Questions burned in her mind, but she kept quiet until they were inside the kitchen, door closed and locked. Thomas didn’t turn on any lights, didn’t say anything for a minute. Ronni waited…waited…waited.
From the faint glow of light through the window, she could see the stillness of his body. See the tension tightening his face. His head was cocked, listening.
Wait…was he listening or was he staring at her?
She slowed her nervous breathing, listened to the night as well. An occasional traffic sound rose and fell in the distance. A light breeze rustled palm trees in the dividers between the streets.
No startling noises, no sense of danger. At least not from outside.
His eyes were shadowed circles in his face. She could feel his gaze on her. Hot, lingering.
“You’re safe,” he said, his voice a low rumble. “The truck was an informant. Name’s Diego and he had dirt on a scumbag Cooper’s been chasing for weeks. It wasn’t Adam.”
“Oh.” Why did that deep voice of his make her so nervous? Definitely watching me. “Does Diego always deliver intel at four in the morning?”
“Guy works nights.” He laid his gun on the counter without taking his eyes off her. “How’d you sleep?”
“Sounded like you had bad dreams.”
She backtracked. Her breath caught. “Sounded like?”
“You talk in your sleep. Must have been some nightmare.”
“I don’t talk in my sleep.”
His brows arched. “Your boyfriend never told you?”
“Boyfriend?” A bead of sweat ran down her cleavage. “I don’t have a boyfriend and you know it. Stop playing games.”
“I had to be sure.”
“That you weren’t in a relationship.”
No, there was no relationship. No boyfriend. No home or family. Just her past and her job with the Bureau. Her voice shivered in her throat as she forced herself to ask, “Why?”
His answer was to step closer.
He was right there, standing in front of her. Not touching her. Oh, no. He wouldn’t touch a cornered animal. A wounded animal. He knew there were boundaries. But he stepped close enough, she could feel the heat from his body. Those muscles…
Her nipples tightened, the lacy bra under her shirt rubbed against the sensitive skin. Back away. She shouldn’t be this close to him. Her job, this case, everything depended on keeping her personal distance as well as professional. “Don’t.”
“I’m not doing anything.”
Goose bumps rose on her skin. She was hungry for him and he knew it. Hungry for his touch. For this moment. Block the past. Don’t worry about the future. “Nothing can happen between us. I can’t...”
The words hung in the air, waiting for her to finish the sentence. What exactly was it she couldn’t do? Give into the desires coursing through her body? Give him access to her secrets?
She was a grown woman. A woman who’d lived a unique life and had, at one time, embraced her uniqueness. Now, she felt diminished. Like she had to keep things under wraps and not call attention to herself. Thomas would change that. He’d already given her back confidence, made her feel needed again.
“I’m not asking you for anything,” he said quietly.
She chuckled under her breath. “Then why are you standing so close to me in the dark? Why is your voice low and soft and seductive?”
He was hungry too. For her. For forgiveness. Could she give it to him?