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.He would be hers, until the phone call came.She gently pushed him to his back and gave of herself freely, moving her mouth across his chest and slowly down the golden line of hair running down his belly and lower.When they were spent, she lay across him, listened to his breathing, as she drew whorls on his chest with her index finger.She knew he was awake, and as the dawn arrived her new resolve firmed.She raised her head to look into his eyes and ignored the sadness in their aqua depths.“How did you manage to sneak in my house so quietly?” She succeeded in putting a little cheer in her voice as she poked his chest with her fingernail.She wasn’t going to spend the precious hours with him moping around making him feel bad that he didn’t love her.His eyebrows twitched, he stared at her for a moment longer while she held her breath, and then a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.“I’m a highly trained operative of the British government.”“What are you trained for, breaking and entering?” She didn’t know how close she came with that guess.“I could arrest you.”“You want to cuff me, go right ahead.” She was sure he could get free from a pair of cuffs any time he wanted, but the prospect of putting her cuffs on him held a certain appeal.“I didn’t break in, though.You left the back door unlocked again.”“Well how in hell’s name did you get past my dogs?”“I drugged them.” She sat up abruptly, slapped her hand down hard on his bare ribs, delighting in his wince.“You did not, tell me you did not!”He chuckled and pulled her back down on top of his chest, and then reversed positions so he lay on top.He kissed the end of her nose, and then her mouth, gazed into her eyes and kissed her again.“No, I did not.I gave them a scratch on the head and a doggie treat, and then I told them to go to their bed.” He kissed her again, long and lingering, ran his hand gently across her skin, massaged her stomach, her ribs, her breast.“Well, that’s okay, then.” Her voice had mellowed.“But, I think I need to speak to them about being so fickle, and I can tell you if they’re dopey, you’re in deep shit pal.”His mouth moved down to caress the pulse beat at the base of her neck, stealing her breath as he nibbled with his teeth, stirring her soul as he touched with his tongue.His hands demanded more, and her heart surged.She needed him to stop before she poured her love out to him again.“Perhaps I’ll do that later,” she purred, as she stretched her body and gave a little yawn.“But right now, all I need is a good sleep.”He stopped what he was doing, lifted his head from her breast to stare at her.She studied him through narrowed eyes.Her mouth twitched as she tried not to laugh, she stretched again, allowed her body to slide against his, and then sighed as though settling for a nap.“I think we should make love again.” He trailed his tongue lazily over her nipple watching with interest as it stiffened.“But if you’re too tired, you just lie back and think of England.”Chapter 16It was the first time she’d ever felt awkward with Kate and Lydia.Michael was quiet.He’d been quiet since she’d come home from work the night before.When Lydia announced she was pregnant, Bill’s stomach burned uneasily.She’d never hugged or kissed in her life.It had always been backslaps and sucking it up, don’t show a weakness, and never cry.Yet, here they were, this close-knit family with hugs and kisses and tears in their eyes.She’d always felt so confident and cocky, and now she just felt like an outsider.With his arms around his sister, Michael kissed her on the top of her head.“I’m really sorry about this, but I’m afraid I have my own announcement to make.I have to leave tonight.”There was a moment’s complete silence before the room erupted into questions asked at the same time.The furor continued to form a solid roaring background of indecipherable sound to Bill, who stood alone in the crowded kitchen in utter silence waiting for Michael to look her way.Not for one moment had she believed he would take the coward’s way out.She closed her eyes and felt nausea rising, lack of oxygen made her light-headed, and still the cacophony of sound raged in her head.He was leaving.He must have known earlier but hadn’t told her.They were over.Their damnable agreement was terminated, and he hadn’t had the decency to tell her privately.Her heart stuttered, her lungs backed up, and she could hardly breathe, his cruelty her undoing.She stepped forward, blurted out, “I have to go.I have things I need to do.” Her breath heaved through her lungs as everyone stared at her with varying degrees of confusion.“Please excuse me.”She grabbed her keys from the kitchen counter and rushed out the back door firing her Harley Davidson, forgetting her helmet, her pride, her safety she rushed away as fast as her motorcycle would take her.*“Oh my God, Michael.What have you done?” Kate asked in the ensuing silence.“I thought that this was the best way.Dammit, we had an 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