Jake felt a soothing touch on his face. He struggled to make sense of it. No one ever touched him in that way.
He could smell her. She had a scent that was clean and soothing. It reminded him of the field of wildflowers where he wanted to build his future home. He had always wanted a home to share with his destined mate and had thought it was something he would have in his future, but he knew better now.
“Jake,” a soft voice called to him. “Can you hear me? Do you want to open your eyes and look at me?”
Jake struggled against the pull to become aware. Everything hurt too much. He didn’t want to open his eyes. He didn’t want to feel the aching throb in his left leg. He hated the way his head felt like it was filled with cotton that had been soaked in hard liquor. It was worse than a hangover. It was torture.
“You don’t have to open your eyes, Jake,” the feminine voice told him gently. “Just listen to me and try to relax. You’ve been in an accident, but you’re doing well. You’ve been unconscious for a while, but I’ve been here with you the whole time.”
“Who?” Jake managed to croak out. “So dry.”
He found a straw at his lips within a heartbeat. He drew on it slowly, thankful for the cool water. Too soon the straw was pulled away. He was helpless to move and draw it back toward his mouth.
“More,” he demanded.
The soft laughter that met his words made him angry. Did this woman not know that he demanded respect? Did she not know that she must listen to whatever he said and do whatever he told her to do?
Before he could voice his demands, he felt the soothing touch of her hand along the side of his face. When he felt the wet tip of her finger trace ice chips across his dry lips, he opened his mouth and sucked the chips and her fingers into his mouth. When she tried to move them away, he bit down lightly and captured her so she couldn’t get away. He growled softly as he exerted his dominance.
The soft gasp and then the sweet laughter that he heard confused him. Opening his eyes slowly, he saw the most incredibly beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life looking down at him. There was a soft glow of white surrounding her, making her appear ethereal. Her brown eyes sparkled with joy, and her sweet face made him think of gentleness and love. Her hair was almost a midnight black, it was so dark. It was pulled back from her face in a high ponytail but he could see the curls of its thickness. He wanted to grab on to that ponytail and hold her in place. The intensity of that thought surprised him. He had never had such an immediate gut reaction to any woman before.
“You’re fresh,” she whispered, tugging at her fingers and smiling widely when he refused to release her. “Jake McKade, you need to let go of my fingers.”
He shook his head slowly, surprised when he saw the way her expression softened as she listened to his refusal. When she reached up and threaded the fingers of her free hand through his hair and tightened her hold, he couldn’t help the way his body tightened with need.
Opening his mouth, he expected her to snatch her hand away but she surprised him. She gathered another ice chip, wet her fingers again, and drew them back to his lips to trace them once again. He licked at her fingers and smiled when she took a shaky breath.
“You know, you’re entirely too cute for your own good,” she told him, dragging her fingers across his cheek and rubbing his temple with the pad of her thumb. “How’re you feeling? Do you have a headache?”
“I’m fine,” he insisted, the barrier to his heart slamming closed once again.
“Liar,” she said softly.
Straightening, Claire pressed the call button that was wrapped around the side bar of the bed. The deluge of emotions and pain from the people within the hospital hit her the moment she wasn’t touching Jake. She couldn’t help but moan softly as she raised her hands and touched her temples. She had forgotten to put up her mental shields. She had become so comfortable not needing them whenever she was with Jake. She had become lax in her vigilance.
Jake saw her pain and reached out for her immediately, grunting when his sudden movement caused pain to shoot up his left leg and into his hip, radiating up into his stomach and groin. He clenched his teeth against the pain, but he never let go of her arm.
Claire sagged against him, her body draping across his chest as the relief from pain was immediate. She rested her face within the crook of his neck and breathed in the masculine scent of him.
“I’m sorry, Jake,” she whispered, doing her best to push herself off of his chest so she wouldn’t cause him any further pain.
“Don’t move,” he told her firmly, glad when she immediately stilled.
“I don’t want to put pressure on your ribs,” she explained softly, reaching up to run her fingers through his hair and massage his scalp lightly.
He sighed at the gentleness of her fingers on his head. He eased his hold on her but never let go of her forearm. “I think you need to be right where you are,” he whispered, fighting to control his pain.
“You think so, huh?” she asked, soft laughter escaping her.
Jake set her down gently beside the bed, gathering her in his arms and smiling down at her. The blue of his eyes twinkled with happiness and love. When he framed her face with his hands, she sighed into his touch as he gave her such peace and calm. He also filled her with happiness and love. She could feel his emotions. This man was truly a treasure.
“I’ll go out and get the picnic basket,” he whispered against her lips before he kissed her tenderly. “I’ll be right back.”
“Are we eating in our bedroom?”
Jake slowly smiled and raised one eyebrow as his mind went immediately to that place that was filled with desire. “Yes, angel,” he said finally. “We’re going to eat our picnic dinner, and then I’m going to eat you.”
Claire smiled even as she blushed. “Jake,” she whispered, pushing at his chest lightly. She couldn’t even look at him, knowing her face had to be red with embarrassment.
“What’s the matter, angel? Did I embarrass you?”
Claire laughed softly as she snuggled into the firm muscles of his chest. “You know you did,” she whispered.
Jake laughed softly against the top of Claire’s head. “Yeah, I know I did,” he admitted. “That’s what makes it fun.”
Claire eased back and looked up at the decidedly smug expression on Jake’s face. He had every reason to be smug. He was a kind and giving lover who drove her crazy with desire every time he touched her. She had never known making love with a man would be so incredible or so explosive. He always made sure to make her come more than once before finding his own release.
“I’m going to tie you to our headboard and have my way with you tonight, Jake McKade,” she told him, taking great satisfaction from the surprised expression displayed on his face at her words.
“I’m going to use the silk scarves to tie you,” Claire continued, nodding and kissing the column of his throat until she reached his ear. “I’m going to suck your balls into my mouth and tease you until your cock is dripping. Then I’m going to swallow your cock and bring you almost to the edge.”
“Then what?” Jake was barely able to ask.
“Then I’m going to sit on you and take your cock deep inside of me. I’m going to ride you until you come and fill me up with your seed.”
“Hell,” Jake whispered.
His shaft was so hard within his jeans he was sure it was going to be permanently marked from the teeth of his zipper. He had never been restrained in his life, but he was looking forward to experiencing the erotic adventure that Claire had just described to him.
“Go and get the picnic basket, Mate,” she whispered into his ear. “I’ll be waiting for you.” She kissed his neck just below his earlobe, biting down on the tender skin lightly. “Do you think you’ll be able to control yourself if I’m naked when you come back?”
Jake growled as he gathered her tighter against his body and threw them both down onto the bed. He kissed her with such passion Claire wouldn’t be surprised if the bed combusted into flames. She wrapped her arms and legs around him, moaning as he rubbed his cock against her core.
She reached down between them, trying unsuccessfully to unbuckle his belt and open his jeans. She could feel the hardness of his shaft and felt a desperate need to have him inside of her.
Jake swore softly against her mouth, easing back and unbuckling his belt, unzipping his pants, and reaching into his boxer briefs to free his hard cock. He breathed a sigh of relief as the pressure was eased immediately and his cock bounced free to point directly at his mate’s body.
Claire reached for him and gripped his shaft firmly, pulling on it and eliciting a groan of desire from him. Jake allowed her touch for only a second before he pulled her hand away and reached for the snap and zipper of her jeans. In just a matter of seconds, he tugged them from her body, ripping her underwear in the process. She didn’t care. She needed him. She didn’t care if he destroyed every piece of clothing that she wore.
She laughed as her jeans got hooked on her sneakers, causing Jake to release another series of swears in frustration. When he was finally able to pull off her sneakers and tug her jeans from her body, they were propelled across the room as he threw the offending deterrent to his need to love his woman. Claire’s laughter stopped quickly and was replaced by a long moan as Jake slid inside of her.
She locked her legs around his thighs and pulled him closer. He filled her so perfectly. She loved the hardness, the thickness, and the depth of him. Her body was made for his in every way.
“Jake,” she whispered against his neck.
“Am I hurting you, Claire?” he asked softly. He gritted his teeth and held his body still. Every bit of his control was focused on not hurting his woman.
“Not at all,” she said, laughing softly. “But if you don’t start moving soon, I’m going to bite you.” She opened her mouth and lightly bit down on the side of his neck for emphasis.
Jake’s entire body tensed with anticipation. Claire pulled such need from him, it was almost frightening. Moving his hips just slightly, he pulled from her warm channel very slowly, loving the whimpers that left his woman as he did so. Pressing back inside of her, he held his groin tightly against hers as his balls rested against her body and his shaft was buried as deep as he could go inside of her.