Nauti boy, p.29

Nauti Boy, page 29

 part  #1 of  Nauti Series

 

Nauti Boy



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Page 29

 

  “Don’t…” She tried to protest, to fight against the sheer force she could feel wrapping around her.

  “I mean it, Kelly,” he growled, rising slowly to his feet as he pulled her after him. “Don’t fight me on this. Not right now. ”

  She felt dazed, overtaken, her mind overwhelmed by the danger and the certainty that if she attempted to run from him, then he would chase her down. He wouldn’t let her go. Not now, not yet. Not before he shed blood.

  SEVENTEEN

  Sheriff Ezekiel Mayes had surveyed the destruction of the Nauti Buoy after she limped into dock. His deputies were going through the interior as Kelly, Rowdy, Dawg, and Natches sat inside the small employees’ room of the marina.

  Ray and Maria stood at the side of the room as Sheriff Mayes took their statements. Kelly could see the knowledge in the sheriff’s eyes as he questioned her, his gaze flickering to the Mackay cousins, a hint of disapproval lighting the golden brown depths of his eyes.

  “You didn’t see anything at all?” His gaze went over the four of them once again. “Hard to believe three tough ex-Marines would let a stalker get the jump on them, especially considering those same Marines were well aware of the danger of the situation. ”

  Kelly pressed her lips together as she clenched her hands in her lap. She had to grit her teeth to keep from defending the men. To keep from revealing the fact that she knew Rowdy had planned this. She knew he had, and it infuriated her.

  “Come on, Zeke, you know better than that,” Rowdy bit out. “Kelly needed some time out. I thought the cove would be safe—”

  “I’m not a fool, Rowdy,” the sheriff snapped. “I’m not buying that shit and neither is your daddy. ” He nodded to where Ray was staring back at his son with a heavy scowl.

  “I’m old enough that my daddy’s opinion either way doesn’t sway me, Zeke,” Rowdy snapped back. “Now why don’t you let me take Kelly home to rest—”

  “Kelly, letting these three mix you up in some crazy scheme to catch this stalker is a bad idea. ” The sheriff hunched down in front of her chair. “Let me handle this. We’ll catch him. ”

  “You haven’t yet,” she whispered, shaking her head as anger and fear collided inside her.

  Damn them all. She felt like a bone in the middle of a pack of wild dogs.

  Compassion filled the sheriff’s eyes. “I’m not a vigilante, sweetheart. When he’s caught, I need the law on my side, not his. Kelly, if these boys suspect someone, I need to know. ”

  “If I suspected anyone, you’d know it, Zeke. ” Rowdy’s voice was hard, cold. “Now leave her the hell alone. ”

  “God, stop snapping around me. ” Kelly jerked to her feet, causing the sheriff to straighten and stare down at her with a heavy scowl. “All of you. I’ve had enough for tonight. I didn’t see anyone. I didn’t hear anything. We were on the lake to get the hell away from that bastard. That was all. ”

  She pushed her fingers through her hair, aware of the strained silence filling the room. She glanced over at her mother, and saw knowledge there. They knew why she was at the lake with the three cousins. She and Ray knew, and though Kelly felt no embarrassment, no shame at the knowledge, what she did feel was a sudden certainty that this wasn’t a relationship she could endure.

  Not because of the knowledge. Not because of morality. Because she didn’t love them. She loved Rowdy, and the discontent, the subtle anger building inside her for days now over his expectations were clawing at her heart. The attack had only reinforced it. She was tired of being controlled. Period. First by a damned stalker and then by her need to please Rowdy.

  “I’m ready to go home. ” She shook her head before lifting her chin and staring around the room. “Now. I need to sleep and I need to think. ”

  “You can go home. ” Sheriff Mayes nodded. “But I may need to ask you some more questions tomorrow. ”

  “Fine. Whatever. ”

  “Just a minute and I’ll drive you—” Rowdy began.

  “I’ll ride with Mom and Ray,” she told him, ignoring the surprise that swept across his face. “I need to think, Rowdy. We can talk later. ”

  “Kelly. ” He caught her arm as she moved to step past him. “We’ll be right behind you. ”

  We?

  She moved her gaze over his cousins. She had been in their arms, felt their hunger and their lust, and despite the pleasure, she could feel her anger building. They were like little boys desperate to keep their newest toy close to them.

  She inhaled deeply. “Whatever you want to do, Rowdy. ”

  She pulled her arm from his grip before moving to Ray and her mother.

  “Sure?” Ray asked her quietly.

  “I just want to go home,” she muttered. “Now. ”

  Rowdy, Natches, and Dawg moved from the store with them. She was aware of how they placed themselves around her, protectively, shielding her. She felt smothered instead as she moved into the backseat of her stepfather’s Laredo.

  Within minutes they were heading to the house, a fucking convoy of vehicles. Dawg and Natches were in front of the Laredo with Rowdy bringing up the rear.

  “Kelly—” Her mother began softly.

  “Not now, Mom. ” She huddled into the backseat, wishing she could make sense of the emotions clouding her heart, her mind. Trying to make sense of her anger.

  Rowdy was taking her over. Forceful. Dominant. He was so certain he knew what she needed, but Kelly had seen what she needed, and it wasn’t what he was offering.

  It was the reason she couldn’t make the choice. Why she fought Rowdy every time he pushed for her to make a conscious decision about her needs. It was why she had wanted to be seduced, because she knew that unless the decision was taken out of her hands, she couldn’t make it.

  And that drove home the sharp edge of knowledge that this wasn’t something she could do. She couldn’t let this happen, because if she did, it would shadow her relationship with Rowdy forever. It would be better to lose him now than to have to share him later. If any more of her soul became invested in this, then she didn’t know how she would bear letting go of every dream she had ever had. Hell, she didn’t know how she was going to do it now.

  Maybe she just wasn’t naughty enough for the man she loved, or his cousins.

  He was a fool. Rowdy followed the Laredo, his thoughts as confused as the emotions he had glimpsed raging in Kelly’s eyes. He ached, and it wasn’t because of the attack. That just pissed him off. No, he ached because the attack had been a diversion he had begun praying for just before it happened. A way to pull Kelly from Dawg’s arms, make certain the fingers filling her tight ass were gone, the touch to her clit no one’s but his own.

  Jealousy had begun to mar the pleasure even before the sounds of gunshots and the whiz of bullets tearing through the cabin had sent them all crashing to the floor.

  What the hell was he supposed to do now? Dawg and Natches had protected her for the past four years from the bastards desperate to get into her pants. His two cousins hadn’t touched her because of the understanding of the relationship that would evolve later. Even though Rowdy knew they had hungered for her almost as desperately as he had.

  Had he not been so intent on running those last four years, of being certain what he wanted, the attack wouldn’t have happened. He would have been there to protect her, to keep that bastard from touching her. But what would have happened to the relationship he had always envisioned?

  He realized now that the shift in his desires had begun before he returned home. Hell, before he took that last tour in the Marines. He hadn’t wanted to face it, and now it was slamming into his face with the force of a sledgehammer.

  He was risking everything he had come home for and he hadn’t even realized it. His own arrogance, his own certainty that he hadn’t, that he couldn’t change. That the sexual pleasures that had always been such a part of his life would remain
the same.

  Kelly was changing the rules. She was changing him.

  Rowdy rubbed at his neck wearily, blowing out a frustrated breath as he turned into the driveway of his father’s home, his eyes scanning the well-lit exterior. Dawg and Natches had pulled to the sides of the driveway, keeping Ray’s Laredo between their vehicles with Rowdy bringing up the rear.

  Turning off the ignition, Rowdy opened the door and stepped from his pickup as Ray, Maria, and Kelly slowly stepped from the Laredo.

  With a flick of his fingers he sent Natches ahead of them to check out the house before Kelly entered. His eyes continued to scan the exterior, the hairs on the back of his neck tingling as he moved closer to Kelly. He could feel the bastard out there, watching them.

  She leaned into him as his arm went around her. Damn, she was exhausted, terrified. What the hell was he going to do about her? As the warmth of her swept through his body, the possessiveness growing inside him seemed to expand, strengthen.

  Leading her toward the house, he kept his senses on alert as Natches slipped in ahead of them, with Dawg following close behind.

  “Rowdy, we need to talk,” Kelly whispered as they stepped up to the porch.

  “We will, baby. ” He bent his head, kissing the top of her head before leading her into the hallway, his eyes finding Dawg as he made his way along the top of the stairs. Natches had moved into the kitchen, each man checking the rooms thoroughly as Rowdy led Kelly, and their parents, into the darkened living room.

  “Leave the lights off for now, Dad,” he advised his father as he moved Kelly to the wide chair at the side of the room. “There were signs of a watcher on the hill overlooking the house on this side the other night. The lights will pick up shadows with the thin curtains in here. ”

  “Shit,” his father muttered, but the lights stayed out. “I need a drink. ”

  As Ray took care of drinks for himself, Maria, and Kelly, Rowdy went through the house again, checking windows, assuring himself it was safe for the few hours of night left. Dawg was currently set up in Kelly’s room, armed with a night vision telescope as he watched the hill across the clearing, while Natches had slipped outside to take watch.

  Returning downstairs, he escorted Kelly to his own bedroom. She was quiet, withdrawn, and he’d be damned if he knew what to say to her.

  “Grab one of my shirts and go on to bed, darling. ” He couldn’t touch her, if he did, he was guaranteed to completely humiliate himself. How could one man be as big a fool as he was? he wondered. And now, how did he fix it?

  She was moving for his closet even as he spoke, and pulling free one of his more comfortable T-shirts. He had to give her credit for knowing what she wanted.

  As he stood silently watching her, she stripped down to bare skin, then drew the shirt over her head and smoothed it down past her thighs. His clothes hung on her, but they carried her scent for weeks after she wore them. The soft, subtle hint of woman that only he could smell.

  “You go ahead and do whatever you have to do,” she told him, her voice cool as she flipped the blankets back on his bed and crawled in. “I’m too tired to deal with it tonight. ”

  “Go to sleep, baby. ” He came close enough to bend, to let his lips caress the still kiss-swollen curves of hers as she stared up at him. “I’ll take care of you, Kelly. ”

  “Yes, you will,” she sighed heavily, her gray eyes shadowed. “And tomorrow, I’ll take care of you. ”

  He didn’t think she meant sexually.

  “Kelly—”

  “Not tonight, Rowdy. ” She shook her head firmly. “Tomorrow. I’m just too tired to talk tonight. ”

  He could see the adrenaline crashing through her, wiping her out. She was still in shock, fighting the reality of the attack. She would dream later, he knew. And the nightmares could be ugly. He promised himself he’d be back by then, that he would hold her through them, ease her.
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