Deadly Fear Page 29

What? Her heart slammed into her throat. “He attacked you?” And Luke had gotten away? “Luke, what did—”

“Inside.”

Right. They shoved open the doors of the hotel and lowered their guns just as the night clerk glanced up.

Monica nodded to him and hurried past. He already knew who they were, and he also knew that the SSD agents were the only ones allowed on the third floor. That whole floor had been reserved for them as another of Hyde’s security measures.

Luke flashed his ID as they passed the clerk. The guy’s Adam’s apple bobbed.

They didn’t speak during the elevator ride. Monica glanced at Luke from the corner of her eye. He’d been attacked. She’d left him, and he’d been hurt.

Could have been killed. Then what would I have done?

She pressed her lips together to control the tremble that threatened to shake her mouth. He looked pale, the lines bracketing his mouth deeper, his jaw too tense. Her hand rose, her fingers feathering over the hard planes of his face.

The elevator chimed, and the doors slid open on their floor.

Monica dropped her hand and hurried out. She fished in her pocket for her room key. The thud of Luke’s steps told her he was following her.

She shoved her keycard in the hole. The light flashed green. When the lock snicked open, she twisted the handle and went inside.

Luke crowded in right behind her.

“Luke, tell me what happened.”

“Bastard hit me with something.” His hand lifted, his fingertips touched the back of his head. “Knocked me out.”

Could have killed him. Her knees shook.

He kicked the door closed. Turned the dead bolt. “It’s not me he wants. The a**hole was just dicking around with me.”

“We need to take you to a doctor, get you checked out—”

“He’s f**king coming after you.”

She blinked. “Then let him.” Better her than Luke.

He grabbed her, locking his fingers over her arms and pulling her against him. “Hell, no.” Then his mouth crashed onto hers. Need, lust, hunger, and fury.

She tasted it all in his kiss, knew he tasted the same on her lips. Oh, God, she wanted him.

Monica tore her mouth from his. “No, you’re hurt. We need a doctor—”

“Forget it… I’m fine.” His eyes blazed. “No one, nothing, is making me leave you.” Then he took her mouth again. Harder.

Her nails scraped down his arms. He growled and drove his tongue past her lips.

Not pity. Not revulsion.

No room for that here. He wanted her. Man to woman.

So she’d damn well take him. Take and take and take until the burning need was gone, and the pleasure was hers.

She grabbed at his shirt, sending buttons flying. They hit the floor, and she didn’t care. Didn’t care about anything right then but having him. His kiss—he still wants me.

A lover who knew her deepest secrets. A man who knew and didn’t turn away.

Or treat her like she was some kind of broken doll.

Rough, wild—that’s the way his hands were. The way she needed them to be.

The way she needed him to be.

“Strip.” Guttural. “Now.” His demand. Might as well have been hers.

Monica shuddered, needing, her sex clenching and moistening as the lust quaked through her and fired her blood.

“Ah, f**k it… can’t wait.” His hands yanked up her shirt. Tossed it on the floor. He shoved aside her bra and took her breast into his mouth, sucking deeply, swirling his tongue over her flesh and making her moan for him.

He lifted her, still with his mouth sealed tight to her flesh, and carried her to the bed with a steel grip.

Luke took her down on the mattress, raising his head so that he could lick his way to her other nipple. Strong swipes. So much hunger…

She kicked off her shoes. Raised her h*ps and tried to shimmy out of her pants, but—no good.

The arch of her h*ps just put her against the thick bulge of his cock, and his mouth became rougher. The stubble on his jaw scraped her flesh.

And she liked it.

Liked the way he took her.

Wanted more.

Her nails scratched down his chest. No good girl here. No girl who’d lay still and spread her legs and wait for the pleasure.

She wasn’t weak.

She wasn’t damaged, dammit.

She was a woman, and she wanted.

Monica’s hands found his waist. Unsnapped the button, pulled down his zipper. She took his c*ck into her hands, hot and strong. Already wet along the tip.

Only fair—she was more than wet for him.

They rolled, and she took the position on top. Perfect. She worked his cock, squeezing from base to tip, pumping him, feeling the tightening of his flesh beneath her palms.

He stroked her through her pants. “I’m tasting you tonight.” Her ni**les stabbed into the air. He licked her areola, swiping with his tongue, and her breath caught. “All of you.”

She pushed up on to her knees.

The lights were on. She hadn’t really realized until then; he must have hit the lights when she came in and she hadn’t seen—

“All of you,” he said again, the words gravel rough.

He can see me. No hiding. Uncertainty had her slowing, her body tensing.

“Fuck, no.” He rose up and kissed her. “Stay with me.”

She was right there with him. Not going anywhere.

“Stay with me.” His lips took hers again. Tongue driving deep.

He had her pants off, not sure how. Her panties gone. Tossed onto the lamp.

She was on her back again. He was between her legs. She’d spread her thighs wide, open for him.

His gaze raked her, so hot she burned. His fingers touched her sex first. Trailing over the straining flesh. Pressing against her clit. Then one finger, two, worked inside.

And his mouth took her. His lips feathered over her. Caressed, kissed, sent just the right pressure to her core. More.

His tongue swiped over her clit.

She moaned, her heels digging into the mattress.

Again. Again. His tongue worked her, stroking that aching flesh, licking, tasting, taking. His fingers plunged, his tongue took.

Yes.

Her fingers fisted in his hair, and her h*ps arched toward him. The pleasure built, flushing her body, tightening her muscles, so close she could feel the quiver of her cl**ax coming.

So close.

His fingers pulled out.

“No!” Dammit, no, not when she—

His tongue thrust inside.

She came against his mouth.

The first time.

Because the tremors hadn’t even ended before he was rising up to cover her body. Her breath choked out, and she realized she’d screamed his name.

“This way.” His demand.

He pushed her into the middle of the bed. Rolled her onto her stomach.

Monica froze, understanding burning like acid in her veins.

No, no, he can see—

She pushed up immediately, rising onto her knees, shoving her hands flat against the mattress.

“Perfect.” His growl.

His c*ck brushed between her legs.

Slick, open, and greedy, her sex took him right away, and they both groaned at the pleasure from that first deep thrust.

She was swollen, tender from her cl**ax, and the slide of his thick length had her muscles clenching desperately around him.

His mouth feathered over her back.

No…

“You’re the… most—ah, damn that’s good—beautiful thing… I’ve ever… seen.…” No hint of the smooth southern charm. Just raw need. His flesh pounded into her. And she loved it. Monica rolled her hips, taking more, taking him in as deep as she could as his arms curled around her body and his fingers stroked her clit.

He kissed her shoulder.

She should stop him, tell him not to—

His mouth pressed over the ragged flesh.…

No!

“The… strongest… the sexiest…” Thrust. Slow glide out… driving thrust. One that shook the bed, and her. “I’d f**king… kill for you.”

Monica threw back her head. Her cl**ax slammed through her. Pleasure so intense it hurt.

He came in her, a long hot splash, as her sex contracted around him.

Her fingers dug into the mattress. She closed her eyes and tried to suck in as much air as she could.

He held her tight. His legs trembled against her. Not the only one who’s weak.

She licked her lips and tried to swallow.

Luke’s still firm length slid out of her.

Flesh to flesh.

“I’m…” A long expulsion of air. “I’m safe, Monica, you don’t have to worry about—”

No condom. Her eyes flew right back open as reality reared its head.

But she wouldn’t lie to herself. At that first hot touch of his cock, she’d wanted him. Bare. In her, just as he was. “I’m safe too. There’s no… risk.” She’d been on the pill for years. A backup. Just in case.

“Monica, we have to talk.” Gruff.

But she didn’t want to. She wanted to f**k, and she wanted to forget. The last thing she wanted was to talk.

She rolled away from him. “I-I have to clean up.” She walked to the bathroom on legs that weren’t quite steady. The door closed behind her with a click, and she stared into the mirror at the glassy-eyed woman with the flushed cheeks.

A woman who looked alive now, when she’d once looked like a ghost.

Monica turned her shoulder and saw the raised skin that marked her. Anger coiled in her belly. “Screw you, a**hole,” she whispered. He wasn’t going to hurt her, not anymore.

Luke had taken her in the darkness, and in the light. He’d treated her like his woman, not some freak.

She stared into the mirror and let her shoulders drop.

Not a victim.

Just a woman.

And Luke was just a man. One who’d stood by her for so long, without knowing the darkness she carried.

That bastard attacked him. She’d left Luke alone in that alley, run because she was afraid of him knowing the truth about her past, and she’d left him for the killer.

Her fingers curved around the sharp edges of the sink. What would I have done if he’d killed Luke?

Her heart seemed to stop. Fear. For so long, it had been her companion. Awake. Asleep. So afraid… what if others find out? What will they think of me? How will they look at me?

She looked at herself in the mirror. Saw the same image she’d always seen. And the fear was still there, inside, lodged above her heart. But it was different now. Because now, she wondered… What will I do if something happens to him?

Luke.

He’d broken through the ice.

He’d screwed up. Luke lay on the bed, his forearm thrown over his eyes, and realized that he was one serious jackass.

The woman had needed tenderness. Care.

She’d gotten hard, fast, and desperate.

He’d taken her with the raw lust that always rode him when she was near. Always.

But just once, dammit, just once, he wished he’d been able to show her more than lust and fury.

He raised his arm and glared down at the c*ck that was still aroused for her. “Idiot.” The throb in his head was back. When he’d been with Monica, he hadn’t even noticed the dull ache. But then, he hadn’t noticed anything but her.

Oh, Christ, what she must have gone through all those years ago. When she’d gone into the shower, he’d used her computer to log onto the FBI’s site and access the Romeo files. He’d hit the files after he first found that clipping, but now, knowing Monica was the victim, he had to read everything again. Had to know every single detail.

Five minutes later, sweat beaded his forehead. He’d seen the pictures of the other vics. Seen that pit Romeo had kept her in.

Fuck. His hands were shaking.

The shower shut off. He sucked in a breath so hard his chest hurt. After he’d finished checking the files, he’d turned the lights off, for her, because he knew she’d want it that way. So now he lay still and quiet, waiting for Monica to come to him.

When the door opened, steam drifted lazily into the room. The light spilled onto the floor. She’d leave that on, just a hint of—

Monica turned off the light.

He could only see the faint outline of her body when she came to him. The carpet swallowed the sound of her slow footsteps.

Then she was at the edge of the bed. After the briefest hesitation, she slid in next to him. Warm flesh, smelling sweet and clean. Wet hair. Mouth—

Kissing his neck.

His greedy c*ck jerked.

Down boy.

“Thank you, Luke. You gave me just what I needed,” she whispered.

He turned toward her. He caught her hand and held it tight over his heart. She had to feel the hard thunder. “And what did you need?” Sex? Anyone could have given her that, and he wasn’t going to be anyone to her.

Not when she was everything.

“You treated me like I was a woman. Someone you wanted—” Like hell on fire.

“—not some victim, not some freak—”

His jaw clenched. “Who the f**k said that?”

“I did.”

The echo of pain was in her voice, and he didn’t know what to do. How was he supposed to make things better for her?

“I’m sorry I left you in that alley.” So quiet.

“You don’t have to apologize to me, baby.” She was tearing his heart out.

“You scared me.” Stark. “You knew too much about me.”

And he’d felt like he knew nothing.

“I didn’t want you to know what I was—”

“A victim?” She had to know that nothing was her fault. Whatever that freak had done to her, she was just a victim. Someone to be cared for, protected.

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