Rebirth Ch. 02byNaughtily_Written©
Mackenzie took one step, then another as she descended the stairs. The seconds ticked by as she tried to calm her racing heart. She spent the night huddled against the bed's headboard. Scissors in hand, she knew, just knew he would attack her soon. Her paranoia was only made worse by the constant arousal that plagued her.
She questioned her sanity time and time again, not sure if she longed to kick him out or throw her body at his mercy. Her panties soaked, she fell asleep at some undetermined time. She woke up to be immediately assaulted by the same dizzying emotions. Longing for her previous calm, she was determined to reclaim her haven.
Questioning her decision to leave her impromptu weapon behind, she risked a glance at him. Elusive rays of the sun came through the window forming a golden aura around him. He was watching her, gaze steady and searching, and so blue she could drown in it. Her heart tripled its already frantic pace as fear and a blast of staggering arousal made her swallow the lump in her throat.
Without conscious thought she was back up the stairs, her back against the headboard, hands wrapped around her knees. Her fingers captured the nearby scissors and gripped it tight as she fought the onslaught of tears. Her eyes burned with the effort but she willed the drops away as she tried to keep fear from engulfing her mind.
Stop being a coward, she admonished herself. If he wanted to hurt her, he would have by now and she knew her sorry excuse of a weapon would not stop him.
Maybe he wants to toy with me first, came the unbridled thought but unexpectedly, she remembered his blue eyes and knew he was blunt in his approach. If he chose to hurt her, it would be quick and merciless. She was not sure if that thought was comforting or not.
Uncurling from her position, she tried breathing the tension away. He was not Grayson. Not every man sought to hurt and humiliate her. Determined to stop acting the silly ninny, she chanted the words over and over again until she almost believed them.
Unfortunately her thoughts shifted to the way he looked reclined on her tiny couch, so male, so alive, the vibrant energy swirling around him. The blanket modestly covering below his waist, his chest looked even more magnificent in daylight. His facial features were more defined, not pretty but striking. Clenching her teeth, she steered away from that mental path as well.
Kicking off the bed, she frantically searched the drawers for something that would fit him. She could not be in the same space with him knowing he wore nothing. In frustration, pieces of clothing flew through the air to land on the bed in an untidy heap. She uttered a triumphant "Aha" under her breath when she found a pair of gray sweats. She looked at them critically. They were an old pair and loose around her waist but would probably fit him. She rifled around again for a shirt but nothing looked big enough to cover the width of his shoulders or expanse his chest.
A look out the window showed that the snow had not let up from the night before, ensuring that she was left with her unexpected house guest. Taking a deep breath she once again embarked on her journey down the stairs. She took one step and saw that she still held the scissors. Hand shaking, she placed it back on the bedside table. Giving it one last glance she rushed down the stairs before she lost her nerve.
"Here," she said, not glancing at him and thrust the sweats in his generally direction, making sure there was no contact. She heard him get off the couch and the rustle of material as she closed the door to the bathroom.
She took care of business, brushed her teeth and washed her face in record time. Determined not to give into the onslaught of confusing emotions, she went into the kitchen. Still not glancing in his direction, she gathered the ingredients and started breakfast on the propane fueled stove.
"I'm Mac. Mackenzie."
Aiden looked up from the magazine he was pretending to read, realizing belatedly that it was upside down. He still sat on the couch, decent for the pair of too short sweats. His core temperate was not affected by the environment so he was nice and toasty despite the weather, although he kept the fire burning to ensure she was comfortable.
She stood in the kitchen, hands wrapped defensively around her waist, dressed in a pair of jeans and a black sweater that showed off the curves of her hips and breasts in the most enticing way, a fact he was sure she was oblivious to. White socks with tiny red hearts encased her small feet. The light coming in through the window spoke of late morning time and bounced off hair the color of wheat, the slightly wavy strands touching her chin. Bangs gently swept her brow, overshadowing eyes a surprising shade of milk chocolate. Her cheeks were flushed pink around full kissable lips.
Late into the night he tried to figure out the best course of action to take with this woman who had obviously been hurt and decided space was best. Allowing her to get used to his presence was one of the hardest things he'd ever down, the last few hours pushing the limits of self-control. She was very uneasy with his presence but the smell of her excited pussy ensured a sleepless night. The strength of her desire was a pliable thing, calling to the wildness in him. He took comfort in the fact that he was not the only one affected by the unmistakable bond between them. He was grateful that the heavy snow fall spoke to her good nature and kept her from kicking him out.
These were the first words she spoke to him and he was glad she gave up trying to pretend he did not exist, not liking the sensation of his woman ignoring him. He smiled, this one feeling more natural. "Nice to meet you, Mac. Thank you for dragging my sorry carcass in here."
As if searching his words for hidden traps, she hugged herself tighter, not answering right away. "You're welcome, Aiden."
Taking a deep breath, avoiding direct eye contact, she continued, "I'm sorry I've been such a terrible host. I made breakfast if you'd like something to eat."
Unable to remember the last time he ate, the delicious smell teased him from the moment she began the meal preparation. "I would love some."
A few minutes later, he sat on the couch and she opposite him, near the fireplace.
"This is delicious," he said, hoping to break the silence and distract himself from the way light from the fire shined off her skin, making her appear all the more precious. The heat intensified her scent and as delicious as the meal was it was not what made his mouth water.
Focusing on her meal with almost superhuman tenacity, she made an indiscernible sound he assumed was an expression of gratitude. She smoothed her hair behind her ear, a gesture he found unconsciously sexy. There was nothing better than a woman unaware of just how appealing she was.
The sound of the crackling fire rose to fill the silence.
A few more minutes went by before she suddenly blurted out, "You fell from the sky."
She continued to look down at her food. He was unsure how to approach her statement so he settled for a simple, "Yes.".
Silence again reigned, punctuated by the sound of utensils hitting the ceramic. Carefully she set her fork aside and looked up, meeting his gaze, fearful yet determined. He almost smiled. His mate possessed a deep set courage that even her trepidation could not mask. "Who are you? What are you?"
He saw no point in lying to her. The sooner she accepted him as he was, the sooner he could claim her.
They finished their meal in silence, his explanation hanging between them. He insisted on helping with the dishes. She was sure her horror at the suggestion showed and if he still did not get a clue, the way she stuttered, "No, please, you, I, you don't have to do that," should have made it clear but he followed her none the less. By his determined stare she saw that he was not returning to his seat. So telling herself to be brave, she swallowed loudly and using stored purified snow water, she filled two basins and they began the chore.
She passed him a rounded dish. He rinsed the plate, his large, darkly tanned hands looking incapable of handling the delicate dish without smashing it to smithereens yet it made it to the plastic dish rack unscathed. Handing him another plate, she watched the handsome stranger who claimed to be the mythological fire bird beneath her lashes.
So far she came to the conclusion that he was either a mad man or he was telling the truth. The evidence thus far did not show he had any loose marbles, unlike herself. If he was a mad man, he appeared to be a kind one, not mentioning her weird behavior so far or giving her the stare people reserved for individuals who belonged in an asylum, straitjacket not optional.
Whatever Aiden was, he set her body ablaze like no other before him. His hair was a thing of beauty. Like a lion's mane, it was a vibrant mixture of colors; reds, browns and yellows with a subtle hint of black. It moved like a live fire around his face and shoulders. Dry, it fell just passed his shoulders. Whenever his eyes touched her, fire raced along her skin only to pool in places that craved the welcoming touch of a man. This man.
His chin had a stubborn tilt to it. It was covered by a sexy stubble that formed during the night. She wondered more than once what it would feel like on her skin. Rough and prickly? Or smooth and silky?
She was currently preoccupied by the hairless slab of male perfection that masqueraded as a chest. Muscles were perfectly carved beneath skin that shone with health. His neck and shoulders flowed effortlessly into hard pecs, tiny nipples surrounded by dark brown areolas, and washboard abs.
He was so... large. He was very careful to appear unthreatening and she could laugh at the irony. Danger clung to him like a second skin and despite her trepidation she felt oddly protected as they stood side by side in the small space.
Hard as she found it to believe, she forgot she was supposed to be scared sometimes, the arousal that thrummed through her veins so overpowering that her mind was nearly consumed with it. Every second in his presence only made the sweet hurt burn brighter and hotter.
His hands moved and mesmerized her with the way his long fingers gently rinsed off the ceramic. Would he make love to a woman the same way, slow and tender? Or with the wild savagery that surrounded him?
Shocked by her thoughts, she still could not stop her eyes from perusing the length of his arms, the broad width of his shoulders and stacked chest. Her tongue felt swollen and heavy with the need to taste the golden skin. Powerful muscles pressed against the snug pants but it was the way material tented with the insistent demand of his erection that made her catch her breath, her mouth forming a shocked 'O'.
Her gaze jumped to his and she felt liquid, ready to melt from the heat that resided there. Time slowed to a crawl and she was conscious of the fact that the distance between their lips was closing rather fast. She licked her lips, torn between terror and equally strong, no, stronger arousal. Instinct told her to run from such a large, domineering specimen but her pussy dripped and pulsed with the need to rub up against his solid form.
Their lips touched. Just that and an explosion rocked through her. She whimpered as she slumped against him, the tremors rolling through her like giant tsunami waves, light flashing behind her tightly closed eyelids.
He breathed a rough sound over her lips and they parted, her tongue meeting his half way and tangled. She pressed her achy chest against his and his hands settled on her hips, pulling her onto his sizeable manhood.
Yes, her body cried. This was what she needed.
The sound of shattering glass broke the spell.
Snapping out of her lust-induced haze, she realized that she dropped a plate. As skittish as a mouse in a cat's presence, she jumped back and hissed with the prick of pain. His arms came around her and she slapped at them, mortification filling her cheeks.
What must he think of her? Between the way she acted the previous night and morning and climaxing with so little provocation, she was surprised he did not brave the cold weather rather than endure her company one second longer. She almost ran but stopped herself at the last minute. She was tired of running.
Needing to occupy her hands, she dropped to the floor only to come face to face with his monster of an erection. She dropped her gaze quickly to the floor, the white pieces blurring as tears suddenly filled her vision. She reached for a broken piece but stopped cold at the sound of her name ringing with absolute authority. Slowly she looked up, catching another glance at the bulge in his pants despite trying not to. She shrank back from the force of his stare, a wounded sound escaping her throat.
"Don't look at me like that," he snarled. "I'm not going to hurt you."
He moved with a speed that was staggering and had her in his arms in less than the blink of an eye. She squeaked in alarm, her heart going into hyper drive, tremors shaking her. She placed her hands on his arms intending to push him away but her nails sank into his skin instead. "What are you doing? Let me go," she squeaked.
She hated that her voice trembled. Hated that her body tingled everywhere he touched and ached where he did not.
"You don't have any shoes. I don't want you to injure yourself."
"You don't have shoes on either," she pointed out, her voice settling into a more normal pitch.
"I think I can handle it," he said and neatly skirted the disaster on the kitchen floor with a long stride.
Irritation gripped her and she felt it pull at her brow. "And I couldn't?"
He placed her on the couch and stood, towering over her.
The toxic emotion suddenly infuriated her and she embraced the surge of anger, the heat from it welcomed after so long feeling nothing but cold dread.
Aiden got the first aid kit. "I did not say that. Where I come from, a man takes care of a woman."
Her eyebrow rose. "You have some nerve. Who gave you the idea that I need to be taken care of? I am sick and tired of everyone trying to coddle me. I am not some fragile piece of china just waiting to break at the slightest wind."
Her anger spiked thinking about the way she cowered at the slightest sound encouraging pitying actions of those around her.
"Mac, that's not what I meant." He placed his hand on her ankle and she knocked it off.
"I am so out of here." He pushed her back onto the couch as she tried to rise, insisting that he care for her foot. She seethed as he removed the small piece of glass, dabbing the wound with antiseptic. As soon as he was done she pushed passed him with more force than necessary. Donning her jacket, boots and gloves, she stepped out into the cold morning and slammed the door behind her.
Kitchen floor cleaned and dishes done, Aiden watched Mackenzie through the window. A few meters away she paced with a restless, angry stride. Snow drops clung to her hair and clothes making her look like a snow nymph, mysterious and able to bring any male to his knees with little more than a look and a crook of her fingers.
Life vibrated off of her.
It was there in the unconscious sensuality with which she moved, in the way her eyes sparkled when she let go of her fear. Even now the memory of the way that internal fire lit her eyes, remarkably lightening their warm brown color to a rich reddish amber shade made his gut tighten. That same fire extended to the way she kissed.
At the first touch of their lips, sparks flew and feeling, hearing, seeing, smelling her climax was hands down the best moment of his life and left him craving more.
She was not meant to be isolated from the rest of the world. Her energy was meant to be appreciated and celebrated. She still grieved whatever made her fearful of his presence. That much was clear. The first explanation he came up with was that she may have been abused by a former lover but there was no scent of another male on her body, only fresh mountain and woman. He'd even vouched to say that she was without a lover for quite some time, the thought soothing the ire he felt at the idea of her with another man.
Was she on the run? What could make her leave the rest of the world behind like this? What put the sadness in her eyes? No explanation was forthcoming and anger made him clench his fist against the need to smash something. He hated this feeling of helplessness. He was a person of action and without facts there was nothing he could do. The temperature in the room rose with his temper and he concentrated on keeping his breathing even.
This situation required a delicate touch, something he was not known for. He never romanced women. They took from him, his money, his influence, and he took from them, a temporary body to fill his lonely bed. When the arrangement was no longer convenient for either party they parted ways, no muss, no fuss.
He always desired more but with every pretty face that took interest in him, he dismissed each and every one as not the one. They never fit. Their smiles too fake, their attitudes too cold, their bodies too enhanced. The list grew longer and longer until he realized that he was comparing them to some faceless woman who haunted his dreams and made his heart cry in yearning. He thought that cry would never be answered.
There was no doubt in his mind that they were meant to be together and there was nothing he would not do to ensure they became one.
So how did he bind her to him with so little time between them? How did he convince her he was the man she needed for the rest of her life when there was so much she did not know about him?
Well, there was no way he could accomplish anything with this distance between them. That was for certain. His mind made up, he was out the door without a second thought.
Mac heard the door open and close. She continued pacing, a rage as she had never known eating away at her inside. Her hands were clenching rhythmically and she knew only the barrier of the gloves prevented her from damaging her palms. As it was, her joints felt stiff as if one wrong move would make her fall apart.
She speared him a glance to find him approaching her with a determined look.
"My God, aren't you cold?" His chest remained uncovered and his feet bare but he did not appear affected by the cold, not one shiver racking his body as the white flakes caressed his half-dressed figure. For some reason that raised her ire. She was freezing her ass off and snow landed on him only to melt away into nothing. If steam started rising off him she swear she'd scream. "You know what? Never mind."
"What do you want?" she growled when he stopped only a few feet away, saying nothing and watching her every movement like hawk.
"It helps to talk about it," he said when the silence stretched again.
How many times had she heard that line?
Far too many.
The power of his searching gaze was too much and she stared at a spot just over his shoulder. She was not ready to let this pillar of strength how weak she was, just how finely a man far lesser than he controlled her and smashed everything she thought she knew about herself. "Don't act like you know me, Aiden."
He seemed deep in thought before saying, "Maybe not but I know fear, Mackenzie. I know helplessness. I know the desire to crawl away and never see the light of day again."
She snorted, the sound not very feminine. "What would someone like you know about feeling helpless? Come on, look at you. You're the great phoenix. I doubt anyone is stupid enough to try messing with you."