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Praise for the novels of Maya Banks
BE WITH ME
“Three hot men and one lucky woman. I absolutely loved it! Simply wonderful writing. There’s a new star on the rise and her name is Maya Banks.”
—Sunny, national bestselling author of Lucinda, Dangerously
“Fascinating erotic romantic suspense.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Searingly sexy and highly believable.” —Romantic Times
“This story ran my heart through the wringer more than once.” —CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
“From page one, I was drawn into the story and literally could not stop reading until the last page.” —The Romance Studio
“Maya Banks’s story lines are always full of situations that captivate readers, but it’s the emotional pull you experience which brings the story to life.” —Romance Junkies
FOR HER PLEASURE
“[It] is the ultimate in pleasurable reading. Enticing, enchanting and sinfully sensual, I couldn’t have asked for a better anthology.” —Joyfully Reviewed
“Full of emotional situations, lovable characters, and kick-butt story lines that will leave you desperate for more. I highly recommend For Her Pleasure for readers who like spicy romances with a suspenseful element—it’s definitely a must read!” —Romance Junkies
“Totally intoxicating, For Her Pleasure is one of those reads you won’t be forgetting any time soon.”
—The Road to Romance
Berkley titles by Maya Banks
FOR HER PLEASURE
BE WITH ME
THE DARKEST HOUR
NO PLACE TO RUN
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
NO PLACE TO RUN
A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley Sensation mass-market edition / December 2010
Copyright © 2010 by Maya Banks.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-44573-0
Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY® SENSATION and the “B” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
A big thank-you to:
Kim Whalen, my biggest cheerleader and advocate.
Cindy Hwang, for her support of this series
and for believing I could do it
when I didn’t think I could pull it off.
Valerie and Lillie, for always being willing
to drop everything at a moment’s notice for me.
HE was waiting for her as soon as she opened the door to his hotel room. Sam Kelly watched as Sophie turned, watched the wash of desire that flickered in her expressive blue eyes as she found him.
Before she could reach behind her to tug at the tie to her apron, he had her in his arms, his lips crushing hers in that first sweet taste.
His name came out in a breathy sigh that he felt all the way to his balls.
He reached around and took the tie from her and pulled until the work apron she wore came free.
“Any trouble tonight?”
She shook her head even as he found her lips again.
“I hate that you work there.”
She paused in her kiss, and for a long moment they stood there, their lips barely a breath apart as she stared up at him. Her mouth turned down into an unhappy moue, and he was sorry for spoiling the moment by expressing his dissatisfaction with her job.
Who was he to say anything at all? She was working in a little dive in Bumfuck, Mexico—a place a girl like her clearly didn’t belong—but maybe it was all she could do to make ends meet. It wasn’t like he could offer to sweep her off her feet and carry her off into the sunset.
“Forget I said anything,” he murmured. “Come here.”
He tipped a finger under her chin and guided her mouth back to his. He was hungry—starving—for her. Even now his brothers and their team were doing the job he was here for because he wanted a few stolen moments with a woman he hadn’t been able to resist—a woman he’d known he had to have from the moment he walked into the bar where she waitressed.
A woman who made it too easy to forget duty.
She leaned into him, warm and unsteady. He lifted her just enough that she could circle his neck with her arms, and she smiled against his mouth.
“Better,” she whispered.
“I’ll be better when you’re naked.”
He carried her toward the bed and lowered her onto the mattress until he hovered over her, trapping her underneath his body. His mouth was just over her belly, and he looked up her body, meeting her gaze.
“You’re so beautiful,” he murmured.
With slow, methodical movements that belied his urgency, he slid her T-shirt up, baring her slim waist.
Even as he raised it higher over her breasts, he tongued the shallow indention of her navel. She shivered beneath his lips and a fine smattering of chill bumps raced across her belly.
She arched her back almost as if she’d buck him off, but he left her shirt and gripped her hips, holding her in place.
She shuddered and let out a light whimper when he licked up her midline and caught his teeth on the band of her bra. He grinned and levered himself upward so that his knees were on either side of her hips, and she was effectively trapped.
Impatient to have her undressed, he grasped the hem of her T-shirt and ripped it up the middle until it lay in two pieces on either side of her. It hung from her arms, and he simply pulled until she was free.
Her nipples puckered and strained against the lacy cups of her bra. The material shielded nothing of the dark crescents. Idly he toyed with the nubs through the satin, touching and molding until they were hard points begging to be set free.
The swells plumped over the edge of the cups, and with a light flick, he pushed them free, baring her nipples so they peeked over the bra.
Her hands crept up his thighs, sliding over the rough denim of his jeans, but he reached down and grasped her wrists, pulling her away.
She started to protest, but he brought one hand to his mouth and kissed her palm before raising her arms over her head. He leaned until they were pressed to the mattress, and once again she was captured.
In a moment of inspiration, he gathered the tattered remains of her T-shirt and tied one wrist to the head-board. She gasped, her eyes going wide when he took her other hand and secured it as well.
Her breathing speeded up and her chest heaved. She licked her lips nervously, but her eyes darkened to sapphire. His smile was slow and predatory. She was like a drug. A high he didn’t want to come down from. She made him feel strong and invincible.
“Now what to do with you?”
He reached into his jeans and pulled out his pocket-knife. Her eyes widened slightly, but no fear shone in her gaze. He flipped the knife open and tucked the blade underneath the band of her bra. The material fell away, baring her breasts to his hungry gaze.
He closed the knife and tossed it aside, then turned his attention to the clasp of her jeans. He wanted to rip them from her, but he forced himself to take his time and to savor each inch of her flesh he unveiled.
He worked the jeans over her hips and then down her legs, moving so he could free her entirely. Her shapely legs drew him. He ran his finger up the slim lines and curves and then followed with his mouth, kissing and licking a path to the silky scrap of underwear that shielded her pussy.
He tucked one finger behind the lace, threading through the curls into the slick folds. She moaned and twisted restlessly when he found her clit. For a moment he played, stroking his fingertip over the sensitive nub. Then he slipped down until he rimmed her entrance, teasing her mercilessly.
With one push, he was inside. Liquid velvet closed around his finger, and he closed his eyes as he imagined his cock there, gliding through her tight, swollen heat.
Her agonized cry jerked him back to awareness. Her face was flushed, her eyes glittering with need.
“Please,” she begged.
He ripped the panties, no longer patient, no longer willing to prolong his seduction. He wanted her. Had to have her. Now.
His shirt came off and sailed across the room. He rolled to the side and yanked at his jeans, cursing under his breath when they snagged around his ankles.
Where the fuck was the condom? Pocket. Shit. He leaned over the bed to pick the pants back up and yanked several packets out. They spilled onto the bed as he rolled back over. He grabbed one and ripped it open as he straddled her again.
Her gaze was riveted on his groin. Her eyes flashed appreciatively, and in response he reached down, grasped his cock and stroked.
She strained against her bonds, and it only made him harder and more eager to take her.
With a shaking hand, he rolled the condom on and then reached down to spread her legs.
God, she was so soft and beautiful. Delicate and feminine. The silky blond curls were damp with desire, and he ran his thumb down the seam of her pussy before pushing her legs farther apart.
She was open to him. Open and unguarded. His to take. His to pleasure. His to taste and to touch.
He rose over her, tucking his cock against her small opening. He could never get over that first thrust, where her body fought his size and her pussy closed around him like a vise. He was sweating and shaking like a teenager, and he hadn’t even gotten inside her yet.
“Are you ready for me, Sophie?”
He nudged inward just enough that the head spread her opening and he could feet her heat.
“Please, Sam. I need you.”
Those softly uttered words sent him over the edge. He gripped her hips and dove deep. She gasped. All the breath left his body in a groan of intense agony.
She writhed beneath him, trapped. Her mouth opened and closed, and her arms strained against the bonds at her wrists. She surrounded his dick like warm honey. So sweet. So hot. He’d never felt anything to match the sensation of being inside her.
When she bucked upward in protest of his not moving, he withdrew, and they both moaned at the sensation of him rippling through her flesh.
“God, honey, you’re so tight. You feel so damn good.”
“We fit,” she said on a moan. “You fit me. Perfect.”
“Damn right,” he growled as he swooped downward to devour her mouth.
He flexed his hips and sank deep again. He swallowed her gasp of pleasure, savored it, then returned it in his next breath as their tongues mimicked the action of their bodies.
There was no thinking. Only the slick, hot feel of her against his cock. His brain went numb as he lost himself. Deeper. Harder.
The rest slipped away. No mission. No asshole who needed killing. No frustration because KGI’s efforts had met with no results.
Here it was just the two of them. And mindless, perfect pleasure.
He reached down to hook his forearms underneath her knees. He pulled hard, and the angle sent him deeper, until he was wedged so tight that his balls were crammed against her pussy.
He glanced up, meeting her gaze, making sure she was with him and that he hadn’t hurt her. Only her desperate need for release stared back at him.
With a savage cry, he pulled back and then hammered into her, rocking the entire bed as he thrust over and over. Her eyes slammed shut and her cry split the air. She went tight, so tight, as every muscle in her body tensed, and then suddenly she went liquid around him, bathing him in intense heat.
He threw back his head, closed his own eyes and pounded forward one last time before his release gathered in his balls and shot up his cock. He erupted painfully, the pleasure so staggeringly intense that he lost himself for one brief moment.
His hips still flexed spasmodically as he carefully lowered himself onto her limp body. She trembled as their flesh met, and her lips brushed over his jaw as he laid his head against her shoulder.
He was still buried deep and he had no desire to move. She felt good surrounding him, holding him in her body. He moved his hips again, a shudder rolling down his spine at the nearly painful sensation over his cock.
“Did I hurt you?” he asked against her skin.
She hummed, a content purring sound that told him he’d done no such thing. Still, she spoke softly against his hair, reassuring him that he’d given her as much pleasure as he’d taken.
Though he hated to move, he knew he was crushing her. Carefully he pushed himself up and then withdrew from her body. Damn but he was still hard.
He reached up to untie her and then rolled away to discard the condom. When he moved back, she immediately curled into him all soft and limber. Her hands moved over his body almost frantically, as if being denied the ability to touch him had made her all the more desperate to do so now.
He caught one of her hands and tugged it down until her fingers circled his cock.
“See what you do to me? I shouldn’t be hard again for two weeks after that, but I seem to stay that way around you.”
She laughed softly and ran her hand up and down his length, exploring every inch.
“Think he’ll wait long enough for me to grab a shower? Do you mind?” Her nose wrinkled in distaste. “I smell like beer.”
He nuzzled her neck, licking over her pulse. “You smell wonderful, but yeah, go get a shower.” He felt a twinge of guilt for having ambushed her as soon as she’d walked in. He should have let her shower and rest. She’d been on her feet the entire evening.
She reached up and kissed him before rolling away. He watched her, enjoying the gentle sway of her hips and ass as she walked naked to the bathroom.
She was one hundred percent woman. Soft and feminine, with curves in all the right places. She was everything his job wasn’t, and maybe that’s why she appealed so strongly to him.
He lay there for a long moment, and finally after five minutes, he figured he’d given her enough time to wash. If she hadn’t, he’d finish the job for her.
He got off the bed and went into the bathroom, where the steam from the shower had already fogged the mirror. She was standing motionless in the shower, her body blurred by the glass.
It was enough to send his blood roaring to life. God almighty but he couldn’t explain her effect on him. It was crazy and left him feeling unbalanced.
He opened the door, and before she could turn around, he slipped into the shower with her, his body molding to hers. She started to turn, but he stopped her, holding her still.
He lowered his mouth to her neck, where little droplets of water beaded and rolled down her skin. Her knees buckled and she threatened to fall when his teeth sank into the slim column of her throat. He caught her and held her tight.
“Put your hands on the wall.”
She put her palms on the tile and slid them up until her arms were above her head. He arched against her then reached down and hooked her right leg with his hand. He pulled up, lifting her while he held her steady with his other arm.
While the water beat down on them, he thrust into her, finding her warmth all over again. It was never enough. It would never be enough.
In the back of his mind, a warning flashed. He hadn’t used a condom, but he was lost in the feel of her silky heat against his bare flesh. His mind screamed stupid, but the male roared that she was his and he’d take what was his.
She tightened around him. Her fingers curled into fists against the shower wall. She threw her head back, arching into him as he marked her neck with his mouth.
It was primitive and hard core. It puzzled him even as he knew it couldn’t be explained.
“Mine,” he whispered.
His release when it came was quicksilver. A lightning flash that was intense and painful and had him arching to tiptoe as he strained to get deeper.
She made a small sound, and her hands slid down the walls as if she’d lost any remaining strength. She sagged and he caught her gently to him. He was filled with an odd tenderness as he reached up to turn the water off and then settled her into his arms.
He stepped from the shower and put her down long enough to wrap a towel around her. For a long time they stood there, her forehead resting on his chest as they both tried to catch up.
She snuggled sleepily into his arms, and again, guilt assailed him as he imagined how tired she must be. He kissed the top of her head.
“Let’s go get some sleep. You’re exhausted.”
She turned her face up to his and smiled even as her eyelids drooped. Then she rose up on tiptoe to curl her arms around his neck.
“Take me to bed,” she whispered.
SAM woke with Sophie in the crook of his arm, her head resting on his shoulder. He was tempted to roll over and slide between her legs and wake them both up with a quick orgasm. But she looked tired and a little fragile, like maybe she’d had a rough night at work.
He pulled her closer and ran the tips of his fingers up and down her arm. The strands of hair closest to his mouth fluttered with his every breath, and he hooked a finger around them to pull them away from her cheek.
Her eyelids fluttered and opened, and sleepy blue eyes stared back at him.
“Good morning,” he murmured
She responded by snuggling deeper into his side. Her sigh was all he heard, and her arm crept around his waist, linking them tighter together.
He chuckled lightly and kissed the top of her head. “Content?”
It was easy here in this hotel room. Everything else seemed a world away and they were removed from reality. He wasn’t stupid enough to embrace that, but it was nice, just for a while, to get a sense that the only thing that mattered was right here and right now.
“Feel like eating something?”
She raised her head. “What time is it?”
Before she could respond, a knock sounded at the door. What the hell? He frowned, then eased from underneath Sophie.
“Stay here and out of sight.”
He yanked his jeans on and went to the door, opening it just a crack. The man from the front desk stood there holding a sealed envelope.
“For you, señor. It was marked as urgent.”
Sam took the envelope. “Thank you.” He closed the door and turned the envelope over in his hand. It didn’t have a name, but then he hadn’t used his real name here. It was only marked “304 Urgent.” Underlined three times.