Salvation (The Protectors, Book 2) (3 page)

BOOK: Salvation (The Protectors, Book 2)
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My fear turned to full on panic when I realized Ronan had tied me up tight enough to keep me from getting loose on my own. In the back of my mind, I heard foil tearing along with a zipper being drawn down, but I couldn’t focus on any of it because I was struggling to pull my hands free of the cotton belt that just seemed to get tighter the more I fought. Cold air drifted over my hole as Ronan opened me up and then something slick was pressing against my entrance. My throat seized up and I couldn’t find my voice. I desperately yanked my hands apart in the hopes of loosening the belt, but then Ronan’s hand closed over the spot where my wrists were tied.

I tried to tell Ronan that I needed him to slow down, but I knew I hadn’t managed to get the words out because my throat was too clogged with fear. I felt his finger begin to massage me and humiliation went through me; I couldn’t stem the tears that began to fall. And then Ronan was gone and the bathroom was gone.

It was just me and them and my father’s broken voice as he begged and pleaded with my captors not to hurt me. I tried one last time to get my wrists free and then gave up and cried into my gag as I waited for the blade to slice through me again.

Chapter Three

 

Ronan

 

My fingers shook as I teased Seth’s hole and I struggled to catch my breath as I willed my throbbing dick to settle down so I could make this good for the young man bent over in front of me, his beautiful body mine for the taking.

From the second I’d given in to my need and kissed Seth, I knew I wouldn’t be able to take it slow and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop. I had no idea if the relentless pace I’d set was to keep me from realizing what I was doing and stopping it, or to prevent Seth from denying me what my body had finally decided belonged to it. There’d been a moment of hesitation as Seth’s tentative and too innocent kisses had sent up red flags of warning in my brain, but then Seth had started mewling and whimpering in such desperation that I’d lost all semblance of control.

I shifted my hips so that my condom covered dick was pressed between Seth’s spread legs and I rested more of my weight on his bound hands as I leaned over him to seek out his lips and to promise him again that I would make it perfect for him. But the second I saw the tears sliding down his face, I froze.

“Seth?” I whispered in confusion. When his only response was to squeeze his eyes closed even harder, I let out a hoarse shout and pulled him upright and spun him around.

“Seth, open your eyes,” I commanded shakily.

What the hell had I done?

The reality of the situation slammed into me so hard that my knees actually buckled. “Seth, please,” I whispered as I ran my thumbs over his wet cheeks. The move did nothing to stem his tears but he finally opened his eyes.

“My hands,” he croaked. “Please…”

Fuck, fuck, fuck!

I carefully turned him around so he was facing the mirror and quickly worked the knot on the belt loose. As soon as his hands were free, he dropped them to the counter and hung his head. I ached to reach out and pull him into my arms but I couldn’t move, couldn’t think. I couldn’t even find any words to tell him how sorry I was for what I’d done.

And then his gaze lifted to meet mine in the mirror and I sucked in a strangled breath. Fear, confusion…shame – they were all I saw.

I shook my head and tore my eyes from his. I barely managed to tuck my now flaccid dick back into my pants and close them as I rushed from the room, leaving him there exposed and vulnerable and…fuck…broken.

 

* * *

He found me easily because unlike the last time Seth’s touch had destroyed me, I hadn’t run. Not because I didn’t want to – I did. I wanted nothing more than to get away from this place that reminded me of what I’d lost…of what I’d become. But as much as I needed to escape, my gut was telling me that I couldn’t leave just yet.

“Ronan, it’s cold. Would you come inside please?” Seth asked as he came to a stop on the sand next to me. It had started drizzling within minutes of me fleeing the house but the moisture had felt good on my heated face. It had taken only a few minutes to make my way down the hill and I had no trouble finding the path that led to the beach. I’d ended up walking for a while before I’d forced myself to turn around and head back towards the house. But I couldn’t make myself go back up to it so I’d sat down on an old, weathered log that had washed up onto the shore some time ago based on its distance from the water.

I didn’t respond to Seth and when he sat down next to me, I saw that his wrists were still red from where he’d fought the bindings. Nausea rolled through me and I shifted away from him so no part of his body even stood a remote chance of touching mine.

“I’m sorry, Ronan,” I heard him whisper.

I was certain I was going to throw up at his words and actually had to swallow back the bile that rose in my throat.

“What?” I managed to croak.

“I’m sorry,” he repeated.

“Jesus, Seth,” I groaned as I got to my feet and took a few steps forward. “You don’t have a fucking thing to be sorry for,” I said harshly. “God, I almost…”

I couldn’t even finish the word because it was so disgusting and ugly.

“Ronan,” Seth said and I felt him come up behind me. His hand closed over my arm and I immediately stepped out of his reach. He got the message and stepped around me but kept his distance. “Ronan, I wanted what happened between us. You must know that’s all I’ve ever wanted,” he admitted quietly.

I shook my head and turned away from him with the intention of making my way back down the beach but he blocked my path.

“I panicked because I couldn’t get my hands free...”

Yeah, because I’d treated him like every cheap fuck I’d had in the years since Trace’s death and I’d tainted him with the stain of my dark, twisted need.

“Seth, you don’t have to explain. What I did to you was unforgiveable.”

Seth seemed agitated as he studied me. Finally, he said, “Trace never told you, did he?”

“Told me what?”

“About what really happened that day.”

I knew exactly what day he was referring to because there were only two days in Seth’s life that he would refer to that way and Trace had only been alive for one of them. I’d been with Trace when he’d gotten the call that his family had been attacked during a brutal home invasion. At fourteen, Seth had been the only one who’d survived the nightmare and even then, it had been close because he’d been stabbed repeatedly. Trace and I had both been deployed in Afghanistan at the time and I hadn’t been able to get leave to return with him to the States, since we’d needed to keep our relationship under wraps.

“What do you mean?” I asked as fear of what I would hear churned in my gut. Trace had been tight-lipped about the whole incident, but I’d always attributed his reluctance to discuss it as being due to the brutal way in which his parents had been killed.

“The men…they were convinced that my dad had a safe in the house. They didn’t believe him when he said he didn’t, so they used me and my mom to force him to talk.”

I shook my head in disbelief as I began to understand what he was telling me.

“My mom…one of the guys, he took her upstairs. We could hear her screaming…” Seth managed to get out before he began sobbing. Even though I’d told myself I wouldn’t touch him again, I dragged him into my arms and wrapped my arms around him as his tears soaked through my shirt. I dropped my lips to the top his head.

“My dad was begging them to stop. Then one of the guys grabbed me. My hands…my hands were tied behind my back…”

I closed my eyes as a fresh wave of guilt washed through me. “Jesus, Seth, I’m so fucking sorry.”

“I tried to be brave. I thought if I screamed, it would be so much harder for my dad.” Seth shook his head against my chest. “It hurt too much. They kept cutting me over and over. My stomach, my chest. My father was screaming and crying. Then they stabbed me before going after him. My mom…she’d finally stopped screaming at some point.”

I held Seth as he continued to softly cry against me. Finally, he pulled back and I dropped my arms. “I just got scared, Ronan. But not of you…not of what you were doing.”

I managed a nod even though his words did nothing to ease my guilt. No matter what the outcome, I never should have touched him. I remembered his inexperienced kisses and another layer of shame fell on my already heavy shoulders. “Seth, was that the first time someone touched you like that?” I asked.

His eyes dropped to the sand and I saw his pale cheeks flush with color.

Fuck.

“It won’t happen again,” I finally said. “It can’t.”

“But-”

“It can’t,” I repeated firmly, my eyes pinning him. The strands of his hair were starting to grow heavy with moisture and I noticed the way his skin glistened beneath the light drizzle. But when a shiver went through his body, I said, “Let’s go back to the house.”

He nodded but didn’t move. I finally moved past him and hoped that he would follow.

He did.

 

* * *

After we’d reached the house, I’d urged Seth to take a shower and I’d used the time to retrieve my car which was parked about a half a mile from the house, on a small dirt road that provided access to the woods behind the Nichols estate. I had no trouble getting through the security gate at the end of the driveway since the code was exactly the same as it had been years ago when Trace had brought me here to meet his family. Back then, the house had been alive with warmth and happiness and I’d reveled in being so easily accepted into the fold. The concept of family was as foreign to me as my sexuality being accepted without question or contempt.

I’d met Trace Nichols at one of the most chaotic points in my life and I’d done everything in my power to discourage his pursuit of me. And that was exactly what it had been…a pursuit.

 

Eight years earlier

“Excuse me,” I murmured without looking up at whomever I’d bumped into as they were getting off the elevator just as I was stepping on to it.

“No problem.”

The husky voice caught my attention and I lifted my eyes from the chart I’d been reviewing and nearly stumbled at the sight of the young soldier watching me intently as he stood in the elevator opening, his body preventing the door from closing. I swallowed hard at how beautiful he was but common sense returned quickly and I dropped my eyes. I forced myself to keep my breathing slow and even as I tried to focus on the lab results I’d been studying, but my curiosity got the better of me when I didn’t hear the elevator door slide shut and I shifted my eyes up for just a moment. The gorgeous man hadn’t moved at all and his eyes were watching me with such open hunger, that I felt my dick responding instantly. I didn’t need gaydar to know what his look meant and based on the way he was staring at me, his gaydar was working just fine…that or he didn’t care whether it was or not.

There were no other people on the elevator or milling around the bank of elevators, but his open interest was making me uncomfortable, both physically and mentally, so I said, “Um, did you want to get off?”

He smiled widely at that and it hit me how the question must have sounded. To my dismay, he stepped back into the elevator and released the door which instantly slid shut, closing us off in the small space. I’d already pressed my floor and I watched in mute fascination as he began pressing every button between the floor we were on and the floor I was going to. And then he was moving to stand next to me, despite the ample amount of space available in the elevator car.

“I’m Trace,” he said softly as his eyes traveled up and down the length of my body. I was insanely glad for the long white doctor’s coat I was wearing because it hid my very obvious physical reaction to his perusal. “What’s your name?”

The elevator stopped and I held my breath to see if anyone else was getting on. I wasn’t sure if I wanted there to be someone on the other side of the door when it opened or not. There wasn’t.

I let out a nervous chuckle and returned my attention to the chart. He didn’t need to know that I was having trouble focusing on it.

I’d known I was gay for a very long time and while I hadn’t ever tried to deny it, I’d kept it close to the vest just like I did all the other personal details of my life. It was something I’d learned to do early on when my father discovered me kissing my eighth grade lab partner in my room during a study session. What had happened afterwards hadn’t been good for me.

I’d dated a few guys here and there in college and medical school but my busy schedule had often meant an early end to any potential long-term relationships. That had left random hooks-ups in bars and clubs that often left me feeling cheap and dirty as soon as the less than spectacular orgasm wore off. And since I regularly bottomed, I wasn’t even always guaranteed said orgasm, at least not one that I couldn’t have gotten on my own anyway.

“Dr. Grisham,” Trace murmured and I looked down to see his fingers straightening the fabric of my jacket so he could read the name stitched on the pocket of my coat.

“Was there something you needed, Staff Sargent?” I asked as I scanned his insignia on his uniform. The rank surprised me considering he seemed to only be in his early twenties. His bright green eyes sparkled as he smiled at me and I realized I’d asked him yet another open ended question that I already suspected how he wanted to answer. “Forget I said that,” I said with a smile of my own.

The elevator made another stop but I was strangely glad when no one got on.

“Yes and yes,” Trace said as he shifted even closer to me.

I looked at him in confusion. “Yes to the first question, yes to the second,” he drawled as his eyes fell to my mouth. “What’s your name, Doc?”

If his voice had been more flirtatious, I would have been able to coolly dismiss him without a second thought. But the heavy thread of desire I heard had me wanting to do so much more than tell him something as simple as my name.

I was saved from doing anything when the elevator door opened and a couple of nurses got on. “Morning, Dr. Grisham,” the younger of the two nurses said with a wide smile as she gave me a once over and then actually giggled as she turned her attention back on her colleague.

“Morning,” I murmured in response. I couldn’t remember her name despite the many times she’d sent me her not-so-subtle message that she was interested in me. I’d expected Trace to move away from me when the ladies joined us, but he didn’t. To my dismay, he moved even closer and I barely stifled a moan when his fingers brushed mine. The sparks that flew were immediate and unlike anything I’d ever felt before, and the rush of having the other two occupants of the elevator car so close, yet so unaware, was heady. But Trace wasn’t just content with the minimal contact because his arm actually stretched out onto the handrail at our backs. To anyone else, he would have looked like he was just bracing himself as he leaned against it but behind my back, his hand was busy as it skimmed over my lower back before dipping down to slide over the curve of my ass. Even through the fabric of my doctor’s coat and pants, the shock of his touch reverberated through me.

BOOK: Salvation (The Protectors, Book 2)
10.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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