Home > Mackenzie's Magic (Mackenzie Family #4)(5)

Mackenzie's Magic (Mackenzie Family #4)(5)
Author: Linda Howard

His blue eyes were flinty, his expression cold and remote. His grip on her wrists didn't hurt, but when she tried to move her arms, she found that she couldn't. "Now, what in hell was that about?" His voice was still calm, but edged with an icy sharpness.

Then it all fell together. His control, his utter self-confidence, the calmness that seemed so familiar. Of course it was familiar, she saw it constantly, in her brothers. Zane had just that way of speaking, as if he could handle anything that might happen. MacNeil hadn't hurt her, even when she had definitely tried to hurt him. She couldn't have expected such concern from a thug hired to kill a horse. The clues were there, even those sexy gray boxers. This was no drifter. "My God," she blurted. "You're a cop." Chapter Three "Is that why you attacked?" If anything, those blue eyes were even colder.

"No!" she said absently, staring up at his face as if she'd never seen a man before. She felt stunned, as if she really hadn't. Something had just happened, but she wasn't sure what. It was like the way she'd felt when she first saw him, only more intense, primally exciting. She frowned a little as she tried to pin down the exact thought, or sensation, or whatever it was. His hands tightened on her wrists, drawing her back to the question he'd asked and the answer he wanted, and reluctantly she gathered her thoughts. "I just now realized that you're a cop. The reason I tried to hit you was because you wouldn't let me call my family, and I was afraid you might be one of the bad guys."

"So you were going to try to take me out?" He looked furious at the idea. "You have a concussion. How in hell did you expect to fight me? And who taught you those moves, anyway?"

"My father. He taught all of us how to fight. And I could have won, against most men," she said simply. "But you, I know professional training when I see it." "So the fact that I know how to fight makes you think I'm a cop?"

She could have told him about Zane and Chance, who, even though they weren't cops, had many of the same characteristics she'd noticed in him. She didn't, though, because she wasn't one hundred percent certain their organization or agency or whatever it was was exactly squared away with either the State or Justice Department. Instead, she gave MacNeil a secret little smile. "Actually, it was your shorts." He was startled out of his control, his blue eyes widening. "My shorts?" "They aren't briefs. They're not white. They're too sexy." "And that's a dead giveaway for being a cop?" he asked incredulously, color staining his cheekbones.

"Drifters don't wear sexy gray boxers," she pointed out. She didn't mention the interest she could feel stirring in those sexy gray boxers. Perhaps, under the circumstances, she shouldn't have mentioned his underwear. Not that his reaction was unexpected, she thought. She was barely clothed, and he wore even less. She could feel the hard, hairy bareness of his legs against hers, the pressure of his hips. Just minutes before, she had thought his touch carefully controlled, so that there was no intimacy, despite his closeness. She didn't feel that way now. It wasn't just his arousal; there was something very intimate in the way he held her beneath him, as if their brief battle had startled him out of his careful control and provoked him into a heated, purely male response. She took a deep breath as an unfamiliar excitement made her heart beat faster made every cell in her body tingle with life. The secret part of her, the wildness that she had always known was there but which no man ha d ever before managed to touch, shivered in fierce satisfaction at the way he held her.

"Cops don't necessarily wear them, either." Her comment about his shorts had definitely disturbed him. She smiled again, her dark eyes half closing in sensual delight as she absorbed the novel sensation of having a hard male body on top of her, an extremely aroused male body. "If you say so. I've never seen one undressed before. What kind of cop are you, specifically?"

He was silent for a moment, studying her face. She didn't know what he saw there, but the set of his mouth eased, and if anything, he settled even more heavily against her. "Specifically, FBI. Special agent." A federal agent? Startled out of her sensual preoccupation, she gave him a puzzled look. "I didn't think stealing a horse was a federal crime." He almost smiled. "It isn't. Look, if I let go of your hands, are you going to try to kill me again?"

"No. I promise," she said. "Besides, I wasn't trying to kill you, and even if I had been, I'm not as good as you are, so you don't have to worry."

"I can't tell you how reassuring that is," he said dryly, but he released her hands and shifted his position a little, propping himself over her on his forearms. The change forced his hips more firmly against hers, forced her thighs slightly apart to accommodate the pressure. She caught her breath. His interest had grown, to the point that there was no politely ignoring it. But he was ignoring it, not in the least embarrassed by his body's response to her. Maris took another deep breath, delighting in the way the simple action rubbed her breasts against the hard, muscled planes of his chest, making her nipples tingle. Oh, God, that felt so good. She would gladly lie in his arms and do nothing more than breathe, if they didn't have a stolen champion horse stashed somewhere and someone presumably on their trail, trying to kill both them and the stallion.

But they did have a stolen horse hidden away, and a big problem on their hands. She focused her thoughts, and despite the fact that she was lying helplessly pinned beneath him, she fixed him with a dark, penetrating gaze. "So why was a federal special agent mucking out my stables?"

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