Trust in Us

By: AlTonya Washington

From one night…to forever?

With a successful boutique in Charlotte and plans to open another exclusive one in Aspen, Alythia Duffy feels as if she’s finally arrived. Then a wild week in the Caribbean at her best friend’s bachelorette celebration threatens to ruin everything, though Alythia doesn’t regret her passionate idyll with a sensual stranger.

Self-made developer Gage Vincent learned long ago not to believe the words of a beautiful woman. He thought Alythia was different. Yet, how can he trust her after he finds out that she is bidding for space in his hot new skyscraper? Will Alythia be able to prove to him that she is the special woman meant to share his life?

“I think my suggestion should come with a peace offering.”

Aly saw the straps of her sandals dangling from his index and middle fingers. “Hmph, good thing I didn’t get more comfortable.”

“Mmm-hmm.” Whatever interest Gage had in talking seemed to have vanished, for he suddenly pushed off the door frame and advanced.

Alythia was opening her mouth to thank him for returning her shoes. He never gave her the chance, and for the second time that day, her body reacted to the delicious sensation of his mouth on hers. Again, he began with a tentative exploration that quickly blossomed into a sensuous entwining of their tongues.

Gage withdrew from the kiss to outline the curve of her cheek, brush the sensitive skin behind her ear and trail his nose along her neck.



“Do you kiss all women you know so soon after you meet them?”

He nipped at her earlobe. “Would you believe that I’ve forgotten every other woman I’ve ever met?”

“No,” she gasped, still enraptured by his touch and feeling the vibration of laughter through his body.

“You really know how to hurt a man.”

“It’s not out of habit.” Aly felt her sandals bumping her bottom when he switched them to his other hand while he held her. “So what do I have to do to get my shoes back?” she murmured against his jaw, wanting his mouth on hers.

Dear Reader,

Thanks for curling up with my latest novel. Trust In Us features Gage Vincent and Alythia Duffy, and brings with it many of the reasons why I love writing romance. In addition to vibrant settings, the attraction between Gage and Alythia is greatly affected by assorted dramas that emphasize how very much this couple wants to be together.

You guys know I love my heroes, and Gage was a treat to create. Here’s a little of what I shared about him in a recent blog: “When I craft that hero of mine, he’s the only one…in spite of all the others who’ve come before him or the ones that I know will come after him. When I’m writing that guy, he’s the epitome, the showstopper.… So which hero inspired this particular blog? His name is Gage Vincent.”

I hope you’ll enjoy this treat.…



To my mom and dad, Alphonso and Carolyn Washington. Thanks for being the leaders of the best support team any author could ask for!

Chapter 1

“It’d be real nice of you to have this all wrapped up by the time I get back.”

“Now, you know I’m good, boss. But even I won’t boast that I could make that happen in a couple of days.”

Gage Vincent kept his eyes fixed on the open folder, which had been hoarding his attention for the past ten minutes. The response from his assistant commanded a smile that accentuated his words with imminent laughter when he finally spoke.

“Jay wants ten days, I’m giving him ten days,” Gage told the young man who occupied the paper-littered sofa on the other side of the office suite.

Webb Reese’s chuckle was a touch muffled behind the papers he held close to his attractive, heavily bearded face. “You taking a ten-day break? That’ll be a first.”

Gage’s face held a stony yet sly expression.

In a show of defense, Webb raised his hands, sending the papers sprinkling down onto the black suede of the sofa. “Just sayin’,” he sang.

Gage returned his focus to the folder, shut it and gave it a wave in Webb’s direction. “Time to start earning that insane salary I’m paying you.”

Webb’s nod was brief. His earlier playfulness had now adopted a more solemn element. “You’re really leaving it all up to me?”

Gage’s lone dimple made a quick appearance when he smiled that time. “You’ve earned it.” He watched Webb come forward to claim the file.

“This is a big deal, boss.” Webb emphasized the reminder by giving the folder a deliberate shake.

“Sure is.” A thick glossy brow rose with challenging intent and Gage studied his assistant of five years with a look of mock suspicion. “Have you learned nothing from your vast experience in my presence?”

Webb attempted to laugh over the tease but seemed too nervous to do so.

Taking pity, Gage pushed aside the other files that required his attention. He reared back in his desk chair while leveling a deep chocolaty-brown stare at Webb.

“I’m leaving this to you because I trust you to handle it right.” Gage inclined his head slightly when he noticed Webb’s eyes widen. “I have a building full of people who’d be happy to chime in with their two cents, argue against your points of view and suggest I fire you upon my return.”

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