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       Home, p.21

           J.W. Phillips

  “You’re not having fun?”

  “Yeah I am. Just realizing something’s.” Julie leaned back on Trucker as he put his hand on her shoulder.

  “Good something’s or bad something’s?” He took a drink of his Coke, avoiding her eyes.

  “Good something’s. I should’ve never run from you and more than that, I’m glad you caught me.”

  “Always, Angel. Always.”

  Julie stood up as Trucker stroked her cheekbone. He bowed his head and rubbed his temples against hers, nuzzling. His lips brushed against her ear. They both were lost in their own little world when Jake reminded them they were not alone.

  “Hey, Truck, slacking on the job.” Jake nodded his head to the grill, pointing out a flare up.

  Trucker raced back to man the grill; leaving Julie alone and wanting to join the gang around the fire. She sat back down and tucked her chin on her knees, staying put instead. She sat and watched the activities of a normal teenage life. Trucker needed her to be near him. Surrounded by the people closest to her, she never felt more alone. She was slowly falling into the vortex that was Trucker Castleman’s life.

  “It’s ready,” Trucker yelled across the patio.

  They swarmed the food leaving Julie spinning. She put on a fake smile and went through the motions. As long as she was Trucker’s safe place, she could never truly belong in the human world. That moment she took comfort in knowing Trucker was trying. They all sat down at one of the six tables scattered around the patio. Catherine and Ellen sat at a table in the far corner, which delighted both Julie and Trucker to see them getting along so well. Gene and Tiffany sat at one on the other side of the deck. Trucker, Julie, Tori, and Jake sat at the largest one closest to the fire.

  “So, how long has Tiff and Gene been a couple?”

  “A few weeks. If you and Trucker would come down out of the clouds you would’ve already realized it,” Tori said with a trace of jealousy.

  “Sorry, I promise I’m back,” Julie answered a little embarrassed that she didn’t know something that important about her two best friends.

  Jake moved in closer to Tori and scraped his fingers down her arm. “Maybe you would like me to put your head in the clouds.”

  “Hey Tori, he taught me everything I know,” Trucker added with a wink.

  Jake threw a wadded-up napkin at him. “Don’t forget it either.”

  Yes, Julie felt isolated and distant but she never felt more alive either. She caressed her thumb over Trucker’s hand that was tightly gripping hers. He had breathed new life into her. “Thank you,” she mouthed over to Trucker.

  “You’re welcome,” he mouthed back, and swept her hair around his finger. Just the simple touch of his hand made sparks fly. No matter what else happened, it was right.

  After they finished eating, Trucker took Julie’s hand and led her over to the fire pit, leaving the clean up to Ellen and Catherine. Trucker sat on a lounge chair and opened up his arms. Julie immediately fell into them. His body wrapped around her as he rested his chin on the top of her head. Together, they stared at the flames as they swirled and danced around. The light of the fire washed over Trucker’s face, highlighting the dark force of his eyes. He held her quietly for the longest time; his breath tickled down her neck as he pressed his cheek to the side of her face. She tried to focus on how good he felt instead of all the turmoil she suddenly found her life in.

  “Care if we join you?” Gene asked as Tiffany, Tori, Jake, and him gathered around the fire pit.

  “No, of course not,” Julie answered.

  “There are some more marshmallows in the fridge over there.” Trucker pointed to a small, outdoor kitchen before picking up a stick and a marshmallow.

  While his chin rested on Julie’s head, Trucker swirled the marshmallow in the fire. Julie was aware of the talking and laughing around her but all she could think about was Trucker’s hands as they worked the stick in the fire.

  “We need to go,” Tiffany informed them as she jumped to her feet. “It was fun thanks for having us,” she told Trucker softly, still nervous in his presence.

  “You’re welcome, anytime.”

  “Are you ready, Tori?” Tiffany asked Tori who was too busy eating a marshmallow off Jake’s fingers to answer.

  “We’ll see her home.” Julie looked back at Trucker who nodded his head that he would see her home.

  “Bye, Tiff, Gene, thanks for coming.” Julie hopped out of Trucker’s lap to hug them bye as Trucker choked back a gasp at the sight of the glint in Gene’s eye.

  Jake took Tori on a walk through the woods, leaving Julie alone with Trucker. Julie somehow felt the safest and more herself when she was alone with him. Trucker laid back in a lounge chair, where he motioned for Julie to walk over to him.

  “Hey, my love, I was wondering something?” Julie whispered in his ear before taking a nibble at it.

  “What?” He pulled her over to sit on the lounger beside him.

  “You can coerce me to do anything you want?” she teased, as she took off her bracelet and slipped it in his shirt pocket.

  “Yes.” He raised one eyebrow and gave her his little half grin.

  “Like if you told me to straddle you, I would have no choice but too.” She threw her leg around him, sitting firmly across his lap.

  His half grin had grown into a full-fledged smile as he kneaded his oversized hand over her small, left breast.

  “And if you told me to kiss you right there, you couldn’t say no?” She pointed to the base of his neck and lightly caressed it with her mouth. She heard a half growl, half purr erupt from his chest.

  “Little girl, you know you’re trouble?” Trucker had an extra evil shine to his eyes as he reached around to cup her ass cheeks into his palms.

  She slid her fingers into his hair and scratched her nails across his scalp. “That’s what you say.” She giggled when he slid a finger into the waist band of her pants. “I was wondering if any of that power maybe had rubbed off on me.”

  “I don’t know. We can test that theory.” Trucker reached up to kiss Julie, but she placed her finger on his mouth to stop him. She took his hand and traced his palm.

  “If I was to tell you to rub my lower back, I was wondering if you could say no?”

  “Let me see,” he said and slowly slid his hands around her waist until his fingers touched the base of her spine. He guided her body closer to his, grided his groin into hers, and then started trailing his fingers up and down her backbone. “I guess I can’t say no either.”

  She outlined the base of her neck with her pinky. “Kiss me right there.”

  “Yes, ma’am.” He nudged his nose along the base of her neck taking in her scent. She felt his teeth scrape against her skin. He pulled back and kissed her lips. They were lost in the moment, when someone kicked their chair. Trucker cut his eyes over at the culprit, never letting up on his kiss.

  “Come on, man, you’re not the only guy around here,” Jake said.

  “Leave,” Trucker uttered, his lips barely leaving hers.

  “Make me, Tori needs a ride home and you need a long cold shower,” he warned. Trucker let out a playful growl.

  “Let me borrow your keys and I’ll leave you two love birds alone.” Jake elbowed him.

  “No, Jake, not Tori, don’t bring her into this mess. Please,” Julie pleaded with all she had in her.

  “Relax, sweetie, just having a little fun. I’m allowed to occasionally.”

  “Jake, my keys are in the car, go now,” Trucker growled.

  “Trucker, I don’t like it. I can’t let anyone get hurt.” Julie was still pleading, fearful for her friend.

  “Baby, it’s okay. Jake has no plans past today with your little friend. He’s harmless. You, on the other hand, you’re skating on very thin ice.” He gave her another quick peck on the lips and then shifted her off of him as he fastened the bracelet back on her wrist. “Would you understand if I told you I was just a demon?”

No, you’re a man. A sweet decent man who doesn’t want to hurt me.”

  Her life was now interlaced completely with his. Catching her lower lip with her teeth, she felt the tenderness of his touch as he softly yanked at a curl and watched it tightly coil back into a tight ringlet.

  “I’m not scared of you anymore,” she timidly whispered.

  “You, my love, scare the hell out of me,” he informed her, pressing a kiss to her forehead.

  “That might be a good thing.”

  “It’s a very good thing,” he said and tapped her on the hip. “Come on, I’ll show you the house.”

  “I’m not ready to go in. I still see Emily here. I still see Todd taking that unbelievable jump.”

  “I understand, but baby, that is my home, no one is ever going to hurt you here.” He leaned down to kiss her but hesitated before his lips touched hers. His eyes asking, wondering. “Angel, no one will ever touch you. I would kill them first,” he murmured. His eyes darkened but still crinkled at the corners as he smiled. Her eyes boldly met his stare, and her lips parted as she inhaled.

  She nestled close to him to feel his human warmth. “Trucker, you don’t mean that.”

  He tilted her head up. “My love, I never say anything I don’t mean.”

  She gasped.

  “Come on, you’re going to at least see my room.”

  She followed close by his side. They walked through the back door into a big oversized farmhouse kitchen, an over the top farmhouse kitchen. It was painted yellow with white cabinets that were replicas of an old pie safe. It had a large handmade farmhouse table on one end. It looked like a perfect backdrop for a Norman Rockwell painting. They went up the back staircase and down a long hallway. The walls were lined with family pictures of both Sea and Trucker instead of those paintings of his demon self. She marveled at the hominess of his new home versus his other more formal home.

  “This house is more family friendly.” She nuzzled her head into his arm.

  “I thought you would like it, it’s our country house.”

  “Yeah, cause everyone in the country has a house like this,” she said with a touch of sarcasm.

  “I guess you have a point.”

  “I’m safe?” she asked. The sensation of his touch rippled through her bringing her underlining fear to the surface.

  He flipped her around and held her. “No one is ever going to hurt you. You’re my mate. I know you don’t fully understand that but they do.” He touched her hair, her face, and then her shoulders. She once again was at his mercy. “My other side is one of the most powerful forces out there. They don’t want to piss me off . . . Angel, the safest place on earth for you is with me.” He clasped her jaw and traced her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. She slowly and passionately nodded her head. “My room.” He twirled her around and unlocked the door. “Hope you like it, we decorated it with you in mind.”

  She tried to take it all in, it was smaller than his other room but still impressive. The walls were hand painted in a blue and green plaid pattern. “Blue and green?” she asked.

  “Yeah, for me and you.” He smooth a finger under her eye socket.

  A smile crept up on her shocked face. She glanced around to see he had a seating area, a wet bar, and she could get a glimpse into his luxurious bath from the open door. It was tailored with a modern flair. She loved it. “It’s perfect.”

  He took her by the shoulders and shifted her towards the bed. It had a seafoam green comforter with blue sheets. “Look at the pillows.”

  Julie saw amongst the sea of pillows there were two shams, a blue and a green one. The blue one was exactly the same color as Truckers' eyes and had Trucker monogramed on it with green thread. While the green one was exactly the same shade as Julie's eyes and had Julie monogramed in blue.

  “I want you to feel like you belong here. I want you to feel safe and like this is your place too.” He paused and let her take it all in. “The only demon that can come in here is me and Ruby with my permission to clean.”

  “A safe place for us?” she questioned. Julie looked around the room. Oh Truck, this is too much. She didn’t realize she was chewing her bottom lip until Trucker flicked it with his thumb.

  “You don’t like it?” He held her, tilting her head so they were eye to eye with each other.

  “No baby, it’s just . . .:” Julie tried to find the right words, without hurting his feelings.

  “Odd,” he said, giving her his sad puppy dog eyes.

  “Not odd, just too much.”

  “Angel, I don’t know how to be normal, never had to be. I just want you to feel special and that you belong in my world.”

  “I do. It’s . . .” She shrugged before taking another look around.

  “I never even bought my own drink till the day I followed you in that convenience store. I still find little things like that strange but exciting. You’ve opened a new world up to me. I just want you in my world too,” Trucker explained.

  Julie threw her arms around him. Baby, I love you and all your odd ideas too. I want you to feel normal but most of all loved.

  “My sweet man, I love you and your room too.”


  She nodded her head. “Really, I do feel at home with you.” She did. Maybe not necessarily in that house but with him.

  “Enough with the heavy, did you have a fun normal day?” He was biting the tip of his tongue and had a sneaky little grin on his face.

  “Yes,” she answered. His expression made her nervous.

  “You ready for some me and you fun, before tonight?” He leaned into her and pressed his forehead against hers.

  “Do I have a choice?”

  “No. There’s a bathing suit for you in the closet,” he said, licking his lips.

  “A bathing suit? Have you noticed that it’s kind of chilly outside?”

  “Of course, remember my senses are keener than the normal persons.” He growled with a friskiness that turned Julie’s inside to jello. “The hot tub is almost as hot as you are.”

  Julie was ready to see what he had up his sleeve, so she rushed to his closet. His closet was lined with perfectly pressed clothes. It reminded her of one those fancy boutiques her mom liked to visit; only his closet was more colored coordinated. Laying across the center island was a red skimpy bikini. She picked it up and examined it. There was no way she would ever parade around in that thing. She walked out of his closet doors, and saw him standing there in a pair of swim trunks. She had to catch her breath. He was without a doubt the most beautiful man she had ever seen. Too beautiful for me, but luckily he doesn’t believe so because he is mine. She held up the scrap of material he called a bathing suit. A slow, loving smile spread across his face.

  “Your mom bought this?”

  He raised both eyebrows twice, giving her a wicked smile. “Nah, I did. You like?”

  “You really expect me to wear this?” She couldn’t help but smile at him.

  “I was hoping. Put one of my shirts on over it.”

  In the confines of his closet, she slid into the suit and was thankful she shaved that morning. She decided to put on one of his white shirts. She buttoned it up, leaving the top few buttons undone, so he could at least get a glimpse of the red material that barely covered anything. She took a deep breath, pulled the ponytail holder out of her hair, shook the curls around, and then opened the closet door.

  His heart sparked at the sight of her standing there in his shirt, her curls wrapping around the collar, her long legs exposed. She was his mate, and he couldn’t had been more pleased with that. With his predatory swiftness, he raced over to her in a very stalking matter. His eyes smoldered with a come hither look.

  “You look amazing.” He grabbed her suddenly and yanked her up against him, one hand at her back and the other fisting through her hair.

  Julie blushed as Trucker kissed her from the corner of her eye to her mouth. He picked her up and carefully threw her on the couch. He w
as on top of her. Even with him supporting his weight with his arms, his body was pressed firmly against hers. She felt his weight on her body, his kiss getting harder. Every muscle in his lean frame was evident as he moved against her. She involuntarily wrapped her leg around him as he ran his hand down her bare thigh.

  A mist wrapped around them and spread outward, taking on the shape of wings. The purity of his true form threatened to blind her. Power emanated from him as he stroked his hand up her bare thigh. Presented with his wings, what she felt was not fear or even reverence but pure, sinful lust.

  Trucker’s wings curved forming a shield around them. He pressed his lips to her forehead. “I want to taste you.”

  Julie’s will melted the instant Trucker’s mouth sealed over hers. The feel of his rock-hard cock pressed firmly against her thigh made her breath catch. She never wanted anything more than to feel him touch every inch of her body. Trucker moved with a swiftness so fast that Julie never registered movement until the air caressed over her exposed midsection as her unbutton shirt puddled against the sofa cushions. The feel of his touch as his fingers followed the line of her bikini top was perfect. He cupped her tender, swollen breast causing her to purr.

  “My sweet kitten, do you like that?” he whispered and flicked his tongue along the shell of her ear. He caught her nipples between his thumb and forefinger, tugging lightly.

  “Ooh, yeah,” she breathed, unaware she even spoke.

  Trucker brought his hand around to the small of her back, and Julie felt untold amount of power thrumming through him. He was not evil at that moment. He was a normal man who wanted to share tremendous joy with the woman he loved. He supported her spine in a cradle with one of his oversized powerful hands. One simple slip and that very hand could’ve crushed her spine into splinters, but Julie didn’t care. She wanted Trucker to dish out every ounce of passion he had flowing out of his body. He pushed her bikini bottoms to the side and blew a stream of hot air out over her groin as his wet tongue stroked over her folds. His touch was soft and firm at the same time.

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