"So, do I get my picture up in the Post Office?"
"I spoke to Dr. Talmadge. He verified your claims that the vials in your suitcase were stem cell samples in route to the Medical Institute in Tokyo." He opened the door to yet another room and stood back for her to precede him. "I am authorized to return your belongings to you and escort you to a hotel."
"Careful. I might mistake that southern charm for sarcasm."
"Your IQ may exceed your chest size after all."
The behemoth actually laughed. The deep reverberation echoed a warning straight through Chloe. The man was dangerous to her libido. The libido she would have sworn was in a permanent state of dormancy. "I knew that scholarly look was a front."
"Yeah. Eyeglasses. Bun. Shapeless dress. But I suspected all along there was a firecracker underneath all that drab."
Chloe was momentarily speechless. Is that how I look? Is that why guys always seem to look right through me? Could my mother, the don't-you-ever-forget-I'm-a-former-debutant, be right yet again?
Zack placed a finger under her chin and lifted her face. "Hey, I didn't mean anything by that. You're a beautiful woman. You probably wore the most comfortable thing you owned for such a long trip."
Chloe smiled. It was not a happy smile. "Yes. I did. Now could you please take me to a hotel? I'm dead on my feet."
Zack mentally castigated himself. How could he have blundered so badly? He hadn't jammed his foot so far into his mouth since he first met Melissa Hanson in the eighth grade. Damn, he'd hurt her feelings. "Chloe, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that the way it came out."
"You mean the scholarly part or the beautiful woman part?"
Oh, man. She was more upset than he thought. There was only one way to set the story straight. He was in uniform so he looked around to make sure they were alone and couldn't be seen by anyone. Zack pulled Chloe up against his chest and lowered his mouth to hers.
Stunned, Chloe couldn't do anything but hang on at first. But as Zack's lips worked their magic, she melted into his hard body, her arms inching up to grasp his shoulders. Mindless instinct unlocked her lips and welcomed his tongue inside the yearning interior of her mouth. Unfettered lust drove her to explore his in return. Gushing moisture had her clamping her thighs together.
A large strong hand cupped her buttock, pulling her against him. Judging by the impressive size, that was not a roll of quarters in his pocket. Chloe smiled against Zack's mouth. He smiled back. "Does that feel like I find you unattractive?" he whispered.
His hot breath sent shivers down her spine.
"No." He had reduced her to monosyllabic replies.
"Good. Scholarly and hot are not mutually exclusive terms, you know." His tongue slid along her ear, flicking over the row of tiny gold hoops.
"I don't believe I heard the word hot mentioned." She was practically panting.
"Well, you'll hear it now. I'm hot for you, Chloe. I don't believe I've ever had such a strong reaction to a woman." He nibbled the tender skin just behind her ear. "No. Scratch that. I don't think, I know. There's some pretty strong chemistry at work here."
"I know." She couldn't resist running her palms over his chest. Perfection.
"So, what are we going to do about it?" He could tempt a nun out of her panties.