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Books by Lora Leigh


Lora Leigh

Law and Disorder

--1 Moving Violations (2003)

Amelia’s Journey

Yesterday (2004)

Cowboy and the Captive (03-2004)

B.O.B.‘S Fall (08-2004)

The Blood Ties Series

--3 Knight Stalker (10-2004)

Elemental Desires

--3 Fyrebrand (10-2003)

Men of August

--1 Maryly’s Choice (2002)

--2 Sarah’s Seduction (2003)

--3 Heather’s Gift (2003)

--4 August Heat (12-2003)

Wolf Breeds

--1 Wolfe’s Hope (2002)

--2 Jacob’s Faith (2003)

--3 Aiden’s Charity (2003)

--4 Elizabeth’s Wolf (02-2004)

Feline Breeds

--1 Tempting the Beast (2003)

--2 The Man Within (11-2003)

--3 Kiss of Heat (05-2004)

Coyote Breed

--1 Soul Deep (10-2004)


--1 Shattered Legacy (05-2003)

--2 Shadowed Legacy (06-2003)

--3 Savage Legacy (09-2004)

Prime Warriors

--1 Dragon Prime (01-2004)

Bound Hearts

--1 Surrender (2003)

--2 Submission (2003)

--3 Seduction (2003)

--4 Wicked Intent (04-2004)

--5 Sacrifice (07-2004)

--6 Embraced (11-2004)

Wizard Twins

--1 Menage A Magick (2003)

A Wish, A Kiss, A Dream (02-2005)

--1 Djinn’s Wish

--2 Paying Up

--3 Cowboy and the Thief

About the authors:

Lora Leigh

Also by Lora Leigh:


The following material contains graphic sexual content meant for mature readers. Soul Deep has been rated E–rotic by a minimum of three independent reviewers.

Ellora’s Cave Publishing offers three levels of Romantica™ reading entertainment: S (S-ensuous), E (E-rotic), and X (X-treme).

S-ensuous love scenes are explicit and leave nothing to the imagination.

E-rotic love scenes are explicit, leave nothing to the imagination, and are high in volume per the overall word count. In addition, some E-rated titles might contain fantasy material that some readers find objectionable, such as bondage, submission, same sex encounters, forced seductions, and so forth. E-rated titles are the most graphic titles we carry; it is common, for instance, for an author to use words such as “fucking”, “cock”, “pussy”, and such within their work of literature.
X-treme titles differ from E-rated titles only in plot premise and storyline execution. Unlike E-rated titles, stories designated with the letter X tend to contain controversial subject matter not for the faint of heart.

Lora Leigh

Law and Disorder

--1 Moving Violations (2003)--

Written by


Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

PO Box 787

Hudson, OH 44236-0787

ISBN MS Reader (LIT) ISBN # 1-84360-637-2

Other available formats (no ISBNs are assigned):

Adobe (PDF), Rocketbook (RB), Mobipocket (PRC) & HTML



Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.


This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part without author and publisher permission.

Edited by KARI BERTON.


Warning: The following material contains strong sexual content meant for mature readers. MOVING VIOLATIONS has been rated NC17 erotic, by a minimum of three independent reviewers. We strongly suggest storing this book in a place where young readers not meant to view it are unlikely to happen upon it. That said, enjoy…

Chapter One

Jericho, Tennessee. The hick town still held so many bittersweet memories. Rebecca Taylor had only visited once since she’d left and she wouldn’t be back now if Aunt Josie hadn’t died. Rebecca frowned as she searched the cabinet for more plates. The house was full of people. Some she knew from her childhood, some she didn’t know. Rebecca had few memories of her father’s reclusive sister, but she knew she didn’t have friends. She hardly ever left her house. Aunt Josie had been such a private woman. Rebecca never expected this many people would attend her funeral, much less come by the house to offer condolences.

She walked into the dining room and set the plates at the end of the highly polished mahogany table, looking it over. Covered dishes, casseroles and cakes were plentiful and there was one lone bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. She couldn’t help but smile at that. The doorbell rang and Rebecca sighed. At least maybe with all these people all the food would be eaten. She’d hate to have to throw it away.

Rebecca made her way through the crowd occasionally nodding and saying, “Thank you,” as folks laid sympathetic hands on her arm and whispered their condolences.

Finally she reached the door, swung it open and looked up into the face of Jackson Montgomery, her first love. It didn’t matter that he was ten years older than her. It didn’t matter that he’d only seen her as a pesky little kid. Even when she was sixteen and her dad brought her along that summer to check on Aunt Josie.

He had been a Marine then, home on leave, and she had fancied herself in love. Her young body was blossoming and hormones were raging. She had flirted shamelessly and he’d teased her as usual. Still, it had been a powerful crush and the memories of those emotions had stayed with her through the years.

At the tender age of eleven her parents had yanked her roots and moved away from her quiet country hometown to the cold, often cruel city of Detroit. She’d been torn away from the only life she’d known, from friends she’d had since birth and grown up with, people she cared about and who cared about her. It had been painful for her, but what especially broke her young heart was leaving Jackson.

Now here he was again and that familiar tug low in her tummy was still there. He looked amazing in his black slacks and dark gray dress shirt. He took off his black Stetson and thick black hair fell across his forehead in spite of the good cut. There wasn’t an inch of fat on that flat stomach. He had broader shoulders, leaner hips, and well-formed thighs with new bulges in all the right places. Rebecca let her eyes travel to his mouth and couldn’t help but admire the way his full, well-defined lips contrasted with the hard planes and angles of his tan face.

Jackson had definitely changed; he’d gone from cute and sexy to hot and dangerous! “Jackson,” she said with more composure than she felt. She mentally shook herself and stepped back from the door.

He stepped in, shutting the door behind him, never taking his intense gray eyes from hers. “I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the funeral but I wanted to come by to extend my condolences.”

She couldn’t find her voice so she just nodded and smiled tremulously.

He stepped closer and rubbed her bare upper arm. “How are ya holdin’ up, Pixie?” His hand was warm, a little callused, and sent a sizzling electric current through her body. She crossed her arms over her chest to hopefully hide her tightening nipples. God, could he see what he did to her?

“I’m okay, Jackson, thank you,” she croaked then cleared her throat. “Everyone brought food. The dining room table is overflowing. Help yourself.”

He followed her through the living room to the dining room. She turned and almost jumped back. He was standing inches away looking down at her. His brows furrowed, his gaze sharply assessing her. She could smell him—warm, spicy male. She felt flushed with heat, awareness. She opened her mouth to say something but forgot what she wanted to say.

“Are you sure you’re all right?” Jackson asked, softly tilting his head.

Damn, he was gorgeous. Okay, Rebecca, get a hold of your libido. “I’m fine, really.”

Jackson smiled and little lines at the corners of his eyes fanned out, giving him a sexy air of mischief. “Sit down and talk to me for a while,” he said as he sat and pulled out the chair beside him. “I haven’t seen you in what? Ten years?”

Rebecca nodded and sat, thankful to be off her shaky legs.

“I’m really sorry about Josie,” he said gently, compassion clear in his eyes.

“Me too.” She smiled sadly. “I really didn’t know her, Jackson. All these people knew her better than her own niece. I regret that.”

Jackson shook his head. “These people didn’t know Josie, Becca, any better than you did. That’s the way Josie was, she liked her solitude.”

Rebecca frowned and gestured toward a blue-haired woman sitting on the couch sobbing, clutching another woman’s hand. “Mrs. Holt is devastated.”

“Becca, Irene Holt never even met Josie. She attends any and all funerals and wails and carries on like that at every one of ‘em.” He narrowed his eyes and gave her a lopsided smile.

Rebecca’s eyes widened and she tried not to laugh. “No way.”

“Yep.” Jackson grinned. “As for the rest of them, they’re just being neighborly. Most of ‘em still remember your family and you. You were pretty hard to forget with your ‘pixie pest’ ways. They’re fond of you and wanted to be helpful, show they care.”

“That’s pretty incredible,” she said, looking around at the quiet gathering. She looked back at Jackson, meeting his gaze. “What about you?”

“Oh yeah, they’re fond of me too.” He waggled his brows.

“Ha, ha.” Rebecca narrowed her eyes.

Jackson’s smile faded and his eyes darkened as he held her gaze. “I was always fond of you, Pixie. You were a great kid, even if you were a little pest that was constantly drooling over me and giving my girlfriends hell.”

She had been such a little tomboy with wild young girl fantasies of being swept off her feet by the cutest boy in Jericho, or the whole wide world, for that matter. He’d called her his Pixie Pest and tugged at her long tangled hair and still made her young untried heart pound in her chest. Much like it was now. Only her heart wasn’t untried anymore and she knew what that liquid pull low in her stomach meant.

“I’m not a kid anymore,” she said without looking away.

Jackson’s gaze traveled over her body. “I’ve noticed. I’m trying really hard to remember what a pain in the ass you used to be.”

Rebecca lifted a brow. “I can still be a pain in the ass, Jackson.”

“Hmm. I bet you can.” He met her gaze again and held it. Her eyes dropped to his mouth. She wondered what those gorgeous lips would feel like on hers, on her breasts, on her stomach… For as long as she could remember she’d wanted Jackson to look at her like he was looking at her now. But he was making her feel way too hot, way too needy. She didn’t need anyone. And after Todd Lawrence, the very last thing she needed was another relationship.

She stood. “I’m being rude sitting here. I better go mingle. Eat something.” She needed to break the heavy silence that hung between them. He gave her a lopsided smile, took the plate and continued to watch her as he stood.

“Uh, there’s iced tea in the kitchen, make yourself at home.” She turned, took a deep breath and walked into the living room.

Time plodded along as Rebecca sat in the dim little living room with its floral prints and crocheted doilies. She listened and nodded and thanked those who stopped by. They asked about her parents and patted her hand sympathetically when she explained that her father had died three years ago of a heart attack. Their concern for her seemed genuine and the kind words and gentle touches were a surprising comfort to her. She found herself remembering her childhood and that rare country hospitality she’d missed for fifteen years.

It was late when the last person, none other than Mrs. Holt herself, hugged her, patted her cheek and left. Rebecca shut the door and leaned against it, shutting her eyes with a sigh. It warmed her heart that these people, regardless of their motives, not only spent time cooking for her, but also gave up their entire Saturday for her. It made her feel she’d been cheated.

“Everyone finally leave?” Jackson watched her with those observant silvery eyes of his.

He stood there with that lopsided smile and his hands in his pockets, looking like he’d just stepped out of GQ. Erotic images flooded her imagination and every cell in her body stood to attention. Endorphins flooded her system and sent that erotic heat washing over her body. Her cunt clenched, liquid arousal pooled between her sensitive lips, dampening her panties. Damn, it had been too long since she’d been touched.

“It appears so.” She pushed away from the door. “Everyone except you.”

Jackson watched her. Something in his eyes made her heart leap. She swallowed and gestured toward the dining room. “You should take some of that food home.”

Jackson shook his head. “Already put up. There wasn’t much left but it’s in the freezer, labeled, dated and everything. Dishes are all washed and put up too.”

“Wow.” Rebecca smiled. Okay, he was looking way too perfect. “Thanks, Jackson.”

“No problem. You’re tired; you didn’t need to have to face the mess.” He stepped closer. “There’s a plate for you in the fridge. Do I need to stay and make sure you eat it?”

She smiled up at him. If he stayed any longer she’d rape him for sure. “No, I’ll eat it, I promise.”

It annoyed her that she was disappointed that he wasn’t going to try and take advantage of her. Her life was so up in the air. She knew she didn’t need the entanglement but she wanted the warmth, the affection. She could feel the heat radiating from his body and she struggled not to lean into him.

“When are you going home?” His voice felt like a caress and she nearly whimpered.

“In the morning,” she said breathlessly

“Are you selling the house?” he asked quietly.

She sighed and furrowed her brows. “I don’t know yet. I had planned on it, but now…I don’t know.”

He watched her for a moment. “It was good to see you again, Pixie.” He touched her face gently then took her into his arms. “Don’t stay away so long next time.”

She wrapped her arms around his back and resisted running them over the hard planes and over his round, tight ass. His body was hard and hot against hers. Her breasts felt heavy and swollen, her hardening nipples ached. She cringed knowing he could probably feel them pressing against his chest and pulled away, swallowing hard. “No, I won’t.”

He pressed his lips to her forehead then met her gaze. She watched in fascination as they darkened and turned stormy. She opened her mouth to say something and he lowered his head and kissed her mouth. A small kiss, lingering only seconds, but the impact was powerful. She looked up at him with wide eyes. He let her go and she felt suddenly cold.

“Be careful going home,” he said hoarsely.

She nodded, folding her arms over her chest.

He turned and opened the door. “If you need anything let me know.” He walked out onto the porch. “Lock up.”

“I will.” She fought her desire to ask him to stay.

“Goodnight, Becca,” he murmured.

“Goodnight, Jackson.” He pulled the door shut and she chained and bolted it. Rebecca walked into the spotless kitchen, her body humming with arousal. She ran her fingers through her hair in frustration. Sleep was definitely going to be hard to achieve tonight.

Chapter Two

Jackson left the house, his blood boiling and pooling in his loins, his cock rising hard and hot between his thighs. Damn, Becca was even more beautiful now than she had been years ago. The sixteen-year-old had been an emerging woman, more tempting than she could have known. But now, more beautiful than ever, she would be more than he could refuse.

He shook his head as he jumped in his truck and turned the ignition. He almost hadn’t shown up at the house. Had avoided the funeral and the showing like a plague. He had known Becca was there, and had known she would be as tempting as she always had been.

Slipping the vehicle in gear, he pulled quickly away from the curb and headed home. Good thing she was leaving tomorrow. Distractions like Becca were more than he needed right now. His uncle’s death six months ago had left the sheriff’s position to him until the next election, and Jackson still hadn’t solved the riddle of his uncle’s murder. And he knew damned good and well it was murder.

His last conversation with Tobias Montgomery, the tough, ex-Marine turned sheriff who had helped raise him, played through his mind.

“Something’s up, son,” he had told Jackson quietly as they sat on the porch of the Tobias family home. “That mayor’s dirty dealin’. I can smell it.”

He had spit a stream of tobacco juice off the side of the porch before leaning back in his chair. Tobias had been in his fifties, robust and healthy, and as agile-minded as he had been in the Marines.

“How so?” Jackson had watched him curiously.

He had known Mayor Whittaker all his life. The man was a sleaze ball, but he had never been an illegal sleaze ball.

Tobias had shaken his gray head slowly. “Not sure,” he had grunted. “But I’m tellin’ you, Jackson, I know him. He’s flashing money he shouldn’t have, and meeting with some real slick characters of late. He’s edgy, and his wife’s death was too suspicious to suit me. That was a fine woman he was married to.”

Tobias’ voice had been somber. Margaret Whittaker had been Tobias’ girl before she married the other man. When Tobias had joined the Marines and went off to Vietnam, she had married the only son of the caretaker rather than waiting for him to return. Tobias had never gotten over it, as far as Jackson knew.

Jackson had wondered at the time if his uncle’s affection for the deceased woman hadn’t had something to do with his suspicions concerning the mayor. Now, Jackson wasn’t so sure. Tobias’ sudden “hunting” accident just didn’t ring true, especially considering the fact that Tobias wasn’t a hunter. A fisherman, a bullshitter, but not a hunter.

Like any proud southern boy, he had his hunting rifles, he shot trap when the occasion called for it, but he didn’t hunt. “Won’t eat it, I ain’t killin’ it,” had been his reasoning. Now he was dead. The official report being that he had tripped, causing his rifle to go off and blow a hole in his chest. By the time Jackson had gotten home the body had been cremated and any chance of another coroner’s exam shot to hell. And Jackson was left to figure out what the hell had happened and why. He was no closer now than he had been six months ago.

He pulled into the sheriff’s office and sat in the gathering darkness, staring at the aging stone building that housed the jail, as well as his office. He didn’t trust his men or the mayor. And the few friends he had grown up with were mostly gone now. Not that he was an outsider, except in the sheriff’s department. There, he was feeling more and more alone amid the few deputies who seemed much too friendly with Whittaker.

All but Bryan. Bryan Matthews had been Jackson’s only addition to the force. He wouldn’t be there if it hadn’t been for Jackson’s brother-in-law.

“Hire the boy,” Ted had suggested quietly after Jackson had taken office. “He’s dependable and needs the experience.” At the time, Jackson had been aware of the general atmosphere of insubordination that he was facing.

He could fire them, he knew. Roby and Martin, the two deputies causing him the most concern. But it would be harder to keep track of them that way. They were involved, but how he wasn’t certain, and he needed to know how.

It wasn’t adding up. The influx of drugs in the county was no more than a few peddlers from larger cities that were weeded out on a regular basis. There weren’t many strangers in town, and few unusual occurrences unless you counted the short disappearances Whittaker made. Where the hell he went, Jackson had yet to figure out.

He shifted in the truck, frowning in irritation as his throbbing cock reminded him of Becca once again. Dammit. He doubted very seriously she would ever return now that her aunt was dead. Despite her indecision over keeping the house, she was a city girl. He could see it all over her. Damned fine city girl. But a city girl, all the same.

He drew in a deep breath, willing his stubborn hard-on to return to a relaxed state. Hell, maybe he had been too long without a woman, but one-night stands weren’t his thing, and now wasn’t the time for a relationship. It would be fine, he thought. Damned fine to curl up with Becca, hear her moaning in passion, her slender body undulating beneath his.

“Dammit,” he growled, his hand clenching on the steering wheel as his cock seemed to harden further.

“Hey, Sheriff,” Bryan hailed him as he caught sight of the truck after leaving the sheriff’s building. “Sure is a pretty night, huh?”

The kid was too damned green, Jackson thought.

“Evenin’, Bryan. It’s a fine night,” he agreed as he pulled the keys from the ignition and got out of the vehicle. “You off for the night?”

“Yep. Calling it a night,” Bryan nodded as he pushed his blond hair back from his forehead and stopped on the sidewalk as Jackson approached. “I thought I might drive out to the lake. There’s a few friends meeting up there tonight.”

Bryan shifted from one foot to the other as though standing still was too much for his body to handle. He was like a pup, always ready to dive into the next adventure.

“Be careful. Give me a call if anything starts looking rough. Don’t play Superman. You’re not made of steel,” Jackson warned him.

Bryan grimaced. “You’re as bad as that danged brother-in-law of yours. I’m not stupid either, Sheriff.”

There was a shade of offense in the kid’s tone. Jackson sighed. Damned kids didn’t know the dangers that existed out there.

“I’m aware of that, Bryan.” He nodded. “Just a warning I’d give to any of my men. No offense intended.”

“Yeah. Okay then. I’ll be careful,” Bryan promised. “Sorry, Sheriff.”

“No apology needed. Night, Bryan.” Jackson moved off then, heading for the double doors.

“Hey, Sheriff,” Bryan called out again, his voice pitched low now, questioning.

Jackson turned back to him, seeing the hesitation on Bryan’s face.

“What is it?”

Bryan scratched his head, frowned, and glanced around the area as though making certain they were alone. “I heard something strange today.”

Jackson waited patiently as Bryan stepped nearer.

“Roby got a call, and whoever he was talking to got pissed enough to start yelling. I was standing there…” Bryan grimaced. “I feel like a tattle tale. I’m sure it’s nothing, but the man was cursing him loud enough to wake the dead. I couldn’t help but overhear.”

“And?” Jackson stiffened as tension invaded his body.

Bryan shook his head again. “And it was just damned strange. Could have swore the words were Arabic, ya know? Or something similar. When did we get foreigners in town?”

Jackson shrugged, fighting a sense of excitement. “Hell, who knows who Roby has pissed off this week.”

Bryan chuckled. “Hell if that ain’t the truth. I figured it was nothing, but you know, after the Towers…” Bryan sobered.

“Yeah. I know.” Jackson nodded. “Go have fun, Bryan. You know Roby. He keeps everyone pissed.”

“Yeah, guess so.” But Bryan sounded as uncertain as Jackson felt. “I better go then.”

Jackson watched as Bryan turned and headed to the parking lot. He searched the area carefully, his eyes narrowing as he assured himself no one had overheard the conversation. It might be nothing, as he had tried to convince Bryan, but it wasn’t the first clue he had come across. Now, he just had to figure out what the hell it meant.

Chapter Three

Rebecca’s return to Detroit had been nothing short of depressing. She’d grown tired of the brutality of the big city. Being a cop, she’d seen it all. The slower pace of a small town police force was very appealing and being back home reminded her she was a country girl at heart. So, she had looked into a transfer.

She chuckled remembering the wild and crazy girl she used to be and shook her head. She’d been such a tomboy. With her skinned knees and wild mop of hair and freckles. She was forever running all over the county getting into mischief. She had such great memories of fishing in the lake, swimming in the deep part of the creek, climbing trees, falling out of trees.

The move from Jericho to Detroit had been a major drama as was everything in Rebecca’s young life. At the time it felt as if her heart had been snatched right out of her chest. And then there was Jackson. Seeing him again when she was sixteen had been the clincher. That fine lookin’ man had sent her painfully immature heart to pounding like mad all over again. Silly girl, she thought, fancying herself in love with a twenty six year old man at such a young age. But she wasn’t a silly girl anymore, and Jackson was still around.

Pushing the thought aside, she mentally listed the things she still needed to get done before reporting to the station the next morning. Finding her PDA topped the list. She was hoping to try and reach the sheriff’s office this evening, but the number was on that blasted device, as was most of her semi-organized life, and it had conveniently disappeared. Breathing out roughly, she scanned the scattered contents of her purse on the table and frowned. So, she hadn’t lost it in the bottom of the “pit” after all. That didn’t leave many other places to search for it.

She had tried to get in touch with the sheriff a couple of times before she left Detroit and a few times since she arrived in Jericho but he was always out. She’d left three messages but he’d never returned her call. Ah, well, maybe she would get lucky when she went into the station the next morning, she thought with a heavy sigh. Someone there would be able to get all the preliminary crap taken care of and get her orientated. If not, then she would just have to figure it out for herself. Not a pleasant thought, but not anything she couldn’t handle.

She wasn’t going to worry about it. She was starting a new life, and that deserved a small celebration. The idea hit her like a flash of inspiration. That was it! She was gonna visit the Wild Rose Tavern and maybe run into some old friends and Rita, if she was still there, couldn’t fuss at her this time! At the tender age of eleven she’d been determined to sneak into a bar, no less, hoping to get a glimpse of Jackson. Pixie Pest, he’d called her and tugged at her long tangled hair, right before Rita would kick her out and call her mom. She sighed as the thought occurred to her…wasn’t that what she was doing tonight? Hoping to catch a glimpse of Jackson? Damn.

She stepped into the steamy shower. She couldn’t believe he was still there. Since he had joined the military like his daddy wanted him to, she had thought he would be overseas or at least stationed far away from home. She’d heard that he’d been in Special Forces and that he was assigned exciting and dangerous missions. It only added to his appeal. She’d prayed for him while he was fighting in Desert Storm.

Well, if by some chance he was at the Wild Rose, she thought as she rubbed the rich foamy lather over her body, she’d have to keep her distance. Jackson could never live up to her fantasies and the last thing she needed was a one-night stand. She stood with her eyes closed, letting the warm spray rinse away the suds.

She stepped out of the shower into the small humid bathroom, wrapping a towel around her. She wiped a washcloth across the mirror then carefully applied a little makeup and blow-dried her hair. She tilted her head, giving herself a quick check in the mirror, then went into the bedroom and dressed. She’d arrived in the small rural town just that morning and already she looked like the hick she was in her denim sleeveless button up shirt, shorts and leather thong sandals. It amazed her how easy it was to slip back into it, how comfortable she felt. She wouldn’t dream of going out to a bar dressed like this back in Detroit.

She would have worn her midnight blue slip dress with the rhinestone spaghetti straps and her silver heels. She would have spent a couple of hours at the salon having it pinned up in some elaborate configuration. She frowned at herself, trying to picture what she’d look like with a chic short cut. May not be a bad idea, she thought. The severe bun she wore while at work made her scalp ache. It felt good to have the unruly golden brown hair loose and hanging free past her shoulders in wide thick curls.

Her lips tilted. Yes, this was much more comfortable, except for the bra, but she didn’t think that her C-cup bouncy boobs moving freely under her shirt would go as unnoticed here as it did in Detroit. But then, in Detroit she’d be going to a dance club, where there would be House music at its worst and brightly colored strobes and erotic sounding drinks, like Orgasm and Sex On The Beach.

Instead, she was going to the Wild Rose Tavern where they would be playing country music at its best. There’d be line dancing and beer. Besides, she may see some of her daddy’s old buddies. That would just be weird. This was definitely a change for her. She wondered if anyone would recognize her as she painted her lips with hot pink, cherry flavored lip-gloss and dropped the tube in her little leather bag. Then checking to make sure the clip was full, she dropped in her weapon also.

* * * * *

Rebecca handed the man sitting at the door her money and ignored his toothy grin and roaming eyes. She decided against sitting at the bar and made her way to the small table in the dark corner in back. She sat there a moment, looking for familiar faces. Her body began to move to the music, when an older woman in a halter-top and jeans sashayed up to the table. Her hair was aggressively teased and piled on top of her head like blonde cotton candy, the prettiness of her brown eyes was lost in the heavy black mascara caking her lashes. “What’ll ya have, hon?” she asked around her gum. It was all Rebecca could do to keep from gaping. She hadn’t seen Rita in years and she looked just the same. A couple of wrinkles here and there, but still the same.


“Yeah?” Rita asked defensively then looked down at Rebecca, narrowing her eyes. “Hey, I know you, you’re…ah…” Rebecca couldn’t help the grin that spread across her face. Rita frowned, tilting her head to the side as she tapped her pen against her chin, thinking back.

A large hand rested on Rita’s shoulder. “That there is the Pixie Pest herself, Rita.”

Rita’s warm brown eyes widened in surprise. Her bright red lips spread into a grin. “Little Rebecca? You better get up here and give me a hug!”

Rebecca jumped up and embraced the woman. Over Rita’s shoulder, Rebecca’s gaze locked with those familiar silvery gray eyes that glinted with humor. A slow smile slid across her face. Damn, he was hot. The dark blue shirt he wore opened at the neck and tucked into his tight black jeans. His sleeves were rolled up, revealing muscular forearms. In one strong hand he held two frosty bottles of beer.

Rita held Rebecca away from her and shook her head. “Just look at you. All grown up.” She glanced back at Jackson then rolled her eyes. “Oh boy! Well, I guess I can’t kick your smart-mouthed little ass out this time. So have a good time but stay out of trouble, you hear? I can still call your momma,” she said, grinning. Rita patted her cheek. “It’s so good to see ya, hon. Holler if ya’ll need anything.”

“Will do,” Jackson said and Rita shot him a look as she walked away.

“Have a seat.” Rebecca gestured to the booth across from her. He sat as he slid the bottle across the table to her.

“Thanks,” she said keeping her eyes on him as she took a pull from the bottle. Those old butterflies were coming to life in her tummy.

He was leaning forward watching her. “I saw you come in. It’s good to see you again.”

Rebecca rolled her lips inward to hide her grin. In a million years she would never have imagined she’d be sitting across from Jackson Montgomery in the Wild Rose drinking a beer. “It’s nice to be here…legally.”

He nodded and grinned. “You here for a while this time or just tying up loose ends with Josie’s estate?” He continued to watch her with those sexy eyes of his. They were always so expressive, so warm, and so full of mischief.

Was it her imagination or was there a challenge in those molten silver eyes? She narrowed her eyes and smirked. “I think I’ll be here a while.”

“Good. We can catch up, we didn’t really get to talk much when you were here for Josie’s funeral.” Those sexy lips tilted at the corner. She nearly moaned as she imagined how they might taste.

“That’s true. It was a short and busy visit. But it was good to see everyone again. I missed Jericho more than I realized.” She took another pull of her beer and tried to regain her composure. What was it about him that one look from him melted her and had her body aching for his touch?

“So, did you miss me?” He lifted a brow and watched her closely.

Rebecca shrugged. “Nah, haven’t really thought about you.” Liar, she yelled at herself. Jackson had always been her hottest wet dream.

“You really haven’t changed all that much.” Jackson smiled. Damn, even his smile was hot.

“I haven’t?” Rebecca frowned.

“Well, you’ve brushed your hair.” They both laughed. “And you’ve filled out.”

“What?” She scowled at him.

“You know what I mean, you’ve grown…” He looked pointedly at her cleavage, lingering there, and cleared his throat. “…in all the right places.”

“Nah, Jackson, I’m just a ‘pixie pest’, remember?”

“Oh yeah,” he grinned. “I remember, you drove me nuts. You know, Lana still hasn’t recovered from the time you dumped a whole can of worms on her head at the lake.”

“Good,” Rebecca snarled. “I never liked her. Oh Lord, you didn’t marry her, did you?”

“Hell no! I didn’t like her all that much either, but she was easy, Becca, and I was young and had outa control hormones.” He took a long pull from his beer.

Rebecca nodded slowly watching his throat work, feeling her body heat. “Outa control hormones. And thwarted by a lovesick eleven-year-old. Tsk,tsk tsk.”

“Yeah.” He caught her gaze and held it as he laid his open palm on the table in invitation. “Do you still love me, Becca?”

She tilted her head and arched a brow as she put her hand in his. “Aw, Jackson, I had to move on. I couldn’t wait around pining after you.”

He held her hand, his thumb making suggestive circles between her thumb and first finger. Rebecca wondered how in the world the icy bottle of beer stayed cold in his hands when she felt suddenly flushed at his touch. She and Todd had broken up almost a year ago and even before that, Todd had never been all that attentive. Now this man she’d always fantasized about was awakening her desire. It had been dormant way too long.

He put his free hand over his heart. “Oh man, my little Pixie Pest broke my heart.” He leaned closer. “I always thought you’d wait for me, Becca.”

She gave him an exaggerated look of sorrowful repentance and patted his hand with hers. “Did you ever quit your lover boy ways and get married, Jackson?”

“Nope. Never found anyone who measured up to you.” He looked at her with a hooded gaze, clasped her hand and pressed it to his lips.

Rebecca felt that kiss all the way to her toes. She rolled her eyes and snorted. “Did you ever really believe you could?”

“Nah, not really.” He grinned. Sexy little laugh lines fanned out from the corner of his eyes. Her eyes were drawn to his lips and she groaned inwardly. “How ‘bout you? Did you find someone after you quit pining over me?”

Rebecca thought of Todd Lawrence and cringed. “Almost, but not quite. I escaped just in time.” Boy, was that a true statement.

Jackson watched her. His voice lowered, vibrating through her. Her nipples responded, straining against the thin fabric of the bra cups holding them. “I always liked you, you know. You were always a pretty little thing. Too bad you were a baby and a royal pain in the ass.”

She squeezed his hand. “You are so full of it, Jackson Montgomery. You’re just trying to get in my pants ‘cause I ain’t a baby anymore…” She hoped, anyway. She leaned closer and whispered, “…and ‘cause I grew boobies.” Even now those “boobies” were aching for those strong hands, that gorgeous mouth.

His laugh was deep and rich, it rumbled low in her stomach and sent delightful shivers all over her body. “I’m wounded. I’ve grown, Becca. I’ve changed.”

“Have you?” Rebecca shifted in the booth as she felt the moisture gathering between her thighs. She felt overheated and overwhelmed.

“Uh huh.” He let his gaze wander lower again. “But damn, girl, you do have great boobies.”

She watched him, still amazed that she was sitting here with him and that he so obviously wanted her. She allowed a small, wicked smile to touch her lips. Here was her chance. She wondered just how brave she really was. He looked decidedly ready. Definitely interested. Rebecca wasn’t a one-night stand kinda girl but if it turned out to be just that, would it be worth it? After all, she’d only wanted this man her whole adult life. But was she bold enough to make the first move? From the darkening glint in his eye, she had the distinct feeling she wouldn’t be rejected.

She bit her lip and slipped her foot out of her sandal, keeping her gaze on his. His eyes widened as she gently caressed his inner thigh till her foot connected with the cool plastic of the booth seat. His lips tilted at the corner as he reached under the table. His long fingers began massaging her foot, applying just the right pressure at just the right places. Rebecca felt the touch radiate all the way up to her crotch. He was making her so wet with just the slow seductive pressure he applied to her foot. What could he do to other places?

When his hand moved to the top of her foot and then to her ankle, she slowly inched forward. She could feel the heat before she felt the bulge. Jackson narrowed his eyes and she couldn’t help but grin. Her foot trailed up and down his thickening erection, pressing against the denim. He was long and thick and very hard. Lowering her eyes she measured him in relation to her foot and nearly gasped. Oh yeah, just like in her dreams. What do you think of your Pixie Pest now? Uh huh, she grew the hell up, she thought.

“Unzip your jeans,” she mouthed. She watched his eyes darken. His hand stilled on her leg, then he moved to his pants to do her bidding. She bit her bottom lip as she carefully moved her foot inside his jeans and massaged the length of his hard hot cock through his underwear with her toes. She knew her daring exceeded even her limits. She didn’t know what emboldened her. There had always been something about this man. Maybe it was the unmistakable arousal in those steel gray eyes that made her brave now. It could be her years of fantasy, the very real heat growing between her thighs, or her sudden desire to make this cowboy beg. God knows there’d been nights she begged for him.

Rebecca watched Jackson’s Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed hard. Her lips parted and she licked her dry lips as her toes trailed slowly, lightly up and down his hot shaft again and again. She watched him silently, lifted the beer to her lips and drank. She lowered the bottle only far enough to run her tongue around the rim, watching his eyes follow every move she made. He breathed in hard, his lashes lowering. One strong hand gripped her foot, quite effectively halting the torment he was enduring. He clumsily adjusted himself and zipped up.

“Let’s dance,” he said, his voice hoarse, heavy with arousal.

She barely had enough time to slide her foot back into her sandal before he was pulling her toward the dance floor. “I don’t know any line dances.”

“S’okay, it’s a slow song,” he answered hoarsely.

He yanked her against his hard body and she closed her eyes and breathed in the scent of him. God, she needed this.

He held her close for a long time, his hand splayed on her lower back. His little finger was doing slow magical things against the top cleft of her ass.

“Do you know what you’re getting yourself into here?” he whispered against her cheek.

She felt her cunt clench and pulse with the moisture of her arousal as she moved against him. She nuzzled his neck then licked and sucked it. He tasted even better than she’d dreamed. “Yes, Jackson, I’m not a little girl anymore,” she breathed.

His breathing quickened. He lowered his head and cupped her face, kissing her hard. His tongue tasted like beer and lust. She gently sucked on it and swallowed his groan. She imagined the feel of that talented tongue rasping against the sensitive inner folds of her cunt, and her body trembled against him in reaction. He trailed kisses along her jawbone and nibbled her earlobe.

“I want to make you cum,” he whispered harshly.

“I want you to make me cum,” she whispered back.

His big body tensed, his hands clenching at her hips as he ground his erection against her. “Let’s go.” His breath was a harsh rasp against her ear.

“Lead the way.” She let him grip her hand as he pulled her through the smoky bar.

Outside, the air was thick and hot and just added to her sexual irritation. “You wanna go to my place?”

“I’ll follow you.” He leaned down and kissed her deeply, pressing his body to hers. Her hands moved up his chest and he pulled away. “Be careful, but be quick.”

Chapter Four

Her emotions were rioting as she pulled into the drive of her small house and stepped out of her car. She heard Jackson shut his truck door behind her and her hands shook in anticipation as she tried to find the key. Jackson’s arm snaked around her middle, and pulled her back against him as he took the key from her.

His heat infused her, melting her to the core as he devoured her neck with his mouth. Her breath hitched, her legs were like rubber, and she felt consumed with lust. She would have fallen through the door if he had not held her so tightly against his solid body.

They hurried through the door and he shut it behind them. She turned in his arms, his mouth found hers and she thought she would go up in flames. Those wonderfully firm lips moved over hers, sending ripples of pleasure through her. His tongue slid between her lips sensually caressing the warm interior of her mouth.

His hands slid down her back to cup her ass. It felt so good, so incredibly good. She’d never felt need like this. Any hesitancy disappeared; apprehension gave way as he ground his straining erection against her. Her pussy throbbed as her cream soaked her panties. She moaned, taking his lower lip gently between her teeth. “Jackson,” she gasped against his mouth letting her tongue soothe the bite. Her hands combed through his hair.

“Bedroom,” he growled, his mouth moving over her jaw to her ear. She didn’t bother with the lights as she led him through the small living room down the hall to the bedroom.

In the bedroom he pulled her into his arms again. He kissed her hard, possessively, sending desire spiraling through her. He managed to unfasten her shorts, pushing them quickly over her hips as she fought to free her legs. He smoothed his hand over her butt and up her back and she trembled at his urgent touch She pressed hungrily against him, wanting him closer, to feel him inside her, stretching her. His hands were just rough enough, just hot enough to make every inch of her throb with need.

He walked her backwards till her legs hit the bed and she felt herself falling. His hand molded and massaged her breast as he kissed and nibbled along her collarbone. A shaky breath escaped her lips on a moan as his mouth left a burning trail down her breastbone and he quickly unbuttoned her blouse.

Her shirt lay open and he opened the front hook of her bra with a flip of his wrist. Pushing the flimsy material aside his hand cupped one breast while his mouth caressed the other. Her body shuddered with need and the walls of her vagina convulsed. Finally, his mouth found one nipple as his fingers found the other.

He sucked, nibbled and kissed, torturing her slowly. He squeezed it lightly between his lips, flicking it with his tongue until she moaned and arched against him craving more of the exquisite ache. “Such beautiful breasts, such nice juicy nipples. Mmm,” he murmured against her ultra sensitive skin. That gorgeous male mouth was definitely well versed in the female body.

“Oh please, Jackson, I’m on fire,” she whimpered, fisting her hands in his shirt and pulling it free of his pants. He was driving her wild. Little tremors gripped her with every pull of his mouth on her nipple, every flick of his tongue made her want to scream.

She unfastened his jeans, pushing them down and freeing his expansive cock. She was on the edge of a climax from what he was doing with his mouth alone. She struggled for breath as the sensations coiled inside her tighter and tighter. Her fingers bit into his well-shaped ass, loving the feel of his hard muscle flexing under smooth skin.

“Now,” she begged. Reaching between them she trailed her fingers over his silky, steel-hard shaft before wrapping them around it. She felt the blood pump into his thick flesh as she urged him forward. She had waited so long, fantasized about him moving inside her. She needed him now.

“Not yet, baby, not yet.” His hands restrained her, his big body controlling her effortlessly as she urged him to completion.

She whimpered. Her body trembled with the intense sensations coursing through her as he continued to trail kisses down her body, his tongue torturing her. “Yes, now!” she said breathlessly as she writhed beneath him. “Oh God, please, Jackson.”

He circled her navel with his tongue. Heat speared though her as he bit the tender flesh there, sucked it then soothed it with slow, moist strokes. His hands moved up and down her inner thighs spreading her wide. He moved lower and lower until he was kissing, gently nibbling the top of her cunt.

His tongue stroked over her soft tender lips, slid between her moistened cleft then laved her heated flesh with long and firm upward strokes. She was so close, so close. Jackson’s lips closed over her clit and sucked hard. Her breath caught in her lungs and she bucked up as she climaxed hard and fast. He gripped her hips, lapping up her juices as she thrust against him with each crashing wave of her orgasm.

Jackson rose above her as she slid bonelessly back to earth. She was breathless, gasping, and despite the release, she wanted more. Her body hummed, throbbed, she still wanted him inside her. He quickly stripped his shirt off as he moved up her body. Without giving her time to fully recover he slowly slid his fingers into her, the walls of her vagina gripping them as it pulsed with the aftershocks of her orgasm. Then he slid them up through the slick folds of her flesh, driving her up again as he found the firm rippled flesh of her G-spot. He took her nipple into his mouth, nibbling, flicking his tongue over it, making it harden further and she pushed forward for more. God, someone should patent his fucking tongue, she thought as she groaned with growing need.

She ran her hands up his muscled back and fisted them in his hair. She was frantic for him, wanting to consume him. She pulled him up to her and kissed his mouth. Her hands moved down his stomach and caressed his balls, letting her fingers trail up his steel-hard, thick shaft. He pulled away from her and met her gaze. His eyes had gone dark and heavy lidded. Her thumb rubbed across the tip of his cock and smoothed the drop of pre-cum around the hot, smooth head.

“You’ve got a wonderful cock.” The deep, hoarse whisper surprised her, made her feel sexy. She licked her swollen lips. “I want to feel it in my mouth.”

“God, you know how to tease a man.” He moved his fingers inside her and gently pressed his thumb against her clit. “Later, if you still want to. Right now I want to feel your tight cunt snug around my cock.” She inhaled sharply as the sensation shot through her, pushing her upward. He moved his hand from her and positioned himself over her. Moving the full head of his thick shaft through her slickness, up and down through her swollen folds. He rubbed slow circles around her clit. She clutched at his shoulders.

“You’re so good,” she moaned as she felt him push into her. He took her arms and lifted them over her head and leaned down and kissed her, sucking her bottom lip. He moved deeper into her, stretching her further. She was on fire. Rockets were exploding in her body, her blood racing through her veins. She had never felt this. Never known this. Never even dreamed it would be this hot, this mind shattering. It was the worst form of torture she could imagine and it felt so damned good. She felt the sensations building…she was almost there, almost ready to cum. She fought against it, wanting it to never end.

He rose, lifting her thighs and he draped each ankle over his shoulders. He grabbed a pillow and braced it under her as he grasped her hips and filled her to the hilt. She cried out harshly, arching into the strong thrust. She clenched her muscles around his cock and he closed his eyes, hissing air through his teeth.

“Slow, baby, slow,” he groaned. He slowly withdrew till he was almost free then plunged back in.

“No, faster. I want it faster,” she cried out in desperation. She needed it. God, she was dying here, and all he wanted to do was tease her.

“Relax, Rebecca, trust me.” His voice was rough and deep, dark and sexy.

Rebecca moaned harshly, panting, wanting to scream at him to just fucking hurry.

He kissed the inside of her ankle while he began pumping in and out of her in a slow rhythmic motion. Waves of sensation washed over her like honey. She wasn’t used to going slow. It was driving her up, higher and higher, the sensations becoming sharper and sharper until she thought she’d go mad. She looked up at him and met his gaze. He looked hungry. She ran her hand down his hard rippling stomach to where their bodies met. She closed her eyes and tilted her head back as her fingers felt his hot cock slide in and out of her, felt his balls slap against her.

His hand closed over hers and she opened her eyes again, watching him as he directed her fingers to the little swollen nub nestled in the slick folds of her female flesh. He was thrusting into her faster and faster. She sucked in a breath as his finger and hers rubbed over her clit, taking her up until she exploded, shards of sensation radiating through her. She cried out and flung her head back. Jackson drove into her, still rubbing and tenderly pulling at her clit. She bucked against him as the next orgasm hit, even stronger, until she thought she’d splinter and disintegrate. His lips parted on a groan and his eyes narrowed, focusing on hers, plunging into her one last time as he came and shuddered against her, his hot cum filling her.

She lay panting as he lowered her legs and lay on top of her, his semi-hard flesh still seated inside her. It felt good to have the weight of this man on her, better than any of her fantasies. She had this irksome fear that no one else would ever measure up.

Chapter Five

Jackson figured he was screwed, and not just literally, as he rolled to his side, bringing Rebecca’s body close against his chest. Damn, if that hadn’t been the best fuck of his life. The fiery heat and melting passion he found in her was more than amazing, it was downright scary. No woman should be so tight, so hot and wet, her inner muscles sucking every drop of semen from his taut balls until he was gasping.

This was his Pixie Pest. He remembered the gangly little girl that had followed him so many years ago, hero worship shining in her eyes. She wasn’t a little girl any more, though. She was a full-grown woman, and he’d be damned if she wasn’t like a flame in his arms. And she still made him feel like a hero. He couldn’t believe how hot and hard that made him now. From the moment her eyes had stared into his at that damned bar, he had been ready to explode. It wasn’t normal, he warned himself almost fatalistically.

And even now, he was semi-hard; his sensitive flesh achingly aware of the slick, hot portal awaiting it inches away. He could feel the smooth satin of her thigh against the sensitive head of his cock. He knew within minutes he would be hard and ready again. Dammit, he didn’t need this. All he wanted was a good time, a few beers, a dance or two, and if he got lucky some hot sweaty sex. He hadn’t expected a wildcat that sapped his strength and made him want to howl at the moon in male satisfaction.

She was resting against him, her breathing slowly evening out, the perspiration drying on her skin. Shower. That’s all he needed to clear his head, he thought. A shower. He could get up right now, and walk right out that door. Hell, his house wasn’t far away, and the water was nice and cold there. He knew that for a fact.

He shifted to move away from her. He had everything figured out until his betraying flesh slid across slick, silky flesh. He closed his eyes on a groan and settled between her thighs once again instead. Okay, so the cold shower could wait.

He rubbed his face against her full, hard-tipped breasts. They were gorgeous. Round and firm, with little pink nipples that tempted him as surely as anything could. Like pretty raspberries, all prime and ripe and ready to pluck. His tongue stroked one softly.

“Again?” There was surprise in her voice. That crisp, stern Yankee accent was shocked, but growing husky with the return of heat.

Who would have thought his Pixie Pest would return with that upright starch in her voice that made her sound so damned untouchable? It made his libido stand up and howl in hunger.

“This is the South, sugar,” he whispered with a smile, allowing his country twang to deepen to a slow drawl. “We aim to do it right.”

“I believe you did it pretty damn right the first time,” she gasped, as his lips pulled at one little berry with a teasing caressing.

“I’m sure I can improve.” He smiled against her flesh.

“Improve?” Her sexy green-gold eyes widened incredulously and she bit her plump lower lip. “God help me,” she murmured, her longs fingers fisting in the sheets at her sides as she arched her head back against the pillow, pushing her breasts closer to his mouth.

Damn, she was responsive. Her breath hitched, suspended, then released on a low moan of pleasure as he transferred his attention to her other nipple.

“Oh, that feels good.” She seemed surprise as he drew on just the tight bud of nerves tempting his lips and tongue. He went no further. He just touched her nipple, laving it, worrying it gently between his teeth, listening to the strangled gasps that issued from her throat.

“Someone was in a hurry earlier,” he teased her as he kissed the darkening flesh. “We take things slow here, darlin’. Nice and easy, so we can savor every experience. Remember?”

She arched languidly in his arms, a small, whimpering moan escaping her lips as his tongue rasped over her again, then he drew her nipple into his mouth, suckling at it slow and easy. The hard little point throbbed beneath his lips, tightening and stabbing at his tongue in needy greed.

“This is savoring?” she asked in breathless amazement. “God, Jackson, this is torture.”

But she struggled to lie still beneath him, her hands gripping his shoulders as he sipped and sucked at her breasts, loving the taste of the berry firmness as she arched against him.

“Torture?” he asked her gently, smiling when her little nails bit into the tough skin of his upper arms, and her thighs shifted against his, her hips grinding against the thigh he pressed to her hot center. Damn, the woman was like fire in his arms. Like pure lava, melting and flowing from her core, dampening his thigh with a liquid plea.

“Jackson, I don’t know if I can stand this,” she panted harshly, her hands reaching to spear into his hair as he licked from her nipple to her neck.

His let his teeth rasp the sensitive skin at her collar bone, then lick at it with a slow swipe as he tasted the smooth sweetness to be found there. She tossed her head, groaning as he pressed his thigh against her drenched mound, allowing her to ride it as her hips rose and fell in demand. Unable to resist that long lovely neck flushed with heat from her arousal, his mouth devoured her, sucking and licking the warm silky skin of her throat. His hand caressed her breast, gently lifting, molding, squeezing, rasping her hard nipple against his palm. He felt the rumble of her groan against his tongue, and his mouth moved higher, along her jaw.

“Of course you can, sugar,” he whispered, his tongue outlining her ear with a slow sweep.

He raised his head and found her mouth open, soft and yielding. He tasted that full, hot, lower lip she kept nibbling on and drew it into his mouth. He tilted his head and deepened the kiss, their breath blending as he moved his tongue against hers in long slow strokes.

He felt her shiver against him, and his cock throbbed in its own demand. Damn, where had his self-control gone? She made him want to thrust hard and deep and drown in the heat pouring from her. He had to force himself to let his hand move slow and sure from her waist to her breast. There, he cupped the mound of heaving flesh, moving his head to rub the hard little nipple against his cheek.

She cried out harshly, her hot cunt thrusting quick and hard on his thigh as he pushed it harder against her. And still he didn’t hurry. He wanted her to remember this night, just as he knew he would. He rubbed his lips over the hard little point, licked it tenderly, then moved back to her neck as one hand moved lower along her smooth, flat abdomen. His fingers trailed through the beads of moisture forming there. Her skin was almost as slick as the hot folds of the flesh between her thighs. And he wasn’t unaffected either. He could feel the sweat pouring from his body, drenching them both as he fought for breath.

He moved then, drawing his thigh back from the heat of her cunt as he spread her legs wide, moving between them slowly.

“Jackson, please.” She shivered, whimpering in her female need as he nudged the slick entrance of her body with the broad head of his cock.

Control. He fought for it. He didn’t want to slam inside her. He wanted it to last forever. He wanted to take her gentle and sweet, and show her how damned good it could be. He slid in marginally, barely an inch, feeling her muscles clamp onto that small invasion in desperation.

He fought for breath. Son of a bitch, it was good. So damned hot and silky, clenching, stroking his flesh with each harsh breath she fought for. He moved both hands to her hips, holding her steady, his eyes moving to the point where their two bodies met. The dim light of the moon’s glow spilling onto the bed gave him a clear view of her glistening, silky curls, and the burrowing of his hard length between them.

He swallowed tightly, on fire with the sensations sweeping through his body as he inched farther inside her, his eyes riveted by the sight of her female lips widening, drawing him in as the suckling motions of her vagina kept his cock pulsing with the need to climax.

He wasn’t going to rush this. Damned if it wasn’t the best he had ever known. Watching her as he took her, seeing her body accept him, hearing her cries for more. He gave her more, spreading her inch by inch as her keening cry was lost in his male groan of triumph, as his darker, intimate hair meshed with her wet curls, soaking both.

He shook his head, grinding his hips into her as she screamed out for him to take her hard. Fast. But it wasn’t his cock screaming out the demand, “Now, Jackson. Now.” It was her tormented voice, a plea that shattered his self control.

He fell forward, catching himself on his elbows and clasping her head in his hands.

“Open your eyes,” he growled. “Look at me, Rebecca. Look at me while I make you scream.”

His hips retreated. Her eyes widened in protest. He slammed forward, driving every hard desperate inch of his cock as deep as it would go inside the sucking depths of her vagina. Her mouth opened, a gasping cry issuing from it. Her pupils dilated in further pleasure, a harsh flush mounting her cheekbones as her hips pushed against him, demanding more.

“Faster. Please, Jackson. Faster.” Her eyes didn’t leave his; they glazed over, her eyelids lowering just enough to give her a mysterious, sexy look that made him crazy.

He felt his muscles bunch, braced himself with knees and elbows, and with a quick prayer that she would come quickly, he gave her what she wanted. What he needed. His hips powered into her. Thrust after long, hard thrust as they both groaned, arched, slamming their bodies into each other, fighting for the ultimate high as their blood thundered, rushed.

Rebecca screamed for him. He relished the sound, thrusting deeper inside her as he felt her clench, gush. Another sharp scream issued from her throat as she began to climax harshly. He was only a second away. He gritted his teeth, fought a shout, and lost his control as he felt the rippling power of his ejaculation tearing through his body.

“Becca!” He cried out her name, holding himself deep and tight within her as his seed pumped hard and fast inside her gripping, spasming flesh.

Damn, if he had to die, this was the way to go. Jackson barely caught himself before he collapsed on top of her. At the last second, he twisted his body, falling beside her, his eyes closing in exhaustion as he fought for breath, and for sanity. Yeah, that’s what he needed. Sanity. Sex like this should be outlawed, though he’d hate to have to arrest himself.

He grinned at that. His hand fell to Rebecca’s stomach, feeling the sharp rise and fall of it as she fought for her own breath. They were both gasping, fighting for control. He felt alternately proud as hell, and scared to his toenails. He wanted to beat on his chest, he wanted to slink away and hide from her. Sex shouldn’t be that damned good.

“Amazing, you’re absolutely amazing, but I think perhaps I’ve died.” Her voice, so proper and well cultured, made him smile. Damn if he didn’t have a bona fide Yankee. He’d never live it down.

Jericho, Tennessee didn’t boast many Yankees. He was pretty damned sure they wouldn’t brag about any, if they were there. And those who might be there hid it real well, to the best of his knowledge. But here he had a soft, vibrant, incredibly lusty she-cat on his hands, and he loved it.

“Sure ‘bout that?” he whispered against her ear, feeling the involuntary shiver that raced over skin. “Just let me catch my breath, sugar, and we’ll try for another round. See if I can bring you back to life.”

Her breath caught. He heard it, felt the stillness of her body.

“Uh, slow down now, cowboy. Give a girl a moment to recharge,” she said with a soft sexy laugh.

There was a faint protest there. Real faint, Jackson thought, wishing he had the strength for the chuckle he wanted to release. Damn, it was all he could do to breathe.

“Just rest there then.” He took a deep breath, making himself rise and reach to the foot of the bed where the comforter had been tossed.

Damned A/C was hell on damp skin, he thought, feeling her shiver again. He covered them both, then settled back beside her with an exhausted sigh.

“I have to get up early.” She cuddled into his arms, her head against his chest as a last sigh whispered over his chest. “Don’t let me ignore the alarm.”

He glanced over at the red digital display on her side of the bed. Alarm was set, at least. He would have hated to have to go to the trouble.

“Sure thing, sugar.” He yawned, pulling her tighter in his arms, his chin resting against the top of her head as he closed his eyes.

Damn, a sudden thought struck him. She wasn’t going to run him off before dawn? He frowned, wondering how long it had been since he had spent the night with a woman, instead of sneaking out of her house before daylight. Neighbors and gossip—they turned normally intelligent women into gibbering masses of nervousness. They wanted to play, but damned if they wanted anyone to know it.

He had always been amused by the same shy, sweet, parlor room ladies gasping and moaning in the dead of night, then pushing their lovers swiftly from the back door before dawn. Not this one, though. He ran his hand along her back, finally allowing it to rest along the top of her buttock as he sighed in satisfaction. Maybe he’d try for more the next morning.

Chapter Six

Gary Allen’s sultry voice had Rebecca smiling. She stirred from a warm dreamy sleep, opened one eye and groaned when she realized the singer’s voice came from the radio that serenaded her awake and not the rugged sexy man himself…whose face kept morphing into Jackson’s. Jackson… She opened the other eye and levered herself up on her elbows, wincing at the ache in her muscles. Her lips tilted a bit thinking of the previous night’s activities.

With a heavy sigh she swung her legs over the edge of the bed to stand and walk through the house. Yep, he was gone. Now how the hell did he get up and out without waking her? She always slept so lightly. She frowned then shrugged and started a pot of coffee. Humming with the music from her radio, she walked back through her bedroom to the adjoining bathroom. She leaned over and turned the shower on hot, full blast, wrinkling her nose at the uncomfortable stickiness between her thighs.

Reality hit her. The Pixie Pest had hot wild sex with Jackson Montgomery. She’d gotten swept up in the fury of lust Jackson brought out in her, so fast. And oh, it was a fury. And here all this time she thought she knew what it was to have an orgasm. Since when did reality ever surpass fantasy? Since last night! Jackson definitely lived up to her wildest dreams. The memory of it washed over her with enough force to make her vaginal muscles clench in remembered pleasure.

She lathered her breasts thinking of him, those big sexy hands, those long clever fingers. Her nipples contracted, sending pulses of warm sensation through her. Her eyes drifted close on a shaky sigh. She let her soapy hands roam over her stomach, down her hips to her mound. She luxuriated in the silky lather she spread over her body in slow, languid strokes.

She slid her fingers over the tender flesh of her sore inner thighs. Waves of pleasure flooded through her. She moved under the hot spray and, tilting her head back, washed her hair. The water pounded over her, down her back, while she rubbed her hands over her breasts, the hard nipples rasping against her palms. She turned to feel the water beating down on her breasts, her distended nipples. Her other hand moved downward, dipping into the slick wet lips to the sensitive knot of nerve endings nestled there. She sucked in the thick steamy air though her teeth at the slow spiraling pleasure.

Her body reacted fiercely to the memory of Jackson’s hands, his mouth moving over her body, as her hand moved over her clit. Her fingers delved into her pulsing channel and drew out the slick dew of her arousal. Her legs grew shaky and she stepped back, leaning against the cool tile. She imagined that Jackson spread her open, his three fingers that glided over the swollen, throbbing flesh.

She tormented herself with her hands and her memories, the sensation building and pulsing through her. She continued to rub, long firm strokes. Her lips parted, she felt the orgasm rising in waves till the climax peaked and tore through her. She tilted her head back, allowing the water to flow over her chest and down her body. Her hips rocked back and forth, her moans echoing off the tiled walls. She pressed her hand tighter against her slick flesh till the waves subsided, leaving her feeling relaxed, her muscles loose and liquid.

After she washed her hair and rinsed the last of the suds away, she reluctantly stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around herself. She needed to focus on the day and her new job. She wiped the steam from the mirror and started to brush her teeth when she noticed the love bite right above her left breast. A hickey, he’d given her a hickey. Good lord, she felt like a teenager again. She grinned, thankful her shirt would cover the mark. The smile stayed in place while she brushed her teeth and applied a bare minimum of makeup.

* * * * *

Rebecca pulled her Tracker into the small paved parking lot next to a monster sized pick-up truck…if you could call a truck that size a pick-up. She killed the engine and sat back to finish her coffee. They didn’t expect her for twenty more minutes. She would feel much more comfortable if she at least knew the name of her new boss. For some reason it hadn’t been in any of the transfer paperwork, the mayor hadn’t mentioned it and she had forgotten to ask. She narrowed her eyes and gave herself a mental head slap. She hated not being completely informed, it put her at a disadvantage. However small, it was still a disadvantage.

Sheriff what’s-his-name had been busy on the phone with the mayor when she called earlier and the officer she’d talked with hadn’t seemed to expect her at all. On top of that, he didn’t know if he had a uniform that would fit her or not. For today, her jeans and white cotton oxford shirt would have to do. She recalled the derisive humor in the officer’s voice and got the feeling she was walking into a boy’s club.

The police station building looked simple and a bit undersized, but someone took good care of the landscape. The tiny lawn was lush and green. The few meager hedges were neatly trimmed. She took a sip of her coffee and arched a brow. Maybe someone in there would remember her. If not, they’d just have to adjust, she thought.

She got out, grabbed her purse, laid a hand on the firearm at her hip and slammed the car door. She felt good, cocky, self confident as she walked purposefully up the few steps. She took a deep breath as she swung open the door and looking up, froze in shock. She slowly took off her sunglasses and looked into those silver gray eyes that she watched go dark and stormy with a savage lust the night before. Her body shuddered involuntarily.

Jackson was slightly bent, checking some reports the officer sitting at the desk had evidently been typing. That wild sexy hair still fell across his forehead. His sensual mouth frowned at her. His shirt sleeves were rolled up, his snug jeans slung low on his hips. Gun and badge hung from his belt. Well, she probably didn’t have to worry about somebody remembering her now.

Jackson cleared his throat. “Becca. May I help you?” His voice was deep and wary.

Careful to keep her face blank, Rebecca stepped forward and offered her hand. “Officer Rebecca Taylor. Your transfer from Detroit.”

He straightened; she noted the muscle that pulsed in his jaw. His frown deepened as he stepped from around the desk and took her hand. Warm and calloused, it brought back that flood of erotic memories. She pulled away quicker than she should have. “Welcome home.”

Her eyes widened and met his darkening gaze. Damn, when she fucked up she fucked up good, she thought. “So, you’re the sheriff.”

He stared, or glared at her, she couldn’t decide. “I didn’t know you were arriving till the mayor called this morning.” His voice was deep and clipped. He was pissed. It showed in every hard line and muscle in his body.

“Oh.” She shrugged, for the first time in her life at a loss for words. “Well, I…”

“He had tried to reach me last night,” he interrupted her, pausing to let his gaze slide over her body like a lurid caress. “I was…unavailable.”

She narrowed her eyes. Damn him, there was no need to bait her. If he wanted to make this difficult, by God, she could comply. “Well, I’m here now, Sheriff, so if we could just start this ball rolling.” She motioned impatiently with her hand. “I’ll fill out the necessary paperwork and you can have someone show me the ropes…”

“Follow me, Officer.” Giving her no chance to defy him, he turned and walked briskly down a dimly lit hallway.

Was that a smirk? That jackass smirked at her! Oh, it was on now. She followed on his heels into his office and closed the door behind her. The room was small and plain. A few certificates hung on the white walls. A table with a Mr. Coffee sat beside a disheveled bookshelf. Two ugly gray-green file cabinets stood behind a wide wooden desk. A computer monitor sat among the many files, scraps of paper and post-it notes that littered the desktop, along with a fat coffee mug that said: Sheriffs do it with handcuffs. Rebecca resisted the urge to sneer.

“Jackson, this is obviously not a comfortable situation. If we’d known beforehand, last night would have…gone quite differently. But it can’t be undone so let’s just be adults about this and put it behind us, move forward, pretend it never happened.” Easily said, she thought. Her body was heating up just being in the same room with him.

Jackson had walked around his desk and sat in his chair. He gestured to the chair across from him and she sat down. Leaning back, he propped his booted feet on his desk and folded his hands over his stomach. He pursed his lips as if to consider her suggestion then slowly shook his head. “Nah, ain’t gonna happen. See, Becca, I saw the flash of heat in those sexy eyes of yours the moment you walked through the door. You can pretend all you want, darlin’, but fact is…” He sighed. “You’re hot for me. You always have been, you can’t help yourself.”

“Re-becca, not Becca,” she hissed through her teeth. “I’ll do my best to control myself.” Now it was her turn to smirk.

“Yeah, but you won’t succeed. We both know that, don’t we?”

“Look, will you cut the snide remarks!” His smile looked more like a sneer and he nodded, at least it looked like a nod.

“Sheriff.” She paused for emphasis and met his gaze. “I assure you, I have an excellent record and I play it by the book. You don’t have to worry about me doing my job.”

“I don’t need you. I have all the officers I need. We don’t have a whole lot of trouble here in Jericho.” His gaze lowered to her breasts. She felt them stiffen involuntarily and had to struggle not to cross her arms. “No, I’m sure you’re very, very good…at your job, Officer Ree-Becca.”

His double meaning didn’t go unnoticed. She wanted to slap that smug look from his gorgeous face. Damn him. She gritted her teeth. “Then call the mayor and get me reassigned…again.”

“Can’t.” Disgust weighed heavily in his voice.

“Why not?” Rebecca fought to control the near desperation sliding through her system. This was bad. Real bad.

“Already tried. Mayor wants you here real bad for some reason.” His eyes narrowed as he watched her. Suspicion flared in those murky depths.

“That doesn’t make sense, why would he care?” She scowled at him.

He shrugged. “Says, it’ll be good for the community to have a girl cop runnin’ around.”

She felt the heat of anger crawl up her neck. “I am not a ‘girl cop’. I am a police officer and I take that very seriously, Sheriff Montgomery.”

He studied her as he chewed on his pen. “Things are different here in the South, Officer Sugar, especially in the country. Maybe you forgot that, living in the big city for so long. You see, sometimes we have to go more on instinct than by the book. There’s a time to be serious, Becca, and there’s a time to…relax.” He sat up, dropped the pen on the desk and leaned forward, meeting her gaze. “The people of Jericho haven’t changed much. They’re essentially good, hard working, people. Farming community, mostly. We have very little call for police enforcement and I already have enough men. I don’t need some hardnosed gal comin’ around here hollerin’, ‘I am woman, hear me roar.’”

Clenching her teeth, Rebecca fought the urge to roll her eyes. “Sheriff, I have no agenda and believe it or not, I’m not a women’s libber. I’m a cop. I don’t want to be classified by my sex. Just try to ignore the fact that I’m a woman, it has nothing to do with my ability to do my job…”

“But see, Officer Becca Sugar, your sex isn’t easily ignored.”

She closed her eyes on an exasperated sigh. “Look, let’s put everything aside and just call me Officer Taylor.”


“Why? Just because you’ve known me all my life…”

“Because I’ve tasted your sweet hot pussy, that’s why.” His expression was sardonic but his voice held a note of anger. “And make no mistake, sweetness, it left me with a terrible craving for more.”

She stared at him, momentarily struck dumb with shock. He did not just say that. Oh, but yes he did. He watched her with lowered lids. Her body tensed. He was remembering, and now so was she. She felt the heat curl through her and the corner of his mouth tilted.

“Sheriff Montgomery, what happened last night will never happen again.” She gave him a level look.

His laugh was an ominous rumble from deep in his chest. “If you figure no two good fucks are ever the same—and we are good at it, Becca—it’s only gonna get better.” He spoke low and seductive which had her juices flowing.

She clenched her teeth, fighting to control her lust and her temper. She could control this situation and she could handle this hick cowboy, no problem. “How adolescent,” she grumbled.

His smile didn’t reach his eyes. Arching a brow, he murmured, “Did you expect this country sheriff would be simple? Did you think I’d just hump you and be grateful that you let me have a fancy ride?”

“What?” She felt as if he’d punched her. Her mouth dropped open and she stared at him in disbelief.

“You didn’t expect to have the fuck of your life, did ya? You didn’t think I could rock your world like those hoity-toity city boys you’re used to screwin’. What did you think would happen, Becca, when you decided to fuck the boss?”

Rebecca blinked. She fought for breath. Fought to keep from trying to wipe that superior smug smile off his handsome face.

“For God’s sake. I had no idea you were the sheriff last night. I asked to transfer to Jericho because I missed home, I wanted to slow down, get away from the city…” she tried to explain, fighting to draw precious air into her lungs.

“Oh baby, you call that slow? Fast would have killed me! I bet you couldn’t wait to show old Jackson the new and improved Pixie Pest.”

Okay this was turning ugly; she could feel it, see it in his glittering silver eyes piercing her. “Look, I didn’t mean for that to happen. I just wanted to meet some people, see if anyone I knew was still here, maybe dance, and possibly have a good time and go home…alone. I came to Jericho because I needed a fresh start, in a new place, I wanted to see if this could be home again.”

He lifted a brow. “Did you screw up or something in Detroit? What didja do, fuck the chief of police? Or maybe the mayor, ugh…that’s not a good mental image, maybe that’s why he’s all hot and bothered for you to stay.”

She glared at him. She was stunned and for some reason, the things he said hurt worse than she thought they should. Fury and humiliation rose like bile in her throat and she stood slowly, keeping her gaze on him. She saw the flash of regret but it did nothing to dissolve the lump in her throat. “Fine, I’ll get in touch with the mayor myself and see what I can do. I’m sorry to have wasted your time.”

“Damn, okay wait, Becca, just wait.” He rubbed his hand over his face and motioned for her to sit again but she stood, her hand resting on the doorknob. “I apologize. I guess that was uncalled for.”

She swallowed the knot that was lodged in her throat, lifted a brow and continued to glare at him. “You guess?”

“Talking to the mayor won’t do you any good. I fought with him all morning over this. Even before I knew you were female…or that you were…you.” He waved a hand at her.

“I don’t want anything from you, Jackson. I don’t want a relationship, sexual or otherwise. Last night wasn’t supposed to happen. I didn’t come here to seduce you.” She raised her hand when he started to speak and fought to keep from shaking. “And with all due respect, Sheriff. I don’t give a good goddamn what you think of me. Just know what happened last night won’t happen again, and no matter what you believe, I’m not a nympho on the prowl. So you don’t have to worry about the other officers.”

He nodded and looked away for the first time, putting his hands on his hips. “It’s not about you being a woman, Becca.”

“Rebecca,” she snapped.

His raised his gaze to hers without raising his head. “It’s not about your…sex.” She started to retort when something in his narrowing eyes made her hesitate. “Like I said, I don’t need you. I didn’t expect you. Now that I have you I don’t know what to do with you.” He combed his fingers though his hair and sighed. Something about the simple frustrated movement brought visions of his naked body rising over her, his sweaty muscles bunching and rippling as he strained toward release.

She swallowed hard. “Like I said, I’ll talk to the mayor.” She turned and fumbled with the doorknob, desperate to get away from him. He walked up behind her and reached around to open the door. She could feel the heat of his body at her back. His scent teased her, making it hard for her to breathe. When did she become so weak, she wondered? Maybe she was a nympho.


She took several steps away from him before she turned around. “Rebecca… What?”

She looked up at him; his eyes had softened, darkened. “It won’t do any good…” For a moment, she thought he guessed her reaction and she frowned. “…arguing with the mayor.”

“I’ll try anyway.”

He shrugged. “Matthews!” he shouted down the hall.

“Yeah.” The young officer sitting at the desk poked his head around the corner.

“Show Officer B…Taylor around. Make sure she gets a uniform, order one if need be.”

Matthews’ bright blue eyes assessed Rebecca. “Sure thing, Sheriff.” He grinned.

Jackson turned back to Rebecca, his face expressionless. “Officer Bryan Matthews will take care of whatever you need.” Then he turned on his heel and sauntered back into his office, slamming the door behind him.

Chapter Seven

The echo of the door slamming grated on Jackson’s ears. Anger surged through his body, pounded in his bloodstream, but not for the reason Becca thought. It had nothing to do with sex…at least, not the male/female type. It had everything to do with the fact that his swollen cock pulsed and throbbed in aching demand to bury itself between her thighs. Now. Hard. Feeling the slap of flesh against flesh, hearing her throaty little moans, her cries of completion.

He groaned, kicking his desk, wincing as the toe of his boot met solid oak. Dammit, he didn’t need this. Not right now. He sure as hell didn’t need Mayor Whittaker thinking he could pull the wool over his eyes this easy. Hell, he had been working for six months now to figure out what the slimy bastard was up to, and he threw one roadblock after another at Jackson.

Somehow, Jackson knew, Whittaker had arranged the former sheriff, Jackson’s uncle’s, accident, just as Jackson knew that old John Porter had been on to something that the mayor was up to. That was the reason Jackson had fought for the position after John’s death. Even going so far as to secure the approval of the Town Council, who in turn pressured Whittaker.

He threw himself into his chair, slouching in it, his lips twisting in a grimace as his eyes narrowed on the door. Damn, he hadn’t wanted to leave Becca earlier. His erection had throbbed in protest, his muscles reluctant to lift him from the bed. He should have stayed. At least he could have found the sweet haven of her body once more before it all backfired in his face. Now he was going to have to figure out what the hell was going on here. Whittaker must be running real damned scared if he was letting a woman on the force in the hopes of distracting Jackson. Which to a point, Jackson admitted, was working.

Dammit all to hell. This was a complication he just didn’t need. And to make it worse, he had hurt her. He had seen the flash of hurt and disillusionment in her eyes when he had accused her of fucking the mayor. He grimaced, irritated with the surging jealousy that had washed over him while he was on the phone with Whittaker. Damned bastard carrying on about how pretty little Rebecca Taylor had grown up and was all woman now. His snide, insinuating voice as slimy as eel’s skin as he touted Rebecca’s obvious charms. Furious jealousy had spread through Jackson like a sickness he couldn’t combat.

And it wasn’t like he hadn’t known better. Jackson was well aware of where Rebecca had spent last night. She was in his arms, milking his cock like a fist every time he pushed it in her. Yet Whittaker, for reasons Jackson couldn’t explain, had insinuated that she had been otherwise entertained. And not ten minutes after getting off the phone with the bastard, fury still roaring like a live beast through his body, Rebecca had walked in.

His luck sucked. He closed his eyes. He didn’t want to think about sucking. But he couldn’t help imagining that hot little mouth wrapped around him, her breathy moans vibrating against his cock. He didn’t think he could stand it. The whole time she had stood before him, her expression stiff and unyielding, he had wanted to throw her across his desk and rip those damned clothes off her body.

He groaned. He was miserable. He had been looking forward to leaving work later in the day, swinging by her house, seeing if there wasn’t more to be found than just the hot sex they’d discovered last night.

His eyes widened. He hadn’t used a condom. Son of a bitch. He sat up straight, his hands gripping the armrests of the large padded chair as he swallowed past the sudden lump in his throat. The threat of STD’s didn’t bother him. He had the printout of her latest blood tests, her overall health check, lying on his desk. She was clean. He was clean. But protection; he had pumped his seed into her body more than once. He breathed out hard. Damn, he hadn’t even thought to use a condom.

He ran his hands through his hair, his lips pursing at the thought. She hadn’t said anything, but that didn’t mean squat. That little spitfire would have kept her mouth shut if it was killing her. Plain fury, unadulterated, had washed through her the whole time she stood in his office. Not that he blamed her. Hell, he hadn’t gone easy on her.

“Hey, boss,” Bryan Matthews called through the door, knocking sharply at the frosted glass.

“Yeah.” Jackson sat back in his chair, wondering at the hesitancy in the kid’s voice.

Bryan was twenty-one, fresh out of the academy, and still a little wet behind the ears, but a good kid.

Jackson watched as the younger man shifted nervously, his blue eyes looking at everything but Jackson.

“Umm, no one will ride with her.” Bryan closed the door behind him.

It took a minute for Jackson to assure himself that he had heard correctly.

“What?” Jackson asked him, his voice controlled. Dammit.

Bryan’s blue eyes met his nervously.

“They won’t ride with her, Jackson. Roby and Martin headed out, sayin’ no woman was ridin’ with them. That just leaves me. I don’t care if she rides with me.”

Bryan shifted, nervous, on the edge of excitement at the thought. Great. Miss Ree-Becca Taylor had another conquest. Damn, if she wasn’t sure picky about that name.

But that didn’t alleviate his concern where Roby and Martin were concerned. Their refusal to ride with her smacked of discrimination. If there was one thing the department didn’t need, it was a discrimination suit.

“Okay. Let her ride with you, but don’t let her take over, Bryan,” he warned the boy. “That’s one woman, if you give her a chance, that’ll run right over you.”

Bryan’s eyes widened. “Aw, Jack, she’s a sweet little thing.” He laughed at the thought. “Just because she’s a Yankee doesn’t mean you have to watch her. Course, watching her will be fun.” The male look of approval could get the boy decked, Jackson thought.

“We’ve had Yankees here before, Bryan. You’re starting to sound like your grandfather. They’re not a different species from us, you know?” Jackson reminded him. “Besides, Becca was born and raised here. She’s not really a Yankee.”

“I know. But Officer Taylor is sure an improvement to the force.” He smiled, his too innocent blue eyes reflecting his growing awareness of Becca’s female qualities.

Jackson frowned.

“Don’t start, Bryan. She’s a fellow officer. Remember the sexual harassment classes we all had to take?” Pain in the ass. Like they didn’t know they weren’t supposed to grope an employee’s ass.

Jackson frowned. Damned if Officer Becca didn’t have an ass well worth groping.

“Yeah, I know.” Bryan grinned. “I promise, I won’t sexually harass her. But that sure don’t mean I can’t look. I’ll go let her know. Hell, maybe I’ll even let her drive my cruiser. That oughta make her feel good.”

Jackson lowered his brows as the young officer left the room. Let her drive his cruiser? Bryan was severely underestimating Officer Ree-Becca Taylor. She would most likely insist on it. Determination and stubbornness sat on her shoulders like mantles of pride. Damn, getting back into her pants wasn’t going to be easy. It was going to be damned hard if he didn’t do something fast. He needed information. One sure way to find your opponent’s weakness was to arm yourself with knowledge.

Grinning at that, he picked up the phone and punched in a familiar number. Ted Mason, an officer with the Illinois State Police Force could get the answers he needed. And he owed Jackson. Owed him big.

“Mason.” The burly trooper answered on the first ring.

“Hey, Ted, it’s Jackson. How’s my sister doing?” Jackson didn’t even try to smother his laughter.

“Damn you, Jack, that woman’s driving me crazy. Do you know she painted the front room purple? Freaking purple. What drives that woman?”

Jackson held the phone away from his mouth. He couldn’t control his laughter on that one.

“Laugh it up. You’ll be laughing when I cart her ass back to Hicksville to you,” Ted threatened good-naturedly. “Now why the hell are you calling? If you wanted to check on Candy, you could have called her yourself.”

Jackson sighed.

“I need a check run on one of Chicago’s former finest,” he told him, liking the way Ted took care of business first. “Name’s Rebecca Taylor. Age twenty-six. She just transferred to Jericho, and I need to know why.”

There was silence across the line for a long moment.

“Fat ole Tommy Whittaker pulled in a female officer?” Ted asked suspiciously. “The same male chauvinist, no-female-on-my-force, Whittaker?”

“Yep, that’s the one.” Jackson leaned back in his chair. “I need to know what the hell’s up with this. It’s fishy.”

“Hell yeah.” Silence stretched again. When Ted came back he was all business. “”You think this has anything to do with Porter’s death?”

“I don’t, Ted, but something doesn’t feel right about it. Whittaker didn’t tell me who my new deputy was, or even when she was showing up. I was led to believe it was a male for weeks. I need to know what’s up with it.”

”You think she’s involved?”

Ted was one of the few people aware of Jackson’s investigation of the mayor.

Jackson frowned. “I don’t think she is. But hell if I know for sure. I knew her way back, Ted, when she was just a little thing. I’d hate to think she was involved with that bastard.”

“I’ll see what I can find. In the meantime, I heard an interesting rumor the other day that I wanted to run by you. We picked up an illegal a few days ago. Middle Eastern. He’s suspected of being part of a terrorist cell operating in these parts. Says he spent a few days in Jericho back in the winter, hiding from the Feds. You have a Middle Eastern population I didn’t know about?”

Jackson frowned. Other than ole Doc Mustafa, there was no one.

“Not that I was aware of. Should I be checking for one?”

Ted sighed in disgust. “Naw. Guess not. The information just caught my attention as kind of odd. Just keep your eyes open, let me know if you see anyone odd.”

Jackson shook his head. He hadn’t seen or heard of Middle Eastern visitors to the area. Jericho was pretty laid back and off the beaten track, and since Nine-Eleven, pretty damned suspicious of everyone.

“I’ll see what I can find out,” Jackson nodded. “But I haven’t heard of anything through rumor. I’ll check it out though.”

“You do that, and I’ll hold Candy off from that visit she wants to make home.” Jackson winced. He didn’t need Candy here right now.

“You do that thing there, Ted. Promise me for sure.” Jackson shook his head. Damn, Candy could throw a monkey wrench in his plan’s right fast. The last thing he needed was his baby sister finding out he was working with a woman, much less that he was attracted to her. Attracted…ha, that was a gross understatement.

“Good plan then. I’ll get back to you in a day or two,” Ted said decisively. “Later there, bro.”

Bro. Jackson swallowed his laughter. Ted only called him bro when he was put out with Candy, his little southern honey.

Jackson disconnected, frowning thoughtfully. He could put out a few feelers, check things out. He was pretty certain there was no place in Jericho to hide illegals without someone hearing about it. Newcomers stood out like a sore thumb and Arabics would definitely be noticed. Until then, he had a woman to woo. Damn, if he didn’t get back into that woman’s bed right soon, he would burst his jeans to hell and back with the hard-on throbbing between his thighs. He shifted in his chair, hoping to ease the pressure. He sighed in bleak acceptance long minutes later. No ease.

Chapter Eight

Jackson made his round of Jericho the next afternoon, watching the traffic and the pedestrians thoughtfully. There was no such thing as coincidence, he thought. The knowledge that Ted’s illegal had spent time in Jericho worried at Jackson’s mind.

Whittaker was a crooked, dirty son of a bitch, but a smart one. Jackson had been investigating for over a year now, ever since the death of the former sheriff, Jackson’s uncle, Tobias Montgomery.

Jackson had returned to Jericho after his release from active duty in the Marines. Tobias had been distracted, worried, rather than jovial and outgoing as he usually was. It had taken Jackson six months to find out that his uncle was investigating the mayor. To that point, the county judge had drowned on a fishing trip, despite the fact that the lake was as calm as a pond and that Judge Morris had not been an old man. He had also been an excellent swimmer.

The sheriff’s office was staffed with Whittaker’s men, Tobias had informed him, men he had once counted as friends. And the mountains were getting damned dangerous to hike in. The amount of “hunting accidents” that had occurred over the months had whipped Tobias into a rage. Not two months later, Tobias was dead too. Hunting accident, the coroner had said. Jackson wasn’t a fool, he knew better.

Jackson frowned as he drove through town. What connection did Whittaker and Ted’s suspected terrorist share? There had to be one. His fingers tapped at the steering wheel as his mind blazed with possibilities. Tobias had been certain Whittaker was hiding something. What could he have been hiding? Or could it have been who? The possibilities that came to mind terrified him.

He made a turn on Main Street and headed out of town, knowing that there were few places within the city limits to hide anyway. Too many gossips and nosy shopkeepers to spill the beans. The problem with small towns was that everyone knew your business, and where you took it. Made for interesting dinner conversation, but not secrecy. If someone was out to hide, or hide others, it would have to be farther into the mountains. That was most often considered no man’s land, the shadowed, mysterious world of Indian legends, illegal stills, and mountain folk.

Times had changed a lot though, Jackson told himself as he made the journey from the bustle of Jericho along the two lane road that led farther up the mountain. Even since he was a boy, civilization had begun to creep stealthily into the higher parts of the mountains. Electric lines, telephone cable, computers and cell phones were the norm now. Broken down shacks were replaced with modern frame houses, and pickups graced front yards and driveways of even the most uninhabitable reaches.

One such place was Jacob Riley’s cabin. It was a bitch and three quarters to get to, and if the cruiser Jackson had earmarked for the department wasn’t a four-wheel drive jeep, then he would have been making a hell of a long walk. But Jacob knew things. And what he didn’t know, he could damned well find out. If there were terrorists hiding anywhere in those mountains, then he likely knew about it.

The jeep bounced over the long, pitted road up to Jacob’s cabin. The vehicle’s engine whined as it struggled over large rocks, eroded ditches and broken brush. He had told Jacob more than once that he needed the road graveled, perhaps even blacktopped, but it appeared he was still being ignored.

Finally, he pulled into a well kept driveway, grated, graveled and leveled, and shook his head in exasperation. The small log cabin sat on a slope above him, the windows dark, the door tightly closed.

Jackson got out of the jeep, moving quickly to the front door, when the first sounds penetrated. The hungry, gasping female moan was almost a shock. Hell, he thought Jacob was a monk of some kind. The sounds of pleasure rose as Jackson turned and walked to the back of the cabin.

He stopped at the side of the house, shaking his head as he pulled his glasses from his eyes and stared in shock at the scene before him. Jacob had a pretty little black-haired business type stretched over the picnic table, her narrow skirt around her waist, her white silk blouse opened. Hell, it looked like he’d cut her bra open rather than unhooking it from the back.

The woman’s deep black hair had escaped the knot that struggled to stay secure on the top of her head. Stray wisps clung in damp strands along her cheek and neck. A fine film of perspiration glazed the woman’s pale skin and Jacob’s broad naked back.

The woman’s legs were splayed wide, giving Jackson an unimpeded view of the soft flesh the mountain man was plowing vigorously into. The soft sounds of wet cunt and hard cock filled the air. Slapping flesh overlaid it, and adding to the arousing mix was the woman’s ever-increasing moans as Jacob drove her closer to climax.

Her hands were gripping Jacob’s arms, nails pressing into flesh. Her body arched, her full breasts, tipped with hard nipples and flushed with lust, were a damned tempting sight. Almost as pretty as Becca’s berry tipped breasts.

He felt a shade of discomfort at his voyeurism. But damn, it was just one of those sights you couldn’t look away from. He couldn’t believe that Jacob had allowed himself a second moment of vulnerability. The first had been near fatal. Jackson assured himself that he just wanted to be certain Jacob stayed safe while immersed in his pleasure.

As Jackson watched, Jacob’s thrusts increased. The sound of balls slapping against a rounded ass filled the air. The woman jerked, arched, her head was thrown back as she began to beg in desperation for release. Then she was crying out, her body stiffening as Jacob drove into her hard, deep. The sounds of their mingled climaxes had Jackson shifting uncomfortably. Damn if he hadn’t wished he had gone back to the jeep instead. The woman’s cries were much too reminiscent of Becca, reminding him how tight and hot her cunt was around his flesh. He sure hoped she got over her mad soon.

“Dammit, Jack, this ain’t no peep show.” Jacob was breathing hard as he moved away from the woman, jerking her skirt over her exposed flesh, then fastening his jeans quickly. “What the hell are you doing here?”

He helped the woman from the table, shielding her face with his big body as she fought to fix her clothes. He whispered something to her; Jackson couldn’t make out the words. But there was a surprising edge of tenderness as Jacob touched her cheek, kissed her brow quickly.

“Taking notes.” Jackson grinned. “That’s some fine form you got going there, my friend. I say you should give lessons.”

The brawny ex-cop frowned back at him, his brown eyes narrowing dangerously as he stood in front of the woman. Then he turned back to her, tucked a strand of hair back from her face and sighed heavily.

“Go on inside.” He nodded at the open back door. “I’ll be there as soon as I shove this bastard off my mountain.”

The woman flushed, tugging her blouse closed and rushing away from Jackson’s curious gaze.

“You used to have better manners,” Jacob grunted angrily as he sprawled out in one of the large, wooden chairs beneath the shade of a nearby tree. “What the hell happened?”

Jackson flushed, but fought to ignore it.

“And you used to hear better.” Jackson shrugged. “Must have been a while for you if you didn’t hear me cursing you as I came up this mountain.”

“I heard your jeep. You need a tune up,” Jacob snarled. “Now what the hell are you doing here?”

Jackson walked over to a matching chair and sat down heavily. He needed Jacob’s help; he couldn’t afford to alienate him right now.

“I heard a report there’s illegals hiding somewhere in my county. I thought I’d head up here and see if you’ve noticed anything.” If anyone knew, it would be Jacob.

Jacob grunted sarcastically. “Lot of things go on in these mountains.”

That was the damned truth. It was becoming dangerous to even attempt hunting anymore.

“Yep, and you seem to know who’s doing the better part of it and where they can be found,” Jackson said, watching his friend thoughtfully.

Jacob shrugged.

“Heard you have a new officer.” The other man grinned tightly, his brown eyes sharp.

Jackson sighed and relaxed back in his chair. He didn’t know what the hell kind of game Jacob was playing, but evidently he knew something after all.

“Yeah. I do.”

“I hear that pretty little thing left the Wild Rose with a redneck sheriff her first night in, and he followed her right fast to her new house and spent the night. You shootin’ for trouble with Mayor ‘Fancypants’ or just stumbling into it?”

Jackson felt a strange sense of unease at Jacob’s words.

“If there’s trouble, then I guess I’ve stumbled into it,” he said with a smile. “But damn, Jacob, that little lady would be more than worth it.”

Jacob sighed wearily, glancing at the house.

“Yeah, some of ‘em are worth it.” He swiped his fingers through his overly long blonde hair, then ran his hand over his scarred chest.

The burns had healed, but the scars were still there. A reminder of the fiery crash that had nearly taken his life. The tall blonde hulk ha