Reaching for the doorknob, she watched in horror as it began to turn. Swiftly locking the deadbolt, she took a step back and almost tripped over her unwieldy luggage.
“Dammit, Kendrik, open the door.” The familiar growl made her knees weak. “We have to talk.”
Jamie found herself unable to process. What to do? She had no back door, no other means of escape. She hadn’t thought he’d come after her this soon.
“Jamie, open the door,” he said in an uncharacteristically soft voice.
She eyed the door as if it were the gateway to hell. The doorknob jiggled again, this time violently. Spying salvation in the most unlikely of places, she shoved her bags to the side and lunged for an ancient faux-log doorstop. While holding it above her head, she quickly unlocked the deadbolt and hid next to the doorframe in the space that would be concealed by the door when it opened.
“Finally.” Talson walked through her door, sounding gruff and much more like the ogre she knew. “Kendrik?”
Sensing this might be her best shot, she crept from behind the door and whacked him in the back of the head. Instead of going down, he cursed and wavered, turning around to stare at her accusingly.
Before she could react, he crumpled to the floor, dazed, but not out.
“For God’s sake.” She scrambled to adapt. Running to her hole-in-the-wall of a kitchen, she yanked a loose cord from the blinds in her lone window and raced back to Talson.
She rolled him over, surprised at how guilty she felt having felled the giant. For the past year he’d been a thorn in her side, not an evil man, but one that made her life a living hell nonetheless. But this morning, after how nice he’d been, what they shared, doing this felt wrong.
Yet what choice did she have? Sure, she’d given him a helluva blowjob. But Mr. Rules would never overlook a smuggling infraction. He’d probably feel it his personal duty to escort her to prison himself.
Tying his hands behind his back with an effective knot, one she’d learned courtesy of working the docks, she stood and planned how best to reach the train yard.
Donning her backpack and grabbing her suitcase, she headed for the door when his words stopped her.
“You’re making the mother of all mistakes.” His voice was raspy with pain, but his eyes were clear and direct when she turned to stare at him. “In fact, your best bet would be to finish me off. Because once I’m free, there’s not a place on Earth or offworld that I won’t look to hunt you down.”
The satisfaction on his face alarmed her, and his words brought forth an ugly reality.
She stared at him, then at the doorstop, then back at him, weighing her options. As if she had a choice. Knocking him in the head had been impulsive. Dwelling on the matter made the decision simple. There was no way she could strike him again, not when he lay helpless on the floor. Much as she wished he’d bother someone else, she knew harming him further was out of the question. She couldn’t murder in cold blood. Not Talson.
“You’re a real pain in the ass, you know that?” She sighed and closed her eyes, wishing she’d let the easygoing Lowrens purchase her servitude instead of Roarke Talson. But living in New Hattan, across the country, and working her time off as a love slave had less appeal than working her ass off for Talson.
Opening her eyes, she stared down at the glowering man, wondering why fate had let him purchase her debtor’s ticket. For that matter, she still wondered why he’d bothered to buy it in the first place.
He shifted on his back and brought her attention to the present in a flash. When she narrowed her eyes, he stilled. She wanted to slap herself for being so stupid. While she’d been reminiscing, he’d been trying to work his hands free.
Dropping her bags, again, she found the reinforcing structural tape she normally used to block the slow leaks in her barred window and approached him. He tried to resist her pull, but the blow he’d taken to the head made him weaker than she’d suspected. She rolled him onto his belly and reinforced the cord around his wrists with a layer of tape. Rolling him over onto his back, she straddled him, in a position of authority once more. Remembrances of this morning refused to leave her as she took charge.
He glared up at her, his lips a thin line and his eyes…she couldn’t quite figure out what she saw in his eyes. Anger, annoyance, but no real hatred. And something else, something that made her look away in a hurry.
She really didn’t need this. Not now. Not after a year of dealing with her insane attraction and the impossible man who’d instilled it. But what if she never saw him again? Much as Talson annoyed her to no end, she’d be a fool to deny his physical appeal. Blue-black hair, dark brown eyes, a firm chin and a straight nose. Not a pretty man, but a thoroughly sexy leader in his prime. Jamie was a sucker for muscles and drive, both of which he had in spades.
What the hell? She’d already hidden an Otra aboard neutrally declared cargo and brained her boss with a doorstop. What was one more sin on top of a life sentence?
Ignoring the caution that flashed in his eyes, she lowered her face until she could feel his sweet breath on her lips. A wave of heat feathered through her, and without giving it another thought, she pressed her mouth to his. Finally, her first real kiss with Roarke Talson.
Instantaneous fire shot through her, and the moan that escaped startled a sharp intake of breath from both of them. His lips felt like silk, smooth yet with the male firmness she associated with him. All too easily she could imagine his taste, and before she could help herself, she penetrated his lips with her tongue.
Like warm chocolate with a hint of brandy, he packed an addictive wallop. She wanted more. Her hands settled on his muscular chest of their own volition, and she absorbed his heat through his thin shirt. He might as well have been naked. Delicious was all she could think as she practically devoured the man. Lost in her desire, she didn’t immediately pick up on the fact he offered little resistance.
Then again, she could barely think at all through the haze of sensation coursing through her blood. Just this morning she’d felt like this, so needy, so unbelievably sexual. It was as if her entire body centered on the ache in her womb. She couldn’t blame the berries this time. Only Roarke had this effect on her.
She squirmed atop him, unable to stop herself, and his groan and the resulting hardness rubbing between her thighs made her press closer. Rocking over him, she drew closer and closer to the ecstasy she’d felt hours ago. His scent, his touch, the strength abundant in his confidence and sensuality drugged her into taking more.
Roarke whispered against her lips, encouraging her to ride him. He plunged his tongue back into her mouth and took charge, even as he lay helpless under her.
Jamie couldn’t understand her desperation, but she couldn’t stop. She had to reach that pinnacle he promised with every caress of his lips.
“Yeah. Fucking come,” he said on a breath when she leaned up, rocking against him.
Staring down into eyes now as black as sin, she twitched over the hard length of him and let the fiery blaze overtake her. “Roarke, Roarke.” She blew apart, her climax explosive. Sensation obliterated all thought and she floated in a sea of pleasure.
“Come on, baby. A little more. Yeah.” Roarke arched his pelvis against her, his erection like an iron bar beneath her.
Reality splashed over her like a cold dose of water. She couldn’t believe how much she still wanted to continue this exploration. To take him into her bedroom and let him push inside her, that massive length of him crammed deep. She shivered, trembling because her clit still throbbed over his thick cock.
Talson said nothing, lying still while he watched her with guarded eyes and flushed cheeks.
“Th-that was a mistake.”
“Not from where I’m lying.” He had the nerve to grin at her, his expression almost evil. “Oh, yeah. Run as fast and far as you want. But I’m getting inside that pussy. And you’re going to finally know your place. It’s time you paid your dues.”
She wanted to hate him, to rail at him for being such an arrogant jerk. But the truth was, his dominance only turned her on that much more. Striving to shake free from his sensual web, she rose to her feet, unable to look away from his heavy-lidded eyes. I shouldn’t want him. Not at all. He’s bossy and annoying and mean and…oh God, so fucking sexy. This is so not normal, so very, very not okay to want Talson like this.
Gathering speed as desperation and shock fought for control of her thoughts, she picked up her bags and flew out the door, wanting nothing more than to escape her path to ruination…and her insane desire.