Town of Chance: Fight for Freedom(2)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

Bender stepped closer and she gripped her purse.

He reached out and caressed his hand down her bare arm. The move sent goose bumps along her skin. “You look beautiful tonight, Shelby Ann,” he whispered and she felt her heart racing. Her belly quivered and her breasts swelled with need. He was so freaking gorgeous and intimidating and sexy. She hated to hide the attraction she felt, but after what happened to C.J., she knew she couldn’t place the Pace men in danger. Skip was even crazier than Cameron.

She swallowed hard. “I should head back inside,” she said and turned but he grabbed her arm gently, stopping her. She kept her body turned from his and looked down at the ground.

“Wait, let’s talk some more. I don’t bite,” he whispered next to her ear as he placed his hands on her hips from behind and stood so close to her she could feel his body heat. She closed her eyes and relished in it, and the scent of his cologne.

“Talk?” she asked.

He chuckled. His warm breath hit the top of her head. He towered over her, as did his brothers. She winced when she thought of them right at this moment. She knew the three of them were interested in her and they were getting more and more brazen, and trying to break down her resolve.

“Yes, talk. I know you know how to. You and Eliza Grace have been talking all night.”

She turned to pull away from him. “Oh God, Eliza! I should head back. She’s really shy.”

He grabbed her hand and she froze. Bender stepped closer.

He licked his lower lip as his eyes zeroed in on her mouth. God, what would it feel like to be kissed by him? Was he a forceful, sensual kisser like Kenneth? She wondered and her cheeks warmed.

“Or we could just make out, and see what happens,” he suggested, shocking her. She went to move back but it was a lame attempt and he snagged her around the waist and pulled her close.

“No running off this time. I’ve got to know, too,” he said and covered her mouth and kissed her. His move shocked her and so did his words. Obviously Kenneth told him about that night in the office.

At first she grabbed onto his arms and applied a little pressure but it was a lame attempt. He kissed with vigor and depth. He drew her in and explored her mouth like a pro, like a man on a mission to infuse his desires into her from his kisses alone. She allowed him the moment. Or so she told herself as she didn’t resist, but then she knew what this would lead to. Him wanting more. Him wanting to take her home and his brothers wanting to all claim her as their woman. That couldn’t happen. Not with the scars on her body from Skip, and the fear that because of her sister’s high-profile abduction and the fact she killed a man in self-defense, someone who knew Skip could put it all together. They might realize that Caroline was Shelby’s sister and perhaps Shelby lived in Chance now, too.

That realization and fear struck her hard. She pulled away from Bender and then covered her mouth a she stepped away.

“Shelby. Goddamn it, please stop denying this. Talk to me. To us,” he said and she shook her head.

“I told you I’m not interested.”

“Your kisses say otherwise when you let go.”

She shook her head.

“I asked that you and your brothers leave me alone. Please abide by my request. I don’t want to go to the sheriff,” she said as the back door opened and Kenneth stood there.

“What’s going on?” he asked. She stepped aside, not having much of a choice until Kenneth moved out from the doorway.

Bender had his hands on his hips and then ran his hand along his jaw, looking upset and frustrated.

“Nothing,” she said.

Kenneth looked from her to Bender and then back to her again.

“Are you okay?” he asked her.

“Me? I’m just fine, Kenneth,” she said and then glanced at Bender.

“I’m going back inside.”

“Wait. I wanted to talk to you,” Kenneth said to her.

She pulled from him as he went to touch her arm. She stepped back. “Whatever it is, it can wait until Monday in the office,” she said, and she felt badly for being a bitch. But these men were too powerful. They had a way at pulling on her heart.

“It isn’t about work. It’s personal, Shelby Ann,” he whispered, emphasizing the word personal.

She stared at him, wondering what he meant.

“Personal?” she asked.

He stepped closer and placed his hands on her hips. He looked down into her eyes. Kenneth was all business and a firm man. Even now his casual wasn’t casual at all. He wore dress pants in black and a burgundy dress shirt with black dress shoes. His brother had on dark jeans and a nice button-down shirt with his cowboy boots. They were both damn sexy as hell. Now all she needed was for Sam to come outside. But last she saw, he was enthralled in a conversation about the Army with Mr. Phillips from the hardware store and that man could have your ear for hours.

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