Hidden Desire – Excerpt

"We're here," Matt said, stopping the truck's engine.

Kristina looked at Uncle Jasper's house. She didn't see any lights on inside. Where had he gone after he had driven her home from the airport? She couldn't put two straight thoughts together. Damn the alcohol! Or was it Matt's presence?

"I'm really happy to see you again, Krissy."

She looked at him and couldn't help the smile curling her lips. "I'm happy to see you too." I want you. The spot between her thighs pulsed and tingled. Heaven help me! Before she lost what was left of reason, she said, "Thank you for driving me home. Good night."

"Hold on."

Matt got out and opened her door. He held out his gloved hand. Taking his fingers, she put one boot on the ground and then the other before stumbling into Matt's arms. She cursed her weak knees.

"I got you," he said, holding her tight.

His firm body pressed against hers. Hard and muscular. He stared into her soul, and again, nothing else existed. With a gentle touch, Matt raised her chin. Their hot breaths mingled and created a white cloud around them. A heart beat drummed in her ears. She waited, anticipating his next move, staring at his lips inches away from hers. Will he kiss me? Lifting her chin a bit more, she readied her mouth for his.

"Let's get you inside." He kissed her brow and put his arm around her shoulder.

She held back a groan. Why did she think Matt would kiss her? She willed her thoughts to stop spinning so she could regain her wits. She wanted to scream at him for making her weak all over. His hand stayed on her lower back while she climbed the few steps toward the door. How much time has passed since a man has kissed me or touched me?

Pulling the key out of her pocket with some difficulty, she unlocked the door. Before going inside, she turned and faced him. "Thank you for bringing me home. I'll see you around."

"Anytime, Krissy." His voice vibrated through her.

"Do you want to come in for some coffee?" she asked, then wished she could take back her words.

He nodded. "Sure," he replied, and followed her inside the house.

Glancing behind her, she saw him close the door. He sat on the small bench and removed his jacket and boots. She removed her own coat and boots before going into the kitchen.

Leaning her head against the coolness of the kitchen door, Kristina prayed for strength and for her splitting headache to cease. She had no idea if it was due to the nervous state Matt had caused within her or the alcohol she had drank. She pressed her fingers to each side of her forehead and closed her eyes.

From outside, she heard dogs barking. A wave of fear invaded her. She reminded herself that she was safe at Uncle Jasper's house. Viktor would never find her there. No one knew her whereabouts, not even her closest friends. Her heart twisted with guilt of lying to her friends. But she had no other choice. Her life and everyone she cared about were at risk because of Viktor. Before she left England, Kristina had changed her hairstyle and—with Rory's help—she had used her grandmother's maiden name on her airplane tickets and passport. Thankfully, Kristina had never mentioned her hometown to Viktor. He had never asked many questions about her past. He was more interested in her work at the museum…and her Fabergé egg.