She quickly unfastened his jacket, dragging the sturdy material off his shoulders and down his arms. “I changed my mind.”
Her mouth silenced his reply and her fingers went to work on the fastenings at the front of his pants. Reality narrowed and focused, accenting his motivation with brutal clarity. They stood in the foyer of her elegant penthouse, inside the security grid he had found no other way to penetrate. He’d done everything in his power to work around Cassie, to insulate her from the danger, but all his efforts had been in vain. The only way to the access codes was through Cassie Myer.
Their lips pressed and slid, tongues joined in a sensual tangle. He ran his fingers through her thick blonde hair as she eagerly rubbed against him. Desire pulsed through his willing body, but his mind remained anxious and conflicted.
She’d stripped him to the waist and loosened his pants when he caught her wrist and tried again. “It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, but I don’t want—”
“Why the sudden attack of conscience?” She twisted out of his grasp and searched his gaze. Uncertainty crept into her expression and she glanced away. “You had no trouble touching me last night or the night before or…”
Fane debated what to tell her. His betrayal was inevitable. Still, he wanted to prepare her as much as possible. He brushed his knuckles across her cheek, drawing her gaze back to his. “I don’t regret these past few days, but I know you’re still hurting. I don’t want to take advantage of you.” The warmth in her smile sent guilt stabbing into his heart. She had suffered so much already. How could he knowingly contribute to her pain?
“Who’s to say I’m not taking advantage of you?” Her palms stroked over his chest and came to rest on his shoulders. “I needed to know I was capable of feeling something other than grief, anything other than pain, so I seduced you.”
He couldn’t suppress a smile. The more time he spent with her, the more he admired her spirit. She would be so easy to care for, so easy to love. Duty shouldered through the tender feelings, leaving him tense yet alert. Regardless of his admiration, he was here for a reason. A valuable agent had already given his life in pursuit of these codes. Fane wouldn’t let Nicho’s death be in vain.
Framing her face with his hands, he pressed his lips over hers. “I’ll willingly succumb to your wickedness, if it helps ease your pain.” He teased her mouth with light kisses and trailed his fingertips along her neck. Her skin was satin smooth and warm, beckoning him on to more intimate touches.
She pushed to the balls of her feet and fit her mouth more securely to his. Her hands resumed their trek across his shoulders and down his back.
Fane tightened his arms around her and nipped her chin. “I want to do it right this time.”
She laughed. “I didn’t realize we’d been doing it wrong.”
“You deserve better than shabby hotels and a frantic tumble in a stranger’s bathroom.”
“You’re such a romantic.” She sifted his hair through her fingers as mischief sparkled in her eyes. “And such a liar. You knew anyone who walked past that bathroom would know what we were doing. You certainly took your time driving me crazy and we weren’t even trying to be quiet.” After pausing to return his playful nip, she added, “It turned you on. Admit it.”
He hadn’t meant to fuck her at the party, just make the nature of his interest unmistakable. But she’d responded so sweetly, her need every bit as urgent as his. “I didn’t care who knew what we were doing. I don’t have a reputation worth protecting. But I don’t want you ridiculed or embarrassed by anything we do.”
She tensed. “Why am I any different than anyone else? You have to stop thinking of me as a fragile widow or this will never work.”
He kissed her again, hiding his expression as he savored her sweet lips. She wasn’t just a widow. She was Nicho’s widow and she had no idea her husband had been a spy. If Fane let himself analyze the situation any further, he’d lose sight of the goal. He picked her up, cradling her against his chest.
“Where am I taking you?” he whispered.
“Second door on the right.”
Her lips trailed down the side of his neck as he shifted her against his chest. She was warm and soft, passionate and giving. Guilt tangled with his desire. Why couldn’t this be as wonderful as it felt? It had been so long since any woman stirred more than his most basic needs.
This isn’t real. She doesn’t belong to you.
She was Protarian elite and he commanded the Mutant Underground. They were enemies.
Moving into the luxurious bedroom, he set her down beside the bed. Before he could issue his first directive, she lifted her skirt and bent over the bed. She wore a black thong that left her ass cheeks bare, so the invitation was unmistakable. He’d used a firm spanking to ease their awkwardness and awaken her reluctant responses the first night they met. Now she felt incomplete without the sting and creeping heat of a nice, sound spanking.
Who was he to deny a lady what she needed. Especially when that lady had the softest, roundest ass he’d ever seen. She looked back at him uncertainly, clearly waiting for him to begin.
“Lose the thong, and spread your legs. I want to watch your pussy grow wet and flushed waiting for my cock.” Cassie was all sophisticated elegance and proper manners, so it amused him greatly that dirty talk turned her on almost as much as a little rough handling.
She dragged the thong down and kicked it aside, then slowly moved her legs apart, barely revealing her folds.
With obvious reluctance she moved her feet farther apart. She still wore heels and her ass tilted up to the most beguiling angle. Her folds parted, framing her core and the puffy little clit just begging for attention. Even her puckered asshole was now visible, another forbidden pleasure in desperate need of exploration. The position was so lewd, so dirty. He knew it had to be driving her crazy. It was certainly having that effect on him.
He adjusted the fall of his pants, hoping to ease the pressure in his rock-hard cock. It didn’t help, so he moved into position and brought his hand down on her ass. He savored the sting, drawing the sensations up his arm as he spanked her again. Her round cheeks jostled with each impact and quickly turned bright pink.
She gasped, then moaned as he swatted upward, catching the lower curve of one cheek and then the other. “That really hurts,” she whispered.
“I know.” She didn’t change position or ask him to stop, so he continued the spanking.
After ten firm swats, he traced her slit with the tip of one finger. “So wet already.” He pushed his two middle fingers deep into her cunt, proving his point. “How’s that feel?”
“Not as good as your cock would.”
He chuckled and pulled back his hand. “You’re not nearly desperate enough for my cock.”
“I am. Please. I can’t wait tonight. I need you too badly.”
He rewarded her impatience with two hard spanks. “I say when, and I say how. Your pleasure belongs to me.”
After another round of swats, she cried out then moaned, moving restlessly against the bed. He continued, heating not only her lush ass cheeks, but the back of her legs. Then he knelt and held her still while he kissed the bright red skin. He brushed his lips along her soft crack and onto her slick folds.
“Come for me, love. Don’t hold back.” He pushed his tongue into her crease and found her clit, caressing the sensitive nub until orgasm took her. The bedding muffled her screams, but her thighs tensed and a fresh rush of wetness coated his tongue. He licked her until every last tremor had been wrung from her responsive body.
She was limp and sweetly submissive when he picked her up and placed her in the middle of the neatly made bed. She wrapped her arms around his back and pulled him down beside her. Their mouths met and melded, sharing the taste of her surrender.
He wanted her with a soul-deep longing, which only made his desire more impossible. He was inside the security grid. There was no reason to take this any further. Guilt surged through him, a belated attack of conscience. He should have stopped before he spanked her, but he’d been unable to deny her obvious need. The hunger raging through his body, however, made no difference to the people depending on him. Some things were more important than lust. He’d accepted that fact long ago.
He moved on top of her, ensuring her silence with his mouth and controlling her movements with the weight of his body. She didn’t struggle—at first. Then she felt him push into her mind. Wiggling and twisting, she resisted the mental invasion.
Her fists pounded his shoulders and his chest, the impact nothing compared to the pressure building between his legs. Each frantic arch of her body rubbed her mound against his cock. His body wasn’t nearly as ready to shift gears as his mind. He would not remember the heat of her snug passage or the breath-stealing pleasure they’d shared. This was business. She was a means to an end.
She needed to calm down so he could calm down and focus on the task at hand.
Relax, love. I won’t hurt you. I would never hurt you.
But he was hurting her already. He could sense her confusion and fear. Even so, he couldn’t let her emotions distract him. Her father was the most powerful man on Protaria. Fane would never have an opportunity like this again.
Constructing the command with meticulous care, he sent out a seeker pulse. Show me Nicho. The compulsion worked like a search engine, collecting information connected by a common theme. If he scanned without specific parameters, his mind became vulnerable.
She tensed beneath him, resisting the seeker pulse with every molecule of her stubborn nature. He intensified the command and she shuddered, yielding with a muffled cry. The information trickled through her shields. He scanned quickly, absorbing facts and images with ravenous interest.
He wasn’t sure what was important and what was trivial, so he collected everything. It was better to absorb too much than to ignore something that might prove crucial later.
As he’d suspected, she had no idea Nicho was a spy. That much was immediately clear. And she didn’t seem to know anything about the access codes. Fane wasn’t surprised. Nicho had stumbled across them while running down an unrelated lead. He hadn’t been sure they were significant and neither had Fane until Nicho was murdered in his sleep. It could have been a tragic coincidence, but Fane wouldn’t know for sure until he analyzed the access codes.
Cassie’s thrashing gradually slowed. He pushed deeper and a soft whimper escaped her throat. He eased back and slipped his forearm beneath her neck. Her lovely face was pale and drawn, her lips slightly parted.
I’m sorry, Cassie. I’m so sorry. He brushed the hair back from her brow and pressed a kiss to her temple. With infinite care and control, he launched a second series of compulsions. Sleep swept over her mind while his image disintegrated in her memory. If she remembered him at all, he’d seem like a hazy dream, a figment of her imagination. Just a moment longer to make certain she was out then he’d search the apartment for Nicho’s vault.
System reboot. Nanite series 371 initialize.
The message sounded in Cassie’s mind, remote yet distinct. A surreal jumble of impressions and sensations followed as consciousness undulated in and out of focus. The nanites triggered a stringent smell and her nostrils twitched. What had caused the overload? For that matter, where was she?
Clarity dissolved and mist rolled across her mind, sweeping her into memory’s bittersweet haven. A familiar rush of sorrow accompanied Nicho’s image. Would she always miss him this badly?
Another man, younger yet somehow more commanding, appeared within her mind. His clear green gaze caressed her face while a lazy smile curved his lips. Sensual lips, tender lips. She knew what it felt like to kiss those lips and be devoured by them. Everything about him was intimately familiar. So why couldn’t she remember his name?
The scene swirled, blurred then refocused. She was locked in the stranger’s arms, kissing him with obvious passion. One of his hands held the back of her head and the other cupped her bottom. Surely she wouldn’t allow a stranger to touch her like that. Why couldn’t she…
The scene faded then refocused again, becoming even more detailed. She bent over the bathroom counter, skirt bunched around her waist, panties pulled down to her knees. Her reflection stared back at her from the mirror only inches away. She looked stunned, yet yearning burned in her eyes. She appeared so pathetically needful that she had to look away.
The stranger stood behind her firmly spanking her upturned ass. It was surreal, yet she could feel every swat, and the prickly heat as it spread through her lower body, burning off the numbness in her soul. Why would she let a stranger spank her? This didn’t make sense.
Her gaze locked with the man’s intense green eyes. “Do I have your undivided attention now?”
She whimpered, then nodded. “I see only you.”
“Good. Now turn around.”
He knelt in front of her as she braced herself against a bathroom counter. Her skirt was still bunched at her waist and her panties were down around her knees. Her pussy was exposed to a stranger, yet she felt only smoldering desire.
His thumb traced the delicate folds peeking out between her trembling thighs. Each teasing pass sent waves of heat rushing through her core. She felt restless and empty, more needful than she’d ever been before.
“Please,” she whispered as her passion-bright gaze shifted toward the door. She was begging him to lick her pussy with people milling about in the next room. Had they heard the crack of his hand against her ass? That would be even more humiliating. The muffled throb of music accented her pounding heartbeat and overlapping conversations reminded her that they weren’t really alone.
He pressed his face against the apex of her thighs, his breath warming her sensitive flesh. His tongue parted her folds and his upper lip teased her clit. Sensations curled through her abdomen, gathering intensity as they climbed to her chest. She resisted the urge to cup her breasts and ease the aching fullness. Her nipples hardened, sensitized to the point of pain.
“More.” Consuming need made her brazen. She wanted his kiss and his cock and she didn’t give a damn what anyone heard or thought. Wiggling out of her panties, she unabashedly spread her thighs. “Lick me, fuck me. Anything you want.”
With desire sharpening his features, he draped one of her legs over his shoulder and pushed his tongue right into her cunt. She bit back a scream, mesmerized by the carnal savagery in his expression. He licked and sucked, filling his mouth with her arousal as his gaze bore into hers.
He paused suddenly and inhaled deeply. Raw lust stabbed through Cassie. Like an animal, he was scenting her, imprinting her smell on his memory. Amber light shimmered in his eyes, accenting the distinct angles of his handsome face. The light was significant, but she couldn’t think beyond the pleasure building inside her body.
She was connected to the image yet distanced from the event, a voyeur on her own life. Her hand moved to the back of his head, urging him on. This wasn’t her bathroom and she seldom attended parties. Was this only a dream?
Before her mind could decipher the specifics, he took her clit between his lips and gently sucked. Her head fell back on her shoulders and lights danced before her eyes as pleasure shook her entire body. He stayed with her, prolonging the powerful spasms with more torrid kisses.
Then he pushed to his feet and lifted her to the countertop. She gasped as her tender butt connected with the cold countertop. But discomfort only added to the ache, so she wrapped her legs around his waist and buried her fingers in his hair. The deep mahogany strands caressed her fingers as she brought his mouth to hers. She kissed him slowly, deeply, intrigued by the taste of her own pleasure on his tongue.
Tingling aftershocks peppered her abdomen, drawing her attention to the hollowness still residing there. Despite the incendiary orgasm he’d just triggered, her body demanded more.
“I think we should stop.”
She barely made out his words between clinging kisses. “No,” she cried. “I need this. I need you.”
“Then let’s go—”
“No.” Her tone was calmer yet no less insistent. “Here. Like this. I want your cock inside me now.”
His control snapped. With frantic determination, he unfastened his pants and freed his erection. She wanted to touch and taste him as thoroughly as he’d explored her, but there wasn’t time. He guided the impressive length to her opening then draped her other leg over his arm.
Grasping her hips firmly with both hands, he drove his full length inside her. Tighter and tighter she stretched, accommodating his thick shaft. She clenched her teeth to keep from crying out as he filled her emptiness.
He paused for a moment with his shaft buried to the hilt. His heartbeat thudded against her breast, her core echoing the steady thump. She savored the completeness of their joining and the comfort of his strong embrace. How had she survived without these feelings?
His hips pulled back slowly, prolonging the blissful slide. She pressed her shoulders against the massive mirror behind her as he drove inward again and again. Four slow thrusts were all he could stand then he slipped his hands beneath her pink bottom and fucked her in earnest.
Bending his head, he claimed her mouth in a demanding kiss without interrupting the steady motion of his hips. She stroked his shoulders and squeezed his back, her lips open to his questing tongue.
Tension built and his pace sped up. The unmistakable slap of flesh against flesh filled the bathroom. His mouth muffled her cries until pleasure burst within the vision, pulsing through her body and saturating her mind. A yell as piercing as her orgasm shattered the image and released her into a colorless void.
Echoes of sensation ricocheted through the darkness, drawing her back toward reality.
Who was her phantom lover? Sex had never been like that, not even with Nicho and… Nicho was dead.
She sat up on her bed trembling and disoriented. It was dark, but she couldn’t remember how she’d gotten home. Triggering her nanites with a practiced mental command, she waited for the cold rush of adrenaline to clear away the cobwebs. Her heartbeat sped and her muscles twitched, but she felt no less muddled.
Had the party been real? Searching her mind, she found distorted faces and muffled voices, events that made no sense. Her last clear memory was… She wasn’t even sure what day it was. Something was definitely wrong.
And if none of it was real, why did her ass feel hot and achy as if she’d recently been spanked? She rubbed her thighs together and wiggled a bit. She wasn’t wearing panties!
“Security, please respond.” After a moment of silence she repeated the command. Still, there was no reply.
Feeling decidedly shaky, she lowered her feet to the floor and stood. The room tilted and her stomach heaved. She covered her mouth with her hand and stopped moving until the sensation passed. Pressure thrummed behind her eyes, but the nausea subsided. And through it all she registered the faint throb of her bare behind.
She crossed to the control console and found it equally unresponsive. Was there a power outage? “Lights, fifty percent.” Nothing happened.
The power must be out. So why hadn’t the emergency generators kicked on? The security grid and emergency lighting had redundant backups. This didn’t make sense. She hurried down the hallway as fear welled inside her. She couldn’t sit here in the dark, wondering what was going on. Central security was stationed two floors down from her apartment. They’d know what had caused the outage and if she needed to sleep somewhere else tonight.
A sick feeling erupted in the pit of her stomach. If she’d been spanked, what else had he or she done while she was unconscious?
Lightning arced overhead, illuminating the skylights. Thunder crashed an instant later and she crossed her arms over her chest. A storm. This was nothing more than a weather-related power outage.
Expelling a shaky breath, she hurried along. She hadn’t always been this easy to rattle. Not that long ago she’d considered herself brave. Then she found her husband strangled to death in their bed and her entire world changed.
A movement in her peripheral vision drew her attention into her office. She stumbled to a stop in the doorway, momentarily paralyzed by disbelief. It was him, the man from her dream. Even in the shadowed room, she recognized him instantly.
“Security to the penthouse, code red,” she blurted, not knowing what else to do.
“You don’t need security, Cassandra. I won’t hurt you.”
Security didn’t respond. She hadn’t really expected them to. It had been instinctive to call for help. “How did you get in here?” She paused for a breath, trying not to sound so shrill. “Who are you? What do you want with me?” Why did you spank me, and was that all you did? Fear closed her throat before the last made it past her lips.
“You were supposed to be sleeping peacefully until long after I’d gone.” He took a slow step toward her and then another.
If it hadn’t been for her nanites, it was likely she’d be unconscious rather than confused. “That didn’t answer my questions.” She licked her lips and backed into the hall. “Did you drug me?” Was he responsible for the power outage? That was even more likely than the storm. He didn’t seem violent, but she wasn’t taking any chances. “Did you—rape me?”
“I would never hurt you.” His wicked smile flashed in the shadows. “Unless you wanted me to.”
Then the image rolled through her memory. She hiked up her skirt and leaned over the side of a bed—her bed—offering her bare behind to her unseen lover. Were they lovers?
Her mind remained a jumble of scrambled images and unanswered questions. There wasn’t anything in this house that couldn’t be replaced—at least not anymore.
She pivoted to the side and made a dash for the front door. Warm fingers clasped her upper arm, bringing her up short barely inside the living room. He reeled her back into the hallway and pressed her against the wall.
“I can’t let you sound the alarm until I’m gone. Please go back to your bedroom and behave.”
“Behave?” she scoffed. “Who the fuck are you?”
“My name isn’t important. You know I won’t hurt you.”
And she did. Instinctively she knew he meant her no harm. So why couldn’t she remember his name or why she’d let him into her apartment? She wasn’t sure how, but she also knew he was here because she’d allowed him into her life, likely into her bed.
Shards of golden light erupted in his light green eyes. The beauty held her spellbound for an instant before her brain registered the significance. “You’re a mutant,” she whispered the accusation as dread unfurled within her. Mutants had killed Nicho! Mutants threatened everything she held dear. “Why are you…? What do you…?”
“The less you know, the safer you’ll be.” He swept his knuckles along the crest of her cheekbone.
She batted his hand aside. “Is that a threat?” Shoving him backward, she tried to dart past him. He slapped his hands against the wall on either side of her and pressed in close.
“I won’t hurt you, but I will do whatever is necessary to protect my mission.”
His warm breath wafted across her lips and tingles danced down her spine. She could remember the blissful fullness of his cock moving deep inside her. Why was the sensation still so strong?
Sadness extinguished the mutant light burning in his eyes. He cupped her chin with one hand and lowered his head as if he meant to kiss her. Unsure if she wanted to resist or test the accuracy of her memories, she hesitated a moment too long. His lips pressed over hers and she went wild. Shoving and kicking, she thrashed within his arms. His presence pushed into her mind and she screamed, the sound muffled by his lips.
Detecting danger, her nanites surged into action. He gasped and jerked his head to the side. “Stop fighting me. I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Get out!” She slammed the heel of her hand against his shoulder.
He took her face between his palms and stared into her eyes, his gaze glowing like molten gold. Go back to sleep.
No! Get out of my apartment!
Determination hardened his expression and he pressed his forehead against hers. You will go to sleep—now.
Darkness closed in around her, sucking her into oblivion.