Marcus stumbled bleary-eyed to the front door of his apartment. After all his protests of not being weary down at police headquarters, the physically and emotionally spent man had come home and fallen into bed and immediate sleep. It seemed to his fatigued body that only moments had passed since that time.

He threw open the door and glared at his guest. "Whaddya want?"

"Good morning to you too, Marcus." Dara stepped past the scowling man, totally ignoring body language that spoke clearly of the detective's resentment of her presence.

"I didn't invite you in."

Dara, already familiar with the layout of Marcus Taggert's home, did not hesitate in her journey toward the kitchen. "There is another bag just outside the door," she threw back over her shoulder. "Bring it into the kitchen, please."

If there was one thing the Assistant District Attorney knew, it was that Marcus' refrigerator would not contain more than beer, bottled water and leftover Chinese food cartons. It was the reason she had risen early and braved the local grocery store for a few supplies to see Marcus through the next difficult few days.

"Thank you," Dara said, hearing the bag of groceries slam down onto the kitchen table behind her. She turned and examined her former lover critically. Marcus stood just inside the kitchen door, glowering fiercely. He wore nothing but a pair of form-fitting cotton shorts. Dara recognized them as his 'lucky shorts', a souvenir from his police academy days.

His muscular frame, even more toned and defined than the young woman remembered, contained not a single ounce of fat. Briefly Dara had a flash of memory about just how hard Marcus' body felt pressed atop hers.

Mentally she chided herself and corralled her wayward thoughts. "I will put these things away and cook us some breakfast," she informed Taggert. "Why don't you go and shower?"

Marcus realized the futility of arguing with Dara Jensen in such a mood. From experience he recognized the glint of determination in her dark eyes. "Will anything I say matter to you?"

"Only if what you're saying is 'Yes, Dara.'"

She smiled as she heard his bare feet tromp angrily through the apartment. Dara's smile quickly faded, though, as she reflected that the next few days would only bring enormous difficulties and stress into Marcus Taggert's life.