Excerpt: DAWNS AWAKENING
Copyright Lora Leigh 2007
She was just entering the wide, sheltered portico of the mansion, her duffel slung over her shoulder, when she saw him.The door jerked open and he stepped from the house, his expression livid, his gray eyes dark and firing with fury as he slammed the door closed.
Dawn smirked. It was completely unlike her, everything rolling through her senses and her emotions was completely un-Dawn-like since learning Seth had a lover.
She stopped, cocked her hip and stared back at him as he stalked over to her, gripped her arm above the hem of the long sleeved light jacket she wore and steered her to another entrance.Steered her nothing, he thought he was dragging her. The heat of his palm raced through the thin material of the black jacket, fired against her flesh and sent erratic impulses rushing through her body.
Past arousal was nothing compared to what she felt now. It wasn’t arousal, it was imperative all consuming hunger and a need that she couldn’t survive without fulfilling.
He was hers. He was a part of her soul. When had that happened? Other than those brief days ten years before she hadn’t allowed herself to be alone with him, hadn’t allowed herself the hope that she could have more than the nightmares.
She didn’t want the pity. She didn’t want the knowledge in his eyes of what she had been, but she couldn’t bear to lose him either.
He pulled her into another door, slammed it closed then swung her around to face him.
Dawn smiled mockingly as she looked around the huge, deserted laundry room.“Isn’t this just a little too cliché, Seth?” She drawled. “And here I’m not wearing my little French maid outfit. Should I change for you?”
My God. His eyes. For a second, the hunger, the lust that fired inside them wiped the thoughts from her head and the saliva from her mouth, and not in fear. She could smell the lust pouring from his body, his pores, filling the room with the subtle scent of male musk and heated flames. It was the most erotic scent she had ever known.
“Who the hell are you and what did you do with Dawn?” He snarled. “Better yet, why the fuck are you here?”
“What, didn’t want me to witness you going to your knees in surrender when you propose to your little bunny of the month?” She shot back, and watched as his nostrils flared, his head jerking back in surprise. “Didn’t think Callan would tell me, Seth?” She wrinkled her nose as she had watched Cassie do a dozen times when slapping one of the breeds down for impertinence. “Didn’t think poor little Dawn could handle the sight of it?”
His lips thinned as she watched the anger build inside him. Well that was fine with her. Let him get mad. Let him get as mad as she was and let him burn inside it.
“You’re right.” She lifted to her tiptoes and almost, just almost managed to get right in his face as she dropped the duffel back, placed her hands against his chest and pushed furiously. “You have a problem on your hands stud. See how you can fix it.
”He fell back a step, his expression frankly incredulous as she felt, scented, knew the hunger that began to whip through his system.
The power of it, it slapped around her, it tore through her like lightening and left her struggling to breathe as they glared back at each other like combatants.
“You don’t want to be here,” he snarled. “God damn you Dawn. I won’t let you fuck me up again, and I won’t let you fuck my body up again. Get your ass back on that heli-jet and get out of here. I don’t want you here.”
“Liar,” she growled furiously. “I can feel how much you want me here. I can smell it. I can feel it like flames burning over me, so don’t even try to tell me you don’t want me here.”
His hands clenched at his sides, anger pulsed off his body in waves and fired her own, just as the arousal did. She could feel the familiar dampness growing between her thighs, felt her nipples hardening beneath her light summer weight tank top and she felt her hands and tongue itch.
They itched like a rash. Worse than a rash. Or what she had heard a rash felt like. She wanted to touch. Touch his skin. She had to touch his skin, had to rub her tongue against it and infect him with the same insanity crawling through her.
“I don’t want you here,” he bit out again, furious, sincerity ringing in his voice as it sliced across her soul. “I don’t want to look at you, day in and day out and ache for something I can’t have again, Dawn. You won’t rip through me like that again. I won’t allow it.”
He didn’t want her? Had he ever really wanted her or had it just been the mating heat?
Pride had her head lifting, her chin notching in the air as she snarled back at him. “Then stay away from me, Mr. Lawrence. Keep your ass safe, and let me and my team find your irksome little assassin and I’ll just be on my way again.”
“Why?” Frustration, fury, lust, they all filled his tone.
“Why, because it would look excellent on my resume of course.” She shrugged, the sarcasm in her voice thick enough to slice through. “Just think of all the nifty little government assignments I’ll get after this? Commanding my own team. In the thick of the danger?” She drew in a hard, sensual breath through clenched teeth. “Mr. Lawrence, I could command my own price. All because I managed to save your very tight, very sexy ass.” She flicked her eyes over his body slowly and smiled. “Oh, and maybe your little mistress while I’m at it. Tell me, Seth, does she scratch and beg for more, or does she lay there like the little ice princess she portrays herself to be?”
Oh yeah, she had checked up on Miss Caroline Carrington herself. She had nice thick file residing in her PDA and more information due at any time.
“Do you care?” He was breathing hard, staring at her as though she were some alien creature he had never seen before. Well let him stare, because she didn’t know herself anymore either. But she would figure it out before she left, and when she left she would make certain she had freed herself of Seth just as easily as he had managed to free himself of her.
“Do I care?” She flashed a canine at him furiously. “Not for much longer I won’t, if I ever did.”
It was killing her. It was breaking her soul in two and she could feel the screams of agony ricocheting through the very core of her being.
She had dreamed of him, ached for him. She had watched him every time he had come to Sanctuary and inhaled his scent the moment he left a room. She had fought herself, and she had lost. Now she was losing here too and something inside her was screaming out at the pain of it.
“If you ever did,” he growled, flashing a look of male disgust. “That’s the problem Dawn. You never did, until now. Why now? Because someone else might have something you didn’t want to begin with?”
“And when did you bother to ask me if I wanted it?” She wanted to scream. She wanted to rage and pound her fists at him. Because he hadn’t. He had never come to her. He had flirted, he had teased and she hadn’t known how to handle it so she had run. And within months he had stopped doing even that. He stopped seeking her out, and he had stopped caring. And she had continued to hide, because as God as her witness she had no idea how to tell him she needed when all she could see was that flash of pity in his eyes.
“I followed you around like a love sick puppy for months,” he bit out in self-disgust. “When I could find you.”
“Months.” She waved her hand mockingly. “Poor little Seth didn’t get instant gratification. Isn’t that just such a shame? Bad Dawn, being so mean to him.”
Seth stared at her incredulously. Who the hell was this woman? This was not the shadow he had watched slipping around Sanctuary for ten years. This was not the woman who, on the rare times they were in the same room, avoided him like the plague.
He clenched his hands again, fighting against the nearly overwhelming need to just touch her. To run his hands down her arms, to feel her hands against his chest again. To take her lips. He didn’t want a cool little brush of lips as they’d had before. He wanted to take her lips, he wanted to devour them, he wanted to lick against them and suck that pretty little tongue into his mouth.
Arousal, almost violent in its extremity rushed through his system. He could feel the thickening of his cock, the blood pumping furiously to it.
Damn her to hell. He hadn’t been this aroused in his entire fucking life. So aroused he could feel the need in every cell of his body.
“Dawn, don’t push me.” He leaned forward just enough, just that extra bit that the Dawn he knew would have run for cover.
This one didn’t run. She stuck her chin out further, braced her hands on her hips and smirked. Son of a bitch, she was smirking at him.
“You’re so hot you’re going to catch this room on fire,” she snarled. “Tell you want Seth, don’t you push me and I won’t push you. And get the smell of your lust out of my face before I have to tell your little girlfriend just how hard you get for me.”
“Dawn, don’t do this.” He wiped his hand over his face, more to wipe the betraying sweat from his brow than for any other reason. “This has been hard enough. For both of us. Let’s just walk away from each other and thank God neither of us ended up too hurt in the process.”
But he saw the pain flash in her eyes, for just a second. It was there then gone so fast that he couldn’t be certain it had even been there to begin with.
“Of course you didn’t get hurt, Seth,” she murmured her voice cold, her lips twisting in amused contempt. “You would have had to invest something first, wouldn’t you? As I said, just stay out of my way so I can keep that tight ass of yours alive, and I’ll consider my job done. Now, can I get out of your laundry room? I’m tired of the scent of your dirty laundry.”
Anger and lust beat a tattoo inside his head and his balls. He fisted his hands, fought against the flames racing over his body and knew if he didn’t get out of that room, if he didn’t get away from her, he was going to take her. He would rip her pants from her body, bend her over the fucking folding bench and take her with all the pent up fury of a lust he thought he had finally conquered years ago.
He would do that to her. Even knowing the hell she had endured as a child. Knowing the brutality those monsters had used, he would still do it and he knew it. He knew it and it sickened his gut.
“Stay out of my way,” he snapped.
She lifted a brow smiled and flashed those pretty little canines in a smile that almost had him drooling with the need to take those lips.
“Stay out of my way,” she amended. “I’d hate infect you again. Wouldn’t that just suck, Seth?”
“More than you fucking know.” He gripped the handle to the door, gave it a vicious twist and slammed out of the laundry room before he ended doing something that would scar his conscience forever.