Theirs to cherish, p.15
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       Theirs to Cherish, p.15
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         Part #8 of Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black
Page 15


  She didn’t wait for him to refuse or command her to change course. She unbuttoned his trousers, then lowered his zipper with a hiss that throbbed in the silence. Without a word, he shed his jacket and shirt, casting them onto the floor, never taking his stare from her.

  After she eased the charcoal trousers off his hips, they fell down his thighs. He kicked his shoes away and stepped out of the pants.

  “I shouldn’t be letting you control this,” he said thickly. But that wasn’t stopping him. “I might paddle you for it later. ”

  Usually, she’d have a saucy answer for him. Today, she just couldn’t scrape one together, not when she was so close to falling apart.

  Instead, she peered up at him with her heart in her eyes. “I need to please you right now. ”

  The hint of disapproval left his face, and he caressed the crown of her head. “I find I’m not very good at saying no to you, lovely. ”

  The answering smile she sent him perched softly on her lips. “I’m more grateful than you know. ”

  Before he could say anything more, Callie lowered his dark boxer-briefs down his legs, revealing the thick, long stalk of his cock. At the recollection of it between her lips, inside her hungry sex, her womb clenched. One final time . . . At least it was a small comfort to know that his last memories of her would be of pleasure.

  “Suck me, then,” he said.

  “Yes, Sir,” she murmured and leaned forward to take him between her lips.

  With a long swipe of her tongue, she laved him up the long shaft, over the bulbous head that looked somewhere between blue and purple, then swirled all around until he slid desperate fingers into her hair and moaned low.

  Callie closed her eyes and sank into the moment, taking him even deeper inside. She sucked hard, putting all her love and determination into every pass of her lips and curl of her tongue over his hard flesh.

  “Hmm. ” He rocked a bit on his feet. “Feels so good. You’re making me dizzy. ”

  “Then I must be doing something right. ” And so must the Ambien.

  She redoubled her effort, whimpering at the taste of him so hot and potent, growing harder and thicker. Longer. He gripped her hair tight, pulling. The slight sting of pain roused her, as did the musky scent of his skin, pooling with masculine tang in the dips and crooks between his legs. Cupping his heavy testicles, feeling them draw up bit by bit in her palm, she gave herself totally to his pleasure and let his trembling fingers guide her up and down his length until his breath sawed out of his chest. His pants became grunts, each growing louder until he moaned aloud.

  “Callie . . . ”

  Whimpering at his urgency, desperate to feel him explode on her tongue and taste the flavor of his satisfaction, she sucked harder, bathing him with her tongue one last time. Her heart stuttered as his cock pulsed. He grabbed her hair, then gave a hoarse shout of fulfillment.

  His hot seed erupted on her tongue, salty and thick. Callie drank him down, digging her nails in his hair-dusted thighs and clinging with every bit of her need.

  Why couldn’t this moment go on forever? Why couldn’t she curl up with him on the bed, watching him sleep in sated contentment, and think about what they’d do tomorrow?

  Because she could never be Callindra Howe again. She couldn’t even be a woman with a real life.

  Slowly, she worked her lips up Sean’s length, looking through her lashes at his flushed face. His chest heaved. His eyes slid closed. Gratification spread across his face.

  “Oh, lovely . . . ” His voice sounded low and faint. He stumbled on his feet.

  Callie jumped to steady him, then eased him onto the bed. He tumbled back, head on her pillow, his breath evening out.

  Her time with him was almost over.

  “I love you,” he breathed out.

  She leaned over him, drinking in his strong, relaxed features, firm lips, hard jaw. She cupped his face. Such a beautiful man . . .

  And he’d never really know how much she loved him in return. Since he was moments from sleep, Sean wouldn’t remember anything she said now.

  He’d be hurt by her abrupt departure. Callie caressed his face, tears forming and falling. She should be leaving right now, throwing on her dark clothes and shimmying outside, but the thought of tearing herself away voluntarily from this bed—from him—was ripping her chest wide open and splintering her heart.

  “So tired . . . ” He frowned.

  “I know. I’m sorry. ” Callie wished she could leave behind a piece of herself for him. Maybe then, she could find the will to move on, knowing she’d done what she could to ease his hurt.

  An idea flashed across her brain, and she leapt up, digging frantically in Sean’s pants until she found his phone. Then she shook him awake.

  “Wha . . . ?”

  Callie thrust his phone into his hands. “Unlock this for me. I need to make a call. My cell is dead. ”

  “Told you. Charge it. ” He fought to peer at the screen and tap out the code.

  On the third try, he finally managed. The phone clicked. His arm dropped to his side as deep slumber overtook him.

  And that was it. Her last waking words to him were a fib. Leaving him a recording on his phone was the only way she could think to leave him the truth in her heart.

  As she flipped through his apps, looking for a place to leave him a video message, she frowned when she stumbled over a picture of herself. But not a current one. It was the yearbook photo she’d taken her sophomore year, just before her family’s murder had forced her to flee Chicago and all she’d ever known.

  Sean knew her identity. The thought beat through her brain. He knew. Her fingers went numb. She dropped the phone.

  Every word he’d ever uttered to her was a lie.

  Oh God.

  Sucking in a terrified breath, Callie leapt away from him and fell to the floor. She fumbled through his pants. Was he a cop? An assassin? A private investigator? His trousers revealed nothing—no driver’s license, no wallet, no badge. She crawled over the carpet until she reached his coat. After patting it twice, she encountered a hard, cold lump. Folding back the fabric, she found the inside pocket and peeked down. A gun.

  Callie bit back a shriek. Her heart beat a fast, staccato rhythm. Terror laced her veins with icy fire.

  He knew who she was and he carried a gun. His plea for her to come away with him? He’d probably meant to kill her once he’d lured her away from Thorpe and Dominion. Whoever had shot her father and sister had come after her more than once to finish the job, but they’d never gotten close to her. This time, they’d found her weakness—her fucking foolish heart.

  Sean Kirkpatrick, the beautiful Scot she’d stupidly fallen for, was trying to kill her. She bit back tears of betrayal and ran.


  THORPE ended the call with Axel, stunned and blinking. A chill worked through his body.

  Callie . . .

  She was locked in her room with that son of a bitch.

  Tearing down the hall, he rounded the corner, calling security as he ran and grabbing Lance, who still stood sentry in the hall.

  “What the hell?” the other Dom asked.

  As soon as Axel’s muscle picked up the phone in the booth, Thorpe growled, “Callie’s room. Now. She’s in danger. ”

  On the off chance this turned out to be a misunderstanding or a mistake, he’d worry about the repercussions of bursting in on them later.

  Lance cursed. “What’s happened?”

  Thorpe had a terrible feeling. God, why hadn’t he seen this coming? “Sean Kirkpatrick is a lying motherfucker. Nothing he’s told us about himself is true. And he’s here to take Callie. ”

  “Goddamn it!” Lance ran faster.

  They reached her door at the same time as the security guards. Panic making his heart drum loudly in his ears, Thorpe pounded on the door. “Callie?”

  No answer.

  No, no, no . . . He c
ouldn’t handle it. Please let her be asleep or in the shower or even busy with Kirkpatrick’s dick in her mouth. He couldn’t deal with her being gone.

  Fucking fabulous time to admit how much he loved her.

  Thorpe extracted her key from his pocket. His hands shook as he slammed it in, then turned the lock. Frantically, he twisted the knob. He couldn’t move fast enough, get to her quickly enough.

  The moment he did, he took in the disheveled bed, a naked Kirkpatrick sprawled across it. Callie’s lingerie littered the floor. Her dress had been flung nearby. Her purse and phone sat on the dresser. But the window hung open . . . and the woman he loved was nowhere in sight.

  Chapter Seven

  TWO hours later, Thorpe had no doubt whatsoever that Callie was long gone. In addition to her car, she’d taken her laughter, her expressive blue eyes . . . and the other half of his heart with her.

  Plowing his hands through his hair, he thought acidly that if he’d been going gray before, worrying about Callie would accelerate that process. Now, Kirkpatrick was his only hope for answers. So far, he’d been unable to shake the bastard awake. In the interim, Thorpe had rifled through every inch of her closet and each one of her drawers. He hadn’t come up with much.

  The bottle of Ambien he’d gotten the doctor to prescribe her this summer had never been touched. He’d railed at her to take them and put a stop to her insomnia. The stubborn girl had refused. Suddenly, two of the tablets were gone. Between the wine on her dresser and Kirkpatrick still sacked out in her bed, Thorpe didn’t have to guess what had happened to them. Goddamn it.

  Axel returned, and by the grim look on his face, his search of Callie’s few favorite haunts had turned up empty. He couldn’t call her cell phone or track it. She’d left it here. Ironically enough, with a full charge. She’d shed her siren red dress. It still smelled like her. In her wake, she’d abandoned every other stitch of clothing she owned, except the ones on her back. Also left behind were the cards and gifts she’d painstakingly packed away for the last four years, as if each one was a treasured memento. And she’d removed Sean’s collar, placing it in the center of the nightstand beside him, where he would certainly see it once he woke.

  Thorpe knew exactly who was responsible for Callie’s abrupt departure. She’d been . . . well, maybe not perfectly happy, but content for the last four years. Kirkpatrick had entered the scene, turned her fairly ordered world upside down, and ultimately frightened her away. Then like a wild wind, she’d swept out the door. Only Callie and God knew where the hell she was.

  Would she think she was all alone now that he wasn’t beside her to hold her hand?

  “Nothing?” he asked Axel.

  “Nada. I’ve looked everywhere. The guys have swept every inch of this place. The little minx crawled out the window—somehow—then she managed to avoid every one of the security cameras in the parking lot on her way to her car. The only images captured indicate that she wore black and drove out of the parking lot nearly three hours ago. ”

  How the fuck had his careful planning gone down the drain? What, exactly, had Kirkpatrick done to spook her and make Callie flee so suddenly? Thorpe intended to get answers.

  “I’m going to find her. ”

  “I know you’ll try like hell. ” Axel crossed his beefy arms over his massive chest. “I just don’t know where to go with the search from here. ”

  “I need to come up with some ideas. In the meantime, can you get me fake passports? When I find Callie, I’m going to move her out of the country. And I’m going to take care of her. ”

  Axel whistled. “The documents alone will cost you a small fortune. ”

  “I don’t care. Can you arrange it or not?”

  “Yeah. But you have a business to run. How the hell are you going to do that from . . . El Salvador or wherever you wind up?”

  “You said once that you wanted to buy me out. Here’s your chance. ”

  His head of security held up massive hands in a placating gesture. “You’re talking about throwing away everything you’ve worked for over damn near the last decade for a girl you haven’t ever fuc—”

  “Don’t. Finish. That. Sentence. She’s had no one to truly rely on for too long. I’m going to change that. ”

  “If you’re caught, you’ll go to prison with her. ”

  Shock pinged through him. Axel had figured out Callie’s identity.

  Thorpe narrowed his eyes and gave the big guy his most menacing snarl. “What are you implying?”

  “Hey . . . whoa. Nothing, man. Reading Kirkpatrick’s documents tonight made it obvious who Callie really is. Blew the fuck out of my mind. But I figured you knew, too. ” At Thorpe’s sharp nod, Axel went on. “Her behavior all this time makes sense now. How long have you known?”

  “Almost two years. ” Since that fateful December night when he’d finally put his hands and his eyes on the bullet wound that had carved a little nick out of her left hip—and confirmed all his worst fears. “You’d better not be counting that big bounty on her head. ”

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