“You hungry?” he murmured.

Not for food. The thought took her by surprise, but it was true. The longer she was around him, the more that insistent attraction between them flared brighter. She should be too worried about the crisis hanging over her head to focus on anything else, but with Kell so near it was easy to let him distract her. She shook her head. “No.”

The television was off, but he’d turned music on low earlier when she’d been giving Reece a bath. He’d even lit a few candles, which she didn’t want to find sweet, but damn it, the man was getting under her skin. There was a dim lamp on in the corner of his living room. The atmosphere could be sensual if she let it. She hated that she wanted to. Instead of enjoying his embrace and thinking about what it would be like to have a repeat of that kiss yesterday, she should be heading to her room. “Thanks for being so supportive today,” she finally murmured, feeling the need to say something.

He snorted softly. “You don’t ever have to thank me for that.”

“I know, it’s just…I’d forgotten what that was like.” When she’d first married Andrew things had been great between them. Hindsight was always easy, but she’d gotten married way too young. Now it was so clear to her. At twenty she hadn’t even figured out who she was and what she wanted out of life. But she’d been smitten with the sexy FBI agent six years older than her. He’d been incredibly focused, loving, and now she realized that he’d loved how much she’d looked up to him. The first couple years of their marriage she’d been finishing up with college and their marriage had been easy. Once she’d started teaching full time, getting settled into her career and basically growing up a little more, the fractures in their marriage had started. Slowly at first, but now she could see how they’d both pulled away from each other. She hadn’t needed him as much and he’d started to resent it.

Kell went impossibly still for a moment, then shifted against the couch. “How long were you guys having problems before he died?”

Surprised he’d asked, she said, “A few years.” Sad considering they’d only been married for five before he died.

“I’m sorry.” His quiet spoken words were sincere.

“Thanks. He wasn’t a bad guy, even with the cheating. We just grew apart and for that, I’m sad, but I fell out of love with him years ago.” The thought of leaving, of admitting that her marriage was a failure had been the most terrifying thing of all. No one in her family divorced. Now she wished she’d been braver, but if she had been, it was possible she might not have Reece. Who knew what path her life could have taken?

Kell grunted. “Cheating on you makes him a dick in my opinion.”

Smiling at the annoyance in his voice, she looked up at Kell and into those pale, mesmerizing eyes. “I’m not making excuses for him, just stating a fact.”

He didn’t respond, but his gaze trailed to her lips with an intense focus before his eyes met hers. She could see what he wanted because she wanted the same thing. Leaning into a kiss would be so easy and after the day she’d had, she didn’t want to be a coward and pull back from this. Before she could contemplate the ramifications of kissing him, he closed the short distance between them.

Unlike the intense kiss against her car yesterday, this one was soft and gentle. One of his hands slid into her hair as he cupped the back of her head. While the kiss was unhurried, his hold was firm, as if he was afraid she might bolt at any second. The thought crossed her mind but as his tongue swept against hers in erotic little strokes, she knew she wasn’t walking away from this. Not now.

When he groaned into her mouth, she pulled back a fraction. He let out a frustrated sound until he realized what she was doing. Moving quickly, she straddled him. She wasn’t ready to take things to a level beyond kissing at the moment, but she wanted to feel his body against hers. And feel it she did. He let out a strangled sound as she slid over his erection and settled in place. “Kissing only right now.” She needed to let him know where she was emotionally.

Kell’s smile was slow and seductive. “I could kiss you all night,” he whispered back.

She was already growing damp and her nipples had tightened to hard points as she slid farther down his hard length. While she might not be ready for anything else tonight, she savored the feel of him, remembering how he’d felt as he’d pumped into her slick body over and over. They’d had sex so many times, that night was branded into her mind.

As she leaned toward his mouth, the sound of breaking glass and a car alarm blaring made them both freeze. The sound was too close to be anything other than her car, especially since his vehicle was in the garage. Before she could blink, he shifted her off him and withdrew a gun from behind his back.

Her eyes widened in shock. She knew he had multiple weapons in the house, but she hadn’t realized he was carrying one on his person. “Go check on Reece.” His softly spoken words were an order.

Normally that tone would irritate her, but they both wanted their son safe. Forcing down the panic rising inside her, she hurried to her son’s room. Once she found him quietly sleeping, she allowed a sliver of relief to slide into her veins, but not much more. She tried to remain calm and unhurried as she gently lifted him from his bassinet. If they had to run, she wanted to be ready to leave.

When Kell found her minutes later, his expression was grim. “Your tires have been slashed and one of your windows broken. I’ve called the police and Harrison. I’d already asked him to have someone watch our place for the night, but they weren’t supposed to show up until later. He’s sending someone now.”

Any relief she’d had evaporated. She looked at her sleeping son, then Kell and tried to quell the nervous tremor in her voice. “Do you think this has anything to do with today?”

He frowned, his pale eyes seeming to grow darker. “It’s a real possibility.”

Chapter 7

Kell shut the door behind the police officers. They’d been cordial, but there was very little they could do other than take a report at this point. Slashed tires and a broken window didn’t exactly scream cartel attack—they favored burning tires thrown on the front lawn or bullets through the home as a warning. And it didn’t seem like something that murdering bastard Cecil Talley would do either. He’d heard more from Carlson and according to him, Talley was suspected of half a dozen murders—all of them committed with a blade. He wasn’t known for intimidation tactics, he just killed without any fanfare. Not to mention Kell couldn’t see how anyone could have figured out where Charlotte was staying because she hadn’t listed his address on her police report and he’d made damn sure they weren’t followed home.

When he went to Reece’s room and found it empty, his heart rate jumped up a notch. The bassinet wasn’t in there. Maybe Charlotte had moved him to her room. But they weren’t in her room either. As he stepped back out into the hall, panic hadn’t had a chance to set in when she stepped from the room at the end of the hall.

His room.

She gave him a tentative smile and wrapped her arms around herself as he strode toward her. She’d changed into a black long-sleeved pajama set with white hearts all over it. “Hey, I moved Reece in here and I was hoping I could stay with you tonight. Just to sleep. After what happened I’m not afraid to admit I’m freaked out right now. I want both of us close to you.”

Definitely not the circumstances he’d wanted to get her into bed again, but he wasn’t going to complain. “You can move into my bed permanently.” Might as well get the truth out there. He’d made himself clear, but knowing what she’d had to go through because of her dead husband—unlike her, Kell wasn’t cutting Andrew any slack for the way he’d treated her—he had no problem reaffirming his intent.

Her face flushed pink as her lips pulled into a thin line. “I know I kissed you, but—”

“Just leave it.” He didn’t want to hear how it was a mistake. Not when his chest constricted and he found it hard to freaking breathe when he was around her. He might know that she didn’t feel the same as him, but he didn’t need it spelled out.

“You don’t even know what I was going to say.”

“I can guess.”

Rolling her eyes, she let her hands drop. “Fine, I’m tired and I know you must be too. Did the police say anything else?”

He shook his head. When Reece had started crying she’d left to feed him so Kell had wrapped things up with the police. “No, but someone from Red Stone is coming over to watch the house. With my security system no one is getting in here without the cops being alerted, but I want men I’ve worked with out there.” Because he knew they were all highly trained, with most of them having former military experience.

She let out a shaky breath of relief and taking him completely by surprise, she crossed the few feet between them and wrapped her arms around his waist, laying her head on his chest. “I can’t believe any of this is happening…I bet you’re sorry you invited Reece and me to live with you now,” she said half-jokingly.

“Never,” he murmured against her hair, inhaling that sweet jasmine scent.

Everything about her was intoxicating. When she shifted against him, he nearly groaned at the feel of her breasts pressing into him, of her lush body lined up with his. What he wouldn’t give to run his hands down to her ass and hoist her up so that she wrapped her legs around him. The memories of their one night together wouldn’t leave him alone. Being under the same roof was just making them more vivid. But she clearly wasn’t ready for more just yet. It was a good thing he was patient.

* * * * *

Charlotte opened her eyes as the warmth of the sun spread over her face. Stretching her arms above her head, she savored the quiet then realized just how silent the room was. She shoved the comforter off her and sat up. Reece wasn’t in his bassinet and Kell wasn’t on his side of the bed.