Authors: Evelyn Glass
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, events, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.
Shades of Love copyright @ 2015 by Evelyn Glass. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.
Book 3 of the
Mad Jackals Brotherhood MC
She breathes in the scent of him, something warm and manly and completely his own. His mouth against her ear whispers words that drive her crazy while his fingers are sending her inside out with need. She rakes her fingers across his back, reveling in the feel of his taut muscles underneath her hands.
Her mouth desperately searches for his and then his lips are on hers, his tongue invading her in the most delicious claim of possession. She opens her mouth to him and a low moan escapes as he finds her more than willing. Meanwhile his fingers don’t stop their slow progression down towards the infernal heat between her legs.
She opens to him, lifting her hips to meet his hand, desperate for his touch. He teases her, making her wait until she feels like she’s about to explode and then his fingers find the silky seam between her thighs. She gasps as he strokes her, his fingers sliding along the slickness of her swollen lips. A moan escapes her as he drags his thumb over her clit and then his fingers are moving inside of her, touching her exactly as she needs him to.
“Ray, I need you, please.” She’s only vaguely aware of the words coming out of her mouth; all she knows is that she can’t wait for him any longer. She needs him inside of her or she’s going to scream.
She opens her eyes and looks up to see him hovering over her. He’s looking down at her with that expression on his face that makes her feel like she’s the only woman in the world he would ever want. It makes her heart clench in her chest and there’s an answering warmth that stretches up from her pussy. Without breaking their connection, he enters her, spreading her folds and burying his shaft inside of her. She doubles over in pleasure, her body already hanging by a thread from the way he’s been touching her and she comes hard, crying out his name while she breaks apart underneath him.
“Ray.” His name is a gasp on Mia’s lips as she sits bolt upright in bed. She looks around the room, her eyes slowly adjusting to the darkness. She reaches her hand out to the other side of the bed and finds it empty. She’s alone. Ray isn’t there and the only sign of him is the throbbing between her legs and the hammering of her heart. She lets out a deep breath, collapsing back down onto the bed and staring at the ceiling, knowing that, after that dream, there’s no way she’s going to get back to sleep.
Waking up before the sun had even risen was becoming a habit, a habit Mia wants desperately to break. But then it could probably only be classed as waking up if she managed to actually sleep – something that had eluded her since the night her apartment was wrecked, since the night that Ray had disappeared from her life yet again.
He didn’t disappear, Mia, she reminds herself – you sent him away. Although, strictly speaking, that wasn’t true – he could have stayed; he could have faced up to the consequences of his actions. And go to jail. That would have been his reward for doing the right thing. It wasn’t much of a choice. She rubs at her eyes, trying to get rid of the last vestiges of her dream of Ray. The past few nights her dreams had been filled with him. Every time she closed her eyes, he was the only thing that she seemed to be able to see. But every time she woke up she was alone, and being left with only the fantasy of him was even worse than not having anything at all.
Mia slips out of bed and pads as quietly as she can through to the kitchen, turning the coffee on. She moves slowly, concentrating on making as little noise as possible. It’s a good exercise; for those precious few minutes she actually manages not to think about Ray or where he might be or what he might be doing. She bangs the mug down on the kitchen counter louder than she had meant to and freezes, hoping that she hasn’t woken Eli. As the deep snoring emanates from the sofa, she relaxes again.
She’d tried to persuade him to let her sleep on the sofa; she didn’t want to kick him out of his bed.
When he’d brought her back to his place, he seemed not to understand that they wouldn’t be sleeping in the same room. It had taken more convincing than she would have liked to explain that she was still freaked out and confused by all that had happened. She’d told him that she needed some time to get her head straight and, possibly
vely, she had expected that would be enough of a reason for him to give her some space. That’s what had made last night all the more awkward. She watches the coffee drip down into the machine, letting herself become almost hypnotized by it, as she wonders if it’s time she took Cassie up on her offer of crashing with her.
Mia had just gone to bed, slipped in between the cool sheets and prepared herself to stare at the ceiling for the next few hours, just thinking, going over the events of the last few days, hell the last few years, in her mind before exhaustion would inevitably overtake her. Her nights had developed a kind of pattern.
The door to the bedroom had opened and she’d jumped to turn the lamp on at the nightstand. She was still a little skittish after the Jackals had broken into her place. And she couldn’t quite get rid of Ray’s words in her head
: You’re not safe. The Jackals will be back.
They were the words that circled around in her head, making it almost impossible for her to sleep. But, as the door opened fully, it wasn’t a biker waiting to hurt her; it was someone she knows well, perhaps better than anyone. It was someone who had come to her aid when she was in desperate need, someone who she had betrayed and who had forgiven her completely.
“Eli, you scared me!” Mia held her hand over heart as it hammered against her ribcage.
“Sorry, I guess I figured you would know it was me.” His outline shrugged as he hovered by the door. “Can I come in?”
Mia had to bite back her automatic response: that she was tired and just wanted to be alone. “It’s your house, Eli. You don’t have to ask me for permission.”
She waved him inside, pulling the bed sheet up higher around her, wishing that she were wearing something a little more appropriate than the silky nightdress. She hadn’t been able to take anything from her apartment; it was a crime scene after all, so she’d had to make do with the few pieces of clothing she had left at Eli’s place.
Eli’s eyebrows shot up as he watched her rearrange the sheet around herself, her reaction clearly not lost on him. He took a seat on the bed, within touching distance of her and gave her a frank stare. “I’ve seen you a whole lot less covered up than that, Mia.” His mouth twitched into a rueful grin and Mia felt her cheeks heat.
“I know that, Eli. But this is a little…different.” She groped around for the right word, struggling to define what exactly that meant. She’d broken up with him. By all accounts, she’d broken his heart. She’d near as told him that she was in love with another man. And, yet, he’d still come when you called, she reminded herself. He’d seemed to think that they would just go back to how things had been before and she was running out of ways to explain why that couldn’t happen.
“I want to be there for you, Mia.” He covered her hand with his own, giving her that imploring look she recognized from all those arguments they used to have about her quitting her job at the shelter. “Let me comfort you.” Eli leaned closer into her and she could smell the beer on his breath. He’d waited until she’d left him alone to down a few bottles of Dutch courage before coming into her room.
“Eli, stop.” She kept her voice low, resisting the urge to pull away from him. She knew from experience that any extreme reaction would just make him mad. “I told you I’m not ready for this yet. Things are really complicated. I don’t want us to just jump into something again – not after all that’s happened.” She watched as his entire body stiffened at her words.
“What’s complicated?” Frustration flashed in his eyes but there was something else there, too, something that made her nervous. “Don’t tell me you’re still hung up on Ray after everything that he’s done to you!”
Mia flinched at the mention of his name as if Eli had hit her. “It’s not just about him, Eli. It’s about me. I’m not sure that I’m ready for us to just pick up where we left off, or if that’s even the right thing to do.”
Eli’s hold on her hand tightened and he leaned further towards her, his face only inches away from hers. “We were happy before he came back into town. Things were going great. Ray’s the reason that it all got messed up. It’s his fault. He thought he could have everything his own way, just like he did in high school.” The bitterness in Eli’s expression surprised her. She’d known that he must have felt like he was in Ray’s shadow a little when they were kids but that didn’t warrant the level of anger radiating off of him. Her mind went back to Ray’s explanation, or his lack of one, telling her that Eli was involved in his initiation into the renowned biker gang, the initiation that had resulted in three deaths and the Jackals effective ownership of Ray.
“What?” Eli eyed her suspiciously, making her realize that her silence had probably spoken volumes. “You’re thinking about him, aren’t you?” Mia stared as Eli’s expression morphed into a snarl and he sprang up from the bed. “That cocksucker isn’t worth your time, Mia. Don’t you see that?” The anger had disappeared from his eyes, replaced by the concern she was so used to seeing there.
“I don’t understand why you won’t tell me what happened between the two of you to make him hate you so much.” Mia shook her head sadly. The last thing she wanted was to start another argument.
“And I don’t understand why you can’t just get over him!” Eli paced up and down the room, the pent up anger making him fidgety. He looked like he was ready to start flipping furniture. “Ray doesn’t want you. He doesn’t love you, not like I do, Mia.” His brown eyes were large as he gave her a long, longing look. “He left you. I would never leave you, Mia. I would never let you go.” Eli had crossed the space between them and his hands were holding Mia’s face, bringing her lips towards his. “I won’t ever let you go.” His promise was fierce and she reasoned to herself that she shouldn’t feel panicked by his possessiveness, his need for control; he’d always been that way.
Eli touched his mouth to hers and the contact made her explode into action. She pushed him away and leapt up from the bed, putting some distance between them. Vaguely she registered the surprise in his expression giving way to anger and then something else as he looked her up and down, woefully underdressed in her skimpy nightie.
“Eli, no.” She held her hand up as if she were a traffic cop. “I’m not ready for this.”
“But, Mia, it’s just me.” He spread his arms out to the sides. “I’m the same person I was before all of this craziness started.”
She looked at him, knowing he was telling her the truth. It was the reason he was so confused over her reaction to him, of the way she avoided his kisses and his caresses, the reason she wouldn’t sleep in the same bed with him. Although Eli may be the same person, she wasn’t. Ray coming back had woken up a whole host of feelings she’d kept buried inside of her for a long time. It wasn’t as simple as just bottling them all back up again.
“I know, Eli. I know you are.” She felt her shoulders sag, the weight of the last few days pressing down on her. “I just need some time.” She watched him assess her and forced herself to stand her ground as he slowly walked over to her, placing his hands on her shoulders and leaning down to kiss her at the corner of her mouth.
“I can wait, Mia.” There was no irony in Eli’s voice despite the fact that he hadn’t been able to stop himself from trying to get into her bed for the second time in as many nights.
“Thank you.” Her voice was a whisper and she crossed her arms over her chest suddenly feeling cold.
“If you need anything, I’ll just be out on the sofa.” He nodded towards the other room and paused, as if he was waiting or hoping for her to ask him to stay. “I’ll always be there when you need me, Mia. You know that, right? I would do anything for you.” He looked down seriously at her and she swallowed hard as she felt more creeped out by his words than comforted.
All she could do is nod, not trusting her voice not to tremble. He walked out the door leaving her alone but she hadn’t moved until she heard his steps retreating down the hallway. Her legs shook as she scrambled back into bed, pulling the covers tight up around her in an attempt to stave off the cold. But it was a futile endeavor. Her shivering had nothing to do with the temperature of the room.
The look in Eli’s face when he’d said he would never let her go, it was so intense she would almost have called it crazed. He’d said that he would wait until she came round to the idea of them being together again., but his expression told her he wouldn’t wait forever and the repeated visits to her bedroom showed he was running low on patience. And what would happen then?