Rachel pushed her fingers through his thick, black hair and gripped the strands tightly when he ran his tongue from her ear to the base of her neck. His teeth nipped at the sensitive cords along the way—not enough to break the skin but enough she’d see the evidence of it later. She shivered and tilted her head and then rolled her eyes at his deep chuckle when he lingered over the curve of her shoulder.
He knew exactly what she wanted and, as usual, he refused to give it to her.
His mouth roamed over the slope of her breast toward her nipple. If he would just suck it deep, she might—
The tease did nothing but barely flick the hardened tip with his tongue.
“God,” she groaned, arching her body. How much longer did he think she could survive his particular brand of torture? He had been at it all night—his mouth and hands worshiping every inch of her until she was one prayer away from begging on her knees for him to take her.
And that damned teasing at her neck.
He had gone to the same spot again and again. And each time she’d readied for his bite. Longed for it. But then he’d give it one quick nip before moving on to some new erogenous zone on her body.
Who knew she had so many?
“When…” She licked her lips, her panting breaths no more than a whisper. “When are you going to mark me?”
He stilled, the warmth of his sigh taunting her overstimulated flesh begging for attention. Intense blue eyes under sooty lashes lifted to hers
She’d asked him this more times that she could count. But he never answered. Just like he wouldn’t give her his name. But she had to admit he had his own unique way of changing the subject. If you could call giving her a smile and shake of his head before fucking her senseless “changing the subject.”
A groan escaped her lips as he moved up her body. Who could argue with his brand of logic, especially when he filled her body the way only he could? She certainly couldn’t.
So, she let him get away with it and pulled him close, moaning into his mouth eating at hers as his cock dragged against the walls of her pussy with each stroke. Then none of her questions mattered. She lost herself in his body taking hers and his kiss gliding from her parted mouth to her ear where he finally growled out his answer.
“When you’ve Awakened.”
* * *
When you’ve awakened.
Rachel Todd had lain in bed staring at the ceiling that morning with those three words bouncing around in her head. Later, she’d typed them into the notes she kept on her dreams and would stop writing to open up the document throughout the day and stare at them—hoping some kind of aha moment would strike her. But each time she’d ended up closing the file, finally muttering the last time, “I got nothing.”
And why was she worrying about them anyhow? They were just words in a dream. Right?
“Holy fuck.” Angel’s whispered words brought Rachel out of her thoughts, sending a grin over her face at her best friend’s flushed features. Then her grin broadened when Angel fanned herself with the seven pages she had just read, before putting them down and reaching for her fork.
“So, what do you think?” Rachel finally asked, followed by, “Really?” when her friend held her fork up in a wait a minute gesture before spearing the last bite of cake on her plate. Rachel arched her brows as Angel slowly raised it to her mouth and then closed her eyes and chewed in that orgasmic way she reserved for anything chocolate.
Angel’s slight moan and attention to licking the tines clean gave a whole new meaning to the term food porn.
Rachel took another sip of wine and hid her grin behind the rim of her glass. Angel may have taken a bit too much enjoyment out of that last taste.
Maybe she’s gone without too long.
Rachel sobered. She certainly wasn’t going to mention it. Starting a conversation on that topic would only lead to Angel expounding on Rachel’s lack of a dating—aka sex—life since her husband’s death almost nine years before. It was Angel’s favorite topic of conversation.
For Rachel? Not so much.
“I think,” Angel said, licking her lips as her dark brown eyes focused on Rachel, “what I’ve always thought. You should get your happy ass on that computer and write the book I know you have in you.” She pointed her fork at her across the low coffee table. “I know you do well with your children’s stories, but, damn, the women of the world need this.”
Angel put her fork down on her plate and picked up the pages she had been reading. “This part right here…” She flipped to the middle as her gaze went over the words before fanning herself again. “I mean, damn.”
Angel had been after her about writing and publishing something more than her children’s books for the last few years. Her friend had a serious hard-on—or maybe she should say lady boner—over the stories Rachel had written from her dreams. Rachel had to admit, she had a case of the hots over her stories herself.
She took another sip of wine to cover the heat creeping into her cheeks as her thoughts lingered on the delicious things her wolf shifter had done to her the previous night.
Girls’ Night In usually ended the same way, with them relaxing in one of their dens after dinner with a slice of chocolate cake and a glass of wine—and more times than not with a healthy dose of Angel moaning over what she called Rachel’s horny stories. By the time they had finished their second—or fourth glass—Angel might or might not be fanning herself. It all depended on the story’s heat level. Rachel grinned as Angel took a long gulp of her own wine. The section Rachel had given her tonight had been a full-on scorcher.
Angel would probably want to keep the pages so she could study them later to ensure their accuracy. It was something she did frequently. The pages always came back to her with helpful notes on them, but Rachel had suspected for a while she might also be using them for…
She put her glass down. No way was she going there. Some things just didn’t need to be dwelled on too long.
It could be scarring.
“I don’t know. I mean, you’re right. I am pretty well-established with my children’s books.” Rachel took up her fork and picked at her slice of cake, her eyes darting to her friend sitting across from her on the couch. “It’s just a big leap—children’s books to erotic, paranormal romance? The two just don’t really go together.”
It was quite a dilemma. Should she stay in her comfort zone or go out on a limb and take the opportunity staring her in the face? Then, of course, she had another concern. “And what would my boys say?”
“Rachel.” Angel set her glass down and shook her head along with a slight eye roll. “I love my godsons, but your boys are three grown-ass men.” Her friend was right, but still—
“Besides, you have a pen name for the children’s books. So, I doubt very seriously anyone would think Mother Toddles if they ever read any of this you’ve written.” She shook the pages she still held in one hand. “Especially this part.” Angel thumbed through the sheets to the middle page and pulled it out.
“’Alana watched his head descend, anticipating his first lick over her pussy.’” Angel continued, her voice low and breathy. “‘She trembled—waiting—her body tensing when he ran his tongue through her damp folds. Oh, god—’”
“What?” Angel’s eyes, wide with confusion, lifted to Rachel’s—her smooth mocha cheeks rosy.
“It’s just…” Rachel scrunched up her face. “I don’t know…” The heat inching up her neck blossomed when her friend threw back her head and laughed.
“Oh, oh, oh…” Angel clutched her side as her breath hiccupped and her shoulder-length, curly, black hair bounced around her head as she shook it.
“Okay, okay, get it out.” Rachel bit her lip to hold in her own laughter but couldn’t keep the grin off her face. “It was just weird having you read that to me. Especially using your sex voice.”
“Oh, my god, that was great,” she managed to get out with the last of her chuckles. “And how do you know that’s my sex voice?” Still grinning, she grabbed her wine and relaxed back in her seat. “For all you know, that could be my cross-examination voice.”
“No, Assistant District Attorney Porter, I’ve heard your cross-examination voice. It’s not sexy. In fact, it’s kinda scary.”
“True,” Angel agreed with a satisfied-looking smile. “Why do you think I have such a high conviction rate? I scare the shit out of ’em.” She took a sip of her wine and gave Rachel a wink over the rim of her glass.
Rachel picked up her glass and took a fortifying breath. It was now or never. She tipped it back and drained the contents before setting it back down.
“If I tell you something, do you promise not to get too excited?”
“What?” Angel leaned forward, her eyes sparkling in, yes, what looked like excitement.
“You’re reading an excerpt from my first full-length manuscript.” Rachel smiled at Angel’s gasp. “I finished about five months ago and sent it out to around twenty publishers.”
“You did?” Angel grinned.
Rachel nodded. “I received four replies with offers that were really good, but now I have to decide which one to accept.”
Rachel waited for a reaction—any reaction. None came.
It seemed Angel—the woman who had something to say about everything, the woman who could wring a confession out of the wiliest of criminals, the woman known as “The Shark” in the courtroom—had been left speechless. Sure, her mouth was moving, but nothing was coming out.
Rachel leaned forward in her chair and waved a hand in front of her.
“Did I break you?”
“Holy shit.” Angel leapt up from the couch, startling Rachel enough she jerked. Within seconds she had Rachel shoved over in her club chair and had squeezed in beside her while wrapping her up in a hug. “Why didn’t you say something sooner?” Angel pulled away and frowned. “Wait a minute. You don’t do secrets worth a damn, so how in the hell were you able to keep this from me?”
“Believe me, it wasn’t easy.” She gave her friend an embarrassed grin as her cheeks heated.
“Girl,” Angel said, grimacing and wiggling beside her. “Our hips aren’t made to both fit in this chair.” She stood, pulled Rachel up with her, dragging her over to the couch, and then pulled her down to sit beside her. “Okay, spill.”
“Well, after all your badgering—”
“That’s called encouragement.”
“Okay.” Rachel laughed and shook her head. “After all your encouragement, I thought, aw, hell, why not.”
“Hold up.” Angel lifted one hand. “And you only got four offers?”
“That was it.”
“What about the rest?”
Rachel snorted. “I’ll let you read the rejections. Most of them basically said, thank you for your interest, but we’re not interested.”
And this was why she loved this woman.
Rachel poured herself another glass of wine. “But these four I feel really good about.” She lifted her glass and took a sip. If she was going to do this, she needed to do it right. “Would you be willing to look over the offers, maybe give me some of your best legal advice?”
Angel took Rachel’s glass and set it down before pulling her in for another hug. “Oh, just try and stop me.”