After She's Gone (West Coast 3) - Page 114

“Larry Sparks.” She managed to draw her hand away from his, tried to quiet her hammering heart.

“Right. Anyway, Sparks did some legwork and started chasing down owners of all the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fes matching the description Rinko gave us.”


“And he got some hits. Rinko only failed with the whole bucking bronco imagery, but Carter’s working on that, too. So,” he finished, “it’s still a long shot, but at least now it seems we may be able to track down whoever was in your room at the hospital. There’s a chance she’s not a ghost, but a real live person with a driver’s license.”

Relief was instantaneous. All her worries that the nurse had been conjured by her own frail mind dissipated. Cassie had almost come to believe she’d imagined the woman. “Thank God.”

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” he said, and his gaze locked with hers.

He was right, of course. This bit of information about the Santa Fe didn’t mean much, at least not yet. But, it was something. Maybe somehow this whole mess would be sorted out.

As if reading her mind, he said, “We’ll figure this out, Cass.”

“Is that before or after I end up back in the hospital or behind bars?”


“I guess.”

“Don’t worry.”

She nearly laughed out loud. “Easier said than done.”

“Trust me.”

How long had it been since she’d been able to do just that?

“So you’re in this with me?” she asked, remembering how he’d said he wanted to get back together with her, that he didn’t want to divorce. “Despite me taking off and not telling you where I was going, you’re still on board?”

“Yep. You can’t get rid of me that easy. But I still think this is something that should be handled by the police.”

“If only it were that simple.”

“It is.” When she didn’t respond, he said, “I’m serious.” His gaze held hers and she felt her pulse go wild at being this close to him. She swallowed with difficulty, her mind wandering down a dangerous, sexual path. She remembered the nights she’d spent with him, the way his skin rubbed against hers, his hot breath playing along her flesh, how he pressed urgent kisses at her hairline on her nape. Often she’d lain facedown in the pillow, the length of his body stretched over hers, his chest hairs scraping her back and lower as he’d slid against the curve of her spine and the rise of her buttocks.

Her throat went dry as erotic images played through her mind.

His hands covering hers, linking his fingers with hers, wet lips caressing her shoulders, his knees impatiently pushing her legs apart. She remembered all too clearly how it felt when he entered her body, how much she’d ached for him. She licked her lips, felt a familiar yearning deep within and realized how much she wanted him to touch her so intimately again.

Oh. Dear. God.

He was staring at her and sensed his own thoughts were following a similar path.

Heat swept up the back of her neck. Why was it that her emotions were always so raw whenever he was near?

Slowly he rubbed his chin, fingers scraping against his beard-shadowed jaw. As if he were struggling to stay on track, he said, “You know, Cass, this is dangerous business and I—”

“Just shut up and kiss me,” she cut in, unable to stand the tension a second longer. Before he could react, she threw her arms around his neck and pulled his head to hers, kissing him hard. Her lips pressed to his, her heart pumping wildly with a storm of pent-up desire that she couldn’t fight a second longer.

He kissed her back like a drowning man, his mouth open and hungry, his tongue seeking hers. Warm. Wet. Demanding. Strong arms surrounded her and he held her against him as they tumbled together off the arm of the couch and onto the cushions. He breathed her name against her ear and she melted inside. Though at some level she knew she was making a mistake of immense proportions, she just didn’t care. Not in these dark, small hours of the morning, when his hands were rough and warm against her skin, when the taste of him brought back memories of making love for hours, when she could drown in the earthy male scent of him.

Yes, she might be falling over the brink of an emotional ravine, stepping into a calamity of untold personal pain, but right now, at this moment in time, thinking of the erotic images in the hours ahead, she didn’t give one single damn.


Cassie slept like a rock.

Tags: Lisa Jackson West Coast Mystery
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