Part 3

RJ frowned as he listened to the voice on the other end. "Run that by me again."

"The cop," the voice said, "McBain is at her place right now. He almost made me. I got out of there before he could."

Fury almost choked RJ. "Go back and find out if he's still there."

"I swung by there not five minutes ago. I'm telling you he's there. His car is parked around the corner, but I know he's at her place. I won't risk going over again tonight. Do you still want me to go after her?"

"No," RJ bit out through clenched teeth. "I'll take care of it."

"Suit yourself."

He released a biting, chilling laugh. "Don't worry. You'll be well compensated for your time."

An audible sigh of relief vibrated through the telephone. "Anytime you need anything, Gannon, just give me a call."

"No doubt."

RJ folded his cell phone and slipped it inside his pocket. No affair, huh, Evangeline.

Plans unfolded inside his mind. She'd regret the day she ever lied to him.

*/*

"I put an extra set of towels on the bathroom counter. There's a toothbrush, too."

John couldn't resist the urge to tease her. "You have overnight guests often."

"Wouldn't you love to know?" Evangeline countered. Sparkles lit up her eyes and she gave him that small laugh that he'd come to enjoy.

His expression sobered as he replayed her words. "I would like to know."

Humor left her. Something intense flared between them. She brushed hair from her eyes, avoiding his gaze. "Are you sure you don't want a comforter or a quilt? The A/C has a mind of its own and the temperature drops at night."

Swift change of topic. He nodded to himself. He fully understood and appreciated evasive tactics. How many times had he employed the same maneuver? Too many to count. He allowed her that and finished converting the sofa into a bed.

"The sheet's enough." He gave her a faint smile while he relished the sight of her without make-up, looking fresh and beautiful. "Thanks."

Her gaze circled the room before locking on him. "You won't sleep at all tonight, will you?"

"Probably not."

"I'm sorry. You've been working day and not on the Santi case, and now this. I'm sure this stakeout is all a waste."

"Why would you say that?" He checked his weapon again and made sure his extra bullets were close at hand. "There's no shame in being frightened, Evangeline. Don't try to pretend you weren't shaken up tonight. From what I saw, you had every right to be."

She shook her head. "You don't understand. I think I know what happened…who followed me."

"Who?"

"RJ. He's seen us together and he's asking questions," she explained. She sat on the coffee table in front of him. Her clean scent washed over him, making him dizzy with wanting her. She continued, oblivious to her effect on him. "I wouldn't put it past him to follow me tonight. He's done it before."

"What?" Every muscle in his body tensed. "Details. Now."

"Well, the other day, he came from out of nowhere complaining that I never return his calls. Completely untrue, but he was upset." She leaned forward. Her face just inches from his. "I accused him of stalking. He didn't take it well and the conversation ended. Now, he's questioning me about you. About us."

"Definitely not a coincidence." Without his permission, his gaze dropped to the opening of her robe. The gaping v-shape provided enough of a view to tantalize his male senses. Shadows hinted at the rounded fullness of her breasts. The top of her nightgown looked like silk. Lucky fabric.

She sat back slightly, her head tilting to the side. "John?"

He raised his eyes to hers, determined not to be enslaved by a guilty conscience. He wanted her. There was no way in hell he'd apologize for it.

"Yeah?" He moistened his lips with the tip of his tongue. His chest constricted as he noticed her watching the movement.

Bad timing.

He couldn't protect her while making love to her. Whether or not RJ was the culprit, John needed to give us full attention to the matter at hand. He couldn't do that with her looking as eager to explode again with him as he was with her.

He stood and went to the window. "You can go to sleep. You'll be safe tonight. In the morning, I'll have a talk with RJ."

"Okay." Disappointment colored her voice. She rose and headed toward her bedroom. "Goodnight, John."

"Pleasant dreams, Evangeline."

In silence he realized that if he slept, he'd only dream of her.

And what dreams would those be.

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