Bare It All Page 1

Author: Lori Foster

Series: Love Undercover #2

Genres: Romance

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CHAPTER ONE

AS SHE CAME TOWARD HIM, Alice’s baby-soft hair hung loose, silky tendrils drifting over her shoulders. Her big brown eyes, so innocent and yet so aware, watched him intently, the way she always watched him. She smiled, and that smile did remarkable things to him. Made him ravenous, when he’d never quite experienced anything like that before. Lust, sure. But such a powerful need? No, never.

Only with Alice.

Very close now, so close the warmth of her touched all over him, she brushed her nose against his jaw, his neck, his ear.

He groaned. Out loud. He heard it but could barely credit that the sound came from him.

From a gentle nuzzle.

Against his ear.

It was insane, but it took very little from her to get him painfully aroused.

“Reese?”

He wanted her mouth on him. He turned his face toward her, and he felt her breath. Hot. Then her tongue. Wet.

“Oh...um, Reese?”

She sounded so tentative that he smiled as he reached for her and opened his eyes. His hand encountered dense fur, and the expressive brown eyes staring back at him weren’t Alice’s.

They weren’t even human.

His dog, Cash, panted at the sign of life. Delighted to have him awake, he barked, turned a quick circle and...licked Reese’s face.

Again.

“Shit.” Reese dodged the dog’s sloppy fondness while trying to get his bearings. The dream had felt so incredibly real. And so welcome. He shifted—and found himself cramped from head to toes...on a sofa.

Alice’s sofa.

Lifting his head, he looked down at himself. He wore only boxers, and as was usually the case when he first awakened, they were tented. Hmm...

Where had the sheet gone? Ah, over the side of the couch to the floor.

Levering up to one arm, Reese attempted to orient himself—and there stood Alice at the foot of the couch, fully dressed in summer slacks and a sleeveless blouse, her hands locked together in front of her and, yes, her soft brown hair hanging loose.

But now, with him wide awake, her hair looked tidy, like Alice, not sexily rumpled as it had been in his dream.

She watched him, but those soul-sucking brown eyes weren’t on his face.

They stared with absorbing attention at his morning wood.

Great. Playing kissy-face with his dog was bad enough. Scrambling for the sheet now would only make him look more foolish. He wasn’t used to finding himself in tricky, uncomfortable situations. At least, not with women.

As a police detective, sure, he’d often found himself discomfited by perps, though not in boxers while sporting mahogany.

Alice was many things—a neighbor, an enigma, an irritant and a subtle bombshell.

And obviously, based on that ramped-up dream, she was also the current focus of his fantasies.

He cleared his throat. “Up here, Alice.” Her curious gaze rose to his face. “Thank you. Now if you don’t mind, you could turn around a moment. My modesty is beyond compromised, so it doesn’t really matter to me, but with your face already going pink, I’m not sure—”

“Of course.” Turning, she gave him her back. Posture stiff. Air uncertain.

That lovely fawn-colored hair fell just beyond her shoulders.

“Sorry about that.” She strode, fast and unsteady, to the patio doors that led to her small deck. She’d left the door open, allowing in a muggy, late-August breeze that teased her beautiful hair.

Given the heat of his interest, air-conditioning would have been nice, but since this was Alice’s apartment, and she’d been generous enough to let him crash on her couch, he wouldn’t complain. Much.

“What time is it, anyway?” Sitting up, Reese reached for the sheet, but Cash sat on it. The dog watched Reese, his furry ears perked up, his expression hopeful. Reese grinned. After tugging out the sheet and covering himself, he patted the couch beside his thigh. “C’mere, boy.”

The dog bounded up with over-the-moon enthusiasm. Because of the undercover sting they’d just wrapped up, he’d spent as much time away from Cash as with him—and still he and the dog had bonded.

“It’s a little after one o’clock.”

And she hadn’t awakened him? How long had she been sneaking around the apartment?

How long had he lain there without even a sheet?

He was generally a light sleeper, so either he’d been really out of it, or she was...stealthy.

That thought bothered him and meshed with other concerns he had about Alice. Her keen observance of everything around her, combined with her cautious air, planted awful background possibilities into his head.

Then there was the way she’d come onto the scene yesterday, a big, loaded gun in her hand....

“Cash hasn’t been out for a few hours. I was trying to lead him through without waking you, but he saw you there on the couch, and then you made...a sound.”

“A sound, huh?” Given the erotic dream, he could just imagine.

“Cash sidetracked to you and—”

“I thought he was you.” When her shoulders stiffened more, Reese felt devilish enough to say, “And I was having this rather sexual dream.”

Wide-eyed with something akin to astonishment, she faced him, stole a peek at his lap and, when she saw he’d bunched the sheet there, she met his gaze. “What do you mean?”

“You and me.” He gestured between them. “And damn, but the dream felt real.” Reese scratched under Cash’s furry chin. “You were near me. Breathing on me.”

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