The entryway was dark, with only a dim streetlight coming
in from outside. Still, the light was enough to see him clearly,
to see the vulnerability in his eyes. Every now and then, she
saw what lay beneath the surface and it was that small piece
of him that he kept so hidden that called so strongly to her.
Probably another stupid mistake, but she wasn't going to walk
away. "You are my hero."
"I kinda like that," he said with a nervous laugh.
Then the embarrassment cleared and he tugged gently at her
hair. "Don't ever wear a wig."
He looked as if he really liked the way she looked. It wasn't
as if she was ugly or anything, but she certainly couldn't
compete with Cassandra, or Jessica, or Beth. "It's okay?
I mean, well, this is who I am," she said, hating the
whiney tone in her voice. She despised women who weren't secure
in their own self-image and she had no reason to complain.
Her gifts just weren't the usual combination of blond hair
and blue eyes, capped with a J Lo butt. Unfortunately, she
had no butt at all.
He didn't seem to mind. He shook his head and looked at her,
really looked at her. "I want to hear all about Michelle
Cushing Coleman. Everything. From the moment you were born,
until the time you discovered you could write computer viruses
and do all sorts of cool stuff with atoms and the cosmos."
He knew. She stared, open-mouthed at him. It probably wasn't
her most elegant look, but she couldn't help it. "How
did you find out?"
"I've got my sources," was all he said as he opened
the doorway and followed her out. It was a beautiful night,
clear and full of quasars that sheared through the black sky.
It was a night when names were forgotten, potential felonies
were not to be mentioned, and nothing was allowed but the overwhelming
need that was surging inside her. He looked at her like she
was the only female in the world. Never -- absolutely never
-- had a man looked at her that way. Her heart took over, because
her brain had stopped.
It was ten o'clock, and she was more than ready to cross over
the line. "Come home with me?" she whispered.
He stopped and pulled her around to face him. "You mean
"Come home with me," she said, her voice more sure.
"Now, tomorrow, anytime," he answered.
Her heart pounded as their gazes locked. Suddenly she realized
exactly what she'd done. Pandora's box had come open, and Pandora
wasn't about to shut it, either.
"So you like brainy women?" she asked, wanting to
make a joke, but failing.
"I think it's sexy as hell and if you start whispering
about neutrinos, I think I might just bust my pants right here," he
answered, in the same light tone, but the look in his eyes
was downright nuclear.
"My vocabulary is pretty unlimited," she said, moving
closer, feeling daring and exquisitely female.
Then she was in his arms, his mouth driving into hers, and
she didn't care. He had the most perfect mouth, tempting and
playful one minute, intent and demanding the next.
There was something dizzying about his desire. It was so raw,
so genuine. Her legs went queasy, ceasing to hold her up, and
he backed her against the lamppost. There she was, all his
muscle - mob-tied muscle - pressing into her.
She should be pulling away, issue a discreet "hands-off" cough,
doing something. What did she do? She curled her arms around
his neck just so she could bury her fingertips in the hairs
that grew at his nape.
His hands wandered beneath her shirt, pressing against the
soft skin at her back, exploring the curves of her butt, pressing
her even closer.
Mickey moaned. Tonight she just wanted to feel. To be swept
away in an undertow of passion. Now she knew what it was like.
Low, insidious, pulling at her like the most powerful magnetic-field.
When he dragged his mouth away from hers, she groaned. "Don't
do that to me," he whispered.
"Public indecency. It's a Class A misdemeanor in this
city. You go home. I'll follow."
"We could ride together," she said, unwilling to
part from him. It was a long ride back to Schaumburg.
He kissed her quickly. "Another dangerous idea. When
I get you alone, I want you in a place where naked and willing
is not a crime."
Mickey sighed, but obediently spent the next forty-five minutes
driving in her car, alone, contemplating the many aspects
of naked and willing.
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