Bracing himself, he said, "Go ahead and ask."

"Do you think I’m sexy?"

"Do I . . . what?"

"Do you think I’m sexy?"

To say he was taken by surprise was an understatement. Had she not looked so serious, he would have laughed.

Allison waited. Liam stood there a full minute without saying a word. Was he trying to think of something diplomatic to say that wouldn’t hurt her feelings? She felt so foolish then and wished she hadn’t asked. Then he removed his jacket and loosened his tie as he walked over to her with that slow, easy smile of his.

"Yeah, I find you sexy."

Liam pulled her to him, stared into her eyes, and waited. She dropped her shoes, and the second her arms went around his neck, his mouth covered hers. All he had to do was touch her, and his entire body reacted. How could she not know that? No woman had ever made him burn with desire the way Allison did. Every time she looked at him he wanted to take her into his arms. He wanted to cover her with his body and make love to her. He wanted to be inside her. He wanted to hear the sexy sounds she made, to feel her nails digging into his shoulders, to wrap himself in her warmth and her feminine scent. To be overwhelmed by her.

He backed away long enough to ask, "Do you . . ."

"Yes," she whispered. There was no playing hard to get, no hesitation. "Assuming you want to take me to bed."

"Yes." He kissed her again. Her lips were so soft. He loved the way she gave herself so freely. He loved the low purr she made in the back of her throat when she was aroused. Hell, there wasn’t anything he didn’t love about her.

He led her to the bedroom, leaving a trail of their clothes on the floor, and they fell onto the bed, wrapped up in each other. He couldn’t slow down. She didn’t want him to. He was mindless to everything but finding a release from the tension building for both of them. It seemed to him they became one then. She arched against him, cried out his name, and tightened around him, her grip strong on his shoulders.

"Let go," he whispered. "I’ve got you."

When the intensity of their lovemaking was over, Liam rolled onto his back and closed his eyes, exhausted. He didn’t want to think about the complications. He tried to sleep, but there was a war raging inside him. His conscience was on the offensive, and it was time he came to grips with what he was doing here. His actions in the last couple of months had been impulsive and definitely out of character for him. He was accustomed to a life on the move, never getting too close to anyone or setting down roots. That was what he had signed up for. Lately, however, something had changed. He’d rearranged some assignments just so he could return to Boston. He’d told himself he needed to stay close to Allison because there were threats against her, and he felt responsible. At one point he’d even been on his way to the airport and turned around so that he could make sure she was okay. And every time he was near her, he couldn’t seem to control himself. Granted, she had been a willing partner and had agreed there were no commitments or expectations. The sex had been amazing, but was that all it was? Sex? At some point he would have to face reality and get back to his job and his life on the move. What would happen then?

Since he had met her, he hadn’t wanted any other woman. He’d had the opportunity, just not the desire. He only wanted Allison. He knew exactly when she had gotten to him, too. She had been staring at him while she timidly confessed stealing all that money from hackers, and there was something in her eyes that had captivated him. She was vulnerable, yes, but also gutsy. There was no denying her courage. Even more important, underneath the audacity was a kind heart and a sense of fairness. He’d never met anyone like her.

He just wanted to be with her. No, that wasn’t exactly true. He needed to be with her. The truth he had been afraid to admit couldn’t be avoided anymore. Damn if he hadn’t fallen in love with the woman.

TWENTY-TWO

He did it again. Allison was just drifting off to sleep when Liam leaned over her, kissed her on her forehead, and left. He didn’t even say, "See you later," this time.

She should have been angry or at the very least frustrated, but she wasn’t. She was beginning to take it all in stride, which, all things considered, was extremely odd. And since she hadn’t told Jordan or anyone else that she was in love with Liam, she couldn’t complain about his bizarre behavior.

Will inadvertently took her mind off Liam by scaring the bejesus out of her. She took the morning off and didn’t even get dressed until eleven. She had a blistering headache and needed to buy some ibuprofen. The pharmacy was just three blocks away, two if she cut through an alley, and since it was a beautiful day, she decided to walk. The rule was that she could drive to and from work or anywhere else, for that matter, but she wasn’t supposed to walk anywhere alone. She assumed the reason was that Bale had not calmed down, yet when she put the question to Phillips, he didn’t confirm or deny. He simply told her she could walk anywhere she wanted as long as she had people with her. She had complied with his wishes up to now. Today she figured a quick trip to the pharmacy wasn’t a big deal, especially if no one found out.