Authors: Leslie North
“Good, sweet—” He coughed. “Good.” Under normal circumstances, his controlling tone would’ve made her pissed as hell, but here, with his head between her thighs and his tongue keeping her on the brink of a second orgasm, it felt so good to surrender to someone else for a while, to let Spencer take charge of her body and her desire, knowing he only wanted her to feel good. “I want you to come for me again.”
“But I want you inside me,” she said, the words low and drowsy with satisfaction. “I need to feel you inside me.”
“You will. But first I want to taste you again.” He continued to lick and suck and stroke her core until she teetered on the edge once more. “Let go for me, sweetheart. Let go and give me everything you’ve got.”
Her body seemed eager enough to follow his commands and soon she threw her head back and moaned as another climax washed over her. Panting and out of breath, she sighed and stared down at him. “You. Inside me. Now.”
He kissed his way up her body to her lips, then yanked off his underwear and grinned. “My condoms are in my pants. On shore.”
“I don’t care about the damned condom,” she growled, trying to hook her feet behind his back and keep him close to her. “I’m on the pill, so don’t worry about it.”
“Famous last words.” He winked and kissed her briefly before pulling away “Be right back.”
Still bound as she was, Toni was helpless to stop him as he swam to shore to grab a condom from his pants pocket. The position did give her certain advantages though, like being able to admire his fine form and see every single inch of him. And man oh man, was Spencer Nixon a sight to behold. Long, corded muscle and slick, tan skin. His wet hair had darkened to a deep, reddish brown and his green eyes practically sizzled with heat as he watched her watching him, totally uninhibited and hot as hell as he slicked the condom onto his hard length.
He dove back into the water and swam to her side in just a few strokes, rising up out of the water like some Greek god of lust. Water streamed down his face as he leaned in and kissed her hard, his hands slipping around her back to free her at last. He pulled away and grinned, all white teeth and pure seduction. “You ready, partner?”
In answer, she clasped her hands behind his head and pulled him closer, locking her feet behind his lower back so her heels dug into the firm muscles of his butt. “Ride me hard, cowboy.”
“Cowboy?” He cocked a russet brow at her. “How about frogman? That seems more appropriate, under the circumstances.”
“I don’t give a damn what your nickname is,” she snarled, licking the thudding pulse point at the base of his throat while grinding herself against his stiff cock. “I just want you buried inside me. Now.”
“Yeah?” He positioned himself at her wet entrance, then rested his forehead against hers once more. “Are you sure?”
“Yes. Do it.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said in a fake southern drawl. “Giddy up.”
Spencer drove into her in one long thrust, causing her breath to catch. He rested his face in the crook of her collarbone and gave her a moment to adjust to his size. Then, slowly, he began to move, withdrawing a few inches before pushing back inside her, heightening her sensations and her pleasure.
“How’s that feel?” he whispered against her neck.
“So good.” She moved with his rhythm, increasing his angle of penetration so he hit that spot just an inch or so inside her, the one that sent ripples of electricity through her nerve endings and pushed her closer to ecstasy once again. “Don’t stop.”
“Never.” He traced his fingertips down her spine, urging her closer. “Never, sweetheart.”
Soon, their movements grew more frenzied as they each neared orgasm.
She felt his body tighten inside her and knew he was close, which only drove her own passion higher. Remembering his comment on the plane about biting, she slid her tongue up the tendon straining at the side of his neck then took his earlobe between her teeth. “Let me know when you’re ready to come.”
“You first.” He drove harder into her, once, twice, then reached between them to fondle her clit. “Come for me, sweetheart. One more time.”
“Yes.” She ground against his talented fingers, pressing herself closer to release. “I’m getting there. I’m getting there.”
“Me too.” He drove hard into her again and rocked his hips to hit her sweet spot just right and…
Her insides fluttered and her slick walls contracted around him and she climaxed hard for the third time. She’d never had so many orgasms so close together with another man. His movements grew harsher, harder, and soon he arched hard against her. His cock swelled inside her as he came deep within her.
He murmured endearments over and over into her hair until finally he collapsed against her, his breath rough and warm against her skin. “God, that was amazing.”
“Yeah, it was.” Toni felt boneless, weightless as she stroked his hair and held him close. At last, Spencer pulled her into his arms and kissed her gently, then carried her back to shore. Once they were stretched out on their towels again, she snuggled her head against his chest and held on to these last few minutes of solitude.
He ran his fingertips lightly over her arm and shoulder while they dozed lightly, then he spoke in hushed, soothing tones, seemingly as reluctantly to lose the intimacy between them as she was. “I told you about me as a kid. What about you? What sparked your love of reading?”
Pain pinched her heart despite her haze of euphoria. “You really want to know?”
“I asked, didn’t I?”
“The same thing that made you fight those kids.”
“You stole books?” He looked down at her with an expression of mock horror.
“No.” She smacked him on the chest and he laughed. “I wanted my father’s approval.”
She realized how pathetic that sounded, but it was the truth. “Growing up, my dad paid for everything in my life. Food, shelter, education. But I wanted the one thing his money couldn’t buy. His attention, his approval, his love.”
Spencer held her tighter. “I’m sorry.”
Toni shrugged. “It is what it is. It’s not like I was abused or anything. Just lonely, I guess.”
“And how did reading play into that?”
“For as long as I could remember, all my dad talked about loving was his books, his collection of rare first editions. So, I figured if he loved his books that much, then maybe I could make him love me like that too by reading.”
“Man.” Spencer pressed his lips to the top of her head. “That sucks. No kid should ever have to earn their parent’s love.”
“You’re one to talk.” She leaned up to look at him. “Isn’t that exactly what you did?”
“In a way, I suppose.” He pulled her back down to his chest and held her close. “But I would never make my children earn my love that way. Never. If being a SEAL has taught me anything, it’s that life’s too short to put things ahead of people. Period.”
Toni smiled against his skin. “Everything’s black and white to you, isn’t it?”
Spencer slipped his fingers beneath her chin and tilted her face up to his for a kiss, his warm smile melting her heart. “Sometimes, yeah. Sometimes things are just right, you know?”
“Yeah. I know.” She kissed him once more before pulling away. The limo driver would return soon and it was time to return to reality. “Now hurry up and get dressed before we cause some kind of international crisis by fornicating in the desert.”
He stretched, naked and completely relaxed. “Do I have to?”
“Unfortunately, yes.” She pulled on her bra and panties then shimmied back into her dress before turning to face him once more. He frowned down at his damp underwear wadded into a ball near his feet then tugged on his pants sans undies. The thought of him going commando beneath his crisp business attire made her blood sizzle with lust once more, but there wasn’t the time. They were back to being business associates and nothing more. There’d be no more fantasizing about what was under his pants, no matter how much she might want to.
The sound of a car engine grew nearer and she picked up his discarded boxer briefs and shoved them in their tote before sliding her feet into her sandals and starting back toward the entrance to the oasis. This had always been one of her favorite spots in Jubail and now, it would forever remain unforgettable because of him.
At the last moment, she rose up on tiptoes and pressed one final kiss to his cheek. “Thank you.”
“For what?” he asked, frowning down at her before slipping his aviator shades back into place.
“My pleasure.” From his cocky grin and raised brow. “Definitely.”
they hit the outskirts of the city, Spencer’s phone blew up with texts from Kyle demanding to know where the hell he’d been and asking him to call ASAP. He sighed and slouched back in his seat, glancing over at Toni before hitting the redial button. The last few hours had been like a dream, a perfect fantasy, and he was reluctant to leave it all behind so soon. But when duty called, Spencer answered.
“Where the hell have you been?” Kyle said by way of greeting.
“Always nice talking to you too.” He crossed his arms and gazed out the window at the city skyline in the distance. Several police vehicles, lights and sirens going, zoomed past their limo and he frowned. “What’s going on?”
“Shit just hit the fan, that’s what’s going on.”
Spencer straightened and pointed toward Toni’s purse on the seat, then mouthed for her to check the news feeds on her phone. She pulled out her device and tapped it on, then gasped, holding the screen out for him to see too. The headline made his stomach lurch.
Terrorist attack on Jubailian elementary school—24 Dead, Countless injured
“Fuck.” He scrubbed a hand through his hair. One day. Seems he couldn’t take one goddamned day for himself without the whole world going to hell. “The training village?”
“Yep. Based on the codes Hayley found embedded in Natalie’s book, SHEEPSKIN was specifically targeting Miles Arrieta.”
Every muscle in Spencer’s body clenched at the name. He should’ve taken that asshole out when he’d had the chance back in Afghanistan, but human decency had gotten the better of him. The guy had been half dead already from starvation and torture and Spencer just couldn’t bring himself to put a bullet in the bastard’s head too. He wouldn’t make the same mistake again. Forcing words past his constricted vocal cords, he growled, “Where is he?”
“Gage and Scotty have been going over the NSA intel for the past few hours, checking for Arrieta’s last known whereabouts. They’re still trying to pinpoint his exact coordinates. After the attack though, I’d imagine he’d stay pretty close. Initial estimates say the death toll at his training camp was in the double digits. That’s got to set him back, fighter-wise. Now you answer my question.”
“Don’t give me that insubordinate attitude, Lieutenant Nixon, or I swear to God I will have you working desk duty out of a closet in some DC backwater so fast your fucking head will spin.” Kyle paused to let the threat in. The team was like family and Kyle always followed through on his promises. “This mission is too important to compromise. Now where the hell were you?”
Spencer considered lying, then decided to go with the truth. Considering the apocalypse that had erupted while he was gone, he was in enough trouble already. “I was with Toni. She wanted to get away from the city for a while so we went to this oasis in the desert for a few hours.”
“I see.” Kyle’s tense disapproval rippled through the phone line. “So while you were lounging around beneath the palm trees, Arrieta could’ve easily taken out your little heiress too.”
“No, dammit. It wasn’t like that,” he said, rubbing his eyes while guilt chewed a hole through his chest. Okay, it sort of
like that, unfortunately, but he would never tell Kyle that. “Look, I’m sorry. I had the situation under control at all time, all right?”
“You’re sorry. Well, maybe you can tell that to Toni Williams when she takes a bullet to the head. Tell her you’re sorry you dropped the ball.”
“I didn’t drop the goddamned ball.” He glanced over at Toni and found her avoiding his gaze. “I had my target close and protected at all times.”
“Did you fuck her too?”
Hearing Kyle reduce what he and Toni had just shared together to something so base and crude had Spencer ready to punch his fist straight through the car door. He lowered his voice to a menacing whisper, “That’s none of your business.”
“Actually, it’s very much my business. Especially when it puts the rest of your team at risk, not to mention the people under your guard. I excused your behavior once already back in Kandahar. The day I ordered you to take out Arrieta and you took pity on him instead. I won’t make that mistake again. I’ll take him out myself this time. Now, if you could start thinking with your brain again instead of your cock, I need you to focus on this mission.”
“What the hell do you mean fine?”
“I mean my integrity is fine. I’m not compromised. My involvement with Ms. Williams is strictly business.” He looked over at Toni and met her dark gaze, saw both the question and the hurt in her eyes before he turned away. “I’ve got a plan to draw out Coran. And we’ll get Arrieta. Don’t worry.”
There was silence through the line for so long that Spencer checked to make sure they were still connected. “Hello?”
Kyle exhaled slow. “Oh, I’ll get him all right. If it’s the last thing I do. Bet on it. But if your involvement with Toni Williams compromises this mission in any way, I will pull you out. Understood?”
“Yes, sir.” A muscle ticked near Spencer’s jaw as they passed through a police checkpoint at the city limits. One of the officer’s knocked on the back window of the limo and Toni gave him an anxious look before opening it.
“Hang on, Kyle,” Spencer said, then leaned forward and forced a smile. “How can we help you today, officer?”
“We’re searching all vehicles going in and out of the capital, sir. Can you step out of the vehicle, please?”
Both he and Toni exited while the police searched the car and the driver then each of them. Toni looked scared, for once, as an officer patted her down. The same officer frisked Spencer too then asked to see his credentials for his weapon before they were allowed back into the car to continue on their way.
“What’s happening?” Kyle asked once Spencer got back on the line.
“Police search. Do we have any more intel on the SHEEPSKIN network’s motivation this time? Killing kids isn’t their usual MO.”
“No. But from the way the explosives were laid out, it sure looks like a deliberate attempt to kill Arrieta. They found evidence of a terrorist lair in the school basement.” Kyle gave a derisive snort. “Using little kids as cover for his sick operations, all to topple the U.S. from its superpower status. God, I can’t believe he was one of us.” Kyle exhaled sharply. Arrieta had worked right under their noses as a CIA operative for years before deserting. “
It’s like tracking a ghost, with his training and contacts.”
A ghost Spencer had all but escorted out the door. The same old recriminations weighed heavy on Spencer’s mind. Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. Just one trigger pull, one sniper shot, and the world would’ve been a safer place today. But he hadn’t known. How could any of them have known that Arrieta and his band of malcontents would grow into an international menace, nearly as deadly as ISIS with twice the reach? Now, Spencer owed it to Kyle, owed it to Nick, to do what was necessary. “What do you want me to do?”
“You focus on nailing down a location on Coran Williams. We still need to question him and find out what he knows and how he’s connected to SHEEPSKIN. I’ll handle Arrieta. Got it?”
“Yes.” Sitting on his ass wasn’t exactly Spencer’s forte, but he was on thin enough ice where Kyle was concerned. Best not to piss the guy off anymore. “I’ll wait to hear from you.”
Kyle ended the call without another word and Spencer sighed.
“That didn’t sound like it went well.” Toni stared down at her phone, not looking at him, her thumbs flying across her keyboard again. “Problems with your team?”
“No.” He’d already told her far more about what was going on than was prudent and she’d given him nothing, information-wise, in return. She didn’t need to know anything else for now. “It’s fine. Talking to Daddy again?”
“Funny. No.” She frowned. “I told you he and I aren’t close. I haven’t heard from him in months.”
“What about the attacks? Wouldn’t he at least want to make sure you’re okay?”
“I doubt he even knows I’m here.”
Spencer didn’t. Coran Williams was a billionaire media mogul. He had a network of eyes and ears around the globe. “C’mon. Seriously? You expect me to believe that your father would let one of his most valuable—and vulnerable—assets travel anywhere without keeping tabs on you?”
Toni crossed her arms and stared out the window. “I told you we’re not close like that.”
“You’re his only child, Toni, close or not. And a link to him, a way to get under his skin” Nope. Coran Williams might keep his distance from his only daughter, but he would sure as hell monitor her activities. “Let me see your phone?”
Her gaze darted to his, wary. “Why?”
“I want to check the SIM card. If your father’s tracking you, I can have Hayley check the ID number and backtrack the signal to find your father’s current location.” He reached for the device. She pulled it away. But not before he saw the text on her screen, who it was from.
His blood froze. “So you are in contact with him. Why are you lying to me, Toni?”
“I’m not lying to you.” She clicked off the message. “I was texting a woman at the publishing company about the possibility of them donating some signed special editions for the auction.”
He gave her an incredulous look and she turned away, crossing her legs too.
“You know what? I don’t care if you believe me or not. I don’t have to prove myself to you. I get enough of that with my father, thanks.” She scowled at her phone as she punched in a number then stared out the windows. “Yes, is this the Red Crescent organization? Great. This is Ms. Williams from Williams Wishes. I’m in Jubail for a press conference and I’d like to help in the disaster relief efforts for the village attack.”
Frustrated, Spencer sat back in his seat and watched her. He was a careful guy, especially when it came to emotions, but maybe Kyle was right. Maybe Toni was lying to them all. Maybe she was feeding information to her father. And if that was the case, then he’d just played right into her hand today.
And playing the fool didn’t sit well with him. Not at all.
* * *
ack at the hotel
, Toni threw herself into contacting everyone she knew in the relief aid community to help out with the attack victims. The way she saw it, people were hurt and scared and she had the capacity to help them. To do nothing would be unforgiveable. Never mind the fact she’d outright lied to Spencer in the limo, about the message she’d received from her father.
She sighed hard and rubbed her aching stomach.
Lying to the man sworn to protect her wasn’t exactly a great idea and one that made her nauseous. She didn’t like not telling him the truth, especially after they’d been intimate, but her father had asked her not to say anything to anyone and, well, she’d known her father all her life. She’d known Spencer Nixon a total of a week. Loyalty took time.
“Mind telling me what the hell you’re doing?” Spencer asked from the doorway to the dining room. Since their return, she’d turned the space into a makeshift staging area, storing the many donations of bottled water, medicine and blankets people had sent to the hotel, per her request, until the delivery truck came to take it all to the village.
“I’m having a party,” she said, her tone snarky. “What do you think I’m doing? I’m helping.”
“They have a plan for these kinds of things.” He walked over and inspected a pile of first aid kits. “Pretty sure they can handle it.”
“That means you’re just going to sit around and do nothing, huh? Admirable.”
Several emotions flashed through his eyes—pain, anger, defiance—in quick order, his expression hard. “I am
There was too much vehemence in his tone to ignore. “That’s what that phone call was about, wasn’t it?” she said. “You, doing nothing?” She took no pleasure in the answering flash in his eyes, no pleasure in the fact that what he’d been doing when all those children had died was her. He opened his mouth to speak, but she beat him to it. “Forget it. Just stay out of my way.”
“I hope you don’t think you’re taking this stuff out to the village yourself,” he said, moving in beside her when she refused to look at him. “They won’t let you in.”
“Like hell they won’t.” She pushed past him to grab another box to fill with supplies. “I’m Coran Williams’ daughter.”
“Which is exactly why you won’t be leaving this hotel room until the area is secure.”
“And you’re going to stop me?” she snorted. “I’d like to see that.”
“Be careful what you wish for.”
“Excuse me, ma’am,” Ayaan said from the doorway. “The delivery drivers are downstairs at the staging area.”
Shaking her head, Toni walked over to him. “Thank you. Please let them know I’ll be down momentarily to supervise.”
“Wrong.” Spencer walked over to join them. “Tell the delivery drivers to wait by the freight elevator.
be down to take care of it. No one comes or goes here without my express approval. Got it?”
The butler looked from Spencer to Toni then back again. Finally, the man bowed and backed away. “As you wish, sir.”