"Do you want to . . . ?" He stopped himself before he asked her if she wanted to go again, realizing that probably wasn't the right way to put it.

She understood. "Oh yes, I do," she whispered. She kissed the soft skin under his ear, then teased his earlobe with her teeth. He tightened his hold on her, which told her he liked what she was doing, and that made her bolder. She moved lower, nudging his hands away so she could kiss his chest, then lower until she was kissing his belly button. The description rock-hard abs didn't do him justice. Her long, silky hair brushed over his skin. When she tried to move lower between his thighs, he pulled her back up, shook his head, and said, "If you do that, I won't last."


"But I've never . . . and I wanted to try . . ."

He rolled her onto her back. It was a revelation that she wanted him so quickly after finding satisfaction, and to want him so desperately she was almost frantic with desire. Their lovemaking was wild, uncontrolled, and earth-shattering. She had never had an orgasm before Liam, and now she'd had three. She was spent.

Liam fell back on the bed beside her, and they both stared at the ceiling for several minutes as they tried to catch their breath. When he had summoned enough strength, Liam went into the bathroom, and this time when he returned he began to get dressed. Suddenly feeling vulnerable now, she grabbed her robe and put it on. She tied the belt and sat against the headboard, watching him. Her hair hung down over one side of her face. She impatiently brushed it back over her shoulder while she waited for him to say something to her. 

"I should get going," he said as he sat on the side of the bed and reached for his loafers.

By the time he was buttoning his shirt and putting on his holster, she had made the no-brainer assumption that he wanted to leave. In fact, it seemed he couldn't get out of there fast enough.

She went into the galley kitchen and got a bottled water out of the refrigerator. It took her three tries to get the cap twisted off, her hands were shaking so. The aftermath of sex, she surmised. Her legs were shaking, too.

Liam walked in just as she was turning, and she bumped into his chest. She offered him the water. He took a long swallow and then put it on the counter and pulled her into his arms.

"I've got to go," he whispered against her ear.

"I know."

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"You'll get to sleep in tomorrow, and you don't start your six months with Phillips until Monday. I'd make the most of the time off if I were you."

"Come Monday, heaven help me. Right?"

He smiled. "Right."

Although she wanted to, she didn't ask him what he would be doing. The search she had done at the cyber unit had given him the proof he needed, but Liam still had work to do. She expected he would track down the culprit who had leaked the information, interrogate him, and then lock him up. Her usefulness to the case was over.

Liam let go of her and stepped back. He reached for the bottle and took another drink as he leaned against the counter and stared down at the floor. It appeared that he was studying the tiles. A few minutes before, she had been convinced he was ready to bolt out of there, but now he didn't seem in any hurry to leave. When Allison leaned closer and studied his face, she could tell from the deep furrow in his brow that he was mulling over something important. She presumed it had to do with his work.

"Have you told Alec what I found?" she asked.

"Yes. When do you graduate?"

The jump in subjects surprised her and made her pause a second before answering, "One month."

He nodded. "What about your aunt and uncle? When are you going to talk to them?"

"I don't know."

"They aren't going to give up."

"I know."

He put his arm around her and walked by her side to the door. His hand was on the doorknob when he said, "I want to be there if you do confront them."


"I just want to."

"I can handle them. I don't need anyone to fight my battles for me."

"I just want to see them in action," he admitted a bit sheepishly.

She shook her head. "I'll film it for you."

He laughed, kissed her, and then left.

She locked the door behind him and leaned against it. She didn't quite know what she had expected, but it certainly wasn't that he would leave without so much as a "thank you" or a "that was great" or even a "have a nice day." She had to remind herself that they had made an agreement. No commitments, no complications. So the fact that he left so quickly after their lovemaking wasn't awkward at all.

Just a little heartbreaking.


A little too late she realized casual sex or a hookup or a one-nighter or whatever else it was called was more complicated than she had imagined. Maybe she just wasn't the type for that nonsense. She would much rather write code than have sex anyway.