Their night together in the garçonnière had made her know too well, exactly how much she wanted him. When he hadn’t called all day, she’d felt rejected all over again. How much trust could she place in him?

Reading her transparent face, he sighed and took a long step backward. “Maybe Mitchell’s right. Maybe you should doubt me,” he said.

An acute feeling of empathy swept her. “I hope not.”

“Sleep well, Cici. You’ll find everything you need in your bedroom. Oversized T-shirts or regular nightgowns to sleep in…whatever you prefer…a new toothbrush. The bathroom’s in the corner…”

“I know. You’re very generous.”

“I wouldn’t argue that point with Mitchell.” She didn’t smile at his attempt at humor. She longed for another kiss, longed for it so much she feared it. Determined to be strong, she turned away, walked inside her room and shut her door.

As if a piece of wood between them could make her heart stop racing or her blood cool. She closed her eyes and leaned against the thick door for many minutes, counting backward from one hundred until she felt calmer. When she reached the number twenty, she padded over to the bed and pulled back the heavy covers, determining that tonight, as he’d promised, they would sleep apart.

Choosing a scarlet nightgown instead of a long white T-shirt, Cici showered and dressed for bed in Logan’s perfectly-appointed, pink marble guest bathroom. As she slipped the cool, red silk gown over her shoulders and let it slide down her body, Cici couldn’t help but wonder how many women Logan had brought here before her.

Turning away from the mirror she returned to her bedroom. Had Alicia slept in this same room? Worn this nightgown?

Probably not. Feeling cherished, Alicia had no doubt lain naked in Logan’s arms in the master bedroom.

Frowning, not wanting to dwell on Alicia, who’d run at the sight of Logan tonight, Cici climbed into her bed and squeezed her eyes shut.

No matter what Mitchell had said, she was here tonight, tucked between Logan’s crisp, sweet-smelling sheets. He’d been sweet to her, attentive, protective even. He’d said he wanted to be with her. And not just for sex. But was he trustworthy?

Wanting desperately to believe him, she shut off her light. But the darkness made her feel strange and lonely in Logan’s big, unfamiliar guest bed, and she couldn’t stop thinking about him being at the end of the hall in his own big red bed. At the thought of his long, tanned body beneath his equally crisp sheets, the pulse in her throat began to jump erratically. Her skin started to burn, and soon she was so hot she threw off her covers. Was he as wide-awake as she was?

Slowly she arose from her bed. Stretching and then sighing, she walked restlessly to the door inside her bedroom that opened out onto the gallery. Stars lit the black sky. Maybe fresh air would make her relax and feel sleepy.

Pulling the drapes back and unlocking the door, she would have stepped outside, but a four-alarm siren began to scream through the house.

Putting her hands over her ears, she swallowed. She’d probably awakened everybody in the neighborhood. Not to mention, Logan.

In the next minute, the siren stopped, and Logan began knocking loudly on her hall door.

“Come in.”

He stepped inside, holding a cordless phone. Clad only in a pair of black pajama bottoms, her heart sped up at the sight of his wide, dusky shoulders and cut abdomen.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

“I couldn’t sleep,” she said. “I’m sorry.”

The phone rang, and he told his security company that a guest had opened a door but that everything was fine. He gave them his code and hung up.

“You can open your door now,” he said. “I should have told you about the alarm. This is New Orleans. Our crime rate is not the best in the country.”

“I know that, of course. I should have thought. But then since I camped out in so many war zones, I probably don’t worry about crime the same way normal people do…even in New Orleans.”

“Don’t remind me of how you lived…because of my actions.”

“Don’t blame yourself entirely. I was an adult.”

“You were a young, vulnerable woman, whose heart was broken.”


He said no more on the subject. When she stepped outside onto the gallery, he joined her. She slid into the moonlight while he kept in the deep shadows, his feral eyes gleaming in the dark as he watched her every movement.

“I couldn’t sleep…for thinking about you,” she admitted, her gaze drifting over his muscular brown chest and hard arms again.

A light breeze caused her silk gown to ripple and cling to her swollen nipples as well as to the lush curves of her hips and legs.