A knock on Kendall’s door awakened her the next morning and she sat up, yawning. She’d had a restless night, half-expecting Johnnie to come to the guest room and make love to her. But he hadn’t. Instead, she’d had to finger fuck herself and wring three orgasms from her overwrought body to calm her lust.
His deep voice resonated in the core of her belly. Every word they’d spoken yesterday at the dinner table replayed in her head. She wanted to crawl under the covers and bury her head under her pillow. Fool that she was, his words had dented her armor, and it frightened her. Not one person in her life had ever stuck by her. Everyone she’d ever known had disappointed her until she’d been left empty and cold.
Another knock. “Kendall?”
“Come in,” she called, feeling shy, which was completely absurd. She’d lost count of all the men she’d fucked.
He opened the door and her breath caught. He wore only a pair of pajama bottoms, exposing his broad chest and strapping muscles to her awed gaze. A skull tattoo painted his right bicep. On the left side, he had a tat of a dagger. Blond hair dusted his chest, narrowing at his happy trail, and drawing Kendall’s eyes to his very prominent erection.
She swallowed, met his gaze, the smoldering heat there sending flames of need through her blood. Darker blond hair stubble covered his jaw and chin. He smiled at her and the look on his face actually made her dizzy.
Folding his arms, he leaned against the door jamb. “Morning, gorgeous. You’re quite a sight for sore eyes.”
Kendall made a moue of her mouth. “So my life is no longer worthless?” she asked, disliking the child-like quality of her voice, but his words had hurt her. Although she didn’t like it because that meant he had some type of power over her, she wanted him to take those words back.
He shrugged, arrogant male oozing from his pores. “Does it matter what I think of you?”
Yes. “Not really.”
“Then it shouldn’t matter if I said your life was worthless or my reasons for saying it.”
How true, but his noncommittal and nonchalance pricked her ire. “I’m not some silly young bitch to fall at your feet or beg for your dick.”
“I don’t recall asking you to do either, Kendall. You negotiated your pussy for my protection. I happy to like the taste and feel of pussy too much to have turned you down.”
“Aren’t you curious about what I’m doing in here?”
“Probably to get pussy. You have to do something with that hard dick.”
He lifted his brow, relaxed his posture a little more. “Oh, gorgeous, I’m quite skilled at using my hand. Nor do I lack pussy to bury my dick in. In case you didn’t realize it, Kendall, I get into the panties of more women than you can imagine. If it pleased me, I could have two or three women in my bed at this very moment.”
She glanced away, her throat working. She felt like bursting into tears. How was he managing to turn the tables on her? She was the master manipulator. No one had ever gotten to her like this before.
“Why are you here?” she asked, sullen.
“Because I have breakfast for us. I’m sure it’s as cold as our dinner was last night, so we’ll have to warm it in the microwave.”
“You cooked breakfast for me?”
He cocked his head to the side, studying her. “Why so shocked? Hasn’t anyone ever cooked for you?”
“Not for a very long time,” she admitted quietly.
He went silent, those silver eyes taking in every inch of her face. It took effort not to flinch away. She hated the thought of him seeing her flaws.
He held out his hand to her. “Come, Kendall. I think someone needs to spoil you a little and I’m just the man to do it.”
Hesitant, she pushed the covers aside and rose out of bed to place her hand in his larger one. He made her feel so feminine. Not sexual. But feminine.
He squeezed her hand. “Good girl,” he murmured.
She couldn’t find it in her to find offense in his words. “Am I?” she teased.
He grinned at her and nodded, making not move to release her hand or head to the kitchen.
“Because I need your trust, Kendall,” he said seriously. “Instead of arguing or questioning me, you placed your hand in mine, trusting yourself into my care.”
She hadn’t looked at it like that. As a matter of fact, she hadn’t looked at it anyway. She’d just blindly placed her hand in his. Trusting him. Fear surged into her at the realization and she pressed a kiss on his chest, gripping his erection. Carnal need was much easier to deal with than raw emotion.
“What about this?”
He removed her hand and kissed it. “There’ll be time enough for that. Later.”
“Are you sure? Or do you intend to visit some other woman?” God, why the hell had she asked that question?
“I’m positive.” His eyes twinkled, matching his devilish grin. “Unless, of course, you want to join me in another woman’s bed?”
The very thought appalled her and she gasped. “No!”
He chuckled and traced her collarbone. “I have no wish to go to anyone else’s bed but yours, gorgeous.”
Butterflies fluttered her belly at his blithe announcement.
“Today,” he went on as if he hadn’t tilted her world just now, “we’re getting out of here for a little while. I’ll come up with another way to spoil you besides preparing a hearty breakfast for you to keep you nice and meaty while you’re here with me.”
She froze. As giddy as she’d been a moment ago, she was just as desperate now. If she allowed it, he’d lure her in with his words, a hint of promise in everything he said. But she wouldn’t allow it because she knew better. They weren’t embarking on a long-term relationship. She was here with him for the time being. For all she knew, she didn’t need to be there any longer. He seemed inordinately relaxed for a man who still bore the marks of an attempted strangulation. So he wanted to spoil her? What was his idea of spoiling? Dropping one, two hundred dollars for a meal and a movie? Meanwhile, he wanted to stuff food into her and make her fat. Fat enough where no man would want her. Not even him, for all his “appreciation” of the meat on her bones.
“There isn’t a thing you could think off that my current, and former, lovers haven’t already done,” she announced with a smirk. She stiffened her spine and all her inner demons rose up and hardened her words. “Benny, my current man, bought me a car. You intend to spoil me like that?”
Johnnie stilled and a dark mask marred the lightness that had been in his features a moment ago. He smiled nastily and dropped her hand. “Benny gives you cars and shit to get pussy and head from you?” He backed away from her. “I don’t need to do shit for you, Kendall, because it won’t make a difference. Know why?” He didn’t give her a chance to answer, just curled his lip in distaste. “What Benny pays thousands to get is given to me at no charge. Remember that the next time you decide to finagle shit from me by telling me what your lover spoils you with.” With a last, cold glance, he turned and sauntered away.
Cold water from the showerhead slid over Johnnie’s body, but it didn’t quite wash away his erection or his bad mood. He’d barely spoken a word to Kendall over their long, tedious breakfast. Instead of rushing through the meal and getting the hell away from her, he’d decided to draw it out, in a perverse need to rattle her. Much like she’d rattled him and just plain pissed him off.
The twinges of jealousy he’d felt at her challenging announcement aggravated him. For one, it meant he’d fallen right into her deceiving, little trap. Oh, not that he didn’t believe some dumb ass named Benny wasn’t buying pussy from her—couched in the form of gifts. Johnnie just didn’t appreciate the way she’d tried to turn his desire to do something nice for her into a match of wills.
He leaned back, allowed the water to rain onto his still sore neck, and wished Kendall wouldn’t try to play him and outwit him at every turn. Scraping his fingers through his just-shampooed hair, he turned, the coldness sluicing over his back and buttocks. He flattened his palms against the shower wall, a face that had haunted him for almost two years rising up and making his dick jump.
He didn’t want one of his fantasies about her to intrude on this moment. Whether it was Kendall or another woman, every time he ran into a problem with them, he couldn’t fall back on his desire for Megs to escape the realities of his relationships. He fisted his erection and pulled, grunting at the memory of her hands manipulating him, the silken feel of her tight body. Talking to her last night hadn’t helped. Hearing her voice, foggy with sedation, but determined to make things right between him and her husband, determined to see for herself if he was all right.
He squeezed tighter, damning and cherishing their one time together. He’d known, even then, she wasn’t his, and that Christopher had her complete and utter loyalty, but Johnnie could’ve pressed her. She’d been so wet for him and she’d wanted him to make love to her. He’d seen it in her eyes and tasted it in her mouth.
God, what would it have been like to sink inside all her sweet warmth? The very thought of her small pussy clenching around him sent cum spurting from him and he growled out, “Megs.”
He drew in a deep breath and rested his head against the wall. This was the last time he’d ever jerk off to memories of her. It wasn’t fair to any of them. His damnable temper wouldn’t let his thoughts rest, though.
His mind conjured up visions of Megs and visions of Kendall, two side-by-side images of two very different women. Kendall was fair-skinned with the most gorgeous head of red hair he’d ever seen. Megan was golden—hair and skin. Kendall was long and strong, possessed with a real woman’s curves and the most gorgeous, rounded ass he’d ever seen. Megan was little and delicate, with a slimness that only added to her rocking, hourglass figure. Kendall was thirty, experienced in bed, and had lived life. Megan had just recently turned twenty. What she’d learned sexually Christopher had taught her.
Johnnie frowned. Considering his cousin, Megs probably knew as much about sex as Kendall. He didn’t even want to consider how he felt about that. Fair or not, he couldn’t help his comparisons. Because, out of everything—age, build, coloring—their outlook on life was the most telling. Though Megs had a lot of growing up to do—she could throw one hell of a tantrum—she didn’t allow the shit platter life had handed her to bring her down to a level where she blamed everyone else and found ways to make people suffer. Kendall did. She was bitter and spiteful and struck out.
How could he deal with that? How could he make her see not everyone was her enemy, least of all him?
An idea struck him and he straightened. Once he’d turned off the water and stepped onto the floor mat, he wrapped a towel around his waist before grabbing another running and scrubbing it over his hair. He settled it around his neck and decided against shaving today. He walked into his bedroom, determined to leave his past in that shower stall and find a way to forge his future.
“Damn, she feels good,” Johnnie rumbled, the wind ruffling his hair, his hand holding the steering wheel of Kendall’s car loosely. “She turns on a dime.”
Still not recovered from their morning run-in or the horrible breakfast that followed, Kendall stayed silent, cursing Johnnie because he’d convinced her to try another first—allowing someone other than herself to drive her car. It wasn’t only this car, either. It was any car she owned.
He hadn’t dropped the top, declaring a nice, long drive would be the perfect place to get to know one another. As if. She’d give him little snippets, just enough to draw him in, make him comfortable enough to let his guard down. She’d make him think he knew everything there was to know about her so she could discover each of his little secrets. Whatever had come over her where he was concerned, she was sick of it and it would stop. Throughout that horrid meal, made worse because he was watching her so careful she felt compelled to eat everything on her plate, scenarios had run rampant in her head. By the end, determination to get him under her thumb had her almost hopping with anticipation.
He liked sex so she’d thought about allowing him to take her on a ménage-a-trois. That had been ruled out almost as soon as it rolled across her mind. Though it galled her to admit it, she couldn’t stomach the thought of watching him with another woman. So she’d play a sad, lost woman and stress his words had hurt her so much, she couldn’t have sex with him anymore.
She swallowed back her frown. Of course, that plan had its flaws. For one, he might say okay and find another woman to sleep with. Or, he might test her resolve.
Kendall shook a little when the song, Landslide, started playing from the Dixie Chicks CD Johnnie had on. The song and Natalie Maines beautiful voice went straight to her heart and she hated to admit how fitting the song was for her and her life. Kendall was terrified of changing and resisted every alteration in her life because each adjustment had been brought on by heartache and devastation.
The song wrecked all her thoughts and she could only focus on the words and haunting instrumental part. The moment it ended, she leaned over and pressed the eject button. The CD buzzed out and radio music blasted. Johnnie frowned at her, then pressed the radio button to turn it off.
They rode in silence for five minutes, then Johnnie said, “Tell me a little about yourself.”
She shrugged. “What do you want to know?”
“The normal things. Are you from around here originally? I noticed on your driver’s license you live in Portland. Have you ever been married? Do you have children? That sort of thing.”
“Do you?” she asked, turning the tables on him.
“Never been married and I have no kids,” he answered easily. “I was born and raised in Camas.”
Silence. Because he expected her to open up to him.
“And now you’re in an outlaw biker?” she asked, just managing to silence her snort of disbelief. “It sounds like you had a pretty stable childhood.”
He chuckled. “Really? I could’ve been born and raised in a tent by distant relatives who fed me gruel every day and only allowed me one hour of sunshine.”
“You’re insufferable,” she complained.
“So I’ve been told,” he returned, the grin evident in his voice.
“By all the women you so easily take to your bed?”
“Careful, gorgeous. Green isn’t a very pretty shade on your fair complexion.”
She gasped in outrage. “Green! As in jealousy?”
He shrugged, but didn’t answer and Kendall wanted to knock him senseless.
“How can you be a biker when you don’t even own a motorcycle?” she asked instead.
“I do own a Harley. I also have a garage door that opens onto a secret escape route.”
“Whatever,” she snapped, irritated at his amused tone. “Why do you insist on these outrageous tales?”
The idiot laughed at her. “It isn’t my fault you don’t believe me.”
“Show me then. When we get back home.”
“No.” One word. Implacable and unyielding.
“That proves it then.”
“Does it, Kendall? You not believing the most important aspects of my life isn’t my fault. It’s yours.” He sighed and gripped her steering wheel tighter. His big hands seemed huge as they clutched the slender wheel. “Can’t we call a truce? Enjoy the day and each other’s company?”
“After you called me a whore?” she spat, more hurt that he thought that about her than she liked.
“You forget the way things went,” he grumbled. “I didn’t call you a whore.”
“In essence, you labeled yourself a whore, so let’s keep the facts straight.”
“You hurt me.”
“By speaking the truth? A truth I would never have known or pointed out until you brought it up, by the way.”
“Apologize to me or I’m not having sex with you ever again.”
“I’m not apologizing for responding to your bitchiness. You want to play the game, baby, you’re going to deal with the consequences.”
“According to who?” she shot back. “Certainly not Benny. I say and do what I want to him and he still spoils me.”
“Hmmm. Well, now, sweetheart, I think you’re suffering with a major case of confusion. You hit your head or something? Because I swear my name is John Peter Donovan, not Benny Doefuck.”
A startled laugh escaped her. “Did you just call him Doefuck?”
“You heard me loud and clear.” He slanted a glance at her, not a shred of remorse in one cell of his body. “Let me take a stab about who Mr. Doefuck might be.”
“Go ahead,” she said with a haughty sniff. “Do your best.”
“Okay, gorgeous. Just remember you offered me the license of free reign when you told me to do my best.”
“Well, I’d say Benny is about seventy years old.”
No comment. He already thought the worst of her.
“Probably eats your pussy more than he puts his dick in you. He can’t afford the cost of Viagra and your expensive tastes.”
God, he was so cruel.
“He’s still a man, though, and he knows a gorgeous treasure when he sees one, so to make up for his lack of giving you good, stiff dick, he lets you come on his tongue and spoils you with cars and diamonds and designer clothes. Pays your credit card bills. Maybe, when he finger fucks you, he doesn’t spend as much money on you because, hey, he’s managed to get something stiff in your cunt.”
She clenched her thighs together and groaned, her womb tightening, the very spot he kept mentioning with a sensual purr dripping wet. He pulled off the road and parked the car in a stand of trees.
“Get out of the car, Kendall,” he ordered.
Her head was telling her to resist, but her panties were soaked and her breasts felt achy and engorged. He studied her mouth and, for a moment, hope fluttered in her. She thought he would kiss her. She wanted him to kiss her so badly, just to feel his mouth against hers, and thread her fingers through the silk of his blond hair.
He lifted her onto the hood, settling her on the edge, the hot, idling engine competing with the cold air sending quivers through her. He freed himself and stared into her eyes, shoving her skirt up and pushing her panties aside.
“He licks your pussy, doesn’t he?” he whispered against her ear, lighting her entire body. “He drags the pad of his tongue against your pretty clit until you come, doesn’t he?”
“Y-yes,” she breathed.
He shoved his cock into her and she screamed after he gave her two, hard pumps, just as he’d taunted her about Benny not being able to do and primed her body for his use. As trembles seized her, he pulled out and she felt the hot rush of his semen on her clit and pussy lips.
He held her to him for a moment and kissed the top of her head.
“Go ahead and say it,” she said dully, resting her cheek on his shoulder.
“That you have the control over me. The power. This was your way of showing me that you will win all the time. I tell you I’m never having sex with you again and you say all kinds of things to make me so hot for you that I throw open my thighs for you.”
He shoved her away and glared at her. “The reason you think I just had sex with you is your own goddamn fault. To you, everything is about control. Life’s a game. Benny is a game. I’m a game and the only way you feel safe and secure is to play us all. If you’d stand the fuck down and just live, you’d find there are people who really care about you.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“That’s your goddamn choice.”
“My choice?” she cried. She clamped her legs together and jumped off the hood, her soaked panties rubbing against her sensitive clit. She marched up to him and jabbed her finger into his chest. “My choice that I know the only person who can take care of me is me? There’s no one that gives a fuck about me. I haven’t only fucked Benny in exchange for the finer things. And he’s fifty-five, not seventy, if you must know. Married, just like you guessed. My father was killed when I was ten and he was the only person who gave a fuck about me.” Tears rushed to her eyes and she swiped them away. “All I ever wanted was for Ellen to like me and my mother to love me. But my sister was too busy calling me fat and overgrown and my mother was too busy running cons. Since I was sixteen, I’ve fucked to get ahead, not because I wanted anyone to care about me. So stop your psychoanalysis of me, Mr. Badass Outlaw Biker. Which, by the way, I believe you’re lying about. None of you could kill a flea on a dog’s ass. You’re just small time hooligans out to intimidate women on behalf of a bitch who killed my sister!”
Nothing else she’d said seemed to have affected Johnnie. He’d just stood there, listening to her, not giving one indication of his thoughts. But the moment she screamed her last line, he clamped his fingers around her arms in a painful grip.
“Shut the fuck up, Kendall. Now!” he snarled. “Megs is innocent and if you spout that shit about her one more time, I’m going to bring you to Outlaw myself.” He shook her. “Now, you listen to me, you little cold-blooded bitch, I don’t give a good goddamn what you believe about me and my club. Not believing is to your detriment. Get that goddamn chip off your shoulder because of how fucked up your life has been.”
“Easy for you to say!”
He shoved her away and dug in his jacket for a cigarette. She realized she hadn’t seen him smoke in a day or two. After he’d lit it and took a few drags of it, he gave her a cool gaze. It amazed her how his eyes could burn like molten silver just as easily as the chilled to hard slate.
“You’ve had a shit life? I’m sorry. You’ve taken your shots back. You’ve even avenged Ellen, however misplaced that might be.”
“Megan is still alive.”
He took a step toward her, then stopped, and she was glad. The mask of cold, black fury had frightened her for the moment it had lasted. “A state she best fucking stay in.”
“Neither me now Kayla would mourn her death,” she spat in anger. Everything was always about Megan Caldwell. No one cared about Kendall and her sisters or that Ellen was dead and Kayla was a marked woman while Kendall’s life hung in the balance. She sucked in a breath. “I’d dance on her grave. Send up halleluiahs to the heavens.” Just so it could be over and the cloud of where justice lay would drift away. “I-d—“
Before Kendall could finish the sentence, Johnnie had her arms twisted behind her back and a gun to her head. Oh my God!
“If I pull this fucking trigger, I’ll accomplish put you out of your goddamn misery and self-pity.”
The barrel cocked and Kendall’s body shook so hard, her teeth rattled.
“I don’t want to kill you. I want to help you. Make no mistake. If I have to blow your head off, I will. I’ll call Digger since Mortician is on lockdown, thanks to my orders for him to disobey Outlaw. When Digger gets here, he’ll take your body and not one fucking person would ever find you. You hear me, Kendall?”
She heard him loud and clear. She’d never heard anything clearer in her life.
He shook her again and she let out a sob, terrified the gun would discharge. “Tell me. Tell me you hear what I’m saying.”
“I-I-I h-h-hear wh-what y-y-you’re s-s-say-y-ying.”
“Tell me you understand what I’m saying.”
She couldn’t speak again. Her lips were trembling too much, so she just nodded, praying he’d accept that.
“Do you understand that Megan had fuck all to do with Ellen’s death?”
“Y-yes,” she whispered, wishing for clarity. A gray area. A lifeline.
“Do you understand my control is very limited at this particular moment and my patience is at an end with the bullshit?”
She didn’t want to move her head again. The gun was jammed into her temple. But he shook her and she cried out.
“Listen to me closely. I’m not going to repeat myself. I don’t care if you’ve fucked ten battalions of men. That choice was yours and has fuck all to do with me. I’d be one hypocritical sonofabitch if I held your past against you when mine is so…questionable.” He loosened his grip on her arm by a small fraction. “Are you following me so far?”
She gulped. “Y-yes.”
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Shit happens. Life happens. We grab the good moments and string them together to create our own happiness. Blaming everyone else only leads to your destruction. Am I clear?”
“M-my m-mother k-killed h-herself.” She sniffled. “The day…the day she f-found out a-about El-Ellen. R-right i-in fr-front of…of m-me.”
He didn’t remove his gun. “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry, Kendall. And I promise I’ll hold you and comfort you.” He drew in a deep breath. “I’ve been drawn to you from the very beginning,” he admitted. “But I can’t take your bullshit another moment. Having to pull a goddamn gun on you is the last fucking straw for me, Kendall. This is it. You want to stay at my house until Outlaw comes to his senses and we find Kayla, that’s up to you. We’re not having sex again, though.” He kissed the bridge between her neck and shoulder. “You win. All points go to you, gorgeous. Even I’m not sick enough to fuck a woman I may have to kill.”
“You don’t kill women,” she whispered.
Silent, he eased the gun down and she heard the barrel click back into place.
Confusion jumbled her thoughts, pain spreading throughout her body, not allowing her the energy to even wipe away her abundance of tears.
Jaw clenched, he shoved his gun back into the holster she hadn’t known he wore at his side. “None of us lied to you when we said Outlaw wants to bury you. I didn’t lie to you when I told you if you betrayed me by still having intentions to harm Megs, I’d kill you myself.”
“You really don’t want me anymore?” she asked in a small voice, truly hurt.
“I want you,” he said quietly. “But I’m not going to touch you. Not after pulling my gun on you.”
He walked to the passenger side and opened the door. The charming lover had been replaced by the serious man. She realized he wasn’t opening the door for her, but he was sliding into the passenger seat, so she could drive her car.
He’d said she won and he was proving it by withdrawing and returning the control back to her.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW