Krisa stared in fascination at the man in chains. She’d never seen a sociopath before, let alone a homicidal murdering one. The only people who visited Briar Rose Academy, besides prospective husbands, were guest lecturers. The lecturers tended to be plump, middle-aged ladies who spoke on topics like “Running a Household on a Budget” and “Pleasing Your Husband-to-be”. None of them were half as fascinating as Teague.
He sat motionless on the narrow metal bench, wrapped in shadows. His square chin was slumped against his broad chest and his arms were still held in the uncomfortable looking spread-eagle position by the magno-locks. Despite the locks, he was sprawled in an attitude of cat-like grace and his massive thighs were spread, revealing a large bulge in the crotch of his black trousers, highlighted by the greenish light from below.
That part of a man’s anatomy was one Krisa had yet to see and she had only spoken of in giggling whispers to other girls at the Academy. His shaft, she thought, feeling her cheeks glow red at the forbidden word. Goddess, it must be huge. Of course she had no real idea of how big that part of a man was supposed to be, but she knew what she was seeing in Teague’s trousers looked bigger than anything she could ever imagine being able to handle herself. She hoped nervously that Lord Radisson’s was a bit smaller.
Teague stirred a little, his muscular chest moving up and down as he took a particularly deep breath. Krisa held perfectly still, watching the blindfolded face carefully, to judge for signs of waking. He settled again however, and she felt brave enough to creep forward another foot. She was close enough to see each tiny bristle on his square-cut jaw and trace the massive biceps and broad shoulders with her eyes. An animal, Ketchum had called him, and Krisa could see why.
Once when she was twelve, before she’d entered Briar Rose and was still living at home with her family, a traveling menagerie of wild animals had come to their part of Capellia. Krisa still remembered the excitement of watching them unload the animals at the port. The enormous cages had been floated on hydro-cushions to the arena they’d erected only that morning. There had been a huge, sleek cat in one of the cages. Felidae Panthera, the metal plaque on the cage had said and, Native to Old Earth.
The panther had been all muscular grace, its black pelt gleaming and its eyes like two green stones, blazing with barely controlled violence. Krisa still remembered how badly she had wanted to reach through the stasis bars and stroke the panther, though she knew it would be a stupid, dangerous thing to do.
Now she reached out a hand, knowing she shouldn’t, but somehow drawn to touch the sleeping prisoner. Krisa, this isn’t smart, warned a little voice inside her head, but she felt powerless to stop. Her senses filled with Teague’s spicy, somehow unsettling scent, strong but not unpleasant, and she was reminded of the musk coming from the cages of the big cats at the menagerie.
Closer…closer… What she was doing was not only dangerous, but highly improper, much worse than going out in public without her cincher. But she couldn’t forget the feeling of his rock-hard thigh beneath her palm, or the way the big body had tensed when she’d fallen across his lap. Krisa told herself that she only meant to brush one bristly cheek, or maybe just feel the body heat radiating from his large frame into the chilly air.
“I know you’re there, little girl. I can smell you.”
He had the deepest voice Krisa had ever heard, like someone rubbing a handful of gravel against a stone wall. The blindfolded head lifted and pointed in her direction, that savage grin a white slice in his dark face.
Heart banging madly against her ribs, Krisa scuttled backwards, nearly tripping over the neat piles of luggage strapped to the hold’s metal floor. When her nerves told her she as far enough away to safely turn her back on him, she whirled and ran down the corridor.
His deep, gravelly laughter echoed in the darkness behind her.
That night she had the dream again.
Large, callused hands roved over her naked flesh, bringing her body to life in a way she hadn’t known was possible. A mouth, hot and demanding branded her own and then trailed searing kisses down her throat to lick and suck at her bare breasts. Krisa could feel her nipples hardening under the sweet pressure of his hands molding her and the sharp pleasure-pain of his teeth, nipping her tender buds and marking her creamy slopes with dark red love-bites.
She cried out, feeling her sex grow wet and slippery for him as roughly knowledgeable fingers found their way inside her, caressing her swollen folds and thrusting to test her depth and readiness to take him.
There was the feeling of being just on the edge of something huge and amazing. It was an edge Krisa had never yet managed to cross, but she had had the dream before. Every time she got closer and closer as the man with no face readied her body to receive his own.
She knew, somehow, that once she crossed that edge there would be no going back. She would be committed body and soul to this man who was taking her so roughly and deliciously, who was forcing her body to respond to his every wish, but she didn’t care. She only knew that she needed him inside her now. Needed to feel him awakening her body and rousing her soul, making her blood rise to meet his own…