Sweat trickled, damp flesh melted. She gripped his shoulders as he pushed and pushed.

“You are so hot,” he said against her mouth. And she told him what he did to her, what he felt like inside her, thick and pulsing. It fueled him and he tossed her on her back and thrust harder, faster, and she laughed and begged for more. He sent her across the bed and they fell to the floor, never stopping. Groping, pushing, filling.

Then the shock came. Like a savage beast, their climaxes roared through them, pulses pounding. Blood boiling and spilling back into their hearts.

“Melanie,” he chanted over and over as they fused, smiling as his body poured into hers. He shuddered hard and she trembled with the power of it. He went slack, sapped of energy, and he sank onto her for a second, then knowing his weight was crushing her, shifted to his side.

“Hoo-yah,” he groaned into the bend of her throat.

She laughed between gasps for breath. “Go Navy.”

He burst into laughter, then kissed her into another mindless puddle of desire.

Eventually they made it back into the bed.

Jack belted his robe, running his fingers through his damp hair and staring down at Melanie. On her stomach, a pillow tucked close, the sheet draped her behind and nothing else. His gaze moved over her long hair, down her slender spine. The legs that had trapped him to her last night. He smiled and shook his head, amazed and pleased. Hell, more than pleased. But then, he’d known it would be like that. Tender, wild and all over the place.

Beyond the windows the sun rose over the river, and he took the cordless phone and moved out onto the balcony where he’d set up their room-service table. He smiled. He’d refused to let the bellman inside. He wanted no interruptions, nothing to disturb these moments alone. Reality would show itself soon enough.

His gaze on her, he dialed her house, waiting for her mother to answer. Melanie would be anxious to know how Juliana fared without her. He was not anxious to know how either of his women would fare without him. But his time was growing short, his leave was almost over. His country, he knew, would soon call.

Melanie sat up sharply, confused, and when she realized she didn’t have a baby to care for, she sank back into the bed. She stretched, taking a refreshing breath, and realized she was alone. Quickly she scanned the room and found Jack. Her heart did a little leap and she tossed the covers aside. He was already sitting on the balcony, reading the paper and sipping coffee, and when she walked near, he looked up and smiled.

“Now that’s a pleasant sight in the morning.”

She smiled and reached for her robe.


“I don’t think the town is ready for nudist dining.”

He smiled and she sat beside him. He poured her a cup of coffee, and she tipped her head back, enjoying the warmth of the morning sun.

“What shall we do today?”

“I need to call Mom.”

“Already done. The princess is, as we speak, being whisked away to the park, then the beach and then shopping.”

Melanie smiled, trying to not miss her child and to focus on Jack. “Did you have something in mind to do today?”

He gave her a velvety look.

“Besides that.” Last night they’d played and explored and discovered. And Melanie thought, he’s not running off to some mission. I can still get him near for a while.

“Sailing, a tour?” He hesitated. “Shopping?”

She laughed. He looked utterly horrified at the possibility. “I wouldn’t dream of forcing you to shop. Besides, I really don’t need anything.”

“Considering your gender, that’s a first.”

She nudged him. “Chauvinist.”

Jack smiled, and his heart did a little lurch when she brushed her hair back and the sun glittered off the diamonds on her hand. The last time he’d made love to her, he’d slipped out in the early morning and headed to Asia. He never forgot about her. Too many times to count he recalled being on ship in his bunk and wondering what she was doing, if she’d forgotten about him. She was in his blood.

Now she was his wife. She wore his ring and he wore hers. He looked down at the ring she’d placed on his finger during the ceremony, the simple band of gold meaning more to him than he thought possible. Forever, he thought, and met her gaze. She was watching him.

“You can’t wear that on missions, can you?”

“No. No identifying marks. Does that bother you?”

“No, I wouldn’t want you to get hurt because of a ring and I don’t believe a ring makes you married. It’s more than that.” She sipped her coffee, breaking off a piece of a muffin and popping it into her mouth.

“Keep going.”

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