Midnight Man (Midnight #1)

Oh God, oh God, she couldn’t deal with this. Not in any way.

Whatever he was about to say—‘Hey, babe, that was great, let’s do it again sometime.’ Or, worse, ‘That was nice, but let’s pretend it never happened.’—she was lost. Whatever he said, she couldn’t deal with it. Her behavior had been so way off her personal radar, she had no tools, no way to cope.

“Suzanne,” he said again and she couldn’t tell what was in his deep voice—regret, smugness, desire—he was still hard inside her, after all—it didn’t make any difference. The fact that she had no idea what he was going to say made things worse.

She didn’t know what his reaction would be because she didn’t know him at all. She’d only met him this morning.

He was a complete stranger.

Who she had just let make explosive love to her against a wall. Let? She’d practically begged for it.

She had to get out of here, fast.

She dropped her legs and pushed against his chest, hard.

John’s head came up and he moved back a fraction of an inch. “Are you all right—“ he began, and she slithered past him. She couldn’t answer him, simply couldn’t.

Miraculously, she still held her key in her hand. He was holding himself up against the wall with one hand, breathing hard, head turned toward her, watching her.

A twist of her wrist, and she was able to slip inside the door and close it behind her. She leaned against it, panting, eyes filled with tears.

“Hey!” His deep voice set up a vibration in her stomach and then another vibration set up—his fist against the door.

“Suzanne! Suzanne! Open up!”

Good thing she’d used top-grade lumber for those doors.

“Suzanne!” he bellowed. “Let me in!”

Suzanne tested her legs. For an instant, she thought they wouldn’t bear her weight. Her legs were sore from having been opened so wide and she was sore between them from the hard rough strokes he’d used.

She stepped forward gingerly thankful her legs were holding. Passing a mirror she stopped, transfixed at the reflection. Her eyes widened.

Naked except for sheer black thigh-high stockings and heels, hair flying around her face, eyes rimmed with smudged mascara and puffy, red lips, she looked like something ordered up from Sex Kittens ‘R Us.

Another thud made the door rattle in its frame.

“Suzanne! Tell me you’re okay or I’m coming in! I’ll give you three seconds. One…”

She shook with shock. Okay?

How could she say she was okay?

“Two!”

She’d just had wild sex. With a stranger. Up against a wall. And had had the most explosive orgasm of her life.

“Three!” Metallic sounds. He was picking the lock.

“I’m—“ She could barely get any sound out through her tight throat. She coughed. “I’m okay. I’m, um, all right.” She breathed deeply and raised her voice. “I’m fine. Now go away.”

This was definitely a Scarlett O’Hara moment, she thought as she moved into the bathroom. She’d think about this tomorrow.





Damn!

John stood with his fist raised. He lowered it, and then lowered his forehead against the door.

Which put him in a position to look down at himself, wet with come, still fiercely erect and so hard he could have used his cock to knock her door down. He still wanted her, ferociously, but he’d completely blown it.

He’d been doing so well, working so hard to kiss her gently. A perfect gentleman’s kiss, even though it cost him what felt like a year’s supply of self control. And then she’d moaned, and moved and he’d…lost it.

Her clothes were pooled on the floor. Coat, pretty blouse with all the buttons ripped off, skirt, torn bra and ripped panties. Bending, he picked her clothes up and hung them, one by one, on the doorknob. Then he reached down to tuck himself back in his pants. He zipped up, wincing.

He’d lost the battle tonight.

But not the war.





CHAPTER FOUR


Finally, at seven the next morning Suzanne gave up any pretence of sleeping. She’d spent the night tossing and turning, angry and embarrassed at herself for how she’d behaved and even more angry and embarrassed at herself for turning red hot at the memory.

She tried to wipe John Huntington from her mind, and it almost worked, but she couldn’t do anything to wipe the memory of him from her body.

All night, the ghost of his mouth on hers, the memory of his strong fingers clenched tightly around her back, his body thrusting hard into hers, kept roaring back into life, her senses feeling it as sharply as the first time.

No, sleep hadn’t been an option.

She rose to the window and opened the drapes.

It was still dark outside. Though it wasn’t raining now, it must have rained all night, because the snow had melted, leaving enormous puddles in the middle of the pot-holed street.

Suddenly, the street lamps that weren’t broken winked off. She could see a car crossing Stuart street and could see the columns around the door of the St. Regis, a run-down turn-of-the-century building that was a flop house for the local drunks and a rent-by-the-hour place for men desperate enough to pay fifteen dollars an hour to the twin geriatric streetwalkers who ran their business out of the corner of Lucern and 15th.

If she could see the St. Regis, that meant daylight was coming.

It was already tomorrow, the day she was going to have to face the most difficult client she’d ever had, Marissa Carson, and—worse—establish some kind of relationship with her new tenant that didn't—absolutely did not—include sex.

It could be done. Sure it could.

She’d worked hard to design a home for Mrs. Carson, the Client from Hell, who changed her mind hourly. In today’s scheduled meeting with Mrs. Impossible, she was going to keep her cool no matter how many fits the spoiled rich matron threw.

And she could face John Huntington The Day After like an adult, and put their relationship on a landlady/tenant basis, completely forgetting wild sex that made her hot just thinking about it.

Sure she could. Absolutely.

She passed the mirror on her way to the bathroom and winced at the view. Her hair waved wildly around her face and her eyes were ringed with dark circles. She had a red love bite on her neck. A round brush and a hairdryer would take care of the sex-and-bedhead and Erace would take care of the eyes and the hickey. But nothing was going to help the still-swollen lips and the just-out-of-bed-after-a-hot-night look. Nothing but a lot of time and space between her and John Huntington.

First a shower and some serious grooming. At some point today she was going to have to face the warrior and she needed some heavy-duty female weaponry on her side.

An hour later, she waited behind the door of her office, dressed, accessorized and perfumed, feeling like her old self. Cool, calm Suzanne Barron, staid interior decorator whose idea of excitement was matching plaid and stripes. And not Suzanne Barron, out of control sexpot.

She felt perfectly capable of dealing with John Huntington now, but she listened carefully at the door, just the same. It’s not like she was trying to avoid him or anything, but eight o’clock was pretty early for anyone to start moving into a new office, wasn’t it? He’d said his former office was off Pioneer Square, which wasn’t close. He’d probably start moving in around ten, when she had an appointment with Todd Armstrong, her sometime business partner, and before that she had an appointment with a new fabric designer to look at swatches, so she was probably off the hook for this morning. And Marissa Carson would take all afternoon, so she wouldn’t be home until late.

Maybe she wouldn’t see John at all until tomorrow. Tomorrow would be better. Oh, yes. Tomorrow she’d be all rested up and feeling normal and not like—like she was going to jump out of her skin.

Yes, she’d talk to John tomorrow.

Her shoulders relaxed at the thought as she put her ear to the door again to listen for noises. She listened for another minute to the complete silence on the other side of the door and with a sigh of relief pulled the door open. And froze.

The door to the rental apartment was wide open and the big room across the hallway was already stacked with what looked like a depot’s worth of electronic gear. Four large men—four very large men—were marching in single file with big cardboard boxes balanced on one shoulder. John Huntington followed them, carrying a huge thin-screen computer monitor.

None of them was making a sound. Not even a whisper.

John turned at the sound of the door opening and stopped. Just stopped in his tracks and looked at her, face set. A muscle jumped in his jaw.

The effects of that pep talk to herself about how she was going to be cool, calm and collected when meeting John Huntington disappeared in a tidal wave of heat coursing through her.

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