing you remember happened a week or two before you disappeared.” He stopped and reached for his beer, taking a gulp before he continued, “I’m not even completely sure what day you vanished. I found your things on the beach the day I came home from an overnight business trip. It could have been the day I left or the following day. I came home late. I hated myself for ever leaving on that trip.”

He looked tormented, and she hated it. “Max, it wasn’t your fault. You were considering running for public office, and you had business out of town—”

“It was bullshit. All of it. I never wanted to be a politician, and I could have left most of the traveling to upper management. I was a goddamn coward, Mia. I took those trips to take a break from us.” After downing the rest of his beer, he stood abruptly and went to the refrigerator for another one.

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