Read Under Seige Online

Authors: Catherine Mann

Tags: #General, #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary, #cookie429, #Extratorrents, #Kat, #Single Parents, #Family & Relationships, #Parenting, #Single Parent

Under Seige (19 page)

BOOK: Under Seige
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She urged his hand up her stocking-clad leg until he reached...ah, hell.

The snap of a garter hooked along the top of her stocking.

Julia inched his hand farther to the bare skin of her thigh. "I lean into you and whisper my little secret that I've carried with me all night long." Her mouth brushed his ear, her words breathy and full of promise. "I don't have on any underwear."

Inching back to stare into Zach's narrowed eyes, Julia I waited for his reaction to a declaration she still couldn't believe she'd made. She didn't have to wait long.

One broad hand palmed her back, the other lay still warm against her bare upper thigh as he flipped her onto her back.

The air wooshing from her lungs had nothing to do with the fluid change of position and everything to do with the mesmerizing man looming over her. Her night of fantasies promised to reach new heights that far outstripped the Harley ride or her dream seduction.

And speaking of outstripped... Julia reached for the silver chain holding his uniform jacket together.

Zach's hands closed over hers. "No, ma'am. It's my turn now."

His husky Texas drawl slid over her skin and along her every heightened nerve.

"Your turn to do what?" She invited him with a slow arch of the back, a gentle glide of her foot along his calf.

His hand snaked down to stop her progress, then tunneled inside her dress again and up the slit to stroke her leg. "You've had your way with me, and I intend to return the favor. I have some ideas of my own about how I want to play out this homecoming."

Bold, callused fingers snagged along her stockinged leg, higher, rasping along her bare hip. Julia shivered, waited, yearned. "Please, haven't we waited long enough?"

"Too long, and that's why we're not rushing."

His arrogant assumption of control might have irritated her if she hadn't been so very certain he would make the agonizing wait worth her while. "I'm all yours, then."

His eyes never once leaving her face, he continued, "All the way across the ocean, I thought of doing this."

Zach cradled the back of her neck and lifted slightly, baring her throat for his mouth.

"And all through dinner, I imagined doing this." His words warmed skin already on fire, his fingers finding the top of her zipper.

She bowed to accommodate him, her breasts pressing against the solid wall of his chest. He tugged the zipper down bit by excruciating bit until the sofa warmed her back.

Zach drew the black velvet from her shoulders, slipping it free from her arms, so methodical and slow.

She spied the passion beneath all that control, glinting white-hot flecks in his darkened eyes. She felt his need pressing insistently against her just before he stood to unveil the rest of her body.

With a bra built into the dress, she truly didn't have any underwear between all that velvet and her skin, just a garter belt and stockings. And for tonight, she didn't intend to allow anything from the past to slide between them either.

Imprinting the vision of Julia in his memory, Zach let her dress slither from his fingers to the floor. If he lived to be a hundred and ten, he would never forget the image of her draped across his office couch wearing nothing but a black lace garter belt, spike heels and a come-and-get-me smile.

Control snapped. Forget fantasies. The reality sprawled in front of him in a long-legged display beat any fantasy, hands down. "You're right. No more waiting. We'll do slow later."

"And later again." Julia swung her legs off the sofa gliding up to stand in front of him.

Zach whipped off his jacket and shoved down the suspenders. Her frantic hands double-timed opening the studs along his starched white shirt.

"Birth control." Zach eased away. "Just let me get my wallet." He reached for his jacket, but she stopped him hands gripping his hips.

"No need. I went on the pill the day you left on TDY." Rambling breathlessly, she struggled to loosen the top button of his pants. "Doc said I could take the progesterone kind until Patrick finishes weaning, just not the estrogen ones, and oh, Zach, what are you doing to me that I can hardly string together rational thoughts or—''

He silenced her with his mouth, or maybe it was his hand sliding up a silken thigh, between her legs and finding her so warm, wet and ready for him. Definitely no need to wait now. They weren't limited to once.

They could have slow, fast and whatever else they wanted tonight.

With trembling fingers, she eased his zipper down, her hands sliding inside to wrap around him. A shudder ripped through him. Enough. He'd gone too long without, too long without
her
to hold on to control another minute.

His arm dipped low, under her bottom as he lifted her up and against the locked door, ready to play out every inch of her fantasy. Julia's long legs locked around his waist in a magnificent sweep that almost sent him over the edge. Slowly, he slid inside her, up, deeper until she encased him in velvet heat that taunted, enticing him far more than the sexy velvet dress of hers had.

Then he couldn't think beyond moving inside her, kissing her, holding her and holding back for as long as he could. Praying she would find release soon because he wasn't going there without her and the need to finish roared through him like engines at full throttle.

His mouth caressed along her shoulder, his free hand cradling the gentle curve of her breasts just before his mouth found one perfect peak. A moan vibrated through her chest, against his mouth, building to a gasping cry of release until her head fell back on the door.

Finally, he allowed himself to plunge one last time, deeper and harder, his hoarse shout of completion muffled into the soft curve of her neck as he flew full-out into the clouds and Julia.

Sprawled over Zach on the sofa two hours later, Julia listened to the steady thud of his heart against her ear. No doubt hers raced at double the speed.

She wished she could attribute the pattering pace to his hands massaging along her back. Or the scent of musky sweat and sex linking their bodies. Or the memory of their mind-tingling encounter against the door.

But she knew better.

Her heart hammered out of fear. So many emotions pulsed through her, confusing yearnings to cuddle with Zach through the night, to wait until he fell asleep and shed a few more tears over his battered, beautiful face.

She hadn't expected to feel so much. Wasn't sex just a physiological need? She hadn't been with anyone other than Lance for comparison. Their sex life may have been physically satisfying, but it was nothing like this.

Being with Zach had gone beyond fulfilling some basic urge, transporting her into a wild, unknown territory. Like flying over those bridges with him on his motorcycle, there was nothing below or above them, just the two of them holding onto each other as they hurtled into the night.

No safety net.

While she had reconciled her past with Lance, that didn't mean she planned to risk entrusting all her tomorrows to another man. She and Lance might have patched their marriage, but the price had been so very high to her heart.

She was scared. Already, Zach stirred more within her than Lance ever had.

Damn it, Zach was supposed to have been her friend and friend-sex should be warm and fun, not this tumultuous turning her mind and body inside out with feelings. She didn't want the desperate need to do it all over again while wondering if there would ever be enough. She could lose herself in this feeling, and she'd vowed to never lose herself in a man ever again.

She needed space and time to regroup. She couldn't think with his hands on her skin and his heart beneath her ear. What would happen to her emotions if they shared a bed, so much more intimate than what they'd done together against that door?

On the floor.

On the couch.

Oh damn, she was a mess. Julia listened to the steady thrum of his heart and couldn't make herself roll off him. She would just be honest with Zach. They'd always had that between them.

He dropped a kiss to her shoulder. "Well, Jules, we can't camp out here forever."

"Not unless we raid the snack bar," she answered absently.

"I have a desk drawer full of junk food, but I think you'd grow tired of Little Debbie cakes after a while."

His gravelly voice rumbled against her, enticing her to avoid the world a while longer. "Are you about ready for us to find our clothes and go home?''

"I guess so." For five seconds she actually considered telling him she wanted to stay the whole night in his office, indulging in each other and that box of Little Debbie cakes.

Not a chance would he understand why she was too terrified to share a bed with him. How could he when she didn't understand herself?

She only knew one thing for certain. Wild, escapism fantasy was easy. Facing the reality awaiting her at home scared her all the way down to her do-me-flyboy heels.

Zach cruised the Harley to a stop under the carport, Julia's arms loosely looped around his waist. They both needed a few solid hours of sleep, but then he had plans for her. Already his body stirred through the exhaustion.

Being with Julia had been like one of his Harley rides, the closest thing to flying on the ground. Better. He couldn't imagine how he would ever get enough, but he intended to spend the next few months trying.

They had their life back on track. He'd been right about sharing their children and friendship. Now they also shared a jet-engine-hot attraction beyond even what he'd imagined.

And his imagination had been mighty damned active lately.

Zach parked and covered his motorcycle while Julia unlocked the door without speaking. Her silence boded well, in his estimation. No need to hash through all the implications of what they'd done back in his office.

Definitely a good sign.

He and Julia weren't going to put each other through the emotional wringer they'd both gone through in their first marriages. This was about being practical, not about feelings.

Zach ignored the persistent voice that told him he'd been
feeling
anything but
practical
when he'd plastered Julia against his office door.

He followed her up the steps and into the dark house. The television still echoed from the family room, but all was quiet otherwise. Helping her slip out of the leather jacket, he skimmed his fingers along her arm. "I need to pick up a few things from the spare room first," he whispered low so as not to risk waking Shelby or Patrick.

Julia ducked free of the coat, backing toward the dining room. "I should turn off the television."

She disappeared around the corner, into the den. A gasp sounded, just before a thump.

Frowning, Zach slung the jacket on the coat tree. Shelby must have left some kind of mess.

The realities of life with kids.
He strode through the dining room, stopping behind Julia and looking over her shoulder. Disbelief quickly shifted gears into anger.

Reality sprawled glaringly across the sofa in the form of Shelby, her boyfriend and a tangled mess of half-clad arms and legs.

Chapter 13

Zach stared at the teens on the sofa through a red haze of fury. Shelby and John gaped back with wide, deer-in-the-headlights eyes.

Chaplain Murdoch's delinquent, about-to-be-dead son bolted to his feet, open shirttails flapping. John raked back his long hair into a band. "Sorry, sir. We fell asleep."

Damn it, why did it have to make him feel a hundred years old to think no kid with hair down to his shoulders could have good intentions toward his daughter?

Zach fought his way through the anger and brushed past Julia. "Damned well doesn't look like you're sleeping to me."

Shelby closed the last button on her purple silk shirt, rhinestones blaring Princess across a pocket. "Cool your jets, Colonel. We weren't doing anything."

Zach pinned her with a glare.

"Anything much." Shelby flung her black hair over her shoulder with a surly twitch. He knew too well how much could be accomplished on a sofa in a couple of hours, and his daughter better not have been doing even half of it.

Julia swept past him. "Where's Patrick?"

Shelby winced, looking guilty for the first time. "He's asleep." She snatched the monitor from the coffee table and held it up in defense. "I kept this on the whole time I wouldn't let anything happen to him."

Julia took the monitor from Shelby, lips tight as if holding back the very accusations Zach longed to hurl at his daughter. A shuddering sigh later, Julia hurried past and down the hall.

John ambled forward, baggy clothes rippling with each step. "Sir, this is my fault. I shouldn't have been here."

"That's right. You shouldn't." Zach kept his voice level a near-impossible task, reminding himself John was just a kid.

A kid who'd had his hands all over Shelby a few short minutes ago.

The red haze threatened to blaze over him again. "It's time for you to leave. No detours, I'll call your house to make sure someone's up waiting."

"I'm not going until I'm sure Shelby's okay."

Restraint edged further away. "Want to run that by me again, boy?"

"I'm not leaving yet."

He might have admired the kid's courage, if it weren't so damned stupid given the circumstances. "Keep this up and I can guarantee your father will be volunteering for an assignment in Nairobi." Zach stepped toe-to-toe with the kid and allowed the quiet heat of his anger to seep into his words. He wanted this boy scared and running. "Good luck finding a girl to sweet-talk into
falling asleep
with you there when everyone's speaking Swahili."

Shelby slid between them. "Stop, Colonel. Okay? This is so lame." She turned to John. "Go home, really, it'll be better if you leave. He's not gonna hurt me. He'll just ground me again, but I'll see you at school Monday anyway."

John hesitated, then nodded. Shelby followed him to the screened porch while Zach waited, piecing together control and what the hell he would say to his daughter.

He pressed a thumb between his eyes, right above the throbbing headache with Shelby's name tattooed all over it. Honest to God, he was going to have a stroke before the girl graduated high school.

BOOK: Under Seige
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