Authors: Lora Leigh
YESTERDAY by Lora Leigh
© Copyright Lora Leigh, 2004. All Rights Reserved.
He had caused her to break the heel on her brand new white heels. He had ripped the strap of her sundress, left scratches on her leg and he had made her cry. Anna ran her fingers through her long tangled hair, grimacing at the shape the once neat locks had been brushed into. Her hair fell down her shoulders to the middle of her back now, the clip that had once held it at the nape of her neck long gone.
The sundress was held on one side by the snug fit over her breasts, but the midnight blue linen dress would never be the same again. Her feet were scratched and sore, and she hated the dark. She had always hated the dark. She sniffed as more tears fell from her eyes, and she hated herself for being so frightened that they fell.
Anna prided herself on never crying. But here she was, walking down a deserted country road, barefoot, pissed and crying. Why she wasn t certain. It wasn t as though she really liked the little jerk. She had only gone out with him to satisfy her father who was becoming increasingly worried that his little girl didn t like guys at all.
She sniffed miserably. She did like guys. Well, one guy. Besides, she had standards, and that pip squeak Charlie Austin didn t hardly measure up. She limped down the country road cursing Charlie, her parents and men in general as she made her way home.
Of course, no one would be home when she got there. Her parents had left that day for another long weekend in the mountains, leaving the house silent and lonely. She shivered.
What if he did as he threatened and went to get his friends to help him? What if they got her before she could call the Sheriff?
A cold knot of fear bloomed in her stomach then. She had no place else to go. She rubbed at the chill that chased over her arms despite the heat of the night and fought the hysteria she could feel blooming inside her. As vivid images of just how cruel Charlie Austin could be, chased through her mind the sound of a vehicle coming around the curves behind her had her stilling in terror.
Was it Charlie? She whimpered, her eyes casting around in the dark as she fought for a place to hide. As lights swung toward she moved desperately off the side of the road, stumbling into the small culvert and scraping her legs further as she crouched amid the rough rocks and prayed she hadn t been seen.
The night was damned near moonless, the country laying under a weight of dark heat and restless weather. There was a storm coming and Blake had a feeling it wasn t just the weather. It was his last night of freedom before heading out on another mission. The orders had come in that morning and rather than looking forward to the action to come, he felt a hollow regret instead. He was only twenty-five, but the last seven years had been spent training, fighting, with very little living in between.
He thought perhaps this would be the last mission. He was getting tired and he was smart enough to know that would dull the edge of his reflexes, make him careless. He had a nice little house here, a life he could live, if he was willing to step into it. And a pretty little thing he had his eye on for the past few months. She was young, maybe too damned young for his experience. But he couldn t seem to shake the image of her from her his mind or his cock.
He frowned as he thought about her. He had seen her out with that cocky little Austin boy tonight. Dressed in a little sundress that begged to be peeled from her body, her long red hair flowing down her back, her big green eyes watching Blake with innocent hunger.
And he had decided then and there that it was his last mission. His last war-torn country.
He sighed bleakly. There was no out of this last mission and he knew it. But he d be damned if he was looking forward to it.
As he rounded one of the sharper curves of the small country road, a flash of color ahead had his eyes widening in shock then narrowing in surprise as it suddenly disappeared. It wasn t possible. The fates didn t work this way.
When the flash of blue and red disappeared over the side of the road, the movement furtive, his instincts clicked into overdrive. He slowed as he neared the spot, pulling up just before it, watching the area cautiously as he cut the lights of his car. He pulled his revolver from beneath the seat, the flashlight from the back floorboard and eased out of the car.
There was a small culvert beside the road, deep enough for someone to hide in the rocky ravine. He edged closer, using the darkness for cover though some inner instinct warned him that the danger to come would be more emotional than physical. But more damaging than an enemy s bullet.
As he moved into position, he saw the flash of pale features in the darkness, a shuffle of movement as a small form moved carefully among the rocks. Fury split inside him as he flicked the flashlight on, shining it directly into the small, terrified face below him.
She didn t scream, she ran. Stumbling clumsily in the rocks, her feet bare, her dress torn as she made a dash to escape.
Blake didn t bother calling out to her. He moved just as quickly as he sprinted after her, jumping into the ravine as he pushed the revolver into the back of his jeans and catching her within feet of her original position.
She cried out then. Her hand flew back, fingers curling as her nails sought his face. She was crying, terror raking the night with the harsh sobs escaping her throat.
Anna, dammit. Hold up. He jerked her arms down, nearly losing his balance and his hold on her as she kicked back at him. Dammit it s Blake, Anna. Honey stop fighting me.
Her nails raked his wrists, digging in deep a second before his voice finally penetrated the fear driving her. She stilled, her breathing rough, rapid as he turned her gently in his arms.
The flashlight had fallen on its flat back, shining up, reflecting off her damp face as she stared up at him in dazed surprise. A bruise marred her cheek, a scratch along her neck that ran to her chest. One full, tempting breast was revealed from the loose bodice of her dress and her desperate struggles.
Anna, honey what happened? He reach down, pulling the side up the dress over the pale curve that her struggles had bared.
Blake? Her voice was rough, thick with fear and the tears that dampened her face.
Baby, what happened to you? He pushed her long hair back from her face as he stared down at her, fighting the knowledge he could feel burning in his gut. Did Austin do this to you, babe?
He would kill him. Blake kept his fury carefully banked with that silent promise to himself.
I got away, she whispered, her voice faint. I broke my shoe when I hit him. But he was going to get his friends. He said they would help him.
He could see her fighting for control, for dignity. Her large green eyes were dilated until little color remained, her body trembling in reaction to whatever had happened.
Did he rape you, Anna? He had to know. Don t lie to me honey. I promise, I can keep anyone from knowing, but you have to tell me so I can help you.
His fingers touched her cheek, one arm wrapped steady around her waist as he held her upright.
She frowned as she shook her head tightly. No, she cried out desperately. I told you. I hit him and broke my shoe. When I ran away he said he was getting his friends to help.
Her voice broke. No ones home, Blake. What if he s there waiting on me?
Come on. He jerked the light from the ground then swung her up in his arms.
Her breath caught at her arms went instinctively around his neck, holding tight to him as he carried her out of the ravine to his car. Lifting her over the door he sat her carefully into the seat of the convertible sixty-five mustang before moving quickly to his own side.
He jumped in and started the ignition quickly as he glanced at her. She was shivering, almost shuddering from shock.
Come here. He pushed the seat back the last notch before pulling her slight body into his lap.
She stiffened at first, but then buried her face in his neck as he put the vehicle in gear and headed for his house. The stick shift made holding her and driving a bit of a complication at first, but there was no way in hell he was letting go of her. She fit against him perfectly, her body turned into him, her knees bent and pressing against his side.
He was a big man. Nearly six two and all heavy muscle, and she felt like a damned kid in his arms. Her long red hair whipped against his chest, the sweet female scent of her rocking his senses.
I can t go home. Her voice shook as she whispered the words against his neck. Please Blake.
Sh, he soothed her as rubbed his cheek against the side of her head. I m not taking you home, Anna. I m taking you to my place. Don t worry, Austin won t touch you ever again.
Blake would make sure of it.
His house was only a short distance away. A small two story ranch tucked into one of the prettiest valleys on the face of the Earth. Eastern Kentucky was his home, and the little town of Grayson, despite its small town problems, soothed his soul after the missions shredded it.
He took the turn onto the graveled road that led to the house, more than thankful that the drive was so short. His cock was a length of iron in his pants torturing him. Besides, he didn t want to frighten her with the desire he felt for her after the earlier attack.
Pressing the remote that lay between the seats he pulled into the dimly lit garage and cut the ignition. Anna lay against him comfortably now, her arms looped around his neck, her breathing, though rapid, having lost that frightened edge.
We re here, he whispered, his hands smoothing up her back as she shivered in his arms.
He clenched his teeth. That shudder wasn t one of fear and that little whimpering moan wasn t one of distress. He closed his eyes fighting for his sanity then. She was too soft, too warm in his arms, and he had wanted her too damned long.
Anna, we re in trouble here. He tried to chuckle but the sound was rougher than her breathing.
Her head lifted from his shoulder as he stared down at her. The small bruise along her cheek hadn t swollen terribly so it was easy to see the sensuality that flushed her face.
The delicate features looked almost sleepy, but the moist, full curves of her lips were heavy with desire, her green eyes dark with it.
Her hand moved from his neck. It was delicate, the slender fingers graceful as they touched his lips. He couldn t resist licking at the tips, desperate to taste her. She trembled in his arms, her breath catching he drew one tip into his mouth, holding it still with his teeth as he laved it once again.
She bit her lower lip, watching him slumberously. Regretfully he caught her hand moving the finger from his mouth as he watched her intently. His cock was throbbing beneath his jeans, the blood pounding in his veins as he drew in a hard breath.
Anna, I don t want to frighten you
I went out with Charlie because Daddy accused me of being a lesbian, she tried to laugh away her hurt. I don t date, because I was waiting, she revealed. I knew you wouldn t touch me until I turned eighteen, Blake. And I just didn t want anyone else.
The words should have sounded immature. She was so damned young it made his back teeth ache. Instead she sounded intent, sure of what she wanted and unwilling to accept less. He d had the same problem since the day he met her two years before.
I have to leave tomorrow, he told her softly. I ll be gone for a few weeks, Anna. But when I come back
I don t want to leave you tonight. Her emotions were plain on her face and she broke his heart. It wasn t fear. It was need. Stark. Blinding.
His hands clenched at her waist. Heaven help him, he could feel himself drowning.
Anna, he groaned as he leaned his forehead against hers, staring into her dark gaze. I want you. You don t know how much, or for how long I have wanted you. But I want you to be sure.
She smiled, her lips trembling. Sure enough that I went on the pill three months ago.
Sure enough that when I saw you were back tonight I demanded Charlie take me home.
And that s why he got so pissed. So sure, Drake, that if you don t touch me I might go crazy from the need.
They were sitting in his car, in his garage, and his hands were shaking with need. He knew he should take her into the house, put her in a room and run as far and as from her as he could. He should wait. Wait until he made it home to her again.
The pill? He whispered. Hell, he had never taken a woman without the protection of a condom. Had never trusted them or the chance that another lover had left a reminder he didn t want to share. But he knew to the bottom of his soul that Anna had never had another lover.
Yeah, her cheeks flushed further, a delicate, blooming color so enchanting his cock jerked in response.
He moved to push back the hair along her cheek, tucking it behind her ear as his fingers fanned out to cup the side of her head. Just a taste he thought, then he would be strong.
Then he would find his good sense once again.
Sensuality wrapped around them as his head lowered, his gaze locked with hers as he touched her lips with his. They trembled, heated as her hips shifted against him, her long legs clenching together his lips smoothed over hers. They parted slowly, naturally, her breath catching as he paused.
Their breathing was ragged. His control was chancy and her innocence reflected in every line of her expression. Blake knew he was anything but innocent, and hers terrified him.
Terrified him and drew him.
He fought to rein in his hunger. The last thing he wanted to do was frighten her. But her lips were soft, sweet and hot. He groaned against them, opening his own to take the kiss his senses demanded.
Her lips opened shyly, causing his body to clench with the pure sexuality of tasting such innocence. Her hands kneaded hesitantly at his shoulders, her tongue touching his tentatively as she whimpered with rising heat. Hunger bunched in his loins as he sipped rather than gorging on the taste of her silken lips, her shy tongue as it finally tangled with his.
He tilted his head, slanting his lips over hers as fought the desperation of his need. She was too soft. Too delicate. And God help him he needed her more than he needed his next breath to live.