“That’s right,” Cullen said, moving even
closer to the other man now.
you’ll still be an out-of-work jerkoff,” Cullen continued.
“And that would suit me fine.”
“We’re leaving,” Lucas said.
“Good idea,” Cullen told him.
As the two agents headed for the door,
Cullen walked with them.
And then, just as they were about to exit,
Lucas chuckled and flashed Cullen a grin.
“That wife of yours is really cute when she’s scared.
I kind of think she gets off on it, to
You’d best keep a close
eye on that one.”
The two agents shared a laugh, and then
opened the door to leave the house.
As Lucas walked, Cullen stuck his foot
out and tripped him, while simultaneously pushing him from behind.
The momentum carried Lucas headfirst into
the wall, and he collapsed into a heap on the ground.
The thin man rushed to Lucas’s side and
Cullen slapped the man across the face, very hard.
The thin man blinked, staring in shock at
“You just assaulted two federal
I’ll have your ass in a
“I have every right to defend myself if
two strange men break into my home illegally and threaten my wife and my
I’m happy to have that
conversation in public and the courts.”
“You’re going down,” the thin man said,
touching his own cheek as if it burned.
Already, a red patch was spreading across his skin from where Cullen has
Meanwhile, Lucas was groggily getting to
His eyes looked cloudy
and he was unsteady, but his colleague grabbed his arm and helped guide him to
“Maybe we’ll just call it even,” Cullen
“I won’t show the
surveillance tapes and you two can scurry back to the office where you belong.”
They didn’t reply to Cullen’s taunting,
but continued out of the house.
When they’d exited, Cullen shut the door
and locked it.
Then he rushed to
Ivy’s side, his demeanor switching to one of deep concern.
“Did they hurt you?
Are you okay?”
She nodded, trying to control her
“I’m all right,” she
“Are you sure?” he said.
He caressed her cheek, looking into her
“Tell me what that asshole
did to you.”
She shook her head.
Well, he broke my cell phone.”
She motioned to the scattered pieces all
over the floor.
“And he chipped the
paint on your wall.”
“But he didn’t do anything else to you.
He didn’t…touch you…hurt you…”
He grabbed me by my shoulders, but that’s it.”
Cullen continued holding her face, and
his eyes were blue and cool, but beneath the coolness was a concern and love
and the desire to protect that made her skin prickle with warmth.
“I’ll never let him near you again,” he
said, his voice determined.
“I can’t believe you tripped him,” she
said, recalling the image of Lucas falling—or getting
pushed—headfirst into the wall.
It made her laugh a little bit.
“He deserved a lot more than that,”
Cullen replied, his lips curling into a smile as well.
“Don’t ever leave me again,” Ivy
Her smile faded and she
choked a little on the words.
can’t…I can’t deal with you being gone.”
Her hands reached for him, needing him,
and he wrapped his strong arms around her and pulled her close.
“I’m not going to leave ever again.
“How can you be sure, though?” she
“Because, I just am.”
“I want to be sure,” Ivy said, clutching
His body felt so hard, so
perfectly muscled and graceful and full of strength.
She loved how protected and at ease she
felt when Cullen turned his attention to her and enveloped her.
He radiated a confidence, a power and an
assuredness that she desperately clung to, like he was a life raft and she was
in the stormy ocean, hanging on for dear life.
Hanging onto him for dear life.
“You can trust me,” Cullen told her, as
his face came closer and then his warm lips were brushing her lips, sending
magical chills up and down her spine.
“Where did you go?” Ivy asked, looking
into his beautiful eyes.
He pulled slowly back.
“I had to get my father out of
It was touch and go for a
But he’s safely away.”
And to a private flight out of the
“And the money?” she said.
“You gave it to him?”
“Most of it,” Cullen said.
“I had to free up some stocks and move a
few things around.
It wasn’t easy
to get it so quickly.
that it could be traceable, although I tried to make sure it wasn’t.”
Ivy frowned slightly.
“What’s wrong?” Cullen asked.
“You should be happy, Ivy.
Dad’s gone, out of our hair—and
I’m out of jail.
We should be
“I know, and I’m glad that everything
seems to have worked out…”
“But?” Cullen asked, his shoulders
“But, I worry,” Ivy said.
“I can’t help it.
Giving your father so much money.
What does he need that for?”
“I don’t know all the details.
I don’t want to, if I’m being totally
“You want to know how many ounces of
cream goes in your coffee, but you don’t want to know where those millions of
dollars go?” she asked, her brow creasing.
“It doesn’t make sense, Cullen.”
Now he pulled away from her
“It makes sense to me.”
“Somehow, when it comes to your
“Exactly,” Cullen interrupted.
His blue eyes had turned darker.
“And you should try and remember that.”
Ivy shook her head.
“I don’t want to fight about it.”
“So why are you pushing?”
“Because I’m your wife,” Ivy said.
“Do you know how it felt to see that
Knowing you didn’t want me to
try and contact you?
Having no idea
when or even if you’d ever come back?”
Cullen’s shoulders lowered and he
“I told you not to try and
contact me because I didn’t want to put you in danger.
As long as the FBI was circling, I
needed to put plenty of distance between you and my father—and me as well.
I don’t want you incriminated, Ivy.
It was to protect you, not to hurt you.”
It’s just difficult.”
Her eyes filled for the umpteenth time
and she rolled her eyes at her own emotionality.
“I never want to lose you.”
“You can’t lose me,” Cullen said.
“I’d come back from the dead to fight
I’d travel across the
universe to catch a glimpse of your smile, I’d run through the desert, and climb
Mount Everest just to see you roll your eyes at me like you’re doing now.”
“Flattery will get you everywhere,” she
murmured, feeling heat in her cheeks.
And other places.
Cullen stepped closer once more, and now
his hands were grabbing her hips and then his lips were grazing, touching,
tasting her mouth.
She could feel his love, his desire, his
needs and wants.
She could feel all
of it building as the two of them touched, softly, as if remembering what this
was like, as if for the first time.
Slowly, achingly slowly, he kissed her
and touched her.
Slowly, he led her to the master bedroom.
And then even more slowly, he removed her
clothing and his own.
“I want to be completely naked, skin to
skin,” he told her, his blue eyes unblinking as he stared at her nude body.
She lay back on the bed, completely
vulnerable to him.
Outside, she could hear the surf, and the
cries of gulls.
In the bedroom, the man she loved more
than anything in the world was slowly climbing onto the bed, climbing on top of
His hard body was nearly as stiff as his
cock, which was like a hot iron rod.
As he lowered himself onto her, she felt it slide between her legs.
She was already soaking wet.
His cock slid against her slit, and she
“You feel amazing,” he said, staring into
“So do you,” she said.
They looked at one another, and she
realized that this was a softer version of Cullen Sharpe.
He was loving her without rules, without
There had been, for the first time, no
spanking, no real recriminations or threats.
Something had changed between them.
Perhaps she’d finally proven herself
worthy of his trust.
know what it was, she only knew that it felt right.
It felt like the very thing she’d always
suspected was there, if she could just find a way to fight through all the
games and rules and obstacles in her path.
Now she knew it had been worth every
minute, to stay, to find a way through it.
His love was like a burning sun melting all of the ice in sight.
She was melting too.
His cock slid slowly, achingly inside,
pushing deep into her wet opening.
They groaned in pleasure, in unison.
“Make love to me,” she whispered.
He began kissing her passionately, and
she let his tongue slide deep into her mouth, and she raked her fingers across
his back and held him tighter as his hips pushed towards her.
She locked her legs around his butt and
guided him to go deeper still.
“Fuck me,” she moaned.
They were both sweating now, and his hair
had fallen over his brow the way it did sometimes.
He looked somehow both younger and older
all at once.
His body was coiled, his heat was
He stroked her better than ever, and she
was getting wet.
She was soaking
him with her juices, and he was fucking her and making love to her all at the
Outside, the waves pounded.
Inside, he began pounding too,
rhythmically, pushing and pulling, and every time was ecstasy.
Every time was magic, and they were
building to it, building to the climax, and she dipped her forehead against his
shoulder and grit her teeth.
“Come for me,” he told her, a command.
She did as he commanded, instantly
climaxing, coming for him, and her entire body shook and shuddered and she
“I’m coming,” she told him.
“Oh, God, Cullen.”
“Come on my dick,” he said.
“Get me wet, baby.”
His cock slid faster in and out.
She came again, her body almost feeling
out of control now, it was so intense.
She felt like she had transformed into pure pleasure.
Everything negative, everything
bad—had been exorcised like demons.
All that was left was him, inside of her,
making her feel so good.
“Oh my God,” she cried.
And she came again, even stronger.
“I’m coming too,” he said.
And he shot his load inside of her, and
pushed deeper, his entire body tensing and then releasing everything all at
They finished, and he crashed down on top
of her, kissing her softly.
you so much,” he said.
After lovemaking, they lay entangled in
bed together, and Ivy watched the light and shadow play across the ceiling.