After deliberating for awhile, Marcus Taggert eased the bedroom door open and slipped inside. He moved with the silence and grace of a big cat.

Marcus allowed himself the luxury of a moment's indulgence. He stood at the foot of the bed and watched his ex-lover sleep peacefully. Dara slept, as always, on her right side. Her faced rested lightly on one hand and her breathing was soft and even.

Marcus resisted the urge to pull the covers back into place. They had slipped during the night, leaving an expanse of shapely thigh exposed to his appreciative view.

On this night Dara slept clad in Marcus' favorite button-down shirt. Though the room was cloaked in darkness, his mind's eye provided him with a visual as sharp as the pictures on his brand new plasma television. Marcus knew from experience that the soft cotton shirt draped loosely on Dara's trim body and hinted at all the treasure beneath.

He and Dara had not managed to make their relationship work in the bright daylight. Their respective legal careers, which should have drawn them closer, often left them at odds with one another. Marcus could not understand Dara's unwillingness to sometimes bend the rules to convict suspects he knew were guilty. And Dara, for her part, could not accept the detective's casual abuse of the law - however well-meaning his intentions.

In the dark of their bedroom, however, Marcus and Dara were white-hot combustible. There was not a single surface in his apartment or Dara's home that the couple had not ‘christened'. Many nights they had barely made it inside the door before Dara found herself spread-legged and panting, sandwiched between a rock-hard Marcus Taggert and the first available upright surface.

Marcus felt his body react. In spite of the possible danger they faced, all he could think of in that moment was sliding between the sheets . . . and between Dara's legs.

How twisted was that? he mused.


“Go back to sleep,” he ordered Dara. “I'm just going to rest a few minutes in this armchair.” Marcus sank into the overstuffed chair. “Sean Donelly sent a couple of his men over to watch the house, so we're okay for now.”

Dara rolled over to face Marcus. “You are tired, Marcus. Get in the bed.” She slid over and tossed back the covers. “It is not like we haven't slept together before.”

The detective laughed wryly to himself. Dara had no idea how her innocent comment paralleled the thoughts he had just entertained. “That's not a good idea,” he responded cryptically.

“Marcus, we are two adults. I am sure we can handle a few hours of sleep together in a bed.”

Dara watched him deliberate. After a few moments he peeled off his jeans, kicked off his shoes and slid into bed. He was careful, Dara noted, to keep the majority of the bed between them.

Marcus tensed as Dara's arm slid lightly about his waist. “Now,” she ordered, snuggling up against the solid wall of his back, “try to get some rest.”

To his surprise, Marcus felt his body instantly comply.

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