Part 4

Sheets lay in a heap at the foot of the bed. A blast of cold air rushed from the overhead vent. Evangeline didn't so much as shiver. She was blazing hot. A fever burned and its center kindled right at the apex of her thighs. With a low moan, she rolled into a fetal position, clutching a pillow between her legs. She stared at the bright red digital display of her clock. The damn thing mocked her. Reminding her that she was a first class failure.

Sleep wouldn't come. Wise up, girl and admit it. There was no way she could drift off with John in the next room, playing sentinel. Doing what he did best. Protecting. Her.

Give up, a persistent voice urged. She was no quitter, but this time, she listened.

The closed bedroom door beckoned. She had no business even thinking about go out there. John had the stakeout under control. He certainly didn't need her, a novice, underfoot and in the way. What could she possibly offer him?

Now, that thought pissed her off! She tossed the pillow across the room and sat up. She had a helluva lot to offer. They enjoyed each other's company. She told him things she'd never told a living soul. No one knew what drove her. No one except John McBain. And he relayed a few admissions of his own. He confessed things she'd suspected, and he did so willingly. Like he'd been waiting just for the right moment to reveal himself to her.

What transpired later was no accident. The long looks and teasing banter was a thin barrier of what really lay between them. The confessions and the wine ripped a large hole in their self-induced boundaries. From the moment their pinkies touched, she felt as if a match had been struck inside her. Then when he laid that kiss on her--Have mercy! Together, they created their own nuclear explosion.

Come to think of it, they had a lot to offer each other.

So, why hide in her bedroom like a scared little schoolgirl? She stood, ignored the robe hanging over the back of the chair, and left the room.

*/*

One softly lit lamp cast a dim glow over the scene. The sofa bed was in disarray. The sheets and pillow looked as if they'd been in battle. The obvious culprit stood facing the window. One hand rested on his hip while the other braced against the wall. John reminded Evangeline of a statue. A godlike statue who forfeited his own needs while he protected the world from evil. She wondered what she'd ever done to deserve such a heroic man in her midst.

Her thoughts turned from the inside of the man to the out. God, he exuded a magnetic appeal. Those wary blue eyes pulled her in every time. The delicious curl of his mouth as he fought the urge to smile made her stomach somersault. After that first daring kiss, she was desperate to taste him again. Thank God, John put her out of her misery. But now, she roamed her home in the middle of the night like a junky looking for a fix. And there he was.

Suddenly, he stiffened. As if in slow motion, his body shifted. She no longer stared at the broad expanse of his back covered in a white tank top. She now feasted on the hard planes of his muscular chest. The t-shirt teased her, making her hands itch to rip it from him.

"Evangeline," he said in a husky murmur. "Can't sleep?"

She tossed her head as she moved into the room. "Not one wink. What about you?"

"Believe it or not, I tried. It didn't happen so I gave up." He laughed. "Look at us. A couple of quitters."

"I won't tell if you won't."

He tilted his head to the side and extended his hand toward her. "Pinky swear?"

Her breath caught in her throat. For a split second, her heart stopped. It just flat lined. Then in a sudden rush, adrenaline pounced on her. She crossed the floor in record speed. Her hand grasped his. He pulled her hard and fast against him. Her pulse skyrocketed. She lost her balance. He wrapped his other arm around her.

"We're playing with fire," he said. His gaze traveled from her heaving chest to her mouth before settling on her eyes.

"Stop talking and put the flames out."

She heard his quick intake of breath a split second before he took possession of her mouth. Everything came crashing down in that moment. Evangeline lost control, giving herself fully to him. She claimed as much of him as he demanded of her.

With a twist and a turn, they landed on the makeshift bed. John took the brunt of the fall and she lay on top of him. His hands caressed her sides and traveled the curve of her backside. The heat of his touch burned through the flimsy negligee, singing her flesh.

"What is this?" he growled. He took a fistful of her nightgown. "What is it made out of?"

Too distracted by his hard biceps, she took her time answering. "I think it's silk." She slipped her hand under the hem of his shirt. Her nails skimmed his torso as she pulled the cotton up and over his head. Open mouth, she pressed her mouth to his chest. Her tongue traced circles around his hard male nipples. He groaned.

"Why did you ask?" She paused in her oral exploration to stare into his smoldering eyes.

His nostrils flared and his face flushed. Faster than she could blink, he pulled the gown off and threw it across the room. "I've never been jealous of silk before."

"Well, I'm not feeling too good about cotton either or denim for that matter." She loosened his belt buckle and worked on removing his jeans.

"Geez," he rumbled, "would you hurry up?" He tore off his pants and boxer briefs. Her panties soon followed.

"Good job, detective."

He emitted a husky, all-knowing chuckle. "When I'm conducting an investigation, I give one hundred percent."

"An investigation? What are you investigating?"

He rolled them so that he hovered above her. Burying his face between her swelling breasts, he brushed his stubble-covered jaw against each hardened peak. "If what happened in the basement was a fluke."

"You wondered?" Oh, dear! His mouth and tongue were a lethal combination, sucking, licking and chewing.

He kneed her thighs apart. As he moved into position, he said, "I didn't wonder. I just wanted to investigate."

Then, with one thrust, he drove deep inside. Conversation was put on hold as their mutual passion enslaved them.

[Special Note: This is fiction. In real life, always remember to practice safe sex.]

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