Read Kilting Me Softly: 1 Online

Authors: Persephone Jones

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Erotica

Kilting Me Softly: 1 (4 page)

BOOK: Kilting Me Softly: 1
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“Morgan, that feels too good. Please—”

“What was that?”

“God—please, Morgan. I’m begging you
.

“Hmm?” She sat up a little bit, rubbing her breasts against his shaft. Anything but look into his eyes, listen to his voice, his accent stronger now that he was under duress. “I’m sorry, what?”

Panting, Conall stretched and pulled his restraints to their limits, making the headboard creak and groan. “
Fuck me, Morgan.
Please, please fuck me
.”

Intoxicated by his pleas but determined not to show it, she looked at him through a haze of heat and hatred. She would not be just another victim to him. He would not claim both her
and
her sister. It was his turn to be the victim.

Morgan moved onto him with lightning speed. Careless of how a man would feel inside her, she impaled herself on him in one shearing motion.

And screamed.

Grabbing a handful of his hair, she teased his mouth, agape in an ambivalence of pain and pleasure, with her tongue. But it was as much for her benefit, desperate to conceal her reaction to his penetration of her maidenhead.

“Jesus on toast.” He moaned, pulling against his restraints.

Working on instinct and what she’d read in books, sneaked from movies and internet web sites, she undulated against him, pushing the tender part of her as far away as she could. The pain of his body’s exquisite invasion within her dulled by the second. Unprepared for the sensations taking her body hostage, she had no recourse. She’d planned on the pain of sex, but not the pleasure hidden on the other side of it.

Helpless to thwart her body’s override on her brain, she let it guide her in deep undulations with his. Clutching his arms in her mindlessness, she was unaware of how she hurt him. Not that the man beneath her reported anything but fierce pleas that begged her to not to stop.

“Jesus Christ—you feel so good—I knew you would—I knew it—” he bit out, his gaze mesmerized by the pumping action of her body atop his. “I fucking knew it.”

She did too but would rather die than admit it. On an intuitive level, somewhere devoid of words or logic, she knew he complemented her, equaled her, fit her as though they’d been custom molded for each other. Desperate to release the mounting tension building within her, she screamed. It was more in response to the voice of ecstasy in her head that evicted every other thought than the man beneath her as she leaned back and fell down harder and harder on him.

“Fuck—” A low growl coiled in his throat, his voice a ghost of itself.

“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” Tears streaming down her cheeks, she pushed and pulled, pushed and pulled until a squall rumbled somewhere deep inside her. Oblivious to what it might mean, she did not turn away from it but reached for it instead, ready to accept whatever force had her in its grip. If it destroyed her, so be it. If she came apart in a thousand tiny pieces, she was powerless to stop it.

“Morgan—I’m gonna come so
fucking
hard…” His voice cracked under the pressure of his impending release.

She made a frenzied attempt to cover his mouth. When her climax took hold, she squeezed her eyes shut and braced herself, completely mindless for one blissful moment. Her body jerked and slammed against him like an unnatural force, a wave crashing against a rock, shattering again and again like an echo.

Through a veil of tears, she listened to his groan reach a crescendo. Averting her eyes, she remembered the dagger white-knuckled in her hand, the tapered edges of the handle cutting lines into her skin.

Now…now, Morgan!

Thoughts of what Megan’s last night must have been like rushed over her. It had been raining heavily all week. She would have been wearing the galoshes their mother had bought her. That night she’d stayed awake working on a project that was due the next day. Running out of supplies, Megan, ever the perfectionist, made her way to the all-night bookstore across campus to put the finishing touches on what would have most assuredly been a stellar presentation.

Morgan remembered her sister telling her that her project partner, a young man on whom she had a crush, was out sick, suffering with the flu, and she was considering going by his apartment with homemade soup. She remembered the girlish giggle they shared when, in the comfortable offhand style only sisters could know, Morgan declared her twin would soon have the flu too.

She imagined the terror her sister had experienced her last night alive. At some point, she probably knew she was going to die. What had such a horror been like? It was too much for one person to shoulder alone. However, much to her heartache, she hadn’t awakened in the middle of the night to a psychic feeling of panic involving her twin. No premonition, no warning, no chance to beat it.

Not until later. Details about the crime implanted in her mind. Like taking a shower and waking up at the bathroom sink with a man’s name scrawled on the steamy mirror. No memory of doing it or why. Reliving Megan’s last moments over and over, feeling death enter her body. Living her life but carrying the spirit of her twin within her. Would Megan visit her once her killer was dead?

When her mother called in hysterics, her speech so garbled she couldn’t make sense of anything but the tone, Morgan knew something bad had happened. And since there were just the three of them in their little family and the two of them were on the phone, that left one possible conclusion. Megan Keevy. Age twenty-five. Attacked on her way back to her dorm room. Raped. Mutilated. Murdered. A short list of suspects. One arrest. No closure.

But Morgan Keevy had a suspect. And he was here.

Beneath her.

Inside
her.

What was it about this monster masquerading as a man that had obtained her sister’s trust so easily? Was it the voice, friendly and disarming, the penetrating green eyes or his toothy grin employed yet again in luring Morgan to his bed? The same smile that fooled her sister into letting down her guard long enough for him to grab her, beat her and snuff the life out of her. Her body withdrew from his and the warm juices of their mating spilled out between them.

“My name is Morgan Keevy and I’ve come to kill you.”

She’d said it a thousand times in what seemed like a thousand hotel mirrors halfway around the world. For months she’d spent her entire college savings on plane tickets, taxis, rooms and information. In that short period of time she’d become a globetrotter, starting in Houston, booking a flight to London and points beyond, traveling throughout the remotest parts of Great Britain searching for Ciaran McCade. It took months to track him, always missing him by a few days or a few hundred miles. Finally she’d got word from a local innkeeper he’d left for Ireland. Another two weeks of hiding and waiting and at long last she gained on him. Morgan showed his picture to everyone. When they stopped talking and clammed up, she knew she was getting close. Now he was in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. At a cottage out in the middle of nowhere.

Right here.

Right now.

Her arms floated high above her head and slammed down against his chest with all her strength, burying the dagger in the flesh below. The dying man screamed and kicked in rejection of what had to be unbelievable pain. She couldn’t help but wonder if his pain was anything like Megan’s. Unable to endure anymore, she grabbed a pillow and pressed it to his face, desperate to silence him once and for all.

Die. Dear God, why don’t you die?

She weathered the jerky flailing of his body as he fought for air. It seemed like a lifetime that Morgan pushed against him, praying for it to be over, waiting for the stillness that death promised. The movies were wrong. They were edited for time and content. They spared people the real horror of the real world. Smothering someone took an eternity.

At last, he went quiet. She was unable to move at first, frozen in position above him like a macabre statue. Halfway afraid that a remaining gasp of breath would bring him back to life and scare her to death, she watched him.

But she saw nothing. Nothing but a small pool of blood running from the fatal wound in his chest to the bed beneath them.

Sobbing, Morgan slid off him. Blinded and in a daze, she tumbled to the floor and covered her face in her hands. The shroud of finality wrapped itself around her like a concrete shawl. She was a murderer. Now she knew how it felt.

Through the steady stream of tears she gazed at the pile of clothes nearby. In a defeated slump she fell to the floor and saw the small flat leather wallet protruding from his jacket pocket. With shaking hands she reached for it, then reconsidered. Fingerprints. She couldn’t afford to leave behind such damning forensic evidence. While she was at it, she needed to wipe down the dagger. But first things first. Using a sock to cover her fingers, she managed to flip the billfold open. The idea seemed terribly morbid. She was going through a dead man’s things.

No way in hell she was seeing things clearly. Such a fate wasn’t possible. It had to be a delusion, a byproduct of the requisite lunacy necessary to commit murder. Stunned, she stared at Conall McCade’s plastic photo ID until it blurred out of focus. “No—please, God, no.”

Conall. Not Ciaran?

She had to get out of the house.

Had to.

But before she could, the dead man groaned.

Chapter Three

 

Conall came awake in a roar of pain. Because of the nearly full moon, he’d held back while he was with Morgan, not wanting to scare her with his primal responses. Now that he was in serious pain, however, he couldn’t be bothered to censor himself.

Fuck, his chest hurt. Lifting his head a little, he nudged the pillow from his face and it fell backward onto the floor. Now he could assess the damage. A dagger protruded from his chest as if he were a human hors d’oeuvre. A mix of sweat and feminine juices glistened like morning dew on the patch of dark brown curls between his legs. The raging hard-on between his legs.

Pretty little Morgan Keevy was to blame for all the above.

Morgan Keevy, twin sister of Megan Keevy. Things were beginning to become clear to him now. It hadn’t been a coincidence that a beautiful woman picked him up in the pub. Rather, it was a woman hell-bent on revenge. She’d followed Ciaran all the way from Texas, for God’s sake.

If only she knew Ciaran the way he did. He was sick, imbalanced but not capable of killing someone.

Maybe it was the punctured flesh talking, but he couldn’t decide which was worse, her absence or the pain she left in her wake. This was a far cry from waking up together and the sweet yet awkward conversation he imagined they might have over the breakfast he would cook for her. And if he was lucky, round two. Minus the knife, that is.

The grim reality of his situation did nothing to dilute the fire in his groin. She hadn’t even let him come. And he’d never wanted to come more than when he’d been balls deep inside her. His cock twitched at the thought of fucking her again.

A sudden pang sent a sharp jolt of pain down his left side. The dagger above his heart.

Oh yeah.

My name is Morgan Keevy and I’ve come to kill you.

That was what she said. Thank God she hadn’t.

Scanning the bedroom, he searched for something he could use to free himself. It was no use. Even if he happened upon something, he would never be able to reach it. For some reason, his gaze kept returning to the closet. When his brother appeared abruptly from behind its doors, he understood why. He hoped he was delusional from blood loss.

“Tsk, tsk, brother. What did I tell you about picking up strange women at the pub?”

Conall went tense from head to toe.
Out of the frying pan and into the fire,
he groaned inwardly. So he was perfectly lucid. His twin brother had indeed stepped out of the closet, all six foot six inches of him. He knew his size and shape well. It was exactly like his own, after all. Ciaran was a little bigger, a scant inch taller but every bit his spitting image. But their true distinction wasn’t physical.

From birth, like most twins, they’d been inseparable. But at the first signs of puberty, things changed between them. Ciaran became antagonistic and withdrawn. When Conall excelled at something and Ciaran didn’t, Ciaran took it especially hard. Even worse, their father had made an obvious difference in them, favoring Conall over Ciaran for reasons Conall never understood. If Conall did well in school, Ciaran failed. When Conall made friends, Ciaran made enemies. Conall was everything Ciaran wasn’t. And at some point, Ciaran had accepted it, embraced it.

Over the years, Ciaran became a shadow of his former self, Conall’s dark mirror. People began fearing him. It was as if he’d freed the wolf and caged the human. Conall encouraged his brother to travel in the hopes that it would calm some inner restlessness, but it hadn’t worked.

“Ciaran. What the fuck, man?”

Not surprisingly, his brother ignored him. “Though I must admit, you certainly did pick a looker this time.”

“You saw her?”

“Kinda hard not to.” The towering male snickered. “Red hair. Milk-white skin. Just the right amount of—”

“When did you get back?” What he’d done with Morgan wasn’t something he was going to share. He hoped a change of subject would steer his twin in another direction.

“Oh I’ve been back awhile. Keeping an eye on things.”

It took Conall a few seconds to get his brother’s less-than-subtle innuendo but when it did, it caught like wildfire. “You watched us?”

“Aye. There’s a shirt in the floor of your closet that speaks to that.”

No. He did not need to hear the details of his brother’s vicarious masturbatory fantasy. “Jesus Christ. Untie me, will you?”

“She tried to kill you,
little
brother.”

He glanced down at his semi-hard cock and gritted his teeth, not in the mood to joke. Let alone about dimensions. “You’re a riot, you know that?”

“That’s what all the ladies say.”

“One of the ladies thinks you’re a murderer, you crazy fuck.” Conall struggled against his restraints. “She thought I was
you.

Ciaran beamed, more wolfish than man. The first hint there was still something wrong with him. “I know. Lucky for you, she’s better at fuckin’ than killin’.” He sucked a breath through his teeth. “
Much
better.”

Conall’s patience had worn out long ago and now he was getting nervous. “Let me up, god damn it.”

He watched Ciaran walk the perimeter of the bed, taking a place at his bedside. In a toss-up between his brother freeing him and pushing the blade deeper, his money was on the latter. Ciaran had a twisted sense of humor, always had. Being pinned down like a bug underscored his heightened sense of concern for his own well-being.

“What was said at the clan meeting? The one I wasn’t invited to?”

Conall huffed. “We talked about
you.
What else? You have to turn yourself in, Ciaran.”

Ciaran shook his head to the contrary. “I don’t think so. I don’t like enclosed spaces.”

He was referring to the cage in the cliffs. The one the clan elders wanted to put him in if he didn’t surrender himself to authorities. They thought he was a menace and a danger. As much as it pained Conall to admit the ugly truth about his brother, they weren’t wrong. “They’ll kill you. You know that.”

“Aye, perhaps.” Ciaran shrugged. “Present circumstances aside, you’re one lucky sonofabitch, baby brother.” In close proximity, Conall noticed a glimmer of clarity and pain. His voice took a softer edge, naked with sorrow.

Think. Think, damn it.
“I’ve got Guinness in the fridge. Let me up and we’ll get shit-faced. Like old times.”

“Old times.” A flash of genuine anguish flittered across his brother’s face. Ciaran plucked the dagger’s bejeweled hilt with his index finger, sending a shock wave of pain radiating throughout Conall’s chest. “I do like it when they play rough.”

A wail tore past Conall’s pinched lips as his body attempted to fold in on itself. The upside to that would have been he might be able to get free if he snapped the bed in half. “Don’t pull it out, for fuck’s sake. You’ll kill me.”

Ciaran continued to smile, not the least bit concerned for Conall’s welfare. Sadly, this was the brother he’d come to know in recent years. “No. It’ll just hurt like hell.”

“How would you know?” He almost regretted asking such a question but it was out before he could censor himself.

“Let’s say I’ve tasted forbidden fruit and suffered the sting that accompanies it more than once.” He pulled his shirt up, revealing a scar where something sharp had penetrated his side. Now Conall would match him in scars too. “Like father, like son, eh?”

Conall failed to see the humor in his brother’s joke. He was referring to the curse. Their father had paid for his infidelity and his sons had paid double.

“I’m not gonna lie to you. This is gonna smart.”

Sweet Jesus, he was going to pull the dagger out. “Ciaran—no!”

Ciaran McCade put his booted foot on his brother’s side and used his body weight as leverage to pull the blade free. Blood gushed from the wound, staining the gray sheets deep crimson. The ceiling spun like a top and he was powerless to stop it, weakened instantly by the rapid blood loss.

“Don’t worry, Connie. I only want to taste her.”

“Ciar, no. Don’t you lay a hand on her. Ciar!” His mind reached for the last image it could hold, the view of Ciaran’s backside as he disappeared down the stairs, leaving him to bleed to death and Morgan in the path of a madman.

 

Dazed, Morgan walked the road back to the inn. The night was bitter cold, the woolen bulk of her coat failing to keep the shivers at bay. Weeping, she took in the beautiful land that surrounded her in the hopes that its tranquil beauty might soothe her ragged nerves. Everything was either green or rocky. Handfuls of grass dotted the terrain here and there and the hills were mild and few. Notably absent were the sounds of city life. No traffic, noisy crowds or construction. Only pristine silence. The circumstances of her life had taken her all over the United Kingdom. Scotland, she admitted to herself, was her favorite.

Nevertheless, she could hardly enjoy the view. Her shoes felt as though they’d been put on backward, so powerful was the urge to turn around and go back to the lonely house on the hill, to the man who lay dying by her hand. To the man who’d let down his guard and trusted her. A man whose taste still lingered on her lips.

He had a brother, a twin of all things. What were the odds that twins would cross paths with another pair of twins in such circumstances?

How could the visions be wrong? Maybe there had been no visions. Maybe she’d gone genuinely insane. But if that were true, how in the world would she have known who she was looking for? Where he’d gone?

No. She wasn’t crazy. That was too many coincidences for one lifetime. If Conall and Ciaran McCade were twins, that meant she’d stumbled upon Conall and not Ciaran as she’d assumed. Accused the wrong brother of murder. Tried to kill an innocent man.

Regardless, she was in over her head. In an instant, her world had been turned on its head and now she couldn’t think straight.

Where was Ciaran McCade?

After almost an hour of walking, the rooftop of the inn appeared in the near distance. Surveying the rural landscape, she decided to cut through a corner of the woods and shorten her route. But it was not without internal dissension. Her mother, if she were here, would disapprove with notable hysteria. It was understandable. Brenda Keevy already lost one of her babies and she didn’t want to lose the other.

This time, she had a good excuse. The deer carcass in the road. She realized in hindsight the dead animal had been like an omen, foreshadowing the horror to come. With an arrow to her heart, she recalled how Conall had put his arm out to protect her from hitting the dash as he steered his truck around the carcass. This wasn’t something a savage killer would do. She could think of him as Conall now, because unless he’d stolen his brother’s ID, he was certainly not Ciaran. No one was that good of an actor.

Lord, she was tired. From her scalp to her toes, her body throbbed. The distance she had traveled was so far. Now all she wanted was to get to her room, crawl into bed and wither away. But first a shower and a good cry.

Then she would have to make a decision. The hardest decision of her life. Would she notify the authorities about Conall or not?

Hushing her mother’s repeated admonitions reverberating in her head, she entered the small wooded area. Instantly, the night grew darker and the moon, her faithful escort in the sky, became masked from view. A rustle in the trees blew overheard and the hair on the back of her neck stood on end.

She was not alone. Something else walked the woods with her. Morgan reached into her pocket to retrieve the dagger but found the space empty. That was because it was still buried in Conall McCade’s chest. If she had remembered to pull it out, she would have it now to defend herself. Not only that, but leaving the blade behind meant Conall could still be alive. Whether that was good or bad was a thought for another time.

Indecision paralyzed her. She could go back but at great risk. She could run but it would be an exercise in futility. The police weren’t stupid and the evidence would eventually lead them to her. It wouldn’t take long for the authorities to identify her because she’d left fingerprints. Not to mention she’d used her sash to tie Conall to the bed. It had her epithelial cells on it. Bodily fluids, hair, fibers. She would never get away with murdering Conall McCade.

The grass to her left swished and crunched with the weight of footsteps, nearly stopping her dead in her tracks. Then as if with renewed purpose they hurried ahead and she managed to relax a little. She figured it was an animal on the nocturnal prowl for food, dismissing her as harmless. A creeping dread drenched her in sweat.

What if
she
were the food?

The footsteps were directly ahead of her now. Whatever it was, it was flanking her. She stopped and searched the forest ceiling in search of the moon, convinced that light no matter how little, would make her safe.

“Hey there, little red riding hood…”

Morgan’s heart skipped a beat. Animals didn’t speak. She laid eyes on what had to be a hallucination. Standing in her path was a man who looked exactly like the one she’d left tied to his bed and with a six-inch dagger buried in his chest.

“Ohmygod.”

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” The man chuckled and took a step toward her. “Except
you’re
the ghost.”

BOOK: Kilting Me Softly: 1
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