The texas renegade reurns(3)

By: Charlene Sands

 Cara sighed as she glanced at the tall, dark and dangerously handsome man staring at her with eyes gleaming. She, along with the rest of the world, now knew the truth.

 Alex had been discovered among a group of immigrants sneaking into the United States after their truck collided with another car. It was all one big mystery and Alex claimed amnesia. He didn’t remember much of his disappearance. But he’d had serious injuries, including a concussion and broken wrist from the collision. Cara had thought the worst about him and lived with guilt for weeks, scolding herself for thinking he’d run out on her. Fool that she was, she’d tried everything she could think of to bring back his memory while he was in the hospital. Nothing had worked.

 Cara walked out of her office, her heels furiously clicking against sleek gray-slate floors. She had no time to spare. Her father was due back any minute and those were fireworks she never wanted to see.

 Stepping outside, Texas sunlight poured over her. She slipped on her sunglasses and scoured around. Alex was hard to miss. She found him leaning against his slick red sports car, his arms crossed and his black hair catching light rays. He was wearing black trousers, a soft white shirt and a devastating smile. Cara’s breath caught again. It happened every time she laid eyes on him.

 Fraud, she kept shouting in her head.

 Yet, her heart pinged at the sight of him.

 Alex Santiago had never really existed and the truth had broken her heart. He was Alejandro del Toro, only son and heir to Del Toro Oil, who’d come from Mexico to spy on their biggest rivals, Windsor Energy. Alex had created a false identity, lived for over a year in Maverick County posing as Alex Santiago and had used her as a pawn to extract information about her father’s successful oil business. The truth came to light after Alex was discovered alive and brought back to town. Concerned about his son’s health and hoping to help him recover from amnesia, Rodrigo del Toro revealed to the world Alex’s true identity and the real reason he’d come to Texas in the first place—to spy on Windsor Oil.

 The burn of that betrayal still seared her with pain.

 It didn’t matter that Alex couldn’t remember any of it. His amnesia didn’t make him any less guilty. Her father had never liked her choice of fiancé and he’d been right all along about Alex. That was the biggest crime. Her father, who’d been married and divorced four times, had better insight about Alex than she did.

 What a fool she’d been.

 She left three feet of pavement between them. “I really don’t want to do this.”

 “I know. I appreciate your time.”

 He came forward to wind his hand around hers and lead her to the passenger-side door. Her palms grew damp from his touch. His strength and power was always a big turn-on. How she’d loved him once.

 A part of her was glad he had amnesia. A part of her wished she had it, too.

 She stood by the open door. “Where are we going?”

 His eyes were nearly black. When they made love, she would slowly sink into them. “You’ll see. I won’t harm you, Cara. I’m still the same Alex you knew.”

 Not true. She didn’t argue with him though. She slipped into the leather seat and fastened her seat belt. Alex got behind the wheel and pulled out of the parking lot.

 He was quiet on the drive. It was fine with her. She relaxed back against the seat and stared out the front window. For about three minutes. Then her gaze slid from the highway to his handsome face. His profile alone could sell magazines to millions of women. She forced her eyes back to the road.

 Don’t remember his hands caressing your body. Don’t remember his mouth pressing yours. Don’t remember the scent of his hot skin when he was aroused and ready to make love to you.

 Beautiful memories clicked away in her mind. Her head ached with them. She didn’t want to believe him a liar, user, fraud and spy. But he was all those things. And here she was, sitting beside him, giving him her time and using her father as the excuse to steal away with him.

 Cara, you dumbass.

 Alex made a right turn off the highway that led away from town. Storefronts and residential streets gave way to the open road. Tight muscles in her neck began to relax. Rolling her shoulders, her stiffness dropped away there, too. She came alive in the country. Across the flatlands, ranches came into view. Roadside wildflowers bursting with color sprouted up along the miles and miles of fences.

 Alex hit the controls and the windows rolled all the way down. Gentle springtime breezes replaced the air-conditioning. Her hair blew into her eyes. She didn’t bother trying to fix the mass of blond whipping at her cheeks.

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