Ember x, p.21
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       Ember X, p.21

         Part #1 of Death Collectors series by Jessica Sorensen
Page 21


  Asher and I speed up as we near the door.

  “Where do you think you’re going?” one of the larger men calls out.

  Asher shoves at the door, but pauses, deliberating something intensely, and then he gradually turns around. “We are leaving. Do you have a problem with that?”

  A bulky man, sporting leather pants and matching vest crosses his arms. “Yeah. You can’t just knock out one of my friends and then walk away without paying the consequences. ” He waves his finger at me. “And that one… well, she’s just a downright filthy murderer who gets to walk off easy. ”

  “You didn’t even know my dad,” I say. “So shut the hell up. ”

  “I’m not talking about your dad,” he growls. “I’m talking about my nephew, Laden Miller. ”

  “I had nothing to do with that. ” My legs tremble, but I refuse to cower back. “I barely knew him. ”

  “So you say. ” His eyes blaze with loathing and it’s so powerful, I want to run and hide. “But you did know your daddy and you probably killed him just like you killed my nephew. I bet you even had somethin’ to do with that girl he was always hangin’ out with. That Farrah girl. Yeah, I bet you killed her too. ”

  Asher drops my hand and his muscles are tense as if he’s trying to channel all his anger to stay in his body. He steps toward the man and spreads his arms open. “The next word that comes out of your mouth better be an apology. ”

  The man cracks his knuckles and neck. “Or what?”

  I eye the men, who are twice Asher’s size, and then tug on Asher’s sleeve, trying to lure him back. “Asher, I think we should go. ”

  Laden’s uncle laughs and the rest of the men join in. “Ooo, little murder girl said it’s time to go. You better listen. ” Without warning, he draws his arm back and clocks Asher in the face with his fist.

  Asher crumples to the ground, landing on his knees. “Well, that was a cheap shot,” he mutters, grasping his cheek.

  “Oh my God. ” I lean over Asher. “Are you okay?”

  His grey eyes darken as he tilts his head up and starts to stand up. “Stand back,” he warns, moving me back with his arm.

  “Are you being serious?” I ask. “They’ll kill you. ”

  “Ember, please stand back,” he says, not looking at me, but at Laden’s uncle. “I don’t want you to get hurt. ”

  I don’t move. From the corner of the bar, I see the guy who looks like Cameron watching Asher with fascination as he sips out of a martini glass. Asher pops his knuckles and cracks his neck, then with one swing, he bends his arm and knocks Laden’s uncle out.

  “Holy shit,” I breathe, staring down at the unconscious man, his legs and arms sprawled across the floor, and there is a little bit of drool pooling at his lips.

  Then all hell breaks loose.

  The rest of the men charge at him at full speed and Asher dodges to the side and nudges me out of the way with his elbow. A few men bump into tables, sending people springing from their chairs, and plates flying through the air. The whole bar scatters for safety, screaming, and dashing for the front door. The music switches to a heavy metal song and the small fight becomes a full-on brawl. I’m not surprised. I’ve seen it happen many times. Men take swings at each other and even a few buffer females get in on the action. Bottles are being smashed over heads and chairs are getting clobbered.

  A tall, lanky man comes strutting up to me with a smirk on his face. “What’s the matter, sweetheart? You scared?” He steps closer and exhales beer breath in my face. When his hand touches my waist, I knee him between the legs. Death flashes through me, but it is worth it.

  He collapses to the floor, groaning and clutching his manly parts. “You fucking bitch. ”

  “Do I look like someone who’d be frightened by a little bar fight?” Shaking my head, I step over him, searching for Asher. I spot Phil hurrying out of the back room with a baseball bat and his cell phone. “Shit. ” I duck through the flying bottles and fists. “Asher!” I trip over an unconscious man and glass slices my palms as I fall to the floor. Keeping my head low, I dash across the room, leaping over chairs and weaving around broken tables.

  Asher is near the back door, exchanging punches with a bald guy with a snake tattoo coiling his upper arm. Asher’s lip is split open and his cheekbone is swollen. He throws jab after jab and his movements are almost inhuman, swifter and stronger. I’m impressed and terrified at the same times.

  A lofty guy with a thick neck sneaks up behind Asher, holding a broken beer bottle in his hand and I pick a glass cup off the floor and throw it at the guy’s head. It slams him in the forehead, and he drops the beer bottle, and then falls to the floor like a bag of bricks.

  Asher slams his opponent in the face and blood spurts from his mouth. He repeats the movement over and over again, until the guy passes out.

  Asher breathes violently as he clutches his hands. “I’m sorry, Ember… I just. ”

  I grab his hand and lead him toward the backdoor. “Phil’s about to call the cops… I can’t get caught in this mess. I’m already on probation. ”

  I shove open the door and we breathe in fresh air as we burst outside. The door slams shut and the noise from the bar fight is suffocated. The back parking lot is secluded from the highway, the sky is black, and the lights from the neon signs flash across our faces, making us look ghostly.

  Asher turns and faces me, panting heavily, his eyes untamed as his chest rises and falls. “I’m sorry, Ember. I didn’t mean for things to get so out of hand. ”

  My heart knocks inside my chest. I feel alive, high on adrenaline, like I could conquer the world. “It’s okay. Trust me when I say I’m used to bar fights. ” I touch the tip of my finger to his bottom. “You cut your lip open. ” I wipe the blood away and I start to pull my hand back, but he covers it with his and presses it against his lips. He kisses my palm, his eyes penetrating me, making me feel exposed as he sucks on my skin and rolls his tongue along it. Our breaths quicken, in sync and matching each other’s desire.

  “Please fucking tell me that I kiss you right now?” he whispers with a silent plea in his eyes. “God, please… I need to…”

  I nod my head once and his lips crash into mine, but his touch is gentle. My skin ignites as I wrap my hands around his waist and pull myself against him, aligning our bodies. My lips part and his tongue slides in deeply, so that he can caress the roof of my mouth with his tongue ring and I let out a faltering moan.

  He slightly withdraws, looking me in the eyes, and then he growls, enfolds his fingers around my thighs, and picks me up. I enclose my legs around his waist as he continues to taste every inch of my mouth and backs us against the wall, beneath the shadows and florescent lights. There’s no space remaining between our bodies and I can feel his hardness pressed up against me. I’m spinning, sweating, panting as he kisses me and brings a feeling of ecstasy from my head to my toes. His hands are tangled in my hair, then trail down my neck, finally settling on my hips. Then he slips a hand up the back of my shirt and the contact sends a jolt of electricity down my spine as he holds onto me like I’m his lifeline, as if letting me go will kill him.

  “I want to kiss you forever. ” He groans against my lips and steals my breath away.

  It’s like we’ve unleashed a hungry animal in each of us. I crave more of him. Now. I’ve been waiting too long to be able to get this close to someone and I need to be closer right this second.

  “Asher,” I whisper against his lip. “Touch me, please. ”

  He doesn’t argue, his hand moving from my back to my stomach and I tighten my legs to keep from falling down. He presses me against the brick wall while his lips move against mine and his hand slides up to my bra. Slipping his hand underneath it, he traces his thumb across my nipple, which instantly hardens

  I mutter his name, my eyes shutting as my head falls back.

  He gently pinches my nipple as his other hand travels down my back
to my ass and my legs tighten even more as a shockwave of heat coils deep inside my body. I cry out as his hand leaves my breast and heads to my stomach, then he dips it down below the waistband of my jeans. My legs fall from his waist and hit the ground. But we don’t break the connection of our lips and body, his hand continues down and seconds later he slips a finger inside me.

  “Fuck…” he groans as he begins to move his finger. His lips move from mine and travel downward. My neck curves to the side as he kisses my collarbone. I can’t believe this is happening… this feeling is so much better than even the silence of death.

  “Asher…” I begin to pant as he jerks the bottom of my shirt up, along with my bra, and starts sucking on my breast, finally pushing me over the edge.

  I clutch onto his shoulders, crying out his name, and one of his arms slips around my back to keep me from collapsing to the ground. I’m panting, stunned as I come back down, my skin damp and my chest heaving.

  Asher slips his finger out from me, but keeps his face near my breast. I can feel his breath hitting my skin as he breathes ravenously. He doesn’t say anything and I’m about to ask him what’s wrong, but the sound of the sirens makes us both jump. His eyes are as black as coals and his lips are swollen as he pulls back.

  “We should get out of here,” he growls, looking like he might kiss me again.

  I nod and tug my shirt and bra back over my chest. Holding hands, we hurry around the side of the building and quickly hop into his car. Red and blue lights flash through the dark parking lot and cops hop out of squad cars, shouting at the swarm of people barreling from the front door.

  From the corner of my eye, I watch Asher and he meets my eyes. My desire mirrors his expression.

  “Now where are we going?” I ask, buckling my seat belt.

  He runs his tongue ring across his swollen lips. “You’ll just have to wait and see. ”

  I lean back in the seat and watch the trees blur by, feeling alive and carefree for the first time in my life. I wish I had a pen so I could write about this moment and preserve it forever. Then I could remember what it felt like when death consumes me again.

  Chapter 11

  We drive along the highway, making small chitchat about the fight as “Forever” by Papa Roach plays softly in the background. Asher doesn’t ask questions about what was said in the bar and when he looks at me, it feels like he’s really looking past the girl who was brought in to the police station for the suspicion of her dad’s disappearance.

  Eventually, he veers off the main road and parks the car in a gravel turnout that overlooks the lake. He shuts off the engines and dabs the cut on his lip with the collar of his shirt, giving me a view of his perfectly sculpted ab muscles.

  “You know, this whole night really didn’t turn out how I was planning it,” he says, licking the last of the blood of his lip. “However, I don’t think I would trade it for anything. ”

  The lake shimmers and the moon reflects against the surface, the water rippling against the breeze. The mountains are black and the trees are dark silhouettes in distance.