His Southern Temptation(4)

By: Robin Covington


He swept a quick glance around the dark room, assessing available things to use as a weapon, and groaned. The place was stuffed to the gills with priceless antiques collected by generations of Elliotts and hauled by some poor schmuck off the boat and all the way across Virginia. If he damaged one little fiber on the expensive rugs under his feet, Mrs. Elliott would have him castrated. With a rusty spoon.

Nope, he needed to try to wrap this up with as few property insurance claims as possible.

“Now, sugar, I think we can work this out.” Lucky dropped the tenor of his voice into the low, gravely cadence that usually worked with the opposite sex. It was shameless, but so was pulling a weapon on a guy in the dark. “Why don’t you put down the gun and we’ll talk?”

“Ha! Save it. You can try to sweet-talk the cops.” Her voice was firm, but possessed the lilt of a woman bred in this part of the country. “Sheriff Cantrell will be here any minute, and you can explain to him and your lonely cellmate, Bubba, why you broke in.”

Shock snapped up his spine as his head whipped up and jerked around at what she said, instantly noting her mistake about the name of the current sheriff. Who was this chick? She knew the name of the former sheriff but not the new one. Not a current local, then. He shifted and lowered his hands a fraction of an inch. It was gloomy in the darkened room, but in his peripheral vision he saw her hoist the gun up a little higher and lower her finger to the trigger.

“Whoa, buddy. Move another inch and the cops will need to bring an ambulance with them.” Her drawl had turned icy and very calm. Not a good sign. Shrieking, hysterical people were easier to deal with because they were sloppy and gave you more chances to disarm them. Unflappable women who knew how to use a gun were the ones you worried about the most.

This one knew how to use a gun.

“Hey, don’t get all twitchy. You just surprised me.” He held his hands up higher, lacing them behind his head to let her know he didn’t mean any harm. For now. He didn’t relish the idea of having his ass shot just when he was getting his act together and his family needed his help out of a financial bind. Keeping her talking was a good way to divert her from blowing his head off. “Just so you know, Sheriff Cantrell retired a few years back. Walter Burke is the sheriff now.”

“Really? That’s fascinating.”

“Just thought you’d want to know who you called.”

“I don’t care if the Easter Bunny is sheriff as long as he brings a car to take your ass to jail where you belong.”

“Ouch.” In spite of the situation, he grinned at her spirit. Maybe they could get together after this was all cleared up? He could take her to the firing range and see her actually use the weapon she was holding, and then they could take a little drive to one of his favorite places to park by the river. Nothing got the libido going like a little gunpowder and flying bullets. “Listen, this is nuts. I’m going to reach in my pocket and get my cell phone and we can call Teague and—”

“Who?” The word erupted in a gasp and she took a step closer and lowered the gun slightly.

Bingo.

Lucky leaned forward, pivoting quickly on the balls of his feet as he whirled to face his captor. The rush of adrenaline coursing through his veins gave him speed, while years of practice erupted in a precise choreography of movement that ended with the gun across the room and the woman on her back, pinned to the plush carpet with his body.

She bucked and fought, with a stream of words so dirty they’d earn her the instant respect of his Recon brothers. He was surprised he heard them at all, the familiar buzz of danger and adrenaline filling his ears and making it difficult to focus on anything but survival. His body was screaming for him to pummel, restrain, and beat his opponent into submission—a natural response cultivated by years of combat in ugly, violent places. Lucky’s muscles strained with the effort not to hurt the woman, his skin tight and slicking with a sheen of sweat.

“Get off me!” She was slight but strong, and the muscles flexing under her soft skin were a testament to an athletic lifestyle. She tried one more time to dislodge him, almost succeeding in racking his balls. While he and his mama were eternally grateful she didn’t ruin his chances for fatherhood, he admired her ability to get that close. He was a trained Marine, and usually his opponents were unconscious piles of goo at this point.

Yeah, he definitely wanted to see her after all this was over.

Due to either exhaustion or the patience to wait for him to make a mistake, the woman under him stilled and relaxed with an exhale of air that pushed her breasts against him. In spite of the adrenaline kicking through his system, he took a few moments to collect his thoughts, his mind taking inventory of her physical attributes, strengths, and weaknesses.

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