The memories were too strong.

She was a temptation he didn’t want to resist.

She had the prettiest pink ni**les.

Luke swallowed. “We touch and you get wet for me, don’t you?” He couldn’t get much harder for her.

Monica’s fingers rose, hovered over his shoulders.

To push him away or to pull him closer?

“Damn you, Dante,” she muttered as her hands locked over him—then hauled him closer. Monica rose up on her toes and crushed her mouth to his.

Hell, yes.

The fire ripped through his blood at the touch of her mouth—just like before. Just. Like. Before.

Lips parted. Their tongues met. Took. A moan rose in her throat, the sound sexy and raw and wild.

His hands dropped to the curve of her ass. He’d always loved her ass. His fingers clenched as he pressed her hips flush against his arousal.

And, oh, yeah, no denying he was aroused. His c**k was so swollen that he didn’t know how long he’d last once he got her out of that torment-me skirt and—

Her nails dug into his shoulders. A sweet bite, one he’d missed.

The bed. Get to the bed.

He couldn’t take his mouth from hers. Her taste had haunted him over the years. Sweet honey, rich wine. Fucking insane combination that was only… Monica.

His fingers began to hike up her skirt.

So he wouldn’t last long the first time. The second, he’d make it up to her. The second, he’d have her screaming and twisting as she came against him. Around him.

The back of his hand brushed against her panties. Soft, silky panties. She’d always been so wet, so hot.

His index finger eased under the elastic. Sweet f**k. The woman could burn him alive with just a touch.

Her breath caught, went ragged. His hand climbed higher, pushed against creamy flesh, got ready to—

A hard knock rattled the door.


Monica wrenched her mouth from his. His gaze fell to her red lips, glistening from his mouth.

He wanted to kiss her again.

But more annoying as hell rapping came again. Not from his front door.

Monica had left that thin-ass adjoining door open, and the knocking was coming from her room.

“Agent Davenport?” A loud voice demanded right before another hard knock. “It’s Vance Monroe. I got them papers you wanted…”

Her eyes held his. As he watched, the fire faded, cooled.


She shoved against his chest, hard, and Luke rocked back.

“Get dressed,” Monica said, then she rubbed the back of her hand over her mouth.

Luke stiffened. No, she didn’t just—

“The case… the deputy has something we need to see.”

She swung away from him.

Luke grabbed her arm and swung her right back around to face him.

“What are you—”

He kissed her. Hard. Fast. When his head lifted, he glared at her. “Don’t wipe me away again, baby.”

Their eyes held.

So blue.

“Get dressed,” she repeated, gritting the words. “And let go of my arm before I have to hurt you.”

He dropped his hand.

The deputy pounded again and called for Monica.

She crossed the threshold, entering her room, and he couldn’t help but say, “Baby, you weren’t stopping me.” No, he had the claw marks to prove she’d been enjoying the hell out of him.

And she’d kissed him. Luke didn’t point that out. Yet.

She didn’t even slow down at his words, but he was pretty sure he heard her mutter “asshole” beneath her breath.

He smiled and snagged his shirt off the side of the bed. Yanking it on, he slid into his shoes and slipped into her room just as the front door swung open to admit the deputy.

The guy was waving two pieces of paper, his hands shaking. “F-found it in Sally’s garbage. Just like you said—”

Luke’s brows shot up. Monica—and the deputy—had been busy.

“Davis has the original, but he said to bring you copies.”

Monica took the material from him, a faint line forming between her brows. Then she looked back up at Luke. “We need to call Hyde.”

Luke crossed to her side and took the papers from her.

The first was a grainy photo, as if from a newspaper. A picture of a smashed car, one turned into a pile of twisted metal. The headline above it read, “Local Fireman Victim of Drunk Driver, Wife Survives Crash.”

The next page made a curse rise to his lips. I know what scares you.

“Looks like the same writing.” She bit her lower lip, staring at the paper. “Same off-slanted looping on the ‘I’, same too-right angling on the ‘w’, same half-cut on the ‘y’ line.”

That near photographic memory of hers was so handy.

“Messy scrawl,” she muttered. “Like it’s fast, hurried, but this guy isn’t a disorganized killer. The writing is this way because he wants it to be.” Her eyes lifted and met his stare. “We’ll send the notes to SSD for a full handwriting analysis, but my gut says it’s the same.”

That hard fist in his stomach said the same thing. “We need to examine the papers.” Check for fingerprints, fibers, hell, even check to see if they could figure out where the paper had come from. In this business, he’d learned to never overlook any avenue.

“We’ll overnight them to Kenton. He can start the checks.” Her shoulders seemed to fall, just a bit. “This could go to hell, very fast.”

He knew what she meant. It looked like Davis had been right to call them in on the cases. Because if a serial were hunting in this sleepy southern town—and it seemed there was no denying that possibility now—more blood would flow.

The squeak of a door woke Monica hours later. She reached for her gun before her eyes even opened. Old habit.

The air conditioner had kicked off at some point and a light coating of sweat covered her body. Her tank top stuck to her as she climbed from the bed, her fingers tight around the butt of the gun.

Shadows. Silence.

She’d left the bathroom light on, another habit she’d yet to break, and the faint glow spilled onto the worn carpet.

No one’s here. But her heart kicked like a racehorse.

A car door slammed. Close. Out front.

An engine purred to life. Headlights flashed on, shining through her lone curtain as—


Monica ran for the door. She yanked it open and raced outside—

Just in time to see the fading taillights.

What in the hell?