Home > Sigma (Alpha #4)

Sigma (Alpha #4)
Author: Jasinda Wilder

 

1

 

 

Island Time

 

 

“Do you have to go, Val?” I hear the whine in my voice, and even I’m irritated by it; I sidle up against my husband of twenty years and flatten my palms against his broad hard chest. “Can’t you just handle it via video conference?”

He’s not lost any of his sex appeal, to me, my man Valentine Roth. Six feet four inches, with a powerful physique he’s kept rock hard, lean and muscular. His blond hair is shot through with touches of gray, now, and there’s some silver at his temples and in his beard. But to me, that just makes him all the sexier.

And, for the curious, no, we’ve not lost any of our sexual chemistry. It’s heightened, if anything. Sure, when Rinna and Cal were young and he was running his empire as a stay-at-home dad and I was running the philanthropic arm of St. Claire, Incorporated, we were often too busy and too tired to have sex as frequently as we used to or wanted to. Yeah, his—our—entire business empire was named after me. He’d named it that when he sold the tower in Manhattan where I’d first met him, and kept the name. I had sort of expected him to change it to something else, but he never did. But Rinna and Cal grew up, and we learned how to slow down, and now we make love as much if not more than we did when we were in our thirties.

“Unfortunately,” Valentine says, his hands cradling my waist, “I do have to. I can do ninety-nine percent of my work from here. Ninety-nine-point-five percent, even. But this is one of those rare instances where my personal presence is required.”

“It’s a merger?”

He shakes his head. “I’m selling off Heart Space Medical Technology. It’s gotten too bloated, too corporate. Streamlining it would take more time, money, and effort than I’m willing to invest at the moment, so I’m selling it off to a competitor.” He grins. “Plus, the proceeds from the sale will balloon our cash supply, which I’m going to need to get Valkyrie off the ground.”

I roll my eyes. “Such a melodramatic name.”

He smirks. “It’s a cool as hell name, is what it is. This is the future, babe. Stellar exploration is where the real fun happens, and we’re getting in on the ground floor.”

“Stellar exploration,” I echo. “Spaceships, you mean.”

“Exactly!” His eyes light up, as they always do when he talks about his latest business baby. This one, though, is seriously next level, even for my husband, who has never done anything in half measures. “Everyone else is focused on reusable rockets and technologies for a colony on Mars. Good, great—but I’ve got different plans.”

“Like?” I can’t say I get excited about all this space stuff, not like he does, but his excitement is contagious, and the passion he exudes is, frankly, arousing.

“Orbital construction.” He has his Thinking Face on, where he’s mentally rolling around all the billion facets and functions and obstacles. “If you’re limited to building your ships here on earth, you’re never going to reach full potential. Think about all the science fiction from the last fifty to a hundred years: the really big ships all get built in space, in orbit, right? Because you’re no longer limited by the constraints of gravity. Well, someone has to learn how to do that. It’s got to start somewhere. Valkyrie is where it starts.”

I sigh, breathy and smiling. “You’re such a nerd.” I tangle my fingers in his beard and pull him down to me. “It’s hot.” I kiss him until we’re both out of breath. “When do you leave?”

“Mercedes will be here in thirty.”

Mercedes Felix—his personal transportation chief; driver, pilot, and logistical coordinator.

She’s thirty, Black, beautiful, and one of the most terrifyingly intelligent and competent human beings I’ve ever met. She can drive anything with wheels, fly anything with wings or rotors, speaks five languages that I know of, has a black belt in three martial arts disciplines, and is capable of feats of mental arithmetic that boggle the mind…and she can do it all in a cocktail dress and six-inch heels—I’ve seen her do it. She’s more comfortable in a pilot’s jumpsuit and combat boots, of course. She’s also fiercely private, as are most of the crew in our inner circle. But most of all, her loyalty to our family is without question.

“Are you packed?” I ask.

He pulls me closer to him, grabbing a double handful of my ass to do so. “I’ll be gone less than seventy-two hours, if all goes according to plan, so packing took all of ten minutes.” His eyes spark fire. “Why? You got something in mind for the next thirty minutes?”

I glance around us—we’re in the kitchen of our Caribbean compound on our private island. Cal, fifteen, is on the other side of the island, hanging out at the beach with Killian Harris—Layla and Harris’s son—and a group of friends from St. Croix. Rin, twenty, is shopping in Charlotte Amalie with Layla and Layla’s daughter, Bryn, who’s the same age as Rin. Those two are like twins, inseparable—Rin and Bryn.

We only have Marta, our housekeeper and personal chef, here at the house three days a week. Which means the house is empty.

There’s security out there, of course. A small army of elite security contractors, all ex-Special Forces employed by Alpha One Security, Harris’s company. But they’re invisible to us, and trained to keep watch on the premises, not us personally.

“I might have something in mind,” I whisper, pivoting away from him.

He follows me as I hop up onto the island counter, and his eyes light up. He knows what I want, and he will enjoy giving it to me, thoroughly. Several times, probably, before he takes anything for himself.

It’s fairly early, just past nine, so I’m still in my bathrobe; I’ve got nowhere to be and the house to myself after Valentine leaves, so why bother getting dressed at all? Now, though, it provides easy access for him. He tugs at the loose knot of the belt keeping the robe closed, and it drapes open, baring my naked body. He leaves it like that, for a moment, the edges of the robe just outside my erect nipples, core exposed. His eyes rake over my body, pupils dilating, nostrils flaring, jaw grinding. His zipper tightens, bulges. Even now, after twenty years, he still gets hard as a rock at the mere sight of me. I’m not a young woman anymore, past fifty and never you mind the exact number. I’ve nursed two children, and things aren’t as taut and perky as they used to be. There may be some dimples on my thighs. Some new wrinkles here and there. But he doesn’t see any of that. He sees his wife, the love of his life, and I arouse him.

It’s a heady thought, if I dwell on it. Twenty years, two children, and he loves me and is every bit as turned on by me now as he was the day I entered his high-rise, blindfolded and scared shitless.

He brushes the robe off my arms, and the delicate silk floats to the counter around my hips. He’s in no rush. He fits his hips between my thighs, caressing my breasts and kissing the side of my jaw. My throat. My shoulder. His hands caress and arouse, tweaking my nipples and hefting the weight of my breasts, letting them fall free only to toy with them again. I tilt my head back and gasp as he kisses my breastbone, and my hands sink into his hair, cupping his head to me as he kisses lower and lower, down the valley between my breasts.

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