He parked the Porsche in the drive of the house, which was
perched high on a coastal cliff, and took Alyssa's hand as they started
up the flagstone walk. Just before they stepped through the door into
the cedar-walled, modem home with its huge stone fireplace and warm,
glowing wood interior, Jordan abruptly swung her off her feet and into
"What in the world?" she exclaimed, laughing as he carried her over the
"Bad luck not to carry a wife over the threshold," he informed her,
kicking the door shut behind him.
"I keep telling you that for a mathematician the principle of luck"
"I'll always have a touch of the gambler in me." He grinned
unrepentantly, carrying her on into the living
room and up the curved wooden staircase that led to the bedrooms.
The laughter went out of Alyssa's eyes as she looked up at him, her
arms around his neck. "You don't feel as though marrying me was a ... a
risk, do you? That you're taking a chance?"
He halted at the top of the stairs and stared hungrily down into her
face. "Alyssa, marrying you was the smartest, surest thing I've ever
done in my life. I love you."
She touched his shoulder with her lips. "And I love you."
The tremor that went through him flowed into her, and by the time he
had carried her into the wide bedroom and set her down on the fluffy
comforter that covered the bed, Alyssa knew both of them
were trembling with the force of their stirring passion. It would
always be like this between them, she knew with great certainty.
Passion and love and trust With all of that going for them, they could
face anything together.
Jordan stood beside the bed, drinking in the sight of her lying there,
wearing his ring. "I don't know
how I survived as long as I did in my world waiting for you," he
Then he lowered himself slowly beside her, undoing the buttons of the
neat champagne-colored jacket
she had worn with a matching skirt for her wedding. Alyssa tumbled with
his clothing as he undressed her. Her fingers were shaking, she
realized in amazement And so were his. That knowledge made her smile.
"Such good hands," she whispered dreamily as he slipped off her suit
and then reluctantly sat up to remove the rest of his own clothing.
"My hands?" he pushed off his shoes and then came back down beside her,
magnificently naked and passionately aroused. "Do you like my hands?"
He touched her throat with his finger tips.
"I love your hands." She caught the tormenting fingers and drew them to
her lips to kiss them warmly.
He groaned at the delicate caress, leaning over her to kiss the
hardening peaks of her breasts. Languidly, she arched against his
mouth, and his tongue came out to stab excitingly.
With wonder and longing and deep passion, they built the fires between
them. Jordan's sensitive fingers moved over Alyssa, rediscovering the
exquisitely vulnerable places he had learned before and which he
delighted in arousing. She felt the taut, waiting hardness of his
thighs pressing against her hip and marveled at the fierceness of his
desire for her. It made her feel more wanted and needed than she had
ever felt in her life. She could give this man as much as he gave her,
and the shared knowledge was a fundamental part of their passion.
Lovingly, she drew her fingers down his chest, tangling them briefly in
the crisp, curling hair before
going on to seek the hard planes of his thigh. There she clenched her
nails tantalizingly and was
rewarded by Jordan's low, muttered groan of desire.
"You have a way of teasing and tormenting me that nearly drives me out
of my head!"
"Only nearly?" she mocked, and was instantly punished when his own
prowling fingers trailed unerringly to the heated, damp place between
her legs. "Oh, Jordan!" Under the magic of his touch, she went wild,
twisting against him and arching upward with feminine invitation and
She was so perfect, Jordan thought, gazing down at his new wife in
wonder. She was everything he needed in this world, and he would take
care of her no matter what. She would never have cause to
regret marrying him. So sweet, so perfect and so full of love. How had
he existed so long without love?
"You're so beautiful in my arms," He said, dropping a moist kiss on her
stomach. "So warm and welcoming. You make me feel so loved."
"Oh, Jordan, that's exactly how you make me feel. No wonder we couldn't
resist each other!" She feathered her hands along his shoulders and
then wound them deeply into his hair, tugging him up and along her
writhing body. "Make love to me, darling. I need you so much."
"I will, sweetheart, I will," He vowed. Tantalizingly, he drew his
hair-roughened leg along the inside of
her smooth one, and Alyssa moaned in response. When he felt her coffee-
and cream-colored nails sink into his shoulders, he closed the distance
between them a little further.
"Yes, Jordan, yes!"
"In a moment. In a moment." He buried his lips at her throat, inhaling
the scent of her. His senses demanded that he take her completely, but
he wanted to savor to the ultimate the delightful struggle
she waged when she was urging him to her. He loved having her go wild
beneath his hands.
Alyssa knew what he was doing, but she was helpless to react other than
exactly as he wished. She arched her hips upward, straining to link her
body to his. There! She could feel the heaviness of his manhood just
there, only a small distance from her feminine core.
"Come to me, darling," she whispered in passionate enticement. "Come
and make me yours."
As always, she won the delicious battle. Jordan gathered her to him,
moving against her with power
and need, taking her fully. And as always, in the process of taking, he
was lost. The barriers between them fell completely, trapping them
together in a swelling tide of love and desire.
Alyssa reveled in the glory of the claiming, knowing that the feeling
was a shared one. She wrapped her smooth legs around the hard, muscled
length of him, and her arms were laced tightly around his neck. Over
and over again, she whispered his name. The shimmering spiral twisted
higher, and they climbed it together, every movement of Jordan's body
sending them to another level.
He heard the little crack in her voice, the one he was coming to know
and love so well, the one that told him she was nearing her ultimate
plateau. "Yes," he growled against her mouth. "Let it happen. Give
yourself to me completely!"
The command seemed to send her over the edge. With a small cry, which
Jordan drank from her mouth, Alyssa felt the indescribable release of
the coiling tension in the depths of her loins. The primitive pleasure
that was unlike anything else in the universe took her, sending
rippling shivers through her body. Her nails left small half circles
against the bronzed skin of Jordan's back, and when he felt the
delicious sensation, he could no longer hold back his own surging
"Alyssa! My God, Alyssa!"
She clung to him as he crushed her deeply into the quilt, loving the
heavy warmth of him as he gave himself up totally to the moment.When it
was over, she stroked his back in long, lingering caresses, their legs
entwined, his head beside hers on the pillow.
When she opened her eyes, he was watching her through lazily narrowed
lids. "Hello, Mrs. Kyle."
"Hello," she whispered back, her mouth soft
"I love you. I love having a wife. Do we get to call ourselves a family
when there's only two of us?"
"I think so," Alyssa murmured gently. "Do you like the idea of being a
"I love the idea. I love everything that includes you." He traced the
outline of her lips with his forefinger.
"And besides, it sounds so respectable, doesn't it?" she mocked
"Being able to say I have a wife gives me a curiously stable feeling.
Like betting when you know exactly who's holding what at the table.
Also," he went on with a teasing light in his eyes, "it solves the
problem of who gets to toss the coin."
"The one we were going to toss to see whether Chandler or Kyle came
first in the name of our new consulting firm, remember?"
"Oh, that coin." She frowned at him with mock ferocity. "Is that why
you married me? So that there couldn't be any argument over my last
"Well, if want a double name now we'll have to call it Kyle-Kyle, won't
we?" he returned ingenuously.
"I don't think that has quite the ring to it that Chandler-Kyle had,"
she observed dubiously.
"Well, we'll just settle on Kyle Consulting then, how's that?"
"Do I detect a note of masculine possessiveness in all this? You
have something against my using
my own name?"
"How did you guess?" He picked up her hand, the one on which she wore
his ring, and kissed the band
of gold. "Now that I have you, I intend to spend the rest of my life
making sure you never escape."
"Jordan," she murmured, spreading her fingers along his jaw. "I have no
desire to escape."
"Oh, my sweet Alyssa," he murmured, shaking his head once in a gesture
of wonder. "Do you realize how lucky we are to have found each other?
Do you have any idea of the incredible good fortune it was for me that
you wandered into that casino that night in Vegas?"
"I keep telling you that we probability experts don't believe in luck!"
"And how many times do I have to tell you that we professional gamblers
have a very healthy respect
She sighed laughingly. "I can see you're going to bring a unique
perspective to the business world."
He propped himself up on one elbow and smiled down at her. "We still
have that bottle of champagne
and the pate to open, remember? We were supposed to come straight home
from the minister's office
and celebrate our wedding with a gourmet luncheon, as I recall."
"How could I forget! It's not my fault we wound up in bed instead of
opening the pate and the champagne," she reminded him indignantly. "Now
that you've exercised your privileges as a new husband, are you ready
to go eat?"
He considered that for a long moment "Actually, even though I'm getting
hungry for food, I seem to be even hungrier for you."
She sat up beside him, eyes laughing. "Enough is enough, master! Let's
go eat!" She tried to slide lithely off the side of the bed, but he
snagged her wrist in an unshakable grip.
"Wait a second. We'll toss a coin and see which course of action we
ought to follow," he suggested smoothly, hanging onto her while he
leaned over the edge of the bed to rummage in the pocket of his slacks.
"Jordan, you're impossible," she informed him, amused.
"Call it," he ordered, flipping the coin into the air with an expert
"Heads we go eat pate and drink champagne," she said quickly.
An instant later, the coin landed. Unable to resist, she leaned forward
to see which way it had fallen.
"Tails," he announced grandly, showing her the evidence. "That means we
stay here and satisfy this hunger first." He reached to pull her close,
satisfaction and anticipation radiating from him.
"Do you always win?" Alyssa demanded just before his mouth closed over