“I still have moments of rebellion,” Lorrayne said. “Like now.”
“Now?” Cole asked, the word shimmering between them. He thought of warm moonlit nights and soft, supple bodies. Kisses that went on forever.
Did her kisses do that? Had she ever felt that strong pull that drew a person into the eye of a hurricane? Or had she been like him, seduced by the promise only to be disappointed in the execution?
“What are you thinking?” Cole smiled.
“Nothing that has to do with the case.”
“Yeah, me too.” He took a breath. There was no mistaking the look in her eyes. Slowly he rose to his feet, slipping his hand to her cheek. “Want to get it out of the way?”
“You’re on,” she heard herself whispering.
The moment he kissed her, he was on. Completely turned on.
writes books distinguished by humor and natural dialogue. This RITA® Award-winning author’s goal is to make people laugh and feel good. She has written over one hundred books for Silhouette, some under the name Marie Nicole. Her romances are beloved by fans worldwide.
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“Yes, yes, yes, I know,” Lorrayne Cavanaugh declared loudly before anyone else had a chance to comment on the time as she burst into the kitchen. She was still dressing herself, her hair only half dry from the whirlwind shower she’d taken less than five minutes ago. To the eleven people already in the room, she knew she had to look like a tornado searching for somewhere to land. But they were used to that. They were her family. “I’m late.”
“You’re not late, honey,” Andrew told her mildly, setting her plate down on the table. His gray-blue eyes met his youngest daughter’s as she slid into her customary chair. “For lunch.”
Not trusting the watch she’d just strapped on, Rayne glanced at the clock on the wall above the industrial stove.
“Dad, it’s just a little past seven-fifteen,” she protested.
“More like seven-thirty,” her oldest brother, Shaw, corrected. Amusement played on his lips. Rayne had been born six days past her due date and had been habitually late ever since.
Clay, her other brother, reached for a second helping of eggs and bacon. He spared her a fleeting glance. “Give it up, Rayne, we all know you’re going to be late for your own funeral.”
About to refill the decreasing supply of hotcakes, Andrew looked up sharply. As head of a clan that had, for the most part, all found their calling in some form of law enforcement, he took some things far more seriously than the rest of them. He’d been to too many funerals in his time, seen too many good people cut down in their prime and put into the ground.
His eyes swept over the group he loved more than life itself. “There’ll be no talk of funerals at the breakfast table.”
“Right, much better topic at the dinner table,” Rayne cracked. It earned her a chiding look from her older sister, Callie. Though she didn’t move a muscle outwardly, inside, Rayne squirmed. “What, did I miss something?”
Teri, Clay’s elder sister by a minute and a half, a fact she rarely allowed him to forget, laughed shortly. “The way you like to lounge around in bed, it’s a wonder you don’t miss everything.”
There were two years between the sisters and if there was one thing Rayne hated, it was to be made to feel like the baby of the family. At twenty-five, she was hoping to have finally left that issue behind her. She was beginning to realize that the odds were she never would.
But that didn’t mean she was about to accept it docilely. “That’s a little like the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it?” They all knew that Teri loved to sleep in whenever she could.
With a sound of finality, Andrew placed the plate of hotcakes in the middle of the table, giving each of his daughters a warning look. Unlike Callie who’d never given him any grief and who’d now settled in with a good man, Teri and especially Rayne enjoyed burning the candle at both ends whenever the opportunity arose. There were nights when both or either of the girls would roll in only to have to leave for work a short while thereafter. He was utterly convinced that youth was wasted on the young.
“No bickering at the table—any table,” he deliberately underscored before one or the other resorted to a sarcastic question.
“Nope, that’s your domain,” Rayne pronounced cheerfully just before she bit into the short stack she had liberally doused with maple syrup.
The battleground between father and daughter was familiar, if no longer so frequently tread. “I don’t bicker, I impart wisdom,” Andrew informed Rayne, then widened his scope. “The rest of you bicker with it.”
“Not me, Dad.” Rising, Teri crossed to her father and kissed his cheek. “I know you just spout pearls of knowledge.”
He looked at the plate Teri had left in her wake. She’d hardly touched any of it. He was a firm believer in breakfast being the most important meal of the day. “Is that all you’re eating?”
It had never taken much to fill her. She was usually the first one up from the table. This morning was no exception. Besides, there were reports waiting for her, reports she’d put off filing. She had that in common with the rest of her siblings.
With a grin, Teri patted her flat stomach. “I eat any more and I won’t be able to catch the bad guys.”
“You could always try talking them to death,” Clay suggested. It earned him a sharp poke in the ribs from his fiancée who sat beside him with the little boy he’d only recently discovered was his.
Ilene flashed an apologetic smile in Teri’s direction. “He hasn’t had enough coffee to seal his mouth yet.”
Teri returned the smile. “Don’t need to explain Clay to me. I had his number years ago, right, Clay?” She sent a penetrating, affectionate look his way before going toward the back counter where all of their weapons were carefully placed whenever they entered the house. With six of them police detectives, that made for quite an arsenal.
Rayne glanced in Teri’s direction. The display of weapons was something they all took for granted, but sometimes she saw it through the eyes of an outsider, a role she’d once occupied within her own family. “Enough hardware there to start a gun shop,” she commented, shifting her attention back to her meal.