Authors: Persephone Jones
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Erotica
.” He cursed and then stopped himself. “There’s no way you’re not married or engaged or dating or…”
That caught him off guard. His eyes, piercing jade jewels, scanned her womanly shape with virile hunger. In her study of the abnormal psyche, she’d become adept at sensing when someone was conning her, but this man’s game was on a whole other level of expertise. When his heated gaze returned to hers, she smirked at his shameless survey of her body. “Conall” had finally got his bearings. “So, you were saying?”
She didn’t bother asking him if he had a girlfriend. Men like Ciaran McCade didn’t have girlfriends or relationships. They conquered and destroyed. When they wanted something—they simply took it. Sex was no different. As was no doubt the case when he’d happened upon defenseless, unsuspecting Megan. She tried not to think how she broke down when the detective told her Megan had been raped. How he’d admitted that whoever raped her had worn a condom to prevent identification. Now was not the time to tap into that memory.
He wasn’t the only one regrouping. Morgan maintained a fragile calm on her exterior. Never mind that she trembled to her bones on the inside. What were they discussing?
“Family history,” she offered, deciding not to attempt a full-out lie. After all, she didn’t feel she was as skilled a liar as the man currently eating her up with a spoon. A liar who, after hours and hours of endless interrogation, maintained his story. The one where he claimed he’d never seen Megan before, much less eviscerated her in an abandoned park in the middle of the night.
“Mother’s or father’s side?”
She sipped her drink and stirred it casually with the straw. “A little of both, actually.”
“Hmm.” He picked up his stool and positioned it as close to hers as he could get it, setting his drink, a murky ale, beside hers. His obvious come-on made her laugh. It had been so long she barely recognized the sound. Despite the horror of her reality, she was beginning to enjoy herself. Months had passed since she’d been able to relax. What the hell. She deserved a moment’s joy. And this bastard from hell owed it to her. “Where are you from?”
“A little place called Houston, Texas.”
“Ah. I know of it.”
I bet you do.
She had to say a silent prayer to maintain a pleasant expression when everything in her being shouted at her to take him by the throat and lay him out on the bar, slashed by a thousand broken liquor bottles, and light him on fire.
“Ever been to the States?” She tested him.
“Aye. Long ago.”
Long ago as in months?
she wanted to ask.
Commit any rapes or murders while on holiday there?
“Where were you?”
She smiled a little bigger than she would have liked. Boy, this guy had the lines. But of course he did. This man was a savage killer. Regardless of whether he had a split personality or simply a cunning mind, dear Megan hadn’t been as fortunate as she. Megan had stumbled upon this Jekyll’s Hyde and paid with her life. No amount of chemistry could change that. Besides, how sick would lusting after a monster be? Let alone your sister’s murderer?
The man calling himself Conall took a hearty gulp of his pint. She watched him use his lower lip to wipe the upper clean, a veritably carnal act. The simple act of watching him take a drink made the blood in her veins dance. “When did you arrive in Bowglass? Please say today.”
“Today,” she answered without hesitation.
The Scot gave a convincing performance of devastation and dropped his head on the bar in theatrical surrender as if one word from her could reduce him to a state of absolute powerlessness. To add to the dramatic irony of the situation, the pub patrons roared with hoots and applause at the football game playing on the television over the bar.
If only it were that easy
Suddenly she felt exquisitely powerful. And since no one would ever know except her, very sexy. Her heart fluttered in her breast like a restless bird in its cage.
Conall straightened in his seat and asked in a softened tone, “How long are you here for, Ms. Morgan?”
The sound of her name on his lips rendered her momentarily incapable of thought. Luckily, her mouth still worked.
“However long it takes.” She didn’t smile when she said it because she meant every syllable. When the judge refused to consider him a flight risk, she knew he’d run. That’s when she knew he was guilty. The law would never recognize the danger he presented to the unsuspecting world until it was too late. It was up to her to stop him.
He had to clear his throat before he spoke, boosting her confidence, as he ran his thumb down the side of his glass. “Where will you start?”
“The local hall of records.”
“Let’s see…” From his sinfully soft leather jacket, he pulled out a pen and picked up his coaster and pretended to write on it. “Destroy hall of records tomorrow eight a.m. sharp.”
Morgan found it easy to play along. “You wouldn’t.”
He looked her in the eye and didn’t blink. “I will.”
For a full minute, the clamor of voices, merriment and Roberta Flack’s
Killing Me Softly
on the jukebox faded away. She had too much to drink and now she was intoxicated. But vodka and rum weren’t the only things coursing through her veins. The man whose knee brushed hers was all the drug any woman needed. Worst of all, she was aroused, her blood alive with a hum that throttled dangerously high. “In that case, I’d better be off to bed so I can get up in the morning and stop you.”
Conall winced in what appeared to be authentic disappointment. “So soon?” His face could have charmed every sentient female on the planet out of their panties. At once.
“Afraid so.” Morgan nodded at the bartender a silent “thank you” and slid off the stool. Then with calculated premeditation, she paused squarely between his legs and took him by the cheek. The stubble-covered flesh beneath her hand was warm with life and tickled her palm as she stroked it. Standing on her toes, she planted a light kiss on the bare skin above his cheek line and moved to leave. The speechless male watched her every move in stunned silence.
Feeling his intense gaze on her, she retrieved her coat. She took her time in buttoning it and situating the matching scarf under her chin. She buried her fists in her pockets and felt the trusty dagger slide into the palm of her left hand like an extension of her body. It had to be a dagger. She wouldn’t have gotten a gun to pass through Customs. And a gun would only wound a monster like him. Silver bullets would have had to be made special. But it had to be silver, so a dagger was her only choice.
Megan. Her mind reeled with renewed purpose. She was here in Scotland with the man, the thing who murdered her sister, her
sister, the girl who shared her mother’s womb with her, who looked exactly like her, born two and half minutes after her. She’d let him buy her a drink, sit next to her, talk in her ear, flirt with her.
Make her wet.
Everything that mattered now hinged on what happened next. “Thanks for the drink, Conall. G’night.”
Comforted by the heavy warmth of her coat, she took a few steps when he took hold of her arm. If her heart skipped a beat when she laid eyes on him, now that he was close enough to kiss her she felt positively faint. “Don’t go…”
As if commandeered by the mere sound of his voice her body betrayed her and wavered in his grip. It took a moment for her to realize he’d taken hold of her, looking at her as if she were precious, sacred. And completely his. His Adam’s apple bobbed in his throat as he attempted to swallow. “Don’t go somewhere alone when we can go there together.”
She had him.
Without saying another word, she let him open the door and lead her out into the cold winter night.
Thank God she didn’t give him the brush off in the parking lot. Thank God twice for letting him wrap his arms around Morgan and put her against his truck. His cock was about to tie itself in a knot he wanted her so badly. “Where are you staying?”
“Come home with me.” And then come. The thought of it made him want to bay at the moon. Most of the time, he had control over her inner beast, but arousal this strong was new to him. She was the most exquisite creature he’d ever seen.
She was accepting his invitation. As in,
Conall groaned an earthy male sigh as he shut the door of the old Land Rover, securing the beautiful Morgan inside.
The beautiful Morgan,
he chuckled to himself as he made his way around to the driver’s side. He hadn’t even asked her full name. Not that he cared. It wasn’t her name he was interested in at the moment. The perfect gentleman in him had opened the door and let Morgan in first, but the beast slumbering within wanted to put her against the truck, hike up what there was of that tiny skirt over the rounds of her delicious ass and fuck her right there in the parking lot. Slain Maiden’s patrons be damned. He’d show them what a real mating looked like.
After a stressful clan meeting on the subject of his twin brother Ciaran and the murder of the American college student, he was in the mood to misbehave. Bastard was always getting into trouble. This time he’d really done it with a murder charge. Conall had posted bail for him. God only knew why. Maybe because even after everything he’d witnessed firsthand of his brother’s bullshit, he still loved him and wanted to believe he was decent and incapable of what the American authorities had accused him of.
A visit to the pub was exactly what he needed to take his mind off things for a while. With any luck, he’d hoped to get shit-faced and pass out. The woman in his truck was more than he could have hoped for.
With a twist of a key, the engine growled to life. Like the dastardly villain in a cartoon, he rubbed his hands together and cranked on the heater. He gazed at the woman in the passenger seat, gloved hands buried in her lap, shivering, and was once again mesmerized by the sight of her. The view of her shapely legs wrapped in black silk stockings had him panting like a crazed dog.
What was it about her that seemed so—familiar? Did she resemble a movie star? She was certainly pretty enough. Pretty wasn’t the half of it. Beautiful didn’t do her justice either. No, it was something else, far more intangible. Had they met before? Maybe in an x-rated dream.
He’d never picked up a woman in a bar before. It wasn’t his style. But a glance over at the petite beauty beside him gave him pause. Maybe he hadn’t been so undeniably turned on until now. God, where the hell had she come from? The truck couldn’t warm up fast enough. Getting her to his house and in his bed was all he could think about. The lust-crazed beast within had come awake and now it was ready for her. He eyed the moon out the dingy window. Almost full and glowing neon bright, the pearl orb demanded he acknowledge its power. But the power of seduction was greater.
he thought. Shit luck, that was. His father wasn’t the first man to have an affair, but he was, as far as Conall knew, the first one whose sons paid for their father’s sins in quite this way. Children got abandoned by the wayward parent or adapted to new family situations. Their parents got divorced and remarried. But he and Ciaran got the short end of a short stick. They sprouted hair, claws and fangs every month. Every month since puberty, that is. All because his father was a lying dog. It was enough to put most men off women entirely. And that included him as well, for the most part. With secrets like this, he was careful whom he let into his life. Or bed. He just hoped Morgan was worth the risk.
“J-just a lit-tle,” she said, her teeth chattering.
It was obvious she was freezing. A rush of male bravado stoked the fires of his confidence. He could have her sweating if given the chance. “C’m here.”
He sighed with relief when she shimmied across the seat and let him take her womanly shape against his body. “This is better,” he whispered, the truck growing instantly warmer at their proximity.
Without prompting, she wrapped her arm around his waist and purred, her face fitting perfectly into the crook of his neck where she nuzzled him. “Mmm.”
He was hard in an instant, shifting in the space beside her, desperate to get closer still. Hunger drove his hand onto her near-naked thigh, rubbing it in attempts to warm her. Though all it did was make the ache between his legs more painful. He didn’t want to wait to fuck her. He wanted her
Receptive to his caress, she rotated toward him, her leg over his. In the moonlit darkness, he made out the lace trim on the top of her stocking and silently thanked God. He loved a woman in stockings. His face tilted downward as she looked up and their lips met in the small space between. His mouth brushed hers in an all-too-brief sampling, their lips parting for more.
Her hand snaked into his lap, palmed the bulge of his erection and gripped it with blatant intent. He wondered if she knew Scottish men wore nothing beneath their kilts. Their mouths rejoined for another kiss, this one longer but no less satiating. The sensation of their tongues entwined brought such pleasure in him that he pressed the balls of his feet to the floorboards, careful not to grip her too tight. Despite every cell in his body commanding him to rip her clothes to shreds and bury himself inside her. He took quick possession of her hand and guided it under his kilt. If she was going to touch him, he wanted it uncensored. Without transition, he secured her fingers around the thick shaft of his cock. Morgan’s feminine gasp made him twitch in her hand. He couldn’t recall being more aroused than he was right now. Thank God she didn’t pull her hand away.