Friday, 11 November 2016
The Line Up - Book Three
From the moment British Special Forces Operative Michael Marsden meets Deputy Sherriff Bill Swann, sparks fly and lust flows.
When a man meets a woman who rides a Harley Davidson and wears a gun strapped to her hip, he’s bound to be in for a few surprises. Because long-legged tomboy, Bill, is definitely not what she seems.
Having made it clear he’s looking for a no-strings-attached fling, Michael realizes he has to use all of his tactical knowledge to negotiate his way around Bill’s five older brothers to get her alone. Then he needs to get past her defenses. And his own heart.
Being confronted by two-dozen boxes of condoms and a wild-eyed woman possibly rated right up there in that uncomfortable zone.
Bill paced back and forward, walked around the opposite side of the kitchen table, flung her arm out and pointed at the offending items as soon as he walked through the door.
“There you go. Take your pick.”
He didn’t know whether to laugh or run. He thought she might kill him in either case.
He chose to study the boxes on the table instead. “You seem to have pretty high expectations, Bill.”
“They’re all sealed.” She rubbed her hands roughly up and down her thighs; if she did it much harder, she was going to rub a hole in her jeans.
“Why wouldn’t they be sealed? Where did you get them?”
“Well I couldn’t get them from a store in town now could I? There’s not a single soul here that I don’t know, haven’t lectured, helped across a road, or arrested.” She wrapped her arms around her body in a self-defensive move, chewed on her lip as Michael tried desperately not to smile. She looked so serious, it was appealing. “I think my brothers may all be perverts.” She scowled across the table at him, her dark eyes filled with confusion and doubt.
“You got them from your brothers?” He gave a wary nod; she may not need to kill him. “Brave move, Bill. When are they all arriving with their shotguns?”
She snorted out a laugh, leaned forward, and picked up one of the small packets. Waved it at him.
“I filched them. I went right into their house with a pecan pie that I bought in town, put it on the kitchen table, then trawled the house for their condoms while they were out.”
He closed his eyes and shook his head, and when he opened them again, she was waggling another small box at him.
“Well, I don’t understand. These ones say they’re fruit-flavored. I have no idea what you would be doing putting one of those in your mouth. You could choke to death for the love of God.”
He nearly did. He watched her through narrowed eyes. She could not be serious, could she? Was she really that naive?
“And here”—she picked up another pack, tapped it on the table— “what in hell’s name are you supposed to do with these? They have the American flag emblazoned on them. Does that mean you have to stand to attention when you’re wearing them?”
Throwing them back on the table, she picked up another pack, while he hauled in a gasping breath, trying his hardest not to guffaw. Standing to attention was a prerequisite, surely? Although his preference may well have been the Union Jack. Gurgles of laughter rushed up through his belly into his chest to burble out of his mouth. The woman was priceless. She wasn’t kidding; she was deadly serious.
“Why in the name of all that’s holy would you want something like this glowing at you in the dark?” She tossed a neon green box across the table. “I mean, how likely is it that you’re going to lose your dick? And these…these are colored, blue, green, purple; surely to Christ you’re going to look like you have a disease, especially this here yellow one. I’m surprised there’s no polka dots here.” She picked one packet up after another, throwing them back on the table in disgust. “And these warm up, and these ones…well, they’re studded.”
“Do you mean ribbed?”
“Uh, well isn’t that the same thing?”
“No, I’m pretty sure there’s a difference between ribbed and studded.”
She frowned at him, her eyes frenetic and confused. “There’s something wrong with my brothers. There isn’t a single condom here for normal use. I’m sorry. I guess I messed up. I have no condoms to speak of.” She flung her hand frantically across the table, swept half the boxes onto the floor.
“We can’t have sex,” she howled.
Michael’s smile faded fast as his amusement fled.
“It’s okay, Bill.” He found he could speak at last. “I have it covered.” He reached delicately into his back trouser pocket and pulled out a small foil packet.
“Is that it?”
He glanced at the kitchen table, at the floor, and back to his fingers holding a single foil, a smile quirked across his lips. Oh God, she was funny. Absolutely hilarious.
“Well, what did you expect?”
“Well. More than one. Surely. The boys always say…”
“Bill. How about you forget what your boys have always said. Men lie. A lot.” He leaned across the table and took hold of her wrist to guide her around to his side, still holding the foil packet aloft in his other hand.
“Well, what does it do?” she demanded.
“It protects you from getting pregnant and from sexually transmitted diseases.”
“I can catch one of those?”
“Not from me, you can’t.”
He gave her a long moment for her to contemplate the little packet in his fingers while his blood pumped wildly through his veins as he drew in the fresh, clean scent of her.
“Is that it? It doesn’t have whistles or bells or lights or anything?”
He chuckled as he drew her in close. “No, it doesn’t.”
He gave her a sharp tug so that she stumbled against him. Her breath was hitching in her chest, too fast, too much, and she seemed to be able to breath in but not out again. The pulse in the base of her throat beat fast and thready and a small tremble vibrated
through her entire body. He thought she might hyperventilate. Making love to an inert body, albeit warm, was not his idea of fun.
He raised his hand to her face, caressed her soft cheek, stroked his thumb over her velvet skin, and smiled at her, slow and easy. She melted in his arms, her long limbs going heavy, and her breath expelled from her lungs.
“I’ll take care of it.” He kissed her eyebrow, the end of her nose, touched his lips against hers. “Let me take care of you.”
Cupping her face in his hands he dipped in to caress her mouth with his own, to sip, to taste, his lips smoothed, molded, his tongue sampled, drank. She whimpered into his mouth and returned the tender sensuality of his kiss. He felt her surrender as her arms slid up his chest to link around his neck, her body lax. Her legs gave way beneath her, and with a groan he lifted her, sat her on the kitchen table, pushed himself close between her thighs. He held her in his arms as his mouth cruised her jawline, then further to trace the silky line of her neck.
“Please tell me we’re not going to get interrupted again,” he murmured against her throat. He felt the vibration of her laughter against his lips.
“I don’t think so.”
“Well, they’re going to die if they do.”
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