He took her, long, slow thrusts until her breath began to sob and his blood to pound. He watched the pulse in the lovely line of her throat rage as she came again.

Her arms slid bonelessly from around him. “I can’t.”

“Just let me,” he replied as he pressed his mouth to hers again. “Let me.”

As if spellbound, she rose with him, fell with him, and felt the impossible need build yet again.

“Go with me.” She gripped his hips, groaned as she felt herself being swept up one more time.

He already was. His world wavered. Burying his face in the dark spread of her hair, he lost himself.

She felt . . . perfect.As if her skin had turned to velvet dusted with gold. Every ounce of tension had drained away. In fact, she didn’t see how she could possibly worry about anything ever again.

Great sex, she decided, was the best of all possible drugs.

She wasn’t much of a cuddler afterward, and had never been big on pillow talk. But here she was, wrapped cozily around Mac, snuggled in because it felt exactly right. Her legs were tangled with his, her head cradled on his shoulder, her arm hooked around his neck.

What made it even better was the way he held on to her, as if he was just as content to stay there for the next two or three years himself.

“Did you learn some of those moves by studying the sexual habits of primitive societies?”

He rubbed his cheek against her hair. “I like to think I put my own spin on them.”

“You do good work.”

“Right back at you.”

“I threw your glasses on the floor. You want to watch out you don’t step on them.”

“Sure. I meant to tell you something before.”


“You’re beautiful.”

“Get out. You’re in a sexual haze.”

“You have all this dense, dark hair. And I keep wanting to bite that heavy top lip of yours. Add that really swell body, and it’s a great package.”

When she tipped her head up and stared at him, he blinked until he had her in focus. “What?” he asked.

“I’m just trying to think when’s the last time I heard anyone use the word ‘swell’ that way in a sentence. You’re really weird, Mac. Cute, but weird.” She lifted her head just enough to nip at him. “Need fuel,” she said. “Want pizza.”

“Okay, I’ll get it.”

“Nope, I brought it, I’ll get it. You just stay where you are. And stay naked,” she added as she rolled over him and off the bed. “By the way, you’ve got a really swell body, too.”

She strolled into the other room, stretched luxuriously. Limber and naked, she went into the kitchen for a couple of beers to go with the pizza. She grabbed a pile of napkins, then did a quick spin.

Could she feel any better? she wondered.

Not just the sex, she thought with a dreamy sigh that would have embarrassed her if she hadn’t been so loose. It was Mac. He was so sweet and smart, so steady without being boring or stuffy about it.

She loved listening to him, watching the way his mouth quirked just a little higher on the left corner than the right when he grinned. And the way his eyes got all blurred and unfocused when he was thinking. The way his hair, all dark blond and thick, was never quite tidy.

Then there was all that fascinating intensity balanced by the easy humor.

He was the first man she’d ever let herself be involved with, she admitted, who had so many layers. He wasn’t simple, and didn’t expect her to be.

And wasn’t that lovely?

With the bottles clanging cheerfully together, she wandered back into the living room to retrieve the pizza. Happiness soared through her, and before she realized what was happening, her heart did a slow turn, a kind of waltz, then suddenly fell.

Her eyes popped wide. “Oh, my God!”

Before she could react to the abrupt and slightly terrifying realization that she’d fallen in love, every machine in the cottage went into action.

Her head rang with the sound of them. Beeping, squealing, buzzing, humming. Needles whipped, lights flashed. And she stood frozen in shock.

Mac gave a shout and leaped out of bed. He sprinted toward the living room, tripped over a pair of sneakers and went sprawling. Cursing, he scrambled up and ran naked into the room.

“What’d you touch? What’d you do?”

“Nothing. Nothing.” Ripley gripped the bottles like lifelines. Later, she told herself—much later—she would look back at this and it would all be so ridiculous she’d crack a rib laughing.

But for now she could only stare as Mac rushed from machine to machine, calling out readings, actually patting his naked body as if he might find a pocket in his skin where a pencil was hiding.

“Man! Man! Would you look at this?” He pulled up sheets of paper, holding them almost to his nose as he scanned the printout. “Major events. The first one nearly an hour ago. I think. I can’t read the time. Can’t see a fucking thing on the graphs. Where the hell are my glasses? Holy cow, fried another sensor. This isgreat !”


Tags: Nora Roberts Three Sisters Island Romance
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