Seduced, Page 21Melody Anne
g else than her sanity, Rachel found a doctor and made an appointment for later that week.
Rafe was free, and his arms snaked out and grabbed her, lust and excitement gazing back at her.
“You’ve had your fun. Now it’s my turn,” he said as he flipped her over onto her back, laid her on the bed and kissed her with all the built-up passion of the last hour.
“That’s not in the rules,” she warned him when he released her mouth. But there was no heat behind her words. She was too turned on by the man molding his body to hers.
“The rules just changed,” he growled.
Gripping her hands, he grabbed the tie that was still hanging around her neck and turned her over onto her stomach, stretching her arms above her head and quickly securing her to his bedpost.
Ari’s blood felt as if it were boiling as he took hold of her bra straps and ripped them away, leaving her back bare before him. His hands pressed down on her back, kneading her muscles as he began kissing her neck, his tongue moving with a sweet roughness across her skin.
She cried out in pleasure as he sucked on her flesh, his teeth grazing her in the most devastating way. “Yes, Rafe, take me,” she demanded. Now that the tables were turned, she wanted nothing but his strong, thick manhood inside her.
“Oh, no, Ari. I want your taste on my tongue. I want to make you sweat like you did to me, tit for tat,” he said as his lips moved down her back, causing goose bumps to spring out across her skin.
His tongue trailed down her spine, and his fingers ran beneath the elastic of her panties. Then he nipped the skin at the top of her bu**ocks, squeezing them in his hands as his mouth trailed down each side.
His hot breath nearly caused her to overheat when he lifted her hips, placing her on her knees before him, his mouth never leaving her skin.
Spreading her thighs, he ran his tongue down the seam of her thong panties, his hot mouth licking her core through the fabric.
“Take them off,” she demanded, but he ignored her words. His mouth lavished attention on the outside of her core, sucking the swollen lips into his mouth before releasing them and running his tongue along the fabric again, then biting one buttock.
“I’m in charge now, Ari. You will do what I say,” he said, authority clearly in his tone, making her stomach squeeze tight.
She felt the bed shift as he rose above her, then she gasped when she felt his thickness cradled in the cleft of her backside as he ran its head all the way down, then rested it on the outside of her core.
She jerked her h*ps toward him, wanting him inside her now. How had she ever thought she’d win this game? She’d known she wouldn’t. This was what she’d wanted all along. She’d wanted him taking charge, owning her body.
His hand came down in a light slap on her derrière. “That’s payback,” he said as his fingers gripped her h*ps tightly while he pushed against her.
Even the slight sting excited her. She’d known the door she was opening, and she was more than willing to step through it. Rafe would never hurt her, never do more than she wanted. With a startling realization, she knew beyond a doubt that she trusted him.
“Mmm, I’ll have my turn again,” she promised.
Rafe laughed a pure, deep, beautiful sound. “I’m sure you will,” he admitted.
Then the fabric of her panties tore, and there was no more speaking. His arousal was poised at her core, and she pushed against him, frustrated when he didn’t thrust forward.
“Who’s in charge, Ari?” he asked, his voice deceptively quiet.
“I am,” she stubbornly answered, then groaned when he pulled back.
“Wrong answer, Ari. Who’s in charge?” he asked again.
She knew this was a pivotal moment, a moment she could either go forward and have pure pleasure, or stubbornly defy him and be left aching. There was no doubt.
“You, Rafe,” she cried, silently adding for now, then lost her breath when he slammed fully inside her.
So deep. He was so deep, stretching the swollen folds of her core with his thickness.
Before she could draw in needed air, he pulled out and slammed into her again, his h*ps hitting against her backside, rocking her forward with the force of his thrusts.
She came undone, her body letting go in releases of wave after wave of pleasure. He continued thrusting inside her, rocking forward slowly as he helped draw out her orgasm, which continued on and on.
When he felt her grip let go, he grabbed her h*ps hard again and began thrusting with new momentum, his h*ps slapping her ass as he groaned.
“So tight. Such a good fit. You are so hot,” he growled as he thrust in and out of her, building her up to her second release. Yes, Rafe could make her come repeatedly, make her body sing until there was nothing left inside her.
When he bent over her, his hands coming around to hold the weight of her swaying br**sts, Ari let go again, her body convulsing around him, making him stiffen as he cried out his own pleasure.
She felt him pulsing inside her, felt the strong stream of his release wash through her. Yes, this was what she wanted.
This pleasure — day and night — forever.
Rachel looked at the stick again and then at the box. Not believing what she was seeing, she looked at the three other similar sticks.
“No. No. No. We were careful,” she said to herself.
Looking down at the four different brands of pregnancy tests, she was horrified to discover that they were all saying the exact same thing.
She was going to have a baby.
“This can’t be happening. ”
She knew that talking to herself probably wasn’t the best idea in her current situation — she was already freaking out horribly — but she needed to say the words, needed to hear them.
Yes, she’d had an affair with a stranger, but they’d used protection every single time. Every time! How could she possibly have gotten pregnant?
In the back of her head, she could hear her eighth-grade health teacher preaching that condoms weren’t foolproof prevention against pregnancy — that accidents could and did happen and you could get pregnant or catch a disease even when using them.
But she’d been careful.
It didn’t matter that she knew the facts of life. She was in no way ready to be a mother. How could she possibly raise another human being when she wasn’t grown up herself? She might be twenty-six now, but that was still young.
First, she was supposed to prove herself by having a dream job, which turned out to be anything but a dream. She absolutely hated it, which didn’t help. Next, in her idea of what the future held, she was going to be on her own, no parents or siblings interfering in her life, and take some time to really live it up.
When all of that was finished, she would consider entering a serious relationship. She even had it written on paper. Nowhere in any of her plans did a baby enter into the picture. Especially with a stranger for whom she didn’t even have a last name.
Oh, her parents were going to kill her. Rafe was going to kill her. She was going to murder herself!
Looking again at the tests, anger rose inside her, and then died down. There was no use in crying about it, or berating herself. The situation was as it was. She wouldn’t even consider ending the pregnancy, and she knew she couldn’t give the child up, so it appeared that she was going to be a single mother.
After the initial shock and disappointment wore off, she knew she’d have the full support of her family. They were always there for each other, even when one of them royally screwed up. Not that any of them had done something this foolish.
It was really going to suck to tell them she was not only pregnant, but also had no idea who the father really was. Even thinking about the conversation hurt her head.
Knowing that she needed to have this confirmed, if for nothin
Deciding it best just to go on with her days until she went in, she kept herself busy. It was hard not to think about the very likely fact that she was going to be a mother, but she went to work, tried to keep busy, and waited for the week to go by.
After the appointment, she waited for the blood test results to come in. A couple of days later, the doctor called.
Congrats. Single motherhood in only seven months.
Before the call could even fully register in her brain, there was a knock on her door. Almost in a trancelike state, Rachel opened it, then nearly fell over.
“Hello, Rachel. ”
“How…how did you know how to find me?” she gasped.
“I’ve had you followed for the last couple of months. There was no way I would leave the situation we were in without keeping an eye out for you. As soon as you were seen by a doctor, I made my way here. ”
Standing before her was Ian, but he looked different. He was wearing different clothes, powerful clothes. He didn’t look like the man she’d met on the beach.
“You had me followed?” It was taking her brain a few minutes to catch up to what he was saying to her. Too many things had hit her at one time. Why in the world would he have her followed? She immediately became concerned.
She didn’t really know this man — not at all. She’d spent a week with him, had great sex and then went on her way. If he was someone who would follow her afterward, she wasn’t sure what he was capable of.
Her home was a small rustic cottage. Yes, she had neighbors, but before anyone could reach her, he could do whatever he wanted. Truly, she knew nothing about him, just that his name was Ian and that he was one hell of a lover — apparently he had pretty powerful sperm, too, if they could break through latex!
“Of course I had you followed. My good servant Harold has been working with you at the embassy. You made it very easy for me to keep track,” he said with a smirk.
Rachel felt as if she had been punched in the gut. Her “friend” Harold had befriended her only because he was being paid to do it. It seemed she couldn’t trust anyone. Before she had a chance to respond, his next words took her breath away.
“I discovered a broken condom. I had to make sure a child wasn’t produced. Apparently we have created one,” he said calmly as he looked down at her still flat stomach.
Raising her hand protectively without realizing it, she stared back at him through the doorway to her home. Though she hadn’t wanted to be a mother, didn’t even know where to begin in being one, she knew she must protect this child growing inside of her. Why would he care if she were pregnant or not, though? None of this made sense. They’d had a weeklong affair. That should have been the end of it.
“I…I’m confused” were the words she finally managed to get past her trembling lips. This was all too much.
“I guess it’s time we formally introduce ourselves. Hello, Rachel Palazzo. I am Adriano, king of Corythia. The child you carry is the royal heir. ”
There was no fluctuation in his voice; he delivered a flat statement.
It took a few moments for his words to register, and then her hand lifted involuntarily and she slapped Ian straight across the cheek. He stumbled back a step and looked at her in complete shock.
Raising his hand to his face, he felt his cheek as if he couldn’t believe what had just happened. Rachel had a feeling the so-called king had never been hit before. Well, it was long past time, she thought snidely.
“I am done with this conversation. You may come back when I’m not so flipping pissed off,” she said, and she began to close the door in his face.
Her emotions had been over the top for the past week, and to have this man show up unannounced and tell her that he’d had her followed was sending her over the edge.
Ian regained his composure quickly. He put out a hand to stop her, then pushed his way into her small home, making the place seem even smaller with his six-foot-four frame invading it.
“Do you realize what could happen to you for such an offense if we were back home?” he said, looking coldly into her eyes. “You have assaulted the sovereign. ”
“Well, we aren’t back at your home, King Adriano, so I guess I don’t have to worry about it,” Rachel said, emphasizing his name with sarcasm. No, she didn’t believe his cock-and-bull claim of being a king, but still, she was pretty ticked off at his audacity. This was the man who was the father of her child.
The poor kid didn’t have a chance, not with her as a mother and a crazy man as a father.
“You obviously need to be taught how to respect your king. ” He looked around her modest home in disgust.
“You are not my king! I had an affair with you, Ian, which was obviously a very bad idea. It doesn’t mean I’m willing to bow down to you, and it certainly doesn’t mean I want you to remain a part of my life,” she said, more than a bit offended by the way he seemed to be looking down his nose at her.
She might not be royalty — not that she thought he was — but she came from a very respectable family. That she had chosen to make it on her own didn’t render her any less of a person. In fact, it made her stronger. She was quite proud of her home, the one he was sneering at as if it were a peasant’s hovel.
“Because I have known your brother through business, I will give you some leeway. Had I known who you were that day on the beach, I never would have commenced with an affair with you. It’s too late to have regrets now, though. We will obviously wed immediately. I think it’s important to get back to my country right away so we can prevent the media from swooping in before you are my wife. ”
Rachel looked at him as though he had three heads sprouting. Her belief that he was crazy was beginning to lessen as horror took its place. The man could be telling her the truth. He just might be a king. Sheesh. That didn’t mean she was his subject, or that she would bend to his rules in the slightest, but it meant a whole heck of a lot of complications for her child. Maybe she had indeed screwed up royally.
“Look, Ian, or whoever the hell you are, I have had a really long day — a long week for that matter. I can’t take any more at the moment. We’re going to have to continue this conversation at a later time. Don’t worry, though. The baby isn’t due for seven months, so there’s plenty of time to talk later. I would appreciate it if you would just leave my home. ”
Rachel was proud of herself for staying calm, speaking like a sane adult, and not slapping him again. How had she been so attracted to this jerk two months earlier? He radiated command as if it were a part of his skin, and she couldn’t stand men who thought they were lord and ruler of everything around them.
“I don’t think you understand, Rachel. This matter isn’t up for discussion. We will wed. My child won’t be born away from my country. ”
The calmness of his voice frightened her far more than his words did.
“I won’t marry you because of a child, Ian. You have got to be joking. It’s time you leave before I call the authorities,” she warned him as she moved toward the door.
The confident smile that appeared on his face made her stomach drop to her knees. What had she gotten herself into?
“You are still quite the wildcat, Rachel. I haven’t been able to get you from my mind these last two months. It won’t be such a hardship for me to have you as my wife. ” He leaned toward her and lifted his hand to her face.
Rachel raised her arm to slap him again, but he quickly grabbed it. When she lifted the other arm, he grabbed that too, then carefully pushed her against the wall. Pressing his body against hers, she felt his arousal pressing against her stomach as his head descended.
“Mmm, yes, being married to you won’t be a bad thing at all,” he said as he kissed the corner of her mouth.
“Get away from me,” she cried, wishing the words were more forceful. As angry as she was, as confused, and frightened, she still felt a pulse of desire in her core at his nearness. The man had done things with her body that she’d never imagined could be done.
“For now, amore mio,” he said, his lips taking hers for just a moment.
Ian released her and then walked through the door.
“I am not your love,” she said, snapping out of the trance that he’d just put her in from a simple connection of their lips.
Just before she managed to shut the door in his face, happy to have the last word, he turned back around.
“My guard will keep an eye out for you until I return. ”
She knew he was telling her there was no need to run away — that he would simply follow her. Well, he could just stick it, she thought, slamming the door with extra emphasis.
Leaning against the cool wood, Rachel wondered what she was going to do next. The one thing she knew for sure was that it was time to go home. Making a phone call to her brother, she asked him send the jet for her.
She needed her family right now — it was time to face the music.
“No. Please — stop!”
It was a rare day off from their work on the island and Lia felt pure contentment as she walked down the street of the market, hand in hand with Shane.
That was, until she turned to see a young boy taking off down the street with a woman’s purse. It all happened so quickly, and the crowds around them turned to watch, but no one stepped forward to help.
“Stay here,” Shane yelled to her as he began chasing after the boy.
Like hell she would.
After her initial shock, she bolted after him, but she lost the trail as he was swallowed up in the crowd. She slowed to a walk and looked around, searching for any signs of him or the boy. She had no idea where the two of them could have disappeared to.
She was getting ready to pass an alley when she noticed two figures standing tensely just inside the shadows. She looked again and saw that one of them had a knife.
And the other one was Shane.
He was in a face-off with the boy, and the situation seemed to be escalating.