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One sexy silent night 5:00 a.m.
Cilla Michaels was not going to leave the hotel room without her panties. She'd been a cop for three years, a private security agent for two, and now she headed up G.W. Securities' new office in San Francisco. She was a pro at tracking things down.
On her hands and knees, she inched her way quietly down the length of her side of the bed, using her hand to sweep the space beneath it as she went.
She was not the kind of woman who would abandon anything that had a La Perla label on it. She'd parted with a small fortune for the red lace bikini, and it was part of a set. The matching camisole had already been located near the nightstand. She had a vague recollection of stripping it off and tossing it there herself. While in the throes of uncontrollable passion. Because that's exactly what Jonah Stone had sparked in her.
Ducking her head down, she lifted the dust ruffle and peered beneath. The dim light slipping through the narrow slits in the drapes didn't provide much in the way of illumination.
The rest of her clothes she'd found quite easily near the door of the hotel suite where Jonah Stone had efficiently stripped her out of them. The man had fast moves, and just thinking about what had happened the instant the door had closed behind them brought back the sensation of those hard hands on her skin, the impatience, the demand. And the pleasure.
Heat shimmered through her, pooling in her center and then radiating outward. He'd taken her the first time right there. No small talk. No talk at all. But the foreplay had been top-notch. His hands had pushed into her hair, and she'd felt each of those hard, slender fingers while he'd assaulted her mouth with lips, teeth and tongue. Each sensation had been so sharp. If she lived to be a hundred, she would never forget his mouth, his taste.
Then he'd moved those hands over her shoulders, shoving her jacket off and molding her body with such purpose and skill.
He'd smelled so good and felt betterhard and tough and male. Hadn't she been imagining him just like this ever since the instant she'd first seen him at that party yesterday?
When those smoky-gray eyes had collided with hers, something had clicked inside of her like a switch turning brains cells off and lust onfull throttle. That was the only explanation she could come up with for agreeing to his one-night stand proposition.
His argument had been logical enoughjust the kind you'd expect from an astute businessman. After all, they were unattached adults, intensely attracted to each other, and fate in the form of an airport-closing blizzard had thrown them together. Why not pleasure each other for one long, sexy night and then go their separate ways?
She might have come up with at least two good reasons why not. In fact she'd been thinking about them when he'd suddenly appeared at her table in the lounge of the hotel. But looking into his eyes had triggered that little click again, and sent logic flying.
That was how she'd ended up against the door of his hotel room, his mouth branding hers. She had only a blurry recollection of how her sweater and slacks had hit the floor. Her focus had been on those hard hands moving up her legs and heating her blood to the boiling point. She'd never before experienced such intense sensations. Never wanted anyone so desperately. He'd opened up a new and wonderful world for her. Sensations flooded through her again as she recalled how he'd slipped fingers beneath the thin lace that still covered her, pushed into her and sent her flying.
He'd whispered the word so quietly against her mouth. His hands had already slid between them. She caught the rasp of a zipper, the tear of foil. The sounds might have been the most erotic she'd ever heard. Even as he sheathed himself, the need inside her had spiked into craving. She had to have him inside her. She couldn't survive another ten seconds if he wasn't.
Now. Right now.
He'd dug fingers into her hips, lifting her as she'd wrapped arms and legs around him. Then he'd driven into her, and she hadn't cared if she survived at all. His thrusts had battered her against the door again and again. Fast. As if he'd needed this to survive just as much as she had. That was the last rational thought she'd registered before his release triggered an orgasm that had simply shattered her.
Drawing in a deep breath, Cilla pressed a hand against her hammering heart. A little side-trip down memory lane was not going to help her find her panties. All it made her want to do was crawl back into bed with Jonah.
Don't think about that. No more fantasies, either. That's what had landed her in this situationa one-night stand in a hotel near the Denver airport with Jonah Stonea man she'd met for the first time only yesterday.
Her new job at G.W. Securities had brought her to a small family gathering at the Fortune Mansion in Denver. The moment she'd arrived at the party, she'd been aware of him. He was a man that any female would look at more than oncetall, dark and ruggedly handsome. He was dressed in a black turtleneck and jeans, which enhanced the broad shoulders, muscled chest and long, lanky legs. His chin was strong, his mouth firm and his cheekbones made her think of a warrior's. Of course, she'd looked at him more than once or twice. Any woman needed a little eye candy in her life, right? It was when her eyes had finally collided with his that the trouble had started.
She'd heard that click, and she'd totally lost track of where she was, who she was. For seconds, minutes maybe, she hadn't been aware of anyone or anything but him. A stranger she'd seen across a crowded room.
It was the kind of thing she'd only read about in books or heard in song lyrics or seen in a movie. Everything had frozen, including time.
Before yesterday afternoon, Cilla would have sworn that nothing like that could happen in real life. But it had. More astonishing than that, it had happened to her. And of course, she'd been curious. Who was he?
And how could he have this amazing effect on her?
As a top-notch security agent and investigator, she'd tracked down the answer to her first question within five minutes. His name was Jonah Stone, and he was the best friend of her new boss, Gabe Wilder. That alone would pretty much have classified Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome as forbidden fruit. The new G.W. Securities office in San Francisco was only six months old, and Gabe had hired her to run it. She had to concentrate on her job, on proving herself to Gabe. The last thing she needed was to get involved with his best friend.
But there was another reason to put Jonah Stone on the Forbidden Fruit list. From what Gabe had told her, his friend was a busy and successful entrepreneur, the owner of three successful supper clubs and totally focused on his businesses. That reminded her a bit too much of her father.
But even with the warning flags flying, she'd still tried to satisfy her curiosity about the second question. How could he have that time-stopping, nothing-else-matters effect on her mind and senses? So when he'd approached her, she'd gripped his outstretched hand, felt the hard palm, the firm strength of his fingers, and the oddest feeling of connection. Then she'd met his eyes and her mind had just emptied. And she'd been struck by a vivid image of the two of them, naked and rolling across a wide bed in a dark room.
Both the feeling and the image had faded, and she'd been just fine. But she'd also made her excuses and left the party early. And everything would have been fine if it hadn't been for the damn blizzard.
If the Denver airport hadn't had to close down last night, she and Jonah would have both been back in San Francisco in their separate apartments, and her expensive red panties would have been in her laundry hamper.
But it had shut down and she'd decided to switch to an early-morning flight and stay at the airport hotel. She'd been in the bar having a glass of wine and thinking about him when he'd shown up. During the time it had taken him to cross to her table and join her, she'd experienced for the third time in her life what she'd decided to call the nobody-else-but-Jonah effect.
For a moment, neither one of them had spoken. And then he'd made his proposition. And she'd agreed to it. The rest of the night was now historyand the sexiest one she'd ever experienced.
Panties, she reminded herself as she inched her way around the corner of the bed. Find them. Get dressed. Leave. The sooner she got back to San Francisco, the better.
They weren't anywhere along the foot of the bed. They weren't anywhere in the trail of clothes that led to the bed. Chances were good that they were still in the bed. But if she got back into that bed, it wouldn't be just for her expensive underwear.
She spotted the red lace the moment she crawled around the end of the bed to Jonah's side. In the light from the digital clock radio on the nightstand, she also saw Jonah. More of him than she wanted to. He was sprawled on his stomach, one arm dangling over the side of the mattress. The sheet covered him only to the waist.
And that strongly muscled back was not what she should be looking at. She dragged her gaze away and glanced down his arm to where his fingers nearly brushed the floor. Threaded through them was her quarry. All she had to do was get those panties and leave.
Very quietly, she crawled forward, scarcely daring to breathe. Gripping just the edge of the lace, she tugged.
Jonah's fingers reflexively clenched the red undies.
Cilla waited, listening hard. His breathing was steady. Only his fingers had moved, so in another moment, they'd relax again. This time she'd just pull harder.
That was one strategythe smart one. Grab and go.
But her gaze had already betrayed her. It had left the panties behind to run up that arm. Jonah's face was turned toward her and his eyes, those incredible eyes, were closed.
She could easily wake him. There were a lot of ways to persuade a man to give up a piece of lace. Several scenarios ran through her mind.
She snuck a quick look at the clock: 5:15 a.m. The alarm hadn't yet sounded. Technically, it was still night. And if a girl only had one night to spend with a man?
She might as well make the most of it.
Rising, she pulled the sheet down and climbed back onto the bed to straddle Jonah. Then she leaned down to nibble at his ear and whisper, "I have a proposition for you."