Deadly Vacation (Hardy Brothers Security Book 10) (5 page)

“She is a model,” Mandy replied.

Shane smiled, the expression lighting up his face. “Oh. Do you think … I don’t know … she might be interested in me?”

“She’s also pregnant and engaged,” Mandy said. “She doesn’t like people staring at her. I’m not telling you this to hurt your feelings. I’m telling it to you because she can’t take it when people stare – and you don’t have a shot.”

“Oh.” Shane was crestfallen.

“It’s okay,” Mandy said, deciding Shane wasn’t a threat as much as he was heartbroken. “Just … there are a lot of other women in New Orleans. You might want to find another one to fixate on.”

“I wasn’t fixated.”

“You were,” Mandy said. “A lot of men are. She’s just got a lot of other things going on now. You’re wasting your time.”

Shane blew out a sigh. “Well, thanks for the update.”

Mandy glanced over his shoulder to find the two men who had joined him at the breakfast table the previous morning staring. “As far as your friends are concerned, I’m married and the brunette lives with someone. Find three other girls.”

“We were just screwing around,” Shane mumbled.

“I know, and it’s flattering. Just … we’re on vacation. We don’t want anything to ruin it.”

“I definitely don’t want to ruin anything,” Shane said. “I’m … sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Mandy said, heading for the register. “Everyone deserves a look from time to time.”


James dropped his folder and iPad on the table as he walked into the hotel room and glanced around. It was quiet. Too quiet.


There was no answer, but three new shopping bags in one of the chairs caught his attention. The new bags seemed to signify that she’d been out and returned. For all he knew, she was in the bathroom.

He peeked inside one of the bags, curious to see what she’d bought. He couldn’t hide his smile when he saw what was inside. He pulled one of the cans of whipped cream out and tasted it. He dug around some more, and when he found the love cuffs, visions of ordering in started dancing through his head.

“Oh, hey.”

James turned to find Mandy standing behind him. She’d obviously just showered, and she was dressed in a lavender lingerie ensemble that was making his head spin. “Good afternoon, wife. I see you’ve been shopping for me today.”

“You weren’t supposed to see this until later. I didn’t expect you back so soon.”

“We got done early,” James said. “I really like your new look.”

Mandy narrowed her eyes. “I wanted this all to be a surprise for later.”

“I’m surprised,” James said. He twirled the cuffs around his finger. “I have a use for these right now.”

“Those are so I can tie you up.”

James grinned. “That’s exactly what I had in mind.”

“What about dinner?”

“We’ll order in.”

“I want to go out dancing tonight,” Mandy said.

“I’ll dance for you here.”

“James … .”

“I really need you right now,” James said. “I think it’s becoming a medical condition.” He gestured down to his raging erection and then started to unbutton his jeans.

“We’ll compromise,” Mandy said, wagging her finger.

James pulled his shirt off. “You’d better make your deal before I’m naked.”

“We’ll spend the afternoon in bed, and then you’re going to take me out to dinner,” Mandy said. “We’re in New Orleans. I want to … see things.”

James stripped out of his boxers and smiled at her. “I’ve got something for you to see.” He moved toward her and grabbed her around the waist. “I agree to your terms. Now, kiss me.”

Mandy did as instructed, sighing when she felt James’ tongue dart into her mouth. He ran his hands over the soft lace of her bra, unclasping it and pulling it free from her body.

“Well, I got to wear this a whopping five minutes,” Mandy said.

“You can wear it again later,” James said, tweaking her hardened nipple with his fingers. “Then I can take it off you again.”

“Can I use the cuffs on you tonight?”

“Baby, you can use every single thing in that bag on me tonight,” he said.

“And I can be the boss?”

“Aren’t you always?” James splayed his fingers against her lithe back and pulled her close as he sucked her nipple into his mouth, rolling the soft flesh over his tongue.

“Oh,” Mandy sighed, leaning into him. “If I’m the boss, why does it always feel like I’m at your mercy?”

James grinned at her devilishly for a moment and then turned to her panties. “Can I pull these off and still leave the garters on?”

“What is it with you and the garters?”

“I have no idea,” James said. “They just do it for me.”

Mandy reached down to show him where the panties separated from the garters. James practically growled as he grabbed the hem of them and yanked them off of her. They were both bare now – except for the garters – and James’ hands were busy as they moved across her smooth thighs.

“Get up on the table,” he whispered into her ear, lifting her at the same time he uttered the command. Once he had her settled, he leaned her back so he could rub his length against her waiting warmth. “Tell me you love me.”

“Of course I love you,” Mandy said, moaning slightly when his tip rubbed against her sensitive nerve bundle. “I’ve never loved anything but you.”

James pulled her to an upright position, and even though his mouth was playful, his eyes were serious. “You make me want to be a better man,” he said.

“There is no better man than you,” Mandy said, running her fingers through his dark hair. She was curious what was causing his sudden burst of melancholy, especially given their current situation.

“I just wanted to hear you say it,” James said, pushing himself inside of her and catching her by surprise.

Mandy dug her fingernails into his shoulders as she adjusted to his invasion, tilting her head back as she cried out. James took the opportunity to trail a series of sensual kisses down her exposed neck. “I love you more than anything in this world, baby. I always will.”

He started moving inside of her, the angle of their lovemaking causing Mandy to make small mewling sounds in the back of her throat. James pressed her body as close to his as he could manage and nipped her neck.

Mandy tangled her fingers in his hair and forced his mouth up to hers. He let her lead him, increasing his pace when he read the telltale signs that she was about to orgasm. He loved to watch her eyes roll back in her head when it happened. It made him feel powerful. Knowing he could bring her joy and contentment was all he ever wanted, and he never felt that more keenly than when they were joined together.

Mandy’s body went rigid in his arms, and she whimpered as pleasure overtook her. James held on just long enough to make sure she was done before he joined her, collapsing on top of her as his body shook.

When they’d finally caught their breath, James lifted his head. “Who’s the boss now?”

“I stand corrected,” Mandy said, rubbing her thumb down his cheek. “Can I ask why you got so serious there for a moment?”

“Sometimes … sometimes when I look at you, I feel like I’m drowning,” James said. “I have all these emotions, and all of this love, and I just need to … feel you.”

“I’m not complaining,” Mandy said. “You just worried me there for a little bit.”

“I never want you to worry, baby,” James said, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her up into his arms. “I want you to always be happy.”

“Where are we going?”

“Bed,” James said. “You promised me an afternoon of sex. If I’m going to dance with you tonight, I want to practice first.”

Mandy poked him in the shoulder. “Grab that whipped cream.”

“What about the rest of it?”

“We have all week,” Mandy said.

James smiled and kissed her softly. “You have a filthy mind, and that’s only one of the things I love about you.”


two look well rested,” Grady said, eyeing Mandy and James in the elevator later that night.

“We didn’t get any rest,” James said, rubbing his hand over Mandy’s skirt-covered rear. “We just spent some quality time together.”

“I think we all did,” Sophie said, pointing to the corner of the elevator where Emma and Finn were busy groping one another.

“I’m guessing Finn liked her surprise,” Mandy said, smiling.

“I thought you bought all that stuff for me as a surprise?” James asked.

“I did. We started out by shopping for Emma, though. Don’t worry, you got more than Finn did.”

“I wasn’t worried,” James said.

“Oh, we all know you like to win,” Mandy replied. “So, are we having dinner together again? I thought that was off the menu tonight.”

“That was before we all got some time apart this afternoon,” Grady said. “You no longer bug me.” He turned to James. “She’s right about you always wanting to win. You just can’t help yourself.”

“I won three times this afternoon,” James said. “Nothing bugs me right now.”

Sophie inclined her head toward Emma and Finn, who were oblivious to the conversation going on around them. “Something tells me they won even more this afternoon.”

“There’s still tonight to take them on,” James said, unruffled.

“See,” Grady said. “Everything is a competition.”

Sophie poked him in the ribs. “Let’s not start a new fight, shall we?”

Grady shrugged. “I don’t need to start a fight. I already won.” He gave her a big kiss.

“Where should we eat tonight?” James asked.

“Some place where we can dance,” Mandy said.

James groaned. He hadn’t forgotten his promise, but dancing was one of his least favorite things to do.

“Oh, I love dancing,” Emma said, pulling away from Finn.

“I don’t want to dance,” Grady said.

“We don’t have to dance,” Emma said, biting her lip. “I … it was a stupid idea.”

Finn shot Grady a look and rubbed her shoulders. “Sweetheart, we can dance all night if you want. I happen to love to dance. Grady just doesn’t like it because he has no rhythm.”

“I have rhythm,” Grady said. “Stop spreading rumors that aren’t true. I could dance you under the table.”

“Well, that’s good,” Sophie said. “I think dancing sounds great, too.”

Mandy shot a triumphant look in Grady’s direction, causing him to scowl. “I think Mandy is the one who won tonight,” he said. “You played that just right, didn’t you?”

“Oh, my wife hasn’t even begun to win tonight,” James said. “We’re just getting started.”


was so much fun,” Emma enthused, her auburn bangs dark with sweat as she lifted them off of her forehead.

After a nice dinner, all three women had forced their men into two hours of dancing. Since they were Hardys it led to a fierce competition about who was the best dancer. While Sophie and Mandy had plied Grady and James with compliments, Finn was the clear winner. He was just more of a natural, and since Emma was so thrilled with the outing, he’d gone above and beyond to make her happy.

“It was fun,” Finn said, slinging an arm around Emma’s shoulders. “You giggled for two hours straight. I’ve never seen you that happy.”

“I’m always happy where you’re concerned,” Emma said, dropping her purse on top of the iron bistro table

The group had decided to retire to the patio to get some air, and everyone was enjoying one final drink before returning to the hotel room. It was still early, but since the convention started the next day, the men needed their rest.

“So, have you guys decided on a wedding date yet?” James asked.

“Emma wants to wait until after the baby is born,” Finn said.

“I told you,” Mandy said, flicking Finn on the arm.

“You told him what?” James asked.

“I told him that Emma was going to want to wait until she’d lost all of her baby weight.”

“She’s not showing yet,” James said. “You could get married now. Just get it over with.”

“Oh, you’re such a romantic,” Sophie teased.

“He is a romantic,” Mandy said. “He loved our wedding. Don’t let him fool you. Emma wants to plan her perfect day. She’ll be long past showing by the time that happens.”

“I guess,” James said. “I just figured you would want to be married before the baby comes.”

“I thought about it,” Emma said, lowering her eyes. “We’re going to get married. The when isn’t important to me. Just knowing that Finn loves me is enough for now.”

“And I love you to the moon and back,” Finn said, kissing her temple. “Leave her alone. She can plan the wedding she wants. You didn’t want anyone bothering Mandy when she was planning your wedding.”

“I’m sorry,” James said, holding his hands up. “I was just trying to make conversation. If I had my way, we never would have left the room tonight.”

“Oh, come on,” Mandy prodded. “You had fun. Admit it.”

“You had fun. That’s enough for me.”

Mandy pushed her bottom lip out into an adorable pout, one James could never resist.

“Fine. I had fun,” he conceded. He leaned over and kissed Mandy’s pouty lip. “I’m ready to go back to the room, though. I want to try out those cuffs you bought.”

Mandy fought the urge to smile, and lost. “I guess you’ve earned it. Let’s get … .”

She didn’t get a chance to finish her statement because a blurry figure picked that moment to lean over the courtyard fence and grab Emma’s purse from the table before booking into the tonight.

“What the … ?”

The Hardy brothers were on their feet.

“Stay here,” Grady ordered. “We’ll be right back.”

All three of them vaulted themselves over the low fence and chased the figure, leaving three flabbergasted women with nothing to do but watch … and wait.

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