eBook Details

Nobody's Hero (Rescue Me Saga Book 2)

Series: Rescue Me Saga , Book 2.0
By: Kallypso Masters | Other books by Kallypso Masters
Published By: Kallypso Masters
Published: Dec 31, 2011
ISBN # 9781481152716
Word Count: 141,000
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EligiblePrice: $4.99

Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.mobi), Epub

Categories: Romance>BDSM Romance>Contemporary Romance>Erotic Romance

Description
Have you ever fallen in love with the wrong person—or the person who feels he or she is wrong for you?


PRAISE FOR NOBODY’S HERO:

With each new book Ms. Masters is weaving great stories for her Masters and making me fall in love with each couple. Karla and Adam are definitely my favorite, especially after this ending, but it definitely makes me want to read about Damián and Savi. (Amanda, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews)

~ ~ ~

You show a higher level of respect for military details than any romance author I have read. As a retired Navy spouse, I really admire and respect you for the extra care you take with your writing. (Kathy Holtsclaw, retired Navy spouse)

~ ~ ~

This story made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes as Karla and Adam struggle through issues that most of us have. I love that these characters are portrayed as average humans and not perfect fantasy beings. Adam has his flaws…. What’s important is how he overcomes and adjusts to those as he learns what they are…. (Star, BDSM Book Reviews)


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

NOBODY'S HERO is the continuing romantic journey of Adam and Karla, which began in MASTERS AT ARMS & NOBODY'S ANGEL.

Retired Marine Master Sergeant Adam Montague has battled through four combat zones, but now finds himself retreating from Karla Paxton, who has declared war on his heart. With a significant age difference, he feels he should be her guardian and protector, not her lover. But Karla's knack for turning up in his bed at inopportune times is killing his resolve to do the right thing. Karla isn't the young girl he rescued nine years earlier—something his body reminds him of every chance it gets.

Their age difference is only part of the problem. Fifty-year-old Adam has been a collector of lost and vulnerable souls most of his life, but a secret he has run from for more than three decades has kept him emotionally unable to admit love for anyone. Will Karla be able to break through the defenses around his heart and help him put the ghosts from his past to rest? In her all-out war to get Adam to surrender his heart, will the strong-willed Goth singer offer herself as his submissive and, if so, at what cost to herself?


ABOUT THE RESCUE ME SAGA: The books in the ongoing Rescue Me Saga are not stand-alone stories and should be read in order. Characters will recur in later books to deal with further issues in their lives as the saga continues and each book builds upon all previous ones. Sometimes main characters even need another book to help resolve major issues affecting their relationships.


BONUS MATERIAL in this version: Kallypso Masters has added the PLAYLIST of music that inspired her as she wrote about the first three couples mentioned in this combined volume, as well as a GLOSSARY OF TERMS and a CAST OF CHARACTERS in these books in the saga.


CONTENT WARNING: Intended for mature adult readers not offended by profanity and graphic (but never gratuitous!) sex scenes. Due to the emotional way in which the author presents the subject matter (past and present), the books might cause triggers while reading. Please read the Author's Notes at the beginnings of each book before reading further.
 
Reader Rating:  starstarstarstarstar (30 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   lipliplipliplip
 
Editorial Reviews:
From Amanda at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
I wanted to savor this book and read it slowly in order to enjoy it... In the storyline she developed Adam and Karla as well as the secondary characters...old issues resolved and new developments introduced. I didn't want it to end. With each new book Ms. Masters is weaving great stories for her Masters and making me fall in love with each couple.
From Jennifer Porter, Romance Novel News
Kallypso Masters has created a fascinating world in her Rescue Me series. "Nobody's Hero" is a fabulous addition. It has an emotional romance, and it is wickedly sexy. I am absolutely hooked on this series and will be reading the forthcoming installments.
From Ruby at Ruby's Books
Adam Montague is an amazing man, one that every woman should have in her life, either as a boyfriend, husband, brother, friend. Heck, even another man would be lucky to have someone as Adam on his side... Karla [Paxton] is a sweetheart. I loved her character so much and I loved the fact that we see her grow up since the very first book.
From Riane at Kinky Book Reviews
So I loved this book. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to slap Adam upside the head a few...several times. It's such a sweet story. But it's also hot and steamy. (I think Ms Masters made Santa's naughty list.) The characters awesome and well rounded. Some of the fantasies were very very um...yeah...there's a reason that they are fantasies.
Excerpt:
CHAPTER ONE

"What the fuck are you doing in my bed?”

Karla Paxton smiled. Adam Montague had always been so careful not to drop the f-bomb around her before—although she’d certainly heard him say it enough times to everyone else, when he didn’t think she could hear. Were his walls coming down enough for him to see her as an adult for the first time since they’d met?

“I needed to be close to you. Do you remember what happened?”

As if just coming to his senses, he glanced up at the IV pole and took in his surroundings. “Where am I?”

“At the medical center in Denver. You were attacked by a cougar.”

Realization dawned and he cupped her cheek, searching her face. “Are you okay? It didn’t hurt you? You’ve got circles under your eyes. God, you’ve lost so much weight.”

Adam, Adam, Adam. Always thinking about everyone else.

She didn’t want to think how awful she must look. If she’d known he would wake up today, she’d have at least put on a little makeup and brushed her hair. She needed to reassure him before he became any more agitated. “I’m fine, Adam. You got the cougar to chase after you and…” Her throat constricted as she pictured Adam lying on the ground with the large cat ripping at his neck and back. She closed her eyes and laid her forehead on his chest, but the image was seared into her memory. “I was so scared, Adam,” she whispered.

He stroked the back of her head and she wished they could stay like this forever. Intimate. Sharing. Close. But the walls wouldn’t stay down forever. She pressed her face against him, comforted by his heart beating against her cheek and the rising and falling of his chest.

His hand brushed a tendril of hair away from her face. “Thank God you weren’t hurt, Karla.”

“You saved my life. Again.” She stroked his neck, her head nestled in the crook of his shoulder, feeling as if she’d come home at last. Her hand traced a path down one of his pecs, which she’d ached to touch for so many years. She let her fingertip circle the hard nip.

Adam’s hand caught and stilled hers, his body tensing.

He pushed her away.

“You need to get out of this bed, Karla. Now.”

* * *

What the fuck was he doing touching Karla like that? When her body had stretched out against him, before the cobwebs had cleared, he’d thought perhaps he’d done something unforgivable—like taken advantage of an innocent girl. But wouldn’t he remember doing something like that?

His head pounded. Okay, one head pounded—the other throbbed, just as it had been doing whenever he was around Karla since the July day in his office when she’d come back into his life after almost nine years. Only now she was all grown up. If she didn’t get out of this bed soon, he was going to do something they’d both regret. His resistance had been lowered, but damn it, she felt so good lying against him.

“Adam.”

“Yes?”

“I have to tell you something.”

Oh, fuck. The last time she’d said that, she was sixteen and had declared her love to his forty-one year old self. Not ready for another such declaration, Adam tried to move her off his chest, but she wouldn’t budge and he didn’t have the strength to lift her. He hated being physically compromised. “Look, Karla…”

She giggled. His dick grew stiff. What was it about a woman’s giggle that turned him on?

“Don’t worry. It’s nothing like what I said on my parents’ front porch.”

He relaxed and she grinned.

“What is it, hon?” Don’t call her “hon.” She may get the wrong idea—again. Why didn’t she do as he’d told her and get out of this tiny fucking bed? Don’t mention fucking and bed while you’re holding Karla in your arms.

Her hand stroked his chest almost absently, although she certainly had his undivided attention. Her touch was tentative, gentle. He hadn’t let a woman get this close since Joni. Even with Grant, his friend-with-benefits partner at the Masters at Arms Club he co-owned, sex had been rough, hard, and sometimes even brutal. A physical release for them both, nothing more. Neither had ever wanted anything more.

But Karla was more fragile both physically and emotionally. She’d just lost her brother, who had meant the world to her. That grief was what had brought her to his club in the first place. Adam had cared about her since he’d rescued her nine years earlier in the Chicago bus station, not that he’d shown her much support these past few months. Hell, no. He’d been too busy running in the opposite direction. Adam didn’t know what it was that scared him the most—their age difference of twenty-five years, the thought of his corrupting her any more than he’d already done by bringing her onto the payroll at his kink club last July, or that she might get under his skin and expect more from him than he could give.

Hell, he’d lay odds she was still a virgin, or damned close to being one. She didn’t have any interest in BDSM and had no place in a club where she had to witness so many things that obviously freaked her out. He’d seen her cringe as she watched Damián Orlando, one of the club’s co-owners, wield the whip or heard one of Grant’s subs screaming at the center post as the female Marine delivered a public and painful punishment.

“When I saw you lying there on the ground…” Karla cleared her throat. “The cougar was so big. You were bleeding. So much blood. I thought you’d been killed.”

He pulled her close to him. Just this once. He needed to reassure her that he was going to be fine. “I’m pretty ornery. No cat is going to get the best of me.”

“Well, I’ll give you ornery.”

He chuckled. “Ah, glad my secret’s out. Keeping up appearances can be exhausting.” She felt so good lying in his arms, even though he was too weak to keep his arms around her much longer. His biceps were feeling the strain. Damn, he was getting old.

“Worst-kept secret around. You’ve been very ornery lately.” She paused, stroking his chest. He wished she’d get the fuck out of this bed. His dick was throbbing to the point of pain. Having her in his arms was totally wrong.

“I’m sorry about whatever I did to upset you…” Her voice broke, along with his resolve.

Oh, shit. He’d made her cry. “Hon, you didn’t do anything.” Except look so fucking sexy you drive me insane. “I just have some shit going on in my head. I never meant to make you feel bad.” So why are you about to make her feel worse? “But I think it might be good for you to think about moving back to Chicago. You don’t belong in a kink club.”

She pushed herself up and looked him in the face, her blue eyes steely as she glared at him.

“Adam, you will not send me away—not until you’re better, at least. I know you’re too stubborn to see it, but you need me. I’m going to take care of you, just like you took care of me when I first got here. This is all my fault. If you hadn’t distracted that cougar…”

He pressed a finger over her lips and then pulled back. He didn’t need to be thinking about touching her sexy pink lips at the moment. The dark circles under her eyes and her thin, pale face worried him. But if she’d been attacked…

“If I hadn’t distracted that cougar, you’d be the one hooked to the IV. Or worse.” He stroked her cheek, unable to help himself. The thought of that dangerous cat marring any part of her beautiful body tore at his gut worse than the animal’s claws had torn up his back. She wouldn’t have survived. He shuddered. “I did what anyone would do. Besides, my hide’s tougher than yours. Damned cat didn’t stand a chance.” He grinned. When she reciprocated, he stared at her lips for the longest time, wondering what it would be like to kiss them.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

“Get out of this bed, Karla. Now.”

* * *

Eleven days later, Karla waited in the hallway outside Adam’s bedroom, pacing. When she heard the door, she turned and watched Marc D’Alessio come out, carrying his first-aid bag. Adam had been home nine days and seemed to be healing, but he was still recovering, first from the infection and then the deep injuries to his muscles. She hated watching him suffer in pain every day. He’d always been such a vital force.

Adam would take the antibiotics from her, but sometimes refused his pain pills and absolutely refused to let her see his back. Marc had stopped by twice a day since Adam had come home to change the dressings and apply analgesics to try to keep Adam comfortable. Karla was secretly glad Marc didn’t mind re-dressing his wounds, because he—having served as a corpsman with Adam’s Marine unit in Iraq—certainly had more expertise in the area than she did.

She didn’t want to fail Adam now.

“Whatever you’re doing, Karla, keep it up. I can see a huge improvement from one day to the next. Now he’s getting cantankerous, too. Should be back to his old self again in no time.”

Some of the tension left her body. “Thank you.” The words were barely spoken above a whisper. Exhausted, she wondered how she managed to remain upright anymore. Word that Adam was doing better overloaded her with emotion and her upper lip began to quiver. Marc held his arms out and she walked into his embrace. Really needing a hug right now, she let him bear her weight for a moment. If only it were Adam holding her.

“Where the stitches were removed, there’s no sign of re-injury. We just need to try and keep him from overdoing it when he gets up and about more. He’s chomping at the bit to get out of bed. I gave him one of the pain pills, though, after I treated the wounds and bandaged him up again. He’ll sleep for a while. Come down and have lunch. Angelina’s cooking up something good, I’m sure. Cassie’s downstairs, too.”

“No, I…”

He placed his hands on her upper arms and pushed her away from him, waiting until she looked up into his eyes. “Apparently, you misunderstood me, Karla. You are coming downstairs to have lunch with us. Now.” Without waiting for her to respond, he took her elbow in his firm grip and steered her toward the stairs. “You know you aren’t going to do him any good if you don’t take care of yourself. You need to remember to eat and sleep, too.”

He was right, but the guilt that plagued her every waking moment wouldn’t release its hold. Adam had been injured trying to save her when the cougar threatened her, and he had suffered terribly in her place.

They reached the bottom of the stairs and he motioned for her to precede him down the narrow hallway and into the kitchen. Cassie sat at the table with her sketchpad, lost in her drawing.

Angie turned around, left the stove, and came toward her. “Oh, sweetie, you look exhausted. Didn’t get any sleep last night either?”

“Not much. It’s hard to sleep in a chair.” And I don’t want to miss it if Adam needs me during the night.

Angie wrapped her arms around her and Karla’s already shaky rein on her emotions evaporated. She held on for dear life, too exhausted to fight the tears off anymore. God, she despised being so powerless. She imagined Adam must feel equally frustrated, though, and shouldn’t complain.

“I hate seeing him lying there. He’s always been so strong. Invincible. I know he’s getting stronger, but he still has so far to go…”

Angie stroked her hair. “He’ll get there, thanks to how well you’re taking care of him. You just let me know what you need. I’m here for you, day or night.”

Karla was so glad she’d met this woman, despite the circumstances. When the man who had brought Angie to the Masters at Arms Club in late August had become abusive toward her in one of the club’s theme rooms, Marc rescued her. When he’d had to go back to his duties at the club, Adam gave Karla the rest of the night off from singing so she could watch over Angie.

Karla had dropped her off at her home about three hours away the next morning, battered and disheartened. Karla had never expected to see her anywhere near the club again. But Angie and Marc had somehow reconnected in her hometown a month later. Out of the blue, Karla had gotten a call from Angie saying she was on her way back to the club with Marc and his SAR partner, Luke. There were some tense moments, but thank goodness Marc and Angie worked things out. They’d been together since the night before Adam had been attacked on the mountain.

Since Angie returned to Denver, she and Karla had become good friends in a short time, removing some of the loneliness Karla had experienced since arriving at the club in July reeling from Ian’s death.

Karla glanced over at the table. Cassie López, whom she’d known since college, looked up from her sketch and smiled sadly.

“Kitty, let me sit with him tonight so you can get some sleep. I feel like a fifth wheel around here.”

Karla had rarely left Adam’s side since he was in the hospital. After he’d come home, Cassie stayed on to support her friend, helping with meals, laundry, and watching over Adam while Karla showered or napped.

“Just having you here has helped me so much, Cassie.”

Cassie stood and came across the room. Her exotic Peruvian heritage, with her lustrous long dark hair and beautiful olive complexion, was something fair-skinned Karla envied. Her best friend wrapped her in a big hug, the scent of freesia surrounding her. Karla wished her friend hadn’t gotten caught up in all this drama. She avoided drama almost as much as she avoided men.

She remembered how they’d all come to be together that fateful night that had almost taken Adam away from her. Karla picked Cassie up at her remote mountain cabin home during the first week of October to go on the annual overnight camping trip she and Cassie had been taking since Cassie moved out here. The campout always included some kind of cathartic ritual ceremony and Karla needed that more than ever this year. They’d invited Angie to join them, because she needed to release some painful shit, too.

But soon after they’d arrived at their camping spot, all hell broke loose. Karla shuddered. She didn’t want to think about how close Angie had come to being hurt even worse by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Because of that bastard, Adam, Marc, Luke, and Damián had wound up on the mountain that night. Tears pricked her eyes. When Karla had been threatened by a cougar, Adam enticed the big cat away from her only to be attacked by it himself. Karla cringed, forcing herself to block out the image of the animal clawing and biting Adam.

Since the cougar attack, Cassie had stayed here with Karla until she could get a ride home. Angie was staying at Marc’s house—well, when they weren’t here, too, helping out. Marc was one of the co-owners of the club, along with Damián. They both were like family to Adam.

The kitchen door opened and in walked Marc’s partner, Luke. “Something smelled good all the way out on the porch.” He walked over to Angie, placed a hand on her back, and started to kiss her on the cheek, then halted and turned to Marc. “Permission to kiss the cook.” Marc’s gaze homed in on Luke’s hand on Angie and the newest Dom at the club removed his hand as if burned.

“Granted—but only on the cheek.”

The two Doms exchanged an amicable grin and Karla relaxed. She had to wonder if there hadn’t been something between Luke and Angie at some point. These days, however, the woman clearly had no interest in anyone but Marc. “I think I might need to do a better job of explaining some protocols to you, Baby Dom—like teaching you to ask before you touch—not just before you kiss—another Dom’s sub.”

“Oh, behave, you two,” Angie said, walking over to the refrigerator. “Too much testosterone in here. Besides, we’re not in the club right now, so protocols don’t apply.”

Angie had told Karla she and Marc were strictly Dom/sub in the bedroom and while playing at the club. Since Karla had gotten the job singing at the club, Karla had been surprised to learn about the range of commitment available to people in the BDSM lifestyle—everything from a single night to a lifetime commitment.

There was still so much she didn’t understand about this stuff.

Marc watched as Angie placed the salad dressing on the counter. “Some protocols always apply, cara, such as respecting another Dom’s property. Maybe we need to renegotiate our agreement.”

“But you promised…” Karla saw a flash of uncertainty cross Angie’s eyes and Marc chuckled.

“I’m not saying I want less Dom/sub time, cara, but maybe more.” When he held his arms open, she smiled and walked into his embrace.

Karla looked away, tears stinging her eyes again. She was happy for them, but wished she and Adam could have a relationship like theirs. Hell, she’d be happy to have any kind of relationship with Adam. Period.

Luke turned his attention to her. “Karla, how are you doing, darlin’?”

She shrugged. “Hanging in there.”

“Hope you don’t mind my dropping by.” Adam and his friends pretty much had run of the building, which included the club and now even Adam’s private living quarters. She’d become used to people dropping by whenever they wanted.

“Marc promised food.” Luke placed his hand against his stomach. “I can’t cook worth shit.”

“Join the club. Angie’s tried to teach me, but…well…”

“Don’t worry, Karla,” Angie chimed in. “We’ll get back to lessons when things settle down again. You were coming along great.”

Karla couldn’t believe a local restaurant hadn’t snatched up Angie with her amazing culinary skills. Angie wanted her financial independence, which Karla understood. Singing at the club part-time didn’t pay a lot, but Karla hadn’t been sure she’d be staying here, so she hadn’t looked for anything to supplement her income. Adam provided for so many of her personal needs—room, board, clothing. It made her feel guilty. She’d been independent while working at the Goth club in New York City for a couple of years, until she’d gotten fired a couple months after Ian had been killed.

And, while she’d never admit this to her liberated mother or friends, she liked the way Adam took care of those physical needs at least. If that was the only role Adam wanted to play in her life, then she’d be content.

Or try to be, at least.

When Luke’s attention homed in on Cassie, focused on her sketchpad again, Karla wished her friend would at least give him a chance. His shy, self-deprecating grin and that Texan drawl were endearing. In the hospital waiting room almost two weeks ago, Karla had first realized there might be some cosmic connection between Cassie and Luke. Something definitely had brought them together, based on the sketch Cassie made of Luke’s dead wife and baby. Needless to say, Luke had been understandably moved by the haunting image, but Cassie retreated into her internal world again.

Karla would like to help her friend find love and happiness, even if those emotions weren’t possible for Karla—at least not with the man she wanted to enjoy them with.

Karla walked closer to the table. “Cassie, I know you probably need to get back home soon. There must be any number of artist commissions you need to be working on.”

Right on cue, Luke offered, “If you need a ride, Cassie, I’d be happy to run you home.”

Cassie’s pencil stilled and her hand hovered over the sketchpad. Okay, it was too soon for that. Karla went over and stroked her friend’s back. With her history, of course Cassie wouldn’t be comfortable alone with him, even if he didn’t pose an actual threat to her, by Karla’s estimation.

Luckily, Angie came to her rescue. “Cassie, I need to go back to my house in a few days and pack up some more things. I could take you home then.” Cassie was only about thirty minutes from Aspen Corners.

Cassie’s face relaxed. Gentle Luke wouldn’t hurt a soul, though, nor would any of the Doms at the Masters at Arms. She wished her friend wasn’t afraid of all men, but certainly understood why. Perhaps if Cassie wasn’t alone so much, she could become more comfortable around men.

“Thanks, Angie. I’d like that, but only when Kitty’s ready to kick me out.”

Thinking about anything other than Adam right now was more than Karla could manage, but knowing Cassie had a way back to her cabin was a relief for her, if his recovery stretched out too long. There were plenty of people around to help, even though she’d miss Cassie.

Marc came over and stroked Karla’s arm. “You’re going to take a nap after lunch while one of us sits with Adam.”

Karla pulled away and wiped her suddenly damp eyes with the sleeves of her black t-shirt. Time to change the subject before she started sobbing and embarrassed herself—again.

Looking at the stove, Karla asked, “What smells so good?”

“I’ve got penne pasta with roasted red peppers and garlic in the oven.”

“God, Angie, you make cooking seem so simple. Will I ever…” Oh, what was the use learning how to cook for Adam now? Karla wouldn’t be here long enough to make anything for him. Once he was stronger, he’d be sending her home to Chicago. Her eyes burned again and she blinked rapidly. “What can I do to help?”

“Nothing,” Marc said, taking her elbow and steering her to a chair. “Table’s all set. Come, sit down.”

He pulled out Adam’s chair at the head of the table. Seeing it empty reminded her that Adam wasn’t able to join them. A lump lodged in Karla’s throat, and she took the one beside it instead. Angie carried a baking dish to the table and Marc went over to the counter to retrieve the bread, wine, and salad dressing. Seeing them so in sync together just made her feel even sadder, which, in turn, made her feel more guilt. Why begrudge them happiness, just because she could never have it herself?

Luke sat beside Karla, with Cassie on his other side at the end of the table. Oh, dear. She probably should have sat closer to her friend. Marc and Angelina sat close to each other across from Karla and Luke. The meal began in silence with them eating their salads, and then Angie dished out the main course and passed a plate to each of them.

Karla’s eyes were drawn to her as Angie reached out and touched Marc’s hand. Even a simple gesture like that was more than she could have with Adam, more than Adam would let her have, anyway.

Angie held onto his hand and squeezed. “Marc, the sheriff’s office called. Allen’s bail request was denied. Looks like we won’t have to worry about him getting out for a while. Apparently, they take kidnapping a whole lot more seriously than battery.”

A look of pain flickered in Marc’s eyes. Angie had suffered at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Allen Martin. Karla had seen the fear on Marc’s face that evening on Mount Evans when they’d gone to rescue Angie, no doubt thinking the worst had happened. He cared a lot about Angie.

Karla’s hand began to tremble and she rested it on the table so no one else would see the fork shaking in her fingers. Too late. Luke reached out and squeezed her hand until the shaking stopped. When she looked over at him, he smiled.

“Adam would want you to eat more than that.”

“I know. I just…”

He picked up the fork and stabbed a couple pieces of pasta holding them up to her mouth until she parted her lips and accepted the offering. Everyone was taking such good care of her, so she could take care of their friend, Adam. This rag-tag family Adam had brought together would be lost without him.

Visions of the blood pooling beside Adam’s neck as he lay motionless curdled her stomach. Karla couldn’t block the horrific images from her mind. Everything had happened so quickly. Adam running toward her to try and calm her fears. His distracting the cougar, which chased and attacked him. She’d tried to wrestle the cat off him, until Marc had pulled her away so Damián could shoot the beast.

The graphic memories led to a roiling stomach and, after a couple more forkfuls, Karla took the utensil from Luke, fearing she’d get sick if she ate another bite. But she smiled at him, appreciating his support.

“Just remember, cara, he’s still strong or he wouldn’t be here,” Marc said, using one of his native Italian endearments. “You just wait. He’ll be back to his old self again, ordering everyone around and running his tight ship, same as always.”

Yes, but without me.

Karla was pleased when Luke took advantage of the lull in the table talk and struck up a conversation with Cassie, trying to draw her out of her silence. His knowledge on the subject of fine art surprised Karla. He worked as a carpenter and woodworker. Of course, he’d shown a knack for designing some of the unique pieces of equipment used in the club.

Cassie seemed equally surprised. “How do you know so much about art?”

“Art major in college.” When Cassie’s eyes opened wider, he explained. “The University of Texas, where I went on a football scholarship, didn’t have the industrial arts major I wanted. But I’m really glad I chose studio art instead. It’s helped me a lot with my work.”

Cassie gave him a hesitant smile, then her brow furrowed and she retreated again, focusing on her food. Well, it was a start. At least the two of them had found common ground to build on.

Karla’s eyelids burned. She wished she and Adam could find common ground. Karla laid her fork on the table, no longer able to eat for the anxious churning in her stomach.





CHAPTER TWO



That night, Karla’s neck ached from sleeping curled up in the chair beside Adam’s bed yet again. After two weeks of bedside vigils—first in the hospital and then at home—it was a wonder she could move her neck. She glanced at him, all stretched out on the other side of his king-sized bed. His chest rose and fell in rhythmic breathing. As usual, he slept without a shirt; the sheet and blanket pulled down to his waist. His pecs were ripped, those delicious nips begging to be sucked to granite-hard peaks, just the way she’d always fantasized. His body looked as firm and tight as she’d imagined it all those years ago. She smiled when she remembered wanting to try to bounce a quarter off his chest and licking his pecs the first time she’d seen him without his shirt.

Oh, don’t go there, Kitty.

She hadn’t reverted to her high-school nickname in a while. Must be because Cassie was here and still called her that. Karla looked longingly at the large bed. Surely Adam wouldn’t mind if she lay down on this side. There easily was room for three people in the bed. She was exhausted and hadn’t been able to sleep more than in small snatches since the attack.

Karla lifted the sheet and blanket and crawled between the sheets. Heaven. Funny how a bed could make such a difference in the ability to relax. Knowing Adam slept peacefully beside her and was on the mend, reminded her that her time here was limited. She would take what she could get. If this would be the only time she “slept” with Adam, then so be it.

The thought that he didn’t want her in his house or club anymore, and had said as much at the hospital, caused an ache in her chest. He hadn’t mentioned it again since they’d brought him home—and she certainly didn’t bring it up—but she wouldn’t continue to live with him as she had been. Wanting, needing, but having him ignore her. The pain of having him so near and not being able to touch him, to love him, was more than she could bear.

Except for tonight. Even though he slept beside her, she still couldn’t embrace him. But she could pretend. They looked like any married couple sleeping side by side after many years together. Not touching, but still irrevocably connected. Tonight, she felt closer to Adam than ever before.

At last, the sleep that had eluded her since Adam was injured beckoned. She surrendered…

Adam’s hard body nestled against her backside, and his arm curled around her waist with his firm hand cupping her breast. She’d had erotic dreams of Adam before and gave in to this one, snuggling against him. His erection—larger than she’d dreamed it in the past—pressed against her ass. The hand on her breast stirred and his finger and thumb rolled her nipple, causing her hips to jerk back against his hard penis.

Karla gasped. Too real. Her eyes flew open to find her in near darkness, but she came fully awake in an instant. This was no dream.

More like a dream come true.

Adam!

He continued to play with her nipple, teasing it to the point of pain, sending jolts of electricity to her girly bits. She held her breath, not wanting to wake him. Not wanting to stop him.

Touch me.

His hand left her breast and roamed across her abdomen. Oh, dear Lord, had he heard her silent plea? Or had she spoken the plaintive words aloud? She raised her leg, tenting the covers, giving him easier access. Usually she slept in the nude, but the thigh-length t-shirt had been her concession to decency while watching over Adam. She wore no panties and was seconds away from having Adam’s fingers on her…

Touch me there, Adam.

His hand continued to glide down her body, over her hips, onto her bare thigh, and then he stopped. No! Not yet! He stroked her inner thigh and pulled her legs even more open, and his hand moved upward. Her heart pounded in her ears.

Oh, yes, love. There.

If he stopped now, she’d surely die. She licked her lips, which had gone dry. When had she started panting like a dog in heat? Oh, dear Lord. She should wake him. This wasn’t right. He didn’t even know he was with her. He could be dreaming of Joni.

No. She wouldn’t think about his dead wife now. Joni was gone. Joni couldn’t give Adam what he needed anymore.

But could Karla stop him, even if she wanted to? She needed his hands on her so badly. Had craved this moment for so many years. When his finger slid over her clit, she gasped. So sensitive. The little nubbin went into spasms. She’d touched herself there before with her fingers and her vibrator, but no one else had ever done so. What a difference—not knowing how he would caress her, where, when, how much pressure.

His finger delved between her curly folds and pressed against her pussy’s very wet opening. He entered her, filling her tight hole, but didn’t go far before he pulled out again and returned to touching her clit. She’d dreamed of having Adam touch her like this for so long. Now he was doing just what she wanted. She’d always hoped one day he would make love to her.

But not like this.

She had to wake him. Whether he was in a deep sleep or under the influence of the painkillers, it was wrong to take advantage of him like this. She scooted onto her back to face him and he nuzzled her neck, his whiskers scratching against the tender skin there. Her clit throbbed against his finger.

“Oh, God, Karla. Now you’ve invaded my fucking dreams.”

Karla? He’d said her name! Adam was dreaming about her. Not Joni. A delicious euphoria spread through her, like when she hit a particularly high note with perfect pitch. She relaxed and smiled, wrapping her arms around his neck, then easing away again when she remembered his injuries. His finger continued to stroke her clit, and she rocked against his hand, moaning.

Don’t stop, Adam.

Her heartbeat sent an insistent throbbing to her clit. More. Oh, dear Lord, she wanted so much more of him. As if he heard her, he raised his body, groaning in pain. Marc had said he should avoid strenuous activity. Oh, God. How strenuous was too strenuous?

All lucid thought vanished as his body hovered over hers, his finger inside her. Soon she worried about whether she should stroke him; how she should move. With tentative fingers, she stroked his bulging, corded biceps, shivering at the raw power there, despite his having been weakened from the cougar attack.

“So wet,” his voice rasped.

His finger entered her again. Then another finger. Oh, God, yes. She bucked her hips up against him.

“I can’t wait, Kitten. I promise I’ll go slower next time.”

Kitten. The endearment melted her into a pool of Jell-O.

He pushed his sweatpants off his hips, releasing his penis. His very hot, hard penis which now pressed against her pussy. He rubbed the tip against her cleft, from her vagina to her clit, again and again. Oh, yes. At last, he pressed against her pussy, pushing himself inside, slowly filling her. Her hips bucked up toward him, taking him deeper.

“So fucking tight.”

His finger stroked her clit and she moaned as waves of sensation spread through her. She could have flown off the bed.

“Yes, Adam. Don’t stop.” His finger moved faster. “Oh, God!” She moved her hands up to stroke Adam’s chest. His pecs were like steel. “Oh, please, don’t stop!” Her hips began to buck even harder, against his finger, his penis.

“Come for me, Kitten.”

His finger against her clit stroked faster, sending waves of electricity throughout her pelvis. “Yes. Oh, Adam, yesss!” She found herself just on the edge of a precipice, hovering above the unknown. Step off. Fly. Her breathing stopped. “Oh, oh, ohhhh!” So close. She wrapped her arms tighter around his neck, pulling him down to kiss her. With a groan, he rammed his penis fully inside her.

Her scream of pain filled his mouth and brought his body to a halt. The unanticipated pain registered in her mind a half-second later. Tears stung her eyes. She’d read about the breaking of a woman’s hymen and how much it was supposed to hurt, but she’d had no idea. Luckily, just as quickly as the pain had come, it receded.

“No fucking way.”

She opened her eyes to look up at him and found Adam staring down at her in disbelief as realization dawned.

She whimpered. She wanted. She needed.

“Adam, I saved myself for you. I wanted only you. Please don’t pull away from me now.”

The look of torture and remorse on his face hurt exponentially more than the physical pain she’d experienced a moment ago. “What have I done, Karla?”

“Nothing I didn’t want you to do.” She reached up and stroked the planes of his beautiful face. “I wanted you to make love to me more than anything, Adam.”

But not as much as I want you to love me.

“I’ve never wanted anything more in my entire life.” She tilted her hips, wincing at the residual tenderness, but she wanted Adam to finish what he’d started, damn it. “Please, don’t leave me like this.”

Please don’t leave me—ever.

With a groan, he lowered his forehead to hers, gasping for air from his earlier exertions. Then his hips began to move as he pulled out of her. No, Adam! She clenched her vagina around his penis, not wanting to let him go. When he thrust back inside her, it caused some discomfort, but she controlled her facial expression, not wanting to reveal any negative emotion for fear he would stop. Oh, she didn’t want him to stop. She smiled, then gasped and held on when his finger stroked the nubbin that had become even more sensitive than before. She tried to evade his finger.

“Stop. It’ll be better for you this way.”

Trusting him, she spread her legs open wider and wrapped them around his waist, resting her heels at the small of his back, hoping she’d avoided the places where he’d been mauled by the cougar. He pulled out and rammed himself inside her even deeper, forcing the air from her lungs. So full.

“Oh, yes!”

At her cry, his movements increased. The feeling of oneness with him was unexpected. Her Adam, at last making love to her. She raised her hips to meet him, stroke for stroke. His finger slid along the side of her clit, not quite touching it directly now, matching the movements of his hips. Pressure built up inside her again, even more intense than the last time. As he continued to thrust in and out, his finger touched her clit and she climbed toward the precipice again.

“Oh, Adam! Please don’t stop!”

“As if I could.” His voice was raspy with sleep, or perhaps the drugs. But he knew it was Karla he was making love with. She smiled.

His strokes increased again. Hips. Finger. Penis.

“Come with me.”

His finger applied direct, rapid pressure against her clit. The sparks of electricity ricocheted throughout her body. “Yes! Oh, Adam! Yesssss! Oh, God, yesss!” She hurtled over the precipice as her insides exploded. Her hips convulsed against him and her pussy clamped onto his throbbing penis as he spurted inside her. She screamed her final release.

Adam grunted as he pumped his seed inside her. “God, yes, Karla!” Then he stopped abruptly, his breathing labored as he recovered from the exertion, the first real exercise he’d had since before the attack. “Aw, fuck.”

Aw, yes, Adam. A great fuck.

“Tell me you’re on birth control.”

What? Her mind was still floating back to earth from the experience and he wanted to talk about contraception? “Birth control?”

He looked down at her, worry and regret in his eyes. She didn’t want him to regret anything about this beautiful moment. But she had to be honest. “I’m sorry…No, I’m not.” Not sorry in the least. If a baby came as a result of what they’d just done, then it would be the most precious gift anyone had ever given her. Even if Adam didn’t want it—or her—she would love his baby for the rest of her life.

He rolled off her, the friction of his penis pulling out of her causing her to wince again. When he covered his eyes with the crook of his elbow, a tear slid from the corner of her eye and she brushed it away before he could see it. He already regretted what they’d done together. She needed to get away from him before she started crying—or decked him. Karla swung her legs over the side of the bed.

“I’m sorry, Karla. I never wanted that to happen.”

He doesn’t want me. Reeling from his rejection, she stood and ran to her bedroom, feeling a sticky wetness between her thighs. First, a shower. But she wouldn’t be able to wash away the feeling of dirtiness his callousness had made her feel.

No!

No way would she let Adam’s feelings of regret, guilt, and remorse taint the beauty of what they’d just experienced. His lovemaking had been the most wonderful thing to happen in her life. Even better than anything she’d fantasized about all these years. She would hold onto the memory of this night forever.

* * *

Jesus Fucking Christ, what had he done? A virgin. He’d had an inkling she was one, because she’d never spoken or written about any men in her life. He’d avoided her for months, because he sure as hell had had no intention of finding out. Not with his god-damned dick, anyway.

Not like this.

She was young enough to be his daughter. Shit, she’d come to him for comfort and now he’d taken advantage of her. What the fuck was he going to do if she got pregnant? He wasn’t worried about STDs. He was always so damned careful—well, until tonight—and she’d obviously never had sex with a man before. God damn it. What if she got pregnant? No matter what she would choose to do about a baby, it would change her life forever.

Not to mention his.

God damn it. What had just happened in here? He’d finally started to regain some strength, most likely from the crunches he’d been doing when Marc and Karla weren’t around scolding him like a child. But he’d overdone it yesterday and had to take another of those damned pain pills before going to sleep. Clearly, he’d been out of it—well, until he was into it. Into her. He’d regained his faculties quickly, but it was already too late.

Why the fuck hadn’t he trusted his gut last July and defied Damián when he’d insisted on hiring her after her audition? He should have sent her home to Chicago immediately. No, instead, he’d let Damián hire her to sing at their BDSM/kink club. Hell, he’d even done a rope bondage demonstration on her at Marc’s house a couple days before the cougar attack.

Now he’d fucked her. A god-damned virgin.

Jesus Christ.

One more thing to add to his life’s long list of sins for which there wasn’t enough contrition to absolve him.

Adam reached over and turned on the light. Glancing down at the sheet, he noticed the bloodstain and closed his eyes again. He’d hurt her. Yeah, he’d fucked up royally. God, had he ever.

But what was she doing in his bed in the first place? It seemed every time he woke up lately, she was in bed with him, or sleeping in a chair nearby. How was he supposed to keep her at arm’s length when she plastered her body against him?

Don’t go there, shithead. You are completely responsible for what happened. She was an innocent—until you came along.

Truth be told, if his memory wasn’t totally faulty, it sure seemed like he was the one plastered against her hot little backside.

When he sat up, the muscles in his back and neck protested loudly. He sat on the edge of the bed waiting for his head to clear, and then stood. Slowly, trying not to pull any maimed and healing muscles—if he hadn’t already done so while pumping his dick into Karla with so much enthusiasm—he walked into the adjoining bathroom to clean himself before returning to the bedroom. He pulled from the dresser a clean pair of sweats and a USMC t-shirt.

Between having sex and being out of bed for the first time in more than two weeks, he was as weak as a kitten.

Kitten.

He’d called her Kitten. Where the hell had that pet name come from? Oh, yeah. Her friend, Cassie, had called her Kitty when they were hiking down the mountain looking for Angelina. He’d wondered all those years ago in the Chicago bus station what nickname she hadn’t wanted to reveal to him. Kitty.

He preferred Kitten. His kitten.

Aw, fuck that shit.

Hell, he needed to check on her. He crossed the hallway and knocked softly on her door. Was Cassie still sleeping next door? He hadn’t ventured out of his bedroom since he’d gotten home from the hospital. Karla’s best friend would find out soon enough what he’d done, but he wasn’t ready to face the accusations of being a pervert yet. He needed to regain more of his strength first.

“Karla.” He hoped his voice carried through the room’s solid oak door.

No response. He should just go back to bed and leave her alone. Or maybe he should get Cassie up. Karla might be more comfortable talking with a woman at a time like this. Then the sound of sobs coming from Karla’s room undid him, twisting his gut into knots tighter than the ones he used in rope suspension. Aw, hell. He’d made her cry. He opened the door and found her lying across the bed wrapped in a towel. Her long bare legs stirred his dick back to life.

Fuck it all to hell, old man. Can’t you control your little head anymore?

“Karla?” Her body tensed and she rubbed her hands against her eyes, but didn’t turn to face him. “Hon, we need to talk.”

“Not now, Adam. Please, just don’t say anything more.”

More? What had he said? He tried to think back, but came up blank. Damned pills. “Hon, I can’t tell you how sorry I…”

She rolled over and glared at him, dashing more tears away from her cheeks. The towel loosened to expose her beautiful breasts. His dick throbbed harder. Until she came along, he could go months without having sex, and now he was eager to go at it again in what, less than an hour? What the fuck was the matter with him?

Judging by the glare in Karla’s eyes, having sex with him was the furthest thing from her mind at the moment. Good girl. At least one of them was thinking clearly.

“Adam Montague, I don’t want to hear another word about your regrets.”

She sat up, ignoring her bared breasts. Well, he certainly couldn’t ignore them. Their dusky pink areolas begged to be touched. Sucked. Bitten.

Whoa! He wouldn’t be having rough sex with Karla—scratch that thought. He wouldn’t be having any kind of sex with Karla ever again.

“What happened in your bed a little while ago was the most beautiful thing that’s ever happened to me, and I won’t let you cheapen it or make me feel dirty because I didn’t stop you when I should have.”

When she should have? Hell, he was the one on top. Wasn’t he?

Karla stood and came closer to him, first stabbing him with her angry gaze, and then poking his chest with her finger. At least she finally pulled the towel up to cover her breasts. “I’ve wanted you to make love to me for months. Now all I want is for you to get the hell out of my room.”

Shit, he’d not only hurt her physically, he’d hurt her emotionally. Total clusterfuck.

Adam reached out and pulled her closer, rubbing his hands up and down her bare arms. “Karla, I never wanted to hurt you. If I hadn’t been on all those meds…” The flash of pain in her eyes told him he’d just hurt her again. Okay, he needed to steer clear of that tack. “Hon, your first time should have been with someone who can make a commitment to you…” Shit. Now tears. A woman’s waterworks always wrenched his gut, but he’d rarely seen Karla cry. He reached out and wiped them away with the pads of his thumbs, then pulled her against his chest.

“Aw, Kitten, I’m so sorry. Please believe me. I wish I’d made your first time so much more special.”

“Adam, it was special. Please don’t make it ugly now. Don’t apologize anymore for making love with me.”

Christ. What did she need to hear from him?

Adam wanted to lift her into his arms, but didn’t have the strength, so he sat on the edge of the bed and pulled her down into his lap. She laid her head against his shoulder and he stroked her gorgeous thick hair, remembering how incredible it had felt to finger comb and bind it in the hair corset at Marc’s—that evening seemed like a year ago.

He nearly lost his resolve to do right by her. He wanted nothing more than to press her into the mattress and make love to her the way he should have the first time, but he wasn’t going to make anything better at this point with more sex. Time to regroup and form a new plan. Assess the situation on the ground, figure out how to put this behind them, and move forward. He just had no fucking clue how to do that.

“What do we do now, hon?”

She reached up to brush away her tears. “Don’t make me leave, Adam. Please don’t send me away.”

What was she talking about? He didn’t know what all he’d said in the bedroom exactly, but didn’t remember any talk about sending her away. At least, not that he’d spoken aloud. Had he? Oh, hell, maybe he had. Damn it, he hated having his head on so many fucking drugs. How was he supposed to navigate these dangerous waters when he was under the influence of narcotics? He wasn’t going to take another damned pain pill from now on.

“I’m sorry, hon.” She stiffened, and he added quickly, “If I said I wanted to send you away, it must have been the pills. I don’t want you to go anywhere.”

I need you.

Whoa. Sure, he wanted her, but it wasn’t a need. He didn’t need anyone. He’d never needed anyone.

Karla pulled away and her tear-stained face tore at his heart, her long eyelashes clumping together. He’d put those tears there. “Adam, I can’t go on the way we’ve been living, though.”

“What do you mean?” What was wrong with the way they’d been living?

She placed a hand at his hairline, just above the scars at the nape of his neck, and pulled him toward her, letting her other hand stroke his cheek. Oh, God, no. He couldn’t resist her when she used tactics like that. He groaned and turned his head, but his mouth sought out her sexy lips instead. He grabbed the back of her head and deepened the kiss, his tongue delving into the sweetness of her mouth. His dick came to a full salute.

Shit. No. This needed to stop. Now.

She moaned, making him aware that his hand was cupping her breast. Those firm breasts had been begging to be touched for months, and he’d lain awake many nights imagining what it would feel like to do just that. Now here she was in his lap, his arm around her, hand touching her.

Yeah, he needed to stop this shit. Now.

His lips trailed down her neck, and her head dropped back giving him better access as she gasped for air. He’d never been so out of control.

God help him, but he didn’t want to stop. Ever.

“What do you need from me, Kitten?” he whispered in her ear.

“Love me, Adam. Please, just love me.”

Oh, God. Don’t ask for the one thing I can’t give you or anyone. He pulled away and searched her eyes, watching the sparkle fade as realization dawned on her. What a fucking heel he was. “I’m sorry, Karla. I can have sex with you, but there can never be anything more than that.”

“Because you still love your wife?”

He closed his eyes and pressed his forehead against hers. No. Because he didn’t want to hurt Karla the way he’d hurt Joni. “I made a lousy husband, Karla. You deserve someone who can love you one-hundred percent, twenty-four/seven. I’m not that man.”

“Bullshit.”

He pulled back and opened his eyes to find her glaring back at him again. Well, it sure beat tears. This woman was not the meek Karla he’d encountered in the hallways in this house, or at the kitchen table, all these months, but the one he remembered as a sixteen-year-old. The one he’d corresponded with for almost nine years. Feisty, stubborn, and full of life. For some reason, she seemed to have rediscovered that feistiness while he’d been in the hospital. That seemed to be when everything went south and her demeanor had changed.

“Come again?”

“You heard me. I said ‘bullshit.’ Joni loved you and I know you loved her. You still do.” Karla’s hand reached up to stroke his cheek and her voice softened. “But she’s been gone a long time, Adam.”

He winced. Guilt assailed him at how he’d treated Joni, never able to love her the way she wanted and needed to be loved. Guilt at how he would hurt Karla, too, if she tried to get that close to his heart. Guilt—the useless emotion that threatened to consume him before he tamped it back down. Guilt didn’t help anything. He couldn’t remedy anything about his relationship with Joni. But Karla was another matter.

“What would a young woman like you see in an old man like me?”

“Would you get your head out of your ass for once, Adam, and see what’s been in front of your face for months? You need a living, breathing woman who can warm your bed and your heart. You need me, whether you’re fucking ready to believe it or not.”

“Watch your language.”

“Excuse me? I’m only a few years younger than Grant and she swears like a…well, a Marine.”

“Grant is a Marine—you’re not. What’s Grant’s age or swearing got to do with you anyway?”

Adam had no clue what was getting Karla so riled up, but he stroked her arm to try and calm her down, surprised when it seemed to work.

“Adam, I don’t know what we have in common, because you won’t let me close enough to get to know you. But I know you served in the military, as did my brother. I know you like to eat, so I’m having Angie teach me to cook, mainly for the joy of watching you eat whatever I make.”

“You don’t have to go to all the trouble…”

“Don’t interrupt.”

Damned bossy woman.

“I want to, Adam. I want to please you.”

His mind zeroed in on the words “please you” and raced to images of Karla restrained for his pleasure. His dick needed no further encouragement. Having her sitting in his lap was better than anything he could imagine. Then again, maybe not. Big mistake.

“I know you’re brave and kind and noble and that you care about me or you wouldn’t have bothered to send me all those letters for nine years—”

“Being a pen pal isn’t a reason to fall in love with a guy.”

“I. Said. Don’t. Interrupt.” She glared until he gave her a nod of the head. The woman had Domme written all over her. A relationship between them would never work.

“I know you got a mountain lion to chase after you just to save me. And I know you’re my hero.” The intensity in her eyes and catch in her voice caused his gut to clench.

“I’m nobody’s hero. Anyone would have done the same when they saw you were in danger.”

She winced. He’d hurt her again, damn it, but he needed to divest her of the notion there would ever be anything more between them.

“Adam Montague, you will not degrade what you did on that mountain any more than you will degrade what we shared in your bed, or I’m going to be the one wielding the whip and striping your ass the way Damián does his masochistic subs.”

“Sorry, hon, but I don’t swing that way.” Oh, yeah. Definitely a dominant. Shit. No fucking way was she coming after him with a whip. “See? We don’t even have kink in common.”

His kitten leaned toward his ear and said in the sexiest purr he’d ever heard, “Adam, when you bound me with those ropes in Marc’s playroom, I was never so turned on in all my life.” His dick was about to explode.

Damn. Adam had known that demonstration had been a mistake from the start and still didn’t know how he’d ever gotten roped into it, so to speak. Karla had seemed as surprised as he was when Angelina suggested it.

He rubbed his hand over his face. This conversation was going south fast. When had he lost control with Karla? The damned cougar attack. How soon could he regain the upper hand with her? Maybe when the fog cleared completely? At least he’d sworn off the damned pills now.

Time to regain control. “Hon, it’s not like you seem to have had a lot of experience with being turned on.”

Karla pulled away and her eyes, reddened from her recent crying jag, became narrow slits. “Not true. I’ve been turned on by you for a long time. You just chose to ignore me.” She cupped his cheeks in her hands, forcing Adam to stare into her eyes again. “The only person I ever wanted to turn me on was you, Adam.”

If she didn’t stop whispering like that, he was going to embarrass himself.

“When I saw you in my parents’ kitchen without your shirt—oh…my…God. I was ruined for any other man right then and there.” She grinned.

He’d turned on a sixteen-year-old? Hell, he’d thought she’d been embarrassed, not excited. If her mom would have let him put his damned shirt back on, maybe none of this would have happened. Karla definitely took after her mother. Two strong, dominant women.

He needed to get Karla off his lap. It was wrong to take advantage of a naïve, innocent—well not as innocent as she’d been an hour ago—woman who was just discovering the joys of love. No, not love. Sex.

Wrong to wrap his arms tighter around her.

Wrong to want to kiss her.

He knew all that, so why was he ignoring his inner compass and doing those things anyway?





CHAPTER THREE



Adam's arms tightened around her. A charge of electricity ripped through her. Still holding his face in her hands, she moved her face toward his, brushing her lips lightly against his, enjoying the tingling sensation. She wanted to savor this moment. His lips were firm and soft at the same time. She kissed his upper lip, then his fuller lower one. He didn’t reciprocate, but that was okay. They had hours before daylight would bring the house to life again. With his walls of resistance still lowered, she had no doubt how her first seduction scene would turn out.

Adam Montague, you are doomed to be loved by me forever, whether you choose to accept me or not.

With the tip of her tongue, she traced the line between his lips, and he groaned, his hand moving up to cup her breast. Her bare breast. The towel must have slipped down again. She hadn’t even noticed. Nor did she care.

Yes. Touch me, Adam.

“Oh God, Kitten.”

The special endearment was growing on her. He rolled her nipple between his finger and thumb, sending another zing straight to her clit. She squirmed on his lap, his erection pressing against her thigh. Karla smiled. What a feeling of power. Now to move in for the kill. Thank God she’d watched a lot of romantic movies, or she might not have even known how to kiss him like a woman would. She’d fantasized about this for many, many years, but most especially since seeing him again last July.

Karla took her fingers and splayed them over the very short hairs at the nape of his neck, then held his head firmly as she pressed her tongue against his lips, breaking through and delving inside his mouth. His hand convulsed over her breast and nipple at her gentle, but persistent, invasion.

He pushed her away, and she looked at him through half-lidded eyes. Both of them gasped for air. Then he pulled her toward him with a groan that sounded an awful lot like surrender.

His tongue met and welcomed hers, teasing, stroking, dancing. Her clit throbbed. More. She wanted more but she needed to go slowly. God, she’d die if he pulled away from her again. He invaded her open mouth and assaulted her senses. Air became a precious commodity, and she gasped, trying to fill her aching lungs.

Throwing her head back, she gave him access to her neck, and he pressed kisses against the throbbing pulse there. His whiskers scratched and tickled at the same time. Her clit throbbed in response. As a teenager, she hadn’t imagined him with whiskers. She stifled a giggle. What a giddy feeling. At last, Adam was kissing her, loving her.

Well, maybe love was too strong a word. He wasn’t ready for that. But she definitely hoped he would make love to her. Again. Slowly. With great feeling.

His lips nuzzled into the hollow of her throat, and her girly bits grew wet. Her entire body tingled at the awareness he awoke inside her. More. Dragging her hands from around his neck, she touched his chest with trembling hands, wishing he wasn’t wearing a t-shirt now. She wanted to see his chest in the light coming from her bathroom door. She hadn’t been able to see much of him before in the darkness of his room.

Adam’s hand moved from her breast and grasped her wrists, pressing her hands against his chest. Confused, she lifted her head and watched him close his eyes as he leaned forward until his forehead pressed against hers. He took several raspy breaths, apparently having as much trouble breathing as she was.

Don’t pull away from me, Adam. Not again.

He sat up and opened his eyes, a look of pain on his face. No! Her heart squeezed tight before he even spoke.

“I can’t do this to you, hon.”

“I want you to do this with me, not to me.”

“You deserve better than me.”

Her voice sounded hoarse when she spoke. “Adam, they don’t come any better than you.”

“You don’t know anything about me.”

(end of excerpt)
Reader Reviews (12)
Submitted By: Tammy69 on Sep 18, 2013
Third book in the Rescue Me series. Love the scene with Shibari.
Submitted By: BonDarKen on Sep 11, 2013
I would like to be able to give this a higher rating, could not quit reading.
Submitted By: 67afrostdo on Jan 21, 2013
Well he's certainly Karla's hero, and a special one! Book 3 in the "rescue me" serie (don't miss ANY of the books, as they are not alone-standing and well really good). Well developed characters, plenty of emotions and yes, romance. Go for it!
Submitted By: DrJ on Jan 19, 2013
Their story began in a bus station, a hardened Marine rescuing a troubled teen. But their lives continued on, often at great distances, but involved on some level always. Now their lives are in close proximity and the heat is turned up, the choices must be made, the future taken seriously. As always, Ms Masters keeps the reader held in thrall with her writing skill, the multi-level story, the the sexual tension and deep loyalties that grow out of true friendship and authentic loving. Great!!
Submitted By: bookworm77 on Jan 7, 2013
Prepare yourself for this story because you are in for an emotional ride! Adam and Karla's story does not disappoint, I experienced such strong emotions with this story, I wanted to strangle Adam and yet I wanted to give him a hug. Ms. Masters is a spectacular storyteller who creates emotional evocative tales of the BDSM lifestyle! This book is a truly exceptional Erotica masterpiece! I guarantee you will love this book!
Submitted By: tmh0616 on Jan 7, 2013
Book 3 of the Rescue me Series has not disapointed. The author has remained true to her character development. Something many authors find hard to do in series. Love the way she developed the relationship between Karla and Adam. Took the potential creepiness out of the storyline. Very well done!
Submitted By: north on Jan 4, 2013
I love this author her books have fantastic characters who are engaging, this is no exception. Tension between the two characters keeps the story moving and maintained my interest
Submitted By: pudel on Jan 4, 2013
I downloaded the freebie book on this series of hunky ex-vets and was drawn in to their lives. Adam had a lot of deep feelings and tried to keep Karla at bay but she is a feisty little miss that knows what she wants and that was Adam. What wonderful sexual tension between those two that steamed my glasses when reading Ms. Masters novel. You have to rejoice as an older alpha man takes charge. Please enlist me for further stories in the future.
Submitted By: ~faerie~ on Nov 27, 2012
Another hit! Great story, evolving characters, hot marines...what's not to like? This is another awesome read. Definitely recommend. And I have to say, I love all the characters in her books.
Submitted By: karenminfl on Mar 13, 2012
Adam and Karla's story is just so very special. I knew it wouldn't be easy for the two of them to get together but this story was over the top wonderful. These two have had such a long running friendship and to see all that caring pack into a relationship was beautiful. And to top off the rocking relationship this story is pack with so much drama and so much past baggage getting unpacked that there something new every few pages. This book is not conducive to getting a good night's sleep.
Submitted By: uksuzi on Mar 12, 2012
I can't wait for the next book. I love this series.
Submitted By: GlassLass on Jan 30, 2012
I loved this read just as much as I did Nobody’s Angel. My insides went ka-thunk and other parts went zing just like Karla when Adam goes all Dom. This is a must read!!! But start at the beginning. Now I have to wait to read about Damian and Luke. PS - There is an absolutely, wonderful Shibari scene.
 

Nobody's Hero (Rescue Me Saga Book 2)

By: Kallypso Masters
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