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The Soldier&apos;s Secret Daughter
Cindy Dees


Jagger’s eyes popped wide open. “How so?”

“Well, think about it. All those women, and not a one of them ever got pregnant. And you have to admit, he isn’t the kind of man who’d have a vasectomy. He’s too macho to be that responsible. Which means—” she sighed for dramatic effect “—that the legendary Double-O-Seven shoots blanks. If you catch my meaning.” She waggled her eyebrows exaggeratedly just to make sure.

Jagger all but doubled over in laughter, and she puffed up at the notion that he was laughing at her. “What’s so funny?” she demanded.

“That an innocent kitten like you actually thinks about such things.”

“I’m not innocent,” she asserted indignantly. “Far from it.”

He drew her closer, murmuring, “Hmm. That remains to be seen.”

Not to be distracted from the subject at hand, she mused, “I suppose if a girl was looking for a sperm donor to give her a baby, James Bond wouldn’t be a bad candidate—if all the equipment worked, of course. He’s smart, handsome, charming, accomplished …” She batted her eyelashes up at him.

Jagger rolled his eyes. “I highly doubt James thought that far ahead. Guys like him live in the moment. They don’t even think about surviving beyond the current mission.”

“You say that like you know something about it.”

“Not me,” he replied blandly.

They danced in silence for several more minutes, and then he abruptly strode over to the television and turned it on. A timer was counting down the final seconds to the new year. She’d completely lost track of time in his arms.

Three. Two. One.

“Happy New Year,” he murmured …

… and then he kissed her.

Chapter 3

Emily gasped. From the first moment their lips touched, it was magic. It was as if she’d been waiting for him all her life and, having now found him, had known him deep in her bones forever. He lifted his mouth away from hers and her eyes fluttered open.

He was staring down at her. In open shock, if she wasn’t mistaken.

“Wow.” Her heart was having no part of beating normally.

He cleared his throat. “Yeah. What you said.”

She laughed in wonder. Happy New Year, indeed.

And then he all but inhaled her. Of course, she all but inhaled him back. The explosion of lust between them was instant and hotter than the sun. It sizzled across her skin, searing away everything in its path, every consideration of why not to jump into bed with him, every ounce of common sense, everything but him. Just him.

She needed him just as she needed to breathe. More.

“What have you done to me?” he muttered against her neck as he bent down to reach for the hem of her dress.

The slinky fabric slid off her body with a sexy glide of fabric on flesh. “I don’t know, but you did it to me, too.” She fumbled at the hem of his turtleneck, tugging it over his head to reveal a chest fully as gorgeous as hinted at under his clothing. “Do it some more,” she urged.

His laugh was low and charged.

Score one for Danger Girl. Heck, score a million. Game over, Danger Girl won this round, hands down. Why, oh, why hadn’t she discovered this side of herself years ago? How could she have hidden in the pink cocoon of her safe little world for so long? She’d never dreamed this was out there waiting for her. A man like Jagger. This wild pleasure that was a fire in her blood.

The rest of their clothes came off quickly, and the lights went off, leaving only the twin candles still guttering over the remains of their supper. An alto saxophone wailed a smoky blues tune from the stereo, and the air was redolent of chocolate, deep and dark and rich.

He carried her to the bed, laying her upon it and then standing back to look at her. Normally, she’d be absolutely mortified to be examined naked by a man she barely knew. Except this was Jagger. And Danger Girl thought it was glorious to have him look at her like this, as if she was his and he was never letting go of her. Maybe it was just the champagne. Or maybe he brought out the brazen hussy in her. But either way, she wasn’t about to cower in front of this man. She wanted him. All of him. She planned to act out every naughty fantasy she’d ever had, tonight.

She held out her arms to him. “Come here, you.”

He didn’t wait for her to ask twice. He placed a knee on the bed beside her. Then he did a slow-motion press down to her, stopping when their mouths were a hairsbreadth apart.

“Are you sure about this?” he murmured. “No pressure. If you want to stop, just tell me.”

She laughed and scowled up at him. “Don’t you dare stop.”

“As the lady commands.” He sank the rest of the way down to her, gathering her close and rolling onto his side. They snuggled for a moment while he seemed to simply savor the feel of her against him. She appreciated the fact that he wasn’t in any rush. That he could take his time and savor every bit of this experience. No green boy was Jagger Holtz, no, sir. He made her feel as though she was in good hands. Confident hands. Hands that were starting to roam up and down her spine and do the most delicious things to her entire body. Who’d have guessed so many nerves in so many places were hot-wired directly to her backbone?

She couldn’t help it. She wriggled impatiently against him.

His chuckle tickled her ear, and he seemed to know the time for teasing her was over. “Show me what you want, Emily.”

And then all that heat and urgency and muscle were hers. She wrapped herself around him like a freezing person embracing a roaring furnace. She kissed his chest, his neck, his jaw. And all the while, his hands roamed over her body, skimming across her skin and leaving a trail of utter destruction in their wake.

He shoved her hands up against the headboard and slid down her body as her urgency increased, driving her crazy with his mouth. He muttered, “What am I going to do with you? This is madness, but damned if I can stop it.”

“More,” she managed to gasp. “I want more.”

She arched up into him, shuddering uncontrollably as his blazing mouth closed on her. He worked his way back up her body, incinerating everything that was left of her. Only then did he plunge into the very core of her, groaning his pleasure.

Their twin suns went supernova then, combusting so bright and hot that the explosion defied comprehension. They rode the incendiary wave, blasting outward from their cores on a solar storm that reached far out into the cosmos, finally flinging them into a void so silent and peaceful, Emily wasn’t sure she was still alive.

“You’ve killed me,” Jagger breathed.

She managed to gather enough breath to laugh. “I was thinking the very same thing.”

“Well, then, I think we’ve established that you are no innocent, Ms. Grainger.”

“Just call me Danger Girl.”

“Right. And a more apt name there never was. You are more than dangerous, my dear. You’re lethal.”

“I hope you mean that in a good way,” she chuckled.

“Indubitably.”

“Thanks, Double-O-Seven.”

His answering smile was serene. Contented. “You’re welcome. And thank you.”

He pulled her across his chest, draping her over his body until they were joined practically as one. His heart still pounded like a jackhammer beneath her ear, belying his outward calm. Had she done that to him? Cool.
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