Authors: Allyson Young
Running to Love 4
Greg Jackson made Lacey Munroe his own, and she loves her dominant cop without reservation. Their world is turned upside down when Greg is traumatized. He retreats in the face of Lacey's patient support, and she finally accepts his rejection and leaves, harboring a secret.
No longer enabled, Greg is forced to seek professional help. He accidentally runs into Lacey and is brought to his knees by what has happened to her. He resolves to make amends, and she hates him for it, fearing he is making penance and will leave when she is back on her feet.
Lacey embarks on her own healing, and Greg declares that he will wait for her always. She reaches out to him during a crisis, and it could be the beginning of a new life together. Will they be able to overcome their turbulent past and find love again?
Running to Love 4
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
First E-book Publication: July 2012
Cover design by Harris Channing
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by Allyson Young from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
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Thank you to my “first” editor on this series, Alex O’Brien who deciphers my Canadian idioms and appreciates the emotion behind the erotica.
And to three wonderful women I met at RAGT2012: Melanie and Tracy and Julie, who like the idea of smut with a message. Many, many happy years of reading!
Running to Love 4
Copyright © 2012
Lacey Munroe lay on her side facing into the darkness, staring unseeingly, fighting tears. They weren’t tears of pain and sadness anymore. They were tears of hurt and disappointment and finally, of anger. One couldn’t feel so sad, and lost, and guilty without anger finally rising to counter those crappy emotions. Lacey believed it kept her from going crazy and giving into the hopelessness. Anger gave a person purpose, or at least distracted them from feeling horrible. Lacey was finished with feeling that way. Greg’s bulk lay just inches away from her in their bed, but he may as well have been on the moon. She could only vaguely feel the warmth and the strength of him despite their proximity, such was the actual distance of their separateness. He breathed evenly, deep in slumber, and Lacey knew it was because of the sleeping pills he had taken. He hadn’t willingly touched her since that fateful night. Lacey remembered every moment of when he had burst through the door of the home they shared together, her memory stuttering forward like a black-and-white movie, frame by frame, scenes that further kept her awake and watchful. She could only wonder at what Greg thought about, had nightmares about, because he wouldn’t share with her.
Three months earlier…
“Lacey!” Greg’s shout, his very tone, had struck stark and utter fear into her heart. She had jumped up from where she was working on her laptop and run pell-mell from her makeshift office, coming to a screeching halt at the sight that met her eyes. Greg was wild-eyed, his thick blond hair disheveled and his face etched with pain and shock, features stark, his cheekbones seeming to strain at his skin. But it was his clothing that caught her attention the most. His left shirt sleeve was missing, torn right off at the shoulder seam, and he was covered in what could only be blood, blotches and sprays of it. Lacey could smell the stuff, copper-like, bitter, and she nearly retched as he pulled her against him. She could feel his big frame trembling, and it scared her to death.
She spoke into his chest, her cheek rubbing against something ominously crusty and damp. “What happened? Are you all right? Greg!”
He had dragged her up his big body and taken her mouth in a hard, bruising kiss, nearly sobbing his breath into her. Lacey had tried hard not to struggle, wanting to ease whatever was hurting him so badly, but she couldn’t breathe, and his hands were bruising her upper arms. When she could tear her mouth away she begged, “Please, Greg, let go. Tell me what’s wrong!”
Greg had stared down into her eyes, his own dark-blue irises now nearly black with either arousal or rage. Lacey shuddered and fought the urge to flee with everything she had.
“I need you, baby,” Greg rasped. “Now.” And he set her on her feet with a thump.
She stood mute, trained to accept him whenever he needed her, and watched him strip his bloody shirt off and drop it to the floor, then kick off his shoes. She couldn’t see any evidence of a wound that would explain the blood, and her frantic heartbeat dialed back a fraction, although her stomach remained tied in knots. Ever the cop, ever mindful of safety, even given his obvious and very real agitation, Greg had removed his gun from its holster and placed it high on top of the hutch, out of sight behind the raised edge, before dropping his pants and underwear. But it had all been done by rote. His cock jutted from its nest of light-brown hair, long and hard and glistening, the head an angry purple. It seemed to beckon to her, and Lacey made to drop to her knees, but Greg impatiently pushed her to the couch until her belly bumped the edge and pressure from his big hand on the small of her back bent her over it. He pulled up the hem of her robe, gently though abruptly kicking her ankles apart and stepped between them, shoving his cock up high and hard into her pussy with no preamble. Lacey bit her lip against the unprecedented invasion and held still while he thrust deeply several times before coming with an agonized groan, collapsing on her and pinning her with his weight. She concentrated on getting tiny breaths, and in time he pushed up and away, slipping from her, his ejaculate flooding out and down her thighs. He hadn’t used a condom, and she didn’t use alternate forms of birth control. Such had been his blind need for her that her dominant man had lost control. It was the last time he had needed her.
He said quietly, “I’m going to shower, and then I’ll tell you what happened.”
She had straightened, turning to watch him walk slowly and unsteadily to their bedroom and adjoining master bath and then made herself move to pick up his clothing. She emptied his pockets and pulled the belt, complete with holster, from its restraining loops, piling all the detritus on the coffee table before wadding everything else up and carrying it to the kitchen trash. She stripped off her robe as an afterthought and dropped it on top of Greg’s clothes before pulling the bag out of the container and tying it off. She tossed it outside onto the deck and then allowed herself to consider what had just happened. Something terrible for sure, but Greg hadn’t been injured. Lacey closed her eyes and sent up a guilty, thankful prayer that her man hadn’t been the one to bleed. She then went to the guest bath to clean up, wincing as she washed her bruised labia. Greg had been nearly mindless, almost brutal in his fucking, and the additional bruises on her arms meant careful clothing choices for the next week or so. The long, red tapered marks that wrapped around her biceps were already turning blue. Lacey shrugged. She’d had worse, although those bruises and other marks were always a result of highly erotic passionate games that walked the line between pleasure and pain with remarkable balance. But tonight hadn’t been about her. She pulled a fine-lawn nightgown over her head and found another robe by the steam shower door.
She had been working on an account she brought home with her, ready for bed, waiting for Greg, when he had made such an unprecedented entry. Lacey recognized the signs that she was slipping into a form of denial, protecting herself from Greg’s apparent trauma. She had been adept at evading unpleasant things in her history, and didn’t want to continue being evasive. They needed to talk if he was in a place to do so. She went to the en suite bathroom door.
Greg was standing in front of the vanity, fresh from the shower, a towel wrapped carelessly around his narrow hips, his hands on either side of the sink as he leaned his weight down on them. He was visibly shaking, eyes closed, and Lacey impulsively went to him and wrapped her arms around his waist. Greg reared up and backed her into the shower door, cracking her head against the glass and knocking the breath out of her when her spine hit the attached towel rack. He’d instantly snatched her up and carried her to the bed, setting her down carefully on the edge, rubbing his hands up and down her arms, and then gently touching the back of her skull.
“Are you okay? God, Lacey, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were there. I just reacted. Baby, are you all right?”
Lacey managed a shaky breath and a smile for him. He knelt beside her and dropped his head onto her lap. She stroked his wet hair and waited.