Black Jack (Elite Ops 4)

Page 50

Just what Travis needed—a member of Elite Command breathing down his neck. But if someone had to be there, at least it was Stanton. He could halfway make sense of the senator’s motives. Sometimes.
Lilly was waiting for him when he pulled into his garage nearly an hour later and shut off the Harley. Lounging back on the breastplate of her own cycle, her legs crossed and dangling over the back, she pushed the dark sunglasses down her nose and watched silently as he swung off the machine with slow, lazy male grace.
Damn, he was sexy as hell in black leathers. Lean, powerful legs flexed and spread as he faced her, causing the bulge between his
thighs to become more prominent. A dark t-shirt stretched over his chest beneath the leather jacket, and heavy riding boots covered his feet.
He hadn’t worn a helmet and his hair was windblown, and the short, neatly trimmed growth of beard on his face gave him a sexier, more dangerous appearance. His eyes narrowed as she continued to watch him silently, and he crossed his arms over his wide chest.
“What’s on your mind, Belle?”
“Leaving so soon, Belle?”
She saw the hotel room, knew where it was, saw the man, naked, sprawled out in the bed, his eyes narrowed, his expression somber.
He was her lover. He had been her first lover, and as she stared at him, she wondered why was he the only man she ached for?
“It’s time to go, Black Jack.” She had to fight her tears. She didn’t want to leave the nice warm bed, the even hotter man, or the sense of security she found in his arms. “Nothing lasts forever, does it?”
She opened the door and stepped out. The plane was waiting for her. She had a vacation coming, just a few short days, and she wanted to go home . . .
It was gone. As quickly as the slow play of the memory began in her head, it stopped. But unlike previous memories, this one stayed. It didn’t tease her. It didn’t erase itself just as quickly as it had flashed in her mind.
But she remembered the emotions, the tears she had fought to hold at bay. How she had been torn between staying with Travis and going off for a few short, miserable days of hiding, of watching the family she had lost during the short vacation she had been given.
“Lilly? Are you okay?” She still stared at him as he tilted his head, his gaze so penetrating, as though he were trying to see inside her head, to track whatever thoughts were shifting through the shadows of her mind.
“I’m fine.” She shot him a quick, sexy glance as she fought to cover the lapse in her control. “You have a rather odd habit of making a girl want to live in a fantasy forever.”
She shrugged her own leather jacket from her arms. She hated riding without it, but suddenly, the temperature in the garage was stifling.
Not that shedding the jacket helped. As the leather fell to the seat of the cycle, Travis’s gaze flared at the sight of the camisole top she wore, minus a bra.
Her nipples were tight and hard, the full curves of her breasts suddenly swollen and sensitive. They ached for his touch. She ached for his touch. There wasn’t a cell on her body that wasn’t suddenly clamoring for the feel of him.
As though that memory and the aching loneliness she had felt within it needed to be soothed. She never wanted to feel like that again. She never wanted to be torn between the need to feel his arms around her and the need to spy on a family she couldn’t be with.
She had to fight back the tears now. The family she had ached for, that she had missed with such desperation, barely spoke to her. There was a wall between them. Her mother looked at her and they didn’t see Lilly; her mother didn’t see her daughter, she saw the call girl the report said that she had been.
And her brother. She had idolized her brother, Jared, yet he had turned his back on her at the hospital and hadn’t spoken to her since.
She moved closer to Travis, to the warmth and acceptance she had always felt from him. He had never asked her to be anyone other than whoever she wanted to be at any given moment.
That knowledge was there as she watched him, as he watched her, and the silence grew between them. It wasn’t a memory, it was simply something she knew.
As her breasts brushed against his chest, his hands lifted, stroked from her shoulders to her elbows and back. Lilly couldn’t help the slightest breath that expelled from her lungs, or the pleasure that raced through her arms at his touch.
“I missed you,” she whispered as she leaned her head against his chest, suddenly seized by emotions she didn’t quite know what to do with. “Why have I missed you so desperately, Travis? Were you truly such an integral part of my life?”
She asked the question, but she sensed the answer.
“Things stood in the way, Belle,” he whispered, affirming what she had known to be the truth. “There are still things that stand in our way.”
“Yet you’re here, now.” Lifting her head, she stared back at him and wondered if she should hide the emotions tearing through her. Wondered if she had done so before. Had she hid herself? Could she have given herself to him while still maintaining a shield between them?
“I’m here now.” He cupped her face, his palm warm and rough, his fingers callused and so very strong. “I’ll always be here when you need me, Lilly.”
“I need you now.” Her hands lifted to the edges of his jacket, pushed until it slid over his shoulders and fell to the cement floor beneath their feet.