Author: Tijan PM
She's haunted, possibly too tough to be human, and yet--she doesn't realize she's looking for her own redemption.Rated: Fiction M - English - Suspense/Adventure - Chapters: 8 - Words: 23,724 - Reviews: 25 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 43 - Updated: 09-27-08 - Published: 09-06-08 - id: 2568464
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
If you're the age where you need consent to read and watch nc 17 material, you should not read this. Now that's out of the way: I'd like to know what you all think about the style of the story. I don't care about grammatical mistakes, those can be fixed.
"Fine." Knot backed off. "You guys can take her. We'll…we didn't know so…now we know."
They were pissed.
Rafe couldn't contain a small grin, but she did look at the ground.
Kip had effectively cut out their legs, but—the grin disappeared—Rafe had a sneaking suspicion why he'd done it and she didn't know how she felt about that.
The four Red Valley Panthers grumbled, but they walked back to their bikes and roared out of there.
"Ah, food." One of the skinny Pedlam guys proclaimed and he immediately jetted back inside the Musket House.
Rafe glanced at the front door and saw Lila there with a concerned expression on her face. Rafe's eyes skipped a second, but she swung her gaze back and swore she saw a pintsized pistol in Lila's hands, tucked underneath her white apron. It was gone the next instant and Rafe wasn't sure if it had actually been there or if her eyes had played a trick.
It didn't matter.
The rest of the Pedlam Panthers headed inside, but Cole and Kip stayed back.
Rafe drew in a breath and regarded both with different emotions.
She felt her lust slam against her insides, but her suspicion and caution over rode it. She was content to wait them out—they could start their own interrogation first.
"Well…have a good day." Kip surprised her and threw a knowing look towards Cole before he turned and joined his men inside.
"What?" Rafe could normally roll with whatever was thrown her way, but Kip's reaction—not what she'd expected. Her instant reaction was a gaping mouth before she remembered that she hated people reading her and she quickly closed it.
'Fucking…what the hell?' Rafe thought for a second before Cole eyed her up and down.
'Oh.' Now it made sense.
She let loose with a relieved laugh, "Really? Am I supposed to fuck you in gratitude?"
Cole was startled, but amusement quickly flashed in his eyes. He chuckled and shook his head, "Well…it couldn't hurt, could it?"
"Depends on the ride." Rafe let loose.
Cole barked out a shocked laugh before he composed himself.
Rafe understood Sophie's obsession. His eyes alone could draw a girl in. They were mesmerizing and when they danced in amusement, as they did now, Rafe felt her legs buckle—just slightly—and that said a lot.
No guy had made her knees buckle—not in the sexual sense anyway.
"That's why he said what he said?" Rafe jerked a thumb towards the Musket House. "He did that because of…"
Cole stepped close and murmured, the amusement was gone and he wasn't shy, "I staked my claim. My guys all know it so… yeah. Can you deal with it?"
Rafe moved back a step and taunted as she tried to regain control of her legs, "Really? Those are my choices? I'm either raped by that Lodo guy or I get you instead."
"Most girls would jump at the chance." Cole smiled seductively.
'Oh hell. Sophie's not going to like me…'
Rafe threw back, "It's kind of barbarian, isn't it?"
Cole laughed again and eased back a step. He shook his head, "Like you don't respond to it. I saw you throw down with those guys. You loved it. You reveled in it and right now, you and me—you're wet already."
Her breath caught in her throat.
She felt the tickle between her legs and she felt herself being drawn in. Her eyes flirted between the promise in his eyes and the tempting tilt of his lips.
They were perfectly sculpted lips…
His fingers traced her shoulder and skimmed down her arm.
Rafe hadn't seen him move, but he was suddenly a mere inch from her. Her arm tingled from the contact and when his hand took a sensual hold on her waist and drew her against him, Rafe nearly groaned when she felt him against the inside of her thigh.
Cole dipped and kissed beneath her ear. He murmured, huskily, "You got a place around here?"
He held her hips against him and he kissed her collarbone, "Or we could go to my place…?" He left the invitation hanging in the air.
Rafe held her breath. She'd known this was coming. She responded to him and he responded to her, but…why the hell was she even debating it?
Rafe grabbed hold of a loop on his belt and pulled even closer. She slid a hand up his chest and marveled at the sculpted ridges that she felt through his jacket and shirt before she said, throatily, "I've got a motel room three miles down."
"Sold." Cole flashed perfect white teeth before he took her mouth in a scorching kiss.
He staked his claim all over again and Rafe enjoyed it, every last lick and nibble before he pulled away and started to lead her towards his motorcycle.
"Uh, wait." Rafe dug her heels in.
Cole looked back, surprised.
"I—" She gestured, a little weak, to her car behind and said, "I'll meet you there."
"Oh…okay." Cole threw another grin towards her and leaned close for a last kiss before they parted.
Rafe was a little unsteady as she got into her car, but she turned and watched as he set off first on his bike and groaned at the jolt of heat that ran through her.
"Fuck…" She muttered, but she leaned forward and started the car. Rafe pulled the car onto the highway and quickly sped to catch up with Cole.
When her phone rang, it took a debated breath before Rafe cursed and answered it.
"What?" She snarled, a little breathless.
"What do you mean, 'what'? Are you okay?" Carl asked concerned.
Rafe bit back another curse and let loose a deep breath.
She calmed down, just slightly, and managed out, "Now's not a good time."
"Rafe. What happened?"
Carl wasn't going anywhere.
"Can we talk about this later? I'm…in the middle of something."
"No. What happened?"
"Can I—" Rafe groaned in frustration. Carl wasn't going to be put off and she closed her eyes as she desperately struggled for politeness. "Okay—I'm fine. I got jumped by some guys, but I'm fine. It worked out."
"What are you doing in Pedlam? Coolay said you're there on a case or something? What's going on, Rafe?"
"It's—" Rafe bit off her words when the motel came into sight. Cole had already parked and waited in the parking lot. She said, rushed, "I have to go. I'll talk to you later."
She hung up and tossed the phone in the seat beside her as she swung into the parking lot and stopped beside Cole. He grinned in anticipation as she grabbed her keys, kicked the door shut with her heel, and swept ahead to lead the way.
The horny teenager still manned the frontdesk. His eyes bulged when he saw who followed behind her and as they moved down the hall, he let loose with a slow wolf whistle.
Rafe took out the keycard, but Cole deftly plucked it out of her fingers and opened the door. He held the door open and Rafe remarked as she ducked underneath his arm, "A gentleman now? Thought you were a barbarian before."
Cole heeled the door shut and then caught her elbow. He grinned as he tugged her close and ran a hand down her back to lift her thigh, "I can be both."
"Really?" Rafe tilted her head back and closed her eyes as he ran his fingers through her hair.
"I love your hair." Cole murmured huskily. He bent his head and kissed her collarbone.
"You like more than my hair." Rafe laughed. She hooked her other leg and hoisted herself up.
Cole caught her and used one arm underneath her legs to hold her in place.
They were face to face now.
Rafe grinned, met his eyes. Both of them were waiting in heart pounding excitement—and then she touched her lips to his.
The first touch was gentle and then Cole took control and deepened the kiss. After that, the hunger took control and it wasn't long before Rafe straddled him on the bed. Her shirt was peeled off. Her two guns were tossed on the bed next to them and Cole watched through lust-glazed eyes as she moved up to unhook her jeans.
She started to push them off, but his hands caught hers.
She stilled and waited.
Cole lifted up and pressed a kiss to both hipbones. He eased the jeans down slowly and kissed at the lacy edges of her underwear.
"I like these." Cole grinned wolfishly.
Rafe laughed and said huskily, "I would've worn a thong if I'd known this was going to happen."
"God." Cole groaned and pressed another kiss on the inside of her thigh. "Next time. Please."
Rafe didn't answer, but slid her hands sensually over his broad shoulders.
Cole moved a hand underneath her hip and flipped her onto her back. He loomed above her and slowly peeled her jeans the rest of the way. When he was done, he took his time and looked at her.
"Like what you see?" Rafe asked with a hoarse voice as she watched from the pillow.
"God—what do you do for a living? Your body is…I didn't know girls could be as ripped as you and still drive me crazy." Cole shook his head, ruefully, but he moved forward and kissed just underneath her stomach.
Rafe sucked in her breath. He wasn't expecting an answer and she wasn't capable of making one.
His head dipped between her legs and Rafe's back arched off the bed the next moment. His hands kneaded into her sides and arched her up to deepen his touch. Rafe laid back and gasped at the sensations, but it wasn't long before she couldn't withstand anymore and jumped up to shove him down on the bed.
They'd reversed positions and now Rafe grinned in delight as Cole watched, eager and restrained at the same time.
Instead of working at his belt, Rafe slid her hands underneath his shirt and slowly pushed it upwards.
She ducked and kissed each stomach ridge that was uncovered. When the shirt reached his upper chest, Cole sat up and flung the shirt off. It landed along side her guns, but Rafe turned back and crawled to straddle him once more. She wound her lean legs around his back and sat back to absorb every detail of him that she could.
A large black K was tattooed on his right shoulder. A small black cross was right beside it and a white dove flew underneath.
Rafe traced it with her fingers. She looked to ask what it meant, but saw that Cole's darkened eyes were running up and down her body. His hand was raised and he caressed from her shoulder, down her arm, to her waist, and cupped her breast. His thumb grazed over her nipple and he bent down to take its peak in his mouth.
Rafe gasped and surged upwards. She cupped the back of his head and held him close as he teased with his teeth.
Helpless and reeling from the sensations, Rafe hung her head over his and skimmed his back with her hand. She felt every contour, every muscle that shifted as he bent and took her other breast. Her fingers rubbed and enjoyed every inch of his skin. She didn't even mind the panther that stood boldly on his back, ready to strike out.
The black coloring and the fierce eyes seemed to move as Cole lifted Rafe higher and then she was moved back onto the bed. She caught sight of the panther watching her as Cole stood and turned around. He made quick work of his jeans and grabbed a condom from one of his pockets. He stood at the foot of the bed.
Rafe watched in heated anticipation and then the condom was in place and Cole moved to loom above her again.
The heat shimmered off both of them.
They didn't touch, but watched each other. Neither looked away and Rafe could taste the salt from his skin.
The spell was broken as she reached for him and he eagerly pressed down over her.
She lifted her hips slightly and he slid inside. He sheathed himself deep and Rafe gasped at the feeling. It coursed through her and her legs entwined around his waist. Cole paused, just slightly, as she adapted to the feel of him and then he thrust.
Rafe clung to his shoulders and her head fell back on the pillow.
Cole found her lips and thrust again. They clung to each other and both panted silently until they felt the pinnacle coming.
It slammed through both of them and Rafe wrenched her lips away to take a desperate breath.
Cole grunted and thrust a final time before he collapsed onto her.
She reveled in the feeling of his weight on her and laid there as the ripples coursed through her. As the last one faded, Rafe remarked, throatily, "Is that what's it like, to ride a Panther?"
Cole barked out a laugh.
Rafe felt each laugh reverberate through her as he remarked, his voice husky, "Only me, baby. Only me."
Her eyes went flat. Rafe hated being called 'baby.' She'd always hated it, but she never wondered why.
Unaware to her reaction, Cole caressed a hand down her side and cupped underneath her hip. He moved his head lazily and pressed a kiss to her skin. He murmured intimately, "Give me some time and I'll be ready for a second go."
Rafe was set to deliver an acid dismissal when someone pounded loudly on her door.
"What the—" Cole asked. He jumped up in reflex and then stopped at the end of the bed. He glanced at Rafe and asked, "Are you expecting someone?"
Silent, Rafe lifted herself up and waited with a hand poised on the bed.
They knocked again. They were impatient.
"Should I?" Cole gestured to the door, but Rafe shook her head and stood gracefully. She slipped his shirt on and felt the end graze against her thighs as she reached for her 9mm. She motioned for Cole to move behind the corner and as he did, she approached from the side with her gun poised beside her head.
Rafe flattened herself against the closet wall and bent slightly as she flung open the door and stopped short at the sight.
Pissed, in a wrinkled polo shirt, and his brunette hair haphazard, Carl glared his current emotion at the bedded look of his old teammate and someone he considered as a sister.
"What are you doing here?" Rafe straightened in surprise and blinked, dazed, as he stormed passed her.
Carl stopped short when he saw Cole, who now stood alert and watchful.
A rueful laugh slipped from Carl as he shook his head, "Rafe. You…you don't change."
He turned and watched the crass and hardly disciplined 'little sister' of the team.
Rafe didn't disappoint.
She flicked him off and placed her gun on the counter as she retorted, "Who asked you to come and check on me? I'm not sorry that you walked in on me having sex. You should've called."
"I did!" Carl shouted. His patience had worn too thin by then. "You hung up on me—both times! And then you stopped answering your phone."
At that, he produced her phone and tossed it on the rumpled bed. "Now I know why. You were in such a rush to get screwed that you forgot your phone in your car—and that's not even your car! What happened to your car?"
Cole opened his mouth, but Rafe beat him to it and threw back, "Stop yelling or you're out."
Carl snapped his mouth shut and took in the sight of the two.
Cole had reached for his jeans when the first knock had sounded. He'd pulled them on when Rafe went to answer, but he hadn't buttoned them—yet.
And Rafe stood defiant and her usual pissed off self as she glared back at him, her arms crossed and her hair wrangled in a mess behind her.
She'd been fucked thoroughly. Carl gave that to her.
"Fine." He barked out. "Get dressed. Get rid of him and come find me outside."
Rafe opened her mouth to protest, but Carl shut her up when he said, "You'll do it and you'll explain everything to me or I'll call in your location to a few certain people."
Her mouth shut.
She'd been put in her place.
At that, Carl swept back out the door and let it slam shut on his trail.
Cole sighed, "Tell me that wasn't your boyfriend, your ex, or your husband."
"No." Rafe snapped, "Just an ass." But she turned and started to dress.
Cole watched as she reached for her clothes. Her muscles stretched lithely and he took another second to enjoy the sight. He'd meant what he'd said earlier. He didn't usually like his girls in shape, but this one—there was something sensual and almost predatory about how she moved.
He felt himself harden at the thought.
"So," he distracted himself. "we go our separate ways or what?" He wasn't stupid. He knew she'd been about to dismiss him when that guy showed up. Her body had stiffened underneath him and he'd just sensed it.
"Probably—" Rafe stopped herself as she remembered her promise to Sophie. So she said instead, "Let's do our numbers. I'm in town for a little while. We could meet up again."
Cole paused at the change.
Her tone had been about to agree with him and then…something changed her mind.
He narrowed his eyes, but murmured thoughtfully, "Sure. I'll put my number in your phone."
Rafe handed her phone over and finished dressing as he punched his number and called his own phone.
"Done." He tossed the phone on the bed and reached for where she'd let his shirt drop on the bed. He pulled it over his head and saw her eyes shift abruptly away from his chest.
A rush of adrenalin jolted through him. She wasn't going to be able to dismiss him as easily as she thought. And Cole felt the first stirrings of a chase. He hadn't one of those in a very long time. He'd almost forgotten how enjoyable the challenge could be.
Annoyed with herself, Rafe turned and grabbed both of her guns. She threw her buttoned shirt over her shoulder, but didn't bother to sheath both guns in the small of her back. Instead, her body was loose, but strong. She felt good with just her tight camisole tanktop that melted to her body.
"I'll walk you out." Rafe remarked and held open the door.
Cole hid a grin at her evident irritation. He couldn't be sure if it had to do with him, her, or the guy that wanted to rip both of their heads off.
Either way, the girl wasn't as poker-faced as she thought.
And he liked that.