Authors: Tatum Throne
Trey ran a hand through his hair.
For the love, she
sn’t going to let this go. I have to stop her.
going after the pendant even if it meant she’d get hurt in the process. He waited several seconds before following. He was not about to confront her with so many people around. This conversation would be happening in private with no one around.
He lifted the grate she pulled shut, cringing at the echo of aged steel on steel. He jumped down into the tunnels. Water splashed over his boots. There was trash littering the cement floor. The
were built around the time of
rohibition and were once used for running moonshine. He rushed quietly through the tunnel, catching up with Rylie. She pulled out a flashlight to light her way.
How did she know where to find the couple? This was not possible. His team had access to databanks that pulled up information within seconds. He glanced down at his phone. They should’ve hit the loft ten minutes ago.
Trey couldn’t ignore the bittersweet attraction he felt for Rylie. The dangerous circumstances that brought them together would drive a normal person over the edge with no possibility of return. This pendant would tear her soul apart if he didn’t stop it. Still, she managed to defy the odds at every turn.
What would happen if she ever discovered that he’d been secretly watching her for the past two years? That she’d been on his radar long before the cursed pendant came into her life. That it was her ability to find things his team was searching for that first got his attention two years ago. Now it was the reason why he was considering bringing her onto his team.
She wouldn’t be happy finding out that he’d kept the truth from her. Rylie hunched down and started going through her backpack. The move reminded him of the first time he saw her in action in Jordan.
The sun was setting. Golden sand fired red as the sun winked lower in the sky. Rylie tossed her safari hat off her head, letting the cool nighttime air blow through her blonde hair. Wind caught the pages of her field book, flipping them over and back again. A sandstorm was blowing in. It wouldn’t be long before she’d take shelter in her tent.
Trey adjusted his military grade binoculars, focusing them closer onto her face. She was tired. She worked hard at the dig site, looking for things she shouldn’t know how to find.
“Does she know you’re funding her?”
Trey stared at his best friend Tice Avery a.k.a. Wolf. “Nope.”
“She’s going to find out.”
“You know it will be cheaper to bring her on board,” Tice said.
“Maybe.” Trey swallowed hard as she unbuttoned her shirt as she walked into her tent. “I’m not ready to bring her into the life. She has a sister, friends. You know what this life does to people.”
“She’s strong enough to join the hunt.”
Light from inside her tent cast her shadow along the canvas. Her armed security escort was smoking and looking around. At least, he wasn’t an issue. She was safe. The hunt for cursed objects was like a game to Tice. They lived in a reality where darkness enslaved the light. Trey was not about to take away Rylie’s light by forcing her to join the hunt.
“She’s strong, but I’m not ready to take her world away.”
“Sometimes fate has other plans for us,” Tice said.
The clank of metal on metal yanked Trey out of the past. Rylie flipped up a padlock on a meta
grate blocking a doorway. She hooked her flashlight under her arm as she went to work on the lock.
Now it was time to stop her from doing something she’d regret later.
Rylie shook her small Maglite as the batteries started to go. The tunnels below Elm Street were a light brown cobblestone and narrowed quietly before Rylie. Her flashlight started to go on and off again. Water trickled somewhere unseen.
“For the love of all that is righteous,” she mumbled.
She smacked the flashlight hard and it clicked on.
A few yards up sat the underground gate to the warehouse Mr. and Mrs. Tom Dunaway renovated into a home two years ago. Rylie’s boots splashed through water as she made her way over. Rylie hooked the light under her arm and went to work on the lock. It was a keypad.
“How’d you find them?”
Rylie froze at the sound of Trey’s voice coming from the other side of the tunnel. How long had he been there? “I called the jewelry store and pretended to be the wife.”
He nodded, but she was certain he was only impressed with the creativity of her lie. “Sure you did. How’d you really find them?”
She bit her lip, deciding that the truth was better. “I can sense the energy of the pendant.”
His brows lifted. “Can you sense the energy of other things?”
“Only negative energy. So, yes. I can. It’s how I find things so easily in the field.”
He was silent for several moments. She needed the light to read his aura. The flashlight wasn’t powerful enough. Within the darkness, she had to rely on her ability to read his emotional pathway. She just wasn’t strong enough to read his mind. It gave her headaches when she tried. She was probably doing it wrong. Rylie centered her energy, aligning it with Trey’s. He was on guard, like a soldier in a war.
“How are you planning on getting past their security system?”
She didn’t hear him move, but she felt him up close behind her back. He put his hand solidly on the gate so she couldn’t open it. “I know you will. I want to know how you’re going to do it.”
“None of your business. Move your hand.”
She turned around and was shocked to discover that he was leaning forward so that their eyes met head-on. “Please move your hand.”
He chuckled. “Nope.”
Rylie couldn’t stand how he so easily riled her. She paced away and he followed, coming in close. “Don’t touch me,” she warned. “I don’t like anyone touching me.”
There was a hint of concern in his gaze, but he quickly pushed it away. She could see he wanted to know why she didn’t like to be touched.
“I’m not touching you. You won the toss.”
He came in close, allowing only a sigh of air to flutter between them. She moved. He followed. His cologne whispered seductive words on the air between them. Rylie resisted the urge to lean in close and give him a proper sniff. She knew what could happen if she got too close.
She turned away again, but he was right there. The sudden erotic dance had her trying to sidestep him
but he followed, blocking her in with the seductive width of his chest. She was caught between the man and the cobblestone wall.
“Trey.” His name was a curse and a warning on her heated tongue.
“I’m not touching you.”
No, he wasn’t touching
but he was invading her space and moving as she moved. “You’re in my way.”
“I know I am.”
She moved right. He followed. She stepped forward, he reluctantly moved back. She dodged left and he followed. All the while, not touching her.
“I need to get in there. Now.”
“No you don’t. It’s already gone. My team got it.”
She froze. Confusion taking over. “That’s not what I saw.”
He arched a dark brow. “You going to tell me what you saw in your storm?”
Trey frowned as he stepped her back against the wall. He placed both palms on the stone. “I need you to trust me.”
Rylie felt aroused and vulnerable. The pendant had gotten away again. She couldn’t keep doing this. She couldn’t keep chasing it down. Rylie moved but didn’t get far before Trey got in her way again.
She looked away.
“I have all night,” he said.
She looked up into his strong face. She wanted to believe him. She wanted things to go back to normal. It was then she knew life was never going to be normal again. Rylie danced away from Trey and was shocked that he gave her room to pace. Shadows darkened Trey’s face, giving him a harsh exterior.
This man was dangerous. She had to stay away from him.
“Don’t keep running from me,” he pleaded.
She was thinking about it. Instead, she whirled toward him and gave him a hard look. He took the impact of her gaze.
Her name was a warning.
“Stay away from me!”
Trey grabbed her by the wrists, and she struggled. “I can’t let you go. I won’t.”
He danced her back against the wall, slowly, seductively. Rylie felt her mouth go dry. “You’re not supposed to touch me.”
“I can’t help it. Maybe I like touching you. Maybe I want to touch you. Maybe you need me to touch you.”
“Maybe I don’t need or want you.”
Trey wrapped his arm solidly around her waist, lifting her from the ground. She couldn’t quite catch her breath. He pulled her tightly against his muscled chest, allowing her to feel every hard contour he had to offer. She couldn’t ignore how she seemed to fit just right or how her breasts pushed up under his face. Her face was an inch from his as he held her against the arch. Rylie’s heart was thumping wildly in her chest.
“It’s on, Rylie. I told you I’d do everything in my power to help you move on. Even if that means seducing you to get you to trust me.”
His mouth crushed over hers in a passionate kiss. She moaned as he used the cold cobblestone to hold her up. Trey’s hands came around to lift her legs around his waist. He smoothed his hands up her thighs and reached around to get a nice squeeze of her ass. Rylie twined her arms around his neck and kissed him fully. Her tongue slipped into his mouth and took control. He groaned.
A small part of her realized she was submitting to his touch and that burned. She was losing every part of her life she had control over.
He pulled his mouth away to nibble on her neck and scraped his teeth up over her earlobe. His heated breath whispered over her ear. “I’m going to make you mine.”
She shivered as his hand moved up her belly to squeeze her breast. He didn’t stop there. His hand stroked up the front of her neck, caressing her thrumming heartbeat. His thumb lifted her chin so that their eyes met. His lips brushed over hers, testing her boundaries. Her pussy clenched tightly. She wanted this and was frightened she would get it.
“Fuck. I like it when you say my last name,” he growled.
She groaned as his cock pinned her to the wall, pushing her pussy lips open. He kissed her again. She could feel the throbbing beat of his cock as he worked her mouth over. Trey slid his hand down to the button on her jeans, flicking it open with an ease that spoke of experience. Her zipper flew south half a second later.
Rylie broke her mouth away as his hand smoothed over her satin bikinis. He rubbed fast circles over her clitoris, making it stand up and pulsate. She sucked in a harsh breath as his fingers pulled her panties aside and they were skin on skin. She wet his fingers as they dove between her lips in a gentle, erotic push.
He thumbed his way up over her nubbin, rolling it around with the pad of his thumb like a joystick. Rylie was getting close. She could feel her orgasm building to a frenzy. All of a sudden, Trey started to hold back. She was balanced on the edge.
“Open your eyes, Rylie. Look at me.”
Her eyes flew open and her nails dug into his rock hard shoulders. “Trey.”
“When was the last time a man got you off?”
Her foggy and sexed-up brain was slow to understand his question. “Um, you mean you don’t know? I thought you knew everything about me.”
“Answer me, Rylie. When was it?”
He groaned. “Tell me you’ve been taking care of your sex.”
She chuckled, a deep, husky sound. “Wouldn’t you like to see that?”
“You have a sassy mouth when you’re aroused.”
“Yes. Keep your eyes open. I want to see them dilate when you come.”
“You can’t make me.”
He stopped playing with her pussy to drive his point home. The loss of friction and more importantly, his kisses, made her realize how much she wanted Trey to touch her everywhere. She tried to move but he stopped her with a rough pinch to her ass that locked her body down tight to his. He licked and kissed his way down her neck and back up again. His eyes locked with hers.
“When we’re together, you’re mine. You’ll do everything and anything I want.”
He edged the knuckle of his forefinger up and locked her clit between his finger and thumb. She groaned as he emphasized his point by squeezing her clit. Pleasure exploded through her body. He rolled it tighter. Her core tightened and her pussy contracted hard.
“Eyes open,” he groaned.
His demand was an order she dared not refuse. Rylie cried out as her orgasm stole her breath away. She bit her lip as she held his gaze. The muscles in his face and body were flexed taut as he watched her go. There was something animalistic about the way he drank up every last drop of her reaction. The primal need to mate was a tribal beat vibrating between them.
Rylie squirmed, rocking her hips as he held her in his seductive grip, not releasing her clit at all. Her body wet more, causing his knuckles to slip back into her pussy.
Rylie was still riding the top note of her orgasm as he lifted her higher on his hips. He reached down with his other hand to pull the corners of her jeans aside as though he were opening a neatly wrapped gift. He reached in with both hands, grabbing the cotton band of her panties. She gasped as he gently tugged, slipping her panties into a reversed thong. He twisted the cotton into his fist while his fingers went exploring.
She was so open. So vulnerable to his touch. Trey eased his longest finger into her pussy. Her channel clenched around his finger. Her eyes flashed with disappointment as he pulled out quickly. The corner of Trey’s mouth lifted with a hint of a knowing smile. He came back in again and she groaned. He didn’t stay there long. A shock of cold air hit her pussy as he pulled away and kneeled before her. Heat seared through her body as his tongue licked over her pussy. Rylie was pinned to the wall by Trey’s tongue. He probed, licking in and out. She dug her fingers into his hair and lost it as his tongue flicked up over her clitoris. He sucked her nubbin, flicking it roughly with his tongue.