Authors: Sondrae Bennett
Tension built inside her. She trembled as she neared a climax. Almost there. She curled her fingers into the tiled wall. So close. His fingers slammed into her. Once. Twice. And then she was soaring. Her breath sobbed out as pleasure overtook her.
When reality returned, Cameron rubbed her limbs with a lavender-scented washcloth. His lips caressed her skin as the water washed away the soap suds.
“I think we should make lunch and eat it in bed,” he suggested.
Kalindra could think of nothing better.
“Well, don’t look so surprised. I told you next time we’d hang out on your side of the gate.” The smile curving Ana’s lips promised trouble.
Kali stared at her friend, her body caught between cooling passion, anticipation of a fight, and surprise. Slowly, Ana’s presence registered in her confused mind.
Not an attack on the gate. Friend, not foe.
Ana stood before her, sunlight reflecting off her vibrant red hair, lips puffed out in their natural pout. A clingy scrap of a dress covered her form, barely, showing off full breasts, curvy hips, and shapely legs. Kali’s gaze took it all in.
She lowered her head to the side, hoping beyond hope Cameron would stay put. Maybe fall while trying to get out of bed and knock himself unconscious. Or something. Anything to keep him from coming here.
Never before had she been concerned about Ana’s appearance. She’d never really paid any attention to it before today. Ana’s draw on the opposite sex amused her more often than not. The way she could get them to forget everything but her. More than one man had forgotten his own name. She and Ana always laughed for hours when that happened. Besides, it wasn’t like Ana could control it. Attraction was part of her power as a siren. She couldn’t control her appeal any more than the men could resist it. So it had never bothered Kalindra that she was all but ignored by others when they hung out.
Not until today.
“You don’t look happy to see me,” Ana said with a pout.
She wasn’t. But she couldn’t say that. Ana would be hurt, and no matter what Ana was, she was still Kalindra’s best friend. Had been her best friend ever since they were little girls, despite the differences in their species and upbringing. Ana had always been there whenever Kali needed her.
But Kalindra wanted her far away from Cameron.
“Of course I’m happy.” She hesitated. Her ears picked up someone crashing through the brush to her left.
Get rid of her
, her brain screamed. Her breath sped up in panic. Had to get her to leave. “Now’s not really a good time, Ana.”
“Oh, poo,” she said, oblivious to the panic inside Kali. She moved forward, the sway of her hips drawing Kali’s gaze. A twig snapped in the forest behind her. Cameron was moving closer.
Leave, leave, leave
“You have to go,” She said, no longer softening her words. She didn’t care if she hurt Ana’s feelings. Didn’t care if Ana left in a snit. All she cared about was making sure Cameron did not see her. Because watching Cameron ignore Kali in order to slobber all over her friend would kill her.
Hooking her arm though Ana’s, she spun her toward the gate.
Hurry, hurry, hurry.
“I’m not leaving. We’re going out.” Ana spun out her grip and moved away. “You need to have more fun.”
But this wouldn’t be fun. This would be torture.
“Ana, please, I’m begging you to go.” Her heart was in her throat as she begged her friend with her eyes to leave without an explanation.
“What are you hiding?” Ana asked, her features turning shrewd. No, no, no. Now she would never leave until she met Cameron.
Not that it mattered anymore. It was too late. Kalindra watched in horror as he came tearing through the brush, broadsword raised. He drew up short as he caught sight of them. The look on his face would have been funny, had her world not been crashing down around her.
His gaze moved from her to Ana. Back and forth. Any minute now, he’d move toward Ana, and Kali would cease to exist for him. Kali bit her lip, refusing to let the tears fall. Not his fault, she knew. Ana being siren, her power of attraction lived in her presence. She could turn it off no more than Cameron could resist. But seeing it would crush her nonetheless.
His gaze settled on Ana, amusement lit his eyes, and a smile that would have made her heart speed up had it been directed at her spread across his face. Her chest tightened in dismay.
“My, my, Kali, you have been keeping secrets,” Ana murmured softly so only Kali could hear.
Kali closed her eyes and prepared herself for the untenable pain of watching Cameron drool over another woman.
* * * *
Cameron glanced between the two women, not quite sure what was happening. Kali wasn’t fighting the other woman, so that had to be a good sign. Right?
But the look on her face worried him. If everything was fine, why did she look so devastated?
“Uh…hello,” he said, still trying to read the undercurrents in the air.
“Aren’t you a handsome one.”
The redhead sidled toward him. His gaze dropped to her swaying hips, before he even thought about it. Once his brain kicked in, his gaze shot up to her face.
No denying the woman was beautiful. With her flawless skin, vibrant red hair, and delicate features, she was a sight to behold. Something about her compelled him to get closer. The compulsion strengthened as he stared into her piercing green eyes.
He’d been wrong. The woman was more than beautiful. She was stunning. Her beauty was a physical force, pulling him in.
Movement behind her distracted him. His gaze collided with Kali’s, and he almost stumbled as the other woman’s spell left him. He wanted Kali. No other woman held a candle to her.
The woman poked her head between him and Kali. His frustration lasted only a moment as her sexuality wrapped around him once again. Whoever she was, he wanted to know everything about her.
“I’m Analise.” The goddess held out her hand, and Cameron almost fell to his knees. The chance to feel her skin against his! A dream come true.
But wait. That wasn’t right. He’d already touched his very own goddess. And it wasn’t this woman in front of him. Where was Kali?
He turned away from the proffered hand and searched for Kali. There she was. Her eyes met his and whatever spell he’d been under vanished. Everything he wanted was right there.
He turned back to Analise, preparing for the punch of her power, but it never came. As if realizing exactly how much she meant to him made him immune to the other woman’s charm.
“Cameron,” he said, taking the woman’s hand. Still nothing.
The woman studied him carefully before a wide smile bloomed on her face.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Kalindra flinch as if struck. He jerked his head so he could gaze around her. No sign of any enemies.
Analise stepped into him. Her grip tightened on his hand, preventing him from backing up.
“If you’re looking for the source of her distress,” she whispered, her lips caressing his ear with every word. “I believe it’s because I’m talking with you, and she’s worried you’re going to fall under my spell. But you’re not entranced like most of the men I meet. There’s only two reasons that could happen. Either you don’t…sway to womanly persuasion, or you are deeply in love with my friend over there.”
The word love punched into him, knocking the breath from him. Was he in love with Kali? His eyes sought her again. Her distress called to him. He met her eyes, and all the pieces of the puzzle clicked into place.
clicked into place. Before, he would have given his life for her without thinking through the reason. But the answer had been there in front of him the whole time. She was the reason. He loved her with every ounce of his being. And he’d do anything to keep her safe.
“Based solely on the way you’re eating my friend up with your eyes, I’m guessing it’s the latter.”
Cameron pulled away from her. “Excuse me,” he whispered.
Kali’s brow lowered into a frown. Her narrowed gaze snagged his, and she shook her head as he crossed to her, no longer able to stay separated. He needed to touch her. To hold her, and feel her respond to his kiss.
Needed to confess his love. He just hoped she felt the same.
Her gaze zipped between him and Analise’s. Obviously she expected him to be captivated. But she had no idea. He couldn’t be enthralled by her friend, because he was already enthralled with her.
Wasting no time, he grabbed her, and swung her into a dip. Her hands gripped his shoulders, her body relaxing in his arms, trusting him to keep her from falling. Pleasure filled her eyes, even as a smile curled her lips, lighting her entire face in happiness. His chest puffed out knowing he had put it there.
He leaned in, grabbing her bottom lip between his teeth and cutting off her words.
She groaned into his mouth, urging him on. He loved the sound of her pleasure. Pleasure he wrought.
Then he slipped his tongue into her mouth. Tasting her. A flavor all her own. Sweet, but with an edge. Just like Kali herself.
Her breasts brushed against his chest, her nipples pebbled as he continued to savor her lips. Her tongue moved against his, and the world around them disappeared. He forgot about her friend, and about the gate. The woman he loved was in his arms, matching him passion for passion. Everything was right with the world.
He dipped her lower, his fingers curling harder into her hip. Whenever he kissed her, all his good intentions went out the window. He’d wanted to keep things light. But now, he wanted her naked and moaning with need as he plunged into her wet heat.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, sunk her fingers into his hair, and arched into him.
Cameron pulled away and stared into eyes gone hazy with pleasure. And yeah, he felt like a million bucks. His chest swelled.
Her gaze dropped to his lips, and he felt a tremor skate through her body. Resisting the urge to kiss her again was beyond his control. She sighed as he closed the space between their lips, and Cameron knew she was lost. Good. Because he was lost as well. So deep in love with this woman he knew he’d never be the same. She’d crawled into his heart and set up shop.
“You both do know that I’m still here, right?” her friend asked.
Cameron couldn’t care less about the woman. She could go wreak havoc on all of Earth for all he cared. Plus, knowing she and Kali were friends, he knew she probably wouldn’t do any such thing.
But apparently Kali had a different view. She wiggled in his grip until he stood her upright. There went for his plans for the next couple hours.
“I wish you’d called, Ana,” Kali said.
Cameron looked at her closely. Was that a blush staining her cheeks? He crossed behind her and plastered himself against her back. No way would he let her be embarrassed about what just happened.
“I can see that. Well, since you’re clearly…busy, I’ll just head on home. But you are going to tell me all about–” She waved her hands in front of her. “This. Soon. And I want all the scandalous details.”
Ana turned for the gate.
“Wait, Ana. You don’t have to go,” Kali called out, stopping her friend.
Cameron growled. He had plans for the afternoon. Ones that didn’t include another woman.
Ana’s lips curled into a mischievous smile. “Oh, I really do.” And then she stepped through the portal and vanished.
Kali stared at the portal until he turned her to face him. They had things to discuss. He cupped her face in his hands and stared into her eyes. Everything he felt for her crowded his chest. Here was the woman for him.
“Kali, I want to stay with you.”
“I’m getting that,” she said, cupping his cheek.
“No. I mean I want to stay…forever.”
“Forever?” Kali looked off to the side for so long, he wasn’t sure she would respond. “I can’t let you do that.”
“You don’t want me here?” he asked, backing up. How could he not have seen it before? He’d been falling in love, but she considered him a plaything. How could he have been so stupid?
“Of course I want you here.” She grabbed him and pulled him closer. Relief crashed over him. “But I can’t let you ruin your life like that.”
Ruin his life?
What was she talking about? Whatever it was didn’t matter.