Emily gently placed the cordless telephone onto the dresser and crept across the carpeted bedroom floor to the bed. Jordan lay fast asleep with a small smile on his full, masculine lips. The crisp pale green sheets fell to his waist, revealing the hard planes of his bronze chest. As Emily crawled into bed beside him, she couldn't resist the temptation of his bare flesh. Using her index finger, she drew a faint line from the center of his chest down to his navel. He shivered beneath the slight caress and Emily bent forward, replacing her finger with her lips.
"Good morning," he growled in a voice that held of mixture of arousal and sleep. His hands closed over Emily's shoulder and guided her until they were face to face.
Emily claimed his mouth in a slow, sensual kiss, which produced immediate results. Her thighs brushed against his hardening body, melting at the heat of flesh on flesh. "Yes, it is."
A wicked light gleamed Jordan's eyes as he lowered her onto her back. He moved to cover her, but Emily stopped him. "Em?" he questioned, a hurt look in his eyes.
"Don't you have a recording session scheduled this morning?" she asked, refusing to succumb to the pout forming on his lips. "You shouldn't be late."
"A few minutes late wouldn't hurt."
He trailed kisses down her throat and his hands kneaded her soft curves. A fire burned like white-hot lava in the pit of Emily's belly. Jordan's knowledge of her sensual wants and desires was used against her and left her defenseless. The telephone that had woken her up was forgotten as she surrendered to her husband's passionate demands.
Later as she lay within the circle of his arms, Emily remembered and smiled. "Jordan, I've been keeping something from you."
"Oh, yeah?" he asked. He titled her chin so that their gazes locked. "What have you been up to?"
She frowned. "You don't sound worried or…upset."
He laughed. "It's not like I'm the jealous type-"
"Yeah, right. I distinctly remember back in high school when you were jealous of Nik-"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." He rolled his eyes.
"Yeah," she said, placing a quick kiss on his mouth. "I thought it was sweet and cute."
"And I felt like an idiot," he admitted, "but enough about that. Let's talk about your little secret."
Her smile widened. "My little secret won't be little for long… I hope you've outgrown that jealousy phase because I can't promise that I won't be swept away by him…or her."
Confusion registered on Jordan's face and then his mouth dropped open. "Are you telling me what I think you're telling me?"
She nodded. "Seven months from now our wait will be over. We'll finally become parents, too!"
"Yes!" he yelled before pulling her into a long embrace that made him very late for the recording session.
"Whatcha got there?" Alex asked as he handed Dara a mug of coffee. "Is that a letter?"
"Yes," she said, "but it's not an ordinary letter. This one is special. I had to sign for it."
Her bright smiled unnerved him and his hand shook slightly. Drops of coffee spilled onto the counter top. Dara took his mug from him and put it on the counter. She waved the letter in front of his face. Muttering a few oaths in his native tongue, he took the letter from her and stared at it.
"Alejandro Garcia! If you don't open that envelope, I will."
The voice she used reminded him that his wife hadn't forgot her days as a judge. He ran a hand through his thick black hair. A stream of sunlight shone through the kitchen curtains. He held the envelope up to the brilliant natural light. Squinting, he tried to make out the letters…either yay or nay.
"Alex!" Without additional warning, Dara snatched the letter from his hand and marched to her office.
Just a few steps behind her, Alex heard the rip of the paper and the whisper of the stationary as she pulled it free. His breath lodged in his throat in anticipation of her reaction. None came and his hopes sank. Shuffling past her, he perched on the edge of her desk. "I suppose I should have expected it."
"Yeah, you should have," she agreed.
"Well, you suspected this all along why did you let me get my hopes up?" he accused.
"Because this letter proves once again something we've been known all along…that I'm right!" She held the letter in front of his face. "It wasn't a rejection letter, Alex! It was a letter of acceptance! They want your book and they want to know if you have anything else. They loved it, sweetheart! I knew they would."
Alex quickly scanned the letter. Everything Dara told him was stated in the paragraphs. The editor loved his novel about a detective who's on the hunt for a serial killing diplomat. Since retiring from PCPD, he'd spent a good deal of his time writing with the hopes of getting published. It was a welcome relief that one of his greatest dreams came true.
"Oh, Dara," he murmured, pulling her into a tight embrace. "You're right. Remind me to listen to you more often."
She laughed. "I will!"
Michael shook his head as he glanced at Grace's open suitcase. "Sweetheart, we're not going on vacation. We'll only be in LA two days at the most. Why are you taking so many clothes?"
"My mother always told me to be prepared."
"I won't argue with Aunt Keesha's logic, but isn't there the possibility of overdoing it?" He laughed when she stuck her tongue at him.
"I don't tell you how to pack," she reminded him.
"No," he agreed, "you just do without my say-so."
The doorbell rang before he could add more. "Maybe it's your brother," he said as he headed towards the door. He opened without looking through the peephole. He was surprised to see his father standing in the hall. "Dad, what's up?"
AJ laughed. "Is that any way to greet your father? How about inviting me in?"
"Oh, yeah, sure," Michael said. He stepped aside, giving AJ room to come inside. "Is something wrong?"
"Does something have to be wrong for me to visit my only son?"
Michael rolled his eyes and sighed. "Okay, Dad. I give up. You win. Nothing has to be wrong and I'm happy to see you to. It's just that…"
AJ looked down the hallway towards the bedrooms. Smiling, he asked in a teasing whisper, "Am I interrupting something?"
Heat flooded Michael's cheeks. It shouldn't be so easy for his father to embarrass him, but when it came to sex… Michael shook his head. "No, you're not interrupting anything like that. Grace and I are busy, but not in that way."
"When will you be finished? I was planning a little trip to NYC and wanted you both to join us."
"Us?" Michael repeated.
"You know, Keesha, Jason-Everett and me. If Ben, Marisa and George are interested, they can come, too."
Michael frowned. "Is this a special trip?"
AJ shrugged and then smiled. "I hope it will be. I asked Keesha to marry me and I think she's leaning toward 'yes.'"