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Undercover lover take me.., p.4

Undercover Lover: Take Me, Lover Book 4, page 4

 

Undercover Lover: Take Me, Lover Book 4
 


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  “The timing’s fishy,” Adam agreed. “If he just wanted to mend fences for Joey’s sake, why wait until a couple of days before New Year’s? Why not come at Christmas and bring a present or two?”

  “I didn’t ask if he brought presents,” Pete said, struck by the possibility. “I’ll check with Anne.” Brad had missed his kid’s first Christmas, which made him a dick, but if he showed up a few days late and didn’t even bring a toy train, that raised another red flag. Adam shouldn’t have had to point that out. Sex had fogged his brain.

  If Brad thought he could bring Anne flowers and talk his way back into her life while he ignored the child who was the center of her world, he really didn’t know her at all. Or he had another goal altogether.

  “I don’t like this,” Pete said, glaring at the cement floor of the garage. “I don’t like it at all.” Most of all, he didn’t like the fact that Anne wasn’t where he could see or touch her to satisfy himself that she was safe.

  An hour later, he liked it even less. Brad didn’t work for any branch of the government, but he did have a client who turned out to be a shell corporation for a well-known crime family.

  Pete glanced at the clock. Anne would be up by now. He picked up the phone and hit speed dial. When she didn’t answer, he forced himself to put the phone down and not panic. She might have been in the shower. She might have had her hands full with the baby and not caught the phone in time.

  “Anything?” Adam asked from the office doorway, wiping his hands on a cloth.

  “Brad’s connected, all right,” Pete said, feeling grim. “To the wrong people. And Anne didn’t answer her phone.”

  “Package is en route, isn’t it?”

  “It is.”

  “So I wait here, and you go get Anne and Joey. Just to be safe.”

  Safe. He’d give everything he had to be certain she was.

  When Anne found Brad on her doorstep once again, she resisted the urge to swear out loud, but it was a near thing. Instead, she took a deep breath and asked in her best professional, tell-the-nurse voice, “Brad, what do you want?”

  She didn’t expect him to pull a gun on her, push his way inside, and close the door behind him before answering. “I want you to call your sister and get her over here.”

  Anne gaped at him. The gun was too bizarre to process, so she focused on her sister. “Maggie? Why?” Brad smiled. It wasn’t a nice expression. The cold menace in it chilled Anne to the core. “Because her fiancé has something I need, and I’m betting he’ll be willing to trade her for it.”

  “Adam?” Either Brad had lost his mind, or she was missing something. None of this made sense. Brad had never been violent. But there he stood, armed and staring at her as if she was some insignificant bug he wouldn’t hesitate to crush underfoot.

  “Yes, Adam. He’s the driver. After you get Maggie here, you’ll call him and tell him to deliver the package to me. Then he can pick up his intended, all safe and sound, and you can go back to your usual dull routine.”

  Last night hadn’t been dull at all. And today was a lot more exciting than she’d like, but not in a good way. Anne wished with all her being that Pete hadn’t left. Since he had, and she didn’t want to risk anything that would lead to the gun going off with her infant son in the house, she called Maggie and hoped her sister wouldn’t answer.

  Chapter Five

  “Maggie’s not answering,” Anne said, trying to hide her relief. Brad didn’t need more hostages. He already had two. One of them their son, damn him. Rage flared up and she choked it down. Screaming at a man with a gun wasn’t smart. So what would be smart? Stall him. “I don’t understand why you need her here, anyway.”

  “Good point. Are you really sleeping with Adam’s partner?”

  Her hand went to her throat, where red marks lingered from the rasp of Pete’s five o’clock shadow. Brad’s eyes followed the movement and narrowed in understanding.

  “Yes, I see that you are. Let’s hope he finds you harder to walk away from than I did.”

  Asshole. “What do you mean about Adam and Pete? What package are you after, rare car parts?”

  Brad laughed. “I thought you and Pete didn’t have any secrets. Don’t you know what the two of them are up to in that garage?”

  No, she didn’t. But when she thought about it, she was pretty sure Maggie did. Her sister had done some intensive research on Adam for an article she’d been assigned to do on his background and why he’d left racing. Afterwards, she’d gotten very quiet. And then she’d committed to the relationship fully.

  Whatever Maggie had found out, she’d never said. The article she published didn’t contain anything shocking. Or anything that could possibly bring a man to Anne’s doorstep with a gun.

  “You never know everything about another person,” Anne said, fighting to stay calm while her nerves screamed. Panic wouldn’t help her or Joey. “Look at what I didn’t know about you. I never would have guessed you’d threaten me.”

  “You don’t know who I work for.” For a moment, she thought she saw a desperate look in Brad’s eyes before they hardened again into cold determination. “Call your boyfriend.”

  “He’s not my boyfriend,” Anne muttered, but she was already punching numbers. “That’s so high school.”

  “Friend with benefits, then.”

  “Lover.” Mate. She finished and the phone rang. She let it ring nine times before giving up. Pete, where are you? What’s going on?

  She nearly had a heart attack when he materialized in front of her, dressed in black like a ninja and moving in complete silence, which should have been impossible for a man his size. Her eyes widened, which would have given him away to Brad if Brad had had any time to react. But time was something Pete didn’t give him.

  In less time than it took her to blink, Brad was unarmed and unconscious on her living room floor. And Pete stood there looking like a stranger who dealt death instead of the laidback man who fixed ailing carburetors and kick-started stalled libidos.

  Relief warred with shock. She’d wanted Pete to magically appear and rescue her, but she hadn’t actually expected it to happen. She really hadn’t expected him to dispatch Brad with the same precision and professionalism she’d use to prep a patient for surgery.

  “Who are you?” Anne couldn’t stop the question from leaving her lips.

  “Your man.” He glared at Brad’s slumped form. “And I’m a hell of a step up from your last one. Jesus. I could leave the toilet seat up for the next twenty years and forget our anniversary and I’d still be ahead of this loser.”

  “You think?”

  “I know.” He took a step closer to her and she had to fight not to step back. This man was the dangerous undercurrent she’d sensed in Pete, unleashed and undisguised. But he wasn’t dangerous to her. She’d stake her life on it, no matter what secrets he might have. Another step, and she was folded in a rough embrace. Pete’s lips moved against her hair. “Fuck. He had a gun on you, with Joey in the next room. I aged about fifty years on the spot. I should kill him for that.”

  “He’s not dead?” Anne asked, uncertainty plain in her voice.

  “No, but he’ll wake up with a headache he’ll never forget.” Pete hugged her hard. Then he set her aside and made some calls from a cell phone she didn’t remember him having. A few minutes later, a pair of men in dark suits appeared, collected Brad, and vanished in a dark blue sedan. Maggie arrived on their heels, collected Joey, and departed in a cloud of baby powder. Leaving her alone with the man she thought she knew.

  Since she didn’t know what else to do, Anne went to the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee. She didn’t ask Pete if he wanted any. If he did, he could get it himself. Her hands were shaking too badly. She sloshed a lot over the rim and onto the floor.

  Anne noted the tremor, the cold that wracked her, the weakness in her knees and the way her hyper-clear thinking had given way to a sea of fog now that the crisis was over.

  Shock, the nur
se part of her brain informed her, cataloging symptoms. Right. She dumped sugar into the cup, stirred, and let the spoon clatter to the counter while she lifted the cup with both hands and drank.

  “Anne?” Pete was behind her, then wrapped around her, steadying her.

  “I’m okay.” She drank more of the overly-sweet beverage, braced by the heat. “I think.”

  “You think?”

  “Well, I’m not sure.” She drained the cup and managed to put it down without dropping it. “I just found out my ex is some kind of criminal, my sister is marrying a guy who does more than auto repair, and I spent last night fucking a ninja.”

  Dead silence. After a long pause, Pete said, “I’m not a ninja.”

  “If it wears a black suit like a ninja and moves silently like a ninja and takes out the opposition like a ninja, it sure as hell isn’t a mild-mannered auto mechanic.”

  “I’m not an it. And I’m not a ninja, dammit.”

  “You’re not who I thought you were, either.” She said it baldly, bluntly. Catching a glimpse of the sleeping tiger inside the man hadn’t prepared her for the full impact of Pete turned predator. Power and lethal grace, unleashed. For her. Part of her found that unnerving. Part of her was drawn to the predatory side. All of her knew that what had seemed fairly simple last night was anything but. Pete came with a host of complications.

  “Like hell I’m not.” Pete turned her to face him, hands on her shoulders, and scowled down at her. “I’m the man who loves you. The man who waited for you. And I’m not going to apologize for being the man who had the necessary skills to save you.”

  “You’re not a Neanderthal. You’re Shrek. More layers than an onion.” She shuffled forward and said it into the skintight black fabric that covered his chest. Her arms crept around his waist and she held onto him as tremors wracked her.

  “Shrek got the princess,” Pete pointed out as he wrapped his arms around her again.

  “He did.” She didn’t try to move away.

  “Is this the part where you yell at me for keeping secrets from you?”

  Anne shook her head. “That would be a lousy way to thank you for saving me.”

  “Given the secrets Brad was keeping, that’s generous.”

  “You’re not Brad.” She shuddered as she contemplated the depths of the difference.

  “You’re in shock.” Pete swept her off her feet and cradled her against his chest. “You need to get warm.”

  “I hear bare skin to skin is best for that,” she mumbled against his shoulder as he strode down the hall to her bedroom with her.

  “Only the best for you.” He settled her on the bed and stripped off his ninja suit. Then he stripped her and bundled her against him in a cocoon of blankets that trapped the heat from his body. The combination gradually warmed her like a spring thaw.

  “Is this New Year’s Eve day?” Anne asked, feeling disoriented.

  “Yeah. You have to kiss me at midnight.”

  “You might have to wake me up for it.”

  “I’m not sure you should go to sleep after getting a shock.”

  She smiled, feeling his penis, thick and hard against her belly. “You have a way to keep me awake?”

  His hands smoothed their way down her back and she realized with a jolt that they were trembling. “I may never sleep again. I need to be inside you. I need you under me and wrapped around me.”

  “You hide things from me and then you expect sex?”

  His arms crushed her closer. “I expect nothing. I want everything. I can’t tell you secrets that aren’t mine to give away, but I can tell you anything else you want to know.”

  That was fair. “Okay. Who did Brad really work for?”

  “A mafia family.”

  The statement made her brows raise. “That explains a few things.” Like the fear she’d glimpsed in his eyes. Maybe getting taken into custody would give Brad an opportunity to get out.

  “A leak tipped them off to us. Since Brad had a connection to you, he was the logical person to send in. Lonely ex-husband wanting to touch base over the holidays. Perfect cover.”

  Anne shuddered. It had nearly been too perfect.

  “He won’t bother you again,” Pete assured her, absorbing the tremor into his solid body.

  “I don’t guess he will.” The memory of him deflated and disarmed warmed her almost as much as the touch of Pete’s skin to hers.

  “Not going to ask who I work for?”

  Anne shook her head. “That was a government car that took Brad away. You and Adam have stellar military service records. We’re an easy commute to Washington, especially for a man who knows how to drive. I can connect the dots.”

  “No more questions for me, then?”

  “Yes. One.” Anne levered herself up to look into his eyes and saw the whole man there. The easygoing companion she’d grown to trust. The raw, sexual lover who’d laid siege to her body. The lethal warrior who’d come for her. “Do you love me?”

  “I’ve said so. More than once.” He scowled at her. “You haven’t.”

  No, she hadn’t. Maybe because she’d sensed there was more hidden below the surface and she’d wanted to know what she was committing to. Once she did, there was no going back. He wasn’t Brad. Whatever belonged to Pete, he’d fight to keep.

  Anne gave him a slow smile, daring him to push her past the point of no return. “Make me.”

  Pete rolled her underneath him with ninja speed. His powerful body felt warm and hard and incredibly welcome on top of hers. “Is that a challenge?”

  “I believe it is.” She blinked up at him, surprised by her own daring.

  “You’re going down, babe.” He grinned at her, all masculine confidence. Then his mouth came down on hers, heated and seductive, seducing her into opening for his tongue so he could claim more of her. The taste of him made her open wider. The slide of his tongue along hers was an erotic caress that made her hands clutch at him.

  He nudged her thighs apart, then slid his knee between her legs and up until it pressed against her bare mound. He rocked on top of her while he made her head spin with kiss after kiss, accompanied by rhythmic movements of his leg between hers. The prelude to sex had her moving with him in wanton urgency.

  He slowed her down when she wanted to rush, to meld flesh with flesh with no preliminaries, nothing but a primal drive to affirm life in the face of death. The tenderness she hadn’t realized she needed undid her.

  Pete shifted his weight to lever himself over her, depriving her body of full contact with his. Anne made a low sound of protest that turned into a sigh as he kissed a path that led to her breast. When his mouth closed on her nipple and sucked while his knee pushed against her sex, she moaned out loud.

  “Pete.”

  “Hmmm?” He raised his head and looked at her, eyes heavy-lidded. “Did you want to say something?”

  “No.”

  Pete turned his attention to her other breast, plumping it in his hand and drawing it into the heat of his mouth, tonguing the nipple until the stimulation made her womb contract.

  “Pete.”

  He ignored her and shifted to kiss the plane of her ribs and the swell of her belly. Then he moved back and flipped her over, leaving her on her stomach. He ran his hands up the backs of her thighs, gripped them, and pushed them up and wide apart. The position raised her butt in the air while keeping her face and torso against the sheets.

  His tongue found the valley between the globes of her ass and she sucked in a breath, and expelled it on his name. “Pete.”

  “No talking unless you say the words I want to hear.” His teeth raked the sensitive skin of one cheek while his hand slid between her legs, cupping her sex. He squeezed and massaged the flesh that ached for his touch. “Like that?”

  She started to answer then remembered the last thing he’d said and nodded instead.

  “Want more?”

  She was dying for more. Her whole body trembled with the need he’d ar
oused. His hands on her fed her hunger. It wasn’t enough. She needed him inside her. She nodded again.

  “Say the words.” Pete petted her sex, parted her folds just enough to stroke the sensitive bud of her clitoris, but wouldn’t give her even the relief of his fingers inside her.

  “Neanderthal.”

  “Not that word.”

  “I want you.” Her raw admission came from the depths of her soul. A kaleidoscope of images flashed through her mind. Gentle hands soothing a small child. Competent hands fixing her aging car. Knowing hands all over her body. Lethal hands eliminating the threat to her. Certainty flooded her. Her heart was safe in those hands.

  “Closer.”

  She was going to die if he didn’t take her now. She needed him, all sides of him, nothing held back. She always would. “I love you.”

  Anne heard a foil packet tear and then he was in position, his cock hard and hot against her opening. His hands gripped her hips, holding her where he wanted her.

  “Mine.” Pete’s voice was a guttural growl as he drove into her, burying himself to the balls in a single stroke. The angle made her feel stretched and filled to the limit, and the position left her unable to do anything but take what he gave her. All of himself. Over and over.

  His rhythm gradually sped up, and her heart raced in time to the beat of his thrusts. She felt him swell inside her, signaling his orgasm, and then he was coming and so was she, clenching around him as he spilled himself deep inside her.

  Afterwards, he stayed draped over her and wrapped around her, blanketing her in warmth, buried inside her as far as he could go. “I love you, Anne.”

  “I love you.” She said it again. It was easier the second time. It was simply the truth.

  “Marry me.”

  “Now?” She stretched under him, feeling drowsy and boneless and utterly safe.

  “No. Next year.”

  Anne laughed. “I’m not getting on a plane to Vegas at midnight.”

  “Of course not. We’ll wait until tomorrow morning.” Pete smoothed back her hair and kissed her temple. His hand found hers and their fingers entwined.

 
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