Reveal (Wicked Ways) - K. Bromberg

PROLOGUE

Ryker

Woman, you’re beginning to make me want to define things I never imagined before.

My words ghost through my mind right along with the look on Vaughn’s face when I said them—cheeks flushed from the sex we’d just enjoyed, lips swollen from my inability to ever get enough of her, and eyes full of the same shitstorm of emotions swirling inside me.

Definitions.

Labels.

Designations.

Whatever you fucking call it, I’d give every last one right now if I could kick all the guests out of the party so I could enjoy Vaughn all over again. But not a quickie against the dresser like we just had . . . no. This time I want to take my time with her. Get drunk on every goddamn inch of her. Lose myself in her—to her—in a way I’ve never allowed myself to before.

I’m a selfish bastard who doesn’t want to share.

With a shake of my head and a resignation that I was wrong inviting the Hamptons lookie-loos here, I open my humidor and pull out a carton of Cuban cigars to bring out to the guys.

“You have something I want, Lockhart.”

I don’t respond. I don’t turn his way. I don’t ask him what the fuck he’s doing here at my party, let alone in the pool house, when I should have figured he’d show. Instead, I close the door on the cabinet, set down the Cubans, and casually push the button on the screen of my cell before placing it facedown on the bar top in front of me.

With a measured sip of my drink, I turn and eye Carter Preston over the rim of my highball glass. “Good to see you too, Senator.”

“I figured you wouldn’t mind if I stopped by. The whole town’s abuzz about Ryker Lockhart and how serious it must be with the woman he’s brought here for the weekend.”

“Since when do you believe bullshit rumors?” I ask, trying to feel him out and his unexpected and unwelcome presence.

“Since I’ve seen the woman here with my own two eyes.” He raises his brows and just stares as a slow smirk curls up one side of his mouth. Without asking, he reaches out and takes a cigar from the box, lifting it with a quirk of his brow to ask if he can. Not thrilled with giving him one, I nod and wait for him to lead this conversation. “You haven’t returned my calls.”

I think of the two voice mails he’s left these past few days requesting a private moment and how I blew them off. “As you can see, I’ve been busy.”

“I thought it was all rumors?”

“What did you need, Carter?” I completely disregard his question.

“Like I said, I’m here because you have something I want.”

“I’m sorry; my caseload is full,” I say and take a seat on the barstool beside me.

“Hmm.” He savors the sip he takes and chuckles as if he doesn’t believe me. “I’ll get what I want, one way or another.”

“I’m honored you want me to represent you in your divorce,” I say, trying to head this off at the pass, “but it’s just not feasible right now. I’ve got a backlog that—”

“You’re really going to pass up having the future vice president of the United States as part of your clientele? You know my name would have new clients—high-dollar clients—lighting up that phone of yours.”

“Putting the cart before the horse now, are we?”

“The nomination is just a matter of time. I make sure the bills get passed that need to be passed for the party’s benefit. I make sure the ones that need to die, die.” He shrugs and takes a few steps away. “Who doesn’t get off on having that kind of power?”

“Power is often subjective.” I have no fucking clue where he’s going with this, but screw him and his ego trip.

“Easy to say when it comes from a man who hasn’t felt its high.” He shakes his head. “I could help you with that, you know. Take you under my wing. Let you help me with a thing or two and really put that law degree of yours to use.”

“I’m good, thanks.” Asshole.

“Come on, Lockhart. Live a little.”

“I live plenty.”

“There’s a lot of money to be made.”

“I’ve got money.”

He laughs, his head down, his hands clasped around his glass, and he just stares at it for a beat before looking up at me with a cat-that-ate-the-canary grin that tells me here’s his one-two punch. Here’s the reason he wanted to see me.

What do you want,