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My favorite scene of Deadly Alliance

Copyright © 2018 by India Kells

All rights reserved

It took a lot of time and several detours which stretched Emme’s patience thin, but they finally reached Fortis headquarters. The entire trip from the Fayre had been made in silence. Shane’s full concentration was on the road and Emme didn’t want to disturb him by talking. Shane was burning hot and cold so fast that she didn’t know what to think. Less than an hour before, her body had been plastered against his, her mind turned to mush as his hands caressed her skin. The memory made her burn still.

When they both entered the conference room, Dee and Will were discussing something over a laptop as Beatrice finished a call on her phone. The rest of the team were on their way in from the festivities.

Ending the call, Beatrice let herself fall on a chair. “That was Zack. They’re making an extra round, trying to find that tail.”

Will let his head fall back, rubbing his eyes. “As soon as we saw him, Dee and I tried to get a clearer view but so far, no luck. We’re still checking the CCTV feeds, but there are so many people, it’s working against us.”

Dee pushed away from the table to stretch. “You want my cop’s input? Male. Average height, average build, ordinary clothes. That’s no coincidence. By the way he moved, the cap he was wearing, and clearly avoiding the cameras, either the guy is from the area, or he checked it out first.”

Emme refrained from sighing. “Any good news?”

Dee glanced at Beatrice before answering. “I think, and Bea agrees with me on that, you’ve definitely become a target, Emme. The plan worked. We followed him until you reached the Booth, but as soon as Shane appeared, he turned away and vanished.”

Shane cursed and ran both hands in his hair. “That means we were close. He was close. Any chance the team will catch him?”

“With such a vague description and in a crowd? The chances are slim.” Beatrice seemed grim but realistic. “But we’ve gotten a lead. If luck is on our side and he didn’t spot our guys, we still have a chance.”

“We need to tighten the net around him, find another opportunity for that freak to make another attempt.”

Shane’s energy was up, and Emme could imagine the wheels turning in his head. It was fascinating to observe, and very sexy.

Dee’s cell buzzed. “The team are on their way. Zin and Owen took lots of pictures and videos of the crowd and we need to go through it all. Will, I think we need more coffee.”

“Oh, man!” Will snapped the laptop closed and dragged his feet towards the door.

Shane turned to Dee as she opened the door. “What’s your clearest view of the man? Can you show me?”

Dee nodded, and they left the room with Will whining all the way.

Emme turned to study Beatrice who was currently typing something on her cell phone. Even sitting there, Beatrice oozed charisma, which was a bit intimidating. Emme could also see a wealth of knowledge and experience too, the same things she admired in Zack. At a level she genuinely aspired to achieve.

“If we are going to have a chat, maybe you should take a seat, my dear.”

It took everything in Emme not to jump at her voice and show how distracted she was, but when the women’s cat-green eyes glanced up, they gave the impression of seeing right through her.

Emme lowered herself onto a chair. “Am I that transparent?”

The older woman’s smile was kind, and her British accent was always a surprise to her as her team was mostly composed of Americans.

“You’re not transparent to ordinary eyes. And being young, beautiful and innocent works to your advantage. Nobody will see you coming.”

The unexpected compliment stunned Emme. She knew her skills and talents, but apart from Fortis, it had been an uphill battle to prove herself.

“And now you are wondering if I’m blowing smoke up your ass.” When Beatrice grinned, with definite mischief in her eyes, Emme realised she was gaping. “Don’t worry, my dear. I have my own ways of going under the radar too. Part of that is from being a profiler for so long and partly from leading Purgatory. Working with bull-headed men all the time, both clients and staff, will force you to find innovative ideas to get your way. And that includes Shane.”

At Shane’s name, Emme felt on very shaky ground. The last thing she wanted was for anybody to think that her attraction to Shane made her a weak link.

“So many ideas in your head, young lady. So many suspicions.” And her voice deepened. “You remind me of who I was … ages ago. Not just the looks. The fire, the promise. That was before my life took an unexpected turn.”

Somehow, this little impromptu talk was making her relax, turning her apprehension into curiosity. “What was your turning point?”

A softness slowly spread across her face. “My husband. James was the one who brought me something I sorely needed. Before him, I didn’t know what I lacked. I don’t mean professionally. My upbringing and career choice forged me, forcing me to play on my talents and my skills. What I lacked was perspective about myself.”

Emme let her continue, guessing the woman rarely offered details of her personal life.

“James was still a Navy SEAL at that time. They are an interesting bunch. Outstanding team workers, loyal to a fault, always thinking outside the box. But it’s their double standards that fascinates me the most.”

Frowning, Emme leaned forward. “What do you mean double standards?”

“They are ready to jump on a live grenade to protect you, but if you try to protect them, let alone take a calculated risk, you will be shut down so fast your head will spin.” Beatrice turned her head to the door, her expression pensive. “And I think, sometimes, their protective streak is a flaw, one that blinds them to an opportunity, or a solution to the problem. And in this specific situation, that protective streak is even worse, due to Misty. I tried to talk to him about it, warn him, but I guess the pain is still too fresh, his desire for vengeance too strong.”

At the mention of Misty’s name, she remembered Shane’s voice, the sorrow and grief in him from losing a woman he loved. And still, she thought he was attracted to her. Had she read him wrong?

She was still trying to wrap her mind around what Beatrice had said when the woman stood up. Immediately, Emme followed. “What exactly are you trying to tell me? I don’t do well with hidden messages just give it me straight.”

Beatrice turned to her before she reached the door. “I was only answering your questions.”

Emme was tempted to gape again, but instead shook her head. “I didn’t ask questions. I wanted to…”

The red-headed woman nodded. “Yes. You were asking yourself if you were right or if it was even professional to be attracted to Shane. And also wondering if at some point he’d understand that some risks would need to be taken to accomplish this mission. You take risks. I’ve told you he’s a SEAL through and through, and he will never accept anyone but himself being put in danger, especially since he cares about you. However, I am certain your gut instinct, with a healthy dose of common sense, is the only thing that will keep you alive and make you succeed. In and out the battlefield. Life is a risk. It’s pain and love and sorrow, all mixed up. Just don’t add your own regrets into the mix, that would only be living death.”

 

***

 

Emme was sitting in the dim living room, a few candles lit around her, as the sun was setting. Her eyes were fixed unseeing beyond the fading horizon. Beatrice’s words haunted her, and since their chat, her brain seemed to be working on two separate levels; how to act with Shane, and how to catch the creep. Beatrice had talked about risks, and Emme knew deep down that putting herself on the line would be the only way they would be able to get their hands on him. What had happened today was undeniable proof of that. A calculated risk that had brought the stalker, that murderer, out for the first time.

When she’d left the conference room earlier, before the whole troop barged in to report, she’d had a little chat with Dee about any possible online leads. The psycho was following them through their posts, so he had to be there somewhere. One. She only needed one chance. It had to be something that wasn’t obvious. Last minute, so none of the team would rally against her. An idea circled in her head, and it felt like the best option they had. She was still debating whether to share it with the team or not. Probably not.

In the background, Emme heard the shower stop. Shane had acted like a bear since they got back from Fortis, mumbling about cameras, angles, and other planning conundrums, continuously on the phone with Owen, Zack, Zin, Lance, and Jace. He was probably in the bathroom doing the same thing, his head full of details, analysing, trying to cover every possibility until his brain exploded. And probably telling himself he would jump in front of danger to protect her. She was an agent, dammit. Good, trained, and valued by her team.

She could hear Shane moving to the bedroom, before retracing his steps and heading for the living room. “I’m going to bed. Good night. Don’t stay up too late, girl.”

Emme didn’t even have time to turn and reply, before he was gone. Worst of all, she was tired of his patronising moniker. Instead, she took a deep breath and waited for her anger to recede. When her thoughts had cleared enough, Emme stood and rolled her shoulders.

Beatrice had been right. She came across as fragile and innocent, and Shane would want to roll her in bubble wrap the minute he shared his next plan. Just the way he called her “girl” when he wanted to put distance between them, was revealing, with his haughty air and Arctic-cold tone. Beatrice had told her that Shane cared. Emme’s instinct told her that when he kissed her and held her in his arms, it was more than just for show.

Blowing out the candles, she padded towards the bedroom door left ajar and stopped, listening. Was he sleeping? Emme kicked herself. It was no time to hesitate, she had made her decision, and would show him that she wasn’t a girl or a china doll. Tonight, he wouldn’t call her girl anymore, and at dawn, she would make sure he counted her as a full-fledged operative.

When she entered the bedroom, the curtains were drawn shut but for a small sliver of moonlight shining through. Shane was lying on his back, the sheet up to his torso, one arm on his stomach. He looked peaceful, his breathing even, but that wasn’t proof he was sleeping.

Going to her side of the bed, she turned her back to him and started sliding her pyjamas off. She could have tried the baby doll thing again, but she was done playing. The air wasn’t cold, but goose bumps played on her skin and the sheet rustled behind her. When she peeked over her shoulder, Emme saw Shane giving her his back. He was awake and in denial but being naked in the room was a statement and she wouldn’t settle for anything less from him.

Putting one knee on the mattress, Emme slowly took a handful of the sheet and started to pull. The cotton rasped gently against his skin until his back was revealed to her. In the silvery light, it glowed, making her fingers itch to touch him, to run them over the mysterious tattoos on his back. Like a moth to a flame, she crawled up the bed.

“If you wanted more blankets, you should have asked. I…” Shane turned, and his annoyed tone turned into a gasping sound when Emme straddled him and crushed her lips to his. There was a nanosecond of hesitation in him, while his brain debated the pros and cons from here to eternity. But she didn’t have much time. There was only them. Only now. When his rough hands circled her waist and his mouth opened to her, Emme knew it had been the right decision to force the issue. Her hands were pressed against his chest, her nipples tickled by his chest hair. His skin was warm as a furnace, his body hard as stone and the steady beat of his heart picked up speed.

As their kiss deepened, his mouth tasting her, slow and caressing, she sat down more on him, nestling his covered erection between her thighs. The movement was subtle, but his sigh rewarded her, and his hips started moving against her, mimicking what she was so desperate for. It was the trigger Shane needed to start exploring her.

His hands moved over her skin at a snail’s pace, making her shiver, giving permission for her to start touching him too. Breaking their kiss, she sat up, ignoring her shyness as he admired her form and in turn looking at him sprawled under her. His eyes burned, turning almost black in the dim light. His hands squeezed her thighs and his hips continued to move up to her, in invitation. His kissable lips were pure temptation. Emme wanted more. So much more.

As she let her eyes and hands wander over his chest, she licked her lips in anticipation at the quivering muscles and delectable male under her. Him lying there, starting at her as if she was an erotic apparition, made her feel so powerful, the feeling was exhilarating. Lowering herself, her eyes locked with his, she kissed his sternum before licking a path to his pectorals.

Shane flexed his fingers on her thighs, following her every move the same way she was watching his every reaction. When her tongue swirled around his flat nipple, he swallowed hard. Emme grinned and gently bit him before moving on.

The more he allowed her access to his body, the bolder Emme became. She revelled in discovering him and his reactions. How he squirmed when she rubbed her cheek against his ribs or how his breath caught when she bit his hip. Now at the waistband of his pyjama bottoms, Emme hesitated and looked up. Doubt invaded her mind once more and she was fighting hard against it. Not that she hadn’t been with men, just not loads of them. And probably not as many lovers as he’d had. And what if he was comparing her to Misty?

Her resolve was slowly breaking when her world was turned upside down as Shane rolled her under him. Now face to face, his large hand cupped her face. “You don’t need to play games with me. There’s only the two of us here, and I would never force you to do anything.” The sincere concern in his voice moved her.

“I want you, Shane.” Her statement implied so many things, and it was difficult for her to reveal them. It was more intimate than her own nakedness and way too early to be put into words.

For a long moment, Emme thought he would roll away but instead he lowered his head to her once more. Heat exploded in her belly as he skimmed his lips over her jaw, lightly scraping his teeth over her neck. Her hands continued to explore every single inch of him, his broad back and arms as he moved to lick a wet path towards her breast. Widening her thighs, her hands pushed at his pyjamas as his lips closed over her nipple. Unbridled want pooled between her legs, and she debated between tearing the last remnants of his clothing off or touching herself. Her hips moved in waves, and with desperation creeping in, Emme slid her hand between her legs and drew lazy circles around her clit. The awareness of being surrounded by him as he teased and caressed her fuelled her desire like never before. The deep moan that escaped her lips as she arched made Shane chuckle.

“You are so impatient and greedy, sweetheart. Like moving fire.” And proving a point, he pushed her hand aside and pressed his palm against her sex.

Wide-eyed, Emme looked down at him, gasping. Desperate for more contact, her fingers fisted in his hair, trying to bring him up to her.

The cad offered her a devilish smile, but obeyed, biting her lower lip before tracing the seam of her mouth with his tongue. She wanted more, undulating under his hand, but the friction was far from enough. In retaliation, her hand slipped under his pyjama bottoms and circled his girth, squeezing lightly. The deep warning growl told her that she might not have as much experience as he had, but she could make him suffer from want too.

As Shane tried to move up, Emme started to stroke and his eyes glazed, his neck arched back, displaying a wealth of golden skin and toned body for her to admire.

Pushing against her hand, Shane pushed a digit, and then a second inside her quivering sheath, sending her into a frenzy.

Shane’s body shivered as he removed his hand from her. “Emme, let me go, or I’m going to make a fool of myself like a damn teenager.”

Licking her lips, Emme smiled. Her uncertainty melted away as her body flooded with lust at the sight of him, his arms straining to keep himself up, his breath laboured, his face a mix of determination and desire, bargaining with her.

The man above her made her burn as nobody had before; Emme had the proof looking down at her and pulsing in the palm of her hand.

As she released him, Shane took possession of her mouth taking her breath away. In an instant, everything turned frantic and wild. And still, it wasn’t enough.

Shane scrambled for a minute, looking around, searching for something until he located his wallet on the nightstand. Retrieving a condom, he fumbled a little before sheathing himself. Back in control, he held her hips and pulled her towards him, opening her thighs even wider before entering her. Emme’s head buzzed loudly, and the room was filled with the sound of their bodies locked together. Everything was out of control, and still, despite the feverish caresses, the bruising kisses and the shivering, Emme could see Shane restrained himself, putting her first, touching her as if she was precious. The swirl of unexpected emotions took her by surprise, and her body reacted, crashing into climax as the warrior watched her with certain victory in his eyes. Lost in a mist of pleasure, Emme felt him tense and shudder, a low growl escaping his lips before he finally lowered himself down over her.

It was perfection. No words needed to be said as they tried to get their breath back and their bodies under control. At some point, Shane rolled away, bringing Emme in his arms, covering them both with the sheet.

He hadn’t said a word, but the way he held her, how his fingers drew idle patterns before going lax in slumber, spoke more than words ever could. Her instincts had been right.

 ***

Emme fought sleep but must have caved in at some point because when she woke, they had shifted. Shane was tangled in the sheet, a hand on her stomach. Morning light filtered into the room, but it still looked early.

In the first brink of dawn, the warrior beside her looked so peaceful, and years younger than thirty-five. Emme may be young, but she wasn’t a foolish romantic. No doubt, as soon as he woke up, he would revert to his usual behaviour, but at least now, the obvious was in the open and Shane Rhodes, Navy SEAL, would not call her a girl anymore. It was a small and very pleasurable victory.

Now, there was the issue of the mission, and of his trust. That was her second plan of attack.

Gently, Emme got out from under his grip, already regretting the loss of his warmth, and scurried like a mouse out of the room, grabbing some clothes along the way.

When she reached the living room and got dressed, the time on her phone confirmed that it was the perfect moment to put her plan into action.

Retrieving the post she had composed the night before, she pressed the publish button, hoping for the best, before putting on her shoes and heading out.

 I have the best husband in the world. And this morning, I’m heading out to get him his favourite breakfast as a surprise before he wakes up. :-) #freshpastries #morningwalk #sillyinlove

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