She moved down the long hallway expecting to see her dog bounding at her through the shadows, but Calypso stayed put. She heard Calypso’s tail thumping hard as she veered right and stopped before the front door. The dog turned to her briefly and jerked her head wildly. That generally meant, “Come on, already.”
She opened the door.
Jake filled the doorway. Calypso lunged at him, but stopped just before knocking him over.
“Hey,” he said weakly. “It’s tomorrow.”
“Hey, Jake.” She grinned despite her surprise. “Midnight counts, I guess. You want to come inside?”
“I didn’t mean to–to wake you,” he stammered. But that didn’t stop him from sidestepping the dog and moving inside the house. “I’d planned on hanging out on your deck for a while.”
“Should I be scared?” she asked brusquely. She was too tired to mince words, and his decision to come back several hours after she’d requested that he leave was worrying.
“Scared of what? Little ole me?”
“There’s nothing little about you, Jake.”
“Hmmm. I think I’ll leave that one alone, at least until later.”
To Ellie, it sounded like a promise. And if she kept feeding the beast at her door even so much as a sliver of what he wanted, she was certain bigger problems would arise.
Yet the more she looked at him, the less she felt like resisting. She was already hooked on this man, on his body, on his smile.
Even if the circumstances weren’t optimal, she had to admit she loved the idea of being with someone who craved her above anything else in the world. Maybe he was right. Maybe the why of his feelings no longer mattered. What mattered was how he felt about her.
When this man expressed his love, he meant it. When he said he’d do anything for her, to protect her, she felt it deep in her bones. Yet she knew she couldn’t abide sudden outbursts like yesterday’s display on the boardwalk. A passionate man was one thing, but a violent one needed to be avoided at all costs.
“What happened yesterday?” she asked quietly. “Beyond you being pissed that guy was looking at me. What really happened, Jake?”
“Let’s not talk about that now.”
“If not now, then when? Because if you think you’ll ever touch me again without telling me what’s going on with you, you’re nuts.”
He slumped on the sofa. “What’s going on with me is I got ticked off about that guy eyeing my lady.”
She sat beside him. “And is that the way you always react when someone stares at your girlfriend?”
“Mmm, I like the sound of that. Girlfriend.”
“Don’t change the subject. I need to know if this is going to be a problem for us. I don’t like the idea of walking into places only for you to flip out and send innocent bystanders fleeing for their lives.”
He leaned against the cushions. “Truth is, I have no idea what came over me. While I’ll admit to being protective of what’s mine, I’m not a bully, and I certainly don’t start fights.” He shook his head. “Something just came over me, Ellie.”
She watched him, surprised to see his sheepish expression. He seemed as stunned as she was by yesterday’s overreaction, and that made her question more than just his seemingly out-of-control anger.
“Other than your feelings for me, how else has the experiment changed you?” She thought she might be on to something, but she couldn’t be certain of what.
He furrowed his brow. “How do you mean?”
“I guess what I’m asking is if you’ve felt anything different since having the serum injected. You just told me you’ve never before behaved the way you did yesterday. You’ve never started a fight in your life, correct? So if that’s really the case, I’m wondering if the experiment might have something to do with it.”
“One of the main goals of the experiment was to test reactions to dangerous threats.”
“But that man wasn’t dangerous. Not by a long shot.”
“You’re right,” he mumbled, pulling her hand in his. “I overreacted.”
“Now we’re getting somewhere,” she said excitedly. “Don’t you see? The serum did more than cause you to fixate on me. It’s changed you in other ways. Your temperament has changed. You’re prone to rages.” She paused to watch him, saddened by his crestfallen expression and slumping shoulders. “I’m just so damned angry The Faction released you in this condition.”
“Anger’s a waste of time, Ellie. I spent most of my detainment full of anger, but it didn’t get me anywhere.” His smile was tight. “Trust me—I’d be even angrier if I wasn’t here with you now.”
She was overwhelmed by emotion. Talking with Jake like this, in the quiet of the night, brought so many of the feelings she tried to suppress to the surface. Now, as she looked into his eyes, she battled the most painful emotion of all. Guilt.
“I’m the reason you were in detainment,” she said, her voice sounding small. “God, I wish I hadn’t—”
“I don’t blame you for that, so you shouldn’t blame yourself.” He sighed, his gaze warm as he regarded her. “I don’t know what else you could have done given the circumstances. And you know what else?”
“What else?” she asked, though she thought she might have a good idea when he stood and pulled her gently to her feet.
“Let’s stop dredging up the past and get to work on the future.”
“What’s your rush?” he whispered, delighting in her tortured moans. By now she was panting, her lips parted, a light sheen of sweat on her forehead.
“You’re driving me crazy,” she moaned, her eyes wild with passion.
“Good. That’s exactly how I want you to feel. Crazy. As crazy as you make me.”
The crazier she got, the more he needed to hold back. It would be far too easy for him to fall over the precipice he now dangled over, and if he fell now, he’d slam into a dark place beyond his control.
He pulled the top over her head, careful to avoid tangling her long locks. Moving down, he touched the waistband of her shorts and had to resist the urge to rip the fabric to shreds in his haste to get to the bounty hidden inside.
Ellie stiffened, peering up at him through heavy-lidded eyes, her lush dark lashes fanning across her cheeks. Her expression was one of rapt anticipation, urging him forward, daring him to excite her more.
His heart went off like a jackhammer as he wiggled the thin cotton over her arching hips, down her silky smooth thighs and heaved it across the room, pulling a chuckle from her. Her lacy red thong followed suit.
He bent into her flesh as it flowered open to him and caressed the satiny mound with his thumb, stroking the cream under the dark curls. She hissed in a shaky breath, her thighs relaxing, lolling open to allow him access. He suckled her clit, tonguing the rigid nub, tasting her intoxicating nectar.
Her hands pushed through his hair, pressing him closer as she moved her hips to meet his tongue. Her breaths were deep and intense now, her gasps becoming whimpered pleas as she surrendered to the heat he’d awakened inside her.
“Oh, Jake. Oh!”
He continued his gentle assault, his tongue torturing her sweet, honeyed flesh. She heaved against him, her thighs trembling, out of her control. She screamed as he urged her climax from her, her creamy passion drenching his tongue.
Ellie gazed down at her body, watching the way her thighs jumped, the pulsing of her belly as the orgasm rocked her to the core. Lifting her bleary gaze to him, she was overwhelmed with the need to be fully possessed by him.
He regarded her openly, his wolfish expression one of manly pleasure and domination.
By the time she was able to see clearly again, her attention was drawn to the impressive bulge in his jeans.
Scrambling to her knees, she reached for him.
“Not yet,” he murmured, his voice weak.
She pushed his hand away, pulling on his belt so hard the buckle scraped her palm.
“I need you inside me now,” she replied breathlessly.
Pulling his pants over his swaying hips, she pushed down his briefs, a small whimper escaping her when she saw his cock for the first time.
It certainly belonged on the right man. Long, bulging and strong, it sprang up and she wrapped her hand around it.
Jake leaned down, pushing her gently to the bed. Moving over her, he kicked off the clothes and pulled his shirt over his head.
He kneeled over her, searing a burning kiss to her lips. Ellie wrapped her arms around his taut midsection and brought her hands against his powerful back, urging him closer. She needed to feel him. She burned for this connection.
He smiled at her, his intense gaze roaming her shivering flesh, telling her he was at the edge of his control.
“I want you to put me inside you,” he said, locking a large hand around hers. He arched forward, the thick head of his cock teasing the wet silk between her thighs.
She reached for him, enfolding him in her hand, thrilled by the heat coursing from him as she stroked it, hefting its weight in her hand. She delighted in every thick vein and ridge, adored the way the thick spongy head pulsed.
Working him against her pussy, she rolled her thighs across him. Jake groaned, thrusting a hand in her hair. She drew him inside, shuddering, whimpering, as they merged.
Hot. There was nothing but heat as he worked himself inside her, scorching her insides as she finally moved her hand. He took over, asserting his dominance, owning her with every deep, magnificent thrust.
“Look at me, Ellie.” It wasn’t a request. It was a command.
She did, seeing the lust and possession that burned in his eyes, the wanton need that drove him.
He slid deeper, stretching her, owning her body more with every thrust.
The pleasure was rapturous, all-consuming. She was filled with him, deeply, completely. And now she had no idea where she ended and he began. He groaned, collapsing over her, bending to her neck to nip her shoulder, still thrusting, still building the slow, tortuous pleasure.
She was lost on a wave of pleasure, focused only on him, and the hunger his touch fueled inside her. He set her nerve endings ablaze. Every groan that tore from him was a symphony of satiation.