Shameless Desire (The Outlawed Realm) (4 page)

BOOK: Shameless Desire (The Outlawed Realm)
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Nikoli wrapped his arms around her.

“Thanks,” she panted.

He kissed the top of her head. “Welcome.”

“We still need to talk.”

Nikoli pressed his face into her hair, pretending not to have heard.

“I know you’re not asleep.” She cleared her throat and swallowed. “You can go at this all night.” She tightened her sheath around his thick, hard length.

Unable to stop the inevitable, he asked, “Are you sorry I helped Lukan and Arez?”

“Huh? No. Never.” Huffing with the effort, Regina pushed up and cradled his face, her thumb on his lower lip.

“What?” he asked when she simply regarded him, saying nothing.

She answered with a deep, wet kiss that was as good as his orgasm, maybe better. That was lust. This was tenderness, respect, love.

Finished, she rubbed her nose against his bristly cheek and whispered, “I just want everything to be all right. Please tell me it will be. Make me believe it.”

He caressed her with care that said she mattered. To him, she was life—all that existed on any of the planes. He wanted to ease her worry with hearty assurances but couldn’t. So, he said nothing, kissing her instead, unwilling to think of the danger that waited just outside this house.

What horrors might be unfolding in the city tonight.

Chapter Three

Disconnected images flashed in Gwen’s mind, not unlike a dream.

She saw herself standing outside the hospital, exhausted from her twelve-hour shift, her face lifted to the sky. Drops of water pelted her face, feeling oddly warm, like a shower.

She wanted to brush the moisture away, but couldn’t. Her arms were leaden. She couldn’t feel her legs. Why? In the distance, a dog barked. No, wait. The fucking thing howled like an unholy creature from a monster movie.

Run, dammit. Get out of—

She couldn’t move, not even to swallow. Holy crap, what was happening? Darkness surrounded Gwen, pressing in. Goose pimples rose on her arms from the clammy air. She shivered.

A strong arm, a man’s, tightened around her, holding her close. Who was he? Why was he doing this?

The answer edged close, only to skitter away. She struggled to bring it back and wished she hadn’t, suddenly recalling a sharp prick on her neck, followed by a stinging sensation. The dart she couldn’t pull out. Falling to her knees in the alley. An ugly goon dragging her deeper into the shadows, toward an area that was too cold. Weird whirring sounds from some kind of motor that hadn’t been there before. A wolf attacking.

She sucked in a breath.

The man caressed Gwen as though to quiet her fear. Heat seeped from his body, penetrating her damp clothes. He was clearly strong and carrying her. To where?

The hospital? Was he a paramedic? Had the thug or the wolf injured her? If so, why wasn’t he using a gurney? Where was the ambulance?

Gwen fought like hell not to black out. Her lids were weighted, impossible to part, similar to when she’d had too much to drink. More pictures flickered in her mind.

She was back outside the hospital, her gaze locked with the guy she’d seen there tonight. He smiled at her as he had earlier, the gesture welcoming, engaging, filled with male heat and promise she couldn’t resist.

Was he the one who carried her? How was that possible?

Her arms swung back and forth with his next steps, these uneven as though he was climbing a set of stairs. His shoes smacked against them, the pressure of their combined weights causing the wood to groan. The odor of damp vegetation obscured all other scents. Branches rustled in the persistent wind. Rain drummed hard, sounding like someone typing at warp speed on a computer keyboard.

She heard the rasp of metal against metal and tried to place the sound. Had he inserted a key into a lock?

Hinges squealed briefly as he opened the door…an all too familiar noise. As known to Gwen as the home’s scents, lavender and vanilla from the Febreze that Staci, her cousin and roomie, always sprayed.

He’d brought Gwen to the modest house she rented? How did he know she lived here? Had she told him? When?

She worked her mouth, trying to ask. Hell, she would have been happy to make one frigging sound but couldn’t. Helpless and silent, she recorded his entrance into her home. The hardwood floors registered his movements just as the outside stairs had. He closed the door, then negotiated the darkened interior with surprising ease, not bumping into the coatrack or disturbing the beaded curtain Staci had hung in the living room’s arched doorway.

The multicolored crystals clacked against each other with the blast of air that had pushed inside. Wind chimes near the front window tinkled like tiny bells, not slowing his pace in the least.

He moved with confidence, as though he’d been inside countless times and knew the layout…or he could see very well in the dark.

Into the hall he went, bypassing rooms. Gwen worried that Staci would come out of her own room and ask what was going on. Not a smart move. The girl had barely survived the so-called accident her former boyfriend had caused. Who knew what this shit would bring?

Just stay where you are. Do not make a sound.

Staci didn’t. Rain pattering the roof and the man’s steady breathing were all that broke the silence.

With that, Gwen remembered…her cousin was still at the hospital, working her shift at the gift shop. If Staci stopped for a drink or dinner before returning home or if she decided to study for her classes, she wouldn’t be back for hours.

Relief flooded Gwen. A curious sense of well-being banished her concern, not only for her cousin but also for herself. From the drug the thug in the alley had put in her? Who in the hell was he, other than a rapist? Since when did sexual predators use tranquilizer darts instead of their fists or the threat of a knife or a gun?

What would he have done to her if that wolf hadn’t come along? Where was it now? Had it…?

Gwen’s thoughts halted at the man entering her bedroom, scented with her perfume, a floral fragrance with a hint of musk. With unexpected gentleness, he lowered her to the mattress of her pine bed. The cheap linens rustled beneath her, the ends puffing out with her weight. She lost all of her breath in a noisy sigh and looked up.

His face was above hers, its planes illuminated by the streetlamp’s honeyed light spilling through her window. As she’d suspected earlier, his eyes were gray, fringed with long, dark lashes. Beads of rain dotted his damp hair. A few errant strands clung to his cheeks.

She stared at his mouth, mesmerized by the tiny drops of water on his plump lower lip, aching to touch it. Somewhere deep inside, Gwen realized she should have been terrified. Deeper still, she understood that he wouldn’t harm her.

With great effort, she lifted her hand. It trembled spastically, at last going limp. Just in time, she managed to rest her fingertips on his chin, rough with his coming beard, his skin chilled, his breath deliciously warm.

Who are you?

He regarded her, his expression a mixture of tenderness and mounting arousal. Water dripped from his hair, splashing on her throat. He smelled of something primal and needed. The strong, fearless male every woman longs for, at least in her dreams.

Was that what this was, or was she hallucinating?

Somehow, Gwen didn’t care what it might be. Soul-deep desire throbbed through her, pushing all caution away. Clumsily, she ran her thumb over his chin.

He smiled now as he had earlier in the hospital’s parking lot.

This time she reciprocated, sensing her grin came out lopsided from the drug’s effects.

If that bothered him, he didn’t let on. He leaned down to kiss the sides of her mouth.

Gwen’s lips trembled at his surprisingly tender gesture. Grateful tears stung her eyes. She tried to grab his damp tee—not wanting him to pull back and leave her—but her fingers wouldn’t work that well.

Stay. Please.

He brushed his lips over hers in answer, the tip of his tongue spearing into her mouth.

Aw, God. Not even as a horny teen had her body responded as willingly. Ribbons of pleasure rippled through Gwen. She suckled him deeper, their kiss exploring, then impatient, hard, uncivilized, the sounds they made feral and welcome.

It satisfied for a moment before they each had to have more. He pulled at her clothes, clearly wanting them off. Gwen struggled to do the same with his, but she was still too lethargic. Only her heart and mind raced with what she wanted, had to have.

She heard her hoodie hit the floor, not remembering him taking it or her tee and bra off, yet he had. Coolish air skimmed her rain-chilled skin. Her nipples grew even harder. He warmed them with his hands, pulling a longing sigh from her.

No, don’t stop.

He did, trailing his fingers down her torso to her belly. Her muscles quivered in response. He paid them no heed, continuing to her jeans, where he worked the button and fly.

Suddenly, she was naked and so was he. How had that happened? When? If Gwen could have managed a frown, she would have, disappointed that she’d missed him stripping.

Her bedsprings creaked as he climbed onto the mattress and unfolded his nudity over hers. Air whooshed out of her at his imprisoning weight. It was a gratifying balm, his body’s warmth the answer to her persistent yearning. Rarely had Gwen felt as wanted by a man, as safe.

With his knees, he separated her thighs and settled between them, his rigid cock against her pussy that was moist with need, thrumming with carnal hunger. He cradled her breast, his thumb stroking her nipple. At the same time, he claimed her other nipple with his mouth. He swirled his tongue over the tip.

Oh wow. The sensations he created were fucking amazing. They registered clear to the back of Gwen’s throat. Her skin flushed with heat, piercing her stupor. She drove her fingers through his hair, clutching it, demanding he remain with her.

His actions said he wasn’t going anywhere until they were both satisfied.

How long might that take? A few hours? A day? Week? Month? What happened after it was over?

Shit, don’t think of that now.

The bad crap would come later. It always did.

As though he’d read her thoughts or sensed her body tense, he lifted himself on one elbow and regarded her. Gwen didn’t like the uncertainty she saw on his face. She wanted longing mixed with a whole lot of lust.

To encourage him, she rubbed her groin against his, surprised she could do so, her ability to move coming back. He got the message quickly from her carnal maneuver, his expression evolving from concerned to just this side of savage.

Good boy.

He grabbed his cock, running the crown up and down her damp slit, positioning the meaty head on her opening.

Gwen gulped air at what was coming. She drew her legs back to give him the greatest access. At her blatant invitation, he offered another smile and pushed inside, entering her in one hard, dominant—

Huh?

With a start, Gwen came to. From where? A dream? Nightmare? Perspiration ran down her chest, the chilly air licking it, bringing on a shiver. She stared at her shadowed bedroom, the rectangular designs on the wall from the streetlamp’s glow.

It was obviously dark outside, still late. Or maybe early. Gwen couldn’t be certain. Panic pumped through her, eating away any residual fatigue.

Unwilling to look at her clock just yet, she patted the bed linens to her side and felt nothing but cotton sheets, cool to the touch, not warm from a body.

His.

Her mouth went dry as images filled her mind of the man outside the hospital carrying her into this house, climbing on the bed, mounting her.

She saw his hair swinging forward with each powerful thrust. His shoulders and pecs tensing as he pounded into her. Prominent veins corded his throat. Several ran down his biceps to his muscular forearms.

Swooping down, he slanted his mouth over hers.

Gwen touched her lips. They were somewhat sore as though from a lingering, impassioned kiss. Her cheeks stung, slightly irritated. From a man’s stubbled cheeks scraping them?

Shit, she didn’t know, couldn’t be certain. Swallowing hard, she concentrated on her pussy to see if it was—

Her hand halted on the curls between her legs. She was fucking naked. Hurriedly, she touched various parts of her body, just to be certain of her state, at last searching her neck for where that dart had pierced her skin. Unless that was a dream she’d had.

Gwen winced when she reached the point of entry. Oh crap, oh damn, oh shit. The surrounding skin was swollen and sore. That fucking thing had hit her. She hadn’t dreamt it.

As quietly as she could, Gwen pushed to a sitting position and looked over. The numbers on her digital clock glowed red in the gloom. Nearly an hour and a half had passed since she’d left the hospital and all that weird shit that had happened in the alley.

So what now?

Steeling herself, she turned and stared at her bath.

The decorative nightlight was on, its Christmas-tree design a mixture of red, green and silver, casting the room in a festive glow.

Gwen’s heart banged against her chest. In front of the sink he stood, running a washcloth over his bare arms, as sinewy as she remembered. His naked back was broad and muscled, a male in his prime. He’d pulled his jeans back on and his running shoes, unless he’d never had them off to begin with.

Her hand dipped down, heading for her cunt, though not yet touching it. Gwen wasn’t certain she wanted indisputable proof that he’d entered her and had climaxed, spilling his ejaculate.

She held back a nervous groan. At that same moment, the front door jiggled slightly as though pushed by the wind. Gwen knew better. Its wood was sticking with the humidity. On a faint crack, it opened. Staci. Shit, shit, shit. Of all the nights for her to come home on time. Why couldn’t she have gone to the hospital library to study? Why hadn’t she stopped at Mel’s for a drink and a burger?

He’d heard her too. His body went still. He cocked his head as though listening.

Staci’s light steps echoed in the living room, moving toward the hall. She bypassed her room and headed for this one.

BOOK: Shameless Desire (The Outlawed Realm)
7.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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