She’d wanted to hang on to the fantasy as long as possible. The one she’d built between them. The one where he hadn’t hurt her, and they could go back to the way it'd been as partners, and the hurt didn’t exist.
Too late for that.
“I can’t pretend anymore. I remember every second of us, Liv,” he said. “I remember the first day we met, the first time you smiled at me. How you used to sprinkle cinnamon over your coffee, and when you would glance at me when you thought I wasn’t looking. Our first kiss. The first time we slept together. I remember it all.”
Her heart pumped out of control as she squared off with years of honed muscle and discipline. She couldn’t hide from the truth. Not anymore. Despite years of rising above the betrayal, of the damage to her career because of what he’d done, Silas Hart could still hurt her.
“This was a mistake.” What had she been thinking bringing him here? That they could go back to how it used to be? That she could compartmentalize the damage he’d done? Olivia shook her head. “I shouldn’t have brought you here.”
Silas’s knuckles turned white as he curled his fingers into fists. He nodded and collected his tie and suit jacket and headed for the door. “You can’t keep running from this, Liv. Harvey took advantage of your insights on the Charles Daggett case. I should’ve been there for you. I should’ve stood up to him when he insisted on minimizing your involvement because he didn’t feel you deserved the recognition, and you have every right to hate me for it. But I think you’re so afraid of what happened in the past you can’t even see the future might be right in front of you. That I’m here in front of you.”
Her mouth dried. Olivia forced herself to take an even breath, her skin still burning from his touch. She smoothed invisible wrinkles from the waistband of her slacks. Tears burned in her eyes, but she wouldn’t let them fall. Not for him. Not again. She headed for her laptop set up on the coffee table in the living room. “Someone is killing bureau agents with Charles Daggett’s MO, and from what I’ve seen, they aren’t going to stop until they get what they want. Every agent involved in the investigation—including us—dead. We need to figure out who else had a connection to Daggett.”
Calloused fingers wrapped around her bare arm and spun her into his chest. Warmth spread through her as she pressed her hand over his heart. Her defenses warned her not to give in. Because if she did, she’d be putting herself back in that same position as when she’d transferred out of Violent Crimes. She’d barely survived uprooting her life the first time. She couldn’t let herself become compromised again. There were too many people relying on her, who trusted her with their lives. Potential victims, their family members, the agents she oversaw at the BAU—they needed her support, and Silas… He’d taken that support from her the moment he’d given Harvey permission to treat her as less than the men in the DC office.
Silas framed her jawline and urged her to meet his gaze, but she had more control than this. “You’re not a rookie anymore, Liv, and I’m not the man I used to be. This anger you’re holding on to will eat you alive unless you do something with it. People change, and until you’re ready to see that, I think it’s best I leave this investigation with the BAU.”
His hand slipped from her face, and before she had a chance to take her next breath, Silas closed the door behind him.
“Thank goodness that’s over,” an unfamiliar voice said. “I thought he’d never leave.”
Olivia twisted around. Too slow. Pain exploded from her midsection and lightninged through her veins. The blade lodged deep past skin and muscle, and the world tilted on its axis.
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