He set her down in the middle of his room. Pulling back, Harley slid her hands up to the nape of her neck, untied her halter, and let it fall.

The dress slipped to her hips and caught on TJ’s hands. With a flick of his wrists, the material floated to her feet. “Now you,” she said breathlessly, then without waiting for him, shoved his shorts off.

Kicking free of them, he ran a finger over a breast, lightly grazing the hardened tip. “God, you’re beautiful,” he said, turning, nudging her onto the bed. She scooted backwards up the mattress and he followed, pinning her there with his weight. His lips went to her throat, nipping lightly until her nails dug into his shoulders. Shifting downward, he kissed her collarbone, then a breast, while she ground helplessly into him in a desperate attempt to relieve the already building pressure.

“Not fast, not this time,” he murmured, kissing her belly, a hip, her thighs. He pushed them open until his shoulders could fit between, settling her legs where he wanted them.

“TJ, I need…”

“Anything,” he promised.

You, she wanted to say. I need you to love me.

He traced a finger over her center, and she jerked and arched up for more, but he refused to be rushed. Instead, his other hand slid over her belly, holding her down for his ministrations. Bending his head, he kissed an inner thigh. His day-old stubble lightly scraped over her sensitive, quivering flesh, making her cry out. “You like that,” he murmured, and did it again so that she moaned. “Yeah, I like that, too.” He kissed her other thigh. And then in between. “And this,” he said silkily against her. I love this.”

“Oh, God.” She couldn’t put a thought together. Hell, she couldn’t breathe. It was instant and hot and she was already shuddering, her body practically convulsing. “Please.” He was still right there at her core, lightly kissing her damp folds. She felt his breath brush over her, and even that was almost enough to do her in. “Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.”

His eyes flashed, something deep and meaningful, but she couldn’t quite grasp it, couldn’t do anything but cry out as he bent his head and sucked her into his mouth at the same time that he slid two fingers into her, rocketing her straight to the shattering climax she’d been begging for. By the time she managed to come back to herself, he was kneeling between her spread legs, eyes hot and fierce. He held her undoubtedly dreamy, enraptured gaze as he entwined their hands together beside her head and drove into her with one fierce thrust, plunging deep. Her hips arched up to meet him, their gazes still connected, their bodies connected, hell, their souls connected as she wrapped her legs around him. He held onto her just as tight, as if she was his lifeline.

He was certainly hers.

No matter what happened, no matter how far apart they ended up, she’d always have that. Needing even more, she pulled him down over her so she could feel his heart pounding, beating in tune to hers.

Eyes dark, he pulled nearly all the way out before thrusting back in to the hilt, making her gasp his name as the need and hunger took over, touching every part of her with every part of him. Their breathing combined, ragged and rough, shutting everything else out.

Nothing else mattered, nothing but the slow pull of their bodies, the unending kiss.

She didn’t want to let him go.


Emotion clogging her throat, she closed her eyes rather than give herself away.


This is just a good-bye, just a simple, easy, casual good-bye.

“Harley, look at me.”

She forced her heavy eyelids open and somehow managed to meet his gaze, knowing by the look in his that yep, she’d given herself away.

Seemed she needed some practice on multitasking orgasms and heartbreak.

Gently, so gently it brought tears to her eyes, he swept her hair back from her face. “I love you,” he said, the words causing her to spiral and shudder as she burst.

And took him with her.

When TJ woke up, he knew even as he reached out that Harley was gone. He almost believed he’d imagined her, except for the bite mark on his shoulder.

And what felt like nail indentations in his ass.

But the amusement drained quickly, because last night, hot and amazing and heart wrenching as it’d been, had been his good-bye.

Two days later TJ was in Anchorage, preparing to take a charter with Colin into their drop zone when his cell phone rang.

“TJ,” a voice breathed softly in his ear, sounding relieved to get him.



For a moment they did nothing but breathe. He wasn’t sure what to say that hadn’t already been said, but he was happy as hell to hear from her. “You okay?”

“Yeah. I’m fine.”




He recovered first, or at least put up the pretense of it. “Where are you?”

“Desolation. And no, not by myself.” She paused. “Nolan and Skye are with me.”

Nolan. TJ pinched the bridge of his nose and took a breath.

“He’s here with Skye. And to protect me, of course.”

“He’s with Skye?”

“They’re beginning a…mutual affection.”

Suddenly he could breathe. Breathing was good. “Any problems?”

“Actually earlier we heard a gunshot.”

Christ. “How close?”

“Couple miles. We called it in. By some miracle, the rangers located two guys exiting out of the east entrance, without a permit of course, and loaded with unregistered shotguns and ammo.”