[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance, HEA]
Since arriving at The Coast, Detective Xander McKenzie has investigated murders, accidents, thefts, and arson. Now, in late November, he must work to prepare and protect Lexi’s hometown from a catastrophic hurricane.
The process of rebuilding, a week of elite training, and an extreme illness have Lexi wondering if Xander regrets moving from Michigan to the Oceanside community.
Can the stars that brought Lexi and Xander together on a hot and humid night in May hold them together through the everyday joys and challenging losses that come their way?
A Siren Erotic Romance
For the Carolinas, it had been a relatively quiet year for hurricanes. In his first season on The Coast, Xander McKenzie had learned the unique challenges for law enforcement as his special investigations unit pitched in to plan, prepare, and organize the department with each storm threat.
Only once had they taken the extreme measure of evacuating civilians from areas that would be hardest hit. Xander and his partner, Dennis Blain, had gone door to door, informing residents of evacuation order and encouraging everyone to listen for radio and social media updates from state and local officials. The message was clear. If you’re in a storm area, you need to evacuate.
In spite of the warning, the detective found that people often put themselves in danger by staying behind. In an August storm, Xander learned just how precarious a hurricane could be when the storm surge suddenly rose above the predicted level, leaving a handful of stubborn residents trapped in their home without help for days. As a detective, he went from solving crime to planning for the safety and security of the community. When an emergency arose, he suddenly became a part of the first response team.. Rescues had been prioritized based on the most severely injured and overwhelmed emergency responders.
Now that it was late November, the hurricane season was all but over.
Still, Lexi insisted that their household disaster kit be kept in a place that was easily accessible. She had also insisted that they prepare a kit for Xander to keep in the trunk of his car. The simple collection of basic items would come in handy in the event of an emergency, she assured him.
As a part of his training, he had become keenly familiar with both the precinct and the community’s Emergency Response Plan. Evacuation routes were memorized and he became familiar with the location of each emergency first aid site and public shelter. He’d had two full days of training in the command center and was deemed certified to take charge if required. He was learning that emergency management planning covered a variety of hazards and that it took an elaborate team effort to keep the community safe.
Training had been extensive, and he was assured that when the threat of storms passed, there would be additional certification to pursue.
He shouldn’t have been at all surprised by how right Lexi could be when she warned that a late season storm was always a possibility at The Coast.
When an alert from the National Hurricane Center popped up in his inbox, he suspected they might be in for another weather adventure. The automatic alert came directly from NHC whenever a new tropical cyclone advisory was issued. The alert also indicated that complete advisories and updates would be issued every six hours as the storm named Marco developed over the Atlantic Ocean.
He opened a bookmarked website that showed the two-day graphical tropical weather outlook for the Atlantic region. There, the distinct shape of a swirling mass of clouds from a tropical storm was visible in the satellite image.
Xander was far from an expert at reading the images, but the size of the mass gave him the impression that wherever the storm made landfall, it would wreak havoc.
“It looks like we may be in for a storm,” Lexi said as he stepped in the door.
He knew she wasn’t gloating. She was merely stating a fact about the weather. Still, Xander sometimes felt like Lexi had a sixth sense about the coastal community that no one else had.
“I’m guessing you saw the alert? Right now, it looks like it’s a tropical depression and it’s still a long way off shore.”
“We’ll keep an eye on it. All of my properties are secure and as prepared as they can be.”
“How did I know you’d be a step ahead of a storm?” he asked as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her in for a kiss.
“It’s just experience,” she said before returning his kiss. “I just wish everyone would be prepared. A late season storm caught a lot of people off guard when I was a kid. Not only did we lose most of the fishing pier, an entire row of beach houses were all but wiped out along the south end. Boats were lifted right up out of their slips at the marina. The storm went from tropical depression to hurricane in two hours. You never know what will happen with a storm,” she cautioned.
“Well, knowing that storm trackers expect it to hit land anywhere between Jacksonville and Norfolk. We’re all on alert, but until the storm develops further, we’ve all been given tomorrow off in anticipation of some overtime that will be inevitable if the storm is as big as they’re predicting.”
“You have the day off?” she said excitedly.
He held up his hand. “Don’t get too excited. I have to stay close-by in case we get called in.”
She smiled up at him. “The bedroom is close-by,” she said suggestively.
He picked her up and carried her in the direction she had mentioned. “I think that sounds like a perfect way to spend my day off.”
He walked into the room they had shared for the past several months and he dropped her on the bed.
“You don’t plan on being gentle, do you?”
“No, actually, I don’t.”
Lexi pressed her bare foot against his crotch and wiggled her toes as she seductively looked up at him. “Well, detective, get to it,” she challenged.
A moment later, she was gasping for air as he restrained her hands above her head and ravenously kissed her neck. He nibbled and tugged and sucked at her neck and then her ear as she squirmed against his grasp. With one thigh, he pressed her knee down against the sheets, pinning her to the mattress.
“Xander!” she gasped.
He let go of her wrists and stood up long enough to yank off his shirt and unzip his shorts to let them fall to the floor. Before she could catch her breath, he had placed a hand on each of her thighs, sliding his hands under her dress, up her legs, and along her torso to quickly free her of the garment.
“You’re in a hurry,” she said with a naughty grin.
He slipped off her panties and unsnapped her bra before answering. “There’s a storm brewing, Lexi. You never know what can happen with a storm.”
She laughed enthusiastically at his impression of her. She laughed until Xander flipped her over while she still giggled. He showed her how serious he was by dragging her across the sheets and lifting her onto all fours before he dropped to his own knees.
“Get ready for your own swirling cloud of fun, Miss Marshall.”
She let out a sound that reflected against the wall as his tongue moved like a whirlpool in a warm ocean of water. He already had her clutching at the sheets. “Please don’t stop,” she pleaded.
He didn’t. In fact, he moved his mouth with a fervor and intensity that she had never experienced before. She half felt like retreating away from the extreme sensations and half felt like pushing herself against his face to push her over the edge.
The edge won. As she pushed her bottom back, she felt the sudden and startling sting of his hand firmly landing on her ass. She cried out and then felt the familiar yet overwhelming release as shots of searing decadence fired through her body.
She selfishly hoped he was prepared for a marathon session on his knees. She inhaled deeply, puffing and panting for air as he stood up behind her.