A Matter of Trust – Excerpt

"So, big guy, where are you taking me?" Lilly asked.

Tyler turned around to face her. Lilly's long legs were encased in a pair of tight jeans. His gaze moved slowly up to the white t-shirt which was tight across her chest, outlining the roundness of her breasts, with the words Look but don't touch. Her hair hung loose around her shoulders. Hooked on her finger she held a denim jacket. His gaze slowly reached her face and there was a smile on her lips—a sexy smile.

Oh God, he was so in deep shit.

He cleared his throat. "I'm not sure. I just thought we could ride out and see where it took us."

"In the dark?"

"Best time, no traffic, quiet."

"Okay, I'll buy it. Let's go."

He followed her into the kitchen, trying desperately to keep his eyes from her beautiful tush. God, he just wanted to touch it, feel the flesh. He stuck his hands into his pockets to stop them from doing just that. He almost bumped into her as she stopped, his attention entirely on her physique, his mind definitely not where it should have been.

* * * *

Lilly picked up the flowers, turning around to face Tyler and arching an eyebrow in surprise. "For me?"

She inhaled the scent, closing her eyes. She couldn't remember the last time she had received flowers. Lifting her gaze to his, she realized that he was waiting for her to say something, and the anxious look on his face made her feel…good, which totally surprised her.

"Oh, Tyler," she whispered as she went over to a cupboard under the kitchen sink and took out a vase, filling it with water from the tap. "They're beautiful. Thank you." She unraveled the cellophane, placing them in the water, then set the cut glass vase on the kitchen table.

"You're welcome." He looked sheepish, and her heart gave a little kick.

She went over to stand in front of him, going on tiptoe, kissing his smooth cheek. He smelled good, warm amber with hints of cedar and bergamot. It was so calming after the fear of the last hour. She still didn't know what the hell she was going to do. She'd always covered her tracks well, but Guy had always been in prison—now that he was out how would she be safe?

She drew back from Tyler, just a hair's breadth away from those wide, sensual lips and the dimple in his chin that she so desperately wanted to taste. For what seemed like minutes they stared at each other, however, it was just a few seconds before she pushed back, giving herself a mental shake as she turned to pick up her jacket from the countertop where she'd dropped it when she'd seen the flowers. Slipping it on, she opened the door.

Blinking, he cleared his throat. "Are you ready?"

"That's the whole point, I thought you were taking me for a ride on your machine."

He seemed to jump out of whatever stupor he was in, following her. He stood aside while she locked the door and slipped the key into the back pocket of her jeans.

"Be prepared to have all those cobwebs blown away." He took her hand, and she didn't even try to pull away from him, because it felt right, as if it were where she was meant to be.

He strapped on her helmet, fastening it under her chin, before donning his own and climbing onto the bike. He gestured for her to get on behind him. It was with trepidation that she did. It had been years since she last rode roughshod on one of these, although she'd never been on a classic like this. Her love of all things mechanical meant she loved to take them apart more than she enjoyed riding them.

She sat behind him, her fingers gripping the seat behind her tightly. The heat of his powerful body traveled right through to hers. It was such an intimate thing to do, sitting pillion on a bike, and it brought every sleeping cell awake.

"Closer," he said over his shoulder. "Put your arms around my waist."

She wrapped her arms around his waist. The whispered sound of his gasp didn't go unnoticed as she gripped hold of him before he fired the bike up. He shouted back to her to put her feet on the rests. When she'd done that he slowly backed down her driveway.

Stopping, he spoke over his shoulder. "Hold on tight."

She hugged the man in front of her, the first man she'd touched in such a way for a long, long time, and it felt good.

"You ready?"

She nodded. "Yes, I'm ready."

"Okay, here we go." Tyler straightened as he started off, going straight up the coast road.

He wasn't going fast, but oh boy, it was exhilarating, and she drew in her breath several times. She hardly knew Tyler Fitzgerald, yet for some reason she sensed the only real danger she could foresee had nothing to do with her past but involved what was sitting in front of her. Her body reacted to him with no fear, no revulsion, just want, which shocked her.

She always knew her life would never be normal after what had happened. Not only was she unsure if she could give herself fully to a man, but would a man be able to accept what had transpired? Now, after that letter, she wasn't even sure she'd be able to stay in this place…her home.

The incident that had changed her life had occurred ten years ago, but even now she was still broken, still trying to fight away the demons. Did anyone ever get over something so life changing?