Read Prelude to a Rumor, Part One Online

Authors: Melissa Schroeder

Prelude to a Rumor, Part One (2 page)

BOOK: Prelude to a Rumor, Part One
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aime slipped
her favorite tool into the keyhole. Her hands were shaking and her head was definitely not on the job. It was centered squarely on the man standing behind her.

“What’s taking so long?” he asked.

His voice was just a breath of a whisper against her ear. He was so close he could nibble on her earlobe.


His lips brushed against her flesh.

She almost dropped her tools.
. The man was doing it on purpose. He’d been bad all night and now that they were actually at the meat of their job, he was making it very difficult to concentrate. The rational part of her brain was telling her that it was her fault. He was just another sexy man. She’d dealt with enough of them in her lifetime. Her dealings with them had taught her to be wary. And that led her to the other thought—he was doing this on purpose.

She turned her head slightly so that their mouths were only centimeters apart. All she had to do was lean forward and their lips would be touching. Need soared. This close and she caught that exotic scent of him. Jaime knew Sean did not wear any cologne, so the intoxicating whiff she’d caught was all from the man. Her fingers itched to skim over that perfect skin.

But, she could not do it. And it showed her she needed to find a man and soon. Shagging someone like Sean was not a good idea. She used her best defense, her nasty personality.

“If you would kindly bugger off and take a step back, I can get it done.”

Instead of doing as she ordered—as most men would when they heard the tone in her voice—his full, sensuous lips curved. “Can’t handle a little pressure, Alexander?”

, she didn’t want to be turned on by the question, and she definitely didn’t want to be so attracted to the man. She wanted to be taken seriously in the business. Sleeping with any of her partners wasn’t going to get her any respect, especially one like Sean. He had a reputation for being the best man to have your back, but he also had a reputation for being a bit of a slut—both ways. And
, his bisexuality made him even more exciting.

“I can handle it. I just don’t like you breathing down my neck.”

The knowing look in his eyes was enough to make her want to punch him. She would. Later. Now, she had to get them into the room. After a count back from ten, she slipped the tool in the slot again and got them in the room. Sean closed the door quietly behind them.

“Let’s get these planted and get out of here.”

She glanced at him. Even in the shadows, she saw that his teasing smile had dissolved into a determined scowl. She’d heard that he might like to play on the job, but when it came to work, he was all business.

“Are these even going to work in here?” she asked mostly to herself.

“First, Lassiter is a bastard, but he would not threaten our lives over something he thought we
be able to do. Secondly, yes.” He glanced at the door. “Keep your ear to the door so I can get this one connected.”

She nodded and did as he ordered. In less than five minutes, he had the bugs planted and they were ready to leave. It almost seemed too easy. She listened at the door, and heard footsteps. Holding up her hand, she stopped him and waited. Thank goodness the office was carpeted and the hallway was tiled. It was easy to hear the person walk away.

“Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

She nodded in agreement. She opened the door and peeked first left, then right. Once she was sure they were clear, Jamie stepped out into the hallway. It did not take that long to make it down the corridor. The elevator was in sight when they heard the voices. Russian.

Her heart hammered in her throat as she nodded, but he was already moving away from her.

“Fuck,” Sean whispered. “This way.”

Instead of turning in the opposite direction, he found a darkened corner and backed her into it. The voices drew closer and closer as he stepped in to her.

“Just follow my lead.”

Before she could even think, Sean bent down in front of her and pushed up the skirt of her dress. Then, his large hands were on her thighs, pushing them apart. She didn’t respond at first. She couldn’t. Her brain shut down for a split second. The sick fear that had filled her moments ago changed into excitement. His breath feathered against her bare flesh and she shivered. Sean’s hands were urging her legs apart, and she did as he silently ordered. Suddenly, his mouth was on her. His tongue slipped between her folds. She was already wet, dripping with arousal. The threat of danger always was a turn on for her and now, with this man’s hands and tongue all over her, she couldn’t stop from indulging.

She leaned her head back against the wall and moaned. Over and over, he licked her as if she were a treat. The footsteps slowed, but they no longer mattered. A deep rich chuckle reached her, but she didn’t give a bloody damn. All she cared about was this man and what he was making her feel. She was almost there, her orgasm just shimmering out of reach when he pulled away.

“What?” she said, barely able to form a coherent thought.

“Come on. We need to get out of here.”

She blinked and looked around and realized they were alone. Her body was still humming, aching with a need for relief. Hell, she was pretty sure her thighs were still wet from his mouth, and he stood next to her acting as if nothing had happened.

With an aggravated sigh, Sean grabbed her hand and tugged her toward the elevator. They stepped in and he punched in the number to the ballroom floor. As the doors closed, she finally gathered her senses.

“You didn’t have to do that.”

Jaime kept her gaze on the doors. She couldn’t look at him. She had been fully engaged in the act, but he had done it strictly for work.

“I did. Not only for safety either.”

“That’s as far as it will go.”

“No, it isn’t.”

She felt his gaze flicker over her and, all of a sudden, she was in the corner again. He leaned down as he pressed his body against hers. It was impossible to ignore his erection. Jaime curled her fingers into her palm to keep from reaching out and stroking it.

He tugged on her earlobe, then said in a whisper, “We are going to finish it. I said that it wasn’t
for safety. And even doubting me will get your ass smacked red.”

“What if I say no?”

“You won’t.”

“But if I do?”

He shrugged. “Then, I walk away. But I promise you, I’ll do my best to convince you.”

Before she could respond, he moved away and the doors opened. Bloody hell, she had to get away from the man. He was making her like the sound of being spanked. She had always been open about her sexuality, but that had never been on the agenda. With him, though, it sounded splendid.

No. She could stop it. She could walk away and keep her sanity intact. As she stepped out of the lift, she glanced at him. The same knowing smile curved his lips and he winked at her.

Bloody hell, she was truly fucked.


s Sean followed
Jaime into the hotel, his hands were practically shaking with need. That one little taste had his body raring to go. Of course, the lady in question was not really in the mood to discuss it. Since he had told her exactly what he was going to do to her, she had ignored him. He had wanted to flirt in the car on the way back, but he knew that even the slightest teasing would set him off. For a man who prided himself on his control, that was saying a lot.

They walked silently down the hall. There would be no debriefing tonight. Just in case something had gone wrong, Lassiter would not make contact. He had people at the hotel making sure they made it back unscathed. And they had, to an extent. Those few minutes with her had him ready to beg her for another chance.

He pulled out his key card and slipped it into the slot. Then, he held the door open and let her walk in. Damn, he could smell her. There was the scent of her perfume or soap or whatever. Roses. But then, the tantalizing aroma of her arousal still clung to her. And to him. Fuck, every time he swallowed he could taste her.

He let the door slam shut behind him and didn’t move. He couldn’t. Being this close to the bedrooms was a temptation. Well, fuck, being close to flat surfaces was enough to tempt him.

“When will we talk to Lassiter?” she asked.

She was looking out the window with her back to him. Sean frowned. She sounded as if she had gone back to her business-minded self. He did not like that one bit.

“Tomorrow or maybe Sunday. Unless there is an issue, we won’t hear.”

“Isn’t that odd for a spy organization?”

He shook his head. “Legally, we are just contractors. The less contact we have, the easier it is for him to use us over and over.”

Jaime nodded, but did not look at him. It was beyond irritating now.



The woman was almost as stubborn as he was. “Look at me.”

At first, she did not move. She seemed to freeze for one long moment. Sean ground his teeth, and she took her time to do as he ordered.


Damn, that sassy tone and her narrowed gaze should make him want to walk away. It didn’t. She was a woman who presented all kinds of complications. He knew they would pair up well for work, and they had proven it tonight. Adding sex would only muddy the waters.

His raging hard-on didn’t seem to give a fuck.


“Well, what?” he asked, trying to remember if she had asked him something. Jesus, he had no blood left in his brain. That could be the only explanation. He was amazed he was still able to form syllables.

“You said to look at you. I did. Now you’re staring at me as if I’ve grown a second head.”


He couldn’t come up with another word. He licked his lips and there was that taste of her again. Sweet, with a bit of sass.

“I know you play around on the job and that’s fine. I’m just starting out; and while I don’t mind working to gain respect, I don’t want your kind of reputation.”

“Why not?” he asked, then mentally kicked his ass. Seriously? He’d just asked her why she didn’t want his kind of reputation. Where was the man who could seduce any woman or man out of their clothes?

“For a man, it’s okay. In fact, it’s expected. For women, it’s different.”

That stopped him. “That’s sexist.”

She shrugged. “I didn’t say I agreed with it. It actually sucks for someone like me. I just said that is the way it is.”

“Well, it’s a cop out on your part. How is anyone going to find out?”

One perfectly sculpted eyebrow rose. “Don’t you kiss and tell?”


She rolled her eyes. “Sean, everyone knows about your conquests.”

“Not because of me. I don’t run around screaming about how many women or men I have slept with. It’s nobody’s fucking business.”

“It isn’t the way to start off my contracting career.”

She was saying that, but there was something beneath the tone. Something that told him that she did want more. He walked to her, slowly.

“How about we do this? Why not just tonight? No one has to know.”

At first, she did not respond. Then, she shook her head. “Everyone will know.”

“How?” he asked, as he took her hand. He pulled her closer. “I’m not going to tell them.”

She sighed. “They’ll know.”

“How? No recording devices, and you know Lassiter won’t say anything.”

He urged her closer so their bodies touched. God, she felt good. All those smooth curves pressed against him.

“Sean.” Her voice shook.


Her lips twitched. “This can’t go anywhere.”

He bent his head and nipped at the gorgeous neck. “I have to disagree. It can go to all kinds of interesting places.”

She held her spine straight until he slid his tongue from her collarbone up to her jaw. She shivered, and he felt her surrender right there and then.

“Do you play?”

She turned to face him. “Play?”


She shook her head.

“Tell you what. We’ll try some fun things tonight. Just a little fun…nothing hard-core. You tell me if you don’t like it.”

She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and nodded. That little show of vulnerability warned him to be cautious. Jaime was a woman who would not like to be seen as having any vulnerability. So, he needed to take it slow. Or, as slowly as he would be able to manage.

He lowered his head as he turned her toward him. He brushed his mouth over hers and then dove inside. Need built, as his heart pounded against his chest.

By the time he pulled back, they were both breathing heavily. He had been honest. He had wanted to take this slowly. Something was telling him it was important, and he always listened to his instincts.

He took her hand and led her into his bedroom. He left her standing as he took his seat in the chair. He said nothing for a long moment. Jaime was a woman of action, and it would definitely drive her a little crazy having to stand there.

“What now?” she asked.

He wanted to smile, but he didn’t. He didn’t want her to know he was amused. He wanted to keep her off-center.



or one really long moment
, Jaime’s brain short-circuited. It wasn’t something she had ever done for a man before—not even for money. She’d always said she could hold her head high because she had not stripped or sold her body. There were things she had done in the past that would make most good women balk, but that stepped over a line. Add to that, she had never been a woman who liked to be told what to do.

But with this man it was different.

Mentally, she shook her head. No, it wasn’t. It was the adrenaline from the night’s work. Of course, his very talented mouth and tongue had a lot to do with it.

“I’m waiting, Jaime.”

His voice wasn’t as playful as before. There was a touch of the command she had heard earlier when they were on the job. She raised her gaze to his and was greeted with a stony stare. This was a different man than the one who had flirted. This one liked control—thrived on it. And in that split instant, she knew he would walk away if she didn’t do as he ordered. Worse, she wanted to please him. Oddly, there was a part of her that yearned to make him happy. It was as if there was some kind of connection with him.

There was something really wrong with her if a man she had only known for hours had her doing a strip tease.

“If you’ve changed your mind, that’s fine.”

She heard it in his voice. He was warning her if she didn’t, she would not be rewarded.

And what the hell was the reward?


She had been a woman who had survived thanks to a quick-thinking mind. She had refused entanglements, and Sean was one big entanglement. But she wanted this. She wanted to give in for this one night and complete what they had started.

She bent over to rid herself of her shoes, but he stopped her. “No, leave those on. And the hair—I like it that way.”

Yes, he was in command, but there was a hint of heat in his voice. He was not as unaffected as he was pretending to be. She glanced down and had to fight the smile. Definitely not in complete control, if indicated by his erection.

“Time’s wasting. You don’t get to see my cock until I see those breasts and your tasty pussy.”

She shivered. The naughty promise sent little sparks of electricity dancing over her nerve endings.

She lifted her hands to unzip her dress. She had nothing on beneath it. The anticipation of his reaction to that increased her arousal. Her sex was already dripping wet.

With slow movements, she slipped the straps off her shoulders then let her dress fall to the ground.

“All bare…I like that in a woman. Knowing that you’re walking around with nothing but flesh beneath your clothes is very arousing. I like to know that I can take a lover to a corner, bend her over and fuck her right there.”

“Or him.”

He smiled and nodded. “Definitely.”

He said nothing else for a few moments. The balls of her feet actually tingled. The need to move almost overwhelmed her. Then he lifted his hand and motioned. She hesitated and then did as he ordered.

“Turn around.”

She did and was rewarded. The palm of his hand connected with the full part of her ass; afterwards, rubbing over the tender flesh. In the next moment, she felt his breath feather over her skin right before his mouth touched her. Over and over, he smoothed his hands over her rear end as he kissed and nipped at the same time. It was simple and very arousing. He slipped his hands up to her waist and urged her around to face him.

He leaned forward and took one nipple into his mouth as he slid a hand down to her sex. After thrusting a finger into her, he hummed against her nipple. The action vibrated over her flesh and shot straight to her pussy.

He pulled back and smiled up at her, his eyes barely opened. “Oh, someone is hurting, aren’t ya, baby?”

She hated that term, but for some reason, when he called her baby, she liked it. She said nothing but nodded.

He pulled his finger out of her. “On your knees, kitten. I think I deserve a little bit of payback for earlier.”

She did and waited.

“Unzip my pants.”

She did and his erection sprang forward. He was so damn big. A little bit of precum wet the head.

“In your mouth.”

She didn’t even hesitate. She leaned forward and he stopped her.

“Hands behind your back.”

Need lanced through her as she did as he ordered once again. She took him in her mouth and started to suck. It took a lot of work to keep herself steady, moving over his hard cock. Soon, though, his fingers slipped into her hair dislodging some of her pins. She paid no attention. He moaned as he molded his hands to the back of her head. Jaime hummed and he groaned loud, but he did not come. Instead, he pulled her back as he reached toward the table beside the chair. After ripping open the condom wrapper, he rolled it on, then he grabbed her, tugging her onto his lap.

She rocked her hips, pulling another groan from him. “Put me inside of you.”

Jaime cocked her head and studied him. “So, I’m allowed to use my hands again?”

He chuckled. “Yes.”

It was all she needed. Taking his cock in one hand, she slid down on him. Slowly, she moved, up and down, teasing them both with the possibilities. He pulled her close and took a nipple in his mouth once again, sucking, nipping, licking. Then, he urged her head closer so that he could kiss her.

Still, she kept the pace slow and easy. With a growl, he stood up, and walked to the bed. Once there, he took her hips into his hands, rose to his knees, and started to thrust in and out of her. Before she was prepared for it, her orgasm slammed through her. It hit so bloody fast, she screamed at the force of the sensation. But, he was not done. Over and over, he pushed her, threw her over that edge. By the time he followed her, she was worn out, not able to think straight. He collapsed a moment later on top of her.

She wrapped her arms around him. “You do know how to end a job right, Kaheaku.”

He chuckled and turned his head so he could nibble on her chin.

“Give me a few moments and I’ll really show you a good end.”

“Is that a fact?”

He raised himself off the bed and looked at her. “Yeah, unless once was enough for you.”

“Well, it wasn’t exactly once.”

His mouth twitched. He leaned down to brush his mouth over hers. “I promise you, once was definitely not enough.”

She said nothing, but smiled. As he laid his head back down and snuggled closer to her, she realized that he was right. Jaime also realized she was probably completely over her head with him.

But if growing up on the street had taught her one thing, it was to live in the moment. Right now, this man was her moment, and she was definitely going to enjoy him.

he next morning
, Sean slipped back into bed. He pulled Jaime against him.

“Where were you?”

“Phone. We have a briefing at three tomorrow.”

“Hmm,” she said, her voice drowsy with contentment. He loved the way she looked in the morning. The first rays of the sun were peeking through the curtains, leaving the room in a soft glow. She looked like a painting.

“What?” she asked. He looked down at her face, but her eyes were still closed.

“Lassiter wanted to know if we wanted to work another job together.”

She said nothing. He needed to do something, so he traced his finger over her bare shoulder. Her flesh was so silky, as if she bathed in lotion.

“What are your thoughts?” she asked in a neutral voice. When he glanced down at her face, he saw a flash of vulnerability there. It touched his heart.

“I said I would have to talk it over with you first. I had a feeling it is why we were paired up. Lassiter knows what kind of partner I like.”

“Oh, does he?”

He chuckled. “Not in bed. Definitely a straight shooter there. No, I like someone who is quick on his or her feet and doesn’t mind improvising. I think even with that little mishap last night, we both handled it well.”

She smiled. “I did like it.”

“So, how about it. Ever been to Monte Carlo?”

She blinked. “No. I’ve never left England.”

“Well, then, Ms. Alexander, I think we have the beginnings of a great partnership.”

She didn’t respond with a smile as he had hoped. She sighed. “What about this?”

He studied her for a long moment. “Not a requirement, but I definitely like it as a benefit.”

She nodded and cuddled closer.

“Good, but now we have to talk about other things.”

“What kind of things?” she asked before licking his nipple. Damn, the woman was going to be the death of him.

He slipped out of bed and tugged her to the edge, then up into his arms. He carried her to the bathroom.

“Why don’t we talk about those things in the shower?”

She laughed. “Sounds good,

A very good start in his opinion, but he had a few ideas on just how to validate her faith in him—and they had a whole day for him to do it.

BOOK: Prelude to a Rumor, Part One
12.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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