He wanted this baby so much.

Their child needed Allison whole and happy. And Logan needed her whole and happy, if she was to accept the life he wanted to give her.

Lifting his head, he stared out the window into the darkness, then at his own reflection. Rage burned in his eyes.

Trevor Hurtz needed to be wiped off the planet.

And Logan was just the man for the job.


Allison heard birds chirping. She shifted and stretched. Luxurious softness enveloped her.

Unused to the sensation, she mentally brushed away the cobwebs of sleep to remember what happened before she’d landed on this cloud. Her core throbbed and pleasure tingled between her thighs.

In flashes of memory she recalled frantic love-making, the high of bliss. Then she’d tasted a combination of melting ice cream, fresh raspberries and drizzles of maple syrup. Then sleep had pulled her down to couch cushions. Then she was weightlessness, carried tenderly like a bird with a broken wing before getting tucked into the comfort surrounding her now.

Where am I?

Disoriented, she frowned. At the edge of consciousness, a voice called her name.

She bolted up to sitting. Staring through blond tangles, she darted her gaze around. Colors of sage and lavender put her at ease. The scents of clean linen and lilac enfolded her. The familiar desk and bookcase grounded her, and pictures of Europe spanned the walls. A warm feeling settled deep inside.

Home .


Blinking, she found Logan standing beside the bed. Except the towel around his hips, he was damp and naked. He smelled of mint and soap. Still groggy she didn’t have the presence of mind to censor her stare.

She absorbed the tall rugged male fresh from the shower. Water clung to the ends of his slicked-back hair. A droplet fell and she followed its descent over his broad shoulder, his collar bone. It trickled down his chest before caressing every nuance of muscle along his torso, the indentations outlining tight abs, the tempting arc of muscle defining his hip, before it absorbed into the towel.

Aroused, her inner thighs tingled again. She craved the taste of that drop on her tongue. She’d never experienced the pure, simple enjoyment of lusting after a man.

Chills scattered over the tanned expanse of him, raising tiny bumps on his flesh. Had she caused that? Licking her lips, she glanced up.

Wearing an amused grin, he arched an eyebrow. She scooted back a few inches.


“Sleep well?” His deep voice resonated through the room.

“Yes.” As a notion struck, her eyes widened. “I slept the whole night through.”

“Is that rare?”

She nodded. Between the incredible sex, then the way he’d held her, topped by a full night’s sleep…she felt good. Too good. She didn’t trust it.

“Here.” He handed her a steaming mug. “Fresh brewed. Hazelnut okay?”

“Fantastic.” She reached for the coffee cup. She blew across the surface then sipped. The hot nutty liquid splashed down her throat. “Mmmm.” She swallowed. “Perfect.”

Taking another sip, she stole a glance at him between swirls of steam. He regarded her through heavy lids. His cinnamon-cider eyes were veiled. Although she couldn’t place it, she sensed a different energy underlying his calm. Despite his external composure, his mind was churning, weighing, considering, calculating.

Something had wound him tight.

“What is it?”

As soon as she asked, she wanted to retract the question. Their cohabitation demanded a tightrope act. Every step altered the balance. She’d taken too great a leap, leaving him an opening to reverse the momentum and pry into her thoughts in return.

But he didn’t.

“Nothing.” The unsettling edge smoothed into nonchalance. “We need to get going.” He gestured to the clock on her nightstand. “Plane leaves in two hours for D.C.”

“Crap.” She groaned. “I almost forgot about the big presentation.”

“Your clothes are in the closet. Whatever was in your laundry basket, I had dry-cleaned. That’s in there, too. See you downstairs.” He shut the door behind him.

Scrambling out of bed, she hurried through her morning routine. She made a mental note to thank him for the lengths he’d gone to ensure her every need was considered and taken care of before she asked.

As she blow-dried her hair then twisted it through her curling iron, she recognized that a mere “thank you” was inadequate. Applying the finishing touches to her makeup, drawing black liquid liner along her upper lashes, she decided to do the one thing she could for Logan. No matter what, she would land him this government contract.

Twenty minutes later, a little nervous, she smoothed the front of her skirt before walking downstairs to meet him. He waited in the foyer.

When he glanced up, he did a double-take. He swallowed, lips parting. “I like the red.”

Judging by his glazed stare, he liked what was underneath it, too. She’d chosen this borderline-appropriate, corvette-red suit and a black lace camisole with the end result in mind. She’d use everything at her disposal to help him achieve the contract he deserved.

A pink hue crested his cheeks. “Wearing that, you could convince the devil to buy a timeshare on Antarctica.”

“Is the prince of darkness on the panel today?”

Shaking his head, he sighed. “Only us mere mortals.”

She rolled her eyes. “Flattery will get you everywhere.”

His grin flashed white lightning. “I’m counting on it.”

Infused with confidence, she strutted across the floor in stilettos. “Let’s nail this contract.”

His eyelids lowered halfway. “I love it when you talk dirty.”

When he delivered an affection swat on her rump, she clamped her lips to contain a yelp of surprise. Then she marveled as they exited his house and entered the waiting limo. She’d never been in a limousine. The space was a warm leather sanctuary.

The driver loaded their carry-on luggage into the trunk. Then they departed for the airport.

Crystal glasses lined one wall of the vehicle, flanked by expensive liquor options. Logan poured her a glass of bottled water. She cupped the chalice as if one wrong turn would cause her to grip it too tight and shatter it.

Inhaling a deep breath, she pulled herself together. The glass wasn’t so fragile. Neither was she.

“I was thinking,” she said. “I want to know the purpose of this presentation. Your purpose. What do you want to happen today?”

Energized by the question, he leaned forward. “Here’s the deal. These people want to hear about Armageddon, and how I’m going to ride in and save the day.”

Tags: Vanessa Waltz Billionaire Bodyguard Suspense
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