Home > Dark in Death (In Death #46)(8)

Dark in Death (In Death #46)(8)
Author: J.D. Robb

“Anybody can have sex on a bed,” she pointed out. “How many have sex in the middle of a big-ass ballroom?” She rose, walked to the center of the room.

She pointed at the floor. “Right in the damn middle.”

“We might as well do it right then.” He moved to a panel, flipped it open, danced his fingers over the controls within.

The enormous fireplace flared on, blazed. Music, something low with a lot of bass, streamed on.

She grinned again. “Not bad. That’s not bad.”

He crossed to her, hooked an arm around her waist, yanked her against him. When she linked hers around him, prepared to drop to the floor with him, he circled her into a dance.

“Damn it.” She let out a sigh. “That’s really not bad at all.”

It might have been dreamy—the music, the lights, the man—then she remembered she was dancing in her underwear, while wearing her weapon.

She tipped her head back, started to make some snarky comment about just that. He stopped the words with his mouth.

Circling, swaying, with a long, long kiss, deep and lush with body pressed to body in a perfect fit. It topped dreamy by several points. What he brought her in a room built for glamour, for crowds? The simple and the intimate.

He felt her slide into the moment with him, the just us, anytime and anywhere. And always. He couldn’t say why the fun and the foolishness she’d begun had struck such a strong, clear romantic chord in him.

Now he could take that moment, this moment, their moment, to show her both.

“I like your dress,” he murmured.

“Oh, it’s just a really little something I pulled on.”

His lips curved against her hair. “It suits you. Not everyone wears white so well, or with such powerful accessories.”

“Yeah, it’s a stunner,” she said, making him laugh.

“So’s my wife.”

Again, she angled her head back. “So you’re married?”

“I am, yes. Right down to the marrow. You?”

“I got talked into it. It’s working out pretty well.” She laid a hand on his cheek. “He’s got this way of making me feel I’m the only person in the world.”

“When I’m with my wife, when I’m holding her, she is.”

She pressed her cheek against his, closed her eyes as they danced. “No one ever made me the reason before him. No one else ever made me the one.”

“She changed my life the moment she walked into it. She’s the reason, and the one.”

“I don’t know if I believed in love before, but I know I didn’t understand it. And now …”

“And now.”

This time, she tipped back her head, took his lips. And gave herself to the now.

He hit the release on her weapon harness, slipped it off, letting it slide to the floor before he circled her back to the center of the room, of the moment.

Together, they lowered to the floor while the music beat, the lights shimmered, the fire snapped.

He let his hands roam—that long back, the narrow torso—over smooth skin under thin white cotton. The tough, disciplined muscles never failed to arouse. His woman was a fighter, a brawler, a tireless warrior, and still could offer him the soft and the sweet.

Her hands roamed as his did, the short, unpainted nails digging in, letting him know his body, his touch, his needs pleased her.

She smelled of soap and winter wind, tasted of woman and warmth.

He tugged the tank away to cup her breast—small, firm, lovely—in his hand. Her heart bumped beneath his fingers.

She tangled her legs with his, let herself float on the gentle surf of rising senses. The feel of his hands—always clever, now patient—on her skin, his scent, one she’d recognize among thousands, the taste of him as her lips skimmed along his jaw.

All coalesced into one, into him, while the fire sizzled and snapped, while the music drifted through the air.

She slipped his sweater up and away, wanting skin to skin now, craving heart to heart. Used hands and mouth to saturate herself with him, to indulge herself, to take what was only hers.

When he pressed her back, she flowed with it. When he gripped her hands, she linked her fingers with his and held on. Held on as with mouth alone he turned her body into fire. One quick gasp escaped her, a gasp that shuddered into a moan as he churned her system into glorious chaos. Feasting on her breasts—his teeth adding a tiny, exquisite pain—he made her tremble.

He wanted her to quake, wanted to feel her quake and break beneath him. He needed to drive her into helplessness before her power whipped back and conquered him. She would give, he knew, he knew, as his mouth played over that lean torso, she would cry out in surrender and yield all.

So her hips pumped up, body arched, breath sobbed, as his tongue slid over her, into her.

Hot, impossible pleasure broke over her, swamped her. Helpless, yes. Helplessly she rode the torrent to its dizzying peak, trapped there in a kind of glorious madness before tumbling down, weak and dazed.

He exploited, he plundered, and she, still wrecked, could only writhe under the assault. The next orgasm ripped through her, velvet claws. And still.

And still.

She tried to say his name as her mind whimpered: too much. It’s too much.

But when the word slipped from her, the word was “More.”

So he used his hands on her, and gave her more.

Half-crazed now, he moved up her body, his only clear thought to take, to have.

“Wait.” Her heavy eyes met his. “Wait.”

“Eve.” He pressed his lips to her throat, prepared to beg if he must.

She gathered what little strength and sanity she had left, rolled. Simply laying her head on his chest while she found her breath.

“Eve.” Fighting the animal clawing inside him, he gripped her hips. “I need you.”

“I know.” She rose up, looking into his eyes as she straddled him. “I know.” Letting out a long sigh as she took him in. “I know.” Pressing one of his hands to her heart, she began to move. “I know.”

So her power whipped back, built, built. She surrounded him, accepted him. Conquered him.

When she melted, heated honey, against him, they lay together, tangled, dazed, in the center of the ballroom.

Fleetingly, he wondered if he’d ever not think of this when they had the room full of people, food, lights, and music. He also wondered how he’d find the energy to carry her to their actual bed if—as he thought she might—she fell asleep on top of him.

Then she stirred, let out a long, low sound of satisfaction.

“Well, that’s another checked off the list.”

Adoring her, he laughed. “You have a list?”

“It’s just a mental list, for now. How many rooms do you figure we have yet to hit?”

Adore her, hell. He bloody well worshipped her. “I’ll have to do a count.”

“Do that.” She pushed up enough to look down at him. “Because we have to hit them all. Big house, so it’ll take awhile. But we have to hit them all, even if we hit the last one when we’re old and creaky.”

He skimmed a finger down her chin. “We might save one for when we are. As a kind of incentive and reward.”

“That’s a good idea. I like it. I think I can get up now, especially since I don’t have to worry about the clothes I left scattered around out there because, hey, Summerset-free.”

She rolled off. “I’ve got to get my stuff, though. Badge, ’link, like that.”

“You get that, I’ll get what’s in here—including your weapon.”

“Deal.” Eyes still heavy, face still flushed, she got to her feet. “It’s a good deal,” she said when he got to his. “All around.”

He took her hand, kissed her fingers. “The best of deals.”

“Now I’m walking in a ballroom naked,” she said as she crossed the gleaming floor. “How many people can say that?”


Eve woke in the predawn dark with a weight on her chest. When she opened her sleep-blurred eyes she made out a silhouette that had her reaching for her weapon with one hand, balling the other into a fist. Before she punched the shadow, as her brain cleared enough to remember she wasn’t wearing her weapon or anything else, the shadow let out a familiar, growly sort of sound.

“Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with you? Lights on, ten percent.”

In the low light, Galahad’s bicolored eyes stared, hard and steely, into hers. “What’s your problem?” She hauled him up, dumped him on the bed beside her.

Those odd feline eyes only narrowed. The growly sound clicked up to an actual growl.

“Watch it, pal. I’m bigger than you.”

Eve scrubbed her hands over her face, called for the time.

The time is five-thirty-three. Current temperature is nineteen degrees.

Eve shot a finger at the cat. “I had another thirty coming to me.”

Galahad’s response was a snarl.

Since she didn’t have Roarke as backup—already up and buying a solar system or selling a small country, Eve imagined—she rolled out of bed, snagged the robe her husband, who inexplicably thought of every damn thing, must have tossed on the foot of the bed.

As she pulled the robe on, the cat stalked to the edge of the bed. Sat. Stared.

“Look, you’re creeping me, okay? Knock it off.”

She walked to the wall panel, opened it to the AutoChef, programmed the first cup of life-sustaining coffee.

And got it.

No Summerset, and Roarke in one of his emperor-of-the-business-world meetings. Still, the man who thought of every damn thing usually fed the cat when the house was Summerset-free.

Turning, taking that first gulp of good, strong black coffee, Eve eyed the cat.

“Are you bullshitting me, tubby?”

He jumped off the bed—a definite thud. Sat. Stared.

His bullshit generally took the tack of sucking up, rubbing that pudgy body against legs, looking sad or appealing.

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