Into the Flames (Out of the Ashes Book 2)

BOOK: Into the Flames (Out of the Ashes Book 2)
9.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Into the Flames


S.M. Lynn











Copyright © 2014 S.M. Lynn

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, downloaded, or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.



For the strongest women I know: my mom, grandma, Aunt Deb, Brandi and Melissa.  You all have shown me what true strength and faith look like.



I didn’t know what to think when I first opened the door.  I went to the kitchen to open a bottle of wine for Celeste and I, though it was late or early depending on how you look at it, I wanted to celebrate.  Things had been so rough over the last few weeks it was time for us to celebrate, celebrate our future together.  I knew before Rebecca showed up at the office that I wanted to ask Celeste to be my wife and I made that clear to her tonight.  There would be no more hiding my feelings from her; never again would I keep anything from her.  We were moving forward in complete trust and honesty.  Or so I thought.

The buzzer never even rang but the pounding on the door made it clear that someone was here.
This building’s security is far too lax.  Until all this shit is sorted with Rebecca, we really need to be staying at my… our house or the apartment.  But I understand why she wanted to come here tonight.

The shock on my face is clear as I open the door. 
“Dean?”  Why the hell is Dean Marcus here?  “Sorry, did you need something?”  For a moment, he looks confused as if I’m the last person he was expecting to see but then again who was he expecting to see.

“I need to spea
k to Lauren now.”  His voice is harsh; the words spoken through gritted teeth.  His jaw ticks as he fights with his anger.  What the fuck is going on? 

“Dean, I’m sorry but I think you have the wrong place.  Perhaps the concierge sent you to the wrong apartment.”

“Get out of my fucking way, Ian.  I’ll go through you to get to her if I have to and I know she’s fucking here.  There’s no more hiding for her.” 

ow I’m getting pissed.  “I think you better think about who you’re talking to and listen to what I’m fucking telling you, asshole.  You’re in the wrong place. There’s no one named Lauren here.”

I just want
to get him out of here so I can get back to Celeste.  My mind is consumed for a moment with thoughts of her; her soft skin pressed to mine, hearing her whisper that she loved me.  Despite the situation, a small smile crosses my lips at the thought.  Then in a moment my whole world is turned upside down.

chill runs down my spine, like my body knows nothing good will come from this encounter.  It takes me a few minutes for the pieces to click together.  Ah Lauren, I’d carried a torch for her for years after only one meeting and despite my engagement to Rebecca.  Celeste is the only other woman to ever put flames like that in my heart.  I had been devastated by the news of what had happened to her.  I can only imagine what something like that would do to you, when someone you loved was ripped from you without warning.  The fact that Dean was still looking for her after all these years was a testament to his love for her.  Or so I thought.  But why the hell was he here looking for her?

I hear
Celeste’s light footsteps coming down the hall to see what all the commotion is about.  I want to keep her as far from here as I can.  “Celeste, sweetheart, you can go back to bed.  This asshole is clearly in the wrong place but isn’t bothering to listen.”  I turn to look at her and the look on her face completely guts me.  She’s staring in complete, unadulterated fear at the man behind me.  Her face immediately goes pale and whatever she was about to say dies on her lips.  Dean’s saying something but I’m so focused on her I didn’t hear what he said.  I have no idea why she would react like that to him and for a moment I’m stunned immovable.

, that moment is more than he needs.  Suddenly, he’s in front of her, speaking to her intimately.  I see him reach out to caress her face and am almost brought to my knees. Her knees grow weak at his touch and for a moment I envision her throwing herself into Dean’s arms and him claiming her mouth with his. The fear in her eyes is the only thing that helps me maintain my sanity.  Her fear is palpable and shows me that these are not acts of love but that something’s wrong, something’s very wrong.  I should have moved faster, should have seen what was coming but I couldn’t, for the life of me, fathom what was happening.  How did he know Celeste?  Why, if he was here for Lauren, was he looking at Celeste like she was the air he needed to breathe? What did she have to do with Lauren?  I know there are things that she still needs to tell me but what do they have to do with him?

Finally I recover some of my senses and start
across the room toward them, not fast enough though.  Her head snaps back from the force of his blow to her face.  Her body goes limp and blood pools on the floor around her head.  What I will never forget are his last words to her, him telling her how much he missed her.  Fuck, he called her Lauren.  Screaming in rage, I lung for Dean, spinning him around and connecting my fist with his jaw.  Before he can fall, I pin him against the wall and take a few more swings at him.  When I’m convinced that I’ve beaten the fight out of him, I rush to Celeste.  There’s so much blood.  Her breathes are shallow and a bruise is already starting to bloom.

My mind wander
s as I hold her limp body in my arms.  Could it be?  How did I not see it before now?  How was I so blind?  The sight of her that first night at the club blasted through me; I was instantly intoxicated by her.  I was so drawn to her; it felt so much like when Lauren and I met.  I knew I had to have her and then she was here with me but now I’ve lost her again.

Over the years,
I’d tried not to think of Lauren, though I definitely remembered every detail of my first and only meeting with her. Celeste had banished that memory but the details all come back to me now as I cradle her in my arms. She sat in the waiting room of our old office upstate.  My father smiled as he introduced us.  I was so distracted but definitely took notice of the gorgeous creature in front of me.  She was so young and beautiful…stunning, really; there was no way I couldn’t pay attention to her.  I seemed to remember halfway through lunch that I had just become engaged to Rebecca.  Fate was cruel to bring her into my life only to take her away again.  Why couldn’t we have our happiness?

She told me ab
out the abuse and I knew that she’d run to get away from someone. We had never discussed who he was or what had happened to her in detail.  She tried to talk to me several times and I should have let her.  I just didn’t know if I could deal with knowing the details.  I already wanted to kill the bastard.  Is this what she wanted to talk about?  Why didn’t she just tell me who she really was?  I heave a sigh and run my hands through my hair.  Though all I want to do is sit here with her and hold her, this isn’t helping her.  There are some things even I can’t deal with and the loss of Celeste tops that list.

“Sweetheart, please.”  I plead with her as if she control
s her fate.  “Please, God.  Don’t take her from me again.”  Tears I didn’t know I had in me stream down my cheeks.  I leave her for a moment to run to the bedroom and find my phone then go back to cradle her body.  It only briefly registers in the back of my mind that the spot where I’d left Dean is now empty.  I dial 911 and wait for paramedics to arrive, all the while begging the heavens for the life of the woman in my arms.  I love this woman more than life itself yet I have no idea who she really is.




His hands are icy on my face, over my body.  “I told you I’d always find you; that there was nowhere on this earth that you could hide from me.  You’re mine and nothing will ever change that.  I tried to use your mother as substitute in your absence but what a pitiful substitute she was.  Nothing can compare to the real thing.  Lauren, I’ll never let you get away again.  You are MINE.”  He growls at me even as he continues to caress my body.  It all feels strange, like I’m somewhere else seeing what’s happening but not actually participating in it.  How did he find me?

My mind race
s back to the scene at the apartment with Ian.  He made such sweet love to me only a couple hours before our world came crashing down.  He wanted me to be his wife.  I should have known that fate was a cruel and fickle bitch and would never allow me this happiness.  Ian knows who I am now and there’s no going back.  The fact that Dean’s here with me is proof that Ian’s gone from my life forever.  I long for the comfort of Ian’s arms; arms that I know I will never feel around me again.

Chapter 1


“Sweetheart, I
’m so proud of you.”  My father beams down at me as he wraps me in a hug, squeezing so tightly I’m sure he’s going to puncture a lung.  Mother stands beside him stoic as always but with a slight hint of a smile turning her lips up at the edges.  This is the happiest I’ve ever seen her so I guess I’ll take what I can get.  Looking past her, I feel my smile grow so wide that my cheeks hurt.  Striding across the lawn, with the confidence of a man who owns the world and will take anything else he desires, is Dean.  He slips past my parents and scoops me up in his arms, hugging and kissing me all at once. 

“Dean!”  There
’s nothing I love more than kissing Dean but this might be a bit much.  “My parents are right here.”  I whisper as I nuzzle his neck.  Despite the embarrassment over my dad witnessing such a public display of affection from my boyfriend, I don’t want to let him go either.

“Alright you two!” 
The look on his face tells me that Daddy is uncomfortable with Dean’s behavior and mother, well; we are in public so I’m sure she’s displeased with our behavior as well.  I learned long ago there was no point in trying to please her; nothing I do will ever be good enough for her.  Though as I turn toward her, I can see more than displeasure in her features.  She looks almost outright angry, which if it were me making that face in public I would have earned a reprimand.  You aren’t allowed to display such emotion in public.  Yet here she is; though she manages to school her features after only a few seconds but I clearly saw what she was feeling.  “Dean, good to see you.  Glad you could make it.”  Daddy extends his hand and Dean gladly shakes it. 

, so nice to see you and Natasha outside of the office.  And since I know this isn’t the time, I’ll try to keep the work talk to a minimum.  I just want to tell you that I’ve been working with Robert and MJ and I think she’s almost ready to go ahead with the line for Carmichael’s.”

“That is wonderful news but you
’re right, no work talk today.  I want to focus on this beautiful young lady right here,” he pulls me to him in a side hug, stepping away from Deans grasp, “and all of her amazing accomplishments thus far.  And since she’s denying me the pleasure of throwing a party to celebrate her graduation; I had no choice but to set up a surprise.  So we all need to get a move on if we’re going to keep our dinner reservations.”

“Daddy?  I told you I didn’t want anything big.  You
’ve already pulled out all the stops for my birthday party and that’s plenty.  We can celebrate it all at once since that’s only a few weeks away.  What are you up to, anyway?

“Oh no, Lauren, you won’t be getting any information out of me.  All I can say is be prepared for a perfect weekend.  And as for the party, you will only be 21 once.”

“Yeah, that’s what you said about 15, 16, 17…  Come to think of it you say that about every birthday.”

“Why would
n’t I want to celebrate the day my angel arrived on this earth?”  I could practically hear mother’s eyes roll into the back of her head but she composes her features to appear the doting wife and mother. 

“Lauren, I’m so proud of you, honey.”  There
’s a slight strain as she says the words but it all seems genuine and I’m glad to get at least that from her.

“So the whole weekend?”  I glance at Dean somewhat saddened not to spend the weekend with him.  Daddy must
notice my look because he wraps me in another hug and whispers, “I gave Mr. Up and Coming over there the weekend off as well so he can join us.  So stop looking like I just ran over your favorite puppy.”  He gives me a kiss on the top of my head and starts to pull away.  I wrap my arms tighter around him. 

“Daddy, what would I do without you?  You
’re really the best!”

’m giddy at the news that Dean and I will be spending the whole weekend together.  With finals and all of his work, we’ve hardly seen each other over the last few weeks.  Dean leans over to Daddy and whispers something.  Daddy’s smile falters for a moment but then he nods, takes mother’s hand and walks out of the auditorium to the parking lot.  Dean wraps me in his arms again.  “What evil are you two plotting now?”  I can’t stop smiling. 

that’s for us to know and you to find out.  But your father just gave me a present of my own by allowing me to drive you to our destination.  On the condition that I don’t spoil the surprise.”

“Oh and Lauren, be prepared.  I have plans for our drive.”  He wink
s mischievously at me and my heart melts.  How can I be so turned on by just his words?  We haven’t been intimate yet because Dean knows that it’s important to me to wait.  Secretly though, I’m hoping that we have our own room this weekend because I’m feeling more than ready to take that step with him.

Dean spen
ds the entire two hour drive north torturing me.  His free hand roams every crevice of my body and I’m squirming in my seat.  My panties are totally ruined by the time we arrive.  Luckily, we have a couple hours before dinner to freshen up.  I barely notice the gates of the winery as we arrive; I’m too busy focusing on what Dean is doing with that hand and those fingers up my dress.  I chose this dress because I knew he would love it.  The nude sheath clung to my body like a second skin but it’s the white lace overlay that knocks it out of the park.  As soon as the designer showed it to me, I knew I had to have it and that it would be perfect for graduation.  I think Daddy was hoping I would save it for my birthday party but hey, a girl could never have too many dresses so I picked out another one for that night.  When Dean first saw me in the auditorium, I knew the dress choice was a success.

cabin is over here.”  Dean pulls up in front of a beautiful log cabin with a wrap around porch and it sets back in the trees so I know some the back deck will have a beautiful view into the trees and the hills of the vineyard beyond.  Dean takes full advantage of the fact that I’m mesmerized by the view in front of me.  He comes up behind me and wraps me in his arms.  I lean my head back against his hard chest, perfectly content in this moment.  “I think we have just enough time to shower and get ready before dinner.”  His tongue tickles my ear as he whispers to me.  “Lauren, you know how much I love you right?  And I don’t want to rush this because I know how important it is to you and it’s important to me too but I want you so bad right now.”  I melt at his words and my knees grow weak. 

I think I’m ready Dean.  I’m not sure I want to wait anymore either but I’m afraid.  There are so many what ifs in my mind.  Anyway, we will have to wait until after dinner.  Now let’s go take a look at this cabin.”  The disappointment rolling off his body is almost visible but he doesn’t know about the surprise that I have planned for him.  “Oh hey, what about luggage?  I didn’t pack anything because I didn’t know we were doing this.”

“Lauren, you know
your dad better than that.  He’s always about 20 steps ahead of everyone else.  Everything is waiting inside for us.  And I may have packed a little something for you, for later if you feel up to it.”  He winks and the sour mood of a few moments ago is gone.  I’m glad that Dean is so understanding; many men wouldn’t have been so patient.

As we walk into the cabin I’
m once again in awe of the sight in front of me. Polished oak floors abound, covered in elegant rugs.  The softest leather furniture I have ever touched composed the living room.  Soft wool throw blankets sat on the sofa and loveseat.  Rustic elegance was clearly the theme here.  No antlers and grizzly bears for this place.  The focal point of the living room was the giant fireplace that appeared to be carved out of stone with an ornate mantel above it.  Since it’s May, I’m not sure we will get to take advantage of the fireplace, which is a shame.  It would be so romantic to lay on that rug wrapped in nothing but one of those blankets and make love.

If I thought the entrance to the cabin was grand, the bedroom and master bath had
me completely floored.  A large four poster mahogany bed stood in the center of the room.  Each post intricately carved to look like grape vines.  I found myself running my fingers over the leaves and stems.  Inside the bathroom was a gorgeous sunken tub but it was the shower that blew me away.  The glass door allowed a 360 view of the space that is definitely large enough for 5 people.  There’s a large rainfall showerhead and multiple jets on two walls.  The fourth wall, the wall opposite the glass door, is what really held my attention.  The shower has a second door that blends in with the wall of the cabin and leads to an outdoor shower.   The weather would definitely be warm enough for us to use that.  I’m almost giddy at the thought.  This place is so romantic.  I couldn’t have chosen a better setting to share myself with Dean for the first time.

He drop
s a kiss to my cheek.  As if reading my mind, he says, “Don’t worry, there are outdoor heaters if the weather doesn’t cooperate.  So we’ll definitely be putting that to full use this weekend.  I hope your dad doesn’t want to see too much of you.”  He turns me so I’m facing him and it’s then I realize that he’s removed his shirt.  I’m faced with a solid wall of muscle.  His lips find mine and he devours my mouth.  “Lauren, baby, this is killing me.” 

I smile
against his chest.  “Dean!  We have got to start getting ready.  But…  I know it’s not exactly what you want and is probably only going to torture us both but would you shower with me?”

, the torture will be more than worth it to finally see everything that is beneath that dress.”  Slowly he lowers the zipper in the back and pushes the dress from my shoulders.  His sharp intake of breathe proves that he wasn’t expecting what was, or should I say, wasn’t beneath the dress.  Because of the tight fit of the sheath, I wasn’t wearing a bra and my nude G-string left little to the imagination.  My thigh highs were topped in the same color lace as the dress I’d been wearing.  I’ve never been this exposed to a man before. I’m embarrassed to be standing in front of him in nothing but my underwear, if you could even call them that, and heels.  I only hope the picture is exactly what he wants to see.

“Baby, you are utter perfection.  And this has been well worth the wait.  I promise I
’ll make you so happy.”  For a moment it seems like he’s saying something else but I let it go thinking it’s just the lust talking.  He turns away from me for a moment to start the shower then brings his gaze back to my eyes.  His normally soft brown eyes are dark with desire when they meet mine.

“Dean.”  His name, almost a plea, f
alls from my lips.  Knowing what I’m saying, he wraps me in his arms and brings his lips to mine.  A fire ignites in me, burning slowly from my lips all way down to my core.  Dean slips his hands under the thin strips of fabric that holds on the G-string and with one tug, it falls from my body.  He kneels in front of me and taking one of my knees in his hand, removes my shoe and then rolls the stocking down my leg slowly, dropping kisses to my thigh, knee and ankle on his way downward.  He then proceeds to do the same thing to the other leg. 

As he st
ands he runs his fingers to the slick spot between my thighs and slips them between my folds.  I gasp in delight; the pleasure almost becoming too much to bear.  Dean grips me by the arms a little too tightly but in the heat of the moment, I push it from my mind.  I know what I want; unfortunately, there isn’t time for that right now.  But he picks me up and carries me into the shower.  I watch as the water slides over his taut body.  Every part of his body is ridged muscle.  This man before me is truly beautiful and he loves me.  Sometimes I can hardly believe it, like it’s a fairy tale and too good to be true.  I look down at Dean’s naked body; his cock erect and throbbing almost painfully.  Immediately I drop to my knees and run my tongue up his length.  He sucks in a sharp breath.  “Baby, fuck, that’s so good.”  With his encouraging words, I take him all the way into my mouth as far as I can and wrap my hand around the base of his cock.  I want this as much as he does.  “Oh god, Lauren!”  He grunts as I bob my head up and down on him and run my tongue around his shaft.  I move my hand in time with my mouth and know he’s close to coming undone.  “Fuck baby.”  He screams as he sinks his fingers into my hair and plunges his cock further into my mouth.  I gag but try to relax as he takes over the movement.  I continue to tease him with my tongue and he plunges in faster and faster. 

The pain of his fists in my hair and
the way he is fucking my mouth is too much, but whenever I try to move away his hands tighten in my hair holding me in place. I push back against his thighs hoping to relieve some of the pain that way but like stone, he doesn’t budge.  Thankfully it’s only a few short minutes later when I feel him hot and wet in the back of my throat.  I swallow down all that he has to give me and look up at him.  “Lauren, that was…  Oh baby, did I hurt you?”  He looks down at his hands fisted in my hair. 

“No, it was fine.
”  I lie not wanting to ruin our moment together, I’m sure he just got carried away.  “I wanted to give you that so much.”  That part is not a lie; I have been thinking more and more about what it would be like to be intimate like this with him.  The only problem is when I pictured us together this, this controlling almost angry man, is not what I pictured at all.

“God baby, that was so good.  I can’t believe you have never done that before.  You’re mouth is pure heaven and I’m the only one that will ever get to fuck it.”  He pulls
me up to my feet and plunges his tongue into my mouth.  I don’t even have time to process his words as the fierce kiss sets me off again.  I run my hands across his chest, scraping my fingernails lightly over his nipples.  “Now baby, don’t get me going again.  We’re running short on time as it is and I need to do something for you before we have to get ready.”  This time he drops to his knees and throws one of my legs over his shoulder. I stand there precariously on one leg, unsure of what to do.  This is the furthest Dean and I have ever gone and I don’t have any experience with this. 

BOOK: Into the Flames (Out of the Ashes Book 2)
9.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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