Midnight Special Coming on Strong
Author:Tawny Weber

3



HUNTER WASN’T SURE what woke him up.

One second, he was down so deep, even his subconscious was sawing logs. The next, he was floating on a sea of pleasure, his entire body stirring with passion more intense than anything he’d ever felt while awake.

Gotta love the dream life.

And he was loving it enough that he didn’t even try to surface. Instead, even as his conscious mind nagged and poked at him to deal with...something? A problem? An issue? He didn’t know. He didn’t care. He was feeling way too good.

It was rare that he mixed painkillers and alcohol. He didn’t know if it was the quality of the hooch or the fact that his meds had been injected, but this was all new. Instead of fuzzy and zoned, he was horny and hard.

He liked this experience a hell of a lot better, he decided as his hands curved over some sexy imaginary ass.

Might as well ride with it. A smart man knew better than to try and wake himself from an erotic dream. A smarter man took control of the dream and dived in for all he was worth.

So Hunter grabbed on to the fantasy—by the sweet cheeks, no less—and dived in. He buried his face in the soft cloud of hair, breathing deep the floral scent. Then he slid lower, until his lips encountered warm flesh.

Soft, silky warm flesh. His mouth skimmed a slender throat with hot, openmouthed kisses. One hand still cupping a lushly curved butt, his other slid upward. Over a deliciously curving hip, along the sweet indentation of her waist covered in a slippery satin fabric, and up to the full—oh, baby so full—round flesh of her breast. For one delightful second, he simply held her. Then he brushed his thumb once over the satin-covered nipple.

It hardened with gratifying speed.

God, he loved a responsive woman.

Reveled in the instant pleasure her body offered when it reacted to his touch.

Fingers, as soft and light as a breath of air, skimmed over his shoulders, leaving a trail of pleasure everywhere they touched. So delicate, so tempting.

His body, so miserable the night before, was awash with passion. It was like floating on a sea of pure sensation, every breath, every touch feeling better than the last.

Hard, throbbing and ready to rock, his dick signaled its approval of the fantasy.

Now, this was how a guy should recover from almost being blown up.

* * *

MARNI’S HEAD SPUN with delight, falling back against the pillow as she sank deeper into the best dream of her life. Had she ever felt this good? She didn’t need to do a body check to know the answer. The delight, the power of desire, they tangled and swirled through her sleep-heavy mind. She’d fallen asleep to her subliminal messaging and the gentle rocking of the train, exhausted by nerves and adrenaline.

And this, she was sure, was her body’s way of thanking her for a wonderful night’s sleep. By giving her a hot, juicy wake-up fantasy.

Her dream lover’s lips trailed over the sensitive curve of her throat with hot, openmouthed kisses. She shivered when he buried his face in the curve of her shoulder, reaching up to comb her fingers through his hair. The strands fell like silk over her flesh.

His hand, firm, yet tender, cupped her butt, squeezing the full flesh. The other was doing magical things to her nipple, teasing and tweaking. Spiraling around, then pinching. Pleasure pooled, hot and wet, between her thighs. Marni shifted, sliding one leg up her dream lover’s rougher one. The friction added an edgy delight to the already incredible feelings swirling low in her belly.

He moved lower, sliding his lips over her chest. His mouth was wet on the satin of her nightie, leaving a damp trail until he reached her aching nipple. His fingers worked the other one with skillful precision, keeping time with the swirl of his tongue, the scrape of his teeth.

Marni shifted, pulling his thigh between hers, pressing the throbbing, swollen wet heat of her clitoris against his leg, trying to relieve the building pressure.

His teeth nipped, then he pulled back to blow a puff of air over the tip of her breast.

Marni’s body exploded. It was a pop of an orgasm. Quick and intense, a prelude to the banquet of delight yet to come. She shuddered, her fingers digging into his hair as she held his mouth close, wanting more.

So much more.

Her dream lover moaned.

Out loud.

So loud, so real, the sound reverberated against her nipple. It felt so good.

Except, dream lovers didn’t do that.

Alarmed out of her delightful reverie, Marni forced her eyelids open.

Her dream lover was solid.

Real, even.

Black hair swirled like silk over a head—a real, live head—currently snuggled up against her breast.

“What the hell?” she gasped, both hands releasing their passionate grasp of his shoulders to shove at him. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Dream lover’s head shot up, his dark blue eyes snapping with emotions so intense, so violent, Marni recoiled against the wall. Terror pounded in her head as her fingers scrambled to find her nightie’s straps and pull them into place. To cover her nakedness, even though her body was still clamoring for more.

As quick as the fury had flashed, his eyes mellowed. Turned calculating, assessing. Not cold. A blue that rich could never be cold. She didn’t know why, but the feeling of threatened terror eased, drained away. The embarrassed shock was still there, though, along with a huge dose of what-the-hell?

She pushed again, her hands tingling as they slid over shoulders as hard as iron but smooth as silk. Whiskers shadowed a strong jaw, and midnight hair, mussed from her very own fingers, fell over sharp brows to emphasize the tiny line between them.

Her eyes skimmed lower, taking in the breadth of his shoulders, the skin golden even in the dim light filtering through the shaded window. His chest was a work of art. Her fingers itched to touch it again, to comb through that light dusting of midnight-dark hair and see if it was as smooth as it looked.

Still on tour, her gaze continued south, following the tempting path of hair. His belly was flat, lightly dusted so the hair emphasized, rather than hid, the sexy six-pack.

Feminine curiosity, and her body’s craving to know if it was as big as it felt against her thigh, tempted her eyes to wander just a little lower.

Whoa. She yanked her gaze back to his face. Strange man in her bed. Ogling him topped her stupid-things-to-do list.

“I know this train is all about luxury and indulgence, but I don’t think this is the wake-up call I expected,” she finally said. She’d hoped for humorous sophistication. She had to settle for a breathless squeak.

* * *

WELL, THIS WAS ONE HELL of a way to wake up.

All traces of sleep, painkillers and whiskey cleared from his head with a blink. Hunter was left with surprise and an overwhelming degree of passion.

Waking up horny was one of the perks of being a guy, like peeing standing up. But in all his years of appreciating his masculine advantages, Hunter couldn’t recall waking up quite this horny.

Then again, this was the first time he’d ever had a fantasy come to life.

As still as a cat gauging its prey, Hunter inspected the woman next to him. She looked like a cross between a porcelain doll and a sex kitten.

Flaxen blond curls waved around her face, floating to pale white shoulders. Her eyes were huge, the color of a cloudless sky and surrounded by a lush fringe of dark lashes. Heavy with passion, clouded with dazed shock, they had an intelligence in their depths that warned Hunter not to underestimate her. The rounded cheeks, flushed pink, and cupid’s bow mouth completed the picture of adorable confusion.

Figuring it was only fair since she’d taken her own visual tour, he shifted back a little to take in the rest of the view.

Damn.

She was as deliciously curvaceous as she felt. Perfectly rounded breasts pressed against the glistening satin of her nightgown, her skin so pale it almost glowed in the morning light. The fabric clung to her, emphasizing her tiny waist before disappearing beneath their shared blankets.

He should get up, give her some space. But he liked it here. Liked the warmth still radiating off her lush form. Liked to think his large body, his intimidating presence, were putting her on the defensive.

Except she didn’t look very defensive.

Amusement danced in her pale blue eyes. Her full lips curved now, as if she knew he was trying to intimidate her and she wasn’t impressed so far.

Well, then.

Time to be impressive.

“You don’t make a bad wake-up call yourself. What have you got on tap for Snooze?”

She arched one perfect brow, then shifted back toward the wall. For some women, that might look like a retreat. Others, an escape. On Blondie, it just looked like she was getting a better view of the situation, so to speak.

“I’m not much of a snooze kind of gal.” She slid into a sitting position, taking the blankets with her as if to emphasize her point.

Well, it seemed the fun was over.

Which meant it was time to find out what the hell was going on. That sort of figuring was his specialty, but he’d never had to use his deductive skills and analytical talents to figure out why a gorgeous woman was in his bed before.

This should be interesting.

Not caring that he was nude, Hunter tossed the blankets aside and slid from the bunk. His lips twitched at Blondie’s appreciative gasp. He met her eyes, liking the heat there. This was a woman unafraid of her own passions, eager to embrace and explore life and avail herself to its sensual offerings.

And he wasn’t just thinking that because she was looking at him as though he was a hot fudge sundae, topped with extra whipped cream. Or because her nipples were once again stiff peaks beneath the satin of her nightgown.

He was too busy taking in the rest of her body, exposed by the blankets he’d tossed aside, to care if she was liking what she saw. Because he was loving the view himself.

The tiny nightgown was a rich berry shade. The same color as her nipples? He couldn’t tell through the satin, even though the wet fabric still clung to her hardened peaks.

“Do you mind?” she protested, holding one hand up as if to block the view of his dick. Hunter gauged the size of her palm, then his own impressive erection and shook his head. She was going to need a few more hands to block the sight of this baby.

“Sweetheart, you sneak into a guy’s bed, you have to expect to see a few things you wouldn’t catch sight of over drinks and dinner.”

* * *

MARNI SHOULD BE OUTRAGED. Shocked, even.

But she was too busy visually gobbling up the delicious view.

Oh, sweet baby. What a body.

“I didn’t sneak into your bed,” she finally responded, her tone more absent and offhand than angry and dismissive.

“No? My bed.” He pointed to the bunk, then shifted his finger to her. “You. Since I didn’t invite you in, I’d say sneaked in is a good term.”

That cut right through Marni’s foggy passion. Irritation chased back desire. Not away. There was no chance of not feeling desire when a guy as gorgeous as this one stood naked in front of her. But her brain was starting to override her body. Or, at least, trying to.

“Let’s think about this,” she said, sitting up straighter and offering a chilly smile. “When I arrived in this cabin last night, mine was the only luggage here. There was no sign of anyone else using the room. When I climbed into bed, it was empty. You weren’t here. I’d say that makes you the one sneaking around, don’t you think?”

His laugh was as appreciative as it was sardonic.

Then he turned his back toward her. She couldn’t quiet her approving moan at the site of his perfect—not just great, but perfect—butt. Her gaze slowly meandered up the golden planes of his back, and since he wasn’t looking, she wiped her lower lip to make sure there was no evidence of drool.

Then her eyes landed on his shoulders.

His shoulders!

Her drool dried up, the lust in her belly replaced with a different kind of excitement.

It was him.

Those were the shoulders.

Marni shifted to her knees, ignoring the blanket that fell back to the mattress, and narrowed her eyes. Then she squinted, blurring her vision a little, as if she was seeing that broad muscled wonderfulness from farther away. Like, from a hallway peering into an exam room.

She took in the hairstyle, shorter in back and longer on top. The taper of his waist and the sharply defined muscles of his back. Then her gaze returned to those shoulders.

Oh, yeah, it was him.

She’d had a little early-morning delight with the very man she’d told her cousin she was chasing down for a hot, sexy time.

Funny how those things worked out.

“Do you have your ticket?” he asked, turning to face her and buttoning his jeans at the same time. “We’ll take them to the porter, see where they made a mistake.”

Wincing, Marni dropped down to sit flat on the bed.

Uh-oh.

Cute porter boy hadn’t given her a ticket.

Which meant he probably hadn’t finished booking the berth, either.

Think fast.

“I’m not sure where my ticket is. I know I had it when I got on board,” she lied, pushing her hand through her hair and heaving her most frustrated sigh. “Tell you what, why don’t we get breakfast. After a cup or three of coffee, I’m sure I’ll remember where it is.”

Her brain scrambled from scheme to idea to plan, but none of them seemed viable. She’d come too far to lose this story now. Fate wasn’t putting everything in her lap just to toss her off the train, was it? She just needed a little time. She’d come up with a plan, make contact, establish a rapport and be well on her way to getting an inside scoop on the hottest criminal case of the year.

Cool your jets there, hotshot, she reminded herself. Gotta get past step one before celebrating a Pulitzer.

Hadn’t the senior porter said something about overflow berths? Maybe one of those was unclaimed and she could book it. In the meantime, she just had to keep from getting kicked out.

How the hell was she going to do that?

Her eyes dropped back to the bed.

Oh, no, her mind screamed.

Please, yes, her body clamored.

“We can eat after we sort this out. I’ll go get the porter, see what happened,” hottie said, interrupting her internal struggle. She watched him shrug into his shirt, noting his slight wince, as if whatever had sent him to Emergency was still hurting.

“I’m not dressed,” she protested.

“You have five minutes.” He pulled on boots, then stood to tuck his shirt into his jeans. “I’ll bring coffee along with someone who can sort this out.”

Marni stared at the closed door for thirty precious seconds, then vaulted from the bed to grab her suitcase.

She didn’t waste time with underwear, not trusting that he wouldn’t be back any second. Instead she shimmied into a rich charcoal pencil skirt and a pale pink angora sweater. Not bothering with a brush, she scooped her hair up and anchored it with a large clip, then stuffed her feet into her highest pair of black leather pumps. When a girl topped five-four on tiptoes, high heels were a must for facing down bullyboys.

Needing all the advantages she could get, and knowing that she’d think naked orgasms every time she looked at it otherwise, she quickly tugged and pulled at the blankets to make the bed.

She’d just plumped the pillows when the door reopened.

Hottie walked through, followed by—oh, bless him—her favorite porter friend. And quickly moving him up the list of her favorite people, the porter was carrying a silver tray with an elegant coffee set and two porcelain cups.

He set it on the small table, then gave Marni a distant smile.

Her heart sank.

“There appears to be an issue with the berth?” he said, addressing both her and Hunter. “Miss Clare, it seems you and Mr. Hunter have both booked the same space.”

The worry in Marni’s gut was so strong, not even the delicious aroma of rich coffee could distract her.

“We both booked it?” Hottie, aka Mr. Hunter, frowned and crossed his arms over his chest.

“I’m sorry, sir. It looks like someone made a mistake. Both bookings came in at the last minute, well after our usual deadline. Sometimes mix-ups happen with last-minute reservations.”

“Fine. Just move one of us to a different berth.”

“Again, I can’t apologize enough. But there are no other berths. Every overflow sleeper has been claimed.”

Nooo. Barely managing to keep her protest silent, Marni’s stomach sank.

“This is the only berth available?” Hunter confirmed in a chilly tone.

“This one is booked, as well, sir. By both you and the lady.”

Heart racing, Marni waited for him to ask who’d booked first. Or to dig out his government credentials and pull rank.

“Fine. We’ll figure it out.” With a quick tip for the coffee and a nod, Hunter dismissed the man.

Marni wasn’t sure who looked more relieved, her or the porter. She knew he hid it faster, though, because she was still smiling when he gave a quick nod. With a murmured goodbye, he hurried from the room, leaving Marni to finish spinning this out.

“Look, I know how special this train trip is. I mean, film noir on a restored vintage train is a once in a lifetime thing, right?” Ignoring his baffled look, she made a show of tapping one finger against her lips in consideration. “Oh, I know...”

“I’ll bet you do,” he said, his smile just as sarcastic as his tone. He settled into the club chair, crossed one ankle over a knee and gestured for her to go ahead.

“We can share.”

“What?” Sarcasm fled, shock taking its place. Marni’s lips twitched. Obviously that wasn’t the answer he’d been so sure she had.

“I’ll share the cabin with you. You’ll have to take the top bunk, of course,” she said, gesturing to the discreet notice on the wall that indicated another bed could be pulled down. “And we’d need a few privacy rules, just to keep things from getting messy.”

She paused, wetting her lip and trying to get a gauge on his reaction. Clearly the guy had gone to the stoic school of FBI training, though. Other than losing the sarcasm, his facial expression hadn’t changed.

Should she be worried that she was pretty sure she could stare at that face for hours, losing herself in those deep blue eyes, and never tire of seeing that same considering expression?

“You want to share? This cabin.” His hand circled to indicate the space. It was a very small circle, fitting since it was a very small space. “With me. A total stranger, and a man whom you met for the first time, almost naked, less than an hour ago?”

Doubts, tiny ones, started creeping under Marni’s cheerful demeanor. It wasn’t as if she’d share with just anyone. He was FBI, for crying out loud. But she wasn’t supposed to know that. Still, she didn’t like looking like a naive idiot.

“Well, I do want your name, and you’ll have to give that nice porter a character reference so he can check on you for me,” she said with a saccharine smile. “I’ll take your picture with my cell phone and share it with my entire family, too, so they know exactly who to look for if anything happens to me. Oh, and from now on, I’ll be sleeping with pepper spray under my pillow.”

“That a girl.” Instead of looking offended, he gave her an approving smile. Then he sucked in a breath and shook his head. “Still, smart as you’re being, I don’t think sharing a berth for a week is my idea of fun.”

Sharing a berth?

Or sharing one with her?

Feminine ire prickling, Marni gave him a hard look.

“Did you have any other ideas?”

For just a second, his eyes flicked from her face, to the no longer rumpled bed, then back again. When he met her gaze again, there was a heat in his dark blue depths. Sexual, intense, powerful. Her mouth went dry and her stomach dove into her toes as Marni wet her lips.

This wasn’t about sex.

No matter how many ideas he had in that direction.

“Nope,” he finally said. She blinked a couple of times. Had he read her mind, and was denying her the comfort of that no-sex lie? She replayed the conversation to try to figure out what he was noping.

He wasn’t going to argue about sharing the space?

This was awesome, right?

Immediate and ongoing access to the key source for her story. A chance to sneak in hard-hitting newsworthy questions, maybe cull together some major points to write another article. This one on the mystique of the FBI agent.

She gave a delighted little shiver at the idea of delving deeper into his...mystique.

This was it. Her chance of a lifetime. She could get the hottest story of her career, indulge in her love for writing in-depth character studies and put the polishing touches on her very own launching pad to career success. All at the same time.

“So,” she said with a bright, cheery smile. “Looks like we’re roommates.”