Stolen Treasure is book 2 in my Mate Quest series.
This is a reverse amnesia story.
To avert a catastrophic and world-altering event, he must pull a fast one on his mated soul when she wakes up after being in a car wreck.
Instead of helping her remember the single past life she hasn’t forgotten, he convinces her of a steamy married reality with him that they never had.
This is Payden and Bernadette’s story.
I guess I should mention that this hero can sneak into his heroine’s dreams. Good thing, since he needs to seduce her, before she finds out what he did….because, you know, the reason might not be enough to outweigh the deed. *Bites bent knuckle, and cringes* I sure hope he’s charming enough… 😀
The moment she saw the large canopy bed, she smiled. “It’s gorgeous.”
“Much like you,” he whispered, and then he did something that made her pulse race. He reached out and brushed a stray lock of her hair to one side of her forehead.
It was a gentle action, but intimate somehow. It gave her a sense of familiarity. As if he’d done this a hundred times before.
When that came to her, she remained completely still, thinking that he might kiss her. Oh lord, what was she going to do? She couldn’t let him kiss her. Her heart raced, and her breath caught in her throat. She was paralyzed with an excited kind of fear. He was going to—
“Good night, honey,” was all he said, as he left her standing by herself in the huge room.
She blinked and stared at the closed door. Then once her heart rate slowed down to a normal pace, she silently berated herself. Well, Bernadette. What did you expect him to do? Turn down the bed for you after you’ve been turning him down all day?
Going to the dresser, she opened each drawer, and frowned. The dresser was filled with clothes that looked to be of a size that fit her. Once she found a night gown, she went into the bathroom and discovered there were new toothbrushes, soaps, and creams. Had Payden been expecting her to stay here?
By the time she climbed into the big bed she realized she was exhausted, but strangely all the soreness and pain she’d woken up with this morning was gone. She lifted an arm and flexed her left shoulder.
Turning onto her side, she snuggled into the sheets. They smelled like lemon spice, so she buried her nose into them and breathed in deeply. It was a clean, fresh scent that reminded her of him.
With a sigh, she dropped the linens and lay flat on her back, staring up at the lace ironwork of the canopy overhead.
Where was she?
This room may have been her idea of perfection, but it wasn’t hers.
She examined the shadows.
But Payden was certainly real. Especially when he put his hands on her. Why couldn’t she remember? She yawned again and then decided she’d figure this out tomorrow. She was too tired tonight.
Much too tired…
Payden loved this time of night when there was only the two of them. He’d just asked her why she was twirling around in the mist.
“Because this is a dream and I can do anything I want in it.”
There were so many things he wanted to do with her while they were here. Touch. Taste. Breathe in her scent.
“Since this is your dream, what is the anything you want from me?” he whispered.
She was adorable as she almost sheepishly looked around. Was she afraid someone else was here, or did she worry she was going to wake up?
He smiled. She’d spoken so softly he figured she wanted to keep it a secret. His sweet little Bernadette who needed to come out of her shell and learn how to play with the grownups.
“What kind of a kiss?”
His smile widened. The woman was faking it and he loved her more for it.
“Usual as in, standing up or lying down? Open or closed mouth? Whispers of sweet nothings or…silence?” He walked to her, stopping to leave less than the span of a single footstep between them.
She put her hand on his chest and leaned up on tip-toes. “Your usual kiss. I think I like them.”
He reached down and undid the ties at the neckline of her night gown, giving it a tug. “I think you’re right about that.”
He gave the ribbon a tug and the gown wilted off her shoulders.
This is what he loved about this time of night. After a full day of wooing her to no avail, she was his without reticence in the forest mists.
“Look a me.” He didn’t wait for her to do as he directed when he bent to capture a taste of her lips.
Sweet, soft, and more than welcoming.
“Open your mouth.”
The second she did he crowded her, pulling her in closer.
Velvet. Pure fucking satin that begged to be stroked and petted.
He lifted her, forcing her legs to part as he held her in his arms, walking with her to the tree. It was the only oak in the mist.
“Payden,” she whispered.
He was careful when he pressed her back against the semi-smooth trunk, ducking under the low hanging branches to be secluded in the shrouded leafy alcove. There was nothing but the whispering winds swaying in a rhythmic dance all around them.
“I want to feel whole again.” She rested her forehead against his and said, “If that makes sense?”
“In body or spirit?” He qualified, rubbing her temple with his nose. Breathing in all that was her.
He was dying to press his lower half forward, but he wanted to go slowly. To gain her trust. So many people in her life needed things from her and in this instance, he wanted to be what she needed, not the other way around.
She pulled back and searched his face. He was sure there was enough moonlight for her to read his expression, and he knew she had when she spoke.
“In both. That’s when you reach the soul. I feel as though I’ve been…I’ve…”
“Been locked out of the play room?’
Her serious frown eased and she almost grinned. The small smile lurked at one side of her mouth. “Am I too serious with this?”
Now he pressed into her, finding the most sensitive part of her, and growled. “Yes. You’re much too serious. Not that I don’t understand how you feel. I do.” When her frown returned, he smiled. “I know about you, Bernie. You’re torn between what you’ve been taught and how you feel. Those two things are at war with one another. But what I want to know…”
He pressed against her, teasing her with the action until she gasped. Then he continued, “I’d like to know where the girl is that used to demand to anyone who would listen, ‘Who got to decide?’ It’s a legitimate argument to be debated, but you haven’t made the case.”
He could tell she was surprised. Her eyes widened, looking even more beautiful in the moonlight. “How do you know this about me?”
He kissed the tip of her nose. “This isn’t the first time we’ve met in the mist. Don’t you remember?”
She shook her head and his heart was dinged a little by the action.
“It doesn’t matter. We’re here now, and what I want to know is where did the girl go who loved too much? You did, you know. Even with me in the mist. That’s why I’m here. This is why I’ll always be here. I’m addicted to you, honey. I can’t stay away.”
Bernadette brushed back the hair off his forehead. She wanted to say something profound. Smart. Maybe a little edgy. This was her dream after all. Wasn’t she allowed to say whatever she wanted? Wasn’t she allowed to do whatever she wanted? Wasn’t she free to be who she wanted to be without question?
“The girl is right here, Payden. She might be caught in the middle of things beyond her control occasionally, but she’s here, believe me.”
“My belief in you. My faith. It’s what keeps me by your side. Always. In the mist and anywhere else you travel.”
She wanted this to be true. She really did. Unfortunately, things in dreams rarely ever were.
“Do you suppose I’ll feel the same way about you, given the time to remember?” It was the best she could offer. She didn’t want to offend him.
“I hate to tell you, honey.” His smile took her breath away. “Once I get started, I’m kind of hard to forget.”
She was the one who reached out to him, wrapping her arms around his neck, and then locking her ankles together and squeezing her thighs around his hips, before she purred, “Show me.”
He captured her lips the instant that dare escaped them. And all she could do is get lost in the moment.
She had this plan of being bold. Of touching and flexing on him, but that plan went by the wayside when he made good on following through with the dare.
He showed her.
The lights, the colors, and stars. The very air within her, danced, and thrilled.
She was weightless.
Shivering. Tingling from her head to her toes and back again.
He held her with one arm and used his other—his hand, to fist in her hair. Not roughly, but firmly enough that she felt the discomfort that turned into the best kind of comfort when she relaxed into it.
“Open your mouth.”
On a sigh, that was stolen by him, she did as he demanded.
She opened her mouth, letting him in more deeply. Then she closed her eyes and surrendered. That’s when she heard it.
The softest, purest, most wonderful concerto. Violins singing to a lilting pitch while a bass cut in occasionally, bringing the tempo down, until the melody had a purpose.
Was this a song for her alone? It felt that way.
She listened more intently. Giving in more surely. Enjoying all there was to touch and taste and dream.
Oh, yes, dream.
She bucked against him, pushed, pulled, rocked, climbed. Wanting to go higher. Needing to, and he seemed to know it.
“That’s my girl. Let me show you the world one breath at a time.”
Okay, so far we have a 25.00 Amazon Gift card
And now we’re going to add this. It’s a glass candle globe. I love these as they give a really brilliant and colorful shine. I like to put tealights in them, but some people put a pop-on LED light in them. Either way, this is so nice on a table, or windowsill, or something.
I’m working on another Honey post. That man! *Shakes head* In the meantime, here’s a teaser from Bernadette (Bernie) and Payden’s story.
As always, thanks for stopping by!