A mission is underway, and in the mercenary game, timing is everything.
Beth has spent the last four years trying to tempt Marcus into her bed so why decide now that it’s make or break with him? The excuses have faded. She’s no longer too young, too innocent, or too naïve about the job. She’s lead on their current assignment, success and failure rests with her. Maybe that’s why she’s decided it’s also time to make one last ditched attempt to secure the man she wants in her life. Marcus Delany, her boss and a mercenary who claims to have no heart.
Not wanting Bethany isn’t the problem. Marcus wants her with every fiber of his being, he just won’t allow himself to give into temptation and have her. For Marcus it’s not about her age or experience, it’s not even about his ability or desire to make Bethany his own. It’s about loss. If he refuses to have her then he can’t lose her. His first life lesson as a mercenary was a harsh one. Loving with all your heart makes you vulnerable. That’s not what he wants to be. He’s been there, done that, and the T-shirt wore out long ago.
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Beth didn’t move as he came closer, remaining propped against the door jamb, now hedged in by Marcus’ much larger frame. He towered over her when she wasn’t in platforms, and, for some reason, tonight she felt especially slight while standing this close to him. Bethany’s annoyance with him remained even as he stroked the outer side of his fingers down the side of her face so tenderly, she never wanted it to end.
“It doesn’t matter, I was wrong to say it. I know you think I’m too young.” Beth tried to remain composed as she replied, despite the urge to unfold her arms and run her hands down his tightly muscled chest. “I’m happy to do as you’ve asked. I’ll try to ignore my feelings for you. I’ll stop the flirting and just be the diligent operative you want me to be. No more bratty or cheeky Beth.”
“That’s not what I want, you’ve misunderstood.” Marcus stepped closer, bracing one arm on the door jamb, forcing her to move over, her back now pressed against the wall.
“Then what do you want, Marcus?” Bethany stared up at him, her irritation quickly dissipating. “I don’t think the situation is that difficult to figure out, either you want me, or you don’t.”
Four years of not knowing, of making all kinds of excuses for why Marcus didn’t take her up on any of the flirtatious advances she’d made. Beth knew her actions tempted him. It was evident in the rare times he let his guard slip. His face softened, his gaze became heated, roving over her body like a predator assessing his prey. Beth knew he wanted her. She simply hadn’t hit on the right formula to make him act.
“It’s just that…” Another pause from the man who usually articulated himself so well. “Jesus, Beth, I’m tired of attempting to conceal how hard you make me with all this teasing. I swear, I lose concentration as the blood rushes from my brain to relocate itself in my cock.”
Suddenly confused, Beth tried to process what he’d just said. Was she hearing him correctly? Was that an admission that she turned him on?
“I make you hard?” Beth tried not to sound surprised by his admission, her question more for clarification purposes than anything else. In response, Marcus stepped forward, eliminating any space between them.
“You know you do.” Beth felt his warm breath on the side of her throat as he leaned down to whisper in her ear, “I’m constantly hard around you.”
The raspy, guttural tone of his voice should have been all the proof needed to indicate he was telling the truth, Marcus reinforced the evidence by pressing his groin against her. Hard wasn’t an exaggeration.
“Don’t tease me with something I’ll never have, Marcus.” Beth placed her hands on his chest with every intention of pushing him away. “You don’t want me… remember? Never going to happen, you said.”
Intent failed. Beth wanted to throw his words back at him, resume her anger, push against his hard chest, and free herself from the cage of his frame. Instead, her voice sounded as horny as his, her fingers massaged his pecs adoringly, not an ounce of ire toward him remained.
“I want you, Beth,” Marcus stated. “I just don’t know how to have you.”
“You can have me any way you want me, all you have to do is say the word.” Beth slipped her hand between them and stroked the erection beneath his jeans, eliciting a hiss from him, which made her smile.
In all the time they’d known each other, Beth had never seen him appear as vulnerable as he did right now—his heart opening to her, his body visibly aching for hers.
“I don’t know how to make this work,” he groaned, making no attempt to sever their intimate connection.
When his face brushed her cheek, he feathered tiny kisses along her collarbone, up the column of her neck and toward her mouth. Beth pressed her body against his in response as he closed in on her mouth. Could this really be happening? His lips met hers, the softest of kisses at first, firming as his tongue entered her mouth. Beth moaned, looping her arms around his shoulders as he forced her against the wall, his knee slipping between her thighs, driving her legs apart. Marcus’ erection pressed into her hip, the movement of their bodies making the hardness more distinct.
Every cell in Beth’s body responded to his desire. Her cunt throbbed, moisture dampening the tiny G-string she wore. Her breasts ached as hardened nipples rasped against her bra with the movement of their embrace. He broke their kiss, gazing down at her with lust filled eyes.
“Tell me to stop.” His gaze drifted down her face, her neck, stopping at her cleavage. “Please girl, tell me to stop.”
He looked torn. Need warring with some inner agony clearly expressed on his face. What was keeping him from her? Why the hell would he ask her to push him away when this was exactly what she wanted from the moment she’d laid eyes on him? Bethany gave the only reply she was capable of articulating.