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One hot holiday, p.9

One Hot Holiday, page 9

 

One Hot Holiday
 


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  “Snow.” She shook her head, then realized he couldn’t see the movement. “Sometimes, I hated it…like when you had inches for days and days and you had to slog through it, but…it’s Christmas, you know?” She hadn’t exactly had a ton of Christmas spirit lately. “There’s just something about seeing snow at Christmas that makes you feel good.”

  “Thought you might say something like that.” He had the motorcycle growling to life. “Hold on tight.”

  Like she had to be told. She was already holding on tight, thank you very much, and definitely enjoying the ride. He zipped through town, driving them beneath the soft lights and under the swaying wreaths that hung high above the streets. He didn’t head toward his house, but instead took her through the town until they stopped at what she realized was a park, one framed by enormous oak trees. The limbs sagged with heavy moss. Lights were on inside the park, giving it a faint glow.

  “Why are we stopping here?” Haley asked as curiosity filled her.

  He kicked down the stand. Turned off the bike. His head turned so he could see her. “Got something I want to show you.”

  Um, okay. That was all mysterious.

  Haley hurried off the bike and put down her helmet.

  He stood next to her and extended his hand. “Trust me.” He winked at her.

  The thing was…she did trust him. Her fingers curled over his. They headed toward the gate. The locked gate. “Umm…”

  “Don’t worry, I have a key.”

  She’d been umming because she’d just realized the park was named after him. Lane Park. “So the name, that’s not a coincidence—”

  “My grandfather donated the land for the park. One of the reasons I have a key.”

  The gate swung open.

  She lost her breath.

  All of the trees in the park had been carefully decorated with glowing, soft white lights. Just like the trees along the downtown streets. “This must have taken forever.”

  “It definitely took a while, but the city council considers the lights to be a tradition. And the families love it.”

  She could see why. Sure, there was no snow, but those beautiful lights made it seem like a winter wonderland.

  “The park opens for families tomorrow night. It was just shut down while the last of the decorations were being put up. We’ll have a big party here, and then families can come walking through the park for the rest of the holiday season.” He guided her to a spot underneath a big oak. There were glowing ornaments hanging from the oak tree.

  She laughed as she stared up at them. They were beautiful. The whole place was like something from a dream.

  “I’ll be right back. Don’t move.”

  “What? Spencer?” Her head turned.

  He’d ducked behind a nearby oak.

  And a moment later…

  Snow. Snow came drifting gently toward her. She reached out her hand, and, no, it wasn’t bubbles this time. It was honest to goodness snow. In Alabama.

  It might have just been the best present of her life.

  “Thought you’d like it.” He came back to her side. His hand lifted beside hers and snowflakes landed in his broad palm. “It’s part of the festivities for tomorrow night. We’ll have snow machines set up all around the park so that kids can play. Hell, they’ll even make snow angels, too. The snow won’t last long, but—”

  “But it will last long enough to make them happy.”

  He nodded. He shook his hand, and the snow drifted from his fingers. Then his fingers rose to her cheek. His touch was cold, and she shivered, but she liked it. Him…and the cold.

  “Are you happy?” Spencer asked her.

  She was. But… “I could think of something that would make me even happier.” A pause. A breath. One that pulled in some courage for her. “Kiss me.”

  His mouth immediately took hers. God, would she ever get used to the way the man could kiss? Such intensity, such focus, and such freaking sexiness. He tasted and took, and she was moaning and rubbing against him. He was kissing her in some kind of picture-perfect scene that seemed far too good to be true. But if this was a dream, then she was going to dream as big as she could. “Take me home,” Haley whispered against his mouth.

  He stiffened. Pulled back. “You want to go to the cottage?”

  Precious. He wasn’t getting it. “I want to go back to the cottage with you.” She’d stayed for this. For him. Because sometimes, there were things out there—people—who were so good that you couldn’t leave without experiencing them to the fullest.

  She wasn’t leaving without having her time with Spencer. “I want you.” So much for lines and not crossing them. “You…you want me?”

  “Fuck, yes.”

  Haley laughed. When she was with him, she felt so happy, and she loved that. He was kissing her, she was kissing him, and she loved that they were—

  He lifted her into his arms. She wasn’t even going to pretend, Haley found it hot as hell when he lifted her up so easily. Strong was ever so sexy.

  After a long, hot moment, Spencer raised his head, stared into her eyes, and—

  Everything plunged into darkness.

  Every light in the park flashed off in an instant. The darkness was complete and total as Spencer’s hold tightened on her. “What in the hell?”

  Fear snaked through her. Suddenly, even in his arms, she didn’t feel so safe. She knew what could wait in the darkness. She’d been threatened in the dark before, and she didn’t want to be vulnerable again. Not ever again.

  “It’s okay. I’ve got you.” His voice was low and soothing. He was still holding her in his arms as he walked straight forward. “I’m taking you out of here.”

  “Spencer…”

  “A transformer could have blown. We have a lot of power running out here.” His voice almost seemed normal. Almost. But there was a faint edge there that put her on guard. “Good thing you and I tested things out for the town. We can get the lights fixed before tomorrow night. You’ll be the town hero.”

  Doubtful. But they were beyond the gates now and there was light. He put her down next to the motorcycle. He reached for his gun.

  His gun.

  She hadn’t even realized he’d had the holster on under his coat.

  “I want to check things out,” he told her in that too calm voice of his. “You stay at the bike. I’ll be right back.” He turned for the darkened park once more…

  And the lights inside flooded back on.

  Chapter Eight

  “Yeah, yeah. So what you’re saying is no transformers blew? No fuses went out? You can’t find a damn thing?” Spencer’s voice was low as he kept his gaze on the closed bedroom door. They were back at the cottage, and he wanted answers. “Then why the hell did the lights turn off?” His hold tightened on the phone he held to his ear.

  “I don’t know,” Titus muttered back. “Maybe it was some fluke.”

  Maybe. Or maybe it had been something else. “Get the other deputies to run some patrols through town and out near my place.”

  “You think Haley’s in danger?”

  “I think I’m not going to be leaving her side tonight.” Because he didn’t buy a fluke explanation. Not with what the marshal had told him.

  And I don’t trust that guy, either. Fenton had been shifty as hell. The fellow had just been staring at Haley in the bar. Why hadn’t he approached her?

  “You need me?” Titus asked. “Because if you do, I’m there. I can come out and keep guard at the gate.”

  “No, no, I put in extra security today. I’m good.” I meant it, I’m not leaving her side. “Just get the patrols to swing by. If I have trouble, you’ll damn well know about it.”

  The bedroom door opened. Haley stood there, her bare toes curling against the floor. Her coat was gone. She wore her red sweater and the form-fitting jeans. There were pink spots of color in her cheeks, and her red lips gleamed.

  Gorgeous. “Got to go,” Spencer told his friend. “Thanks, Titus.
He dropped the phone onto the nearby table, right next to his holster and weapon.

  “Any word on the park?”

  “Titus says everything is fine there. Things should be in order for the big night tomorrow.”

  She nibbled on her lower lip. Then Haley seemed to reach some sort of conclusion. With interest, he watched as she squared her shoulders and lifted her chin. She marched toward him. Very determinedly.

  He lifted one eyebrow when she stopped right before him.

  “I meant what I said.”

  Spencer waited.

  “I want you.”

  “And the fact that I’m your landlord…?”

  “Has nothing to do with it.”

  He was fighting the urge to grab her and hold tight. They needed to clear the air. Then I need her. “I thought you didn’t want to cross lines.”

  “I thought you did,” she threw right back.

  Ah… “Guilty.” He grinned.

  She didn’t smile back at him. “I don’t have the best of experiences with men. The last guy I was with turned out to be a serious liar. Very bad news. You think a guy might be Prince Charming, and it really sucks when it turns out that he’s more of a Captain Hook.”

  His hand lifted and his fingers slid beneath the thickness of her hair. “I promise, I’m no Hook.” He bent and his lips brushed over hers.

  That was all it took. His mouth on hers. Her taste. Her scent. Her. Desire surged through him. The kiss had started as a gentle caress. All tender as he tried to use finesse to seduce her, but, in about two seconds, the fucking finesse was gone, and he was kissing her with frantic desire. Kissing her with the wild need that she stirred in him.

  He growled against her mouth. Wanted to get everything from her. Her taste was insane. Sweet and hot. Her lips were heaven. The way she moved her body against him, rubbing and arching, drove him to the edge. Her hands were on his shoulders, and she was so responsive that he was going out of his head—

  Spencer forced himself to let her go. To step back. To suck in a breath, but he just still tasted her. “You sure?” Sure you want this? Want me?

  Her smile made his heart lurch in his chest. “I’m sure that I want you.”

  Hell, yes. In the next instant, he had her in his arms. He carried her back into the bedroom. When he entered, he saw that she’d lit a candle on the nightstand, and the soft light filled the room. He lowered her onto the bed. Took a step back and yanked his shirt over his head.

  “I have to tell you,” Haley confessed, “I may be in love with your abs.”

  What do I have to do…so you’ll be in love with me? No, fucking wrong thought. Wrong question. This wasn’t about love. It was sex.

  His hands went to the waistband of his jeans, but Spencer stopped. He’d keep the jeans on, at least until he’d had time to stroke and lick every inch of her.

  She sat up on the bed. “Spencer?”

  “You’ve got on way too many clothes.” He sounded guttural. Savage.

  “Oh. I can fix that.” She yanked off her sweater. Tossed it across the room. Revealed a silky red bra. “Better?”

  Much. But still too many clothes. He climbed onto the bed. Made sure not to put his weight on her, but kept his palms against the mattress to brace himself as he leaned over her and kissed her. He enjoyed that sexy mouth of hers. Her mouth was heaven. He savored her lips and then he kissed a path down her throat. Over her collar bone. Down, down he went. He kissed the tops of her breasts and got rid of her gorgeous bra.

  Her breasts were full. Her nipples tight. When he drew one nipple into his mouth, sucking hard, she moaned and surged up against him. His legs were between hers, and she was riding his jean-covered dick. Pushing up. Sliding her body closer and closer.

  He eased back.

  “Spencer!”

  He smiled. “Just helping you with the too-much-clothing situation.” He reached for the snap of her jeans. Pealed the jeans and her red underwear off her long legs. Her skin was like freaking satin beneath his touch. So smooth. Of course, he had to caress her. Had to kiss her. Kiss the inside of her thighs. Slowly work his way up to her bare sex.

  Her gasp filled his ears. Her hands grabbed for his shoulders.

  His mouth took her.

  He licked and sucked. He teased her clit and strummed her with his tongue. He enjoyed every gasp, every moan, and every arch of her body. He couldn’t get enough of her. More. More. Take.

  Her body tensed. “Spencer, I’m about to—”

  Hell, yes. He drove his tongue into her. Retreated. Blew against her clit. Licked. Pushed into her with his fingers even as his mouth kept working her, and she cried out in pleasure beneath him. The orgasm tore through her body, making her shiver and arch, and he lifted his head so that he could see her face.

  Absolutely beautiful.

  He licked his lips. I will be having more.

  Her lashes had closed as her breath panted out. As he gazed at her, Haley’s lashes slowly opened, and her stare caught his. Every muscle in his body was locked down tight as a ravenous need pulsed through him. His control held on by the tiniest of freaking threads. His cock was about to shove out of his jeans as—

  “You’ve got on way too many clothes,” Haley told him, her voice husky as she gave him back the same words he’d said to her moments before. “But don’t worry, I can fix that.”

  She pushed him back. He went willingly as she rose above him and her hands went to the top of his jeans. He’d kicked his shoes off—he had no clue when—and she unsnapped the jeans and pulled down the zipper.

  He was a commando kind of guy, so his heavy cock sprang toward her. Her soft hands closed around him, stroking him from tip to base, over and over, and he had to lock his back teeth because it felt so good.

  Then she put her mouth on him.

  And it was about a million times better than good.

  She licked and teased with her tongue. Her lips feathered over the broad head of his cock before she opened her mouth wide and took him in, sliding her lips over him and squeezing the base of his dick at the same time with her hand.

  She felt like paradise, and there was no way he’d last. Hell, no. He wanted her too much. “Haley…” A growl. A rumble. Barely human. “I need you.”

  Her head lifted. The soft glow of the candle fell on her face. “You’ve got me.”

  And I want to keep you. A dark, possessive thought that whispered through him.

  She bent as if to put her mouth back on him. No. He caught her, rolled her back and pinned her beneath him on the bed. “Baby, as much as I freaking love your mouth, I’m about to explode, and I want to do that buried balls deep in you.”

  “I like that plan.” She nipped his lower lip. “I took the liberty of…ah…picking up condoms earlier today. They’re in the nightstand.”

  He nearly knocked the nightstand—and the candle—over as he yanked open the drawer. He kicked his jeans out of the way and got the condom on in a flash. He went back to Haley, settling between her spread legs and pushing his cock against the entrance of her body. He didn’t sink into her, not yet. His hands caught hers. Held tight.

  She stared into his eyes.

  Smiled.

  He sank deep.

  Fucking heaven.

  And he lost it. Lost all control because she felt incredible. A haze of lust and need took over. He withdrew, thrust, withdrew…drove so deep. Her legs wrapped around his hips, and she urged him onward, pushing against him and tipping back her head.

  He had to kiss her neck. Had to lick and bite. Had to pound into her again and again.

  “Spencer!” Haley yelled his name as she climaxed. He felt the contractions of her sex around him. A tight, white-hot paradise.

  He drove into her again. Haley.

  The orgasm nearly obliterated him. Pleasure slammed through every cell of his body. A release that went on and on, and when it finally ended and he could suck in a breath, Spencer looked at her.

  The candlelight flickered
over her face.

  She was smiling. “Just so you know, I’m going to want to do that again.”

  A rumble of laughter vibrated in his chest. “Hell, yes.” He pressed a kiss to her neck and enjoyed her shiver. “Hell, yes.”

  ***

  “It’s Jingle Bells,” Haley whispered sleepily.

  Spencer pulled her closer against him. He was comfortable as fuck, her soft body pressed against his side, and he had no intention of opening his eyes and—

  “I hear Jingle Bells,” she murmured. “Don’t you?”

  His eyes flew open. Hell. He did hear Jingle Bells. Because his asshole of a best friend had reprogrammed all the ring tones on Spencer’s phone earlier that day. He’d caught Titus in the act but hadn’t taken the time to fix things.

  Jingle Bells played again, and Spencer rolled out of the bed as adrenaline surged through him. The bedside clock told him it was two a.m., and a call at this time? No way it was good news. “I’ll be right back.”

  The covers rustled. “Is everything okay?” Nervousness had her voice rising a little.

  Okay? Probably not. Good thing it was dark so she couldn’t see his expression. “You just rest. I’ll find out what’s up.” Naked, he padded to the den and snagged his phone before the familiar tune could play again.

  He saw Eric Wilde’s name on the screen. Eric calling in the middle of the night? No, everything is not okay. Spencer put the phone to his ear. “What’s happening?”

  “He isn’t real.”

  Spencer’s eyes narrowed. His gaze had adjusted to the darkness around him. “Who isn’t?”

  “Your US Marshal. I had this shit checked and triple checked. There is no Fenton Callaway who works for the US Marshal’s office. Hell, I only found two Fenton Callaways in the whole United States. One is an eighty-eight-year-old veteran living in Colorado, and the other is a sixteen-year-old kid in Arkansas.”

  “Then who did I talk to today?”

  “I don’t know, man, and that’s the reason I’m calling you right now.” Eric’s voice was flat and hard. “Everything else checked out. Andrew—Drew—Bradley is one real piece of work. My contacts told me he is involved in the criminal world up to his damn eyeballs, but he has connections and power, and nothing is sticking enough to keep him in jail. Your Haley Quick was supposed to testify against him, but the case fell like a stack of cards. It completely disappeared from the books. She’s on her own, and when I did some poking around, I learned that she quit her job, packed up her apartment, and left town right after she got mugged in the street a few days ago.”

 
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