Authors: A.S. Fenichel
“Some things can’t be helped. If I lost control things could
go bad fast.”
She didn’t know what to say. But the idea he didn’t
experience any of the emotions that made life worth living broke her heart.
He changed the subject. “I’ll put some feelers out in the
morning and try to find out what’s in the wind about us. You can shower if you
want. The bathroom is just next door. I’ll bet Will has something in the closet
you can put on. Help yourself to whatever you need.”
She wanted to stop him. Tell him he was wrong, she had felt
emotion when they’d been linked. He may not allow it out, but it was in there
lying in wait for the right moment to burst free. “Okay. Thanks. I will.”
He nodded and walked out the door to the main part of the
house. She still sensed his being there, but as he walked toward the kitchen
area it became harder and harder to hold on to his presence. What was it about
Joshua Lakeland that made her want to touch him? He was right about one thing,
he was dangerous.
“Um, Josh, I don’t want to pry, but what’s the deal with
Tessa and you?” Will’s face was awash with concern.
The two men sat at the dining table. Will cleaned a Glock 41
handgun while they talked.
“There is no deal. I met her less than forty-eight hours ago
when all of this started.” Once he saw Tessa cross the short hallway into the
bathroom, he’d given Will a brief outline of the events following his arrival
at the beach house.
“Yeah, you said as much. But there is definitely something
up between the two of you.”
“You’re nuts. I just met her and look at all the trouble she’s
caused me. I could be home sleeping in my own bed, or better, over at Kane’s
letting Lena and her grandmother feed me.” That reminded him he needed to call
his brother and check on the Flacks. He’d “borrowed” a cell phone while Tessa
waited in the wooded area. The call to Kane had been short. Basically he’d said
there was trouble and to check on Peggy and Bill.
Kane was smart, he’d smell trouble before it struck and get
his family to safety. Joshua had his own issues to deal with. Kane could take
care of himself.
“And yet you have not taken your eyes off the bathroom door
for more than two seconds since she went in there.”
It may have been the truth, but that didn’t mean he wanted
to hear it. “Will, are you trying to piss me off?”
Will’s toothy grin spread across his face. “I’m only
pointing out the obvious, Josh. You clearly like this woman in spite of the
fact she’s nothing but trouble. She’s beautiful, smart, knows about your gifts
so she’s not going to freak out when you send a vase crashing across the room
or electrocute some asshole, and you like her.”
“You said that twice.” It was pretty rare that Joshua was
afraid of anything. Yet his attraction to Tessa sent a streak of fear directly
to his heart.
“Yeah, because that’s the important bit,” Will said.
“No. The important bit is that I don’t get to have the kind
of life where a nice girl falls for me and we settle down in a Florida bungalow
with a cat and two cars.”
Joshua turned away from the hallway as he heard the bathroom
door open. He felt a bit like a schoolboy caught staring at the popular girl in
class. He saw a flash of white cross the hall out of his peripheral vision and
heard the bedroom door close. Standing up, he stared down at his friend. “You
know damn well why not.”
Will stood up stretching. He had no fear of Joshua. He and
Kane were the only people who didn’t keep their distance when he showed any
kind of temper. “I know why you think you don’t deserve to be happy. I just
think it’s a load of bullshit.”
“Don’t push me.” Joshua’s voice was low and ripe with
Shrugging, Will turned toward the other end of the house,
where his bedroom was located. He walked a few steps and then turned back. “I
never met two more stubborn jackasses as you and your brother and I’ve known
the two of you for too long to worry about pissing you off. Even Kane managed
to find someone who makes him happy. I don’t see why you would risk losing the
opportunity to find out if she’s the one.”
“Will, you don’t understand.” The anger that had been
building rushed away, leaving only regret in its wake. Joshua shook his head
and looked up at his oldest friend. They’d been through more battles together
than either would care to remember. He trusted him with his life.
“Nah, buddy, you’re wrong, I get it. You think you’ve seen
too much, done too many terrible things in the name of freedom. You’ve gotten
it into that thick skull of yours that fighting for what’s right has made you
the bad guy. I’m trying to tell you it’s a load of shit. If you don’t pursue
that woman it’s not because you’re afraid of what might happen to her, it’s
just because you’re afraid.” The hulking man gave his bushy blond head a shake,
picked up the gun he’d been cleaning, turned and walked out of the room.
Sometimes he really hated Will. Why couldn’t he be afraid of
him the way everyone else was? “Shit.”
Joshua looked at the door where he’d last seen Tessa wrapped
in a white robe. He’d blocked her while he was talking to Will. Opening his
senses, her willing mind embraced him. If he was smart he would lie down on the
couch and forget about what he really wanted. Will’s infuriating words roiled
around in his head. It wasn’t fear but good sense keeping him away. Wasn’t it? “Shit.”
He stood and walked to the bathroom. He needed a shower and
preferably a cold one.
The water did nothing to alleviate his desire. If anything
her presence just across the hall heightened his need. He could block her,
should block her. But he loved the way her mind caressed his ever so gently. It
was as if she were a drug and a highly addictive one.
Pulling his jeans back on, he headed toward the bedroom. At
the door he stopped. Should he knock or just walk in?
Jesus, Lakeland. What
the hell is wrong with you? She probably already senses you standing here.
“You can come in, Joshua,” her voice called from within,
confirming his thoughts.
He shook his head and opened the door. She sat on the edge
of the bed, wearing a long white T-shirt that must have belonged to Will
because it fell to halfway down her smooth thighs. She was all leggy,
curvaceous goodness and he was dying for a taste.
“You look as if you are a man with a problem.”
He did his best to block his overwhelming desire for her
without losing the connection he felt with her. It wasn’t an easy feat to
accomplish. “I seem to be getting in my own way at the moment.”
She smiled. “Because you want me but you don’t trust me?”
He walked closer until he was standing over her and she was
forced to look up to meet his gaze. Her hair was damply stuck to her cheek and
he pushed it back behind her ear. “Because I want you but I don’t deserve you.”
“That just sounds like nonsense to me,” she said.
“Are you saying you’d make love with me, Tessa, right now,
after only meeting me two days ago?” His cock fought against the fly of his
jeans. He wasn’t sure what he wanted her to say. He wanted her more than he’d
ever craved a woman before in his life. Yet knowing how inherently good she was
held him at bay. His mind was dark and scarred while hers had been a perfect
blend of virtue, toughness and light.
Her pretty lips turned up. “I’ve been thinking about it.
Normally I’m not so easy. Actually I rarely hook up. Sex complicates things in
my experience. Sex with a psi is even more complicated. I’m not very
comfortable with the connection during sex.”
He didn’t say anything, but he didn’t move away either. Her
admission surprised him since they had been gently connected most of the time
since they’d met. Watching her expression carefully, he recalled the way she
had invited him into her dream the night before. Had that really been just for
him? His body wanted to believe it.
She stood up and pressed her palm against his bare chest. “Why
did you block me while I was in the shower?”
Her touch could bring him to his knees if he didn’t take
care. “I didn’t want to scare you.”
“Why would I be scared? What were you talking to Will about?”
He put his hand over hers. “It’s not what we were talking
about that worried me. I feel things for you I’ve never experienced before. I
have my doubts that I can control it. You might be better off getting as far
away from me as possible, Tessa.”
Her other hand touched his stubbly cheek. “Control is your
thing, Joshua. I never said I wanted you to control yourself.”
A feral growl rumbled in his chest. She was not making it
easy to behave himself. His head lowered until his mouth hovered half an inch
from her lips. “Tell me you want me, that you want this?”
“Almost from the moment you walked into that room at the
All illusions of controlling his desires dropped away as his
lips plundered her mouth. She was sweeter than he’d imagined and he couldn’t
get enough. If she minded his assault he would not have known by the way her hands
clutched at his shoulders and her firm tits pressed against his chest. Her
tongue mingled with his and a loud groan pushed up from his chest.
He wanted to be gentle and had to pull himself back to
accomplish it. Instinctively he closed off his mind. He learned young that merging
minds during sex had to be done with caution and she’d already admitted it was
not something she generally enjoyed.
His hand slipped down to the bottom of the cotton shirt. He
hesitated, giving her time to say no and expecting her to toss him from the
room at any moment. Instead she lifted her arms above her head in an invitation
to undress her. No more hesitation, he slid the garment up and over her head,
leaving her gloriously naked.
Joshua took a step back to look at her lean, fit body and
perfectly rounded breasts. He followed the line of her slim waist down to the
swell of her hips. Her smooth skin was soft beneath his fingertips. “Jesus,
Tessa, you’re gorgeous.”
“You’re overdressed.” She tugged on the button securing his
jeans and slid the zipper down. He hadn’t put his underwear back on, so when
she pushed them down over his hips, his cock stood out, hard and ready.
Stepping out of his pants, he cupped one perfect breast,
lowered his head and captured the taut peak between his lips. She moaned and
arched into him.
Tessa didn’t touch him immediately. A moment went by where
the only body parts touching were his mouth to her sensitive nipple. The soft
scent of honeysuckle kissed her skin and went to his head. He sucked harder,
tugging the morsel and making her cry out. Her hand circled his shoulder, and
his arm wrapped around her waist as he released her nipple and moved up to her
She opened immediately for him and their tongues danced
together. She was a drug and he felt an instant dependence. His hand slid lower,
cupping the soft flesh of her ass and kneading as he pulled her tight against
him. His cock ached for relief, but he wanted her pleasure desperately, maybe
more than his own. The edge of her mind poked at his. He urgently wanted to let
her in, but caution won out and he blocked her advances into his mind.
Flattered and surprised by her offer, he still didn’t open
up. Being with her was too raw and he feared he would lose control. At least
for this first time he would close his mind.
Soft lips and tender flesh would be more than enough, more
than he deserved.
Her consciousness nudged him again, and again he held her at
She pulled away. “You don’t trust me.”
His chest tightened painfully and he brought his hand up to
caress her cheek. “It’s not you I don’t trust, Tessa. I want you so bad I’m
afraid I’ll lose control and hurt you. This first time let it just be physical
and emotional. We can save other connections for other times.”
“I understand.” The sorrow in her eyes told him she was not
being completely honest. It nearly made him change his mind.
He brought his other hand up to cradle her face and make
sure he had her full attention. “I want every part of you in every way a man
can want a woman and in ways most men can’t. I expect being inside your head
while you come will be the most sensual moment of my life and I want to
experience that over and over again. I just want to be a bit less crazed to be
inside you physically than I am right now.”
Her breath caught and her eyes glazed over. “Oh.” She
swallowed. “Then you should probably fuck me now.”
His cock jumped between them and a growl rumbled up from his
chest. Grabbing her ass, he lifted her until she wrapped her long, powerful
legs around his waist. “I wanted to go slow.”
“No.” Her eyes were electric and in spite of his efforts to
block her he was inundated by the wild waves of passion flowing off her.
He pushed her away and her feet hit the floor before he
turned toward the door.
“Where are you going?” There was no doubt of the surprise in
He didn’t answer, just rushed out of the room completely
unashamed of his nudity. He practically ran to the bathroom, found what he
needed and rushed back to find Tessa still standing in the middle of the room.
She was stunning, naked and flushed from passion as she
watched him. He grabbed a foil packet and tossed the box in his hand onto the
bed. Tearing open the packet while walking over, he rolled the condom over his
painfully hard cock.
“I’m glad Will has a well-stocked bathroom.”
She grinned. “I just hope that box is full.”
With a laugh he picked her back up and again her legs
wrapped around him.
In two steps he had her back up against the wall. He reached
between their bodies and found her soft folds sopping wet. Another animal sound
pushed past his lips as he ground them against hers. He rubbed her clit and she
bucked against him while her screams were muffled by his searching mouth.
She was so wet and ready for him, he couldn’t wait.
Grabbing his cock, he placed the head at the opening of her
pussy and thrust inside.
They both cried out and then neither moved for a long
“Tessa, you feel so fucking good.”
She pressed on his shoulders, lifting her body and forcing
his shaft to slide away before she clutched his hips with her legs and pulled
him in tight again. “I want you to fuck me now, Joshua.”
With one hand on the wall behind her head and the other
under her ass he pulled his hips back and thrust forward again and again. Each thrust
brought a soft, satisfying grunt from Tessa. He could listen to that sound
forever. If he’d stretched her too far or caused her any discomfort he couldn’t
tell from her hands gripping him tighter.
She leaned back against the wall, deepening his penetration.
Her lean, muscular legs clung to his hips, and her head was thrown back. Even
with her eyes closed he could detect only rapture in her strained expression.
He put both hands under her ass and his finger skimmed the tight, puckered hole
between her cheeks.