Rule breaker, p.38
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       Rule Breaker, p.38
 

         Part #20 of Breeds series by Lora Leigh

  ound together.

  “There’s nothing to feel sorry for,” Rule stated absently as he gestured to the bartender again.

  Lawe stared at the five shot glasses, five beer bottles that stood empty on the table at Rule’s elbow again and realized he hadn’t spoken those words aloud.

  Strengthening the shields around his thoughts, he wondered just how strong that link with his brother really was. And suddenly, he wasn’t so surprised that Rule had learned so well to maneuver others so easily.

  “You’ve had enough,” Lawe finally told him, realizing Rule seemed determined to drink himself into a fighting drunk.

  Not a good thing.

  What the hell was going on here?

  “Not yet, I haven’t,” Rule sighed. “I’m still conscious.”

  ...

  It wasn’t the bleak darkness that filled him that had him drinking. It wasn’t anger or resentment; he even understood why Gypsy needed this time with her family first.

  Sort of, anyway.

  It was that damned Lion driving him insane. He could feel his instincts—fuck instincts—he could feel the Lion snapping at him furiously, demanding that he go to Gypsy now. That he force this whole “do you love me?” issue.

  It was sickening. He’d be damned if he would do it. He wasn’t going to beg her for shit.

  He frowned thoughtfully. Hell, maybe he was just going crazy.

  More than one Lion Breed had gone feral after escaping the Genetics Council’s labs. It wasn’t unheard of for any Breed to slip into the feral rages and never return. Was that what was happening to him now?

  Except mated Breeds didn’t go feral.

  There wasn’t a single instance of mated Breeds slipping into feral fever. As though the mating itself stabilized the creature’s rage.

  “Return to your mate, brother,” Rule sighed wearily as the bartender set the whiskey and beer in front of him.

  “It’s not safe here,” Lawe sighed. “If you’re going to drink yourself to a stupor, then I’ll stay with you until you’re ready to return to the hotel.”

  Rule shook his head. “Not returning yet. If I don’t get a little bit drunker, then I might embarrass myself.”

  He’d be damned if he was going to beg her to love him. He had some pride. He had some self-control.

  He lifted the shot, tossed it back, and thought with a measure of comfort that the bite of the alcohol wasn’t nearly as fierce this time.

  Staring back at his brother, Rule was amused to see the concern in Lawe’s eyes. No doubt, at the first opportunity—he snickered at the two Breeds that entered the bar. Ah well, perhaps he’d been smart enough to call in reinforcements before entering.

  He turned his gaze back to his brother broodingly.

  “Babysitters?” he asked.

  Lawe shrugged, the gesture dismissive. “I assume they’re here for a drink.”

  Were they now?

  Loki—that lying fucking Coyote and his master Dog—or was Jonas the master of both? Some days he wondered which Breed knew his own path and which Breed was merely content to allow Jonas to guide him.

  He grinned at the two Coyotes. “How you two have managed to escape Jonas’s matchmaking is what I want to know.”

  Dog’s brow arched with a measure of polite indulgence before glancing at Lawe. “Drunk already, is he?”

  “He’s getting there,” Rule assured the three of them.

  Lawe grunted at that, spearing a look in Dog’s direction as they seemed to share some unspoken message.

  Placing the glass to his side, Rule lifted the beer to his lips, and once again, when he lowered it, barely half of the brew remained.

  “I believe the reason your brother came looking for you”—Loki was the one to speak, the graveled tone of his voice always making Rule wonder what torture the Council scientists had devised to destroy his voice in such a way—“was to drag you back to our esteemed director for debriefing.”

  “I turned in my report.” He frowned, but the statement forestalled the next order.

  Why wait between each drink? Why the hell was he getting slowly drunk when he could do so in a few hours, rather than one drink per hour?

  Efficiency, he reminded himself, beginning to lift his hand to indicate more when Loki’s hand was suddenly securing his wrist.

  The animal reacted, existing far too close to the skin at the moment; the affront became an insult of unimagined proportion. Before any knew his intent, he lashed out with his right arm, his fingers curled into a fist of iron that plowed into Loki’s face before the Coyote could avoid it.

  He didn’t even have a second to enjoy the surprise that immediately transformed the Coyote’s face before he was thrown back, chair and all—Rule couldn’t help but laugh at the sight—and went flying backward.

  Rule slapped his thigh, laughing so hard that he admitted he just might be a bit drunk after all.

  Looking at Lawe and Dog, the complete shock on their faces, the widening of their eyes as their heads jerked from the sight of Loki sprawled out on the floor to Rule’s laughter, had him laughing harder.

  Until the animalistic snarl sounding through the room suddenly slammed into him.

  He didn’t go flying.

  Rule shook the sudden scattered lights from his vision before turning his head, very slowly, and loosing the animal snapping at his senses.

  “Fuck. Rule. You struck first.” Lawe was suddenly between them, directing a glare at Dog. “Contain your man.”

  “Contain my man?” He pulled a slim cigar from the leather vest he wore, his smile tight as he inserted it between his lips and retrieved a set of matches from another pocket.

  They all watched as though fascinated as he lit the tobacco. Until Rule looked over Lawe’s shoulder to see Loki, his lips drawn back from the curved fangs, his eyes lit with an inner fire that was frankly freaky.

  Rule had to laugh at the sight.

  Then Loki grabbed Lawe and tossed him out of the way before his brother could anticipate the move and compensate. Thrown off balance, he landed on his ass, snarling. “Fuck it. Kill his ass, Rule.”

  His senses opened. Hell no, he didn’t fight fair. His brother’s mate wasn’t here right now and neither was his own, and he was drunk. He might need a little extra—

  It was all he could do not to laugh as his left fist went for Loki’s face, struck and threw the Coyote into his commander. The cigar went one way and Dog went the other with a snarl . . .

  “Hell yeah,” he whooped. “Let’s get it on.”

  CHAPTER 32

  Gypsy stared at the sight of her bruised, banged, freshly showered lover . . . mate, she amended, and had to hold back a smile as she watched him sleep.

  Bullying him into the shower hadn’t been as hard as she had anticipated. Of course, she’d had to put up with groping hands trying to pull her in with him. Thankfully, her full-grown Lion Breed male had simply been too damned drunk to really put much strength into it.

  Come morning, his eye was going to be horribly swollen, and his lip was split. He swore Loki had cracked a rib, while Dog must have punctured his lung with a fist.

  Lawe was still laughing like a loon when he and Jonas dumped Rule inside the suite and glared at her as though it was all her fault.

  And maybe it was.

  She’d felt the horrible aloneness circling her as she dealt with her family and her own emotions. It was only for a few hours, she’d told herself, and then she intended to fix it.

  She hadn’t intended for him to get all drunk and rowdy while he waited, but that was exactly what he had done. Though Lawe assured her Dog and Loki looked worse.

  Thinking of Loki brought her sister to mind. Kandy had listened as Gypsy had explained Mark’s death, and her father had explained, or tried to explain, their mother.

  When it was over, Kandy had just shaken her head, turned and left her parents’ home. When Gypsy had left as well and looked over to the apartments, she realized that the black
heavy-duty pickup that had been parked just down the street wasn’t there any longer.

  Loki had been all but staying with her sister for weeks and Gypsy hadn’t realized it. Until now.

  What had happened that the Coyote Breed was no longer taking up space in one of the few parking spots on the back street, or in her sister’s apartment?

  She would have asked, but as she started down the walk Kandy had left again. Moving quickly to her own truck, she had sped from the parking lot before turning and heading into town.

  Now, well after midnight, Gypsy sat next to her drunken, abused mate and couldn’t help but let a small grin tug at her lips. The entire time she’d been with her sister and parents she’d felt him, just beyond the shield she’d placed around her thoughts.

  Rule hadn’t seemed to be as autocratic, as dominant as she was learning he could be. Still, he’d respected the shield, even if he had gotten drunk and apparently started a fight with Loki and Dog instead.

  “Silly Lion,” she murmured softly, her heart softening as slowly she allowed her senses to meet his once again. “Did you really think I wouldn’t be back?”

  The man might be staggered from drink, but the Lion, those animalistic senses that guided so much of him, was there. She could almost imagine the exhausted, morose creature as he lay with his head on his paws and stared back at her dejectedly.

  Running her hand caressingly along her mate’s chest, she found herself completely unable to be angry with him. She’d learned so many things in the space of such a short time. More importantly, though, she’d learned how this Breed who’d sworn to run the moment he sensed his mate had been checking on her since the night Mark had been killed. The trips he had made to New Mexico. The years and favors amassed in an attempt to ensure that no matter what might happen to him, she was always taken care of.

  Her quiet, often witty, too-intense Breed had given Jonas a run for his money when it had come to the games played to ensure her protection, and what happiness she could have found.

  Warmth curled against her senses, a weary sort of nudging, as though he were leaning against a door, barely open, knocking softly.

  “I saw you across a crowded bar and our eyes met,” she whispered as she let her fingers stroke down his still-damp hair. “Neon blue, shadowed but warm. You drew me in. You warmed me. Confused me. Made me want, made me ache and made me sigh.” With her fingertips she caressed the line of his shoulder where his hair ended. “I dreamed of you that night and every night after. I looked for you wherever I went. I held the image of you close to me, no matter who I met. And I ached. Until I felt your embrace.” Her fingers trailed along his chest. “The warmth of you, the taste of you, the pleasure of being possessed by you.” His heart was racing.

  Gypsy restrained her smile. Perhaps he was a little more aware than she was giving him credit for.

  “I should have told you.” Her hand paused at the edge of the sheet just below his ribs. “How each time I saw you, I saw your eyes, I saw the Breed that saved me that night. Each time I saw you, I loved you a little more. Loved you deeper. I loved you truer.”

  She lifted her eyes to his to see the gleam of that rich, heated blue staring at her beneath lashes that dipped with drowsy arousal.

  Her hand slid beneath the sheet and found flesh hardened with hunger and throbbing beneath her fingertips.

  His jaw bunched as she ran her palm down the thick shaft to the tightly bunched spheres of his testicles, where she cupped gently.

  “You shut me out,” he accused her, his voice heavy, husky.

  “I had to think, Rule,” she chided him. “There will be times I have to think, times I’ll have to sort my emotions for myself before I express them. If you get drunk and fight every time, then Dog and Loki are going to start protesting.”

  He grunted. “Fuck that. Next time, I’ll find a human to pound on. They don’t hit nearly as hard. Dog punctured a lung, Gypsy.” He affected a wounded-hero look that almost broke her resolve not to laugh at him. “And Loki cracked a rib. I know he did.”

  “Poor little Lion,” she sighed, brushing the sheet aside as she lowered her head to a nasty bruise forming just below one side of his broad chest. “Would it help if I kiss it better?”

  She blew a light kiss over the bruise.

  “You keep kissing and I’ll let you know,” he suggested with affected pain. “I’m certain it will eventually.”

  A hint of certainty nudged at her senses. The bruising was tremendous, but Breeds didn’t feel pain as their human cousins did. The faker—the pain might have been bad for an hour or so, but she doubted it would be more than a twinge no matter what he was doing.

  He stretched lazily against her, the fingers of one broad hand threading into her hair to press her lips closer to the abused flesh.

  “I could need a lot of those kisses,” he rasped, the deep, rough sound of his voice adding to the heat building beneath her own flesh and between her thighs.

  She licked over the bruise, feeling his big body tighten, flex at the sensation.

  “A lot?” she asked breathlessly. “It could take a while. I’m sure you’re tired.”

  “Yeah, I should be,” he groaned. “But I’ll try to make sure I stay awake for it. Just to make certain you get each bruise.”

  She couldn’t help the light laughter that escaped.

  “I love you, Gypsy Rum. For so long, I’ve loved you.”

  The words had her pausing, blinking back tears and lifting her gaze to meet the somber, deepening emotion filling his.

  “You should have told me.” Lifting to him, she let her lips settle gently against his, careful of the flesh a heavy fist had split. “You should have let me love you, Rule.”

  The long length of her dark hair fell over her shoulders, shrouding them in an intimate cocoon as he stared up at her, drawing her to him, his lips parting.

  Chocolate and peppermint filled her senses, heated spice and the sweetness of a love that knew more than selfishness, more than greed. A love that had watched, waited, and when the life she had chosen was no longer what she wanted, he was there.

  That knowledge seeped into her, not from the man, but from what she was beginning to call the animal that tempered the man.

  “Yeah,” he breathed. “Because had I known what you were to me, I would have played hell having to wait until you were eighteen. Greedy. Impatient and selfish. I’d have taken everything I could and begged you to like it.”

  Their lips came together again, her tongue rubbing against his, the addictive taste of him infusing her senses further until they came up for air.

  “You would have run.” She continued the sensual debate in which, as words were spoken, emotions awakened and knowledge whispered into both of them.

  “Think?” He nipped at her lips. “I was there the night you turned eighteen, Gypsy. Standing at the back of the crowd, watching, aching for you as you showed off your new leather pants and those sinfully high-heeled boots you wore. And all I could see was the aloneness that surrounded you and how I ached to replace it with a hunger for my touch, my kiss.”

  His lips slanted over hers as she gasped in pleasure, in surprise.

  His lips stole reason, stole objection if there had been any. As his hands held her to him, one buried in her hair, the other gripping her waist as his tongue pierced her lips, penetrated her mouth and spilled more of the rich taste to her senses. Over and over again, as though he were fucking her mouth . . .

  The image of him doing just that dragged a shattered groan from both of them.

  She tore her lips from him, raining kisses down the tough line of his jaw, the surprisingly sensitive plane of his chest and along the tight abdomen where the throbbing crest of his cock waited impatiently.

  Oh God, she was hungry for him.

  Following his guiding hands in her hair as she moved between his thighs, Gypsy found herself becoming lost in the pleasures and fantasies that filled his mind as she touched him.

  W
hen her tongue licked over the blunt head of his cock and the wild, dark taste of his pre-cum exploded against her taste buds, the fantasy was obliterated, though. Shockingly, gentle hunger, protective greed and an overwhelming need circled her own emotions. As though he were wrapping his senses around hers, ensuring that she never feared allowing them free. He alone knew them. And he would never mistake the vulnerable sexuality she hid inside her soul for weakness.

  As though that knowledge were all that was needed to release the hungry woman inside her, Gypsy felt it escape. Everything she had held back over the years, everything she had denied herself.

  Her lips parted, her mouth sinking over the head of his erection, feeling it penetrate her lips as they both cried out in pleasure.

  His pleasure whipping around her. Hers meeting and merging with it. Like a storm that threatened to never end.

  Sucking at the blunt head as it thrust back and forth between her lips, Gypsy gave herself to the flames licking around her, inside her. She tongued the sensitive little spot beneath the head that throbbed a little harder, felt a little hotter. There, where the male mating barb released, locking him into her.

  Her pussy clenched in hunger then, slick heat spilling to the swollen folds and distended bud of her clit as she pressed her thighs tight together and sucked him deeper into the depths of her mouth.

  As she held him as deep as possible, her tongue rippling against the sensitive flesh beneath the head now, her lashes drifted open, her gaze meeting his.

  “God, that’s good,” he groaned, panted. “Fuck, Gypsy, your mouth is so good. Sucking me so good.”

  Strong fingers clenched in her hair again, tugging at the strands as she began moving her mouth over him, meeting each upward thrust of his hips as he fucked into her mouth.

  “Ah, fuck, yeah,” he growled. “Tongue it just like that, baby. Damn, it’s so good. So hot and so good.”

  Holding the base of the shaft with one hand, she stroked the rest of it to where her fingers met her lips. Her head bobbed up and down, her tongue licking, stroking, making them both crazy as desires met, married and swirled around them as one incredibly fierce need to please, to pleasure, to explode.

  Strong thighs were taut, hard, like silk over iron as they flexed next to her shoulders. Controlled and fierce, her Breed growled, almost purred and cursed as the pleasure heated and the feel of moisture trickling from her vagina to the outer folds pulled a helpless moan from her.

  Rising until her lips covered just the sensitive head to where the barb throbbed beneath his flesh, she sucked him tighter. Curling her tongue around it, licking, flicking against the narrow slit where the taste of his pre-cum tempted her, Gypsy teased and tempted the animal growling beneath her.

  When he took her—when he came behind her, gripped her hips and surged inside her without pausing—she would be branded by the pleasure-pain of it.

  She let the image of it fill her head, the remembered sensations torturing both of them as she felt his cock tighten, thicken further. He was fucking her lips with hard, short lunges, the head of his cock filling her mouth, rasping against her tongue as he groaned as though in agony.

  “Enough.”

  Before she could stop him he had her on her back, his lips moving to her nipples. If she had thought to torture his cock head with her mouth, then he did more than think to torture her nipples with his.

  Sucking one between his lips, he tightened the wet suction, drawing on her as a slightly rough rasp of his tongue sent one hard flash of exquisite pleasure striking at her womb, at the too-sensitive bud of her clit.

  His fingers slid down her abdomen as his teeth rasped the little button of her nipple. His hand cupped her pussy, fingers curling inward to find the clenched entrance to the hungry inner flesh.

  Two broad male fingers sank inside the saturated flesh, immediately flooding her senses with fiery pleasure, stretching, agonizing need as he pushed into the depths of her, his wrist turning, fingers reaching high inside her to find that place just beneath her clit.

  Gypsy’s eyes flared open.

  “Rule, please,” she cried out as he began spreading kisses from her nipples to her stomach, lower, moving between her thighs as his fingers stroked, rubbed and held her poised on the edge of rapture.

  “Oh God, let me come,” she cried out, her fingers clenching in the blankets beneath her as she strained toward him. “Rule, please . . . Oh God, don’t stop.”

  The penetration pulled back, eased.

  Gripping her hips with both hands now, he lifted them, his head lowering.

  A wail of hungry need left her lips as he pushed his tongue inside her instead. The hint of a sandpapery roughness licking inside her, pushing into her, thrusting through the slick, tightened tissue was like agony. Like the most exquisite pleasure she’d ever known.

  He ate her decadently, licking at her juices, growling in hunger as the impression of senses becoming immersed in her taste, in her need, slipped through her mind.

  He fucked her pussy with his tongue as though he’d craved the taste of her forever. And maybe he had. Years of fantasy were drifting through his mind and he made no attempt to hide them from her. And this had been one of his favorites. Lifting her to him, licking her like a favored treat to his starving tongue.

  Over and over he thrust into the needy channel, filling it with his tongue, her juices clinging to his lips each time he drew back, his gaze locked with hers.

  Holding her thighs apart with his broad forearms, he kept her opened to him, wicked and hungry.

  And he let her watch.

  Let her watch as he pulled back, her juices clinging between her folds and his lips like nectar. Each inward stroke of his tongue came with the flickering licks inside her as he tasted her. Devoured her.

  And Gypsy was certain she couldn’t survive. Her clit was throbbing almost painfully, the need for sensation, the need to come, to explode driving her insane.

 
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