Dark Hunger


Page 14



Julie uttered a hmmph as she glared at Serena and Faith. “It’s part of our deal. One weekend he chooses what we do and I get to choose the next. And if I have to endure a monster truck rally then he can damn sure go shake his ass with me.”

Angelina covered her mouth to prevent the laughter, but it spilled out anyway.

“I know I’ve just met him, but I can’t see him at some club unless maybe it was a biker bar.”

Julie grinned. “He would look good on a Harley, wouldn’t he?”

Angelina nodded.

“So you want to go? Nathan won’t mind so much if he gets to escort two hot women around.”

“Thank you,” Angelina said with a smile. “I’d love to go. I love to dance. Miami has some fantastic clubs.”

“Okay, great. We’ll pick you up Friday then. Just don’t wear something too sexy. I don’t want to kick your ass if Nathan starts gawking.”

“Uh, Julie, don’t you have that bass-ackward?” Faith asked. “If your man is gawking, you should be kicking his ass not hers.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” Julie said sweetly. “I won’t kick her ass until after I’ve removed his nuts.”

CHAPTER 15

If Micah thought that not seeing Angelina or being near her would somehow remove the searing lust that raged through his veins, he was wrong. If anything, he wanted her even more. His craving was dark and ran deep, and in his darkest fantasies it shamed him the things he longed to do to her.

His friends and coworkers watched him suspiciously, seemingly weighing his mood. He could see the judgment in their eyes, knew they condemned him for crimes committed. Only Faith seemed to try and make the effort to talk to him, and it pained him to rebuff her attempts, but what was he going to tell her? That he dreamed of completely dominating his best friend’s little sister to the point of tying her to him day and night, slaking his lust and desires and rousing the simmering passion in her dark eyes?

He had to stop thinking about her. How was it that he’d been able to turn off thoughts of Hannah and David, and yet he couldn’t block one sensual angel from his mind? She haunted his dreams and she haunted his days.

But with her came memories that he had no interest in reliving. Happier times when he, David, Hannah and Angelina had been a family.

“Micah?”

Faith’s soft voice carried through his bleak thoughts. He looked up from his desk to see her standing at his office door, a cup of coffee in hand.

“Hey, doll, come in,” he said with what he hoped was a welcoming smile.

“You missed the morning coffee-and-donut session, but I saved you a cup and the last donut.”

She set the steaming cup in front of him, and he sniffed appreciatively at the aroma.

“Thanks,” he said sincerely.

“You’re welcome,” she said and smiled sweetly at him.

“Everyone ready to lynch me yet?”

She laughed. “Oh, come on. They’re guys. Their sole comments amount to something about a stick up your ass and they’re taking bets on how long it’ll take you to correct the problem.”

He snorted. “Amazing how fast shit gets around.”

She hesitated for a moment, biting her bottom lip as if deciding whether she wanted to say something.

He sighed. “Just say it, doll. I’m not going to bite your head off.”

She smiled faintly. “We’re family. You know that, right?”

A peculiar curl unsettled his stomach.

“I guess what I’m trying to say is that we’re all here for you. I can’t speak for the guys, but I love you a lot you know.”

They both chuckled at that.

Micah reached out and touched her hand. “I love you too, doll. You’re one of my favorite people.”

“So you know you can always talk to me about anything. After all, we’ve been far more intimate than most friends.”

He laughed outright at the devilish gleam in her eyes. Though there certainly hadn’t been any residual awkwardness after their threesome with Gray, neither had they ever talked about it.

“I know, I know,” he said. Then he hesitated. “I hope me not ever saying anything about my past ... about Hannah ... didn’t hurt your feelings. It’s not like I didn’t trust you or anything. I just never talked about it to anyone.”

“I understand.” She cocked her head to the side and stared at him with those wide green eyes. “I like her, you know.”

“Like who?” he asked.

“Angelina.”

That sinking sensation in his gut intensified. “I take it you’ve met,” he said stiffly.

She studied him with a hint of confusion. “Sure. Connor gave her some of my old furniture. Serena, Julie and I went over the other night to bring her dinner and see if she needed anything else.”

It had happened despite his best efforts. His past and present were colliding, and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it.

He hadn’t wanted Angelina to meet his friends. He hadn’t wanted them to know about Hannah or David or any part of his life in Miami. He wanted to resent Angelina, but he couldn’t look past his own guilt to be angry with her.

“She’s a good girl,” he said in response to Faith’s statement.

Faith snorted, surprising him. “I get the distinct impression she’s not a good girl at all. In fact, I’d be willing to bet she’s very, very bad.”

“Enough,” Micah bit out. “I don’t want to discuss Angelina.”

Faith held her hands up. “Sorry.”

She moved back toward the door, but when she got there, she paused and turned around to look at him.

“Tell me something, Micah. Do you think because you lost someone you loved that you don’t ever deserve another chance at happiness?”


When he didn’t answer, she turned and walked away.

Angelina’s week had been busy at the café, and when she got off, she’d spent her time decorating the apartment with inexpensive items she picked up at the thrift shop.

Thanks to Hannah, Angelina had developed a few crafting notions and was handy with fabric. Unfortunately, Hannah had given up trying to teach Angelina any culinary skills. Which was a shame because Hannah was fantastic in the kitchen.

At night in her apartment, Angelina listened to the smooth sounds of her favorite Cuban band and dreamed of lying in Micah’s arms and making love to the beat of the music.

She had to admit that Julie was right about one thing. Sitting around mooning over Micah would make her crazy. She was glad Julie had talked her into going out with her and Nathan tonight.

Excitement thrummed in her blood at the prospect of dressing up, looking good and spending the night on the dance floor. She brushed her hair until it shone and spilled over her shoulders in soft waves. All the makeup she bothered with was eyeliner and a pale lip gloss.

As for clothing, she opted for hip-hugging, low-slung jeans and a tank top that bared a narrow strip of her belly. Satisfied that she looked her best, she went in search of the sandals she wanted to wear. When the doorbell rang, she hurried to answer and found Nathan and Julie waiting for her.

“Hey, girl,” Nathan said with a grin. “Julie tells me you’re going along to witness my torment.”

Angelina laughed. “It won’t be that bad, surely.”

“You’ve never seen me dance.”

She followed them out to Nathan’s truck and laughed when Nathan had to hoist both her and Julie into the cab.

“We’re swimming in testosterone,” Julie said with a groan.

“Stop giving me shit about my truck,” Nathan said goodnaturedly.

Twenty minutes later they arrived at a brightly lit club, and as soon as they opened the truck doors, the music belted over their ears.

“Hell, we haven’t even gotten inside yet,” Nathan muttered.

Julie grabbed his hand and started pulling him toward the entrance. “Stop being such a baby and come on.”

Angelina let the rhythm invade her body before they ever got through the doors. Her skin rippled and rolled with her movements.

“It’s all that Latin blood,” she hollered over the music when Julie grinned at her.

“Knock yourself out,” Julie called. “Nathan and I will be around.”

Her hips rolling and her arms up, Angelina moved into the crowd. Plenty of men danced around her, and with her, but she was careful to keep moving and not give anyone her attention for too long.

After six consecutive songs, she was breathing hard, but she hadn’t felt so energized or alive in a long time. A tap on her shoulder had her turning, and she saw Julie’s laughing face and Nathan’s resigned one.

“Come on, Angelina, let’s give Nathan a show,” Julie yelled.

“Oh hell,” Nathan said as he backed up.

Julie pulled him to her, doing a sexy shimmy down the front of his body. Angelina moved in from behind until they had him sandwiched between them.

“They’re all going to be jealous bastards,” Nathan said over the boom of the music.

“That’s the idea,” Julie yelled back with a cheeky grin.

While Angelina and Julie shook and gyrated in time with the music, Nathan sort of rotated at intervals and tried to make it look like he was dancing. Angelina grinned. He was definitely enjoying the view of Julie’s cleavage. His eyes hadn’t left her all night.

They made a striking picture, the two women moving up and down Nathan’s body in sexy, sensuous movements. More than a few people stopped and stared. After a while Nathan relaxed and got into the spirit of things. He took turns wrapping an arm around each woman’s waist, undulating his body in time with theirs.

When the music segued into the next song, Julie leaned in. “Let’s take a break.”

Angelina followed them over to one of the tall tables to the side.

“Do you ladies want a drink?” Nathan asked.

“Definitely,” Julie said.

Nathan held up a hand to motion to the waitress making her rounds.

“Order up,” he told them when the waitress came around. “My tab.”

Angelina ordered a club soda, and she couldn’t hear what Julie yelled to the waitress. Nathan ordered a beer, and they stood back to wait.

Within a few minutes, the waitress was back with their drinks, and Angelina sipped at her water while dancing in place as the music swelled around them.

They stood through two songs and then Julie hollered across the table. “Wanna go back out?”

Angelina waved them on. “You two go ahead. I’m fine here for a while.”

Julie dragged a laughing Nathan back onto the dance floor and proceeded to wrap herself around him. They were so cute together. Angelina wistfully noted the tenderness in Nathan’s eyes—eyes that never left Julie even for a moment. It was obvious he was crazy about her.

She downed the last of her drink and set the glass on the table. After checking to make sure Nathan’s and Julie’s drinks were empty so nobody would mess with them, she shoved them over to the side and started for the bathroom. Others might be amused at her paranoia, but you could never be too careful. David had certainly drummed that into her head.

A peculiar sensation assailed her when she got to the doorway leading into the restrooms. She grabbed the frame to steady herself and raised her other hand to her temple. It was hot as hell with so many people packed in as they were.

She went into one of the stalls and frowned at how weak she felt when she’d completed her business. Stumbling out of the stall, she went to the sink to splash cold water on her face. Something didn’t feel right. Was she sick?

She lurched out of the bathroom, intent on getting back to Nathan and Julie. The room swarmed around her. Faces yawned and stretched into ghoulish masks. The cascading lights blinded her, overwhelmed her, and the music pulsed so loudly in her ears that she clamped her hands to them in an effort to make it all go away.

She took a step and nearly went down. Oh God. Someone had drugged her. As careful as she was—she hadn’t left her drink unattended even for a moment—someone had slipped something into it. How? The waitress? She had to find Nathan and Julie.

Confused and disoriented, she looked left and right. Oh God. Was whoever had drugged her out there? Waiting to strike? She was completely helpless. She couldn’t fight off a fly right now.

Stick to the crowd. Make a scene. Draw plenty of attention to yourself.

David’s words simmered in her consciousness. Someone bumped into her, and she panicked, shoving away. She yelled hoarsely and fell to her knees. She crawled and pushed herself up, fighting to stay conscious.

Where were Julie and Nathan?

The room was a blur and going darker by the minute. She ran into a hard back, bounced off and went down again.

“Angelina?”

The voice boomed in her ear, and she went weak with relief. Strong hands hoisted her up, and she latched onto Nathan’s arms with fervent desperation.

Nathan and Julie’s worried faces swam into view. Her knees buckled again, and Nathan caught her. He swept her into his arms and hurriedly shouldered his way off the dance floor.

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