Read Come As You Are Online

Authors: Melinda Barron

Tags: #Erotic Paranormal Romance

Come As You Are (3 page)

BOOK: Come As You Are
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Right when she was about to come, he stopped, standing to tower over her. He undressed slowly, revealing his gorgeous body inch by glorious inch. When he got to his pants, he undid the top button, sliding his hand down below the waistband of his jeans, much like a stripper would do, when it was obvious his hand had cupped his cock he said, “Do you want me to fuck you?”

“Yes, oh good Lord above yes. Take me now and—”

“Temp!” Quinn’s greeting interrupted her fantasy. The newest WXBJ news anchor came running across the room, arms outstretched. She gathered Tempest in a bear hug. “It’s so wonderful to see you.”

Quinn had never looked so great, Tempest thought. Not only did she have two fantastic lovers, but she also had the job of her dreams as a news anchor. Originally, the station passed her over because her weight was “not up to camera standards.” But the woman they’d hired had been a disaster, and when she’d left the station, the producers finally offered Quinn the job, and the station ratings had soared. It seemed the public didn’t care that a woman who carried a few extra pounds delivered the news. The public loved Quinn.

“It’s good to see you, too,” Tempest said as Quinn released her hold. She glanced at the table where five people now sat, watching them. “Wow. It looks like we are having a party.”

“Just a few friends,” Quinn responded as she took her by the arm and led her toward the table. “You remember my darlings, Dev and Fletch?”

“Of course. Hello.” Both men stood and inclined their heads slightly, Dev giving her a wink.

“This is Martin Vandreen.” Quinn indicated a man sitting in between a man and a woman. “He’s our group medium. Well, one of them. Sitting with him are Rumer Rousseau and Noah Hopper, his significant others.”

“Nice to meet you.” Tempest nodded slowly, wondering if being part of a threesome was a prerequisite for membership in their ghost society.

“And you’ve already met Franco. Be careful around him. He reads minds.”

Tempest’s eyes flew wide open at Quinn’s words and she turned to the man who’d just escorted her to the room. The look on his face told her he’d known everything she’d fantasized as she’d climbed up the stairs before him.

His tongue moved out of his mouth slowly, wetting his lips, and she thought she might die of embarrassment. She didn’t have to read his mind to know what he was thinking about doing with that pink appendage. Her clit tightened in need and Tempest wanted to turn and run. Before she could act, though, someone else broke the silence.

“Come and have a seat,” Dev said, waving at them. “We’ll order, and while we wait for food, we’ll talk.”

Tempest glanced around the table. She knew Quinn and her lovers, but she didn’t know the others. Trying to get her point across to them without being graphic would be hard to do. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all. But she wouldn’t tell them that just yet. She’d have dinner first then chicken out afterward, telling them her fears were nothing more than graphic dreams brought about by the fact she hadn’t had sex in forever.

Of course, saying that would be embarrassing, too—especially with the Franco in the room.

“I wouldn’t be so sure about it being just dreams.” Franco’s voice sounded right next to her ear and she shivered as his breath caressed her. “If you like, I’ll tell them what’s happening.”

Tempest stared after Quinn, who was walking toward a seat at the table. She wanted to yell at her friend that she was leaving now, that she’d changed her mind. How was it that this man was able to probe into her mind and basically read what had happened in the last seven days? That, added on top of the fact she’d mentally undressed him the moment they met, was embarrassment enough to last the rest of her life.

“I thought it was a quite pleasant experience,” he said, keeping his voice low. “And I’d like to finish the stripper part of your thoughts when we’re alone.”

“Don’t get any ideas, buster.” She frowned at him.

“I’ll let you get them for us, and will be more than happy to bring them to life with you.” He held out a chair.

She sat down, fighting back a smile. He definitely was charming. Still, she had the feeling she shouldn’t be here. What would these people think when she started telling them about erotic dreams? They’d probably tell her to go get a life, that there was nothing supernatural about it.

“Don’t discount the dreams, or yourself,” Franco said. “We’re not here to judge you. Remember that.”

That doesn’t make me any less nervous.
She opened her mouth to repeat the phrase, then realized she didn’t have to. He knew exactly what she was thinking. This could turn out to be most inconvenient.

“Sorry.” He waved his hand and a server approached the table. “I’ll try to keep it toned down, just for you. Well, after this, that is.”

He turned to the server. “She’ll have a mint julep and an oyster po’boy, fully dressed, heavy on the sauce. And I’ll have the same.”

Tempest watched the server make the rounds. Tendrils of jazz music drifted up from downstairs, lulling her into a sense of relaxation.
This won’t be so hard
, she thought.
Treat it like a story, even though you were a producer instead of a reporter. You still know how to keep people’s interests. Just don’t think about the fact that you’re talking about yourself, and a phantom, having sex. Hopefully, they won’t think you’ve gone over the deep end.

Chapter Three

 
 

 

 

The little bitch!

Where the hell is she? How dare she leave me alone like this?

Each minute she spends away from me means a harsher punishment

She will not enjoy her sleep tonight as she had last night

She’ll be lucky if I let her have one orgasm

I’ll keep her on the edge, hovering at the peak

Then I’ll stop, watching her squirm and shiver in pain as her anticipated pleasure fades away

She never should have left tonight

She will learn that soon enough

And I will savor every second of her pain

 
* * * *

“When did the dreams start?” Franco’s question seemed innocuous enough, but Tempest’s hands still trembled just a little. The whole table was watching her. Even though their hands were busy with food and drink, it was almost as if eating were a sideshow. They were more interested in what she was saying.

“Seven days ago,” she replied. “About two weeks after I’d moved in, I could feel someone…watching me while I slept. I thought I was losing it. I’d wake up and feel a presence there, but not see anyone. I put it down to nerves, from buying my first house, from quitting my job to start something that could backfire on me. But then Culo and Pero ran from the room one night, and they won’t come back in, to this day.”

“Culo and Pero are cats,” Quinn supplied, and Tempest felt stupid for not giving that fact up on her own. “Cats are sensitive to spirits, Temp.”

“Yes, but there’s no usual haunting signs. No cold spots, or rattling chains or anything like that.”

“Ghosts don’t rattle chains,” Martin said. “And I hate to tell you this, but I don’t see a spirit aura around you. If someone had been visiting you for two months, a bit of the ghost’s impressions would stay with you. I see nothing.”

“Does that mean you think I’m losing my mind?”

“No.” Franco laid his hand on hers and gently squeezed. The warmth of the contact spread through her, helping to ease the fear she felt right now. “Go ahead and finish what you were saying.”

“I’ve been trying to convince myself it’s nothing more than wet dreams.” She glanced around the table, wondering what they were thinking about her. Franco squeezed her hand a little more in an obvious sign of encouragement. “There’s no body, but I can hear a male voice. He…brings me to orgasm repeatedly and then he disappears.”

“You’ve never seen his face?” She looked down the table at Devlin, who’d asked the question she was sure everyone was thinking.

“No, I’ve never seen a form. But my body is—always sore, like I’ve had sex.”

“You mean like you’ve had intercourse?” The calming tone in Franco’s voice was gone. Now he sounded worried.

“No, just very heavy petting.” She inhaled sharply. Her nerves had abated. She wanted to get this out in the open. “At first the dreams were sort of…pleasant. But then…it started to hurt, physically. There was too much stimulation, too many orgasms. Plus I’m tired all the time. I can’t seem to get any rest. Then, this morning, I fell asleep in the kitchen, after I heard a male voice in my head. My gardener found me lying in spilled paint. This was the first time it’s happened during the day.”

“Incubus.” The word came from several people at the table, but the one that she centered on was Franco.

“What?”

“An incubus,” he said. “It’s a demon that visits women while they sleep. He has sex with them and feeds off the energy they produce. That’s how he lives, by drawing on their live force through sex.”

“A demon?” She couldn’t keep the sound of derision out of her voice. She’d thought it was strange to think it was a ghost. Now they thought it was a demon?

“Don’t discount it,” Quinn said. “There are things in this world that are hard to explain.”

Tempest opened her mouth to object, but stopped when Martin spoke again. “You believe in God?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Then, isn’t it safe to say if there’s good in the world there’s bad, too.” Rumer explained and Tempest found comfort in her native accent.

“So, this demon just goes around having sex with women?” Tempest hated the fact that she sounded so sarcastic, but it was such a far-flung idea. “Why is he sticking around with me, if he’s never, um, had intercourse with me?”

“Incubi have been around since the middle ages,” Franco said. “They stay with one woman once they’ve chosen a…partner. Lots of people believe that they were invented by humans as a way for women to explain pregnancies when they were supposed to be virgins.”

“It can get a woman pregnant?” This was getting to be too much.

“Yes, it can.” Franco put his elbows on the table and leaned forward. Although he was obviously talking to everyone, his gaze was on her. “That’s their main goal, to find a human to carry their child, to carry on their line.”

“Great, he wants to use me as a demon baby-making machine. I feel so much better.” She wondered if she could sell the house, maybe she could find somewhere else to start her B&B. That would end up costing her too much money, though. “Can you help me get rid of it? I mean that’s what you do, right?”

“It’s not that easy,” Franco took a sip from his glass. “Ghosts are one thing. Demons are a whole other ball of wax. Although an incubus can be bound, I’m not sure how you kill it.”

“Demons are not like spirits I can help crossover,” Martin put in. “Are there other spirits in the house?”

“I haven’t seen or felt anything.” Her dinner companions seemed to start talking all at once, the din rising in the room. Franco leaned closer, his warmth making her feel much better. Until she thought about their explanation again. She’d been having sex with a demon?

“You haven’t had intercourse with him, you said,” Franco offered. “Incubi are said to have unusually cold penises. Have you felt that?”

She giggled nervously, the idea striking her as funny. “No, I would say I’d remember a cold penis.”

“I’m sure you would.” Franco’s laugh was deep. When he spoke again, his voice was loud, and the others stopped talking. “I say we go and check things out, see if we can feel anything. If that’s all right with you, Tempest.”

“Fine.”
I think it’s fine. Maybe.

“Then let’s go,” he said, standing up and helping her from her seat. “I’m anxious to see what’s there.”

The scraping of chairs sounded through the room and Tempest suddenly didn’t want to leave the restaurant. Telling people about the dreams made them too real. Maybe if she just ignored them they would go away. Maybe coming here had been a huge mistake.

“It wasn’t.” Franco took her hand in his.

He was a touchy-feely man, much more so than any man she’d ever known. And his smile was always present, which was a nice thing. Before she could stop herself, she wondered again what it would be like to have sex with him. Knowing he’d read her thoughts made her blush, and when he winked at her, she smiled. Maybe she would find the answer to her question one of these days.

“Oh, you will, trust me. When we make love, it will be because you want me, not because an incubus has aroused you.”

Tempest smiled up into his eyes. Things were looking up. Way up.

Chapter Four

 

 

 

What the hell?

Who are all these people and what are they doing in my house?

 
Get out! Get out!

Wait! What is this? That’s my woman, standing next to a man

A tall, beefy man who is touching her

Damn it all to hell and back!

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