He met her gaze. She smiled, running her finger over his lips.

Then he tasted her. And everything she knew shattered.

“Jack,” she groaned softly.

His tongue plunged and laved and flicked, and she cried out, wanting more. She was greedy for this man. Greedy for everything she could get because she more than liked him, much more, and she knew he would leave, knew he’d disappear into the mist. A quiet warrior. It was his job, his life. There was only right now. And she wanted all he had.

And he gave it, finding and teasing every sensitive pulse point, every bit of flesh that was charged and waiting for ignition. He lit the fuse and she burned. Oh, how she burned!

Jack felt it, the spiral of heat racing through her, the tightening of her muscles, the liquid softness of her desire. He spread her wider and thrust two fingers inside her.

Desire exploded, shuddering through her, clutching at him.

“Jack!” she moaned. And he wanted to hear more, wanted to be the only man she did this with, wanted to be the one she shared herself with. A possessiveness he’d never known rose in him.

He didn’t ignore it. But he didn’t need it. Couldn’t encourage it. Not when he might be a thousand miles away from her in a few hours. So he savored the moments, the small and big ones, as he had for years, as he would for the next decade.

He took her past her climax, beyond madness and satisfaction, and back into his world, his arms.

He stood and she fell against him, limp for a moment, only a moment. Then she kissed him and fire kindled as she reached between them to unfasten his belt. She shaped him, the bulge in his trousers, then pulled the zipper down. His hands braced on the door beside her head, he smothered a groan as her fingers dipped inside his trousers and freed him.

“My turn.”


“What’s the matter, Lieutenant—running out of steam?”

“No, afraid of launching without a target.”

She laughed and increased pressure, stroking him wildly and pushing his trousers down. He kicked them aside, pulling her flush against him. The impact of flesh to flesh left them shuddering, weak.

His hands mapped her body, stroked and dipped, and he wasn’t the only player. Her touch taunted him, made him grow harder, and he scooped her into his arms, then strode to the bed. He set her in the center and she pulled him down, opening for him, eager for him to be inside her.

Skin met skin and he held her, wrapping her in muscle and man, and Melanie thought, Never in my life has it been this perfect. When he reached for the end table, she took the condom from him.

He arched a brow.

She grinned and pushed him onto his back and straddled his thighs. Jack sat up. She pushed him down, then opened the packet and drove him wild as she rolled it down.

“Melanie! Sweet mercy!”

“I don’t think so,” she said, and shifted to straddle his hips.

He grinned, loving her openness, and cupped her breasts, leaning up to take her nipple into his mouth.

Melanie forgot almost everything when he did that. “Oh, Jack, you do that so well.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She smiled, kissing his face, then rose. “My hero.”

He guided himself into her, and she held on to his shoulders, meeting his gaze as she sank down. He filled her, thick and throbbing. Jack experienced more than the feel of this woman around him, of being so deep inside her. But he didn’t understand it. He tipped his head back and she smoothed hair from his brow, let her fingertips stroke his face.


“Shh,” she said. “Not now.” She saw it, the connection that went deeper than sex. All wild and hurried eagerness was gone. The rush had died to a sweet poignancy. They had to have each other. It was as if pieces were missing and here they came together. Joined. One.

She moved, releasing him and taking him back, claiming a man she could never have. He was a mustang. Free. Noble.

And she wouldn’t dare try to tie him down. Or ask him to stay. Though she couldn’t bear the thought of losing him when she’d only just found him.

Two weeks was not enough. Yet in his eyes, in the eyes that could be cold as ice and tender as a lamb, she saw more. More than he could give. More than sex.

Jack grasped her hips, his gaze never leaving hers as he gave her motion, never leaving hers as he pulled her down onto the bed beneath him and pushed deeply into her.

Her legs trapped him and he went willingly into the snare.

Her heart beat against his and he danced to the tune. Sinking. He withdrew and plunged, and she rose to greet him, to take him into her and into her soul. And when feminine flesh gripped him in a slick glove, pulsing as he pulsed inside her, Jack knew he’d relive this night a thousand times in the future. And want it never to end.

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