Destiny hides in the tempest’s heart
Ondine has always felt at home in the sea. Orphaned at birth and raised by her grandmother on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, she has never really questioned her extraordinary affinity for the watery world. She concentrates on her work as a marine biologist, spends her weekends relaxing among the waves and worries about human threats to her beloved ocean environment. Fears of a deadly pregnancy like her mother’s make her cautious about sex.
When she encounters an attractive but arrogant engineer on her private beach, surveying the site for a prospective off-shore wind farm, anger is her first reaction. A casual touch, however, transforms that emotion to incomprehensible, irresistible, terrifying lust.
Ebony-skinned Marut has his own talents—aside from his uncanny ability to swamp Ondine with desire. He can control the winds and summon storms. He informs Ondine that they share a supernatural heritage and claims she is his destined mate. She responds with scepticism and tries to resist the charismatic Haitian, but ultimately her scientist’s training won’t permit her to deny the evidence of her senses—and her heart. As a brutal northeaster batters the island and Marut’s life hangs in the balance, Ondine learns that true power lies in surrender to her elemental nature.
|Publisher:||Totally Entwined Group|
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Only the sea could soothe her.
Abandoning her shorts and sweatshirt on the damp sand, Ondine splashed into the surf. Chill water climbed her bare thighs as she waded deeper, sending delicious prickles racing across her skin. The Atlantic was always frigid, even after three months baking in the summer sun, but Ondine experienced the icy swells as pure pleasure. She dove under a wave and savored the exquisite shock of total immersion.
Her body came alive with fluid energy. A powerful kick propelled her toward the bottom, where she cruised with practiced ease, eyes open to the greenish translucency around her. Kelp fronds fluttered with the current, tethered to the rocks below. Fish darted like silver lightning among the rippling blades of sea grass. A cobalt-blue crab inched its way along a ledge, pincers held high like a dancer with castanets. The distant, haunting call of a whale reached her sensitive ears, vibrations transmitting faint but clear though the miles of ocean that separated her from the creature. A mating cry, she thought, smiling to herself, alert for the reply which came a minute later, the female even farther away but definitely receptive.
The cycles of nature continue, despite our assaults. Calmed as always by the rich life that thrived beneath the waves, she surfaced and rolled onto her back with her arms spread wide. The sea supported her, rocking her in a gentle and familiar embrace. The currents tugged at her long hair until it fanned out around her head like a platinum halo.
The anxieties that dogged her on land evaporated. Eyes closed, she synchronized her breath with the muted roar of the breakers upon the beach. The water bathing her limbs felt blood-warm now — though intellectually she knew its temperature was in the single digits — and viscous as honey. Morning sunlight dried her exposed breasts and belly, leaving a sweet sting of salt. Her thoughts drifted along with her body, to the cetacean couple, then to her dream — the one that had wrenched her from her slumbers, sweat-drenched and hungry, and driven her down to the shore to seek some peace.
She had been swimming in the dream, far from land, slicing through the sea with the speed of a shark, the grace of a dolphin, acutely aware of the burgeoning life around her, glorying in her freedom. The space below the surface had glowed like the interior of an emerald, lit by the sun above. Arousal hummed through her, wellbeing shading into something like need, but not urgent, not yet — merely a side effect of her finely tuned perception. She would let the ache build, gathering force and volume, until the flood of release was as inevitable as the tide.
Shadows had gathered overhead. The pellucid depths turned gray. Choppy swells churned above. Then with terrifying suddenness she'd been hooked — arrested in her liquid trajectory, dragged up into the air, sputtering and thrashing like the fish she sometimes resembled.
She had found herself suspended in lightning-shot blackness, hung by some pivot between her shoulder blades. Fierce winds swung her back and forth, whipping her hair into her face. Anger and terror warred in her chest.
"Release me!" she'd cried. The gale had ripped the words from her and flung them into the skies. "Let me go, whoever you ..." Firm lips had sealed hers before she could finish. Invisible in the swirling dark, someone took possession of her mouth, forcing it open with an unseen tongue and plunging within. She'd tasted winter frost and summer fruit, salt and iron, a hint of smoke. Hands wandered over her bare flesh, cool and knowing. A rough twist to an aching nipple. The scrape of a fingernail down her spine. A plump thumb prodded her quivering clit. Then a rigid bulk rooted itself in the slick cleft between her thighs.
She'd been soaked, despite her fear and indignation. She liquefied further as her shadow-clad assailant slid into her depths. Her simmering lust leaped to a boil. "Please, ..." she'd moaned into his demanding mouth, even as she clenched around the exquisite hardness invading her. A storm of sensation raged inside her as he arched up and inward, dragging the taut length of his cock across her clitoris. Electric bliss flashed from her core to her extremities.
He'd pulled her to his chest, mashing her breasts against smooth planes of skin and muscle. The arms restraining her were iron bands, inescapable despite her squirming. Wild winds coiled around them in a tightening spiral. She fought the pleasure, unwilling to be taken by a stranger, to have her freedom stripped from her so completely, but he was inexorable, driving closer to her crisis with each powerful thrust.
"Surrender to me." His voice pierced her as surely as his cock, straight to the core. Melodious, gentle, it coaxed her to relinquish control. His soft words were not a command but an invitation. "You will never be complete until you surrender."
He'd swelled within her, on the edge of his own crisis. The world shimmered around her as she continued to resist. "Don't fight me, lady. You're only hurting yourself."
The blackness cracked open. For an instant she forgot to struggle. Ecstasy seized her, welling up and spilling over. For long moments she'd hung in space, unable to breathe, pinned in his arms and racked by pleasure.
Then she'd been falling from a great height, the wind still wailing in her ears, her cunt still convulsing — around emptiness.
* * *
She'd awakened before she'd hit the ground, gasping in terror, her heart pounding like a jackhammer. And yet she'd been wet — so very wet. The damp sheet had stuck to her thighs and her bedroom had reeked of sex. At the time, fear and embarrassment had been her dominant emotions. Now, floating on the bosom of her beloved ocean, she found herself focusing on the dream's erotic energy.
Her faceless dream-lover had been forceful, but hardly brutal. He'd captured her, but only to release her into the throes of pleasure. And he'd been so skilled, his touch both delicate and sure, his cock an exact fit, the key to her secret lock ...
Ondine brought her hands to her breasts, tweaking the salten-crusted nipples, then cupping and squeezing the modest but sensitive mounds. Eyes shut tight against the climbing sun, she summoned the vague impressions she'd captured of his form — silky skin stretched over solid muscle, deft fingers tipped with sharp nails, prickly stubble rasping against her cheeks when he'd kissed her. Everything he'd done to her had been perfect, as though he'd intuited her desires before she knew them herself. His hard cock ... oh, the penetration had been effortless ... and then that delicious sense of fullness ...
Her own fingers followed her recollections. She spread her thighs and drove three digits into her slippery channel. With her other hand, she stroked her outer lips and circled the tight bead at their apex. Her clit screamed for more direct contact, but she held off, avoiding the needy bud as long as she could, teasing herself and drawing out the pleasure.
He hadn't teased her. He'd taken her straight to the peak, as fast and furious as the hurricane whirling around their joined bodies.
Oh, God, that's almost too much ... She pinched her clit, imagining his dark face between her thighs, his tongue delving into her hole. At the same time, he danced his fingers along her limbs, fluttering up the insides of her thighs and tracing feathery paths across her buttocks. He nibbled at her flesh, a thousand places at once, urging her again to give in and let the pleasure swamp her.
This time she did not resist. Ecstasy swelled in her sex, then burst, scattering the last vestiges of thought. Her whole body arced toward the sky then fell back into the waves.
Her frenzied thrashing sank her for an instant. Her head slipped below the surface and her mouth filled with sea water. When she rose again, droplets glittered on her eyelashes, filling her vision with tiny stars.
Undisturbed, Ondine rolled onto her back, moving her hands in lazy circles. She had no need to fear the sea. A flurry of ocean creatures scattered into the depths from which her passion had summoned them, gleaming streaks of light flitting off in all directions.
"Thank you," she murmured to the sea, the sky and her fantasy lover. When the tingling aftereffects of her orgasm finally faded, she turned to swim toward shore, feeling renewed and reassured.
Perhaps today would be a good day after all. The morning was already unseasonably sultry, though. When I was a kid, you'd be wearing a jacket by mid-September, she thought, shaking the sand from her shorts. Just looking at her bulky sweatshirt made her feel hot. The world was warming, no doubt about it. While the politicians squabbled, debating the evidence, the coral died, oysters grew susceptible to disease, lobster hauls dwindled and cod headed for the Arctic Circle.
A high-pitched whine drew her attention to the tumbled boulders that marked the eastern extent of the beach. Atop the pile of rock crouched a dark-skinned man, boring into the surface with some kind of drill.
"Hey! What are you doing?" Ondine strode toward the interloper, still holding her discarded clothing. "That noise — you'll disturb the fish!" She halted on the sand below his perch, one hand shielding her eyes from the glare. "Stop that this instant!"
The stranger raised his head and fixed her with eyes like polished jet, set in a proud face almost as black. A cloud of wiry hair haloed his skull. He flipped a switch and the irritating noise died. His full lips parted in a confident smile, revealing even, pearly teeth. He rose to his full height — at least six feet, she guessed, though her position made him look even taller — and gazed down at her.
Self-consciousness blasted through her as she suddenly remembered she was naked. Hot blood raced to her face while her nipples tightened into ruddy peaks, and an echo of her recent climax shimmered in her still-damp pussy.
The stranger looked distinctly amused, as though he sensed the physical effects his presence triggered. There was something else, too, an unnerving sense of familiarity, although Ondine was certain she'd never met this man before.
She squared her shoulders, ignoring her embarrassment as best she could. She wasn't ashamed of her body — far from it. "You can't drill here. Tide pool habitats are very sensitive. The vibrations could kill crustacean larvae, for a start, and confuse organisms that rely on echolocation ..."
The black man's grin grew broader. He scanned her nude figure with deliberate and obvious interest before he answered. Ondine's nipples ached under his scrutiny, even as her blood boiled at his brazen attitude.
"I have a permit." His voice had an unexpected softness, with a faint hint of the Caribbean. He rifled in the pocket of his tight jeans and pulled out a sheet of paper, which he offered her. "Mass DEP. Go ahead and check. I think you'll find it's all in order."
The sun beat down, hotter than ever. Sweat gathered under her arms and at the back of her neck. Ignoring the proffered permit, she planted her fists on her hips and summoned every ounce of authority she could muster.
"This beach is private, reserved for Katama residents. What's your business here?"
Stuffing the permit back into his pants, he sank into a crouch to pick up a piece of equipment that he'd propped against a rock, next to a two-meter steel pole. His thigh muscles flexed against taut denim as he rose. His white T-shirt emphasized his ebony skin, sculpted pectorals and massive biceps — her mouth felt dry and her pussy, wet. "I'm installing a temporary meteo-hydrographic monitoring station." The device bristled with lenses, buttons and dials, the pinwheel of an anemometer, and the tongue-like extrusion of a rain gauge. "Come on up. Take a look."
"Just a minute." She stepped into her shorts, then pulled her shirt over her head, trying to ignore the sensation of fleece brushing across her naked breasts. In her bare feet, she clambered up over the knobby, rust-colored stone until she stood beside him. He towered over her. She caught a whiff of sandalwood and coconut oil and was washed by sudden desire.
He pointed to a white plastic rectangle. "This is the hygrometer, the humidity sensor."
"Yes, yes, I understand. You've got a laser ceilometer for cloud height, I see, and an infrared camera for thermal imaging ..."
She found his surprise gratifying, as he realized she wasn't just a naked, blonde beach bunny.
"I'm a marine biologist. We use similar devices in my lab at Woods Hole. But Vineyard Airport has a full suite of weather instrumentation. Why are you installing this system here?"
"I'm working on the design for an offshore wind farm."
"Wind mills?" Her indignation returned, blasting through her with hurricane fury. "Those spell death for sea birds!"
"We're doing research —"
"And the awful, endless hum disorients cetaceans. They swim in circles until they starve to death!" She snatched the apparatus and held it above her head, threatening to smash it upon the rocks.
"Don't! Please!" Seizing both her wrists in one massive hand, he pried the delicate gadget from her clutches with the other.
She did not fight him. When he touched her, her anger fled as quickly as it had arisen, to be replaced by irresistible, irrational lust. Her pussy gushed and her clit pulsed between her thighs. Electricity zipped along her limbs. Her modest breasts felt huge and heavy, aching for contact.
The stranger's eyes grew wide. Sweat beaded on his forehead. She dropped her gaze to his crotch. A visible bulk distended the fabric there, evidence that he shared her reactions.
Without releasing her, he placed the weather station upon an outcrop, then dragged her into a rough embrace. Their lips mashed together as they grappled, tearing at one another's clothing in a desperate quest for bare skin. The rusty taste of blood flooded her mouth. She'd bitten her own lip in her hunger for him. His flavor was spicy with a burnt edge, like an autumn breeze. His brazen tongue mirrored the frantic dance of his hands on her flesh.
She wormed her hands into his trousers so she could grip the smooth, solid curve of his buttocks. The muscles tightened and shifted under her palms as he ground his hardness against her. Her shorts hung loose on her hips. He dragged them down to her knees and plunged his fingers into her drenched cunt, smothering her moan of delight with another fierce kiss.
Ondine fumbled with the stranger's zipper as he delved into her core, pushing her closer to the edge. She needed to complete the circle of pleasure, to feel him hard and smooth and slick in her hand. The pressure of his swollen flesh against his fly and the exquisite play of his fingers in her sex combined to render her task almost impossible. Finally, using both hands, she managed to open a gap big enough to release his cock from its prison. Now she made him moan, as she stroked his taut shaft and coaxed him toward release.
"Oh, ah, Father Legba! Oh, woman, you will undo me ...!"
The man sank to his knees, and she followed, unwilling to relinquish her hard-won grip on his cock. He fisted her hair to take possession of her mouth again. She drank in the heat of him, the taste of him, at once strange and familiar, pumping his cock all the while. Gravel tore at her knees as she opened her thighs to expose her needy cleft. His thumb found her clit, sending bolts of sensation roiling through her. She rolled her thumb over his slick bulb in return. Waves of tension rippled up the shaft, proof of his struggle for control.
Somehow he'd ripped her shirt open. He bent his head to suckle her and she felt the same pull deep in her center. His teeth closed around her aching nipple. She raked her nails along his length.
His cock shuddered and jerked in response, spilling warm fluid into her palm. At the same instant, he captured her clit between two fingers and squeezed.
Lightning arced overhead and the wind rose, tangling her hair into a swarm of silver around their writhing bodies. The skies split wide, dowsing them with chill rain. Then the lightning struck inside, tearing her open so that pleasure gushed out, inevitable and overwhelming.
He held her while she shook with the power of the sudden storm, buffeted by wild gusts of exquisite sensation. He kissed her as the thunder rolled off into the distance and sunlight filtered through the dispersing clouds.
When she finally came to her senses, however, Ondine pushed him away. The dark-skinned interloper sprawled on the rocky surface, among the new puddles, looking puzzled.
"I won't let you do this," she told him, gathering her torn clothing and backing away. "I won't." Was she speaking of the wind farm, or of his unsettling carnal conquest? She wasn't sure herself.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Rough Weather"
Copyright © 2014 Lisabet Sarai.
Excerpted by permission of Totally Entwined Group Limited.
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