Authors: Elizabeth Lapthorne
Book twelve in the Urban Seductions series.
A witch murdered. A wizard framed. A conspiracy that must be
unraveled before more good people find themselves in the line of magical fire.
Ben and Layla aren’t used to trusting others but if they’re
to crack their toughest case ever they’re going to have to learn to work
together. The simmering chemistry that explodes between them is too potent to
resist, but they can’t afford to lose focus.
An evil conspiracy is ascending, and dark forces will stop
at nothing in their crazed quest for power. Meanwhile Ben must battle the
darkness within himself while Layla strives to heal him with her love.
Reader Advisory: This story has graphic sexual language and
scenes—no closed bedroom doors (or other rooms) here!
paranormal erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave
Layla Collins should have realized inviting Benedict Jackson
into her small, cramped little office would be a mistake. Initially, she
thought she’d easily be able to manage running a trace on the data they sought
and not be distracted by the large Assassin. How anyone could overlook the six-foot-two,
dark-skinned, bald, buff wizard was beyond her.
She should have known better.
Sizzling sexual chemistry had simmered between them for the
last few days. Every time she saw laughter glint in those wickedly dazzling
dark-brown eyes her heart would skip a beat. The way he could catch her so
completely off guard with a funny comment or a dryly sarcastic observation had
her alternating between laughing and rolling her eyes at him.
The wizard made her hot. Less than an hour after their
starting to work together, she had wanted to jump his muscled, tempting body in
the worst way. He’d been protective of her physically and the air between them
would hum with electricity, but otherwise he’d so far given her no indication
of whether he was interested in her.
And so she had assumed she would work platonically with him,
keep her mind diverted by her assignment and away from the temptation that
perfectly chiseled chest and those strong arms held for her. In the confines of
her tiny office, however, all her good intentions and noble reasoning vanished
in the heady, musky scent of his aftershave and the warmth that emanated from
Her computer hummed loudly, a sure sign there would be
imminent trouble in the not too distant future.
“Ugh. Ben, we might be overloading the system,” she said
with a wary glance at the various lights flashing on the tower.
“Will we at least be able to finish the searches on Miles
Lancaster and Britney Joddins?” Ben asked.
Layla clicked a few boxes to check how far the data had
progressed in its download.
“With luck we should, yeah,” she replied with minimal
“It’s really important we get their financial histories as
well as their phone records,” Ben reminded her.
Layla turned to face him. “I realize that, Ben,” she chided
him. “I was there, remember? I know how he lured Grant Gower—a member of the
Council, by the way—to his home and held him hostage while blackmailing his
only living daughter, Zahra, to bring over the file of information Gower’s
other daughter, Tanya, had collected before Lancaster had her murdered. I’m not
oblivious to the serious nature of this Investigation.”
“I’m sorry, babe,” Ben apologized, tiredness creasing a few
faint lines at the corners of his mouth and eyes. “Rob Padden is my buddy.
Finding he’d been framed for leaking information that Lancaster had shared with
other traitors, both within the Council and outside, has me on edge. Lancaster,
that bastard, might be dead, but those whom he worked for and with are still
out there, working against us. I want them brought to justice.”
“As do I,” Layla returned in a soft tone. “Tanya was my
colleague. We might not have been close, but we worked any number of Investigations
together. With her I managed to be a party to a lot of justice myself. Her
passion for her work will be missed. But there’s only so much my computer can
do, especially at such a late hour.”
She glanced at the small clock on her desk. It was past two
in the morning. While she felt jazzed up, she knew sooner or later she’d have
to crash. That was assuming her computer didn’t bite the big one first.
Ben placed a large, warm hand on her shoulder and kneaded
the skin there in a massaging motion. Layla forced herself to not melt into the
“You wanting to call it a night?” he asked, his tone deep
Layla had to repress a small shiver of delight. It was on
the tip of her tongue to proposition him, but she held herself back, wary of
the potential catastrophe that would follow if he rejected her.
While an internal Investigation had begun to search out the
traitors within the Council, the political ramifications were still keeping
everyone on edge. Ass-covering abounded.
Both Layla and Ben had wanted to get a head start on the
Investigation, Ben because of his ties with Rob, the wizard who had been
unfairly charged with the initial leaks, and Layla partly to assist Zahra—Tanya’s
sister and Rob’s lover—but also out of respect for Tanya herself, who had been
murdered in the cover-up.
So far Layla and Ben had gone through all of Tanya’s files
with a fine-tooth comb. Miles had been clearly neck-deep in the conspiracy and
so he and his girlfriend Britney were the logical place to start.
“I’m willing to stay on for another hour or so, but you
should head home and get some rest,” Layla replied. Her stomach sank as she
offered Ben the out, she’d truly have preferred offering him the healthy
pastime of some earthshattering sex. Prudence dictated, however, that she not
go there while she remained so unsure of his true feelings.
“It’s not rest that I need,” Ben replied with a throaty
Layla’s pulse skittered.
“Oh?” she replied sassily. An eyebrow arched as she thought
of how to best respond to that. Heat snapped through his dark gaze and her
heartbeat raced at the hungry look he gave her. Feeling lust seep through her
blood, she took a risk. “Why? What
His answer came not in words, but in action. He cupped a
hand under her chin, tilted her face up and kissed her passionately. Layla’s
lips pressed hotly against his, her mouth opening so her tongue could flicker
out and taste his heat. Arousal tingled along her every nerve as her body came
to life under his talented hands.
Ben traced a meandering path down her neck, over her breasts
and along the smooth line of her torso and flat belly. Sizzling lust followed
his touch, her body humming under the attention. His hands finally settled on
either side of her slender waist. He tugged at her and she dutifully stood up
out of her chair, only for his foot to kick it away and make some room for them
Layla found herself pressed back against her desk, her ass
resting on the surface as they shed their clothes. The office was silent apart
from the sound of their labored breathing. At this early hour of the morning no
one else was anywhere near them. While Ben struggled to pull her jeans off her
feet, she dipped her hands into his cotton boxer shorts. Pushing them down his
hard, muscled thighs, she sucked in a breath at the huge shaft that sprang
She eagerly used both hands to fist around him, her fingers
unable to reach around the fullness of his girth. Pumping him, she relished the
groan of need he emitted. He cupped her breasts, lifting them high and then
lowered his head to suckle on her pointed nipples.
Now she groaned, arousal swamping over her. Sparks of
current raced from her nipples, down to her belly, lower to her clit and
flaming in a ball of energy in her pussy. Layla’s back arched as she thrust her
breasts closer to Ben’s wickedly talented tongue. He laved her nipples, spiking
her pleasure higher.
“Ben,” she panted, not even certain what, exactly, she
Stroking his shaft, she spread her legs wide in wanton
invitation. In his eagerness Ben pushed her farther back on the desk, her ass
pressing into the keys of her keyboard. The computer whined, a high-pitched,
dangerous sound. Panting, Layla twisted around. Quickly she saved the data they
had collected and shut down the computer before she and Ben fried it.
With one arm Ben swiped all the files and papers off the
desk onto the floor, clearing them room. Layla wrapped her arms around his
shoulder and hungrily drew the large wizard down into a ravenous kiss. His
teeth nipped at her lips, her tongue tangled with his in an ardent fight they
could only win together.
“I damn near lost my mind to distraction, thinking of this
when we were waiting to capture Miles,” Ben confessed. His tone was deep, thick
with his lust.
Layla shivered as his words rolled over her, inflaming her
“I’m glad I didn’t know back then,” she admitted in return. “I’d
have jumped you back then, and damned the consequences. Miles would have likely
killed Rob, Zahra and Grant and we’d have had to learn to live with an
“Your body was created to drive a wizard wild,” Ben said
huskily. He ran a dark hand over her pale skin, his fingers tracing small
patterns and circles, driving her wild.
She bucked beneath him, her hands grasping his hips and
drawing him closer to her. She could feel the heat radiating out from his body,
warming her with the simple joy of his presence.
Longing to have him penetrate her, possess her intimately
ached through her.
Leaning back on the desk, Layla drew Ben closer until the
tip of his cock head brushed against her soaked entrance.
“Not so fast, babe,” Ben chuckled. His large hands stroked
over the smoothness of her thighs, pushing her legs wider and higher. Kneeling
between her, he flicked his tongue out over her swollen folds.
Electric sensations sang through her veins. His wet, wicked
tongue ran over her slick labia and sent pleasure shooting through her clit and
deeply into her belly. Need knotted within her, a hunger she didn’t think could
ever be fully sated.
Layla’s arms wobbled as she leaned farther back, arching to
grant Ben all the access he could need. She moaned, a dark, desperate sound
falling from her lips. Her body trembled as Ben laved at her skin, lapped her
juices up as if he were starving. When he penetrated her pussy with his tongue,
spearing inside her as if he sought a secret treasure, she arched up, the
He ate her pussy like a rare delicacy. Moving his attentions
higher to her apex, he thrust three large, thick fingers into her while he
stroked his tongue out over her clit with an eagerness she couldn’t deny.
Fucking her with his fingers, he continued to direct his attention to her clit.
His other hand moved backwards, stroking the tender skin that led to her anus.
Quivering with growing need, she struggled to catch her
breath as her pleasure rose to nearly overwhelm her.
“Watch me, babe,” Ben commanded.
Sucking in a hard breath, Layla lifted her head and cracked
her eyes open. Ben’s gaze met hers, his eyes so dark they appeared almost
black. Silver currents of his magic snapped through his irises, the only light
penetrating him. Sweat beaded on his dark skin, his muscles straining as he
held himself firmly in control.
He looked fierce, magical and like the most powerful,
magnificent wizard she had ever laid eyes on. She craved him like a drug.
Ben lowered his gaze to where his fingers fucked her pussy,
his other hand stroking tenderly over her tightly puckered ass. Tilting his
head back, he flicked his tongue back over her clit once again, the pressure
building inside her as her pleasure strained for its peak.
The tip of his finger pressed inside her tight, virginal
hole. Nerves exploded across her body. Layla could feel her body clench down,
her pussy milking Ben’s fingers as her contractions squeezed over him. In a hot
wave she screamed, her eyes fluttering shut as her body took over her control.
Energy sizzled and she came in a long, endless series of
explosions that stole her breath and wiped her mind of all thought. Gasping for
breath, Layla cracked her eyes open, faintly embarrassed to find Ben watching
her hungrily, his need clearly written on his face. She stared at him,
satisfied but still eager for more.
Sweat beaded over her skin. Layla brushed a few tendrils of
her long hair behind her ear and reached out to stroke her fingers down Ben’s
“I want to feel you inside me,” she purred. “I need to have
your cock thrusting in my pussy, I want to watch you while you come.”
Ben lifted himself up, pressed his chest flush against her
torso. They kissed passionately. Layla could feel the hunger snap within him,
barely restrained. Her hands wrapped around his back, lightly scratching his
skin as her need rose once again.
The small stings seemed to inflame him further. With a growl
of need, he appeared to almost lose control. Catching her breath, she marveled
at the beauty of the sight of Ben. He was amazing in every way and she felt
herself fall just a little in love with him.
Ben almost lost control of himself as Layla rose to his
intimate challenge once again. Her dark-blue eyes sparkled, her warm-brown hair
flowed down her back in silky, seductive waves. The pink flush to her pale skin
enticed him, made him want to sit and stare at her and revel in her beauty.
But far more than that, he wanted to possess her every inch.
Brand her as his so she’d never doubt that they belonged together. He reached
down to pull the foil packet out of the pocket of his jeans. Since they had
begun to work together on this project, he’d carried it around with him, just
Looked as if his luck had finally turned.
Sheathing his cock, he felt only a momentary flicker of
disappointment. They had plenty of time to talk later. As an Assassin he had
regular blood work for both his personal knowledge as well as professional. He
knew he was clean and healthy, but he didn’t want to spoil the moment by
discussing such matters with Layla and ruining the moment.
For now he could protect them both. Immeasurable pleasure
shimmered just on the horizon.
Ben held his cock with one hand, angling it just perfectly
so his head rimmed her slick, clenching portal. With his other hand he steadied
her hips, tilting him so when he chose he could penetrate her on one swift,
“Tell me you want it,” he murmured. His voice sounded almost
unrecognizable to his ears. Thick and husky, he sounded almost like a cheesy
phone sex operator. Hunger hammered at him, beating against his chest and
urging him to move faster and harder.