Part 19

"Wow, I never knew what a pain clean up could be." John finished wiping off the shelf and replaced the pile of books near his knee. "All the investigations where Forensics came in after me, I never thought about the mess we left. This sucks."

Evangeline's mouth curved into her trademark smile. "You never consider the havoc you leave behind."

"What?" He chuckled. "Are you accusing me and others in my profession of wrecking havoc? I have you know we're the Calvary who come in to save the day--" Suddenly, the humor vanished. "Unless we don't make it there in time."

"John, we strive to be winners, but even we can't win them all."

He dropped the dust cloth and roughly grasped her upper arms. "I've lost before, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I hate knowing that someone invaded your home. That wasn't supposed to happen."

"It did." She closed her hands over his. "It happened and we're dealing with it. Whoever did this wanted to get my attention. Well, they have it. We'll catch them. I don't doubt that. We're too stubborn to fail."

The fierce determination in her liquid brown eyes illuminated the darkest depths of his soul. There were places he closed off after Caitlin's death. When he and Natalie tried to grow closer, he never once considered opening his entire soul to her. There were hidden areas he didn't want anyone to know or to pursue. But with Evangeline, she seemed to cross his barriers without either of them realizing it. He blinked and there she was. Inside him.

He stood and gathered her into his arms. Her delicious sweet scent filled his senses. He closed his eyes and allowed his hands to roam, memorizing every glorious curve and firm muscle. She moaned. Her fingers dug into his back. A shudder coursed through him from his head to his toes.

A thousand questions flashed through his mind, but the most important one remained constant and frighteningly loud. Were they ready for this? Every day took them further from the deal they made on the San Juan beach. Each time their gazes connected, he knew she understood him far better than anyone ever had. Even with all the passion, conversation and laughs, neither voiced the obvious. He knew what his fears were, but he wondered if she understood hers.

His hands stroked up her side to hold her face. He studied her striking features. The slim angle of her nose. Her round, luminous brown eyes. The sensuous fullness of her mouth. The smooth mocha skin tone. Every feature that comprised Evangeline Williamson was etched in his mind in that moment.

Then, he took her mouth with savage intensity. Their tongues collided, demanding and probing. His manhood throbbed. He pushed his thigh between hers as one hand dropped to her backside. Her thigh grazed his erection. A slight tremor shook her body and rippled through him. He lifted her and carried her to the bed.

She unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it off his shoulders. The tank top followed. John reclined against the pillows, watching and enjoying her feverish concentration. Finally, she had him the way she wanted. Naked and hard as stone.

Groans escaped him as she manipulated his manhood. Stroking and squeezing. Teasing him with her expert massage. His pelvis rose and fell in an increasing tempo. But this wasn't how he wanted it. When he met release, he needed to feel her velvet warmth surrounding him.

He closed his hand around her wrist. Her eyes flew to his. A wicked smile played at her mouth. He grinned in response. "Strip. Now."

She moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue. "If that's what you want…"

"It is." He reached out to release the top button of her shirt and dropped his hand. "You do the rest."

She needed no further encouragement or instruction. With the grace of a ballerina, her hips swayed in time to the pounding of his heart. Her body moved and her clothes disappeared. The erotic performance uncovered another layer of the passionate woman within. When she stood completely bare before him, he took her hand.

Flat on his back, John pulled her on top. He filled her with one powerful thrust. They moved in unison. Flesh against flesh. Man to woman. Woman to man.

His hands slid across her thighs to rest at the small of her back. A faint sheen of perspiration cooled the palms of his hands. He drew her down. The hardened peaks of her breasts begged for his attention. Open mouthed, he devoured her.

And she devoured him. With her hands and mouth, she possessed him. Her fingertips traced his tattoos and her tongue filled in the colors. He rolled her onto her back. Her thighs gripped his waist and he lost all thought as primal instinct took over. A feral cry escaped from him as release came for them both. In stunned fascination, he watched tears gather in the corner of her eyes.

He fell onto the bed beside her. One arm wrapped around her as he used the other hand to brush the teardrops from her cheek. Maybe she understood after all.

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