She padded out of the bedroom and froze. Propped on her coffee table were a pair of large feet attached to a pair of long muscled legs. Her breath stuck in her throat for a long moment. Oh God! Was her mysterious stalker here to make good on his threats? A sob caught in her throat, and the feet moved.
“I was wondering if you were going to sleep the day away,” a familiar voice said, and her breath left her in a long swish.
“Bo! What the hell are you doing here? How did you get in? I know I locked the door. I even got up and rechecked it.” She knew she sounded crazy, but damn! Now that her fear was receding, her temper was rising. He’d scared the hell out of her.
Instead of answering, Bo simply held the note she’d received last night. Well, hell, she’d known Gabe wouldn’t let it go, but she hadn’t thought he’d bring in Bo. Okay, well she’d hoped not anyway. She should have known better.
Layla made a grab for the offensive paper, but Bo snatched it back.
“This is serious, Layla,” he said as he stood. Thunder, who’d been sprawled on the couch next to him, rolled to his feet too. Between the man and dog, her little apartment seemed very crowded.
“I am taking it serious,” she snapped, fighting the urge to take a step back from his overwhelming presence.
“How? Let me guess, with your big, bad guard dog?”
“Thunder could be intimidating if he wanted to be. Besides, I put a new dead bolt on the door too.”
“Oh yeah, that kept me out.”
“Hey, you don’t count! You’re like a super spy or something.”
He laughed and she felt her fingers tingle with the urge to wipe the smile off his face. “You’ve been checking up on me.”
“Your grandpa loves bragging on you at the nursing home. Can’t stop talking about his big, bad hero of a grandson.”
Bo’s chest puffed out, and he got the biggest shit-eating grin. “Oh yeah, you’ve been checking up on me.”
“Puh…lease!” she said, letting her eyes roll. “You wish.” She had. She couldn’t help it. Even when she tried not to, her ears still perked up at the mention of his name. Ten years and he still had the ability to turn her knees to jelly. Being near him was so dangerous. He had to go! Taking a deep breath, she moved to the door. “Okay, fine. I’ll get a better lock and talk to the sheriff again.” She opened the door but he didn’t budge. If anything, the look on his face got more stubborn.
“The sheriff can’t do anything, and you know it. I don’t have the restrictions of the law to hold me back. I’m going to find this fucker and make him wish he’d never been born. No one messes with my…er…friend,” he said fiercely.
“I don’t recall asking for your help,” she snapped, trying to cover up the sudden pounding of her heart. What had he started to say? She hadn’t missed the little slip, even if he’d tried to smoothly cover it up. He used to call her his girl, but that couldn’t possibly have been what he was going to say. Could it? He hadn’t called her that since the day they’d broken up, the day she’d caught him making out with another girl behind the gym.
“And I don’t recall giving you an option. You got my help, like it or not.”
“Argh! I don’t know what I ever saw in you. You always were a caveman!” She slammed the door shut, spinning away from him and the memories bombarding her.
“Well get used to it. Until we figure out who this nutcase is, you’re stuck with me. And if I remember, you used to a see a lot in me and of me.” The last was said with a waggle of his eyebrows.
Layla let out a strangled cry even as she flushed at the reminder of how intimate they used to be. Unbidden, the image of him gloriously naked came to her. He’d been much slimmer back then. Now that he was covered with a thick layer of muscle, he was downright mouthwatering. She couldn’t have him around twenty-four seven. There was no way her heart or her body could stand it. The scars were still there from the first time she’d tangled with him. “Bo, you can’t just force your way back into my life.” I won’t survive it.
“Face it, Layla, I’m all you got, since your mom remarried and moved to Florida. Your grandmother’s in a nursing home. I’m as close to family as you’ve got.”
That was a cold bucket of water on her quickly heating libido. “Oh, and thank you so much for pointing that out!” Her voice dripped with sarcasm even as her heart squeezed with pain because he was right. She was alone. She’d lost track of her dad long ago, and she wouldn’t ruin her mother’s newfound happiness. “It’s always good to be reminded of how alone I am.” Turning her back to him, she began to pull stuff from her kitchen cabinet. Damn it, she had cookies to make, she told herself. She didn’t have time to deal with him. And she didn’t have time to break down and let loose the tears that were clogging her throat.
Bo sighed in obvious frustration. “I’m sorry, Layla. That didn’t come out right.” He ran a hand through his shaggy, golden hair. “But don’t fight me on this. You won’t win. I’m going to protect you.”
She just scowled as she set the oven to preheat. Just ignore it! Just ignore him. He’s just being Southern. A Southern gentleman never left a lady in distress, and Bo might be a righteous bastard, but he was above all, a Southern gentleman.
Layla was afraid her legs would collapse underneath her. This was the feeling she’d been missing all these years. Her body felt as if it was coming back to life after a long night’s sleep. The anger that had been fueling her just moments ago morphed into white hot desire, but she couldn’t give in to him so easily. That wouldn’t give either of them the satisfaction they needed.
Smirking, she caught his gaze boldly. “I don’t need you to find relief. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.” She taunted, knowing the idea of her masturbating would drive him crazy.
Bo groaned deep, and she actually felt his big body tremble. “One day soon I’m going to watch you get yourself off. I love the idea of watching those sweet little fingers playing with your plump, juicy clit, but not tonight. You want satisfaction, you’ll get it from me tonight.”
He found the button fly of her jeans and in less than a second had them unbuttoned and the zipper down. Layla held her breath as one of those big hands slid inside, slipping past her soaked panties. Her body moved of its own accord, arching into his questing fingers.
“Oh! Oh please!” She whimpered, barely recognizing her own voice.
The plump lips of her pussy parted and his fingers slid home, gliding over her clit. “That’s right. That’s what I want to hear. I love the sound of please on your lips.” His voice had dropped into a deep growl as he whispered into her ear. “Fuck, you’re so wet! Are you as hot and tight as I remember? Your sweet little snatch used to just about strangle my dick. Do you feel how hard I am just thinking about being inside you again?”
Lord help her, she could feel him. He was a thick hard bar riding the crack of her ass. She wanted him stretching and filling her like he’d always done. Hell, their first time together, she’d thought he split her in two, he was so big, and now it had been so long since she’d had a man, it would probably feel like that all over again, and damn if she wasn’t masochist enough to crave that sweet pleasure-pain. She just had to get past her pride, past her fears. “Yes, Bo. I want it too, I need it, but I can’t make it easy. That just wouldn’t be our style. It wouldn’t give either of us the satisfaction we crave.”
“I know sweet Layla, you’re as twisted as I am. That’s why we are so perfect together. Pick a safe word, and you know I’ll stop. You know I’ll never really hurt you, but unless you say that safe word, I’m going to take you any way and every way. I’ll use this gorgeous body to slack my desires over and over again. I’ll make you come so many times that you beg for mercy.” As the last word slid from his lips, he ruthlessly thrust a long thick finger inside, and her body clamped down around him as little tremors of pre-orgasm left her breathless. “Safe word,” he demanded again.
Layla wanted to shout. Why didn’t he just do it? She was in agony. All it would take was a small stroke from his rough finger, and she’d go off like a rocket. Her brain was beyond producing coherent words, but then he withdrew his finger, leaving her feeling empty and wanting. “No!” she wailed, trying to wiggle back down onto his finger and impale herself again.
“Safe word.” He pulled his hand completely from her jeans and she screamed.
“Bastard! Tease, put it back!” she demanded, going wild in his arms.
“You know what you need to say before we move any farther, before we go any deeper. Pick a safe word for both our sakes.”
A safe word. They’d never gone so far that they needed a safe word before. A shiver of excitement ran through her. She knew she should probably be afraid, but she was eager. Bo had never been disgusted by her perverse need to be taken, to be used, but she knew that what they’d done before would be child’s play. First she needed a safe word. “Pickle. My safe word is pickle.”
“Pickle.” He repeated with a nod of confirmation before he spun her around. He covered her mouth with his and forced her lips wide in a deep, soul-searing kiss.
Eagerly her hands went around his waist. She wanted to feel his hot skin under her fingers. She caught a fistful of his t-shirt and yanked it free. Her hands slid down the back of his jeans, her nails digging into the firm muscles of his ass. He gave a hum of approval and deepened the kiss. The T-shirt she wore flew over her head and his skilled fingers made quick work of the clasp on her bra. She was bare to the waist before she even realized it. His hands cupped her breast and then he froze. Leaning back he seemed to drink her in.
“What do you think?” she asked with a wicked grin, knowing his reaction was to the gleaming silver rings through her taut nipples.
“God woman, I didn’t think you could get any hotter, but fuck!” He lifted a finger and reached out to lightly tweak each tip, giving the rings a gentle tug. She groaned and arched into him.