Sabrina’s mouth felt like cotton, her temples throbbed, and her body ached. Groaning, she blinked into awareness. She lay on a bed under a soft, warm comforter. Bright rays of sun shone through a window to the right of the bed, landing on the large feet of the man who wouldn’t leave her thoughts, or apparently, her presence. He sat in a leather chair with a magazine open on his lap.
“Packard?” She sounded more like a frog than a woman and coughed to clear her throat.
“Finally.” He tossed the magazine to the floor, stood, and stretched, calling attention to his superbly conditioned body. Even wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt and jeans he looked downright edible. Sexy, dangerous, an inner instinct rumbled, setting off internal alarms.
Packard stilled and stared at her with such intensity, he scared her. For just a minute, a flash of inhuman, slitted pupils looked back at her. Not good. She’d seen firsthand what the savage Circs at Pearson Labs could do, and it wasn’t pretty.
“What are you?” Packard asked as he stepped closer.
She scooted back in the bed, relieved to find herself clothed in a baggy sweatshirt and matching pants. He continued to approach until he was all but on top of her, while she tried to blend in with the headboard. His mouth opened, showing sharp canines, and she froze. She waited for him to rip into her throat and end her supposed threat to his team.
Instead he sniffed her, and her damned libido kicked into high gear.
Angry at herself for showing fear, but more, at him for screwing with her hormones that couldn’t decided if she was turned on or scared, she went on the offensive. “What the hell are you doing?”
Derrick gripped her shoulders, holding her in place. The heat from his hands traveled through her shoulders directly to her breasts, where her nipples hardened like marbles. Painful, arousing, and embarrassing, especially when he locked on to her breasts and rumbled with what sounded like satisfaction.
“Get off me.” She squirmed in his hold.
He tightened his grip, not looking very happy himself. “Dammit. I’m trying to see --”
“Derrick, is she awake?” Doc asked as he walked into the bedroom. Conveniently ignoring Packard’s threatening stance, Doc smiled at her. “Good morning, Sabrina. How do you feel?”
Packard muttered under his breath, let her go, and backed away. He stood behind Doc with his arms folded over his chest, looking properly intimidating. Tall, dark, and handsome, but with a twist. This guy wasn’t anyone’s knight in shining armor. Sabrina compared him instead to the dragon terrorizing the townspeople.
She turned to Doc, blushing because she’d been so immersed in Packard that she’d missed what he said. “I’m sorry. What’s that, Dr. Dennis?”
“Call me Doc.”
“Why don’t we let you get cleaned up before breakfast? You’re about Caitlyn’s size, so these clothes should fit.” He motioned to a pair of jeans and a sweater sitting on the dresser and fiddled with his glasses. “I’m sorry about the lack of undergarments, but you’ll have to make do until we can go shopping. Derrick is here to help you if you have any problems.”
“Help me? He looks like he wants to eat me.” The words slipped out of her mouth before she could stop them. Think, then talk, Sabrina.
Derrick, damn him, gave her a huge, toothy grin. “Not a bad idea, princess.” His glance lingered over his breasts, making them feel tight and heavy.
“Derrick.” Doc frowned. “If I need to get Roane for this detail, I will.”
“I’ll behave. Go on, Doc. I promise not to eat our prisoner.” He sighed and amended, “Guest,” at Doc’s glare.
“Circs.” Doc shook his head and left the room.
Leaving Sabrina alone with Packard.
He looked over his shoulder. Apparently seeing Doc gone, he turned around and stepped close again. He seemed to have no appreciation for personal space. “Okay, Torrence. Out with it.”
“Out with what?”
“What are you?”
“Why do you keep asking me that? What do you think I am?” She held her arms out wide, for once using her body as a distraction. Like honey, her breasts attracted his beeline stare.
“A woman, no doubt.” Packard sniffed at her again. To her dismay, a part of her liked his interest, even welcomed it. “And something more. Lie to Doc if you want. But don’t lie to me.”
“I-I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Rising to stand on the bed, she stood a good foot taller than him. Liking her small advantage, she glared down at him. “Stop threatening me. I put myself at real risk to help you people. A thank-you wouldn’t be out of line.” She used her best petty officer voice, one that had worked so well in the Navy to put her sailors in line.
Packard didn’t blink an eye when he yanked her off the bed in a move so fast she had no time to deny him. Caught in his hold, now on the floor and a good bit shorter than the rough giant, she could only watch as he eliminated the slim distance between them.
“Don’t push me, princess. I don’t care what you did, only who you work for. I’m not falling for your bullshit, so stop with the come-ons. How about some truth, for a change?”
Come-ons? What the hell is he talking about? “You’re one egotistical ass if you think I want you anywhere near me.” She deliberately ignored the excitement pounding through her veins. “I don’t like bullies, and I sure as hell don’t like Circs. If you think for one minute I’m lying about that, you can go --”
His lips stopped the obscenities from landing on his head. Time stood still as the first taste of Derrick Packard exploded in her system. The kiss was far from gentle. Lust rolled through her body with the force of a hurricane as he demanded a reaction. Unable to resist, she met his fierceness. Pushing harder against his mouth, grinding her nipples against his firm chest, she thought she heard him groan but couldn’t be sure past the pounding of her heart.
He tasted fresh, like toothpaste, and more, like candy. Cinnamon spice that addicted her better than any drug. His teeth were flat and even, his tongue commanding as he plunged into her mouth. He licked and stroked with raw need, easily showing her how masterfully he’d use his body when -- if -- they finally came together.
She didn’t know when she’d put her hands around his neck, but suddenly she was pulling him closer. Pleased with the erection shoving against her belly, she nearly begged him for more when he palmed her ass and ground against her crotch.
He tore his mouth from hers and nipped the column of her throat. “That’s it, princess. Show me how much you don’t want me.”
“I…don’t…” She could barely breathe, awash in sensation. Never before had she been so aware of her body. How soft she was in contrast to the hard man against her.
“Mmm, show me some more.” Packard ran his hands up her body, along her ribs and higher, cupping her breasts. With a low growl, he closed his hands over her nipples and pinched, and she cried out, astonished at how good it felt. How good he felt, surrounding her with his strength.
He lifted her sweatshirt and swore. Before she could even think about protesting, his mouth closed over one tip. She arched into him, groaning and helpless as he sucked her into a state of oblivion. At that moment, he could have laid her down and fucked her senseless, and she would have encouraged him. Thankfully, he pulled back.
“Take off your clothes,” he said in a thick voice as he pulled his shirt over his head.
The sight of his broad chest confirmed her suspicions about his power. Muscles rippled in the sunlight, the frame of the brown-skinned giant before her apparent in exquisite detail. He was cut, his biceps like rocks on either side of a chest as hard as steel. His nipples were erect, like hers, but cocoa brown and bitable.
Absorbed by his body, she reluctantly broke her concentration to see his face -- and froze.
His eyes had changed. He was a Circ, much more than a man. Deadly. One of Doc’s men. What the hell am I doing?