Four months later
Kira stepped into her husband’s private suite of offices at Fantasy Resort. He sat at the bamboo table that had been delivered from Earth just a few weeks prior. He’d placed it just outside the French doors leading to the balcony. It was a gorgeous view below them. Nothing but pink sandy beaches and turquoise oceans as far as the eye could see.
The location she and Nicole had picked for the resort couldn’t have been any better. Thanks to the thermal core of the planet, the water was always warm and the temperature comfortable, springlike, all year long.
She still couldn’t get used to calling Mirage “Nicole”. They’d known each other since they were teenagers, but when they opened the bar Nicole had wanted to change her name. Kira only shortened hers. Kiranda was too formal. But Nicole had wanted a whole new identity. It was a new life for her. So to keep things simple, Kira just dropped Nicole all together and started calling her Mirage.
Now that she was here at the resort, Nicole wanted to put that part of her life behind her and had gone back to her real name.
Nicole had taken to life here pretty well. She’d put her nursing degree to use and started working with the medical staff. Kira was convinced Nicole had missed her calling. She was good at taking care of people and really enjoyed it. She was a natural mother hen.
Walking toward the balcony, she eyed Jerrod as he studied the computer screen before him. He appeared troubled, his brows drawn together in a frown. Letting her gaze travel lower, she smiled at his bare feet, his loose-fitting cabana pants and the open shirt, which showed a generous view of his muscled chest and abs. His skin had tanned a golden brown under the Portakin 3 sunshine and her hands itched to skim along its softness.
As she quietly came up behind him, she wrapped her arms around his neck, sliding her fingers down the center of his chest. Her lips grazed the side of his neck and she smiled as a shiver ran just beneath his flesh.
“Good afternoon, gorgeous,” he said, throwing her a sideways grin over his shoulder.
“Good afternoon. Busy?”
“I’m never too busy for you.”
Kira smiled and nibbled on his earlobe.
“How’s Nicole?” he asked. “She doing better?”
With a sigh, she came around to straddle his lap, placing her hands on his strong shoulders. “Much better. She’s decided not to go back to Fantasy Bar. I told her she could stay here as long as she wants.”
“Of course she can,” he said as he slid his palms up the outside of her thighs, pushing her shirt higher. “I can understand why she doesn’t want to go back. That was where her life was with Jaimee.”
Kira struggled to remain on topic. His fingers now massaged her hip, sending little shots of desire to her lower stomach. “She really enjoys working with the medical team. I think she’s found her niche.”
“Good.” His lips brushed along her collarbone and she shivered. “I think I may have just the thing for her then.”
She pulled back and stared at him. “Really? What?”
“You know that communiqué I received this morning?”
“It was Kimpak. They have a witness to his daughter’s murder.”
Her eyes widened. “Are you serious?”
“Have they ever released where his daughter was murdered?” she asked.
“No. There were rumors for a while she was killed on Klindor, but nothing conclusive surfaced.”
“So where has the witness been all this time?”
“Apparently he was severely injured trying to get away from them. He’s been recovering. They want to hide him here while they search for the men.” His questioning gaze met hers. “Are you okay with this?”
She smiled and brushed a lock of hair from his brow. She liked that he’d let it grow out a little. It made him look younger and more dashing. “I trust you, Jerrod. If you’re okay with it, then I am. But what does all this have to do with Nicole?”
“Well, he’s still going to need some help getting around and with his rehab. I thought Nicole would be the perfect candidate. Taking care of someone else might take her mind off things. And she seems to like it. Considering her history do you think she’ll be okay with being alone with him? You and I are just a call away, but there will be times they’ll be completely alone.”
“Well, he’s recovering so I can’t imagine he would be too much of a threat, but I’ll talk to her and see what her thoughts are. She enjoys playing the mother hen so much she may just jump at the chance to do this.” Kira raised an eyebrow in confusion. “But why aren’t they sending someone with him?”
“They wanted to keep it as low profile as possible and an injured man with a bunch of bodyguards isn’t low profile. I thought I’d put him in the Eden suite, down on the beach. It’s large enough for him and Nicole to each have their own space.”
Kira smiled. “I think it’s a wonderful idea. Since she’s been here, she’s really relaxed more. She feels more confident in herself.”
Jerrod nodded. “True, but I still haven’t seen her participating in the sex.”
“She still misses Jaimee, so that doesn’t surprise me.” She shoved at his shoulder playfully. “That just goes to show you how differently men and women think. Men would immediately jump back into someone’s bed.”
Jerrod chuckled. “Well, of course.”
She scrunched her nose, making him laugh. He kissed the tip of it softly. “I would die right along with you, my love. Is that what you want to hear?”
His fingers had been slowly working the front buttons of her dress loose and had now slipped inside and were gently rubbing circles over her distended nipples. She sighed and pushed her breasts farther in to his hands.
“Maybe,” she murmured.
“Have I told you today,” he asked as he pressed his palm against the underside of her breasts and pushed them upward toward his warm lips, “how much I like this dress?”
“Do you?” she purred.
“Mmm-huh. Easy access.”
She giggled, then gasped as he twirled his tongue around her nipple before sucking it into his mouth. Heat traveled with lightning speed to her pussy, making her walls spasm with increasing need.
“We have guests that need attention, Jerrod,” she chided, but at the moment couldn’t really care less about the guests.
“Later,” he growled and gripped her hips, moving her aching pussy over his hard cock. “Right now your husband needs a little attention.”
Kira grinned and rotated her hips, grinding herself onto his thick length. She’d give him all the attention he could handle.
* * * * *
Jerrod opened the door to his office and smiled at the man on the other side. “Well, I’ll be damned. Brett Morallis. How are you?”
“I’m good. How are you?” Brett returned with a smile. His dark blond hair was longer than Jerrod remembered, and his usual laughing hazel eyes had lost some of their merriment. Now they appeared clouded with worry.
Jerrod extended his hand in welcome and pulled Brett into the room. “Brett, I’d like you to meet my wife, Kira.”
Brett stepped forward and took Kira’s hand in his. Bringing it to his lips, he kissed the backs of her fingers. “Kira. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“Good things I hope,” she replied with a grin.
“All good things, But I’m afraid your husband hasn’t nearly done you justice. You’re stunning.”
Jerrod slapped Brett on the back. “Moving along.”
Brett laughed and released Kira’s hand. “And who is this lovely woman? Another wife?”
Jerrod chuckled and moved to stand behind Nicole. “No. This is the woman I told you would be taking care of Ethan.”
“Nicole, right?” Brett asked.
“Yes,” she said with a nod. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“You as well,” Brett said, obvious interest shining in his gaze. Jerrod shot a glance toward Kira and she raised an eyebrow in surprise as she met his stare.
“Where is Ethan?” Jerrod asked.
Brett looked at Jerrod in slight confusion, then cleared his throat. “He’s in the transport. I’d like to go ahead and take him to the cabin, get him settled. Once the doctor has had a few minutes to go over his wounds and make sure they’re healing properly we can bring Nicole in.” His hazel eyes moved back to Nicole. “Ethan is a lucky man to have such a beautiful nurse by his side. Almost makes me want to get seriously injured.”
Nicole gave him a sideways smile and for the first time in months Jerrod noticed a slight twinkle of amusement in her eyes.
“Here’s the key to the cabin,” Kira said as she placed the key into Brett’s hand. “Just let us know when you’re ready for Nicole.”
“I will. Thank you.” Brett turned to Jerrod and shook his hand. “And thank you, Jerrod.”
“It was no problem. Besides, I owed Kimpak one.”
Brett smiled, but said nothing more before heading back out the door and the awaiting transport.
* * * * *
Ethan slowly stepped from the transport, leaning on Brett’s shoulder for support as he did so, Dr. Sanders close on their heels. It had been a long ride and his legs were stiff weak. For a second, he stood still and took a deep breath of the morning air. It was beautiful here, although he didn’t have a clue where here was. They hadn’t told him. All he knew was he would be recovering somewhere private while they searched for the men who’d tried to kill him.
The last month had been hell. Even after three months in a coma, he still awoke to pain. Both physical and mental. Tilting his head toward the sun, he inhaled deeply of the sea air. Before them was a small white cabin, nestled within a grove of trees. They shaded the house like umbrellas and Ethan frowned, trying to remember what type they were. Beyond the trees was a private beach, surrounded on both sides by rock cliffs. It was amazing. Where the hell were they?
“How are you feeling, Ethan?” Brett asked.
“I’ve been better, but I’m getting there.”
“It’s a hell of a place to recover, isn’t it?” Brett asked as he took one of Ethan’s elbows and helped him down the path to the house.
Ethan still had trouble with his legs at times, for they had been the most damaged.
“Yeah. But it would be better if I wasn’t alone.”
God, he missed Nicole. He’d asked for Mirage as soon as he’d woken up. She’d worked hard to keep her real identity a secret, so he’d made sure to use her fake name when asking about her. But Brett had made it clear from the start. Mirage thought he was dead and it needed to remain that way.
The men might be watching her, making sure he was really dead. If they brought her to the hospital, they might follow and find out Jaimee was still alive.
“You won’t be.”
Ethan stopped and turned to stare at Brett with a frown. “Excuse me? What do you mean I won’t be? I thought you were going to be out looking for the men based on those sketches we did.”
“I am. But I made arrangements for someone to stay here with you. Help you get around and make sure you stick to your rehab schedule. We need you fully healed for the trial.”
“Who? Some decrepit old man with a whip, like Sanders here?” He inclined his head toward the tyrant of a doctor that had been taking care of him since he’d come out of the coma. The man was a damn slave driver.
Brett chuckled. “No. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
“You could go get Mirage for me.”
“No.” Brett firmly shook his head and Ethan sighed. “I told you, Ethan. No one, not even Mirage, can know you’re alive. Just you, me, the doctor and Kimpak. It’s better this way. We’ve discussed this. Besides, I spoke with Dax at the bar and he said Mirage left shortly after your death. He has no idea where she went or when she will return.”
Pain sliced through Ethan’s chest. God, what she must be going through. “Don’t let him fool you. I guarantee Dax knows exactly where she is.”
“It doesn’t matter anyway, Ethan. She cannot know.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know, I know,” Ethan sighed.
Brett opened the front door, then allowed Ethan to step inside. For a second, he was speechless as he stared at his surroundings. A massive row of windows and French doors took up the far wall with an incredible view of the private beach. The wicker furniture was white with thick sky-blue cushions. Hardwood floors decorated with blue and white rugs to match the furniture lay beneath his feet.
The open windows and doors let in the cool breeze and the scent of flowers mixed with the smell of the ocean. To his right was a small kitchen with a long hallway leading to, he assumed, bedrooms.
Slowly stepping through the French doors to the patio, he noticed the small private swimming pool to his right, just outside the kitchen. Steam rose off the water, indicating the warmth, and his aching muscles jumped in reflex. He couldn’t wait to sink into that thing and let the warm water relax his pains away.
Ethan heard a knock at the door, and with a sigh turned to head back inside. His appointed caregiver, more than likely.
“Hello, Nicole. Right on time.”
Ethan stopped dead in his tracks. He braced his hand against the frame of the door for support as he stared at the woman that had just come through the door. His heart raced in his chest and his knees weakened beneath his much-slimmer weight.
Oh, God. Mirage.
He swallowed the desire to run to her, take her in his arms and never let her go. He scowled at Brett. Was this a sick joke? What the hell was she doing here?