Authors: Shayla Black
Tags: #General, #Romance, #Triangles (Interpersonal relations), #Adult, #Erotica, #Fiction
“Thanks, but I have a bottle of water somewhere.” He looked at Ben’s bottle. “Yours is empty. Here you go, buddy.”
“Thanks.” He ripped off the cap, guzzled half the bottle, then burped loudly. “I gotta pee.”
“You do that,” Hunter suggested with a repressed smile, then sent her a hot, lingering stare. “I’d like to dance with the birthday girl. Get to know you.”
God, every time this man opened his mouth, her stomach fluttered. Stupid teenagerish reaction, given her very adult thoughts about him. But Hunter totally did it for her.
Before she could say a word, he curled an arm around her, his palm at the small of her back. That small touch was a jolt, and her entire body lit up like a supernova. She bit her lip to hold in a gasp as he led her to the corner where the amazing views of the Vegas Strip at sunset went on forever. A few nearby partygoers swayed in time with the sultry music. Then Hunter stepped closer, an olfactory aphrodisiac of musk, wood, summer rain, and pure male all mixed. He pressed his body flush to hers and left her no doubt how badly he wanted her.
Kata sensed he’d have no trouble delivering everything she’d ever yearned for . . . and more.
UNTER pulled Kata closer. As the crevices and swells of their bodies slid perfectly together, his every muscle tightened with need. Pillowy breasts on his chest, her slightly curved belly warm against his own, and lush hips filling his hands. It didn’t seem possible, but being this near her made him even harder.
Something about this woman flipped his every switch, and now that he had her close, desire detonated inside him with all the explosiveness of a megaton of TNT. He wanted to strip her bare, taste every inch of her skin, lay his scent on her. But he didn’t just want to fuck her. He also wanted to know Kata, build her trust. Seduce her until she submitted completely.
For years, he’d known submissive females willing to succumb to his any and every dominant desire. He’d known intelligent, vibrant, multilayered women with whom he connected intellectually. Unfortunately, he’d never found both in the same person. He sensed that, in Kata, he finally had.
With her, his usual rules of engagement didn’t apply, and his normal disinterest in something that lasted more than a few hours didn’t exist.
The moment he’d touched her, something inside him had jarred, then settled in place. He’d known she would be his.
Hunter blew out a deep breath. Wow, he’d never felt this way, not even remotely, for any woman. He’d never imagined feeling this instant certainty. But just like his gut feeling about tangos on a mission, he wasn’t questioning himself. It just was.
In case Kata didn’t feel the same urge for something long-term just yet, he’d keep that under his hat, but already he was fascinated. He couldn’t wait to figure out exactly why he was going to love her. No doubt, he would have to scramble fast to hook her as deeply as she’d already sunk her claws into him. No way was he letting her go.
Suddenly, Hunter couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. Despite his recent hell, life was looking up.
Across the room, Ben emerged from one of the suite’s bathrooms, grabbed another bottle of beer, and watched them with a glassy, puzzled stare. Yeah, he supposed Ben wasn’t used to seeing him dance or chat with women he took to bed. Usually, Hunter made time with them because they understood the score, so there was nothing left to do but drop clothes and get busy. Vaguely, he wondered if Ben would be pissed that Kata was different for him . . . but the possibility didn’t bother Hunter enough to change course.
Another group of friends clapped Ben on the back, distracting him. Hunter relaxed. Now, Kata’s attention would be all his.
“I hear you’re a SEAL,” she murmured, her voice low, a little husky. “Recently injured?”
He grimaced at the memory of a bullet ripping through him three weeks ago, in nearly the same spot he’d suffered a similar gunshot wound only a few months prior. That night still bothered him . . . It almost seemed as though that fucking Venezuelan arms dealer, Víctor Sotillo, and his hit men had known of his prior injury and had aimed accordingly.
“Yes. He put a bullet in my shoulder, but I planted mine in his chest, so I think I got the better end of the deal.”
Kata gaped. “Did he . . . ?”
“Die?” Hunter nodded. “As we were extracting, his pals were performing CPR, but intel was that he didn’t make it. Good riddance.”
bad guy. Sadistic and out for a buck, no matter how many died in the process.”
Or how much it destroyed what little peace the world possessed
“Wow. And you were on a mission? Where?”
He shrugged, ignoring the twinge in his sore shoulder. “I can’t say. Classified. But mission accomplished. The bastard played a mean game of hide-and-seek. Too bad for him I’m very persistent. And patient.”
She swallowed, and Hunter wondered if she was getting the clue that those behaviors would apply to her as needed. If not, she’d figure it out soon.
“How long will you be Stateside?”
“Another week. You might be able to motivate me to stay longer.” Nothing coy about the sexy grin that broke out across Kata’s face. She stared from beneath thick lashes, her teeth biting into her lush lower lip. He could imagine how she’d look cradling the width of his dick in that very spot.
“I don’t know . . . If you decided to stay, what makes you think I’d be motivated to spend more time with you?”
“Honey, if you aren’t, then I’m doing something wrong, and I expect you to kick me to the curb.”
“Hmm . . .” She shivered and ran her hands up his arms, then clasped her hands together behind his neck. “A pleaser. I like that.”
to please you.” He bent and nuzzled her neck, his mouth a whisper from her ear. “If you like that idea, we’ll get along real well.”
Against his chest, Hunter felt her nipples harden even more, and he’d bet every dime he had in the bank that she was wet. Ready. Still, he waited. Need tightened in his balls, and he forced back his impatience. What he wanted from her would take time and trust. This was too delicious to rush.
He fell back on small talk. “You’re a probation officer, according to Ben.”
“Yep, for the last two years. I love working with the people who have misstepped and genuinely want to change their lives. Some have just made a wrong choice and need the right tools or a little self-confidence. It’s great to make a difference.”
Hunter liked her all the more for wanting to. “I’m sure you’re damn good at it, too. You’ve got a no-nonsense way about you, but I’ll bet you make it go down smooth.”
“Wow, a pleaser
a charmer. This might be my lucky night.” Her kittenish laugh made him sizzle.
Hunter had to bite the inside of his lip to stop himself from kissing her here and now. Her lips, so red and glossy, were only inches away. Pouty. Sweet. He wanted that mouth under his, wrapped around his dick, open as she screamed through the orgasms he gave her.
“I hear you’ve had some work-related trouble lately.”
Kata wrinkled her nose. “Cortez Villarreal is a piss-ass street thug who assumes that, because I’m female, I’ll be easily cowed or bend to his threats. Not gonna happen. I’ve learned how to fend for myself, and there’s no way he’s going to scare me from doing my job just because he tosses out some nasty threats.” She snorted. “The prick.”
“He do anything more than threaten?” He had to suppress the growl from his voice.
“Not yet, but his warrant has only been out for a week. As the police and bounty hunters start closing in, he’ll send some of his lowlifes to do his dirty work. Whatever. In both my purse and my apartment, I’m packing. So I’m ready.”
Though Hunter didn’t like the idea of Kata having to defend herself, the fact she was hell on wheels and didn’t show fear turned him on even more. He hadn’t expected this tough attitude from such a soft, curvy woman, but it made him even more eager to cement something with her. And confirmed his suspicion that there was more to this woman beneath her very pretty surface.
“Someone teach you to shoot?” He curled his hand around her hip, enjoying the hell out of touching her curves.
She rubbed against him, settling closer. “My older brother. He used to be a New Orleans cop before Katrina. He lives in Houston now, doing undercover work. We haven’t heard from him in nearly a year, but last time he blew through town, he made me brush up.”
“What about hand-to-hand?”
She grimaced. “I need to work on that. So far, I’ve relied on knees to the groin and a few pressure points that will take a man down.”
“Remind me never to piss you off.” He palmed his way down her ass and copped a quick feel.
Lush. Perfect. Taking her from behind was going to be a sweet visual treat. Getting deep inside her there would be even sweeter.
“Why would I do that to you?”
Kata circled her hips against him. A rush of tingles spiked down his cock and spread all through his body. Her stare singed him with sexual challenge. And damn if he wasn’t going to take her up on that ASAP. Christ, he wanted to eat her up. Hunger clawed at him, relentless, so much deeper than anything he’d ever known. This mattered because, already, she mattered.
“Well, I suspect you’re a vixen, and I’m not always the easiest guy to get along with.”
“But if I kneed all that great equipment . . .” She trailed her fingernails right down the line of his spine, and goose bumps broke out over his skin. “Wouldn’t I be cutting off my nose to spite my face?”
He grinned. “I like the way you think.”
“Tell me more about you.”
Hunter wasn’t convinced her mind was on the small talk. He was certainly making a concerted effort to concentrate. Getting to know her was important. She was no meaningless fuck, and he wanted her to know it from the start. As hard as he was for her right now, he
her. Respected her moxie.
“My father, whom we affectionately call the Colonel, retired from the army, so he was pissed when my younger brother and I both joined the navy and became SEALs. Logan will be on leave soon, too. I’ve also got a younger sister who lives with her husband in Lafayette and is expecting her first baby soon. You?”
“Lafayette? I live there. My mother and stepfather still live in the same house I grew up in. My older sister—the one glaring at us—that’s Marisol. She lives a few blocks from my folks with her husband and boys. I already told you about my older brother. I’m the baby.” Her head cocked to the side, and her sinful façade aside, intelligence gleamed in her hazel eyes. “What about your mom?”
The one subject he didn’t discuss with anyone. Ever. Her question had merely been an attempt to be polite, so he didn’t feel obligated to answer.
He swayed against her, palming her nape, brushing his lips over her cheek—all the way to her ear. “Is that what you really want to talk about?”
Kata sighed and slipped her hand under his T-shirt, and she scratched her nails lightly down his back, lighting him up like a Fourth of July fireworks show. Impatience to touch her, to spread her out and please her, flayed him.
He whispered his lips across her neck, a slow tease. Almost a kiss . . . but not quite. She gasped and tilted her head back, exposing the graceful arch of her throat to him. A sign of surrender that had his dick tightening, weeping for more.
With a growl, he rocked his erection directly against her pussy. She went utterly boneless against him. Her lips parted on a moan.
“Or do you want to talk about how I’m going to fuck you, Kata?”
“Y-you and Ben?”
He hesitated. “I can’t speak for him. But I
what I’m going to do to you.”
She met his stare again, now growing bolder. “Nice that you have plans. But you should be wondering what mine are.”
Boldly, Kata pressed her mouth over his, kissing him. Her pouty lips molded to his, incredibly soft yet demanding, a hard brush. Then she eased back, a tease—there and gone—leaving behind a hint of her flavor, hot and intoxicating and impossible to pin down. Instantly, fire raged through his body, and he grabbed her tighter.
She ended the kiss with a husky laugh that scraped down his spine.
“Kata,” he breathed in warning.
A brazen smile flitted across her mouth. She knew she was stringing him out, grabbing him by the dick and not letting go. He liked this playful side of her, so he let her lead—for now.
She rose on her tiptoes, closer, as she feathered her mouth over his again. Grabbing his arms, she deepened the kiss, her tongue like a butterfly, fleeting, flitting, elusive. She tasted like cherries, a hint of tequila, and pure sin. She made him so fucking hard.
When she broke away, Hunter looked up. Kata’s sister frowned, but her girlfriends were smiling from ear to ear. Ben, still surrounded by buddies and nursing another beer, looked at them with an uncertain scowl. Hunter danced her farther away from them all, closer to the windows with the stunning views of the Strip just lighting up for the night.
Shoving all the bystanders out of his mind, Hunter thrust both hands into that dark, silky hair twisting down Kata’s back and tugged gently until her neck arched for him.
“You’re playing dangerous games with me.”
A smug, sexy smile curled her fuckable lips. “I can handle you.” “You should find out what games I like before you get too confident.”
He stared right into her dilated eyes, took in the pulse beating at her neck. And he smiled. “I’d rather show you.”
Hunter took control and unleashed the force of his kiss on her, past her lips, into that cherry-tequila mouth, to tangle his tongue with hers in a sensuous dance. He demanded. Took. Followed the clues she gave him, those little gasps and shivers that told him what she wanted. Then he delivered.
Still eating at her mouth, Hunter grabbed her wrists and clasped them together with one unyielding hand at the small of her back. He bracketed her thighs with his own and pressed against her—chest, belly, hips. He urged her back to the wall, holding her completely immobile.