Miami, mistletoe & murde.., p.5
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       Miami, Mistletoe & Murder, p.5

         Part #4 of Red Stone Security series by Katie Reus
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Page 5


  For her.

  God, he needed to get his shit together and act normal around her or she’d kick his ass out for sure. Shoving his dirty clothes into the plastic bag Noel had thoughtfully given him, he left it and his duffel bag in her guest bathroom and went in search of her. She lived in a two-bedroom townhome near downtown. The neighborhood was quiet and he knew the area was relatively safe.

  He found her in her kitchen, her back turned to him as she stood at her stove. There was faint classical Christmas music coming from somewhere but his focus was completely on her. Her dark hair was loose around her shoulders, making him itch to run his fingers through it. She’d changed into dark blue lounge pants and a blue and white hoodie sweater with an emblem for a surf brand he recognized. The pants molded to her perfect ass and all he could envision was holding on to it as he thrust into her. He could just imagine her head thrown back, his name on her lips as he brought her to climax.

  Closing his eyes, he shook his head. He really needed sleep.

  “Hey, I didn’t hear you. ” Noel’s voice made his eyes open.

  Smiling, he stepped into the room that had her touches everywhere. Her coffee shop was pretty simple, with an Internet bar and typical coffee and tea themed wall art, but there were always fresh flowers on the tables. It was the same at her home. She had fresh flowers on the kitchen table, small green plants dotted around the room, and a window box of herbs. He recognized the herbs because he had something similar at his condo. His sister had given it to him. “Something smells good. ”

  “I hope you’re hungry because I’ve gone a little crazy. ” She turned back to the stove and pulled off a small pot.

  He leaned against the counter next to her, watching as she poured what looked like homemade hot chocolate into a mug. Pushing it over to him, she smiled softly. “You normally drink coffee at the shop but I figured that was the last thing you needed this late. Since I don’t have beer or anything, I hope this is all right. ”

  Something foreign twinged in his chest as he took the mug. It was weird to have someone taking care of him, but he liked it. Probably too much. “This is great, thanks. ” He eyed the diced vegetables and sautéing mushrooms and his stomach rumbled.

  Seeing his look, she glanced at everything. “I probably should have asked if there was anything you don’t like in your omelets. ”

  “Everything looks great. You really don’t have to do all this though. ” He would have been fine with the hot chocolate and her company. But mainly her company. It didn’t matter that he was starving, just being around her was soothing. Everything about her was calm and sweet. Even earlier when he’d ordered her to find Juanita, she’d kept a level head.

  She snorted and shooed him away with a spatula. Actually shooed him. “Sit,” she ordered.

  Grinning at the unexpected attitude, he did as she said. “You cook a lot?”

  Glancing at him over her shoulder, she nodded. “Yeah, my dad taught me. He made sure me and my brothers knew how to cook. What about you?”

  From their conversations he knew that her mother had died when she was five and she’d grown up with a father and four brothers. And she was the youngest. If any of them knew that some tattooed guy was sitting in her kitchen after having just shot someone, they’d probably be pissed. God knew he would be if his sister had any guy in her home at two in the morning. “I can cook well enough, but I usually don’t. I’m on the road too much. Takeout’s so much easier when I’m home. ” But having someone cook for him like this was so damn refreshing. Not something he could get used to, but it was nice right now.

  She added some diced peppers into the pan. “I didn’t realize it until after we’d left, but the man who introduced himself as Harrison. That’s your boss, right?”

  “Yeah. ” Unable to sit so far away, he walked over to the counter and leaned against it so they could look at each other. “I promise not to get in your way…This is amazing by the way. ” He lifted the mug.

  “Thanks. ” She flushed again, something he found incredibly erotic.

  He liked seeing her off balance around him. Or hell, just aware of him as a man. And she definitely was. He’d never noticed it before so either she was good at hiding her feelings or something had changed between them.

  “So, you’re sure you won’t be in trouble for…what happened?” She swallowed hard, keeping her gaze intent on the pan instead of looking at him.

  That’s when he realized it might seriously bother her that he’d killed someone. There was nothing he could do about it and he needed to make sure this wasn’t something that could come between them. If so, he would have to walk away now. Before he fell too hard for this woman. “I’m not sorry for what I did. I hate the situation and I hate that you, Juanita, her mother and I were put into it, but I won’t be struggling with guilt. It’s done and I’m over it. If that sounds fu—messed up, I’m sorry. But it’s the way I’m wired. I spent close to eight years in various warzones so compared to the worst things I’ve seen, this doesn’t rank up there. I understand if this is something you can’t handle, but if it is, I need to know now. ” He realized he was being incredibly blunt, but he didn’t want to be anything less. Not with what had happened.

  Her head snapped up, her gray eyes widening. “I think that’s the most you’ve ever said to me at once. ”

  Travis carefully watched her and it hit him that she didn’t seem repulsed by what he’d done. Still, he needed to make sure. “Are you okay with what happened? You sure you don’t want me to leave?”

  “No, I don’t want you to leave,” she said as if that thought was ridiculous. “And honestly, I don’t know how I feel. I don’t care that you shot that bastard—okay that sounds bad. You did what you had to do and I’m fine with that. I just hate that you were put in that situation at all. I’m so worried that this will affect your career and life. ” The guilt in her voice and in her eyes was potent.

  It was strange to have someone concerned about him. Even though his sister was two years older he’d been looking after her since they were kids. And in the Marines and even with Red Stone, his team always looked out for each other, but no one ever worried or fussed over him. He inched closer, invading her personal space. “You have nothing to be worried about. It was in self-defense and that guy had a long record. Juanita is lucky you cared enough to come over when she called. My career will never be affected by this. ” Reaching out, he stroked his knuckles softly against her cheek. Her skin was incredibly soft and she smelled like cinnamon. Sweet and subtle.

  To his surprise, she leaned into his light touch. They both froze, but when she moistened her lips with her tongue, he let go of whatever self-control he’d been holding on to.

  Threading his fingers through her hair, he clutched the back of her head as their lips meshed. He forced his other hand to stay by his side, not wanting to completely lose it as her tongue delved into his mouth, searching and teasing. The longer they kissed she let out soft little moans, driving him completely crazy. She not only smelled sweet, he tasted cinnamon and chocolate, something he’d always associated with her because of her shop. When her hands spread over his shoulders, her fingers digging in possessively, he grabbed her hip and pulled her flush against his body. She was soft and pliant against him, pushing her hands farther around him so that there wasn’t an inch of space between their bodies.

  He loved how tall she was. Their bodies fit together perfectly and he could envision what sex would be like with her. She was all legs and right now he’d give damn near anything to have them wrapped around his waist, or shoulders as he—

  A loud pop pulled them apart. Blinking, she gave her head a small shake and looked at the stove. Breathing hard, she let out a small curse and he realized the mushrooms were burning. “You are definitely a distraction,” she murmured, her cheeks pink again.

  It was clear she wasn’t ready to take things any further tonight and
damn, he didn’t know if he was either. She wasn’t the kind of woman a man walked away from. He took a small step back. “If I promise to sit will you still cook for me?”

  Grinning, she picked up her spatula. “Yes. But only if you promise that we’re going to do that again. ”

  The bold statement took him by surprise and from her expression he guessed she’d surprised herself. Good. It eased him to know he affected her the same way she did him. Thoughts of her had been consuming him for months. Though he didn’t like to put distance between them, he nodded as he headed back to the table and said, “Absolutely. ” He knew he definitely wanted to kiss her again. And not just her mouth. He wanted to run his lips all over her entire body. For now, he’d let her set the pace.

  * * * * *

  Reggie Gomez slowly drove down that bitch Alisa’s street. When the police had notified him about his brother, he hadn’t wanted to believe Dwight was actually dead. He hadn’t learned many details—some bullshit about how they’d get back to him soon. Reggie knew better. The cops wouldn’t care that his brother was dead. No one would but him.

  Considering how much grief Alisa had been causing his brother, Reggie knew exactly where to start asking his questions. That woman had stolen from Dwight then had the nerve to end things with his brother. She’d given some pathetic excuse about how she didn’t like the way he was looking at her daughter. Reggie wasn’t blind to his brother’s faults, but he never would have hurt a kid. Alisa had just wanted his brother for his money.

  It was eight in the morning and there were a few people on the street. A couple kids playing in one front yard and someone else picking up their newspaper. Reggie parked in front of Alisa’s house and waved at her neighbor, who must be pushing sixty. His black hair was graying and the scruff on his face was almost completely gray. Wearing a threadbare robe, he picked up his paper and only paused when he spotted Reggie.
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