Authors: Cara Summers
He took Sophie's hand, leading her away from the rest of the party guests. His gaze never left hers as he slipped a card out of his pocket and gave it to her.
She glanced down at the card, recognizing it as the “quickie on demand” coupon she'd given him earlier. “Here?” she croaked.
“And now. Those are the rules of the game as you explained them to me, right?”
“Are you having second thoughts about our deal?” he asked as he led her down a hallway and opened the first door. It was a powder room, with barely enough room for one person between the toilet and the sink. He led her inside, and suddenly the term “close quarters” took on a whole new meaning.
“I'm collecting on that coupon, princess. Unless you want to back out?”
Sophie's chin shot up. “I don't back out of agreements.”
Tracker nodded, stepping back against the door. “Then I think you should take off your pantiesâ¦.”
Sophie Wainwright and Tracker McBride fascinated me from the moment they appeared on the pages of my first Blaze novelâ
Intent To Seduce
. The rich “Princess” and the “Shadow” who had the challenging job of protecting her struck sparks off each other even when they were separated by a continent. So how could I not write their story?
The last person in the world that Sophie wants to be attracted to is Tracker McBride. As chief of security for her brother's business, he's made it clear that he thinks of her only as a job. For one whole year he's kept his professional distance, watching over her from afar. Sophie's problem? She hasn't forgotten what it felt like to have Tracker's hands on herâeven briefly. How
forget when he touches her more and more intimately each night in her dreams? She can't even date other men without
Tracker. Sophie's solution? If she's ever going to get her love life back to normal she has to get Tracker McBride out of her dreams and into her bed
. And to do that, she'll play any sensual game it takes!
I hope you enjoy watching these two very reluctant people play the riskiest game of all. Let me know. You can write to me at P.O. Box 718, Fayetteville, NY 13066, or visit my Web siteâwww.carasummers.com.
38âINTENT TO SEDUCE
860âMOONSTRUCK IN MANHATTAN
900âSHORT, SWEET AND SEXY
To my editor Brenda Chinâwriting coach, book doctor
and muse. Thanks for always being able to see what
I'm trying to doâand then making me go back and do it!
OU'RE SAFE NOW
Sophie's fear streamed away the moment she heard him. He would set her free.
The cloth covering her eyes and mouth prevented her from seeing him, from saying his name, but she recognized his voice, his touch. Just the barest brush of his fingers along her throat made her skin burn and her blood heat.
In the three days since her kidnapping, she'd known that Tracker McBride would come for her. She'd steeled herself against his anger for tricking him and making him chase her across the country. But his hands were gentle, his voice soothing.
“Don't be afraid.”
He would touch her nowâto make sure she was all right. The anticipation of it made her tremble. The reality of it, the press of those long, lean fingers as they moved over her shoulders and down the length of her arms, left every inch of her skin quivering and then burning.
Her response was always like thisâbasic, primitive. He touched and she wanted. Desire twisted into a hard knot, and her body began to move, lifting, aching to get closer.
When he gripped her waist, heat, a searing flame, streamed through her. Muscles deep inside of her clenched and her hips arched upward.
But his hands moved on, continuing their slow, thorough journey over her hips and down her legs. Torturing her.
“I'll have you free in a minute,” he said as he removed the blindfold and the gag. “Don't open your eyes right away.”
The moment her arms were untied, she wrapped them around him and held him tight.
Now he would free her from the terrible heat he'd built inside of her. He had to. He stroked one hand down her hair, then she felt his fingers slip beneath her chin and lift it.
“Pleaseâ¦” She wasn't even sure it was her voice that had said the word. But his mouth brushed against hers and his tongue moistened her lips.
“Now.” With a will of its own, her body melted, molding itself to every hard plane and angle of his. It wasn't enough. She wanted him right where that deep, demanding ache tugged at her very center. Threading her fingers through his hair, she arched against him.
Finally, when she thought she might die of the wanting, his mouth grew harder, more insistent, and his hand moved to the inside of her thigh.
Yes. Almost. Need built razor sharp as she arched against him, urging him on. The tension inside of her built, twisted, tightened. When his fingers finally slipped into her, the climax moved through her at once, building higher and higher until, deep inside of her, pleasure exploded.
It was the sound of her own voice crying out that shot Sophie out of the dream. For a moment, she lay there, shuddering in the aftermath of the release that had nearly shattered her. She was gripping the bed-clothes in her fists, sweat was cooling on her skin and her breath was coming in short pants. Opening her eyes, she saw that Chess, her cat, was peering down at her.
“I'm fine,” she murmured, releasing a fistful of sheet so that she could run her hand over her large, plump guardian angel.
The cat snorted in disbelief.
Sophie sighed. Chess had been a gift from her brother, Lucas, when she'd moved out of the family home into her living quarters over One of a Kind, the antique and specialty store she ran in Georgetown. They'd been together for five years now, and Chess's main joy in life seemed to stem from making her be honest with herself.
“All right. All right.” Sitting up, Sophie ran a hand through her hair. “I'm not fine.” How could she be when the best sexâthe only sexâshe'd had in over a year was occurring only in her dreams?
And the dream was being triggered by a man who annoyed the hell out of her in real life. Tracker McBride, or as she called him, “The Shadow.” Two years ago her brother had hired him to head up the security at Wainwright Enterprises, but as far as Sophie could tell, Tracker's mission statement read: “Keep the spoiled, misfit sister from destroying Wainwright Enterprises.”
The inescapable fact that she'd come close to doing
that twice nowâby hooking up with fortune hunters who were after the Wainwright moneyâhumiliated and infuriated her. Having her weakness and stupidity exposed by a complete stranger had only added salt to the wound. Tracker McBride now knew what everyone else in the family knew: she just wasn't good enough to be a Wainwright.
Tracker's continued surveillance of her during the past year only confirmed that her brother still didn't trust her. Every time she went out at night to meet friends, she could sense Tracker's presence. At times, she was sure that she could feel his gaze moving over her, and the sensation was so intense that he might as well have been touching her. But he never came close enough for her to spot him.
Except in her dreams.
“Damn it.” Rising, she scooped Chess up from the bed and headed toward the kitchen “I've got to get free of him.”
Chess snorted again.
“No, you don't.” Settling the cat on the counter, she pointed an accusing finger at him. “I'm speaking the truth. For the past year, I've been having dreams about this phantom lover who never comes near me in real life. And as long as I have him, I don't want anyone else.”
Chess made no comment.
“It's pathetic.” Taking a beer out of the refrigerator, she poured it into a saucer and set it in front of him. Then she grabbed her vice of choiceâcold pizza.
“I certainly don't want John Landry.” There. She'd said it out loud.
Chess rubbed against her arm.
“You think you're a regular truth serum, don't you?”
Chess returned to his beer.
Glancing down at the pizza, Sophie realized she'd lost her appetite. She'd been dating John Landry for two weeks, and he was everything she should want in a manâgood-looking, sweet, attentive and rich enough so that Lucas wouldn't have to worry he was after the Wainwright money. He even shared her passion for the antique business.
The problem was, two weeks of dating him had not freed her from her dreams of Tracker. If tonight was any example, dating John had only intensified her desire for The Shadow.
She put the pizza back in the refrigerator untouched.
“I'm going to have to dump John.”
Chess's silence indicated his agreement.
“Rejection sucks.” She'd experienced enough of it from her parents that she didn't like doing it to anyone. But it wasn't fair to keep dating John Landry. Even now it was difficult for her to conjure up an image of him. The minute she thought she'd captured his blond hair and lean, aristocratic face, the features blurred into the more roughly hewn cheekbones and dark unruly hair of Tracker McBride.
“Damn the man!” She had to stop thinking about him.
The moment Chess lapped up the last drop of beer, she scooped him up and carried him to the couch. “Movie time.” With any luck she'd find an old classic
on a cable station that would distract her, then lull her into a dreamless sleep.
After two minutes of dedicated channel surfing, she located one of her favorites,
To Catch a Thief.
Settling back against the cushions, she watched Grace Kelly drive a convertible up into the hills of Monte Carlo with Cary Grant at her side. The woman was on a mission. She wanted Cary, and she was going to get him.
Sophie could identify with Grace. She'd always thought of herself as a strong, determined woman, willing to take risksâbefore she'd taken one too many and gotten herself kidnapped. Thank God, she'd been rescued by Tracker McBride.
Cary Grant was definitely worth wanting. When the movie was made, he'd been at his prime, and the character of the handsome, dangerous jewel thief had suited him to a T. He reminded Sophie a little of Tracker. Both had that air of danger and mystery about them.
All she really knew about The Shadow was that he and Lucas had flown missions together in the service, missions that Lucas would never talk about. Cary Grant's character had secrets, too. And there was one more thing that reminded her of Trackerâthe reformed jewel thief in the movie didn't want to have anything to do with the rich, spoiled American that Grace was playing.
Of course, that hadn't slowed Grace down one bit. Plus the whole time she was seducing Grant's character on-screen, she'd been equally busy offscreen,
nabbing herself a prince. Sophie was willing to bet that the woman hadn't broken a sweat doing either.
Cool, smart, determined. Sophie had to admire someone like that. Eyes narrowing, she watched Grace Kelly open a picnic basket and laugh teasingly at something Cary said.
Sophie was going to see Tracker at the anniversary party tomorrow. Lucas was recreating every detail of their wedding for his wife, Macâand Tracker wouldn't dare stay away. He'd been the best man. Sophie's mind raced. She could invite John Landry to go with herâand why not Carter Mitchell, too? He managed the gallery next to her shop, and he wouldn't mind doing her a favor. If she arrived with two men, Tracker mightâ¦
“No, I am not, I repeat,
thinking of seducing Tracker McBride.”
Chess growled deep in his throat, his disbelief clear.
“Shut up.” But the cat was right as usual. She
thinking of doing just that. Why should Grace have all the fun? And why should Sophie spend another night just having Tracker in her dreams?
Being a good girl and dating the kind of men that she knew her brother would approve of hadn't worked. Maybe the only way to break free from the trap she found herself in was to seduce the man who held her thereâ¦.