Branded sanctuary, p.39
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       Branded Sanctuary, p.39

         Part #7 of Nature of Desire series by Joey W. Hill
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Page 39

 

  Nothing, Chloe. Not a damn thing. Well, I take it back. You did do something. A t her look of surprise, he nodded. Evil wants us to skulk in the shadows, be afraid of everything, of being happy and loving. So yeah, maybe your love of life and beauty attracted it. But you said to hell with it anywayas a freaking childand lived your life according to what you knew was right and true to your soul. A s a result, when evil came for Natalie, you stepped into the line of fire and fought it. You didnt run. You fought as hard as you could, and because he was able to take some of his venom out on you, it took him that much longer to reach the eruption point with Natalie, giving Marguerite more time to get to them.

  You make me sound brave and amazing, and Im not.

  You are, he said, and his expression told her hed brook no argument. You are brave, amazing, beautiful. If you were a muse, youd be Joy. Pure joy. They didnt take that from you, Chloe. Ive seen a hundred glimpses of it in the past couple days, and it shone like the stars the night of Marguerites wedding. There was so much happiness in the air that night, evil didnt even have a chance of breathing there.

  A s she dropped her head to his chest again, hiccupping over another tiny sob, he let out a breath, went back to the soothing murmur. You let your physical injuries be treated, and gave them time to heal. Now its time to do the same for your mind and heart. Marguerites close friend Komal was a counselor for abused children for years. I bet Marguerite would be more than happy to arrange a few sessions for you. Doesnt that sound like a good idea?

  She managed a sniffle, a dubious lift of her shoulder. A fter a pause, he caressed the curls gathered around her face. Okay, think about it some. I wont hassle you about it further. For now. If you say it.

  W-what? She sniffled ungracefully again, resenting the few tears that had squeezed out. Reaching up to the table, he found a napkin holder and brought a napkin back to her nose, massaging it to take the moisture away. It reminded her of Tyler with his handkerchief, as well as his words.

  There are many things that men dont do any more that they should. Particularly for women.

  Tell me what you did to deserve this, other than being insanely brave.

  I cant. It was just a word. She should be able to say it, even if she didnt feel it, just to fib her way past his demand, but that wall of darkness rose, like a dark sea, threatening to engulf her. I cant. A nd that, more than anything else, told her he was right. She needed help. She knew she wasnt alone, yet her mind refused to let her believe anything else, as if her rational-irrational selves stood on either side of that wall, and her irrational self was the one holding her heart and soul hostage.

  Tell me, Chloe. He shifted her in one flexible movement, those lean swimmer muscles stretching her out on the linoleum beneath him, warm from the morning sun. Sunlight filled her eyes so her sense of him came through touch as he slid the T-shirt up her abdomen. The tips of his fingers brushed the lower curve of her breasts. But they were not his goal. When he leaned down and pressed his closed mouth directly against her clit, no teasing or warning, her breath shuddered out of her aching chest. Oh.

  Tell me. A whisper in her ears, filtering through that dark wall. His tongue made a lazy circle, dipped lower, dipped deeper.

  Her young body, with the imprint of his lovemaking so fresh on it from last night, was already moistening her, preparing her for him. He increased that wetness, taking his knuckles between her labia, pressing up. The hard emotions knotted up in her chest and yanked on something lower, making it impossible to focus on why she had to hold out, what she was fighting.

  Tell me. One word, Chloe. What did you do to deserve it?

  He shifted, his body between her legs, amazing her at how he took over this moment. I know what you want and need He stretched out full

  length on her, holding her down. With no need to guide himself, he shifted his hips, found her and eased his cock into the opening of her pussy.

  Steel velvet flesh gave enough to fit her shape as he pushed in through that wall, physical and emotional, and connected her to him, sinking deep, pulling her out of that dark well and bringing her to him. She opened her eyes because his hand was cupped over her brow, giving her a shield from the suns bright beams, though she could still feel the heat coming through his palm. Once opened, she couldnt close her eyes against what she saw in his hazel eyes. He wasnt making a demand of her, standing detached from her. He was there with her, suffering with her pain, holding her hand, wanting her to say it so that he could take both of them to a better place. She held the key.

  Tell me, Chloe. Say it. He stroked, a deep, deep thrust that had her body rising to his, a withdrawal that made her tremble, all her nerve endings stretching toward him in pleasure. Beloved. Brave girl. Beautiful angel. Sex goddess.

  A small hiccup of laughter moved in her heart, and that bump in the road threw the darkness off. A s if he knew, his eyes smiled, though it didnt lessen their intensity. Fair maiden, a gift to us all. A childs soul and a womans heart. You know it, Chloe. Dont let them take the gift from you, from all of us. What did you do to deserve it?

  Her response was a moan this time, because he was so damn good at this, so stubborn and seductive at once, his cock teasing everything to life, pushing through that dark wave, making her fear it would crash over her, topple her, but if it did, he was already there, in it with her. He wouldnt let her go. He had her now, was connected in a way no one ever had been.

  Chloe, tell me.

  She realized then that she did want to look in that closet. Because whatever Brendan wasa womans slave, her protector, the man willing to get on his knees to be what most men wouldnt contemplatehis heart made him what she wanted and needed. What shed felt last night and right now.

  Someone who made her feel like her needs were his sole desire to fulfill, her pain something hed do anything to heal.

  Nothing, she whispered as he came back in deep, and the word was lost in another whimper of pleasure. A climax was coming, but not like any shed felt before. She was going to cut her raft loose or have it yanked free, but from the resolve in his set jaw, the flame of determination and desire in his face, she knew he was going to pull her through those dark waters. But what could she offer him in return?

  Nothing, she said, louder this time, hoping she was answering his question still and not her own. She grabbed his shoulders, lifting up to bury her face in his shoulder. Nothing. I didnt do anything.

  He banded his arms around her, and increased his pace just enough.

  Damn right, he muttered against her as she continued to say it, even as the climax took her. A few more stingy tears came too, wrenching her apart, but they were like the spray when a wave crashed, lost as the climax tumbled them over and over. Crying out, she rode salty foam and wet pleasure with him, muscles tensing and releasing, limbs tangling. They moved together in that tidal rhythm until theyd spent all their desire and were deposited, replete and still locked together, on a sun drenched, sandy shore.

  Chapter Sixteen

  A fterward, they ate strawberries on his patio. Feeling drained and energized at once, she quickly decided sitting next to him in one of the green metal chairs that were roomy and rocked back on their squared bases wasnt adequate. So shed straddled him, letting her legs dangle on either side of his hips, pleased by his hands curved around her bottom, holding the shirt and her modesty secure, and fed him strawberries with the cream hed provided.

  She quickly came to the conclusion that Cool Whip was the worlds most perfect food when he sucked it off her fingers, taking his time as he seemed gifted at doing. Two could play that game. When she retrieved her fingers, she scooped more of the Cool Whip out with them and painted a curved line over his smooth pectoral, taking it off with three quick nips and swipes of her tongue, earning a skipped beat from his heart under her mouth.

  Do you shave your chest because youre She grimaced. I dont know why I have trouble saying it. Or maybe I
do, but Im afraid Ill offend you.

  For an answer, he shifted, propping his feet on his fire pit so she could lean back comfortably against the backrest his knees provided. Putting his hands beneath the T-shirt, he teased the crease beneath her breasts. Tell me anyway.

  She did, not merely because of his irresistible look, but because she needed to talk about something not related to what had just happened in the kitchen, the decisions she still couldnt bring herself to make. But she had to look down at his chest to say it. She put another dollop of whipped topping on it, her fingers dipping in and making tiny dots in the froth.

  It feels insulting to call a guy a submissive. Which, since you are one, suggests thats my hangup, not yours, right? I mean, I dont view you being that way as wrongorwell, I guess I just didnt expect it to be sexy. I envisioned a male submissive as some wimpy person whod hide behind me if I was ever mugged. Or whod be afraid to tell the waitress the cook made me the wrong thing. Dont get me wrong, Im not a 1950s kind of girl, I could tell her myself. There are just certain things

  A woman should expect from a man. His mouth tugged up. I get that.

  Yes, she knew he did. She was beginning to understand there was far more than one definition to this. Well, anyway, Im sure Submissive Males of A merica will do a PR campaign to improve their imageas soon as their Mistresses okay it.

  Like a public service commercial? He narrowed his gaze at her in mock warning. She tried to suppress the humor quivering at the corners of her mouth as his thumbs swept down over her abdomen, tickling.

  Yep. It could start in a gym, with a bunch of sweaty guys pounding sandbags. Or better, in basic training, and then this female sergeant comes in, all tough in tight camouflage

  She started giggling as he tickled her in earnest and squirmed in his lap. Quit it. Okay, Ill stop, Ill stop. Hey, be still or youll upset the whipped cream.

  Leaning forward, she brought his retribution to a sliding halt when she put her mouth back on the Cool Whip, and the man beneath. His fingers gripped her hips as she licked and tasted. She gave him several more short nips, not entirely gentle, moving down to tease his nipple, registering the hardening beneath her ass and the increased demand in the grip of his hands. His mouth brushed the crown of her head, his breath rasping out on her muttered name.

  I just want to taste you, she said. Nothing else.

  She could want a lot more, she knew, but despite the dampness between her thighs and the tingle in her breasts from his caressing strokes just below them, she liked this, taking her pleasure of him, knowing she could keep it at just this level.