Years ago, Walker and Madeline had a good thing going. They were young and impetuous, just a couple of kids indulging in the pleasures of a wild infatuation. But still, it meant the world to Madeline. And then, at the most vulnerable time of her life, when she needed him the most, he walked away.
Now, the ex-Secret Service agent is back to start his own security business. And Tony, his old friend and new billionaire client has quite a proposition: protect his woman from threats against her life. The hitch? The woman in question is Madeline.
She’s never forgotten Walker. And she’s never forgiven him. Under the heat of the Lake Tahoe sun her sensual revenge begins. Making Walker pay will be a pleasure. But danger and desire make a combustible mix, and no one is prepared for the explosion.
Includes a bonus excerpt of Beth Kery’s Only for You
On the Job previously appeared in Three to Tango
Praise for Beth Kery, Recipient of the All About Romance Reader Poll for Best Erotica
“Wicked good storytelling.”—Jaci Burton
“Addictive and delicious.”—USA Today
Beth Kery is the New York Times bestselling author of the Because You Are Mine series: Because You Are Mine, When I’m with You, Because We Belong and Since I Saw You. She is also the author of the One Night of Passion novels which include Addicted to You, Bound to You, Captured By You, Exposed to You, and Only for You.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
My heartfelt thanks to my husband for giving me so many wonderful Lake Tahoe memories
Madeline was boiling with emotion, and Walker Gray was about to pay for it.
She stretched, arching her back and displaying her breasts more prominently for her audience of one. Her naked skin felt sun-warmed and smooth as she glided a hand through tanning oil from just below her breast, down over her ribs and across her belly, allowing her fingers to trail flirtatiously just beneath the top portion of the tiny red bikini bottoms she wore. She couldn’t see exactly where he stood behind her, but she sensed his focused attention nevertheless. He wore a pair of sunglasses, of course, standard equipment for a former secret service special agent and present-day head of security for Hallas Technologies.
Madeline could imagine his eyes behind the dark lenses. They’d perfectly match the alpine lake before her—crystalline blue shot through with shards of green. She’d had a lot of practice envisioning Walker’s eyes during the eleven years of his absence from Carnelian Bay, California.
More’s the pity.
A low-grade electrical sensation buzzed just beneath her oiled skin, and that wasn’t the only place set to tingling by the knowledge of his keen observance. Sexual tension coiled in her lower belly, the result of her tumultuous emotional state and the gaze of the man she’d once loved with all her being pinned to her nearly naked body.
Her nipples pulled so tight against the flimsy fabric of her swimsuit that she reached up and pinched at one lightly, then soothed the aching flesh between her fingertips. A twinge of pleasure streaked through her clit. She considered touching herself there, as well, but no....
There was plenty of time to dish out his torture. Madeline Sayer may be getting more and more turned on by the second as she lay on the white dock that stretched out onto the clear waters of Lake Tahoe, but she was also angry. Eleven years of fury and hurt at Walker Gray’s abandonment fueled her performance. He may have left behind a naïve nineteen-year-old girl when he’d left for Glynco, Georgia, to begin his training, but Madeline was all grown up now.
The sun worshipped her senses like a lover, its warmth beating down on her relentlessly. She gave herself to it, beckoning it with gliding caresses across her skin, arching her back slightly, tempting a kiss on her aching nipples. She rubbed oil onto her chest and trailed her fingers over the upper swells of her breasts, appreciating the firm curves in a way she could only do with his hawk-like gaze trained on her.
He was back there, watching her. He was on the job, and Madeline knew better than most how important his job was to him. He wouldn’t abandon it, even if he had abandoned her. She held him in a trap, and it was sweet . . . delicious to torment him for his sense of duty, to make him pay for his noble intentions.
The driving rays of the sun on her nipples weren’t sufficient. She glanced up, squinting into brilliant sunlight that was amplified exponentially by the clear blue water. Tony had taken out his boat earlier along with a visiting couple from the Silicon Valley, the Margraves. Not only was Tony’s boat not within her vision, but neither was any other craft.
Time to play.
She glided her fingers over her breasts and pushed back the fabric of her bikini top just past the crests, exposing her nipples to the heat. They poked out of her top, eager for the sensation of the sun’s rays and plucking, oiled fingertips.
The knowledge of Walker’s gaze was a potent aphrodisiac. Liquid heat pooled in her pussy. She drove her tailbone down slightly, getting indirect pressure on her anus and sex. A soft purr of satisfaction vibrated her throat as she continued to rub her distended nipples.
She’d thought rarely enough of Walker in the past several years. Seeing him again so unexpectedly this morning had brought it all back in a rush, the strength of her feelings shocking her a little.
He used to touch her like this once—no, better, much better with his big, male hands and blunt-tipped fingertips. He enjoyed watching as he played with her breasts. Even back then, his gaze had added an extra sizzle factor to Madeline’s excitement. He used to say it would help him slow down, to watch, instead of consuming her fast and furious like he desired. He’d been so careful of her back then, so deliberate. They’d given each other pleasure often, even if they hadn’t ever had intercourse. Walker’s older brother, Zach, had gotten a girl pregnant when he was seventeen. Madeline knew Walker had thought it’d ruined Zach’s life to be chained to the area of his childhood and forced to give up on his dreams.
He wasn’t going to take the chance on his future. Walker had always treated her like she was something precious until the day he’d told her he was leaving Lake Tahoe for good. That was when Madeline first understood he’d been so careful for his own reasons, not out of any tenderness or concern for her. He’d been cautious not to get too close because he’d known all along he would leave.
She pinched both nipples at once. Her hips squirmed against the hard wood of the dock. She used to be insecure about her small breasts until she’d become involved with Walker. It was his avidness over her breasts that first taught Madeline she was beautiful.
She reminded him of what he’d sacrificed as she stroked her erect nipples beneath a hot Tahoe sun. So what if they’d just been kids at the time, fools suffering from the heatstroke of a wild infatuation? She’d needed him, and he’d failed her. First Madeline’s father had died unexpectedly, then Walker had left. Madeline’s hurt had changed to anger over the years. Eventually, the sting had faded.
It had, anyway, until she’d walked onto the terrace this morning and seen Walker Gray talking to Tony.
Her clit begged for attention, but Madeline refrained. With effort. She longed to punish him, not only for eleven years ago, but for having the temerity to suddenly appear again in her life. His brisk, professional manner made a mockery of the fact that she’d been floored by his unexpected presence. He’d barely said two dozen words to her since Tony had asked her if she recalled their old friend from their high school and college days, Walker Gray.
She recalled, all right.
She’d make sure the bastard remembered just as graphically.
She sat up and took a sip from her glass of iced hibiscus tea mixed with lemonade. Her fingers strayed to the tie at her back. She pulled slowly on the string. She tossed the flimsy top next to the sweating glass and stretched out again on the dock.
It wasn’t a big deal. She sunbathed topless once in a while on Tony’s boat. True, she’d never gotten the impression that her bare breasts had received any of the focused interest from Tony as they once had from the man who stood behind her in the yard. Sure, she’d never have done it if it were another one of Tony’s employees standing guard. The point was, Madeline was perfectly comfortable sunbathing topless in this situation.
She doubted very seriously she would have ever cupped her breasts in her slick hands from below, making the nipples point upward, like dark pink arrows, to the sky even in front of Tony, but the heretofore unprotected parts of her skin needed SPF, didn’t they?
It felt good, so warm, so arousing . . . so powerful.
She let one hand trail across the sensitive skin at the sides of her ribs and across her belly. Her clit beckoned. It burned in protest at being ignored. She slipped two fingers beneath the top of her bikini panties. Her labia were moist and swollen.
She slid a finger into the juicy cleft and moaned in pleasure.
Was he suffering? God, she hoped so.
Her eyes popped open a few seconds later when she felt a hand wrap around her wrist. He’d moved so quietly, and she’d been so involved in her little game, she’d never heard his tread on the dock.
“Surely you’re not going to ask me what I’m doing, Madeline.” She saw his clamped jaw and her shocked reflection in the mirrored lenses of his sunglasses. “Because I would have thought that was obvious. I’m giving you what you’ve been asking for.”
She gasped in surprise when he slid his forearm beneath her thighs and lifted. The next thing she knew she was flying down the dock in Walker Gray’s arms.
She sputtered, furious at his audacity . . . and more than a little thrilled by it. “Put me down, Walker.”
His long stride never broke.
Walker had been lean and beautiful in his teens and early twenties, as tawny and sleek as a young lion. He’d only grown more powerful as he aged. His hips and waist were still narrow, but he’d added some serious muscle in his shoulders and chest. She wriggled in his arms, her breath coming choppy and fast, trying to get him to release her, but it was useless. Those muscles were granite-solid. Her left nipple rubbed against the soft cotton of his shirt. She saw the line of his jaw harden.
“Put me down,” she fumed as he stalked toward the beach house changing room. “Believe me, I haven’t been asking for anything from you. I was minding my own business, sunbathing like I always do. Do you want me to scream for help?”
He plunged inside the air-conditioned dim interior of the women’s changing room and showers. Tony owned Hallas Technologies, the largest computer security company in the country. When he entertained in Lake Tahoe, he tended to do it on a big scale. The changing rooms in close proximity to the beach had been built to make guests comfortable. When he invited a large party there, he even staffed the luxurious rooms with maids, towel boys and masseuses.
Madeline squawked when Walker abruptly plunked her down on the tile floor in front of one of the steam showers. The next thing she knew, he was pulling her arms above her head. She felt cool metal around her wrists and heard a clicking sound. He twisted his hand and slid something into his pocket.
She stared up at him, her mouth gaping open.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she demanded, outraged and bewildered in equal measure. He’d just handcuffed her to the top of the metal structure of the shower surround. She stretched on her tiptoes, back arched, her long hair swishing just above her bikini panties, trying like mad to move the chain between the cuffs up one inch over the top of the metal.
Just. One. Inch.
She growled in pure frustration when she came up short.
“Let me go.”
Her heart charged like an out of control locomotive in her ears. She couldn’t believe this was happening to her. She was in the shadowed changing room alone with Walker. He’d handcuffed her wrists above her head and he was staring down at her. He’d removed his glasses, but his eyes were cast in shadow.
He spread a large, sun-warmed hand on her hip as if to remind her of her naked vulnerability. She went utterly still while her heart continued to race like it thought she was running for her life. She had to lean her head back to look into his face. He topped six feet by several inches, making him nearly a foot taller than her.
She shivered when he caressed the sensitive side of her body from the waist to just below her armpit. It had always excited her to feel how much of her body he could span with his hand, his stark masculinity making her feel exponentially more feminine by contrast.
“All you had to do was ask. I would have been more than happy to oblige you, Madeline.”
She sensed the depth of his fury for the first time. Walker was typically so cool, so controlled. He didn’t lose his temper often, but when he did, he could be fearsome. She licked her upper lip in nervous excitement. What sort of inferno had she started with her little game of tease and torture?
“I don’t know what you mean,” she replied, her voice sounding haughty and hushed in the cool, dim room. “I sunbathe topless all the time.”
His eyebrows arched. “And you typically masturbate while Tony’s employees watch?”
“What I do is none of your business. You’re being paid to make sure I’m safe.”
“I thought you said you didn’t need any protection.”
“I don’t. This whole thing you’ve set up with Tony is ridiculous. That man who shot at me was a random lunatic. Why would someone want to hurt me?”
She jumped when he moved his hand and touched the side of a breast. Her nipples pulled tight.
“Is this how they taught you to protect a client?” she seethed quietly.
“I’m keeping a good eye on you.”
“You’re ignoring the duties of your job, Walker,” she taunted.
“I’m doing exactly what I came back to Lake Tahoe to do.”
Her eyes widened in surprise at that.
“Let go of me now,” she grated out between clenched teeth.
“When you’ve gotten what you were asking for,” he said quietly. His hand moved. She panted as he shaped a breast to his palm. Arousal stabbed at her clit.
“You’ve grown larger,” he murmured as he used his fingertips to pluck at a nipple. She opened her mouth to speak, but the sight of him watching himself play with her breast left her speechless. Wetness surged from her pussy. “Not much,” he continued as he filled his hand with her other breast. “I’m glad. You’re so firm.” He lifted both breasts slightly in his hands and then released her, watching as the taut flesh sprung back into place. “Look at that. You always did have the prettiest breasts,” he said distractedly. “Your nipples get just as stiff as they used to.”
Madeline moaned, strung tight on a wire of anger and arousal.
“No, don’t,” she whispered when he placed both of his hands on her rib cage, holding her in place, and bent, lowering his head. She knew she’d be a goner if he put his mouth on her.
But it was too late.
“Oh God,” she groaned in pleasure when he inserted an erect nipple between his lips. His mouth felt hot. His tongue agitated the aroused flesh like a tender lash. Arousal—so sharp it was almost painful—zipped down to her pussy like a lightning flash. She twisted in his hold, trying to get more friction on her aching nipples. His hand shifted. He pinched at her other nipple with gentle, calloused fingertips, coaxing the flesh into further pronouncement.