Everything was spinning out of control.
Astor had no idea how to stop it.
When she had started on this journey she had never expected things to turn out like this. How could she? Frost was a bad man, he went to auctions where kidnapped women were sold like property. Not just went to, but participated in said auctions and bought women.
He had bought her.
He was a bad man.
Only . . . she was no longer sure about that.
“If you’re a cop why are you here? Why were you at the auction?”
She didn’t want to have this conversation, she didn’t want to tell him, she should have just kept her mouth shut. Only she couldn’t do that because any day now her colleagues were going to come bursting in here thinking that they would have enough evidence to coerce Frost into helping them infiltrate the human trafficking ring.
“Astor,” he demanded, his eyes shooting fire at her. “Tell me what is going on.” He advanced on her, backing her up until she was pressed against the wall, his large body hemming her in.
“My sister,” she said, her voice wobbling.
A little of the fire in his eyes dimmed. “What happened to your sister?”
“She was kidnapped, sold into the sex trade by the same people who run the auction where you bought me. She was killed.” Astor’s eyes dropped, she couldn’t look at Frost anymore. He wasn’t like those evil men. She knew it, she felt it every time they were together.
“You wanted to find the men who bought her?”
“I wanted them to pay. All of them. I convinced my boss to let me go undercover. They were going to give me a few months to get the information we needed to blackmail whoever bought me into helping us.”
“Why would you do that? Those men beat you, raped you, you let me bring you here and make you live for months without talking to another living soul.”
She could feel Frost’s eyes on her but she wouldn’t look up. “Because I loved my sister.”
“Look at me,” he commanded.
Astor couldn’t. She had betrayed him. He loved her and she had been keeping this from him all along.
“I said look at me,” he repeated. His voice was harsh, but when he took her chin between his thumb and forefinger, tilting her face up, his touch was very gentle. “Do you love me?”
The question caught her by surprise.
She wanted to say no.
She wanted to say she could never love a man who had done what he had.
But that would be a lie.
“Yes,” she whispered.
He crushed his body against hers, his mouth claiming her, kissing her until her lungs screamed for air, but she didn’t want him to stop. She never wanted him to stop.
“I’ll help you find the men who murdered your sister,” he said against her lips when he finally broke the kiss.
“No,” she said, panicked, shoving him away. “They’ll arrest you. You’ll spend the rest of your life in prison.”
“Isn’t that what you wanted?”
“At first before I knew you, before I loved you, but now, I can’t lose you,” she said desperately.
He smiled, and leaned down to kiss her again. “When are they coming?”
“I don’t know. There’s a tracking device in-between my two little toes. They know where I am, they can come whenever they want.”
As though speaking the words made them come to being, Frost’s alarm system buzzed.
“It looks like they’re here,” Frost said.
“We have to go. Now.” She grabbed his hand and began to drag him towards the door. “If we’re not here when they come then they can’t take you away from me.”
Yanking on her hand, Frost dragged her up against his body. “No one will ever take you away from me,” he told her fiercely.
“You’re not mad?” she asked anxiously. “About my lies.”
“I think its safe to say we both made mistakes, but I love you Astor.”
Relief washed through her and she stood on tiptoes so she could kiss him. Then as though they realised they were both stark naked, clothes were drawn on hastily, and barefoot, shushing him, she cautiously opened the bedroom door, advancing slowly into the dim, narrow hallway.