Kris Norris

Once Upon A Time…Has Never Been This Hot.

CHECKMATE


Kendall stripped off her shirt, tossing it on the floor. It was nice seeing Jody and Logan again. She hadn’t realized how much she’d missed their company, and couldn’t think of a better way of spending the afternoon than talking with them.

Selfish.

Perhaps, but she needed the distraction, at least for a few hours.

Her door bounced off the hinges.

She jumped. Dawson was standing in the doorway, fuming.

“Haven’t you heard of knocking?” she scowled. Dawson’s eyes were dark, and the look on his face sent a chill down her spine. “Hello, Dawson? I’m practically naked here. Do you mind?”

“You lied to me!”

She met his stare. She could tell he was mad, no furious, and she knew why. “I never lied to you,” she replied.

“No, of course you didn’t. You just neglected to tell me the part about Garrick and your mother being lovers!” He stomped into the room and slammed the door shut. “That’s the real reason he leaves you a picture of her, isn’t it? Jesus, Kendall, how could you think that wasn’t important?”

“She’s been dead for thirty years. What does it matter she slept with him?”

“Because it changes the entire scope of his connection to you and Trace. Now I have to wonder if that’s the real reason your father turned on him. I don’t suppose you’ll tell me about it?”

“Who says I know anything?”

“Don’t get cryptic with me. I’ve been completely honest with you.”

“Bullshit!” she yelled, stepping back until her shoulders brushed against the wall. His very presence was overwhelming, and she felt weak. “You’ve been lying to me every step of the way.”

“That’s not true.”

“Isn’t it? Tell me, if you don’t find Trace before the deadline, are you actually going to play along with Garrick’s game?” She watched as he looked away. “I didn’t think so. You make promises of helping me, of getting Trace back. But you’re only doing all of this to humor me. You think you can fool me by pretending to care.”

“Dammit, Kendall, I do care!” He lunged forward, pressing her back into the wall. “Why do you think I let you drag my ass all over these hills? I know how important it is for you to feel like you’re doing everything you can to bring Trace back alive.”

Kendall grabbed his arms, intending to break his hold on her, but found herself clinging to them instead. She’d tried so hard to convince herself she could save Trace that hearing him confirm her fears out loud broke her bravado, reviving the images of Trace dead and alone in the darkness. She fell into his arms, crying.

Dawson caught her, pulling her against his chest, his mounting tension bunching his muscles. Her reaction must have caught him off-guard, and he seemed uncertain of his next move. He cursed as he lifted her up and carried her over to the bed, cradling her in his arms.

Kendall buried her head in his shoulder, allowing him to encircle her. His body was hot, and gave off a sweet, musky aroma. She took a deep breath, losing herself in his scent. She’d never wanted someone to hold her with such desperation before—no, not someone, him. She wanted Dawson to hold her. And she didn’t want him to let go.

“I’m sorry,” he said. His voice was low and tender. “I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”

“That’s not why I’m crying, but thanks anyway.”

She felt him smile against her hair as he went to pull away, but she pressed her body closer, refusing to let go. She was only wearing a bra and panties, and the warmth of his hands on her skin was exhilarating.

“Kendall.”

She lifted her head, her eyes meeting his. His anger was gone, replaced by a look that stole her breath. She reached up her hand, touching his jaw. He hadn’t shaved for a few days, and the feel of his stubble against her fingertips sent a bolt of electricity down her arm. A moan trembled past his lips as she traced his skin back toward his neck, wrapping his hair around her fingers. His mouth inched apart as she took his lips in hers, tasting his heat—his hold tightened.

Kendall groaned, pulling her body closer, needing to feel his chest pressed against hers. He was still wearing his shirt, and she could feel the rough play of fabric against her bra and skin. It moved across her nipples, teasing them into hard pinpoints of need. She moaned into his mouth, wanting to feel his lips curled around her breasts, stroking her tight buds, sending shockwaves of arousal straight to her core. She could feel her body liquefying, easing her juices along her silky lips, coating them with her slick dew. Would he taste her there? Lick every drop of cream from her body?

She trembled at the thought, not sure whether it was anticipation or fear. She wasn’t one to jump into sexual encounters, and her sudden need to feel him sheathed inside her left her head spinning. She’d never felt such strong emotions for a man, and the idea he held such power over her was frightening.

The voice in her head whispered words of warning, but they got lost in the heat of Dawson’s embrace. He was palming her back, tracing every inch of skin with his fingertips. His heart raced against her chest, its rhythm almost as erratic as hers. She whimpered as he thrust his tongue deeper, plundering her mouth with steady strokes. Would he take her like that? Strong and hard, or would he start off slow and let her set the pace?

Dawson pulled back, breaking the kiss just long enough to run his hand along her jaw and lock it behind her head, before taking her lips in his again. His kiss was harder this time, more desperate, as if he’d been dying for her touch all along. He was consuming her. Making her feel drunk with his passion, and she was more than willing to give him anything he desired.