Rule breaker, p.18
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       Rule Breaker, p.18
 

         Part #20 of Breeds series by Lora Leigh

  girl? Who knew she was such an excellent social image developer?”

  “She’s not his mate,” Lawe stated softly, sadly even.

  Diane stilled, then turned back to him in shock. “Are you certain?”

  Lawe continued to watch his brother and the woman resting in his arms as they swayed to the music.

  “She carries his scent,” he frowned, trying to make sense of it. “But it could be because they’re lovers, nothing more. There are no similar scents of lust. With mates, there’s a scent they share, whether its lust, love or some other emotion that develops into love. They don’t share it.”

  Diane turned back and watched the couple as well. “If she’s not in love with him, then she’s falling.”

  Was she? There was definitely something there, but Lawe couldn’t make sense of what it was.

  He’d drawn their scents in countless times, and each time he’d done so he’d sworn he’d sensed Rule’s senses drawing further away from him. As though the animal part of him were hiding.

  But why do that? What would it serve Rule or his senses to weaken themselves in such a way? What could be so important that the animal felt the need to hide it?

  A sudden suspicion slipped into his mind, causing his eyes to widen.

  “What?” His lovely mate turned back to him, frowning as she stared up at him. “You’ve thought of something?”

  He shook his head slowly. Son of a bitch, why hadn’t he figured it out sooner? “I know my brother.”

  “Meaning?”

  She knew him, his lovely mate, and she knew how it bothered him when he’d felt Rule drawing so far away from him when they’d first arrived in Window Rock, and then especially so when Rule had offered to trade mates with him, when there was no mating scent on him.

  “She has a very subtle, barely there, unique scent that I can’t place. Rule’s senses are suddenly shuttered, as though the animal part of his genetics is hiding from me. Or perhaps from any Breed senses, period.”

  “I’m getting impatient, Lawe.” She sighed and he had to grin. She was dying to know if Gypsy McQuade was Rule’s mate.

  “She’s his mate, but he’s not mating her,” he explained, wanting to laugh at the chances that Rule’s animal could actually act in a manner so separate from the man it inhabited.

  “You’re not making sense.” She shook her head.

  “Rule’s determined he’ll never risk a woman as Elder risked our mother,” he explained, sobering at the thought of Morningstar Martinez’s horrific death. “The thought of ever facing even the chance of losing someone so important as a mate has him stubbornly determined to ensure that if he ever senses her, he has the option of running as fast and as far from her as possible.”

  “I know all this, Lawe,” she drawled. “Get to the punch line already.”

  “The punch line?” He wrapped his arms around her, drawing her to his chest as he danced her onto the dance floor, carefully staying clear of Rule as he spoke. “Rule’s animal senses his mate. The animal is determined to possess her, to own her heart, but knows that should Rule consciously realize what she is to him, he’s going to run.”

  “So basically, the animal, or his subconscious instincts, is hiding the fact that she’s his mate?” she asked, disbelief coloring her voice.

  “Exactly.” It was simply all he could do not to laugh at the position his brother had managed to find himself in. “No one can convince Rule she’s his mate, because the animal is holding the mating back until there’s no way Rule can run from her. Only then, only when he has no other choice, will his animal instincts snap back into place and initiate the Mating Heat.”

  “Mind over matter,” she breathed out, shocked far deeper than Lawe himself was.

  “Pure stubborn will,” Lawe amended, stroking his hand down his mate’s back, feeling the heat, the warmth of her, and knowing that if he lost her, he’d follow her as soon as he sought vengeance for her.

  There was no way he would be able to survive the never-ending hell of existing without her.

  “So, how do you intend to make him realize he can’t run from her, or deny her any longer?” Pure anticipation filled her voice.

  “Bloodthirsty wench,” he chuckled, bending his head to brush a kiss against the mating mark, which a wide collar-style necklace of gleaming silver hid. When his head rose, he knew that his own satisfaction filled his gaze. “For the moment, I’m just going to watch him bury himself in the hole he’s making. Once he’s realized what he’s done, I want to sit back and enjoy the show.”

  He simply couldn’t help it. Rule had pushed him, prodded him, enraged the Lion inside him and generally had Lawe ready to kill him as he fought to accept the woman he had mated. Dealing with his brother and his own instincts hadn’t been easy, and Lawe had sworn that when he had the chance, he was going to make sure Rule suffered his own mating hell.

  CHAPTER 13

  She fit him.

  The odd thought drifted through his mind as he danced with Gypsy, the slow, gliding steps of the waltz suddenly making sense as they moved together.

  She did this with the same grace and sensuality that she danced to that country tune in black leather, or the vintage rock in a white lace skirt and cowboy boots. With such inherent eroticism that his balls tightened with the need to spill his release and ease the granite hardness of his cock.

  Tonight, he was determined to have her. His suite was ready, clean sheets graced the bed, candles were lit and ready for the moment he entered the room with her. A bottle of her favorite wine was chilling and he was hard enough to fuck her for hours without softening.

  She had orgasmed in his arms, her juices spilling over his fingers as he held her to him in her apartment. He understood that going further would have been far too soon. He sensed she was only now learning that such pleasure could exist. That she could shake with the need for his touch, plead for her release.

  He intended to show her far more tonight.

  He’d gone to Jonas as soon as he’d asked Dawn why Gypsy was so damned upset over a dress. Her laughing chastisement that he had ruined a chance she felt her mother and even perhaps she had possessed to make a certain impression had been the explanation that suddenly made sense.

  They were image and social building professionals. Having their pictures premiere in the right places would of course be important to aid the growth of her parents’ business. To do that, a certain look would have to be achieved; somehow, by reputation, standing, wealth or a unique dress, they would have to be noticed. She had felt he had taken her chance to be noticed.

  He’d ensured she was noticed tonight in ways she could never have been at any other party.

  When the music moved from a waltz to a slow, sensual tune, he pulled her further into him, feeling her arms curl about his shoulders, her head resting against his chest. And God, he wanted her. He wanted her until he was burning with it.

  A natural burn, he assured himself. Had there been anything more, she wouldn’t have been able to hide it from his senses. Mating Heat wasn’t burning within her; simple, pure desire made stronger for the fact that she had been hiding from her own sensual nature for so long was all that burned within her.

  As Gypsy and Diane had chatted, Rule had given his brother her request that she see Claire and Liza. The two girls had mentioned a desire to see friends and had named Gypsy especially. Before they left the party, he hoped Jonas would approve the request.

  Whether he did or not, Rule was determined he would have Gypsy.

  Then, soon, he would have to put his foot down where her nightlife was concerned. It was too dangerous for a Breed lover to run the night without security, and at the moment all units were taken up with protecting Claire and Liza.

  She would understand, he told himself. Being his lover would make her a target. Too many forces would assume she was his mate, and he couldn’t explain that to her. The ban on explaining mating or Mating Heat to anyone but a mate was strictly enforced.
r />   It was a thin line he would have to tread.

  “I’m ready for a drink,” she mumbled lazily from where she rested against him. “And didn’t you say something about a buffet?”

  “Hungry, are you?” He smiled into her hair before allowing her to draw away from him and leading her to the edge of the ballroom.

  “Like you wouldn’t believe,” she informed him, her green eyes glancing back at him with sultry hunger.

  Shadowed, exotic, her gaze was filled with need and the memory of his fingers stroking her to release.

  “Your parents seem to be enjoying themselves.” He nodded to where Wolfe and Hope were joining Callan and Merinus at the table where the McQuades were sitting.

  The opportunity to discuss the electronic device her mother had attempted to bring into that meeting more than a week ago still eluded him. Seeing the pain, the betrayal she would experience, feeling it, would enrage him.

  And God knew, Gypsy didn’t need more pain where her family was concerned.

  “My parents are probably in seventh heaven at the moment,” she told him with a light laugh as they made their way to the connecting ballroom that had been set up with a dozen or more food and dessert tables.

  They each filled their plates before collecting a glass of wine. Rule led her to one of the tables in the corner of the room where the low lighting was dimmer, the candles reflecting a small pool of intimacy.

  The various items that filled their plates were finger foods. Shrimp, vegetables, tenderloin, lamb and chicken chunks served with a variety of cheeses, crackers and specialty breads.

  In the low light that hid them from view, Rule selected a small chunk of lamb, held it in his fingers, then reached across the table to tuck it at her lips.

  Surprised, her gaze darkening at the implications of the action, Gypsy stared back at him. Lips parting, she took the morsel of food before her head dipped, her lashes lowering as she ate.

  Hell, his tempestuous little Gypsy had a bit of shyness.

  Along with the lamb, she also hadn’t chosen several other delicacies. Those he fed to her as well, watching as her face flushed and scenting the heat of her body rising.

  She was relaxing with him, easing in his presence. Where before there had been wariness, a hint of fear and rejection, there was now shy acceptance.

  How much more accepting could she become? he wondered. Not that he was about to test her boundaries here, at a ball where her parents and sister were in attendance. He would never allow even a chance of her becoming embarrassed by her family seeing the naked sensuality he could draw out of her.

  Leaning close, he talked to her instead. He answered what questions he could about the Breed society, and laughed with her over some of the more outrageous tabloid stories. And for some reason, he wasn’t certain why, he told her about the brother and sister he suspected had died when they were taken from the labs.

  Grave regret filled her, a well of sadness that reached out to him and attempted to soothe him, that she wasn’t even aware she possessed.

  There was no way anyone could suspect this was the woman Jonas believed was a part of the Unknown. Anyone with that shadowy group was as merciless as the Breeds when it came to protecting the innocent, immature creations humankind believed they had created. There wasn’t an ounce of mercilessness inside this woman.

  Stubbornness, yes. But never could she kill without thought, in cold blood, just on the suspicion that someone was a threat to the group itself.

  As the night deepened and the crowd in the buffet room thinned to only them, he reached across the table and stroked his fingers over her hand.

  “Come upstairs with me,” he said, anticipation surging through him as her gaze lifted quickly to his, the scent of her arousal thickening.

  “That wouldn’t be a very good idea.” She stared back at him, her relaxed enjoyment of the night fading as uncertainty filled her.

  “Are we going to play games, Gypsy?” he asked, his voice as gentle as he could keep it as his cock throbbed like a demon starving for the taste of her.

  She looked down once again, though she didn’t pull her hand from his grip.

  “I would be a lousy lover for you, Rule.” She finally smiled nervously, shaking her head as she lifted it, her eyes filled with her belief in that statement.

  “I think I’m the only judge of who would or would not suit me in my bed, Gypsy,” he refuted, his voice low. “Come on, try me on for size, then decide if I fit as you need me or not.”

  “And if the size is wrong?” Amusement flashed in her eyes. “Won’t it be a little too late to decide I’d made the wrong decision?”

  “I promise not to kiss and tell.” His brows lifted suggestively. “And I sure as hell don’t come and tell.”

  She flushed again. He couldn’t wait to watch that intriguing heat spread from her face, along her neck and over her breasts as pleasure began to fill her.

  She was breathing raggedly, her breasts rising and falling quickly beneath the bodice of her pretty gown as she tried to find a way to talk herself out of wanting him.

  He could feel her doing it, coming up with all the reasons why she shouldn’t lie in his arms and scream out her release.

  Rising, he pulled her unhurriedly to her feet, ignoring the indecision on her face as he drew her to the exit, then the short distance to the elevators.

  Her heart was racing so fast, so hard she was nearly shaking with it as excitement churned in the air around her.

  Rule drew her into the elevator as the doors swished open, pulled her into his arms and, as they slid closed, lowered his lips to hers.

  Her kiss was as sweet as his favorite hard candies, he thought, and just as hot. His tongue licked over her lips, parted them, then stroked inside for a deeper, intimate exploration.

  Still, she stood hesitantly before him, her lips parting for him, her tongue touching his despite her wariness, her intent to pull back rising alongside the arousal burning inside her.

  Gripping her wrists, he drew them to his shoulders, his hands stroking down her sides before reaching her hips and curling his fingers over them.

  She kissed him with a hunger that drove spikes of pure raw need straight to his balls. As she stretched against him, reaching for him now, a moan whispered past her lips as her hips tilted and he pulled her into the thick ridge of his cock rising beneath his slacks.

  Pulling his head back, his control threatening to slip, Rule stared down at her, his gaze narrowed on her sensually flushed features.

  “I’ll be lucky if I make it to my suite,” he groaned. “You go to my head faster than liquor.”

  ...

  She went to his head faster than liquor?

  Gypsy could feel her blood racing through her body, pounding at her clit, in the sensitive tissue of her pussy, and wondered how a kiss would have a woman so ready, so hot and so eager to fuck for a man’s touch.

  She didn’t want to wait. She wanted to take him here, now. She wanted his tongue against hers, pushing between her lips and making her even more delirious with pleasure as his hands pushed the material of her dress to her hips. She wanted him to drive that hard, heavy flesh rising between his thighs into the torturous ache between hers.

  When his lips refused to kiss her hard enough, hot enough, her fingers speared into his hair, gripped the coarse strands and tried to hold him in place.

  She needed so much more than he was giving her.

  And it didn’t make sense.

  This was too dangerous.

  He might not kiss and tell—or whatever version of it they were about to do—but that didn’t mean the Unknown wouldn’t know. They were masters at knowing, especially the one she had made contact with.

  Yet pulling away, denying him, was impossible.

  She couldn’t taste him deep enough, couldn’t feel the power of his kiss sinking far enough into her and couldn’t make herself care about anything but needing more and more of him.

  And that wasn
t like her.

  But then, she hadn’t been herself since the night she had glanced across a bar and met his gaze so many weeks ago. As though she had been waiting for him all her life.

  The ping of the elevator was only a distant sound, but the feel of Rule suddenly lifting her into his arms and striding from the cubicle was anything but distant. It was the most amazingly sensual act she had experienced to date.

  “This is insane,” she whispered, burying her lips against his neck to test the tough flesh with her teeth before licking over the place where her teeth had bitten.

  And he wasn’t protesting the feel of her sharp teeth at his neck either. If that rumbled little growl in his chest was anything to go by, he just might have enjoyed it.

  She wondered if she could get him to bite her.

  A shudder raced through her at the thought, the slide of moisture between her thighs further wetting her already saturated flesh.

  “Good God, what were you just thinking?” he groaned as he set her on her feet next to the door of his suite. “Because your hot little pussy just went supernova on me.”

  He swiped the security card through the reader, pushed open the door and took a second to test the air before he strode into the room.

  The door locked behind them, enclosing them in a world of flickering candlelight and sensual warmth that filled the living area and the bedroom as well. It was like walking into the most romantic dream she could have conjured up. The preparations he had made gave the room a sultry, erotic feel, and a dreamlike quality that he only added to as he carried her to the bedroom.

  He didn’t set her on her feet next to the bed. Instead, he laid her back on it, following her down as his hands began gathering the material of her dress and pushing it above her knees.

  His lips were on her neck as he shed his jacket, tore at the tie and shirt until he had tossed them to the floor as well, then kicked his dress shoes to the floor. His lips began moving over the firm upper swells of her breasts, leaving a trail of fiery pleasure in the wake of his kisses.

  He was moving so fast she couldn’t keep up. She couldn’t process the pleasure or the sensations, and the dizzying surges of them were making her feel overheated and rushed.

  If he would just slow down . . .

  Gypsy fought to pull in much-needed air as she panted beneath him, feeling him tense above her, his hands moving from where he’d been pushing her dress farther up her legs to clench in the blankets beneath her.

  “You okay?” he suddenly growled, his lips at her neck, then her jaw, brushing against them at a much slower pace as she tried to pull her own senses back now.

  “I’m okay.” At least, she thought she was.

  Hesitantly, she lifted her hands to the hard abdomen straining above hers, her fingers curling as she allowed herself to stroke the tight, bunched muscles.

  His skin wasn’t soft, it was tough and at first appeared completely free of any body hair. But it wasn’t, at least not completely. Beneath her palms she could feel the ultra soft sensation of tiny, almost invisible hairs beneath her touch.

  And she loved the feel of it.

  She stroked to his chest, his hard shoulders, then down again to the clenched abs to where he’d only managed to free the button that held his slacks closed.

  Lifting his head from where his lips had been caressing the shell of her ear, Rule eased further above her, his weight held with unconscious strength on his powerful arms.

  “Your pace,” he swore, though his voice was hard, tight. “I swear it, Gypsy. Anything, everything you want. All at your pace.”

  All at her pace?

  Anything, everything she wanted?

  Did she even know exactly what she did want from him past this pleasure, his touch, the warmth of him—

  He watched her as she stroked his shoulders again, then lifted her hand to brush over his lips.

  She hadn’t seen him enjoying the small chocolate and peppermint hard candies tonight, but she had tasted the sweet essence of them in his kiss.

  And she craved more of it.

  She was going to do this.

  Hunger and fear flashed through her, running side by side as a part of her mind watched in horror, unable to believe the wanton he was drawing out.

  Her fingers found the zipper of his slacks and began to slide it free, loosening the material over the straining flesh of his cock.

  She couldn’t believe she was doing this. Couldn’t believe she was actually throwing away her chance for redemption, for forgiveness—she was throwing it away for this Breed and a pleasure unlike anything she had known before.

  “Gypsy, baby, do you know what you’re doing?” he asked as her fingers moved from the zipper to the heavy length of iron-hard flesh that rose from between his thighs.

  “I told you, I haven’t done it before,” she whispered, stroking her fingers along the throbbing, heavily veined shaft.

  From the wide, silken knob to the pulsing crest, then to the tightly drawn sac beneath. Every inch of him was so hard, heated and insistent for her touch.

  She couldn’t encircle the heavy width with the fingers of one hand, so she contented herself with stroking him from base to tip, feeling the flesh clench and pound beneath her touch as she felt her entire body beginning to burn for his possession of her, for her possession of him.

  She lifted her head and laid her lips against his chest, her tongue peeking out to taste. And she craved so much more.

  Pulling back, her hands flattening against his chest as she pushed at him.

  “I want to touch you.” That wasn’t her voice, so low and echoing with a pleasure that bordered pain.

  “Gypsy, baby,” he groaned, but he moved.

  Rising from the bed, he quickly discarded his pants and his socks before completely surprising her. Kneeling on the mattress with one knee, Rule wrapped his arms around her and lifted her to him, lowering the zipper of her dress as he stared intently into her eyes.

  What had happened to her touching him? To him lying back for her? And why wasn’t she protesting?
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