Jonathan pushed him.

Lucius balled his hand into a fist, and it appeared like he was going to pound the stupid man into a bloody, lifeless heap. But then Jonathan pointed a finger in his face, said a few words, and Lucius nodded stiffly.

Both men glanced to me.

I didn’t pretend to misunderstand what they’d been talking about, and didn’t pretend I hadn’t watched with interest. Lucius abruptly swung around and stalked toward the back door, widening the distance between us.

Still glowering with anger, Jonathan stared at me, silently commanding me to appreciate his efforts on my behalf. I merely offered him a half smile and turned away. Though I desperately wanted to race after Lucius and find out what had been said, I forced myself to keep pace beside Claudia. What kind of power did Lucius wield over me that he made me forget my job, my surroundings, my…everything? If I knew, perhaps I could fight against it. Fight againsthim.

The return drive to the ambassador’s residence was filled with chatter—all of it Claudia’s. She lamented on the plague that was man, promised to speak with Jonathan again, and asked me over a thousand times if I was all right.

“Not a good first day on the job, was it?” she said.

“I’ll be fine,” I told her. “I handled Hunter once, and I’ll handle him again.”

Unfortunately, I was lying on both counts.

Chapter 15

Why the hell aren’t you in your apartment?” a rough, infuriated voice growled.

I came awake instantly. I lay in bed—my new, wheelbarrow-shaped bed at Claudia’s home. I wore a thin tank and equally thin sleep pants. A soft yellow cover draped my lower half. Agent Luc slept peacefully on the floor at the end of the bed.

And Lucius was crouched at my feet.

When he realized I was awake, he sprang on top of me. I had my knife at his throat before he could take his next breath. He didn’t flinch, didn’t seem to care that I held his life in my hands. Frankly, I was amazed. Not only had he bypassed the ambassador’s security; he’d bypassed mine. I’d rigged the windows and door locks before I allowed myself to fall into sleep.

Lucius’s weight pushed me deep into the mattress, making me all the more aware of the cool material underneath me, and the pure male heat on top of me.

“How did you get in here without waking me?” I demanded quietly, pressing the knife deeper. Not deep enough to draw blood. Not yet.

“Very easily. Now answer the damn question.”

“Claudia insisted I stay here.”

“Claudia, huh? You two are on a first-name basis?”

“She’s not so bad. She wants to protect me from you.”

“Baby, nothing can protect you from me.” The darkness of his voice cut through the darkness of the room.

I tried to wriggle out from under him, but he had me pinned by his strength. More than that, my halfhearted wriggling wouldn’t have dislodged a feather. It did spark my desire for him to new heights, though, causing my breasts to mesh into his chest. The scent of honey began to encompass us in a fragrant cloud. And perhaps, just perhaps, I intentionally spread my legs so his lower body would sink into mine.

His nostrils flared, and tension radiated off of him in decadent waves. “We’ve got to do something about your perfume.”


“It gives a man ideas,” he grumbled.

I swallowed. “What kind of ideas?”

“The naked kind.” His eyes narrowed. “Did you bring Luc?” Undiluted and unrestrained menace dripped from his tone.

I almost smiled. Almost. “Agent Luc is here, yes.”

Even in the moonlight, Lucius’s eyes visibly darkened. His ice-blue eyes. No contacts. He’d come to me as himself. My heart picked up in speed, drumming hotly in my chest.

“I told you what would happen if you brought him. Where. The hell. Is he?”

“On the floor,” I said, bending both of my knees. An innocent (I swear) action that cradled him intimately against me. I kept my knife steady.

“The only thing on the floor is a fucking lazy-ass dog.”

“Exactly.” The word emerged on a smug breath. “And she’s not lazy. She’s finally getting some rest after a horrible life with a predator.”

In that moment, he understood how I’d played him. How I’d purposefully made him jealous. Watching me, he popped the muscles in his jaw. “You’re going to pay for that, cookie.”

“Yeah, and you’re going to pay for sneaking into my room.” At last I pressed the knife hard enough to nick him. A tiny drop of blood slithered down his neck. “I named her after you.”

“If you couldn’t have me, you’d have the next best thing, right?”

“Can’t you take an insult as it’s intended? Now get the hell off me.” If only I sounded convincing…Angry with myself, I pressed the knife a little more deeply into his neck.

He didn’t answer or comment; he was too busy staring at my lips. For a moment, however, itdid look like he wanted to say something, something smart-assed and cutting, but then he changed his mind, pressed against the blade, and swooped down.

He kissed the breath right out of me.

His tongue plunged inside my mouth, and I opened eagerly. Helpless to do otherwise. He tasted like man and heat, firing my blood, igniting my senses. I could become addicted to his flavor, I thought dazedly. His lips were soft, so soft, the perfect contrast to the hard battle of supremacy our tongues waged.

Suddenly he jerked back, his breathing ragged and unsteady. He glared down at me. “Getting involved with an agent is stupid.”

I glared up at him as I dragged in my own unsteady breath. The blade winked between us. “Getting involved with your partner is stupider.”

“Do you care?” he said, brows arching.

“No.” I should have, but I didn’t. Not here, and not now.

“Me, either. Drop the knife, Eden. We finish this.”

“Do we?” I smiled slowly, seductively, though how I was capable of the action when my mind had long since forgotten everything but Lucius I don’t know. I moved the blade over his collar like a caress. “I could kill you, instead.”

“Drop it.”

“No.” I used the blade to cut his shirt. His eyes widened; his nostrils flared. I tossed the tatters of his shirt aside.

He grabbed the knife and cut off my top then flung the blade aside. It landed on the floor with a thump. We were chest against chest. My nipples abraded him, and he sucked in a breath.

“You better be worth the wait,” I said.

Neither one of us commented on the fact that we hadn’t truly known each other long. It just seemed like we’d waited for this for an eternity.

When he didn’t move, I prompted, “Do you need an engraved invitation?”

He groaned a sound more animal than human, and his lips instantly slammed into mine. I moaned when one of his hot, callused hands found my breast and squeezed, then plumped. My nipples beaded. I’d told him once that if he ever kissed me again, I’d kill him. To be honest, I’d kill him without thought or hesitation if he dared stop. We’d been building to this moment since we first clapped eyes on each other. Why not get it out of the way so we could at last focus on our jobs?

“This isn’t safe here,” he said, tearing his mouth away.

“Then hurry.”

“You read my mind.” He uttered a ragged chuckle. “Everything about you turns me on.” He laved my lips with his tongue. “The way you move. The way you talk.”

Weapons were strapped all over him. My hands unsteady, I tugged at the cords holding them to his chest. He let me, too. All the while, his mouth slanted over mine, his tongue plundering deliciously inside. Soon, his knives and guns surrounded us. He jerked off his pants. I jerked off mine. I shoved at the covers that separated our lower bodies until finally, we had total skin-to-skin contact. I sucked in a breath at the sheer heat, the rightness.

Luc whimpered.

Lucius tore away again. “Good girl,” he said over his shoulder. His eyes met mine, and his tone changed, deepening with his next words. “Very good girl.” Sweat ran down his temples, and he breathed as shallowly as if he’d run a marathon uphill. Lines of tension bracketed his eyes. “You’re a screamer. I can tell. Just try and keep it down.”

“I am not a screamer,” I whispered roughly.

A look of sublime pleasure consumed his features, tempered only by amusement and satisfaction. “Then get ready, baby, because you’re about to.”

“Enough talking.” I jerked his head to mine, claiming his lips in a kiss that branded my very bones. My hands were everywhere. All over him. His nipples speared my palms; the muscles of his back jumped under my assault, and his ass tightened. I bent my knees…and felt the weapons that were strapped to his thighs. Another barrier. I cursed under my breath.

“Take them off,” I whispered fiercely. “Hurry.”

I’d never seen a man bolt up and discard his weapons so quickly in my life. He watched me while he did it, his gaze so hot it scorched me. My blood flowed through my veins in a rush of need and eagerness as I allowed my own gaze to slide down his body. The long length of his penis strained thick, so thick, and hard. I bit my bottom lip to keep from panting; I clenched the sheets to keep from reaching for him.

I ached. I felt the moisture pooling between my legs. I wanted him all over me, inside me, stretching me, slamming deep.

Finally, he was completely naked. No weapons on him. The next thing I knew, he was on top of me, between my thighs. Guns and knives bounced around us with the swiftness of his movements. Without a word, he pushed his way inside me.

I gasped at the extreme pleasure of it, at the heady sensuality. He was long and thick and stretched me to the point of pain—pain that soon vanished into pleasure. I’d been with other men, of course. Hadn’t I? I suddenly couldn’t recall the image of any other man. Only Lucius existed. Only the feel of his hands, his mouth, his cock.

“Eden, Eden, Eden.” He chanted my name with every inch he sank deeper. Finally, he was in to the hilt. But he didn’t move. He remained utterly still. He stared down at me, his hands by my temples. “I didn’t use any goddamn birth control.”

“Humans and aliens can’t conceive.” At least, to my knowledge it had never been done successfully before. Though that did raise the question of why the government had issued a law against it if it wasn’t possible. I didn’t voice that little gem, however.

Still he didn’t move. Didn’t answer.

Desperation sparked to life inside me, strengthening all of my desires. My body screamed for completion. I needed it, would disintegrate without it. I twined my legs around his waist; I gripped his ass and tried to force him to move.

“What are you waiting for?” I growled softly. “Finish this.”

One of his rough hands coasted over the sheet, then covered my knee and gently caressed upward. That was the only movement he made. “You’re impatient, competitive, spoiled, and so damn hot I think about you all the time.”

If he wouldn’t move, I sure the hell would. I arched my back, rolled my hips. Ah, there. Yes, just like that. I did it again. My eyes closed of their own accord, and I ran my tongue over my lips.

I heard him drag in a tortured breath. He gripped both my hips to still me. “Always determined to go it alone I see.”

“Fuck me, Lucius, or I’ll fuck you. Either way, we’re both going to come.”

Fire exploded in his ice-blue eyes. “Some of us are going to come more than others,” he muttered darkly, but he slowly withdrew, then surged forward.

I gasped. “I bet I win.”

“I bet you do, too. I liked it when you talked dirty. Do it again.”

“Again?” The word emerged as a blissful moan.

“Again.” Once more, he withdrew.

“Fuck me.”

His lips edged in a wicked grin as he slid forward. “My pleasure.” He clamped both of my knees and pushed them apart, wider and wider, sending him so deep inside me that I felt him everywhere. Not one inch of me was untouched by him.

That was all I needed to send me over the edge.

I shattered completely, and a scream of fulfillment burst from my throat. Spasms consumed my body, and I clenched him tightly to me. Luc barked.

“Shh, girl,” I said, still flying through the stars.

Lucius chuckled, and the sound emerged strained. “Told you,” he said. He stilled again with a muttered curse. “Damn it. Do you think we’ll have to do damage control?” He pulled out of me and rolled one of my nipples through his fingers. A drop of sweat trickled down his temple and onto my cheek.

I expected the pitter-patter of feet, and waited several moments. When I heard nothing, I said, “I think we’re good to go.” I bit back a blissful moan as Lucius replaced his fingers with his mouth, sucking hard on my nipple. “I’ll be careful next time.”

He moved his attention upward and licked my collarbone. I closed my eyes for a moment as I savored the silkiness of his tongue. Reaching up, I traced my hands over the ropes of muscles that comprised his stomach. God, he felt good. Like velvet over iron.

He bit my earlobe, and I gasped. “Want more?” he rumbled menacingly. “Cause I’m dying here.”

“More, more, more.”

Once more Lucius pounded into me. Yes. Yes! As I met him stroke for stroke, arching into him, I would have sworn a blood oath at that moment that I’d never felt anything so right. My pleasure was already building steadily again, preparing me for another mind-shattering orgasm.