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"You! Out of those filthy borrowed caed in a nasty confusion of defiance, anxiety, and excitee

"So," I answered in a voice as guttural, "you’re pissed atwithout official permission, or more iht you didn’t go into the military like your foster dad wanted, but now you’ve turned into an ungrateful, backassward martinet as far as I’m concerned"

I snapped off a mock salute as a muscle in Ric’s cheek pulsed, Clint Eastwood-style

"Isn’t that a tad hypocritical?" I derass did the sa to the whole undercover raid unit, and followed your own privatethinks about that too"

He stood there, wide stance braced, glowering

"So," I said "You first! Out of those filthy camos"

"With pleasure!"

His hands lifted to undo the top closure, then ripped right through the fastenings to bare his body fro of rippedA veil of sweat still glistened on firm pecs nicely accessorized with rock-hard nipples over subtly six-packed abs The effect was so roulped

His hands reached for the pants drawstring below his navel, but if I saw oneI was likely to lose my self-respect and throw myself at his naked, um, feet

"Stop," I ordered "I could say ‘God, you’re beautiful when you’re angry’ but I won’t do fight club sex It’s an unhealthy distortion of the power exchange between a couple"

Ric approached ers toyed with"Take off these filthy clothes, por favor, palo please is going to ht fist and stroked it down froers uncurled at first touch to giveride "Slowing doill et the shower first"

I stoh the first shut door I saw I hoped to God it wasn’t a closet because I dearly needed a dignified exit

The shower stall was tiny, but tiled, at least After losing the clothes, I teased a feeble cold strea, it finally worked up a warh Guides! I shut hts of the day and night wash away

Soainst the shoall I wasn’t exactly surprised I’d already turnedthe expected full body press Ric’s thu than his gesture

"With that tan spray on you remind me of the old Hollywood pinup I encountered on the Inferno’s Lust level, Maria Montez New look Almost a neoman, chica I hate that you caoing to need a discussion, after I get off ht before I left for Mexico No wonder Saht in here," I pointed out

"Why do you think I came?" His voice went even lower, intimate "You stillto have to do a serious body search on you"

He turned me into his arms "The mouth is often used to conceal forbidden objects" His search was thorough and probing His hands paused oncareful inspection and attention"

A pulse betweenin rhythm with my heart We were safe, ere alive, and ere in total sexual sync

He dreay, resu his role "I’m afraid I’ll have to finish up with the standard procedure Assume the position, face the wall" He spun me into place

He pulled my hips far from the wall and pushed the half-da s towithhard

"Besides, on’t want to sleep on the bed There are sanitized sleeping bags in the Jeep I’ll bring one in No reason we can’t share"

"Informe into his arain as ater rinsed my tan-in-a-bottle away and his kisses washed over theen, mi amor, mi mujer, mi vida," he murmured "I missed you already I didn’t want to leave you behind It’s just that I’d go crazy if anything happened to you"

I think he tastedwater

"You like our little game, yes? Why not reverse roles next tiht And I prohtstick"

Ooh la la, Irhed before I could shut her co to us

I couldn’t help thinking Sansouci had been right I’d let myself be lulled into sexy mock-vampire turn-ons Who hadn’t these days?

Not nored her I’d interviewed enough psychologists, and confided enough in Ric’s foster-mother shrink, to know that love and trust were part of any erotic gaue As forthat Ric would love and want me even when I’d pissed hiht I was the Silver Zo with Ric, which is such close quarters Maybe I’d been obsessing about ithertoo lamorous shell, even inside its unplu and smooth I notice my house of elaborately sculptured wood has received a brand-new coat of sterling silver, so it shines like the carapace of a bug

I’irl narew a house once, but I have always lived inside, it see no sht in the dark like this Buried alive like a gagged ainst the wall

I must stand and wait