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Page 34 of A Beautiful Mess (Beautiful Mess 1)

Alexander rushed up to embrace his Olivia. She steadied herself in his arms, deeply inhaling his scent, her eyes heavy. “Smell something you like?” he asked with humor in his voice.

She looked at him. “Oh, yes.”

He glanced over Olivia’s shoulder to the two men hovering in the hallway and whispered quietly in her ear, “We need to get you out of here, Love.” He was able to discreetly take cell phone pictures of the two men when he paid the girls’ bar tab. He planned to run the photos through facial recognition later.

Alexander grabbed Olivia’s hand and she, in turn, grabbed Kiera’s hand. Olivia looked at her dumbstruck friend as she mouthed, “Holy shit, he’s gorgeous.”

Didn’t she know it?

~~~~~~~~~~

Olivia gave the valet her ticket and he quickly retrieved her car. Alexander opened both passenger side doors when the car was brought around, allowing Kiera to collapse in the back seat before helping Olivia into the front. He ran around, tipping the valet, and got in the driver’s seat before taking off down the quiet Boston streets. Kiera had walked there because she lived around the block by the community gardens, but she was in no state to be walking anywhere at that moment.

After dropping Kiera off at her house, Alexander picked up his phone. “Burnham here. I want an overnight protection detail for a Ms. Kiera,” he looked at Olivia, wanting her last name.

“Murphy.”

“Kiera Murphy.” He listed off her address and Olivia gazed into the distance. Those two men at the bar really did concern Alexander. She wondered why.

After he hung up the phone, Olivia glared at him. “What the fuck is going on?” she blurted out.

He reached across the console of her car and placed his hand on her leg. He took a deep breath. He thought about telling her. But how would she react? She was clearly intoxicated. Could she be rational? Would the information set her back? Would she never speak to him again? He wasn’t ready for that to happen just yet.

“I’m not sure, Olivia. But I have a feeling. And my gut is usually right,” he responded, his voice soft and sensual, causing Olivia to soften her glare and practically forget about the two men at the bar.

“Well, what is it you’re feeling?” she slurred, trying to sound sexy.

He laughed. “What am I feeling? Well, if you really want to know, I am feeling a whirlwind of emotions right now, Love. I’m feeling that you’re not just some girl I want to fuck and never see again. I care about you. Deeply. Which is a strange emotion for me, to be honest. I feel the need to protect you. To keep you safe. To make you happy.” He smiled at her. And to tell you that I finally found you after all these years.

“But, you can’t always keep me safe. No one could shoulder that burden.” She hiccupped and he laughed, breaking the tension that was building in the car. She didn’t know that he had made a pledge to protect her all those years ago and now that he found her, he could fulfill that promise.

Alexander pulled up outside of Olivia’s house and parked the car on the side of the road. He walked her to the front door just as two black SUVs pulled in front. She noticed Martin driving the first but didn’t recognize who was driving the second.

“Martin is here to take me home. And Carter will be parked out front keeping an eye on your place. It didn’t look like anyone followed us here, but I need to be sure.”

Olivia looked up at him, not ready to say good-bye just yet. “Stay with me, please.” She didn’t know what had possessed her to say that. She had never wanted anyone to stay over. Ever. Why now all of a sudden? Why that man? She couldn’t believe her own ears. But she really did want him to stay.

He exhaled and pulled her against him. “I want to, but…”

“But what? I just want to fall asleep in your arms,” Olivia said sleepily. “If you really want to make me happy, you’ll stay.”

“Ouch, Miss Adler. Using my words against me,” he said in mock shock.

“I know. How very unfair of me, isn’t it. I should be punished.” She laughed and looked into his eyes. They immediately became hooded as desire flooded through them, making her entire body tingle. Alexander could think of some ways to punish her and they would both enjoy every minute of it.

“Okay. I’ll spend the night.” His heart warmed when he saw Olivia smile at his words. “I’d do anything to keep that smile on your face.”

She turned to unlock the door. “Just knowing you’re in the world makes me smile.”

He pulled her into an embrace and sang a line from Elton John’s Your Song in her ear. Her eyes glossed over, his voice and those lyrics stirring a memory that lay deep within her subconscious. She turned to get away from Alexander so that she could clear her foggy head. She stumbled across the doorframe, tripping on her own feet and falling to the ground, most likely due to all the alcohol she had consumed throughout the evening.

“Are you okay, Olivia?” She turned to look at Alexander who stood in the doorframe, looking down on her as she sat on the hardwood floor.

She laughed. “I’m drunk.” All thoughts of that memory were now gone.

“We need to get you in bed before you do any more damage to that beautiful body of yours.” He closed the door and locked it. “Just to remind you, my company will be here tomorrow to install your security system.”

“Oh, I love it when you talk dirty to me.” She giggled again. She couldn’t stop.

He bent down and picked her up in his arms. “Where is your bedroom?”

Olivia leaned into his chest, enjoying the closeness of him. “Up the stairs. First door on the left.” She was suddenly getting sleepy. He carried her up the stairs into her bedroom and gently placed her on the bed. She was so tired that she didn’t think she could even muster the strength to find something to sleep in.

“Where are your pajamas?”

“Top drawer,” Olivia mumbled, raising her arm to point in the direction of the dresser.

He opened the top drawer. “Now, this is hot, but if you wear this, I don’t know how much sleeping you’ll do.” He winked as he held up a little black sleep slip. Olivia smiled.

He continued rummaging through her pajama drawer and found a black tank top with pink boy shorts. He walked over to the bed and helped her change into her pajamas, steadying her as she stood and lifting her shirt over her head.

“Like what you see, Mr. Burnham?” Olivia asked, raising an eyebrow as he gawked at the pink lace bra she had on underneath her shirt.

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