“Shut the fuck up!” I reply, my voice hard and cold. Kate flinches, burying her face in my chest, then takes a deep breath and pulls away, meeting my eyes with hers.
“I’m okay,” she repeats stubbornly and glares at her mugger for roughly ten seconds until the police show up. For the next thirty minutes, Kate and I are questioned by the police, and the mugger is cuffed and taken away. We are finally given the okay to go home.
“I’m sorry about this,” Kate says, as we reach my luggage on the sidewalk in front of my house. “Do you need help in with your bags?”
“No,” I reply shortly. I’m so fucking pissed. Adrenaline is still coursing through me. I wanted to keep punching that fucker for just thinking of putting his hands on her.
“Well, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“You’re not going home,” I reply, and take her hand in mine and lead her into my house.
“Eli, I’m fine.”
“I’m not,” I reply and unlock the front door, wait for her to walk in ahead of me, then leave my suitcase and briefcase just inside the door, lock it, and tug my tie off as I lead her up the stairs to the living area, shocked to discover that my own hands are shaking.
Kate stands in the middle of the room as I pour two glasses of brandy, pass her one, and take a long swallow, watching her as she also takes a drink and cringes as it burns on the way down.
“Why were you out there so late?”
“I wanted beignets,” she whispers, her eyes trained on her drink.
“You wanted beignets?” I ask incredulously. “What the fuck, Kate?”
“Don’t swear at me!” she shouts back, pointing her pink-tipped finger at me. “I was craving sugar, and it was either ice cream or beignets. The beignets were closer, darn it. I missed you, and you didn’t answer my text, and I’m such a girl!”
She says this like I’m supposed to understand the logic, which I completely don’t.
“What does your gender have to do with it?”
She glares at me like I’m being obstinate on purpose, then sets her glass on my desk and moves to walk out, but I catch her arm in my hand and pull her against me.
“You just scared ten years off my life, cher.” I bury my face in her hair and take a deep breath. “I missed you too. I couldn’t answer your text because I was on a flight home when it came in.”
“Why are you home early?”
“Because I needed to see you.” God, she smells amazing and feels incredible against me. “And then, when we drove past in the cab and I saw that fucker come up behind you, my heart stopped in my chest. God, Kate, he could have—”
“He didn’t.” I feel her smile against my chest. “I was kicking his ass.”
“Yes, you were, tiger.” I grin and plant my lips on her forehead. “You weren’t lying when you said you took self defense classes.”
“I’m no victim,” she says fiercely, and another part of me softens.
“You’re amazing,” I reply and then sigh. “Scared me.”
“Me too.” She hugs me tightly before stepping away. “It’s late, and I have to be at work in the morning.”
“You’re not going to work in the morning.”
“Of course I am.”
“No, you’re not. I’m the boss, Kate. You were mugged tonight.” Before she can shake her head and fight me further, I pick her up in my arms and carry her up another flight of stairs to my bedroom. “I want to spend tomorrow with you.”
“Apparently, you’re spending tonight with me too?” She pushes her fingers into my hair and smiles softly.
“I can’t let you out of my sight tonight,” I reply honestly, before sitting on the edge of the bed with her in my lap. “I need to keep you safe.”
“Is that all?”
I bury my face in her neck, skim my nose up to her ear, and kiss her softly. She shivers, making me smile. “No, that’s not all, cher.”
“Have I mentioned that I’m glad you’re home?” She cups my face in her hands and kisses my lips lightly.
She nods, her fingers moving gently over my face. God, just having her against me has me hard, but her magical fingers, the way she’s looking at me, has me tied in knots.
I need her.
And I don’t need anyone.
“Kate, tell me now if you’re not okay with me making love to you, because in about two point four seconds, I won’t be able to control myself anymore.”
Her lips curve in a purely feminine, seductive smile as she pulls herself out of my arms, stands, and in one fluid motion, whips her T-shirt over her head and tosses it on the floor by her feet. I’m struck dumb as she hooks her thumbs in the waist of her black leggings and works them down her legs, and suddenly she’s standing before me in a matching lacy light pink bra and panty set.
Jesus Christ, she’s breathtaking.
She moves to unhook her bra, but I shake my head and stand, just inches from her.
“You are stunning.” My voice is nothing but a hoarse whisper as I take her in. She’s slender, but has curves in all the right places. Her breasts…Fuck, I can’t wait to get my hands on her breasts.
She lifts her hands and unbuttons my white shirt, then tosses it down with her things, and her intoxicating green eyes take a journey down my torso.
“Wow,” she whispers, and traces the muscles of my chest and stomach with her fingertips, sending heat through me. “You’re even better than I imagined.”
Her hands land on the waist of my slacks and she pops the clasp open, and just as she slides her hands inside to nudge them down my hips, she leans in and plants her lips right over my heart.
When my pants hit the floor, I lift Kate back into my arms and lay her in the center of the bed, then brace myself on my elbow next to her and run my fingers over the lace of her sexy as fuck underwear.
“I didn’t hear from you this week,” she murmurs, and watches my face as my hands roam over her body. “I thought maybe you’d changed your mind.”
“Hell no,” I reply and nudge her nose with mine. “I knew if I heard your voice I’d get on the next plane out and come straight here.” My finger pushes under the cup of her bra and brushes over her nipple, making her gasp. “I’ve thought of nothing but you.” I glide my finger to the other breast and repeat the movement, making her squirm next to me.