free to get off this boat, she’d turn around and leave. But they had a job to do. And now it seemed even more urgent than when they’d been given the assignment.
“The security staff took care of it right away. Let’s forget it and have fun here,” Cole said, putting a note of bravado in his voice.
Oh sure .
She held tight to him, needing him, in so many ways. More than she could name. But she understood where she was going to start.
And she knew on some deep, instinctive level that it was the same for him. Heat flared between them. The same heat they had felt earlier. Still he tried to pull away.
“Don’t,” he choked out.
She kept her voice low. “I won’t let you push me away because you think it’s the right thing to do.”
“You’re wrong, and I can prove it.”
They had reached the end of the conversation. Moving one hand upward, she cupped her palm around the back of his head and brought his mouth down to hers.
They had kissed before, with an urgency that had taken her breath away. On the hovercraft, he had brought her to climax after they’d watched the erotic dance. All of that was nothing to what she felt now.
Need coursed through her. Not just arousal. Need for this man . All of him, not just what he had given her a little while earlier.
The feel of his mouth on hers sent hot, urgent messages to every one of her nerve endings.
And when she heard him make a low sound of surrender, she felt joy leap in her chest—in her soul.
His mouth turned rapacious as he drank from her like a man who had been denied water for an eternity.
In response, she opened for him, eager to give him anything he wanted—and at the same time take what she needed.
Strong forces had been building between them for eons, maybe since the first day they’d met, and the dangers of this place had brought it all into sharp, aching focus.
She swayed against him, hardly able to stand on her own.
“You’re sure?” he murmured.
He raised his head and looked around. “Someone could be watching.”
“Oh Lord. I . . .”
With a growl, he picked her up in his arms and carried her to the bed. Still holding her, he bent to sweep the covers back.
After laying her on the cool sheets, he strode back to the door and flipped the light switch, plunging the room into darkness except for a shaft of light coming from the bathroom.
He took care of that by closing the door almost all the way, leaving only the barest sliver of light. She heard him kick off his shoes before he came down on the bed beside her, gathering her in his arms again.
She knew that he had fought the feelings building between them, and he had lost the capacity to keep fighting. Maybe back on the hovercraft he could pretend he was simply being chivalrous. Not now.
“Shit.” Bruno Del Conte stared at the black monitor screen. That bastard Mason had turned off the lights, just when things were getting interesting. So did he know that someone might be watching? Did he have inside information, or was he just being cautious.
Leaning over, Bruno fiddled with the brightness, but it didn’t help.
A knock on the door made him sit back in his chair.
“Come in,” he called.
His security chief, Ben Walker, entered. Walker had been with him for the past six months. He was good man, meticulous, quick to crack down on troublemakers, and able to pretend that he was only a minor player on the security team.
“What happened down there exactly?”
“A slave found out the hovercraft was due and tried to escape.”
“How did he think he was getting on board?”
“He had a crew member’s uniform.”
“Which he got how?”
“Maybe from the laundry.”
“And what happened to him?”
“They challenged him before he got to the embarkation area. He ran, and they shot him. He’s dead.”
“I’m sorry for the disturbance. It seems that the unrest has spread farther than we originally thought. I’ll be
Leon M. Lederman, Christopher T. Hill