Authors: Tatum Throne
He took a deep breath and mumbled an oath under his breath.
“You can’t do this alone. I’ve been hunting for cursed objects for a long time. It’s not safe to work alone. It makes you vulnerable.”
“I don’t need anyone.”
He slammed his hand against the wall, but she didn’t jump. She could feel every inch of his frustration. “Please come with me. We need to go someplace to talk.”
Up close, he was taller, more intense. She pushed away from him and he followed. “Not going to happen. Stay away from me.”
Plastic flapped in the wind, making it howl. Trey glanced toward it. It was enough of a distraction. She darted away from Trey, running deeper into the building. She didn’t make it far before he snagged her around the waist from behind. He pressed his lips to her ear.
“Close your eyes and calm your breathing.”
His voice was a low, hypnotic whisper that she couldn’t resist. She swallowed hard, and her eyes fluttered closed.
A twisting vortex of lust spun through her belly, shooting down to her pussy. She moaned as the energy morphed into a white-hot desire that consumed her entire body. Heat seared through her sex, making her pussy pulsate and contract, wetting her panties. She arched back against the man that held her prisoner as her body primed for orgasm by his touch.
“You feel that?” he asked.
“What’s happening to me? What trick do you play?”
His hand slid up the front of her neck where he let his callused fingers linger on the thrumming pulse below her ear. She shivered from his sensual, possessive touch.
“You and I are connected, too.”
“Yes. I’m not doing anything but simply holding you and touching you. This is what we would be like together.”
He chuckled knowingly. “I wish I had a fraction of the understanding of the world you have, but I don’t. Your gifts are far more powerful than my ability to connect to minds.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I know you stopped taking your epilepsy medication by accident after your sister’s death. It was then that you discovered you don’t have epilepsy at all. You’re gifted. You’re an empathic, Rylie. You have visions of the future and use those visions to change what has yet to happen. You can read emotions, and with more practice, minds.”
She bowed, but he kept control of her body. “Stop it! I’m not gifted!”
“You go to a therapist now to try and control it. I can teach you techniques.”
“Rylie, I need you to trust me. I can set you free. I can help you strengthen and control your gifts.”
His voice had a seductive pull she couldn’t ignore. She reached up and held his wrist. She leaned her head back against his and his mouth dropped down to her neck. His lips brushed over her skin, sending shudders down to her hardened nipples.
“Who are you?” she demanded.
“I’m on your side, Rylie. Trust me.”
Rylie felt the edge of cock pressing between the crack of her ass. Two nights ago she had a dream about meeting this man. She’d brushed the dream off, not expecting it to come true. She didn’t need a man complicating her priorities. Not now when she was so close to putting an end to the cursed pendant.
“Come with me. There’s more you need to know.”
The order was given on a husky note. She didn’t take orders well from anyone. Not when she was used to her independence. Slowly, he lowered her to her feet, and she turned to face him. An unwanted thrill of need fluttered through her system when she caught a glimpse of his dark chest hair again. She hadn’t decided if she’d go with him but she played along. Maybe
even let him think he was the one calling the shots for a while.
“I don’t go anywhere with men I don’t know.”
“This isn’t a game, Rylie. We need to go.
,” he said.
The word hung like dirty air between them. Trey didn’t look as though he got the NO word from any woman. A zing of jealousy rode wild through her mind at the thought of him pushing his cock into other women or any woman for that matter. What was wrong with her? She had to stick with her plan to go after the pendant tonight. She started away.
“Don’t walk away from me.” Trey grabbed her arm.
Rylie was so over the knight saving the damsel in distress. “Let go of me!”
“Hey! What’s going on here?”
Neither one had heard the security guard approach. Trey released her arm as though he’d been burned.
“I was just leaving,” Rylie said.
“What about him?” The guard asked. “He bothering you?”
Now was her opportunity. “Yes, he is.”
Rylie turned and ran out of the building. As she swung past open steel beams, she cast a glance over her shoulder. The guard was on his walkie-talkie, and Trey was glowering in her direction. When she was just about to go out of sight, a thought whispered through her head.
You can run and try to hide, but I’ll find you, babe.
Fear had Rylie running away from the construction site. She knew she couldn’t rush back to the hotel with the agent nearby. She had to lose him in the maze of private clubs that made up 7th
treet. She turned in a circle at the corner of 7th and Vine and immediately recognized the Playground that her neighbor Eric was always talking about. Rumor had it he was fifty-percent owner and a hundred-percent wanting to get into her panties. She went to the door, but two bouncers blocked the doorway.
She nervously glanced over her shoulder and tried to calm the racing of her heart, but she couldn’t. She knew she had to hurry.
“I’m on the list,” Rylie said. “I’m here for Eric James. I’m running late.”
“Name?” The bouncer asked.
The bouncer got on a two-way radio. “Your party is in section thirteen on the second floor.”
She was stamped in with a glowing number. “Got it.”
The club’s low lighting was easy to adjust to. Music pumped through a set of high-tech speakers. Rylie bypassed the lower lounge and headed for the stairway that went
the second floor. Rylie’s hand was checked by a bouncer at the top of the stairs before she was waved through. The upper walkway would give her a perfect view of the front entrance. She moved through the hallway.
Rylie’s gaze froze on the room past the walkway.
Holy mother of orgasmic glory, of all the clubs. Eric never said he was part owner in a
erotic fantasy club. The trio in the private room in front of her was made up of two women in lingerie and a man tied up in a chair. He had a huge grin on his face. Rylie was in no way a prude. Sex just wasn’t something she had lately. She saw the number on the wall. Twelve. Her gaze swung to thirteen.
Eric caught her staring at the other couple and a thrill of erotic danger zipped over her spine. His gaze was purely animal and full of dirty things he’d always wanted to do with her, but she’d been putting him off. The truth was she needed sexual release in the worst possible way. Eric made it very clear from the get-go that he was willing to be her boy toy if she wanted. Right now, she wanted
for all the wrong reasons.
He stood and smiled as she headed their way. Eric gave her a kiss on her cheek.
“Hi,” Rylie said.
“Hey. What are you doing here?” he asked.
“From who?” Eric asked.
“Someone I don’t want to find me. Mind helping me out?” She couldn’t hide the desperation from her voice.
“We’ll take care of you,” Eric said.
He drew her down to the couch to sit between him and his friend. Eric introduced Rylie to his friend Kye. A waitress came by for Rylie’s drink order. Eric ordered for her. “Were you waiting for someone?” she asked.
“No,” Eric said. He leaned in to whisper. “I need your help loosening up Kye. He’s afraid to take that step with me. His girlfriend bailed on us.”
“Oh?” Rylie wasn’t sure what that next step was. “What did you have in mind?”
“Order us around.”
Eric was stocky and thick muscled like a body builder. His olive skin had high praise for his Italian heritage. Kye was tall and lean like a runner with dark hair.
“How do you two know each other?” Rylie asked.
“I met Eric through work,” Kye said.
Rylie caught the smoldering look Kye sent Eric. It suddenly dawned on Rylie that these two men wanted each other and wanted a reason to be together.
“Have you guys done this before?” she asked.
“This is our first time,” Kye said. “We’ve been talking about it for a while. My girlfriend isn’t interested.”
The room they were in was semiprivate since it was off in the corner, but anyone passing by would have a clear view of what was going on. Rylie sat on the couch and a shudder of pleasure went through her body when Eric ran his hand over her shoulder. He tilted her chin and kissed her fully on the mouth. It wasn’t Eric she was thinking about as she kissed him back though.
Trey was seared onto her mind and body.
She broke the kiss fast as she remembered the feel of Trey’s hands on her and not Eric’s. Rylie could see their erections solidly against their jeans.
“I can’t,” she said.
“Is it someone else?” Eric asked.
“Yeah, unfortunately it is.”
She caught sight of Trey on the walkway. He crossed the room. His gaze was locked onto her in the most predatory way. Had he seen the kiss?
“Rylie?” He growled her name.
Trey reached out and yanked her onto
feet in a possessive way. He was about to mark his territory big time and there was nothing Rylie could do to stop him. “Sorry boys, I have to go.”
Eric made an attempt to stop Trey by grabbing her other wrist, but she didn’t want him to. “Rylie?”
“I’ll be fine.”
Eric looked as though he was going to argue, but he slowly released her wrist when he caught sight of Trey’s badge on his belt buckle.
Trey glowered as he pulled her down the stairwell toward the exit. The bouncers blocked their way. Their gazes locked onto the badge Trey was flashing.
“She’s mine,” Trey growled. “Move.”
The bouncers moved out of the way. No one wanted any trouble with the law enforcement officer. Trey headed down the sidewalk to a black Escalade. He pressed her backside up against the car door. Mixed emotions flooded his face. He was angry and trying to rein in his emotions.
“Explain,” he said.
She set her jaw and gave him a smile. “What do you want to know?”
“Why were you kissing that guy?”
“He’s a friend of mine.”
Trey cursed and opened the passenger side door. “Get in the car.”
“So we can finish talking.”
“I’m done talking,” Rylie said.
“That’s fine. Just get into the car please.”
Rylie reluctantly sat inside. Trey got behind the wheel and cranked the engine over.
“You’re staying at Duval, right?”
It was no surprise that she didn’t have to tell Trey which hotel she was using as a staging ground for the heist. Their eyes locked. “Yes. I am.”
“You might want to stay out of the Playground too,” he said.
“It’s known for being a Den for werewolves.”
A shiver ran down her spine. “How do you know?”
“A friend of mine goes there from time to time. He’s part wolf.”
“You didn’t know?” he asked.
Anger undulated off of Trey’s aura. She could feel each cascading wave as though a storm were brewing off the ocean. He was upset with her for not trusting him.
She shook her head. “I knew there was something different about Eric.”
“Your gifts are like a dial on a radio. Once you learn how to fine-tune them, you’ll start picking up on everything when you want to.”
She laughed. “What else is there?”
“You’re better off not knowing until you start sensing it. Trust me.”
She shivered. All those scary bedtime stories were probably true. Rylie stared out the window as the lights from the streetlamps blurred from the movement of the Escalade. There were good reasons for her not to trust him. He wanted more than she was capable of giving. Trey drove to the upscale hotel that was across from the jewelry store. He parked on the street.
“I’ll go check out and get my things,” she said.
“I’m coming with you.”
She gave him a look. “Wait in the lobby.”
“You have ten minutes,” he said. “Then I come for you.”
She was surprised he’d given her the amount of time he had. They walked into the lobby together, but Trey hung back as she went to the elevator and up to the fifteenth floor. Her room was street facing. All of her equipment for the heist was laid out on the extra bed.
She wanted to stick to the plan to steal the necklace from the couple tonight, but she knew she couldn’t. The pendant was going to slip through her fingers again. The evil she released by finding the pendant would forever haunt her dreams. She paced. She needed to figure out how to get rid of Trey.
A light knock sounded at her door.
It was over.
Her heart started to pound as her gaze swung toward it. Rylie knew even before she went to it that it’d be Trey. She went to look out the peephole.
“Open the door, Rylie. It’s been over ten minutes.”
Rylie pressed her hands against the door. She didn’t want to let him inside. He wasn’t going to go away. She opened the door, and he shut it behind
as he came inside. Rylie went back to the bed and packed away her equipment. He sighed as he moved through the room.
“I can’t let you go after the pendant.”
Rylie’s hands stilled on the zipper of the duffle bag. “I know I shouldn’t.”
“You need to go back to your life.”
“I can’t do that either.”
“You have to.”
“There’s nothing left for me.” She couldn’t even imagine going back to work overseas. That world felt like a lifetime ago. She wasn’t the same person she was six months ago. She hasn’t been the same since she found the pendant in Jordan. She closed her eyes tightly and opened them. “Why are you here?”