Claire. The name stole his breath from him like a punch, and he slid to the floor, lowering his head to his knees. Had she been told yet? Did she know that the older brother she idolized was dead and that Ryan Wyatt had been there when it happened, had been just as responsible as if he had fired the shot himself? Did she hate him? He told himself he wanted her to hate him, to not be able to care less, really, because when those big blue eyes looked at him with love, he was left shaken and willing to lay himself bare before her, to give up everything just for the pleasure of seeing those eyes light up with love for him.
He’d never made such a stupid mistake again because those first few weeks when he’d left, Ryan was sure he would die from the pain of losing her.
So while he’d enjoyed his share of women over the years, he remained solid and immovable, never letting any woman slither through the protective wall around him.
That wall served him well now when the guard told him he had a visitor. Outside, he wore no expression, but inside the panic and hope flared in his chest. Claire?
Over the years, the sweet-faced young girl she had been had grown into a devastating beauty that belied the hard-as-nails prosecutor persona she had developed. In many a dream, Ryan had stripped the woman down and fucked the harshness from her until she was whimpering, begging, and scratching her nails down his back in desperation and pleasure, reverting back to the open, eager teenage girl she had been when they’d first discovered passion.
He worked even harder to push those memories away as he was led down the hall to a private visitor’s room. It wasn’t Claire who waited for him, but an older man standing next to Ryan’s lawyer. Ryan felt both relief and disappointment in equal measure.
“Mr. Wyatt. My name is Wolfe McCoy. I’m head of special ops for the U.S. government and here to discuss the conditions of your release.”
Ryan blinked in surprise. “Release?” He gave his lawyer a questioning glance. Why would this suit have any interest in his incarceration?
“Mr. McCoy is here to make you a deal I think you should take him up on,” his lawyer explained.