Blue Lines

Assassins - 4


Toni Aleo


It has been 192 days since I’ve lost you.

I am still so broken inside and the only thing that keeps me going is that this is what you wanted me to do.

I work every day, create these stories, these worlds because you gave me the gift of reading and the talent of writing.

I love you, Mom.

So much.

I miss you but I know that even in Heaven you are my biggest fan.

Mom, this book and all the books I write are for you.


“I heard you liked me.”

Piper quickly turned from the bar at Wanna B’s to meet a pair of brown eyes, the same eyes that starred in her dreams ever since she first saw them. It wasn’t that she just liked the owner of the dark-as-night brown eyes; she was hopelessly in love with him.

Erik Titov.

Her sister’s brother-in-law. The man whom she’d been lusting over for the past two years. The man who could transform her into a puddle of goo with just one simple glance. Erik was everything she wanted in a guy, and she would do just about anything to be with him. Even in her current drunken state there was no denying she wanted him. All of him.

Piper often dreamed of what their first time together would be like—when their lips would meet, when their bodies would touch. But unfortunately, that would never happen because he didn’t want her. That was why she couldn’t believe that at this moment he was talking to her. Wait a minute, what the hell did he say?

Brushing the loose strands of hair from her face, she asked, “Excuse me?”

Erik looked like he hadn’t shaved in a month, and it did nothing but make her quiver from the inside out. Her inner drunk slut screamed at her to climb up his hard body, wrap her legs around his waist, take hold of his thick broad shoulders, and ravish his mouth.

“I heard you liked me.”

Well that sure did sober her up.

Piper gazed into Erik’s eyes. With the noise in the bar, there was no mistaking what he’d said.

Masking her dismay with a sly grin, she said, “Who told you that nonsense?”

“Nonsense? I think not; my source is very reliable.”

As he looked off to the side Piper followed his gaze as it landed on her best friend Audrey. OMG, that slut. Audrey was in the middle of the dance floor grinding it with Tate Odder, the main goalie for the Assassins hockey team. Piper could not believe that her friend would’ve revealed that bit of information but if Audrey did she would totally have to rethink their BFF status. “That bitch,” she muttered.

“But I thought it was all nonsense,” Erik said slowly, bringing her attention back to him.

He took a step closer, resting his hand along her hip. Looking down at his hand she just wanted to laugh because she knew this was some crazy joke that God was playing on her, until she looked back up to his face and noticed lust swirling in his eyes.

Hmmm, okay, maybe Audrey isn’t such a bitch.

At that moment she was pretty sure Erik wanted her. But none of this was making any sense. Erik was a hot famous hockey player for the Nashville Assassins and could have his pick of any woman he wanted—something just wasn’t adding up.

Surely, this was all a cruel joke, but what if it wasn’t? There was no way she could pass this moment up. “Maybe I lied,” she said breathlessly as she tried to flirt and desperately failed.

He gave her a condescending smile before saying, “I know you did.”

“Cocky much?”

“Sweetheart, I’m not cocky,” he said, winking. “I’m confident. I know you want me.”

“Wow. I’m speechless.”

“I have that effect on women,” he said with a slow, teasing grin.

He did have that effect on her, and Piper was feeling it all the way down to her toes.

On wobbly legs, she raised up onto her tippy toes to whisper in his ear, “Well, I’m pretty sure you want me.”

Erik asked, “What evidence do you have to support that statement?”

She bit her lip as she glanced down to where his hand was resting at her waist. Her gaze then traveled to his groin, where an impressive outline of his hard-on was on display. She looked back up at him and said, “I’m pretty sure there isn’t much room in those tight jeans.”

He ran his tongue along his bottom lip, his eyes holding hers for what seemed like forever. Was it the alcohol or was it him? She didn’t know, but before she could do anything or say anything, he announced, “I want to dance.”

Well didn’t that just ruin the moment.

Looking away, Piper was a little confused as she waved toward the floor. “Then, by all means, there’s the dance floor.”

When he didn’t say anything, Piper looked back at him as he said, “I want to dance with you.”

Before she knew what was happening she was being pulled onto the floor. “Lemme See,” by Usher blasted through the speakers of the club and Piper knew that she would never forget that song for the rest of her life. Erik brought her close, swallowing her body in his. Sexy tattoos covered his very muscular arms. She sighed as his hands started caressing her body. They traveled from her waist down to her bare thighs, where he held her tight as she began to move against him. He turned her around until he found the right spot, rubbing her bottom against his growing erection. It was mind-blowing. What the hell had brought them to this moment, she didn’t know.

She had been waiting forever for this. Even if she didn’t think anything would come from their evening together, Piper wanted to take this chance and she wouldn’t look back with regrets.

The evening was like a dream come true. On or off the dance floor Erik was always touching her; he never left her side. She could hardly believe this was happening and she wanted to share this with someone but she couldn’t find Audrey anywhere. It was like she up and disappeared. Erik was so attentive, the way his fingers would slowly drift along her cheek or the way he would look directly into her eyes. He even laughed at her horrible jokes. He was funny and self-assured, two traits she loved in a man. And she adored his gorgeous dimples, which appeared whenever he smiled.

He was perfect.

Not once did she think about his bad-boy reputation. All she could think about was that they were there together for the evening. She wouldn’t burden herself with the what-ifs tonight.

The bar announced last call when Piper and Erik decided to leave. Since both of their rides were nowhere to be found they decided to share a cab.

“I had fun tonight,” Erik said softly.

“Yeah, it was great,” she responded, feeling giddy.

He scooted closer, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. Piper felt like she was a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl with her childhood crush. When the cabdriver asked where they were going, they both gave their separate addresses and leaned back into the seat, enjoying the ride.

He was intoxicating; the way he made her feel was insane and Piper loved every minute. She wanted to scream out in victory—ERIK TITOV IS HUGGING ME! But instead, she glanced up at him and shyly smiled. He slowly bent his head toward her. Holy mother of everything good and gracious, he is going to kiss me, she thought just as their lips met. Piper couldn’t breathe or move. All she could do was bask in the feel of his soft lips moving along hers. When his hand came up, cupping the back of her head as his other hand gently held her chin, she thought she would melt right into him. Piper moved her lips against his, and when she ran her tongue along his bottom lip, she heard his moan of appreciation. He deepened the kiss, taking her out of this world.

Piper believed that in life there were moments that changed everything and this was one of those. She could live her life and not take any chances, but what fun was that. When they finally parted for air, his eyes searched hers, his breath hot against her swollen lips. Piper still couldn’t believe this was happening. For the past two years she thought he never really saw her, but now she wasn’t so sure.

“I thought for the longest time you didn’t notice me,” she found herself saying.

Erik’s eyes softened, his thumb running slowly along her bottom lip. “Maybe I wasn’t looking, Piper, but I am now”—he placed a kiss to the side of her mouth—“and sweetheart, I’m not looking anywhere but at you right now.”

“Ma’am, we’re here,” the cabdriver announced.

Breaking their heated glance, Piper looked out the window to see they were in front of her apartment. The cabbie was looking at her through the rearview mirror and when she glanced over at Erik, he, too, was looking at her expectantly. She had a choice to make, she knew that, and a month from now she might decide it was not the right one. But at that moment, there was only one option.

“Are you coming up?” she asked.

“Only if you want me to,” Erik responded quietly.

“Oh, I want you to.”

Erik paid the cabdriver as Piper quickly opened the door and hopped out; turning back she saw Erik was right behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist, hugging her close, his rock-hard length stiff against the small of her back. Dropping her head back onto his chest, she looked up at him as he looked down at her.

“Ready for some fun?” he asked.

She nodded. “I’ve been ready for a while.”

* * *

It wasn’t until a month later that Piper found herself sitting in the middle of the bathroom floor with tears pouring down her cheeks. She was still damp from her shower, the water dripping from her long hair that lay against her back.