Authors: Tatum Throne
She wanted him to go away, but she drew him closer instead of pushing him away. Something was wrong with her judgment tonight, but she didn’t care. She kissed him passionately, but he pulled away.
“Stay the night with me. Shower in the morning with me,” he said.
Rylie sucked in her lip and bit it with her teeth. “I am a little bit dirty.”
He groaned triumphantly as he lifted her from her feet, crushing her body against his. Rylie wrapped her legs around his waist and twined her arms around his head. Trey carried her over the gallery, through the living room, and headed for the stairs.
His bedroom was cast in shadows from the moonlight shining in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Trey eased her onto the bed, and, she squirmed enticingly as she settled in. He stepped away and stripped off his clothes. His gaze was on her fingers as she played with the buttons on her shirt. Rylie sat up on her elbows, letting her shirt fall off her shoulders.
“Beautiful,” he murmured.
“You are,” she said.
She watched his jeans hit the floor. Rylie reached out and stroked his cock. Dark shadows still made it impossible for her to see what his fully loaded cock looked like.
She went to reach for the lamp on the bedside table, but he stopped her from turning it on.
“No lights. Finish undressing.”
Her fingers were steady as she unsnapped her bra
Trey’s hands slid up her thighs to pull off her thong. Rylie reached out and played tag with his cock.
She stroked him down to his base with her right hand and cupped his balls with her left. She caressed his balls with her nails and they tightened up to his base. Rylie saw Trey’s heavy gaze fall to her parted lips. She licked them nervously and leaned down to kiss his throbbing cock. Trey sucked in a harsh breath, and his hand fell to her short blonde hair.
She kissed and took long licks of him. She chuckled and tightened her hold on his shaft when he tried to mount the bed to saddle her for a quick ride. Rylie was totally in control, and she wasn’t about to release him so easily. Trey leaned forward and flicked her nipples to attention. She moaned as he twisted her nipples, causing her pussy to explode with little vibrations. Trey’s hand slid down her belly and caressed her pussy. He pinched her clitoris with his thumb and forefinger, sending her closer to the edge again. He squeezed her clit again, and was catapulted through the clouds.
Her orgasm shattered through her body as energy pulsated through her body with reckless abandonment. White hot energy echoed out from her body, encompassing Trey, too. Rylie knew she was testing the boundaries of her gifts, but she had to know what Trey was feeling for her as he came. She opened her eyes to read his aura. Bright pink radiated from his aura. He was in love with her. She felt Trey’s shaft harden and every muscle in his body turn to steel. She licked her way off of him just as his cock kicked out and he came. Their gazes locked. His eyes were glazed with pure animal satisfaction as he looked at her.
“What?” she asked.
“You align our energies when we come.”
She blinked. “I do?”
He drew her down to the bed. “Yeah. It’s so fucking hot. It intensifies the bang.”
Trey rolled over and pulled Rylie against his length. He moved the comforter around her shoulders. His sex pressed like a third lover between their bodies. He skimmed his hand over her soft skin. Down her backside where he let his fingers linger over the smooth edge. He was in love with her. She closed her eyes tightly. How could she let him fall in love with her? She wasn’t ready for love.
“We can’t keep doing this,” she said.
His hand stilled its circular motion over the top of her hip. Her hand continued to weave through the dark hair on his chest. He kissed her temple, and it felt so right that it frightened her. Trey’s hands tightened on her hips.
“Don’t think about it now.”
Morning sunshine came through the windows. A mockingbird chirped somewhere in the distance. Rylie reached out and felt the warm mattress. Where was Trey?
The bedroom was masculine. Rich. Rylie pushed the comforter aside and sat up. There was a black dog tag tossed on the nightstand. A red medic emblem was embossed on one side. Rylie let her fingers brush over that seal before flipping it over. Trey was anaphylactic to nuts, bananas, and bee stings. She pulled the sheet from the bed, wrapping it around her body.
Through the windows she saw Trey sitting at a table on a balcony, reading through files on a laptop. His hand held a steaming cup of coffee. Rylie reached for her clothes, dressing before she headed for the open door. He turned.
“Morning, babe. Coffee?” he asked.
She took the cup from his hands, taking a sip. “Thanks.”
“Did you sleep well?” he asked.
Fresh morning air blew a chill over her skin. She sat down beside him. “Like a rock.”
“Do you have to work this morning?” she asked.
“I’m working from home and I’m going in later. Breakfast?”
“I’m good with coffee.”
He gave her a kiss. “You sure?”
“I can’t tempt you with eggs and bacon?” he teased.
Their hands linked with an intimacy only lovers experienced. A thrill danced through her body. She was falling hard for him. She watched as the shift of light darkened his blue-gray eyes.
“Are you now?” He pulled her close and gave her a kiss. “I think we’re good together.”
“So do I,” she said.
The words rushed from her mouth before she could stop them. Had she’d given too much of herself away? Trey pulled her hand to his lips, giving her a kiss.
“Okay. I’m starved. I’ll bring you another coffee.”
Rylie sipped the rest of his coffee, looking across the backyard. Dew clung to the grass. A deer crept out of the forest and moved across the lawn. Rylie saw Trey’s laptop flip to screen saver mode, and she automatically reached out to swipe her finger across the pad. The cursor smoothed over a folder on the desktop, snapping open a file. Pictures flipped up in the box.
Brown desert sand flowed over the pictures. Rylie sat up. They were shots of Jordan. She double tapped on a picture and it maximized. A tight shot of her face was taken against the backdrop of a fading sun. The picture was beautiful and taken six months before her sister died.
“Were you following me?” she asked.
“Rylie, let me explain.”
She stood up and backed away. “Explain then.”
“I funded several of your trips abroad.”
She shook her head, confused. “Were you ever going to tell me?” she asked.
“Yes. I was waiting for the right time.” He brushed a hand through his messed hair. “I was going to tell you this morning. I needed to know how you did it. How you found the things we were looking for.”
She snorted and paced back, trying to get away. “You used me?”
“No. I didn’t use you. Did it matter to you who gave you the money to do what you loved?”
She let out a harsh breath. “No. Did you know the pendant was cursed?”
“Not until I heard the news about your sister and brother-in-law. Please trust me. I would’ve saved all of you had I known about the curse. I’m sorry. I should’ve known.”
“Why should I trust you? Why should I believe you?”
He turned her chin gently until she faced him. “You aren’t like any other woman I’ve ever met before. I wasn’t using you.”
“I’ve told you everything. There’s nothing else you don’t know.”
Could she trust him? Did she want to trust him? She had no true answer to that. All she could hold onto was how good he made her feel. There were more secrets swirling through this man. Would he ever trust her enough to tell her everything?
Swirls of orange clouded her vision from the sunlight rising about the tree
She was tired of trying to figure everything out. She needed time. She needed distance to clear her head. When she was with Trey, her heart took the lead and her mind followed.
“I won’t hurt you.”
“I wish you would’ve told me.”
Trey drew her in for a slow passionate dance of their lips. The kiss stole her breath away and made her think about a future with Trey, one that involved them living happily ever after. That had her opening her eyes and pulling away.
“I’m sorry I didn’t, beautiful,” Trey said. “We’re a team. I won’t be keeping anything from you ever again. I promise. It’s not just you. I keep track of all my people before I bring them on.”
She looked toward the files on the table. “What happens now?”
“Our next meeting is Friday night. We’ll be going over our next target. I want you there.”
“I will be.”
She ran her hands through her hair. She didn’t want to think about the future and the possibility that Trey didn’t want the same things she did. What if she asked about the long-term and he said no? It would totally ruin what they had now. She couldn’t and wouldn’t ruin what they had by asking Trey for more. Rylie had to get out of there. She could see herself falling so hard that she couldn’t ever recover from the impact.
“I have to get to work,” she said.
“I’ll drive you home.”
Rylie’s heart was hammering as she pulled up to Trey’s house. There were a line of cars down the driveway. Rylie
spent the last forty-eight hours catching up at work and playing phone tag with Trey. They both led busy lives. The front door to Trey’s opened before she could knock. Trey was on the other side in jeans and a button down shirt. He stepped out onto the porch, closing the door behind
. His hands came to her face.
“Hey, babe.” They kissed passionately
and he was smiling when he pulled away. “You ready to do this?”
Trey led the way inside and into his living room. Only half his team was there. “You remember Poppy Bishop, Tice Avery, and Caven Pride.”
“Hello again,” Rylie said.
She sat down next to Caven on the leather couch. Poppy and Tice were on the other. Trey came in with a file and passed it to Tice.
“As promised. I got those pictures of the cuff. It’s our next target,” Trey began.
“Has it surfaced?” Tice asked.
“Not yet,” Poppy sighed. She looked at Rylie. “Have you seen anything like this in your work?”
Rylie took a copy of the photo. It looked familiar, but she saw lots of pieces. “Maybe. Did the same designer make the cuff?”
“Yep. He was a Turkish man,” Tice said.
Trey nodded. “All of the objects we’re searching for are connected by the designer. Our working theory is that he cursed them. We’re still working on the reason why
Poppy snorted. “I don’t think it matters why he did it.”
“If it was a Turkish jeweler, how did they show up in Jordan?” Rylie asked.
“They were stolen or acquired two hundred years ago by someone who shipwrecked in the gulf coast. We think they were either salvaged or carried by the current,” Caven said. “Another pendant was found on a dive three years ago.”
“What’s the plan?” Tice asked.
“You’re taking the lead on this one. I want you to start talking with that English collector
Pritchard,” Trey said.
“Sounds good,” Tice replied.
“How are things going with the pendant analysis?” Trey asked.
“It’s slow going. I’ve been using my tools to handle it,” Poppy said.
“Keep at it. I don’t want you touching it.”
Poppy rolled her eyes, not looking at anyone. “I’ll be careful. I always am.”
Caven gave Poppy a look. “You sure you don’t want help?”
“I want you to be extra careful when you handle it,” Trey said. “Rylie, I want you to check out auction houses. The fact that the cuff hasn’t surfaced makes me nervous. That means we’re looking at a private collector.”
“Which means we could never find it,” Tice said.
“I’d rather be proactive with this set. I don’t want any collateral damage,” Trey replied. “We put the word out that we’re looking for it, then it may surface.”
Set. A chill raced through her blood. “How many pieces are we talking about?” she asked.
“Five,” Poppy answered. “We think.”
“How long does it usually take once you start looking for a piece?” Rylie asked.
“Four to five months,” Caven answered.
“It’s slow work, but we get the job done,” Tice grinned.
Poppy shoved the picture in her oversized bag as everyone started to get up.
“It’s slow up until we go in for the kill. It keeps you on your toes,” Poppy said.
“Yes it does,” Caven agreed.
“Two weeks,” Trey said. Rylie stood as everyone else did. “Rylie I want you to stay for a few minutes.”
“I guess you’re in trouble,” Poppy whispered as she walked by.
Rylie knew that Trey wanted a few moments alone with her. Trey turned away from the front door. She took a deep breath.
“Hey again,” she said.
He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. He looked and smelled so good. She liked him best when he was in jeans and lost the suit that came with the FBI job.
“What’s up?” she asked.
“Would you like me to go over some of those techniques to help you control your ability?”
“What did you have in mind?”
“Come here.” Rylie walked over to stand in front of him. “Close your eyes.”
“I want to teach you how to get inside without letting someone know you’re there.”
Her eyes flashed open. “That’s not possible.”
“Close your eyes and think of a color.”
He chuckled. “Salmon green is not a color.”
“How did you do that?”
“It’s like flicking a flashlight on and off. A quick, cool blast that takes you in and out. Give it a try.”
Rylie closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She envisioned a small beam of light, flicking on and off. Trey flew back against the couch with a grunt.