Alex rose and turned to stare out the windows. Several uniformed officers stood by a row of marked police cars, bantering and laughing, preparing for a night patrolling the streets.
Moments later, Juliana’s warm hand touched his arm, coaxing him around.
“I’m so sorry, Alex,” she said softly. “I know how this hurts.”
He turned around, fists clenching. “Do you really?” he snapped.
She flinched, and he instantly regretted the words. She’d been through enough criminal cases to know how they affected the victims and their families. Despite his harsh words, she stepped closer and wrapped her arms around his waist.
Instinctively, his arms encircled her, and he rested his cheek on top of her head. Her light berry-scented shampoo smelled heavenly, and he breathed in deeply. His initial embrace was unforgiving, and he didn’t loosen his hold until Juliana made a small sound in her throat, and he realized he was hugging her too tightly.
She unfolded an arm from around his waist and ran her fingers through his hair, smoothing the chaotic spikes. Her touch was almost unbearably gentle, and her hug settled him more than he should allow.
Regret flashed inside him. He hated that Lisette’s kidnapping was the reason that had brought Juliana back into his life.
Alex cupped her face, and he looked deep into her sultry eyes and lost himself in their depths.
Sighing, he drew her closer still until her breath grazed his mouth. With growing insistency, his lips met hers, and he felt a matched hunger in her. The kiss deepened as control melted, and they abandoned themselves to the fever that had lain dormant for over a decade.
She stroked his back, her hands searing his skin through his shirt. Her breasts crushed provocatively against his chest, kindling a desire he raged against. The heady scent of her familiar floral fragrance created mayhem with his senses.
Not until his tongue slipped between her soft, luscious lips did her arms wrap around his neck, pulling his mouth harder onto hers. Her mouth tasted of mint and simply Juliana as his greedy tongue probed and battled hers. When his hands moved to cup her firm, rounded butt, reality whacked him.
What the hell was he doing?
Abruptly, he broke off the kiss and jerked out of her arms. The ties that once bound them were racing back with such velocity that his tightly-held control had slipped.
Uncertainty tinted her rosy cheeks.
“I’m sorry.” He stared at the posters on the wall, the files stacked on his desk, at the carpet, anywhere but at Juliana.
The energy between them proved volatile. He feared breaking the fragile bond if he moved, yet he needed distance from her.
As if she felt the same need, Juliana eased back and the air stirred around them, tension-laden. She bumped into his leather chair, caught the back with her hand. “I…it’s okay.” Her voice was thick, husky.
Silence loomed between them, and Alex experienced an intense desire to read her mind.