Forbidden pleasure, p.37
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       Forbidden Pleasure, p.37

         Part #8 of Bound Hearts series by Lora Leigh
Page 37


  Keiley winced. There was no mistaking the edge in his voice this time.

  The director shook his head reprovingly before turning to Mac. “Do something with him. ”

  “I’m not his boss. ” Mac shook his head with a laugh. “I’ll leave that up to you when this is finished. For now, I appreciate the help. ”

  The director rubbed his whiskered chin thoughtfully. “I’m sending Agents Heinagen and Sheffield back in the morning. Heinagen will take a room in town and see what he can learn. Sheffield was raised on a farm. Hire his ass and don’t give me any lip over it. He’ll watch your back and your wife’s and allow you to investigate what you need to while protecting her. ”

  Keiley glanced up at Mac before staring at the two agents. She had never seen two men least likely to have been raised on a farm.

  “Agents Gregory Heinagen and Casey Sheffield,” Director Williams introduced her to them. “They’ll fly back with me to Mount Pilot and rent their vehicles before returning here early tomorrow. I agree with your assessment. The stalker won’t return tonight, and with both of you in the house, it’s doubtful he can breach the premises. Get this cleared up, though. I don’t like having one of my agents targeted. ”

  “Former agent,” Keiley reminded him with a cool curve to her lips and a warning glint in her eye.

  “Former agent,” he agreed, but she knew, she could see the calculation in his eyes. He intended to have Mac back at the Bureau along with Jethro.

  She pressed her lips together and stepped to the side, glancing back at Mac, then at Jethro.

  “I forgot my shawl upstairs and we need to be leaving soon if we’re going to get to that meeting on time. ”

  She didn’t give him time to accept or reject, but swung on her heel and moved for the foyer before heading up the stairs. There would be no return to the Bureau for Mac as far as she was concerned. And Jethro—her chest clenched at the thought of what he would do. Stay or leave, either scenario held the power to break her heart.

  She was aware of the agent moving behind her, following her from the living room and up the stairs, just as she was aware of the tension she was leaving behind her.

  Sheffield, Casey Sheffield, she remembered the agent’s name. Short sandy hair, lean compact frame, and piercing brown eyes. He moved silently but efficiently. But he still moved like an agent. He wasn’t going to fool anyone. Least of all a stalker.

  “Well, Mac, it seems I might have upset your wife. ” The director turned back to them after motioning one of the agents to follow Keiley upstairs.

  “She’ll be fine. ” And she would be, as soon as he assured her that there were no incentives the director could give him that would bribe him back to the Bureau. He was perfectly content right here on the farm, living and laughing with Keiley without the additional risk of a dangerous occupation.

  The director’s gaze went to Jethro then, and Mac could see the suspicion in the other man’s eyes. He knew the rumors, hell, he knew the facts of the lifestyle he and Jethro had lived. Mac had no doubt in his mind that Williams wasn’t putting two and two together and coming up with a very pleasurable three.

  “You should have told me you were heading this way, Jethro. ” The director’s voice held a hint of reproval.

  “Why? I came out here for a vacation. The stalker didn’t show his hand until after I arrived. ”

  “Mac, aren’t you afraid rumors of an additional relationship here might push that stalker further than you anticipate?” the director inquired then.

  “What the hell do you mean by that?” Jethro snapped, his gaze slicing to the other silent agent as Mac crossed his arms slowly over his chest.

  Mac restrained a smile. He could see the protectiveness rising in Jethro. Jethro knew Keiley well enough to know that she wouldn’t appreciate a discussion of certain aspects of her private life. Especially those aspects that included a ménage.

  “Director, let’s not play games while we’re standing here,” Mac warned him. “I have a meeting to take my wife to and a stalker to stop. I don’t have time to wade through the bullshit. Any extra relationship won’t matter either way, and quite simply is none of you business. ”

  “The bullshit,” the director sighed. “Fine. I want you back. You were one of our best agents. ”

  Mac was shaking his head before the words were out of the director’s mouth.

  “No way. This is where I’m happy. This is where I’m staying. ”

  Williams turned to Jethro then, his gaze cool, hard.

  “You’ll be back as soon as this is over. Correct?”

  There was a hesitation, just enough to have the director’s eyes narrowing before Jethro nodded sharply. Mac restrained his smile. He had a feeling Jethro wouldn’t be going anywhere. The hours he and Mac spent working the farm of the mornings were beginning to settle into the other man. Mac could see the peace gathering inside him. The farm had a way of doing that. Building inside a man, showing him what he could do with his own two hands and the sense of satisfaction that came from it.

  “Well, I think I hear your wife, Mac,” Williams breathed out heavily. “Keep me apprised of your progress here. I’ll make sure you have everything you need to catch this bastard. ”

  “I appreciate it, Director. ” Mac accepted the director’s handshake, noticing that the other man pointedly ignored Jethro as he turned to go.

  “I’ll drop Heinagen and Sheffield off in Mount Pilot. They’ll be back here in the morning sometime,” Williams reminded them as they stepped into the hallway.

  Keiley was stepping into the hardwood foyer, a creamy silk cobwebbed shawl over her arm and her purse over her shoulder. Her eyes were cool and challenging as she met the director’s.

  “Good evening to you, Mrs. McCoy. ” He inclined his head cordially. “It was good to see you again. ”

  “Good evening, Director. I’m glad we had a chance to visit for a moment. ”

  Mac had to smother his laughter. She was facing the director like a little terrier, determined to hold onto what she had claimed.

  Stepping to her, Mac allowed his arm to curl around her before pulling her against his side. The steady warmth of her, the way she melted against him, the sweet acceptance she had always given him filled him once again.

  He couldn’t keep from tightening his hold on her, hugging her perhaps a bit closer than normal, inhaling the sweet scent of her. And he couldn’t keep his body from responding to her. He hardened to the point of pain, to the point that he had to remind himself that the meeting had to come first, then the pleasure. So much pleasure and a sweet, hot, giving ecstasy that he had only found in her arms.

  Nodding easily, Director Williams opened the door just as one of the investigative agents who had been sent into the treeline rang the doorbell.

  “Director. ” The blond haired agent nodded respectively. “There was nothing there soon. Tracks were brushed out and no casings were left. It’s clean. ”

  “No more than we expected. ” Mac wrapped both arms around Keiley, holding her closer, wishing he could shelter her from all of the nastiness of the world. “He’s never left evidence lying around before. ”

  “He’s never moved this fast, either,” the director pointed out. “You’ve made him angry, Mac. Be careful. ”

  “Always, sir. ” Mac nodded, feeling Keiley’s nails biting into his arm as the director turned and left the house, followed closely by Heinagen and Sheffield.

  “I don’t want to go to that stupid meeting,” Keiley snapped as the door closed behind the last agent.

  She pulled herself from Mac’s arms, turning on him angrily and glaring back at him.

  “We’re going to the meeting, Keiley. ” Mac’s voice was firm, that commanding firmness that made her so crazy. That said he had made up his mind and that was that.

  “This is insane, Mac. He’s out there waiting on us. You know he is. ”
She turned to Jethro for help. “Talk to him. ”

  “I have, darlin’, and I agree with him. ”

  No help there. She felt her upper lip tremble, just a bit, that little movement that Mac always teased her over as a being a twitch. He claimed he was wary of it, but looking in his eyes at the moment, she saw no wariness, not so much as a hint of weakness.

  “What if he gets in the house?” She looked from Mac to Jethro. “There’s no one here to protect the house. He could be waiting in any room when we arrive. ”

  Mac leaned close, his lips settling at her ear. “If he shows up, if anyone is in the house, then we’ll know it. And we’ll have him. ”

  She jerked back, staring up at him in surprise.

  “Shh,” he warned with a grin, dropping a kiss to her lips. “I’ll explain later sweetheart. ” Then he turned to Jethro. “Get us a jacket, Jethro. Let’s head out of here and give Delia Staten something to gossip about. ” Keiley didn’t like the vengeful light she saw glittering in his eyes then.

  “Mac, what kind of game are you playing?” she whispered.

  “One that I know how to win. ” That assurance made her stomach tighten with nerves. “I promise you, sweetheart, this is a game I surely know how to win. ”


  Explaining the particulars to Keiley hadn’t been easy. As they drove to the Staten mansion, Mac outlined the silent alarms he had set in each doorway of the house. The motion-activated alarms were silent and programmed to notify the handheld sensor he carried with him.

  Mac had designed the alarm system himself in the event that one of his cases ever managed to follow him. The handheld sensor would track anyone in the house from room to room, showing entry and exit as well the path taken. Other sensors tracked body heat through each room, while still others would trigger an alarm for any electronic explosives set.

  The security system was one of the greatest expenses of the complete renovation that Mac had done to the house after his father’s death.

  That didn’t mean Keiley was in the least bit happy with his plans. As he pulled into the circular driveway of the Staten mansion she was coldly silent, disapproving, and, he knew, frightened.

  “I don’t like this game, Mac,” she told him as she opened her door, her gaze swinging to the backseat of the pickup truck where Jethro lounged with lazy abandon. “You’re risking yourself, and that’s not acceptable. ”

  “What would you suggest, then?” he asked her, laying his forearms on the wheel and turning his head to stare back at her. “Why don’t we run, Keiley? We’ll sell the farm, set up somewhere else and wait on him to find us again. How does that suit you?”

  “Don’t be a smartass, Mac. ”

  “I’m just being honest. We have to stop here. He’ll only follow us if we don’t. ”

  Her upper lip twitched. That made twice. He was in for it later and he knew it. The minute it was safe for her to tear into him, then his little wife was going to skin him alive. It made for some great sex later, but he was well aware of the fact that right now, Keiley was hurt, confused, and angry. And that wasn’t what he had ever wanted their life to be.

  “Keiley. ”

  Mac’s gaze shifted behind her to where Jethro sat forward on the backseat.

  “What, Jethro?” she snapped back, though her gaze stayed on Mac’s.

  “Remember when I told you I didn’t have a problem not letting you have your way?”

  Mac watched her delicate nostrils flare as she shifted her gaze back to Jethro.


  “So, get your pretty butt up to that meeting before I have to get out of this truck and give Delia Staten something to gossip about. ”

  Mac restrained his smile as a hard wash of fiery color filled her cheeks. If she had been embarrassed or hurt, he would have pulled Jethro back. He wouldn’t have given a second thought to it. But as he spoke, Mac watched the fear and confusion leave her gaze, to leave it filled instead with full feminine awareness of the male awaiting a chance to get his hands on her.
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