Page 37 of The District

They hopped on the bus, and a young man sporting an Afro with a silver streak jumped to his feet and waved her to his seat.

She thanked him and settled in the seat, while Eric hung on to the handrail above her. When the bus bolted into traffic, Eric’s hips jerked dangerously close to her face.

She let her gaze linger on the way his abs tensed beneath the soft cotton of his T-shirt and how the denim hugged his muscled thighs. Excitement bubbled through her blood at the thought of working with him tonight. The hint of danger only heightened the thrill. That’s how they’d fallen in love in the first place.

When he’d broken off their engagement and left her, he believed she’d sought him out because he was Joseph Brody’s son and she’d been enthralled by the story of a homicide detective turned suspected serial killer. And he was right.

But once she met Eric Brody in the flesh, his father’s story couldn’t compare to the powerful connection she’d felt for him right from the start. The connection they felt for each other.

She felt it again. It never left. She had to try to make him understand her reasons for keeping the pregnancy from him, but her mother was right. Even if the truth turned him from her once again, he’d never turn from his daughter. He had a right to know his daughter.

“This is us.” He tapped her on the head, and she grasped the bar to pull herself up.

The bus lurched to a stop, and she swayed against him, her breasts brushing his chest.

“Whoa.” He curled an arm around her waist to keep her there, and his heart pounded against her chest.

Was the beat faster than normal? Harder than normal? Did he feel the connection again, too?

They jumped onto the sidewalk seconds before the bus rumbled forward.

Eric coughed as the exhaust rolled over them. “We seem to be having some major problems with vehicles in this city.”

“Do you think the car last night could’ve been an accident?”

“After someone left you that symbol on your windshield?” He brushed two fingers across her new tattoo. “Seems like a big coincidence.”

“Could’ve happened to any pedestrian on a crowded street.”

“But it happened to you.”

“Then maybe I didn’t even need the tattoo.” She stabbed the button for the crosswalk signal. “Maybe I’m already a marked woman.”

They sailed through the hotel lobby and stepped into the elevator with another couple and a flushed-faced businessman who kept glancing at the floor numbers. All three of them got off on the same floor, and when the doors shut, Eric crowded her into a corner of the car and placed his hands against the wall on either side of her head.

“Promise me you’ll be careful tonight.”

She painted a cross above her heart with the tip of her finger. “I promise.”

She’d promise him anything right about now if he’d stay right where he was. No, maybe a little closer.

He did a push-up off the wall and retreated to his side of the car. “Sorry. I just know how intense you are and how much you get caught up in your work. Worries the hell out of me.”

She blinked, trying to shake off the spell his hazel eyes cast on her.

“Nobody’s going to try anything at the meeting, especially with a roomful of potential mind readers.”

The doors slid open on their floor, and all the pent-up emotion between them seemed to flow out into the hallway and dissipate.

Eric paused at his door, his card hovering above the slot. “The meeting’s not until ten. Maybe we should order room service and relax.”

“I’m going to relax with that file and see if I can find the connection for Olivia.”

“Don’t work too hard. I’m going to start putting together a report for Rich and the SFPD.”

They both slipped into their rooms, and Christina slumped against the door. Relax? How could she possibly relax when the man she’d been yearning for was right next door, within her reach for the first time in two years?

Within her reach but separated by a gulf called Kendall Rose.

Chapter Eleven

Eric fired up his laptop and printed out the picture of Juarez’s tattoo—just like Christina’s. How had he let her talk him into that?

His rational side replied correctly that it wasn’t his call to make. Christina was his equal partner. She was an FBI agent and a damned good one. She might be soft and pliable in bed, but that’s not where he had her...yet.

He plowed his fingers through his hair and growled low in his throat. Wasn’t it just a matter of time? He knew it and she knew it.

His eyes strayed to the connecting door. Maybe he should barge right in there and get it over with.