Bound to My Mate Ch. 02byDoctorWolf©
I woke up Friday morning in my bed to the beeping of my alarm. I didn't even remember setting it. I wandered out toward the kitchen and stopped short.
I definitely did not remember buying a big bowl of fruit for the counter or the flowers sitting in the middle of the table. I whirled to the kitchen door and checked the alarm pad. It was still a solid red light. That meant the alarm was armed, at least I thought so. I opened the kitchen door and the screaming wail assured me it was on.
My heart was hammering in my chest as I turned off the alarm and stared at the new additions in my kitchen. A knock at the kitchen door sent me out of skin almost literally.
A man was standing outside holding up a badge in the small window at eye level. His dark blue uniform was pulled over a muscular frame. I opened the door hesitantly and just stared at him.
"Police ma'am. Are you OK? I heard the alarm go off. Did anything happen?" the man asked, his gaze shot around the kitchen then settled back on me.
"No, I opened the door and the alarm was on and ..." I left the statement unfinished.
How could I tell a complete stranger that I found fruit and flowers in my house in the morning? I would sound like a crazy lady.
I opted for just staring at him for a moment. He continued to glance past me into the kitchen then asked quietly, "May I come in ma'am. Just to make sure you're okay."
I didn't have a good answer for that so I opened the door. He slid in quickly and scanned the kitchen. I shut the door as he moved from my kitchen down the hall. I was staring at the flowers when he seemed to reappear behind me.
"Beautiful flowers," he said.
I grabbed the counter and started, I hadn't heard him come back into the kitchen.
"Yes, beautiful," I managed to choke out. It suddenly struck me and I asked, "Why are you here? How did you hear my alarm go off?"
He smiled a very roguish smile and responded, "Just in the area ma'am," as he walked out my kitchen and back toward his waiting car.
I wasn't sure what to do with the fruit. It looked wonderful, but eating something you just found in your house seems like a bad idea. That's when I remembered the sleeping pills. They must have done it!
Those pills have been known to be associated with outrageous episodes of sleep walking and sleep driving. Adding the alcohol must have been the final push for me. I must have gone shopping last night in my sleep! Well, no more pills for me.
Feeling slightly less crazy I munched on a juicy pear, I remembered how much I liked fruit. I really should try to keep some in the house. I laughed at that out loud. I'm known as a connoisseur of the microwave meal, me with fresh fruit in the house, hah!
Opening the refrigerator I was floored. It was stocked with fresh meat and fresh vegetables. I picked through the bounty and found eggs, bacon and fresh bread. My usual milk and mustard were still there, just put in the door, not center stage like usual. I wondered where I had found a place at that time of night to do all this shopping.
I wasn't going to waste the bounty though. Eggs and bacon I do know how to cook, so I did. It was wonderful. I'd even bought sandwich meat and cheese so I made lunch for later. What would my coworkers say when I didn't hit the local deli for lunch!
I had wasted a lot of time on non essentials this morning, so I got ready in a hurry. I threw on a blue sweater and a tailored pair of black slacks. Luckily, I found my black clogs where I had left them in the laundry room. I made my drive into work like a wild woman. On the plus side no one pulled me over this time.
The clinic was crazier than usual. I felt a little distracted and rushed as I got to my last patient of the morning.
"Saul, I'm Dr. Grant," I stated as I opened the door to the room.
The tall man inside smiled at me and sat obediently on the exam table. His long dark hair was pulled to the nape of his neck. I glanced at my computer screen and saw the chief complaint was physical. He looked surprisingly young to be 45, but I continued with my usual exam and questions.
During a lull in my queries he asked me, "How was your breakfast this morning?"
It was a strange question, but not the strangest I've had.
"Good thank you, more filling than usual," I said to him and continued clicking down the physical questionnaire on the computer.
"Eating healthy is the key to a healthy life," he said.
"Hard to disagree with that," I replied.
"It's easier to want to cook when you have a large family, harder when you live alone, huh?"
Now he had my attention completely.
"What do you mean?" I asked looking up at him.
"I just noticed you didn't have anything to eat that wasn't single serve, frozen or prepackaged. Living in a large family I never had to eat like that. Nothing fresh either, we always have fresh things to eat."
I was dumbstruck, how did this man know anything about what I had to eat. I narrowed my eyes as I crossed my arms across my chest.
"How would you know?"
"I stocked your kitchen last night for my Al-, for Mr. Latro, he was concerned you didn't have any food to eat. He was also worried about your safety, you don't drive very well."
"Who's Mr. Latro?" was all my brain could come up with
Saul raised an eyebrow at me and sighed, "You met him several nights ago at Luna Ferus, from what I heard he would be hard to forget. You all had a short but interesting meeting at the restaurant."
"You mean the man from the ... bathroom?" I asked quietly.
"Yes, the man from the bathroom," he answered.
"Why are you here?" I asked as I sunk down into one of the chairs along the wall
"I'm very non-threatening; he thought this would be the best way to approach you. Mr. Latro didn't think you would panic at work. You seem a little over sensitive. He would have talked to you last night, but you took something and wouldn't wake up. He was very concerned and sat with you all night."
"Wait, wait, wait - I have an alarm, I have door locks how did you get in my house and ... and sit with me," I stammered out.
All I got in response was a shrug. "Anyway" said Saul, "He'd like to take you to lunch, to talk. Don't take too long, he'll get impatient."
I sat in my chair and just stared at the man as he slid off the table and moved for the door. He stopped and looked at me for a moment, and then he turned and walked out of the exam room.
I sat in my chair for another few minutes, until I heard the medical assistants outside. My medical assistant, Madonna, stuck her head in and looked around, "Hey, if you're done that was your last one before lunch. We are out EARLY," she beamed. "I thought he was a physical, wish they were all that quick. Hey what's with you? You look like you've seen a ghost!" Her perky demeanor faded a little and she looked genuinely worried.
"No, just hungry and I think I left my wallet at home. Go to lunch, see you back here at one," I faked a grin and got up from my chair.
I grabbed my laptop and carried it back to my office. I guess I should have been surprised at the vase of lilies now gracing my desk, but I just felt foggy.
Stepping out of my clinic was always a special experience. It was in a rough part of town. If you were lucky you weren't walking through a drug deal or into one of the homeless that just wanted a dollar. Today I would have given anything for those guys.
The men that met me at outside the door today felt far more dangerous. They had been in my house while I slept. They had tracked me down after a bizarre sexual experience at a restaurant. I could refuse to go with them, but that seemed like it wouldn't get me anywhere. Breathing slowly I tried not to panic.
Saul was there lounging against one column. A second larger man was leaning against the opposite column. They were dressed nearly alike in dark polo shirts and slacks. Neither seemed affected by what I considered unseasonably cool weather. The new man's hair was shorter and lighter than Saul's. He was also more heavily muscled and seemed to be very interested in the drug dealers lounging at the corner of the building.
"Hey, Nate, she's here, let's go," Saul gestured for me to come with them toward a dark colored Suburban parked across two spaces in our lot. I couldn't tell who was inside due to the deeply tinted windows. That continued to add to my sense of fear.
As I walked between the two men Nate finally spoke up voicing his displeasure.
"I don't like the people out here, they're desperate, all of them. She isn't safe here."
It was a weird comment and off putting to say the least. It was like they were at a grocery store that wasn't good enough to shop at. I sniped back at him, "People out here do what they have to do to survive. Nobody except you all has ever hassled me."
The delivery might have been shaky, but I felt like fighting back a little.
Saul laughed and Nate just snorted as he opened the back passenger door of the Suburban and gestured me inside. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but it still surprised me. Mr. Tall and Dark was back there already, otherwise known as Mr. Latro.
"Thank you for joining me for lunch today, Elizabeth," he said with a smile
"Thank you for the invitation," came popping out of my mouth without a thought as I took my seat.
All the sudden I realized why Mr. Latro hadn't been the one to approach me at the clinic. My face was frozen and I couldn't take my eyes off of him. A moment too late I realized I was panting and tried to breath normally. Nate put himself in the front passenger seat next to the driver, but it barely registered. I was so excited I'd broken out in a cold sweat.
Abruptly I was surrounded by the smell I'd been chasing all week. I cleared my throat and tried to look away but still couldn't. Coherent thought had left my head the moment I'd stepped into the vehicle. The only thing in my brain was the beautiful man in the other seat. His skin was even better than I remembered and I just wanted to reach out and stroke him. I didn't noticed as the SUV pulled out of the lot.
Desperately, I tried to regain control of myself. Mr. Latro had a little smile on his face as he reached over and took my hand. He started to rub my palm with small soothing circles. His touch seemed to quell the panting I still hadn't managed to stop.
"Where are we going?" I asked rousing from my stupor and remembering I'd just gotten in a car with strangers.
"The Club has reservations for us, I'm sure you'll find something you like there," said Mr. Latro. "Did you sleep well last night?" he asked with a tight smile.
"I think you know exactly how I slept!" I snapped at him cheeks blazing. My out of control emotions went from excited to angry in an instant. The nerve to ask that after breaking into my house.
The low rumble in his chest must have been a laugh, but it made both men in the front seat glance back.
Unexpectedly, I found my self sitting across his lap, my face just inches from his. He looked peeved, but still quite delicious.
"You shouldn't take things that make you that sleepy, it's not safe. Do you often take those types of things?"
"I take sleeping pills, Mr. Latro, when I am stressed and anxious and don't think I'll ever go to sleep. Like when someone pulls me into a bathroom stall for ... reasons," I glanced at the front seat and faltered then started back up, "or suddenly knows my name or has me followed by the police. For the record, I never expected to be entertaining company last night after I went to bed in my own house!" My voice had risen on a crescendo Pavarotti would be proud of as I stared right into his eyes. They were blue grey I noticed and very pleasant to look at.
The low growl emanating from his chest was definitely not a laugh this time. "No more pills. They aren't good for you," he stated with finality, "and please call me Joel."
I just stared right into those gorgeous eyes, "I'll take whatever I damn well please. I don't know you. I don't know why I'm here with you and if I'm correct this is the first actual conversation I've had with you. I won't stand to have you bossing me around. You don't even know me ... "
I would have finished with 'asshole' if my mouth wasn't suddenly crushed under his. Those warm lips moving against mine, his tongue sliding along the seam of my mouth requesting entry. Hell no. I would have kept my mouth closed but his hand was suddenly grasping the inside of my thigh and I gasped. He slipped his tongue in between my lips and I was helpless to stop him. His other hand moved to the back of my neck holding me securely in place.
The hand on my thigh moved up my stomach to my covered breasts and started to massage then gently through the fabric. He slowly brushed the underside rubbing his thumb firmly over the nipple. I wanted to fight him, I really did, but everywhere he touched me I felt like I was on fire.
I arched into his hand and grabbed his shoulders to hold him close. As he started plucking at one nipple then the other, I moaned into his mouth. This seemed to spur him on, moving his hand back down to the inside of my now slightly spread legs. I couldn't believe I was responding to him
I felt him responding too, a thick bulge growing ever so quickly against the outside of my hip. I wanted to reach down and stroke him. It took every ounce of decency I still had not to. I focused instead on the parts of him I felt comfortable touching. I rubbed my hands over his chest and shoulders brushing over his rock hard nipples earning me a deep growl from his chest.
His mouth tasted wonderful, the scent of red wine wasn't there but he tasted heady and extremely male. I moved my tongue inside his decadent mouth as my fingers ran along his jaw line. I felt his tongue pushing against mine in a wordless play to dominate the kiss. I retreated and let him explore me freely. When he withdrew from my mouth I nipped at his lower lip with my teeth, drawing out a faint groan.
His hand on my thigh had started to stroke the inseam of my pants. I wiggled against him, absorbing as much of his touch as I could. He broke the kiss to whisper against my mouth, "I prefer skirts, next time wear one for me."
Both my hands were grasping at his shoulders which made hitting him in the chest easy. I pulled away and screeched at him, "What is wrong with you? I don't take orders! I don't know you! I don't wear skirts!"
I felt flushed, angry, and very excited. If I had ever been with a guy that had ignited this in me I couldn't remember. He made me furious and needy all at the same time.
His grin was only slightly evil as he inclined his head to the side, "We are at The Club. Would you like to go inside?"
He nodded slightly to the front seat and the two men exited the vehicle. I had totally forgotten about them. Oh gods, how embarrassing to be making out like a teenager in the back seat in front of two of his employees. I was mortified and flushed even redder than before.
The driver took a slip from the valet and opened our door himself, standing to the side as I slid off Joel's lap onto the pavement. Joel quickly followed me and I felt his large fingers winding with mine.
Nobody outside seemed to pay me any attention. They were all staring with rap attention at my companion. Two valets were already opening the door to the restaurant for him and acknowledging him with almost imperceptible bowing of the head.
I was glad to step into the restaurant, I'm not well suited for the cold and my sweater provided only minimal protection. I shivered slightly and felt Joel's hand leave mine to slip an arm around my shoulders drawing me close. He was warm, so despite my reservations I just stayed where I was comfortable.
We were escorted to the back of the restaurant to a secluded circular booth. I assumed his companions would be joining us, but he was the only other person to slide into the booth with me.
"For the record, the first time I saw you, you were wearing a skirt," he said smiling at me. His eyes were dancing with some internal fire and it made his grin look a little wicked.
"It's the only skirt I own, I take it you didn't go through my closet then," I questioned him scathingly.
His hearty laugh resounded in the confined space.
"I was much more interested in what I had laid in the bed. When I found you, you were draped in a most uncomfortable position over your couch, talking quite fluidly to a chair. Once you were in the bed, if it hadn't been for the occasional breathing you would have looked dead. I know you are angry with me, but what you took really isn't good for you."
His voice and turned only slightly pleading as his hands came up around mine on the table. He gently stroked at my folded hands until he had taken one in each of his.
Despite the fact I should be creeped out by this entire experience he seemed so genuine. Something about him made me want to believe him. I still surprised myself a little when I conceded to him.
"Fine, no more pills, Joel, but not because of what you want."
He continued to rub my hands and smiled victoriously at me.
Our conversation was interrupted by a server demurely arriving at the table. She took our drink orders and then walked quickly away. Of course not without faintly bowing her head to Joel as she left.
I had to ask, "Who are you and what's with all the bowing? Why the sudden interest in me? How do you know me?"
He sighed and put the back of his head against the booth. "Let me answer the simplest question first. I am Joel Latro and they bow because I am their leader. In our community that is an appropriate sign of respect."
He held up his hand to stop my next barrage of questions, and then interlaced our fingers again.
"I know who you are because I have very observant staff who can find out information quickly when asked. My community is large and well connected, as I'm sure you are finding out. My interest in you may be more difficult to explain, but I assure you it is a good thing. I want nothing but the best for you and will work very hard to see you get it." He smiled at his last statement continuing to move our fingers against each other.
I would have had more to say, but the server came back with our drinks to take our order. I quickly chose something and she quietly slipped away.
The rest of the meal was bizarrely relaxing. The man that apparently spent the night in my bedroom was perfectly happy to talk with me about the most mundane things. We discussed my small family and his large family.
Joel talked about his family with love and pride. He said he was the head of his family and it was his job to protect and nurture them. Having grown up with a distant alcoholic father, I was appreciative of his noticeable dedication. I couldn't hold back the comment that ran through my head though.
"You don't look old enough to be the head of your family," I told him bluntly.
"In my community head of the family is a designation of skill and genealogy, it doesn't necessarily mean I'm old, Elizabeth," he laughed at me.
Joel wanted to know about my family, my friends, and even my job. He seemed genuinely interested in what I did all day. I'd never told a stranger as much as I told him. His presence was comforting and I forgot to be nervous. I even found myself laughing at his jokes and swatting at his hand as he reached over to take a piece of artichoke off my salad.
"I've never tried it," he said popping part of the artichoke heart in his mouth. He grimaced a little then smiled.
"I should have warned you it's not for novices. At least it adds to your vegetables today, you should have five. What was that steak you just ate, it looked like it was the whole cow," I marveled.
Joel snorted and said, "There aren't many vegetarians in my family."