He wanted her better than good. “Take off your panties.”

Her pupils gobbled up her irises as she obeyed. “So forceful. I like you this way.”

“Weapons, too.” She had blades strapped to her thighs. She also sported an ankle holster, and the weapon inside did not appear to be a regulation pyregun. What it was, though, he couldn’t tell.

Within seconds, she was completely naked. And fuck. He could blow his load just looking at her. Those more-than-a-handful breasts, that slightly concave stomach, those wonderfully toned legs.

“I want to see you now,” she whispered. “All of you. You promised.”

“I thought I could … hoped … but I can’t. If I take off my pants, I’ll be inside you.”

Her gaze zeroed in on his zipper, her tongue peeking out to lick her lips. “And that’s a bad thing?”

In a lot of ways, yes, but rather than ruin the moment and explain, he said, “Lay down, Noelle. Please. And keep your ass at the edge of the mattress.”

“Your kinkiness is a very nice surprise, too,” she said as she complied. Her legs were closed and now dangled over the side of the bed, shielding her feminine core from his view.

Once again he fell to his knees. “Put your feet on my shoulders, as close to my face as you can get them.”

A moment of silence, of inactivity. Then, “Wh—what are you going to do to me?”

“I’m going to eat you up.” Exactly as he’d dreamed of doing for months. In fact, a few mornings he’d even woken up already seconds away from release, because he’d devoured her in his dreams.

“Oh, God,” she gasped out, and he knew his crudeness had ramped up her arousal.

First one leg, then the other, and then her feet were in place, anchored on his shoulders, and her knees open, his gaze enraptured by the new center of his world. The sweetness of her feminine musk drifted to his nose, and he breathed deeply, savoring. She was pink and wet, and so pretty he wanted to move in and stay forever.

Only a thin strip of hair covered her, like a treasure map to her core. And he’d thought her pout sexy. This was the sexiest fucking thing he’d ever seen. He leaned in … closer … closer still … He’d never done this before and didn’t want to mess up. Wanted to do it right, make it good for her.

No, he reminded himself. Better than good.

The savageness of his instincts wouldn’t allow him to hesitate for long. Desperate to taste her, he licked his way to the treasure in question, the sweetest honey filling his mouth. A scream tore from her throat as her hips shot off the mattress. She liked, then. Well, he loved. And with a groan of pleasure, he buried his face and did as he’d promised.

He licked and he sucked and he nibbled. He consumed. She writhed. She gasped his name. She begged. She pleaded. She cursed him. She prayed for mercy. He never stopped, could never have stopped. This was heaven, pure and simple.

Again he found himself reaching for her, his fingers wanting inside her so badly they ached with the same raging desire as his cock. Again he caught himself just in time. Mine, mine, mine. All mine. Will protect, even from myself.

“Hector!” Her legs fell from his shoulders, and she jerked upright, but her hands never stopped clutching his scalp, holding him to her, and he never stopped enjoying her.

He licked his way to her clit, and sucked. Hard. So hard. His name on her lips was as addictive as everything else about her, and he was determined to draw it out of her again and again.

“Hector, oh, God, Hector I’m so close. I’m almost there … I’m … oh, God! There!”

Another scream ripped from her, her body convulsing, her grip tightening on him, probably leaving bruises. Bruises he’d wear with pride. He’d done this. He’d pleasured her, given her this, made her lose control. Her inner walls clenched around his tongue, a tongue he darted in and out, in and out, fucking her that way since he couldn’t fuck her the other. All that delicious honey flowed down his throat, burned him alive and created a new creature.

Panting, she collapsed against the mattress in a boneless heap. He pulled back, but only slightly, and licked at his mouth, wanting every drop of her he could get.

He slid the edge of both his gloves back. His arms were shaking, still glowing, a little more than before, and more of the ink had faded. There were a few holes singed into the material, and those holes still released thin curls of smoke.

But. He hadn’t burned anything down, and he hadn’t hurt Noelle. So he would consider this a success.

He stood, his knees practically giving out. “Where’s your bathroom?” Ragged breath in, ragged breath out. He needed a moment—or ten—to himself. To calm, to cool down. To finish himself so that he was no longer a menace. For the moment, at least.

As quickly as she’d fallen, she sat back up. Her gaze found his, and despite the languid satisfaction of her expression, she still bore signs of arousal. Heavy lids, an inability to steady her oxygen intake. “No,” she said.

“No?” He blinked down at her. “No, you won’t tell me? Or no, I can’t use it?”

“No, you’re not leaving me and taking care of that on your own.” At “that,” she motioned to his straining cock.

Torturing him … “Safer that way.” The urge to do more to her, to have more of her … can’t, you can’t.

Her lashes fused together, hiding the perilous glitter of her eyes. Without another word, she reached out, unbuttoned and unzipped him, then jerked his underwear out of the way. “You’re not going to deny me this. And you’re not going to give it to someone else, even if that someone is yourself. It’s mine. I earned it.”

Hers. Fuck, but he’d never heard a more arousing speech. His cock sprang free, the tip already weeping. He should have moved away from her. Instead, he whipped his arms behind his back. He didn’t have to ask what she was doing. He knew, and he craved. He was ashamed of himself, but yeah, he craved.

She wrapped her fingers around the shaft, seeming to marvel that the tips couldn’t close. “You said before that you won’t let me blow you. Is your answer still no, even if I’m dying to do it?”

“Noelle,” he gritted. To have a woman willingly taste him …

“I’ll take that as a yes. Please do it.”

Good, because that’s how he’d meant it.

She turned them both so that he was the one propped against the mattress and dropped to her knees. Then she fit her lips around the head of his cock, the wet heat of her scorching him perfectly. Down, down she slid on him, her teeth scraping him, until his length hit the back of her throat.

So good, so damn good. The shame vanished, and no guilt pierced him. Just the sweetest pleasure.

Never before like this. Sweat broke out in beads over his skin, his veins expanding to contain the ferocity of his arousal.

The urge to hold her, to guide her, was almost too much for him. So he moved his hands up, curling his fingers behind his neck, forming claws and locking down. Careful, he had to be careful. Already his forearms were hot enough to blister. Still he didn’t tell her to stop.

Up and down, up and down, she ate at him, swallowing the pre-come still leaking from him, humming as if she loved the taste. One of her hands played with his testicles, tugged on them.

He was so used to forcing himself to come as quickly as possible, he currently lacked stamina. And the fact that it was Noelle between his legs, Noelle sucking his cock, Noelle driving him to the brink, Noelle’s taste still in his mouth, down his throat, he wouldn’t have lasted anyway.

He’d never in his life been so turned on.

“I’m going to … if you don’t pull away … you’ll …” No one had ever swallowed him. Always he’d come in a condom, or told the woman to move away so he could shoot on the floor.

Noelle increased the speed of her strokes, the ferociousness of her suction, until he forgot his hands, forgot his ability, the problems, complications, reasons they should stay away from each other and exploded, jetting into her mouth.

He roared like an animal, out of control, utterly lost, never wanting to be found. The pleasure … too much, soul-changing, everlasting. Every muscle he possessed clenched, knotted. And he just kept coming and coming, and she just kept swallowing every drop.

Afterward, as he lay there, fighting for breath, she crouched beside him, careful not to touch him, and met his gaze. Her cheeks were flushed. She was panting, licking her lips as if she’d enjoyed him with the same intensity he’d enjoyed her.

He nodded, unsure he could find his voice. His arms had stopped glowing, but though they had immediately cooled down with his release, they were still too hot to be handling her.

A slow smile spread across those swollen bedroom lips. “And we’ll do this again?”

Another nod, a little wary, a lot shocked. She wanted more of him? After all the work she’d had to do, she hadn’t decided he was just a one-time thing?

The smile grew, became dazzling, more wicked than sensual. There were so many facets to her personality, he thought. The playful little girl, the vicious revenge-hungry woman. The seductress, the innocent. The giver, the taker. The game-player.

He wanted to fuck them all.

“Good,” she said, purring like a contented kitten. “Because now I know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow night.”

HE WAS A BASTARD, Hector thought the next morning.

He should have phoned Noelle. Picked her up. They should have driven to Bobby Marks’s house together. Instead, he now climbed the steps to Marks’s front door on his own.

After last night, he just wasn’t ready to see her. Even the thought of her fired him up, distracting him. And now that he knew the honey that awaited him between her legs, how the hell was he supposed to work a case with her at his side and not toss her down and ravage her every other minute?

He’d call her later. Apologize. Maybe she’d forgive him, maybe she wouldn’t.

If she decided to end this thing between them, he’d be better off. She would be better off.

His hands fisted, and rage sparked inside his chest. Can’t lose her.

Concentrate. He jerked on his gloves and rang the doorbell. He’d once again tried calling Brenda Marks, Bobby’s mother, who lived a few houses down. No luck. When he finished here, he planned to go there. So far, Noelle’s pregnancy story had overshadowed everything else, as hoped.

Hector waited, expecting a servant. No one came to the door, so he rang again. The sky was cloudy, gray, a storm brewing. He felt as if he were being watched, but found no evidence of cameras, no one peeking from slits in the blinds.

He waited a few more minutes, then looked around. A Mercedes meandered along the street. Across the way, a human male—tall, lean, dark hair, handsome, probably some rich woman’s boy toy—walked a shaggy white dog, paying Hector no attention.

There were four other homes around this one, each one bigger than the last. Lots of white marble, luscious trees, and colorful arrays of flowers. Again, no one watched him from the windows.

An iron gate surrounded each as well. Even this one. Bypassing Marks’s gate had been difficult—his was more advanced than most—but not impossible. As Hector’s presence at the door had proven.

This was the kind of neighborhood Hector had assumed Noelle would live in. While she’d renovated her place, she wasn’t situated in the best part of town. But then, she was only ten minutes away from Ava’s apartment, so … there you go. He liked that about her. Her sense of loyalty.

That’s why he’d finally decided to trust her, to tell her the truth about his arms. Once, he’d thought a man would never know where he stood with her. She enjoyed her storytelling a little too much. Not to mention her silly-girl façade. But Hector was beginning to understand her.

You could always tell with her. She’d said she had only just noticed that he carried his emotions in his eyes. Well, the same was true for him and her eyes. You looked deep enough, and you saw how much need and vulnerability those silver irises radiated. And when she smiled wickedly, you were in trouble. But when she smiled sweetly, something he’d only ever seen her do for Ava—and now him—her faithfulness had no boundaries.

Shouldn’t need another reminder to CONCENTRATE. Mad at himself, Hector carried his tools to the garage door around the way and hacked through the security system. Living on the streets finally paying off, he mused.

The door lifted slowly but steadily, revealing a black BMW, the windows tinted so darkly no one would be able to see anyone inside at any time, and a silver Viper. There was also a golf cart and a four-wheeler.

What were you trying to blow the lid on, Marks? Hector wondered.

Inside the house, he found reinforced steel walls painted to look like stucco. The kitchen was clean, nothing out of place. The living room, also pristine. The office, emptied out. There were no computers. No electronic files. There was a desk and a file cabinet, but nothing inside either of them.

Had Marks cleaned up—or had someone else? Someone wanting to keep that lid sealed on certain information? Hector did a print sweep, but found only Marks’s. He was about to head out to search the rest of the home when he felt the tile beneath his boot give the slightest shake.

Loose, he thought. No way a man as wealthy as Marks would have let such an imperfection slide.