The plane shivers around us, and I clutch Chris’s wrist. “I can’t lie down like this. I need to see what’s happ—”

He kisses me and I press against his chest with the intent of escaping, but this is one of his deep, passionate, claiming-me kisses, and my resistance is feeble. With a swipe of his tongue, my elbow softens, my fingers relax against him, my body melts into his—but the plane jerks, and so do I. Chris anticipates my move, his hand sliding to the back of my head, holding me to him, his mouth demanding my submission. He arches into me, forcing our hips into an intimate hug, his free hand tracing the seam of my jeans down my backside.

My mind says to resist, but my hand goes to his hip, my tongue meeting his, tasting him. And when he caresses a path over my ribs and cups my breast, I moan and he rolls me over to my back, the heavy weight of him on top of me driving away the last of my fear.

His mouth lifts, leaving me breathless as his eyes meet mine, and the look he gives me is blistering heat and challenge, daring me to do the one thing I have always failed at miserably: to deny him anything he wishes.

Holding my stare, he walks his fingers under my shirt, up my belly, pulling down my bra and teasing my nipple, a soft touch that turns to rough tugs. I am panting, and on some level, I am aware of the plane shaking and jerking, but I’m too entranced with the way his mouth is getting closer and closer to care. But he withholds the kiss I crave, his warm breath whispering over my lips, my cheek, until he whispers in my ear, “Who has control, Sara?”

“Clearly you do.”

He pulls back to stare down at me. “Because you chose to give it to me. Remember that.”

I open my mouth to argue differently, but he moves first, his head dipping low, his tongue swirling over one of my nipples and then the other. I arch my back, wanting more, craving what he has yet to give me, and he answers my silent demand. He sucks the swollen peak, a deep, sweetly punishing drag that has my fingers twisting in his hair. I bite my lip, sensations spiraling from my nipple straight to my sex, where I need Chris to be now.

He seems to understand where I ache, shifting his body again, inching off of me just enough to allow his hand to travel down my ribcage and over my belly and over the seam of my jeans, and somewhere in the wash of sensations, and him kissing me again, I’m moving with the now rhythmic stroke of his fingers, my sex clenching. The tingling promise of release comes over me. Part of my mind still registers where we are, but the rest of me just wants another taste of Chris, another stroke of his fingers.

We hit the runway at the exact moment I tumble into release, the wheels hitting with the same force as my orgasm, an intense jarring of my body that’s fast and hard and then over. I bury my head in Chris’s shoulder. He twines his fingers in my hair and turns my face to his. “Why are you hiding?”

“I’ve never . . . I don’t even have my clothes off!”

“And it was fucking sexy as hell.” His voice is a low, rough rasp.

As we taxi, Chris says, “We can’t get home soon enough to suit me.” He leans in to kiss me, but stops as his cell phone buzzes. “Welcome back to reality.”

“Told you that you should have turned it off.”

He leans back and pulls his phone from his pocket, punches a button and reads, a stunned look crossing his face.

“What’s wrong?” I demand quickly.

“Nothing at all. Ava and Ricco both made deals with the DA. There won’t be a trial for either of them. It’s over, baby.”

I shake my head, certain I’ve heard wrong. “Both of them?”

“Yes. It’s over.”

“I want to be happy, but does that mean Ava gets off easy?”

“She took twenty years with no parole.” He glances at his watch. “Blake’s in meetings for the next couple of hours, but he sent us an email that might answer all our questions. Let me get my iPad.”

The plane halts at our private hangar and Chris stands to grab his backpack from the overhead bin, then sits back down. As he powers up his e-mail, he tells the pilot we need a minute.

After he reads for a few seconds, I prod, “Well?”

“Ryan is in custody after Mark exposed his illegal activities, and it’s believed that he helped hide Rebecca’s body. It sounds like they feel a deal is in the making, so no trial for him, either.”

“They’re making deals with everyone.”

“Apparently it’s a calculated decision, based on the absence of a body and statistics with juries at trial in similar cases.”

“What did Ricco get? Does the email say?”

“Three years and probation. And that sales rep at Allure who helped him with the counterfeit operation—”

“Mary,” I supply.

“Yes. She got off on probation, for turning state’s evidence on Ricco.”

“I’m not sure I’m happy about any of this.”

“None of them get off scot-free. Focus on that.” He returns his iPad to his bag. “There’s a memorial for Rebecca on the thirtieth; one of the local churches in San Francisco set it up. We’ll have to leave a day earlier for the States, but it’s doable if you want to go.”

“Yes. Please.”

I glance at my own messages. “This doesn’t sound good. Katie wants to know if we know that we’re all over the news again.”

“I didn’t know, but I assumed as much. They’ll retell the story over and over for ratings. Don’t be surprised if we get cornered here.”

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