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Authors: Beth Kery

Glow (10 page)

BOOK: Glow
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“Oh Jesus, it feels so
good
,” he grated out.

Alice sagged back on the pillows, panting, shivers of residual pleasure still running through her. She drew a soughing breath. The hand she'd been using to rub herself slid limply to the mattress. She stared up at him, entranced by the chained savagery evident on his handsome face as he continued to fuck her. A longing welled up in her, a powerful emotion difficult to name.

A ripple of tension coursed up his left jaw and cheek.

“Come,” she demanded. She
begged
.

A guttural moan tore out of his throat. Despite her satiated state, her perspiration-damp skin roughened with excitement.

She could feel him so perfectly inside her, even more acutely than she could in her pussy. Her excitement ratcheted up to a thrill of anxious anticipation when he gripped her tighter and his cock swelled huge.

He held her stare as he came. He kept his mouth clamped tight, but she saw the jerk of his muscles as he climaxed. She loved that
he kept almost entirely still as he ejaculated, pumping only minimally through his pleasure, exhibiting awesome amounts of control.

She hated it.

The savage in her, that secret wildness that she and Dylan shared, longed for him to take her hard and ruthless.

Although he'd certainly taken her thoroughly, Alice acknowledged a moment later. She'd lost herself to pounding lust, while Dylan had remained in control at the helm.

He lowered his chin to his chest, trying to catch his breath. She lay still, watching in fascination as his rigid, heaving abdomen muscles slowed and his bunched sinews loosened. Again, she was reminded of how much energy he'd expended, not just from the exercise of making love; but from spending so much effort in restraint.

After a moment, he looked up and withdrew.

Alice whimpered in slight discomfort once he was gone. She'd only been excited when he was joined to her, but now . . .

Perhaps he'd been right to go easy on her.

“You didn't have to spare me,” she said, her voice thick and hoarse from satiation. “But thank you, anyway.”

He ran his gaze over her face slowly. What was he thinking? Sometimes she felt like she could read him like large print. Other times—like now—he was a closed book.

He eased his grip on her legs, letting her feet lower.

“Come on,” he said gruffly, bending over her to release her single remaining restraint. He hovered over her and lowered, his mouth brushing against hers. Alice responded instinctively to the delicious kiss, sliding her lips against his. “Let's get in the shower,” he rumbled.

Despite his words, he paused to gently bite at her lower lip and linger. His scent and taste filled her, making that inexplicable feeling of desperation and longing swell.

SEVEN

A
fter a shared, languorous hot shower, Alice felt like her muscles were melting. As usual, Dylan had effectively worked all of her unrest, doubt, and uncertainty right out of her.

When he came down in bed next to her and shut out the light, she curled into the arc of his naked body like a warmth-seeking kitten.

“Alice?”

“Yeah?”

“Are you concerned at all about the Alumni Dinner being held for the counselors here at the house tomorrow night?”

Her heavy eyelids sprung open.

Shit.
The Alumni Dinner: a semiformal affair held at Dylan's home. Several prior Camp Durand counselors and present-day successful Durand executives were invited in order to meet the current counselor class. Word had it, a few key words from an influential alumni could make or break a counselor's career at Durand. Alice had known about the event—in theory, anyway—since she'd first received her Camp Durand informational packet upon being hired as a counselor. But with everything going on, her second official visit to Castle Durand had always seemed far off in the future.

“Did you forget about it?” Dylan asked her when she didn't immediately respond, because her brain had started spinning in that increasingly familiar vortex. It would be so strange, to walk in the
halls of Castle Durand as though she were only vaguely familiar with them . . . to treat Dylan like the distant top boss who was too far out of her sphere to be considered even an acquaintance.

“No,” she lied. “Are
you
concerned about it?”

“Not it. You,” he said with his typical succinctness. “Did everything go all right today?”

She frowned upon hearing the cautious tone in his voice.

“It was a perfectly normal day—all except for that whole incident in the woods,” she added darkly under her breath.

“Insert my apology here? Is that what you're waiting for?” he asked, humor tingeing his tone. She just scowled into the darkness.

“Okay, I guess neither of us is going to fall over apologizing at the moment. I don't expect you to apologize to me for running off into the woods alone today.” Alice rolled her eyes and made a disgusted sound, which Dylan ignored. “On another note, I've made an appointment for you at Morgantown Memorial for a blood test. It's for four o'clock on Saturday afternoon. I'll take you over to the hospital. Dr. Shineburg will transfer all the samples to a specialist clinic in Chicago for the actual genetic testing. It takes four to six weeks to get the results, so we might as well get things started.”

She remained silent, but perhaps he noticed her tension because he began stroking her upper arm and shoulder.

“Have you changed your mind about the testing?”

“No. I want to do it. I want to know for certain.”

“Then what are you thinking about?”

“Dylan, why are you so worried about me? I can understand why you have been in the past, but why
now
?”

“Do you mean why did I come to the woods today, when Rigo told me Jim Sheridan was there? You're still waiting for me to defend myself?”

“I think I deserve an explanation, yes.”

Again, he didn't speak.

“Dylan?”

“Jim was the sheriff of Morgantown when Addie Durand was kidnapped,” he began slowly. “He's supported me over the years . . . encouraged me not to give up in looking for Addie.”

She lay still, absorbing not only his words, but trying to decode what he wasn't saying.

“That's a good thing, isn't it?” she asked.

“Of course it is. I don't know what I would have done without him.”

“So why did you come out to the woods and jump all over him? I thought you were friends.”

“Jim is a good cop. Excellent, in fact. Last night, he noticed how tense I was. Around you,” he added after a pause. “He went out to see you today, because he sensed something was going on with me. He was digging for answers.”

“You
were
surly last night when that alarm went off,” Alice mumbled, uncomfortably aware she was skirting the relevant topic. She frowned into the darkness, attempting to firm her resolve. “You
can't
be thinking that Jim Sheridan actually was connecting last night to Addie Durand. Connecting
me
to Addie Durand,” she added reluctantly.

“What if he did? I told you, he's an excellent cop. He likely noticed the similarity between you and Lynn.”

She started. “I look like Lynn Durand?” That seemingly casual statement felt like a little bomb had gone off in her.

“Yes. It seems like you do a little more every day.”

“What do you mean?”

“As your hair grows and lightens and you give up on some of the heavy eye makeup,” he replied gruffly, and she sensed his distraction. “My point is, are you ready to answer Jim Sheridan's questions? Are you ready to have the FBI notified, and deal with the ramifications of them coming here to finally close a twenty-year-old investigation?”

“No,” she exclaimed, alarm making her jerk up and turn partially toward Dylan.

“There you have it.
That's
why I didn't want Jim to find out the truth. Yet.”

For several seconds, she remained in the tensed position, her mind working over what he'd told her. No. Alice definitely was
not
ready to have various law enforcement officials interrupt her life with questions she wasn't ready to answer.

That she
couldn't
answer, because she hadn't fully faced the reality of those questions herself.

Dylan had stormed into those woods with a purpose. He'd been trying to shield her.

She eased back onto the pillow.

“I think you might have made things worse with Jim by acting that way. He seemed even more suspicious by your heavy-handedness.”

She heard his soft grunt of irritated agreement. “I realize that. Maybe I have mixed feelings about telling Jim. He deserves to know the truth, but I knew you wouldn't be ready to face the consequences of him knowing it yet. When it came down to it, no one else could have stopped him from interrogating you except for me. I was worried.”

“I'm fine
,”
Alice said in a pressured whisper. His hand flexed on her arm, and he drew her closer to his body. She clamped her eyes shut as emotion expanded in her chest. It seemed to rise to her brain until it throbbed in her ears.

I'm fine
. Her voice replayed in her head, making her cringe. She'd sounded like she was trying to convince herself as much as she was Dylan.

*   *   *

ALICE
was dead on her feet when Dylan awoke her in the predawn darkness. She dressed in a half-conscious daze. When she walked
out of the bathroom, she saw Dylan waiting for her by his bedroom door. When she neared him, he handed her a bag without a word.

“What's this?”

“It's for tonight. The Alumni Dinner.”

She opened the bag and peered inside. She saw a black garment. When she drew it out, she saw it was a lovely sophisticated cocktail dress, an elegant item that she'd never have the taste to choose, let alone the money to buy. It was one of several dresses he'd bought for her last week.

Crap
. He'd noticed how awkward she'd felt in her sundress at the last semiformal event held at Castle Durand. The thought mortified her.

“There's more,” he said, his low rumble emanating above and just to the right of her making the skin of her ear prickle.

Unable to look at him because she was afraid he'd see her mixed shame and excitement, she reached into the bag and pulled out a rectangular black velvet box. Inside nestled a beautiful rope of pearls. She just stared at the necklace for a moment before she swallowed thickly and met his stare.

“Yes. You
can
. They're yours,” he said succinctly, preempting her response. He'd known she was about to tell him she couldn't take the items.

Several days ago, Dylan had surprised her with a small yet stunning new wardrobe. That was before he'd told her about Addie Durand. It made her uncomfortable now, to consider his gifts, in retrospect.

Maybe Dylan expected her to look and dress the part of an heiress.

She wavered about whether or not to refuse the items. In the end, she accepted the dress: frowning, exhausted, and highly uncertain. The simple fact of the matter was she didn't have anything else to wear. She'd been so distracted, she'd forgotten the
Alumni Dinner, and both of her sundresses were in the dirty-clothes hamper.

“One more thing,” Dylan said before they headed out the door. “Give me your keys.”

She gave him a dubious look, but handed him her key ring. He took a key from his jeans' pocket and worked it onto the metal ring. He lifted her right hand in both of his, pressing the keys gently to her palm.

“You know the security code. Now you have the key to get into the castle. If it feels strange to you tonight, being here as a guest, this is just a reminder that you're anything
but
.”

*   *   *

A
few hours of sleep were definitely not sufficient. She remained zombie-like for the entire walk through the grounds with Dylan and as she furtively entered her cabin, washed, and pulled on new clothes. She was still out of it by the time she met up with Terrance Brown for their early morning jog. The rising sun was making the eastern woods look like they were catching fire. Terrance immediately took note of her pale face and blurry eyes.

“Come on, Alice. You're supposed to be the healthy one here. Are you hungover or something? You out partying last night?” Terrance teased her, dimpling up with a wide grin.

“Partying,”
Alice mumbled with dark sarcasm. “Who's got time for
partying
?”

She perked up a moment later as she joined Terrance in stretching on the white side beach. Terrance didn't appear to be phoning it in, but genuinely trying to warm up his muscles for their run. Maybe her attempts at hooking Terrance into the benefits of exercise were paying off. At least he'd shown up independently for their early morning jogs, which was something. It wasn't easy getting a fifteen-year-old boy up at dawn.

After they'd returned from their morning run, Alice walked
into the Red Team's cabin with Terrance, wanting a word with the night supervisor before she left. After she'd met up with Crystal, she opened the door to the nearly empty common room. Immediately, she overheard Terrance, Matt Dinorio, and Justin Arun muttering conspiratorially together where they sat at a corner table.

“They say they've set up some kind of secret alarm system this year to stop people from stealing it,” she heard Matt hiss. “It's not as easy as it was for Ormitz and McCaron and those guys from the Gold Team in the past. I don't think we can do it.”

“You're full of it. No one would waste so much money and effort on a damn goat. You two said the Red Team has never got it! We've got to try,” Terrance insisted.

“I'm
serious
. If you get anywhere near it . . .
Boom
. Alarms start blaring, and the next thing you know, you're behind bars at the Morgantown jail.”

Alice stilled, both concerned and mystified by the boys' conversation. Justin and Matt were both “expert” Durand campers. They were bright, energetic, and often mischievous, but not any more so than most teenage boys. She considered Terrance in the same light. Alice didn't think any of them were capable of serious law breaking. True, Matt had been involved in several petty crimes years ago. He came from a pretty rough neighborhood and had fallen in with a bad crowd. But since first attending Camp Durand, Matt had been clean as a whistle and his grades had significantly improved.

“What are you guys talking about?” Alice demanded loudly, fully entering the room.

The boys started like they'd been goosed.

Of course she got nothing from them after that but uncomfortable laughter and some unintelligible mumbling. Alice was considering separating them for a more thorough interrogation, but stopped herself at the last minute. Something told her it would be wiser to go about this in a different way.

I mean . . . a
goat
? Seriously?

And hadn't she heard someone say something about a goat recently? It came to her when: Jim Sheridan in the woods yesterday, sporting with the two kids from Kuvi's team about a goat.

Sure, it was alarming to hear her kids talking about a theft, but there had to be something more to the story, something Alice wasn't getting. She was mystified, more than anything.

She brought up the incident at lunch later that day while she was sitting at a table with Kuvi, Thad, and Dave Epstein. Dave grinned.

“I know what they're talking about. Salinger told me after I heard some of my kids making some sly references to it and acting like I was too stupid to notice,” Dave said, referring to Aidan Salinger, a Durand manager. “There's another camp down the shore called Camp Wildwood, and their mascot is a goat. They call it Bang.”

“Bang?” Alice asked blankly, pausing with her chicken sandwich a few inches from her mouth.

“The whole thing is based on an old story. Camp Wildwood puts on a firework display on the last night of camp. One summer decades ago, a wild goat broke into the shed where the fireworks were being stored and ate some of the fireworks.” Dave shrugged. “You can imagine the rest. Bang went
bang.
” He made an exploding sound and motioned with his hands to imply fragments shooting in all directions.

“Disgusting. You Yanks have the most warped sense of humors,” Kuvi declared when Thad and Alice snorted with laughter.

“Seriously? A wild
goat
? Around here? Where do they find those, right alongside the wild cows and sheep?” Thad asked, glancing from Kuvi to Alice incredulously. Alice choked on her laughter and set down her sandwich.

BOOK: Glow
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