Authors: Brenda Jackson
he next morning Drey woke up to find a soft body wrapped around him. He remembered the events of last night and felt his heartbeat kick up a notch.
Charlene Anderson had not only turned out to be a surprising lover; she had been totally different from any woman he’d ever been with. She had been a virgin—something he was definitely curious about—yet she had managed to pull passion and desire out of him that he’d never felt before. And he had kept his promise. He had taken their lovemaking to the max and had made her come not only once, but all through the night. He couldn’t remember the last time he had made love to a woman all night long.
She had to be totally exhausted. Chances were she would sleep most of the day. The only time they had taken a break was after that first time when he had discovered she was a virgin. He had taken her into the bathroom and placed her in a tub of warm, sudsy water and had joined her there and held her in his arms. Then after drying them both off, he had taken her back to bed and made love to her again, over and over.
Knowing if he didn’t get up he would be tempted to make love to her again, he eased out of bed. As much as he enjoyed being with her, inside her, tasting her, he had work that needed to be done. And the first thing on his list was to go over those autopsy reports they had taken from the coroner’s office last night. He would use the time she slept to do so while enjoying a cup of coffee.
But when she woke up…
He felt his body get hard just thinking of how their day might end up. They were lovers now and he couldn’t see them going back to business associates or friends. He couldn’t bear the thought of not making love to her again. There was so much he wanted to teach her, share with her. Last night proved she was a willing student, and as he had told her before, she was a very passionate woman. He knew the degree of that passion had astounded even her last night. She had wanted more and he had delivered each and every time.
After slipping back into his pajama bottoms he remembered he had a meeting with the Braddocks later today. He intended to tell them everything he knew about the case so far. Well, almost everything. He still wasn’t ready to tell them that he knew the identity of Daiyu Longwei and more specifically, her relationship to Harmon Braddock as well as to him.
A half hour later he was in his office concentrating on the autopsy reports. A ripple of pain went through him while reading about the extent of Harmon’s injuries, the man who was his biological father. That he had been murdered caused anger to mix with that pain.
He then compared the original autopsy report on Joe Dennis to the new one. Among numerous inconsistencies was one constant—neither report mentioned a key.
The only living relative Joe Dennis had was a nephew who lived in Dallas. Drey had contacted the man by phone and according to him, he and his uncle had not been close and there wasn’t much the man could share with him about any friends Dennis might have had.
Typically if a death was ruled a homicide, the police would question neighbors who’d been home at the time. But since, thanks to Nate Ganders, Dennis’s death would not be ruled a homicide, no one would be asking questions. At least no one but him. It was time for him to start sniffing around as of today. He would get access to Dennis’s home and poke around and see what he could find.
He didn’t have to look up to know Charlene had entered the room. He felt her presence immediately, in every part of him, especially in his shaft. It hardened immediately.
She was standing in the doorway, wearing only his T-shirt which she had evidently taken out of his drawers. That she had gone through his stuff to find the T-shirt didn’t bother him. In fact, the thought that she was wearing something of his over her naked skin sent a surge of excitement through him. Mainly because it was skin he knew the taste of, skin that he had rubbed against his own and touched all over.
He started to stand and decided not to. The last thing he wanted her to see was the size of his erection. No telling what she would think if she saw it. Besides, although she had willingly participated in last night’s activities, today was the morning after and he wasn’t sure what her attitude might be. For all he knew, she might have regrets about last night. So he would sit right there and follow her lead and hope it was positive. He wasn’t sure how he would handle things if it wasn’t. He couldn’t tell from her expression how things would go. And that made him nervous.
“Charlene, you’re awake,” he said in a gravelly cautious tone.
“Yes, sorry about that. I should have awakened sooner,” she said, still standing in the same spot. He tried to keep his eyes focused on her face and not allow them to travel down the length of her to see beyond where his T-shirt stopped midthigh. She had a nice pair of legs—long and smooth—and he could distinctly recall how he’d felt being between them. The memory made his shaft grow another notch.
“No, you needed your rest,” he heard himself say. He leaned back in his chair. Again he tried to keep his gaze on her face but found it straying downward. He cleared his throat when he felt his pulse rate increase. “What are your plans for today?” he asked.
She shrugged her beautiful shoulders. He knew for a fact that they were beautiful because he had seen them last night, bare. “Don’t know. It depends on you,” she said softly.
He smiled at her, although uncertainty was still eating away at him. “In what way?”
She stepped closer into the room, and he couldn’t help it when his gaze lowered and feasted not only on her legs but her hips, thighs, ankles and feet. Seeing the parts of her that he had come into intimate contact with the night before sent a stirring of deep pleasure through him, aroused him even more. “In how do you feel the morning after?” she asked.
That was the same concern that he had for her. Did she hold the came uncertainty that he did? Did she honestly think he would regret what they had shared the night before? “How do you think I should feel?” he decided to ask.
She took another step into the room and he watched her, getting more aroused by the second. “Not sure. I can only go by what I was told,” she said.
Now he really was confused. “What exactly were you told and by whom?”
“His name was Carlos and he said that most men had a problem with overaged virgins.”
He lifted a brow. “I thought we already covered the fact that I’m not like most men. Besides, you’re no longer a virgin. But even if you would have confessed to being one before we made love last night, that would not have stopped me.”
Her expression seemed unsure. “It wouldn’t?”
He couldn’t believe she was asking him that, but from the look on her face, he could tell she really needed to know. “Mainly because I wanted to make love to you. Knowing beforehand that you were a virgin only meant I needed to handle you another way. I would have known to be gentler. But make no mistake about it, Charlene. I would not have changed anything else. I would still have taken you as many times as I did and made love to you using those same various positions. Knowing you were inexperienced didn’t dull the sensations of being inside you. Last night’s sex was good between us and I have no doubt in my mind that it will only get better.”
He stood. “Come here and let me show you what I mean.”
She didn’t hesitate in crossing the room to him but was surprised when he pulled her down in his lap facing him. She felt his body part beneath her, hard and throbbing beneath her naked bottom.
In one swift movement he pulled his T-shirt over her head, and before she could make a startled gasp, his mouth latched on to her breast. Each pull by his mouth triggered an arousal deep in her stomach. He was stirring up desires deep within her, primitive needs and wants.
And then he stood with her in his arms and, placing her on her feet, worked the pajama bottoms from his body, leaving them both totally naked. He lifted her onto his desk, widening her legs to stand between them and aiming his shaft straight for her feminine core. He eased her closer to it and when she felt it there at the entrance, she met his gaze.
Her heart began pounding as he began easing inside her, gripping her hips to hold her in place and accept his entry. She threw her head back when sensations began building inside of her and she closed her eyes.
“No. Open your eyes and look at me. Watch me bring you pleasure.”
He wrapped her legs around his waist and locked her in. Over and over again he thrust inside her, making pleasure so intense overtake her.
Then suddenly he went still.
She met his gaze and saw shock in them when he said, “I forgot about a condom.”
She fully understood what he was saying. “I’m on the pill to regulate my periods,” she whispered. “Now, please…” Her body was in a feverish pitch and needed release.
He began moving again, and each thrust into her went deeper, faster, until she couldn’t take any more. She screamed out his name as her body exploded and she felt his release, thick and hot, shoot inside her, at the same time.
One orgasm led to another and another and some time later she lay spent on top of his desk with his throbbing member still buried deep inside her. “I think we need to take this to the bedroom now,” he whispered, lifting her body in a way that kept them connected.
She wrapped her arms around him thinking she had to be dreaming. Nothing could be this perfect, this sensual, this earth-shatteringly blissful. But she knew once they got to the bedroom, Drey would proceed to show her that it could.
“Let’s get dressed. I have somewhere to go and I want you to go with me,” Drey said, gently rubbing his hand along her thighs. He’d never been possessive when it came to a woman, not even the least tiny bit. But for some reason he was with her and unashamedly so.
“Where are we going?” she asked, leaning over to nibble his ear.
He knew if he didn’t stop her she would take her newfound sexual confidence to a level of no return for them and she would find herself flat on her back beneath him yet again. They had made love most of the morning and then had showered together only to end up making love again after their shower.
He stood and placed her on her feet. “We’re going to meet the Braddocks.”
harlene knew all eyes were on her when she walked into Malcolm Braddock’s office by Drey’s side. She knew Malcolm by both name and face since he was currently embroiled in a heated campaign with a man by the name of Clint Hardy. Both were vying for the congressional seat left vacated as a result of Harmon Braddock’s death. The special election was to be held at the end of the month and if the recent polls were reliable, Malcolm had a substantial lead.
Malcolm, the oldest at thirty-two, was tall, with coffee-brown eyes and dark brown hair. Charlene thought he was a very handsome man and from what she’d read in the papers a few months ago, he was engaged to marry Congressman Braddock’s former executive assistant, Gloria Kingsley. There would be a Christmas wedding at the family estate.
Although she did not know the others, Drey had filled her in as to who would be attending the meeting. Shondra Braddock, the late congressman’s daughter, and Tyson Braddock, the late congressman’s younger son.
Like Malcolm, Shondra was tall, with long dark hair and dark brown eyes. An attorney, she always had it together and from what Charlene had heard, she was not only beautiful, but highly intelligent. According to Drey, Shondra was so convinced her father’s death hadn’t been an accident that she followed up on a lead by going so far as to go work for the company where Harmon’s last phone call was placed. She met the CEO’s son, Connor Stewart, a former jet-setting bachelor. The two eventually fell in love and according to Houston’s society’s column, Shondra and Connor were Houston’s hottest couple.
The middle child, Tyson resembled his siblings. On the drive over Drey had told her that Tyson and his wife had been on the verge of getting a divorce but were now back together and expecting their first child.
Drey quickly made introductions, explaining who she was and why she was there. Malcolm was the first to ask a question. “So, Ms. Anderson, you actually saw this key?”
Charlene nodded and said to the three, “Yes, and I’m Charlene, please. Drey and I were able to get a copy of my boss’s first autopsy report indicating trauma to the body before he was able to destroy it.”
“And you have no idea why he changed it?” It was Shondra who asked.
It was Drey who answered. “No, although I have my suspicions. I have a strong feeling that Nate Ganders is being blackmailed. Otherwise, why would he warn Charlene off and suggest to her that she take time away from the job? It’s apparent he didn’t want to get her involved and seems to be doing everything he can to keep her out of it. She’s moved in with me for a while for protection.”
Tyson leaned against the edge of his brother’s desk. “So you’re operating on the theory that whoever killed our father is paying a lot of money to keep it covered?”
“Yes, and until we find that person, keep in mind that a murderer is still on the loose and he’s struck twice—with your father and Joe Dennis—and he will strike again to keep his identity hidden.”
“So what do you suggest that we do?” Shondra asked, agitation very clear in her voice.
“Right now I have a few more people to talk to,” Drey said, glancing down at his notepad. “I’m hitting a brick wall at the police station. I hate to say it but I think a few people down there are in on this too. I hope I’m wrong but I have a gut feeling about it. The one guy down at headquarters that I know I can trust—my former partner—is out of town but is scheduled to return this week. I’m hoping he’ll be able to check out some things and shed some light on a few inconsistencies I’ve found.”
“And what about that employee at Stewart Industries? The one Connor spoke with? Daiyu Longwei. She clammed up when Connor questioned her about Dad’s last phone call to her. Have you spoken to her at all?” Tyson asked.
Drey shook his head. “I’ve spoken with her, but she didn’t have any more to tell me either. I’ll keep working on it, though.”
Charlene didn’t say anything as she racked her brain trying to recall where she’d heard the name before. Daiyu Longwei…
“So, what’s next?” Malcolm was asking Drey.
“I plan to talk to the congressman’s associates to see if they recall him acting strangely during his last days. There had to be a reason for his unscheduled trip to D.C.”
“I suggest you start with Senator Ray Cayman and Judge Bruce Hanlon. They’ve known Dad for years and are two of his closest friends,” Tyson said.
Drey smiled. “I’ll certainly do that.”
After his meeting with the Braddocks, Drey dropped Charlene off at his place before proceeding to the apartment building where Joe Dennis had lived. He wanted to question the man’s neighbors about the night Joe Dennis died.
He spoke first with the elderly couple who lived across the hall, Fred and Eleanor Billings. Mr. Billings was eager to let him in, assuming he was a detective from the police department. When Drey informed the couple he was an investigator, the Billingses were surprised that after several calls to the police station, no one had come out to ask them questions about what they had heard that night. Drey was surprised as well.
According to Mr. and Mrs. Billings they had been trying to watch their favorite television show and couldn’t do so for all the loud noise coming from across the hall. Two men were yelling at each other at the top of their lungs. They had gotten so loud the Billingses had been tempted to call the police for disturbing the peace. In less than an hour the noise had stopped and the next day they had heard that Mr. Dennis—who they thought was a nice hardworking man—had died. Even though the recent news update indicated he had died of natural causes, the couple still questioned why no one wanted to hear what they had to say.
Drey visited several more of Joe Dennis’s neighbors, but each one said they hadn’t seen or heard a thing that night. One lady questioned why he was asking around when the papers said he’d died of natural causes. He had explained that he just wanted to collect all the facts.
It was getting late and he decided to put off contacting Senator Cayman and Judge Hanlon until tomorrow. What he wanted to do more than anything was to head home and mess around with Charlene some more. Memories of how they had spent their night and this morning caused his nerve endings to react. He loved her taste so much that he could bury his head between her legs and stay there. But then he also enjoyed being inside her, moving in and out and feeling her inner muscles clamp tight as they tried to squeeze everything out of him.
There were other things he enjoyed about her that weren’t related to sex. He liked the way she went tit-for-tat with him, how she could make some offhanded comment in a way that made him smile. And he appreciated her sense of humor. His face broke into a lopsided grin when he thought of introducing her to his mother. Daiyu would like her.
He then remembered how his mother’s name had come up during their meeting with the Braddocks. Sooner or later he would have to tell them the truth, but that would be only after he discovered for himself why Harmon had been trying to reach his mother that night. Had he suspected his life was about to end and wanted to leave her with some information? If that was the case, why Daiyu instead of his wife, Evelyn, or one of his kids? Why not his friends Senator Cayman or Judge Hanlon?
There were a lot of questions yet to be answered, but right now the only thing Drey wanted to think about was the sexy woman sharing his condo.
Charlene paced the room deep in thought. Now, where had she heard the name Daiyu Longwei from? It had first struck her as familiar when they had met with the Braddocks, and the nagging feeling wouldn’t go away.
She had meant to ask Drey about it, but while Drey had been driving back from Malcolm Braddock’s office her cell phone had rung. Her mother had been in a talkative mood. Nina had wanted to know how her relationship was progressing with the young man she had gone out of town with. Charlene felt her mother didn’t need to know that things had progressed so well that she was no longer a virgin.
Thoughts of what she and Drey had shared since last night had her heart racing. She never knew a man could have so much energy when making love. Multiple orgasms were common for him, as well as being able to go for long periods of time without stopping. He’d seemed insatiable.
She’d been surprised at the extent of her own stamina. Granted, there had been pain at first, but after that, she had enjoyed his well-timed strokes into her body, the way he wouldn’t hesitate to kiss her all over, as well as his knowledge of a woman’s pleasure points. He had done everything last night that he’d said he would do. He had tasted her all over, had made her scream more times than she could count, had given her enough orgasms to last a lifetime and had remained inside her body for a long while…even when they had slept.
She had awakened that morning feeling totally rejuvenated and well rested, although she hadn’t gotten much sleep. And then later, what they had done in his office, right there on his desk, made her blush. It was simply amazing how a woman could go from a virgin to a naughty sexual vixen overnight.
She was about to go into the kitchen to unwind with a glass of wine when Drey’s phone rang. She wondered if it was that woman Karen calling again and figured she would know soon enough if the woman left a message.
“Drey, mail came for you today. I think it’s about your high school class reunion. You can drop by and pick it up anytime. Love you.”
She smiled knowing the caller was Drey’s mom and that he—
Charlene blinked when she suddenly thought of something. Walking quickly into Drey’s office, she went straight to a photograph he had framed on the wall. It was a photo of him and his mother on the day he had graduated from the police academy. A gold plate beneath the picture said “Daiyu Longwei and Her Son, Drey St. John.”
Confusion began snarling Charlene’s thoughts. She studied the photographed again. She wasn’t sure exactly how long ago the photo had been taken, but Drey’s mother was definitely still an Asian beauty. It didn’t look as if she’d aged that much at all from the photo Drey had hanging in his living room.
Another thought popped into her head when she recalled the meeting earlier at Malcolm Braddock’s office. She shook her head. Something didn’t make sense.
She turned and walked out of Drey’s office at the same time she heard the key turn in his door, alerting her that he had returned. The moment he closed the door behind him he glanced over at her and upon seeing her expression he quickly crossed the room and took her hand.
“What’s wrong, Charlene?”
She stared at him, the man she had made love with all night. “I don’t know, Drey. You tell me.”
The brows covering his slanted eyes lifted and he released her hand. “And what do you want me to tell you?”
She held his gaze and asked, “Why didn’t you tell the Braddocks that Daiyu Longwei is your mother?”