Although the sun had been up for over an hour, the night’s chill had not yet left not yet left the air. Julia Tammar walked briskly to keep warm, her knee-length skirt swirling around her legs and her black sweater warming her upper body. Her silvery wraparound shades shielded her eyes from the harsh sunlight. She much preferred being out at night.
But the summons from Jacquelyn Shivers had been too important to ignore. Julia had known Jac for nearly six years, back from when Jac was just starting as a sales manager, having finally been promoted beyond the glass ceiling. And Julia knew why Jac had gotten the promotion. In fact, the walker was probably the only person who knew the entire story, since she was the one who had uncovered the truth that Jac had used to leverage the promotion.
A breach in the computer system was simply too important to ignore. And Julia had used her part of the board’s gratitude to set herself up as an independent system analyst and security tester. Still she did occasionally do personal work, such as for Jac. She also enjoyed getting out of her office with the towering computer banks and the superfast T-1 lines that gave her direct connection to the world. Hence, she had decided to walk the three-plus miles to Jac’s office.
The elevator took her to the thirty-seventh floor and Jac’s longtime secretary motioned for her to go right on in. The click of the office door brought Jac’s head up and her light brown eyes fastened on the form of Julia Tammar.
Julia could not be considered a beauty in the common use of the term. At 5’6″ and close to 200 pounds, Julia was pleasingly plump, but the horrific scarring down the right side of her face and across her shoulder and upper chest ruined what was otherwise a sweet face. Long dark hair was generally pulled forward to hide the worst of the damage and smoky gray eyes were framed by long feathery lashes. But the mind that inhabited the scarred shell was incredibly acute. Jac sighed internally and wished for the thousandth time that some incredible man would have the balls to look past the exterior and see what Julia was.
“Julia!” Jac’s greeting was effusive.
“Jacquelyn,” responded Julia in her cool and composed way. Knowledgeable eyes travled over the brunette now rising to her feet from behind the neatly-kept desk. “You look good. And,” eyes narrowed as they touched on the forearms and the relaxed muscles there, “it would seem you’ve been lucky lately.”
Jac’s blush confirmed Julia’s deduction.
“Should I ask who?” said a now smiling Julia.
“Todd Alverson,” replied Jac with a sigh. There were certain things that Julia knew that she just shouldn’t know, thought Jac. How she knew that I had just had some of the best sex of my life I’ll never know.
Julia nodded, unsurprised. She had known of the attraction Todd had for Jacquelyn for some time, even though the two slaes managers had never realized it. The curse of a romantic that could never be intimate lay in the sapience of attraction. And it hurt a lot, but Julia had long ago come to terms with the pain and with the knowledge that the scarring on her face would doom her to an empty bed. She had redirected that energy into her computers, and her dreams. Oh yes, her dreams…
Jac gestured to the chair in front of her desk. “I’ve got a job for you, Julia.”
“Where?” Julia sat, extracting her Palm from her bag as she did so.
“There was a leak from our R&D database to one of our competitors. Our IT folks say that it was an inside job, not a failure in the system’s security. Check it online, and then you may have to go to Santa Fe, where R&D is located.”
“New Mexico?” Julia asked. At Jac’s nod, Julia snapped her Palm shut. “Standard rates?”
“Yes. Pick up a check from Annabelle to cover your up-front expenses. Your ticket to Santa Fe is already booked for Thursday; you’ll find the information on that as well when you see Annabelle.”
Julia shrugged. “Consider it done.”
Jac smiled. “I already am.”
That night, Julia pushed back from her desk and the computer monitor. Jac’s IT folks hadn’t been lying; that security was intense. It had taken Julia two-plus hours to spoof her way past the first line, and she’d been stonewalled at the second. In fact, Julia wasn’t even sure that the major R&D was even available on the network.
Which meant, as the IT people had said, an inside job.
Julia’s next move was to retrieve the information on the R&D professionals and look for potential weak links. But after another five hours, she had had to admit that there were no obvious connections. But instead of disappointing her, the challenge had driven Julia to an incredible high, almost orgasmic in intensity.
Stretching, she contemplated the logistics of the trip. Knowing her preference for night, Jac had booked the red-eye flight for the next day. Which left Julia approximately 20 hours to pack for a five-day trip. A glance at the clock verified the hour at nearly 10 PM, her eyes told her to take a break, and her body requested the sleep which was now at least six hours overdue. Julia was never quite sure afterwards if the fact that her mind was still in overdrive led to the dream that night.
The gold of the field was an illusion, the work of thousands of golden flowers never seen upon this earth. But Julia didn’t care. She ran, barefoot and with her hair loose and streaming behind her, through the fields of gold. Her laughter danced among the flowers, even as they tossed their heads in the gentle breeze and the wind of her passage. The song of the wind curled around her, soft as breath, yet real as the sunbeams that stroked her bare skin.
Standing in the middle of the field, she turned in a slow circle, head thrown back, eyes closed to the glow of the sun. Her nipples hardened under the caressing breeze, and she felt the same agency stir the feathery curls that dusted her mound. Exhaling in a sigh of pure rapture, she felt her body liquefy, sending warmth throughout her being from the seat of her passion.
She knew he was there without opening her eyes. Tall and strong, with eyes and hair as golden as the field in which she stood. His skin baked into a permanent glowing tan from years of work under the eye of the sun. His callused hands, reaching to clasp her as though she were the most perfect crystal ever formed upon earth and likely to shatter at a wrong breath, gentle, deft, so gentle…
His lips glided across her cheek, coming to rest at her ear, where his breath teased the delicate spiral shell and sent light flickering through her body. Her hands glided over hard muscles decorated with a light furring of the same gold that graced his head and she knew that he was as unclothed and ready as was she. Her questing mouth found his and opened under the insistence of his tongue, velvet roughness sliding across hers, and her curls became more damp as her body responded in the ancient way of a woman.
How they cam to be lying down was a mystery explainable only in the world of dreams, but the hard pressure of his body and the rough power of his kiss had become so totally her world that she could not spare the time to wonder at it. Callused fingers separated her delicate folds, now slick with her own moisture, and she curled her hips forward in invitation to enter her. The pressure of his fingers as they met and destroyed her body’s instinctive resistance inflamed her all the more, and she cried out at the welcome assault.
Her hand slid down to his stomach and below, finding the hardened shaft there ready. His muscles jerked as she curled her fingers around it and pulled gently yet with an urgency born of desperation. His hand left her, and she almost sobbed at the abandonment, but she then felt her legs being eased apart to accommodate his positioning and she felt the side of her hand rub against her swollen labia.
Without thought, without resistance, she slid her hand to the base of his shaft
, positioning the head at her opening and tilting her hips in silent invitatio
n. The thrust as he implaed her took her breath away and caused two tears of joy to start from under her lashes. Then there was no time for tears.
His hardness slid inside her like oiled silk, her lubrication telling him all that he needed to know about her desire. His head rubbed the most sensitive parts of her, sliding effortlessly along the path to her womb. Her body tautened as he stroked deep within her and she bagan to match his rhythm, pushing back with each stroke. Her breath ran ragged as she urged him to enter her even deeper, harder, faster. And she felt the swell of his rod as he neared his own climax, and the knowledge that her body had been the instrument of his pleasure sent her over the edge, hips bucking as her stomach muscles contracted again and again, showering him with her wetness.
The echoing surge of his seed as it entered her sent a golden fire exploding within her stomach, tendrils of the flames dancing along her nerves to the very tips of her body. And as her eyes opened to see her lover, she knew that her eyes would be reflecting that golden fire, his fire, as they looked upon him. She felt his hand glide down her face, across the scars, leaving the glow of his fire upon her skin. Her body still whispering terms of endearment and desire to his, she opened her eyes…
…to the darkness of her bedroom, and only the fleeting gleam of golden eyes in a sun-drenched field.