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Authors: Lacey Alexander

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That’s when she realized, though, that they’d left the busy hotel-and-entertainment-laden
part of South Beach and headed into the residential area that led to South Pointe.
The neighborhood sat parallel to the less touristy part of the beach and was populated
with apartments and condos, some in modern towers, others in smaller, older structures.

“Um, where are we going? I thought we were having pizza.”

It was then that he pulled into a parking lot that edged a three-story building the
color of terra cotta. “My apartment. Getting the pizza delivered.”

April just blinked. Was he serious? It was bad enough that he’d pretty much shoved
her into his car without her consent, but did he really think she’d be okay with going
to his place? “Um, I don’t think so, Mr. Wolfe. I thought you were suggesting a restaurant
or I wouldn’t have agreed to this.”

Putting the car in park, he turned off the ignition, as if this were a done deal,
the mere act intensifying her irritation. Because apparently she’d gotten a lot more
back in her right mind over the last few minutes than she’d been either of the times
she’d ended up kissing him.

And the small hint of a grin he flashed in her direction incensed her all the more.
“First of all, Ginger, there’s no need to be so formal. You can call me Rogan.” He
added in a wink. “And second—sorry, honey, but I’ve had a long day and I’m really
not up for a restaurant. And you don’t look like you’re up for one, either.”

She followed his gaze as it dropped from her face to her chest, dismayed when the
very look made her breasts sizzle with desire, and further distressed to realize her
silk tank was now stained with sweat and dirt, and her skirt sported a few dark smudges
as well.
Oh Lord, if my clothes look so done-in, what on earth must the rest of me look like?
Though she guessed it couldn’t be
too
awful or he wouldn’t have been making out with her back there like there was no tomorrow.

God, she still couldn’t believe that. Or this. She shouldn’t be here.

“Regardless, I can’t just go into your apartment with you.”

“Why not?” he asked. Like he couldn’t fathom a reason why she might harbor some trepidation.

She flashed a pointed look across the dark car, trying to ignore how captivating and . . .
downright sexual she found his eyes. “I . . . don’t know you,” she reminded him.

“In ways you sure do.”

Oh boy. Her stomach churned. As did the spot between her legs. Just when she’d thought
maybe her unaccountable lust was beginning to die down. And his piercing reminder
unnerved her a bit. It was hard to sit there acting like someone who was in full control
of herself, of this situation, when she knew they were both recalling how she’d given
in to him in the alley. In fact, it was suddenly difficult to take a full, deep breath.
And looking at him wasn’t helping the situation. She’d never experienced such a purely
magnetic attraction to anyone in her life.

She drew her eyes away, peered out the windshield at his building. “Even so . . .”

Next to her, he sighed. “Look, I’m not an ax murderer.”

She let out a breath, albeit a shaky one—which she hoped he didn’t notice. And she
cautiously shifted her gaze back to him as she asked, “Then what are you?”

“I’m a cop.”

She flinched, blinked, utterly taken aback. “Seriously?” she asked, sitting up a little
straighter.

“Seriously. Feel better now?”

And in fact, she did. How could she not? It didn’t mean he was a saint—but it also
meant he probably wasn’t a criminal, either. Feeling contrite, she nodded.

To which he replied, “Good. Now let’s go in and order some pizza. I’m starving.”

Chapter 5

D
espite herself, she felt just as uncomfortable in his apartment as she’d expected.
It was an average place—though probably overpriced due to the location—that somehow
didn’t look completely moved in to. Curtains, or maybe a few pictures on the walls,
would have made it feel much warmer. But maybe she shouldn’t be surprised by the starkness—Rogan
Wolfe didn’t exactly seem like a sentimental guy. Or like a guy who minded things
feeling a little stark.

She sat perched on the edge of a black leather sofa, not quite able to lean back and
relax, as he ordered the food they’d agreed on after pulling out a delivery menu from
the nearest pizza place. She’d noticed he had a whole drawer of delivery menus and
wasn’t surprised to find he was a guy who ate on the run a lot and probably wasn’t
secretly a gourmet cook.

Now he was in the bathroom—he’d offered it to her first, to tidy up, and though her
hair was in disarray, she’d actually discovered, to her shock, that she thought it
almost pretty. Messy hair when she was in her bathrobe in the morning just looked . . .
messy, but it turned out that messy hair while in a top and skirt, even if a bit soiled,
suddenly looked . . . tousled. Carefree. Maybe even a little sexy.

Not that she should want to look sexy for him. But she couldn’t deny that she did.
She wasn’t sure what she wished would happen here, at all, but she knew she wanted
to remain worthy, in his eyes, of having been just as kissable in the alley outside
the café as she’d found him to be.

When he came back to the living room a few minutes later, he’d exchanged his dirty
jeans and tee for clean ones, and he smelled clean, too—like soap, but still a little
musky, masculine. Maybe that part of him was a scent you couldn’t wash off. She tried
not to be nervous at his return, even if his fresh clothes made her all the more aware
of her dirty ones.

She hoped perhaps he’d settle in the reclining chair adjacent to where she sat, but
instead he joined her on the couch. And she hoped he might turn on the TV or something,
just to give them something to look at besides each other, but he didn’t do that,
either. He wore that familiar arrogant, amused expression when he said, “You can relax,
Ginger. Lean back. Get comfortable.” He’d sprawled rather sexily on the other end,
taking up a full half of the sofa with his tanned, muscular body.

She met his eyes to say, “Why must you keep calling me that even now that you know
my name?”

He gave his head a slight tilt. “Guess I always thought Ginger was sexy as hell. Just
like you.”

She tried to keep breathing as the warmth of a blush rose to her cheeks. She hadn’t
foreseen that answer or she wouldn’t have asked. And she decided not to respond to
it. Though she had a feeling her nipples were probably showing through her top and
bra now and that they hadn’t been a minute ago.

“So you’re a cop,” she said.

His nod came easy, light.

“And the guy in the alley?”

“Somebody I think is up to no good. But I don’t have any evidence yet. And I didn’t
want him to see my face. Actually, didn’t want him to see me at all, but kinda blew
that part, didn’t I?”

He continued to cast a soft, seductive grin her way, and she wasn’t sure if she was
supposed to answer that question or if it was just rhetorical, so she moved on. “Are
you a detective? You work undercover?”

“Not just yet, but hope I’m heading in that direction.”

“Show me your badge.”

He cocked his head slightly. “Something about that turn you on, Ginger?”

Just as the last blush had faded, she felt another one taking its place. And it didn’t
turn her on—that she knew of anyway; it was only that the question embarrassed her.
Or maybe it was the way he made everything about sex, and so matter-of-factly, too.
“No,” she said. “It’s just that I’m an attorney. And so I know that some people are
good liars.”

His laugh almost held a bit of . . . dare she think admiration? “Be right back,” he
said then, rising to head down the hall.

Of course, if she was so nervous, she probably should have asked to see his badge
in the car—but better late than never. The fact was, she believed him, but now she
just wanted to be completely sure.

Returning a moment later, he held down a silver badge sporting an eagle and the words
M
IAMI
B
EACH
P
OLICE
, an American flag draping down on each side. She took it from his hand, their fingers
brushing, and tried to act like the mere touch didn’t send a tingling sensation skittering
up her arm.

“Just so you know,” he said, sitting back down, “I do a lot of things, but I never
lie.”

As she nodded, she tried to look and feel as confident as she usually was. What was
it about this man that knocked her so off balance, made her feel so . . . inexperienced?
It was like being a sixteen-year-old girl on her first date. Well, except that even
raging teenage hormones had never prepared her for the kind of passion she’d suffered
in that alley with him.
That’s why he knocks you off balance. The way you kissed him. The way you . . . couldn’t
stop. The way you . . . wanted him to make you do it.

She tried to suppress a shudder but failed, and he said, “Cold?”

She fibbed. “Maybe a little. Without my jacket.” Even if it was still warm-bordering-on-hot
outside, despite the late hour.

“Want me to turn the A/C down some?” He cast a flirtatious grin. “Get you warmed up?”

But she shook her head. “I’ll be fine.”

When a buzzer sounded letting them know the pizza had arrived, Rogan excused himself
and headed down to the lobby to pay for it. Feeling practically desperate by then
for something other than silence and their voices, she spotted a sound system near
the flat-screen TV. Picking up the remote on top, she pushed a button and got lucky—the
radio tuner lit and soft music echoed out, something old by Whitney Houston. “You
Give Good Love.” Oh crap, maybe that wasn’t so lucky after all. But she didn’t know
how to change it, and a glance at the remote only confused her. She didn’t want to
start just pushing buttons and mess up his system—she knew from every single time
Allison’s kids’ played with her TV remote just how easily that could happen.

She stood staring helplessly at the radio lights when he came back inside. “Turned
on some music,” she said, and immediately felt stupid, not only because that was so
obvious but because she felt like she’d unwittingly set the scene for seduction or
something.

The big bad wolf just smiled. “Good,” he said, lowering the pizza to the coffee table.
“What do you want to drink? I’ve got soda, beer, wine . . .”

Normally she’d have said soda. “Wine,” she answered instead, though, thinking maybe
it would help her relax and act like the confident, mature woman she was. And she
almost regretted the choice as soon as she said it—maybe staying alert was better,
nervous or not—but she didn’t want to retract it and make him wonder why.
Lord, you really are being so immature. Just stop it. You are a self-assured, in-control
woman. You’ve shared a meal with a man before, even in strange surroundings. This
is no big deal.

They made small talk over the pizza, and April found the glass of white wine he gave
her did help her relax a bit. Or maybe relaxing had come with reminding herself who
she was. Or just getting used to being with him. Whatever the case, she felt more
like herself.

“So, Mr. Cop,” she asked—though as soon as she said it she wondered if the wine was
particularly potent or something, “ever catch any really, really bad guys?”

She thought he appeared pleased by the question. Or perhaps he was just pleased that
she finally
was
relaxing. “Don’t know for sure what you consider really, really bad . . . but no—not
yet anyway. I’m still young, though,” he said with a wink. “That’s why I came to Miami.”

“From?”

“Rural Michigan,” he said.

Despite her surprise at the answer, she decided not to share with him that she’d originally
lived in Ohio, the state just below, as a little girl. She’d learned long ago that
such information would lead to talking about the death of her parents, and if people
found that out about her too soon, they often used it to define her, to consider her
damaged or fragile in some way—when she knew she was just the opposite. At least most
of the time. “So what’s it like in rural Michigan?” she asked as if she’d never lived
anyplace but beneath the bright lights of Miami.

“Quiet,” he said, and they both chuckled. “
Too
quiet.”

“And you need action,” she heard herself say without thinking.

“Yep, and lots of it,” he told her, somehow inviting her gaze to connect with his.
As soon as she met his eyes, though, it felt like a mistake, putting her on edge again.
Why was it that she could look at most people’s eyes all day with ease, but looking
into
this
man’s eyes just made her think
sex
, made her feel the invisible draw between them that easily and undeniably?

She dropped her gaze back to the plate in her lap, letting herself focus on the circles
of pepperoni dotting the slice of pizza there. “Well, Miami is definitely the place
for it.”

“I’m finding that out.”

The warmth of his voice seemed to speak of more than just police work.
Ask something else, something innocuous that can’t have any double meaning.
“How long have you been here?”

“Six months,” he said, and she relaxed a little again, enough to lift her gaze and
watch him reach for the beer bottle on the coffee table and take a drink.

“Ah,” she said. Just that. Out of questions already.

“So, an attorney, huh?” he asked.

“Yes. That’s why each time you’ve seen me I’ve been in a suit.” His words from the
alley came back to her.
If you have to wear a suit, the red is much hotter than what you had on last time.
She tried not to hear them in her head, tried not to remember how she’d been feeling
when he’d said them.

“Guess I’d figured that out after the first time.”

Oh—she’d forgotten having alluded to Kayla’s case.

“The girl you were meeting with that night last week,” he went on, “what do you know
about her husband? Anything?”

“That he’s a scumbag—probably a physically abusive one, and
definitely
mentally abusive.”

He gave a quick nod. “Anything else? ’Cause he’s one of the guys I’m keeping an eye
on. Think he and his buddy might be doing some illegal stuff out of a back room at
the Tropico.”

It took April only a few seconds to decide to break client/attorney privilege in this
one and only instance—since this could work to Kayla’s benefit and because she was
in the privacy of Rogan’s living room. She explained about the first case she’d worked
for Kayla, how she’d suspected Juan Gonzalez had perpetrated the crime.
And
let his wife take the rap for it.

Rogan replied, “Sounds familiar. By doing business out of the Café Tropico, it sets
up Dennis, the owner, to look guilty if the law were to get wise that drugs are coming
and going there. Makes him the much easier target than a couple of guys who shoot
pool there two or three nights a week.”

“Aren’t
you
the law?”

He explained to her then that he was investigating Kayla’s husband and the guy in
the alley off duty, as a favor for Dennis, but that as soon as he found any evidence
he
would
officially be the law again.

Finished with her pizza, she set her now-empty plate on the coffee table next to the
open pizza box, noticing that he’d done the same. She was using the time, and the
silence—other than the quiet, still-sexy music that played—to think through what he’d
just told her.

“So . . . what you’re doing isn’t . . . totally aboveboard,” she sought to clarify.

The man at the other end of the couch just shrugged. “Depends upon whose board you’re
looking at, I guess.” And when she didn’t answer, he went on to say, “Just doing what
I can to help out a business owner and maybe take a couple of low-level dealers off
the street at the same time. Hard for me to find anything wrong with that, Ginger.”

And—oh hell—it was probably the wine that kept her from considering her next words
before she said them. “You seem like the kind of guy who makes his own rules. And
thinks that’s okay.”

His expression never changed. “Not all rules are good ones. I’d think, as a lawyer,
you’d know that.”

“But they’re all in place for a reason.”

“Not always smart ones,” he countered.

And she didn’t know how this was possible, yet somehow even
this
exchange had begun to feel . . . sexual. Maybe because the conversation was becoming
quietly heated. Or because of the way their eyes were firmly locked on each other’s
now. Maybe it was just that intense chemistry that flowed between them like electricity.
Each and every time she met his gaze she felt trapped in a current from which she
couldn’t escape.

“Rules are black-and-white,” he said. “But sometimes life comes in . . . shades of
gray that rules can’t account for or address.”

April didn’t answer. Because she couldn’t. Because he was leaning slightly forward
toward her now and her heart beat too fast. And she knew exactly what he was talking
about even before he went on. Because she could feel it. She could feel it somehow
emanating from his eyes. And she could feel it inside her, too.

“For instance,” he said slowly, his voice going lower, “each time we’ve kissed, you
were telling me you didn’t want me to. When it was very clear you did.”

April sucked in her breath. Her instinctive response was to deny it. But even she
could see now that it would only make her look silly.

And God knew she didn’t want to be having this conversation. She was usually up-front
with people, yet in this instance she was taken aback by his bluntness, and she almost
found it rude that he’d make her discuss this.
But you’re a smart, capable woman. You know how to deal with people. You can deal
with this, too. If he wants to talk about it, you can talk about it.

BOOK: Give In To Me
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