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Authors: Dara Joy

Tags: #Romance

High Intensity (5 page)

BOOK: High Intensity
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Zanita's gaze reluctantly flicked to the hunk sprawled next to her on the couch. "That doesn't prove anything."

He never took his eyes from the TV set. "Restaurants?"



"Who doesn't?"

He rolled over on the couch and crooked his finger at her. She bent toward him. He whispered something in her ear.

Zanita blushed. "That has nothing to do with it."

"All right. What about…" He murmured something so erotic and so sensual that it was probably illegal in some states.

Zanita gasped. "Quit that!" She jumped up and backed away from the couch a few steps. He winked at her and patted the seat next to him.

"Tyber, you are a scientist. I am a reporter— we are poles apart."


"How do you figure that?"

"We both 'investigate', you with your reporting, me with my science. We're two peas in a pod, baby. Speaking of pods, let's cuddle while we watch the movie…"

She pointed her finger at him. "You have tunnel vision!"

He grinned.

"I'm going to the kitchen to get a snack; want anything?" At the magic word "snack," Hambone lifted his head off the floor, showing sudden interest. "And don't say 'nope,' because whenever you do, you end up eating most of mine."

His smile was pure deviltry. "Nope." He crossed his hands behind his head. "I'm fine."

Zanita rolled her eyes and headed off to the kitchen. He was after her snack!

Tyber chuckled as his focus shifted back to the fickle-hearted alien, which was now delightedly munching on the scientist who had tried to befriend him. "Take a lesson from this, Gregor," he murmured dryly. "You must begin to think of Mills as a set of teeth with wings."

He relaxed back into the couch and fell into that trancelike state most appropriate for watching such a movie.

A few minutes later, Zanita burst into the room, flinging the pocket doors open with a snap. "Tyber! Tyber!"

He raised one brow lazily. "Hmmm?"

"Come quickly! I want to show you something unbelievable!" She grabbed his hand in an attempt to pull him off the couch.

"What is it?" He tried to pull her onto his lap.

"I found a popcorn kernel that looks just like a brain!!! It's got two hemispheres and a convoluted surface and everything! I put it in a ziploc bag so no one would—"

At that moment Blooey walked in munching on a bag of popcorn. A ziploc bag of popcorn.

Both Zanita and Tyber stared at him. Zanita's face crumpled into the picture of horror. Tyber's was vastly amused.

"Blooey, that isn't the bag I just left on the counter, is it?"

"Aye, Yer Ladyship. I figured ye changed yer mind the way ye took off, so I availed meself of the bag for the popcorn."

"Stop eating! It could still be in there!"

"Iffen you mean that one kernel ye left, I'm afraid I popped that in me mouth before I poured the rest in. It be lying in Davy Jones' locker now." He patted his potbelly.

Zanita let out a wail.

Chuckling, Tyber refused to let go of her hand when she tugged at it. "A popcorn brain," he murmured, his sensual voice laced with teasing amusement. "What a loss to the world of science."

She yanked her hand free and stormed off to the kitchen to get something else. Blooey and Tyber stared after her. "Wimen be strange creatures, Captain."

"Aye, Blooey. That they are. Only some are a mite stranger than others."

"We're a lucky ship, aren't we, sir?"

Tyber laced his hands behind his head. "That we are, sailor. That we are."

Zanita came back a few minutes later with a plate bearing a huge slice of cake. Apparently, losing a scientific find required recompense on a grand scale.

Hambone's nose lifted, testing the worthiness of the possible offering as the plate zoomed by. Quarry tested, he lumbered to his feet, and belly swaying, tried to unobtrusively follow Zanita to the couch.

Cake was prime cat-catch.

The marauder cat swiveled his one eye, like a cannon turret, and tracked the booty.

Meanwhile, as Zanita licked the fork of gooey frosting, Tyber was watching her with a growing… desire. This was his wedding night. Even though he was doing his best not to make it seem that it was, like any groom he was more than anticipating it.

"What do you have there, hmmm?" he purred, snuggling in close to her.

Zanita wasn't fooled for a minute. His voice had a real husky edge to it. The Captain was setting a course. He was after the cake! "It's a chocolate chocolate die! die! by chocolate fantasy double blitz cocoa fudge cake."

"Mmmmm… Looks good." He seared her with a smoldering look. "Can I have a taste?"

Zanita moved the plate slightly away from him. She had expected this. The snack-stealing rogue! She tried a stalling tactic first. "I got the recipe for Blooey from the Sentinels of Rejar."

That stopped him. "The who?"

"The Sentinels of Rejar. They adore chocolate. Once they even made a chocolate…" Her cheeks flamed. Her eyes shifted back to the television screen.

"Yes?" The dimples in his cheeks deepened.

Zanita swallowed. "Let's not go there."

"Let's go there," he whispered seductively, letting his hot breath feather against her earlobe…

"My God, what is that set of teeth doing to the dog?" Zanita was outraged. The cake almost slid off her lap as she sat forward. It was okay for aliens to munch on scientists, but she drew the line at dogs. Apparently, so did
, because a flame thrower appeared just in the nick of time to save Spot.

"There's always a flame thrower around somewhere."

"Yep. Aliens never prepare for attack by fire. Wonder why."

"Speaking of fire…" His foot slid sexily over her calf.

Zanita turned her head and looked at him knowingly. "How far are you willing to go with the seduction to get the rest of this cake?"

He rubbed his jaw. "Pretty far."

She wagged her finger at him. "I asked you."

"So you did." His arms went around her and he pulled her to him.

Zanita's brow furrowed. "Are you using the cake as an excuse?"



His warm lips nibbled the corner of her mouth, where he licked a bit of chocolate frosting. "Mmmm very tasty."

"Umm, let's watch the end of the movie." They had just begun the challenge and Tyber was nowhere near the finish line.

He paused, giving her a thoughtful look. "I'll tell you how it ends. There are these electrical high wires—"

She put her hand on his mouth. "Don't spoil it for me."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes. I want to watch this. It's a prime example of—of cinema orthodontia."

"Uh-huh." He settled back on the couch next to her. After a few minutes, his hand strayed to her lap. With a few misleading strokes, he diverted her attention, nabbing the plate of chocolate cake.


"And you fell for it." He grinned the grin of victory as he lifted the fork to his mouth. "Luscious," he whispered as he slowly tasted the sinful desert.


He viewed her out of the corner of his eye. "I wasn't talking about the cake."


"I can't."

"Why not?" They were lying in their shell bed and Tyber was of an amorous mind. Perhaps "mind" wasn't the right word.

"Because it's expected, Tyber. I don't know if this was such a good idea."

Tyberius Augustus Evans gazed down at his new bride and significantly paled. This was a new glitch. "What are you talking about?"

"I don't know, it's just that… I feel different since the program engaged."

This was trouble. He tried a sympathetic stance with a dash of hurt. "You don't love me anymore, baby?"

"Of course I do! What has that got to do with this?"

He gave her a carefully guarded look—one he had learned to perfect around her when she was in her obscure mode. "Well, what is it then?"

"It's as if we're expected to do this."

He gave her the Mysterious Face of Mars look. "I don't know about anybody else, but I certainly expected it."

"Don't you think it takes away the spontaneity?" She had the nerve to look serious.

A muscle in his jaw began to tick. "Sweetheart, originally it was you who asked me to marry you."

Zanita's violet eyes filled with tears. "You— you didn't want to?"

"Yes, dammit! I wanted to!"

Her lower lip quivered. "But you never mentioned it…"

Tyber looked up at the ceiling, seeking divine help. At the moment none seemed to be forthcoming. He took a deep breath. "It was on the tip of my tongue." To show her how sincere he was, he showed her his tongue, pointing to the tip.

"But did you really want to?"

Tyber sighed. A big, from-his-toes sigh. "Zanita, I wanted to marry you right from the beginning and I had every intention of making sure it happened."

Zanita beamed up at him.

Tyber noted the pleasure in her eyes; he breathed a sigh of relief. With Zanita, his nonlinear-thinking love, he could never be sure where the conversation was headed. This was just one of the many reasons why he loved her.

The trait was a continual source of intriguing exasperation. The genius in him loved exasperation. It was the whipped cream to his hot cocoa.

So, he wouldn't have it any other way. Except, on their wedding night, he would have liked to hit the home run before he had to run the bases.

It appeared his response had calmed whatever momentary glitch had hiccuped her system.

He rubbed her nose with his own. "There, now, c'mere, baby, I—"

Two small hands pressed against his broad chest, holding him off as effectively as if they were a human bench press. "No. I just can't."

The Captain narrowed his eyes and glared down at her for a full minute.

Then he rolled over onto his back and groaned. It was not unlike the sound a dog makes when it knows it's dinner time and there is no bowl forthcoming.

Before Tyber realized what was happening, Zanita took the opportunity to scoot off the bed and run across the hall into another bedroom. By the time he was up and in pursuit, the door bolt was already sliding into place.

"Come out."


Tyber swore, a thing he rarely did.

"I'm sorry, Tyber. I—I just can't."

"I have a key, Curls."

"Don't you dare use it!"

"Zanita, come out of there!"

A door opened down the hallway, and Blooey stuck his stocking-capped head out, followed by Hambone. "Trouble on the mainland, Captain?"

"Promise me you won't come through that door, Tyber!"

Blooey and Hambone gave Tyber expectant looks. After all, Tyber was their Captain, and a hell-born pirate to boot! Would he lose face now before his men?

Tyber put his mouth close to the door and spoke low. "Let me get this straight—you can't because you feel you're supposed to?"


The Captain knocked his forehead against the wooden door. Twice. He had never seen the broadside coming.

"We need spontaneity," she called out through the panel.

give you spontaneity," he warned in a low voice just before he turned and strode back into the their bedroom.

Zanita bit her lower lip. What did he mean by that?

An Evans storm was coming.

Perhaps she shouldn't have goaded him quite so much. Then again, there was no telling how creative a thwarted pirate could get with only four days to prove his point.

A small smile played about her mouth.


Chapter Three

The trip to the vineyard was torturous.

Blooey was seasick on the ferry, claiming he had to get his sea legs back because he had been "landlocked" for so long. Hambone, true pirate that he was, perched on the very edge of the bow of the boat, the sea spray misting his orange fur. Zanita swore that the cat had a diabolical grin plastered on his mug as he constantly scanned the horizon. She wondered if he was scouring the ocean for fishing boats to attack and board for booty.

Tyber had given her one searing look from under his lashes that morning and never once mentioned last night. She was not fooled. The battle lines had been drawn. Somehow she had awakened in their bed with him wrapped around her. He must have gotten the key to the room while she was sleeping and brought her back. Pirates.

Since it was the beginning of winter, they had probably caught one of the last ferries of the season. If a snowstorm hit during their stay, they would have to see about getting a plane back. As it was, the island was already snowed-kissed; although everyone agreed it was enchanting.

BOOK: High Intensity
11.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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