Cracked Open: book 3

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I was about to walk out of the nightclub, when a woman with a dark mane of hair walked in. I stopped in my tracks and she passed me, heading deeper into the club. I studied the way she carried herself. There was no question about it; she was looking for a partner. And I was going to be that partner.

Weaving through the warm bodies that crowded the dance floor, I watched at a distance. She had a crop top that lay over her breasts in a wavy V shape, and her hair was in a loose but tamed braid. Her feet were bare, and I realized with certain clarity that she was a nymph of the earth. Someone who connects with the earth in ways many creatures could not. If the trees and the soil could not live and breathe than she could not, that’s just how it went; everyone knew that. As she turned with the music, I caught the sight of her face, her skin a smooth softness I’ve never seen. She had this hard, sharp look to her though. Like the spark of happiness had been absent for far too long.

Having my fill, watching her, I came up behind her with a rock hard confidence. Dancing against her, body gone rigid for only a moment, I leaned down to speak. As I did so she leaned closer, wanted to hear my voice rather than for the skin contact. “You wanna dance, blossom?”

She started to turn to include me in the inviting rhythm of her strong frame, but I held her in place letting her hips roll against my thighs. I didn’t grab her in a demanding or controlling way, but a touch that told her not to change the way she moved. Folding myself around her, I began to sync my body’s rhythm with hers.


As we stumbled into the room, consisting of one bed, he couldn’t help but nip at my lower lip and then lick it to take away the sting. It felt good, and my stomach pooled with a warmth I haven’t felt in over three weeks. Too long for a nymph.

I pulled away immediately, knowing where this was going. I needed to take a breath. I needed to understand that I needed this for my own health ñ it was only sex. I promised Kallan I would find myself a partner before the night was over, and although it was three a.m. the club was still filled with lots of choices. It didn’t take that long to find one.

Looking at the man who stared me down like a predator, giving me a sweeping gaze that gave me shivers. I noticed his green eyes and the brown waves that swept over his forehead just right, stopping at the nape of his neck. Still long enough to run my fingers through, I might add. His body was muscular but not overly so. His skin had green veins that glowed and pulsed like blood. I figured he was a tree spirit. His hands. Oh his hands. I don’t think I need to say much other than they knew how to turn me on as they caressed me.

Now that I had done my own sweep...twice, I locked eyes with my predator who seemed to think I was the prey. He smirked and a glint in his eyes told me he thought he could win this game. He wasn’t winning.

As the stare-down progressed, the heat between our bodies grew. The sexual tension was so tense; I could have taken hold of it and snapped the tension in two. This is what he wanted I suspect, because in the next few moments he had inched closer and dragged a line down the side of my cheek to the swell of my barely covered breast. I think I just took a sharp breath in, but I wasn’t sure because his mouth was right there...hovering.

“Turn around,” he whispered deeply with an order I could not ignore. I was still hard-headed enough to refuse his command...turning would only mean I had lost the game.

I turned around...and the wall came into view.

Now that I couldn’t see what he intended to do, my stomach twisted with the need of his desirable touch.

“Hands on the wall.” His voice was so deep, and filled with his own need that he caressed his hands down my trembling arms and placed my hands on the wall.

“Don't move.”

My throat tightened, and all I could do was nod.

My throat had never tightened. I’ve never been commanded in such a way. It was erotic and something I couldn’t pull away from.

Hearing the rustle of cloths, I almost turned, wanting to see him in all his beauty. Shimmering like a tree spirit.

He almost seemed to growl with dissatisfaction.

I froze in response and swallowed. This man was nothing else I’ve ever come across. Nothing I’ve ever imagined.

Taking his time, with his pants, I could feel him behind me, just gazing...taking me in. maybe even planning. My mind began to reel. What was he going to do? Was he going to give me what I need? Would he let me have control? Was this the first mistake I’ve made finding a partner?

Then I felt him move closer, and the heat of his body made my blood run cold and then hot again. My breath began to get shallower as I anticipated what he would do next. What I wanted him to do.

He brought both hands around and moved his hands underneath my thin crop top. Massaging my breasts, he brought his warm lips to my pulse. Blowing against my sensitive skin, my legs became weak and shook.

My response to his seduction should not be this strong already.

“Mmm, how long?” He was enjoying the sexual need I showed him.

“What?” It was said on a breath I shouldn’t be wasting. I needed that breath and I wanted it back so I could survive this encounter.

“How long, baby?” It was spoken softly like I was about to break. I was about to break. I was about to fall hard to my knees, and I wasn’t going to be happy about it.

“Three weeks?” Why did I just question myself? “Three weeks,” I repeated, as he grazed his fingers a little more lightly on the underside of my breast. I gasped quietly in response.

His tongue did this clicking sound like a mother disappointed with her son. “Well, I’m going to fix that tonight.” There was definitely a smile in his voice.

“Please.” I no longer knew what I pleaded for, but I needed something.

Soon I got that something and his hands traveled down my stomach. My head dropped to watch, and seeing his firm hands made everything clinch. He kissed my shoulder, knowing he was affecting me more than I wanted him to see. Both hands rested inbetween my thighs and coaxed them to widen. I gladly obeyed, knowing what would come next.

What was supposed to come next didn’t. Instead this sensual man came closer and rubbed against me. I all but moaned deeply and dropped my head to his shoulder.

I started to pant...needing more, and I could hear his breath deepen.

I began to shake me head, hoping he would understand.

His mouth was right next to my ear and as he spoke everything squeezed tightly again.

“What do you need? Tell me, blossom.”

I couldn’t take this. I couldn’t tell him what I wanted, because it would be too much all at once. “Can’t.”

“Oh, but I believe you can.” He was smiling again. “What do you need from me?”

I shook my head against the pictures that came to mind. The memories that began to form. All of the sudden I needed him inside. Needed him like I’ve needed the earth and my garden. Turning, he stiffened and gripped me tight.

His voice was harsh and bit into my skin. “What did I say?” He never waited for an answer, and as his body became hard and rigid with frustration ñ shutting me out ñ he finished, “I said don’t move. And so help me woman, I will leave you wet and needy if you move again.”

I swallowed and replaced my hands on the wall.

“That’s it.”

I swallowed again. What had I gotten myself into?

In a flash the erotic soft voice of his was back. “Do you need this?” He stroked me. “Maybe this.” He bent down on his knees and wrapped one, strong arm around my thighs and stroked me in the same place...but...

And then my knees shook with an earthquake-like shake. He was there to catch me, and my knees locked painfully as I tried to stand strong.

“Blossom, let go, I’ve got you.”

No. That’s what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to need him like that. Thatís not what this was.

With another stroke of his tongue that touched me deeper than before, I clenched and moaned as I let him support me. As pleasure threw me over the cliff, I knew he won the game I thought we were still playing, and my mental walls, Iíve spent years to build, were beginning to shake.

The memories that always threaten to over take me...of the past, never tried to resurface again as this man took me to the bed and swooped in like my hero. The savior I needed to block the past out.


My eyes snapped open as I heard that pet name, and I began to panic. I had fallen asleep, with the man I know to be wrong for me. The man I promised I wouldn’t ever go back to, because I broke both of our hearts. Heart pumping faster and faster, I began to sit up and push away from him.

This couldn’t be happening! No, no, no! I began to truly panic as I tried to find my top and shorts. I needed to get away, I couldn’t be here or he could touch me and I would fall again. My walls would break off and the pain would come. Oh gods, the pain. My chest would tighten with it and I wouldn’t be able to see or breathe right. I needed to leave his presence.

“Wait, wait, wait.” His hands wrapped around my hips and pulled me to his heat. “What’s wrong, blossom?”

I began to struggle and he tried to soothe me. No. I don’t need his comforting words. I needed to get away.

“Shhh, why in such a hurry. The club’s still open. It’s okay.” His breath brushed down the side of my neck, and I seeped deeper into his hard chest. Even though I despised myself for doing so.

Then I froze. Club. We were at a club. Slowly I began to turn, and saw...not the man I was fearful of responding to. It was the man I just had hard, fast sex with all morning and then fell asleep with. His green eyes searched my face as I began to relax with that knowledge.

I blew out a breath I didn’t know I was keeping in, and he kissed me gently on my forehead. I felt my stomach pinch, confused by his gentleness. Only hours ago he was rough and commanding. Something I had needed of course, but still.

I had been looking at the script on his shirt that read, Overnight tie downs available, and looked up realizing the meaning of that. His eyes snagged mine and we had this long moment of just staring into each other’s eyes. I knew he was searching for a soul that has died long ago, so I looked away, not wanting to see his reaction to the end result.

I didn’t get away quick enough because he grabbed my chin, and his green eyes pierced mine. Disarming my walls even more. Taking in a breath and opening his mouth, he was about to say something, but it snapped shut when he saw something else.

I spoke instead. Through a thick throat I stated, “I need to go.”

I quickly stood on wobbly legs and looked at the indention of my body that was up against his body moments ago. The warmth that permeated from the bed was tempting to crawl back to.

“But sweetheart we -”

My eyes snapped to his and my throat locked. I almost choked with the remembrance of that long ago romance and heartache. “Do not call me that. Ever.”

He saw the panic and fear in my eyes, something I couldn’t hold behind the walls, and he knew he spoke wrong. Very.

I stormed out of that room and this club with a strong promise to myself. I will never see that man again.

For a long time, thoughts of the early morning with him overtook me, and I almost went against my promise. He was so good at seducing a woman. Why? Was it just I, the way his hands knew how to glide across the plains of my stomach, or find the sensitive spots on my inner thighs while he was on his knees?

No. That’s as far as I let myself go with the thought of him. I would not let myself be dragged back to him by my own fantasies I knew he could make true. I needed to go see Camira in a few hours, and so that’s where I firmly placed my mind.

Yeah. I was going to see Camira.

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