Authors: Selena Kitt
Unless one of them had seen her.
“You’re safe.” He said the words and hoped
she believed them. Even if there was danger lurking, he had every
intention of protecting her.
Of course, he’d intended to protect Isabelle
“I’m glad you’re home.” She sounded both
relieved and truly happy. “I
miss you, you big lug.” She
went to pound her fist against his chest to emphasize the point and
he caught it, stifling a laugh.
“So did you fix me dinner, woman?” he
teased. She looked up and stuck her tongue out at him. That did
make him laugh. “I smelled something good a mile away.”
“Venison chili.” She stood, picking up a
skein of yarn and her knitting needles. “I used some of your canned
tomatoes. I hope you don’t mind.”
“They’re for eating.” He followed her out,
shutting the door behind him before heading toward the good smells
in the kitchen. “What are you working on now?”
Jolee put her mass of flesh-colored yarn and
needles on the counter, peering under a pot lid and stirring. The
already delicious scent of food increased tenfold and Silas’s
stomach rumbled. He’d been living on jerky for two days.
“Another mask.” She held it up. “I made my
own pattern. Since you won’t show me yours, I’m going to give you a
“Talented girl.” He studied it—she only had
a third of it completed, but he could see the image beginning to
take shape in the stitches. “Keep it up and I’m going to need to
buy you some sheep just to keep you in yarn.”
“You should learn.” She pushed the yarn
toward him and let him finger it while she spooned bowls of piping
hot chili. “It’s a good skill to know out here. That way you can
even make clothes for yourself when I’m…”
She didn’t finish the sentence and Silas
looked at her, his heart beating too fast, as she handed him a
spoon. Of course she didn’t have to finish the sentence. He
finished it easily enough in his head.
When I’m gone.
He didn’t want to think about that. He’d
lost too much in his life and didn’t want consider losing her too.
They didn’t talk about what might happen in the future, or what had
happened to either of them in the past, and it was better that way.
Thoughts of the past brought pain and looking into the future was
too uncertain. Staying right here in the moment was the only thing
Jolee was a surprise to him every day and he
couldn’t have expressed what a joy it was to wake up to the sound
of her singing in the new shower every morning, how much he looked
forward to stoking the fire in the woodstove at night so she could
warm her feet while he whittled and she knitted and they played the
“would you rather?” game.
Would you rather live in the country or
His answer was obvious.
Would you rather eat a bug or step on a
She made faces at him and refused to choose.
Jolee had introduced him to the game and he
played with relish, seriously considering even the most ridiculous
options, always giving her an honest answer. Of course, there were
questions neither of them asked—they had a tacit understanding. But
now a question came to mind that he didn’t want to ponder.
Would you rather lose Jolee or Isabelle?
He couldn’t choose. Isabelle was gone, and
although he still searched for her, nothing was going to bring her
back. But Jolee was here—safe and smiling at him from across the
table, chattering on about how Anna had missed his big, warm hands
and objected to her small, cold ones—and he wouldn’t let anything
happen to her. He would make sure of that.
He wasn’t even going to let himself consider
* * * *
She tried to scream, but nothing came out.
Opening her eyes, she saw only blackness. The darkness was
suffocating, air like lead weight in her lungs—she could barely
pull a breath. She listened hard for something that would center
her, give her a sense of location, and it took moments that felt
like hours to discern the soft, hitching sound of Silas snoring
down the hall.
The bed beneath her tensed limbs grew slowly
familiar, as did the whistling of the wind through the pines
outside her window and the sudden, startled call of an owl. It had
just been a dream. She was safe. She was home. Rolling over and
pulling the covers with her, Jolee willed her heart to slow, her
breathing to return to some semblance of normal. It had been months
since she called out for Silas in the middle of the night because
of a bad dream, but she still wished for him upon waking, even if
she didn’t say anything.
There was something so comforting about the
man, just his presence in a room made her feel more calm. Of
course, that wasn’t all it made her feel. Closing her eyes, she
tried to drift off again, but the weight of the silence, the
darkness, and her own loneliness were too great. The bed was too
small, the sheets too rough. Nothing felt right.
Down the hall, Silas snored and Jolee
couldn’t help it. She pushed her covers off and crept toward the
sound. She didn’t know why she bothered—his door was always closed
and locked, an unspoken barrier. She’d tested it a few times on her
way by at night, listening at the door, hearing him breathing. His
locking her out didn’t surprise her.
What surprised her was finding the door open
tonight. Maybe he’d gotten up to use the bathroom and forgotten to
shut it? She felt her way in the darkness. The cabin had no ambient
light and Silas left no outside lights on, so moving around at
night was like being blind. She found the edge of the bed with her
knees and stopped, hearing Silas snort, his breathing stop.
“Jolee?” He sat up, sounding wide awake.
“Are you okay?”
“Bad dream.” She crawled into bed with him,
under the covers, and found him surprisingly, warmly nude, only the
t-shirt she was wearing separating the two of them. He was always
dressed, even on his way to the bathroom in the morning, usually
head to toe in long underwear.
“Jolee…” Silas drew in a sharp breath when
she snuggled in closer, tucking her head under his chin like she
always did, her bare thigh snaking between his. They’d never been
skin to skin like this. It was a shock to both of them.
“Someone was trying to kill me.” Okay, so
she lied—she couldn’t really remember her dream—but it was a small
lie. And to be fair, her dream could have been about someone trying
to kill her because, after all, someone had been. Might still be,
out there, somewhere.
Silas cradled her instantly and she let him,
hands moving through her hair, over her back, soothing. Smiling,
she rubbed her cheek against the solid expanse of his chest,
feeling hairs tickling her and the rough edge of something. A scar?
Her fingers moved up to explore it in the dark, finding her way,
like a roadmap, to his throat. His skin was a surprise, smooth in
places, rough and raised in others.
It wasn’t until she reached his chin and he
grabbed her hand that she realized. “You’re not wearing a
“I don’t sleep in it,” he confessed,
swallowing and shifting on the bed, placing her hand firmly on his
“I can’t see you anyway.” She continued to
follow the harsh terrain of his skin southward, finding the dip of
his navel. “It’s too dark.”
“What are you doing?” His voice was choked,
“Exploring,” she whispered, reaching a
thatch of thick, wiry hair with her fingertips. She found what
she’d been searching for, half-risen out of its nest, the wrap of
her hand around its pulsing length bringing it fully to life. His
cock was alive in her hand, throbbing against her fingertips, the
skin moving under her thumb when she began rubbing the meaty shaft
up and down. She listened, but he wasn’t breathing at all now.
“Silas?” She lifted her head as if she could
see him in the darkness and heard him let out a pent-up breath.
“Shhhh.” His hand slid over her hip, finding
bare skin under her t-shirt. “I’m dreaming. I don’t want to wake
“Me either.” She felt his breath, warm
against her cheek, and turned her face to his, their mouths pressed
together for the first time. His lips were soft and they opened
under pressure from her tongue, giving into her insistent probing.
She sensed him holding back, restraining himself, one hand gripping
her hip, the other fisting her hair as they kissed, and even the
gentle tug of her hand between his thighs didn’t move him.
“Jolee,” he whispered as she slid a thigh
across his belly, moving to straddle him. “What are you doing?”
“I have a job for you.” She walked her way
up his chest with her fingertips, stopping briefly at one of his
nipples, feeling him shudder. Then she leaned in to kiss him, her
breasts pressed against his chest, his cock trapped between them,
steel heat, and felt his hands move to her hips, holding on.
“What job?” he gasped when she slid further
up, pressing her breasts against his face. He groaned as if he was
in agony but Jolee ignored his plea for mercy, peeling off her
t-shirt, hips already moving in circles against his belly.
“It’s a little repetitious,” she warned as
she put one knee on his pillow and then the other, straddling his
She heard him swallow, felt the heat of his
breath, and gave a little whimper of her own.
“Please,” she whispered, reaching a hand
down to spread her swollen lips. She waited—listening to him
breathe, his chest rising and falling far too fast, just like hers,
his whole body tense—waiting for him to refuse her, to tell her to
go back to bed.
Instead, he gave a low, animal growl,
wrapping his arms around her hips and pulling her in, his mouth and
tongue pure heat, delving into her own. Jolee gave a squeal of
surprise, her hands coming up to catch herself against the
headboard, and then lost herself in the sensation. He attacked her
flesh violently with his tongue, licking and sucking at her pussy,
lapping at her slit, burying his whole face against her, making her
burn with pleasure.
When he found her clit, almost by accident
he was so lost in her flesh, drowning in her, he stayed there,
sucking it first between his lips and then lashing it back and
forth with his tongue. Jolee felt her thighs tense, trembling, her
hips wanting to buck but stilled by the thick wrap of his arms
around her, holding her in place against his face. His biceps were
flexed, hard against her thighs and she arched her back, reaching
behind to find the thick thrust of his cock, wanting to feel it
pulsing in her hand.
It distracted Silas only for a moment. He
gave a low moan, the sensation vibrating through her clit, and then
redoubled his efforts. She heard him swallowing her juices, his
breath coming almost as fast as hers. Silas made rough animal
noises against her pussy, deep from his throat and chest, and still
she tried to hold back. She wanted to do this forever, to feel his
abandon, his wild lust between her legs.
But she was going to come. There was no
“Silas,” she warned, barely a gasp, but he
heard, he knew, focusing right on her clit, that tiny bit of flesh
making her whole body shudder with anticipation. She screamed when
he let go of her hips, letting her buck and writhe, so he could
slide two fingers deep into her pussy. Her muscles clamped down
immediately and she rode his hand, his mouth, mashing her flesh
against his face as she came, her orgasm a bright flash of pulsing
light through her body in the darkness.
She didn’t have time to breathe or think or
even move. He had her rolled onto the bed in an instant, kissing
her pussy like a mouth and then moving up to kiss her mouth,
letting her taste herself. She licked at his lips and sucked his
tongue and felt him parting her slim thighs with the hard flex of
his, forcing them open wider. Reaching, she grabbed hold of his
length, aiming and guiding him in the dark.
“Wait.” He took a deep, steadying breath,
holding himself above her, poised and ready. She wanted him so much
she was dizzy with it. Sliding her hands up his biceps, over his
shoulders, feeling the uneven terrain of his scars, she felt his
hesitation, understood it, and didn’t want to give him a chance to
think, to second guess this.
“Fuck me, Silas, please,” she begged,
sliding a hand behind his neck and pulling his mouth to hers,
drowning in his kiss. She felt his body giving in as she drew his
tongue in deeper, wiggling her hips up, attempting to bridge the
gap. The tip of his cock teased her clit, sliding up and down her
wet slit, but not in.
“Jolee.” He groaned as she used her hand to
grab hold of him, pulling, tugging, rubbing him furiously against
the sensitive nub of her clit. “We can’t.”
She moaned in frustration as he rolled off
her onto his back on the bed, throwing an arm over his eyes. The
sound of their breath, both of them panting, filled the room. It
was so hot it felt like a sauna in spite of the near-zero
temperatures outside and the wind blowing tree branches against
side of the cabin.
“I want you.” Silas gulped, reaching over
and finding her hand. He squeezed hard. “Don’t think for a minute I
“But…” She rolled onto her side toward him,
feeling his body tense.
“But you’re my brother’s wife.”
Jolee let out a tight little laugh. “Are you
kidding me? Is that all?”
“I think it’s enough,” he said finally.
They hadn’t talked about it, but it had been
there between them from the beginning. She thought about her
husband—this man’s brother—and the idea that Carlos could keep her
from one more thing in the world that she wanted filled her with a
fierce, heated rage.
“Carlos hasn’t been my husband for years.
Not really, not in any way that counted.” She sat up, hugging her
knees. “I was something he could take around and show off.
Something he could use, if he felt like it. I wasn’t a person to
him. I was a…a…thing. I was something he wanted for a while, but
when he didn’t want me anymore, when it got too inconvenient to
keep me, I was disposable, like everyone else.”