Guilty pleasure, p.25
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       Guilty Pleasure, p.25

         Part #11 of Bound Hearts series by Lora Leigh
Page 25


  Khalid glared at the black BMW as it sped down the driveway to the security gates that protected the estate. His teeth were clenched, his body vibrated with frustration--and not sexual frustration, either.

  She was making him crazy.

  He knew what she wanted, and it was something he couldn't give her, not yet. Explanations. Details of a past he didn't want to remember, let alone talk about. But in her eyes had been the clear message that she would no longer accept anything less.

  Khalid knew women, and he knew his avoidance of the questions in Marty's eyes was hurting her. And God above knew he hated hurting her.

  As he ran his hand along the back of his neck, he bit off a curse before jerking his cell phone from the holster at the belt of his jeans. Hitting a speed dial number, he brought it to his ear and waited.

  Shayne answered the call on the first ring with a brief "yeah. "

  "Have you learned anything?" The assailant who had attacked Marty was more elusive than they had anticipated.

  "Not enough. " Anger filled Shayne's voice. "I know what the bastard looks like now, Khalid. I know the general area where he's supposed to be hiding. But I'll be damned if I can find him. "

  "No information at all has come in?" Khalid asked, thinking of the contacts he had sent Shayne to for help.

  "Plenty of information. " Shayne sighed. "Whoever he is, he was definitely sent by your brothers to do more than just kill Marty. He's researching a target and preparing to hit it. No word on what that target is yet, other than the fact that they consider it a strategic hit. "

  "That could be anything. " Khalid sighed. "Any word if Ayid and Aman are in the States?"

  "Nothing," Shayne stated firmly. "And I've been asking. All I have for certain is that they sent someone to finish a mission. I'm assuming it's the mission you and the FBI broke up in D. C. Other than that, I really have jack shit. At the moment, we're concentrating on the target and letting you and Zach Jennings concentrate on protecting Marty. "

  Khalid frowned at that. "I thought you were alone. "

  "I was until the bastard decided to play the invisible man. Jennings loaned me some agents," Shayne grunted. "I'm on call if he's spotted, and I just finished checking the lead I managed to uncover last night. Until he makes a move, or he's seen, my hands are tied. "

  "Did you see Marty while you were following your leads?" Khalid asked.

  Shayne chuckled. "I'm watching for her, but I haven't seen her. I figure, if she's not suspicious yet, then she will be soon. I know her too well. The very fact I've spent so much time away from the two of you will have her radar up. And trust me, it's up. She's suspicious as hell. "

  At least she had stayed out of Shayne's mission so far. Khalid had nightmares at the thought that she would begin poking her nose into his brothers' criminal activities.

  "What are you hearing from the Bureau? Have they managed to learn anything?"

  "I'm telling you what I know, man. " Shayne sighed. "The Bureau managed to ID him based on the description a contact gave me. I have a picture now, and it's definitely him. But he's as slick as butter so far. "

  "Will you have some free time until the terrorist makes a move?"

  "I have nothing but time until that son of a bitch shows his ugly face," Shayne said.

  "Perhaps you would like to join Marty and myself for tomorrow night," he suggested.

  There was silence on the line. So far he hadn't given Shayne an invitation that had been extended the past few nights to merely come to the estate. What he was offering right now was much more important. Khalid could feel Marty's readiness now, the tension filling her, the need, the desire to have their third finally, fully, join them. And perhaps it would distract her from the questions that he knew raged within her.

  "Do you think she's ready to take it that far?" Shayne asked. "It's pretty soon, Khalid. "

  "I believe she is more than ready, as am I. I believe it is time we see where her adventurous nature takes her. " He turned and paced to the windows, frowning as he looked into the gardens spread out before him, opposite the front of the house.

  Was that what she wanted? He knew that sexually she was ready. She had been ready for years. For Marty, the knowledge of the lifestyle he lived was as familiar to her as the knowledge of sexual intimacy was to other women.

  He couldn't see her stressed out over the act of a menage itself, but perhaps she was concerned that he hadn't mentioned it, that his commitment to her required it.

  "I'll be available," Shayne promised. "Whatever our black-hearted terrorist is up to, he's not moving quickly. But if he does poke his snout out of his hole, then I'll be on the run. "

  "Agreed. " Khalid nodded. "I'll arrange everything. Meet us at Defacto's at seven for drinks before dinner. "

  "I'll be there," Shayne assured him. "Tell me, though, does Marty know about this little dinner date?"

  Khalid grimaced. "The woman is making me insane, Shayne. She comes to my home and catches her fathers here. She should have been angry. Rather than anger, though, she was a seductress stealing my soul, only to blow cold an hour later. "

  "In other words, she fled your bed as fast as you fled it the first time?" Shayne's amusement grated on Khalid's nerves.

  "No, I mean exactly what I said," he snarled, uncertain what to do with the frustration tearing through him.

  "Marty's pretty straightforward," Shayne stated. "If she has a problem, she'll tell you eventually. Once she figures out you're too stupid to figure it out yourself. And I'd say a smart man would have already guessed that she'd appreciate the truth. I'm guessing you still haven't gotten around to tell her about Lessa. "

  He hadn't. He intended to. Each day he planned to, but damn if he wanted to see the adoration, even beneath the anger, change to disappointment.

  The guilt that he hadn't protected Lessa, that he hadn't considered what could happen if his brothers escaped the trap laid for them. It weighed on him. The fault was with him. He had failed her, he had failed Abram, and the thought of seeing that knowledge in Marty's eyes was nearly more than he could bear.

  Khalid glared down at the gardens, though the look was directed more toward Shayne's comment as well as his past. A past he couldn't change, no matter how he wished it were possible.

  "She's well protected. She knows she's in danger. There is nothing where the past is concerned that could help her in protecting herself. "

  "You're not as smart as I thought you were," Shayne stated coolly. "Hiding this from her isn't going to gain you any brownie points when she finds out the full truth, my friend. "

  "She's sleeping in my bed, isn't she?" he snapped out tersely.

  "No, she's not. She's having sex in your bed. She's napping in it until you get up and leave the room. She's been sleeping in her own bed. " Shayne laughed as he repeated Marty's arguments. "Think about that. See you tomorrow. "

  The call was disconnected as Khalid brought it from his ear and stared down at it with a killing look.

  To compare him to the incompetent fools who had sniffed after Marty over the years was uncalled for. She may not be sleeping in his bed, but she was definitely his. She had given him the gift that no other man had ever known from her. She had given him her innocence.

  His eyes narrowed at the thought of that. She had given it to him, but she sure wasn't giving him the commitment that went with it.

  And that would end now.

  She belonged to him, and, he decided, it was time she figured out that gem of information.

  It was time to seduce the seductress.

  Chapter 11

  Dinner went surprisingly well as far as Khalid was concerned. Marty and Shayne had a slow, easy rapport, an awareness of each other that, in Marty's case, only revealed itself in Khalid's presence.

  A new tension seemed to fill Marty, however, as they ate and then lingered over drinks to discuss a variety of
subjects. It was as though she knew the significance of easing into this evening, of establishing a level of comfort within the arousal that flared throughout the evening.

  She was ready for this, he assured himself. But one thing was for certain. If she weren't ready for it, she would have informed them of it long before now.

  Khalid had never understood the reason his sexuality had grown so dark, why the hunger to share a lover had grown so deep. It was something he had stopped questioning years ago. It just lived inside him, like an entity all its own.

  As dinner came to an end, Khalid invited Marty back to the estate, as well as Shayne. Anticipation fed the fire, and that anticipation would amplify her pleasure if the night included the sexual pleasures he had been withholding from her. He wanted her more than ready for both of them. He wanted her wet and wild for it, ready and willing to accept whatever pleasures they bestowed upon her.

  As they stepped into the limo, the vibration of his cell phone in his jacket pocket caused him to clench his teeth in irritation. Pulling it from his inside jacket pocket, he glimpsed the caller ID and wanted to curse in anger.

  "Yes?" he answered.

  "Get to the club," Zach ordered, his voice tight, brisk. "We have a situation. "

  "That could be a problem," he said carefully, aware of Marty watching him with a hint of suspicion.

  "I know Marty's with you," Zach growled. "I have permission from Ian to allow her into the parking area only. Tell her to keep her ass in the limo. Hopefully you and Shayne shouldn't be long. "

  So much for seducing the seductress tonight, he thought mockingly, as he disconnected the call and fought to hold back the aggravation growing inside him now.

  "Problem?" She leaned back in the seat and watched him almost knowingly.

  He glanced at Shayne. "We have to make a stop," he informed the other man.

  Shayne watched him curiously. "A stop?"

  "At the club. "

  Tension filled the limo as he turned his gaze back to Marty.

  "You will stay in the limo, Marty. You know the rules there. Do us all a favor and please refrain from trying to slip in as you have in years past. "

  During the last two years she had been following Khalid she had made several attempts to slip into the club to see who he was meeting with, what he was doing. According to Zach, the orders to do so had come directly from her boss, Vince Deerfield.

  She had no such orders tonight.

  "Of course. " That sweet smile didn't fool him.

  Lowering the window between the driver and passenger areas, he made a decision he prayed would hold her in check.

  "Abdul, we'll be stopping at the club for a while. You're to make sure that Miss Mathews remains in the limo while we're there. Should she try to leave the car, then you'll notify me immediately. "

  "Yes, sir. " Abdul's tone reflected his hesitancy to upset Marty.

  Over the years Marty and Abdul had developed a friendship that had caused Khalid more than one headache.

  "Slip from the car, and Abdul will be the one who pays for it," he warned her.

  Her brow lifted. "You like to play dirty, Khalid. "

  "Sometimes it's the only thing you understand. " He sighed almost wearily.

  No doubt he'd be taking her home after this meeting rather than back to his bed as he'd hoped.

  She smiled again. That sugary sweet smile never failed to cause his neck to itch.

  Silence filled the limo as Abdul navigated out of town toward Squire Point, the exclusive area filled with tree-shrouded estates and oceanside mansions.

  Marty crossed her legs and stared at the two men sitting across from her, almost rubbing her hands together in glee.

  As a babysitter, Abdul sucked. She had him wrapped around her little finger better than her fathers were.
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