“We need to find a hotel.” Just saying it made him think of sex
with Lark and he started getting hard. It was crazy, this constant
lust he felt for her, but there was just something about her. Those
long legs and that perfect ass, the sexy way she moved, the way her
green eyes seemed to sparkle. Everything about her turned him on.
“We don’t need a hotel,” Lark said. “We can stay at my place.
There’s plenty of room, and it’ll give me a chance to check on
things and water my plants.”
His mouth edged up. “You sure you can trust me?”
She cast him a glance and smiled. “Any reason I shouldn’t?”
Plenty of reasons, he thought. Like he wanted to see her naked.
Like he wanted to climb into bed with her. Like what he wanted do
to her once she was there.
“I guess not.” He looked away at the lie, used the turn signal on
the rental car and changed lanes. “Downtown, right? What’s the
“Five hundred block of South Hewitt. It’s in the Arts District not
far from where my design studio is located.”
They drove through downtown L.A. traffic, which was getting pretty
heavy this late in the afternoon. Eventually, they reached their
“Pull into the underground garage,” Lark instructed as they
approached a huge, remodeled, five-story brick warehouse. “Use
space forty-two B. That’s my second car parking spot. Since I only
have one, it’s vacant.”
Dev pulled into the space beside forty-one A, next to a little
silver Mercedes coup. “That yours?”
“I guess you’ve got a few toys of your own.” He had a Porche, an
SUV, and a Harley. He liked toys and he wasn’t ashamed to admit it.
Lark just smiled. “I’ve also got a jet ski and a sailboard, but I
keep them at the beach.”
He flicked her a glance as he turned off the engine, impressed in
spite of himself. He enjoyed all kinds of sports but he was rarely
attracted to athletic women. With her tight jeans and spike heels,
Lark had completely had him fooled.
“My condo’s on the second floor,” she said. “The elevator’s this
The five stories had been converted into two floors of open,
loft-style condominiums, he discovered as Lark unlocked the door and
he followed her into her unit.
“Wow.” His gaze went from the tall windows to the open ceilings
crisscrossed with the original heavy wooden rafters and exposed,
recently installed, round silver heating and cooling ducts.
“It’s different, I know.”
“I like it,” he said. “It’s interesting.” Hi-tech all the way
through. And after seeing it, with Lark’s vibrant energy and sense
of style, he couldn’t imagine her living anywhere else.
“The guest room is this way.” She took off down the hall and Dev
followed. There were two guest rooms, each with its own separate
bath. There was a queen-sized bed in one and twins in the other.
She led him into the room with the queen and he tossed his bag on
top of a brilliant purple bedspread.
“Where’s your room?” he asked, wishing he’d be sleeping in there
instead of in here and knowing damned well he wouldn’t be.
“Next door.” She caught his hand and tugged him farther down the
hall, through a door leading into an airy open-ceilinged bedroom. A
big iron four-poster king-size bed covered by a fluffy white down
comforter and miles of plump white embroidered pillows sat in the
middle of the room.
He looked at the bed, looked at Lark, and the blood in his veins
“So what do you think?”
Nothing hi-tech in the bedroom, which pleased him no end. “Very
feminine and pretty.” Just like you, he thought, but didn’t say
it. They were both standing in the doorway. When she turned, he
realized she was so close he could smell her soft perfume, a
fragrance he had noticed before, lilac with a subtle hint of spice.
He breathed her in and his arousal strengthened.
In heels, she was as tall as he was. If he leaned over just a
little, moved the slightest fraction, he could settle his mouth over
those plump pink lips, taste them as he had been wanting to do since
the day she’d walked into his office.
Her eyes locked with his. Her lashes were thick and dark, and they
began to slowly descend. He bent toward her, inhaled lilacs and
spice, felt his erection throb. She was breathing hard and so was
Then his cell phone started to ring and he jerked away as if someone
had dumped scalding water over his head.
On a ragged breath, he walked back down the hall toward the open
living room. “Raines,” he said hoarsely, not bothering to check the
“Hey, Daredevil.” His Ranger nickname. “It’s Clive. Word is
you’re in L.A.”
Dev closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. “Madman. How’d you know
where to find me?”
“Talked to Town. He said you flew in. I guess you’re with Lark.”
He thought of what had almost happened in her bedroom and thanked
the cell phone gods for the timing of Madman’s call.
“We’re following a lead. We found the people who arranged the
adoption of her sister’s baby. We’re talking to them tomorrow. All
we have to do is get them to give us the couple’s name.”
“Might not be that easy. Those folks can be sticklers.”
He thought of the babies they’d sold to pad their own pocket and his
tone hardened. “We’ve got enough on them to make them talk whether
they want to or not.”
Madman chuckled. “Sounds like fun. Need any help? Be just like
“Yeah, well, thank God those times are over.”
Clive’s deep voice roughened. “Listen, Dev. Lark’s a nice girl. I
know she’s hot, but believe me she’s not your type. I don’t want to
see her get hurt.”
“I don’t mix business with pleasure. You know that.”
“You’re right, I do. That’s the reason I’m not worried. She needs
your help, Dev. Finding that baby is really important to her.”
Dev thought again of how close they had come to winding up in bed
and his resolved strengthened. “Don’t worry about me. And we’ll
find the little girl.”