Part 20

Oh, boy.

Evangeline sat on the window seat and stared sightlessly into the night. A few feet away, John lay asleep in her large, frilly bed. The small adorable bear sat on the nightstand just inches from his hand. Despite the ruffles covering him and the cute stuffed animal nearby, John McBain never seemed neither more male nor more dangerous.

His skill as a lover was evident the first time they made love in the basement. But it wasn't his expertise that caused her to lose control. Wow, how she lost control…

She frowned in concentration as she replayed every moment spent in his arms. Not once had she ever been in control! Something strange happened every time they touched. Coherent thought vanished. Her mind completely shut down. Something deep inside, emotions that had been dormant seized command. How? Why?

After her parents divorced, Evangeline tried not to take sides. She loved them both. Yet, she couldn’t deny that she and her father shared a special connection. He challenged her, and she yearned to please him. Over the years and without realizing it, she lost touch with her mother. Oh, they were never unpleasant to each other. But it wasn't the typical mother-daughter thing. And right then, she realized just how desperately she needed that. She craved the knowledge that only a mother could impart to her daughter. The truth about love.

"Angel?" John's voice was husky with sleep. The sheets rustled as he sat up. "Why are you way over there?"

"I didn't want to disturb you." She rose and moved onto the bed.

He toyed with the strap of her nightgown. "You're all dressed up."

"I told you the A/C is crazy. I got cold."

He eased onto his back and opened his arms. "Let me warm you."

His body burned like an inferno. She hugged him, resting her head on his chest and draping her arm around his waist. Lethal, he was. And powerful, too. She hadn't foreseen what a potent role he'd play in her life. If she had…

"We shouldn't have stayed here tonight," he said softly. "Knowing that someone invaded your bedroom…you can't sleep here."

"I slept for a little while. My mind is always going with cases. Some nights, I sleep off and on."

He brushed hair from her face. "Not since I've been here. You've slept all night long. You wanna try again?"

"Nope."

"That's your excuse and you're sticking to it. Is that it, Counselor?"

"In a nutshell," she said. She couldn't verbalize what she couldn't comprehend. At least not yet.

"So, we're awake." He glanced at her bedside clock. The numbers glowed in the dimly lit room. "It's the other side of midnight. Are you hungry?"

She laughed. "No. Are you?"

His rich, sexy chuckle mingled with hers. "Not exactly."

"You don't have to entertain me. I know you're tired. Go back to sleep."

"I'm a red-blooded man. There's no way I can sleep with a beautiful woman, lying wide awake beside me."

He reached out to turn on the lamp and knocked over the teddy bear in the process. "Sorry."

He rolled onto his side and then mumbled, "What the hell?"

"What is it?"

John left the bed in one fluid motion. When he stood, he held the bear in one hand. His eyes blazed with fury as he stared at it. Her stomach knotted with unease. She slid across the bed to join him. Her hand closed around his arm.

"John?"

His mouth thinned into a grim line. He inhaled deep breaths through his nose. "It's a camera."

"No." She almost held out her hand to take it, but she changed her mind. "No, it can't be."

"They come in all sizes. It's like a nanny-cam, but there aren't any babies here." He opened the nightstand drawer, threw the toy inside and slammed the drawer shut. "We're being watched, Evangeline."

"Our private moments were recorded?" Bile rose to her throat. She pressed her hand to her mouth and swallowed. She wouldn't succumb to disgust.

John nodded. "That sick sonuvabitch has been eyeing you all this time. He's crossed the line. I won't let him get away with it."

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