Plugging It In

Stimulated, Book 4

Lexxie Couper

Chapter 1

Sydney, Australia

It was time RG kicked Ruckus out of her bed.

He’d been in it eight times in the last two months. That was seven more times than her One-and-Done rule about men in her bed allowed. Four of those times he’d actually slept in it, as well as making her come so often and so masterfully she’d forgotten for a moment who she was.

Forgetting who she was due to mind-shattering pleasure was one thing. Heck, even waking up to his hard, sinewy, tattooed body beside her was one thing. Both of those things were all very well and good (really good, to be honest. Ruckus was the best lay of her life), but mind-shattering pleasure and a hard, sinewy, tattooed body spooning her didn’t make up for the snoring.

Damn, did Ruckus know how to snore.

Raking her hands through her hair, RG watched the security surveillance expert’s chest rise and fall as the buzzing sound tore from the back of his throat.

Deciding it was now or never, she reached over and pinched his nostrils shut.

A split second of silence filled her bedroom, followed by a grunting cough as Ruckus spluttered awake.

RG grinned at him, resting her elbows on her bent knees. “Time for you to fuck off, Ruckus.”

He squinted at her, scratched his belly, yawned, and then sat up. “Okay.” He swung his long, lean legs over the side of the bed and straightened.

She made a half-hearted attempt to not check out the sublime perfection of his naked arse as he plodded away from the bed towards the bathroom.

He really was the hottest fucking bastard she’d ever laid eyes on. Unorthodox, a little wild, more than a little crazy, a tad enigmatic (okay, tad was an understatement), ridiculously intelligent, and partial to scary-looking tattoos inked into his smooth brown flesh with exquisite skill by his equally enigmatic cousin, Lincoln.

Everything she wanted in a guy, really.

He disappeared into her bathroom. A few seconds later came the sound of him evacuating his bladder.

RG rolled her eyes. “Y’know, you could close the door when you do that.”

He didn’t answer. Not straight away. In fact, it was a few minutes after the sound of the loo flushing and the bathroom tap running that he poked his head around the bathroom door and looked at her, a toothbrush sticking out of his mouth, white foam slicking his lips.

“Y’know,” he pulled the toothbrush free of his mouth and pointed it at her like a finger, “the only reason you’re kicking me out is because you’ve just realized you’ve fallen in love with me and it’s scaring the shit out of you.”

RG blinked.

He shoved the toothbrush back into his mouth, gave her a look she had no hope of interpreting, and disappeared back into the bathroom.

She blinked again.

In her chest, her heart began an attempt to mimic a semi-automatic machine gun with the trigger duct-taped to the “pulled” position.

Love?

Her? In love? With Ruckus?

Ruckus? She’d only known him for a few months, six at the most. She didn’t even know his last name. Sure, she’d been sleeping with him for the last two months, and whoa baby, how incredible was that? But still? How could she possibly be in love with him?

Because he’s unorthodox, a little wild, more than a little crazy, a tad enigmatic, ridiculously intelligent, and partial to scary-looking tattoos?

True. All true. Plus he was the most incredible lover she’d ever had. And he cooked Thai food better than any Thai restaurant she’d eaten in. Both here in Australia and in Thailand.

And she’d broken her One-and-Done rule with him. That said a lot.

Well, fuck.

“No.” Shaking her head, she scrambled off the bed. Damn near threw herself off it with such frantic force her hand missed the mattress.

She tumbled over its edge, her shoulder thumping the mattress, followed by her boobs and then her hip as she fell forward. The cascade effect took hold and, no matter how much she flailed—for grip and dignity—she fell face first towards the floor.

She hit it with a thud, dull pain blooming in her elbow and cheek even as Ruckus’s accusation taunted her.

In love with me.

She scrambled to her feet, heart wild, and looked at the open bathroom door.

“No.” She stomped across her bedroom. “No, I’m not in love with—”

Oh boy.

He stood naked, leaning against the bathroom sink, ankles crossed, hands perched on the edge of the sink beside his butt, a dark eyebrow arched, his lips twitching. “Did that hurt?”

Damn it, why the hell were his eyes so icy blue and intense? It was hard to be indignant when his eyes were so exquisite. She rubbed at her elbow, scowling. “No.”

He smiled. “Okay.”

She checked him out. She couldn’t help it.

One of the reasons for her One-and-Done rule with men stemmed from the fact that after bonking them, she was instantly bored by them. Ruckus was never, ever boring. Okay, some of her previous sexual partners technically had better bodies than him, and some had been quite adventurous in their efforts to please her, but the moment the deed was done, those bodies, that effort failed to keep her attention.

Ruckus, however…

Crossing her arms over her breasts, she narrowed her eyes at him. Her inner arms rubbed against her nipples, and for a second, the memory of him sucking and biting them with hungry dominance overwhelmed her. A hot place in the junction of her thighs grew warmer. Her belly fluttered.

Oh man, she’d jump his bones right now if he wasn’t spouting such rubbish. Love? Huh. No way.

Why do you think I’m in love with you?”

He chortled, a word she’d never used to describe anyone else’s laugh but his. Other people in her world laughed, chuckled, guffawed, giggled, but Ruckus chortled: a sound part laugh, part snicker, part ambiguous vocalization of what he thought of the situation.

Like the rest of him, it was as sexy as all hell.

Well, apart from the snoring. That wasn’t sexy.

“You told me so,” he answered, watching her.

His morning hard-on was as impressive as it had been when she’d woken beside him less than half an hour ago. Maybe even more impressive; long and thick with just the right amount of veins ridging its length, its head a deliciously fleshy dome that felt so good sliding into her—

Wait, what? She’d told him what?

She snapped her focus up to his face. “I did what?”

“You told me you loved me last night.” He pushed off the edge of the sink to turn and face the mirror hanging on the wall above it. His gaze caught hers in the reflection for a heartbeat before he looked at himself in the glass and smoothed his hand over his shaved-bald head.

“When?”

He chortled again, checking out the dark stubble on his jaw, his chin, with a scrape of his fingers. “Just before you killed me with the Soul-shearing Sword.”

“In Hell’s Harbour?” RG narrowed her eyes. Okay, not what she thought he’d been talking about. Now, if only her heart would slow down a bit. “If that’s what you’re talking about, I’m pretty certain I said fuck you.”

He shrugged, dropped his hand from his jaw, and turned back to her. “Same thing, really.”

“Shit, you scared me for a moment.” She slumped and rubbed a shaking hand over her stomach. “I thought you were serious.”

Mesmerizing blue eyes regarded her for a beat, unreadable, indecipherable, and then he grinned. “Yeah, imagine how horrible being in love with each other would be.”

RG rolled her eyes and shuddered, ramping up the melodramatic terror. “I know.”

He straightened away from the basin. “And on that high note, I have to get to work and so do you. Don’t you have a meeting of some sort this morning?”

RG jerked her stare to the watch on her wrist. “Shit.” She spun on her heel and sprinted for her wardrobe. “Shit shit shit.”

She was going to be late. Though it didn’t really matter if she was. The CEO of Virt.Real Distributors, Brannum West, would wait for her. Her online game, Hell’s Harbour 2, was going to make his company very, very rich, after all, but she hated being late. It was a sign of bad character.

Yanking open her wardrobe, she searched frantically for something appropriate to wear to the introductory meeting with West. Something kick-arse and professional all at once.

Her Han Shot First T-shirt? Her Gandalf and Dumbledore Make Magic Together T-shirt? Her dragonscale Handbag of Holding?

Warm lips pressed to her temple, just as an equally warm hand cupped her naked butt and squeezed. “Have fun today,” Ruckus murmured before capturing the side of her throat with his lips and giving her a rough, sucking kiss there. “See you later.”

He left before she could correct him. Later was not going to happen. His unprecedented dream-run in her bed was finished. Over.

Really?

“Really,” she muttered, tugging a T-shirt (I Am Groot) over her head. Breaking Ruckus’s heart made her ill, but it was time. Besides, who said his heart was going to get broken? They’d never agreed to any kind of…of…relationship, after all. Just wild sex, fun, and games. And wild sex. Lots of wild, amazing, incredible…

“Enough, woman!”

Ten minutes later, morning hygiene and cleaning routine taken care of, and with her tie-bleached Levi’s hugging her legs and butt, her knee-high purple Doc Martens laced tight, and her emerald-green, fake-dragonskin messenger bag slung over her shoulder, she hurried from her bedroom.

Her hair could stay the way it was. When your hair was glossy deep sable, straight as a die, thicker than molasses, and shaved on the left side above and behind your ear, you could get away with it looking a little wild.

The unmistakable aroma of freshly brewed coffee filled her nose as she strode into her apartment’s living room.

Coffee? She hadn’t made…

Her Doctor Who travel mug sat on the kitchen counter, waiting for her.

A warm flurry of happiness washed over her. She squashed it. Making coffee for her? That wasn’t what an emotionally detached fuck-buddy did. What was he trying to do? Make her like him or something?

“Bastard.” She picked up the warm mug from the counter and walked for the door. She was going to make him pay for that thoughtful kindness tonight.

She was driving her car out of her apartment building’s underground garage when it dawned on her what she’d done.

Mentally put him back in her bed that night.

Damn it. What the hell did she do now?

*

Nerves gnawed at Brannum West, a disconcerting, unfamiliar emotion.

He hadn’t become CEO of the country’s most successful electronic entertainment distribution company by being nervous. Clients—no matter how big, no matter how golden—never made him nervous. He held the cards, as it were. The manufacturers of products needed his company, his business acumen, to see their games and merchandise on the shelves of stores and in the homes of the buyers. He wielded the power in the relationship, and wielded it to perfection.

But this next meeting… This next client…

Rosemary Bailey, or as her assistant insisted he call her, RG, fell into a completely different category of client, however.

The introductory meeting about to take place as soon as she arrived had nothing to do with the nerves taking massive bites out of his calm and poise. When it came to business transactions and dealings, Bran was icy calm and collected control.

RG Bailey, however, and the online-game empire worth millions she’d created with Hell’s Harbour, was a different matter.

For starters, today’s meeting was about his company becoming the sole worldwide distributor of Hell’s Harbour 2, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the original game.

For another thing, he and RG had been circling each other sexually for a while now, although not in the traditional sense. They’d never met personally, but in Hell’s Harbour, they’d shared more than one sexually charged moment. A lot more than one.

Thank Christ she was clueless to that. One of the attractions of online role-playing games—your real-life identity was always a secret.

Now if only he could get these nerves under—

The door to his office swung open and his personal assistant sashayed into the room. “Ms. Bailey from Elemental Games to see you, Mr. West.”

Bran drew a deep breath and nodded. Here we go. “Send her in, Jacinta.”

Jacinta pivoted on her heel—how the hell did she walk in stilettoes that high?—and strutted out of his office.

Bran held back a grunt. Jacinta was good at her job, but damn, did she have attitude. More than one client had commented how intimidating she was. It worked for Bran, but he hoped that intimidation didn’t put RG off.

Jesus, West. Get ahold of the nerves.

His door opened again and RG Bailey strode into the room, making Jacinta’s attitude look ham-fisted.

Rising to his feet, he watched her approach his desk, his heart thumping fast.

RG was famous in the gaming world for her appearance and today he could see why. Her warrior-woman hair with its shaved side stirred in him something hungry. The black eyeliner—so thick it made her blue eyes almost hypnotic—did the same. Screw socially accepted ideals of being normal, her eyes said.

He swallowed. Even the way the lights of his office glinted off the multitude of piercings in her ears unnerved him.

Game creators never failed to be unique and unconventional. As CEO of Virt.Real Distributors, he was used to their eccentricities, but the sheer presence of RG knocked him sideways.

Supreme confidence radiated from her in undeniable waves, and threaded through that, an even greater natural sensuality. Her body moved with natural rhythm in the thoroughly sexy, unabashedly geeky attire she wore. Every fiber in his body responded to her on a level he’d long believed dormant.

Jesus. He was in trouble here.

“Mr. West.” She reached his desk, her stare holding his own with direct poise.

Jesus, what the hell were his balls and cock doing? Getting hard? Swollen? Not the way they normally behaved during a business meeting with a client. “Rosemary.”

Those ice-blue eyes of hers flashed and she gave him an unreadable smile. “Sure about that?”

Damn it. Wrong name. Wrong name.

“RG.” He held out his hand in the universally accepted professional business greeting.

She removed the messenger bag slung over her shoulder and dropped it at her feet before taking his offered hand and giving it a firm, assured pump.

“There you go.” She raked her gaze over him before ending the handshake with a grin. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Hard. Damn appropriate word right now.

He let out a wobbly chuckle. “No, but it wasn’t quite how I saw this starting out.”

“Never is.” The unreadable smile played with her lips again. “That’s what makes it fun.”

He studied her. How did he respond? For the first time in his professional life—no, change that, his adult life—he didn’t know.

The warning from various business associates that RG Bailey was unlike anything he’d experienced before was not an exaggeration. No warning had been given, however, about the fact she was like concentrated sexual energy on two long legs.

“So…” RG dropped herself into the seat opposite his desk, draped her elbow over its back and fixed him with another one of those enigmatic, mesmerizing stares. “Sell yourself to me, Brannum West. Why am I agreeing to let Virt.Real Distributors be solely responsible for getting Hell’s Harbour 2 out into the world?”

Damn, he liked the way she said his name. It reminded him of someone else from his past. Someone—

Shut that thought down now.

“One word.” Undoing the button on his suit jacket, he lowered himself into his own seat. RG Bailey did not need to see the growing bulge in his trousers. “E3.”

“Other distributors can get HH2 to E3, Brannum.” She flicked another glance over him. “Alliance Distributors promised me that very thing a month ago. And the day before yesterday. And five minutes ago as I was driving here. They’re doing their best to convince me to backflip on our relationship and sign with them. So tell me… why do you think I decided to go with you?”

Bran chuckled. She was testing him. He liked it.

A lot. And on a level that made his groin tighten.

Leaning forward in his seat, he placed his elbows on his desk and threaded his fingers. “Two reasons. You went with me because Virt.Real Distributors follows the same moral code you yourself follow in business: don’t treat people like shit, don’t disrespect those who make your life better, don’t dismiss the ideas of those who have only begun their journey.”

Something intriguing flared in RG’s eyes. Something…hungry.

“Not just in business.” He could have been mistaken, but her voice sounded huskier than it had before. “And the other reason?”

“You’re a firm believer in keeping things local. In supporting local companies and businesses. In keeping the dollars in this country as much as you can. And as you no doubt know, Virt.Real Distributors is one-hundred percent Australian owned and run.”

“I do know that. And you’re right. Those are pretty much the reasons I signed with you. But there is another.”

Bran raised his eyebrows, sitting back in his chair once again. Okay, he hadn’t expected this. “Which is?”

“Because you’ve…played with me more than once.”

He stared at her. Swallowed.

It was her turn to lean forward and rest her elbows on his desk. Her lips curled. Her eyes glinted. “Because you’re the mage warrior West Wind on Hell’s Harbour and you have been flirting with me outrageously in the supposedly inaccessible zones for some time now.”

“I…” He stopped. She knew. Fuck, she knew. What did he do? What did he say?

“What you’re going to tell me now is,” she went on, “how you came by the knowledge of the very secret, very restricted downloadable expansion packs of the game…”

Bran swallowed. Again. And there goes my career.

RG’s smile turned to a grin, one that said quite clearly she knew she had him thoroughly by the short and curlies and was enjoying every minute of it.

She settled into her chair, draped her elbow over its back again, crossed those sublime legs of hers, and arched an eyebrow. The eyebrow—he noticed—pierced with a tiny blood-red stone. “Well?”

He dragged in a slow breath. Rick. Damn it, I’m going to kill the bastard when I see him next.

An image of his ex sheared through him, and he sucked in another breath.

“Well?”

“I’m a huge fan of Hell’s Harbour.” Time to be brutally honest. Something about RG told him her bullshit meter was second to none. “A work associate introduced me to it a year ago. He was the one who showed me the DLC.”

Unmistakable interest flared in RG’s eyes. Along with something Bran couldn’t decipher. Anger? Disappointment? She regarded him from opposite his desk for a long moment, silent.

He didn’t fidget. Or blink.

This might not be like any business meeting he’d ever had, but it was still a business meeting, and he did business meetings well. Conducting a business meeting with a hard-on was a first though. A whole new, completely unsettling experience.

RG’s eyes narrowed. That indecipherable gleam in her eyes intensified and then, with a nod of her head, she unfurled from the seat and stood. “Tonight.” She scooped up her messenger bag from the floor and slung it over her head. “Nine p.m. Wockpool at the Rocks. Bring your marketing campaign, the packaging art, and your planned roll-out for HH2.”

Bran didn’t rise to his feet. It might be what professional etiquette dictated he do, but hiding an erection took priority.

Also a first for a business meeting.

He held RG’s gaze and, heart beating faster than it should, curled his lips in a relaxed smile. “Of course. I can do that.”

He deliberately emphasized I. In any other case or conversation like this, he would have mentioned his award-winning marketing director’s name and his award-winning creative director’s name as fellow attendees. There was no point now. RG’s interest lay solely with him.

Just him.

She’d made that clear.

“Excellent. I look forward to it.” She adjusted her bag on her shoulder, its wide green strap running between her breasts emphasizing how full and round they were, and then turned and walked away from his desk.

He flicked his gaze to her incredible backside before he could stop himself.

“Oh, and Bran?”

He jerked his focus back up to her face as she stopped at the door and shot him a grin over her shoulder.

“Bring this…work associate of yours.”

Chapter 2

Ruckus had been raised by a man of austerity.

Not his father (who the fuck knew where Ruckus’s father was? Ruckus didn’t), or even a relative, Meitek de Wees had taken in Ruckus—then a wild, angry eleven-year-old street kid—and given him a home.

Given him an upbringing that included the best private school education in the country, a deep understanding of morals, of wrong and right, and a safe place to sleep at night.

They spent their dinners discussing world politics, classic literature, art, diplomacy, and the decay of society. Ruckus spent his weekends tinkering in the massive garage with its eclectic collection of classic cars, reading whatever book caught his fancy from the eccentric’s extensive personal library, or teaching himself how to draw or paint.

There were no unnecessary indulgences for him, no televisions, no console games or electronic devices beyond the house’s one radio—permanently tuned to the news station—and one laptop granted to Ruckus for educational purposes only.

For Ruckus, who had spent his life homeless on the brutal Sydney city streets since the age of seven, that upbringing was a luxury.

All that the billionaire recluse asked of Ruckus was that he use his brain, his mind, not waste it, and help maintain the sprawling mansion in which Meitek lived.

And, above all else, not waste water.

By the time Meitek passed away, leaving his billions to the country’s main animal welfare charity group and three charities supporting research into childhood illnesses, Ruckus could comprehensively wash himself squeaky clean in less than three minutes.

At eighteen, once again homeless and without a job or penny to his name, but richer than anyone he knew, Ruckus had stood beside the fresh grave of the billionaire and said goodbye to the man he knew had saved his life.

Apart from the reverend and the groundskeeper, he’d been alone.

Leaving the cemetery, Ruckus had walked the streets until he felt it was time to stop, and entered the closest business.

That business turned out to be a high-tech security firm. He convinced them to hire him in less than an hour. Convinced them to pay him double their offered wages.

Convinced them to advance him a fortnight’s salary.

That night, in his newly rented apartment, furnished with nothing more than a bed, a desk, and the best PC his advanced income allowed, Ruckus took a shower that lasted forty-five minutes.

He cried for Meitek the whole time.

A lot of water, both clean and salty, washed down the drain.

The billionaire would have been horrified.

That was fourteen years ago. In the time since, he’d become the best I.T. systems security expert in Australia.

It was the last shower exceeding three minutes he ever took. Until tonight. Tonight, he indulged. Splurged. A long shower, and a bar of sandalwood and goat’s milk soap, a combination that awoke his senses and helped him find his center.

He needed to find his center.

After months of no contact, his ex had called him out of the blue and asked him to dinner.

Lifting his face into the stream of warm water flowing from the showerhead, he closed his eyes and pictured his ex.

Brannum West, AKA West Wind.

Ruckus had given him the nickname. A week after their first sexual encounter—eight months after Bran had contracted Ruckus’s security firm to test Virt.Real Distributors’ system—Ruckus had told him he was wilder and hotter than the west wind.

The moniker had stuck. When Bran had confessed one night, in a post-fuck state of sated languor, he was a MMRPG player, Ruckus confessed he too was an online gamer. He hadn’t mentioned that his gateway into the world had been RG Bailey, nor that she was a close friend, despite Bran’s line of work. RG was a private person, and Ruckus wasn’t one to divulge unnecessary information.

Bran had studied him, stroking his chest, and asked if he’d ever had sex online in character.

A week later, Ruckus had told Bran how to meet him on Hell’s Harbour’s notorious floating bar only found in the restricted-access area of the game and fucked his brains out.

Online.

An hour after that, he’d fucked his brains out for real.

They’d kept up an on-again-off-again relationship for months. Many months.

They’d agreed not to be monogamous, promising to be careful. To use protection.

The only other person who’d stirred Ruckus like Bran did, was RG, although he hadn’t initiated any move on her. Something held him back. He hadn’t told Bran he’d been monogamous though. He had been in danger of losing his heart to the quiet, thoughtful man; but he hadn’t been ready to confess it, and admitting the only man who floated Ruckus’s boat was Bran would have been the final nail in the I’m-not-settling-down coffin.

It was when Ruckus discovered Bran had been monogamous, that his lover had fucked no one, dated no one, seen no one, not even a casual coffee date, since Ruckus had entered his life, that Ruckus had ended what they’d had.

It was for the better. Complicated, involved relationships only ended in pain.

Ruckus didn’t do pain.

With a frustrated growl, he killed the shower.

What the hell was he doing? Not only had he allowed himself to waste who knew how many liters of water, he’d done so getting ready for a date with a man he’d cut from his life four months ago.

What he should be doing was processing the conundrum that was RG. Whether she wanted to admit it to herself or not, she’d fallen in love with him. She’d freak out completely when she finally did accept it. How he was to proceed when she did…that’s what he should have been thinking about. How he was going to handle it, how they were going to deal with it.

How they were going to move forward after the inevitable freak-out.

As much as he’d tried to tell himself he could walk away from her, would walk away if she made the mistake of falling in love with him, he couldn’t stop sleeping with her. Couldn’t stop seeing her. Couldn’t stop craving her.

He should have been thinking about that, about what it all meant for him and for her. He should have been fucking freaking out.

But instead, Bran’s lips, Bran’s throat, Bran’s wide shoulders and lean hips filled his head. Bran’s incredible arse and amazing legs. His cock and its uncut perfection…

Snatching a towel from the rack, Ruckus rubbed himself dry. He ignored his erection. If he touched it now, he would be mentally fucked for the night.

He had no idea why Bran had contacted him, why he’d asked him out to dinner or where they were going, but if he wanked himself off now, with Bran on his mind, the dinner would become nothing but foreplay most likely ending with Ruckus eating Bran’s cock in an alley somewhere.

When it came to sex with Bran, location had never impeded them.

Ruckus’s cock pulsed at the thought of blowing Bran off, a hungry spasm that came with an equally hungry heat in his balls and the pit of his gut.

A demanding hunger.

Damn it.

Closing his eyes, he stood motionless, drew in a slow breath, counted to ten, and then exhaled.

Repeated the action three times until his heart, body, and center were calm.

He opened his eyes.

And found RG leaning on the bathroom sink, grinning at him. “I broke in. Sorry. Thought I should practice those breaking and entering skills you taught me a few weeks ago.” Her gaze flicked to his groin for a second. “You seem flustered. Want to tell me what’s got you so—”

He destroyed the space between them and crushed her mouth with his. Took utter and complete possession of her lips, her tongue, fisting his hands in her hair as he did so to hold her exactly where he wanted her to be.

She groaned into his rough kiss, grinding the curve of her sex to his rigid cock as she clawed at his chest, his neck, down his back.

Ruckus groaned in return, releasing her hair to grab at her jeans-clad arse. He hauled her harder to his body, moving his mouth to her throat.

“Bite it,” she ordered on a shaky breath. “Leave a mark.”

He did so, the potent request one she made often when they came together.

She arched against him, her nails—blunt but not bitten that way—scraping at his back.

Fresh pain licked through him, deliciously pleasurable and darkly addictive.

He sucked harder on her neck, scoring her flesh with his teeth this time.

“Ah yeah.” She rolled her head to present him with more of her smooth neck.

He journeyed up to her ear, nipped at her earlobe, and then snagged his fist in the silken strands of her hair and yanked her head to the other side, capturing her throat with his mouth as he did so.

“Fuck, yes.” She raked her hands over his hips, shifting her own away from his so she could close her fingers around his cock.

At the fierce pressure around his length, he captured her lips again, plundering her mouth with his tongue as she pumped her hand up and down his erection.

Pleasure crashed through him, raw and absolute. And with it came an image of Bran, on his knees, looking up at him as he slipped his favorite steel cock ring over Ruckus’s—

Fuck.

With a growl, he tore his lips from RG’s and, hands gripping her upper arms, stepped back from her body.

Her fingers tightened around his cock for a split second and then she released him, her expression as unreadable as her eyes.

“Problem?”

He sucked in a swift breath at her casual question.

“Yeah. I wasn’t thinking of you just now.”

He thought the truthful answer would destroy her. He didn’t want to do that, but when it came to RG, it was honesty and nothing but. She’d told him her history, told him all about the emotionally manipulative alcoholic mother she had, the deadbeat father who’d abandoned her and her brother when they were young.

The shit she’d gone through, constantly being lied to by her mum as the despicable woman drank herself into an early grave and almost starved her children to death…

Above all else, RG valued honesty, and no matter the situation, he would give her honesty.

Standing motionless, he watched her face.

“Care to tell me who?” She closed the distance between them with a single graceful step.

“No.” God, how the fuck did he explain Brannum West, the man he’d once loved, to the woman he feared he loved now? And how would she take it if he could?

She studied him. And then shrugged. “’K. It doesn’t matter to me if it doesn’t matter to you. I want one thing from you now, Ruckus, and one thing only. This.” She closed her fingers around his dick and squeezed. “Inside me. It’s why I came here.”

He stared into her eyes. His gut churned. His chest tightened.

Something he couldn’t decipher flickered in her eyes and then she drew in a soft breath.

“Please?”

The uncertain request undid him.

He was a slave to her. Had been since the moment they’d first met. As much as he was to his desire for Bran.

Balling his fist in her hair, he yanked her to his body and took possession of her mouth.

*

RG disconnected her heart from the moment and surrendered control of her body.

The second his tongue swept over hers, she surrendered to the pleasure he wrought on her as well.

She worked his cock as he tore at her clothes and fucked her mouth with his. The button fly of her jeans resisted his efforts to release it and, with a snarl, he bunched his hands at the top of her waistband and yanked it apart, never relinquishing possession of her mouth as he did so.

She heard denim tearing. She heard metal buttons pinging against the tiled floor, and then she heard their mutual groans fill the room as he shoved his hand into her open jeans and buried a long finger into her sex.

The rough invasion flooded her with concentrated lust and she rolled her hips.

He knew what she ached for—his finger stroking against her G-spot. He always knew what she ached for—and delivered. She tore her mouth from his, needing to cry out in pleasure.

The raw sound reverberated around the bathroom, filling the air with an honest carnality.

RG scraped her nails over his shoulders, riding his thrusting finger and whimpering as he captured the side of her throat with his mouth.

She came, the force and abrupt speed of her orgasm ripping a choked groan from her. No. She didn’t want it to be over yet. She wanted his cock pounding hard into her. She wanted—

Ruckus dropped to his knees and shoved her jeans down over her hips.

She wore no underpants; she rarely did. The second he exposed the smooth curve of her pussy to the room, he uncovered her clit with his thumbs and ran his tongue over the tiny nub.

“Holy crap.” She grabbed the edge of the sink behind her as a fresh wave of pleasure made her knees tremble. “That’s good.”

He did it again, a low chuckle sending vibrations through her sex, adding to the wicked sensation pulsing through her already sensitive clit.

She gripped the sink harder, parting her thighs as much as her jeans—bunched around her knees—would allow.

Ruckus continued to lap at her clit, his tongue growing faster.

“Fuck, that’s good.” She shoved her hips forward. “That’s so good.”

He pulled away, grinning up at her. “Of course it is. Are you surprised?”

She shook her head, her breath ragged. “No.”

He chuckled. “Question?”

“Shoot.”

“If I were to cut these jeans off you, would you be pissed?”

RG’s stomach fluttered. Her pussy throbbed with a base hunger. He kept a big-arse knife in the bathroom, one of the things that made him sexy as all hell and yet unnervingly mysterious. “Impatient, much?”

His grin turned predatory. “Hell, yeah.”

Without breaking her stare, her whole body thrumming with an urgency that stole her breath, she raised an eyebrow. “Unlace me.”

His nostrils flared. Something dark flickered in his eyes. And then, he lowered his attention to her knee-high Docs and undid them, sliding them from her feet when finished.

“Thank you.” Grinning back at him, she slid her palms down the length of her thighs and inched her jeans free of her legs.

“Welcome,” he answered, lips twitching. His cock, RG noticed with a tightening of her belly, was doing the same. On its tip sat a glistening bead of pre-come she desperately wanted to lick from his flesh.

Stepping out of her jeans, she wriggled her toes—still encased in her knee-high Doctor Who socks—against the cold tiled floor. “Want the socks to go? I’m partial to them as well, so I’d rather you not slice them from my legs.”

He chuckled, slowly smoothing his hands up her legs as he straightened to his feet. “Oh no. The socks are staying. Everything else though…”

He grabbed the hem of her shirt and yanked it up over her head, leaving her naked, bar her socks.

She let out a laugh that was part surprise, part delight, her breasts growing round and heavy with anticipation. Her nipples pebbled, not from the bathroom’s cool air, but from the desire in his eyes as he took in her newly revealed body.

“Better?” Tracing her fingertips over her left nipple, she gave him a questioning smile. Christ, she was horny.

He didn’t answer. Instead, he closed the small distance between them, positioned himself between her thighs, and nudged her pussy with the tip of his erection.

She hissed in a breath, the slight penetration of his flesh into hers without a condom separating them sending a bolt of liquid electricity to her core.

Her pulse leapt into frantic life. Her belly tightened. Her breath grew shallow. They never fucked without a condom. Including it had become part of their foreplay. RG used an IUD and she trusted him implicitly, but a condom always made an appearance when they fucked.

Except this time. He was so close to penetrating her without it. So close…

His stare found hers. His warm breath fanned her lips. “Tell me to go get a rubber, RG, and I will.” One hand smoothed up her side, over the swell of her breast, as his other hand roamed her hip, her butt, the back of her thigh. “Tell me to sink into your sweet pussy without one and I’ll do that as well.”

Throat thick, pulse pounding, RG curled her lips in a slow smile. “Sink into my sweet pussy without—”

He buried himself in her sex in one fluid stroke.

“Holy fuck,” RG cried, throwing back her head.

He yanked her leg off the floor, withdrew a little, and slammed back into her, tugging her bent knee up to his side as he did so.

Concentrated pleasure consumed her, radiating from the deep stretching of her pussy by his shaft, through her body, up to her breasts. Her nipples turned to aching points, and she arched her spine, craving Ruckus’s mouth or fingers on them.

As if hearing her thoughts, he dragged his hand from her rib cage and cupped her breast, kneading it in perfect harmony with his thrusts.

“Oh yeah…” She scraped her nails over his scalp, down the back of his neck and over his shoulder, rolling into his deepening penetrations. “That’s so good.”

“Let’s make it better,” he rasped, before dipping his head to her breast and replacing his hand on her nipple with his mouth.

Pleasure crashed through RG again, hotter, more intense. Her head swam, each pounding stroke, every swipe of his tongue on her nipple, every pulsing suck on its point propelling her faster towards another climax.

It built in the very center of her core, a tight tingle of heat and pressure.

She closed her eyes and gave herself to it, a willing prisoner of her body and his mastery of its senses, its wants.

He feasted on her breast and drove deeper into her, his hands exploring her thighs, her hips, her breasts.

“Ruckus…” she whimpered when he moved a hand to where their bodies joined to finger her clit. “Ruckus, I’m going to…I’m going to come.”

He lifted his head from her breast and nipped at her lips with his own. “I want you to, gorgeous. I want you to fucking explode all around me.”

She did. She didn’t even try to control it. He had a way of scraping away all the pretentions and barriers she had, and showing her the truth of who she was, what she wanted.

Bucking into his thrusts, her toes curling, her eyes scrunched shut, she came over and over.

And as she did, as her inner muscles squeezed his cock, she felt his body stiffen, felt his fingers on her body grow wild, and then he was groaning her name, his thrusts erratic, his seed pumping into her.

And it was the single most incredible thing ever.

Who knows how long later, both spent and shallow of breath, he slowly withdrew from her sex.

She didn’t hold back her soft moan of dismay at the loss of their connection, letting it caress them both before she gave him a lazy smile. “Not too bad.”

He chuckled, leaning back into the shower to snag the washcloth hanging from the tap. “Thank you, kind ma’am.”

She watched his face as he cleaned her pussy with gentle swipes, her heart tripping a little as he then cleaned his softening length. “Free tonight?”

He froze for a split second, a barely visible stiffening of his body, and then shook his head as he tossed the washcloth into the sink behind her. “No.”

A heavy tension wrapped RG’s chest. “Date?”

He regarded her with an expression unseen by her on his face before: uncertainty. “Not sure.”

Bending at the waist, she scooped up her jeans, flapped them out and then slipped them on. “K. See you later then?”

He nodded, expression unchanging. “Sure.”

The tension didn’t leave her chest even when she dressed—torn jeans and all—and exited his home.

She had two hours to get ready for tonight. Two hours until the game she’d put into play a few days ago, when she’d realized whom the West Wind was outside of Hell’s Harbour, truly began.

God, she hoped she really did know what she was doing.

~

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