"Wait! Hold the elevator!"
My heels clattered against the floor as I made a run for it. I couldn't afford to be late. I was on my way to a business dinner with my boss and a prospective client for the architectural firm where I was employed. It was an important client, and we really needed the contract. I hadn't met Mr. Grant face to face yet, and I wanted to make a good impression so I took a little extra time with my appearance, hence the rush.
I was in a little black number that hugged every curve, with strappy black sandals adorning my feet. I had left my glossy brown hair down around my shoulders and finished the look with a little mascara and some lip gloss.
The elevator was fairly crowded and I flashed a quick smile of thanks to the man holding the doors open for me. He grinned back and I scooted in next to him giving him the number for the floor I needed.
On the next floor, more people packed into the small space and I found myself scooted in front of him with my back pressed along the front of his body. It was a fairly intimate position to be in with a stranger, even a sexy one. Apparently he thought so too because I felt his cock begin to stir against me.
I turned to glance at him and noted the blush creeping into his cheeks. For whatever reason that turned me on and I let it show in the heated gaze I gave him.
I pressed back closer against him and felt his full erection nestle into the groove between my cheeks. His hand slid forward to rest on the curve of my hip pulling me closer to his heat.
I want to interject here that I am usually fairly conservative, I'd even go so far as to say shy. I figured it was a little harmless flirting. The doors would open, I would walk out, the end. I truly did not expect what happened next.
Once we finally reached the lobby, the elevator cleared out, but as I started forward, the hand at my hip tightened, keeping me pressed against the stranger behind me. He reached around and pressed the button to close the doors before anyone else could get back on.
"Hey! I'm late for a meeting."
My protest sounded feeble even to my ears. Was I breathy? Ha! I didn't really have to ask that question, the heat that was already pooling between my thighs was evidence enough of that. I felt my cheeks flush at my uncharacteristic display of wantonness. What in the hell was I thinking?
I turned around and prepared to object in a more convincing tone, and hopefully, salvage an after-dinner date from the situation. As soon as I clapped eyes on him, any thought I had of protest died a quick and thoroughly painless death. The man was a God.
The brief glance I had gotten when I first saw him did him no justice at all. He was tall, (Everyone is tall to me at my not-so-daunting height of 5'2"). Dark skin covered a body that was obviously in shape, even under the blazer and button down, worn open at the collar. His eyes, Dear Lord his eyes, were almost black. Those incredible eyes were both intense and amused as they regarded me.
Words tried to escape but dried up and washed away in the torrent that was my bl**d as it pounded through my veins. I have never in my twenty-eight years felt anything as overwhelming as that moment.
"You were saying?"
He stepped towards me, eyes glittering. Gone was the man who showed that endearing bit of bashfulness. In his place was a man fully cognizant of his allure and fully capable of wielding it like a deadly weapon. Here was an alpha-male in his prime.
He backed me against the wall with one arm on either side of my head. The breath I had been holding left in a rush and made no real effort to return in a hurried manner.
His eyes heated a bit and I was sure he made note of every little breath, every expression and every change of color in my cheeks. He seemed the type of man who would miss absolutely no detail.
I finally unearthed my voice from the recesses to which it had fled and managed to squeak out a response.
"A... meeting. I'm late for a meeting."
He raised an eyebrow. I sighed.
"My boss and I are meeting a client, and I can't afford to mess this up."
A slow sexy smile slid across his face.
"Not even for this?"
He leaned down and captured my lips with his before I could even think to object. I stood in shock for a moment before my body exploded in a rush of intense need. I forgot the meeting, my boss and even the fact that I was in an elevator with a perfect stranger. I forgot everything but the feel of his lips gliding over mine.
He tasted like barely controlled power, like tropical heat, like warm sandy beaches and balmy nights, like hot, hot sex. I threw myself back at him in that kiss and suddenly his whole body was pressed into mine, his hands in my hair as he groaned with the intensity of it.
I couldn't tell you how long I stood there making out with a man I didn't even know, but I couldn't have cared less about the time. It ceased to exist. Eventually he stepped back, both of us gasping for air, and struggling to find a foothold in reality. He dropped his forehead against mine, his eyes closed.
His breathing was ragged.
I felt a mixture of joy and shame at my behavior, although the thrill far outweighed the embarrassment. I mustered up a smile.
"I don't usually act like a...."
I couldn't find the right term.
He chuckled softly.
"Believe it or not, neither do I."
I raised my gaze to meet his and saw the truth of it in his eyes. That cute little blush had crept back into his cheeks. It made me want to drag his mouth right back to mine. My fingers actually twitched and I clenched my fists to keep from assaulting the man.
"Alright, so what do we do about this?"
His eyes warmed and I knew he was pleased that I was willing to explore a little further.
"When will you be through with this meeting?"
His gaze probed mine.
I gave him my best smile.
"Probably no later than nine."
He nodded slowly.
"I have a meeting of my own, but it should be done about the same time."
Those sexy eyes dropped to my lips and I saw them darken. A shiver snaked through my body.
"Meet me here at nine-thirty."
I was so busy melting at the whisky smooth sound of his voice, it took me a minute to process what he said. I mulled it over for a moment, and slowly nodded.
I know what you're thinking, I had to be nuts, but I had this feeling he would never do anything to hurt me. I felt like I was poised at the starting line for the rest of my life, my feet on the blocks, and the gun had just gone off. If I didn't run now, I'd be left behind forever.
"What's your name? I want to know who's keeping me from getting any business conducted at this meeting I'm going to."
Any remaining regrets I had over this strange liaison melted when I heard my name roll from his lips. My heart immediately picked up the pace.
I raised my eyebrow.
"I think it's only fair that I get the same deal."
He chuckled again. The deep male rumble caused me to shiver. I could really get to like being around this man.
I grinned and let the name roll around my tongue a moment before I let it slip through my lips.
I raised my hand to his cheek.
"I'll see you at nine-thirty."
I stepped forward and planted a chaste kiss on his lips.
The elevator doors opened just as I stepped back, and I turned without a backward glance, and headed for the front doors of the building.
I made it to the restaurant with a scant five minutes to spare. The look my boss sent me clearly said I'd be in career purgatory if Mr. Grant had already arrived. I know I should have been flustered and even a little frightened, but I couldn't be. I had this warm, insular feeling of anticipation that settled itself into my joints. Nothing could have ruined that feeling. Or so I thought.
Beside me my boss rose to his feet and I quickly did the same, turning in preparation to meet our client. The smile I had affixed to my face slid off and probably rolled under the table as I found myself staring into a pair of entrancing black eyes.
I have to give him credit. He hesitated for only a micro-second before offering his hand.
"You must be the charming Miss Benlion I've heard so much about."
I realized I was still standing there looking like a moron and offered my hand.
"Mr. Grant, it's a pleasure to finally meet you."
I was really proud that I sounded passably normal.
A familiar gleam registered in his eyes and he raised my fingertips to his mouth. Electricity danced over my skin from the brief contact.
"Please, call me C.E."
I arched a brow at that.
"C.E. What does that stand for if you don't mind my asking?"
That slow smile lit up his face again.
That honeyed voice was already repeating its magic on me. I struggled not to shiver visibly.
I licked my lips in a nervous attempt to hide my distress. Colton's eyes zeroed in on the movement like a hunter tracking his prey. Dear God how was I going to make it through this evening?
My boss cleared his throat, reminding us of the reason we were there.
Colton reluctantly dragged his gaze to my companion.
He extended his hand to my boss.
"Garyon, great to see you again of course. I'd like to thank you and Miss Benlion for taking such a late meeting."
"Not at all, it was our pleasure."
Watching Gary play kiss-up was actually rather amusing. Colton must have thought so too since we shared one of those looks that require no words at all. You know; the ones that border on telepathy.
It frightened me to my bones to be sharing such a look with a man I'd only met an hour ago. I realized in that simple moment that I was in way over my head. The only comfort I could take was in the hope that he was in just as much trouble as I was.
We all took our seats and proceeded to order dinner. Gary wasted no time getting right into the business at hand, and I was relieved to be able to focus on something as normal as work. If I was very lucky, I could survive this evening. The problem with that line of thinking was that I wasn't usually very lucky at all.
We all talked about the project as we ate. I could feel Colton's stare and my nerves stretched closer and closer to the breaking point.
Halfway through dinner, he got a call on his cell and with profound apologies, excused himself from the table. I breathed an audible sigh of relief. Gary shot me a quizzical look, but I ignored it and drained my wineglass.
"Tammy. You know how important this is."
My sigh was long and tired. This wasn't a new situation between me and my boss. In fact, there was always some tension there. I hate to sound clichéd, but the guy was a chauvinistic prick. He honestly believed that I couldn't do the job as well because I was a woman.
I knew getting into this field that I'd have to face this type of bullshit, but it still pissed me off, especially since I was an excellent architect. I was better than Gary at any rate.
Maybe he was intimidated by me. Whatever the reason, he took every opportunity to condescend and berate me.
I know, any independent career woman worth her salt would have gotten out early on, right? Not this one. I was building my portfolio, amassing the kind of experience that would net me a position with a better firm. I've always been one to take the long view, even if it meant suffering the assholes in the short-term.
"Gary, I am very well aware of how important this evening is. Probably more than you realize."
My jaw was clenched from the effort not to snarl.
He glowered as he fumbled for a response. I decided in that moment that whatever he was about to say would probably snap the tenuous grasp I held on my self-control, so I decided to take a time out.
"Excuse me. I need to powder my nose."
OK. That was definitely a snarl.
Gary's mouth opened and closed like a fish as I breezed past him and headed towards the ladies room.
I walked down the little hall that led to the ladies room muttering to myself about chauvinistic men and generally doing everything I could to amplify the rage I was feeling. I didn't understand how my night had gone from surreal high to irrational low in such a short time.
OK. Well, learning that the man I was interested in was now a potential client and having a jerk for a boss might have a little something to do with it.
"I hope you weren't talking about me."
I stopped. Breathing.
It would just fit into the pattern of irony my life was beginning to follow that he would be behind me. I could just keep walking, but somehow I didn't think that would work. Chiding myself for my cowardice, I sucked it up and turned to face him.
I met his gaze steadily, but didn't say anything.
He walked toward me, stopping a scant foot away. I could feel the heat radiating off of him. I wondered if he could hear my heart trying its damndest to pound right out of my chest and lay itself at his feet.
I had the realization that the elevator incident was no fluke. That quickly, without the protection of work, I was ready for a repeat of our little impromptu make-out session.
Colton must have seen something in my face because he let out a low growl. It was a deep masculine sound that curled low in my belly and woke certain parts of my anatomy. Before I knew it, my back was against the wall and he was plastered up against me, his mouth plundering mine.
Damn, the man knew how to kiss. His lips were soft, but demanding, his tongue sweeping in to twine with mine. I nipped at his lower lip with my teeth and he groaned. I would have melted into a puddle on the floor if he hadn't been holding me up with his body.
I finally came to my senses and gave him a little shove. I rested my forehead against his chest, gasping for air the second time in as many hours.
"We can't do this here."
My voice sounded alien to me. Husky and low pitched.
He slid a hand up to cup the back of my neck, resting his chin on my head.
Colton heaved a sigh.
He stepped back reluctantly.
I brought my eyes up to meet his and had to f***e myself to keep away.
"So what do we do about..."
My eyes swept around the little hallway.
Meaning the strange situation we found ourselves in, but I knew he understood what I was asking.
His shoulders sagged a little and he sighed.
"I suppose we try and get through the rest of the evening."
It was exactly what I would have suggested, but my heart fell hearing him voice the only logical step to take. I suppose deep down I'm still a princess waiting to be rescued by her white knight. If ever a man met that description, it would be Colton.
"Just so you know, I don't give two shits about this project right now."
My wilting heart leapt at the tone in his voice. It said far more than his words ever could.
I placed my hand on his chest, surprised and not at finding his heart racing as fast as my own.
" We can do this. After dinner we'll figure out the rest."
I was trying to be encouraging. OK. It was more for me than for him. I'll admit it.
Colton lowered his lips to my ear. His breath hot, causing shivers to roll through my body.
"Sweetheart, I've got very definite ideas about what the rest will entail."
The shivers increased, but Colton suddenly turned and strode down the hall without a backward glance. Somehow I made my way into the ladies room and collapsed against the door.
I made my way to the mirror, and with shaking hands re-applied my lip gloss. I stared at my reflection and wondered how the hell my life had changed in the course of a couple of hours. I didn't know where this was going, but I wasn't the type of girl who could survive a one night stand.
I felt like I was on a runaway train. Everything in my life was speeding out of control and I was powerless to stop it.
Everything about Colton seemed very real and sincere, but there were men out there who could play that angle very well to get what they wanted.
Now wasn't the time for this. I had to get through the rest of the evening. Taking a few deep breaths, I headed back to the table.
When I sat back down at the table, I felt like I was in two different climates. Gary was frost, chilling me with a patronizing look, and Colton was heat. I don't have to tell you which of those two extremes won out do I?
Still ignoring my boss, I sent Colton a pleading look. I wanted this fiasco to end as quickly as possible. If the fire in his eyes was any indication, so did he. He brought Gary's attention back to business and guided the discussion quickly through the talking points.
With an agreement to meet on Monday morning to work out details, Colton declared the evening a success. He rose, shaking Gary's hand and thanking him again for taking such a late meeting.
Gary smiled and made nice, but his eyes were cold when they came to rest on me. Great! Work was going to be hell on Monday. He grabbed my elbow and started to steer me from the table. I had to resist the urge to drive that elbow into his stomach.
"Miss Benlion. I was wondering if I could ask you something personal."
I didn't know whether to be relieved or afraid of what Colton would say. I turned and regarded him with a wary gaze. Gary still retained his grasp on my arm.
Colton stepped forward and grabbed my hand, leaving my boss no choice but to let go if he didn't want to engage in a public game of tug-of-war.
"I have a niece coming into town next week and I don't really know what to do with a nine year old girl. I was wondering if you could help me come up with a few ideas."
I fumbled a moment.
"Sure. I suppose I could find a few minutes after our meeting on Monday."
I didn't want to appear any more eager than I already had. I'm not a complete slut you know.
Gary moved to take my arm again. Not what I had in mind.
"I was hoping you'd have time now."
He sent a challenging look to my boss.
Gary hesitated, and then pasted on that shit eating grin he reserved for clients.
"I'm sure Tammy would be happy to help."
The sneer on his face suggested exactly what he thought I might be capable of helping with.
If Colton noticed his boorish behavior, he hid it very well.
"Tammy, would you mind rescuing me?"
That satin smooth voice slid over me and I realized that I had no choice in the matter. Even if I wanted to object, my body had taken possession of my mind, or at least my mouth.
"I have no plans for the rest of the evening."
Those dark eyes that saw into my soul called me a liar.
"You've saved me."
Those three simple words were spoken so softly that they struck a chord inside me. I feared that I had not saved him, but doomed us both.
He turned to Gary, all business again.
"I'll see that she gets home. I look forward to seeing you Monday."
The two men shook hands again and Gary reluctantly made his way out of the restaurant.
I breathed deeply for a few moments, while Colton rubbed his thumb softly over my hand.
"Does that prick always treat you like that?"
The quiet anger in his voice suggested that he had indeed noticed Gary's deplorable behavior and that he disapproved. I squeezed his hand and shrugged.
"I'm used to it."
I peered at him closely and the look on his face almost melted me form the inside out. Everything about the man had that effect on me.
His jaw was clenched and he looked like he was about to go drag Gary back in for a little old-fashioned fisticuffs. I couldn't help the little smile that spread across my face or the warm feeling that swept over me.
"So, do you really have a nine year-old niece coming to visit?"
He grinned slyly.
"I have a niece. She'll be coming to visit in another three months."
"Well, it appears you rescued me instead of the other way around."
His face sobered.
"Oh no. I assure you you've most certainly done the rescuing."
My laugh died off when I heard the desire, heavy in his voice. I knew how he felt because I was feeling it too. I knew then that right or wrong I was going through with this.
Colton brought my hand up to his lips and turned it over to place a soft kiss on my palm.
"Are you alright with this?"
The concern in his eyes was touching, and every bit as seductive as his kiss.
I let him see just how alright with things I was and I heard that low growl again.
"Maybe we'd better get out of here before we draw a crowd."
He appeared to notice our surroundings for the first time since my boss had made his exit. I swear he blushed a little. It reminded me of the sweet guy I first thought him in the elevator. It made me think there was more of that side of him hiding underneath the surface.
I smiled again and pulled back from him long enough to grab my bag and my portfolio.
With a grin of his own, he took the oversized leather case from me and tucked my hand into his elbow. It was an old-fashioned gesture that I found endearing, and made me itch to find out more about this man who seemed such a study in contrasts.
We made our way out to the parking lot where he led me to.. a big truck. It was a Cadillac, but it was still a big truck.
Colton was blushing again.
"I suppose every knight has to have a trusty steed, if he's going to go about rescuing damsels in distress."
He looked at me for a moment and then burst out laughing. It was deep and musical, a sound I definitely wanted to hear more of.
He opened the door for me, and I paused, biting my lip.
Colton drew his brows together.
I looked down at my short black dress and strappy shoes, and back up to the cab of the truck. It may as well have been a tree house.
Enlightenment dawned on his face. He put my portfolio in the extended back seat and before I knew it he had scooped me up in his arms. Instinctively my arms snaked their way around his neck. God, it felt so good to be in his arms. It felt...right. He was solid and warm, and the smell of his cologne mixed with a male scent that was purely his served as a potent cocktail. I breathed deeply.
Colton gave a sharp intake of breath. He leaned down and buried his face in my hair. I felt him breathe in the same way I had just done with him. He sighed.
"God woman, what are you doing to me?"
His voice had taken on a low gravely tone. My breathing became shallow.
I looked up into his face and watched his eyes darkening.
You know those movie scenes where the hero closes in slowly for the kiss and the heroine closes her eyes in anticipation, while the tension draws out for the viewing audience? This was nothing like that.
Colton swooped down like a hawk capturing my lips before I had time to register what was happening. Explosive is the only term I can think of to describe that kiss. It was like an out-of- body experience, except my body was most definitely showing the signs of experiencing the kiss.
I plunged my hands into his hair and held on for dear life. It was crazy, but each kiss with him was getting hotter. The touch of his tongue was turning my bl**d to molten lava and I wasn't sure I could survive it. Death by kiss, the headlines would read.
I think if he had wanted to, he could have taken me on the hood of his truck and I wouldn't have cared. Did I mention I'm shy and conservative around men?
Fortunately he had at least a little control over his senses, because he pulled back and deposited me in the truck without a word. Which was fine, since I don't think I could have comprehended something as complex as the English language at that point.
He came around and climbed in his side, starting the engine.
Apparently my subconscious was functioning a lot better than my conscious mind, because I heard myself rattle off my address. I leaned back in the seat and closed my eyes, trying to talk my nerve endings into settling down. Yeah. Like that was going to happen.
We pulled into my driveway and I grabbed Colton's hand, leading him up the walkway. As soon as we were through the front door, I dropped everything and spun around. I grabbed the front of his shirt with both hands and pulled him to me. His arms slid around my waist and his lips crashed down over mine.
His hands stroked over my back as he plundered my mouth with his. Our hands flew over each other, tearing at clothing and gliding over skin, our mouths only leaving each other's for seconds at a time.
His skin felt hot to the touch and it made my hands burn where I touched him. I groaned and pulled him up the stairs to my bedroom. I'd never wanted anyone as fiercely as I did him. I wasn't a virgin or anything, but none of my previous lovers had awakened this kind of primal passion in me. I was like a woman possessed.
The moonlight filtered in through the window, but I paused to turn on the light. I wanted to see him. I wasn't disappointed. I stood and looked at the beautiful man before me. He was in as good a shape as I had imagined.
His chest was defined and muscular, not overly so, just enough that I could tell he took care of himself, and it was covered with a light dusting of hair. My fingers itched to glide through it.
His arms were subtly cut and his stomach was flat and smooth. That light smattering of hair trailed down and I let my eyes follow slowly, thinking that my lips wouldn't be far behind. My gaze came to rest between his legs. I had already gotten a little preview in the elevator, but that brief encounter hadn't prepared me for the unobstructed view I was getting now.
His cock stood at attention proud and pulsing. Size wise he wasn't huge or anything, just proportioned right for his body and he was not a small guy. I licked my lips and continued my visual tour of his body.
His hips tapered into muscled thighs and calves. I could already feel those legs between mine as he thrust himself in and out of my body. I heard a low moan and realized it was coming from me.
I looked up at him and saw the same expression in his eyes that I knew I had in mine. He had been doing his own gazing and he apparently liked what he saw as much as I did.
I stepped into his arms and placed small kisses along his chest. We both groaned at the contact of our naked bodies, electricity snaking over our skin. I let my hands glide, following the path of my lips as I traced over his chest, his arms, and down that beautiful flat stomach.
I could feel the wetness pooling between my thighs as I thought about what I wanted to do next. God! He had me so hot! I slid my hands down to grasp his cock and heard his sharp intake of breath. I felt him jump in my hands and his head fell back, his eyes closing in bliss.
Dropping down on my knees I continued to kiss my way down his thighs, trailing my tongue over the sensitive skin of his inner thigh. Involuntarily he spread his legs apart widening his stance and giving me better access.
His breath was coming in short gasps now. I slowed my assault on his body. I licked my way up his other thigh and over to his scrotum. I ran my tongue over that little line that ran between his balls and his anus. He jumped visibly. I worked my way over his balls, which were tight and full until I thought his eyes were going to roll back in his head.
I loved the salty taste of his skin. I ran my hands over his hips, reaching around to squeeze his ass. I looked up at him and grinned before I closed my mouth over the head of his cock.
That exclamation sent shivers to the center of my body causing me to leak more moisture onto my thighs. I moaned as I worked his cock into my mouth. I couldn't take all of him so I tried to make up for it with the little nibbles and tongue swirls that I laved over him.
God, I loved the feel of him gliding around my tongue.
I was just getting into it when he yanked me up to my feet and picked me up. In two strides he was at the bed and suddenly he was on top of me. His tongue invaded my mouth and I reveled in my ability to make him lose control like this.
I pulled back from his lips.
"I wasn't through yet."
"The hell you weren't."
Did I mention how I love Alphas?
"Tammy honey, I don't want this to be over before it starts."
He was nibbling over my neck now and my body arched up like a bowstring. He had a way of finding my hot spots. I heard a low chuckle as his hands played their way down to my breasts.
He took one in each hand and gazed at them for a moment. He strummed his thumbs over my erect nipples causing pleasure to shoot straight to the area between my thighs. I thought I would die when his mouth closed over one of them. I heard myself gasping nonsense words and found my hands laced through his hair.
He grinned up at me. Uh oh. I didn't know how much of this kind of torture I could take.
He trailed his tongue down my stomach, his hands still working over my breasts. When his tongue dipped into my bellybutton, I bucked again.
The gasp was wrenched from my lips unbidden. He groaned deep and low.
He continued to work his way down until he was positioned between my thighs. Oh Fuck! The heat of his breath on my pussy was so good. I held my breath in anticipation. I could feel the center of my sex swelling as if it were trying to reach him.
He waited there for what seemed like forever. I whimpered. My hips moved of their own volition, but he held them down.
I watched as he lowered his head slowly, lust clearly in his eyes. He looked up at me just before he dragged his tongue slowly over my slit.
"Mother of God!"
The shout echoed through the room. He grinned again.
He went back to work on my pussy moving painfully slowly. He alternated between sliding his tongue inside me and moving to suck my clit up into his mouth where he rolled his tongue around it and then started the process all over.
I was gripping the bed sheets in a mad frenzy. Every time I thought I was ready to fall over the edge, he backed off. Finally, when I thought I would cry from frustration, he climbed up my body and positioned his cock at the entrance to my pussy.
"Are you sure you want this Tammy?"
I looked at him like he had six heads.
"Get the fuck inside me now!'
Gripping my hips, he gave a long thrust. I was so wet he embedded himself to the hilt on the first try. I gasped as the walls of my pussy gave little welcoming spasms. He stopped for a moment and dropped his forehead down to mine.
We were both gasping desperately for air. I stayed still as long as I could stand it. I swear. I couldn't help it. I had to move my hips. As I did I heard him let out a low groan. I knew it wouldn't be long for me, but I couldn't have slowed things down if I'd wanted to.
The feel of him gliding against me electrified my already sensitive nerve endings. We were the most perfect fit I'd ever felt.
I hooked my legs up around his back and gasped when the head of his cock slid over my sweet spot. The spasms continued to grow, flexing and releasing his shaft as I felt myself hurtling towards the point of no return.
I tried to warn him that it was coming, but it was too late.
My body shattered into atoms from my pussy outward. I felt the waves of energy roll over me as I bucked uncontrollably beneath him.
I felt myself screaming over and over. It was either that or let the pressure kill me.
As I was starting to float back down, I felt him tense up. The hot spurts of his cum hitting the walls of my pussy pushed me back over the edge again.
A little while later, Colton was still lying on top of me as we started to re-enter the world again. I was so tired and yet so new. I felt him move, pulling his softening cock out of me.
I whined my disappointment at losing my connection to him.
He pulled me into his arms and kissed me deeply.
I curled into his arms and inhaled the glorious scent of his skin. I purred with contentment and let myself drift off to sl**p.
I squinted my eyes and pulled a pillow over my head as a barrier against the morning sun. I stretched my body becoming aware of a delicious soreness. I smiled when I thought back over the night before.
Colton and I had awakened throughout the night making love and dozing and repeating it all over again. No wonder I was sore. My body felt well used.
I reached over for him, finding his spot empty. Panic began to creep over me. I sat up gazing around the room. When my stomach growled I realized that it was the smell of coffee that had awakened me.
I sagged back down on the bed in relief. He wasn't gone.
"Hey lazy. You'd think someone didn't get a wink of sl**p last night."
His dark eyes crinkled at the edges. I smiled under his warm gaze.
He was leaning casually against the doorway. I suddenly found myself shy even after all of the acts we had performed last night. I tightened the sheet around my body.
His grin said he'd noticed but he didn't comment.
"Come on, grab a shower. By the time you're out I'll have breakfast done."
He turned and strode back out of the room, leaving me my privacy. I was grateful for that small consideration.
After a quick shower, I dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. It was the weekend uniform of choice for a busy architect like myself. I yanked my hair up into a ponytail and took a deep breath before heading into the kitchen to face the morning after awkwardness.
I padded into the kitchen to find it empty. There was a mug waiting beside the coffee pot and I went to pour myself a cup. I had just set the pot back on the burner, when I felt arms circle me from behind.
Colton dropped a kiss on my neck.
His warmth banished my worries about the stilted and awkward conversation that had played out in my mind during my shower.
I turned around in his arms.
"Good morning yourself, sexy."
My voice was still husky from our active night.
I snuggled into him, allowing myself to buy into the illusion of domesticity for a few more minutes.
He wrapped his arms me and rubbed his hands over my back.
"Breakfast is ready. I hope you don't mind, I set a table for us."
His voice still sounded like honey, even in the early light of morning.
He chuckled softly at my easy reply.
I let him lead me to the dining room where he had laid out a feast of french toast, fruit and yoghurt.
"Wow. I usually just grab a piece of toast on the way out the door."
"Somehow that doesn't surprise me at all."
I grinned back at him.
I loaded up my plate. What? My energy reserves were tapped out. Give a girl a break.
We sat in companionable silence as we ate. It was the type of comfortable silence that usually comes after you've been in a relationship for a while. I didn't question it, I didn't dare.
When we were done Colton quietly gathered up our plates and carried them into the kitchen. It was fine for him to cook me breakfast, but I drew the line at letting him clean up the dishes in my own home. I shooed out of the kitchen and proceeded to wash up.
I found him a few minutes later in my office looking through some of the drawings that I hadn't brought in my portfolio. I leaned against the door and watched him silently.
I admired his long lean hands as they flipped through pages of schematics. His profile was beautiful. I found it hard to believe that I had just met this man the night before. I felt like it had been forever.
I looked down and cleared my throat. When I looked back up at him he was smiling.
"These are incredible Tammy."
His hand waved towards my drafting table.
I felt a blush creep over my cheeks. I was suddenly very shy about my work, even though he had seen examples of it the night before. I didn't want him to feel like he had to pay compliments just because we'd slept together.
When he saw the expression on my face he got angry. He strode over to me and captured my face with his hands. I dropped my eyes to the floor. Colton slid a finger under my chin and lifted my face until our eyes met.
"When I pay a compliment, I mean it."
His voice was soft, but there was an edge to it that said it was fact and to doubt that would cause dire consequences.
I nodded mutely.
He leaned down and captured my lips in a soft kiss that had my toes curling and my heart thudding slowly. I was sure it missed a beat or two.
He backed away.
"So, what should we do today?"
His warm sexy voice was back, and I wondered if I'd imagined the tender, but serious, moment that had just passed between us.
I mustered up a smile.
"What did you have in Mind?"
Saturday afternoon found me sitting in the balcony of an old Chinese Theater downtown. Colton had talked me into a classic Kung-Fu film festival.
Normally I would be at home catching up on errands I hadn't had time to deal with during the week.
I snuggled in closer to Colton.
"Oh, so you thought you could defeat me."
I giggled at his deliberately horrid accent.
"You didn't know I was a master of the palm of five snakes."
As bad as his pseudo-commentary was, it was better than the subtitles flashing up on the screen.
"You have no honor and your Mother wears combat boots."
"That's so old Colton. You're showing your age."
He reached over and tangled his hand into my hair, rubbing his thumb over the back of my neck. He leaned in and whispered into my ear, his breath warm against my skin.
"You weren't complaining about my age last night."
He grinned, the movement slow and lazy.
I shivered at the memory he evoked.
Sticking my tongue out at him, I reached over for a handful of popcorn.
He raised an eyebrow.
"You dare disrespect me? Beware, the consequences could be grave."
He was still using his Kung-Fu dub-over voice. I put on a mock serious face.
He nodded solemnly.
"You think you could make me pay?"
That glint came into his eyes.
"Oh, I know I could."
I shivered. Damn. I found myself looking forward to the penance he would determine for my so-called lack of respect.
I winked at him.
"I think I could handle myself."
He arched a brow, and just like that, the game was on.
I reached back over into the bucket of popcorn, which was resting between his knees. I ate the buttery kernels slowly, and then proceeded to lick the butter off of my fingers, moaning softly as I did.
I thought he would choke.
I smiled sweetly and picked up the drink we were sharing. Locking my eyes on his, I slid the straw into my mouth and sucked the drink up, pausing once or twice to lick my lips.
This time he did choke.
I gave him a smug smile.
The glare he responded with promised all sorts of delicious retribution.
The rest of the afternoon was spent teasing each other mercilessly. An 'accidental' brush here, a grope there; innuendo so heavy it could anchor a ship. By early evening, we were both as tightly wound as the night before.
Foreplay should come with a warning label. Caution: Do not attempt to operate machinery while in a state of abject arousal. My eyes felt heavy. OK, so other parts felt heavy too. My body had become this pulsing, throbbing mass.
I felt like a horny teenager around him, only sex had never been this intense back then. It was like I had grown into my sexuality over the years and my body was showing its whole hearted support and appreciation.
I turned to look at him while he drove. His eyes were still on the road so I took a moment to drink him in under the faint light of the dashboard and the occasional streetlight that brightened and then dimmed the cab of the truck.
He was so very beautiful. I longed to trace every line of his face with my fingers, memorizing each plane. A lock of hair had fallen down over his forehead making him look boyish. I couldn't resist the urge to reach up and brush it out of the way.
He smiled and leaned over to plant a soft kiss on my lips. I pulled back and looked around, realizing we were in a parking garage. In my fixation on him I hadn't realized that we had reached our destination.
"Where are we?"
I didn't recognize the place. Of course, one parking garage is pretty much like another.
"I thought we'd try my place tonight."
I licked my lips.
"What about my clothes?"
Those dark eyes held me immobile.
"You won't be needing them."
His voice was husky, and caused warmth to spread low in my belly.
"Mmmm. So I get to see the bachelor pad?"
"I don't know about bachelor pad. There's no revolving bed or anything."
"That's a real shame."
His eyes crinkled at the edges.
"I think we'll manage."
He climbed out of the truck and came around to help me down; another old-fashioned gesture. He placed his hands at my waist and lifted me down. As my body slid along his I decided that there were definite benefits to an old-fashioned kind of guy.
I felt my skin warm and my breathing become shallower.
"Mmmm. A girl could get used to this."
He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me in closer. I rested my cheek against his chest and listened to his heart pounding within. I sighed and pulled out of his arms. I grabbed his hand and looked up at him.
"If there is any such thing as a perfect day, then this was it."
He brought his hand up to my cheek and brushed a thumb over my lower lip. His eyes were like were like the night sky, dark and intense.
"The day isn't over yet."
I turned my head and placed a light kiss on the palm of his hand. I was wrapped in warmth at the promise in his words.
He leaned down and brushed a soft kiss over my lips. Somehow it was much sexier than the heated and frenzied moments of last night. He was still a man completely aware of his charms. I wondered how he could maintain his control when all he had to do was touch me and I was lost.
He took my hand and led me inside.
I awoke during the night to the feeling of Colton's arm wrapped around me. His hand was making lazy trails across my stomach. I sighed and nestled back into his arms. I was exhausted and more contented than I ever remembered being.
Why hadn't any of my past relationships been like this? The question snuck quietly into my head.
The answer was simple, and it hit me like a blow from a heavyweight boxer. I sobered from my lust induced intoxication instantly.
They weren't Colton.
I was awestruck by how the events of the last twenty-four hours had managed to change my life. Already, the idea of going back to my solitary existence seemed positively alien to me. I couldn't clearly remember what it had been like without Colton in it and I wasn't sure I wanted to.
It was like everything before yesterday was a fading dream and this was reality.
It scared the shit out of me.
Hello? Remember the runaway train? Well it was still flying out of control, and I was terrified that any time now it would crash, and all that would be left of me was a broken mass of flesh.
I didn't want to think at all. I just wanted to live this waking fantasy and forget about the consequences; forget that there would be an aftermath I had to survive.
Colton tightened his hold on me. It was a soothing gesture, as if he knew I was troubled and in need of the comfort.
He nestled closer and placed a soft kiss on my shoulder. I felt another one of those blows to the gut.
I realized that it would be worth it. I would willingly put myself through a train wreck if it meant I could have this man, even for a little while.
Well hell. So this is what it was like. I had friends who had gotten married and settled down with the whole white picket fence in the burbs and I had never understood the attraction. I saw it clearly now.
Colton was right. The consequences were grave indeed, but for much more than the banter we were throwing back and forth earlier. The bitch of it was he had no idea of the magnitude, the scope, of the thoughts and emotions running through my head. I should have taken solace in the fact that he wasn't going to suffer like I inevitably would, but somehow it didn't comfort me.
The morning brought pleasant smells again, and I dragged myself into the kitchen searching for the source of the tantalizing scents. Colton was just finishing the last of a stack of pancakes. Was this guy for real?
"So, have you always been the domestic type?"
He didn't even turn around.
"My Mother insisted I be able to take care of the basics. The rest I picked up because it relaxes me."
He didn't see me shudder. I thought cooking was a revised form of medieval torture.
He carried a platter over to the kitchen table and turned to me.
"Coming? I happen to know from a reliable source that you've worked up an appetite."
I grinned and joined him at the table.
As we sipped our coffee, I found myself staring off into space, my thoughts from the night before creeping back in to haunt me.
"Why so serious?"
His voice pulled me out of my reverie, and I managed a smile.
"Sorry, just lost in thought."
His gaze searched mine.
"Not happy ones from what it looked like."
I looked at him, really looked at him, this man I was falling so fast for. I reached up and rested my palm against his cheek. This time the smile was genuine.
"Just chasing away the nightmares."
I shook my head.
"I don't know if you had anything in mind for today, but I really need to get caught up on some things at home. Because, in case you hadn't noticed, someone's kept me occupied all weekend."
Colton grinned, not looking the least bit penitent.
"Besides, I have this meeting in the morning with an important client."
Colton f***ed his face into a solemn expression.
"I hope this client isn't too important. I'd hate for him to steal away my talent."
"In fact, he's very important. So important that I think a great deal of my time is going to be put into this development he's planning."
He drew his brows together.
"Hmmm. I'll just have to see what strings I can pull to get another architect assigned to his project. I don't like sharing."
I was giggling uncontrollably now. Colton had a knack for making me laugh. It was something that had always been high on my list of ideal qualities in a man.
"You have a beautiful laugh Tammy."
Yep, I was definitely in over my head. I just hoped I could learn to swim before it was too late.
I got into the office early on Monday morning. I wanted to make sure I had everything together for the meeting with Colton and Gary. OK, so I knew Colton would love whatever I did, but I was a professional. I couldn't do anything less than my best.
After some of our conversations over the weekend, I had a fairly good idea of what Colton was looking for with regards to the project, and some ideas were already starting to solidify. I wanted to sketch a few things out, see how they translated to paper.
I was working at my drafting table when Garyon barged into my office and closed the door. Great, so the standoff was going to happen now. I had at least hoped for a brief respite before we had to do this. I rested my arm on the table and swiveled to look at him. I didn't bother standing.
"Just what the hell was with you on Friday?"
I raised an eyebrow.
"Good morning to you too, Gary."
He did not look amused. Too bad.
"Gary I really don't know what you mean but, whatever your issue with Friday is, I suggest you table it. We have another meeting in less than thirty minutes. I was just finishing up some sketches I would like to show Colton. I'll see you in the conference room in a few minutes."
I turned back around and kept working on the drawing.
"Colton, now is it? What happened to C.E or Mr. Grant? Hmmff. I bet you got awfully chummy with him Friday night after I left. Is this how you think you're going to get ahead?"
I didn't give him the benefit of a reaction, and I could tell it ate him up. I still didn't look up at him although I was gripping the technical pen in my hand so hard my knuckles were white.
"You bitches are all the same. Can't work your way up like the rest of us; have to whore your way there. You might think sl**ping with clients is a way to get promoted, but as long as I'm here, you aren't going anywhere."
Just as I opened my mouth to respond, I heard a voice from behind him.
"Well, Miss Benlion, it appears you'll still have a shot at promotion, because as of this moment, Mr. Capshaw is no longer working here."
My mouth, which was still open from the thwarted defense, snapped shut. Everett Hayes, the senior partner of the firm was standing in the doorway, beside Colton.
Gary's already pasty face paled further. I could sympathize with the shock he must be feeling. Not to say he didn't deserve it, but I could sympathize.
Colton's face was thunderous. I was afraid for a moment that he would go past Alpha, straight to cave man, and knock Gary across the room. I found a little part of me wishing that he would. Hell, half of me wanted to do it myself.
I blinked and the whole situation was moving in slow motion. I watched as all of the emotions played over Gary's face. Disbelief, shock and anger. Throughout them all he glared at me with raw hatred. I realized that I was still grasping the technical pen, and sitting at my drafting table, that it had only been a few minutes. As rage finally settled over him, everything suddenly fell back into real time.
He started walking towards me, fury radiating from him. I held my breath, unsure what to expect, but too surprised to really be afraid. He grabbed my arm and raised his fist. I cringed and closed my eyes, waiting for the blow to land. It never came, and I felt him let go of my arm.
I pried my eyes open and found him pinned to the wall by Colton.
"If I ever see you within three feet of Tammy again, I'll finish what you just started."
The menace in his tone left no doubt about how he would finish things. Gary's eyes went wide. He didn't try to get away from Colton or fight him. Even the weak have survival instincts.
A few minutes after it all started, he was being e****ted from the building by security. Mr. Hayes was very apologetic over Gary's deplorable behavior. He reassured me over and over that he did not tolerate that type of abuse in the firm.
After he was convinced that I would be alright, He smiled.
"You're going to have to cut it out with the sirs, or is that another reference to chivalry?"
I smiled and felt myself starting to relax a little.
"Alright Tammy, I'll leave you to it, but remember, if you need anything, just ask."
I nodded and he rose to his feet, strolling purposefully out the door.
he left me in my office with Colton. As soon as the door closed, Colton came over and crushed me to him in a great bear hug.
The shock was wearing off and I could feel myself starting to shake.
"It's OK baby. He's gone."
He was stroking his hand over my hair and murmuring over and over in a soft, soothing voice. I wasn't sure who he was trying to convince more, me or himself.
I burrowed in closer to him. It had been a surreal experience. I just needed to take a few minutes to absorb things, and I felt safe with Colton's arms around me.
Eventually I drew back. I tried to lighten things up a little.
"Well, that's more of the pastries in the conference room for us."
He didn't even crack a smile. I grabbed his hand.
He was looking at the floor. I gave his hand a squeeze.
Finally he looked back up at me and I took a step back from the fierceness of his eyes. After a moment he spoke, his voice soft, yet so intense he could have been shouting.
"I walked in and heard the things he said to you and I wanted to tear him apart. If Everett hadn't spoken up, I don't know what I would have done."
He squeezed my hand back.
"When he tried to hit you, I almost lost my mind. I ...really wanted to hurt him."
I threw my arms around him and drew him in for a hug.
"Shh. It's over now, like you said, and I'm proud of you. You didn't even need your trusty steed."
That got a small smile out of him.
"Aren't we late for a meeting?"
He drew his brows together.
"Tammy honey, you should go home. You've been through a traumatic experience."
I shook my head.
"It takes a lot more than that to put me down. Besides, that would be letting him see that he got to me. The best thing I can do is keep going."
He looked into my eyes, searching.
"Are you sure?"
I nodded my head firmly.
"Yes, so if you'd be kind enough to help me carry these drawings down the hall, I can show you what I have so far for the Weston Building."
He shook his head.
"You are one amazing lady Tammy Benlion."
I waggled my eyebrows.
"You haven't seen anything yet mister."
Colton loved my ideas for the Weston project and we managed to solidify a few possibilities, which I was going to spend the afternoon working on. I spent a good hour and a half asking him questions about what he wanted in this building. From space, to efficiency, to function, I wanted as many details as he could give me on his concept of the project.
I found myself tapping my pencil on the table. Now that I was alone in my office, my mind finally started creeping back to the events of the morning. I knew that things were strained between me and my boss, but I had no idea that his prejudices ran that deep. It was frightening to think that he had been harboring this hatred of me all this time, just because I had the audacity to be female and good at my job.
If Colton hadn't come in when he did....
I shuddered at the thoughts that flashed through my head. I didn't need to think about that. It was over. He was gone.
I tried to bring my focus back to the job at hand, but finally gave up. I was staring into space when there was a knock on the door. Everett Hayes came in and quietly closed the door behind him.
"Margaret told me you were still here."
I stood and indicated that he should have a seat on the sofa. I perched on the edge of an arm chair, facing him.
He cut me off.
"Please, call me Everett. I just wanted to see how you were doing after this morning's horrible incident. I have to say I am truly surprised to still find you here. You should have gone home."
There was genuine concern and compassion in his voice.
"Thank you for your consideration Mr. Ha......Everett, but really I'm alright. I was a bit shaken, but I'm better off here than sitting at home where I have nothing to do but think. I wasn't actually harmed, so I'll be fine."
He watched my face carefully as though searching for signs that I would crack into little pieces like delicate china. Apparently he was satisfied with what he saw, because he nodded.
"I suppose no one knows your limitations better than you do, but if you need anything at all, including some time off, please don't hesitate to ask."
I was touched by his genuine concern for my well-being. He seemed so real, so down-to earth. It was refreshing.
"I'm just grateful that you and Colton were there. I owe you both a great deal of gratitude."
"It appears chivalry isn't dead."
He gave a grin.
"I suppose this is where I say 'Awe shucks ma'am it weren't nothin'."
His face sobered.
"You just be sure to thank Colton. It was because of him that we were there, and it was him that kept Capshaw restrained until security could get here."
He shook his head bemusedly.
"I haven't seen a man move that fast before. He's got it bad, and you are one lucky lady."
"Sir, what Gary said about me and..Colton.."
Everett put up his hand.
"What you do outside this job is none of my business Tammy. It wasn't any of Capshaw's business. If you're worried that I'll actually buy into the nonsense that moron was spouting, well, let's just say it's been a long while since my intelligence has been questioned in such a fashion."
I felt a blush creeping into my face.
"Of course I didn't mean it like that sir."
After a week I was beginning to feel a lot better about the whole situation at work. The tension was easing and the gossip was dying down, not that I heard any of it directly. It was just the sympathetic looks and the fact that people stopped talking when I walked up that clued me in to how hot a g****vine topic my near attack was.
Colton had been doing what he could to help me relax and keep my mind off of things. He had taken me to dinner almost every night. If he wasn't with me at my house, we were on the phone together. I found his presence comforting. The thought of folding myself into him and just breathing in his scent caused the tension to slide from my shoulders.
The work was going well, and we almost had a preliminary draft of the plans for the Weston Building drawn up. We had spent a few late nights working on the project and tonight would be another one of those occasions.
I leaned back in my chair and rubbed the back of my neck. The muscles were knotted into tight ropes from hunching down for most of the day. I decided I could really use a caffeine boost before Colton got here. I strolled down the hall to the break room, only to find that we were down to freeze-dried. Where was Juan Valdez with his burro when you needed him? Being the self-respecting coffee connoisseur that I was, I headed up the street for a double espresso.
The light was just beginning to dwindle as I made my way down the street. The blaze of purple and orange was soothing after a long day, and I felt my mood lightening. This little break was obviously a good idea. I figured Colton would be at the office in the next fifteen minutes. That should be just enough time to grab a couple of coffees and get back.
A few minutes later, I thanked the girl behind the counter and headed back up the street to the office. I was almost there when I felt a chill run down my spine. I looked around slowly, trying to pinpoint the source of my uneasiness. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, I continued on, but still couldn't shake the eerie feeling. I stepped up the pace a little.
I smiled at Benny, the guard working the evening shift in the lobby, as I headed back into the building.
"Evenin' Miss Gracie."
He nodded his head, returning my grin.
"Good evening Benny."
He noted the two cups I was carrying. "You and Mr. Grant workin' late again?"
"How'd you guess Ben?"
He shrugged, amusement lighting his eyes.
"Just lucky, I s'pose."
I laughed. Benny was seventy if he was a day, and the biggest flirt in the building.
I made my way to the elevators.
As the doors were closing, a hand reached in to stop them. My heart slammed into my ribs, and I almost dropped the coffee. I guess I was still a little uneasy.
I breathed a sigh of relief when Colton's beautiful face presented itself. I laughed. Colton put on a wounded expression.
"Wow, I know that joke last night was obscure, but talk about a delayed reaction. I must be losing my touch."
I rolled my eyes.
"I just figured out where Benny was getting his new psychic powers from."
At his look of confusion, I explained the exchange I'd had with the elderly guard. Colton chuckled. I handed him the coffee I'd picked up for him and looked up into his face.
"You know, we have to stop meeting in elevators."
He grinned, in that charming boyish way of his.
"I don't know. I'm starting to like it. Just the two of us all alone, doors could open anytime, kind of exciting don't you think?"
I pulled a face at him, but inside I couldn't agree more. Just as I made up my mind to torture him a little, the bell chimed, indicating we had arrived at our floor. I gave him a sexy grin, and made sure to work the walk as I headed down the hall in front of him. Everyone else had gone for the day, so I reveled in the chance to tease him a little, knowing that we would end up working off any tension later at home.
Colton was really getting to know my office well. Almost as well as my house. I preferred it to the conference room any day, and I was much more productive in a space I was comfortable in.
I sat my coffee on the little table in the seating area. I was less likely to cause any major catastrophes that way.
I strolled over to my desk to grab a file we needed, when I felt Colton's arms slide around my waist. It was the same position that had started our heated affair, and it affected me just as strongly as it had that first time. I felt his hands slide down to my hips as he nestled his already hardened cock between my cheeks. Heat pooled instantly between my thighs.
I could hear how weak my protest sounded. My voice had gone low and breathless.
"Mmmm. We certainly are."
His voice was gravelly and his breath was hot in my ear. His hands slid up to cup my breasts, kneading them slowly. I couldn't help the groan that slipped from between my lips.
"We could get caught."
I knew it was no use pointing that out. It wouldn't stop him.
"I suppose that's a remote possibility, but everyone's gone. It's just us."
He was placing kisses down the side of my neck now. I closed my eyes and leaned my head back to give him better access.
The heat from my center was rapidly spreading outwards. I tried to turn around and kiss him, but his arms around my waist held me firmly.
His lips came back up to my ear and his voice was low.
"Don't you ever wonder how things would have gone if no one else had been in that elevator? If there was no chance of anyone else walking in that night?"
I groaned. What he was suggesting was crazy. It could never have happened in reality, which is why things played out the way they did. It was pure fantasy, but what girl doesn't like a little, alright, a lot of that in her life?
I pressed back against him and took my voice to a seductive purr.
"How do you think it would have gone baby?"
I wasn't panting. Honest.
He drew in a sharp breath and his arms tightened further around me.
"I think it would be more effective if I demonstrate."
He trailed one hand around to give my ass a little squeeze, and then brought it back around to trail across my stomach and slowly down my thigh. I gasped, the electricity between us scorching, even though the barrier of our clothing was still in place.
He swept my hair away from my face and trailed wet kisses up the side of my neck causing me to arch back against him. I felt him smile against the skin behind my ear.
Colton hooked a finger under the hem of my skirt and worked it slowly upward.
"God Gracie, I wanted to do this so bad that night."
I turned to liquid when his voice went all raspy like that.
I slid my arm up around his neck and looked up at him over my shoulder.
"What baby? Tell me what you wanted to do to me?"
He closed his eyes as a low groan escaped him.
I tilted my head and began to nibble along his jaw, his stubble tickling my lips.
I stopped and looked up into his eyes again.
"Well? I want to hear it baby. I want you to tell me exactly what you wanted to do that night. What you want to do right now."
OK. So I was panting after all.
With a growl he hauled me back up against him.
"Alright you little witch, have it your way."
I gave a little shiver as his Alpha side emerged.
"I would have held you like this while I rubbed my cock up against your sexy little ass. I wanted to slide that little dress over your head and see just what treats were hiding from my view."
I felt my heart start pounding at the heated words that were sliding from his lips.
"God Tammy, you are so beautiful."
His breath was shallow and his eyes were dilating.
"I wanted to slide my hands over your breasts and tease them like this."
I let out a little cry as his hand slid under my blouse and cupped my breast, his fingers gliding over the erect little bud.
"I wondered what color your nipples were, how they would taste."
His other hand was still inching my skirt up over my thighs.
I felt my hips rock involuntarily towards his hand.
Suddenly my skirt was above my waist and his hand was sliding underneath my thong, stroking slowly over the swollen lips.
I gasped as his fingers glided softly over my clit.
I wanted to kiss him, but this wasn't about making love. This was about hot, a****listic attraction. It was about him being the male, marking me as his, claiming me completely. I had never been so turned on in my life.
I whimpered in sudden desperate need.
I tried to turn around, but his hand that had been torturing my now swollen breast, dropped down to circle my waist, effectively immobilizing me.
I whimpered again as I pressed myself back against the fully hard length of him.
His hand left the place between my thighs and I moaned in frustration.
He tangled his hand in my hair and jerked my head back. His eyes glittered dangerously and his breath was hot against my cheek.
"Did you want to fuck me right there Tammy?"
His words caused a throb to run through me. Dear God! I felt like I could cum if he said another word.
"Did you want me to bend you over and fuck you till you screamed?"
His voice was down to a whisper.
My whole body was shaking with the need he awakened in me.
I closed my eyes and gave the only answer I could.
"Yes Baby. Oh God....please Colton. I can't wait anymore."
I ran my tongue over my bottom lip to moisten it. It had gone dry because of my panting.
Colton let out a low satisfied growl. He sounded almost feral, and oh so very sexy.
I could feel the moisture seeping out onto my thighs and I squirmed.
It was almost a sob.
He trailed his hand down my waist to my thong. With a tug, the little scrap of fabric tore away and I was exposed to his probing fingers.
Colton slid a possessive hand over my mound and I heard his sharp intake of breath as he felt how wet I'd become.
He raised his fingers to his lips, savoring the taste of the arousal he had caused.
I was still shaking in anticipation.
I looked up at him, willing all of my need to show in my eyes.
He looked at me for a moment and he snapped.
All signs of my old-fashioned gentleman were gone. He was no longer man, but b**st, driven only by the overwhelming need to mate.
His pants were around his ankles in seconds and I found myself spread across my desk, holding on for dear life while he entered me hard and swiftly from behind.
I gasped at the overwhelming sensation of going from desperate to full in a matter of seconds. I felt my muscles quiver at the welcome invasion.
He leaned over my back and sank his teeth into my shoulder with a low groan.
I reached forward and grabbed onto the edge of the desk. Colton's hands slid up to grab my hips and he drew back slowly until only the tip of him remained inside me.
The wait was agonizing, but he finally slammed back into me, bottoming out in a single stroke. I gasped.
Colton dropped a soft kiss on my shoulder and pulled back out. Over and over he repeated the pattern, drawing out so slowly and slamming back inside me. Slow, fast, slow, fast, until I felt dizzy and the tension inside me was so tight I thought I would fly apart.
Vaguely I registered the sound of our bodies slapping together, the sound drowned out periodically by the gasps, grunts, moans and string of expletives that periodically escaped both of us.
I felt my body tighten until I was standing on the edge of the cliff. I thought about where we were and what we were doing and I couldn't stop the sudden waves of pleasure that started pulsing around Colton's cock and quickly spreading outward, until my lips were tingling and I heard a ringing sound in my ears.
At my orgasm, Colton lost it and I felt his body tense up as his cock leapt inside me, the hot ropes of cum hitting the pulsing walls. I was gasping for breath as I collapsed against my desk, too weak to move.
Colton chuckled, the vibration rumbling against my shoulder.
"I can't move."
Colton pulled out of me and helped me stand back up, where I promptly sank to the floor.
"Tammy, are you OK?"
The concern in his eyes was sweet.
"I told you I couldn't move."
I smiled weakly.
He grinned and lifted me up in his arms. He carried me over to the sofa and settled me onto his lap. I immediately curled into his body, my head resting on his shoulder.
"Why don't we go home, Gracie?"
I opened a sl**py eye to peer up at him.
"What will Benny think?"
"He's seventy hon. You don't think he saw a little action in his day?"
I guess I couldn't argue with his very guy logic, besides, I was too tired to care.
I nodded my head. Colton stood me up beside him and adjusted my clothing until I was presentable again. Taking my keys, he locked up my office behind me and we headed down to the elevator.
As tired as I was, I still couldn't help the feeling of unease that crept back over me as we exited the building. I reached for Colton's hand, his warm presence reassuring.
He cast a curious glance at me, but I just smiled. I could tell he knew that something was bothering me, but I felt silly getting upset over nothing.
I gave his hand a squeeze as we reached my car.
"Are you alright to drive?"
Once again I was touched by his consideration. I nodded.
"It's not that far, besides, you'll be right behind me."
He hesitated, clearly not comfortable with the thought of me driving myself home.
I held up the coffee cup and grinned.
"I'll see you at home."
He nodded and leaned down to give me a quick kiss.
Hmm. Home, sweetheart, I tried to pretend that those little words didn't warm me inside, but I was never any good at fooling myself. I was getting into dangerous territory.
I glanced up to see Colton behind me in his truck and smiled. He was pretty amazing. I shook my head again at the strange circumstances that had thrown him into my life.
I was still musing over fate's quirky sense of humor when I realized the light up ahead had just turned red. I hit the brakes, but the pedal went all the way to the floor. I didn't have time to react before I heard the scream of twisting metal and felt a sharp pain, then the world went black.
I was drifting in a sea of darkness, aware enough to realize that something was wrong, but not enough to pinpoint what it was. I tried to move, even to open my eyes, but no matter how hard I struggled, I couldn't get my body to cooperate. It was like being buried in the sand. Oh God! What was wrong with me?
I felt the panic rising in me, and heard the distant sound of voices murmuring, one of them was incredibly soothing. I didn't understand it, but it seemed so familiar. I just knew, from that voice, that everything would be alright. I calmed and slid back into the abyss.
I had a few more experiences like that until finally, I dragged my eyes open. The task exhausted me and I let out a low moan.
There was a scr****g sound beside me and the face of an angel loomed over me. He was smiling.
His soft, sweet voice was full of relief.
I tried to moisten my parched lips.
I was surprised when my voice squeaked out, sounding like rusty nails. It was weak and I was so very tired, just from the effort of staying awake.
I blinked up at Colton. He raised a hand to brush the hair away from my eyes.
He nodded and leaned down to place a kiss on my forehead.
"Just rest baby, I'll be right here."
I smiled and let go, exhaustion pulling me back under.
I opened my eyes to the sound of humming. The nurse, a round little redhead, was busily changing the bag on my IV.
I managed to croak the question out.
She looked up at me and an enormous smile spread over her face.
"Well now, look who's awake."
Her voice was every bit as bubbly as the rest of her. I decided right then that I liked her. She poured a cup of water and brought it over to me, letting me sip from a straw. As the cool water flowed through my mouth and down my aching throat, I let out a grateful sigh.
"Oh, thank you."
She grinned and patted my hand.
"Don't you worry dear. We sent your fiancé` to get something to eat."
I raised my eyebrows. She didn't even seem to notice.
"That poor boy hasn't left your side since you got here, unless we made him."
I felt a flush of pleasure that he had been so devoted, so concerned for me.
"You're a lucky one."
"My name's Katie, by the way. I'll be looking after you during the days when you're here. If you need anything, this is the call button."
She turned and bounced out the door. Just seeing her with her obviously endless supply of energy was enough to send me back into a deep, vicariously exhausted sl**p.
Over the next few days, I woke up more frequently, and for longer periods of time. Colton was always there. My heart lurched when I noticed the dark circles under his eyes. I was willing to bet he hadn't slept more than a couple of hours a day, the entire time I'd been here.
I was also willing to bet I looked better than he did right now, and I was the one with the punctured lung, ruptured spleen and broken ribs.
He rushed to my side at the softly spoken summons.
"I'm here sweetheart."
I smiled at him.
"I need you to do something for me."
He nodded, his brow creasing.
"Of course Gracie, anything."
I couldn't resist teasing him a little.
"Hmm, now that's the type of fiancé` a girl needs, maybe after they let me out of here."
I cocked an eyebrow.
"You don't suppose they have conjugal visits here?"
Warmth lit his eyes, and he chuckled. I was still needling him over pretending to be engaged so they would let him in to see me. Since he wasn't f****y, a fiancé` was the only other person they would let in.
"Even if they did Tammy, I don't think you're in good enough shape for that yet."
I made a production of looking over the IV lines and monitor attachments. Pursing my lips, I looked back up at him. I let out a dramatic sigh.
"I suppose you're right."
"Seriously Colton, I want you to go home and sl**p."
I could see the protest forming on his lips, and I put up my hand before he could voice it.
"I'm doing better. You need to get some rest or you'll be admitted next. Go home, eat, sl**p and don't show your face here until tomorrow."
He opened his mouth again, but I beat him to it.
"Don't make me take you off of the visitor's list."
His face flushed at that and I was sorry I'd made the empty threat.
I grabbed his hand.
"Baby, I'm worried about you. I know you can take care of yourself, but it will make me feel better if you'll do this for me. Please Colton."
His eyes softened and he looked at me for a moment before he finally nodded.
"Alright Tammy. If it will make you feel better."
I smiled at him in relief.
"I'll see you tomorrow."
He leaned down to place a soft kiss on my lips.
He turned and left, closing the door behind him.
Later that afternoon, there was a knock on the door, and a man and woman entered the room.
"Excuse us for intruding, Miss Benlion. I'm Detective Grayson Monroe."
He gestured toward the woman beside him.
"This is my partner, Detective Amy Richards."
The slim, petite brunette nodded at me, her expression polite.
Detective Monroe was a tall blond man who appeared to be in his early thirties. He looked like he had been a football player in high school or college. The pair made quite a contrast.
"What can I do for you, detectives?"
I felt a little knot of apprehension building in my gut.
Detective Monroe and his partner moved further into the room.
He sat down beside the bed and took out a little voice recorder.
"We wanted ask you some questions about the accident. I brought this along because, frankly, my handwriting is impossible, and I like to keep all of my details straight."
I glanced over at Detective Richards, noting the amused lift at the edges of her lips.
"If it's alright with you, I'd like to record your statement as we go along."
"Of course Detective."
He nodded, and placed the little recording device on the tray over my bed.
Satisfied that he had it ready, he leaned back and started the interview.
"Why don't you go ahead and tell me what you remember about the accident."
His tone was polite and business-like. I couldn't detect anything accusatory in his tone, or in his gaze. I figured this must be routine.
I licked my lips and recounted everything I could remember up to the point that I regained consciousness here in the hospital. Colton had already told me the other driver was fine, just a few bruises.
He listened intently, going back to points of the story and asking me to recount them again. The process was tiresome, and I felt sl**p begin to pull at me.
Detective Richardson noticed my fatigue and placed a hand on her partner's shoulder.
"Gray, perhaps we can continue tomorrow."
He glanced over me, realizing that she was right, that I was too exhausted to continue.
I shot her a grateful glance and she gave me a sympathetic smile.
"My apologies Miss Benlion. Let's pick this back up tomorrow."
I nodded and let my eyes fall shut as they slipped through the door.
The next morning brought a breakfast of runny oatmeal and juice. Mmmm, my favorite. Anyone that says hospital food isn't bad was obviously never a patient. I was trying to choke down the flavorless paste, when Detectives Monroe and Richards walked in.
His gaze dropped to the tray in front of me.
"I'm sorry to interrupt your....meal."
He said the last word like he wasn't sure it really applied. I had to agree with him.
"Not an interruption, so much as a rescue."
I sighed as I pushed the tray away from me.
Detective Richards smiled.
She came to perch on the edge of the bed as her partner sat in the same chair as yesterday afternoon.
"We thought it would be better to catch you early in the day, so you wouldn't be so worn out."
Her voice was warm and musical.
"Do you feel well enough to continue?"
I nodded, eager to get this done.
Detective Monroe pulled his little recorder out again.
"Alright Miss Benlion, Can you recount the events of the day of your accident, beginning when you woke up, and continuing to the accident itself?"
I gave him a startled glance, which I then turned on his partner.
Detective Richards gave me an understanding look in return.
"Please, Miss Benlion. Indulge us if you can."
There was something trustworthy about her. I was betting it was a hell of an asset for a cop.
I shrugged my shoulders and started through the tale of my day. I hesitated when I got to the part where I went for the coffee. They noticed, and exchanged glances.
"Is there something you don't want to tell us?"
I shook my head.
"No it's just that it seems silly, looking back on it."
Detective Monroe regarded me for a moment.
"We aren't here to judge, Miss Benlion. Something that may seem silly could still be useful."
I nodded, still feeling foolish.
"It's just that I had this uneasy feeling as I walked back to the building, like someone was watching me."
I waited for them to exchange looks that said I was in the wrong ward of the hospital.
They did glance at each other, but it wasn't to confirm their mutual diagnosis of crazy person.
"Go on, please."
I looked at them both.
" You don't think I'm nuts?"
Detective Richards shook her head.
"Not at all, I've learned over the years that the gut instinct is usually the first thing you should listen to."
Detective Monroe was nodding his agreement.
I swallowed my surprise, and continued on with the recounting of the day, leaving out certain events in my office, of course.
When I was done, I relaxed back onto the pillows and watched them a moment.
"What's this really about?"
Both of then looked at me in surprise before their well designed masks slid into place.
"We're just investigating the accident."
The lie slid smoothly from his lips.
I raised an eyebrow.
"Detective, give me credit for being a woman of passable intelligence. It is not routine for detectives to be investigating a simple traffic accident, and I'm no expert, but this isn't the usual line of questioning for a simple traffic accident either."
I could tell they were still deciding whether or not to fill me in.
"Since this involves me, I want to know what is going on."
The two partners traded speaking looks again.
Detective Richards looked down at her hands a moment.
Her bright blue eyes pierced mine, suddenly.
"Do you have any enemies?"
I had to blink as the implication of that question took hold of me.
"I'm not sure I understand the relevance of that question detective."
I was going to make them spell it out for me.
Detective Monroe sighed.
"Upon investigation, it was discovered that your brakes were tampered with. We have been assigned to look into the possibility that you were the victim of foul play."
My bl**d ran cold at his words, delivered so impassively, so business like.
I was still struggling to comprehend the magnitude of such a statement, when the door opened. Colton strode in, the smile sliding from his face as he looked at me.
"Tammy honey, what is it?"
I looked at him through blurry eyes, my hands shaking violently.
"I think someone's trying to kill me."
Over the next couple of weeks I found myself going through a series of emotions. First was shock and denial. I was nauseas and shaken, positive this couldn't possibly be happening to me. I knew that somewhere there had been a mistake. No one could want me dead, I mean, I was the most harmless person on the planet.
When Grayson and Amy finally got through to me that it was real, fear, cold and dark, settled deep into my bones. It curled through my bl**d in inky black tendrils, chilling my soul until I was almost paralyzed from it.
I felt like a field mouse running for its life, even as the hawk swooped in from the sky, claws extended. I could feel the hunter, I knew it was coming for me, but I couldn't see it. It was outside my field of vision, and like the mouse, I could feel my heart hammering nearly out of my chest.
Colton did his best to keep my spirits buoyant, but I could tell that inside, he was just as frightened as I was. I wanted to tell him to run away, to get as far from me as he could, before he got caught in the crossfire; that I couldn't bear to see him hurt because of me. I didn't, because I was certain that I couldn't survive this without him.
Grayson and Amy had questioned me for hours about anyone that might have a reason to be angry with me. I could have counted those on one hand, even with the recent addition of my former boss.
They were investigating everyone on the list, but I was certain they were wasting their time. I knew that they had to start somewhere, but I couldn't see any of the people I had named wanting to cause me real harm, Gary included.
I had asked about the likelihood that I had been mistaken for someone. What if the person who did this was after someone else?
Gray and Amy had exchanged another of those looks they were so good at and let me know that it wasn't probable. What they didn't say was if you were going to cut someone's brake lines, you would make damn sure you had the right car first. I sighed as that fanciful hope died a quick death. It made sense in a warped sort of way.
I let out a laugh over the surreal feeling of discussing my near death as though we were brainstorming ideas for a new design project. Colton looked at me, worry etched deeply around his eyes. I wanted to ease his fears, but I couldn't stop the laughter that came billowing out of me.
I know he thought I was cracking up, and perhaps I was, but it was either laugh or cry until my eyes were dryer than dust. I had to let it out somehow, and once it started, there was no f***e on the earth that could have stopped it.
Colton sat down beside me without a word and grabbed my hand tightly.
Eventually the tears I had managed to avoid, insinuated themselves into the hysterical laughter until all that remained were the sobs wracking my sorely abused body. Throughout, he stayed there, stroking his hands over my hair and letting me cry.
That was a couple of days after my surgery.
Now, I was just pissed.
I took the typical next step in the psychological evolution and worked up a really good rage.
"I am not doing it."
I knew I sounded like a petulant c***d, but I really didn't care.
Colton's sigh was the only evidence that I was wearing on his vast patience.
"Gracie, we've already been over this. Do you really want to stay in police protective custody?"
I huffed loudly.
"Is it so wrong to want to go on with my life? Why should I let some psycho dictate the way I live? It isn't fair!"
Colton leaned over and grabbed my upper arms. His face was fierce as he gave me a shake, his eyes boring into mine.
"Dammit Tammy, this is not a neighborhood k** pulling pranks we're talking about, it isn't an annoying person at the table next to you in a restaurant. It is someone who wants you to die."
He enunciated each of the last four words carefully as though I were an imbecile. It fueled my already livid temper, but I still didn't say anything. Yea for me! I just glared as he kept up the lecture. "Yes you have a life, and I plan to make damn sure you keep it. I'm not going to allow you to put yourself in any more danger."
I blinked a moment before I narrowed my eyes. My voice, when I spoke was deadly calm. It was his only warning that I had gone beyond the boiling point.
He had the Tammy to wince.
"Who in the hell are you to decide whether or not to allow me to do anything?"
Colton sat back and rubbed a hand over his face.
"Christ Tammy, that's not how I meant it and you know it."
His eyes were painted with dark circles, testimony to the fact that he hadn't left my side in two weeks. I felt the guilt nag softly in my mind. He had been nothing but perfect, while I had been riding an emotional roller-coaster. He was the unfortunate target for all of the anger and frustration that had been building for almost two weeks now.
Don't ask me why, but the fact that someone was trying to disrupt my lifestyle upset me more than the fact that they could be trying to rob me of my life itself.
Foolish? Yes. Unreasonable? Certainly.
I didn't deal well with being confined to a hospital bed. Now that I was finally out of it, I wanted the security of my routine firmly back in place. I needed it to make me feel safe. I was trying to get Colton to see that.
"My building has much better security than your house does Tammy, and even though you're doing better, you still need someone with you."
I listened to his melodic voice as it relayed the same arguments I'd been hearing for the last two weeks.
I was starting to wonder how my life had spun so impossibly out of my control. I knew that Colton was only trying to look after me, to protect me. I knew I wasn't being fair to him, but I was feeling so helpless. It wasn't something I was used to, and it wasn't something I liked.
I had always been so independent. I stopped suddenly, struck by the realization that my whole argument was based on my need to remain that way.
I felt my resistance begin to melt.
None of this was is fault and he was only trying to take care of me. Why did it matter which place I stayed? We had been alternating between my house and his apartment anyway. I had to admit that my routine had already been disrupted by a sexy, sweet guy in an elevator.
My self righteous indignation melted in the face of his altruism.
I closed my eyes.
I opened my eyes when he didn't say anything. Colton was regarding me warily and I mentally kicked myself for causing that reaction. Finally he spoke.
"Alright what Tammy?"
"Alright, I'll come to your place."
I watched the tension flow away from his body like water. Even the heavy circles under his eyes seemed to lighten. I felt horrible. Here I had possessed the power to take that stress from him with a simple sentence, and I'd been too selfish to see it. Too selfish to notice, truly notice, how hard this had been on him.
Yes, I was a victim, but I wasn't the only one. I had been throwing myself a hell of a pity party, and I hadn't invited anyone, least of all the man who had earned the right for a pity party of his own.
He was beside me in an instant, his arms wrapping carefully around me. He pressed a tender kiss to my forehead.
"You won't regret it sweetheart."
I wilted like I always did when he used that endearment.
I had to trust that he was right.
"Mmmm, that's it Baby."
I couldn't avoid the little moan that escaped as I urged him on. I was sitting on the couch with my feet in Colton's lap as we watched a DVD. He was giving me the best foot massage of my life.
I had to make due with that little bit of physical contact since the doctor wouldn't clear me for more strenuous activity for another week and a half. If I had my way, what the doc didn't know wouldn't hurt him, but Colton was taking no chances.
I had to admit, even something as innocuous as a foot rub was driving me to enough distraction that I had no idea what the movie was about. All I could focus on was the feel of Colton's oh-so-talented hands gliding over the sensitive skin on my feet.
Anyone who's ever said that a foot rub isn't sexy is obviously a fool or an idiot. My vote is on both.
Heat followed in the wake of his touch, causing a tingling sensation to roll over my body. I was remembering in vivid detail what those hands felt like on the rest of my body. Damn him and his old-fashioned honor!
I was just about ready to crawl over him and beg mercilessly when there was a knock at the front door.
Colton's eyebrows drew together in a puzzled frown as he gently set my feet aside and went to answer the door. I was thinking how odd it was that the doorman hadn't called up.
Worry propelled me from the couch. I moved quietly behind Colton and peered around his solid form. I let out a gasp as I glimpsed the person standing in the hall.
His eyes snapped away from Colton and zeroed in on me. For a moment I thought he would try to push past Colton, but he stopped short, casting glares in both of our directions.
"This is just too fucking fantastic!"
It was nice to see that some things in the world were stable. With the vast changes my life had undergone, it was almost a relief to see that he was exactly the same.
I let out a long sigh.
"You aren't supposed to be here."
He ignored me and turned his attention back to Colton.
"Here you are shacked up with the little whore while you sick the cops on me. Get the fuck out of my business Grant, I'm warning you."
Colton went completely still. I thought he was like a great jungle cat that was being attacked by a smaller a****l, an a****l that didn't yet know that it was dead. He was just waiting, body coiled with tension until he was ready to make the kill. I hurried back down the hall and called Grayson. I was terrified, not that Gary would hurt Colton, but the opposite.
I quickly filled him in and he paused long enough to tell Amy to get some officers over here. I headed back down the hall with Gray still on the line.
"What's going on Tammy?"
I heard his voice, insistent and calm.
I couldn't see Colton's face, but I could see Gary's and it was growing paler by the second. Colton was obviously saying something, but he was speaking too low for me to make it out.
"So far they're just talking, but Gray, hurry."
He kept that calm and reassuring tone.
"Amy and I aren't far from there now. We'll probably be there before the officers are. In the meantime, I'll stay on the line."
I was sure he heard my sigh of relief.
Nothing had happened since I was released from the hospital and I was beginning to hope that maybe, just maybe, the person had come to their senses, that maybe I could go back to my boring, normal life.
Seeing Gary snarling like a rabid dog on the doorstep had disillusioned me of that notion rather quickly. I was ashamed at how frightened I was, seeing him that close, even knowing that Colton wouldn't allow him to harm me.
I hadn't let Gary see me with the phone. I didn't want him to know that help was on the way. I peeked around Colton again, keeping the handset out of sight. His face had gone from white to angry red.
He still didn't seem to notice me. His attention was squarely focused on the man in front of him. I moved back down the hall a bit, and spoke to Gray.
"So far there are no fists flying, but he looks really angry."
"We're in the lobby now. We'll be up in about two minutes."
I nodded, and then shook my head, realizing he couldn't see me.
Even knowing they were almost here wasn't enough to ease my fear. I watched the two men, my breath arrested in my lungs as I waited, praying that Gray would get here before v******e erupted.
Reading the tension through Colton's shoulders, I made a decision. Walking up behind him I placed a hand on his shoulder.
I took a deep breath and tried to project an outward calm. I stepped up beside him and looked at Gary. What I saw was a pathetic man who was so unhappy with himself that he had to find enormous fault with others, just to feel better. My fear dissolved and I squared my shoulders.
I tilted my head to the side.
"You really aren't the brightest candle are you?"
That surprised him so much, he forgot to ignore me.
"What did you say bitch?"
I raised an eyebrow.
"I mean, how smart was it to come here? You were already in enough trouble before Gary."
His face turned a brighter shade of red.
"Trouble all caused by you!"
I watched as his face contorted into a snarl.
I shook my head sadly.
"See what I mean about smarts? You haven't figured out that you are your own worst enemy. I don't know where your misogynistic views come from, but everything that's happened to you has been the result of your actions and no one else's."
He lunged at me, only to be blocked by Colton's solid form as he stepped neatly in front of me.
"You fucking bitch! If you're gonna talk shit, then face the consequences instead of hiding behind a man. You want to be all independent until it suits you. You're all nothing but whores."
He was screeching now. I had the brief thought that I should be frightened again, but I still just felt sorry for him.
Colton's voice, quiet and deadly, sliced over him.
"You will cease speaking to her like that. In fact, I remember warning you not once, but twice about disrespecting the woman I love. Apparently you've already forgotten our conversation from a few moments ago."
Colton kept talking, but I didn't hear anything else he said.
He loved me?
Warmth flooded my body, not caring about the inappropriateness of the timing.
Colton loved me! It was everything important in my world. It was the only thing important in my world.
Damn! I'd never thought of myself as the hearts and flowers type, but there I was.
I was drawn out of my daze by a commotion in the hall.
Apparently Grayson and Amy had arrived and were taking Gary out of there. I was sure one or both of them would be back up in a moment, after they could hand him over to the other officers.
I ran and threw myself at Colton. His arms tightened around me, his hand sliding over my back.
"It's alright sweetheart."
I inhaled deeply, the scent of him filling my senses.
"Of course it is. You're here."
His eyes crinkled at the edges, but he didn't smile. I could feel the tension still vibrating through his frame.
I didn't say anything, content just to stand there in his arms.
Dimly, I heard the elevator, and looked up to see Gray striding towards us, his face grim.
Colton and I turned to meet him.
He looked at both of us before rubbing a hand through his hair.
"Alright, let's go inside where you can tell me what the hell just happened."
Gray sat in the armchair and looked over at us, seated on the sofa beside him.
The question was delivered with the sort of directness I had come to expect from the good detective.
"Well, we were sitting here, watching TV when we heard a knock at the door. Colton went to answer it. I thought it was strange that the desk hadn't called up, but I figured maybe it was a neighbor or something."
I watched Grayson's eyes narrow at that little bit of news. He made a brief note in the little pad that was ever present. I guess his recorder was for the more serious stuff.
"I was curious so I went to see who it was. Imagine my surprise at finding Gary at the door."
His eyes swung to regard Colton for a moment. I couldn't help allowing myself a little peek as well.
Colton was casually reclining against the back of the couch, his hand in mine. Only the fierceness of his grip belied the tension in him. I gave his hand a squeeze.
He gave a shrug and picked up the tale.
"He was here to let me know he blamed Tammy for the loss of his job and for the police sniffing around at his heels."
"Alright, tell me everything that was said."
Colton proceeded to relate the whole experience again. Everything he told Grayson was what I myself had heard. I noted the conspicuous absence of whatever threat he had given him when I was out of earshot. I gave a shudder. Perhaps it was better if I didn't know what had passed between them.
Grayson noted my reaction and raised an eyebrow.
"Are you alright Tammy?"
I gave him a tight smile.
"Just a little shaken I suppose. I didn't have to think while it was happening, but now...."
He nodded again.
"I suppose that's enough for now. I'll leave you to your evening. I'll call if I have any questions."
I stood up and shook his hand.
"Thank You for getting here so quickly Gray. Thank Amy for me too. You've both been great throughout this whole ordeal.
Grayson's eyes softened.
"You're welcome Tammy; Colton."
Colton responded with a nod, and left to walk Gray to the door.
I sank to the couch, suddenly exhausted. Colton found me there a few minutes later, and wordlessly he sat and curled me into his arms, my head tucked against his shoulder.
My gut clenched in worry as a thought hit me with sudden f***e.
"What about the guard downstairs..."
Colton shushed me, his hands gliding over my hair in a comforting gesture.
"Gray was on the phone with Amy before we made it to the door. Kevin is fine. He got a call about someone lurking around the back door. I guess it was Gary pulling him away from the desk."
I sighed in relief. I couldn't stand the thought of anyone being hurt because of me. "Will there be any trouble for him over this."
Colton hesitated for a moment and I sat up to look at him sternly.
"Colton, I want you to promise that nothing will happen to Kevin for this. It wasn't his fault."
I could see him fighting the urge to argue. He knew who would win this one. With a resigned sigh, he promised to make sure that Kevin's job was secure.
I nodded with satisfaction and curled back into his arms in relief. "I was just getting used to things being quiet again."
I felt Colton's arms tighten around me.
That one quiet word conveyed everything he was feeling, everything we both were feeling. He had a knack for that, speaking volumes without saying anything.
I leaned back into him as he continued gliding his hands lightly over my hair. Just that simple touch was re-awakening the fire that heated my body earlier. I wanted him, needed him with a fierceness I couldn't fight.
I could tell the moment he sensed the change. His hands stilled and then resumed their pattern at a slower, more defined pace. I could still feel the hesitation in him, the worry that clouded his every action. It was sweet, and I was sick to death of it.
He loved me.
He had admitted it in a moment of passion; I wanted to make him say it while lost in a passion of a very different sort.
I was ready for him to lose control like he had only weeks before. I wanted to watch his eyes lose focus, no, become focused solely on me and the reactions I was coaxing from his body. I wanted him to forget about the events that had f***ed this physical separation on us, and give himself over to the v******e of our passion.
I turned and gazed up at him with a look meant to captivate, to ensorcell. His eyes locked with mine, and in them I could see the struggle. He wanted me as much as I wanted him.
I realized that it wasn't the gentleman in him that was so protective, it was the primitive side, the same side that wanted to fling aside the reasons that we couldn't do this, the side that would see his woman safe at any cost.
I decided to see how far I could push the alpha in him before he lost that fragile control.
I leaned up and slid my lips slowly over his, eliciting a soft groan from him. I smiled and stroked my tongue over his lower lip before capturing it between my teeth. I heard a sigh and realized it was coming from me.
I had missed this intimacy. Colton had kept himself distanced from me, his affections more like a b*****r or a friend. I needed this closeness like air. I needed to feel like the life I had fought for was truly worth living.
Colton slid his hands up my arms. He pulled back and looked down at me, the war still fully raging in his eyes.
I cut him off by kissing him with all of the emotion and heat that had been building over the weeks of my recovery. His arms tightened around me and he let himself just feel for a moment. I could feel the tension humming through his body like a bow string ready to snap.
I wanted to cause that. I wanted to unleash that power, free it from it's restraint and let it roll over both of us.
I ran my hands over the planes of his chest and back up to twine behind his neck and tangle in his hair. The moan that he couldn't prevent was all the encouragement I needed. I slid my lips down the side of his face, placing small kisses as I went.
I buried my face in his neck and breathed deeply, filling my senses with the scent of him. I flicked my tongue over the tender skin and moaned with pleasure at his taste. I felt his sharp intake of breath and smiled against him. Whether or not he admitted it, he was mine. His resistance was all but gone.
I slid my hands down and tugged his shirt free from his jeans. I sighed at the feel of his warm skin under my fingers.
Oh God, I'd missed this. I looked up at him and grinned at the heat in his eyes. The lust he couldn't fight was feeding my own. I couldn't remember ever wanting anything as badly as I wanted him in that moment. I tore the shirt over his head, my eyes feasting on the bare expanse of skin that was revealed.
I raked my hands down his chest, fire spreading to my fingertips from the heat of his skin. The electrical charge arcing between us could have generated power for the whole building. I was in awe at the reactions Colton could drag from my body, not that I didn't have a few tricks of my own to use on him.
I leaned down and ran my tongue around his nipple, drawing a ragged groan from him, the sound primitive. I felt my body tighten in response. I traced a path from one little nub to the other, nipping his warm skin lightly with my teeth. His breathing had become shallow and his eyes were closed, his head thrown back in abandon.
I grinned and let my mouth follow my hands as I moved lower over his abdomen. I paused to swirl my tongue around his belly button, my nails digging lightly into his skin just above the waistband of his jeans. He sucked in a sharp breath. I looked up at him and met the dark heat smoldering in his eyes as he looked down at me. God, how could the man be so damned sexy?
I moved my hands to his jeans and had them unfastened before he could protest. My fingers gliding lightly over the head of his erect cock killed any other resistance he might have offered. With a tug I had the rest of his clothing on the floor.
I knelt before him and took my time letting my eyes wander over his beautiful body. The fire in my bl**d heated to the boiling point, just knowing that I could finally have him. I let my hands glide up his legs, the hair tickling my sensitive fingertips.
I dragged my nails lightly over his skin again and watched him shudder. Colton looked down at me with a d**gged expression, his passion filled eyes half closed and glittering at me. In that moment he looked almost primal. A thrill ran through my body at the thought that I could do that to him.
I smiled and let my tongue follow the path of my hands. His breath was becoming short and ragged. I wrapped my hand around his engorged cock and felt it jump in my hand.
Six weeks of deprivation had me impatient. I needed him in a way that pulled at my insides. I looked up to those glittering eyes and all but begged him with my own.
His name slid from me in a whisper. He groaned, low in his chest, the sound causing tremors through my body. I was suddenly so fevered I couldn't think straight. I don't know how the rest of my clothes ended up on the floor, but I was finally free. Before he could change his mind, I straddled his body and sighed at the feeling of his skin next to mine.
I'd forgotten how good it felt, just having my body in contact with his. I leaned forward and ran my tongue across the seam of his lips, coaxing him to open them for me. He groaned, and suddenly his hand was fisted in my hair, his mouth dominating mine. I gave a little shudder.
I could feel the head of his swollen cock against me, rubbing in the wetness that was spreading between my thighs. I shifted until he was at the entrance and sank down as hard as I could.
I tore my lips from his as I gasped. Dear God, it was amazing. My body spasmed around him and I stayed still, unwilling to let go just yet. I let myself marinate in the feeling of him invading my body. I opened my eyes and gasped again.
My careful lover was gone, driven out by the demon of intense lust that was evident in his eyes. I let a slow smile creep over my face, as I raised myself until he was barely inside me. I slammed back down until he was buried completely. My body quivered. I wasn't going to make it much longer, but I didn't care.
I began to ride his body slowly at first, increasing the pace as I grew more frantic for the release I felt building. Colton's head was thrown back, his hands sliding over my body, pausing to stroke across my nipples, giving the occasional pinch or two.
When he raised his head and looked at me I lost it. My body tightening around him in a desperate attempt to hold on before I flew apart, my atoms s**ttering over the universe, before finally coming back together to reform my body.
Colton's eyes darkened and he grabbed my hips, slamming himself into me at a frenzied pace. I threw my head back as after-tremors shot through me. Colton let out a shout as I felt him flood me, sending me back over the edge.
When I landed back in my body, I collapsed against him. It was probably the most violent orgasm I'd ever had. I smiled weakly, pressing soft kisses along his neck.
"Christ, Tammy. Are you trying to kill us both?"
His voice was husky, holding none of the outrage his words implied.
"Hell of a way to go babe."
He chuckled as his arms came around me. I reached over and pulled the throw off of the back of the couch around us. I could feel my eyes growing heavier, and I let myself drift off, realizing that for the first time since the accident I truly felt safe.
I stretched my body, enjoying the slight soreness I felt as I resurfaced to the conscious world. I could hear Colton's voice, and the anger in it brought me awake, a sort of cold shooting through my veins. I recognized the familiar sensation of fear.
"What the hell do you mean you can't hold him?"
The quiet anger that filled Colton's voice set off every internal alarm I had. I f***ed myself to remain silent and wait for him to get off of the phone.
He sighed, his shoulders falling.
"Alright Gray, thanks."
Colton hung up the phone and ran his hands through his hair. He turned around and stopped short when he saw me leaning in the doorway. I had just enough time to see the worry in his eyes before he schooled his features into a calm expression.
My heart did its usual little flop, but I refused to allow him to distract me. He wasn't going to change the subject before we even spoke.
"So, Gary is out then?"
I watched as he tried to keep that blank expression and then give up the effort, letting the fear and anger cause little furrows in his handsome face.
He nodded, the movement jerky and tightly controlled.
I took a deep breath and gave my best impression of a woman who wasn't terrified out of her bl**dy mind.
"Well, go ahead and tell me."
Colton closed his eyes and sighed, his fingers pinching the bridge of his nose. I could almost hear him counting to ten before he spoke.
"Apparently, he didn't do enough for them to arrest him. Gray held him as long as he could, but his sleaze lawyer busted him out about twenty minutes ago."
I let out the breath I didn't realize I was holding with a whoosh. I stood there a moment.
"I don't think it's him."
Colton's brows drew together.
I looked down at my hands, and realized in surprise that they were trembling. I returned my gaze to Colton's troubled expression.
"I said, I don't think it's him."
"Why the hell not?"
I thought about it a moment. It was just a feeling I had. I searched for a way to put it into words, come up with some explanation he would understand. I cocked my head to the side.
"He's too much of a coward."
I shrugged my shoulders. Just articulating things was making me feel like I had some semblance of control. Sure, it was illusory, but there you have it. Unfortunately, my keen reasoning abilities were not having the same calming effect on Colton that they were having on me.
"The son of a bitch was going to hit you!"
I'd never heard him yell before. It was a little frightening, but somewhere inside, I was relieved he was capable of it. It helped dull a little of his perfect- guy shine, which only served to make him more perfect, because he was real.
I nodded as though he had just commented on the weather.
"Yes. That's my point. If he wanted me dead, he wouldn't have bothered with the theatrics, either at the office or tonight."
Unable to follow my dizzying intellect, or maybe that was just my female intellect, he opened and closed his mouth a couple of times before he could reply.
"Christ Tammy. The man tried to hurt you, something I should have hung him by his balls for, and you stand there and defend the lousy bastard?"
I shook my head quickly.
"No babe, not defend, I'm just not convinced he's the real threat. I don't want to focus all of my fear and attention on him, only to be taken out by someone else because I wasn't on my guard."
His anger crumbled and he grabbed my wrist, dragging me into his arms. He held me as though he were afraid I'd evaporate if he let go.
"Ours, sweetheart. It's both of us in this thing."
I sighed and sunk into him, hating the thought that no matter what we did or said, this fear would keep us in its grip until we suffocated with it.
"Are you afraid Colton?"
He tightened his hold.
"More than you know love."