You Are My Hope Page 1

Author: Willow Winters

Series: You Are Mine #2

Genres: Romance





One month ago



Don’t let them see.

Her words echo in my head as I stalk toward the quiet bedroom. She whispered them against my lips last night. The cool air slipped between us as she broke our heated kiss and slowly opened her eyes in the dark of night.

The streetlamp shined down around us like a spotlight on the back porch of her place on the Upper East Side. The city life slept quietly so late at night—or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it. Only the sinners like us were left awake.

Don’t let them see. She left me with the parting plea and here I am… complying with her wish.

I’ve never crept through anyone’s back door before. Not once in my life have I had to sneak around like this.

I don’t want to keep this up, but here I am. What the hell has this woman done to me? I’m wrapped around her little finger.

She doesn’t want anyone to notice me walking through her door because she’s ashamed. I know that’s why she doesn’t want people to know we’re together.

This isn’t a fling; this isn’t a rebound fuck. There’s something more to us now, but she still doesn’t want the world to know.

The floorboards creak under my weight and I hesitate in the doorway, the dim lamp from the hall filling the dark room with a hint of light. I’m being careful so her neighbors won’t be able to hear anything. I just don’t want to disturb her.

It’s obvious she’s sleeping, but then she stirs beneath the silk duvet until finally she opens her eyes and sees me. She tilts her head to the side as she looks at me, burying her cheek into the pillow, a soft smile playing on her lips as she utters a pleasant feminine hum.

“I missed you,” she whispers and her voice is laced with an equal mix of sleep and lust.

If only she knew the real reason I crave her touch. The reason I’m so tempted to break all my rules.

“I’m sorry I’m late,” I tell her in a deep, rough voice as I start unbuttoning my shirt. A smirk lifts up the corners of my lips as her eyes sparkle with humor. She doesn’t care when I come and go, so long as I lie in her bed at night, or she in mine.

Her doe eyes peer back at me while I slip off my button-up and let it pool into a puddle at my feet. I yank my tight white undershirt over my head and look back to see those lush lips parted.

My muscles ripple as I let the tank drop to the floor, the moonlight bathing the room and the two of us in a faint glow.

She may want to keep this a secret but she wants me nonetheless, and she can’t hide it. I’ve become addicted to the way she looks at me like she needs my touch to stay grounded, just as she needs to breathe air to survive. I’m conditioned to crave the faint sounds of her quickened breath as she waits for me to come to her. As if she’d die without me.

I’m slow to unbuckle my belt as my eyes roam down her luscious curves. She’s mine to take. Mine to touch. Mine to keep.

I don’t want to sneak around anymore and I don’t give a shit who knows. I’m tired of all the secrets and politics, all the gossip in this town.

The anger boils in my blood as I grip my leather belt tighter, making it sing in the air as I pull it through the loops. The buckle drops to the floor with a thunk. All the while my gaze is on her gorgeous eyes, and she stares back at me with the same desire I have for her.

The past is over and done. No one else will ever know what really happened—not her, not anyone. So why can’t I truly have her?

“Mason.” She practically whimpers my name and it pulls the beast in me closer to her. My knee dips into the bed, making it groan with my weight as I crawl over to her.

Her soft blue eyes pierce through me, cutting through the dark room. More of the soft lighting from the city slips between us as the heat kicks on and the curtains sway. The way the light kisses her skin as she pushes away the blush silk duvet makes her all the more beautiful.

She’s laid out for me. All for me. She needs me.

I crush my lips to hers and dig my fingers into the flesh of her hips as she spreads her thighs for me. Her soft moans fill the hot air between us.

She’s ashamed to be moving on so quickly. Especially with a man like me. I wasn’t made for a woman like her. I’m someone who could tarnish her sterling reputation and make the cracks in her picture-perfect life even deeper. To say I’m rough around the edges is putting it lightly, but I have what it takes to keep her.

She thinks she’s ruined, but she’s perfect. It’s my sins and secrets that could destroy us both. I’ll never let them come to light. Not now that I have something worth fighting for.






Present day



I’m caught between my need to run away and the need to know the truth. I need the truth from him. No more secrets; no more lies.

He promised.

He loves me.

There’s just no way.

“Did you do it?” The question leaves me in a single weak breath and in an instant, something snaps into place. It’s as if he’s not at all shocked by what I’m saying. As if he’s been waiting for this.

No. My body turns to ice; my blood freezes in my veins and I can’t believe this is reality. It can’t be true.

Mason takes a step forward, starting to move around the island and it breaks me from my denial.

It’s my cue to run, a natural instinct that takes over. The stool falls hard, crashing to the floor as I take off, but Mason’s faster, grabbing my waist and jerking me backward. I cry out from fear and he releases me, only for me to fall onto the tiles at my feet. His large frame towers over me, and he puts his hands up as though he’s approaching a wild animal. I feel like I am just that. Eyes wide as I stare up at him, my heart pounds painfully in my chest. Thump, thump, thump.

“Did I do what?” he asks with a coldness I haven’t seen before and his eyes narrowed. This isn’t the man I know.

My bottom lip trembles, the small bit of strength I had vanishing as I take in the raw truth. “Did you kill my husband?”

The words leave me in agony as they hover in the tense air between us.

I can’t believe I even asked him that. Deny it. Please deny it. Tell me I’m a fool. And this, whatever this is, it’s something that’s already over and never happened.

Mason stands up straight, giving me enough space so that my breath can come back to me, but my lungs refuse to fill until he answers me.

“They think they can do whatever they want,” Mason says, still standing over me as he snatches the paper from where it lays on the floor. I didn’t even realize I’d dropped it.

No. That’s not what he should be saying right now.

“Your husband wasn’t a good man,” Mason adds lowly, his eyes piercing me before flicking back to the paper. He crumples it in his fist as a cold sweat spreads across my skin.

“No.” It’s all I can say. “You didn’t.” I try to say more but it’s in vain as my throat dries up and constricts. I don’t know if it’s the shock or if I’m just that pathetic. I didn’t fall for a murderer. Mason couldn’t—

“I did.” Mason’s confession makes me light-headed, and a sickness churns in my gut.