In an era electric with possibility and peril Chloe Gray, political writer, and Michael Keller, CIA troubleshooter, meet under curiously conventional circumstances. Despite the instantaneous sparks, they both sense there is more between them than physical attraction. Chloe's professional detachment from the dramatic world events of the 1990s—a disintegrating USSR, Middle East peace talks, and Vietnam's reemergence on the world stage—dissolves as their love affair intensifies. Michael appears and disappears at unpredictable moments, leaving her limp and lovelorn. Is he using her or protecting her? In her quest for answers, she is yanked into the dangerous world of Michael's work—in Washington, DC, in France, and in Spain. Looking for safe harbor (for her emotions? or her body?), she submits to the advances of a dashing French diplomat. Will she embrace the luxury and comfort of Emile and his chateau or the romance of international intrigue with Michael?
Chloe pulled his arm closer. "It is not just a cut. It's a gash. Look at all the blood you've dripped on my floor! Come here." She held his arm under the faucet and carefully washed the grit out of the wound. "Now just stay there. Press this paper towel against the cut. I'll go get some Neosporin and a bandage." She slipped up the stairs and through her bedroom to the bathroom. As she came out with the supplies she stopped short. He was sitting on her bed.
"I thought I would save you a trip." He spoke diffidently.
"Oh…that's…okay." Chloe willed herself not to touch his thigh as she sat down on the bed next to him too close. She applied the ointment and bandage, trying to keep her hands from trembling. He must have noticed anyway, because he put his larger one over hers and gently squeezed.
"Is the blood bothering you?"
She hesitated, breathless. He looked into her eyes, and before she knew it his arms went around her and she was kissing him. No, he was kissing her. She lost all sense of time and place and clung to his mouth as though she were drowning and it was a lifeboat. She felt herself falling, landing on his chest. He held her tightly, squeezing the life out of her. Or was it her soul he was drawing into his own? How could she tell him it was not his blood that was bothering her but her own, boiling up in waves of desire? He let her go reluctantly, but she held onto his buttons, tearing them off. She opened his shirt and buried her face in the soft black hairs of his chest. His hands went to her arms and gently moved her off him to the side. Slowly he undid her blouse, unhooked the bra and brushed each breast with his lips. She lay back, her eyes unfocussed, waiting for the touch, living for the scent of his hair. He looked up through his bangs and blasted her heart out with a glance of those azure eyes.
She did not need elaboration. She nodded mutely. He kissed her neck, her shoulders, her breasts, and down her stomach. A thousand butterflies fought to escape from her belly. He pulled down her zipper and tugged at the skirt. She still lay quietly, lost in pleasure. It all seemed to pass in slow motion. Everything felt perfect. Then he stopped. She opened her eyes. "What?"
His expression had altered. He was glaring at her, his face only inches away from hers. "What the Hell am I doing? This is nuts!" He sat up, facing away from her. She saw that she had taken his shirt off and his belt and zipper were undone. For some inexplicable reason his shoes were neatly arranged at the foot of the bed. She put a hand on his back. He stood up abruptly. A sudden flash of panic hit her. He couldn't leave. Not now.