Beef hearts and Cheez-Its. Who knew?
From over my shoulder I hear a thump at the front door. Then a second. Finally, a third, and I pull myself from the photos.
It didn’t sound like someone knocking, more like something being thrown against the door. When I open it, the chill I felt is gone, replaced by a wave of heat as my heart speeds and my protective instinct heightens.
Three lifeless white doves lie on the limestone just outside the entry.
I step out into the cooling breeze of the night and look around. There’s nothing. And the front entry gate down the long driveway is closed, with no cars in sight. I look up at the house and see a light in one room upstairs.
I don’t care that Seleme is convinced there’s nothing to worry about. Dead doves on the doorstep sure feel threatening to me, and the fact that her light is on right above where I’m standing worries me. Anyone could have seen it and used the doves to distract me.
Appropriate or not, I know what I have to do.
I race back inside, slamming the door and take the stone steps two at a time until I am on the second floor and see the stripe of light coming from under the first door.
I stall outside for a moment, wondering what the protocol is here. My Ranger training never prepared me for this kind of urban protection detail, and I’m not sure if I should announce my presence or just kick the door down. If there’s someone else on the other side, I don’t want to give up the element of surprise. I’m on edge. I know at least one person is behind the door, and while protecting her is my top priority, I can’t help feeling like an animal on the hunt.
My prey is within reach, and I only need to make one last move before I can drive my teeth into my victim’s neck and make her understand, good or bad, she belongs to me now.
And she will. Someday, some way, she will belong to me.
But right now, I just need to know she’s safe.
Every inch of me feels alive. More alive than I think I’ve ever felt, and the chill that’s cloaked me since I entered the house is gone. It is definitely warmer up here. By at least twenty degrees. But it’s more than just the temperature.
She’s close, and the warmth comes from deep down. As though there’s a fire sparked in my core that’s turning into a blaze of lust I doubt I can control much longer.
“Seleme,” I whisper, more to myself than as any kind of warning.
I lean my ear against the carved wooden wall as I slip my hand around the knob, but there’s no sound of movement, only a faint rushing sound. I try to tell myself that she’s fine. That’s the sound of the shower. If she was in danger, she would have called for me. What I’m about to do is unnecessary and wrong.
This is her private space.
This is her sanctuary.
We barely know one another.
Because I know it’s what’s right.
With her name fresh on my lips, I turn the knob and swing the door open, falling into a crouch as I survey the room. When I determine there’s no clear threat, I step into the soft light of the bedroom, close the door behind me and take in the sheer size of the space. It could be a ballroom, with furnishings that look straight out of Buckingham Palace.
Only, there’s a lightness here.
Spots of modern art and playful, bright pillows on the bed and upholstered furniture speak of the girl…woman…that occupies this space.
It’s nearly two thousand square feet, I calculate. A self-contained apartment, complete with a living area, what looks like an office setup, a treadmill and a small kitchenette at the far end.
Everything one person could need.
Along with a blazing fire, this room has the only electric lights I’ve seen so far in the house. Her cat stands on the bed, stretches, then jumps down and slips past me, taking position seated next to the fire, licking a front paw.
I’m about to turn around and leave—and pretend I was never here—just as I hear the rushing water stop, then a moment later, the door on the opposite side of the room swings open, and she walks through.
Seleme’s gaze lifts and locks onto me as my cock lurches upward, my balls drawing tightly between my legs as a feeling of drunkenness overwhelms me.
For a split second, she opens her mouth as if to scream, then a moment later she closes those still perfectly red lips and narrows her eyes.
Her body is dripping. A towel is loosely pulled around her, exposing one breast, her long legs and her face — somehow even more beautiful fresh out of the shower than any other time I’ve seen her.