Authors: Rita Sable
Trevor turned her around and drew her against his chest. “No crying, Cyn, please. Talk to me. Tell me who Moses is?”
“He’s my cat. My best friend.”
“Ah. The cat who attacked your intruder?”
She sniffled, afraid to rub her nose on his soft sweater. “Sorry. I’m usually pretty resilient in a crisis. The only thing that really makes me cry like a baby is to think something horrible has happened to Moses.”
The heat from Trevor’s body felt so good. It enveloped her. His intoxicating male scent, a mixture of spice and woods, flooded her brain so that she couldn’t think clearly. She felt drawn to him—unable to resist snuggling closer.
“I’m sure you’ll find him.” His deep voice rumbled in her ear.
She swallowed the watery lump in her throat. “But I’m so worried about him. I can’t stop shaking and I can’t think straight.”
“Your nerves are pumped with adrenaline. That’s what causes the shakes. And you haven’t had any sleep. It’s a normal reaction from someone who isn’t trained to handle dangerous situations on a regular basis. Quite understandable. Don’t be embarrassed, Cyn.” He rubbed his hands up and down her spine in firm, calming strokes, pressing her closer into the solid warmth of his body.
A stuttering sigh of relief gusted from between her lips. “I’m scared, Trevor. That man last night, he wanted to kill me. I’m sure of it.”
“Shh.” He brushed a wet spot from the corner of her eye with his thumb. “You fought him off. He’s not going to get another chance. I’ll protect you.”
She couldn’t stop the moan from slipping out. His tender touch on her face and the heat from his body warmed her insides. Creamy heat settled into her belly and dampened the barely there crotch of her panties. She tipped her face up. His chin was just above her mouth. If he turned his face down, their lips would touch. “God, I shouldn’t be doing this. I want to believe you, Trevor. But I know this is too good to be true.”
“You can trust me.”
Cynthia stared at him for several seconds, trying to believe him, wanting it desperately. Sometimes the thin, blurry line between fantasy and reality was damned slippery to walk on. “I wish we’d met under different circumstances. Maybe then, I could.”
“Cyn, let me be clear about one thing. My job and my duty are to protect you. But I’m also a man. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a beautiful woman in my arms. And you are quite a distraction.”
She blinked. “I’m a distraction? Is that why you’re holding me?”
His eyes narrowed. “I want you. I have since this morning when I first saw you.”
Speechless, her gaze settled on his mouth, just inches away. His lips looked hard and soft at the same time. Masculine, yet so tender. She touched her tongue to her upper lip, yearning to taste him.
“No, no. Don’t lose focus.” Trevor gave her a gentle shake. “Tell me what you know about the diamond? Did you see any marks or numbers on it?”
She sobered. Was he just taking advantage of her vulnerability, her obvious interest in him physically, to get information?
“I can’t tell you that.”
His lips firmed. “All right. What can you tell me?”
“Nothing.” She tried to squirm out of his arms but he held her tight.
“You’re being unreasonably stubborn.”
“My client’s interests come first until something changes that. And so far you haven’t given me a reason why I should tell you anything. So let’s start with this. Why don’t
why this diamond is so important? If Mr. Andrews didn’t steal it, like you said, then why is Interpol looking for it?”
“I can’t discuss that with you.”
She laughed. “So, I guess that makes us even. I can’t tell you. You can’t tell me. Where does that leave us?”
Trevor tipped her face up with one hand, holding her chin between his fingers and stared down into her eyes for a long moment.
“We’ve reached an impasse, darling. Only one thing left to do.”
He captured her mouth, effectively stifling her words with a kiss. Cynthia stiffened, unprepared for the first full onslaught of his lips on hers. He teased her with tiny nips and licks until she softened and moaned against him. Her only reaction was to wrap her arms around his neck and pull him down harder. He offered comfort and safety. Passion to make her forget everything and so much more. His tongue slid past her lips and she welcomed his plundering of her mouth. He tasted like coffee and sweet cream, excitement and reassurance. Dark and light at the same time. Instantly, she wanted all of him, everything he was. She sucked his tongue deep inside and stroked him with hers.
Trevor’s hands roamed over her body, following the curve of her hips, sneaking beneath the hem of her sweater and under the silky line of her bra straps. He touched her stomach, gently fingering the ticklish skin along her ribs until he found the swell of her breasts straining against her bra. When his thumbs whisked across her hard eager nipples she gasped at the sweet sensations that burst into her blood like champagne bubbles.
“Oh God. Trevor,” she panted. “This is so crazy. Stupid, crazy. But I don’t want you to stop what you’re doing.”
He sought her mouth again, capturing her lower lip between his teeth with a playful bite before letting go. “I’d love to do a lot more, darling. But not here. Not in a public parking garage. We’re too accessible.”
She rubbed against him, pressing her breasts more firmly into his hands. She kissed his neck and the strong line of his jaw. He thrust his hips forward, letting her feel how hard he’d grown. She moaned at the thought of his cock buried deep inside her pussy. Judging by the impressive bulge in his pants now he wouldn’t disappoint her.
Then his last words sank into her sex-fogged brain. With a heavy sigh, she pulled back and closed her eyes. “God, what am I doing? We’re not safe here, are we?”
* * * * *
Her kiss was a slice of pure heaven! Sweet and sultry, like the first mouthful of warm honey cake. Hungry licks of fire burned through Trevor’s blood. His cock throbbed with urgency. Cynthia’s body, her soft skin, everything about her was so responsive to his slightest touch. She wanted him to touch her, to take her. He couldn’t wait to suck the pert tips of her nipples deep into his mouth and find the silky wet slit between her legs. He wanted to explore her body with his tongue, his fingers and finally fill her with his straining cock.
But making love in a public parking garage wasn’t the brightest idea in the world. Her safety was his first priority. He needed to bring her to his hotel room, which was registered under his pseudonym and paid for with cash to secure his anonymity. Then he could let his guard down and savor all the wonderful things she offered. There he could explore every silky inch of her sexy body with his hands and mouth at a more leisurely pace.
And maybe pry a bit more information out of her too. As much as he admired her fortitude, he had to find a way to break through.
“No,” he said, taking a deep breath. “We’re not safe out in the open. Let’s go.”
She peeked up at him, looking both shy and seductive. “Where?”
“My hotel room. You’ll be safe there.”
Cynthia bit her lower lip for a moment, her indecision clearly apparent. Slowly, she nodded. Her eyes were still glossy from her previous tears, making the silvery-gray depths shimmer with sweet promise. But she sobered up quickly.
“Can we stop by my place first? I really want to check if Moses came home. He’s not an outdoor cat. I’m worried about him.”
After the way she’d practically melted in his arms the sudden reminder that her cat was still in jeopardy hit him like a splash of cold water. Obviously she cared deeply for this animal.
“Of course. You’ll do as I say, though, understood? I’m not taking any chances with your safety.”
“Okay.” She managed a shaky smile.
He kissed her one last time, gently, just skimming over the plumped satin of her lips before leading her by the hand back to the car. When she was seated he buckled her in himself.
“Wouldn’t want to break the law,” he said in mock seriousness, recalling her earlier admonishment when he didn’t buckle himself in.
Her giggle touched his soul. It was so lighthearted and pure—something he’d had rare occasion to experience in the last few years. She really was an innocent person. He strongly suspected that she was one of those rare citizens who lived, worked and played by society’s rules. She stood by her integrity and defended what she believed was right. He knew beyond doubt that she had no idea what the diamond in question was really worth, the enormous wealth it represented.
Still, if she knew what those cryptic numbers on the diamond represented, would she go after the treasure herself? Reluctantly he admitted he had no way of finding out and that she was much better off never knowing.
She sat tense and quiet in the seat beside him when he drove out of the parking garage and rejoined midday traffic. There was no sign of the plain gray sedan that had followed them from the hotel restaurant but that didn’t mean anything. He’d have to change rental cars as soon as possible to throw them off too.
Cynthia guided him through the city to her apartment on Brookwell Street. He kept his attention focused on the cars behind and beside them. The neighborhood she directed him into was tree-lined, older but well-kept and clean. The buildings were brownstones with neat little rows of steps and wrought iron window bars. A group of young girls played jump rope on the sidewalk. He breathed a sigh of relief. So far, no surprises.
She pointed across the street. “There’s an empty parking space right in front. My place is on the third floor.”
“No. Better to park on the next side street and walk in. How well do you know your neighbors?”
Cynthia glanced at him with a noncommittal shrug. “Oh, a little. Mostly I keep to myself. My neighbor directly across from me is an elderly widow. Mrs. Perkins. She’s nosey but in a sweet sort of way. She doesn’t ever leave her apartment except to take her weekly trip to the hair salon. The place next door to me is vacant. The couple on the other side, they’re nice. They moved in about a month ago as newlyweds. They’re both musicians. Violinists with the city symphony, I think. They’re not home much. I don’t know the people on the first two floors except to say ‘hi’ when I see them in the hall. It’s a quiet building, which is why I like it. I need to be undisturbed when I’m working.”
Trevor parked the car. She unsnapped her seat belt and began to reach for the door when he stopped her with his hand on her arm. Even though he hadn’t spotted anything out of place so far, he refused to let his guard down. If her apartment was under surveillance, their appearance should trigger a reaction.
“Not yet. I want to scan the other cars driving by. Especially those already parked here. You never know who might be waiting for you to come home.”
She sat back stiffly. “But it’s daylight. They wouldn’t try anything now, would they?”
“You don’t know that. I prefer safety over sorrow and regret.”
“Better safe than sorry,” she repeated.
He grinned. “Yeah, same thing.”
“How do you do this all the time? Keep your guard up and be so wary about everyone?”
“It goes with the territory. Being an agent, or cop as you call it here, is something you’re either born with or not. I was born cautious and suspicious like my father.”
“So your father is in law enforcement?”
“No. My father’s a farmer who also dabbles in politics.”
She sat quietly, apparently mulling over his answer. That was the most personal information about his true identity he’d ever given out to anyone who wasn’t in his immediate circle. She made him feel entirely too comfortable. He’d have to restrain the urge to let down his guard around her. “It looks quiet, let’s go.”
On the sidewalk he tucked her inside the crook of his arm again, shielding her as much as possible from the light snow that still fell. By the time they reached the front door to her building, she had a frosty crown on the top of her head. She shook off the snow. Rosy color brightened her cheeks and the tip of her nose making her eyes look large and luminous. She had such classic beauty.
Keep your mind on your job
“I have my keys in here somewhere.” A slight frown marred her smooth brow while she rummaged in the deep pockets of her purse.
She opened the outer door and once inside the tiled entry, she headed for a wall of tiny mailboxes. She shoved another little key into her mailbox and pulled several letters and catalogs out of the square metal container. Cynthia took a moment to go through them.
“Bill, bill, bill, junk, more junk. Oh and a postcard from Mom and Dad.”
She flipped the card over and quickly read the short message. “Hmm. I’m glad they’re having a great time.” She hugged her mail to her chest. “Ready to go up?”
“Sure.” He started to guide her over to the single elevator.
“Wrong way.” Cynthia balked. “I take the stairs. It’s only three flights and one way I get exercise.”
“Very well.” He took her hand and led her up the stairs.
The stairwell was narrow, the steps carpeted with thin, brown-speckled fabric that quieted their tread. On the first-floor landing Trevor understood the layout of this building more clearly and how the apartments were arranged. A short, well-lit hallway split off into four separate living quarters. There were no windows that would allow natural daylight in, or give an intruder easy access.
He continued up to the second floor with her, still holding her hand and leading the way. “How did the guy last night get into your apartment?”
“Through the window. I don’t know how he got past the bars outside. Or how he climbed up the wall to the third floor. The police should have figured that out.”
Trevor frowned. More than likely the burglar came down from the roof. Less chance of detection and easier to escape. He leaned over the railing and looked up through the center of the stairwell. “Do you have roof access from these stairs?”
“Yes. I go up there sometimes in the summer to lie in the sun.”