The intruder shifted his over-sized body removing some of his weight. But it didn’t keep Cyann from be-ing aware she was face down on the carpet with a hard muscled body perfectly aligned to her every curve and outline. Awareness crept from one end of her to the other, scurrying like a zillion tiny feet tiptoeing across her flesh. Wisps of warm breath puffed against the col-umn of her throat. A firm hand curved itself around the fullness of her breast while the other rested too close to the inner surface of her thigh.
For a moment her stunned body was alive with sensation and anticipation. She pounded down the re-sponse with all the will power she could find inside as a slow burn penetrated the gray linen slacks she wore. Slacks that now seemed too thin to keep out anything unwanted. Anything hidden. Anything desired.
Heat that could melt the hardest of blue steel skit-tered along her flesh. Cyann closed her mind to what was about to happen. Nothing in her self-defense train-ing had prepared her for the reality of such an atrocious act as rape. Nothing could have prepared her for the fear clawing at her throat. The horror choking off the air to her lungs. The terror emanating from every pore of her skin. A vague sense of despair pressed in on her. She prayed what he said was true. Prayed this man wouldn’t hurt her.
Her attacker groaned, coughed and moved. Mo-mentarily free, Cyann frantically scrambled away, do-ing a backward crawl as far away as she could into the nearest corner. She shuddered and stared at the intruder. She could do nothing else.
His dark head was thrown back as his body heaved. A large hand was pushing against his side as if trying to alleviate pain.
Something deep inside her shifted. For some rea-son she felt sorry for the guy. And other feelings sur-faced she hurriedly dismissed. She tried scraping away the uncomfortable feelings this stranger awakened in her like so much mud on the bottom of her shoe. But like dust caught in a whirlwind, those feelings con-verged and blasted away the remnants of denial. The heat from the imprint of his hand still lingered on her breast and it terrified her that she could still feel the warmth of it. She was disturbed by the way his hand that had been tucked between her thighs just moment’s ago seemed more like a lover’s caress than a stranger’s touch. She choked back a sob as he shifted positions. Dear God, what was she thinking? The man was a ma-niac.
Cyann gaped at him through a fringe of coal-black lashes, eyes wide in wonder and just as black or ap-peared to be in the shadows that clung to her form in the corner. His own were now affixed to hers like super glue. He was captivated by the myriad of emotions run-ning a gamut in their depths. Passion, anger, fear and curiosity sprinted madly across her features. Her curios-ity shifted downward taking inventory of his body.
The forbidden thought came crashing through her brain like a runaway roller coaster on a downhill slide. Cyann had an uneasy feeling this man could read her every thought. Well, why not? He was a predator; she, his quarry. Cyann knew her face must be as crimson as a gaudy red dress on a prostitute standing out like the only virgin in a house of ill repute.
Her gaze clung to his features like a half-dead flower drinking up raindrops. A square rugged jaw, clean lines, even a suave elegance clung to his features. Features Cyann couldn’t drag herself away from. She was conscious of this stranger in the most disturbing way. Instinctively, she reached up and slid her fingers through her hair. She was suddenly aware of every nerve ending in her whole body, down to the most min-ute fiber there could be. A long slow burn tightened her belly.
The intruder didn’t move. He was afraid to. Afraid of what he would reveal. Afraid of what he might do. She was making him react like a primitive uncivilized creature. It had come on him so hard and fast, he thought he might be hallucinating. So he just sat and stared at Cyann absorbing her features as she had done.
Something extremely fascinating and alluring drew his attention to her features. He couldn’t help the long slow detailed assessment.
She had a wild tousled look about her. No wonder, he reminded himself, as hard as he’d shaken her when she’d jabbed him in the ribs. Dark eyes framed by wispy lashes stood out starkly in a face much too pale. Midnight hair sprang in wild disarray around her head and shoulders. His gaze swept her face, zooming in on trembling lips. Lips personifying eroticism in every man’s dream still damp from a nervous flickering tongue. Ones he wanted to investigate with his own. Just to touch with the tip or to bathe and linger over.
He was positive they’d be sweet as honeyed nectar. He wanted to taste them. No, had to taste. She’d be sweet. And warm. And soft. He knew it. It was all he could do to tamp down the groan threatening to erupt from his throat like a volcano spewing lava.
Damn, Tucker reminded himself, he was on a job. A stakeout. One he had strongly objected to, he added silently, still burning with anger from the assignment that had been shoved on him. He wasn’t a damn body-guard. He was an undercover cop. A street cop. They threw this on him because he was recovering from a gunshot wound from his last assignment. Although this wasn’t a cushy job by any means, it would afford some leisure time to heal. He resented the fact he was re-duced to such menial work. That he had to play baby-sitter to some babe.
But what a babe!
Damn but he needed to get his priorities straight. He was here to safeguard, come what may. It was his job to see this embodiment of temptation given the best of his expertise. Instead, he wanted to jump her bones at his earliest convenience. Which was now. Rational thought deserted him for the first time in his adult life. Interest in the job at hand completely wiped from his mind replaced by a sensual perception he’d never reached before in his life. Lust, hot and heavy, and get-ting hotter, burst in his loins. He knew if he touched her, he’d erupt before he even unzipped his pants. He tried to remind himself he was here to protect and serve.
He could serve her all right, he thought cynically. He could do a service for her that would rocket her to the moon and back faster than the speed of light. She had that look that made every man drool. She probably had every man in the county tripping over his tongue from panting so hard after her he couldn’t get it back in his mouth.
Damnation, he swore inwardly. He was being un-fair and knew it. This was crazy. Not like him at all. He didn’t even know anything about this woman. Christ, all he knew was a name. A description and a smattering of minor details.
He’d scanned her file briefly. Not doing more than making a few mental notes and a fleeting impression of how attractive she was. But nothing could have pre-pared him for how she looked in the flesh. Her picture didn’t do her justice. How was he going to protect her when all he could think of was getting to know her bet-ter? Intimately.
But first he had to give her his protection. There was a frigging maniac on the loose that swore he’d ex-act his own brand of punishment on her if he ever caught up with her again.
Everyone in court had heard his outburst when she testified against Buster Jensen a year ago. Everyone heard the foul expletives spew from his mouth like so much filth out of a sewer. He swore that he’d come back and get her the first chance he got and he’d make her pay. Now he was out and the scuttlebutt was the perp was hellbent on revenge.
No, Tucker decided, he’d do his job and keep her safe. He’d do his duty. Especially if it meant getting slime like Jensen back behind bars.
Yet he was doing his job so well, his assignment was sitting in front of him scared out of her wits. Some-thing that he’d managed to do without much effort. Looking into those coffee brown eyes made him want to hold her. To brush away that frightened look in her eyes his macho methods had produced. He wanted to watch those eyes as he gave himself to her. To see the passion on her face. Passion he created. Passion he caused.
His head reverberated with those thoughts as he determinedly grasped to master his control. Her mouth was moving but he didn’t hear a word. The roaring in his ears was like the pounding of the surf crashing an-grily against the sand. It was the only sound he heard. He grasped the warning signal hammering in the back of his head like a dying man with a crust of bread that said he was on the verge of losing control.
Suddenly his blood ran like ice water in his veins. Something cold and slimy crawled across his skin. The perception of someone intruding on his thoughts smashed into him. Something dark and sinister unfurled in the pit of his stomach. He had the strangest sensation he was floating. He was in a strange room. Revulsion clogged his throat. Words and movement vaguely pene-trated the fog but he was frozen in time. He saw and heard but couldn’t quite comprehend what was happen-ing. Faintly the words penetrated.
“It is the finding of this court, in the case of the State of Florida versus Buster Jensen, the verdict be rescinded at this time pending a new trial. The prisoner will be released immediately into the custody of his at-torney, Peter Dobbs. Mr. Jensen must remain in the city of Gainesville, county of Alachua or be considered in contempt of court. I hereby order a new trial placed on the docket as early as can be deemed reasonable.”
What marvelously sweet, incredible wonderful words! Jensen gloried in them.
The gavel echoed in his ears as he played the tape again. He was free.
His first order of business was to take care of the heartless bitch that sent him to that cold cement block with barely enough space to turn around in.
His thumb pressed the button on his switchblade. Its slick glide from it’s casing the only sound that could be heard. The blade glinted maliciously in the pale light from the lamp. A feral gleam shone in the eye of its holder as he caressed the blade like a lover. His mania-cal laughter filled the air as he swished the air in pre-tense of piercing the flesh of his victim.
He would be meticulous, of course. His talent at carving, the best. He would make straight lines on her skin. Not too deep at first, naturally. Just enough to slice the skin so he could watch the blood ooze from her flesh in tiny beaded droplets. So he could watch the fear in her eyes when he repeated each action. There were other things, he’d do of course. He would take her again and again and again. He’d make her beg for mercy but there’d be none.
The bitch would pay for not minding her own business.
Yes, the bitch would pay ... and pay ... and pay!