Authors: Kerry Connor
It was going to be a long night.
WAITING WAS NOT IN HIS NATURE. As the hours passed and no call came,
Thomason nearly wore a hole in the carpet of his room at the Plaza.
Finally, he snatched up the phone and called Roderick himself.
“What the hell is taking so long?”
The other man’s nervousness came across the phone line as
clearly as if he’d been standing there in the room with him.
“It’s taking longer than I hoped. Her last credit card
charge came up just outside of Los Angeles. Another gas purchase. If
she’s rented a room somewhere, it hasn’t come up yet, and
it doesn’t look like she has any family in the area. I’m
looking into friends and business connections, but it’s not
easy. It’s going to take a while.”
Thomason had no doubt the other man was working at his maximum
capability. His voice said he was treating this assignment like his
life depended on it. For good reason. It just might.
But admitting that knowledge was also not in his nature.
“I’m flying out to L.A. When I get there, I want an
address. Every hour that passes by without my knowing where she is
will take a little more off your fee. Understood?”
Still no argument. Roderick was no fool.
After he hung up the phone, Thomason wrinkled his nose in distaste.
Los Angeles. It hardly would have been his destination of choice.
Another mark against the woman. When he found her, he might not make
her death so quick or painless after all.
He’d wasted far too much time on this endeavor already. It
should have been over a year ago. Instead he was chasing one stupid
woman all over the United States.
Soon, though. It would all be over soon.
The reward would be well worth it.
“I changed my mind.”
Jess stood in the doorway of Caleb’s bedroom, wearing nothing
but a threadbare T-shirt. It was warm in the room, the night air
muggy, but she trembled all the same.
He sat up in bed. The sheet slid down his bare chest to pool in his
lap. “Are you sure?”
“At this moment, I am. Maybe we should hurry things along
before I change my mind.”
“Maybe we should slow down in case you do.”
She cocked her head to the side. “Trying to change my mind now?
I thought this was what you wanted.”
“It is.” Even as he said it, his cock swelled, pushing at
the sheet that covered him. “But when this does happen, there
shouldn’t be any regrets.”
She stalked closer to the bed. “What if I promise there won’t
“I’m not sure I’d believe you.”
“Then what if I did this?”
She grabbed the hem of her shirt in both hands and pulled it over her
head in one smooth move. She tossed it to the side without bothering
to note where it landed. Her eyes never moved from his face as she
stood there, bare before him.
She wasn’t wearing a bra. She wasn’t wearing panties.
She wasn’t wearing anything at all.
He didn’t say anything. He only stared. At her flat belly. At
the tiny triangle of hair between her legs he’d felt before but
now could see.
The bulge beneath the sheet rose to full-mast. It was a truer
response than any he could have spoken.
She smirked. “I guess I have my answer then.”
Without hesitating, she hopped onto the mattress, straddling his legs
with her knees. She grabbed the sheet and whipped it off of him. He
was as bare as she was, and every inch was rigid with arousal.
Her eyes skimmed over him, her self-satisfied smile deepening. “Well,
that saves time. Good thing, because I’m tired of waiting.”
She slid up his body until she was in his lap, his erection poised in
front of her. She wrapped her palm around it and gave two slow, long
strokes. His cock jerked, damn near ready to explode already.
She leaned forward, until her mouth was poised at his ear. Her voice
little more than a suggestive whisper, she murmured, “I want
you inside me.”
“Don’t you want to take it slow first?”
“We can go slow next time.”
“And the time after that?”
Her lips twitched. “Your choice. Right now I want to ride you.”
And with that, she pushed herself up on her knees and plunged herself
down on him.
CALEB AWOKE WITH A START, jerking forward in the bed. Early morning
sunshine streamed through the open windows on both sides of the room.
He looked down to find he was lying naked on the bed. The sheet was
in a crumpled heap on the floor. Everything was exactly as he
remembered it, including the throbbing erection that was so hard it
No, he didn’t remember it. It was a dream.
“Well, that’s new.” Exhaling sharply, he plunged a
hand through his hair and waited for the images to subside
completely. They were still too vivid, too real. No wonder he’d
thought it was a memory at first. Reality felt less genuine than the
Even as the fog cleared and the images faded, he was almost reluctant
to let them go. He had the foolish notion to close his eyes to see if
he could fall back to sleep and recapture the dream, even though it
never worked that way.
But then, his assignments never worked this way. He’d never had
a dream about a woman he’d been investigating. He couldn’t
remember the last time he’d had a sex dream, period.
Jess was getting into his head.
It definitely wasn’t supposed to work that way.
A frown pulled at the corners of his mouth. He pushed himself off the
mattress and shoved to his feet. He had to get a grip. He had a job
to do. It was imperative to remember who she was. A thief. If not,
then a thief’s accomplice. That was all.
He looked down. His cock was hard as a rock, jutting upright, bobbing
slightly in the air. It hadn’t gone down one bit. Obviously, it
wasn’t listening to his pep talk.
With a groan, he followed his erection to the bathroom. That was one
problem he could take care of easily enough.
Jess was another matter entirely.
JESS DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY about oversleeping that morning. She
was up before dawn, after a restless night where she’d caught
only snatches of sleep.
And every time she closed her eyes, Charlie was there.
The memories were burned so irrevocably in her mind it was though she
could still feel everything that had happened. Every touch, every
stroke of his hand, every expertly applied bit of pressure, pushing
her higher and higher to something more incredible than anything
she’d ever felt before. She’d had orgasms before,
perfectly good ones, she’d thought at the time. But she’d
never had a man concentrate so thoroughly on giving her pleasure, or
deliver it so well. Even remembering the sensation was enough to send
a tremor through her, like an aftershock that offered a quick jolt of
the original quake.
Whatever Aunt Felicity was paying him, it sure as hell was not
The reminder of Felicity brought back all of her original
reservations, which she’d conveniently tucked away at the right
moment. She didn’t know how to explain what had happened last
night. It wasn’t that she regretted it. She wouldn’t have
given up that body-shaking, bone-melting experience for anything. But
somehow Charlie had managed to make her forget everything. She’d
simply stopped processing conscious thought and let him lead her
wherever he wanted to take her. Thankfully it had been to a damn good
place, but there was also something terrifying about knowing that he
was capable of making her cede control to him. She’d never
placed herself so utterly in another person’s hands in her
entire life, let alone someone she’d only known for a day. Yet
she’d given it to him so willingly. She’d been able to
think of none of her objections. She could only ride the sensations
she was experiencing, the feelings he was creating inside of her with
his mouth and his hands. If he hadn’t put the final choice back
in her hands, allowing sanity to return for one precious moment, they
would probably still be in bed right now.
They wouldn’t be sleeping either. He would be under her, prone
and completely at her mercy. He would be in her hands.
He would reach for her. She’d slap his hands away.
“No touching,” she would say.
“You’re asking a hell of a lot.”
“I can’t keep my hands off of you.”
“So I noticed. But it’s my turn now. Hands on the
mattress or I send you back to the guesthouse. Alone.”
He wouldn’t be happy about it. He wouldn’t have to be.
He’d just have to keep his hands to himself.
She would scrape her fingernails down his chest and stomach, allowing
her fingers to dip into every ridged crevice of his tightly packed
abs. There would be no cloth separating them. No, they would both be
completely bare, and it would be her taunting him with the feel of
her most intimate parts sliding against his.
His cock would be even harder than she’d felt in the pool,
extended to its fullest length, straining to meet her swollen folds.
A tiny drop of moisture would glisten from its engorged head. She
would reach down and graze the tip with the slightest touch of her
finger, the motion so soft he wouldn’t be sure whether she’d
touched him at all. Except that her fingertip would come away wet,
damp with the evidence of his arousal. He would watch, his eyes wide,
glistening with fevered need, as she lifted her hand to her mouth. As
she licked her finger, tasting him.
Then she would move, pushing up and down between his legs, rubbing
his dick through the thatch of hair between her legs, against her
folds. Would he whimper? She’d like that. She’d do it
until he did. Until he begged.
“Ask for it, Charlie,” she’d say. “Tell me
what you want.”
“You.” He’d choke out the word, nothing more than a
strangled, barely coherent cry.
“I can’t hear you,” she’d croon in a
sing-song voice. And just to drive him wild, she’d start to
pull her pelvis away from his.
His hips would lunge off the bed, seeking hers. But he wouldn’t
move his hands. “Good boy,” she’d say. “You
kept her hands where they were.” Clutching the sides of the bed
in a death grip. “That deserves a reward, don’t you
His head would bob up and down, the movement jerky. She wouldn’t
be surprised if his head popped free of his neck. Now that would be a
shame. She would have to put him out of his misery before he caused
himself serious damage.
She would be as aroused as him, the stimulation even greater with the
sense of triumph coursing through her veins. She would feel powerful,
knowing that she could make him lose control the same way he could
for her, that she could push his buttons as unerringly as he found
hers. And by god, she would want the long, throbbing length of him
inside of her, the way it had been all night long, more than she’d
ever wanted anything in her life. She would lift up on her knees and—
Jess’s eyelids burst open. Instead of the jolt of penetration,
her body responded to the shock of being plunged into complete
wakefulness. Her eyes darted wildly. She was completely disoriented.
Exactly the same way she’d been every other time she’d
woken up from the same vivid dreams.
After about the eighth time she woke up, her body aching for that
release it kept expecting and never got, she had to get up before she
went into full blown shock. That would be great. She could just
picture it. Charlie would come to retrieve her for breakfast and he’d
find her having a full-body seizure. Panicked, he would call an
ambulance and they’d cart her away to an asylum for the
hopelessly horny. There had to be plenty of them around, what with
all the beautiful people and rampant hormones floating around La-La
She took a long cold shower that did nothing to calm her jangled
nerves. When she went down to the kitchen to rummage for food, she
found herself tiptoeing, afraid he was going to pop out at any moment
and ambush her. Then, realizing how ridiculous that was, she stomped
the rest of the way, making all the noise she damn well pleased.
She still didn’t linger in the kitchen, grabbing whatever she
could hold and racing back to the relative safety of the office.
Not quite ready to face her computer, she reached for the folder
containing the photographs she was considering for inclusion in the
book. Maybe by thumbing through the images, she could find some
Three hours later, she was still looking through them—or at
least staring at them without really seeing them. When she heard the
gentle tap on the door, she was glad for the distraction, even though
she knew who it was. She nearly snapped her neck twisting her head to
call out, “Come in.”
The door swung open, revealing Charlie on the other side. He was
wearing shorts and a loose T-shirt, which was probably the most
concealing outfit she’d seen him in yet.
She still felt her heart kick up its tempo at the sight of him. One
look at his mouth, at his hands, and she was immediately reliving
those moments last night when both had been on her.
He made no move to enter the room, hovering in the doorway. “Are
you sure? I don’t want to interrupt if you’re hard at
Jess sighed and tossed the pictures onto the desk. “I wish I
He finally walked in, crossing the space to come stand beside her.
Her senses immediately went on heightened alert. He didn’t
stand too close, a foot or two away from her. He might as well have
pressed himself up against her again the way her body was reacting.
“I’m no expert, but last time I checked you have to have
your computer on to write on it.”
She fluttered a hand toward the photos. “I was trying to get
He reached over her and picked up the stack. “Are these from
stories you’ve covered?”
“Some of them are. The rest simply capture moments or people I
remember fondly and thought I might like to mention.”