"I've already invited you to stay here," Luka says. He stretches his arms, putting them behind his head. "Why are we fighting?"
"I don't know. You started it," I blurt.
Luka stands and grabs me by the waist, putting me over his shoulder.
"Put me down!" I squeal.
"Do you trust me?" His voice is rough and deep.
It sends my stomach swooning. There's a dominance to him, something that Mark never possessed. He may have wanted to be dominant, but he was farthest from taking command.
"I barely know you," I whisper. My voice cracks, and he keeps me over his shoulder as he heads toward the office door.
"Can you keep quiet?"
No, I really can't.
I don't make an empty promise, and he exhales a heavy sigh and puts my feet down on the floor. "You really don't trust me. I ought to kill that douche bag who hurt you."
How do I answer that? He's not wrong, Mark is an asshole, but he wasn't always that way. Certainly not with Bay or me.
But there were signs, apparent red flags that I blatantly ignored. The first was how he treated his coworkers. He belittled them and bragged to me about his accomplishments.
"Come with me," Luka says, and he takes my hand, leading me out of his office.
I oblige. I follow Luka up the staircase. Is he taking me to my bedroom?
We wander past the door to my room, where Bay is sound asleep, and down toward the end of the hallway. His hand doesn't loosen its grip as he escorts me to the third floor.
"Where are you taking me?" I whisper, not wanting to wake anyone.
"You need to unwind, and I need another drink," Luka says.
Isn't that what got us into this mess in the first place? Well, at least tonight. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"
He drops hold of my hand and glances back at me over his shoulder. I suppose he's letting me go. If I want to leave and return to my room, I can. But I hate to admit I'm curious as to what he has in mind. I feel like the sex ship has already sailed.
He continues up the last few stairs, and I follow.
The corridor is dimly lit, the lights in the hall off except for a few scone lamps illuminating the path. There are several rooms, the doors closed for each one. Is this where the guards sleep?
We walk past three doors, and the fourth on the left, Luka opens the handle and steps inside. I follow behind him, and he flips on a lamp, casting the room in a soft, warm glow before closing the door.
"Are you tired?" Luka asks, glancing at me over his shoulder.
"Not really," I say. "I know it's late, but I think my brain is overstimulated." I'm going to pay for it tomorrow when I have to get up and Bay is wide awake at dawn.
"I hope you won't fight me on my next suggestion," he says and heads across the bedroom, opening a door.
Is that a closet? I stand, my feet firmly planted on the rug. "I swear, Luka if you're opening the door to a red room, I'm out of here."
He opens the adjoining door, flips on the light, and grins. "It's a bathroom," he says. "I'm surprised you know what a red room is, Zaya. I never took you for the type."
"I'm not," I say and clear my throat. Did it get warm in here?
"Right," he says with a smug smile. "I'll keep that in mind. You're not into a little rough play."
"Little rough play?" My jaw drops, and the grin only seems to grow on his face.
"Relax, Zaya. I'm going to draw you a bath. Just don't pass out. Okay? I'm not doing this for you to drown in the tub."
My shoulders relax. "Bath?" That's the only word that seems to have registered. "I could take a bath downstairs."
"You don't have your own jetted bathtub." Luka heads into the bathroom and turns on the faucet.
I tug my bottom lip between my teeth and fold my arms across my chest. The idea sounds fantastic but I'm not sure I should take a bath in Luka's room. "Are you trying to see me naked?"
"Maybe," Luka says with a wry grin. "But you can lock the door for privacy. And I'm a gentleman. I'll only burst in if there's a fire or if Bay’s up," he says.
"Good to know where your priorities lie," I say, stepping closer and peeking into the bathroom.
It's not just any ordinary bathroom like I expect. It's the length of Luka's bedroom. While it's quite a bit narrower than his room, it’s more luxurious than anything I'm used to seeing.
"This is all yours?" I gasp. "It's enormous!"
"Thank you," Luka says with a wry grin. "That is what every hot-blooded male loves to hear."
"Your bathroom. Get your mind out of the gutter." I nudge him with my shoulder as I step onto the warm tiles. "Oh my gosh! Even the floor is heated."
Luka shrugs and folds his arms across his chest. "It doesn't get used as often as it should."
"Do all of Mikhail's men have such luxurious accommodations? Maybe I should quit my day job and come work for your boss."
"Don't even think about it," Luka says, pinning me with his gaze.
His heated stare makes my mouth dry, and I swallow nervously. My voice comes out raspy. "Why not?"
Is he worried that we'll spend too much time with each other?
"It's late, and that is not a conversation we're having tonight," he mutters under his breath.
Luka grabs a folded towel from the closet and places it by the sink. "Do you need anything else?" he asks.
"I can't think of what. Thank you."
"My pleasure." Luka backs out of the bathroom, leaving me with the nearly ready bathtub.
He shuts the door, and I lock it behind him before undressing. I sink into the bath water and shut off the tap before turning on the jets.
It feels wonderful.
Do I need to worry about waking up the entire house from the noise of the bathtub jets?
Luka doesn't seem to worry. Why should I?
Every muscle in my body relaxes, and my racing mind finally can settle down. I've been in fight or flight mode since before leaving the apartment.
I close my eyes and am unsure how much time has passed.
The water is still warm but not scalding, but the tension in my shoulders seems to have melted away.
Luka bursts through the bathroom door.