Warning: Contains language of a frank and explicit nature.
Lauren surreptitiously studied her friend's profile as they sat on the couch together watching a sci-fi movie and thought again what a beautiful man he was. He had an angular face with sharp cheekbones, a long, shapely mouth and eyes so deep a blue as to be easily mistaken for black. Then there was the way he moved. He wasn't tall or particularly muscular but his lean, compact figure had a graceful, commanding presence.
James Quinn had been her friend and neighbor for years but she still had trouble trying to figure him out. In terms of adjectives, he was not an easy man to categorize. Patient and reserved yet quite the talker when he had something to say. Blunt in speech but courteous in manner and at times so very gentle and kind. Sexy, yes. Lethal, definitely. You didn't have to know his background to figure this out. All you had to do was pay attention.
Lauren had seen for herself just how lethal Quinn could be when he'd snapped her ex-boyfriend's neck. He'd done with it ease and without hesitation.
Malcolm, her ex, her stalker―her almost fatal mistake―had attacked her in the living room of the apartment building where she and Quinn lived.
Quinn had called her cell at 2AM that day, to invite her to watch a movie with him. They were both insomniacs and he knew she would be up. When she didn't answer, he'd obeyed his instincts and came knocking on her door. Right away he'd noticed that her lock had been tampered with and rushed in to see if she was okay.
Lauren would never forget the look of cold fury on his face when he'd seen what Malcolm had done to her and what he he'd been about to do. She'd never forget the way he'd seized Malcolm from behind by the chin and with one sharp twist, ended the miserable bastard's life.
But that was then and this was now. She'd had time to think while in the hospital recovering from her injuries. Time to sort through her emotions and decide whether what she felt for Quinn was love or something else. Gratitude? Hero worship?
Whatever it was, it was real and very powerful—a thing that lived and breathed inside her and grew hungrier every day. She wanted it to be real even as she wondered how she could fall for a man who was capable of snapping necks and making bodies disappear without a trace. She wanted to find out if she was capable of love again. But mostly, she just wanted him. Christ almighty, she wanted him. The question was did he want her?
There were times she felt certain that he did. The way he looked at her sometimes. His body language when they happened to touch, however casually. But she knew she might be projecting and it was that fear that held her back. Especially since he'd never once made a move. Not even when they'd slept in the same bed.
"Something on your mind Lee?" Quinn tilted his head towards her, not quite taking his eyes from the screen.
Lauren started. Shit! Had she been staring? Did she have drool on her chin? What the hell was she supposed to say?
"I had a dream about you," she blurted.
Quinn reached for the remote, put the television on mute and gave her his full attention. "And?"
This is Quinn, Lauren reminded herself. You've known him for two and a half years. He's seen you at your worst. He's seen you crash and burn and fall apart. Just fucking talk to him.
"It was a pretty great dream."
Something flickered in his eyes and was gone. He waited to see if there was more.
"The dream made me curious."
He continued to look at her. Not impatient just attentive. His expression showed mild intrigue.
Heart hammering, Lauren took the plunge. She tucked her legs beneath her, took a deep breath and looked him in the eye. "Okay, I guess I'll just come right out and say it. I want to kiss you but first, I have to know that you're going to kiss me back."
Quinn didn't say anything for a long while, just looked at her with his deep, searing gaze, like he was trying to divine every single thought in her head. Had she been able to look away from his face, Lauren might have noticed the coiled tension in his body. She didn't know his stillness was an exercise in Herculean restraint.
"Do you remember the first time we met?"
She nodded, nerves wound so tight that she thought she might burst out of her skin.
"You were reading the blurbs of some of the novels near the checkout and I noticed you right away. Actually, your mouth was the first thing I noticed ― the shape of it, how it moved when you smiled. I remember thinking how it soft it looked and that you were the kind of woman who would put her all into a kiss. Then I noticed your hair. I wanted to touch it, run my hands through it and inhale the scent of your shampoo. Then I checked out the rest of you. You looked fantastic in that skirt and tights by the way.
Now here's the thing, I've checked out a lot of pretty women and you might have lingered in my thoughts for a day or two but unless we ran into each other again, I would have eventually forgotten you exist. But that's not what happened. You looked up and right at me and that was that. It was like a fucking super nova in my chest. I wanted you right then more than I've ever wanted anything or anyone in my life. I watched you leave the supermarket and I sat in the parking lot, in my car, for about an hour with a hard dick and a racing heart, knowing that my life had changed and that I had to see you again.
A week later, you moved into my apartment building."
Lauren fought for composure, suddenly close to hyperventilating. She remembered exchanging hellos with him as they waited in line. He was standing behind her and had asked her opinion on what type of bread made the best French toast. She remembered thinking he was handsome and pleasant but with everything she'd been dealing with at the time she hadn't been in the frame of mind to form an impression of him beyond that. And he certainly hadn't acted like he was interested in more than a friendly chat.
"So why didn't you…? I mean, it's been almost three years."
"You weren't ready. But I happen to be a very patient man."
He lifted his hands, slid his palms against her flushed cheeks and gently raised her face to his. Lauren couldn't move, couldn't speak, as he leaned close and said, "So the answer's yes. If you kiss me, I will kiss you back. But we're going to do more than that.
I'm going to take off your clothes and lick every inch of you. I'm going to stick my tongue in every orifice. I'm going to eat your pussy, glut myself on the taste and then I'm going to fuck you Lee. I'm going to make you come 'til you pass out."
Spontaneous combustion. Sometime tomorrow, the super would find her still smoking husk on the chair. He hadn't even touched her yet and she was close to done.
"Afterwards, I'll make us breakfast. Or dinner—whichever comes first and then you can tell me about this dream."
His eyes dropped to her mouth. "Do you still want to kiss me?"
Words were no longer necessary. She slid her arms around his neck and sealed her lips to his.