Rae Stewart, whose mid-21st century sex houses for women have become a worldwide phenomenon, has a problem. His name is Lucas, and he is her second in command – among other things she’d rather not think about. His green-eyed potent appeal sits like a burr under her saddle especially when he tries to override her decision about a new hire, Josh Carter, who – she admits – violates all the House security protocols. She wants Josh anyway – he’s young, gorgeous, and carries exactly the kind of explosive masculine arrogance that House clientele adore.
Lucas Haverson also has a problem – how to keep Rae from endangering herself and her enterprise. He’s ready to walk away, leave Rae and their embattled relationship behind him. Forget his regular clients who depend on his intimate services and park his life in a remote cabin somewhere far away from this constant aggravation. Just a few more days and he’ll have the Homeland Security investigation he needs to expose young Carter for what he is – a terrorist.
But what if he’s not?
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He threw the rest of the whiskey down his throat and carefully set the glass on the table as her words washed through him. “Why is that Rae? Isn’t your life complicated enough? Do you truly not understand the risk?”
Predictably, her chin lifted, and he couldn’t help noticing fine lines creasing her throat. It wasn’t what he wanted to see. Maybe it was the fucking light making her look old. He’d never thought about her getting old. But shit, if he was feeling the tick of the clock, she had to be getting there, too. Her blue eyes shot fire as she stared at him. That was Rae, hot and ready to fight.
He had to admire her strength, even if she took stupid risks. Nobody needed that kid on this trip. Except Rae, of course. Rae and her unending need for conquest. Or whatever it was.
“What fucking risk?” She spread her hands on the table. “I’m satisfied he’s not a terrorist. Will you get over it? What’s he going to do?”
His temper boiled over. “What about everything else?” he shouted. “The new hit list. New Orleans. Does any of this add up for you?”
She slammed her glass down, splashing whiskey over her hand and onto the table. “Lu, I’m not here to get permission. I’m not going to be a fucking prisoner in my own house. The sons of bitches have no idea where I’ll be from one day to the next.”
She stood up with an angry jerk, stalked to the sink, and grabbed a paper towel. “I just need to get on the highway and watch the miles slip by. I need it, Lu.” She shoved the towel under the glass and cleaned the spill. She stood there with the crumpled towel in her hands, her body rigid in anger. “I have my gun. I know how to use it. Okay?”
“No!” He jumped up, knocking his chair over backwards as he stalked toward her. “Not okay. You’re being stupid. Stubborn. Why? Is it about fighting with me, like you have to have total control?”
“Ha! Only you would come up with that.” She leaned toward him, her face flushed. “It’s not about you, Lu. I know that’s a concept you might find difficult to understand. And I’m not Sara, okay?”
He felt the blood drain from his head. A roar started in his ears. “How dare you bring Sara into this?” His words came out strained.
“She’s always in it, Lu. You carry her around like some kind of fucking armor.”
“Really? Then what is this?”
He grabbed Rae’s arms, dragging her against him and crushing her lips under his as she squirmed to get away from him. “Did you forget about this? Is Sara in this?”
She cursed him, jerking her mouth away, but he took her again, his tongue pushing for an opening, forcing its way into her mouth. He stroked the velvet of her tongue in long slow thrusts.
He shuddered as his body responded to the feel of her soft breasts pressed against his chest. She softened, melding to his form. A quiet moan—his? Hers? He had no time to think, no capacity for it as he let go of her arms and pulled her tight against him. His hands roamed down her back, over her hips and soft buttocks. The kiss changed, meeting her as she responded, their lips coaxing, caressing.
He could feel the heat of her body, knew without doubt that she was wet, ready. Pressed against her belly, his cock had gone hard as granite. He shook with the need to lay her down and plunge deep into her slick warmth.
Her hands came up to his shoulders, stroking his neck, threading through the long strands of his hair. Every fiber of his body strained toward her, aching with a need that he’d tried for so long to deny. What the fuck was he doing?
He thrust her away from him, panting.
“Why Rae? Why can’t you just listen to reason? Please.”
She jerked away, wiping her mouth with the back of her wrist. “Was that just to soften me up? Goddamn it, Lu, I don’t answer to you.”