There was a puzzle there, just as big a puzzle as the one stretched out on the deck below her. Sweet Heaven. She watched as his hand moved to his scrotum, not to scratch as she assumed, but to caress, stroke. There went her damned blood pressure.

“I’m research, remember?” he bit out. “You are just contact.”

“Well, I can do some of both,” she hissed.

There was a weary sigh across the line.

“Have you made contact with Lyons yet? Offered him the deal Dad has set up?” Yeah, the deal of a lifetime, show yourself, tell your story for us, and we’ll make you famous. Fuck your life. She hadn’t liked that deal to begin with but she knew it was the only one Callan was ever likely to receive that would provide any measure of security.

“Not yet. Getting there.” She fought to breathe evenly as his hand clasped the base of that thick cock and he began stroking all that firm, wonderful flesh.

He was going to masturbate. Incredulity flared through her system, especially her vagina, at the realization. Right here before her eyes the man was going to masturbate. She couldn’t believe it. His hand barely circled the broad shaft, moving slow and easy, almost lazily from tip to base. She felt the flesh between her thighs heat. The muscles of her vagina clenched, moistened, her womb contracted as sensual heat speared her body like a bolt of lightning. Her nipples hardened, ached. Her body became so sensitive she could feel the breeze caressing her bare arms now, like the stroke of a ghostly lover.

Gracious, was this how men felt when they watched women masturbate? No wonder they liked it so well. Long, broad fingers stroked over his cock from tip to base, the fingers of his other hand gripped the sac beneath, massaging it in time to the stimulation of the other hand. Where was a damned breeze when she needed it? She was due to overheat any minute.

“Hurry, Merinus, you don’t have the rest of your life,” Kane grunted. “The bastard has mercenaries stalking him. I can’t keep your ass covered forever, you know. I have three more days here, and Dad’s pitching fits over you being there by yourself.”

Yeah, mercenaries. She blinked as she watched those hands cover the thick head of his own erection, the tips of his fingers caressing the area just underneath. She licked her lips, wishing she was there helping him. She was a doomed virgin.


“I’ll hurry, I promise,” she muttered. “Now let me get off here so I can get some damned work done. I don’t have time to bullshit with you all day.”

She heard him sigh roughly.

“Check in soon. You wait too long to call,” he accused her.

“Why should I? You call everyday instead,” she told him absently. “I have to go, Kane. Got work to do.

Chat with ya later, hon.”

She heard him curse as she disconnected and tucked the little phone back into its handy case at her hip. Good Lord, she was going to have a stroke. Cat boy was playing his cock like a finely tuned instrument now. She could have sworn she saw the head pulse, throb. His hips arched, then a thick stream of creamy semen erupted from the tip, splattering on that hard abdomen and coating the rough hand.

“Oh man, let me taste,” she whispered, unable to take her eyes from the sight. Then he stretched, his eyes opening. She breathed in sharply as their gazes connected, a self-satisfied smile stretching across those wonderful lips. Of course, he couldn’t know she was there, she assured herself. It just wasn’t possible. Was it?

Callan chuckled to himself as he turned his gaze away from where the woman thought she was hiding. Damn her, he could smell her arousal on the breeze, even across the distance of nearly a mile. Didn’t she read her own homework? He knew the files she had hidden in her truck clearly stated he had exceptional eyesight, hearing and smell. Though he had never smelled another woman’s heat in quite the same manner as he did hers.

He rose from the deck, stretched again, presenting her a glimpse of the tight muscles of his ass as he snickered in enjoyment. Teasing the little journalist was more fun than he ever imagined it would be. Each time she approached him, pretending she had no clue who he was, it was a test in patience, wondering when she would snap. He doubted it would be much longer. Not that he intended to touch her. Callan sobered on that thought. No, it was better he didn’t. Hell, it would have been better if he had left when she first arrived, but there was something about her that held him firm, kept him curious. The rumor of a cat’s curiosity wasn’t folklore, though he could have done without a measure of that specific genetic mark.

“She still up there?” Sherra stepped to the doorway of the house as he pulled shorts over his hips, covering his still hard cock. “Quite a show you gave her, Callan.”

She was smiling broadly, though there was a question in her eyes.

“Perhaps I’m enjoying the game too much.” He grinned back at her. “She has a unique way of going after a story, you have to admit.”

“Or going after you.” Sherra moved back from the doorway as he entered the kitchen. “Doc wanted to see you again in the lab. Your latest tests were a little off, he wanted to run them again.”

“Off how?” Callan frowned. The monthly tests had never been off. Sherra shrugged. “The glands along your tongue appear enlarged.”

Callan ran the side of his tongue over his teeth, frowning at the slight difference in the feel of them. Nothing to worry about, it had happened before.

“Maybe I’m catching a cold or something.” He shrugged.

“Heart rate, adrenaline, semen and blood tests are off too. Could be the equipment, but he wants more samples just to be on the safe side.”

“Damn. We need new equipment already?” He sighed. “That shit costs, Sherra.”

“Keeps us sane though,” Sherra reminded him as he pulled a bottle of water from the refrigerator. “Go keep him happy, you know how cranky he gets if a test gets off. He ‘bout went crazy last year when Taber’s went haywire, remember?”

Hell yes, he remembered. Taber had been half crazy during that year too. Irritable to the point that he was almost savage. He disappeared for days at a time, no excuses, no apologies.

“Yeah, I remember a cool half million disappearing from the account for the updated machines too.”

Callan grimaced. “Dammit, he’s going to have to take better care of his toys. That was just a year ago.”

Sherra grinned, her nose wrinkling, the sharp pout of her lips smoothing out with the smile.

“Better go let him have more samples then, just to be sure,” she urged him. “We don’t want him purchasing new equipment on a whim.”

Callan shook his head, heading quickly to the underground cavern where the lab was located. It wasn’t the most perfect place to keep their secrets, but it worked. The cool atmosphere wasn’t as damp as most caverns were, it was dry and solid, with a steady underground well and easy access from the house. Doc enjoyed the place and it made it easier to keep their lives secret.

“More tests,” he muttered. “I need those like I need this hard cock aggravating the fuck outta me.”

He would have taken care of the first problem if it would cooperate with any woman other than the tight-assed journalist stalking him. But no, it wilted like limp lettuce if he even attempted it, then shot up like fire forged steel the second her scent reached him. Inconvenient, to say the least. The fact that she was the one woman he couldn’t have wasn’t helping matters. He knew the psychology of it. He wanted her more for the very fact that he couldn’t have her. A journalist stalking him was not a good thing. His secrets were many and his survival depended on him keeping them. He kept a low profile, stayed away from town as much as possible and let few people get to know him, which meant there was only one reason why a journalist, especially a Tyler journalist, would be searching for him. His surrogate mother and her infernal idea that by revealing himself he could attain his freedom was the cause of this. The box she had mailed out to the National Forum and her old college friend, John Tyler, right before her death, hinted at the evidence the man could have. There were notebooks of memos, test results, lab results, DNA sequencing, the whole nine yards needed to bury him, all missing. They had fought over it the night she had been attacked and killed. Argued for hours while the others steered clear of the kitchen where they screamed and cursed like mortal enemies. In the end, she had won though. He had agreed to go with her to New York the minute he was able to pull yet another team of mercenaries off his ass.

He and the others had left to do just that. When they returned they found Maria in the kitchen where they had left her, lying in her own blood. And now, a year later, Merinus Tyler was searching for him. Which would be okay, he thought, if he could just fuck her and send her on her way. But he had a

feeling the tenacity and determination he glimpsed in her expression didn’t leave him much hope for that.


The Gass Up station, convenience store and diner were all in the same lot. And Callan was there as well. Merinus pulled into the blacktopped parking area late that afternoon and got out of the SUV slowly as she looked around.

There were half a dozen vehicles parked here and there, several at the gas pumps and one weary looking pickup with its hood raised, waiting to enter the garage section of the station. Taking a deep breath, Merinus moved quickly to the garage section and the lone man standing outside, gazing rather intently at the innards of the old pickup parked there.

The game was fun, but getting old. Still, she was reluctant to be the one to end it. Especially after watching him stroke all that hard, glistening flesh of his hard-on to a serious orgasm. She still hadn’t recovered from that one. Neither had the flesh between her thighs. It wouldn’t stop throbbing, demanding the hard stroke of that broad-headed penis deep inside it.

She took a deep breath anyway and approached the truck cautiously. Today, Callan was dressed in thin faded jeans and T-shirt, a baseball cap covering his hair. She hoped he wasn’t trying for a disguise. If he was, it wasn’t working so well. She had seen him the minute the station had come into view.

“Excuse me, could you tell me where I could find Taber Williams?” Merinus asked him cheerfully, careful to stand well clear of him. Oil marked his gray T-shirt and the snug denim that encased long, muscular legs. Besides, if she got too close, she may not be able to keep her hands out of his jeans. She still hadn’t forgotten the hours past and the sight of all that hard male flesh. But the game was on again. She didn’t know and he wasn’t telling. Stupid game.

The broad shoulders stiffened, then the head, covered in a red baseball cap turned just slightly, the eyes hidden by dark sunglasses.

“Not here,” he muttered, then turned back to the engine.

So much for small town hospitality, Merinus frowned. He was being rude today. Snarly. Male.

“Do you know where I could find him? Or perhaps leave a message for him?” she asked the wide back. Damn nice form, but hell on manners.

Those broad shoulders shrugged.

“Tell me. I’ll tell him.” Short and to the point, but he never did raise his head from the object of his attention, namely the motor and not Merinus.

Merinus dug one of her small cards from her jeans pocket and handed it to him.

“This is my cell phone number. Could you ask him to call me as soon as possible? It’s important that I get in touch with him.” She was becoming irritated with the curt, who-the-hell-cares attitude he was displaying. He could at least bother to pretend to be interested. Maybe she was playing it too cool.

“He’ll get it.” The card disappeared into oil-splattered jeans. Merinus narrowed her eyes at the man.

“Could you tell me where he lives? I could just give him the message myself,” she finally bit out between clenched teeth.

Muscles rippled as he shrugged again.

“Lives here for the most part,” she was told.

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