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Authors: Cari Quinn

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BOOK: Insatiable
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His version of the situation anyway.

She refused to tell him if Rachel was booked there, so he removed his ID from his wallet. He wasn‟t above using whatever he had at his disposal, and a little name-dropping usually loosened even the most rigidly clasped lips.

Not this time.

But he pressed on, scanning the brunette for any flicker of recognition. He knew it was likely Rachel had checked in under an alias so he couldn‟t find her.

Years of friendship helped him guess at possible combinations of names she‟d choose, but nothing hit until, at a loss, he latched upon the last name that popped into his head.

26

Cari Quinn

“Rose Dawson. Try that.”

The brunette glanced at her terminal and tapped a few keys. But even as she shook her head, dismissing him once again, he saw the shift in her hazel eyes.

Bingo.

Apparently, OD‟ing on
Titanic
had finally paid off.

Smiling, Shawn pushed away from the counter. “Thanks. Have a great night.”

He didn‟t head up to her room or camp out in the spacious lobby to wait her out. Wouldn‟t be necessary. He stepped back into the night, the victory he smelled sweeter than any french fries.

A short while later, he called the hotel. Luckily the woman who answered was more obliging and offered Rose Dawson‟s room number as soon as he asked.

Now that he knew where Rachel was, he needed to act quickly before Ryan Halston got his grubby hands on
his
woman. What he had in mind involved two things.

A strawberry shake. And handcuffs.

* * *

Rachel dined on lobster and a fresh greens salad at the Meridian‟s five-star restaurant and finished her meal with two glasses of exquisite white wine.

Afterward, she decided to bump her adventure up a notch by going dancing at one of the “slamming” clubs in midtown.

Big mistake. A dress like hers was pretty much a neon invitation for groping, and her usual fare of Beethoven and Rachmaninoff hadn‟t seasoned her taste for screaming club jams. She conceded defeat after knocking back a purple haze which, to her surprise, was lip-smackingly good.

Her sloshy head made for quite the interesting walk back to her hotel, but since her plans consisted of a tepid bubble bath and snuggling into her massive bed to sleep off her vacation depression, she had no use for lucidity. Besides, she could handle her liquor. No one would ever catch her falling-down drunk, even if the amount of alcohol she‟d consumed tonight equaled the sum total of what she‟d imbibed so far this entire year.

Nope, she felt just fine. Or at least she did until she fumbled her key card out of her bag, slipped it into the door of her hotel suite, and had to jump out of the way of a familiar broad, tanned hand slapping the door open.

Rachel swallowed, her stomach suddenly sloshing as much as her head. Her gaze never lifted from the subtle swirl pattern in the door‟s blond wood. “How‟d you find me?”

“Oh, I have my ways.”

Not surprised in the slightest, she didn‟t question Shawn further. She‟d never been able to evade him in childhood games of hide-and-seek either, so why should this be any different?

Insatiable

27

He leaned down and slid his nose into her hair. Just when she was about to smack him for smelling her like she was some kind of baked good, he said, “Must‟ve had a busy night. Been boozing it up, huh?”

“Hardly.” With a sniff, she turned, only to find herself uncomfortably wedged between her door and Shawn‟s muscled torso. “You‟re not invited in,” she added, though the hitch in her voice diminished the steel in her statement.

His spicy cologne was making her mouth water. What was the
matter
with her?

“Color me stunned.” He held out the McDonald‟s cup in his hand and smiled, just smiled, until the ice around her heart began to crack. “Brought you a present.

Come on, Rach. If you can tell me you really don‟t want me here, I‟ll go.”

Her nose quivered at the scent of strawberry as she accepted the cup. Damn her weaknesses. “And you‟ll stay gone?”

“Sure.” His eyes darkened to the deep green of the malachite ring on her thumb. “If you‟d honestly rather be alone…”

Of course she would. Between Shawn going sexually postal on her and finding out Ryan had invited her to New York for reasons that obviously didn‟t jibe with hers, she‟d decided alone was the only safe way to be.

“Well?”

Rachel sighed. Being with Shawn was practically as good as being alone, as long as he kept his talented tongue where it belonged. Meaning out of her mouth.

“No funny business.” She waited for his nod before she waved him inside.

He let out a low whistle of appreciation and turned back to grin at her after she shut the door. “Some digs. You get a raise I didn‟t know about?”

She kicked off her heels and padded across the luxurious black carpet to the dresser. “Something like that,” she said, setting down her shake after one long, delicious sip.

Yummy, as always. Whatever she could say about Shawn, he knew how to make her toes curl.

As she slid the posts off her earrings, she heard a metallic
clink
behind her, but she figured he was fiddling with her clock radio. He didn‟t get electronics of any sort and even had trouble using the functions on his own cell phone—

Her thoughts skidded to a stop at the swath of entirely too much tanned skin that flashed in her mirror. What the hell was he up to now? But when she pivoted to face him, she never expected the vision that awaited her.

Skin
was an understatement. How he‟d stripped so fast she had no clue, but there he was, stretched out naked on her bed save for his black briefs—thereby ending any questions she‟d ever entertained about his status as a boxers or briefs man—watching her as calmly, as coolly, as if
she
were the one who‟d just flipped her wig.

28

Cari Quinn

That she could still breathe as her eyes took in what her mind couldn‟t comprehend was one of the minor victories of her twenty-eight years. She had to grip her dresser to keep her balance.

“You‟ve been drinking,” she whispered, praying it was true. Praying there was
some
explanation for her lifelong best friend‟s mental break.

“I‟m perfectly sober.” As serene as one of the flaxen, harp-toting angels he resembled, Shawn flashed her a blinding smile. Far as she was concerned, his straight, white teeth could‟ve been a vampire‟s fangs, just waiting to pierce her throat. “Much more so than you actually.”

“You can‟t be.” She threw up her hands to shield her face. “There has to be some explanation.” Again hearing a
clink
, she dropped her hands. Slowly, haltingly, her gaze traveled from the gleaming silver handcuff up his sinewy forearm to where it hooked around the post of her bed. “God!”

He‟d cuffed himself to her bed. Mostly naked.

Something was
so
wrong here, especially since her rioting belly wasn‟t knotted from fear. Nope, the slinky, sensuous heat winding through her was all about another of the seven deadly sins.

Possibly two, because at the moment both greed and lust applied.

“Dammit, what‟s wrong with you? Are you on drugs?” Unable to help herself, she scrambled forward to leap onto the bed, nearly tripping over her abandoned shoes on her flight toward her ailing friend. But his smile didn‟t dim one iota. If anything, it broadened. “I can help you, Shawn.”

“Can you? True friendship.” He snagged her wrist, pulling her onto his chest, and silenced her protests by slipping his tongue silkily between her parted lips. She didn‟t utter a sound, but her nails grappled for purchase on his bared, hair-roughened chest—not to fight him off but to hold on.

Her head spun, threatening to whirl right off her shoulders as he thrust his tongue into her mouth. Suddenly, the room felt like a sauna, and her body dampened with perspiration as if the temperature weren‟t a chilly sixty-two degrees.

The first drops of sweat gathered under her breasts and slid down her quivering stomach to her black lace panties. Panties that were wet for a different reason altogether.

Rachel shifted her mouth, intending to draw back, but he changed the angle of the kiss, driving deeper, harder. His hand fisted in the back of her dress. Air swept over her fevered skin as he tugged down the zipper, but she didn‟t stop him. He‟d flipped a switch inside her, and now he kept his finger on the button, playing her expertly.

But when the clasp of her bra gave way under his ministrations, she ripped her mouth free. She crossed her arms over her chest and stared at him, her breath heaving hard.
Sense, where are you
? “If Ryan hadn‟t invited me here, if you hadn‟t known I intended to sleep with him, you never would‟ve—”

Insatiable

29

“It‟s not about him.” She closed her eyes at the gravelly quality of his voice, the sound as raw as if he‟d swallowed glass. “It‟s about you and me. About these four walls and this bed and this moment.” He cupped her cheek in his free hand, leaving her no option but to meet his gaze. “I know you wore that dress for him, that he‟s probably had his hands on you.”

She started to argue, but he shook his head, once. “I don‟t care where you‟ve been. All I care about is that you‟re here now. With me.”

Her eyes filmed, blurring his image. He‟d always given her unconditional love: no questions asked, no explanations needed. Could that hold true here too?

“I‟m at your mercy.” He jangled the cuff with a quick quirk of his lips. “Here to do with as you wish. You can stay or you can walk, baby, but it‟s your choice.”

She risked a glance at his very obvious erection. “And if I walk, how long until you pull a stunt like this again?”

The teasing glint in his eyes vanished. “This isn‟t a stunt. It‟s proof of how serious I am.” His voice lowered. “Stay with me, Rach.”

30

Cari Quinn

Chapter Four

The thirty seconds Shawn spent waiting for her response was the longest half-minute of his life.

Wordlessly, Rachel reached up to draw the spaghetti straps of her siren red dress over her tanned shoulders. Her miles of dense dark hair spilled forward as she pulled off her loose bra, tossing it aside as casually as if she did this kind of thing with him every day.

She had, in his mind.

He sucked in a breath as she tossed her hair back, leaving the curve of her shoulders, the delicate gold chain that flirted with her collarbone, and her gorgeous full breasts open to his perusal. Or he would‟ve been free to peruse them, had she not chosen that moment to straddle him like a cowgirl taking her first frantic ride on a bronco at the county fair.

“What‟s your rush?” he whispered before she seized his mouth, the pressure of her lips and tongue no longer slumberous but punishing.

“No talking.” She hiked her skirt up, bunching it around her waist as she settled herself directly on his cock, with only the thin material of her panties and his briefs separating them. Her arousal drenched the fabric, taunting him with the nearness of her pussy.

At his sharp inhale, she gripped his shoulders, her fingers digging in as she moved back and forth, up and down, until the friction made him reach up with his unchained hand to drag her mouth back for a desperate kiss.

Rachel jerked in his hold, her thighs molding to his hips as he thrust against the wispy barrier between them. With her center inches away, he couldn‟t think.

How many times had he used his own hand to simulate what it would be like to be inside her? The insistent pressure, the heat, the wetness. He‟d wanted to know her that way, every way. Leaving no secrets or boundaries between them.

And now it was happening. Finally.

Her heart hammered under his mouth as he licked the velvety skin between her breasts, but she didn‟t make any sound at all when his lips captured one hard nipple.

Her silence ate at him, carving away the haze that came from finally being with her like this. For so long, he‟d craved her taste, her scent, the wild roll of her hips as she rode him with abandon. But in his dreams, she hadn‟t been silent, and her eyes hadn‟t been closed, as if she didn‟t want to know it was him she was with.

Insatiable

31

To compensate, he poured his ragged emotions into laving her breasts, gratified when she grasped his hair in her hands as he skimmed first one, then the other nipple with his teeth. He wasn‟t gentle, because she didn‟t seem to want him to be. But he didn‟t rush, either, no matter how demandingly she pumped her hips against his.

“Easy,” Shawn murmured, wondering why she suddenly reminded him of a horse about to bolt from the stall.

Her head came up, her dark eyes shining like wet onyx. “My choice, remember?” Almost defiantly, she reached between them and rolled down his briefs until his cock sprang free. He couldn‟t restrain the groan as her fingertips cradled him, dancing up and down his engorged length as a bead of moisture trickled down his shaft. “And I want hard.”

She didn‟t pause in her onslaught, using the liquid to increase the pace of her strokes as her mouth again caught his. Each brutal twist of her fist matched the tempo of her tongue spearing into his mouth, as if she was daring him to keep up.

For a second, he saw her swinging at their elementary school, her loud giggles filling his head as she begged him to push her higher. “
C’mon, Shawn, more, more,
more
!”

She‟d always wanted more, and he‟d always needed to give it to her.

Finally allowing the beast he‟d kept on a short leash for so long to take control, he ripped off her panties. Spreading her thighs wide with his hand, he exposed her silken heat to his fingers and his hungry gaze before he delved deep to caress her quaking flesh.

BOOK: Insatiable
7.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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