Noelle flattened her hand above his heart. The organ rushed up to meet her, the beat quickening. Hector didn’t chastise her. “Wasn’t your fault,” she said, offering comfort. “And two women were saved from God knows what.”

He gulped. His gaze met hers, the gold glittering, no hint of the frost he so often directed at her.

In an instant, her thought path changed course. From business straight back to the pleasure. She had her hand on him. He was close enough to kiss. And he craved her.

Thought you weren’t going to do this with him ever again?

Things change. He craved her. She would never get tired of those words.

You’ve forgotten the humiliation of his rejection, then?

Argh! She despised these conversations with herself.

Dallas had amused her, but Hector… Hector tantalized her. He didn’t tease, he snarled. He didn’t flirt, he informed. His intensity was a constant brush against her nerve endings, awakening long forgotten parts of her body, working her into a frenzy.

“You know, the last two times we stood like this, we … did things,” she reminded him huskily.

Me, either. “We should probably—” Go our separate ways. She tried to force the words out of her mouth, but they congested in her throat.

“Yeah,” he repeated. He leaned closer, closer, probably seeing the pulse at the base of her neck speed out of rhythm. He hovered there, breathing her in, as if he wasn’t sure what to do next.

Forget separating. She wanted more and took care of the rest, tracing her tongue along the seam of his lips. He moaned, but didn’t open, so she turned her attention to his pulse, licking up the base of his neck. She loved the honey and almond flavor of his skin. Loved the—

Jealousy was like a thousand knives inside her. What he did—had done—wasn’t her business. They weren’t dating. He could do whatever the hell he wanted, with whomever the hell he wanted.

And yet, still Noelle felt her nails dig into his chest as she straightened. “Hector, I’m going to ask you a question and you’re going to answer honestly or I swear to God I’ll ensure you’re never able to have children. Did you just have sex with someone?”

He stiffened, that flush of shame now so deeply rooted he might never get rid of it. “No, I did not have sex with anyone.” Each word was carefully uttered, precisely measured, as if he didn’t want to lie, but didn’t want to admit the truth, either.

In his favor, he hadn’t stated the obvious by pointing out that she had no right to pry into his love life.

“Did you make out with someone after leaving the chapel?” she asked. Every base would be covered before she allowed him to leave her.

“No.” He pulled a pair of black gloves from his back pocket and tugged them on. “Let me make this interrogation easier and just admit that I haven’t done anything with a woman, any woman, for a while. And before you ask,” he added with barely a pause, “a while is a long time and no, I won’t define a long time.”

Well, all right, then. The potent mix of jealousy and fury drained the rest of the way.

“Are my testicles safe?” he asked, and damn if his lips weren’t twitching as if he wanted to grin, those golden eyes sparkling.

Irresistible man. “For now.” As relaxed as he suddenly was, now might be the perfect time to gain perspective and dig up some answers. Other than the ones he’d already denied her. “So, why did you storm out earlier?”

“Because your pants were on fire?” Wasn’t that how the old song went?

Fighting an urge to draw him closer, she traced her fingers down the edge of his lapels, the material soft. He licked his lips.

Seeing his tongue ramped her up all over again. You’re so easy. With him, yeah. She was. “You made me cry, Hector.” Today, a year ago. But she didn’t mention the past.

“I know,” he replied, gruff. “But I’m not sorry. You needed it.”

“Well, now you have to kiss me better.”

Every muscle in Hector’s body stiffened. Kiss her? “What about Don Carlos? Will he mind?”

Exactly what I thought. “No other boyfriends?”

Thank God. “I will kiss you, then,” he croaked out, and it was a vow. “I’ll make you better.” He knew how he wanted to go about it, too. Strip her, spread her legs, push her against the wall, then touch and taste every inch of her. Knead her breasts, pinch her nipples, tongue her clit. Then pound his cock deep inside her, so deep she wouldn’t walk for weeks.

What he’d allow himself to do was another story.

Running from this? Not an option. Her sweet scent was in his nose, her hand was on his chest. He’d leveled himself out only half an hour ago, wasn’t in the danger zone. He could do this, have this.

A tremor moved through her. “You take too long. I’ll help.” Then she pressed their lips together and his thoughts totally and completely derailed.

She tasted of champagne, female heat, and mint. He nearly brought his hands up to cup her jaw to angle her head for deeper access. Don’t touch, don’t you dare touch. Instead he pressed his gloved hands into the wall beside her and crowded her backward, until she couldn’t move, was caged.

Their tongues rolled together, clashed. He operated on instinct, lust, and pent-up frustration. At no point was the kiss a gentle exploration. At all points, it was savage and hot and consuming, a rending of self, an unquenchable thirst. He wanted more, more, more, now, now, now.

No. Slow it down, fool. He had to remain distanced, had to keep himself under rigid control. But no matter what he told himself, he couldn’t stop taking, giving, taking again. Taking everything she had, eating at her, desperate for her. To own her, possess her.

“Hector,” she breathed. Her arms wound around his waist and she arched her lower body, grinding against him. A little moan escaped her, sliding down his throat and heating his every cell.

Her nipples were hard against his chest, rasping at his shirt. So badly he wanted to trace a path down the ridges of her spine and feel her ass. He pressed closer, instead, and she rubbed all the harder against the thick, swollen length of his cock.

At the first contact, she cried out and he groaned. “You feel so good, baby.”

If he lifted her dress, opened his slacks, he could press into her wet, wet core—and she was wet, she had to be. Her need was palpable. What would it feel like to be surrounded by a woman? By this one, specifically? Warm and wet … tight.

Amazing. He could pound inside her, stretch her, pull out and start all over again.

He was rubbing against her madly, he realized, wringing deep, rich cries from her.

Fuck! You’re supposed to go slowly, you stupid asshole.

Her fingers found their way to his scalp, skating through the strands of his hair. “Soft.”

“I like you,” he admitted. He liked every damn thing about her. Just then, he wasn’t sure how he’d resisted her for so long. Always she was a drug, everything about her designed to lure him.

“I thought you didn’t … do this … with agents,” she said between kisses.

One he couldn’t deny. “Yes.” Despite everything, she’d drawn him from glance one. A draw that had only grown stronger.

“I’m glad.” She bit down on his bottom lip, the sting flaming his need, reminding him of when he’d bitten down on her. How her exquisite flavor had teased him, how he’d felt, for one stolen moment, that she was his, only his, that she belonged to him, body and soul.

Something he’d denied, even to himself. Until now, when he experienced that sense of ownership all over again.

He sucked on her tongue harder. Their teeth banged together, and even that he liked. Her hips continued to slowly gyrate against him, round and round, brushing against him, then leaving him panting for more, then brushing against him again.

Her fingers slid down his chest, to the waist of his pants, dug past the material, seeking his cock. They closed around him, and he hissed in a breath. Shit, he was going to lose it!

“The things you do to me,” he rasped.

“So big,” she breathed. “Mmm, Hector, I don’t know if you’ll be able to fit in me, but I can’t wait to find out.”

The first tingles sparked in his arms. Panic battered against his arousal, and he forced his arms to snap behind his back. “Stop. Just for a second. Please, Noelle.” Begging? Shit. Yeah, he’d begged. “Just need … a moment. I have to calm down.”

She stilled, licked at his lips one final time, as if she couldn’t help herself, then lifted her head, her breath coming shallow and quick. Her mouth was red, swollen, and glossed with his taste. God, he liked that, liked knowing some part of him was on her, in her, that he was connected to her and she to him.

Her eyes were glassy with her arousal, her pupils blown and shadowing her irises. “Did I do something you didn’t like?” Fingers loosening …

Wanting to moan at the loss, he shook his head. “I liked what you were doing too much.”

“Oh.” A blush stained her cheeks, or maybe a deeper flush of arousal. “Oh.” A slow, wicked grin spread, lighting her entire face as she clutched him tighter. “So by stop you actually meant keep going?”

He fought a laugh. Humor, when he was skirting the edge of danger. Such a thing should have been impossible, and would have been, with anyone else. Noelle’s teasing spirit spoke to a part of him he’d never known. The mischievous child he’d never gotten to be.

“No. I just … I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You can’t. Unless you leave me like this.” She stroked up, down.

Another hiss of breath. “I can hurt you in other ways. Believe me, I really can.”

Her brow furrowed with her confusion, and she straightened the rest of the way, removing her hand from his cock completely. He wanted to curse, but offered up a prayer of thanks instead. “How?” she asked.

Hinges squeaked, Mia Snow sticking her dark head out the door a second later. Her blue gaze scanned the area, then lightened when she spotted them. “There you are.”

“What?” An unspoken this better be a matter of life or death coated Hector’s voice as he angled his body away, hiding his erection and blocking her view of Noelle.

“Sorry,” he muttered. I am a calm, rational being. “What do you want?”

With her, you never knew. Could be something easy, like being asked to go into work early the next day, or something slightly more difficult, like kicking your own ass into next week for some perceived slight.

“There’s been a homicide. Dallas is having a meltdown about something, so I’m making you primary,” Mia told him. “You need to head to the scene now, and have a look-see before local PD screws everything up.”

Hector’s gaze sought Noelle unbidden. She’d gotten herself under control, her expression blank, her breathing even. That she’d recovered so quickly, he didn’t like. At all.

“Give me the details,” he forced himself to say.

Mia spouted them off as if she were reading bullet points from a computer screen. When she finished, she added, “Oh, and take Tremain with you. You’re going to need her.”

NOELLE TRIED TO RELAX in her seat. Hector had traded rides with Mia, taking her AIR standard issue, complete with uncomfortable syn-leather interior, a console perched between the driver and passenger seats, and dash-screens in place of a steering wheel and glove compartment. Clear shield armor separated front from back, so that naughty otherworlders couldn’t attack with fists, teeth, or even mind control.

Noelle owned a garage full of cars, some made before the human-alien war nearly a century ago, and before the armor-modification had become customary. She much preferred the older models. What was more fun than cutting corners as if you were on rails, burning rubber, and spinning donuts without sensors to stop you from crashing?

Besides making out with Hector in a public place, that is. Again. After a year-long abstinence, as if no time had passed. Nothing, that’s what.

Her blood still shimmered with desire. Her hand still ached from trying to fit all the way around him, his length so thick her fingertips hadn’t come close to connecting.

Yet he appeared unaffected, all business.

She studied the harsh planes of his profile. He had a staring contest going with the road, ignoring her. Sensors covered the entire outside of this vehicle, so there was no reason to focus that steadily. The car maneuvered the streets on its own, slowing, stopping, and speeding up as necessary.

Well, she could do that, too. Noelle peered out the window. Soon they left the suburbs behind, with the cute houses and the cute families, inside eating dinner. They made their way toward the poorer part of the city. Cool air trickled from the vents, but nothing could override the scent of Hector that permeated the small front enclosure. Wild, earthy, and sweaty.

Every breath Noelle sucked in reminded her of what they had been doing before Mia interrupted—eating each other’s faces.