Authors: Pam Champagne
Tags: #Romantic Suspense
Sophie’s voice came from his right. “I warned you.”
“Call him off or I swear I’ll shoot him.”
At her sharp command, the dog lay down on Hawk’s chest and licked his face from chin to forehead. Hawk rolled and bounded to his feet. It was all he could do not to throttle Sophie, who glared at him with…anger? What the hell did she have to be angry about? He was the one who almost got his throat slit.
White-faced, she stepped forward until they were nose to nose. “Don’t ever threaten my dog again, or I swear, I’ll—”
“You’ll what? Turn me in? Call for reinforcements?”
Her luscious lips curved into a cruel smile. “Nothing as tame. Let’s just say you’ll never have to worry about pleasing a lady again.” She brushed past him, the dog at her heels.
Rueger trotted from tree to tree until he was dry, then eagerly leapt back into the camper. Sophie closed the small metal door and flattened herself against it.
Hawk’s antennae rose at her stiffened posture. “What’s wrong?”
“A cop just pulled in. I don’t expect trouble from the local law enforcement, but it’s best not to take chances. Let’s get a move on.”
Hawk didn’t need prodding. He started for the passenger side and released a sigh when the state trooper walked into the store with no more than a cursory glance in their direction.
Sophie turned the ignition. The engine started, sputtered, then stalled. “Figures,” she muttered.
! With that one word a light bulb came on inside his head. Just think what he’d be able to accomplish with another coffee and more food. Sophie was a statistician in the Bureau. “That’s how you found me!”
She ignored him and restarted the truck. This time proved golden.
“Do you get a promotion if you talk me in?”
She pulled out onto the two lane road and headed north. “Nope. Stan is your friend, by the way. He really does want to clear your name.”
“Sure. And bears don’t shit in the woods. Where are you going?”
Hawk’s heart accelerated. “Your proficiency with numbers didn’t tell you my plans. Who did?”
Sophie shot him a quick glance. “Relax. It’ll be an uncomfortable ride with your jockey shorts in a knot.”
“Bullshit. Start talking or I’m out of here.”
The intense man seated beside her nodded. “We can talk about it later…if I decide you’re to be trusted. I’m still not convinced you’re on the up and up. Or Stan either, for that matter.”
She scowled in his direction.
“Why what?” Sophie swerved to avoid hitting a wild horse.
She’d become accustomed to seeing wild horses during the last several weeks. These huge, free ranging horses challenged moose for the title of most dangerous animal on the road. Seeing mountain goats eating rocks in the road and dodging horses and moose was about as far away from her definition of a highway as one could get.
“Why are you willing to save my ass?”
She laughed. Hey, she was getting good at this. “I happen to like it.”
“How the hell did you pinpoint where to find me?”
“First of all, that country store isn’t the only place I’ve been looking. I totaled the miles from where you were arrested due west to the highway. I knew you’d head to AK. Add that all with a little bit of luck and here we are…together at last.”
He remained silent, so she continued. “As for figuring out your plans, I intended to break into your apartment. Someone beat me to it, though. The place was in shambles. I’ve got no idea what the goons were looking for, but there’s not much left in one piece.”
Hawk leaned closer with an angry glower. “Probably looking for the same thing you were. Which was?”
“Confirmation of Dan and Maria’s address. In case they’d moved since leaving the Bureau. I found your address book under the couch. Stan and I realized you’d never move south toward civilization. Too risky. There’s a good chance the bad guys figured it out as well.”
“Did you call Maria and Dan?”
“Of course not. They’re your friends. Back to how I knew where you’d emerge from the wilderness.”
“People talk. Some praised your wilderness survival skills and said you’d be able to travel twenty miles per day. Others disagreed. Said you’d be lucky to do ten. I went with fifteen.”
“So how’d I do?”
“I’ve been riding three hundred miles of this highway back and forth for two weeks now. Looks like everyone overestimated your skills.”
“Yeah, well I had to circle a few lakes. Too dangerous to swim, even at night. I’d have been a virtual sitting duck for someone in a plane wearing night vision goggles. Then I twisted my ankle and took a three day rest.”
“It doesn’t matter. You’re here.”
Sophie ignored Hawk’s sarcasm and stole surreptitious peeks at him while he leaned against the headrest. Not handsome by most standards. Somewhat rough around the edges with a nose a bit crooked, perhaps from a long ago break. Long, dark eyelashes. Way too long for a man. Eyes the color of a good whiskey with flecks of green. After his time in the wilderness, his dark hair touched his collar, and he sported quite a beard. Looking at him made her panties wet. What was it about this man that turned her on? A man who, by his own admission, wasn’t interested in commitment in any way, shape or form. Couldn’t even commit to a movie date. And, in all honesty, her niggling doubts as to his innocence wouldn’t go away.
“I need clothes. After that, a razor.” He tugged on his beard. “This thing’s coming off.”
Sophie chewed the inside of her lip to keep from laughing. “The beard is perfect. You’ll fit right in with all the other Alaskan woodsmen.”
“I…” He paused, thinking over what she’d said. “Okay. The beard stays. I need warm clothes. I’ve been freezing my ass off every night.”
Sophie shifted into second gear to ascend the side of the mountain. “I brought appropriate clothes.”
A frown knit his brow. “Have I fallen into a rabbit hole? How’d you know my size?”
“I spent time in your closet, remember?”
Out of habit, she checked her side-view mirror and tightened her grip on the steering wheel. What in hell was Stan thinking?
As perceptive as always, Hawk straightened. “What’s wrong?” He looked over his shoulder. “We have a tail.”
She’d kill the idiots.
Hawk glued his gaze to his side mirror. “Pull onto the shoulder. I’ll lose myself in the woods.”
“Relax. About five miles ahead there’s a picnic area. I’ll pull in and we’ll see what happens. If they follow us…well, we’ll deal with it.”
“Deal with it? How? By shooting federal agents? Shit. I should have ridden in the camper.”
Sophie reached over and squeezed his thigh. “Relax. Don’t overreact. It’s just…”
“Just what, for God’s sake? Talk to me.”
“It’s probably an innocent salesman on his way home for the weekend.”
They traveled a few miles in silence. Hawk never took his eyes off the plain dark blue car following. “FBI is my guess.”
Sophie cringed. Why had Stan lied to her? Just you and Hawk, he’d said. Until you get to Dan and Maria’s.
The driver maintained the same distance behind for the duration. Almost impossible if you hadn’t been trained. Sophie braked, slowing for the right hand turn ahead. The car sped by.
“See?” she said. “Nothing to worry about. You’re paranoid.”
Hawk’s only answer was a grunt. Obviously, he didn’t believe her.
The truck and camper bumped its way through potholes, over rocks and tree roots. Other than a few picnic tables and a rustic outhouse, the rest area offered no amenities.
She braked at the end of the dirt path and turned the truck to face any incoming cars. Not a great location for a quick get-away, but a perfect place to make a last stand. What in the world was she thinking? “This spot’s out of sight of the Alcan. Hawk, the sooner you believe I’m on your side, the better.”
The swirling tension in the air grated on Sophie’s nerves. Joe Hawkins didn’t trust her, and she couldn’t blame him. Fortunately for her, at the moment she was his only hope.
“Now what?” he clipped.
Her passenger appeared to be losing patience. If she got lax, he’d bail. Chances of finding him a second time were small. “We wait. If no one shows up, we either stay the night or move on. Your choice.”
He leaned back. “Christ, I’m exhausted. I only managed to grab a few hours of rest a day, so I’m sleep deprived.”
“Climb in the camper and get some shut-eye. I’ll keep watch.”
Hawk laughed. “Yeah, right.” He caught hold of her chin. His piercing eyes took her prisoner. “Sweet Sophie, I don’t trust anyone. You least of all. Once I’m asleep, I suspect the FBI will bust in and haul my ass to prison.”
Stubborn man. Sophie fought the urge to slam dunk his balls in the ashtray. She inhaled deeply. “I’ll say this once more. You can trust me. Besides, do you think Rueger would let someone step a foot in the camper?” She leaned closer to his warmth and trailed a finger from his thigh to his crotch. A hot memory of their one night together flashed behind her eyes—the night he’d left her unsatisfied. His warm bulge grew beneath her hand. “Or we could find a nice cabin. You can start fulfilling your side of the bargain.”
Hawk grabbed her wrist. “Enough with the games. Clear it with killer Rueger. I’ll spend the night with him.”
Sophie’s melodic voice jarred Hawk from a restless sleep. Had his sex-starved body somehow floated to another dimension? Was he hallucinating? He almost groaned his frustration. Hell, he wanted to howl at the moon.
In the moonlight, he held his breath and waited for her next sensual move. Firm, full breasts made his mouth water as she bent forward to peel her jeans over slightly rounded hips. She lifted first one leg then the other to rid herself of the denim. God! Thoughts of those long, smooth legs had driven him crazy over the past eight months. She’d been so hot, so eager. And he’d blundered big time.
He’d never figured a down-to-earth girl like Sophie for the teasing type. Perhaps this was her way to punish him for his
Heat shot straight to his groin. She lowered her naked body onto the bench seat at the table and brushed her auburn curls with slow precision. In his mind’s eye, her body was perfect. He couldn’t wait to taste her breasts. With each downward movement of the brush, they teased him with a jiggle. He supposed her hips could be bigger, but he liked her just the way she was.
Electricity similar to the high voltage energy shooting straight to his balls crackled with each brush stroke. A scent that was hers alone tantalized his nose. Unable to stand the erotic torture, he rolled away.
His cock saluted her sweet voice.
Something cold and wet pressed against his neck. He lurched upright and banged his head on the low ceiling. “Damn it, Rueger!”
“I thought you were asleep.” The fake innocence in her voice made Hawk want to put his hands around her throat.
“Is that right? I could have sworn I saw flames shooting from your eyes a moment ago. And wasn’t that your tongue almost touching the floor while I undressed?”
Burning with sexual need, Hawk was beyond taking offense at her taunts. “Want to see my tongue in action, lady? I assure you it’ll make you scream for more.”
The man of her dreams sat up and bumped his skull again. “Damn it,” he muttered. “Where are you going?”
Two steps brought her to the door. “To put Rueger in the cab for the night. Be right back.”
Once outside, Sophie breathed in the nippy air. More than likely there’d be a frost tomorrow morning. Unlocking the truck, she fished around the seat until her hand curled around her cell. The hard, packed gravel hid the sound of her footsteps as she sprinted toward the woods. As soon as she’d run far enough for privacy, she punched five on the speed dial.
“Sophie, why haven’t you called? I told you—”
“Be quiet and listen. I only have a minute. Hawk’s with me. Call off your hounds.”
“What hounds?” Stan’s confusion sent a shard of fear through her.
She gripped the slim cell hard enough to break it. “Some feds stayed on our tail for several miles. I turned into a picnic area and they sped by.”
“Damn it. Has to be Blair and Reed. I had to put them on administrative leave, but I can’t restrict their movements. They’re on to us.”
“Isn’t this what you wanted?”
“Not this far from Eagle.”
Sophie whirled. The camper rocked. “Got to go.” She disconnected and slipped the phone in her robe pocket, making sure to shut if off in case Stan decided to call back. She whistled for Rueger and jogged back to the truck. “Up.” Once he jumped inside, she slammed and locked the door. Taking a deep breath, she prepared to face Hawk’s inquisition.
“Where the hell have you been?” he demanded the moment she stepped inside. He stood buck naked at the side of the bed.
More moisture lubed her thighs.
“Who’d you call?” He held up his hand. “No lies. I heard you talking.”
Christ. The man must have the ears of a wild animal. “Stan. Those weren’t his men following us.”
“Damn! Blair and Reed then.”
“Isn’t this what you wanted? A confrontation?”
Her lower belly cramped at Hawk’s face tight with lust.
“Sure is,” he purred. “But at a place and time of my choosing. There’s not much they’ll try tonight so close to the highway. You and I have unfinished business. I always pay my debts.”
Sophie trembled, imagining the pleasure she’d discover in Hawk’s bed tonight. Ever since she’d met Hawk, she’d waited for this moment. She wanted everything to be perfect. As she wiggled out of her robe, the fleece material slipped off her shoulders to pool at her feet. If only she owned a sexy, silk negligee.
Several moments passed before she realized Hawk wouldn’t make the first move. At least he’d given her the opportunity to change her mind. As if that would happen. She closed the short distance and stepped into his open arms. “This is only the first installment, you know. I’ll let you know when I’m totally satisfied.”
“You do that.” Callused fingers trailing across her nipples sent a jolt of desire to her core. Her stomach clenched when those same fingers dipped into her bellybutton only to slide lower. One finger, then two slid between her swollen folds. Reality was hotter than her imagination. She hadn’t burned with such need last Christmas. Now she had to keep her emotions under wraps. Hawk wanted hot sex, not love. She slumped and clung to his shoulders to keep from falling. Her groan came out of nowhere. “I’m on fire.” Was that her voice, hoarse with need?
“I can feel it.” Warm breath touched her skin while his tongue played with the lobe of her ear. His fingers pumped in and out of her sheath while his busy thumb made circular motions on her clit, nearly throwing her into climax.
She loved his playing, but right now she wanted release. No, she
release. “Enough teasing. Fuck me.”
“Such language from the lips of a lady. I thought you wanted satisfaction? Let me do my job. Be patient. You won’t be sorry.”
Sophie squeezed her legs together, clenching her vaginal muscles on his fingers. The huge cock poking her belly didn’t lie. He, too, was fast losing control.
“Do you play with yourself, Sophie?”
The question intruded on her pleasure. “What?”
“Nights when you can’t sleep. Do you make yourself come? How do you do it? With your fingers? A vibrator?” The whispered words made her clit throb.
Unable to stand the torture, she pumped her hips on his fingers.
“Is that a yes?” He nibbled her lips, his tongue licking her mouth before pushing inside. She sucked hard.
His free hand curled around her hip, encouraging her to fuck his fingers faster and harder. “I’m going to—” He withdrew his hand, and the building climax waned. “Damn you, Hawk! Not again. I won’t let you leave me wanting more.”
“Got no intention of it.” He grasped her waist and lifted her onto the small table, pulling her butt to the very edge. “Put your hands behind you. Brace yourself,” he growled.
Hawk spread her thighs, stretching her wide. Muscle discomfort fled at the touch of his cock rubbing her clit. “I’m through playing, Sophie. I’m going to fuck you. How do you want it? Hard and fast? Slow and easy? A little at a time or all at once?”
Hawk scrutinized Sophie spread-eagled on the hard surface. She had a gorgeous body. One he’d thought about more times than he cared to remember. With her head back and her mouth slightly parted, she invited him to take what he wanted. Her body sent out rippling waves of heat. He pushed the head of his cock inside her wet opening.
The tremble in her legs fueled his self-torture. For a moment, a twinge of guilt held him back. Sophie was a good girl, not the kind who participated in sex games for the sheer pleasure. Not like him. Was she ready for sex for sex’s sake? In the game he played, emotional love had no part in the action. Pleasure and satisfaction were the end results. He should stop right now.
“Please, Hawk.” His cock swelled at the wanton tremor in her voice. “Fuck me. I can’t stand it.”
He shoved his guilt aside. “Talk dirty to me.”
Her eyes opened, and he drowned in the dazed passion of her usually alert gaze.
“What are you’re feeling? Tell me what you want. What makes you feel good?” He let go of her thighs. They stayed splayed. After one teasing pinch of her hardened nub, he cupped her breasts. He leaned forward to tongue a swollen nipple and pushed his cock deeper. So damn snug.
He quickly pulled out of her and sank to the floor and licked her clit. “Talk to me.”
Sophie gasped. “Yes! Your tongue feels so… Oh!”
Her panting voice urged him on. He tongue fucked her until he sensed her orgasm fast approaching. Grabbing her hips to stop her squirming, he blew on her opening.
She yanked his hair. Despite her desperation, a perversity to let her know what kind of man he was drove him on. “What do you call your vagina? Pussy?”
“Bunny,” she choked out.
Hawk chuckled and ran his tongue down the full length of her slit, sucking her clit. She lurched and flooded his mouth.
“I bet Bunny would like a big carrot.”
“Stop tormenting me. Do you want me to beg?”
He came to his feet and pushed her flat on the table. Hooking his hands under her knees, he yanked her onto his aching cock. With one hard thrust, he was inside. Closing his eyes, he held her pussy tight against his pelvis. Her clenching vaginal muscles milked his cock. Like a stick of dynamite, his body was poised to explode.
He forced himself to loosen his grip. “Move, baby. Make yourself come. Hurry.”
Sophie thrust upward and wrapped her legs around his waist. A guttural groan escaped him when she braced her hands and raised her ass. The up and down motion moved his cock in a new direction. He clasped her around the waist, lifted her off the table and pushed her against the bathroom door. He welcomed the pain of her fingers digging into his shoulders as she rotated her ass in a circular motion. He hadn’t pulled out once and yet he was on the brink of orgasm, even without the friction. He pushed his hand between their bodies, his thumb zeroing in on her clit. Holding the hard nub between his forefinger and thumb, he squeezed and tugged.
Sophie tightened her arms around his neck. “Yes, yes, yes. Don’t stop. Harder! I’m coming…” Her orgasm shattered the nerve endings in his cock. The sperm in his balls emptied into her, shooting pleasure to all his extremities. The climax damn near killed him. Afraid his legs would collapse, he leaned heavily against her to hold himself up. Shards of satisfaction continued to curl his toes. When his brain started functioning again, he felt a bit ill. Was he fucking crazy? What the hell had he been thinking? The answer was simple. He hadn’t been. At least not with the head on his shoulders. Sophie was a complication he didn’t need right now.
Christ. They hadn’t used a condom. Wasn’t every woman today on the Pill? He was clean and would bet his last dollar that Sophie was too. Yet this was the first time in his life he’d taken a woman without taking precautions. He didn’t dare consider the implications.
Sophie continued to breathe hard as she moved on his shrinking erection. He pulled out before she made him ready for round two. “Ah, we may have a problem.”
“I know. I’m on the Pill, but we should have used a condom.”
He kissed her hard. ”Sorry, I seem to be condomless.”
Sophie unwrapped her legs from his waist and slid to the floor. In the faint glow cast by the small light over the bed, Hawk read confusion on her face. “What’s wrong?”
Her gaze slid away. “Nothing. I’ve got condoms in the bathroom. I was irresponsible not to have remembered.” She climbed onto the bed and moved as close to the far side of the mattress as she could. “Let’s get some sleep. We’ve a lot of traveling to do.”
Something akin to hurt grabbed Hawk’s heart. He’d given her what she wanted. Why was she pissed? Because she forgot she had condoms? No, she wasn’t angry. Uncomfortable, perhaps. That was it. At this moment, she probably wished he’d disappear. He’d known his kind of sex would be too much for an old-fashioned girl.
She’d be over it by morning. Hoisting himself onto the bed, he pulled up the covers. She faced north and he south. No part of their bodies touched. His mind was troubled, but his exhausted body had the final say. He went out like the light he’d just flipped off.