Undertow: A compilation of short beach stories, page 22
“Cole, stand down immediately on all investigations regarding your currently active case. I need you to come in. Bring Church with you. We have a multi-jurisdictional briefing, tomorrow at 1400 hours.”
Cole froze and flashed a glance at her. The questions in his eyes echoed hers. The man on the other end of the line continued.
“There are two tickets to D.C. waiting for you. You leave at…” Logan could hear the man ruffle papers around before he continued, “1600 hours today from Gulfport, Mississippi. Do not break your cover. Be here 1400 hours, tomorrow.” The line went dead. The call lasted less than thirty seconds.
Logan leaned up sending a curtain of hair over his shoulder. “What was that all about?”
“If my friend Sam calls, my father calls me and I get in contact with my handler. Deputy Director Hayes recalled us for a multi-jurisdictional briefing or an MJB tomorrow.”
“What does it entail?”
“Usually it means one of the other agencies has information involving one or more of the suspects in our case.” Cole put both of his phones down on the night stand and rolled back to her. “Which means we need to arrange a couple days off from your grandfather. Since we had no time to spin it, we will say a sudden illness in my family.”
Crap. A litany of items flew through her mind at the thought of a sudden departure. “Alright. I’ll need to talk to Frankie. He’ll be upset if I don’t explain why we aren’t going out on the boat. Let me get some coffee going and…hey!”
He rolled and pinned her to the bed. His massive arms held his weight suspended above her. “I don’t think so, babe.” He lowered and pinned her. “I believe there are more pressing items to be worked at the moment.”
Logan could feel the moisture between her legs and his hardened length against her hip. He took her nipple into his mouth and bit down on it gently. She arched off the bed. His tongue flicked over the hardened nub. Little tendrils of sensation settled at her core where she wept for his attention.
His hands, lips, and tongue touched every part of her last night, yet she needed him again. “Please, Cole. I need…”
“I know, baby. I can feel your body twisting under me. Tell me what you want.”
She could barely see his eyes in the low light of dawn. On a breathless whisper, she steeled her resolve and told him what she needed. Instinctively she waited for the ridicule and the shame which had always come when she was honest with Beau.
Cole’s lips sought hers out in a fierce kiss stealing her breath and leaving her mind swirling with lust and desire. “Oh woman, where have you been all my life?”
He forced her hands above her head. He opened the nightstand drawer and took out two sets of handcuffs. They’d dumped both guns and all their gear in it after they returned from the beach. Some things couldn’t be overlooked no matter how horny a person got. Cole quickly fastened her to the headboard. Her mind reveled in the excitement. He lifted off her and ran his hands up and down her thighs. The muscles in her legs shook as his fingertips traced small circles near the apex of her legs. She clenched her legs and arched trying to gain the friction she desperately needed.
“God, you’re so sexy.” He trailed his hand up her body and pinched her nipples. Her hips bucked and the moan she’d tried to suppress came out a strained tremor. “I’ve imagined you like this so many times. Hot, needy, wanting my touch. Did you picture it too? Have you lain in this bed wanting me? Knowing I was only a few feet down the hall?”
Logan moaned. God yes she’d imagine this. This and so much more.
His hands played havoc with her nerve endings sending wonderful tendrils of electricity through her body.
“Baby, I’m going to take care of you.” Logan felt him adjust his weight between her legs. She heard him unwrap a condom and shivered in anticipation. Her hands grabbed the hard metal links of the cuffs attached the bed and held on. He gripped her hips and lifted her against his thighs. “You’re sure baby?” His fingers caressed her labia and circled her clit.
The sensation drew a cry from her. “Yes. Please, please.”
He moved over her. His hard, long length held at her entrance. Logan arched against him desperate for his body.
“No sweetheart, that’s not the way this is going to go. You wanted me to restrain you and to take you. I’m going to walk you along a razor thin edge, Bella. Take you there and hold you and then ease you back.”
His lips dropped to hers and he entered her slowly. Every time she tried to buck up onto him, he’d pull away. He calculated his caresses and thrusts to bring her to the edge of sanity. She drifted on a wave of sensation, needing so badly she begged for release. Finally, after an eternity of acute stimulation and denied culmination, she felt him drive into her, the finesse of his earlier manipulation gone. Logan begged. The incoherent babble of senseless pleas morphed into a long cry.
“Now, baby. Now, you can come.” He’d moved to his knees and thrust hard and deep. The headboard of the bed repeatedly slammed into the wall. The crest of her orgasm seized her body and Logan’s muscles clenched. Her fingers latched into the top ring of the cuffs attached to the headboard.
Cole draped himself over her and growled her name as he came. Logan seized him and wrapped around him. Something wasn’t quite right. The metal cuffs clanked together with no resistance. Logan’s body shivered uncontrollably. Tingling bolts of sensation ripped from her core to her limbs. Her fingers rifled through his hair as they both tried to gasp a full lungful of air.
Logan’s grunt wasn’t the response she’d intended but it worked. Cole hadn’t moved, his forehead still pressed against her collarbone.
“Did you break the bed?”
Logan tipped her head back and groaned. She’d pulled the two wooden spindles he’d attached the cuffs to from the headboard. One was broken in half, the other separated from the base.
“Ahh…yeah. But it’s your fault.”
“My fault?” He pushed up and focused on the headboard. His snicker and then full out laugh was contagious.
“Well, you did pick the place to attach the cuffs. Not my fault if you chose poorly.”
“Huh, so you pulling the cuffs so hard the wood broke had nothing to do with it?”
“Nope. I’m a victim of your fantastic sex, sir. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“So I should never do that to you again?”
“Oh no, sir. You should do that to me at least once a day. I’ll get stronger furniture.”
“Did you hurt your wrists?” He grabbed one of her hands and turned her wrist examining the area where the metal cuff met her skin.
“I don’t think so. I held onto the other cuff. If there are any marks, they’d be on my fingertips.”
She watched as he carefully examined her fingers and kissed the inside knuckle of her index finger.
Cole switched his focus from her hand to the tears filling her eyes. “Hey now, are you okay?” The area around her wrists wasn’t red. Had he been too aggressive when he’d taken her?
She sniffed and nodded. “Kind of emotional. Must be the great sex.”
“Oh yeah? I was great?”
“We were great.”
“We were. We are.” She closed her eyes at his words. He’d probably crossed a line with his last comment. What if …oh hell no, Martha. Not losing your man card. If she doesn’t feel the same way, you’ll suck it up and march on. No harm, no foul. Deal with this like a man.
“Do you mind?” Logan’s words blinked him back to the conversation they were having. She lifted her arms and the handcuffs dangled against her forearms. Her eyebrows rose in question. Cole reached over her, kissing her as he felt blindly in the nightstand drawer for the keys. When he’d found them and released her, he tossed the equipment back into the drawers.
His phone chirped. Damn, the world wou
“Let’s get cleaned up, talk to the sheriff and Frankie and get packed. We should have time to take out the boat for a little bit if he wants to fish today, shouldn’t we?”
He lifted away from her and made short work of the condom. Logan stood and stretched her toned, sexy body. His brain fritzed out again. Fuck the woman was gorgeous. Her long brown hair, tousled from their sex, draped down her back. His eyes found and held on the dimples at the base of her spine. Oh, holy fuck. His cock started to rise again. As she padded into the en suite bathroom, he followed. Shower sex. Shower sex would optimize the time they had. Get clean and get off. Nothing wrong with his plan was there? Even if his brain was getting the required blood flow, he was sure he wouldn’t find fault with his reasoning.
Cole grabbed Logan’s elbow and motioned down the hallway, indicating the direction.. The trip to Washington was uneventful if you considered a five-hour delay for a broken airplane uneventful. Cole motioned for yet another turn, guiding her deeper into the bowels of the facility. He’d been wandering these halls for seven years. It seemed like only yesterday when he thought he’d never figure out the labyrinth of offices, conference rooms, and debriefing facilities. FBI headquarters was nothing if not confusing. They entered the briefing room and sat toward the back. At least twenty other people occupied the scattered seating. He leaned into Logan and whispered, “This has all the warning flags of one massive case.” He lifted his chin toward three men to his right. “DEA.” Again, he motioned straight ahead of him. “Homeland and Immigration and Customs Agents.” Casually, he nodded toward the left. “If I’m right, those massive bastards are from Guardian.”
Logan’s head swiveled back to him. “Guardian? They’re a private security firm. Can they work on a federal operation?”
“Absolutely, but they’re usually so far under the radar nobody sees them. If this operation involves Guardian intel or assets, the scope could be international.”
The door at stage level opened and three men walked onto the platform. Cole recognized his boss, Deputy Director Hayes, and the Director of Homeland Security. The man in the middle? He’d never seen him before. The guy stood at least six-foot, six-inches tall. Black hair and a wearing an expensive suit. Cole bet it cost five thousand buck if it cost a dime. Hand tailoring like that didn’t come cheap. Maybe private security was the way to go after all. Something to consider.
A flicker of memory from a briefing hit him. This could be one of the brothers who ran the company. Kline, no…King. He’d lay odds the man was a King. Fuck, their little backwater op was about to hit the big time.
Cole leaned over to Logan to share, but Deputy Director Hayes nodded to the agents manning the doors. The low-level suits exited the room and shut the doors behind them. Without a doubt, they stood guard outside the room and kept unauthorized personnel out of the briefing.
Hayes glowered at his audience. He nodded toward Logan and began. “Lady and Gentlemen, this is Jared King, CEO of Domestic Operations for Guardian Security. They have recently obtained information which affects each and every one of your current operations.”
Mr. King walked up to the podium. Cole knew he was one badass mother. You could tell by the way he carried himself. Pretty wrapping aside, the man had paid his dues.
“A lawyer in Belle Chase, Louisiana was murdered recently. Before he died, he transferred a thumb-drive to a friend. She delivered it into our hands. The scope and importance of the information contained on the drive may drastically alter current operations for all our agencies. Guardian has coordinated with the respective heads of the FBI, DEA, ICE and Homeland to bring you in. From this point forward you are ordered to cease and desist all activities related to your current operations.”
Every person in attendance pulled up in their seat. Cole focused on his boss. The anger of having his op, granted the one he initially didn’t want to take, jerked out from under him boiled low in his gut.
King continued reading from a card in his hand. “Pending the outcome of a current operation Guardian is running, we have been given the green light to work this information. Timing and secrecy are essential. To that end, Murphy from ICE, Cane from DEA, Smithers from Homeland and Davis from the FBI, will remain in Washington.”
The man nailed each of the agents with a piercing gaze. “You’ll be working with Guardian, coordinating a multi-jurisdictional response to the information we have received. As of this minute—I own you. You will not depart from this room until authorized and all communication with the outside is forbidden until cleared through me. Like it or not, you’re mine until this information is processed and runs its course.”
The man’s eyes cast about the room as he finished. “The remaining operatives in this room will return home and wait. You will take no action to further the investigations. You will report immediately to the combined task force any unexplained movement of your suspects. Wait for direction from this task force. Rest assured, your cases will be credited to you. The magnitude and reach of the information obtained by Guardian requires a coordinated activity. The reason for calling all of you in was twofold.
First, it contains any speculation. You have everything we have at this point. Working through the volumes of information will take time. This task force is up and running as soon as this meeting is dismissed.
Second, each of you who are returning to the field need to understand the ramifications of an errant word or any comments which may be overheard by the wrong people. This operation is being briefed to the Speaker of the House and the POTUS in…” He glanced at his watch, “thirty seven minutes. Are there any questions?”
Cole was torn. Having been singled out to work on the task force was a huge coup. There were at least six other agents in the room who could’ve been tapped for this assignment. It also meant his time with Logan ended without any way to explain how he felt.
The room remained silent. The gathered agents were seasoned professionals. Following orders they didn’t necessarily like was par for the course. Cole glanced at Logan. He’d be staying in D.C. She’d be going back to Mississippi. And not at a good time for their relationship. Fuck, it was a relationship, not a cover. What was he going to do? Damn it, sometimes his job sucked.
Deputy Director Hayes dismissed the gathering and Logan stood extending her hand. “Good-bye Agent Davis. It’s been an interesting assignment.” The icy exterior she presented hit him with the force of a cannon ball fired at point blank range.
“Logan, listen I…” He grabbed her elbow. She pulled away with a slight jerk.
“I’ll take a cab to the airport. Send my overnight case back. Or not, there is nothing I’m leaving here I can’t replace.” She stopped an agent who was walking out of the briefing. “Excuse me? Could you please help me find the exit in this place, Agent…?”
The agent gave her a once over and grinned before he extended a hand. “Agent Thaddeus Long and it would be my pleasure.”
Logan’s long legs made short work of real estate to the door. Cole stood transfixed as she walked out of the room. Gone. No backward look, no subtle indication she was upset. Nothing. Nothing she couldn’t replace? What in the hell does that mean? Fuck, his ice princess sashayed out of the room in her full glory. Only Cole knew. He knew what was going on behind those walls. He’d call her tonight. She needed to know what she meant to him. She wasn’t a one-off.
“Davis? You ready?” Cole snapped his head toward the table on the stage and the agents gathered around it.
Duty calls. “Yeah. I am.”
Logan walked into her Pawpaw’s office at 5:30 p.m. Her ticket had been changed by whoever had bought it and she was on the ground in Mississippi by 4:00 in the afternoon. She left the door open and plopped into one of the two chairs sitting on the other side of his mammoth oak desk.
“What’s up? Where’s Cole?” The sheriff leveled a knowing look at her.
“When will he be back?”
“I don’t know. The prognosis isn’t good. May have to stay to get everything arranged for a funeral. I know he doesn’t have vacation time, so if it’s alright with you, I’ll do the paperwork to transfer a couple weeks of my time to him.”
Her grandfather knew. He understood Cole wasn’t coming back and something had happened in the investigation. Something she couldn’t divulge.
“You okay with everything?”
“Alright then. Get over to Bailey and tell him Cole is on vacation for the next two weeks. If he needs more time off, we’ll discuss a leave-without-pay status.”
“Thanks, Pawpaw. See you.” Logan lifted out of the plush chair and started for the door. Her insides were raw and she wanted to go home and drop the mask. Only a few steps down the hall to scheduling before she could disappear and go home. The knot in her stomach tightened with each lie she told. She knew Cole’s only reason for coming back now would be to reclaim the few items of clothing he had at her house and drive away in his SUV.
Well, what did she expect? Rationally, she understood people who went undercover together could get close quickly. It was natural they’d developed a bond. Just because they’d had sex didn’t mean he felt anything more than the intensity of the cover. She was convenient. And, after all, there’d been no promises, no words or actions to indicate he’d stick around. So what if the sex was more to her than it was to him? When he’d turned to her this morning in the briefing room, she’d watched the expressions on his face. She knew the minute he realized he’d have to broach the subject of leaving. She’d seen his grimace and the hesitation before he spoke. But the final nail in the relationship coffin? He’d called her Logan. He hadn’t called her anything but Bella in weeks. The assignment was over.