“This is a mistake,” Ali whispered right before her mouth surged up and pressed greedily against his.
“Oh, absolutely,” Jinx assured her in that low, deep, sexy rumble that pretty much just made her panties want to fall off. “Probably the worst mistake ever.” He kissed her again. A long, drugging kiss that had her rising onto her tiptoes so that she could get closer to him. “That’s why it is so much fun.”
Her hands curled around his broad shoulders. Her fingers bit into his skin. There were a million reasons why she should walk away from Jinx.
And one very big reason to stay.
I want him.
The case was over. She’d be disappearing come the morning. This night was going nowhere. It was just about hot sex. Incredible pleasure. About the insane attraction that she’d felt for Jinx from day one.
He was not her type. Okay, fine, Jinx was probably everyone’s type. He had a body that was sculpted to pure perfection. The man possessed the bluest eyes that she’d ever seen in her entire life…and his smile. Wow. He possessed the kind of slow, wicked smile that had her body tensing and quivering every single time she saw his lips curl.
Physically, the man was pure temptation.
But…He’s too reckless for me. Jinx didn’t take anything seriously, not even the danger that they had recently faced on a mission she’d been sure would fail. He mocked and he joked, and he didn’t seem to care about death. Or, well, anything else.
She liked reliable men. Steady men. Men who didn’t laugh when bullets went flying.
She liked those men, but in this particular instance, as desire flooded through her body…she wanted, no, craved Jinx. Jinx and his particular brand of madness.
The mission was over. They’d survived. Gotten the job done. Managed to not even get shot. Wins all around.
His tongue dipped in her mouth. His hands locked around her hips as he lifted her up and pinned her between his rock-hard body and the wall.
They were in some no-tell motel. They’d flown back in the country and paused in this little town for the night. Not like she’d ever be visiting this place again. She never came back after a mission was done. Her job was to fade away. To vanish. She was good at that job.
“God, you taste delicious,” Jinx growled as he pulled his mouth from hers. She stared up at him, aware that her heartbeat was pounding out of control. If possible, his eyes were even bluer as they burned down at her with the force of his fierce lust.
Jinx hadn’t hidden the fact that he’d wanted her. He’d been upfront about it from the beginning. And she’d told him it would never happen…
Never say never.
“I swear,” he added roughly, “I could eat you right up.”
Oh, the visual that popped into her head at that moment. Do it, yes, please. Go right ahead. Instead of saying those wild, desperate words, Ali squeaked, “Only once.”
He squinted those bright blues at her. “Once? Baby, it is gonna be a long night. I don’t see why on earth you’d limit a guy like me to just making you scream with pleasure only once. You are hurting yourself.”
She swallowed. “I meant…only one night.”
His lips curled.
Her body tensed. Quivered.
“Ah…” A sensual sigh. “So I can make you scream over and over?”
He was such a confident jerk. And, yes, she was pretty sure he’d be able to back up that confidence. God, she hoped he could back it up. Ali couldn’t remember the last time she’d had screaming-good sex.
Okay, wait, she could…it had been never. Sex had never been so good that she’d screamed, but she was more than ready to give it a shot.
“Maybe I’ll make you scream,” she said as her hands grabbed his shirt and shoved it up.
He tossed the shirt to the floor. “Full disclosure, I’m more of a roaring type. Or gutturally growling. You know, hardcore, sexy stuff.”
He couldn’t even be serious…now? Her hand went to the snap of his jeans. Yanked the snap open. Tugged down the zipper.
His fingers curled around hers. “I’ll give you one night, but what if you want more?”
Her mouth was dry. She licked her lips. “That confident you’re so good?”
His lips hitched into a half-smile that stole her breath. Not that she’d ever let him know the impact that any of his many smiles had on her. Jinx wasn’t serious. Not about missions. Certainly not about her. This was sex. Only sex. Physical.
“What if you go falling in love with me?” He still held her hands. “What if you just can’t get enough of me, and you can’t imagine your life without me in it?”
Ali sucked in a sharp breath. “Then we’d better make a rule. Good sex doesn’t equal love. So no falling in love.”
A nod. “Any other rules? I’ve noticed you tend to be very…rule follower-like.”
Guilty. She liked order. What was wrong with that? Just because Jinx had apparently lived his life rule free didn’t mean that everyone did. But if he was asking for rules… “We keep this secret.”
His thick, dark eyelashes lowered. “You want me to be your dirty little secret?” A rough edge entered his voice. An edge she’d never heard him use before. “Don’t want anyone else to know you jumped into bed with me?”
Yes, actually, she would prefer the others not know about this situation—thus the rule. “We may have to work on other missions in the future. If that’s the case, I don’t want the others on the team to know we got naked together. I’m not the kissing-and-telling type.”
His head bent. His mouth feathered over hers. His tongue teasingly swept inside. He took his time kissing her before murmuring, “Shocker, but…neither am I.” Another kiss.
So they had two rules. Rule one, no falling in love. Rule two, what they did had to remain a secret. She was good with those guidelines. Very good.
His lips lifted from hers. “I have rules, too.”
What? “Since when?” she blurted. Her hands were still caged by his. Caged and right above the straining erection that surged toward her. Jinx was built along very big and strong lines, everywhere.
“Since…you.” His mouth pressed to her throat. Kissed her skin.
Her whole body shuddered. “What are the rules? And could you hurry and say them quickly?”
A soft rumble of laughter. “What’s the rush?”
The rush was that she wanted to strip away the rest of their clothes and pounce on him. “Jinx!”
“You tell me everything you like. You tell me instantly if I do anything you don’t like. You come harder for me than you ever have for anyone else.” Another kiss to her neck. “I think that about covers it for me.”
Her knees were jelly. She was going to fall in a puddle right there, and she couldn’t even blame her weak knees on the two tequila shots she’d had before coming into the motel room with him. “I can handle that.”
“Good. Then time for you to handle me.” He let go of her hands.
She reached for his cock. Curled her fingers around him and pretty much ignored everything else. The real world could wait. She was going to forget everything else for a while and just enjoy herself. She stroked his cock. Caressed him. Loved the warm strength of him, and she wondered how he would taste. Ali began to slide down—
“Oh, no. Remember my rule? You have to come harder for me than anyone else. That means you don’t make me break my control until after I’ve driven you completely insane.” He scooped her into his arms. Headed for the bed. He lowered her onto the sagging mattress and proceeded to completely strip as she stared up at him.
Shoulders that were huge. Abs of steel. Corded strength in those powerful thighs. And his cock—
He quirked a brow at her. “You know this goes easier and faster if your clothes are off, too, right?”
Heat flushed her cheeks. She kicked off her shoes. Shimmied out of her jeans and tossed her shirt away. She kept her panties and bra on because tossing them aside seemed…she didn’t know what it seemed. Ali just left them on.
He didn’t move. Just stood statue still at the side of the bed.
What was he waiting for? “Um, I thought this would go faster when I stripped?” Her voice held a slightly nervous edge. Ali hoped he didn’t notice. She was trying to act like she did this sort of thing all the time.
She didn’t. This was, in fact, her first ever one-night stand.
Not her first time for sex, but usually, she dated a guy for a while before becoming intimate. Got into a relationship. Took it all slow and steady with her reliable boyfriends.
“I was admiring the view.” Jinx put one knee on the bed. His hand rose, and his knuckles slid along the curve of her hip. Then skated over to the crotch of her panties. She’d spread her legs for him, trying to be all helpful. “You’re wet.”
And he was hard. That should make things way easy for them. “Could we do this?” The words broke from her. So much for being cool. Fail. “I want this. I want you.” This intensity wouldn’t last. No way could it last.
His fingers crept under the edge of her panties. “What’s the rush?”
He dipped a finger into her.
Her breath caught as he pressed that finger of his knuckle deep into her.
“You’re tight. You will feel fucking fantastic.”
The lights were on. It would be so much easier if they were off. Why hadn’t she turned off the lamp? She’d just forgot about the damn thing.
He slid his finger out of her.
Ali’s breath huffed out, too. Okay, he was giving her a minute to—
He yanked the panties off her. Jumped onto the bed. Parted her thighs and stared down at her like he’d just found some kind of amazing prize.
Yes, fine, whatever, he could—
He put his mouth on her. Put his mouth right on her without any other preliminaries. And with the first lick of his tongue against her clit, Ali knew that Jinx was about to make good on his boastful words…
You come harder for me than you have for anyone else.
Her hands grabbed the sheets. Fisted them. Her whole body arched as he stroked her with his fingers and licked her with his tongue. There was no fumbling. No awkwardness. Just him lapping her up like she was the best treat he’d ever had, and Ali could feel her whole body tighten as an orgasm just swept right through her and—
She choked out his name. Maybe gave a muffled scream. She didn’t know. She didn’t care. She just felt awesome.
“Now, you’re ready.” He grabbed for a condom. He’d had one in his wallet. Of course, he had. This was Jinx. He probably did this all the time and—
“Hey.” His voice was low. Demanding. “Look at me.”
Her lashes lifted.
“Where did you just go?”
He was lodged at the entrance to her body. How could she possibly have gone anywhere? “I’m right here.”
His gaze wasn’t mocking or teasing. There was a new intensity there that she hadn’t seen before. He caught her hands. Pinned them on either side of her head, and then he was surging into her. Not fast and hard. Slow. Steady. As if he was testing to make sure he wasn’t hurting her. She was arching her hips against him because she wanted more. Wanted everything, but Jinx was taking his precious time and driving her absolutely crazy. “Jinx!”
“There it is.” A fast kiss. “Scream for me, baby.”
Seriously? He was—
He sank all the way inside. Then pulled out. Drove deep.
Now he was hard and fast. Now he was driving into her like a man obsessed, and she was moaning and arching and twisting against him because the ravenous need was back. Pleasure was surging again, and she wanted more and more and more.
He gave her more. He gave her everything. He pumped into her with fast and furious strokes until her whole body broke apart, and her orgasm sent wave after wave of pleasure surging through her. Did she scream? Maybe. Ali had no clue. She didn’t care. She was only feeling, and she felt incredible.
He was with her. His body hard and powerful. His face had locked into intense, almost possessive lines as he stared down at her. There was a greedy hunger in his gaze. Something she understood because in that moment, she wanted more, too. Wanted everything that she could get from him.
He came inside of her. A long, hard jerking of his body, and she tightened her inner muscles around him even more because she wanted to feel every single moment with him. Every single thing that he had to give. She wanted it. She wanted Jinx.
Over and over and—
Wow. Dangerous. Stop the thought.
Her breath heaved in and out. Her heart thundered. He was still in her, already getting hard again, and their hands were still intwined.
He stared at her. The lights were on. Everything was so bright. He’d seen her, every moment. She’d squeezed her eyes shut when the pleasure hit so she hadn’t been watching him. But she realized he’d never taken his gaze from her.
Ali felt vulnerable, far too exposed.
He’s still in me.
And he wasn’t smiling. Wasn’t flashing his killer grin. Instead, if possible, his face tightened even more.
“Jinx?” She started to wonder if she’d done something wrong. The sex had been helluva good for her. But maybe it hadn’t been that way for him?
He didn’t speak. Her hands flexed in his hold.
“You’re not getting away,” he rasped.
Then he smiled at her. His easy, carefree smile. “It’s going to be a long night.”
Oh. “Then…you weren’t disappointed?”
Again, his expression changed. But the change was so fleeting that she thought she’d imagined it. “Hell, no.”
She risked a smile of her own.
He stared at her mouth. “Why the fuck would you even ask that?”
“Because you looked so serious. So intent. Like something was wrong.”
“Everything is right. You’re right.” But he pulled out of her.
She gave a quick gasp because a little aftershock had hit her.
“Be right back,” he promised. “We’ll need another condom.” A pause. “Maybe a whole damn box. There’s a gas station across the street. I’ll go there and get some.”
He was planning to use a whole box of condoms with her? That was impressive.
He ditched the used condom in the bathroom. Dressed quickly. Then leaned over the bed. She’d shimmied under the covers while he took care of the condom-ditching business, and she held a sheet up to her chest.
He stared into her eyes. “Don’t move. I’ll be back in five minutes.” A quick kiss. Only…
This kiss felt different.
Jinx didn’t get possessive. She’d worked on several missions with him before. She’d technically known him for at least two years. He didn’t get possessive about anyone or anything.
The door closed softly behind him. Ali raked a hand through her hair. That had been—wow.
And he planned for more. A whole night more. Then they were going to put all of this amazing sexing behind them and work together as a team on future cases and—
And I will always be picturing him naked. I will always be remembering what it was like to have him inside of me.
No way would she ever be able to erase those memories.
Oh, she had majorly screwed up.
Her phone rang. A loud, jarring peal of sound that had her jerking and then reaching toward the nightstand. She’d put the phone on the worn nightstand earlier…before she’d given in to that reckless urge to kiss Jinx.
There was no picture on the screen to identify the caller, but she knew that number, and unease slithered through her. Ali lifted the phone to her ear. “Hello.”
“The car is waiting in front of your motel.”
Her heart slammed into her chest. “I just finished a mission.”
“And you’re starting another. You’re needed now. Deep cover.”
Ali didn’t move. She stayed in the bed—the bed that smelled of her and Jinx—and realized that she didn’t want to go anywhere. She wanted to be right there when Jinx came back. She wanted to spend the night with him. She wanted to get lost in him.
She didn’t want another case. Didn’t want to have to become someone else. She was tired of pretending. “Find someone else.” Words that she had never, ever expected to say. Not in a million years. The job was her life.
“There is no one else. A car is waiting, and it’s time to move.” Her handler’s voice was implacable. “You need to be gone before he gets back.”
Goosebumps rose onto her skin. “Were you…watching us?”
“Not us, you. I was watching you because I am here to take you to the next case. A case that can’t wait. So get your gear and move.” A direct order.
Because he was her boss.
“This is the last one.” She’d been feeling adrift for a while, and she hadn’t expected to say those words. They just kind of came out. But she wanted more. More than shadows. More than bullets raining down on her every time she turned around. “I do this, and I’m out.”
“There is no out.”
“There is for me.” She rose from the bed. Jerked on her clothes even as she kept talking to him. “Consider this my two weeks’ notice.”
“The case will last longer than two weeks. It’s deep cover. I told you—”
“And I just told you, I’m done. This is it. I want to be normal.” She’d never realized how much she longed for it until it was gone. Until it had been ripped away by the choices she’d made. But she’d paid her debt. More than paid it. “Put in the paperwork, do whatever you need to do, but erase me. I’m out of your files, and, after I finish this case, my number will disappear from your phone.”
She looked around. She had to leave a note for Jinx. She couldn’t just vanish.
How much time had passed?
“Fine,” he gritted, his voice rumbling in her ear. “But get your ass outside, now, before the boyfriend comes back.”
“He’s not my—” She stopped. She didn’t need to explain Jinx to him. He knew Jinx. They’d all worked together. “I’m on my way.” She hung up the phone. Found a motel room pen near an absolutely ancient-looking notepad. Ali bit her lip as she stared at the pad. According to mission protocol, once you received an assignment, you had to go dark. No texts. No calls. Nothing.
But she wasn’t just going to leave Jinx. And there was no rule about scribbling out a quick message the old-fashioned way. As long as that message didn’t give away any mission secrets…
What was she supposed to write?
Thanks for the best sex ever.
That would go straight to his already inflated ego.
Thanks for a night I’ll never forget.
But…it hadn’t been a night. More like an hour?
A horn sounded outside. Jeez. Impatient, much?
The pen flew over the notepad.
Then she was out the door. And five minutes hadn’t passed because Jinx wasn’t back.
Jinx knew something was off as soon as he opened the motel room door. He gripped the brown paper bag in one hand as his gaze swept the small area. “Ali?”
The covers were rumpled. Her discarded clothing gone from the floor.
He took a few fast steps inside. “Ali?” Sharper, harder.
No response. It took only seconds to realize she wasn’t in the bathroom. She was gone. She’d left him.
Holy hell, she’d left him. After what he thought was pretty fucking great sex, she’d left him. No woman had ever done that before.
He whirled toward the door. She couldn’t have gotten far. He surged forward, then stopped when he caught sight of the notepad. His jaw locked as he stalked closer to it, then read…
I got a call. You know the kinds of calls we get. There was no choice.
His nostrils flared.
If there’d been a choice, I would have stayed.
Well, fucking hell. Ali had always been incredibly honest.
Thank you for showing me the kind of incredible time that a woman will never forget.
His breath shuddered out. He’d intended to show her that incredible time over and over again. Like, not just for the night. But for the next week. Because while Ali might be honest, he was a world class liar. Always had been. He’d never intended to only have one night with her. Hell, no, he’d been playing a long game with Ali for a while.
His gaze lingered over the last line she’d written…
And I was wrong. It wasn’t a mistake.
Jinx swallowed. He hissed out a breath and dropped the paper bag on the old desk. Then he yanked out his phone. He sent a quick text to Ali.
I will see you again.
But then, he hadn’t expected one. When an operative went out on a mission, the order was to immediately go radio silent. That was why she hadn’t texted him before she’d left the motel room.
At least she’d left him a note.
He grabbed the note.
Fuck, he could still smell her on him. Her sweet, strawberry scent.
The mission wouldn’t last forever. He would see her again. He would have her again.
He tucked the note into his pocket.
He could wait. He could be patient. Patience was a virtue, after all. Granted, it had never been one of his virtues, but he could try. Unfortunately, he’d always found virtues to be rather boring. Jinx much preferred vices to virtues. And as soon as he had the chance, he couldn’t wait to lead Ali down the road into wicked temptation with him.
I will be seeing you again, my Ali. Count on it.