Shiver of Fear - Roxanne St. Claire Page 0,1

should celebrate.”

Despite the automatic response of her body, her brain screamed out a protest. Should they celebrate a crime?

“Darling girl, you aren’t having second thoughts, are you?”

Naturally, he could read whatever subtle cues her nonverbals were shouting. “It’s a little late,” she said with a soft laugh. “The deed, as they say, is done.”

“I told you, no one’s going to use that stuff.” He jutted his chin toward the bag as if its contents were harmless, meaningless. “It’s a bargaining chip, and in Belfast these days, you just can’t get enough of those. I’m only sending that stuff over there to give them some power.”

Power? She suspected there was more cash than cache involved.

“That’s the name of the game these days,” he continued. “And they are, after all, family, however distant.”

Very distant. She’d done a little digging through a friend who studied the various clans of Ireland and couldn’t really find a connection between the names Finn had mentioned and the MacCauley clan. In fact, that spelling of his last name didn’t even show up, but she knew better than to question this man. He hated to be questioned. When she did, he punished her by disappearing for a few days. Sometimes more.

“I realize that,” she said, feeling as weak and ineffective as she sounded. “I thought we’d celebrate over dinner.”

Then he stood, his gaze locked on her as he clunked the drink on the table. “That’s not what I had in mind. I don’t have time for dinner tonight.”

“Plans with Anne?” The question was too sharp; she knew it instantly. Instead of facing his fierce look, she turned to take off her coat.

“I have business tonight,” he replied. “So no dinner.”

She tossed the coat over a chair, her back still to him.

Business. That she wasn’t stupid enough to question. They pretended she didn’t know exactly what his business was, and in return, she got…

His hands slid around her waist, possessive and strong. She got this.

“You’re one of us now, sweet girl of mine.”

One of whom? A bunch of criminals? “Truly Irish?”

“Truly fearless.” He pressed his body, already hard, against her backside, nuzzling her neck with kisses, the tangy smell of Irish whiskey like a familiar trigger that warned her body to brace for an onslaught of Finn.

“I’m not…” She lost the ability to speak as he reached up under her sweater and took ownership of her breasts. “Fearless.”

Not for one minute was she naïve enough to think a man as powerful and important as Finn MacCauley saw fearlessness in her. But he must have seen something in her, other than her ability to get inside the microbiology lab to make and steal weapons of mass destruction. She had to believe that.

He turned her to face him, instantly feasting on her mouth, sliding his hands down to her buttocks, pressing her against his erection.

“Look what you do to me, darling girl.” He guided her back toward the bedroom, kissing her, pausing at the table to lift the strap of her bag. “Let’s not let these get too far out of our sight.”

She refused to look at the purse and think that it represented her utter willingness to give him whatever he wanted. Her body. Her heart. Her very reputation.

And yet, he wouldn’t give her the legitimacy she needed more than anything. Even though she could give him what Anne could not: a child.

He nudged her forward, already taking off her sweater, her bra, his jacket and shirt. By the time he lowered her to the bed, they wore nothing but pants, and those came off quickly.

He angled his head toward the bathroom, pushing his boxer shorts over a throbbing red hard-on. “Get your protection.”

She fought the urge to shake her head. He was always so adamant about not taking chances and making her wear her diaphragm. Why? Because he didn’t want to be tied to her, and a baby would bind them to each other forever.

He could never disappear if she had his baby.

She swallowed and made an impulsive decision to lie, looking him right in the eye without wavering.

“I already have it in.” At his slightly surprised look, she gave him a sly smile and eased her legs apart. “I knew you’d be waiting here when I got home, Finn.”

He was inside her before she had a chance to change her mind, pumping and sweating and swearing until he came ferociously. He fell on her, spent and satisfied, while she waited for an endearment that didn’t come.

“Listen, Sharon, if