Miami, mistletoe & murde.., p.10
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       Miami, Mistletoe & Murder, p.10

         Part #4 of Red Stone Security series by Katie Reus
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Page 10


  Travis shrugged. “Once a month, mostly by email, sometimes on the phone. She and Jay always invite me over for the holidays. That’s her husband. ”

  Noel wanted to ask if he was going over this year, but didn’t have the courage. Christmas was right around the corner and even though things between them were so new, the thought of spending the holiday with him sounded like perfection. And that scared her. She’d never gotten so wrapped up in a man this quickly. She liked to take things slow, to be careful who she dated. “So…you told her about me or is she a really good guesser?”

  He chuckled and kissed the top of her head. “Your name might have come up a time or two in the past few months. She’s been after me to ask you out since I first mentioned my…interest. ”

  “Interest, huh?” Her entire body flared to life at that one word.

  Travis snorted. “You about knocked me off my feet the first time I saw you. I had some very dirty thoughts about what I’d like to do to you behind the coffee bar. ”

  Oh. Well, damn. “Same here, well, minus the dirty part. I’m sure my fantasies are a little tamer, but you were impossibly sexy and all mysterious looking. Always wearing those dark suits which seemed at total odds to the tattoos peeking out. I couldn’t figure you out. ” And she still hadn’t.

  “You still think I’m sexy?”

  Now she snorted. “Still? How about even sexier. Every time I look at you…” She trailed off, feeling self-conscious. She hated playing games and she’d spent enough time around guys to know they hated it too, but just laying everything out there without any pretense made her feel vulnerable.

  “You gonna finish that thought?” he asked as they reached her car, his expression open and hungry. For her.

  Biting her bottom lip, she looked up at him. Screw it. Honesty was the best policy, right? “I get wet. ” Maybe not every time, but it was damn close.

  A shudder rolled through his big, broad body and his eyes heated. “Keep talking like that and I’ll forget any good intentions I’m holding onto. ”

  “Good. ” She didn’t want him to hold anything back. Normally it took her a lot longer to even consider sleeping with a man but she knew things between her and Travis would be heating up a lot sooner than later. And she couldn’t wait.

  Chapter 8

  Travis stood at Noel’s front door with her. He’d never been more torn in his life over anything. She hadn’t said the words, but she’d invited him in with her eyes and body language and he really wanted to say yes. But he didn’t want to move things too fast and risk screwing up what he was pretty sure could be it for him. He’d never believed in bullshit theories like ‘the one’ before. Well, until he’d gotten to know Noel. He could easily see his entire future with her mapped out and he fucking loved it.

  She grasped her keys tightly in her hand as she looked up at him. The uncertainty he saw in her face surprised him. He couldn’t imagine what she had to be nervous about and he hated the thought that he’d somehow put that look there.

  “Do you want to come in for a little bit?” The words came out shaky and uneven and it took him a moment to realize she wasn’t nervous. Her cheeks were flushed and he was pretty sure it wasn’t because of the chilly weather. The tiny pulse point in her neck was going crazy. She was turned on.

  He went rock hard. “Yeah. ” It was all he could push out.

  Once they were inside her home, he was immediately enveloped by that cinnamon and fresh baked cookies smell. Before he’d taken two steps, she was on him. Her hands settled on his shoulders, gripping him tight as she leaned up and attacked his mouth. He groaned, his hips rolling against hers.

  Grabbing her ass, he hoisted her up so that she wrapped her legs around him. The feel of her long, lean body grinding against him was almost enough to make his brain short circuit. Somehow he managed to walk them to her living room without knocking anything over. One of her blinds was open so the dim glow of an outside streetlight peeked in. She must have left the kitchen light on too because it spilled in, giving them just enough illumination to see each other. Though he wanted nothing more than to be on top, something told him she needed to gain control of the situation. Her slight aggressiveness was out of character and, for the moment, he didn’t mind handing over the reins. Whatever made her happy.

  She was rolling her hips against his as they kissed, clearly wanting more, but her body was tense. As if her body wanted to take it to the next level, but she wasn’t quite sure. He collapsed onto her loveseat, letting her straddle him. Noel didn’t even pause. She had his sweater tugged off in seconds. When she went to kiss him again, she paused then pulled back, a smile playing across her face. The lust there was so vivid, it turned him on that she wanted him as badly as he did her.

  “No more suits or clothes to cover all of this. ” Her voice sounded so full of pleasure when she said it. And when she looked at him, it was as if she really saw him. The true him. The man beneath the tats and the piercings.

  As she sat there tracing him with her hot gaze, he remained still. Her dark hair fell around her shoulders in soft waves framing her exotic face. Her normally pale eyes had turned molten and the way she nervously bit her full bottom lip had his cock straining against his pants. She reached out tentatively at first, then flicked that pale gaze to his, her eyes questioning.

  He nearly laughed. “Honey, you can touch all you want. ”

  And she did. Her fingers were instantly drawn to the tribal designs on his chest. Her eyebrows furrowed as she ran her hands over his pecs. “This is more than a tribal design isn’t it?”

  It was dark in the room and since most people never saw past the thick designs he was surprised she’d caught it so quickly. “Yeah, it’s words. ”

  “What does it say?” she asked, never removing her fingers from his chest. It was clear she liked what she saw, which made getting his next words out a whole lot easier.

  It was hard enough thinking when she was straddling and stroking him, let alone finding the ability to talk. His throat tightened for a moment. “It’s from a letter my mom sent me. The last one she sent before she died. ” Saying it out loud lifted a weight off his chest he hadn’t even realized was there. He almost never talked about his mother. He’d mentioned her once to Noel and that alone had surprised the hell out of him at the time since she’d been a relative stranger. There was just something about this woman that made him want to open up. The most basic part of him knew he could trust her.

  “Lung cancer, right?” she asked softly.

  Touched that she remembered, Travis nodded, settling his hands on Noel’s hips. His fingers flexed once. “Yeah. She died when I was twenty-two. Right as my first enlistment was about to end. I’d never felt so lost in my life so I extended my contract and signed up for another four years. ” It had been the best thing he’d ever done too. The Marines gave him discipline and a place to let out all his rage and anger at a time when he’d needed it most.

  “Is that when you got all your tattoos?” She looked at both his arms now, her gaze sweeping over him like a gentle caress

  “I already had this one. ” He lifted his right arm slightly, indicating the Force Recon tat he’d gotten with the rest of his team. A lot of the guys got Mako shark tattoos or different Maori symbols—mostly stuff centering around the sea. But he and his buddies had all gotten skulls with a scuba mask. It made him smile whenever he looked at it. “And this one, I got after my second enlistment was up. ” He slightly raised his left arm then. He would have gotten it sooner, but the Marines had cracked down while he’d been in about what type of tattoos and how many they could get.

  Her head immediately swiveled to it. She traced her fingers along the intricate swirls. “This is more words, isn’t it? Not just tribal designs?”

  He nodded. Travis had nothing against tribal stuff, but just that by itself it was too boring for him. He considered the work on his body as art an
d he wanted it to mean something. “About four years ago I was on an op that went bad. We lost three guys. This is a poem one of my buddies wrote after. ” His friend had read it at the private ceremony they’d had for their fallen friends and once his enlistment was up, the first thing he’d done was get part of it tattooed on his arm.

  Leaning down, she softly pressed her lips to his bicep, then trailed her way down to his forearm. The feel of her warm breath and silk lips on him made his entire body shudder as he let those painful thoughts go. This woman had the power to bring him to his knees without even trying. It was like she knew exactly how far to push him. She never asked too many questions, just let him open up when he was ready. He had friends from high school who always wanted to know how many people he’d killed overseas. It was always the first damn question out of anyone’s mouth. Not Noel. She just seemed to care about him.

  Slowly, she kissed a trail back up his arm, then down his chest and stomach, shimmying her way down until she was kneeling on the floor between his legs. As she reached for the button of his jeans, she looked up at him, her eyes bright and hungry. Yeah, he couldn’t stop her now even if he wanted to. He wondered what she’d think of his piercing and since he hadn’t actually slept with anyone since he’d gotten it… Fuck, she tugged the zipper down.

  Travis couldn’t take his gaze off her. She bit her bottom lip as she stared at the outline of his cock. His boxers strained tight against his erection, outlining the metal ball at the top of his crown beneath the fabric. When she licked her lips, almost involuntarily, he groaned.

  As her fingers teasingly trailed the elastic of his boxers, his stomach muscles clenched. Imagining what her lips would feel like around him, sucking, licking—

  The sound of glass shattering, then a car alarm blaring rent through the quiet atmosphere. Wait a minute, that was his truck alarm.

  Noel pushed up. “What the hell?” she muttered.

  Travis zipped his jeans up but didn’t bother with his sweater even though it was cold. “Stay here,” he ordered. With everything that had happened only days ago, he was still feeling edgy.
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