Authors: Lacey Alexander
He gave a short nod in reply as well, then ran a hand back through his hair. “Damn,
though—sorry about that, Ginger.” And then he was absently shaking his head as if
in confusion. “Everything was just so . . .” He looked at her then, really looked
at her. “Hot. Hotter than any fucking thing I’ve ever done.”
Her throat threatened to close up. Because while she should have perhaps been flattered
to find out the experience had affected him so strongly, mostly his words just reminded
her of her own behavior. That her struggle had turned them both on. And that her surrender
had pleased them both as well. And in that moment, it made her just as afraid of who
was as of the part of
she’d just discovered.
A man who took pleasure in her fighting against him? Who took pleasure in the idea
of forcing her, controlling her? Even though he
forced her, even though he’d made sure she wanted it, still . . . God, this felt
dark. And dangerous.
And like something she needed to get far, far away from. Right now.
Reaching to adjust her panties, she then quickly pulled down her skirt, swung her
feet to the floor as she sat up, and pushed to her feet.
She felt messy and still in wild disarray, and even a little unsteady on her heels,
but the fact was—she had to get the hell out of there.
“Bathroom’s down the hall,” he said easily, misunderstanding the move.
And she heard herself tell him, “I have to go.”
Still seated on the couch, jeans undone, he reached up and grabbed on to her wrist.
But the grip wasn’t quick enough or tight enough this time, and she yanked her arm
free and started away from him. “I have to go. I can’t do this. I can’t be this person.”
And after snatching up her purse from the end table where she’d set it upon arriving,
she jerked open the front door, marched out into the hall, and a moment later found
herself exiting his building out into the balmy Miami night.
She peered down at herself and realized she probably looked like exactly what she
was—a professional woman who’d just had unexpected sex. But she didn’t want to stop
moving—in case he came after her. And she just couldn’t be around him right now, even
for long enough to let him drive her to her car, because she couldn’t handle any more.
Of him. Of what he’d made her into. She was back in her right mind. Where she was
responsible and smart and predictable and in control of everything that happened to
So she took a few shaky breaths as she began to walk, finally turning them into calmer,
deeper ones. She tucked in her tank and straightened and smoothed her skirt. She wished
she had her jacket to cover the evidence—wrinkles, perspiration—but this was the best
she could do.
Hitting the sidewalk, she headed in the general direction of Ocean Drive, thankful
this part of town was laid out in a simple grid that made navigation easy, even on
foot. Given all the walking she’d already done on her red pumps today, after a couple
of blocks her feet were killing her and she considered taking them off—but she resisted,
unwilling to look any tackier than she probably already did. A block later, she spotted
a taxi and flagged it down. She never looked the Hispanic driver in the eye because
she didn’t want to see if his gaze held judgment or opinion of any kind.
Reaching the bright lights and art deco architecture of Ocean Drive felt good, as
in familiar, as in getting closer to the life she knew and the person she’d always
been. Silently paying the driver, she rushed into her car, then headed for home.
On the way, she hoped Amber wouldn’t be there, or that she’d maybe be asleep, and
was suddenly thankful for her youngest sister’s erratic schedule and lack of routine.
Then she began thinking about things she had to do, chores at home, and about what
her day at the office tomorrow held.
And any time Rogan Wolfe or the hot sex she’d had with him flitted through her mind,
she changed the thought to something else as quickly as she could. She didn’t understand
what had happened tonight, but the one thing she knew for sure was that she was going
to leave it behind her and act like it had never happened.
nother night. Another beer at the Café Tropico.
Rogan supposed he should be getting tired of hanging out here so often. But he’d decided
it was actually the best way to maintain his cover—he’d shared the space with Junior
Martinez and his merry band of thugs a couple of times since that near miss and alley
chase, and Junior didn’t seem to have noticed or recognized him. And besides, it was
an easy enough place to be, especially in the early evening before the crowds showed
up. Rogan had never been much about following a routine—it had been a need for more
action and variation in his days that had lured him to Miami in the first place. But
now that his job provided exactly that, maybe he was learning that having a few things
that seemed familiar and routine could be nice.
Or maybe he was just getting old.
Or maybe he was hoping April—damn, he still couldn’t remember her last name—would
walk back through that door one night when he was here. It had been a week since she’d
gone running out of his apartment like a woman on fire.
But . . . not
a woman on fire. She
a woman on fire. Just in ways she didn’t want to admit. And ways
couldn’t stop thinking about.
And he felt like shit for not retaining her last name, but there’d just been too much
going on, too much crackling electricity and smoldering heat.
“Another beer?” Dennis’s niece asked from behind the bar. He’d learned
name was Taylor.
“Not yet,” he said easily. But as she started to walk away, he added, “That red jacket
still in Dennis’s office?” He’d asked her every night he’d been in here since then.
Taylor knew because she locked her purse in the office before she started her shifts.
“Yep, still there.”
He just gave a short nod, then let her get back to work.
As big a deal as Ginger had made about that jacket, he couldn’t believe she hadn’t
come back for it. But then again, she’d seemed pretty damn freaked out when she’d
left. Just when he’d thought she was finally relaxing into it, too. He’d been feeling
good, pretty relaxed himself, like the two of them were finally in sync on things—and
then she’d bolted.
In reality, he’d never been into that kind of sex, either.
deep into it. But . . . hmm, on second thought, maybe he
flirted around the edges of domination and submission from time to time and had found
it could be a pretty hot little game. And with April, damn, it had been
hot. It had been molten lava hot, burning red magma hot. And though he’d never before
been with a woman who clearly wanted to be held down, the situation had turned him
on instantly. And he was comfortable enough with who he was and with sex itself that
he hadn’t questioned or worried about his own responses for even a second.
Of course, when it came to sex, he’d been around the block and back. And he’d had
some experiences that he knew not just every person would get into or be able to handle.
He’d once been part of a foursome on a yacht on Lake Michigan with two of his H.O.T.
brothers and the girl he’d heard one of them was engaged to marry soon. And he’d shared
a steamy ménage à trois with another of his H.O.T. buddies and Mira, the girl he’d
figured out he loved too late, the one that got away. It had been that very weekend,
in fact, when he’d realized it, but she’d already fallen in love with someone else,
someone that he knew, in the end, would probably make her happier than he could. In
fact, it had also been Mira he’d not used a condom with. He’d wanted nothing in between
them when they fucked.
With Ginger, though, the no-condom part had been a mistake, pure and simple, but . . .
maybe that was part of why it had been such good, sweltering hot sex. He’d felt how
wet and warm her pussy was, his cock gliding in and out of all that soaking moisture
with total ease, even as the hot little passageway had hugged every inch of his length
snug and tight the whole time.
Still, though, that was only part of it. The struggle was part of it, too. As was
the part where she’d finally settled down and behaved her naughty little self. Damn,
looking back now, he suffered the urge to bend her over his knee and give her a good,
hard spanking. Given that it was an urge he’d never particularly experienced before,
clearly their unusual encounter had inspired him in whole new ways.
But maybe all the wild sex he’d had in the past made it easy for him to accept something
new. Whereas . . . a woman like
? A woman he’d originally seen as buttoned-up? Maybe it was harder for her to accept
her own kinky desires.
His dick was getting hard just remembering it all, just wishing for more. Because
he hadn’t gotten nearly enough of her. He wanted to play dark, dirty games with her,
wanted to see how hot they could get each other with her penchant for a good tussle
and with his growing affinity for the idea of disciplining her, bending her to his
When it came to real life, he suspected he and Ginger had zero in common and he doubted
anything they shared would last very long. But he thought they could have a hell of
a good, hot time for a while if she’d only trust him, and trust
And it seemed like a damn good time to have given up the silly idea of pursuing only
a relationship he could see turning serious. Ginger was reminding him that under the
right circumstances, and as long as everybody was on the same page, a relationship
primarily about sex could sometimes be an extremely fun and perfectly satisfying thing.
But none of that mattered much if he never saw her again.
And that was why he was kicking himself for not remembering her last name. All he
knew was that she was a lawyer named April. It didn’t seem like much to go on. And
yeah, he supposed he could take steps to track down Juan Gonzalez’s wife and try to
get the information from
, but he had to think of his case, and shoving himself into the path of Junior’s right-hand
man wouldn’t be wise.
“Hey, Taylor,” he called down the bar to where she stood flirting for tips.
She spun to face him. “You ready for that beer?”
“Not exactly,” he said, motioning her closer. And when she reached him, he pushed
a business card across the bar to her. “If that chick ever comes in for her jacket
and you happen to be working, do me a favor. Give me a call and try to stall her until
I get here.”
Taylor tilted her pretty young head to one side. “What’s in it for me?”
Rogan held in his sigh. As a cop, he didn’t enjoy the idea of bribing someone to do
something for him, but his observations of the girl had already shown him the way
to her heart. “How about fifty bucks?”
“And you won’t tell my uncle?”
“It’s just between you and me.”
In response, she flashed a smile and said, “You got yourself a deal, baby.”
* * *
pril stood at the stove in her grandmother’s apartment, making grilled cheese sandwiches
in a skillet and heating up the homemade chicken noodle soup she’d made from her grandma’s
recipe last night just so she could bring it over here to her today. Gram liked simple
food best, but she didn’t like soup from a can, and April figured the least she could
do was occasionally make her something to eat that she really enjoyed.
“So what do you have in store for the rest of your day?” Gram asked from where she
sat at the kitchen table a few feet away. It was Saturday.
And though there was a part of April that wished she could tell her grandma she had
something fun planned—like a date or dinner with a friend—she didn’t belabor the thought.
have more friends if she wanted them—she just seldom had time for social outings.
“I’ve got an afternoon full of errands, and after that I plan to clean the bathroom.
Amber, as you might recall, is not the tidiest bathroom person. And this evening I’ll
probably watch a little TV while I go over some briefs.”
“Oh, April,” Gram scolded, “working on a Saturday night? Why don’t you ditch the briefs
and get out and have some fun while you’re young?”
April stirred the soup in a pan on the back burner. “I don’t mind working some on
the weekends, Gram—and it’s really the only time I have to catch up on things I’ve
fallen behind on during the week. I’d rather get caught up on Saturday than be stressed
“I can appreciate that way of thinking, darlin’, but you seem pretty stressed most
of the time anyway.”
To April’s surprise, this made her laugh—maybe because she thought she hid it so well,
but also because this reminded her that it had been hard to hide
from Gram while growing up. “Well, then just think how much more stressed I’ll be
if I fall even further behind on work,” she pointed out.
But at this Gram just waved a dismissive hand down through the air. “Pshaw. You do
too much. Things’ll keep. That bathroom would keep. Or better yet, that bathroom would
get cleaned if you told your sister you were tossing her out on her ass if she didn’t
start cleaning up her own messes.”
April just looked at her grandma. They had this conversation often, and the answer
was always the same, even if she delivered it quietly. “You know it’s hard for me
to come down on her. Or Allison, either.”
“You go too easy on both those girls—always have,” Gram said.
“I know,” April agreed as she picked up a spatula and flipped the grilled cheeses
onto two small plates. “But they depend on me, and I—”
“Blah, blah, blah,” Gram cut her off. Yet April didn’t mind. They just saw this differently.
Gram, despite being a loving caregiver, had always made all three girls stand on their
own and take care of themselves more than they’d been accustomed to before their parents
had died. April, being oldest, had handled it well and let it make her the strong
one. But Allison and Amber had crumpled under the added weight, and April had always
picked up the slack for them. Now, she felt if she stopped, they would simply be . . .
lost. Lost in the world without a clue how to get by. And she loved them. And the
bond of losing their parents as children was a strong one. April had long since recovered,
but she wasn’t sure the other two ever had.
A moment later, April set both soup and sandwich in front of her grandma, then returned
a moment later with her own. And Gram’s tone was more the loving, understanding one
she used with April most of the time when she said, “You didn’t have to come bring
me soup, you know. I appreciate it, and I certainly enjoy the company, but I’d be
okay if you skipped a weekend every now and then, April.”
“Well, maybe you’re forgetting that I enjoy your company, too,” she replied. Although
if she could depend upon her sisters to visit with Gram more often, she
feel better about sometimes taking a weekend off. “And maybe I find making soup relaxing.”
And that part wasn’t exactly true—though it might be if she hadn’t been trying to
squeeze the task in between ten others—but Gram didn’t need to know that.
“You know what you need in your life, young lady?”
“What’s that?” April asked absently.
And Gram said, “A man.”
April flinched. “What do you think a man could do for me that I can’t do for myself?”
Gram simply leaned her head to one side, her pointed look indicating the obvious.
But April didn’t want to think about sex. And she certainly didn’t want to think she
sex. She’d been trying very hard to get her big bad wolf encounter off her mind,
and a discussion like this was
what she needed right now. “Gram, I’m fine. And I’m really too busy for a boyfriend
at the moment. And I’m perfectly content without.”
When Gram looked doubtful, she added, “I really am.”
And Gram let it drop, moving on to the new subject of her annoying neighbor, and then
filling April in on a doctor’s appointment this coming week, and April assured her
that she’d orchestrate transportation, whether it was from her or Allison or Amber.
Though she was pretty sure it would end up being her, since it usually was.
But that’s okay. I love Gram and I don’t mind taking care of the woman who took care
of us when we needed it. I’ve got it all under control. Everything’s fine.
Except that a vision of Rogan Wolfe popped into her head unbidden just then. On top
of her. Those dark eyes seeming to pin her in place like a butterfly he’d snared for
a collection. That hardest part of him filling her, owning her in that moment. And
how damn good it had felt there for a few minutes to just let go. Of everything. To
give in. To let him fuck her. To let it feel good.
There was that word again—
. He’d used it so casually, so easily, and now, somehow it had become that casual
to her, too. And yet . . . there’d been nothing casual—to her anyway—about what had
happened on his couch. And it was just like when she’d been lured into the Café Tropico
that night looking for him—a consuming urge for more of what she’d experienced with
him pulsed through her veins like a craving, but even more visceral now, something
she could feel inching up her inner thighs beneath the capri pants she wore.
Though going back to the bar—well, that had certainly turned out to be a huge mistake.
One she was still recovering from if she was honest with herself. Avoidance and distractions
and denial were the only things keeping the memories of that night from crawling constantly
through her mind.
But you’ll get past it in time. And after a while, it’ll seem like . . . a dream,
like a thing that didn’t even really happen. Just keep pushing the memories of it
That was what she’d done when her parents had died, how she’d gotten through it, stayed
strong for her sisters. Every time the crushing loss entered her head, she just pushed
it away, refused to acknowledge it. At moments, she’d pretended her mom and dad were
just somewhere else, that something was keeping them all apart, but that they were
alive and well and missing her the same way she missed them. And eventually, the
pain had eased, but it had still felt sort of like a dream, a thing she didn’t really
have to accept.