Creed, p.35
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       Creed, p.35

           Kristen Ashley

  “Perhaps you can also refrain from commenting on how I conduct my business,” I suggested, not liking the darkness we were moving into.

  “A small woman like you, all heels and hair, it seems foolhardy to me,” he noted.

  This was not good.

  “What I’ve learned is foolhardy is men who see all heels, hair and stature, make assumptions and thus underestimate the situation,” I retorted.

  He was silent a moment as he led me into the shadows before he muttered, “Indeed.” Then, “You weren’t followed, no one at your back, patted down and no weapon. I think you can understand how assumptions could be made.”

  There it was. Creed, again, genius. He wasn’t made but I knew he was out there.

  “What I understand,” I returned, “is that it would be bad business to whack a potential good customer.”

  There was a smile in his voice when he repeated his, “Indeed.”


  He stopped, so I stopped as did everyone else.

  “Flashlight,” he ordered and I saw movement then I saw the beam hitting a massive, wooden, freight crate.

  God, they had them in a crate.

  A fucking crate.

  How did people like this sleep at night? How did they stop themselves from jumping off bridges? How did they not spontaneously combust with guilt and shame?

  The middle man I met at the bar scurried forward, lifted the latch and swung the big door open. The seller moved in and trained his flashlight inside.

  I got as close to him as I could stomach and looked. I clocked her immediately. I also clocked there were at least two dozen of them. They were barely clothed, clearly not allowed to bathe, had nothing but a few ragged blankets to make that crate even slightly comfortable and all appeared underfed.

  They looked beyond miserable. They looked lost, terrified out of their minds and totally beaten.

  Blood roared in my ears and it took everything I had to check it and carry out the game.

  Therefore, I uttered the code words that would mean the team should proceed with the extraction. “I’ll take two. That one, right side, third in and the one at the back in the middle. The others are too skinny.”

  I barely got out the word “skinny” when an alarm sounded and I saw flashing red lights throughout the warehouse. A nanosecond later, I was suddenly blinded when all the lights in the warehouse were switched on, bright and overpowering.

  Fuck, shit, fuck.

  Too soon. They wouldn’t breach now. Not until I was clear. No way. No fucking way.

  Something was wrong.

  I braced on an aching foot in order to whirl and run but was hooked by the seller with an arm around my waist. I heard the door to the crate swing shut, pinning in the girls even as I saw Nick turn on the man who had a gun on him and grab the gun.

  They started grappling as the seller tugged me back and another henchman turned on Nick and the man he was struggling with and opened fire.

  Shit, fuck, shit, fucking fuck, fuck, fuck!

  I whirled in my captor’s arm, hand up, and clawed his neck. He let out a howl of pain, his arm loosened, I lifted a knee high, suddenly thankful for my short skirt that gave me range of motion, and caught him sharp in the gonads. He yowled, I tore free and fucking ran.

  In these bare seconds, all hell had broken loose in the warehouse. Clearly, there were more bad guys lurking and it was equally clear an operation had been launched to seize the warehouse. There was gunfire coming from everywhere, shouts, boots hitting the concrete floors, pandemonium.

  The man Nick had been grappling with was down and bleeding from a wound in his chest.

  Nick had disappeared.

  Not surprising he didn’t take my back. He might for some reason be acting as a CI to the Feds but he’d always been all about himself.

  But I was fucked. I had no weapon. There were operatives in play who may or may not know I was a plant. And I had to find my way out of this warehouse so I could have the future I’d waited sixteen years for.

  So I ran, using crates for cover and checking that the coast was clear before making my way to the next one, doing this making a mental note actually to add the line in my contract doubling my hourly rate if I had to wear heels.

  This and escape were my thoughts when I was caught around the chest and hauled back into a man’s body.


  Before I could begin to execute maneuvers to get free, my heart stopped beating, my stomach plummeted and my world rocked when Creed appeared in front of me, gun raised just as I felt the muzzle of a gun against my temple.


  One second after that, Creed’s gun discharged, the arm around my chest loosened and the gun at my head went away as the man behind me shouted in pain when the bullet ripped through his thigh.

  One second after that, I cleared him and started running to Creed.

  And one second after that, my world exploded.

  This was because two shots were fired not from the man Creed brought down but from another one who hit our scene from behind. They whizzed by me and hit Creed. Blood sprayed in a hideous cloud from his neck and his chest jerked back before he fell back, landing heavy without even attempting to break his fall.

  “No!” I shrieked, still running toward him.

  More bullets flew and I dropped to the side of my hip, sliding toward Creed like I was stealing a base. I yanked the gun out of his motionless hand, twisted, lifted, aimed and fired two kill shots. One directly in the face of the man who shot Creed, one through the throat of the man who grabbed me and was on the ground, recovering and aiming his weapon at me.

  Two lives extinguished, two more lives taken by me.

  I didn’t give it a thought.

  I turned, pulled myself up on my knees, dropped the gun with a clatter and bent over Creed.

  My Creed. My beautiful, beautiful Creed, on his back, eyes closed, not breathing, blood pooling from the wound in his neck.

  I covered the wound, put pressure on and shouted, my voice a piercing screech, “Man down! Man down! Man down!”

  I stopped screaming and bent over Creed, my face in his face, my hand not engaged in putting pressure on his neck running over his chest, searching for another wound as my heart pounded in my chest, my pulse beating so hard in my neck, it felt like it would tear through, my throat burning, my world ending.

  “Tonight’s not my night to lose you, partner,” I told him. “Tomorrow’s not my day to lose you, either.” I lifted my hand from his chest and brought it down in a fist over his heart, my voice now shouting, “Never, never, never again will there be a time when it’s my time to lose you!”

  Creed said nothing and his blood flowed warm against my hand.

  Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me.

  I knew that feeling. I’d seen it before. That blood, all that blood.

  Richard bled out in minutes. I watched. It seemed his life flashed, then gone.

  Not Creed.

  Not Creed.

  That was not going to happen to my Creed.

  Fuck, God, please don’t take Creed away from me. Not again. Not again.

  Not ever again.

  I bent over him, my hand leaving his chest, I held the pressure to his neck with my other as I vaguely heard the gunfire die out, running feet around us and I put my lips to his ear.

  “Come back to me,” I whispered. “Come back to me.” Tears hit my eyes, spilling over instantly as Creed didn’t move. “Goddamn it, Creed, come back to me!”

  “Jesus, baby, calm down,” he wheezed and I blinked.

  Then I jerked up and looked down into his opened, beautiful, stunning, amazing, beloved blue eyes.

  He sucked in another breath and knifed up to sitting. Automatically I sat back on my calves to give him room and my hand dropped from his neck as his hands went to his chest. He tore open his awesome shirt, buttons flying everywhere then reached in and yanked. I heard Velcro tear as he unstrapped his stealth-fit bulletproof vest.

  When had he put on a vest?

  And how had I not felt it?

  “Fuckin’ hell, that hurts like a goddamned mother,” he bitched breathlessly.

  I stared.

  He sucked in another breath then another one before he lifted up his hand, put it to his neck, took it away and stared at the blood.

  His eyes came to me. “Flesh wound.”

  Before I told my hand to do it, and, mark me, if I had my head together, I still would have told my hand to do it, I lifted it and slammed it, hand flat, into his chest. I ignored Creed’s pained grunt and jumped to my feet.

  Pointing down at him, I screeched, “You’re getting a job as an accountant!”

  Creed blinked then grinned.

  Blood roared in my ears.

  “Fuck, thank God Gwen isn’t a badass,” I heard Hawk mutter, referring to his wife. “I would not tolerate shit like that on a job.”

  “I hear you, brother,” Jorge muttered.

  I looked to cargo pants, boots, skintight Under Armour wearing, dark haired, intense black eyed, hot guy commando Hawk Delgado, got a load of his two phenomenal dimples telling me eloquently he found me amusing and I spat, “Shut your fucking trap, Hawk.”

  He lifted his hands in surrender but, I noted, his dimples didn’t go away.

  Fuck me.

  It was time to save face.

  As Creed pushed to his feet, I looked around and asked sarcastically, “Is everyone enjoying the show? Or is anyone thinking maybe now’s a good time to rescue the two dozen women locked in a wooden freight crate? Or is that just me?”

  “The DPD and Feds are seein’ to the girls,” Hawk informed me.

  “Well, that’s good,” I returned.

  “And seriously, Sylvie, you got great aim, babe, but you make a mess,” he continued, indicating the dead men scattered around.

  I didn’t look at them, refused to look at them. They had ceased to exist until I got back to my therapist.

  But I did shrug.

  Hawk grinned.

  Then he finished, “And, just FYI, personally, I’m enjoying the show.”

  I glared at him.

  “Me too,” Mo, who was also standing around and watching, added.

  Someone kill me.

  Creed threw an arm around my shoulders.

  I stepped sharply away from it and jerked my head back to look up at him. “I’m not talking to you and you’re not touching me until I’m not pissed at you anymore.”

  His brows shot together. “Beautiful, why the fuck are you pissed at me? I didn’t shoot me.”

  “Grab the wrist, yank it out, head butt to the chin, spike heel into his foot, Creed,” I snapped. “I know how to get away from being held at gunpoint. You didn’t need to open fire.”

  “I had on a vest and I got fuckin’ good aim,” Creed shot back.

  “You also had another shooter on the approach,” I returned.

  “You think I didn’t see him?” Creed asked, sounding insulted.

  “I think I didn’t see him since my back was to him and I had other things occupying my attention like, say, the gun being held to my head,” I retorted.

  “And I think I got a partner who knows what the fuck she’s doin’ so even though he nailed me, Sylvie, clue in, two dead guys are lyin’ on the floor ten feet away, one with his face blown off. I knew, I covered you, you’d cover me and I was right. I covered you, you covered me.”

  Wow, that was nice.

  I didn’t say that.

  I said, “You might want to use your words like, say, calling, ‘Shooter!’ You think? Maybe?”

  “I reckoned, when he shot me, you’d get there was a shooter.”

  Oh my God!


  “When did Grandpa turn into Take His and My Life in His Hands Maverick Hot Guy?” I asked.

  “When I took my first job, and Sylvie, warning, another Grandpa crack and your bare ass feels my hand.”

  Shit, that got a tingle.

  I ignored the tingle and snapped, “Get shot again and you won’t see me naked for a week.”

  “Baby, it was under control,” he replied.

  I pointed at the blood dripping into his suit coat and shirt. “Yeah? Really?” I asked mockingly then went on to inform him, “This I know, I’m not taking that to the dry cleaners and I do not sew buttons back onto shirts.”

  “Seriously?” he asked back. “Are we having this conversation?”

  “Yes, we seriously are,” I clipped my answer.

  “Yo, Bogey and Bacall, it may be a flesh wound but it’s still bleeding so will you two wind up this bullshit bickering and maybe we can get our man some medical attention?” Hawk asked fake politely and I turned my scowl to him.

  Hawk withstood my scowl with no apparent effort so I gave up, crouched down, unbuckled one shoe, stood up, slipped it off and threw it overhand into the warehouse. I repeated this maneuver with the other shoe but grabbed Creed’s gun on the way up.

  Then I cut a frown through all the men and started to stomp away.

  As I stomped away, I heard Creed say, “Favor, Delgado, send a man after those shoes. I’m gonna need them later.”

  To which I heard Hawk reply, “I hear you, man. Consider it done.”

  Which meant, as I stomped away, I did it rolling my eyes.

  But I also did it thinking Creed would probably get creative, me in those shoes and, on my back or knees, they probably wouldn’t hurt too much. Or, alternately, me lying over his thighs getting my first spanking.

  Then again, if any of those scenarios occurred, I’d be feeling other things so my mind wouldn’t be on those fucking shoes.

  This meant, my thoughts having turned pleasantly, when I exited the warehouse at the same time I felt Creed’s big, warm hand catch mine and hold tight, I wasn’t pissed anymore.

  I was smiling.



  Present day, two days later…

  I felt the crack of Creed’s hand on my ass, my body jumped and fire shot between my legs.

  “Spread,” he growled and, instantly, I did as he said.

  I was draped belly down over his thighs, naked except my bronze sandals and Creed was spanking me. This was after he spent some time doing other delicious stuff to me.

  No sooner had I opened my legs than Creed’s hand dove in. His fingers scored through the wet, rasping across my clit and since I was beyond ready, my head flew back and I came.


  Still coming, suddenly I was flying through the air. Creed lay back on the bed, his legs still over the side, feet on the floor and suddenly I was on top of him, my pussy to his face, his hard, thick cock right in front of me.

  “Suck me off,” he ordered, voice thick and I moved, lips latching around the tip, immediately I sucked deep.

  He lifted his head, buried his face in my pussy and groaned against me.

  Then, his hands at my hips yanking me down, he commenced eating me. My head bobbed, sucking, stroking, I engaged my hand and gave him everything I had as he devoured me.

  I came in his mouth.

  Creed returned the favor.

  After, coming down, he lapped. I licked.

  He let this go on awhile before I was up again, Creed repositioned so we were righted in the bed, my head no longer at his crotch but at his throat and he settled us down, him on his back, me partly on him, partly pressed to his side with his arm around me.

  “You take it up the ass. You like to be spanked. And you swallow. Seriously, Sylvie, you were born for me,” he muttered.

  I lifted my head and looked at him. “That was hardly hearts and flowers.”

  Creed grinned at me. “A man finds a woman who swallows, that alone, for a guy, is totally fuckin’ hearts and flowers.”

  I rolled my eyes.

  Creed kept talking.

  “Add gettin’ off on bein’ spanked, we’re talking rainbows and pots of gold.”

  Again, I rolled my eyes.
  “Takin’ it up the ass and beggin’ for it every time, baby, seriously, you and your body, slice of heaven.”

  “Not sure any of that will make it into poetry books, hot stuff,” I informed him.

  “If badasses read poetry, it’d be a bestseller.”

  I couldn’t argue that.

  “I just came hard twice, stop annoying me,” I ordered.

  He transferred his gaze and grin to the ceiling, muttering, “Anything for my Sylvie.”

  That got me a tingle, not the usual one, but a great one all the same.

  I settled in, cheek to his chest and saw the still ugly, livid, blue and purple bruise edged with yellow that marred him where the bullet hit his chest.

  I tipped my head back, my cheek sliding against his skin and saw the bandage that covered the stitches at his neck.

  That would make another scar.

  My arm stole around his gut as I righted my head and sighed.

  If I asked, he’d become an accountant (or something) for me. I knew it. All I had to do was ask.

  But then he wouldn’t be Creed.

  “I’m okay,” he said quietly, reading my thoughts.

  “I know.”

  “You’re okay,” he went on.

  “I know.”

  “We’re together, we’ll always be okay, Sylvie. Always. It’s when we’re not together that we’re not. You with me?”

  “Yeah,” I said softly, giving his gut a squeeze.

  I was with him. I was so with him.

  Gun jumped up on the bed, looked at me, looked at Creed, understood who her chances were better with and said to Creed, “Meow.”

  She was right.

  Creed moved, sliding out from under me, muttering, “Be back. Getting Gun some treats.”

  I looked at Gun and shook my head.

  She didn’t spare me a glance.

  She pranced out of the room behind a naked Creed.

  I rolled to my back on the bed and stared at the ceiling realizing my ass burned a little.

  It was then, I smiled.

  * * * * *

  Seven days later…

  “Your round, Pip,” Live declared, grinning drunkenly at me.

  “It was my round last time,” I replied, staring soberly at him thinking it was seriously unfun being out with the guys and not drinking.

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