Focus (Le Corbeau, #1) ✓

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6. Bad News

Bruce grinned dangerously as the pad of his thumb caressed my bottom lip. Subconsciously, I parted my lips and sucked slowly, watching his nostril flare in response. Hissing, he squeezed the nape of my neck tightly and with one swift move, he flipped me onto my stomach, forcing me to my knees with my backside high in the air. His hands travelled down to my hips and he leaned over my body, his front to my back. I shivered as his lips brushed the shell of my ear, causing tingles to flow throughout my entire body. His frame was so wide compared to my slim body I couldn't help feeling like he was protecting me from... from what?

Stop thinking, McKenna!

“Are you sure about this?” He asked in a husky tone. “Your stepdad could come back any moment now,”

The nagging thought of John walking in mid-coitus was horrifying. I blew out a deep breath. “My room,”

Once again, he tossed me over his shoulder and climbed up the stairs two at a time. He was as eager as I. The sexual tension travelling between us was irrepressible – every attraction first starts off physical. My reaction towards him was primal, instinctive towards a sexually attractive male.

He knew the directions to my room and impatiently kicked the door open then tossed me onto the bed. I bounced a little before settling and witnessed a gleam of mischievousness in the depths of his silver irises. They were darkened with desire.

He crawled on top of me, pressing his lean, muscular body on mine. I kissed him gently and with light pressure, he deepened our contact. Moaning in delight, I smiled as he bit my lower lip gently as he moved down my neck to my chest and back up again.

“You’re gorgeous,” He whispered, holding my face so tenderly I could cry. Showering me with kisses, one of his hands traced down one of my sides, sneaking lower to meet my tender flesh. I gasped, feeling my chest flutter at the prospects of what was to come. Bruce grinned against my cheek, pulling away to stare at me. His thumb moved in slow circular motions and I bit my bottom lip, tensing my thighs.

“Are you a virgin?”

I scoffed, lazily rolling my eyes. “No, I just haven’t done this in a while,”

He continued his sweet torture and I released a cry of unrestrained pleasure. Pecking my jaw lightly, he kissed down my chest, capturing one cocoa nipple with a light tug. I gripped his dark strands with a sharper tug and desperately grab something to ensure this was all real.

If someone told me Bruce would be in my bed kissing me senseless right before we fucked, I would’ve laughed in their face. His attraction towards me was a stark contrast to what I remembered back in high school. I was the definition of invisible when it came to the male population. People only knew me as the girl with the crazy, abusive father.

My father! My eyes scanned the room nervously but Yusuf was nowhere in sight. I sighed in relief and my body relaxed whilst Bruce kissed down my stomach, moving lower and lower and lower until he reached my core. Tensing when his tongue darted out to graze my bud lightly, his hands gripped my hips in warning.

“Stay still,” His voice was hoarse, tainted with desire.

“Oh fuck," I groaned and covered my eyes.

His finger pushed into my folds, feelings my walls before releasing a breath of satisfaction. “Shit, you’re already wet,”

It didn’t stop him from assaulting my centre. I covered my mouth to hold in a moan as he slipped in another finger, curling them upwards and hitting my most sensitive nerves. Rolling my eyes to the back of my head, I allowed this inexplicable sensation to ravish my body.

Suddenly, He pulled away and leaned forwards, rising up with his hips pushing my thighs further apart. The corner of his lips twitched as he fought off a smile. It was luring and if I stared any longer, I’d be lost in the vortex that was Bruce Atlas. I was close. His erection poked my inner thigh eagerly.

He leaned in for a wet kiss. “You’re my girl,”

With ease, he slipped inside and I groaned, wiggling my own hips to adjust to his thick size. He stopped for a few seconds then thrust his length all the way.

“Fuck!” He growled, his nostrils flaring. “You're so fucking tight,"

My bare chest heaved with each breath I took and he dropped his head into the crook of my neck, nibbling my flesh lightly. Bruce circled his hips and dragged back slowly. He slammed back into me and I shrieked in shock.

He quickened his pace and his short, hot breaths fanned my jaw. I gripped his back and forced his lips to mine as we kissed savagely, breathing him in as if he was my oxygen. In that moment, in some way, he was. I didn’t complain when his tongue danced with mine and my core heated with moisture at his relentless thrusts. He sucked any strength I had left, causing pressure to build in the pit of my stomach and I lift my hips to meet his, craving my more, craving for my release.

It wasn’t long when I reached my climax and he drowned my screams with his kiss. Bruce hauled me into his vortex and I was lost in oblivion. With a couple more pumps, he stilled, tilting his head back and snarled as he met his own release. Crashing his weight on me, spent and drained, we were high in each other’s presence and I was addicted to his scent – sweat and fresh apples along with musk.

“I didn't wear a condom,” He slid out noisily, falling to his side as he pulled me his chest. He kissed my temple. “I swear, I don’t make a habit of this,”

“You're clean,” I said breathlessly, making more of a statement than a question.

“Yes, at the gym, all members have to get themselves checked regularly. Annually, in fact. You’re clean yourself?”

I nodded. “I don’t really do this often,”

Bruce lifted his head, raising a quizzical brow. “Do what?”

“One night stands. I’ve been with two guys until this,” He didn’t say anything for a while and I poked his abs. “Calm down, no need to tell me about your count,”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He asked, playfully.

“Well, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but you’re quite a lady’s man,” I sit up, hiding my coy smile with my blonde mane. He sat upright, playing with the ends of my hair and bit my shoulder gently.

“Really? I didn’t know about this,”

I giggled, feeling genuine joy sprouting deep inside a place I didn’t know existed. I fell to my side, unable to contain myself. It was as if thousands of hands were tickling me. My giggles changed into full-blown laughter and Bruce stared at me, dumbfounded. His expression didn’t help at all.

“Are you okay?” He asked hesitantly and I detected his concern.

I shrugged. “I feel so happy!”

He chuckled deeply, pinching my hip and bit my neck with a deep, slow suck. I shrieked like a little girl before swatting his hand away. He shook his head, clearly amused. I recognised the sound of a distant car engine roaring down the street and I knew John would be in the house soon. I shot out of bed, searching for my clothes. Bruce took his time to get dressed, oblivious to my panic.

“Thank god nobody is home,” I mused and he snorted.

I peeked out the window to see John stepping out of the car. Forgetting the man in my room, I flew down the stairs, meeting the landing just when John opened the front door. He raised his brows as I beamed at him. He held up the screwdriver.

“Got it,”

Alice bounced over with excitement as I poured beer for one of our customers. “Guess what?”

“What?” She rolled her eyes at my lack of enthusiasm.

“I’m going to Europe with Caitlin in a couple of weeks!” Caitlin was her girlfriend. She wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around but Alice was happy with her. I guess that was the most important part. I heard she came from money so there was no surprise there.

A ring indicated a new customer’s arrival and I glanced up to see a guy I’d never seen before. He was tall with dark skin emphasising his light brown eyes. The atmosphere shifted when he walked in but his presence didn’t contain the magnetic halo Bruce possessed. People only turned to him cautiously because there was a hidden sense of danger. His eyes scanned the bar briefly and he walked towards an empty booth, one furthest from the crowd. I frowned, noticing the bars' silence except for the sizzling sound of chips frying.

I was intrigued.

“Who is he?” I asked Alice who scowled in annoyance.

“Bad news,” she murmured. “I’ll take this one and you go to another table, alright?”

I nodded and watched as she marched to the mystery man, grabbing a menu on her way swiftly without stopping. I walked over to Billy and at my approach, he glanced at me.

“Who’s he?”

His eyes shifted to the guy Alice was talking to and instantly, they hardened. So far, I'd never seen Billy express anything less that happiness. Until now, that is. I waited for his response with a raised brow.

“Tony Erikson, stay away from him,”

“Why when Alice is the one with him?” I asked.

“Alice can take care of herself,”

“And I can’t?”

He pursed his lips, clearly irritated. I exhaled loudly and headed towards this Tony guy. For the past seven years, I’d been taking care of myself. A big, shady guy that everyone was weary of didn’t faze me. I'd seen worse... Alice disappeared somewhere which gave me the opportunity to swoop in without any intrusions.

“Can I get you anything?” I asked and his only response was a simple glance.

“Alice already took my order,” He said distractedly and he searched the menu. Alright then…

Without warning, I grabbed the menu from his grasp which effectively caught his attention. I sent him my fakest smile before sitting across from him, resting my elbows on the table as I stared at him. He was handsome in his own sense, sexy but I didn’t feel the tug of attraction. He raised a dark brow, leaning back to what I presume was to take in my appearance.

“Who are you?” I asked bluntly. The proper approach would’ve been ‘hi, what’s your name?’ But, since the temperature dropped coincidently with his arrival, my politeness was the least of my worries.

His light coloured eyes appraised me and he scratched the small hairs on his chin. “I’ve never seen you before. Who are you?”

“This is my town, born and raised, so I’ll be the one asking the questions,”

There were a few seconds of silence. “Tony but I’m sure these blabbermouths told you that already,”

“I’ve been told to stay away from you, why?”

His lips twitched as fought off a smile. He narrowed his eyes before replying. “I didn’t give this town a good first impression.”

“You’re not answering my question,” I said, irritated.

“And you’re a little nosy,” Quickly, he leaned forward, mirroring my position and his light eyes pierced into mine. The skin between his brows was tense with frustration. “Run along little girl and mind your own fucking business,”

His words were so direct I was forced to lean back. I left my shocked state only to give him my filthiest glare. He was right, he had a shit first impression; then again, I didn’t come off warm and welcoming too. A dark figure shadowed over us and I raised my head to see Bruce. I didn’t expect to see annoyance marring his beautiful features, his glare hot on Tony. It was so fierce I thought he’d go in for the kill. Gradually, I rose to my feet as he grabbed my arm pulling me out the booth roughly. I winced in pain at his harsh grip and struggled to get out of his hold.

“Back the fuck off,” He growled, his eyes shining with contained rage. Pushing me behind his large frame, Tony slowly stood

“This is your girl?”

Bruce didn’t reply and with that, Tony’s lips curled into a smirk. His eyes turned to me. “Then I’ll be seeing you soon,”

A dangerous noise tore through Bruce’s lips and he stalked forward, standing directly in front of Tony. Bruce was slightly taller but that didn’t intimidate him. His smirk transformed into a full-blown grin, taunting him. He didn’t care Bruce was about to blow his top off and I worried for him… slightly. He was a complete jackass.

“Bruce, not in my bar, you take this outside!” Alice shouted.

Tony slid past him and went up to the counter to get his order as a takeaway. Bruce’s eyes followed his every move until he left the bar and just like when he entered, the atmosphere shifted. Slowly, chatter flooded the room and his steely greys landed on me. The skin around his eyes tightened with frustration.

“Stay away from him,”

It was a command but I rolled my eyes. “Maybe if I knew why I should, I’ll consider your warning,”

“He does shady shit and I don’t want you tangled with that,”

I frowned. “Like what?”

“Hanging around with the wrong crowd and doing drugs,”

“You hold an illegal fighting ring, try again,” I murmured lowly and the muscle in his jaw twitched with tension.

“Fair point,” He glanced around the bar quickly. “Are you nearly done? I’ll drop you home,”

“I’ve got fifteen more minutes,” I replied and he slid into the booth Tony was in, placing his elbows on the table.

“I’ll wait,”

Furrowing my brows, I nodded. Didn’t he have to be at the gym? He acted as if he was my boyfriend and he had this possessive streak I didn't understand. Being in his company woke something inside me, another thing leaving me confused. My attraction to him started as a little crush but sparked into something else. I basked in his attention but he’d want me to stay. I couldn’t...

I was an alien in this town. After of my long absence, I noticed how much things changed. The disdained memories I held onto didn’t help with my wellbeing. One of them was my dad, Yusuf, who loved to taunt me.

My plan was to get in and get out once I knew Alexis was fine, but I found that difficult the longer I was in Bruce’s presence. He was my anchor but eventually, I needed to break free. I clocked out and sauntered over to him as he read some messages on his smartphone. At my arrival, he shoved it into his pockets and stood abruptly.

His eyes were questioning. “You’ve got everything, right?”


“We’re heading out!” He yelled and Alice popped her head out from her office. She wiggled her fingers at us as we left the bar.

Bruce draped his arm around my shoulders, pulling me close to kiss my temple and my skin tingled deliciously. His phone rang and I got a glimpse of the caller ID.


Suddenly, those tingles morphed into burns. I pulled away before he could see my annoyance. Annoyed was an understatement – I was raging.

He didn’t answer the call and I entered his Jeep without saying a single word. He was confused, judging by his expression. My mood went from zero to one-eighty within seconds. Starting the engine, he shifted his eyes to me.

“What’s wrong?”

“You’re still talking to her?” My voice was cold. “That’s a little fucked up,”

“I’m not seeing your sister!” He snapped and I glowered at him for his mistake.

“She’s not my sister…” Not ever…

He sighed, running his fingers through his hair in frustration. “I know and I haven’t spoken to Gladys since the day we helped John with his shed,”

His explanations didn’t cool my temper. Her call planted a seed of doubt in my thoughts. Why would he have her number if he hadn’t spoken to her? Thinking over it caused a dull ache in my skull and I leaned back against the headboard, closing my eyes, silently surrendering. I couldn’t fight back. I didn’t even try.

“Take me home,”

I was drained, my mood lowering as with each second passing by. Yusuf made his appearance, his cunning smile flashing through the darkness. I truly believed his sole purpose after death was to torment me.

Lying in bed, my gaze was locked to the ceiling. I was a complete mess and seeing my father from my peripheral vision didn't help at all. Why wouldn’t he leave? I rose into a sitting position and faced him.

“Go. Away,” I said, my voice deadly calm. But he didn’t get the fucking hint. He inched closer and instinctively, I jumped, rushing to the windows.

His decaying corpse held a revolting stench which poisoned the air, making everything to seem so real. Despite his deeply tanned skin, his flesh was grey and his eyes were so hallowed I could be staring at a skeleton. As ever, he was tall and his inky black hair was dishevelled. He wore the clothes we buried him in. They were clean, neat before years of dirt and maggots slowly ate him away. If I didn’t know others couldn’t see him, I’d believe he resurrected.

“I can’t go away, I’m forever tied to you,” He spoke unapologetically, his smile widening.

“What do you want from me?” I roared, knocking over a lamp and it shattered into tiny fragments. I didn’t register the sound as my eyes were glued to my father's.

“You know what you did!” He snarled, his face twisting into a sneer. I faltered at his outburst, casting my eyes to the ground, speechless.

What did he mean? His heavy footsteps caused the ground to groan, his approach getting closer and his chuckle deprived any emotion. After an eternity, I raised my head to look at him. Bile rose in my throat in disgust. How much longer could I take this?

“What did I do?”

“You killed me!”

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