Haunting Melody Mackenzie Reed Published 2004 ISBN 1-59578-019-X Published by Liquid Silver Books, imprint of Atlantic Bridge Publishing, 10509 Sedgegrass Dr, Indianapolis, Indiana 46235. Copyright © 2004, Mackenzie Reed. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author. Manufactured in the United States of America Liquid Silver Books http://lsbooks.com Email: rave[email protected]
Cover Art byApril Martinez http://www.aprilgem.com
This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogues in this book are of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
This book is dedicated to some very special people. First, to Lora Leigh, author and friend, thanks for the swift kick in the pants and your confidence in me. To my wonderful and loving husband whose support in this endeavor is unwavering. And last, but certainly not least, to my editor Daisy Hunter, who has made this a joyful and learning experience.
Joshua Thomas sat in front of his piano, tickling the ivory keys, each note bringing him closer to the end of another new creation. A musical masterpiece. When the last strains of the ending notes died away,
leaving only the soft sounds of his breathing, Joshua closed his eyes and rested his head against the piano. God, he was tired. So damn tired. His life was hollow, empty. The one bright spot in his life was his music. It was the only thing that brought him even a semblance of peace and joy. No one knew just how much of him was intricately woven into each note. But Joshua knew how vital his music was to his well being. He needed it to survive. A noise behind him drew his attention from his sad thoughts. He didn't have to turn to know who was in the room. “Damon,” Joshua said, annoyed at the unwelcome intrusion. “Joshua.” Damon Frost's tone was mocking. Joshua turned on the piano stool to face his childhood friend. The man looked like he'd just risen from bed after a hard fucking session. Joshua sniffed the air and smelled the scent of sex and woman. Feeling the strong energy surrounding Damon, Joshua realized he was hungry. It had been two days since he'd last fed. Some would call their kind vampires, others would deem them monsters. Their true nature was sensuous and darkly erotic. The destruction of their planet had prompted Joshua's people to leave their dying home and seek a life on Earth. They had studied and learned everything they could about the planet, including its different ways of life and the sexual aspects of mating. Once they'd arrived, Joshua's people quickly discovered that human sexual emotions ran hot and heavy, and that those emotions could appease their vampire hunger for long periods of time. A true mate would sustain and feed their hunger for eternity. Was there such a thing as a true mate? Joshua believed so. His own parents were living, breathing proof of it. But he had not found his true mate yet, and it was already the twenty-first century. He knew he was destined to mate with a human, but didn't know who or when. Joshua, Damon and Roarke O'Brien, along with hundreds of other children from two to sixteen years old, were raised as Earth children. The boys came of age in the sixteenth century and proved themselves Renaissance men in more ways than one, quickly learning that seducing an Earth woman and bringing her to climax was the ultimate high. The boys had become drunk off the power raging through their bodies after sex, but found that using one woman for more than a few times took her life force so low she barely survived. After several close calls, Roarke and Joshua learned to curb their appetites and their needs, but Damon never had. He went from woman to woman, climax after climax, not caring if he nearly drained them or not. Joshua could still hear Damon's words reverberating through his mind. “It's a rush that our women can't give us. You guys are pansies if you think I'll give that up.” Joshua had argued with him. “You're wrong. Our true mate can give us that rush. Remember our parents? They don't feed except on each other. There is no need for it.” Damon sneered at him. “You go ahead and do what you have to, I am going to feast on any and every woman's life force that I can. I'll taste and fuck their sweet pussies as well.” His harsh, non-caring words had struck a chord deep in Roarke and Joshua. From then on, Joshua had distanced himself from Damon, only seeing him from time to time, whenever Damon deemed it necessary to show his face. Like now!
“What do you want, Damon? I'm busy.” Joshua turned back to the piano, softly playing the song that ran through his mind and his soul. “Nice tune,” Damon commented, not answering the question. Joshua stopped playing, rose from the stool and walked to the bar. He grabbed a glass and a bottle of scotch, then walked to the fireplace and sat in one of the plush leather side chairs. He poured two fingers of scotch and set the bottle on the cherry side table. Lifting the glass to his lips, he knocked back the smoky liquor and set the glass down with a thud. He arched a brow inquiringly and waited for Damon to answer. Damon sauntered over to the other side chair and sat down, his legs stretched out in front of him. He sat silently. He was brooding. Joshua hated it when Damon brooded. It usually meant a woman had turned him down. Joshua silently laughed. Good for her. “I want to ask you something.” Joshua heard a tone in Damon's voice that called for him to sit up and listen. He moved his head from side to side to ease the stiffness in his neck, and waited. “I'm listening.” Damon turned and looked at Joshua. “Do you really believe there is one woman for us? A true mate, as you once told me?” Okay, this was serious.Joshua weighed his words in his mind and when he felt confident they were the ones he needed, he spoke. “Yes, I do. Our parents are good examples of that truth, and so is Roarke.” A few months after the blow up with Damon, Roarke had found Melissa, his mate. Now the two of them were blissfully happy and trying to have a baby. “What about you, Joshua? Have you found your true mate yet?” Damon asked. There was no sarcasm in the statement, which surprised Joshua. Evidently Damon was really interested in knowing the truth. Joshua leaned forward, resting his forearms upon his thighs. He looked at the paisley patterned carpet beneath his feet and silently asked himself that question. Had he found her? Hell, no! All he'd done was learn to curb his hunger through his music. Was she out there? Yes, he believed so. Could that be the reason for the restlessness in his soul? Did that mean she was close by? He would soon know if she were here. Then it was just a matter of time before he found her. “No, Damon. I haven't found her yet, but I know she's out there.” “How do you know?” “I can't explain it. All I can say is there is restlessness in my soul, a stirring in my mind and heart, as though she's calling to me in her mind, in her dreams.” Damn! Why hadn't he thought of that before? Was that what was wrong with him? Excitement rolled through him from head to toe, giving him a deep sense of purpose. He quickly stood and rubbed his hands together. “Damn! I can't believe I didn't think of this before.” With a smile, Joshua turned to Damon and clapped him on the shoulder.
“Thank you, my friend. You have helped me more than you know.” Damon said nothing. He just sat there looking dumbfounded. Joshua laughed. “Never mind, I will explain it to you later.” He glanced at his gold Rolex and noted the time. “But, right now I have work to do.” He strode toward the doors. Without turning, he called out over his shoulder, “Goodnight, Damon. You know the way out.” **** Devra Preston listened to the soft strains of the sax, its soulful tune filling the air around her. The Moonlight Club was one of her favorite night spots in Chattanooga. She picked up her drink and sipped, feeling the icy-cold beer slide down her throat. She set her glass down and glanced once again at her watch. Seven-thirty! Where the hell was Susan? She was tardy, something that was very unusual for her. In all the years that Devra and Susan had been meeting for girls' night out, Susan was always on time. She might cancel, as she had been lately, but she was rarely late. Devra snorted. Usuallyshe was the one running behind. In college, Devra always stumbled into her first class ten minutes after the bell. Even after graduation, she still managed to run behind, no matter where she was headed. Sometimes it paid off and sometimes it didn't. That's how she'd met her now ex-husband, Trevor—one of the times it hadn't paid off. Devra had been late on her first day of work at her uncle's newspaper. She could still remember rushing into the research office and running smack dab into Trevor, who, she soon discovered, just happened to be her boss. One thing led to another and in a few months the two were lovers. Within a year they married. After marriage, things had gone downhill fast. Devra wanted more from her career than just researching stories and finding skeletons in the closet. She wanted a column of her own. Trevor hadn't wanted Devra to succeed in that, and had in fact, told her so. She could still hear the first time he'd said it. “Honey, you aren't a columnist. You're the best researcher we have. Do you honestly think Bob is going to take you out of here and move you up to an executive office with your name on the door and a column?” He'd laughed aloud. “I don't think so.” From that moment, their marriage had deteriorated until nothing but a shell was left. His constant criticism and insults dimmed the fire that had once burned hot in her heart and body. The sex dwindled to almost nothing, which actually hadn't bothered Devra too much. She had her trusty vibrator and a nice jet spa tub. At just the right angle, the spray jets could send her into orbit quicker than Trevor ever could. Of course, catching Trevor in his office with a young assistant had hurried things along as well. Her illusions of love and “happily ever after” were irreparably shattered. She would never fall in love again. Sex? Yes! But fall in love? Huh-uh … no way in hell would she get caught in that trap again. Coming back to the present, Devra tossed back the rest of her beer and slammed the mug down on the square oak table. She looked at her watch again. Eight o'clock. “Okay, that's it, Susan James.” Devra picked up her cell phone and punched in the familiar number. It rang several times, each ring making her level of impatience rise a bit higher. Just as the answering machine picked up, Susan hurried through the door of the club.
“It's about damn time,” Devra grumbled as she turned off her cell. Susan glanced around the room and finally spotted Devra. She gave a jaunty wave and made her way to the table, snagging a waiter's attention along the way. She tossed her leather briefcase and handbag down on the table and fell into the unoccupied chair. “Sorry I'm late…” The waiter arrived just then, and both ladies gave their drink orders. Once he was gone, Devra turned to Susan her brow lifting. “You were saying?” Susan smoothed her head of blonde curls, somehow making them more tousled than before. “I said, sorry I'm late. I had a few things to clear up before I could leave.” She laughed. “You know how it is running a successful magazine. No rest for the weary.” Devra narrowed her eyes and really looked at Susan. Something was going on here. Susan was fidgety, edgy, like she couldn't sit still. Her face was flushed a rosy color. If Devra didn't know better she would swear Susan had just come from a bout of heavy sex. Was that why Susan had been canceling their Friday night meetings? Did she have a lover? Devra pondered the thought, rolling it around in her mind, trying to figure out who it could be and how long it had been going on. Hmm … curious. Curiosity was probably why Devra was so damn good at her job and why she enjoyed it so much. She found it fascinating to delve deep into someone's background and discover all their little hidden secrets, bringing their skeletons out of the closet and into the light of day. After her divorce, Devra had marched into her uncle's office and asked him to let her combine her research skills with writing. Declaring she was the best researcher he had, she'd promised him that if he didn't give her the chance to do more, he would lose her. Convinced finally, her uncle had looked a bit shocked, but agreed to give her a chance. That was over five years ago. Her column was one of the most talked about and widely read in Chattanooga and throughout the state of Tennessee. Hell, it was big in Georgia, too.Such fame , she thought, grinning to herself. All because of her curiosity. Well, hard work, too, lots of research and learning to read people. Right now, Susan was easier to read than a Dr. Seuss book. Devra narrowed her eyes and watched Susan fiddle with her hair, and glance around the room. She looked everywhere but at Devra. Hmm … it was time for the interrogation to begin. Silently, Devra giggled with glee, but her face was expressionless. Just the way she needed it to be to entice Susan into spilling her guts. The waiter came with their drinks. After he departed, Devra turned to Susan. “So Sus, what have you been up to lately?” The use of her pet name for Susan would lure her into a false sense of safety. A security net, if you will. By studying her subjects, learning all she could about them, even the tiniest details that others would overlook, Devra always got what she was looking for. Sometimes she got more. Susan shifted nervously and took a sip of her drink. “Um … work,” she said too brightly. “You know how it is. Every time one thing gets straightened out, something else pops up.” Susan downed the rest of her drink and signaled the waiter for another. Devra mentally rubbed her hands together in delight. So itwas a man. Now, was it serious or simply sex? Part of their bond was because they'd both suffered a deep hurt at the hands of a stupid son-of-a-bitch,
and neither of them wanted to get serious with one man ever again. Granted, they didn't have sex fests. They were very discriminating about their partners and never strayed from the sexual excitement of the moment. Of course, in Devra's case, her trusty vibrator was her lover more often than not. It always hit the right spots, heightened the pleasure, and at the right time brought her to an explosive, orgasmic release that satiated her body. But, she had to admit a vibrator didn't come close in comparison to having a man. Suddenly, she felt the tension that built when a man slid his hard length inside her slick heat, plunging in slow measured strokes, bringing her closer and closer to the edge until she finally went over… She gasped at her own arousal. Good heavens! Maybe it was time to indulge in a little sexual recreation with a live man. A hand waving before her eyes drew her back to the present. “Yoo-hoo, Devra.” Shit! She must have gone off into a fantasy world for a minute or two. By the questioning look on Susan's face it had been far longer than it should have been. “Sorry, I was just thinking.” She picked up her drink, not surprised to see her hand trembling slightly. How could it not? My God, she was sitting here horny as hell, and daydreaming about a man. What else could her body do but respond? “Uh-huh,” Susan replied amusement in her tone. “I bet I can guess what you were thinking.” “Yes, but we aren't discussing me, now are we? Want to tell me what his name is and if he's any good?” Devra watched a flush creep up Susan's neck, and cover her face making it a nice shade of red. Paydirt! “I don't know what you're talking about.” Susan picked up her drink and took a healthy swallow. “Oh, yes you do. Now give me details. Is he the reason you've been skipping out on me every Friday night?” Susan lowered her eyes and stared at the tabletop. Devra cocked her head to the side and eyed her friend with great interest. It had been a long time since she'd seen Susan blush. She was about to speak when Susan raised her head and looked directly at her. “It's not what you think … er … exactly.” “Really? Then what is it?” “Have you ever listened to something that was so deep and soulful that you couldn't think, couldn't breathe?” Devra shook her head. “No.” She waited to see where Susan was going with this. “A few weeks ago, right here in this club, I heard a guy play the piano. I meanreally play. I didn't pay attention at first because I was so focused on him. God, he was gorgeous. His long black hair and dark eyes drew me like a moth to a flame.” Devra sighed. “Susan,” she said in a warning tone.
Susan waved her hand. “Okay, okay. Anyway, I started listening to his music and it was like my insides caught fire. Every note he played struck a chord in my body, setting it off. I swear to God, by the time he was done I was so hot all I could think about was finding a man and fucking him senseless.” Devra snickered, and then laughed aloud. She couldn't help it. Susan's words were hilarious. She knew her friend was pulling her leg. “Shit, Susan, you really had me going for a minute there.” “Devra.” Devra didn't listen, she just forged on. “I mean a man who plays the piano and makes you want to fuck. Hell, listen to some jazz at home, grab your trusty vibrator and have at it. What do you need a man for?” “Devra. Listen to me. This guy is different. His music is different. I'm telling you there's a story there.” “And what would the headline be, “Man Brings Audience To An Explosive Climax By Stroking The Piano Keys?” Devra shook her head and picked up her drink. Susan opened her purse and took out a mini tape recorder. She set it on the table. “Shut up and listen.” She pushed the on button and a low melodic tune filled the air, surrounding Devra with heat and fire. Her breath caught and her nipples hardened with each note played. Devra set her drink down with a thud. “What the hell?” She continued to listen to the poignant playing. Her body was in total meltdown, her clit throbbing to the beat of the song. What was happening? Suddenly the music stopped and Devra opened her eyes. Opened them? When had she closed them? She glanced across the table at Susan to find her sitting there with an “I told you so” look on her face. “Okay, you've got my attention. What's the deal?” Susan leaned forward and spoke softly. “His name is Joshua Thomas and he's drop-dead gorgeous. His looks alone could make you cream your panties.” Devra rolled her eyes. “Come on, Susan, get real. No man is that damn good.” “He is. His eyes are dreamy yet dangerous looking. When he looks at you, it's like you're the only one in the room. Like he's playing just for you.” Even though she thought the whole conversation was utter nonsense, Devra had to admit she was definitely intrigued. If what Susan said was true, this man was every woman's dream and probably the star of many X-rated fantasies. It sounded like this Joshua Thomas would make a great story for her column. The ideas and possibilities flittered in her mind, flirting along the edges of her consciousness. It had been a long time since a man had caught her interest. Especially one she'd never laid eyes on. This was too much! What in the hell was she thinking? It was ridiculous and yet, she couldn't seem to stop thinking about it. But she needed more to go on, like where was he playing? How often did he play? Did he have a wife, mistress, or lover? Her mind whirled, her instincts kicked into overdrive. Oh yeah! This man was definitely top priority for her. “Susan, when and where is he playing again?” “Tomorrow night, right here.” Her eyes narrowed. “Why?”
Devra sat back in her chair, a cocky grin widening her mouth. “Because I've decided to see exactly what Mr. Joshua Thomas is all about.” Susan slid the mini-recorder toward Devra. “Somehow I knew you would say that, but fair warning. Be ready for the ride of your life.” Susan drank the rest of her drink, collected her purse, and flitted out the door, leaving Devra with the bill and a question. What the heck did she mean by her parting statement?Be ready for the ride of your life. She snorted. Was the man going to give her a ride on his piano? Damn, if she couldn't wait to find out. Now all she had to do was convince her uncle to let her do a story on the mysterious Joshua Thomas. Which wasn't going to be easy, unless she found something unusual about the guy. Devra motioned for the waiter and the check. “Can you tell me how often Joshua Thomas plays here?” “He plays here every Saturday night. There's a poster by the door with all the information on it. Check it out on your way out.” With a smirk, he mumbled, “Here comes another Saturday regular,” then left Devra pondering her next move. Research! That was the ticket. “No time like the present.” Devra gathered up her purse and headed for the door, stopping long enough to check out the poster. Disappointment filled her when she found there was no picture of Joshua, nothing at all, just times and dates for his next performance. That didn't deter her, though. If anything, it made her all the more determined to find out all she could about the mysterious piano player.
“This sucks,” Devra muttered. “I never get sick. Never! So why now?” She grabbed a tissue just in time. A sneeze that made her head hurt erupted. Wiping her nose, she drew the thermal blanket more tightly around her body where she lounged on the couch, just as she had for the past week. Her head rested against the back of the couch, the television turned low while another episode of Perry Mason played. She loved Perry Mason and Raymond Burr, the actor who played him. The younger version of Burr had inspired several fantasies when Devra was younger. Those broad shoulders, piercing eyes, even his mind turned her on. Of course, that was a long time ago. Now she enjoyed just watching him, especially when she was ill. Dammit! Her shot at Joshua Thomas was postponed due to a bout of flu. The morning after her meeting with Susan, Devra woke with her head pounding, her stomach churning and a bone-wracking fever. She'd called Susan, who immediately came over, brought some chicken soup and juice, and told her to stay in bed. The next call she'd made was to her Uncle Bob at the newspaper. He told her to get well and not to show her face in the office until she was one hundred percent. Last, she'd gotten in touch with Trixie Robinson in research and asked her to send her all the information she could find on one Joshua Thomas. Trixie asked a question or two that Devra didn't feel like answering, so she'd told Trixie, “Don't ask questions, just do as I ask.” Devra had given Trixie her email address and then hung up. She'd felt bad for being so abrupt and really couldn't explain it, but she didn't want anyone else to know about Joshua Thomas. Oh, it was for professional reasons, of course. She couldn't have anybody scooping her story on this guy now, could she? But in order for there to be a story she had to find out something about the guy. Devra was still a little ticked that Trixie hadn't turned up anything more than what she'd sent. She'd hoped for a picture, or something. Anything to prove this guy existed. But she'd
read the information Trixie had been able to find over and over in the past few days. There simply wasn't much there. No, you just don't want anyone else to know about this man who almost made you come in your panties a week ago. “Oh, shut up,” she mumbled. However, she couldn't deny the small truth in what the voice whispered. She closed her eyes and replayed the song from the tape. Each note was filled with hunger. It fairly pulsed with it. She wondered what was going on in Joshua's mind. Did he write the songs? Were they an extension of his emotions? And if so, how in the hell could he make her nearly climax with just a few strokes of the piano keys? She rubbed her eyes and yawned. She was tired. Maybe she would stretch out on the couch and take a little nap. Devra shifted and turned her body until she was lying down on her side, her hands resting beneath her cheek. Closing her eyes, Devra yawned again and moved a bit to get more comfortable. After a couple of minutes she drifted off to sleep, her last thought on Joshua Thomas and his music. **** Joshua could feel the power raging through his body with each note he played. The audience was over ninety percent women—hot, horny women whose thoughts revolved around him and riding his body. He hated it. It was like this every time he played. Each woman fantasized about being with him, beneath him, riding him. It didn't satisfy his needs. These women were all the same. He wanted a woman who would stand up to him. A woman who wasn't afraid of her own sexuality, who could and would pleasure herself without a qualm. What he wanted was his true mate. He was playing the last few notes of his new song when a soft sigh brushed his mind.What in the hell? That had never happened before. Joshua lifted his head and gazed around the room looking for the one who had touched him. He reached out with his mind and silently cursed. Damn! She wasn't here. How could she have left? He hadn't seen one person get up and leave since he'd started playing. He played the last few notes, and then stood and left the stage quickly. The audience clapped, whistled and begged for more. Normally he didn't mind obliging, but not tonight. He had something else on his mind. Something that he felt was more important. Joshua walked down the hallway and pushed open the outside door and walked out. Closing his eyes, he leaned against the building intending to rest just for a moment. He wasn't prepared for the soft brush again. His eyes flew open. He searched the parking lot and the grounds, looking for whoever was doing this to him. However, no one was there. He raked his hand through his black hair. “What the hell is going on? Am I losing my mind?” Joshua needed answers and he needed them right away. Flipping open his phone, he punched in his parents' number. It was picked up on the second ring. “Hello?” He smiled at the sweet sound of his mother's voice. “Hello, Mother. How are you this evening?” “Joshua,” she said. “I'm fine. What about you? Shouldn't you be playing now? Is something wrong?” He sighed. “I've finished my set. I don't know if something's wrong. Can I come see you and Father? I
need to ask you something.” “Of course you can. I'll tell your father you're coming. Be careful.” Breaking the connection, Joshua took a deep calming breath and let it out. His parents would have the answers he needed, they always did. **** A short time later he pulled into his parents' driveway. Their house was a split-level ranch, painted a pale yellow with sage-green shutters, and located in one of the older suburbs. The neighborhood was a quiet place with mostly older folks living there now. For a moment, Joshua just sat there in his car looking at his parents' home—a home that was always filled with warmth, love and laughter. The kind of home he hoped to have one day. He watched as the front door opened and his mother stepped out onto the porch. He got out of the car and smiled at the petite woman who never waited until he reached the front door. “Joshua, I'm so glad you're here.” “Hello, Mother.” He opened his arms, content and happy when her arms wrapped securely around him, enveloping him in her loving warmth. He breathed deeply, catching the scent of cinnamon and sugar. Ah … she was baking cookies, his favorites if the aroma wafting from the open front door was any indication. “You're baking my favorite cookies.” His mother pulled back and looked into his eyes. “Of course, why wouldn't I do something for my precious son?” She took his hand and tugged him toward the front porch and into the house. “Come on. Your father is in the kitchen and has probably already eaten too many cookies.” Joshua laughed heartily. “You're probably right. Let's hurry, then.” Arms linked together, they walked down the hallway and into the well-lit kitchen where they found his father sitting at the table, a cookie poised at his mouth and a sheepish grin on his face. “Hi Dad,” Joshua pounded his father on the back. “Eating all the cookies, I see.” “Joshua, my boy, how are you?” He took a bite of his cookie and made anmmm sound. Joshua's sad mood had immediately lifted at being in his parents' home. “I'm fine, Dad.” Joshua reached over and snatched a cookie from the dwindling pile, stuffed the whole thing in his mouth and chewed with gusto. His mother chuckled and patted his forearm. “Joshua,” she admonished with amusement. “I taught you better manners than that.” Joshua finished chewing and swallowed the cookie before replying. “I didn't spill any crumbs, and I didn't waste it.” He grinned broadly, and then grabbed another one, but took a bite instead of inhaling it. “Sit. Talk. What brings you here?” his father asked, waving him to a seat. Joshua's smiled faded, his cookie no longer quite as tasty. He pulled out a chair opposite his father and sat down. Resting his elbows on the table, he clasped his hands together and tried to figure out how to
ask his question. Finally, he just blurted it out. “Does a true mate really exist? Is there really a woman out there for me who can satisfy all my needs? By herself?” Joshua's mother walked over and placed her hand on her husband's shoulder. They looked at each other and smiled. Their love was apparent in every way possible. Just thinking about it brought a smile to Joshua's face. After a few moments of gazing into her husband's eyes, his mother finally spoke. “Oh yes, Joshua. There is definitely such a thing as a true mate. A person who can give you everything you need to survive and more.” “But, how will I know when I've found her?” He snorted. “It's not like she'll be wearing a bright neon sign that flashes 'True mate! Come and get me.'“ His mother giggled. “Oh, Joshua, you are a joy to my heart.” She walked around the table and sat beside him. Taking his hand in hers, she continued, “You will know her. When she is near, your heart will beat as hers, your body will desire hers beyond anything you've ever felt before. And when she's not near, you will feel her mind brush yours, seeking the touch of lovers, of true mates.” Joshua's breath caught. “A brush in my mind? Mother, I think I felt that tonight. Explain this feeling to me.” She shrugged. “It's like butterfly wings against your cheek, a soft, delicate flutter almost too faint to notice.” Joshua let out the breath he didn't even realize he'd been holding. He threw back his head and shouted. He cradled his mother's head between his palms and buzzed her cheeks. “I have found her! Er … well, I've touched minds with her anyway.” All the anxiety left his body in a rush. “At least now I know that she is here, in the same place as me.” Letting go of his mother's face, Joshua sat back in his chair and told his parents what had happened. “I was playing my music at the club when I felt a light brush just like the one you described. I looked up from the piano, glanced around the room and tried to find her, but she wasn't there. Somehow she had left without my ever knowing she was there. After the set was over I left the club and walked outside. As I stood there leaning against the building, I felt it again. It was like a sigh—a light, breathless sigh.” “So you found her outside then?” his father asked. Joshua shook his head. “No. I probed the parking lot and searched out the touch but couldn't find it. She wasn't there.” He slapped his open palm on the table, not hard enough to damage it but enough to vent his frustration. “Dammit! I don't know where she is or, for that matter, where to start looking.” He ran his fingers through his shoulder-length hair. “Joshua,” his mother said softly. “She's out there and you'll find her. You say the brush in your mind was light? Faint ?” He nodded.
“Then she wasn't there to begin with. The lighter the touch the farther away they are.” “So how the hell am I supposed to find her then?” His mother patted him. “You draw her to you, with your music, and your hunger.” He mulled over his mother's words. “So I just keep playing my music until it draws her to me? God, Mother, that could take forever and I don't want to wait that long.” “Did you try to follow the link back to her?” “What? What do you mean did I follow the link back? How the heck do I do that?” “Tsk, tsk, my son. Didn't you listen to anything we taught you about true mates?” his mother admonished. Joshua felt the heat climb his cheeks. “Not as I should have, Mother. Please tell me how to do this.” His mother smiled, nodded and proceeded to tell Joshua how to find his mate. When he left, Joshua knew what he had to do.
Devra was pissed. Two weeks! Two weeks lost on her story about Joshua because of the flu and then recovery time. Trixie, in research, had come through with nothing Devra could use. No pictures of the illustrious player, no tabloid stories about womanizing. Nothing! It was as if the man didn't exist outside of the jazz clubs he played. An insane thought struck and Devra chuckled at the absurdity. “The man is an alien,” she muttered, sorting one more time through the meager amount of information Trixie had given her. “He plays his little piano, gets everyone all hot and horny, then walks out to his spaceship and disappears.” Today would be her first day back at work in a couple of weeks and already she was running behind. It was those damn dreams. Erotic dreams filled with music and a lover whose very touch seared straight to her soul, his hands caressing her body, his fingers circling and pinching her nipples and sliding into her wet heat. Just thinking about them sent a shiver of awareness down her spine. God! She was horny. Actually, now that she thought about it, she'd been in a state of heightened arousal since the night she'd first heard Joshua Thomas's music wafting from the tiny recorder. Keeping the tape probably hadn't been one of her wisest decisions and was most likely behind the dreams. Yet, for some reason Devra couldn't fathom, she just couldn't let it go. She played the melody over and over and each time the desire was hotter, heavier than the last. Her vibrator had gotten such a workout, Devra would swear it smiled at her. But, it didn't come close to assuaging the hunger. All it did was build it even higher, until she couldn't stand it anymore. She needed a man. Now! Unfortunately, not any man would do. She wanted the faceless lover of her dreams. The man whose touch seared straight through to her soul. “Get a grip, girl,” she grumbled to her heated body. “We've got work to do.” Devra finished dressing, grabbed her brown leather briefcase and keys and headed out the front door. She locked the door and turned to face the new day. A beautiful cool summer morning greeted her. The
sun was a bright yellow ball hanging in the sky and the scent of roses and hyacinths filled her nose, bringing a smile to her face. June was her favorite month because that's when everything bloomed. She loved her flower beds and enjoyed working in the soil, getting dirt under her fingernails. It had been one of her mother's favorite pastimes as well. Devra had spent long hours as a child working side by side with her mother, pulling weeds, and planting seeds. Sadness clouded her eyes for a moment. Her mother wasn't there anymore. Maybe once she got Joshua Thomas out of her mind, and down on paper, she would come home and plant some flowers. She looked back at the house where she grew up and felt a sense of joy and peace. Devra was glad that Uncle Bob hadn't let her sell the place during her mourning period. It would have been a shame to see the two-story Victorian style house with its wrap around porch unkempt or torn down. Devra slid into her shiny, electric-blue Accord. It was an old car with a lot of history, but its black leather interior still looked like new and the carpets were dirt free. She hated a messy car. To her, a car told a lot about a person. The messier the car the more conceited the person. Like her ex-husband. Jerk! “No time to dwell on the past, Devra, it's time to get back to work. Joshua Thomas, here I come.” Devra laughed, put the car in gear and headed to work. She had some more research to do and then had to persuade Uncle Bob to let her do the story. Her laughter died. “Of course, if I don't come up with anymore research, he's going to laugh me right out of the office.” Devra went straight to her office checked her phone messages, read her email, answered some and then called her uncle. “Uncle Bob, it's Devra,” she said when he answered. “How ya doing girl? Feeling up to snuff now?” “Yes, Uncle Bob, I'm fine. I need to see you. Do you have time for me?” “Not right now. I'm in the middle of something. Can we do it later … say around four this afternoon?” Devra looked at her watch and groaned. Four o'clock? That was over six hours away. “Are you sure you can't see me before then?” Devra bit her lip and silently prayed he would tell her to come on. “I'm sure. I'm sorry, honey, but I really am busy right now.” “I guess I'll see you at four then.” She hung up the phone. A bit disappointed, Devra figured she might as well use the time wisely. Turning on the computer, she punched in Joshua's name and waited to see what would come up. Hopefully, she would find six hours worth of work. At three-thirty, Devra stretched and groaned at the soreness in her body. She was tired and hungry. Evidently she wasn't as fully recovered as she thought. Devra rooted around in her purse for some change to get a soda and some crackers. Hopefully that would hold her until dinner. She was headed back to her office with her snacks when someone shouted her name. Devra turned and saw her uncle at the other end of the newsroom motioning for her to come. Her food forgotten, Devra hustled to his office ready to pitch her story idea. Bob greeted her with a smile and motioned for her to sit down.
Devra shook her head and started talking. “Uncle Bob, I think I might have an interesting story, but there's not much I can tell you about it.” He leaned back in his chair and nodded for her to continue. Okay, so he wasn't saying no yet. That was good. Right? “I want to do a story on a local pianist, Joshua Thomas. It seems he's a bit of a mystery. No one knows much about him except he can play one hell of a piano.” “Uh-huh.” Devra paced the confines of the office, her heels clicking on the parquet floor and her silk skirt swishing around her knees. It was her favorite skirt, the one she wore for good luck. “Listen, I really want this story. There's something about this guy that doesn't quite add up.” And, he intrigues me, she added silently. “I can't find anything on him. No criminal record, no pictures, nothing. It's like he doesn't exist outside wherever he's performing. What I did gather is that women flock to his shows no matter where he's playing.” Why? She didn't know but she would find out. She had to. She stopped pacing and turned toward the desk. Looking her boss square in the eye, Devra did something she'd never done before. She begged. “Please. Let me do this story.” Uncle Bob had a real nose for news. For as long as Devra could remember his hunches had been right on the money. When her mother had passed away three years ago, Bob had been the one to console her, and push her back into the land of the living. Bob had browbeaten her into taking one story after the other until finally Devra said she'd had enough. She was going to be fine if she didn't die from overwork. He repositioned his rotund body in the leather chair and steepled his hands under his chin. Devra shifted restlessly from one foot to the other waiting for his answer, praying it was the right one. Or the one she wanted. The minutes ticked by like hours and she had gotten to the point of clenching her hands into fists and gritting her teeth to keep from snarling at him, when he finally answered. “Why do you think this story would be interesting? You haven't gotten anything on the man, no priors, and no pictures. Tell me why I should let you do this story.” Devra shrugged. “Because he is a mystery.”A mystery I want to solve. “I don't understand this obsession you have with this piano player. But, if you really want the story…” He paused and looked away. She held her breath. Bob turned back, a slow smile spread across his lips. “Go for it, girl.” Devra squealed with delight, ran around the desk and hugged him. “Thank you, Uncle Bob, you won't regret it.” With one last squeeze and a quick peck on his jaw, she ran out the door like a shot. **** Back in her office, Devra closed the door and picked up the phone. One ring, two rings… She blew out a frustrated breath and sat down. “Come on … come on. Answer the phone.”
She was about to give up when she heard a voice. “Hello?” “Sus, it's Dev. I got the story on the piano player.” She chuckled “I can't believe Uncle Bob agreed because I don't have any information, just my instincts screaming there's a story here.” “Dev, that's fantastic. I'm telling you this guy is sexy, mysterious, and can play the hell out of the piano. I can't put into words how I felt when I heard him play.” Susan sighed over the phone and continued, “You'll just have to listen for yourself.” “I know he's playing at Jazzy's tonight and I plan to be there.” “Uh, Dev?” “What.” “He normally plays two sets. Which one are you going to? Early or late?” “I hadn't really thought about it. I guess the early one. Why?” “Because you don't have long before his first show. It starts at seven.” Devra heard muffled voices in the background and then Susan came back. “Listen, I've gotta run. There seems to be a crisis here. Later!” Devra replaced the receiver in its cradle, glanced at her watch and gasped. It was five o'clock. Where had the time gone? “Damn! I don't have much time to get home, changed and to the club before his first song.” She jumped from her chair, grabbed her bag and headed out the door. Tonight she was going to see Joshua Thomas. Just the thought of him made her skin tingle. Tonight she would have her answers. **** After driving around several times to find a parking space at the club, Devra finally found one at the back of the lot. She climbed out of her car, tucked her tank top into her jeans, leaned back into the car, grabbed her bag, tossed it over her shoulder and kicked the door shut. Hopefully the place wasn't too crowded. She was going to talk to Joshua tonight! No matter what. She had to know why his music made her feel the way it did. Words could not describe her emotions. Excitement, frustration, and desire all warred within her body. How could she want a man she'd never met, much less seen? For all she knew he could be average, although Susan had said he was gorgeous and she was a good judge of male attractiveness. Devra shrugged. She would reserve judgment until she saw him with her own eyes. Now, as she glanced around the crowded parking lot of Jazzy's Club, she was beginning to have second thoughts. But the reporter inside her screamed there was a story here and if she didn't pursue it she would regret it. Devra never gave up on anything, and she sure as hell wasn't about to start now. That was one thing her mother had pounded into her head from the time she was seven. “Devra, honey, a true born-and-bred Southern woman never gives up on anything. Never let them see you panic and never, ever let them see you sweat.” Devra wondered what her mama would say if she were here right now. A hot breeze combed its fingers through her hair. She opened the black wooden door of the club and stepped inside a softly lit room with ceiling fans lazily moving cool air around. The soothing wail of saxophones and sultry vocals from the group on stage wove their way past the patrons and wrapped around her. She blinked and focused on the fact that there was hardly any room to move around, it was
so crowded. Every table in the place was taken, filled with women of all ages. There were some men scattered around, but not many. “Geez, did everybody decide to come here tonight?” she muttered. “All this for a pianist? Maybe he does a striptease too.” She silently cursed. Now why did that thought sound so appealing? Shit! She needed a drink and a man. And not in that order. Devra continued her perusal of the room and finally spotted a table. At the far corner, to the left of the stage, there was one empty table. She wove her way through the crowded place, sidestepping drunken college guys with fast hands. Just as she reached the table, two women wearing skin tight mini skirts and jewel toned tank tops that exposed identical rose tattoos on their shoulders shoved her aside. Standing on tiptoes to look over the massive crowd, Devra spied another table in the shadowed corner by the curtain. It was a smaller table with one chair. She elbowed her way through the crowd of yuppie males and twittering women. Three more steps and she'd be home free. One step, two, three. She claimed the table by slamming her bag on it, then flopped into the chair and sighed in relief. God, it felt good to sit down. She noticed the candlelamp in the center of the table and smiled. That explained the dim lights. Obviously ambiance was top priority in this place, Café-style round black lacquered tables sat about three feet apart, leaving the waitresses plenty of room to maneuver. The chairs were actually high-backed, tall stools with leather padded seats. In the center of each table was a mosaic glass candleholder with a candle burning inside. A plush, deep burgundy carpet covered the club floor ending at the edge of the bar. “What in the hell am I doing here? This guy can't be all that good.” But she knew that was a lie. Who was he? Where did he come from? These were the questions that she planned to get answers to tonight. One way or another, Joshua Thomas was going to talk to her. The cool interior was slowly having its effect on her heated body, but the sweat drying between her breasts left her feeling sticky. She was glad now that she had braided her hair in a single braid. Otherwise the heat outside would have turned it to a frizzy mass when she perspired. And that just simply wouldn't do. “I need a drink.” Turning around, she saw a waitress headed her way. The girl looked to be in her mid-twenties with platinum blonde hair piled on top of her head, a sleeveless white blouse and a short black skirt that hit about mid-thigh. “What can I get for ya?” She asked in a slow southern drawl that reminded Devra of Georgia. “I'd like an ice-cold beer in a frosted mug, please.” She flashed a quick smile at the young woman. “Comin' up. My name is Luanne, by the way.” Luanne smiled and turned, heading for the bar to get the drink. Devra sat back and tried to figure out if one of the few men scattered throughout the club was Joshua or not. It was tough not knowing what he looked like. All she really had to go on was Susan's description, which wasn't much. Tall, dark, and sexy. What the hell kind of description was that? And from the owner of a prominent, big money magazine too. Devra laughed to herself. “Susan, honey, I'm going to have to teach you the art of observation.” She mentally flipped through what little information she had, and contemplated what little she knew about Joshua Thomas. Her exuberance faded along with her smile
The man appeared to be an overnight success story from the bits she had found. “There's got to be something more than meets the eye here.” She muttered to herself. “Why are there no pictures, no sightings of him in restaurants? What about a lover or something?” She blew out a breath. “There's something going on here and I intend to find out what it is.” A frosty mug was plunked down on the table in front of her. In one graceful move, Luanne picked up the five-dollar bill Devra had put on the table and turned away, disappearing into the crowd. Devra grumbled, “Thanks,” after Luanne had already gone, and took a long swallow, letting the icy coldness soothe her parched throat. Before she was finished, she had drunk half the beer without taking a breath. Wiping her mouth on the back of her hand, she giggled at her barbaric ways. If her gently-bred mother could see her southern belle now, she would faint dead away. To hell with that. Tonight she wasn't a gentle-born lady—tonight she was a reporter looking for her story. It just so happened the story was about a man. Picking up her beer, she finished the last of it and had motioned for Luanne to bring another when the stage spotlight came on. Devra set the empty glass down. The room suddenly quieted and a tall man came on stage. It was him. It had to be. He was larger than life and demanded attention “This stops tonight.” Crossing her arms over her chest she looked him over from head to toe. “You aren't getting away from me, Joshua Thomas. Huh-uh, no way. Not until I have some answers.” Another beer was set down in front of her, but Devra didn't notice. Her only thoughts were of Joshua. His hair was inky black, almost as long as hers, and pulled back in a ponytail. Dark eyebrows covered a pair of crystal blue eyes the color of the Caribbean Sea, and his nose was aquiline with a tiny bump, probably the result of being broken at some time. His cheekbones were so nicely shaped, any woman would be jealous of their perfection. But his lips. They were luscious and wide. Devra wondered what it would be like to kiss those lips. She wanted to. Fiercely. In the same way, she'd give a lot to see him out of that snug black t-shirt. It was obvious even clothed, that he had a body to die for, with broad shoulders, a massive chest and muscular arms. What might he be hiding under those snug black jeans? She muttered softly, “Well, Susan, forgive me. I guess your description fits him to a T.” Something about him seemed familiar, but Devra couldn't place it. All coherent thought fled her mind once he played the first note. He began with a song that was dark and rich. A sultry, alluring melody that penetrated every cell in her weary body, its notes drifting like a cool breeze across her skin. Like a phantom lover's fingers, the music caressed the tight knot of tension inside her, relaxing it, easing it. Slowly it faded, eased by the poignant tune coming from the stage. The music caressed her soul giving her a sense of peace, a calmness she hadn't felt in a long time. It reminded her of lazy days lying on the riverbank watching the sunset, her first kiss, and her first lover. The nervousness she'd felt about finally seeing Joshua disappeared, replaced by something different— arousal, need. This music was like nothing she'd ever heard before. It certainly wasn't the one on the tape she'd been listening to. The notes seemed to wrap around her body, entering her soul, their spectral fingers a wash of energy, electrifying, sensitizing her nerve endings. A hum of sensation tickled below the surface of her skin, moving through her veins, into her vagina. Her pleasure bud swelled, her womb contracted and clenched tightly within her aroused body. She gasped softly as her nipples hardened, brushing against the lace of her bra. Her muscles tightened in
need, her vagina gushed cream, saturating her panties. Every cell in her body screamed out for him, crying out for his touch. She watched his fingers stroke the keys like a lover, wishing it were her body he was stroking. The haunting melody drifted through the room, gaining everyone's attention and holding them in thrall of its beauty. Every woman in the place stared at the stage, never taking their eyes from him. With effort she pulled her thoughts back to why she was here, to investigate how he pulled this off. Was it something in the drinks? Did they spike the drinks before he came on? She picked up her mug, sniffed at the contents and smelled only beer. As she set the beer down she noticed the trembling in her hands and frowned. What was happening to her? Her body responded to his music as if a missing piece of her soul had been found. She closed her eyes, fighting to breathe through the hunger pulsating deep within, only to find images flashing behind her closed lids. The first was of his hands caressing, stroking her skin, his lips gliding over every inch of skin he revealed, their bodies writhing on satin sheets. She ran her hands over his naked, sweaty chest, loving the way his skin felt under her fingertips. When he moved over her, sliding his dick deep into her hot, wet sheath, she moaned. His cock filled her to the brink and then filled her more. Grabbing his ass, she pulled him closer, as close as she could get him. That's when he started to move, out and in. Slow, measured strokes, meant to drive her wild. Oh God! She was close. So close to the edge that one stroke would push her over, sending her into the dark abyss of ecstasy. Suddenly, in the background, Devra heard applause, pulling her from her vision to the present. Her hands hurt and looking down, she understood why. She had a white knuckle grip on the wooden seat. Slowly releasing the seat, she shook out her hands glancing at the stage just in time to see Joshua leave and go through a black curtain. “Oh, no, you don't.” Jumping up from her chair, she grabbed her bag and parted the curtains. “Hey, lady! You can't go back there. It's off-limits to customers.” The bouncer moved fast to stop her. The fact that he was already on his way when the music ended, meant that he was used to keeping women from going backstage, and by the look of him, he took his job seriously. Well, hell, what was she going to do now? Taking a deep breath, and plastering what she hoped was a sultry smile on her face, she turned to him. “I have a date with Joshua tonight. He said it was okay.” She prayed that there was some truth in her words otherwise, her ass was grass. His brow furrowed for a moment, his body shifting with his thoughts. Finally he waved her on. “Go ahead then.” Devra breathed a sigh of relief. She didn't know why he'd let her through and she didn't care. All she wanted was to find Joshua Thomas. Now! She pushed through the curtains and waited for her eyes to adjust to the darker interior. Up ahead she saw Joshua round the corner. Walking quickly so she wouldn't lose him, she rounded the corner about five steps behind him, stopping when she spotted the shadowy outline of a man leaning casually against the far wall by the outside door. A door which might be her only escape if this wasn't Joshua.
Straightening her shoulders and hoping no fear showed on her face, she asked, “Are you Joshua Thomas?” The man wasn't inclined to answer it seemed. In fact, he just stood against the wall, arms crossed over his chest, and legs crossed at the ankles, staring right at her. Blowing a puff of air that ruffled her bangs, Devra decided to try again. “Look, my name is Devra Preston and I'm a reporter for theNews Free Press . My boss sent me here to do an interview with you, er … with Joshua Thomas. Are you he, or not?” She knew her tone was filled with exasperation, but dammit it was only good manners to answer a lady. And she was a lady! Okay, Devra. You need to calm down and relax. Devra smiled. Maybe that would make him relax and talk to her. “So are you Joshua Thomas?” “I don't do interviews.” His cool, collected voice reached between them, wrapping around her soul, touching it the same way his music had done. Relief flooded through her at his words. This was Joshua. She'd found him and now she could find the answer to the obsession she'd felt ever since Susan had played that damn tape. “I'm happy to meet you Mr. Thomas, but I want to know what in the hell you did out there on stage.” “How did you get back here?” he asked softly. Devra waved her hand. “That's not the question. The question is what did you do on that stage, to the women in the audience? It looked like they were all under a spell or something.” “I played a song.” He cocked his head to the side, his eyes narrowing, focusing that intense gaze on her. “No, you did more than that. A whole lot more.” The hackles on her neck rose, her instincts kicking in full force. This man exuded power that was like electrical energy running along the surface of her body. “What do they do here? Drug the customers, put something in the drinks? Or do you have subliminal messages woven into each note you play, each melody?” She watched anger flash in his eyes, his mouth tightening at the corners. “Well, what is it? Readers want to know. What is so special about you, Mr. Thomas?” Sarcasm dripped from every word but she was past the point of being nice. His calm, cool attitude was driving her crazy. Devra knew she was baiting the man, and that probably wasn't a good idea since they were alone in the deserted hallway, but she had to know. She had to know why his music had captured her soul, and was even now ingrained in her every muscle, every nerve, and every beat of her heart. Why did she feel the need to have this man, to feel his touch, and to touch him in return? Oh yes! Devra needed to touch him like she needed her next breath. Her body was on sensory overload, every nerve ending on fire. One touch and she would explode. “No interview. You've wasted your time coming here, Miss Preston.” He straightened from the wall. “Goodbye.” Without thinking, she reached toward him. “No, please, I'm sorry. I'm being rude and there's no cause for it. I just need a few minutes of your time.” She knew she was begging, pleading but she didn't care. No way in hell was he getting away from her. Not until she had the answers her soul sought.
“Look, I'm just curious. It's taken me a while to get to one of your shows. I've tried to find information, pictures, anything about you, but I keep running into a dead end.” She took a deep breath before continuing. “It will only take a minute of your time, I promise.” She was probably losing the only chance she had but if it took begging to get to talk to him, she'd beg. She'd do anything. Right now she was hot, tired, and horny. Not a good combination. “Let's get one thing straight,” he growled, low and fierce. “I do not drug people nor do I condone it. I don't hypnotize people. I play my music. That's it,that's all ,” he finished with a hiss. “No, I think there's more to it than that. What I felt out there was way more than just notes being banged out. You made me feel…” Her words trailed off as his brow arched inquiringly. “Made you feel what?” he asked in a silky tone that made Devra's heart pound harder in her chest. It frightened and energized her all at the same time. She shook her head. “Never mind. We aren't talking about me.” But she knew it wasn't the truth. Itwas about her and the feelings he invoked with his music. “Why don't you tell me why you'rereally here, Miss Preston? What do you really want from me?” “I told you. I want an interview,” she said, looking away. His gaze was so intense, so hard, she felt as though he could read her mind through her eyes. And if he could, he would know what she wanted. The two of them naked, squirming on satin sheets. “No, I think not. I don't think you want aninterview right now, do you?” His voice was low and seductive. She snapped her gaze back to his. “Excuse me?” she asked, anger tinting her tone. “What the hell are you talking about?” “You heard me. I don't think you want an interview,” he stated. “I think you want to get fucked, right here against the wall.” He walked toward her, his stride full of purpose and determination, finally stopping when he stood directly in front of her, his body touching hers with each breath she took. “I think you want me to tear the clothes from your body and stuff you full of my cock.” “No, I…” she whimpered, crying out when her aching nipples brushed against her shirt. Oh my God! He was right. That's exactly what she wanted. One big, broad hand came up, palming her breast, his fingers pinching her nipple. “Please.” His warm breath wafted across her cheek as he spoke. “Please what? Strip you naked and take you against the wall? Would you scream?” His tongue traced a path from her cheek to her ear flicking inside before moving to the outer shell. Devra nearly crumbled at his feet. If his body hadn't been pressing her against the wall she would have. “Would you, Miss Preston?” He whispered quietly, his fingers still playing with her nipple. Suddenly his hand moved to the other breast, giving it the same treatment. “Answer me. Would you scream?” His tongue swirled along the vein pulsing in her neck, his teeth scraping the sensitized flesh. She turned her head to the side giving him greater access. “Would you moan when I thrust my cock in and out of your moist channel? And it is wet, isn't it? I can smell your arousal. It smells sweet, like the ripest berries, bursting with flavor.”
Her mind whirled, her heart beating a staccato rhythm as she tried to speak, to answer. But no words came forth. Instead she shook her head, biting her lip as his fingers continued their torture.What the hell is he doing to me? Exactly what she wanted. She hated the truth, but there it was. His deep, knowing chuckle brought her out of the sexual spell his touch had woven. Bringing her hands up, she pushed against his chest. “Get off me. I didn't come here to get molested,” she hissed, wrapping her arms around her waist. “Why sure you did, darlin'. Otherwise you would have fought harder than you did.” He moved three steps back, grinning sarcastically at her. “Isn't that what all women want, to be handled by the man who tickles the ivory keys like a man stroking his lover?” His smile faded. “Stay away from me, Miss Preston, or you will get more than you bargained for. More than just the fucking you so obviously crave.” She stiffened, heat rising in her face at his words. “I don't think I asked you to fuck me. I think what I asked for was a minute of your time.” “Yes, you did. You asked for that and more. Your slick, swollen passage, your aching nipples, the breathless whimpering, all tell me exactly what you want.” His eyes captured her gaze, refusing to let go. “Oh, and you will beg me for it when it's time. Don't doubt that for a minute. But in the meantime, stay the hell away from me until you're ready to be taken.” He turned on his heel and flung open the door, disappearing into the coolness of the night. Devra stood rooted to the spot, watching helplessly as he walked away. The slamming door jarred her from her stupor. “Damn!” she muttered, shaking her head in disgust. With trembling hands she brushed the hair away from her face and stepped away from the wall. She accidentally brushed against her still hard nipples and groaned at the surge of electricity that traveled straight to her swollen, wet pulsing core. “Two more minutes and Iwould have begged you, asshole.” And therein laid the crux of the matter. He was right about one thing. She wanted to be handled by the man. But not just his fingers. She wanted his mouth, his hands and his cock, playing her body like a fine instrument. Sighing heavily she walked out the door and into the night. Great! Just freakin' great. She took a deep breath and stomped her foot. “Dammit.” With long angry steps she headed for her car. “Now what? Do I stay for the second show and surely climax right there in front of everybody? Or should I go home, get out the vibrator, take the edge off and come see Joshua next Friday night?” She tapped her finger on her chin. “I think I'll do the latter. I can't handle him again tonight.” She kicked a rock in her path, sighing over her uncontrollable urges. “Next time, I'll just wear ear plugs. If I can't hear him play then I won't be so turned on.”Yeah right! In your dreams, girl. Reaching her car, Devra slammed into her seat and drove away in a rush of speed, hoping she could outrun her feelings. **** Standing in the shadow of an enormous oak tree, Joshua had a perfect view of her exit. To his enhanced
hearing, her sub-vocalized words sounded like she was shouting. He shook his head and chuckled at her anger. She was ripe for plucking and pissed as hell for wanting him. He leaned against the tree, sucked in deep, calming breaths and waited for his heart to slow down to normal speed. Messing with the reporter in the hallway had backfired on him big time. His intention was to get her hot and bothered, begging him, then laugh and walk away. But it hadn't happened that way. Instead, the minute he'd touched her, an arch of sexual tension had struck him hard in the solar plexus. That had never happened to him before. “Damn, what's so different about this woman?” he mumbled to himself, his fists clenched and unclenched, and his cock pulsed with arousal. Not good. Especially since he had another show to do in a couple of hours. He remembered the texture of her skin and her light scent, and his hunger rose like a raging beast. Even now her arousal was rushing through his body, giving him more strength and power than the whole room full of people inside the jazz club had. He could still smell the sweet scent of her womanhood. He ran his tongue lightly across the edge of his teeth, a smile forming on his lips. “You are truly a wonder, Miss Devra Preston. Indeed you are. Could it be you are the woman I've been searching for?” His smile faded. Did the woman know how close she'd come to danger tonight? If he had invaded her thoughts, she would have fainted at his feet, overcome with his need, his hunger. It had taken everything in him not to connect his mind to hers when they were alone backstage. Feeding on collective minds had kept him sustained for so long. Had he now found one who could quite possibly sustain him all by herself? Her softly muttered words and her body language told him more than she'd probably wanted him to know. The lady had never been well and thoroughly taken, her desires fulfilled, or her body satiated after a long hard night of loving. God, just feeling her nipples rub against his palm had nearly driven him crazy. If their lips had met in a kiss, it would have been over for both of them because he wouldn't have stopped there. He would have ripped the clothes from her body and mounted her, sliding deep into her moist heat. And she would have let him, too. Her arousal had been strong, filling his nostrils with its unique, sweet scent. Oh yes, he had wanted to take her, and it had taken all his self-control not to go any further. Because Joshua knew if he had taken her, he couldn't have—wouldn't have—stopped. They were in a semi-public place and he knew that wouldn't have mattered if he'd let himself go. But he didn't want to take the chance on people watching. When he took her, he wanted her all to himself, to love her thoroughly all night long. He had been riding high on sexual energy, pure, hot, and so intense it burned in his blood. Even now just thinking about sinking into Devra's heat, his cock jumped and pulsed like an entity all its own. It had been a long time since one woman had nearly succeeded in bringing him to his knees, but this one, with her auburn hair and smart mouth, did just that. A few more seconds in her presence and he would have kissed her, gorging himself on her sweet nectar. Damn! His cock was like a steel pipe, stiff and unyielding. He needed relief, and soon. Joshua tried clearing his mind of everything but the next song, the next note. The melody ran rampant in his head filling his thoughts, until his cock no longer throbbed and the hunger no longer gnawed at him. When he was under control, he moved away from the tree and walked along the riverbank, letting the cool fresh air wash over his heated skin. His musicwas different but not the way she thought. It wasn't hypnotic or drug induced. Each note he played, each song he created was interwoven with his hunger, his need, his power. Playing kept him from
feasting on unsuspecting humans when the need arose. He hung his head, too weary to hold it up any longer. He was so tired of this fucking so-called existence. Joshua thought of the way he treated Devra in the hallway and immediately felt shame. That was not the way to treat one's mate. He rubbed a hand over his face. Over the years he'd had so many women traipse after him, taking off their clothes, begging for him to play their bodies the way he did the piano. Sometimes he'd taken them up on their offers, though most of the time he was just plain rude. When Joshua had first spotted Devra slipping behind the curtain to follow him, he figured it was just another groupie. Until she stepped closer, until her desire reached out to him, curling around him like a spider weaving its web. God! He really should have been nicer to her. He certainly hoped Devra was his mate, because if she wasn't he might as well die. There was no way the woman was going to let him near her now. Not after his jackass performance earlier.
Devra unlocked the door and entered her home just as the phone began ringing. She snarled, tossed her bag on the couch and picked up the receiver. “Hello?” “So tell me what do you think of Joshua Thomas? Isn't he magnificent?” Devra sighed. She should have known Susan would call to check up on her. Devra sat down on the couch, kicked off her shoes and leaned back before answering. “Yes, he's magnificent,” she said reluctantly. “And he's a damn fine specimen of man just like you said.” Susan chuckled. “Made you cream your panties, did he?” Devra closed her eyes and groaned. “Have you no shame? What kind of question is that?” “One I expect you to answer.” There was a slight pause before she continued. “But, I believe I have my answer by the way you're snarling.” Devra laughed. “You are so bad, girl.” “Well?” Devra knew Susan wouldn't give up on this. She just knew it. “Okay, fine. I creamed my panties. The man exudes raw sexual power and I wanted to climb his bones and ride him until tomorrow. Happy now?” Susan's laughter reached her ears. “Almost. So, are you going to talk to him about a story?” Devra frowned. “I did, and he flat-out turned me down.” “You talked to him? Is that all?” “Yes, that was all.” Of course, she didn't dare tell Susan about his caresses in the darkened hallway or
his promise to fuck her the next time he saw her. Nope, she didn't dare tell that. “Devra, are you all right?” “Yes, I'm fine. I'm just hot and sweaty and in need of a cool shower, a cold drink and my bed. Talk to you tomorrow?” “Sure. Give me a call. 'Night.” “'Night, Sus.” Devra placed the phone in the cradle and leaned her head against the sofa. “Joshua Thomas, you are an enigma—and one that I plan to unravel.” She rose from the couch and headed to the bathroom for a nice leisurely soak in the tub. It was going to be a long night. **** It was a long night for Joshua too. After calling and talking to his parents about meeting the woman he thought might be his true mate, Joshua returned to the club and played his second set. But it just didn't seem as thrilling or exciting, and he knew the reason why. Devra! The mouthy red head who made his cock stand at attention and who was now embedded deep inside him. While he played his songs he replayed the scene in the hallway. This time, though, he had a much better ending to the scenario. Devra down on her knees, her lips wrapped around his cock. He groaned and shifted on the stool. Her hands would drift to his ass, grasping him in her hands, pulling him closer to her face until he thought she might smother with no air. Stop it! A voice shouted in his head. His voice. The voice of reason rearing its ugly but welcome head. He couldn't think about Devra and her mouth right now. Not if he wanted to finish the set and leave the room without a raging hard-on. He concentrated on the notes, plucking each one by heart until he reached the end. The last note was still echoing in the quiet room when Joshua rose and headed backstage. He needed a cold shower. Now! He stepped outside into the night and closed his eyes. In the blink of an eye, Joshua stood in his own foyer. Moving from place to place with merely a thought came in handy sometimes. He could have driven himself or gotten Roarke to bring him home as he sometimes did, but tonight he was too impatient to wait for a ride. Plus, he really didn't want Roarke to see him in his present condition. Joshua took the stairs two at a time, his steps silent on the carpet. He reached the second floor and walked quickly down the hall and entered his bedroom. Joshua pulled the t-shirt over his head and slung it to the floor. Next came his boots, socks and finally his jeans. He took a deep breath and held it while he unbuttoned them and released his aching cock. “Ah, freedom.” Joshua removed the band from his hair and shook it out, then walked into the bathroom and stepped into the shower. He turned on the cold water, shivering as the icy drops hit his overheated body. When his erection eased off enough, he turned on the hot water, adjusted the temperature and took a shower. Finished, he grabbed a towel, wrapped it around his waist and padded into his bedroom. He dropped the towel and climbed between the silk sheets. His last coherent thought before sleep claimed him was about Devra and when he would see her again.
**** Joshua paced the confines of his study like a caged animal, too restless to concentrate on anything but her. He couldn't eat, couldn't sleep without dreaming of Devra. “One week. One hellacious, long, arousing week and I still can't get her out of my thoughts.” Was this what it felt like when one found his mate? Could it be that Devra was the one woman for him? He wasn't sure, but there was one thing he did know with certainty. He wanted this woman like none before her. Her scent filled his senses, rushing through his veins and pumping in his blood like a drug. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't get her out of his mind, some part of her was always there. Teasing him. Taunting him. “Why in the hell can't I get this woman out of my head?” Unbidden, a vision of Devra with her auburn hair hanging around her face in disarray, and her emerald green eyes dark with desire flashed before him. She was sexy as hell and he had to have her. Now! Maybe he should seek her out and take her. Make love to her until they were both exhausted. Maybe then he could get her out of his mind, his soul. After pacing the length of the room a few more times, Joshua came to a decision. It was time to find out if this woman was his mate. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and reached out with his other senses, searching for that elusive scent that belonged only to Devra. He sorted and shifted through many essences before filtering out the one that was uniquely Devra.Yes! He inhaled deeply drawing her into his body. Deeper, as deep as he could get her. Her essence touched the very center of his soul, latching on, not letting go. His body hardened with need, pulsed with hunger. He had to go to her, had to see her if only from afar. He had to know if the raging beast threatening to rise within would overpower him. With just a thought, Joshua now stood in Devra's darkened bedroom, his presence concealed. The darkness didn't hinder his vision and he grew annoyed when his search turned up no woman. Joshua examined the bedroom and found it to his liking. The king-size cherry sleigh bed standing in the center of the room caught and held his attention. The bed was covered in pillows, all shapes and sizes. He couldn't make out the color of the comforter, only that it was a dark color. By the looks of the other furnishings, Devra liked antiques. Every piece in the room had a story to tell. But the bed held him spellbound. He had taken a step closer to the bed when the bathroom door opened, stopping him dead in his tracks. The breath whooshed from his chest when the object of his search appeared. Naked as the day she was born, her hair piled loosely on her head, Devra padded into her bedroom and headed straight for her soft bed. Letting his gaze roam over her lusciousness, his cock responded to her beauty, growing thick and long in his jeans. His mouth watered at the invitation her breasts issued. Pert, rosy nipples glistened in the near darkness, tips he wanted to suck and nip. His gaze drifted lower and he smiled. Between her legs was a neatly trimmed bush of auburn curls covering her secret place. She was a natural redhead, which explained her fiery temper and passionate nature. She wasn't one of those skinny model types. Her body was fuller and perfect by his calculations. He'd figured she was about five feet ten from when they'd stood in the hallway the other night. Just the right height to mold to his body. Her legs were long, and perfect to wrap around a man's waist. The kind of legs that went on forever. His cock pulsed. She climbed into her big bed, lay on her back and rested her hands atop her stomach. His body stiffened, her arousal filling the air around him, pushing him closer to the edge. His hands balled into fists when her
hand drifted toward the damp petals of her womanhood, her fingers gliding through the wetness he could see and smell. He wanted to touch her badly. To run his fingers through her juices, to taste her. A tiny whimper escaped her lips. She slid her hand under the pillow by her head. He narrowed his eyes, wondering what she was up to. In the next instant he had his answer. A vibrator! A nice big one from the looks of it. He estimated it to be about his size. When she slid the vibrator easily into her channel and flipped the switch, Joshua knew this was not something new. No, this sex toy was a well-used favorite. Her deep-throated moan drew him back to her and what she was doing. God, she was so sexy lying there with her legs spread, working the fake dick in and out. Her strokes were slow and smooth, designed to bring her to climax at the precise moment she wanted. She had done this many times. He would soon change that. He had better ways of giving her pleasure. Joshua's cock pushed against his jeans, throbbing to the beat of each stroke of her toy. Her other hand moved to her breasts, pulling and pinching them into stiff peaks. Her juices coated the vibrator, making penetration easy. She moaned, moving her toy slowly in and out, her tongue darting out to lick her dry lips. His ears perked as she moaned his name. “Oh, Joshua. Yes … right there.” Her hand moved faster now, plunging the vibrator in and out of her slick heat. His eyes widened when she turned the speed up a notch. Her climax grew closer—the beast now raging to get out, Joshua took a step toward her, aching to put his cock where her toy was, before he caught himself. With great effort, he stopped and held himself still, watching while Devra pleasured herself. Unconsciously, his hand drifted toward his now aching cock, straining against his jeans. He stroked his length from top to bottom. He wanted to loosen the button, pull down the zipper and release his dick, but knew that would be a dangerous thing. Once out, he would have no choice but to join her on that big bed of hers, spread her thighs and sink balls-deep into her liquid fire. “Yes … yes … right there,” she whimpered, the toy moving more quickly now, bringing her to the very edge. With one last stroke she came, her juices gushed, leaking out around the vibrator, dripping on the bed. He had to get out of there, now. With one last look at Devra, Joshua wished himself back to his empty house. Once home he stripped out of his clothes, got into the shower and turned on the cold water. The icy coldness hit his hot body, like snow on a cold winter day. If he opened his eyes he'd probably see steam rising from his body where the water hit. He pressed his palms against the wall hoping the hunger would ease, that the desire would fade to a manageable state. After a few minutes he cursed. It wasn't going to ease. Joshua squirted liquid soap in his palm and then gripped his cock, sliding from the base to the head. He tipped his head back, closed his eyes and fantasized it was Devra's hand wrapped around him, stroking him, holding him. He could feel her tongue lick his chin, his chest, and swirl in the hair covering his male nipples. He groaned. He could actually feel her move lower, licking a path across his chest, and down his stomach. She lingered at his belly button, dipping her tongue in, before moving down a little more and taking his cock in
her mouth. Her lips circled the head, licking, sucking, teasing, before drawing him fully into her mouth. His breath hissed as he thought of her nipping the little ridge, arousing him even more. She took every bit of his nine inches without complaint, her cheeks hollowing, and sucked him hard. In his mind, he gripped her hair and took over. With a firm hand, he showed her the rhythm he wanted and fucked her mouth with long, slow thrusts. With each stroke the head touched the back of her throat, thrilling him, titillating him. The beast was raging within, trying to escape. Not yet. He wouldn't relinquish control yet. But he could feel it, the explosion just ready to happen. Mentally, he thrust his cock in and out of her mouth, faster and faster. One stroke, two. “Devra,” Joshua shouted. His release nearly brought him to his knees with its intensity, and his semen spurted on the tiled wall and in the tub. His body slumped against the wall, his legs too wobbly to hold him up. The need was appeased for the moment, brought down to a dull throbbing. Still there, but with less intensity. Finally in control once again, he cleaned himself off, turned off the water and stepped from the shower. He grabbed a fluffy black towel from the shelf and wrapped it around his waist. He rubbed another towel over his head, drying his hair, and then spot dried the rest of his upper body before tossing the towel to the floor. He rubbed his hand over his face, sighing at the irony of it all. “My mate can't be a pliable woman who will do whatever I command. No, I have to get an inquisitive, intelligent woman with a kissable mouth and hot body.” He no longer doubted that Devra was his mate. Tonight was proof of that. Transporting to her house with nothing but a faint strand to follow was highly unlikely unless she was his, and her orgasm had thrilled him beyond imagination. God, just watching her masturbating and thinking of him was getting him hot again. There was one final test to be sure if she was truly his. Joshua had to find someway to get Devra into his bed. Once he'd made love to her, he would know without any doubt. Too keyed up to sleep, Joshua went into the bedroom, grabbed a pair of silk pajama bottoms from the foot of his bed, and slipped into them. He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly, wondering what in the hell he was going to do about his hunger for Devra. If he went to her now and told her his thoughts, the woman would probably laugh him right out of the room. “If she doesn't hit me first.” His thoughts drifted back to her bedroom, seeing her naked and aroused, calling out his name as she brought herself to a shattering climax. “Dammit,” he muttered, “I need my woman.” But, that wasn't going to happen tonight. Absently, he picked up a rubber band to secure the long hair clinging to his neck. Joshua wandered to the window, and looked out into the inky black night, wondering if she was still thinking about him, still aching for his touch. He was so tired. Living for over four hundred years, but never aging past his present years, and watching life go on around him sometimes weighed heavily on his shoulders. He rubbed his palm over his face, sighing at the injustice of it all. Being a psychic vampire might not have been his wish, but he'd made the best of it. The first few times of fucking a woman just for the power had been new and exciting. After so long, it wasn't fun anymore. He didn't indulge that side of his nature as he once did—instead he focused all his hunger and need in his
music, each song more enchanting than the other. But now, he simply wanted his true mate. He craved what his parents had, the closeness, and the joy they shared together, wanted to go to bed each night holding the woman he loved in his arms and wake the next morning the same way. Children! Did he want them? Yes, with Devra. And what about his music? Until his confrontation with the lovely reporter, he thought his emotions and feelings flowing in the music weren't enough to cause trouble, but it looked like this lady felt everything he put into his music. The question was, why? Was it because she was his true mate? He needed to find the answers and soon. Otherwise, the spitfire was going to expose him to the world. He had no doubt in his mind that Devra would do it. Restlessness occupied his soul, his mind, not allowing him to sleep. He had to do something. Think of something else besides making love to Devra. Leaving the bedroom, he headed downstairs to the kitchen to grab a cold drink from the fridge. He popped the top and took a swig, letting the cool liquid glide across his tongue and down his throat. When he finished, he licked his lips. Now maybe he could go and compose another song. A song that reflected his thoughts, his feelings. One that curbed his hunger and need for just a while. As he sat down to play, his thoughts drifted to Devra, her strength, her needs. His fingers moved across the keys and the melody drifted through the silence of the house and out into the night sky. Several hours later, the song finished, Joshua stood and headed to bed. It was time to rest. His restlessness was gone. Tomorrow he would begin courting his lovely reporter. Joshua smiled with satisfaction. “Get ready, love. Soon you'll be mine.” **** Devra took a breath and removed the vibrator. God, that had been one of the most powerful orgasms she had in a while. In her mind's eye, it had been Joshua making love to her. It had been his dick thrusting into her tight channel, not her sex toy. She rolled onto her side and closed her eyes, too tired to do anything else. Without warning a vision of Joshua standing in her bedroom watching her while she masturbated flooded her mind. Just the thought of him watching her made her body heat and her vagina clench in need. What would he think if he knew she pleasured herself while thinking of him? Would he find it disgusting, distasteful? Or would it set him on fire? A tiny smile graced her lips. “Hmm. It would sure be interesting to find out.” She yawned loud and unladylike, dragged the sheet over her body and snuggled into her pillow. Tomorrow she would start her extensive research into the life of Joshua Thomas and learn everything she wanted to know … and maybe more. The more was what she really wanted. The up close and personal knowledge of his body and what turned him on. Tomorrow. Tomorrow she would have all her answers. She yawned again and slowly drifted down into the depths of sleep.
“Two long weeks! That's how long it's taken me to find you again, you jerk,” Devra muttered as she drove to Governor's Lounge. Disappointment and anger had waged a war in her heart when she'd gone to Jazzy's last week to catch Joshua's show only to discover he wasn't playing there again for several weeks. It had taken a lot of digging, begging and pleading before she'd finally given up. No one seemed to know where he was going to be. You'd think the man would get an agent and publicist. Then she'd spotted a poster announcing Joshua was going to be playing at Governor's. She couldn't contain the bubble of excitement that threatened to spill from her lips. Finally! Tonight she would corner him again, but this time she would get results. Now, driving to the bar, she wondered if her choice of attire was smart. She glanced down at herself, and had to smile. She was dressed to kill. Her sundress was made of silk, so gauzy that it appeared almost sheer in the light. The pale peach color accentuated her auburn hair and green eyes, and the sweetheart style neckline showed a little more cleavage than she usually did. But what the hell? She was after a man. That thought brought her up short. When had he become more than a story? She couldn't answer that exactly, but the other night when she'd pleasured herself, screaming Joshua's name as she climaxed, it brought with it a rush of emotions too strong to deny. Somehow this man, with his hauntingly erotic music, had gotten under her skin and wouldn't go away. Tonight she was on the prowl for a sexy, dark, and brooding piano player with eyes that saw deep inside to where her hidden thoughts and desires lay dormant. Spying Governor's, she pulled in and found a parking place just being vacated, close to the front. “Hot damn! Up close for once.” Once again the parking lot was flooded with vehicles, advertising another packed house. She checked her reflection in the rear view mirror and added a bit more lipstick, pinched her cheeks to add color and smiled. “Okay, girl, go get him,” she told her reflection before gathering her keys and purse, and getting out of the car. As she started toward the club she saw a dark sedan pull up to the side door. The passenger door opened. A man climbed out then turned to speak to the driver. Squinting, she tried to make out his facial features in the semi-darkness, wondering if it was Joshua. Suddenly, as if he could read her thoughts, he lifted his head, looking directly at her. Her hand flew to her exposed throat. Itwas him and he was looking right at her. His intense gaze feasted on her for a few seconds more, then he turned and entered the building, leaving her standing in the middle of the parking lot like a total idiot. Devra snapped out of her reverie, and glanced around the deserted parking lot, hoping no one saw her standing like a deer caught in the headlights and about to die. “Get it together, Devra Preston,” she muttered, walking quickly to the door and entering the lively place. “As mother would say,head up, shoulders back. Show them what you've got, girl.” A cacophony of sounds greeted her when she entered the establishment, soft music, tinkling glasses, and whispered words. She looked around the place, taking in everything she could. Her eyes strayed to the stage and a twinge of disappointment ran through her when she didn't see Joshua. The guy performing was good. He played the saxophone with grace and ease, almost like he was making love to it. Women in tight black pants and long-sleeve crimson colored silk midriff-baring blouses worked the room, waiting on tables. It was more crowded here than Jazzy's had been a few weeks ago, she cursed under her breath. “How in the hell do I find a seat in here?” She was jerked from her thoughts when a man took her lightly around the upper arm and a voice whispered against her left ear. “Come this way. There's a table reserved for you up front, near the stage.”
Devra found herself tugged through the masses, across the crowded dance floor and to a vacant table right smack in front of the small stage. What the hell did he mean, a table reserved for her? Nobody had known she was coming, especially not Joshua. Or had he? She was about to ask when the man suddenly stopped. A chair was pulled out and she was pushed into it. “Hey, watch it, buster. Who do you think you're pushing around?” She turned to give him a frown but he was gone. Turning quickly, she looked for a man walking away from her, but saw none. “Way to go, Devra. Some observant reporter you are. You don't even know what this guy looks like, yet here you sit trying to find him.” She snorted, and then turned around to face the stage. The saxophonist was gone. The stage set had been changed. In the center sat a baby grand piano, a padded bench and nothing else. Now knowing what to expect, she became nervous. “I need a drink.” She looked in the direction of the bar and motioned for a server. She ordered a martini, feeling the need for something stronger than a beer tonight. Devra glanced around the room again but still didn't see Joshua. She was about to turn back to the stage when a man at the end of the bar caught her eye. Something about him intrigued her. Not like Joshua did, yet he drew her gaze. He was as tall as Joshua, with a muscular build, but that's where the similarities ended. This guy had tawny gold hair, cut shorter so that the edges flirted with his shirt collar, and dark cold eyes. Devra shivered with unease. She shook her head to clear it and turned away. This man scared the hell out of her and she didn't know why. When the lights dimmed, Devra turned to see Joshua walking on stage. Their eyes met and held, his filled with a hunger too strong to deny. Gasping for breath, she swallowed hard, wondering if there was time to escape but knowing it was already too late. It had been too late since she'd first seen him, touched him, and heard him play. His first notes rang out, making her weak-kneed with their clarity. As he continued to play, the music seeped into every pore of her body, coursing through her veins and finding a straight shot to her core. It was so powerful, so acute, that she closed her eyes against the feelings welling up inside her. Her breasts swelled, pressing against the silky dress, creating an unbearable friction each time she inhaled. Her panties were soaked and her clit, swollen and aching with need, pulsed strong and steady. She tried to stop the waves of pleasure threatening to nudge her over the edge she so desperately clung to. She fought it every step of the way, but it seemed Joshua had other ideas. Devra opened her eyes and found her gaze locked with his as he continued to play, to arouse her. It was as if he was playing just for her. What happened next was a shock to Devra, and incredibly confusing. With his piano crescendo came a tiny orgasm, so minute it wasn't enough to satisfy but was enough to frighten her. “No, not now … please.” Her eyes still locked with his, she saw him smile and she toppled off her precarious perch into the abyss below. Her hands gripped the table edge while the climax rolled through her body all the way to her toes. She wanted to scream with her release but dared not. She would not give him or anybody else the satisfaction of hearing her pleasure. Tears slid down her cheeks unnoticed by all but Joshua. He played the last note, his eyes never leaving her face. His smile faded, replaced with a look of extreme,
carnal hunger. It was too much. She was angry, shaking, and still hungry herself. “You bastard,” she mouthed. She jumped from her chair, grabbed her bag and ran from the bar and outside into the cool dark night where no one could see her cry. She made it to her car and was about to put the key in the lock when boots crunched on the ground behind her. She whirled around, keys in hand, ready to scratch a mugger's eyes out. But, it wasn't the danger she expected. Instead Joshua stood there, chest heaving, eyes flashing. “What the hell are you doing out here?” he hissed at her, his hands on his hips. “I'm just leaving. So get the hell out of my way and you won't have to worry about me.” She turned away, inserting the key in the lock. His hand shot out to stop her action. “No.” He grabbed the keys from her hand and deposited them in his jeans pocket. Cocking a brow, she narrowed her eyes. “Do you think I won't go after them?” Unbidden, excitement rose up in her. Just the thought of putting her hands near the bulge in his jeans turned her on even more. To slide her hand in his tight front pocket, so close to his dick… A tiny tremor shook her body, her channel weeping a bit more. His snort of laughter drew her up short. “I hope so. I would love to feel your hands on my body right now, Devra.” He stepped closer his hands grabbing her wrists loosely, gently tugging her closer. “But I should warn you, I want more than your hands on me. I want your mouth wrapped around my cock, taking every inch before slowly sliding your tongue all around it.” Oh God! The images, the hunger, all struck her with the force of a freight train. Devra tried to step back but found herself with nowhere to go. Her back against her car, her front plastered to Joshua, Devra moaned low and deep. “Please,” she whispered, “Just let me go. I'm not what you want.” He released her wrists only to grab her waist, drawing her into his embrace where she was immediately immersed in his scent. The scent of man and something else. Something dark, rich and powerful that spoke to her soul. She struggled to break free from his embrace only to feel his arms tighten around her like steel bands. “Be still. I just want to hold you,” he whispered, his breath ruffling her hair. “Joshua, let me go. I don't want this.” But she knew that was a lie. “Bullshit.” His deep chuckle let her know he didn't believe that any more than she did. “You know you want me as much as I want you. Can't you feel how much I want you?” he asked as he brought her into close contact with his lower body, his erection pressing into her belly. “Tell me you want me, Devra. Isn't that why you came here tonight, dressed in that sexy dress without a bra? Are you wearing panties? Are they soaked?” His hand drifted down and under the hem of her dress, his fingernails scraping her sensitive flesh as he moved closer to her heat. All thoughts left her head when his hand covered the very heart of her, gently stroking and building her desire once again. “I can smell your musky scent. It's swirling around in my head, in my songs. Tell me, did you like that song? It's calledDevra's Hunger. I wrote that as I thought about you lying beneath me in my big bed while I fucked you senseless.” His fingers slipped beneath the elastic and toyed with her lips, her cream spilling onto his fingers. “God, you feel so hot. Let me have you, Devra. I'll make it so good for both of us.” His finger slid between her lips, finding her clit stiff and protruding. He flicked it, sending a shiver through Devra.
“Yes,” she whispered her hips moving closer for more of his touch. “Please, Joshua. Take away this ache, this hunger.” Then in a move Joshua hadn't expected, she wrapped her arms around his neck and drew him down for a hot, wet, openmouthed kiss that nearly burned them alive with its heat and intensity. God, he tasted so good, like water from a cool mountain spring. She plunged her tongue into his mouth and groaned at the emotions rolling through her body. Kiss me, fuck me. Now!Her mind cried out silently. His hands tightened around her waist, drawing her even closer. And he took over the kiss. Oh, God, could he kiss. It was like being attached to a live wire. Electricity arced from his lips to hers. His tongue began a rhythm as old as time and Devra wanted the real thing. She wanted him to throw her to the ground and fuck her.
Kiss me, fuck me. Now!Her words inflamed him to the point of spontaneous combustion. He could hear her thoughts. She had to be the one, his mate. The one who could and would fulfill all his heart's desires, sate his hunger, and his need. It had to be Devra. He'd never heard another woman's thoughts, in or out of bed. Felt their emotions, yes, but never heard their mental cries or pleas. He was burning from the inside out. Her kiss was hot and voracious, sizzling along his nerve endings like molten lava. Her taste was like nothing he'd known before. In her kiss, he sensed desperation and a hunger that matched his own. Her hands gripped his hair. He winced in pain but it didn't stop the acute pleasure she was causing. She was so hot. Her juices coated his fingers, heating his blood to a boil. He toyed with the stiff little bud, rubbing it with the pad of his finger then gently pinching it. Her moans filled his head, his mind, and echoed his own. He jerked his mouth from hers and rained kisses along her neck and shoulders. He could smell her perfume, a light erotic scent that made him dizzy with desire. He licked a path along the vein pulsing out her heartbeat, her need. “You taste so good,” he whispered hoarsely. Her hands tightened in his hair drawing him to where she wanted his touch the most. He smiled, happy to oblige—her tight little nipples begged to be kissed. He pressed openmouthed kisses along the tops of her breasts, his tongue darting out to dip in the crevice between them. A noise from behind alerted him they were about to be found unless he did something quick. Concentrating, he placed a thought in those coming out of the bar that the parking lot was deserted. Joshua could hold the mirage as long as he needed to but he didn't really want to take her here. No, he wanted her naked and in his bed. He craved her like a drug addict needed his fix. Right now, all he wanted was this woman who was pliant and soft in his arms. “Devra, come home with me.” He whispered, kissing her neck, creating a suction that made her moan even louder. “I want you. I need to slide deep inside you until there's nowhere else to go. Until we both explode from the pleasure. And then I want to do it all over again.” He nipped at her neck growling softly. “Now!” “Here … now … can't wait…” she whimpered. Her lower body undulated against his aching cock. Friction and heat flooded his groin. He brought her closer, the notch of her thighs cradling his dick, and rubbed against her. She cried out his name.
Joshua hissed and grabbed her hips holding them still. “Not here. There are too many people around. I will not take you in this parking lot like an animal with no control.”But I'm not far from it. He leaned away from her and looked at her face. What he found there was nearly his undoing. Her lips were swollen from their kiss and her eyes glazed over, with a dreamy cast to them. A slight sheen of perspiration dotted her upper lip and before he could stop himself he leaned down and licked it off, loving the salty taste of her. “I don't care. Do it now,” she commanded, her hands moving from his neck to the waist of his jeans where she jerked his shirt out, to slide her hands underneath. “I want what you promised and I want it right now.” He sucked in a breath at the first touch of her hands on his naked skin, his cock twitched. Her touch was hot and electric. It felt like tiny electrical pulses traveling along his nerves, and through his blood. “That's it.” He gently pushed her away, unable to take much more of her touch. He took the keys from his pocket and opened the driver's side door. “Get in the damn car now, Devra.” Grabbing her shoulders, he turned her to face the open door. “But…” “No! No, buts. Get in the fucking car before I change my mind.” He groaned inwardly as she slid across the seat, wiggling enticingly right in front of him. Of its own volition, his hand reached out and lightly rubbed her round ass through the dress. She stopped moving, waiting for his next move. He grabbed a handful of dress and raised it, when a car horn pulled him from the trance he was in. “Fuck,” he growled. He raised his hand and gave her a good hard slap. “Stop it now, or Iwill take you right here, and to hell with whoever sees.” He shoved her over and climbed in closing the door. He turned the key, put in the car into gear and sped out of the parking lot, spewing gravel and dust in his wake. He kept his eyes straight ahead and his hands clenched on the steering wheel or he would be all over Devra in a hot second. In the confines of the car, with his acute sense of smell, her arousal was strong and building by the minute. “Shit, I'm gonna die before I even get inside you,” he muttered beneath his breath. He breathed a sigh of relief when his house came into view. Hell! He'd forgotten the little box to open the gate. It was still in Roarke's car. Damn! He'd forgotten about Roarke too. Taking a deep breath, he let his senses open and found Roarke's thread quickly. “Roarke.” “Joshua, where the hell are you? I came looking for you after your set and you'd simply disappeared. What is going on?” “I don't have time to explain. Go home! I won't need you to drive me home since I'm already there. I think I've found my mate and I need this night to love her. She's like a craving, an itch that just won't quit.” Roarke's soft chuckle filled his head. “I know what you mean, bro'. Take care.” Joshua severed the connection, bringing him back to the woman sitting in the car with him.
With his mind he willed the gate to open and hoped Devra was too hot to notice how he'd done it. It slowly opened, creaking and whining as it continued its backward move until he could pass the car through. Once through, he willed it closed and continued up the driveway, his foot a little heavier on the gas. Her heightened arousal was rushing through his thoughts, his mind, like a giant tidal wave. Because of this he knew that once they were in bed and his cock thrust into her tight, hot passage, it would be so powerful, so erotic that he could survive on her hunger and need for days. If he didn't drown first. He stopped the car, and turned off the engine. He flung open the door, grabbed Devra by the hand and all but dragged her from the car. “Hey, slow down before I break an ankle here.” Her voice was tinged with amusement and fervor. He ignored her and kept going. They ran up the steps and were at the door in seconds. Joshua fished out his keys and stuck one in the lock, all the while, aware of Devra's hot body pressed against his back. Her hands moved over his body, caressing, squeezing. He nearly came in his jeans when she grabbed his ass and squeezed. How he got the door open he didn't know, but once it was open he grabbed her, pushed her inside and slammed the door closed. “Hey, quit shoving.” He couldn't think at all. All he knew was he needed her like the air he breathed. Needed to taste her, to drown in her essence, her desire. And he needed it now. He grabbed her around the waist, pushed her against the hallway wall, and plastered his body against her. So close her nipples poked his chest with every breath she took. He inhaled her essence, the spicy scent of her juices, and couldn't seem to breathe. Never had desire hit him so strongly or powerfully before. He knew in his gut, in his heart, that she was his mate, but tonight would prove it beyond any doubt. Tonight his hunger and need would have free reign. But, not right now. Now, he would concentrate on building her need to an all-encompassing hunger. To bring her to the level he was riding. Once they were in bed, clinging to one another in a fiery embrace, his body riding hers, then he would know. Joshua would know Devra was his mate. Her hands roamed his body, caressing and touching, arousing him even more. She grabbed the hem of his t-shirt, and pulled it up and off his body, tossing it to the floor. He groaned when her hands touched his heated body. “Yes, touch me.” “Oh, I plan to.” Her fingers found and traced his nipples. “Devra,” he whispered his voice hoarse with arousal. His hands fisted in her hair, bringing her face up to his. His mouth crashed hungrily down on hers. Her body melted against his, her hands coming to rest on the waistband of his jeans. He groaned into her mouth when one hand slid between them and cupped his erection. He nipped at her lips and ate at her mouth, tasting both him and her, before swooping back inside drawing her tongue into play. Her tongue wrapped around his, sucking him the way she would soon suck his cock. Her small hands wreaked havoc on his highly aroused body, stroking and squeezing his erection to the point of pain. He was going to explode if she kept squeezing his balls. Tearing his mouth from hers, both
of them panted for breath. He rested his forehead against hers. “Devra, we're going to burn each other up before we ever get naked,” he rasped out, before covering her mouth with his once more. He couldn't seem to stop kissing her. Her mouth tasted just as hungry and just as hot as he felt. This time it was she who pulled away. “What the hell is happening to me, to us? I've never wanted anything so badly in all my life,” she said, her chest heaving with each breath. “I think I might die if you don't fuck me soon.” Her nimble fingers reached for the button on his jeans opening it, sliding the zipper down to reveal his thick, long cock to her hungry gaze. “Mmm … now this,” she said in awe. “This I can work with.” Joshua's breath whooshed out when her hand slid along the length of him, her fingers tracing the thick, bulging vein before cupping his balls, rolling them around delicately. Shit! He was going to come in her hand if he didn't do something and soon. He could feel the blood boiling inside, his balls tightening ready to burst. “Devra,” he said, his fingers tightening in her hair. “You're killing me here.” He kissed her neck, sucking the delicate skin between his teeth. He knew it would leave a mark. His mark. And he didn't give a damn. She was his and he wanted the whole world to know it. His woman! His mate. After tonight, there was no way he was letting her go. Her deep-throated laughter sent a shiver down his spine that centered in his groin. “But, what a way to go, don't you think?” she asked, her fingernail scraping the ridge right below the head of his cock. Joshua moaned. His hands still clenched in her hair, he raised her mouth to meet his and kissed her long and hard. She tasted of heat and woman. He scraped his teeth along her swollen lips and smiled when she moaned. She was on the verge just like he was. To the point of begging. “Joshua,” she whimpered, “Please.” He licked her lips once more and leaned back enough to look into her eyes. “Please what, Devra? Please take you against this wall?” She squirmed from his words, her hand tightening a fraction on his hard cock. Tiny black dots appeared before his eyes. He was so ready to dive right in. “Is that what you want? For me to strip the panties from your body, lift you and plunge my cock deep into your tight sheath?” He untangled one hand from her hair, and then palmed her breast, pinching the nipple. Her cries of pleasure echoed throughout his house, and in his head. He didn't know how much longer he could wait, but he would make damn sure Devra was burning with need just as much as he was. “I want to taste you,” he muttered. “Every single inch of you. And then when I'm done, I want to do it some more.” His hand glided along her collarbone, sliding the straps of her dress down and off. All the while, his mouth never left her skin—his tongue tasted each spot he uncovered. Her chest heaved with each breath she took, and her naked breasts bobbed in front of his face. His mouth watered at the bounty before him. Without taking his eyes from her breasts, he lowered his head and bathed the tip of her nipple with his tongue, enjoying her moans. She tasted like sunshine and promises, something he thought never to feel again. Taking her plump breast in his hand, Joshua took most of it in his mouth, sucking it hard. Her hands fisted in his hair holding him close. He brought his other hand up to the other breast and massaged it, while continuing to suckle the other. “Yes … that's it … suck harder.” He grazed the tip with his teeth, her squeal of pleasure piercing his sexual haze. At first he thought he might have hurt her in his exuberance. But, when he tried to pull away, her hands tightened in his hair. The lady didn't want him to back off. She wanted it all. Her excitement fueled his own and he almost lost his head. Damn! She was hot enough to burn. And he was ready to be
burned. Incinerated. He had to get a grip and he had to do it now. Pushing away, he turned his back, breathing in great gulps of air. His body shook with hunger. Clenching his fists and hoping to slow down, he closed his eyes and let a song fill his mind, his soul. Slowly the melody filled his mind, taking the edge off his hunger, his need for Devra. Until she touched him. Her hand on his back was like a hot poker against his flesh. He flinched, but not in pain. “Don't.” “Don't what, Joshua?” her voice soft and sexy. “Don't touch you, arouse you like you've done to me?” Her hands slipped around his waist, bringing her flush against his back, her beaded nipples poking him. He sucked in a breath at the wave of pleasure threatening to drown him. “Devra … I,” he didn't get to finish his words as she chose that moment to slide in front of him and drop to her knees. “What are you doing?” he whispered, excitement rushing through his blood at the thought of her hot mouth wrapped around him. She said nothing, just simply smiled, then flicked the head of his cock with her tongue. “Oh, shit!” Gripping her head, he held her still for a moment enjoying the wet heat of her mouth. “Yes,” he groaned as she slowly took him in, his cock sliding in about halfway before she moved back, letting him slide out, then repeating the movement again. The reality was so much better than his shower fantasy. Joshua shook with each stroke in her mouth, each flick of her tongue on his dick. He could feel his orgasm approaching, but he didn't want to explode in her mouth. No matter how good it felt, how much she suctioned him, he wanted to be inside her body when he came. “Devra stop … need to…” he groaned when she brought her talented fingers into play stroking his balls, squeezing them gently. He pumped his hips a couple more times before abruptly pulling out of her mouth. “Enough,” he shouted. “I want to be inside you. Now!” Pulling her to her feet, he scooped her up in his arms and headed for his bedroom on the second floor. He faltered once when Devra sucked on his neck, her teeth grazing the pulsing vein there. “Stop teasing me.” “Poor baby,” she whispered throatily, her laughter trickling over his body like water, making his cock grow impossibly harder. And it didn't help that his cock brushed her ass with every step he took. Thinking to help that, he shifted her higher in his arms and groaned. Now her breasts were a few inches from his mouth. Taking a deep breath, he ignored the mouthwatering morsels bouncing so close to his mouth and walked faster. Finally, he reached the bedroom. He walked across the room and unceremoniously dumped Devra in the middle. “Don't move,” he commanded, and then proceeded to undress. * Sprawled in the middle of Joshua's big bed, she stared in fascination at the beautiful man before her. His movements were quick and sure as he removed his clothes without taking his eyes off her. She looked her fill, starting at his broad chest, so smooth and sculpted with muscle, down his rock-hard stomach, to the narrow strip of hair going to his groin. Her eyes widened in shock when she looked at his erection. My God! The man was built; his cock at least nine inches long and a couple of inches around. The head
was mushroom shaped and deep purple. It stood straight up, just waiting to impale something. Her juices gushed as she imagined herself speared with his dick. She clamped her thighs together only to spread them again when Joshua climbed on the bed, crawling toward her on all fours. She whimpered softly, her legs moving restlessly. “What's the matter, Devra, too much excitement for you?” he chuckled, stopping when he reached her ankles. She sighed when his hands touched her thighs, tracing the bones before doing the same to her calves. “Your skin is so smooth, so soft,” he whispered. She felt his breath waft over her legs, a moment before his lips descended, kissing a path along her calves, up behind her knees and on the inside of her thighs. Geez, who would have thought the backs of her knees were erogenous zones? Yet, every time he kissed her or licked her there, her juices heated a bit more. Falling back on the bed, Devra's hands fisted in the satiny comforter as his lips and tongue caressed their way up her legs, getting closer and closer to where she wanted him the most. She felt the gush of cream that flooded her vagina and knew he could probably see it. His tongue teased the crease between her thigh and hip before continuing on. If he didn't suck her soon, she was going to explode from the inside out. Her body was moist with perspiration, and her juices were flowing freely now. She held her breath when she felt his lips graze her labia, his nose nuzzling the tiny nest of curls above it. “You smell like something spicy and hot,” he said, his tongue licking her, tasting her, making her scream with pleasure. His tongue zeroed in on her plump clit. She arched off the bed, her lower body trying to get closer to his hot tongue. “Yes, lick me there,” she cried out breathlessly. “As you wish,” he replied, and then his mouth covered her pleasure nub, sucking it voraciously. He ate her like a starving man, his lips and tongue leaving no part of her unexplored. His hands held her thighs wide open while he feasted on her, his “mmms…” letting her know he obviously enjoyed what he was doing. Her own hands moved to cover her breasts. She twisted the nipples between her fingers and cried out when a thick finger plunged into her liquid heat, moving in time with his tongue on her clit. Her head swam and her vision blurred as she felt herself hurling toward climax. And that was the only way to describe it. Joshua wasn't nudging her, he was pushing her, shoving her to the precipice and she gloried in it. She reveled in the power of her lover. “Joshua … faster … please,” she moaned, gasping for breath. She was so close … one more thrust of his finger or swipe of his hot tongue and she would fly. A second finger was inserted along with the first filling, her even more, their width pressing against her inner walls. “Oh god … yes … I need…” She never finished. Suddenly, black spots appeared before her eyes, dizziness assailing her as she was propelled quickly over the cliff and into an endless tidal wave of intense, mind-jarring pleasure. Before the pulses stopped and she came back down, Joshua rose and entered her in one smooth thrust, all the way to the hilt. She cried out in pleasure as he filled her, pulsed within her. She grasped his hips, pulling him as close as possible, both of them groaning over the exquisite feeling of finally being together. His forehead rested against hers, his breath caressing her face. “Don't move,” he panted. “I will come right now if you move one inch of your beautiful body.” His words thrilled her, teased her and turned her on even more. She tightened her inner muscles around his cock and was rewarded with a loud groan and a hiss.
“Dammit, stop that,” he half-chuckled, half-groaned. “With your inner muscles clasping my dick like that I feel like my head is about to explode. And I don't mean the one on my shoulders.” Grabbing his cheeks in her palms she squeezed his ass. “Mmm … you feel so nice.” Raising her head a bit, she nipped his chin. “Devra,” his tone was one of warning. “I'm trying for control and patience here.” “Really?” she purred, and proceeded to grip his cock even tighter with her vaginal muscles. She was so deep in concentration that she wasn't prepared for his next move. His mouth, hot and voracious, covered hers in a kiss that was all consuming. A kiss that melted her insides.
He couldn't think. Her inner muscles gripped him like a vise. He covered her mouth with his and stole her breath with a kiss that was hot and totally mind blowing. Holding completely still, his cock embedded deep in her tight channel, Joshua concentrated totally on the kiss. His tongue swiped every inch of her mouth, savoring her flavor, her taste imprinting his very soul. When her hands gripped his ass and her lower body nearly lifted him from the bed, he broke the kiss, leaving both of them breathing like they'd just run a marathon. “Joshua, please.” She undulated beneath him. “Fuck me.” He groaned when her little white teeth nipped his chin, and then latched on to his neck, sucking hard. His body trembled from the exertion of holding still, of keeping his dick deep inside while her muscles clamped forcefully around him. He was going to have to move soon or explode. Lowering his head, he licked her lips, dipping his tongue inside her mouth before retreating again. He mimicked this action a couple of more times, each time lasting a little longer, going a little slower. He knew the minute she realized what he was doing when her tongue tangled with his and she sucked it hard. He jerked his mouth from hers and looked into her eyes, hot, passion-glazed eyes that reflected precisely what he was feeling. “Devra,” he whispered. Then he began to move in long slow strokes. She felt so good. Her vaginal walls gripped him, making it tighter and hotter each time he entered. “You're so hot, so wet, so tight.” Rotating his hips, he groaned when she gasped his name and arched upward. “Like that, do you?” he panted and then proceeded to do it again, gritting his teeth against the pleasure coursing through his veins. Her liquid heat scalded his cock, bathing it in its fiery embrace. Grabbing her hips, he held her still for his deep penetrating strokes, pumping his thick heavy cock in and out of her moist channel. He felt her tremble beneath his hands, her body arching off the bed as an orgasm so strong, so hard, rippled through her, milking his cock with each pulsating beat. Moving quicker now, Joshua could feel the power building, his balls tightening against his body and his cock growing even larger as he continued to pump furiously into Devra. He pumped his hips twice more and then with a loud roar, flooded her vagina with his seed, the power washing over him in wave after wave of exquisite, raw pleasure. The pleasure was so intense—it was like nothing Joshua had ever experienced before. Never had the power flowed so strongly through him, nearly drowning him. She was the one! His true mate. He had
finally found her. Ever so slowly Joshua drifted back to reality as the power dwindled to a dull throbbing pulse. Instantly he became aware of not only Devra beneath him but of another just like him. One who had entered his home, his bedroom without him noticing, and without permission. Covering Devra's mouth with his hand, he leaned over and put his mouth to her ear. “Shh, sweet. We're not alone. Do not move and do not make a sound.” He kissed her softly and rose from her body, feeling the loss of her heat and warmth immediately. Quickly he covered her body from prying eyes with the comforter, flicked on the bedside lamp and turned to face the intruder. “Damon, what are you doing here?” he asked, stepping between Devra and the man who was at times a friend and at others … he wasn't sure what Damon was. The man in question stepped into the circle of light and Joshua heard Devra's indrawn breath. Shit! Just what he needed tonight. After just fucking the one woman who filled his emptiness, she meets the one man who rivaled Joshua in sensuality and good looks. His attention was diverted from his thoughts when Damon answered. “I came to see you. Is it a crime to drop in on my friend?” He smiled a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. Leaning slightly to the side he peered around Josh to see the woman on the bed. “She's very beautiful, and her pussy is hot. I could smell her scent when I walked through the front door.” He sniffed in the air and a feral grin crossed his features. “How about we share this one,” he purred suggestively. “Remember how we used to do that a long time ago?” Joshua cursed under his breath. He didn't want Devra to find out about him or his past this way. Yes, at one time Damon, Roarke and he had traveled the world finding willing women who liked three men at once and then gave it to them in spades. Joshua and Roarke lived off the rush for more than two days while Damon seemed to want more. But that was all behind him. He wasn't like that anymore and he'd be damned if he was going to share his mate. “I don't think so,” a feminine voice spoke into the silence. Joshua heard rustling and knew Devra was rising from the bed. “I'm not into threesomes, big guy, so find yourself another girl.” Joshua glanced over his shoulder in time to see her wrapped in nothing but a sheet, gathering her clothes and padding softly into the bathroom where she slammed the door closed and twisted the lock loudly. His satiated body stirred to life at the thought of her nakedness behind that door, of her sliding into his big oversized tub, covered in nothing but bubbles and him. Get a grip, old boy! With regret, Joshua let that thought drift from his mind, for now. A deep male chuckle brought his face around to the man in front of him. “Ah, my friend, she's a feisty, spirited one,” he sighed before focusing on Joshua again. “And her scent is sweet and inviting.” “She's mine. I won't share her.” Retrieving his jeans from the floor he stepped into them, zipping them but leaving the button undone. “What do you want, Damon?” he asked angrily. “And don't give me that bullshit about wanting to see me.” Glaring at Damon Joshua crossed his arms and waited for an explanation. “Why did you come into my house uninvited?” he asked sharply. Damon glanced around the room and, spotting a chair in the corner, ambled over and sat down. Leaning forward, he rested his forearms on his thighs, looked at the floor and shook his head regretfully. “Something is happening to me and I can't stop it.”
The defeated tone in Damon's voice reached out to Joshua and he found his anger at being interrupted giving way to curiosity. “What do you mean? What's happening?” he asked. He wanted to hear Damon out, but at the same time he worried about Devra coming out of the bathroom. Connecting with her mind, he gently probed, sighing in relief when he found her soaking in the tub and knew she would be there awhile. For some reason he felt this was a conversation his lovely inquisitor didn't need to witness. Leaving her mind, he focused on Damon, waiting for him to explain. “I no longer enjoy feeding off the emotions of countless women. In fact, this town is boring me to death, if you want to know the truth.” He raised his gaze and Joshua gasped silently at the sadness he saw reflected in Damon's eyes. Overcome with concern for his friend he walked toward him and placed his hand on Damon's shoulder. “I feel as though I'm searching for something and yet I can't find it.” “Do you feel the longing for a mate?” Damon snorted. “I don't think so. There are too many women out there to play with. I'm not ready to settle for one woman.” “Damon, you know it's getting late for you, don't you? If you don't find a mate soon…” “Yeah, yeah, I know,” he replied. “If I don't find a mate soon I'll die.” Joshua opened his mouth to offer advice, but stopped. Until Damon was ready, nothing or nobody would convince him to search for his mate. “I'm sorry, Damon. I truly don't know what to say.” He felt Damon shrug beneath his hand. “It doesn't matter. I was at the club to hear you play earlier, and only came by to talk. But when I entered this room, I was flooded with the sexual emotions of your lady, her heat brought me to my knees. I have never felt such raw power oozing through my body like this. She's like nothing I've ever seen or felt before.” Joshua stiffened, knowing what was coming, but hating it all the same. He really hated to hurt his friend but if it came down to it he would. “Damon, don't ask me to share Devra. She's mine! The other half of my soul, the one I have existed in this godforsaken place for.” “I knew you would answer that way, but had to ask.” With a heavy sigh Damon stood and faced him. “She is truly the one?” he asked in a voice filled with hope. “You're sure?” Joshua smiled and nodded. “Oh, yes, she is definitely the one. My little hellcat is one hot, sexy woman and I intend to make her mine for always.” “How do you know she is the one? What does it feel like to have a mate?” Joshua gazed toward the closed door. “It feels exhilarating and wonderful. My body hungers only for her, and no longer rages out of control. If I never played another song, Devra would still satisfy all my needs.” “Then I wish you the best of luck and a lifetime of happiness, my friend,” Damon replied and clapped him on the shoulder. “I will leave you to the wooing of your mate.” With a slight wave, Damon strode from the room as silently as he'd entered. Joshua narrowed his gaze. Something about that exchange wasn't quite right. It wasn't like Damon to
simply give up and go away. He would bear watching. Nothing, not even a lifelong friend was going to come between him and Devra. Nothing! But, he would worry about that later. Right now Joshua had more important matters to attend to. He turned toward the bathroom door and the woman safely ensconced behind it, and smiled. He probed and found her still in the tub. He rubbed his hands together. Good! He had time to go downstairs and get champagne and glasses. Whistling a sensuously melodic tune, he walked out of the bedroom and downstairs. He was looking forward to spreading her thighs and sliding into her slick heat once again. **** Devra leaned against the closed door and closed her eyes. How embarrassing. To be caught fucking the sexiest man while another one, equally gorgeous, watched. She should feel ashamed at least a little, right? So why didn't she? Devra wondered about that, but let the thought drift away. A bath was what she wanted right now. After the rousing bout of sex, a soothing bath sounded perfect. She opened her eyes and gasped aloud. The bathroom was a veritable playground for sensuous water play. White marble tile covered the entire floor and the edges of a sunken tub that was big enough for two or three. It was round with brass spigots and sparkling white porcelain. To the left of the tub was a glass-enclosed shower with a marble bench at one end and a brass showerhead hanging on the opposite wall. Various bottles sat on a shelf right above the bench. Curious as to what was in the bottles, Devra crept quietly over and carefully lifted one. She removed the stopper and immediately Joshua's scent flooded her nostrils and permeated her skin. She looked for a label of some sort to give her an idea of what it was and where it came from, but there was none. Cautiously she set the bottle back in its place and walked back toward the sunken tub. She chewed her bottom lip as she contemplated whether or not to take a quick soak in the sinful-looking tub. Straightening her shoulders, Devra decided to hell with the two men outside. She was taking a much-needed soak. She turned on the faucets, testing the temperature until it was just right and then slipped into the tub. “Oh yes. This feels so good.” The hot water seeped into her tired, aching muscles and soothed them. Relaxing in the tub, Devra relived the memories of Joshua making love to her. Each time she thought of his mouth on her, or his hands, shivers raced down her spine. He was one hot lover, fulfilling every need with explosive pleasure. Just thinking about his hard cock sliding into her vagina made her tingle in places she didn't even know tingled. She wondered if Joshua would take her again, and how soon. Closing her eyes, she rested her head against the rim of the tub and let her mind drift. She was close to slumber when a soft brush like butterfly wings startled her. Opening her eyes, she looked around the room expecting to find Joshua standing there looking down at her. No one was there. She shook her head. “Devra,” she whispered to herself, “You are losing it.” She was closing her eyes when she felt it again, this time a little stronger. “What the hell is that?” she groused, sitting up in the tub and pulling her knees up. She waited for it to happen again and when it didn't she chalked it up to weariness. But her body felt rejuvenated and the aches from their vigorous sex eased. She figured it was time to get out and face the men in the other room.
It was not really what she wanted to do, but she wasn't into threesomes and they should know it. She had to admit she was a bit curious about the other guy. He was the same one she'd seen at the bar tonight. The one she'd been observing right before Joshua walked out on stage. Who was he? Obviously a friend of Joshua's if he had free run of the house. The stranger wasn't too hard on the eyes, sexy in a dark, dangerous way. He looked vaguely familiar. But not like Joshua. Just thinking about Joshua brought her satiated body back to life. Down girl! Standing up, water sluicing from her body, Devra stepped from the tub and grabbed a towel to dry off. Quickly donning her dress, she finger-combed her hair, straightened her shoulders and opened the door. “Okay, guys,” she came to a halt when she realized the room was empty. “Well, that's great,” she muttered placing her hands on her hips. “I come out here to give our voyeur a piece of my mind and here I'm all alone. Where is my hero when I need him?” “I'm right here, but if you want me to call Damon back, I will.” She jumped, squealing, and turned to find Joshua leaning negligently against the doorframe, holding a bottle of champagne and two flutes. Putting her hand over her racing heart, she glared at him. “Don't do that. You scared the hell out of me.” He arched a dark brow, his mouth lifting in a smile at the corner. “Forgive me. Now do you want me to call back…” he paused as if searching for words and then said, “'our voyeur,' I believe you called him?” “No, I don't want you to call him back, you jerk,” she replied, stomping her bare foot on the floor. “So don't get your nose out of joint.” Crossing her arms over her chest, she narrowed her gaze on him. “Why don't you tell me why Damon just walked in and watched us having sex without saying a word?” She grinned inwardly when his face flushed a deep red, and he rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment. “I was too distracted to sense when he came in, else I would have told him to wait downstairs.” Her sixth sense kicked in at his choice of words. The reporter inside her came to life now that the woman had been satiated. Very softly, she asked, “What do you mean if you'd sensed him?” Inside she hoped and prayed he was still preoccupied enough to tell her. Of course that was not to be. He straightened away from the door and silently stalked her, his eyes and body oozing sexuality in spades. He set the champagne and glasses on the nightstand before turning toward her. The smile he gave her was pure unadulterated sin. Damn! She held up her hands to ward him off, he simply brushed them aside and pulled her into his arms. “So, my little inquisitor has returned full force, has she?” he asked in a soft voice, just before brushing his lips across hers not once, but twice. She groaned softly, her hands coming up to fist in his hair, drawing him in for a firmer, stronger kiss. His tongue pressed against her lips, seeking, demanding entrance and she gave it willingly. She opened wide, moaning when his tongue swept inside, bringing with it the hunger and need she'd thought fulfilled by their time in bed. Evidently that wasn't the case. As he kissed her, she felt her nipples pebble and dampness between her thighs. It was like a drug, an addiction. She couldn't seem to get enough of him. Now she knew what an addict must feel like. Wanting and needing that fix and ready to give anything to get it. She shivered when Joshua's hand skimmed up her side and covered her aching breast, his fingers pulling and tugging the nipple, sending waves of desire coursing through her veins, boiling her blood.
His kiss brought forth images of them together on the bed, in the shower, and against the wall. But, the one that truly took her breath away was of him taking her from behind. To feel his hands grip her ass as he thrust his hard cock in and out of her. The images were so powerful she thought she might faint from the overwhelming hunger. Desire, hot and heavy, pooled between her thighs, sizzling through her blood. She felt like she was dying of thirst and Joshua was the water she needed to survive. This need, this hunger scared her. To need him—this much, this soon—scared the hell out of her. So she fought it with everything in her. Pushing against his chest, she tore her mouth from his and stepped out of his arms. Chest heaving, her body trembling, she asked, “What the hell is going on here? How can I want you again so soon and this bad?” She bit her lip to keep from begging him to take her, to pick her up toss her on the bed and fuck her unconscious. She wrapped her arms tightly around her body to keep from reaching out and grabbing him. “It's hard to explain,” he gasped, running his hand through his hair. “Try,” she commanded. “I'm about two seconds away from walking out that door.” Turning away, Devra began pacing. “I don't know what's happening to me, Joshua. When I'm near you all I can think about is sex—hard, rough, mind-blowing sex. My God! We just burned up the sheets less than twenty minutes ago and already I want you even more, if that's at all possible.” Her body shook and every nerve ending was alive and kicking. She turned to him and found him watching her, his eyes sparkling with desire and something more. And that something more frightened her. “Tell me. What the hell is going on?”
Joshua cursed his hunger, his need for this woman. He knew exactly what she was feeling, for now that they'd made love, they were connected. He could read every erotic thought she had, every desire, and damned if he didn't want to fulfill her every desire right now, and to hell with talking. He wanted to do all those things she imagined, and more. He wanted to take her in the ass. To sink slowly in her tight little hole inch by inch until he was seated to the hilt. Just thinking about it made his cock lengthen and harden. Dammit! He should have put on his silk pajama bottoms instead of his jeans. Jeans that were now cutting off the circulation to his dick. And quite possibly his head. “Joshua?” Her question drew him back to the present. Trepidation cooled his desire. If he didn't conjure up the right words to tell her the truth about himself, what he was, he might lose her. He couldn't explain the feeling threatening to choke him, but if it had a taste it would be bittersweet. What he wouldn't give to take her in his arms right now and kiss her senseless. But that was not going to happen. Already his arms felt empty, his heart breaking, just thinking about losing her. “I should have known the reporter in you and the woman I made love to were closer than I realized. You can't shut down the inquisitive part—that part of you that wants to know the how, why, when and where of everything.” Taking several deep gulping breaths, he prayed his ardor would cool enough for him to explain without attacking her. His arousal was riding high and his dick itched for her warmth.
“I'm waiting,” she tapped her foot on the carpeted floor. She really was an impatient thing. That was apparent by her earlier actions when they were groping each other. Her hot little hands had nearly driven him insane with lust. Even now his body craved her touch “Would you stop thinking about sex for one damn minute and talk to me? I swear men have a one-track mind and it leads straight to their dicks.” It was all he could do not to chuckle at her words. One look from her green eyes and he sobered quickly. If he laughed now, Devra would likely hit him over the head with something. “You'd better sit down,” he said gesturing toward the bed. He watched her walk to the bed, her eyes never leaving his. His thoughts drifted again to her being naked, bound to his bed, helpless and at his mercy while he did everything he wanted to do and more. He wanted to pleasure her like she'd never been pleasured before, in ways that she'd never even dreamed about. When she cleared her throat he knew that wasn't likely to happen. Heaviness filled his heart. Devra might see it as betrayal that he'd hidden who and what he was from her. Already he could feel his heart breaking, cracking into a million pieces. His soul was crying out to its mate. An ache centered in his chest, each breath becoming painful. He would cease to exist should she leave him. Since they'd made love and connected on all levels of intimacy, he would wither and die if she left him. He sat down beside her, took her hand in his, and rubbed his thumb across her soft, delicate skin. “Your skin is so soft and smooth—it reminds me of a newborn.” Her fingers tightened around his and squeezed before letting go. It was time. Time for him take the chance on losing his mate. Because he was certain once she learned the truth she could walk out the door without looking back. He closed his eyes and prayed it would be over quickly. “You're stalling,” she reminded him. Yes, he was stalling. But, the inevitable was here. Time to face the music. “Devra, I just want to say that you are the most remarkable woman I've ever met. You make me burn like a raging inferno and humble me at the same time.” “Joshua,” He held up his hand to forestall her words. “No, let me say this. I'm not what you think I am. I come from a race of people who are similar and yet different to your kind in many ways. Do you remember the first time we met, and you asked me why my music was so different? If it was magical or hypnotic?” He waited for her to nod before continuing. “In a way it is. I put all my feelings, hunger and need into every note, every song that I play. When the crowd reaches euphoria, or high arousal, I feed off those feelings.” He turned to look at her, to gauge her reaction to his words and was relieved to see impatience in her questioning gaze instead of disbelief or horror. Maybe there was hope? “With you it's different. From the first time I touched you, tasted you, I knew you were the something I needed to continue to live. You are my true mate.” “What? A good fuck to give you the high you need to survive until next time?” she asked sarcastically. She rose from the bed and moved away. He started to go to her. To wrap his arms around her and hold her close, but knew by the stiffness of her
shoulders and her arms wrapped around her middle, that it wasn't a good idea. So he stayed where he was and waited. “You must think I'm some gullible, horny woman, who will buy that shit, but I'm not and I won't.” Grabbing her shoes, she stormed from the room without so much as a backward glance. “Devra, wait.” He called out but it was too late. She was beyond hearing, beyond listening. His little hellcat was hopping mad and horny at the same time, just like the first night they'd met. This was not going well. Not at all. Dammit, Devra was his mate, and before the night was through she was going to know it and accept it. He was on his way out of the bedroom when he heard the front door slam. Did Devra truly think she could leave without him? He heard the roar of an engine—his Mustang! He couldn't believe it! He ran quickly down the steps and out the front door in time to watch Devra drive away in his car. Not hers but his. Damn! “Where the hell did she get my keys?” He looked at her car. “Fine, baby. I'll just follow you in yours.” Two could play this game. He ran down the steps, got into her car and cursed. Shit! She had taken her keys when she stole his car. He stomped back to the house, cursing every step of the way. He slammed the front door and went to the den. He still couldn't believe she'd taken off in his car. Going to his desk he picked up the phone, and dialed a number. It rang twice before a sleepy male answered. “This had better be damn good to wake me up at fucking midnight. I'm a married man now.” “Roarke, it's Joshua. I need you to come to the house and pick me up.” He heard the faint rustling of sheets and Roarke's sleep-roughened question, “Why, what the hell happened? Did your woman steal your car?” his gravelly chuckle sounding loud in Joshua's ear. “Just get your ass out of bed and over here pronto.” “You know maybe you should give her a little time to absorb what you told her?” “No! I need to get to her now. If I don't, it will be too late.” He couldn't explain the urgency he felt, he just knew he had to get to Devra now. Tonight. “Are you sure? You remember how Melissa reacted when I gave her the news.” Yes, Joshua remembered. Melissa had stomped, thrown things, and screamed at the top of her lungs. But in the end she'd come to accept Roarke and what he was. Why couldn't Devra do that? “Joshua?” It was Melissa. “Roarke's right. You need to give her time to process everything you've told her.” Shit! Give her time? “I know it's hard, but just give her some time. Let her stew over it tonight and then tomorrow give her a call, or better yet send her flowers.” Melissa was right. Joshua knew this but it still smarted. “Okay, fine. I'll wait until tomorrow to contact her.” He hung up the phone. He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. “Devra.”
His mind drifted, traveling along the path that led to Devra. Her hurt and anger spilled into his mind, nearly choking him.I'm sorry baby, he whispered. Please forgive me. Love me.Another emotion almost as strong as the anger slammed into him. Arousal. She might be angry but she was horny as well. Her scent filled his head, swirling around him like tendrils, embedding deep inside him. A slow smile formed as he wondered if it would always be this way. The need, the hunger, so strong and powerful. He broke the connection, cursing his own stupidity. Did he really think she would take everything with a smile and open her body for more? Not likely. She was going home, that much he knew. Even though he could have materialized at her home with just a thought, he didn't want to frighten her any further until he explained everything. She wasn't receptive to his words and for him to show his powers just now would be devastating to their relationship. No, for tonight, he would leave her alone. However, tomorrow was a different story. He planned to storm the castle walls and take what was rightfully his. **** Devra cursed herself a thousand times over. She slapped the steering wheel. “You are so stupid,” she muttered quietly. “What kind of mess have you gotten yourself into this time, Devra?” She uttered every curse word she could think of before she calmed down a fraction. Her instincts about Joshua had been right on target—she'd hit the bull's-eye dead center. He was a mystery alright; she just never expected that he wasn't human. Dammit, she was a rational woman, a newspaper reporter, for God's sake, so why was he buying his story hook, line and sinker? It made no sense, and yet, strangely, in her heart, she believed every word he'd said. It wasn't just the mind-blowing sex talking, either. No, everything that Joshua said spoke toher . Vampire…A shiver of fear raced along her spine, one hand moving to feel her neck. Finding no bite marks, she breathed a sigh of relief. “Okay, so he's not ablood-sucking vampire.” She spied her street up ahead, and maneuvered the car onto her narrow road and up her driveway. She brought the car to a stop and turned it off. Devra sat there staring off into space, the questions racing through her mind. “So, what are you Joshua, and where do you come from?” she asked the starlit sky. Another thought hit her. Oh god! What if she got pregnant? Her hand immediately covered her stomach. What if she was already pregnant? Would her child be normal or like Joshua? If what he said was true and she was his mate, then what did that mean exactly? Would she become like him? Immortal? Or would he revert to being human? She covered her face with her hands. So many questions. She grabbed her purse and got out. After closing the door, she ran her hands along the door of the car. It was a beautiful red Mustang and well taken care of. Briefly she wondered if Joshua was spitting nails that she had stolen it, and then shrugged. Too damn bad! He should have let her follow him or… Or what, her inner voice taunted. Fucked you again until you both fell asleep replete, and then the next morning woke you up saying, “Oh, by the way, I'm not really human?” “Oh, shut up,” she muttered fiercely to the voice. She believed he was telling the truth because the story was too unbelievable not to be true. She walked along the pathway leading to her front porch and once inside the house went straight to the phone. She needed Susan and she needed her now. Devra dialed the number, praying that Susan was home and alone.
“Hello.” “Sus, it's me.” “Hey girl, so how was it tonight? Did you see him perform? Drool over him, beg him to take you?” A sob tore from her throat. “Devra, what's wrong? What happened?” “Can you come over here? I really need you.” “I'll be right there and I'm bringing reinforcements.” Then Susan was gone. Devra smiled a watery smile. Reinforcement was their code word for ice cream. Mint chocolate chip ice cream smothered in chocolate syrup. Perfect! That was just what she needed. A friend and a pint of mint chocolate chip. Life couldn't get any better. She looked at the clock and figured she had enough time for a quick shower. Maybe if she couldn't smell Joshua on her, everything would be better. Chapter Nine Devra had just finished dressing when the doorbell rang. She walked to the door and opened it, finding Susan standing there with a brown paper bag. “Come in,” she stepped back to let Susan enter. Susan bounded through the door, heading straight for the kitchen. Devra closed the door and followed, arriving in time to see Susan open a drawer, grab two tablespoons and turn around. “Okay, I have spoons, ice cream, and the pièce de résistance, chocolate syrup.” Devra took a spoon and then proceeded to scoop out the ice cream. When they had fixed their bowls just right, they headed into the living room. Each of them ate their ice cream in silence. Devra was halfway through with hers when Susan finally spoke. “Okay, hon. Spill it. What happened tonight?” Devra set the bowl down, the ice cream no longer appetizing. “I screwed up, Sus.” “What do you mean?” Devra felt tears well in her eyes. She lowered her head so Susan couldn't see them, “Devra? What's wrong?” “I slept with him.” She raised her gaze and collided with Susan's wide-eyed stare. “Slept with whom? Joshua?” She nodded. Susan rubbed her hands together in glee. “So tell me how was it? Does he make love like he plays the piano?”
“He's the best fuck I've ever had. He's also not human.” “What?” Susan screeched. “What the hell do you mean he's not human? Come on, girl. Explain.” Devra wiped her face. “I don't know too much, only what Joshua told me. Evidently hiskind came to Earth to live as humans..” She waved her hand in the air. “And he's a vampire too.” “A vampire? Oh my god, did he bite you?” Susan rose from her seat. “Let me look at your neck.” Devra shook her head. “No … no. He didn't bite me. He's notthat kind of vampire. And there are others like him. I think I met one of them tonight.” Devra shivered. “Please tell me you kicked him in the balls or something?” Devra blew out a breath. “Nope.” “Did you do anything?” Devra looked at Susan then. “I wanted him to make love to me again. Does that count for something?” Susan punched the chair arm. “Have I taught you nothing? Has the fact that I'm a bitch with an attitude that men tend to stay away from taught you nothing?” Susan shook her head. “I ought to whop you upside the head.” Devra rolled her eyes. “Do you want to hear the rest or not?” “You mean there's more?” “Shush, and let me finish.” Susan threw up her hands and sat back. “Well, then. Get on with it.” “As I was saying. He feeds off the sexual high of those in his audiences when he plays.” She looked at Susan. “That's why after listening to him play, you wanted to go out and fuck somebody.” “Wow. Really?” “Yes, really.” “Did you have sex? Was he any good?” Susan sat forward, eager to hear more, her anger apparently allayed, at least for now. Devra replayed everything back. “Good? He was out of this world. My God, Susan, from the minute he touched me, my body felt like it was on fire. I couldn't get enough. All I could think about was getting naked and riding his cock until I was sore. I can't explain the intensity or the heat that generated between us. It was like a live wire, and damn, it was so good.” “Whew, down, girl,” Susan said fanning herself. “Much more of that and I'm gonna have to leave and find myself a man real quick.” “What am I going to do, Sus? He makes me feel things I've never felt before. All I can think about is him. The way his hands caress my body. His kisses. Oh, man! His kisses are spicy hot and addictive. Right now all I can think about is climbing back into bed with him and kissing him… “Damn, girl. Then what's the problem?”
“I don't know. I feel so foolish for fucking a guy I just met and yet, in some way I feel like I really know him.” Devra covered her face and groaned. “For goodness sakes, he's a psychic vampire. Plus he's supposed to be a story. Nothing more, just a story.” “Okay, listen up. Here's what you're going to do. Go upstairs, curl up in that big old sleigh bed of yours and get some sleep. No more thinking about hunky Joshua tonight. What you need is sleep so you can wake with a fresh perspective.” “Yeah, you're right. I am kinda tired.” Both rose at the same time and hugged each other. “It will be okay, Dev. I promise.” “Thanks Susan. You're the best.” They said their goodnights and after seeing Susan out the door, Devra locked the door and headed to her bed. Susan was right. No more thoughts about Joshua tonight. She would think about him and what to do tomorrow. **** Susan watched the lights go out in Devra's house, wiped a lone tear from her cheek and started the car. “I think it's time I had a little heart-to-heart with Joshua Thomas. Nobody messes with my friends.” Susan pulled out and headed to Governor's Lounge. With any luck Joshua would be there. If not, she would find out where in the hell he was and pay him a visit. Nobody but nobody hurt her friend. **** Joshua had finished his last set at the club and was headed out the door when a feminine voice called his name. He turned to see a blonde-haired, blue-eyed and—judging by the quickness in her step—very angry female. Did he know her? He searched his memory and came up empty. Who the hell was she and why was she mad at him? “You're Joshua Thomas, right?” “Yes. I don't believe I've had the pleasure of meeting you. You are?” The woman stepped closer until they were almost toe to toe. “I'm the woman who's going to kick your ass for hurting my friend. That's who I am.” Joshua was taken aback. Hurt a woman?No! His mind cried out. He would never harm a woman. “I'm sorry. I believe you have me mixed up with somebody else. I don't hurt women.” He turned to leave but was stopped by her grip on his arm. He looked down and then up at her. “Do you mind?” “Yes. Yes, I do mind. Do you fuck so many women that you can't remember the one you were with a few hours ago?” He frowned. A few hours ago? But, he was with Devra a few… “You're a friend of Devra's.”
Susan shook her head. “No, I'm her best friend. The one who just spent an hour listening to her cry over you.” Joshua stiffened. “She's crying?” He pulled from Susan's grip. “must go to her.” “Oh no you don't, buster. You stay away from her.” “You don't understand. I am her mate. She's the other half of my soul. Without her I will wither and die.” Susan cocked her head and narrowed her gaze. “Is what she said about you true? Are you from another planet?” “Is that what she said?” Susan shrugged. “Actually her words were, 'He's not human.'“ Joshua shook his head. “I am human just like you, but I'm also what you would call a vampire. I feed off the sexual high of your kind. Our planet was dying and Earth was compatible with our needs. I tried to explain all this to Devra but she didn't believe me. Now she is lost to me forever.” “Not necessarily.” He whipped around. “What do you mean?” “I mean there's still a chance to win her heart.” Susan narrowed her eyes. “If that's what you really want.” “How? She won't even talk to me.” “You let me worry about that. Just answer one question.” “What.” “Do you love her?” Joshua smiled. “With all my heart.” “Then that's enough for me. But if you ever hurt her, I will hunt you down like a dog.” “Of course.” She pulled him over to a table and motioned for him to sit. “Okay, here's what you're gonna do.” For the next hour, Susan told Joshua everything he needed to know in order to win his lady's heart. And for the first time since Devra walked out of his house, Joshua had hope. Hope that he would have Devra back in his arms and his bed soon.
Devra was tired and edgy. She hadn't slept well since Friday. She would go to sleep the minute her head hit the pillow, but then the dreams started. Hot, wild erotic dreams with her mystery lover. However, this time … this time her lover had a face. Joshua's face. His crystalline blue eyes that seared her soul, lips and tongue that worshiped every inch of her body, and his whispered words of love. His strong arms held her gently like fine china and his lovemaking was tender. Just thinking about it brought tears to her
eyes. It had been so beautiful. But so unrestful. No wonder she was tired. She hadn't heard from him since Friday night and here it was Sunday night. His true mate?Yeah, right! No time to stew about what might have been any more. She had other things to do. Housework! Ugh … she hated housework. Devra had just finished mopping the bathroom floors when the doorbell rang. She set the mop aside and headed for the door. Barefooted, she opened the door, expecting Susan. But, it wasn't Susan standing at the door. It was Joshua. And he was holding a bouquet of daffodils. Her favorites. Damn! How had he known her favorite flower? “Hello, love.” “What are you doing here?” Joshua held the flowers out to her and she took them without thought, holding them close to her chest. “Thank you for the flowers. Now answer the question. Why are you here?” He held out his hands in supplication. “I want to talk to you, explain things a little better. Then if you still don't want to see me any more, I'll go.” Uh-oh! Just what was he up to? He was going to give up? What about all that drivel about being true mates, loving her forever? Was that all talk? She was about to find out. Devra opened the door wider and motioned him to come in. “Have a seat in the living room. I'll put these in water and be right in.” Without checking to see if Joshua obeyed, Devra walked into the kitchen and found a vase for the flowers. She'd just finished filling it with water when strong arms surrounded her from behind. Suddenly Devra found herself encircled in Joshua's arms, his warm breath on her neck. “I've missed you.” He nuzzled her neck and kissed her. Devra held herself completely still but what she really wanted was to lean into his embrace to feel his warm body pressed intimately to hers. Thankfully the voice of reason snapped her to attention. As much as she wanted to be in Joshua's arms, Devra needed answers more. She pushed his hands aside, stepping away from him when he let her go. She turned to face him. “Are you going to tell me who and what you are?” “Yes. That's why I came here today.” He held out his hands. “I am a man who loves you very much. A man who is nothing without you.” He raked a hand through his hair. “Can we sit?” “Fine. But this better be good.” They each pulled out a kitchen chair and sat down facing each other. Devra leaned back, crossed her arms and waited. She was not about to make this easy for him, no matter how sexy he looked in his jeans. Or that he'd brought her flowers. Darn it! **** Joshua took one look at Devra and knew he had his work cut out for him. The flowers had helped. He'd seen her eyes soften when she saw them. And when he placed his arms around her and kissed her neck, she hadn't immediately pulled away, which meant she still craved his touch. Still wanted him. He took a
moment to collect his thoughts and plan his strategy. If he didn't convince Devra now, there was no hope for them. “Two nights ago I told you of my people and where we came from. I tried to explain our ways to you, our reasons for coming to Earth. Evidently I didn't do a very good job of it because you ran out of the house furious with me, and probably wondering about the man you had just burned up the sheets with.” He looked away and glanced around the kitchen. It was painted a sunny pale yellow with an ivy bordered stenciled around the top. Floral plates hung on one wall and an antique china hutch graced another wall. Sheer white curtains hung over the windows, one above the sink and the other over the back door. The room carried a warm, homey feel to it, reminding Joshua of his mother. He turned his gaze back to Devra. Yes, his mother would love Devra. They were both very much alike. Both of them were full of spirit and determination. And the woman in front of him was demanding answers. “Go on,” she said. “I'm just a man with basic needs. A house to call my own, a warm bed to sleep in, and the woman I love by my side.” Joshua held up his hand when Devra would have protested that statement. “Let me finish. By all standards, I am just like any other red-blooded male on this planet with the same sexual needs and desires.” He shrugged. “It's just that mine are a little more…” He tried to think of the right word to put there. One that Devra would grasp and understand. A word that wouldn't push her farther away. Devra beat him to the punch. “Intense … stronger … hotter?” “Yes, that's a good way to describe it. Intense. I need those intense feelings to live, those I experienced with you.” Joshua rose from his chair, walked around the table, and knelt by Devra's chair. He took her hand in his and kissed the knuckles. “All I know is that I have never felt this way about another woman before. And never have I been able to pick up a woman's thoughts or feelings outside of sex. Except with you. That's how I knew.” “Knew what?” Joshua swallowed hard. Here came the hard part, the part he'd tried to tell her two nights ago. “That you are my true mate.” “Your what?” “My true mate. The one woman made just for me. The other half of my soul, the one to complete me.” She was weakening. He could see it in her eyes, the way she looked at him with something more than hurt and anger. A sparkle of lust glittered there along with something else. Could it be love? Did she love him? He wanted to press the issue but knew better. Now was not the time to push. He kissed her hand softly. Like a caress. “Do you understand now?” She looked at him a moment, then looked away. But her hand never left his. That was a good sign. “I think I understand. I'm still not sure I'm this true mate of yours, but I do know that when you touch me I go up in flames. All I can think about is being in your arms, with your body covering mine, and you inside me.” She turned back to him and his breath left in a rush. Devra's eyes were full of hunger, need, and desire. She still wanted him.
“Make love to me, Joshua. Now! Right here.” He needed no further urging. He rose quickly to his feet and pulled Devra up and into his arms. His mouth found hers, moist and ready for his kiss. He kissed her with all the pent up passion and frustration he felt roiling around inside of him. Her hands gripped his waistband, pulling his erection into close contact with her lower body. He lifted his lips from hers and looked into her eyes. “Are you sure this is what you want?” he asked. Devra nodded, a glazed look in her eyes. Was it the passion talking or her heart? He had to know for sure before going any further. He didn't want her to regret it later. He gripped her shoulders and shook her gently. “Look at me,” he commanded. Devra's gaze rose to meet his. “Be very sure, honey. Once I have you beneath me, your long legs wrapped around my waist, and my shaft deep inside your body, you will be mine. There will be no turning back. So be absolutely sure you can deal with who and what I am.” Devra rose up on her toes and placed her lips against his ear. “Do it.” Joshua needed no further urging. He clasped Devra's face between his palms and plundered her mouth. The kiss was intoxicating and quickly burned out of control. He wanted to go slowly but all thoughts of delay left his head when Devra grabbed his sex through his jeans and squeezed. His eyes rolled back in his head, his breath leaving in a rush. “Damn, baby. Do you know what your touch does to me?” “I think I can guess.” He half-laughed, half-groaned. “This isn't funny.” “Oh, I'm not laughing. I love watching you lose your iron control.” She squeezed him again. Joshua gazed down at her. “Be careful, baby. I'm hanging on by a thread here.” “Let's see if I can break it, shall we?” She moved her hand from his aching bulge and reached for the button of his jeans. Slowly, teasingly, she unbuttoned the button. Joshua held his breath, waiting in anticipation of her next move. What she did shocked him. **** Devra watched Joshua from beneath her lashes, smiling inwardly. He was so hard and his body stiff, just waiting for her touch on his flesh. But she wasn't ready to put him out of his misery yet. It was time for a little payback. She unbuttoned his jeans, letting the back of her fingers touch the head of his cock. A drop of pre-cum glistened right in the center and she licked her lips, wanting to drop to her knees and take him into her mouth. But not yet. First she wanted him hot and hungry for her. She wanted him to beg just as she'd begged. With one last stroke of her fingers on his cock, she withdrew her hand and stepped back. She leaned back against the counter and looked him over from head to toe. He was stunning. His body was to-die-for. His arms filled with raw power as he stood, tightening and loosening his fists. She glanced at his face and found him watching her through narrowed eyes. He was not happy. Nope, she thought
cheerfully. Joshua wasn't happy at all. “Is something wrong, Joshua?” His jaw clenched. “Why did you stop? Are you going to tease me and then kick me out? Is that your plan, Devra?” Devra was taken aback by his tone. She could hear the anger in his words but more than that she heard the underlying hurt. Oh God! She hadn't meant to hurt him, just tease him. She left her perch and walked to him. “I'm sorry, Joshua. I was only teasing you. I wanted to see you lose a little of the calmness you always seem to have wrapped around you. I wanted to see if I could make you want me as much as I want you.” He grabbed her arms and pulled her close. “Oh, I want all right. I want to strip you out of your clothes and lay you down on a soft bed. To loosen your hair and see it fanned out on the pillow as I fuck you slow and deep.” His hot breath caressed her cheek as he placed soft little kisses along her jaw line. “I want to explore every inch of your body and find out all the places that make you squirm. Then I want to spread your thighs and lick and suck your pretty little slit until it weeps and cries for me. And then, when you're ready,” his voice dropped to a whisper. “When your body is crying out for mine, begging, pleading to be filled, then I will slide my cock into your tight channel and take you hard and fast.” Devra whimpered, her juices leaking from her body with each word he whispered in her ear. “Joshua … please.” He lifted her into his arms and sat her on the counter top. “I can't wait,” he said as his hands worked her shorts and panties down her legs and off her body. He shoved his pants to his ankles, spread her legs and moved between them. Devra gripped the counter top, waiting for him to enter her. To take her. She braced herself when she felt the head of his cock nudging at her entrance. He slid in an inch and eased out, then eased back in again. Oh God! It was too slow. The pleasure was intense, but dammit, he was going too slow. Devra wrapped her ankles around his waist and with a mighty pull, she succeeded in getting him right where she wanted him. With one thrust, his cock slid all the way in against her sensitive flesh. A moan of pleasure escaped her lips and her hands tightened on the counter. “Yes,” Devra moaned. “You feel so good, baby. I could stay connected to you like this forever.” He filled her completely, the head of his cock touching the mouth of her womb. She waited for him to move. To ride her hard and fast like he said. She wanted it. Needed it. Yet, all he did was stay seated inside her. He didn't move but she could feel his cock pulsing inside her. Throbbing with every beat of his heart. She lifted her butt from the counter, intending to ride his cock. His hands clenched on her hips holding her still. “Don't move. Just feel.” His words were punctuated by another ripple inside her. “Move. Please, Joshua. I need you to move.” “Not yet, baby. Feel me inside you. You make me so hot. The way your inner muscles grab hold of my
cock when I'm inside you makes me burn.” “Then we'll both burn because you're killing me.” Devra squeezed her muscles around his dick in the hopes of getting him to thrust. God, she needed him to move that delicious cock in and out of her body. She wanted to explode. She needed to release some of the pent-up energy coursing through her veins. She would break his control. Damned if she wouldn't. She leaned forward and nipped his ear, feeling him shiver. That one move got her exactly what she wanted. With a growl, Joshua began to thrust into her with such force that she had to grip the counter to keep from sliding all the way across it. His cock rubbed against her inner flesh, touching every nerve ending. God, he felt so good. Her orgasm was getting close. She could feel it rising with intensity and quickness. “Joshua … more … more.” His hands gripped her hips and pulled her to the edge of the counter. Devra lost her grip on the counter and reached for his shoulders just as he thrust upward. Her climax hit with the force of a hurricane. She screamed out Joshua's name as her muscles contracted around his dick. Two more strokes and she felt his body stiffen and his come fill her to overflowing. She was tired, satiated, happy. Sex with Joshua was always the same—fulfilling and totally satisfying. Hell! He was even better than her whirlpool tub. “Devra, baby? Are you all right?” She sighed. “I'm fine. Just a little sleepy.” A yawn lent truth to her words. “Come on, honey. Let's get you into bed. You need to rest.”
He lifted Devra and carried her from the kitchen to her bed. After placing her on the bed, he simply watched her. His love, his mate. She immediately rolled to the center of the bed and curled up in a tight little ball, her ass facing him. Damn! His cock hardened. His body wanted her again. To avoid temptation, he pulled the covers over her to hide her tempting body from his gaze. He took a deep breath and sat down in an overstuffed chair. The intensity of their lovemaking took him by surprise. It was even better, more overwhelming before. He rubbed his tired eyes and glanced at the bed. Should he? Devra hadn't said to stay but she hadn't told him to leave either. Too tired to care, Joshua rose from the chair and padded to the bed. He pulled back the covers, and climbed in beside her, lying on his back. He stared at the ceiling for a few minutes and grunted when Devra rolled toward him, slung her arm over his chest and snuggled close. Her thigh rested atop his, very near his half-erect cock and he swallowed hard. This was going to be a long, painful night. He rested his arm across her waist, closed his eyes and drifted off. He was having a wonderful dream, an erotic sexy dream starring Devra and her wondrous mouth. His hips arched closer as her hot mouth licked his cock from tip to base. “Yes … suck me…” he hissed to his dream gal. His eyes bulged in his head when she gripped him at the base and took him all the way in, swallowing him, and then sliding back up again. His body shook with the force of his arousal, his desire electrifying, as she continued to suck. When her tongue swirled around the head, licking like a lollipop
and then sucked hard, his hands fisted in her hair drawing her closer. “That's it, baby. Suck me harder.” His hips started pumping upward in time to her downward strokes setting a beat that would lead him to an explosive climax. Just as he was about to reach the pinnacle, to soar into the sky shattering in a million pieces, her mouth was gone. “No … finish,” he commanded trying to draw her back. Her resistance made his blood boil, exciting him, adding an edge of urgency to his hunger. He reached out to bring her back where he wanted her without harming her. Joshua grabbed for her body, only to come up empty handed. “Nooo,” he wailed, his shouts waking him with a start. Wide-eyed he sat up, frantically searching the room for Devra. She wasn't there. Maybe she went for a drink of water or something. He sent out a tendril searching for her and when he found no traces of her anywhere in the house, he pushed further searching the grounds outside. When there was still no sign of her, Joshua began to panic. Where could she be? He rolled over to get out of the bed when he noticed the sunlight peeking through her closed drapes and a note lying on her pillow. Quickly he opened the note and scanned its contents, relaxing by degrees when he realized she had gone to work. Of course she would go to work today, it was Monday, after all. He rose from the bed and walked to the window, threw back the curtains and greeted the beautiful sunny day. Normally he would be sleeping at this time. Not because he could only come out at night, but because he was usually up all night and damn tired by the time daybreak arrived. He wiped his face with dry hands, and then rubbed his hand across his naked chest and patted his flat stomach. He was starving. He slipped into his jeans, venturing out of the bedroom in search of the kitchen. He checked the fridge for something to eat and found the makings for an omelet. After he'd eaten, Joshua roamed the house, getting a feel for his mate. On the walls, the fireplace mantel and on every table were photos of her and others he assumed were family members. Picking up one, he laughed aloud at the sight that greeted him. His sexy, hard-boiled reporter was dressed from head to toe like a proper southern lady with a million-dollar smile and a look that said drop dead. He found several more of her with a woman who had to be her mother and another with her and two other girls, one of which was her friend, Susan. Joshua would have to remember to send her flowers later. If it weren't for her, he wouldn't have gotten Devra back. Something niggled at him. He set the photos down. Why were there no pictures of her father, he wondered silently? Did he die when she was a babe or did he abandon them for something bigger and better? Knowing Devra the way he did, he doubted seriously it was the latter. He would have to remember to ask her about her family later. The jangling of the phone caught his attention, her voice drifting through the room as the answering machine picked up. “I'm not here right now, leave a message.” He chuckled. Short, sweet and to the point, that was his lady. “Hey sweetie, it's me. Just checking to see if we're still on for tonight? Give me a buzz.” Joshua smiled, recognizing the voice of Devra's friend, Susan. The dynamo who had threatened him bodily harm only a few days ago. But she was also the one who'd helped him get Devra back. He was moving away when the phone rang again. Would it be Devra calling to talk to him? Joshua's smile faded when he heard the male voice. “Joshua. I know you are there. Why don't you pick up the phone? I have something interesting to tell you.” Damon. What the hell was he doing calling here?
“Ah … not going to pick it up? Well, no matter. I will tell you on the recorder. I plan to fuck your lovely Devra today. To open her thighs wide and lick her fragrant pussy. Mmm. I can already taste her juices. You remember what they taste like, don't you Joshua?” Joshua leaped toward the phone and grabbed the receiver. “You bastard! You lay one hand on her and I will kill you. Do you understand me?” Damon laughed. “Tsk … tsk … what would your mother say if she heard you talk to your best friend like that?” “She would tell you to leave my mate alone,” Joshua said through clenched teeth. “Then I guess we won't tell her, will we. I promise to let you know if she's as good as I sensed the other night. I really can't wait to fuck her sweet, sweet pussy.” “Keep your hands off…” Joshua trailed off as the dial tone registered in his ear. “Damon? Damon,” he shouted. Dropping the receiver, Joshua looked at the ceiling. “I will kill you. Do you hear me, Damon? I will kill you if you touch her.” First you have to find me.Damon's voice whispered in Joshua's mind, and then the link was broken, severed. Joshua tried to retrieve the connection and find Damon, but it was no use. Damon had locked him out and covered his tracks well. He had to get to Devra and fast. Joshua rushed from the living room in search of the rest of his clothes and his car keys. He found his clothes but after a frantic search didn't find his keys. “Fuck. Devra must still have them from Friday.” What the hell was he supposed to do now? Contact her! Yes, that was it. He would simply mind link with her and tell her to be ready for Damon. He closed his eyes and opened his mind, searching for and finding the link to Devra. It was strong and burned brightly in the depths of his soul. He followed the pathway to her mind and then cut it off before reaching the end. “I never told her about our mental bond.” He threw back his head and roared his frustration. “Damn you, Damon. Damn you to hell.” Anger wouldn't help him now. He had to take action. But, what the hell could he do from Devra's home? She was at work. His eyes widened. Work! That was it. He'd call her at work and warn her. Joshua picked up the receiver and dialed information. He got the number for the News Free Press and dialed the number, relieved when he heard it ring. “Come on, come on. Pick up the damn phone.” “News Free Press. How may I direct your call? “I need to speak to Devra Preston, please.” “One moment please.” Joshua gritted his teeth and hoped they had a moment. It might already be too late. **** Devra heaved an exasperated sigh as a busy signal buzzed in her ears again. “Who the hell are you talking to?” Slamming the phone down for the fifth time in ten minutes, she rubbed her aching temples.
This morning she'd awakened with a headache, a heavy male body hot and aroused beside her, and had to leave for work without so much as one caress. “Damn, sometimes it doesn't pay to get out of bed,” she muttered. When she'd gotten to work, Devra had gone to straight to her office and to the phone. She'd wanted to hear Joshua's voice, to make sure last night hadn't been a dream. She'd called home expecting him to pick up the phone. Instead she got a busy signal. The first couple of times she chalked it up to his talking to a friend. But, now she wondered if something else was going on. She reached for the phone to call again, but dropped her hand. She didn't have time to dwell on that right now. Her boss was chomping at the bit for her story on Joshua and his piano skills. She snorted. What was she supposed to write? Everything that came to mind wasn't exactly what she wanted to appear in black and white for the whole world to see. She mentally shrugged. Well, maybe there was one thing—Joshua Thomas belonged to Devra Preston. So every willing female from the ages of twenty to forty-something, beware the wrath of Devra. She giggled as she pictured Uncle Bob's face if he read those words. His face would turn a deep red, a wild look would come into his eyes and then he would bellow at her. The buzzing of her phone sobered her quickly. “Devra Preston.” “Hello, Devra Preston,” a male voice all but purred over the phone. She held the phone away from ear as she tried to figure out who it was. “Who is this?” she asked. The voice sounded vaguely familiar. He chuckled softly. “How easy you forget. Let me see if I can refresh your memory. I watched you writhe and scream repeatedly as Joshua fucked you the other night. Does that ring a bell?” She gasped aloud, outraged that this man would call her and say things like that over the phone. There were laws against that sort of thing. “Oh yes, I remember you now. The son-of-a-bitch who came in uninvited to a private gathering for two,” her voice dripped with sarcasm. “What the hell do you want, Damon?” “Now is that any way to talk to a future lover?” he purred. “I can make you soar higher than Joshua ever can.” She snorted. “Look! I'm not buying what you're selling, so why don't you find some other female who will fall at your feet and leave me the hell alone.” She started to hang up the phone when he spoke again. “Now, love. Don't hang up the phone. I'm not through with you yet,” he purred. “Don't you want to know what I want from you?” “No,” she whispered. From the seductive purr she knew exactly what he wanted and she didn't know why she couldn't slam down the phone. “Oh, but I think you do. I want to taste you, touch you. I want to spread your thighs and kiss your beautiful pussy. To lap up your juices like a cat drinks milk. That night your scent reached me when I entered the front door and brought me to my knees. Your power is so potent I nearly came in my pants.” He chuckled. “Of course once I left there I had to find a woman or two to satisfy the hunger you stirred to life.” Devra couldn't believe what was happening to her. His words, his voice thrilled her, arousing her as only
Joshua could do. How could that be? Her nipples peaked, and her labia swelled with each hypnotic word he spoke. “Who are you?” she panted softly. “What are you?” “What's the matter, Devra? Can't take the heat of a little phone sex? Let's see if I can up the ante a bit, hmmm?” Suddenly he whispered a few words that she didn't catch or understand, but her body responded to them. Her juices ran freely, her body pulsed as a powerful orgasm washed over her leaving her no choice but to go along with it. She bit her lip to keep from crying out as it rolled over her in wave after wave of seemingly endless pleasure. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks. “What have you done to me?” she whispered brokenly. “What the hell did you do, you bastard?” “I have given you a taste of carnal pleasure that you will never attain with Joshua as your lover. Come to me, Devra. Let me sink my dick deep into your cunt until you don't know where you begin and I end. I promise to make it good for you.” With what little strength she had, Devra said, “No,” and slammed the receiver down in its cradle. She covered her face, allowing her tears to fall freely, not caring about her make-up or if anyone walked in. Humiliation and embarrassment flooded her body, her traitorous body. How could she climax like that without him so much as touching her and especially when she only wanted Joshua? What the hell was going on? Her phone ringing again brought her head up, and with it fear of who was on the other end. Was it Damon again? Slowly, Devra picked up the phone. “Hello?” “Devra, honey, are you okay?” “Joshua.” He must have picked up something in her voice, because his next words confirmed it. “Devra, I called to warn you about Damon. He might try to call you. If he does, don't…” “He called.” “What did he say?” Devra couldn't speak. She simply sat there with tears spilling down her cheeks, her body shaking uncontrollably. “Devra. Answer me. What did he say?” “I'm sorry. I tried not to listen, to respond, but I…” “Baby, I want you to leave there, get in your car, and come to me. Now! Do you understand me? Come to me.” “Okay,” she said in a soft, hushed tone. “I love you, honey. Don't worry, everything will be okay.” She sobbed and hung up the phone. What the hell was going on? What was Joshua's relationship with Damon and why would Damon do this to her? Was it to get back at Joshua? Answers! She needed answers and she needed them now. Joshua would tell her, he just had to.
Grabbing her belongings, Devra left the office and headed for the one man who could take away the ache inside. **** After hanging up the phone, Joshua closed his eyes and tried to control the burning anger threatening to choke him. Slowly he paced back and forth, wearing a path in the carpet waiting, wondering what he could do to make things better. It took every ounce of self-control he had to sit here and wait for Devra when all he really wanted was to wring Damon's freaking neck. The bastard had gone behind his back and mind-raped his mate. The woman he loved. Joshua groaned. He would lose her for sure. Damon's little act would ensure that. Damn him. Damon would pay. He would pay dearly. Anger raged through Joshua's body, his hands clenching into fists as he waited for Devra to get home. About to reach out to her with his mind, he heard a car pull up. Instinctively, he knew it was his mate, his woman, and she needed him. He strode across the room and pulled open the door, catching her as she launched herself into his arms. “Joshua,” she sobbed, burying her head in his chest, her body shaking uncontrollably. “Shh … it's okay,” he whispered as he rubbed his hand up and down her back in a soothing motion. He pulled her tighter into his embrace and rocked her back and forth, whispering nonsense until finally she quieted down, sniffling every now and then. He leaned back, pushed her hair back from her face and pressed his lips to hers, kissing her gently. “Tell me what's wrong, baby.”. “Damon called me on the fucking phone and made me come. That's what's wrong.” She screamed jerking from his grasp. “Your pal talked me into an all-out, heart-stopping orgasm, making me feel like a well-used whore.” She wiped her eyes with the palms of her hands and glared at him. “Who the hell is he, Joshua. and why did he do that to me?” Outrage filled him. He clenched his jaw and closed his eyes, counting to ten before he spoke. “I don't know why he did it. I told him Friday night you were mine.” There was a slight shift in the air and Joshua opened his eyes to find Devra with her arms crossed and her delicate brow arched. Uh-oh. “Yours?” she asked in a deceptively calm voice. “What gives you the right to call me yours?” His hackles rose at her question. She was his, and that was that. “You gave me that right when you let me into your body, heart, mind and soul,” he said through clenched teeth,and when you entered mine , he added silently. Of course, he hadn't told her that part yet. There were still some things he had to share with her. There were things he wanted to know about her. He stalked toward her, satisfied when her eyes widened slightly and she took an involuntary step back. He kept on walking toward her, backing her against the wall, caging her in with nowhere to go, and no place to hide. “Let's get something straight,” he said, his voice velvet-edged and strong. “Youare mine and don't you forget it.” He leaned into her, pressing his lower body against hers, grinding his arousal into her soft stomach. “Do you feel that? That's what you do to me every time you look at me with those big, sultry eyes. When you smile, I want to rip off your clothes, throw you to the ground and fuck you senseless. And afterwards I want to take you in my arms and hold you while you sleep, to feel your warm, smooth skin against mine and know that when I open my eyes, you are there beside me.” He watched her eyes widen and a look of shock cross her features. “Joshua. I don't know what to say.”
She looked away for a moment, her teeth chewing her lower lip. He couldn't stand it. Would she push him away again? Or would she accept her fate? There was only one thing to do. Wait. So he waited. Finally Devra turned to look at him and the world seemed to brighten. “I don't know if what I feel for you is love or not. I've never really been in love. I see that now. My marriage to Trevor wasn't love, it was lust. I never felt for him what I feel for you. But listen to me. I don't like high-handedness or a man who runs roughshod over me. If we are mates as you claim and you love me as you say, then I need to feel like an equal partner.” His heart overflowed with happiness. She was willing to give him a chance. To give them a chance. He grabbed her face between his hands and kissed her. By the time he broke the kiss they were both breathing hard. “I'm sorry for what Damon did to you. I promise you that it won't happen again.” Devra nodded, but he could tell by the gleam in her eye that she had questions. Always the reporter. “You still have questions. What are they?” “How could Damon do what he did? Can you do that? How can I hear you in my mind?” Joshua felt his stiff body relax now that Devra was back into fighting mode, or maybe should that be questioning mode. “I'll try to answer all your questions, but some I'm not even sure about.” Like how in the hell could Damon do that to his mate without touching her? His parents never spoke of this ability. Did he have it, too? He did know they could enter a woman's mind and feed off her emotions, the arousal rushing like drugs through their blood, their veins. It was the ultimate high. But, not once had Joshua ever brought a woman to orgasm without touching her, without being in the same room. From what his parents told them of true mates, once they were mind-linked, then they could do this. But, only with a true mate. So how in the hell did Damon do it? Fury flooded his body as he thought about his childhood friend. He would never have believed Damon capable of this. To do this to another's mate was unforgivable. He deal with Damon. “Joshua?” “Right, sorry. Answers.” He motioned toward the couch and both of them sat down. “First off, I'm not sure how Damon did that. From what we were taught he shouldn't be able to enter your mind unless you were his true mate. Which you are not. You're mine!” She cleared her throat and arched a perfectly trimmed brow. He grinned sheepishly. “Okay. Next question.” Devra ticked them off on her fingers. “How come I can hear you in my head?” “That is easy enough to answer. Because we made love, we are now mind-linked.” He could see the question in her eyes and hurried to explain. “It's a special link between mates. I can feel your emotions just as you can feel mine.” “So, I can talk to you the same way?” “Yes.”
He watched her eyes light up with a curious glint before she tamped it down. “Can Damon…” she swallowed hard. “Can Damon read my thoughts as well?” “No. Only true mates can do this.” Joshua waved his hand. “Don't worry about Damon. He won't bother you again.” “How can you be so sure?” “I will deal with Damon.” He spoke in a cold, precise tone that startled even him. “What are you going to do?” she asked. Joshua took a deep calming breath before turning to face her. “It's none of your concern. Just know that it will never happen again. I'll do everything in my power to protect you.” He held his breath when she narrowed her eyes and frowned. “Fine, for now. But know this, Joshua. I will not be kept in the dark. Either you share all of you or get the hell out of my life. And about Damon?” “Yes?” “If I see him first, I will kick his arrogant ass to Georgia and back.” Joshua broke into a grin. “I bet you will.” He held out his arms and waited to see if she would come to him. Relief rushed through him when she walked into his arms and burrowed against his chest. He rested his chin on top of her head and held her tight. His woman!
Held tightly in his arms against his chest, Devra inhaled his scent, a wave of raging lust assailing her. She loved his smell—all male. Burying her head in the curve of his neck, her nose pressed against his skin, she let his warmth surround her, invading her every pore. His hands rubbed up and down her back in a comforting gesture, bringing tears to her eyes. “Don't cry, my sweet. Everything will be fine.”His voice filled her head and her heart, easing her tension and her guilt. Devra frowned. “Stop that!” “What?” “Talking in my mind. It's weird.” “Sorry. It's a natural occurrence between mates. You'll get used to it.” Satisfied for the moment, but with still more questions, Devra cataloged that one to ask about later. Right now she wanted to know about Damon. “Tell me about Damon,” she shivered just speaking his name. “He made me feel so dirty.” She burrowed closer to Joshua, seeking his heat.
“Don't,” he murmured against her head. “What he did was wrong.” “But how could he do that? Does he have some sort of power that allows him to overpower a woman's will?” So many questions she wanted answers to, and by damn she would get them one way or the other. She wiggled free from his embrace, stepped back, crossed her arms, and gave him her best Devra look, the look that said “give me the answers or else, buddy.” She watched his frustration and hurt that she'd stepped away from his arms. While he searched for the answers to give her, she observed him silently. His shoulder-length hair was silky soft and she loved it loose and flowing like it was now. Her fingers itched to weave paths through that gorgeous mane and she barely restrained herself from doing just that. She ogled the rest of his body, the lean muscular frame causing her heartbeat to accelerate and her mouth to water. Geez! The man was way too sexy for his own good and for her peace of mind. Whenever he was near all she could think about was ripping his clothes off and going at it like bunnies. At that moment, he chose to push his hands into the pockets of his too tight jeans and her mouth watered at the outline of his cock, clearly visible. She groaned aloud and his gaze swept up to meet hers. His eyes narrowed and his mouth hitched up in that sexy smile she knew all too well. “What's the matter, baby? Am I bothering you?” His voice melted over her skin like warm butter on a biscuit. Gone was the man trying to figure out what to tell her and in his place stood the seductive, elusive Joshua Thomas, the man who could make a woman climax with one stroke of the piano keys, or one stroke on her pleasure button. Which at this moment was beginning to throb like a distant drum beat. “Joshua,” she said in a warning tone. “I want answers and then we'll get to the hot, sweaty sex.” His smile faded a bit and he nodded. “All right. Answers first, and then sex.” Removing his hands from his pockets, he pulled his hair back and wrapped it in a ponytail. Motioning for her to sit, he sat down on the sofa, resting his head against the back. Devra wondered at his reluctance to give her the answers she wanted. Surely it couldn't be all that bad. Hell, he'd already told her he was pretty much a vampire. Not the blood-sucking kind, sure, but one that fed off the heightened sexual emotions of others. He said he could read her mind and she could read his. Did that mean he was reading hers now? Did he hear all her thoughts? Oh man! She had to know right now. Clearing her throat, she voiced her question aloud. “Joshua, do you read my thoughts all the time?” **** He knew the question was coming, but not because he'd read her mind. No, it was simply because he knew his woman. And now that she'd voiced it, he found himself angry with her and himself. “No.” How could she think he would do that without her knowledge? Of course, there'd been the time when he'd sought her out, finding her writhing on her big bed, masturbating and screaming his name as she climaxed. But, that was the one time and he would not regret it. To see her in the throes of ecstasy was breathtaking and beautiful. “I only enter your mind when we are making love or when you are upset like you were today. We have an open link that works both ways. But I will never invade your privacy.” He opened his eyes and found her watching him with a mixture of wariness and curiosity. He bit back a smile. That was his Devra, always curious, always wanting to know. That little quirk made him want her all the more. “Come here and sit beside me,” he said patting the cushion next to him and waited for her to
sit down. Once she was comfortable he began his tale. “As I told you before, I am not from this world. My people arrived on your planet five hundred years ago. My parents, along with several others, were the first to arrive and find a place to live and survive. Our planet was slowly dying, our food supply dwindling to nothing and our women unable to reproduce any longer. The elders discovered your planet and its similarities to ours and so they loaded us up on starships and brought us here.” He paused for a moment and looked at Devra, trying to gauge her reaction to his words. The look on her face was one of shock and disbelief. “Surely you don't expect me to believe you're a vampireand an alien?” she asked incredulously. He shifted on the couch until he was facing her head on, his back pressed into the corner of the sofa. He shook his head. “No, I am not an alien, although we did come from another planet.” She opened her mouth to speak again but he stopped her with his fingers on her lips. “Let me finish before you start the inquisition.” She nodded. So as not to give in to temptation and run his thumb along her kissable lips he removed his fingers, letting his hand rest on his thigh. “Now where was I?” he pondered. “Oh yes, another planet. My father was one of the leaders. He helped make the laws and keep us all safe. My mother took care of teaching and nurturing me and the other children. On my home world she was a scholar, much like your history teachers here, so naturally she taught when we came here.” “Does she still teach?” “Yes. She's a teacher at one of the local high schools.” “Okay, go on.” “Damon, the jerk whose ass you want to kick, and I grew up together. I guess you could say he was my best friend, along with Roarke.” “Roarke?” she asked anxiously. “Have I met him? Is he going to do what Damon did to me too?” Joshua frowned at her choice of words. “No, he's not going to do that. Roarke is happily married to a human named Melissa. She's a spitfire like you. And no you haven't met them, but I'm hoping you will soon.” “Okay, continue.” He chuckled. Straight and to the point! Yep, that was his woman. “When I became a teenager I started having dreams,” he cleared his throat. “Sexual dreams or wet dreams, if you will. The first time I was with a girl, sexually, I found that when she was close to climaxing I could enter her mind and feed off the emotions emanated during sex. It was so raw, so powerful, that I passed out from the intensity of it. When I woke up, the girl was gone and I was totally charged up. “I raced home and the next day told Damon and Roarke about the experience and they were as fascinated as I was. We began to hang out and get women together, sometimes sharing, other times going off in our own spots and fucking them for hours, feeding off the energy and need.
“Why do you need this energy?” “For survival. Although Earth was the most similar to our planet, there were some drawbacks. Our bodies soon became drained, we slept all day and woke when the sun went down. And we craved sex. All the time. The elders soon realized that we needed the energy from sexual emotions to keep us healthy. In other words, we need the sexual high the way a junkie needs drugs. “But something changed didn't it?” she asked quietly. He looked down at his hands, surprised to find her hand in his. “Yeah, something changed. Damon nearly drained a woman and didn't seem to care. He just moved on to the next one. After that Roarke and I both kept our distance from Damon and found other ways to assuage the hunger. Roarke found his true mate and I decided to find a different way to channel my hunger and need, without fucking nameless, faceless women to survive.” “Ah, I see. That's where your music comes in doesn't it? You learned to harness your need and hunger into the songs you play.” He smiled and nodded. “You're very perceptive.” She rose from the couch and paced back and forth. “Let me get this straight. One, you are from a different planet which was dying in some way, so you guys came here to live among humans. Two, you can read minds and you feed off the orgasmic pleasures of women.” She turned to face him. “How am I doing so far?” “Fine,” he responded, amazed at her insight. “Keep going.” “Okay, so you got tired of woman after woman with no emotional attachments to tie you down, and started feeding off humans through your music. That's why women flock to hear you play—they get off on it.” “Yes,” he said quietly. “I'm sorry to use people that way, but I don't like my other choice.” He rose from the couch, stepped in front of her and placed his hands on her shoulders. “But, now that you've walked into my life, I don't have to choose. You're the woman I've been searching and yearning for all these years. That first night in the hallway I was so overwhelmed by your emotions I thought I was going to lose it. Your heat, fire and passion encircled me, embracing me with its aura and I knew you were different. And that when I took you to my bed you would fill my heart, my very soul to overflowing.” He massaged her shoulders before moving his hands down her arms to rest at her waist. “Now, I realize that somehow my body recognized yours as the other half of my soul, the piece I'd been missing. You, Devra, are my mate, the woman I am destined to love.” He drew her into his arms and held her close, inhaling the scent of her shampoo, sweet and fruity. Her arms wrapped around his waist, her fingers gripping his belt loops to hold him tighter, closer against her. He sighed contentedly, his breath ruffling her hair as he exhaled. “Joshua,” her whisper barely audible in the quiet room. “What are you going to do about Damon? I don't want him playing with my mind.” Hugging her tighter he replied, “Don't worry about Damon, honey. I'll take care of him.” His words were clipped and his tone harsh. Yes, he would take care of Damon. A dull pain knifed through his heart as he thought about Damon. Why would he do this? He knew how Joshua felt about Devra, knew she was his chosen mate. He also knew it was forbidden to mess with another's mate. What the hell was Damon
thinking? Did he plan to try and take Devra from him? There was no way in hell Joshua would ever let that happen. Never! Tightening his arms around Devra, Joshua pressed his lips to the top of her head breathing in her essence. His Devra smelled like no other woman—fresh and spicy all at once. And her taste… God, her taste was intoxicating. Everything about her mesmerized him. It was almost like Devra had cast a spell on him, flooding his body with her essence, her very life force. Is this what it felt like to be complete? A whole entity and not a part of one? “Joshua, you're squeezing me too tight,” Devra choked out. He eased up immediately. “Sorry, sweetheart. I didn't mean to.” With one more embrace he let her go, took a step back and gazed into her teary green eyes. He couldn't resist leaning down and kissing her sweet lips tenderly. “You are so beautiful,” he whispered quietly against her lips before reluctantly moving away. Joshua laughed as heat stole over her cheeks. He couldn't believe this hot-blooded, sexy woman could blush so easily. Yet, every time he told her she was beautiful she did exactly that. “Why do you blush when I tell you you're beautiful? Has no man said that to you before?” Her face turned redder and she simply shrugged. “Devra, hasn't a man ever told you that before?” Joshua wasn't sure she would answer. “Yes, all right? Too many times in fact. And they only wanted in my bed.” Her voice was bitter, filled with sarcasm. Anger filled his mind, his body. How dare they treat his mate with anything other than the truth and respect she deserved?Were you any better? A tiny voice whispered. He was instantly flooded with guilt over what he'd put her through in the past few days, all in the name of love. It was time he showed Devra how much he loved her, and treasured her. Joshua once again took her in his arms. Her smell invaded his nostrils, flooding his senses with heat and fire. Suddenly he wanted to take Devra to bed and make true love to her, reaffirming his position as mate and lover. Just thinking of her pale thighs wide-open, the petal soft folds of her womanhood damp with need and waiting for his possession, made his manhood start to rise, his jeans getting tighter. “Devra,” he rasped out, pressing his hardness to her softness. He heard her swift intake of breath and then her moan as she cuddled his hardness, pressing her lower body closer to his. Her hands dipped into his back pockets, the heat nearly scorching Joshua as she brought him even closer, until there wasn't an inch of space between their lower bodies. It was his turn to gasp when her lips and tongue worked their magic on his cheek, his chin, and then his neck. Her lips unerringly found his pulse point and she sucked the skin, nipping it gently with her teeth. “Devra,” he gasped. “I want…” he shook his head. “No, Ineed to feel your wet heat surrounding me. To slide deep between your thighs and love you until we're both exhausted. Please.” Her mouth was doing exciting things to his neck and he wasn't sure she'd heard him until one of her hands found its way between them and she clasped his cock in her hot little hand. He heard the button pop and the hissing glide of his zipper as she worked it down over his swollen shaft. Her fingertip circled the tip, rubbing the bead of moisture over it. Her soft chuckle against his neck was his undoing. “That's it,” he said. Joshua stepped away and shucked
his jeans, thankful that in his haste to get to Devra, he'd forgotten shoes. Quickly he tore her clothes from her body until they stood in the living room totally naked and aroused. Pressing her back against the wall, he lowered his mouth to hers, groaning when she opened for him. It was a kiss of uncontrollable lust, total possession, and it wasn't enough. Without lifting his mouth from hers, his hands roamed her body, touching and caressing every inch of her flesh. He groaned into her mouth when her hands began exploring his body, too. He shuddered when her hand stroked along his side, down over his hip and found its way to his throbbing cock. When her hand wrapped around him and gently squeezed, Joshua thought he was going to spill his seed right then and there. Tearing his mouth from hers, his chest heaving with exertion, Joshua tried to speak. “Devra … baby … wait,” he stuttered out. “…want this to last.” “No … want … now,” she replied breathlessly, her hand rhythmically pulling on his shaft. His heart was beating like a drum, his blood slowly boiling as her hand worked his cock from top to bottom. It was too much and not enough. He wanted to sink into her wet heat and pound furiously into her until she screamed his name in release. Then he wanted to do it all over again. He wanted to arouse her passion once more, caressing her breasts, sucking her nipples and moving toward the very heart of her. She must have had the same idea for she started kissing a path down his chest, her tongue dipping into his belly button causing his breath to hitch, waiting, hoping, for her next move. **** Devra couldn't get enough. Joshua's heat drew her like a moth to a flame—and she wasn't afraid to get burned. His skin glistened with sweat and she licked it, savoring the salty, musky taste of man. He tasted so good she wanted more. So much more. Flicking her way down his stomach, across his ribs and playing with his belly button excited her beyond control. She wanted nothing more than to impale herself on his rock-hard shaft and ride them both to oblivion. But first, she wanted to taste him, to wrap her lips around his cock and savor the flavor of Joshua. The musky, salty essence that brings forth life. When her tongue dipped into his belly button she sensed his swift intake of breath and smiled against his stomach. He wanted what she wanted, but wouldn't force her. It would be her choice. Twirling her tongue inside his belly button, a thought flashed in her mind, brief but vivid. A vision of her as she was now, on her knees in front of Joshua, kissing and licking her way down his body to the object of her desire—his cock. Kissing his hard stomach once more, she moved further down, her hand tangling in his short curly groin hairs. Giving them a gentle tug, she chuckled when a soft groan rent the quietness of the room. “Devra, please.” His hands, once fisted at his sides, now tunneled into her hair and tugged. She knew what he wanted and that he wouldn't wait any longer. His patience was at an end, his hunger overriding his desire to be gentle. Allowing herself to be led where they both wanted her to be, Devra found herself up close and personal with his massive shaft, pulsing with every harsh breath he took. Gripping him in her hand, her fingers lacked an inch of meeting around him. Lowering her head she licked his tip, swirling around the rim just below. “Yes,” Joshua hissed above her in pleasure. “That's it, baby. Lick it, suck into your sweet mouth.” His hips nudged forward, the tip of his cock resting between her lips. Closing her lips around him, inch by inch she took him in until the head rested at the back of her throat.
“Oh yeah,” he moaned. His hips gyrated slowly, pulling back out before sliding past her lips and into her mouth once again. She loved the taste of him, the salty musky taste that was coating her tongue with each pass. The hands in her hair tightened a fraction, holding her steady while he fucked her mouth. Hollowing her cheeks, using heavy suction, Devra licked his flesh—her teeth grazed the rim, making him moan louder and fuck her mouth quicker. Faster and faster his hips moved. Devra licked and sucked, caressing his heated flesh with her tongue, her lips. His cock swelled in her mouth, stretching her lips with a near bruising force and with a few more quick thrusts he came, shouting his release, his seed spurting on her tongue and down her throat. Her juices coated the insides of her thighs, her nipples tingled and she desperately wanted release. But this time was for Joshua. She sensed his need to be dominant and have her submissive. Not that she minded where she was or what she was doing. Sucking his hard length ignited a hunger inside her that wouldn't be quenched until he was inside her, fucking her. After lapping up every drop of his seed, Devra let him go with a pop and raised her gaze to his. His face was a mixture of satiation and unrequited lust. How could he still look unsatisfied after what she'd just done? In her peripheral vision she noticed that he was still hard, the head swollen and red from her mouth. A look of disbelief crossed her features, her mouth open, her eyes wide in astonishment. How was that possible? He had just exploded in her mouth, his seed spurting in her mouth, down her throat. And yet, he stood there with his cock just as stiff. “Close your mouth, love, before I decide to fuck it again,” Joshua commanded, his tone low and gravelly. Snapping it shut, she looked at his face again and found him smiling a seductive, feral smile that would have scared the hell out of another woman. But not her. Hell, no, not her. Rising from the floor she stood directly in front of him letting her gaze travel from his erection to his handsome face. “Be careful. I might decide to bite it off this time.” For emphasis, she clicked her teeth together. His hand snaked out and grabbed a fistful of hair, using it to pull her toward him. She winced at the light pain his grip inflicted as she struggled against his hold. Her core pulsed and her cream gushed, wanting and needing to be filled. She needed this man like she needed the air she breathed. When had he become so important to her? She never got a chance to work it out because Joshua's hot mouth covered hers in a punishing kiss that set her body on fire. His tongue took possession of her mouth, tasting every corner, every crevice as though imprinting his taste on her. No part of her mouth was left untouched, unexplored. The hand tangled in her hair loosened slightly, his other hand slid up her arm to cover her breast. She arched into his touch, wanting it, needing it more than her next breath. Her arms slid over his shoulders, around his neck, her hands gripping his hair as she returned his kiss with equal fervor. She couldn't get enough of him. His long, silky hair felt like the softest silk as she grasped it. The hand on her breast moved caressingly, pinching the nipple between thumb and forefinger, the slight pain shooting tendrils of need through her blood. Jerking her mouth from his, her chest heaving, she sucked in much needed air. Panting, hungry with need, Devra tightened her grip on his hair, forcing him to look at her. When he did, their gazes locked and she felt as if the whole world melted away until there was only the two of them, alone, together. “Joshua, what's happening?” she whispered anxiously. “This need I feel for you, is so…”
“Overwhelming—powerful—scary?” he finished for her. “I don't know what to say. I've never felt this way before.” His hand massaged her breast, rolling the nipple between his fingers absentmindedly. Devra bit her lip to keep from crying out. His actions were stirring her desire to a higher level. If he didn't take her soon she would die. She opened her mouth to ask—no, beg him—to make love to her but his question stopped her. “Tell me about your parents, love. I've told you all about mine.” He leaned down and took her nipple into his mouth. “What?” She couldn't think straight with his mouth on her. Surely he didn't just ask her about her parents? Not when she was burning up with need. “I said,” he bit her nipple. “Tell me about your parents.” Devra closed her eyes and concentrated. “My mother died three years ago. Cancer. And my father … well he left when I was a baby so I don't know where he is.” He moved his mouth to her breast giving it the same loving attention as the first. Devra grabbed a hand full of his hair and pulled. “Joshua.” “Not yet. Tell me more. Do you have brothers and sisters?” “No. No brothers or sisters. I'm an only child.” “I have a sister. Her name is Cassidy and she's away at college.” He'd moved from her breast to placing openmouthed kisses on her stomach. “I can't wait for you to meet her or my parents. My parents will be at my show tomorrow.” His hands now caressed her thighs. “Roarke and Melissa will be there too.” This was it. She was going to die of overload. He was going to tease her to the point of no return while he found out all he could about her family. “Joshua, please,” she panted softly. “Make love to me. I can't wait anymore.” His attention focused on her once again, coming back to the present and to their current state. “Oh, I plan to, baby,” he replied with a grin. “But, first I'm going to explore every inch of your luscious body.” Though soft, his words held a wealth of information and meaning. She had ignited a flame that was slowly burning into an inferno that might very well burn them alive before they were through. She couldn't wait for him to get started.
Joshua watched her eyes glaze over, heard her breath quicken, and inwardly smiled. His words had done exactly what he'd wanted them to, inflamed her passion and need beyond anything she'd ever experienced. He swung her up into his arms, and carried her effortlessly down the hall and to the bedroom where he unceremoniously dropped her in the center of the bed. He covered her body with his, giving her no chance to move, to escape. Their bodies touched from head to toe. With his weight resting on his elbows, he gazed into her flushed face and was lost. She was beautiful. His woman. He still didn't know everything he wanted to but at least he'd solved the
mystery of her father. The man must have been nuts to leave his wife and baby girl. No time to dwell on that, though. Now it was time to make Devra burn. He lowered his head and feathered kisses along her eyes, nose, and across her cheekbones before settling on her mouth. Once there, he licked the closed seam of her swollen, red lips, tasting himself there. A soft groan and her lips parted, allowing him entrance into her mouth. His tongue darted in, sweeping inside as if he owned her, tangling with hers in a duel which he soon won. Her response to him was everything he could want and more. Devra wasn't shy about letting him know what she liked or didn't like. His hunger raised a notch as he remembered the fleeting thought that his words had aroused in her. She wasn't adverse to him doing all the naughty, forbidden things that he'd only dreamed of doing. His hands played her body, tracing patterns on her delicate skin while his tongue continued to plunder her mouth. Slowly, sensually he moved his hand down her body feeling her indrawn breath as he moved closer to her nether lips. Bypassing it, he glided his fingertips in feather-light touches along the insides of her upper thighs all the while moving closer to her wet heat. When his fingers stroked her labia he groaned at the slick heat that coated his fingers. She was hot, and ready. He lifted his mouth from hers, and kissed a path down her chest, taking a plump nipple into his mouth, sucking voraciously. Her hips bucking beneath him, his fingers plucking her stiff clit, Joshua fed on her breasts like a newborn from its mother. He licked a path to the other breast, giving that nipple the same attention as the first. Her whispered pleas, calling his name in that breathy, seductive voice, was going to blow his plan of a slow, leisurely exploration of her delectable body. He paused on her stomach, his lips kissing and nipping. Joshua took a deep breath to calm his libido down a notch. His desire in check for the moment, he once again moved lower to the nest of curls between her thighs and the delicious prize he knew awaited him. The wetness coating his fingers told him she was burning hot, but he wanted her even hotter, wetter. He wanted her ready to beg him. And then when she did, he would plunge his cock into her tight sheath, and revel in the scalding heat that would bathe his cock. “Joshua, you're killing me,” she cried out. “You ain't seen nothing yet, baby,” he whispered, burying his nose in the auburn curls, smelling her essence in the dew glistening there. “You smell like sex and chocolate down here. I love the way you smell.” He licked her lips, lapping at the juices that glistened, and groaned. “God, I love how you taste on my tongue. Your juice is like nectar from the gods for me.” With his thumbs, he parted her lips and feasted on the succulent flesh glistening, wet and plump. He licked her clit, her hips coming off the bed and nearly throwing him off. He rested his forearms across her thighs to hold her in place and began sucking in earnest. Her moans and cries urged him on. The more excited she got, the more his desire rose. Even now his rock-hard cock was pressing painfully into the mattress, wanting nothing more than to plunge into her wetness. Damn! He wasn't going to last long if he didn't get his thoughts, her thoughts, and his hunger under control immediately. Her scent was calling to him, driving him closer and closer to the point of no return. But, he wanted to make it good for Devra. He wanted to show Devra that she meant more to him than a quick fuck. He wanted her to know he loved her. With that last thought, Joshua closed his eyes and concentrated on a melody, any melody to take his mind off driving into her. Once he reached a semblance of calmness, Joshua leaned forward and swirled his tongue across her clit, smiling at her quick intake of breath and soft moan. While he licked and sucked her clit, he traced her labia with his finger spreading her juices all around then
he inserted two fingers into her cunt. Her body instantly tightened around the invasive digits as it did his cock. In turn, he rapidly licked her, taking great pleasure in loving her with his mouth. His body was on fire, his need once again growing out of control. He wanted to slide up her body and sink into her tight depths with one hard thrust. But he also wanted to play. Joshua brought her to the brink time and again, letting her hover on the edge, and then stopped just short of taking her over. All afternoon and into the night he toyed with her, pleasuring her to the point of death. She was so beautiful in her passion. Her skin was coated with a thin sheen of perspiration and her breath came in short, quick gasps. Each time she moaned or called out his name, begging him to end the teasing, it fueled his hunger for her even more. He didn't know how much more he could stand before he had to sink deep inside her. **** She was in a place between reality and dreaming. Joshua's hot breath wafted over her heated flesh, his tongue touching every nerve, every erogenous zone. Her fists clenched in the silky, satiny sheets that she was squirming on, she cried out, whimpering for the release he was building inside her with each caress of his tongue on her sensitized flesh. Sweat drenched her naked body, her chest heaved, and her breathing came in pants as he pushed her close to the edge only to bring her back. He was toying with her and she knew it. “Joshua,” she panted. “Stop playing. Fuck me.” His chuckle against her aching flesh sent shock waves through her system bringing her ever closer to the elusive edge. Dammit! What the hell was he waiting for? She gasped and groaned when suddenly he plunged two fingers into her drenched flesh, filling her, and yet not. He continued to work her flesh with his tongue and fingers, playing her body like he played the piano. Stroking the keys, strumming her flesh like it was made for him, and creating a song that would have one hell of a crescendo if he ever let her go over. She began moving her hips against his plunging fingers, grinding herself closer and closer, wanting him to finish it, but not. His tongue licked her from front to back before once again centering on her clit. “Yes,” she moaned. “More. Give me more.” He obliged adding another finger to the two sliding in and out of her sensitive sheath. She could feel her climax approaching, reveled in the powerful waves of hunger and need drifting off Joshua as he feasted on her swollen, responsive flesh. His fingers stroked and plucked her flesh, building the climax higher and higher until without warning, she exploded. A rainbow of colors cascaded around her—a silent scream filled her mind as wave after wave of satisfaction coursed through her body. When she came back down to Earth it was to find Joshua still suckling her, his fingers still inside her highly stimulated flesh. Oh god! He was hurling her toward another orgasm. She cried out, her body arching from the bed, as Joshua continued his ministrations on her sensitive flesh. Her body shook with tremors that threatened to rattle her insides they were so strong, so violent. Her eyes widened in shock when another climax hit. This one was just as strong as the first. Her keening cries filled the bedroom, her eyes no longer seeing the ceiling, her mind no longer in the room. Just when she thought it was over, Joshua rose above her, spread her thighs wide and plunged deep, his thrust eliciting a scream of pleasure. His thick, hard dick slid in easily and bumped against her womb, he was so
deep. She screamed with pleasure, loving the way he filled her. She grabbed his hips, and dug her nails into his flesh as he thrust into her body. “Yes,” she cried out. “Harder, deeper.” **** “Harder … deeper.” Her words pulled him back to the present. To the feel of her tight, wet channel gripping and caressing his dick like a lover. The energy flowed and ebbed between them with each stroke, each thrust. She was going to send him into sensory overload and damn, if he didn't want it. Sweat dripped from his brow onto her cheek. He leaned forward and licked it off, his tongue swirling over her cheek. She tasted salty and spicy. Would he ever get enough of her? He plunged in and out, his strokes smooth and even, hard and deep. He felt her climax starting. Her channel clasped him tight, almost too tight. “Faster.” He chuckled at her breathy demand. “Not yet, baby. I'm in charge, remember?” To emphasize his power, he slid all the way in and stopped. She tried to move beneath him, but he laid his body fully on hers, halting her movement. “Huh-uh, baby.” He nuzzled her ear and whispered. “I own this slick passage. It's mine. I say when you come.” He flexed his cock inside her. Her fingers dug into his cheeks making him wince. “Sheath the claws.” Either she didn't hear or didn't care because they continued to gouge him. He was going to have marks there. “Do it. Give it to me. All of you. Now.” Her words inflamed him even more than he thought possible. His blood on low simmer now overheated and boiled. His seed was boiling in his balls demanding release. With a slight movement, he rose up on his knees and starting thrusting hard. A couple of strokes and Devra came again, her climax triggering his own. He cried out his release, his hips pumping, grinding against her pelvis. He collapsed on top of her, too tired to move but knowing he had to. He kissed her neck, bit gently and moved to her side. His cock slid from her body with a slurping noise and rested against his thigh. He rolled to his back, one hand on his stomach, the other beneath Devra's head. He smiled when Devra rolled closer, draped an arm over his chest and a thigh over his cock. Just the touch of her skin against his caused his cock to stir. He groaned. “You're gonna kill me. If we keep this up, I'm just gonna burn up.” He turned his head to the side and looked his fill. Her hair was tousled and sexy, still damp from their earlier exertions. Her peaches-and-cream complexion sparkled like diamonds and her mouth was red and swollen from his kisses. “Damn, I love you.” He hadn't meant to say the words aloud but knew he had when her green eyes widened a fraction. “What… What did you say?” Hell. He hadn't meant to blurt it out like that. He wanted to romance her, make slow, sweet love to her.
Then tell her he loved her. He mentally shrugged. In for a penny, in for a pound. Taking a deep breath, and letting it out slowly he repeated his words. “I love you. I think I have since that time in the hallway.” He chuckled at the memory. “You stood there all sexy and tough, and turned my insides out. I was so hot and horny I almost took you right there.” “Joshua, I don't know…” He covered her lips with his fingers. “Shh … it's okay. You don't have to say anything right now. I just wanted you to know how I feel about you.” He pulled her into his arms and held her close, the scent of their lovemaking surrounding them. He kissed her hair, enjoying the texture against his lips. “Go to sleep. We'll talk about it again.” He stroked her arm, the silky skin smooth under his fingers. He knew the minute she fell asleep. Her body relaxed fully against him, her hand on his chest was lax. Luxuriating in the closeness and the rightness of her being there in his arms, sleeping, trusting him, he vowed she would never have a reason not to trust him. And that included dealing with Damon. “I love you,” he whispered softly, knowing she couldn't hear him but wanting to say the words anyway.
Devra shifted in his arms, her breathing deep and even. He smiled against her hair and took a deep breath, breathing in the scent of her. She smelled of sex and woman, a combination he found hard to ignore. His cock stirred at the thought of making love to her again, but he squelched the idea for now. As good as it sounded, he needed a clear head for the coming confrontation A confrontation that he neither wanted nor relished, but he had no choice. Damon had made sure of that when he had mind-raped Devra. Damn him! Josh's hand tightened on Devra's shoulder, causing her to whimper and stir. He loosened his grip and whispered, “Shh. Go back to sleep love.” Immediately her body eased and she slept soundly once again. He waited a moment to be sure and then quietly slipped from the bed. For just a moment, he stood there and watched her sleep. She really was beautiful. With a mental shake, he turned, gathered his clothes and silently padded into the bathroom and closed the door. He dressed quickly, his thoughts focused solely on Damon and what he was going to say. A feeling of sadness swept over Joshua at the loss of his childhood friend. A friend that Joshua thought would never do what he had done. But, he had. Even after he was told that Devra was Joshua's mate, his chosen one, Damon had gone behind his back and taken a part of her that was Joshua's alone. He crept silently out of the bedroom, took one last look at Devra sleeping in her bed and left. Once he was in the hallway, he closed his eyes and let his thoughts drift to Damon. He immediately found him and transported himself there. The smell of sex and booze filled the air of the spacious apartment. Grunts and moans could be heard from somewhere down the hall. Joshua thought about waiting for Damon to finish, but what the hell. It served him right. He strode down the hall, the moans becoming louder the closer he got to the door. At the doorway he stopped and simply waited for Damon to sense his presence. It didn't take long. Joshua knew the exact moment Damon sensed him. His smooth thrusts stopped and his head came up off the bed.
“Ah, Joshua. Come to play?” Damon began fucking the woman once again. Joshua leaned against the doorjamb. “No, you go ahead. But, when you're done I want to talk to you.” “Almost done, aren't we, my pet?” His thrusts picked up and within a few moments he roared, his orgasm hitting him. She must have reached hers at the same moment, because her cries echoed Damon's. Joshua turned away in disgust, loathing the existence their kind was forced to endure. His mind reached out to Devra, touching her, feeling her, bringing a smile to his face. She was his salvation. Now that he had touched her, tasted her, known her, he would never go back to his former existence. Even if she left him tomorrow, he would die before feeding off anonymous, faceless women. He turned and went into Damon's living room. It was no more than a moment before he felt Damon behind him. “What troubles you, Joshua? I thought you would be between the thighs of your Devra, your cock sliding into her wet heat. She is a hot piece of pussy.” Anger roared through Joshua hot and heavy. How dare Damon speak of his mate like that? Without thought Joshua rushed Damon and wrapped his hands wrapped tightly around his friend's throat before Damon knew what hit him. “Do not ever speak her name again. What you did was wrong. I told you she was mine and I thought you understood.” He squeezed tighter. “I should kill you for what you did.” Damon's eyes flashed anger and something else—fear. Joshua tightened his hold. “You're not the friend I thought you were. Afriend would not have harmed another's mate. Afriend would not do what you have done. Damn you, Damon, how could you?” “It was so easy. She was ripe for the picking. I believe she enjoyed it very much.” His tone was nonchalant, uncaring. “Shut up, Damon. Just shut the fuck up before I forget we were once friends and kill you here and now.” Damon snarled. “Go ahead. It would be better than this hell I'm living in now.” Shocked, Joshua eased off his hold. “What are you talking about? I just caught you in bed with a beauty, screwing her brains out and feeding off a very high orgasm. And from the power rolling off you, she wasn't the first tonight either.” Damon gripped Joshua's wrists. Joshua winced as Damon's grip tightened a fraction. “Let go.” Joshua dropped his hands and stepped back, giving Damon room to breathe. “Why?” he asked. “Why did you do it?” Damon rubbed his aching throat. “Hell, I don't know. I guess I wanted to see if she was as highly charged as she was the other night. And maybe to get a rise out of you. “You wanted to see if she was charged? Does she look like a damn battery?” “That's not what I meant.” Damon looked away and Joshua wondered what was going on in his mind. Joshua was tempted to probe and read his thoughts but knew that was wrong. He just had to trust that Damon would tell him the truth. Joshua sensed strong turmoil coming from Damon. “Do you remember the rush, the heady since of power you felt the first time you entered a girl's mind while fucking her? The way her orgasm rolled over you like a tidal wave threatening to drown you in its
wake?” When Damon turned back to face Joshua, the torment and agony on Damon's face nearly amazed Joshua. Joshua couldn't speak. He could only nod for him to continue. “When I walked into your house the other night, Devra's pleasure brought me to my knees. Literally! I hit the floor and couldn't get up. The power was so overwhelming, so intense, my skin felt like it was on fire. It was exhilarating and powerful all at the same time. I didn't intend to call her, but when I heard her voice, that deep sexy drawl, I couldn't resist temptation. And she is temptation in the purest form, my friend.” Joshua's anger flared. “She's mine. I told you she was mine and yet you still…” He clenched his fists tightly at his sides. “You took something that was mine and mine alone, Damon. Why? Did my words mean nothing to you? Does our friendship mean so little that you would do this?” He waited for Damon to say something or do something. Anything but sit there quietly. “I'm sorry, Joshua. I can only say it will never happen again.” Joshua shook Damon again. “Why? The truth this time.” Damon growled. “Do you really want to know the truth? Fine. I'm jealous. Are you happy now? I'm jealous that you and Roarke have found your mates and there's no one out there for me.” Joshua stood in stunned silence. He didn't know how to respond to Damon's outburst. “My body craves something … something that I'm not getting from these women.” He waved his hand in the air around him. “When I felt the power of Devra's orgasm all I could think about was that's what I'm missing.” “Why didn't you talk to me about this? I would have helped you.” Damon smiled sadly. “Helped me? How? You aren't going to share your mate, so how in the hell can you help me?” Damon was right. Joshua wouldn't share Devra. Surely there was something he could do? Maybe help Damon find his mate? “Damon, have you given any thoughts to finding your own mate?” “Yes.” Damon sighed. “But I just feel like I'm running out of time, or something.” Joshua cringed at the thought. He knew all too well what happened to those of his kind who didn't find their mates. They ended up dying, starving to death emotionally. “Joshua, I truly am sorry for what I did to Devra. She's a special lady and didn't deserve what I did. I promise you that it will never happen again.” “Can you? Can you honestly sit there and tell me that you won't get the urge or the desire to call Devra again? Can you promise me that if the compulsion strikes again you won't totally lose it and decide to really fuck my mate? To take what I hold dear and ruin it?” “I swear it to you.” For a moment neither of them spoke, they simply stared at each other. Joshua slowly relaxed his
shoulders and body. “All right, Damon. I will trust your word.” He narrowed his eyes. “But, if you ever touch Devra in any way, ever again, all bets are off. I will kill you and not regret it one bit. Do you understand me?” “Yes, I understand.” He opened his mouth as if to say more but stopped. “Do you have something more to say to me?” “I would like to apologize to Devra.” “No. Absolutely not.” “I need to do this not only for your peace of mind or hers, but for mine.” “Okay. But only if I am there. I don't want you in a room alone with her, ever.” Damon nodded. “I understand, my friend, and I don't blame you. I will have to earn your trust once again.” “I'm playing next week at Michael's. My family will be there and so will Roarke and Melissa. I want them to meet Devra. You can join us there and apologize then.” He was about to leave when a soft gentle flutter touched his mind. Joshua, where are you? Devra! She was awake and calling to him. Warmth and happiness flooded his soul, her sweet voice a soothing balm to his battered soul. “She calls to you?” The corner of his mouth lifted into a smile. “Yes, she calls me. I have to go.” He turned to leave, but stopped and looked over his shoulder. “Remember what I said, Damon. Friend or not, the next time you harm my mate I will kill you.” With those parting words, Joshua closed his eyes and focused on home, and his woman. Within moments he was standing in the doorway to her bedroom. Even though it was close to total darkness in the room, with his enhanced sight, he could see Devra clearly, her naked form twisting and turning on the bed as she searched the darkened room for him. With just a thought, Joshua removed his clothes. He was about to call out when she tossed back the covers, revealing her naked form. He sucked in a breath and waited quietly for her next move. **** “Joshua? Where are you?” She called out and searched the dark corners of the room looking for him. Her gaze shifted toward the bathroom, but seeing no light figured he wasn't in there. She looked at the clock with its bright red numbers and noticed the time. “Where in the hell can he be at 3:00 a.m.?” She rolled to the side of the bed, slid her legs off the side and stood. The cool air brushed over her nakedness causing her to shiver and rub her arms. “It's freezing in here.” She reached out and switched on the bedside lamp bathing the room in a glow of soft white light. She needed something to put on and spotted her robe lying in the corner. She walked
over to retrieve it, never once noticing the naked and aroused man standing in the doorway watching her every move. She bent down to pick up the robe when a hand brushed over her spine and patted her naked ass. “Eek!” She jumped up, dropped the robe and bumped into a hard male chest. His laughter filled the room. “What's the matter, baby, did I scare you?” She looked into his eyes and saw the sparkle of amusement dancing there. “Where have you been?” He bent close and brushed his lips over hers. “Nowhere in particular.” His tongue traced the seam of her lips and with a sigh she opened, letting him in. His hands gripped her waist, pulling her tight against his body. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know the man was sporting another hard-on. She rubbed against him, sensuously cradling his hardness against her stomach. He groaned in her mouth and suddenly the kiss was deeper, hotter, hungry. His hands moved from her waist to her hair. He pulled her head back changing the angle of the kiss. Now it was her turn to moan. She was burning alive. His tongue tangled with hers, demanding she play. With each twist of his tongue, the higher the need rose until finally she tore her mouth from his. His name was the only thing she could say. She rested her head on his chest and heard his rapid heartbeat, felt it all the way to her soul. His breathing was harsh like hers, and it was all she could do to take a breath. His hands roamed her back, caressing and touching every place he could reach. She groaned when he moved to cup her ass, pulling her lower body tight against him, and rubbing his cock against her. She wanted him so bad, but was just too darn tired. She had to stop this. “Joshua, I can't. Not again. I'm so tired.” “I know. I am too. But, when I saw you naked, your pretty little ass in the air, I couldn't resist. You're like an addiction, a fire in my blood that can't be quenched.” His soft chuckle rumbled in her ear. “You're one sexy piece, lady.” His lips brushed her hair, a whisper of a kiss against her forehead and then he let her go. “Come on, let's go back to bed. We both have to work tomorrow.” He took her hand and led her to the bed. She climbed in first, fluffed her pillow and waited for him. She heard the click of the light, and then darkness surrounded them. The bed dipped and he slid into bed beside her, his arms immediately surrounding her, pulling her close. “Good night, baby.” “Good night.” She snuggled deeper into the warmth of his arms and closed her eyes.
Joshua sipped his morning coffee and smiled. His lady had awakened him this morning with her hot mouth wrapped around his aroused cock, sucking him to a climax that nearly blew his head off. Afterwards, they indulged in a shower together where he'd soaped her body thoroughly, and taken her against the tile walls. He could still hear her screams of passion. He felt a tightening in his jeans and figured he better think of something else. He stood, picked up his cup and carried it to the sink. After rinsing it out, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Immediately he felt her essence deep down, as deep as it could go. He smiled and
inhaled. She was the most beautiful, sexy creature he'd ever seen. He loved the way her eyes turned a deeper shade of green when she was aroused, the way she nibbled her lip when she was thinking about something. He loved everything about her. After their escapade in the shower and a lingering kiss at the door, Joshua headed home while Devra had gone to work. That had become their daily routine for the past week. They were either at her place or his. Now, standing here in his home, he missed the hell out of her. Talking to her, touching her, and making love to her. He wanted more. Joshua wanted Devra to move in with him on a more permanent basis. All he had to do was convince her. A brush in his mind drew him from his thoughts.Hello, baby. A feminine chuckle surrounded him, along with a deep male chuckle.Hello, son. Care to let us in? Mom? Dad? Is that you?He turned away from the sink and walked toward the front door and pressed the button for the gate. Expecting someone else? He heard the interest behind the question and cursed to himself. That's what he got for saying “Hello, baby” without thinking. He opened the door and watched his parents get out of their car. They were a striking pair even at their age. “Joshua, my son.” She peppered his face with kisses and his body with tight hugs only moms could give. His dad slapped him on the shoulder and shook him. “Son, it's good to see you again.” Keeping his arm around his mother he turned. “I'm glad you could both come. Let's go into the kitchen and talk. I've a lot to tell you.” They headed into the kitchen for coffee. After they were all seated his mother spoke. “So tell me about her.” He hid his smile behind his cup. “Who, Mother?” Her brow arched and she said nothing. She simply sat there silently and waited just like she used to when he was younger. He couldn't help it. He threw back his head and laughed out loud. “Okay, okay. Devra's inquisitive, smart and sexy as hell. She's got the most beautiful green eyes, long auburn hair and a fiery temper to match. You will love her.” “If you do, then I'm sure we will.” His mother reached over and covered his hand with hers. The look she gave him was a serious one. “Are you sure she's the one, your true mate?” He nodded. “Yeah, she's the one. There's no doubt in my mind. I knew there was something different about her the first time I met her. I wanted her so badly, and I couldn't get her out of my mind. It nearly drove me nuts.” It was his father's turn to chuckle. “Yep, that's how I was with your mother. Such a beautiful creature and all I could think about was making her mine in every way possible.”
“Jonathon,” his mother admonished softly. Her father winked, leaned over and kissed her. “So when do we get to meet this woman?” “Later this evening.” They talked for a few more minutes and then he showed his parents to their room, making sure it was far enough away from him and Devra. After they were settled in, he went down to the music room and to rehearse the songs he was going to play at Michael's Lounge that night. Tonight would be his last performance publicly. After tonight he would only play for Devra. The music flooded his soul, his mind, coursing through his veins. He closed his eyes and a vision of Devra naked and dancing for him flashed in his mind. Heat and hunger swamped his senses. She was spicy hot and so damn sexy. His cock hardened like forged steel just thinking about her. He tried to concentrate on his music, but it wasn't working so he stopped playing. Opening his eyes, he turned to stare out the big glass window. What was Devra doing right now? Was she thinking about what they'd done this morning? Did she love him? That thought had plagued him since he'd told her he loved her. Her body told him she loved him, but he wanted to hear it from her lips. Needed to hear it from her lips. Frustrated and horny, he ran his hands over his face, pushing his hair back. An idea began to form and along with it a plan. It was time to play a little with his sexy mate. He smiled and searched her out in his mind. The more they made love, the easier it was for him to latch onto her essence, her life force, and follow the tendril back to her. And he so wanted to follow it back to her. It didn't take him long. And damn! The woman was thinking about him and sex. Playtime. **** Her body still hummed from the intense loving Joshua had given her this morning. Her nipples stiffened and the tips rubbed against the lace of her bra as she remembered what they'd done. She leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes, her thoughts on Joshua, and the way his hands caressed and teased her body into arousal. She reached up and touched her breasts, gasping when her palms covered the turgid tips. Her breathing quickened and she creamed her thong panties. She trailed her hand down her stomach and was about to touch her crotch when the phone rang. She yelped, her hand covered her heart and she looked around wild-eyed, wondering if she'd been caught. The insistent ringing of the phone drew her attention and she reached to pick it up but halted in mid-air. What if it was Damon again? Her heart raced, her stomach churned. She couldn't go through that again. It rang two more times. She blew out a breath that stirred her bangs. “Get a grip, Devra. It could be Joshua, Susan or even Uncle Bob calling.” Taking a deep breath, she picked up the phone. “Hello?” “What in the hell took you so long to answer the phone?” Relief flooded her body. “Hello to you too, Uncle Bob.” She swiveled around and faced the big picture window with the view of downtown. It was a beautiful place if you could look past all the construction that was going on. “Are you listening to me?” His boisterous shout drew her back to the phone. “I'm sorry, what did you say?”
She heard his sigh. “I asked how the story on this Joshua fellow is going. Will it be ready soon?” “I…” she stopped. What could she say?Well, it's like this Uncle Bob, I've been to bed with the man, he's a psychic vampire and I'm in love with him. Whoa! Where the heck did that come from? In love with him? She shook her head. No, she couldn't be. It was lust. Yeah, that was it. Lust—pure unadulterated lust. Get a grip, girl. You know better than that. You love him and you know he loves you. He wasn't afraid to tell you. You're a scaredy cat. “You what? Devra, are you still there?” She swallowed hard. “Uncle Bob, I gotta go. I'll get back to you on that story. Bye.” She put down the phone, dropped her head to her desk and groaned. Oh, shit! It was true. She was in love with Joshua Thomas. She lifted her head and looked at the blank computer screen blinking at her. How was she supposed to write a story about Joshua now? And what in the heck was she going to say? How his eyes darkened to black pools when he was aroused? Or the way his buttocks clenched in her hands just as he climaxed. She couldn't tell why his music was as explosive as it was or why. To do that would destroy his anonymity and everything he'd worked so hard for. No! She shook her head vehemently, there was no way on earth she would ever betray him in that way. Never! A tingle like butterfly wings brushed through her mind, making her smile.Hello, handsome. What are you doing floating around in my mind? She felt his rumble of laughter and grinned. I missed you and wanted to touch you. She gasped aloud when invisible fingers brushed over her nipples, the tips immediately coming to attention.How in the hell did you do that? He said nothing simply chuckled.Do you like it? He purred, his touch moving to her stomach, drawing circles. She panted and squirmed in her seat. Did she like it? Hell yes, she liked it. And he knew it too. He knew her nipples ached for his tongue. To feel his teeth nip the beaded tip before he took the whole berry into his mouth. She felt a gush of cream and clenched her thighs together hoping to ease the ache. Lower and lower his invisible touch moved, tracing patterns on her hose-covered thighs. The sensations were mind-boggling, and arousal pulsed deep and hard throughout her body. She grabbed the chair arms, her fingers digging into the soft, supple leather.Joshua, you've got to stop. I can't take … she stopped. His fingers were now massaging her clit, the hard bud of her desire. She felt the orgasm building in intensity and heat. She wanted him to stop and yet she didn't. Closing her eyes and shutting everything else out, she concentrated on nothing but his touch, his fingers bringing her pleasure. She was close. So close. One more stroke and she would come. But, he didn't seem to be in a hurry to take her over. In fact he seemed to want to tease her, to prolong the pleasure. She was panting now, her chest rising and falling hard, like she'd run a marathon race. She couldn't take much more.Joshua … please.
Ahh … there it was. Yes, yes. She exploded like a firecracker. Her orgasm washed over her in wave after wave of delight. She rode it through to the end, her hips undulating in her leather chair, her juices flowing from her body and onto her chair. She'd have to clean that up later, but not now. Now, she would just enjoy the gift he'd given her. Finally, when she could breathe again, she adjusted her clothing and ran a shaky hand over her hair. She felt a gentle kiss on her cheek before it moved to the pulse point in her neck. So tell me love, did you enjoy that? You know full well that I did. But, you also know it only took the edge off. I still want you just as much as I did before. And retribution is sometimes sweet and …she paused for a moment hoping to whet his appetite. Sweet and what? Finish it, love. She laughed.Retribution is sweet and naughty. I promise yours will be both, lover. I can't wait,he purred in her mind.Later, baby. I got work to do. Then he was gone. Oh, not totally. She knew he was still a part of her, but he would never take advantage. She opened her eyes and found herself face to face with the blank computer screen once again. Well, shit. What did I expect? For the story to simply write itself while I was being sated by my invisible mind lover? She snorted. Get a grip, Devra. That ain't gonna happen. She tapped her nails on the desk trying to come up with something, anything. Then it came to her. She could write about his music, the way it seeps into the listener's soul and gives them peace, if only for a short time. “Yeah, that's it.” Her fingers flew across the keyboard as the words began to flow. Where they came from she didn't know, but they were there. And they were good. An hour later her stomach grumbled and rumbled, letting her know it was time to eat. With one last stroke of the key, her story was done and it was time for lunch. She sent the story to Bob, and buzzed him to tell him it was on the way. She hit the save key, turned off the screen and stood, stretching the kinks from her back. She grabbed her purse and left her office, a smile of satisfaction on her face. She had done it! She'd written a story about Joshua without giving anything away. She entered the elevator and headed for the garage. Food. That's what she needed now. Maybe she could persuade Joshua to make her some lunch and provide a little quickie before she returned to work. Anticipation rushed through her. She couldn't wait to get home to Joshua, to strip him naked and lick every gorgeous inch of his body. Her hands itched just thinking about it. Her nipples tingled, brushing against the sheer lace of her bra. That little stimulation was enough to send tiny tremors shooting through her semi-aroused body. The elevator stopped and the doors opened. She stepped out and headed to her car, her heels clicking against the cement floor of the garage. She'd just reached her car when the hair on her nape stood up. She turned quickly and scanned the area around her. Seeing no one, she shrugged and opened the car door. She tossed her purse onto the passenger seat and slid in, closing the door behind her. She turned the key in the ignition and the car purred to life. She turned to make sure nothing was behind her and let out a squeal. Damon stood beside the driver's side door.
“I need to talk to you.” Devra's body shook with fear and outrage. No! Not again. She wouldn't let him do this to her again. She put the car into gear and hit the gas. The tires squealed and the smell of burnt rubber filled the air. Devra drove away but not before looking in the rear view mirror. There she saw Damon standing there watching her. Her thoughts turned to Joshua. He would know what to do. **** Joshua sat at the kitchen table, listening to the quietness in the house. His parents were upstairs taking a nap. Or not. He wasn't sure and really didn't want to think about what his parents were doing. Suddenly fear flooded his mind. The feeling was so strong he felt it all the way to his bones. He called out to her.Devra. What is it? What's happened? Damon was just here. Joshua sat up straight.What? Are you okay? Did he do anything? No. He just said he wanted to talk to me. I left him standing there in the parking garage. Where are you now? I'm on my way to your house. Good. Her fear abated and another thought entered his mind. A carnal thought. Why the little minx. Ah love. Now I wonder what you are thinking. I'm thinking … you, me … a big bed and lots and lots of sex. Just like that and his hunger came to life again. This time hotter. His little mind-playing had done nothing to appease his hunger for her, or diminish the hardness of his cock. He couldn't wait for her to come home. He would jerk her into his arms, give her a mind-blowing kiss and then he would strip their clothes off and take her right there against the door. She would wrap her legs around him and he would slide in deep, hard and fast. It wouldn't be slow and easy. This time would be hard and rough, to take the edge off. Then he would carry her upstairs, still deep inside her and fuck her on the bed until neither of them could move. I'll be waiting. A hard hand slapped his shoulder and Joshua nearly fell off his chair. He looked up into the knowing eyes of his father and groaned. “Sorry. I thought you heard me come in. I called out, but your mind must have been somewhere else.” His father chuckled and sat down across from him. Joshua felt the heat in his face. Damn! He was blushing. Clearing his throat, he asked, “Where's Mother?”
His dad smiled and arched a brow. “Never mind. I can guess.” He shook his head and grinned. “Will it always be this way, Dad? Like I can't get enough of her?” “Yes, it will. If she is your true mate, you will never need another to sustain you.” “And the feeling is mutual.” His mother called out from the doorway. She walked into the room and over to his father, her hands resting on his shoulders. “Though she isn't like us, she will never need another man.” He nodded, glanced at his watch, and smiled. “She should be here anytime now. I can't wait for you guys to meet.” Right after the words left his mouth, he heard the gate buzz. Jumping up from his chair, he rushed to the phone and picked it up. “Hello.” “Hi, handsome. Care to open this damn gate and let me in?” He grinned. “What's the magic word?” he teased. “Sex,” she replied, her voice tinged with amusement. He threw back his head and laughed, drawing his parent's attention. He mouthed, “It's Devra,” and they smiled and nodded. “I guess that's good enough.” He hit the button. “I have a surprise for you when you get to the house.” “Mmm … I hope it's hard and ready. I'm dying for some fun in the sack.” Her sultry tone brought his cock to attention. Shit! Not something he wanted his parents to see. “Devra, my…” he stopped when he realized she was no longer at the intercom. He turned and shrugged. “I guess I'll tell her at the door.” Quickly he left the kitchen, eager to see his lover, his mate. Just as he opened the door, she was climbing the steps, a sultry come-hither look on her face. Damn! He shifted his feet, hoping to ease the sudden tightness of his jeans. “Hello, lover.” She started unbuttoning her blouse, revealing a white sheer lace bra. He swallowed hard, and watched mesmerized as her nimble pink-painted fingers slid each pearl button from its silky hole. Oh yeah … take it off… A throat clearing behind him snapped him back to the present. Joshua looked at Devra who was wide-eyed and clutching her blouse together, a questioning look on her face, and smiled crookedly. Winking, Joshua reached for her hand and gently but firmly tugged her inside. “Come in and meet my parents.”
She hastily buttoned her blouse and flashed him a look of retribution. He had the nerve to wink. Why didn't you tell me your parents were here, you jerk? Now they're going to think I'm a
sex-crazed nympho. He laughed in her mind.They know all about you, baby. She groaned silently. Oh great! What a first impression. They hear me ask their son if he wants to fuck. Great, Devra! Just great. “Come on.” Joshua put his arm around her drawing her close to his side. He kissed her temple and moved to her ear. “I'll fuck you later.” She shivered with need. She looked over at him and found him staring at her with a heavy-lidded, lust-filled gaze. “Stop it,” she whispered. “Joshua, stop embarrassing the poor girl and bring her in. I'm anxious to meet the woman who has stolen my baby's heart.” “Yes, Mother.” Devra turned toward the feminine voice and found herself face-to-face with his parents. His father was a tall, well-built man with dark hair graying at the temples and a welcome twinkle in his eyes. She smiled in return and relaxed just a fraction. “Hi, I'm Devra.” She stuck out her hand and he took it. But, instead of shaking it, he brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. “I am very pleased to meet you, Devra. I'm Jonathon and this lovely lady is my wife, Elizabeth.” Devra turned to Elizabeth and smiled. “Nice to meet you, Elizabeth.” Without warning, Devra found herself pulled out of Joshua's arms and into the loving arms of his mother. Love. That's what Elizabeth's embrace brought to mind. She found herself returning the affectionate hug and enjoying it. Finally his mother eased up and dropped her arms, stepping back to stand beside her husband. Joshua cleared his throat. “Well, now that the introductions are made, what do you say we let Devra freshen up and then we'll make some lunch.” Everyone agreed and went their separate ways. She headed up the steps with Joshua right behind her. She glanced over her shoulder and found his gaze on her ass. She decided to torture him a bit, payback for the little scene at the door. The next step she took, Devra added a bit more sway and grinned when she heard him groan. She'd just reached the top of the stairs when Joshua turned her in his arms, pressed her back against the wall, and gave her a kiss that said it all. He wanted her and nothing was going to stop him from taking her. Her hands slid up his chest, over his shoulders and into his soft hair. She ripped the ponytail holder from his hair, tossed it away, running her fingers through his hair. His cock brushed against her damp, needy place in a steady rhythm meant to drive her out of her mind. Her panties were soaked and her clit pulsed with the need for release. If he kept moving against her like that it wouldn't be long before she came. Tightening her legs around his waist, she moved her hips in time with his. Just when she thought she was going to explode, he tore his mouth from hers, and moved to her neck, both of them panting heavily. “I want you. Now.” One hand moved from her body to cover her breast. He palmed her breast his thumb, rasping against her beaded nipple. “God, you feel so good. I love to feel
your legs wrapped around me, holding me deep. And when you come, your eyes turn dark green, your swollen channel grips me tight like a velvet glove and then you explode.” His lips and tongue caressed her as he nipped the main artery, sending tiny tremors straight to her center. She gripped his hair tighter, her lower body pressing tightly to his. “Do it. Right here, right now.” She didn't care that his parents could walk up the stairs at any minute and catch them. All that mattered was his cock inside her, thrusting deep and hard filling her, taking her up and over the top. She wanted to ride him hard. Suddenly they were moving to the bedroom. He kicked the door closed and pushed her against the wall. She unhooked her ankles and slid off his body to stand. His fingers jerked open the button of her pants, then slid the zipper down and eased the pants down her hips and off. She reached out and grabbed his waistband, unbuttoning and unzipping his jeans to get to his cock. Impatience swirled around them, neither of them able to wait any longer. It didn't matter that they'd had sex that morning, they were both hungry and in need. He took over, shoving his pants far enough down his legs to be out of the way, and then his hand caressed her thigh and lifted it to wrap around his leg. “Joshua, now…” She felt the tip of his cock against her vagina and cried out. He kissed her lips and then thrust deep. They groaned in unison, and held perfectly still for a moment wanting to feel the exquisite bite of the pressure that was building inside them. Somehow her hands found their way around his neck and she pulled his mouth down to hers and took him in a kiss meant to drive him out of his mind. She wanted him to lose control, to fuck her long, hard and deep like there was no tomorrow. He started moving and she couldn't breathe. His cock was so thick and hard it filled her, touching that spot deep inside that sent her stumbling over the edge. She screamed her release and heard Joshua's shout as he followed right behind her. He held her close until the last tremor faded. “God, that was good.” His chest heaved and his warm breath fluttered against her neck. “I think I'm dead. You've finally killed me, baby.” “You don't feel dead to me, lover.” She wiggled her hips and laughed when his hands clamped down on her hips holding her still. “Baby, if you keep that up, I won't be able to play tonight much less spend time with my parents.” He squeezed her lovingly and then slid his cock out. He raised her chin and kissed her swollen lips softly. “Let's take a shower.” “Okay.” She grinned and knew it was going to be long and orgasmic.
Dinner turned out to be fun and enjoyable as they laughed and ate their fill. Devra fell in love with Jonathon and Elizabeth instantly. Jonathon was like a big old bear, gruff and charming, and Elizabeth reminded Devra so much of her mother it filled her heart with peace and a sense of warmth and home. Once dinner was over and the dishes were cleared, everyone went their separate ways to get dressed. The hour was growing late and it was nearly time to head over to Michael's for Joshua's performance. They decided to ride together to the performance, and his parents were thrilled to learn that Roarke and
Melissa would be there, and that Damon might show up too. Joshua watched the light dim in her eyes at the mention of Damon's name. I told you, love that he's no longer a threat. He wants to come and apologize to you. Why? He feels bad for what he did to you.Joshua silently wondered if that was the reason for Damon's impromptu visit in the parking garage today. Granted, in doing so Damon had broken his word to Joshua. Joshua, I really don't relish the idea of being in the same room with Damon, much less having him apologize for what he did. I don't like him. Not at all. I know you don't, baby, and I promise you won't be alone with him. I will be there right beside you. Devra placed her hand atop his closed fist and gently squeezed.All right. But I still don't like it. That's my girl.He tilted her head and placed his lips on hers giving her the lightest of kisses. Let's go. They arrived at Michael's and Joshua led them inside and straight to a big table up front. Roarke and his wife, Melissa, were already seated and waiting. Joshua made the introductions and then motioned everyone to sit. After they were seated and ordered drinks, they sat back and enjoyed the ambiance of the place. A lone sax pierced the quietness and everyone sat back to listen. Out from behind the curtain stepped a tall, lanky black man, his lips wrapped around the end of the saxophone. His music soothed the place, peace flooding the hearts and minds of those in the lounge. “Do you know him? I've heard him play before.” Devra asked Joshua. Her sweet warm breath tickled his ear. “Yes, his name is Dax. He's a friend of mine.” His glance returned to the stage and he nodded at Dax, receiving a slight nod in return. He put his arm around Devra and pulled her close to his side, loving the feel of having her so close. He held his breath when she placed her hand high on his thigh. His cock twitched. He waited to see what she would do and when a few minutes went by and nothing, he turned his attention back to the stage. The song ended and Dax broke into another. Joshua smiled. This was one they had written together, years ago. His arm tightened around Devra as he relaxed in his chair. He nearly jumped out of his skin when her fingers started tracing little circles on his jean-clad thigh. Already in a semi-aroused state, his cock twitched again. He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, but found her attention focused solely on Dax. He mentally shrugged. Maybe she was just touching him. He picked up his glass and took a sip. He leaned forward a bit to set it on the table and jerked, his gaze zeroing in on Devra. That little minx had her hand on his erection and was squeezing it softly, lovingly. You're playing with fire, my love. Would you like me to return the caresses in your mind? Want to have an orgasm right here in front of my parents? He nearly laughed aloud when she jerked her hand from his lap and placed it back in hers.
The thunder of applause brought him back. It was his turn to play. He turned, kissed her on the lips and whispered, “I'll be back.” **** Breathlessly, Devra watched him walk away, enjoying the way his jeans cupped his ass. She licked her lips. God, she would love to take a bite out of his sexy ass. A tinkling of laughter beside her drew her attention. She felt the heat in her cheeks when she realized his mother was looking at her with an all-knowing look. Oh, shit! That's just great. She'd got caught gawking at the woman's son's ass. Now what was she supposed to say? Shrugging, she decided to hell with it. “What can I say? He's got a sexy ass.” “I know, dear. It runs in the family.” Everyone at the table laughed and she found herself laughing along with them. He played his first note and she turned to him, all her attention now on him and his music. Joshua looked at her and smiled. I forgot to tell you that this will be my last public performance. What are you talking about? Since I have you, I no longer feel the hunger or the desire to feed off these people. I only need you. But … but… Oh, I'll still play for you, love. Privately. Very privately.The smile on his face turned wolfish. Devra blew him a kiss and sat back to enjoy the rest of the show. In the midst of his third song, Devra felt the hairs on her neck stand up. She turned in time to see Damon slip into Joshua's seat. He greeted everyone at the table before turning to her. “Hello, Devra.” “Damon.” She focused back on Joshua and hoped no one at the table could feel the unbearable tension that radiated between her and Damon. She felt a hand cover hers in her lap and looked down to find Elizabeth's hand covering her tightly clenched ones. She hadn't even known she was doing it. With a grateful sigh, she unclenched one of her hands and clasped Elizabeth's like a lifeline. For the rest of the evening while Joshua played, the two women held hands. He finished playing, the last note lingering in the air. He took his bows and left the stage heading straight for them. Damon stood ready to excuse himself and was stopped by Joshua. “I think we need to talk.” Damon inclined his head. “Okay. Let's go.”
Joshua held out his hand to Devra. “Come here, honey.” The three of them left the table and walked to the door stepping outside. Once outside Joshua let go of Devra's hand and turned to Damon. “You lied to me, Damon. Devra tells me you were waiting for her by her car.” “I was there to apologize. Nothing more. Unfortunately your woman took off like a frightened rabbit and didn't give me a chance.” “I warned you not to see Devra alone. Remember? You agreed with me. And now I find out that you lied to me. You've betrayed my trust and that pisses me off. I should kick your ass right here, right now.” He made a move toward Damon but was stopped by Devra's hand on his arm. “Joshua don't. Please. It's not worth it. Let's just let him say he's sorry and then he can get the hell out of here and do whatever he wants.” Joshua said nothing. He simply stood there, quiet and stoic. “Please,” she whispered. “Don't let him ruin this perfect evening. Let it go.” Joshua looked at Damon then turned to Devra. “You are a wise and beautiful woman. Do you know that?” She sniffed and grinned. “Yeah … well … don't you forget it.” “I have a feeling you won't let me.” Joshua turned his attention to Damon. “Say your piece and then leave.” “Devra, I am truly sorry for what I did to you. I was wrong to violate another's mate and have probably lost his friendship because of my stupidity.” Devra felt sorry for Damon. So for that reason she forgave him. But with a warning. “I accept your apology. But, know this. If you ever try that again, I will kick your ass myself.” Damon bowed to her. “I understand.” The three of them once more entered Michael's, and Damon immediately excused himself. They turned to watch him walk over to the bar and whisper in a redhead's ear. Her eyes lit up and she nodded. Damon took her hand and they left. “That boy needs a woman of his own.” Jonathon groused. “He's played for far too long and soon it's going to be too late.” Curiosity got the better of her. “What do you mean it will be too late?” Silence followed her question. She watched in frustration as they all exchanged a look. The suspense was killing her. “What did you mean when you said it would be too late, Jonathon? Too late for what?” She knew her tone was exasperated and she probably sounded like a petulant child. But, dammit, she wanted answers. Joshua took her hand. “Remember I told you that when we find our mate, we no longer needed a host of donors for sustenance?” She nodded.
“Damon is changing—he's not quite himself anymore. The longer it takes for him to find his mate, the worse it will become. Soon, he won't find enough women to sustain him and he…” he trailed off and shrugged. She looked into his eyes and saw the despair and concern for his friend. She took his hand and held it between hers. “He'll what?” she asked softly. His whispered, tortured words were barely audible “He'll die.” Silence surrounded the table as each man there wrapped an arm around his mate and pulled her close. Devra laid her head on his chest and thanked her lucky stars that they'd found each other. She raised her head and looking into Joshua's eyes she whispered, “I love you, Joshua.” His eyes lit up with an inner fire that radiated between them. “You sure picked a hell of a time to tell me that, baby.” He leaned close and kissed her hard. I love you, too. The rest of the evening passed pleasantly. Dax played a few more songs and Joshua played a few. Then to Devra's surprise they played several together. Of course, now that he'd found his mate, Joshua's songs didn't have quite the potency or the hunger they'd carried before. Now his songs just made his listeners mellow, the way he felt now that he'd found Devra. Her heart melted each time Joshua looked at her, smiled at her. She loved him so much. “So, tell me Devra, how did you meet my son?” Elizabeth asked. Devra smiled softly. “A friend of mine played me a tape of his music. Just a short snippet, but it intrigued me, drew me, I guess you could say. When I finally got to his show I was overwhelmed and…” She trailed off heat rising in her face. Elizabeth chuckled. “And horny?” Devra's eyes widened and then she laughed. “Yeah, that was definitely it. Anyway, I wanted a story and I wasn't leaving there without one. I followed Joshua into the back hallway at Jazzy's and the rest, as they say, is history.” She picked up her glass of white wine and took a sip, enjoying the bouquet of flavors that burst on her tongue. A round of applause alerted her that Joshua was finished and headed her way. She glanced up in time to see several women surround him, blocking his path to her. Joshua looked at her over their heads, a pleading look upon his face. Devra arched a brow.Do you want something, handsome? I want you to come and claim me as yours in front of these women. Devra's body instantly awakened. His words sank into her body, burrowing deep and hooking in, forever. Rising from her chair, Devra sauntered over to the little get-together and pushed her way through until she stood in front of Joshua. Without taking her eyes off him, Devra said, “I'm sorry, ladies, but this man is mine.” Heat flared in Joshua's eyes along with admiration and a hint of amusement. Isn't that what you wanted, love?
He smiled.Oh yes! That's definitely what I wanted. Devra heard the grumbles and mutterings of the women behind her as they left but didn't care. She had everything she wanted right here in front of her. Rising on her tiptoes, Devra pressed a tender kiss to his lips. “I love you, Devra.” “And I love you, Joshua.” Wrapping his arm around her, Joshua pulled her into his side and guided her back to the table. For the rest of the evening they laughed, talked about their childhood escapades and made plans to go out again the next weekend. Joshua watched Devra listen intently to the stories his father wove. True stories with a wee bit of exaggeration. But what did it truly matter in the scheme of things? All that mattered was that the woman he loved was beside him and that his parents and friends seemed to love her almost as much as he did.
Epilogue Several months later… “He's gonna kill me. That's all there is to it,” Devra muttered. She looked at her watch and groaned. She was late to the party. The one they were supposed to be giving together. That only this morning she'd promised Joshua she'd be on time for. But that was before she'd gone to work and Bob had called her into his office. He had a big story for her, he'd said. One that only she could do. One thing led to another and before she knew it, the day was gone and she was late. She finally turned into the drive and headed toward the house, her mouth gaping when she saw all the cars parked out front. “Holy moly.” She put her car in park and quickly got out. Running up the steps, she'd just about made it to the door when it suddenly opened and there he stood. She skidded to a halt. She sighed. “I know. I know. I'm late.” She finger-combed her hair and straightened her jacket. “Can you rail at me later? I'm sure we have a house full of guests.” She moved to go past him but was stopped when he put his hand on her arm. She looked up and saw a half-smile on his lips and a flash of fire in his eyes. “Aren't you forgetting something?” Oops. She turned toward him, stood on her tiptoes and brushed her lips against his. “Hello, lover.” He licked her lips and grinned. “Hello yourself, baby.” Her nipples instantly hardened beneath her jacket, and her vagina clenched with desire. He did that every time. Every single time he kissed her, it aroused her hunger. She grabbed his jacket and yanked him close, their lips only an inch apart. “Be careful, lover. I would hate to embarrass you in front of our friends and family.” She nipped his bottom lip and then soothed it with her tongue. His hand snaked between them and covered her breast. “Same here.” She leaned into his touch, feeling it all the way down to her toes. After a minute she straightened and pushed away. “Okay, okay. You've made your point. Let's go.”
They entered the house and circled the room, greeting everyone. She spotted Damon in the corner, a sour look on his face, his eyes focused on a pretty brunette across the room. Sadness swept through her when she thought of him and his countless women. She wished he would find his mate. The perfect woman for him, one who would knock him on his ass. She chuckled. Yep, a woman who didn't bow to his wishes and made him work for it. “Here you go, beautiful.” She smiled and turned to find Joshua standing there, desire and something else flashing in his eyes and a glass of champagne in each hand. “Is everything okay?” she took the glass and sipped, the bubbles tickling her nose and throat. “Sure, everything is fine.” He raised his glass in salute and drank. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close then turned to face the crowd. Clearing his throat he said, “Excuse me. Could I have your attention please?” The room got quiet and she wondered what the heck he was up to. “I love you,” he whispered and then he went down on one knee. Her eyes widened, and her mouth gaped. Embarrassed, she looked around the room “What are you doing? Get up.” He shook his head and reached into his pocket and pulled out a small black velvet box. She held her breath. Surely that wasn't what she thought it was. Was it? With a smile he flipped open the lid. Inside was the most beautiful emerald and diamond ring she had ever seen. She watched him remove the ring from the box and grasp her left hand. He slid the ring on her finger, kissed her knuckle and looked up. “Will you marry me? Live with me, love me, have babies with me—for the rest of our days?” Tears filled her eyes. The man she loved was down on his knees in front of family and friends with a sparkling diamond ring asking her to marry him. What was she supposed to say? His male chuckle flooded her mind.You could say yes. She smiled, tears streaming down her face and said, “Yes.” He stood, grabbed her up in his arms and swung her around. His lips found hers and he kissed her with all the love he felt for her. His tongue slipped between her lips and she moaned, sucking him in, sinking into his heat, his taste. I love you, Devra. I love you, too. The sound of applause broke them apart. Devra glanced around the room and spotted Susan. The two shared a smile before Susan turned her attention elsewhere. Devra tried to see what Susan was looking at but with the crush of people it was impossible. It was probably a man. Her next conquest. “What are you thinking about, love?” Joshua asked. “Just wondering who Susan's next boy toy will be.” “Her boy toy? Is that what you women call us now days?”
Devra shifted her body bringing herself flush against Joshua. “I would definitely call you my toy. Wouldn't you?” He groaned. “Okay, honey, you win.” He paused. “For now.” Then he brought his lips down on hers and all thoughts of Susan were forgotten. **** Damon tossed back his third vodka straight up and set his glass on the mantel. He still couldn't believe that Joshua and Devra had invited him to their engagement party. Secretly he was glad. He didn't want to lose Joshua's friendship. Damon still didn't know why he had accosted Devra over the phone. Maybe he'd wanted Joshua to come and kill him. It sure as hell would be better than his existence as it was now. He rubbed his forehead with his hand, closing his eyes against the dull ache there. Damn! How much had he drunk? His kind didn't tolerate liquor well. That's why they weren't supposed to drink more than a glass or so, and certainly not the hard stuff he'd been tossing back for the past half hour. Damon glanced over at Joshua and Devra once more, their happiness like a bright light surrounding them. He had to get out of here. Now! He had taken one step when his mind was flooded with thoughts. Dirty, naughty thoughts. Damon stopped and glanced around the room looking for the culprit. It had to be Joshua, or Roarke, or both. No one else could touch his mind. He sensed nothing from either of them, so he shrugged it off. He'd had too much to drink. It was definitely time to go. He hadn't taken more than two more steps toward the door when a wave of heat hit his body, bringing his cock to full alert. What the hell was going on here? Damon stood stock-still and waited. He didn't have to wait long. God, what I wouldn't give to strip that man naked and ride his cock all night long. Mmm … he's so delicious looking. Damon latched onto the thought and followed the strand back to a gorgeous blonde standing not five feet away from him. Damon narrowed his eyes and sent a thought to her. Come and get me, baby! He watched her eyes widen in shock before she gained control again. She smiled a sexy come-hither smile and arched a brow. No, you come and get me, big boy. That was it! That was all the encouragement he needed. But something niggled in the back of his mind. She could touch his mind, talk to him like a true mate. How was that possible? To hell with it, he'd think about it later. Right now he had only one thing on his mind. Her, riding his cock all night long. He put his shoulders back and walked toward his gorgeous blonde destiny.
The End About the Author:
MacKenzie Reed just loves to create characters, put them in sticky situations and watch the sparks fly. Writing has been a life-long dream for MacKenzie, and when she was in high school, she wrote a continuing story and her mother thought it was good. Looking at it now, MacKenzie laughs and says, “What was I thinking?” She enjoys writing, taking care of her family, and chocolate. Strange list to be sure, but that's the way it goes. Her first title was a short story called The Magic of Passion in Liquid Silver Books' AFTERNOON DELIGHTS Anthology. Haunting Melody is her first novel. She loves to hear from readers! Email her at [email protected]
We invite you to visit Liquid Silver Books http://lsbooks.com for other exciting literary erotica romances. Weekend Games—Chris Tanglen Destiny's Magick—Rae Morgan Love Lessons—Vanessa Hart Portal—Sydney Morgann Bittersweet—Louisa Trent Business or Pleasure…or Both?—Rae Morgan and Jasmine Haynes And many, many more!!