Ocean Whispers.…When a runaway heiress books passage on a luxury cruise ship to escape her cruel ex, will the battle worn P.I. hired to find her turn her in, or turn her on?
Whispered Magic….Could unexplained love between two strangers in Salem, Massachusetts be destiny? Or just someone's playful magic?
"Jared, what are you doing here?"
Shana had always loved the sound of his name. Loved crying out when they made love. She'd scream it over and over as she came in Jared's arms. Then he'd bury himself deep inside her wet channel and she'd fall apart in his arms.
His mouth was a slash of angry indignation. As he stepped closer, she could see his nostrils flare and his eyes darken with tension. "Don’t answer my question with a question."
Lie, she told herself. Do whatever you have to do, just lie and get him out of here, before you do something you'll regret. Her heart pounded out a rhythm of something she hadn't felt in years. She couldn't help stare at him, yet no answer came forth. She tried, but couldn't lie again.
Yet she couldn't tell him the truth. He wasn't hers any longer. He belonged to another woman now. Shana had no hold over him.
"It's nothing, just allergies."
He moved closer, tall and handsome, this man she'd once planned on spending her life with. Shana could tell his hands were clenched inside his work-worn jeans pockets. "I don't believe you."
Shana shook her head, willing him closer, yet knew she shouldn't. "It's true."
He shook his head and his brows furrowed in a frown. "Liar."
If you take one more step, Jared, I'll fall apart. The scent of sweat and man wrapped around her, pulled her in. Shana stumbled back and almost fell over her chair.
"Why did you come back, Jared? Did you forget something?"
She followed his eyes to his car keys on the desk, and her heart sank. He only returned for his keys, not for you.
But he didn't retrieve the key chain. His unblinking gaze focused on nothing but her.
"Yeah, I forgot something. And I'm going to hell for this, but…."
Without warning, he grabbed her arms then pushed her against the desk. His warm and familiar touch drew a gasp from her. The fact he hadn't shaved drove her crazy. She'd always loved him scruffy, sweaty from a long day of working with his hands.
Was she crazy?
"Are you out of your mind? Jared, let me go."
His hands lifted to her face and held her in place so she couldn't look away. His mouth was so close to hers, she could smell coffee on his breath. He drank his coffee black with two sugars, something she'd never forgotten.
"Out of my mind? Maybe. My fiancée is down in the car, waiting for me. I'm getting married in three months. I found a way to go on with my life, after you threw me away. I met someone who loves me, and I care about her, as much as I'm capable of. You tore me apart and left me with no answers." His thumb traced the path of her lower lip. "I hate you," he whispered.
Shana shivered at his callused touch, her heart pounded in her ears. She couldn’t stop him. Her voice betrayed her. "Yes, hate me. Go away. Please, Jared."
"Please what? Tell me Shana, right now. Do I leave you or kiss you?"
Her legs gave way, and Jared lifted her easily. It felt so good to be in his arms again; she'd missed his touch, his strong embrace.
That earlier rigid self-control of hers was falling apart. She knew what she was about to do was so wrong, but she couldn’t help herself. Jared tore down her wall of resistance with a warm palm against her face. His voice was a choked whisper against her soft, warm cheek. "Shana, Shana."
Not waiting for her to answer him either way, his nose touched hers and the familiar feel of his erection pressed against her, hard as brick.
"Fuck this." His voice was a coarse growl and without preamble, Jared slid papers and folders from her desk to the floor, then lifted Shana and placed her on the desk, followed her down and kissed her like there was no tomorrow.
Shana's mouth opened to his insistent tongue, and he delved into her warmth, loving the taste of peppermint. This is what love should feel like, he thought. Knowing you'll die without the woman you love, holding her as if she's your other half. Having her kisses hold you prisoner from a place you never want to be free of. This is what loving a woman is like.
And he loved Shana. He'd never stopped loving her.
No words were spoken. Haste was of the utmost importance. He knew what he was doing was wrong, so why didn't he stop? Why didn't his fingers stop unbuttoning her soft blouse that would reveal the soft skin beneath? Why didn't she stop him and slap him and tell him to get out? He could see her dark pink nipples through the lace, pebble hard, waiting for his mouth to devour them like a tasty meal. He lifted the silky fabric over her head, exposing her full breasts. He proceeded to ravish her as if starved for weeks. No, starved for years . . . for her soft and warmth.
Hard as brick, his erection ruled his body as he reveled in her touch. Her hands were all over him, pulling the shirt from his pants, unbuckling his belt, and before he knew it, she released his throbbing, erect cock from its restraints.
"Ah yes, put your hands on me; that's it."
Reason abandoned her. All she wanted was to feel. Jared's hands and mouth were a carnal assault on her all too ready body, and she welcomed his touch, while wanting to connect with him. He was hard and thick and ready, and all Shana wanted was to experience Jared and invite him into her body.
The honk of the car horn broke the sounds of their passion, and brought them out of their sexual haze, and the realization of what they were about to do hit home like a sledge hammer.
"Jared, we can't, we can't."
Shana's head shot toward the window, her voice filled with shame and shock. "Oh my God. What have we done? You'd better go." Breathless, flushed and disheveled, she was unable to look into his eyes. "Look at us. Look at what we're doing."
Jared fought to catch his breath. "Is…is that all you have to say?" Jared appeared to struggle to catch his breath as Shana stepped away from him and instantly felt his loss. His gaze cemented on her, still dark and hungry. She knew from experience Jared was an insatiable lover. What they just shared would have been only a prelude to hours of deep, explosive sex.
His fingers turned her cheek toward him. "Shana, look at me."
She shook her head, and again, tears trailed down her face. "Oh Jared. I'm sorry this happened. I've betrayed everything I believe in. "Oh my God." She cried, then shielded her face with her hands in shame. "Please leave before Thea follows you here. If she catches us, I'll die."
He nodded. "Fuck! You think I planned this?" His hands shook as he adjusted his clothes. "I'm leaving. But this isn’t over. I want answers, Shana, do you understand? I need to know why."
She pushed errant hair over her shoulder and fought to regain her calm. "There's nothing to know. Just leave me alone. I feel bad enough as it is. I'll hand your file over to an associate. Just tell Thea I was too busy to continue with your wedding plans."
He tucked his shirt in his jeans, threaded shaking fingers through his hair, then looked at her. Without words, he shook his head, turned and left. Shana thought she'd be sick.
How could you be so irresponsible? She chided herself as she mentally ordered her shaking fingers to still as she packed her papers in her bag.
Shana's body had betrayed her. Her nipples still throbbed, as well as her sex. Willing herself to calm, she drew shaky fingers through her wealth of hair, then took a deep cleansing breath. "It was a moment of weakness." She whispered, shrugging into her jacket. "I've been without sex for too long. And who could resist Jared? He was always the sexiest, most handsome man I've ever known."
But no matter how she tried to convince herself that it was just a moment of weakness that cost her control of her body to her former lover, Shana's heart shattered a little bit more with every step she took.
As she climbed into her car and sped home, she hoped she wasn’t stopped by a policeman, when all she wanted to do was go home, lock her doors, and have a good cry.