Chapter Thirteen: The Longer it Takes
“This is taking too long.” Luka said as he looked at the board in Ariel’s house.
“It’s not like I’m not trying.” Ariel said as she pinned another picture to the board.
“I know.” He said with a sigh. “It’s just, it’s been two days, and nothing has happened. It’s getting closer to the day of the shipment.”
“Believe me, I know. Meranda gave some fantastic intel, and The Sapphire Dreamer has his eyes and ears open.”
“I still can’t believe he’s helping us.” Abraham said as he watched the reporter hang yet another picture.
“He wants what you want.” She said as she stood back from the board.
“Sorry, but I don’t want to kill people.” Abraham said as he shook his head.
She looked at him and smiled. “Maybe not, but you wished you did.”
He grunted but didn’t deny it.
“When did you hear from him last?” Luka asked as he looked at her.
“He was near you just last night, and you didn’t call us?” Abraham almost hollered.
She looked at him. “Unlike you, I don’t want him arrested.”
“I think she has a soft spot for him.” Luka said as he watched her.
“I owe him my life.” She said with a shrug.
“You owe Luka your life too.” Abraham said as he watched her.
She looked at him. “I know. That’s why I gave him my reports. I’m not supposed to share those with cops, you know.”
“Right.” Abraham said with a nod.
“Don’t be too rough on her, Abe, she’s helping us, and she’s our only link to The Sapphire Dreamer.” Luka said as he set a pin on the table.
“Fine.” Abraham said with a sigh.
“Abraham, I’ve been wondering something.” She said as she turned to him.
“Yeah, what’s that?” He asked as he watched her.
“Did you agree to keep this a secret, to help us, or so you can capture The Sapphire Dreamer when this is all over?”
He stared at her. “Uh…”
“Dude. I promised Ariel…”
“You promised her; I didn’t…”
“So, you know. The masked man knows he has to stay out of sight of you two, and he won’t be close enough for either of you to catch him.” She said as she picked up the pin Luka had set on the table and pinned another picture of a lost girl to the board.
“Then what do you have to worry about?” Abraham asked with annoyance.
“Because if your sole focus is on The Sapphire Dreamer, then you’re no good to us with rescuing the girls, or the children.” She said as she turned to him.
He sighed. “I guess it was a bit of both, at first. But now that I’ve seen these pictures you’ve gathered of those who the man sold. I’ll put aside my cop side, and listen to my human side, that says, these people need rescuing, even if we have to use a killer to get it done.”
She smiled at him. “That’s all I wanted to hear.”
“I think it’s time for us to go.” Luka said as he looked at his watch.
“Okay.” She said with a frown as she watched them head for the door.
“Are you worried?” Luka asked as he turned to her.
“No.” She said as she shook her head.
“You go, Abe; I’ll talk to her for a minute.”
“Yeah, sure, talk.” Abraham said with a laugh as he left through the front door and closed it behind him.
“Are you okay?” Luka asked as he walked up to her.
“I’ll be fine.” She said as she watched him approach her.
Why are these two men so attracted to her now that’s she’s scarred and ugly? Why couldn’t they have liked her when she was scarless and not so ugly.
“What’s going on in that pretty little mind of yours?” He asked as he tapped her forehead.
“Nothing.” She said as she shook her head.
“We will get him, Ariel, I can feel it.” He said as he looked into her eyes.
“I know.” She breathed as she looked up into his blue eyes.
“Would you feel better if I stayed the night?” He asked as he moved closer.
“No.” She whispered.
If he stayed the night, The Sapphire Dreamer wouldn’t visit her.
“You’re waiting for him.” He said as he took a step back.
“You like him.” He said with a laugh. “Should have known you would go for the bad boy type.” He said as he shook his head and turned from her.
“Luka, please.” She said as she took hold of his arm. “He’s important to our case, so of course, I’m waiting for him.”
Luka turned to her so fast; she sucked in a shocked breath. He took her into his arms and looked deep into her bright green eyes.
“Has he kissed you?” He asked, feeling a sting of jealousy when she didn’t answer.
“Luka.” She breathed.
“Does he make you feel like this?” He asked as his mouth came down on hers.
Ariel sucked in a shocked breath as his mouth devoured hers. She moaned and leaned into him as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She felt so dizzy as he continued to kiss her. No, he hasn’t made her feel like this. Close, but nothing like these sensations.
“Ariel.” He breathed when he came up for air.
“Luka.” She whispered his name with a whimper.
He retook her mouth and deepened the kiss. He slid his tong across her lips, and when she opened for him, his tongue slid into her mouth, making sparks fly across her body. She didn’t want it to end. She held him close, wanting to feel him closer.
He lifted her into his arms and carried her to the couch. He leaned forward as he laid her on the sofa and came down with her. She moaned against his mouth when he settled himself over her.
“Luka.” She breathed as he began kissing her throat.
“That’s it.” He said against her throat. “Tell me what you want.”
“More of that.” She moaned.
He chuckled as he kissed her throat. She bucked against him, her hips coming up off the couch as his mouth traveled down to just above the top of her t-shirt.
“Too many articles of clothing.” He grumbled as he pulled her shirt over her head.
Ariel sucked in a breath as she laid there, her top bare to him. She hadn’t thrown a bra on when they had shown up at her door earlier.
She covered her breasts with her arms.
He smirked as he pulled her arms away so he could see her. He smiled at the perfect skin of her milky white breasts, and beautiful soft brown nipples.
“So beautiful.” He whispered, then bent his head and kissed her nipple.
She sucked in a shocked breath when his lips touched her nipple, then moaned when he pulled it into his mouth.
“Luka.” She breathed his name as her head fell back.
He grinned as he nipped at her swollen nipple.
A loud noise in the backyard had his head coming up, and he looked out the windows.
Was The Sapphire Dreamer out there? He wondered as he searched the backyard.
“That must have been the neighbor’s cat.” She said as she tried to pull him back down to her.
He took a deep breath to steady himself as he moved off her. She frowned at him as she watched him sit on the couch, away from her. He ran his hand through his hair as he stared at her flushed face. His eyes roamed down to her breasts, and he could feel himself hardening for her.
“Luka?” She asked, a hitch in her voice.
“Sorry, Ariel. I want to do this, I do. But the thought The Sapphire Dreamer could come into your yard at any minute, and watch us, or worse, kill us…”
“He wouldn’t…” She stopped talking when he jumped to his feet.
“He’s a killer, Ariel. He’s capable of anything, especially if he gets jealous.” Luka said as he shook his head.
She frowned as she covered her breasts with her arms. “What was this, then?” She asked as she sat up and looked for her shirt.
Luka sighed as he handed her her shirt. “I don’t know. I want you, please believe that I do. But until we get the masked man figured out…”
“We have to wait.” She said with the saddest voice he has ever heard.
Luka watched Ariel pull her shirt over her head and got a glimpse of her breasts before she pulled her shirt down and almost groaned. He wanted just to take her here and now, but what if.
“Well, I guess there’s no reason for you to stay. I’ll be fine. I will see you tomorrow.” She said as she got to her feet.
With a growl, he pulled her into his arms.
She looked up at him, stunned.
“Stop looking at me with that look in your eyes.” He said as he studied her face. “I’m not turning you down. I’m saying we need to wait.”
She watched his face and saw the desire in his eyes. She smiled as she leaned into him.
“What are we waiting for?” She asked, her voice husky.
“I’m not sure yet.” He said as he held her closer.
She sighed when his lips took hers in a soft kiss.
He pulled back and looked down at her.
“I promise I’m not turning you away.” He said with a brilliant smile.
She nodded, then laid her head on his chest. “Just don’t wait too long.” She whispered as she held him close.
He pulled her back, so he could look into her eyes and smiled. She smiled up at him as his head came down to claim her lips again.
She sighed in ecstasy as he kissed her like he never wanted to let her go. But he did. He smiled weakly at her, then left her standing there, bereft and still reeling from their session on the couch. She wrapped her arms around herself with a groan.
He had said that he needs to wait, but wait for what?
She jumped when she heard a tap on her glass door. She turned and stared at the man in the mask, standing outside her door and took a deep breath.
Had Luka been right, had he seen them? She moved to the door and opened it.
She sucked in a startled breath when the masked man moved so fast into her house; she had to back up to get out of his way. He backed her into the far wall, then placed a hand on either side of her head. With a smirk, he looked into her eyes.
“Is he what you want?” He asked as he watched her.
“Does he do this for you?” He asked as he yanked her into his arms and kissed her, so senseless, she couldn’t breathe.
When he pulled back, she was so off-balance, she almost fell over. What are these two men doing to her?
“I’ve never even seen you.” She said as she looked up into his red eyes.
He smiled. “Does that matter?”
“No.” She said out of breath, still reeling from the two men who have captured her senses and have thrown everything out of whack.
He grinned as he pulled her to him for another earth-shattering kiss. When he let her go, he backed away and headed for the door.
“Remember that; the next time he kisses you.” He said as he left her standing there, staring after him.
What the hell is going on?
She slid down the wall to the floor and sat there, while her mind and body tried to get back to normal.
She has two powerful men vying for her.
On the one hand, she has a very handsome detective, who kisses like he wants to spend the rest of his life kissing and wooing her.
And she has a masked man who she has never seen his face, who kisses her like he wants to devour her in a single bite.
And you know what, she likes them both.