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Authors: Melissa Schroeder

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BOOK: Prelude to a Secret
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The nerves of steel everyone thought she had started to waver. It had to be the situation. It couldn’t be a man. Men came and went, and when they were a mark, she didn’t get attached. She couldn’t. But now…her blood was heating and every time he spoke, giving her hints of his New York accent, she felt something hot and molten move through her body.

“I hope you are okay with a steak. I ordered one well done and one medium rare, take your pick.”

She stopped short of the couch and looked at him. “You’ve thought of everything.”

And it was an odd feeling. This man had no idea who she was. At least she was pretty sure of it.  He was doing this all to impress her. Something she had ignored for years unfurled in her belly, but she tried her best to squash it. Alicia knew that she wasn’t a woman who had time for romantic entanglements, and she was here for something else. Still…enjoying the evening wasn’t against company policy.


Ali sat back as Devon filled her glass again. It had to be at least the third time.

“No more wine. It makes me behave badly.”

He smiled at her, and she curled her toes. Damn, the man was dangerous. No wonder they wanted him back so badly. A computer genius and devastatingly handsome. He would be too much to resist in her opinion. The CIA would love to have someone like him on the payroll again. Hell, MI-6 would too. Any secret agency would love to have a man who handled himself so well.

“What are you thinking about?”

She opened her mouth to tell him, and then reminded herself why she couldn’t be truthful. Instead, she smiled at him.

“That’s for me to know.”

Oh, bloody hell. She sounded ridiculous. She was just glad there was no recording of this since her father sent her on this rogue assignment.  She would never live down this banter.

He apparently didn’t agree with her. He chuckled and leaned closer. “I have a way of finding out secrets.”

“How odd.”

“What?” he asked looking at her mouth.

“People say I’m good at finding out secrets too.”

He moved closer and alarmed bells started going off. It wasn’t as if she had enough scruples that she wouldn’t sleep with him. Still, something told her that this was a mistake. A big one.

She slipped away and rose from the couch. “So, why do you live in this massive suite all by yourself? I mean, you could have one of the regular rooms.”

“I like my space and I like the privacy.”

She could guess why, but she said nothing as she stared out over the Las Vegas night. In all her travels, she had never seen a city like this one. She liked it, but she didn’t know how Devon lived there. The constant activity would drive her up the bleeding wall.

“What are you thinking about now?”

She jumped a bit because she didn’t realize he had snuck up on her. Damn, she had to keep her head in the game, no matter how much wine she had.

“How do you live here? So much activity and lights…it’s too much.”

“So you’re not a local?”

She could hear the smile in his voice. Alicia knew she stood out amongst the droves of tourists and senior citizens who packed the casinos. It had been part of her plan.

“You mean I didn’t fool you?”

He shook his head and smiled. “No. I found that you were a bit overdressed for the casino tonight.”

His voice had deepened and rolled over the words. That American accent of his should irritate her, and many times it did with other men. With him, she wanted to hear it whisper in her ear.

“Is that so?” she asked as she turned to face him. “What would you suggest?”

His mouth turned up into a lopsided smile that shot right to her heart…not to mention a few other important body parts.

He stepped closer. The scent of him filled her senses. Warnings were going off, an alarm that normally would tell her this was dangerous. And stupid. Really, really bloody stupid.

The touch of his fingertips sliding up her arm should have sent her running. This was a man the CIA and MI-6 had labeled as dangerous...a killer. And she was contemplating sleeping with him.

“You can walk away right now, Ali. I would understand because you don’t know me. But, I beg of you, if you think you won’t let me touch you tonight, tell me now.”

The sincerity of the words touched her somewhere. For the first time in her career, she felt shame. It shouldn’t bother her, but for some reason, it did. He might be the key to finding out what the bloody hell was going on with her father. She should be ruthless because this wasn’t just for the job, but for family.

But it still didn’t feel right.

“I should go.”

She didn’t move. She couldn’t.

“I won’t lie, and I am pretty sure that you know I want you. But, I also need you.”

Alicia rolled her eyes, but he shook his head.

“No. I do. I can’t explain it, but it has been a bad few months…and I just need to forget.”

He wasn’t lying, and God help her, she understood. She wanted to be touched, to enjoy the moment, to forget all the bad things for just a few minutes. It was wrong…it was bloody stupid, but she couldn’t say no. Just for once, she would surrender.


“I…yes, I’ll stay.”

“Thank God,” he said, his tone filled with equal parts humor and relief.

Then, before she could think of how to respond to that, he pulled her closer. The heat of his body warmed her. Not that she needed it. She felt as if she were burning up from the inside.

Inch by inch, he skimmed his hands up her arms, over her shoulders to cup her face. When he bent his head, the world and all her worries seemed to dissolve. If just for this small moment, she would let it go and just indulge.

He brushed his mouth over hers, once…twice…then he pressed against her lips. His tongue stole into her mouth, and she shuddered. She needed this…needed him. As heat danced over her nerve endings, he was pulling back. She opened her eyes and frowned.

He smiled. “I will take that disgruntled look as a good sign.”


“I like the way you say my name, but I would rather hear you moan it in my bedroom.”

He stepped away and pulled her with him. She didn’t hesitate or even think of resisting. Tonight was just for pleasure. Facing the consequences tomorrow would be soon enough.

*  *  *  *

Devon couldn’t remember ever being this nervous with a woman before. Maybe it was because he had been so fucking honest with her before. He did need her. He couldn’t explain why or how it had happened. It was probably because of the circumstances. He really didn’t give a damn.

He led her into his room and shut the door behind him. He wasn’t a prude, but he wanted something secluded, for only the two of them. The light from the bathroom was enough to illuminate her.

He didn’t waste time. With ease, he crowded her against the back of the door and nuzzled her neck. Damn, she smelled like heaven. He scrapped his teeth against her pulse, then slid the flat of his tongue over the same spot. She shuddered against him. Even through their layers of clothes, he could feel her hardened nipples. Everything urged him to rush through it. He’d wanted to get inside her for hours, but now he wanted to savor…to draw out the pleasure.

He pulled back far enough to allow room for his hand. With his palm, he cupped her breast. He couldn’t wait to see her fully naked, but there was something else he wanted right at that moment.

A taste.

He dropped to his knees in front of her and pushed the skirt of her dress up. Lord, she was wearing stockings. Not thigh highs, honest to God stockings with the garters and no panties.



She sounded unsure of herself, and that was weird. But he guessed he had been staring at the tiny triangle of curls for a little longer than was normal. He forced himself to look up at her.

“Nothing…just most women don’t wear the garters and everything. I like it.”

She smiled. “So do

It was all he needed to hear. He leaned forward and pressed his mouth against her pussy. Damn, the woman was hot, wet, and so fucking delicious he didn’t know how long he would last. He slipped his tongue inside of her, allowing the intoxicating taste of her to dance over his taste buds.

Her moans continued to grow as he slipped a finger inside of her. Her muscles clamped down hard, and he groaned against her. He added a second finger, then teased her clit with the tip of his tongue. Once…twice…then she screamed his name as she bucked against him.

He looked up at her and watched in awe as the last of her shudders died down.


Standing up, he turned her around and unzipped her dress. He let it fall to the ground as he leaned forward to kiss her shoulder. He wanted her like this, up against the wall, taking her from behind. But…not the first time.

He led her to the bed. She sat, then reached for her garter belt.

“No.” His voice was a little harsh. Ali looked up at him with wide eyes. “Leave them on.”

She hesitated, then smiled. That smile alone had him practically ripping off his clothes. He grabbed a condom from the bedside table drawer and set it on top of it. Then, he joined her on the bed.

Ali reached for him then, wrapping her hand around his cock. Fuck. Damn.

She slid her fingers over his sensitized flesh. Then, as he kneeled on the bed, she rose to take him into her mouth. She teased him, just taking the tip of his dick into her mouth, then a little more. By the time she had taken him completely into her mouth, he was shaking. Slowly, easily, she was driving him mad with that talented mouth.

He knew if he didn’t stop her soon, he would lose it, and he didn’t want that. Not this time. This time he wanted to be deep inside her when he came. Pulling away from her, he reached over and grabbed the condom. He dropped it on the bed. His hands were shaking. Damn.

He finally got the package opened and rolled the condom on. He covered her body with his. As he kissed her, he slipped his tongue into her mouth. When she slid her tongue alongside his, he almost lost it then and there.

Rising to his knees, he grabbed her hips and entered her in one, long, hard thrust.

She gasped, and then moaned as he started to move. She was wet, and it didn’t take him long to push her up and over the edge again. She screamed his name again as she bucked against him. It wasn’t enough.

He wanted to come, could feel his orgasm just out of reach.

“Come with me, Ali.”

She opened her eyes, and he leaned down to take her mouth in a quick, hard kiss.

“Please,” he said.

She arched up against him, and he could feel all those little muscles contract against him. Ali cupped his face.

“Come with me, Devon.”

It was enough. One last hard thrust and he let ecstasy sweep over him and take over him. He collapsed moments later, falling on top of her. Her arms came around him immediately.


She kissed his temple. “Don’t be.”

“Okay, I won’t.”

Then, for the first time in a week, he fell into a deep sleep.

*   *   * *

Devon watched Ali sleep. She had fallen into a deep slumber after their second lovemaking session.  He breathed in her scent and sighed. She was a delight of the most decadent kind. Still, there was a fragile about her that he couldn’t resist.  The woman had smudges under her eyes as if she hadn’t slept in days. He wondered why such a wonderful woman would look so damned tired.

Granted, she was still beautiful. So beautiful she took his breath away. Still, he knew she wasn’t exactly who she presented to him. From his time with The Company, Devon knew how to spot a liar, and Ali was one. She was a damned good one—just as he was. Still he hadn’t been able to resist her charms. There was something going on behind those gorgeous eyes. Not truly deceitful, but definitely something that wasn’t good. And it bothered her.

A woman who had no problem lying wouldn’t look so sad.

Knowing he was getting too caught up in a woman he’d only met hours before, he forced himself out of bed. He tugged on a pair of jeans and grabbed his phone on the way out to the main room. It was dark, so he turned on the light and headed over to his computer. He felt better than he had before…ten times better. He couldn’t remember when sex with someone he barely knew made him feel so damned right. True, there was nothing wrong with raunchy, back scratching sex—the kind that could leave a man in pieces. But this…there was an added feeling to it, as if he’d known her longer.

He shook his head as he grabbed his laptop and settled on the couch. He was getting a little fanciful, and that wasn’t like him. That was for his sister Marjorie.

Devon pulled up his email, and the first one grabbed his attention. It was a lead he had an investigator follow up on for him.

About fucking time.  He read the email and tried not to shout with relief. It looked like he found his sister—at least where she was reported to be living. It could be another wild chase, as the last few tips had been, but he couldn’t ignore it. He shut down his laptop and stood ready to leave. He should tell Ali that he had to leave. But the moment he stepped into the room, he knew he couldn’t tell her. There was something that had been bothering him since he first met her…and while she’d given him one of the most memorable nights of sex he’d ever had, he knew he needed to be cautious.

BOOK: Prelude to a Secret
13.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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