First Temptation(6)

By: Joan Swan

“Because it’s an adult store,” he said, then clarified. “A sex shop.”

Surprise made Taft bust up with laughter, interrupting Rio. “Sorry, dude. Sorry. God, I love this job.” He gestured. “Go on.”

“And since we need two agents to run the op,” Rio continued, “a heterosexual couple seemed like the most believable scenario.”

Oh, yeah. That partner thing.

“Also,” Rio said, “Picasso evidently has a thing for porn. Specifically live porn. He gets off on watching couples get it on and would be attracted to a young, hot couple running a sex shop. If we’re lucky, if it’s played right, he could go to inspect the tunnel, see the shop, see you two—or the agents running the shop—and walk straight to us.”

Taft sat back, took a big bite of the English muffin, and chewed around a lingering grin. He glanced at Brooks. Her mouth was open, her face drained of color.

He chuckled and slid a purposeful, hot glance over her face and chest. It took effort. Nothing turned him off more than a woman in uniform. “Now I know you’re not going to work out for this assignment.”

“What,” she said, her voice ice cold with warning, “does that mean?”

Taft glanced at Rio. He was watching closely—to see how they’d work together, Taft knew. Which was perfect. He was going to send Brooks over the edge. Then maybe he’d get a hot partner he could authentically get it on with.

He leaned over and glanced beneath the table, then sat up with a heavy sigh. “Baby, you couldn’t sex yourself up enough to fit into a store like that if you worked at it for a month.”

Her fork hit the plate again. But this time it hadn’t fallen. She’d thrown it. “Oh, you don’t think so?”

“Okay,” Rio broke in, “hold on—”

“Nope,” Taft said to Zoe, ignoring Rio. He shoved the rest of the muffin into his mouth. “I know so.”

She slid sideways out of her chair and stood. Instead of storming out like he expected, she held his gaze and rolled her shoulders in a slow shrug. The oddly sensual move made her jacket fall off her shoulders. But the look in her eyes was what hinted that Taft was about to eat his words. As unfathomable as that still seemed.

The jacket moved down her arms in a smooth slide until it reached her hands, where she fisted the fabric and tossed it onto the chair without looking away from him.

Taft slouched back and waved his fingers in a bring-it gesture. “Gonna give me a lap dance, Agent?”

“In your dreams, Agent.” She lowered her hands to her duty belt and stroked the leather. Her fingers were long and slender. The scraped knuckles seemed out of place. Slowly, purposefully, she unlatched her belt and dropped all her cop crap to the empty seat beside hers.

Taft’s gaze rose from her slim hips, evident now without all the weaponry covering the great curves. She swept off her ball cap and shook out her hair.

Long, thick, shiny waves of copper tumbled around her shoulders, softening everything about her. And with her hair down, her hat off, a full view of the way those green eyes dominated her delicate face…

Oh yeah. He was going to eat his words.

“It’s getting hot in here.” She fanned herself with the ball cap. “Don’t you think, Agent Cordova?”

“If you’re hot, Agent, make yourself comfortable.” The humor in Rio’s voice dragged Taft’s gaze away from all that glorious hair. Rio crossed his arms and grinned at Taft with a you-started-it shake of his head. “You’re no longer on the clock.”

“Oh, thank you,” she breathed with exaggerated drama, drawing Taft’s gaze back just as both her hands moved to her uniform shirt and yanked it open. The snaps popped from her sternum down to her bellybutton in split-second succession, revealing a white undershirt.

Taft’s gaze widened in shock at the brash movement in such a public place. A second later, his body caught up with a rush of blood between his legs. He glanced at the tables nearby, found amused customers watching as well. But Brooks didn’t look the least bit apologetic or embarrassed as she slid the uniform shirt off her shoulders the same way she had her jacket. Beneath, the white undershirt turned out to be a body-hugging tank with ribbon-like straps, making Taft’s throat go dry.

The woman had a great rack.

“Are you a”—as his gaze roamed all the new curves, her nipples tightened beneath the fabric and heat exploded at the center of Taft’s body—“closet exhibitionist, Brooks?”

She folded the uniform shirt and laid it in Taft’s lap, leaning so close the heat of her skin and soft floral scent of her hair bathed him.