tagRomanceA Cloak of Lies Ch. 08

A Cloak of Lies Ch. 08


Olan heard another round of raucous laughter drifting up from the main floor. He chuckled softly, turning on his side with an achy grunt. Burying his head in the pillows, he tried not to listen to the sounds of his partner getting laid. He felt like a lecher for enjoying the noises they made. He was even a little envious of his two friends downstairs.

"Shh," Camille said, hissing like a punctured tire, "Olan will hear us."

"I'm sure he's heard it before," Niko growled, pulling her down to nuzzle at her neck.

She moaned softly, allowing herself to enjoy his touch. His hands were on her back bringing to life every nerve ending. She felt her bra come loose as she burrowed her hands under his shirt.

"I want to feel your skin," she whispered pulling at his clothing.

"Get up a minute," he said, lifting her shoulders.

Sliding off him, she sidled onto the rug-covered floor, tossing her bra aside. She wiggled out of her panties while he pulled his clothing off. Finally completely naked, they pressed together in the gathering darkness.

His lips found hers, his tongue entering her mouth to explore the heated recesses. She moaned softly, arching closer, letting her hands roam his big body.

Niko turned her onto her back, laying her against the floor for his eyes to devour. She blushed under his scrutiny, feeling at once awkward and exhilarated. His fingers danced over the surface of her skin, circling around, but not quite touching her nipples.

Camille shivered, whimpering softly as he teased her senses. One muscular leg came up to lie atop her thigh, holding her open to his gaze.

"This is how I remember you, Camille," he said, his eyes boring into hers. "This way you have of giving yourself up completely to our love. I used to wake up at night, thinking I could just reach for you and you'd be there."

"I used to do the same thing, love. You were never there, though."

"I'm here now, baby. Say the word and nothing will keep us apart again."

She frowned, confused about what she really wanted. It was so hard to think with him touching her like that. When the pad of his thumb lightly skimmed the tip of her nipple, all thought was lost. She only knew the burning desire to have him possess her, the way she had dreamt of for all those long, lonely years.

Her back arched, her voice escaping in a soft moan. Bending his head low, he lazily pulled first one nipple, then the other into his mouth, suckling each in turn. She tangled her fingers in his hair, trying to pull him closer.

He lifted his head, his dark opalescent eyes sparkling as he grinned at her. Pulling himself up, he settled between her thighs on his knees. His arms quivered as he supported himself above her.

Niko kissed her again, leaving her lips only to forge a path down her throat and nibble at the delicate skin that covered her collarbone. Her legs came up to wrap about his waist, trying to pull him in, but he resisted, moving his mouth lower along her torso.

When she moaned in disappointment, he raised his head again.

"No, agapi. Tonight we make love. I want this to be slow, to pleasure you."

"Pleasure me? You're driving me insane."

His answer was a mocking chuckle as his mouth returned to its onslaught, moving lower still. He let his tongue dip into her navel, telling her he remembered how much that simple act could make her tremble.

She didn't disappoint, gasping as she ripped at his hair with her slender fingers. Her legs released him, bracing against the floor so that her hips could thrust upward.

Niko sat up, reaching up for one of the couch cushions. Lifting her bottom, he slid the pillow beneath, grinning playfully when she met his eyes.

"The best part," he said.

His fingers strummed through the golden curls between her thighs, sliding over the slick, wet flesh. Her body was moving uncontrollably, pushing against his hand, trying to draw him in. But he only played, teasing her relentlessly until she thought she would go mad.

He watched her face, knew every emotion she was feeling. She let him see it all with each stroke against her skin. When his fingers finally found their way between the folds of her flesh, she cried out, bucking her hips wildly.

Then he lowered his head, closing his mouth over the bundle of nerves at her center. Her body shook as the caress of his tongue sent her over the rippling edge. He didn't stop, even when she thought she would blackout from the blinding orgasm, but slowed, stroking lightly with his tongue.

"Niko, please...," she panted, her body rigid with sensation.

"Please what, my love?"

"I need you inside me. I need to feel you."

Pulling the pillow from under her backside, he crawled up her body, hovering above her as she reached out to touch him. She pulled his face down, kissing him, tasting herself on his lips.

His arms wound around her, pulling her squirming body against his, holding her there as the kiss expanded.

His lips left hers when he lifted his head, saying, "I love you, agapi mou," and entered her slowly.

The words that came from her mouth were unintelligible, more guttural sounds than actual phrases. She sobbed his name, pressing her head into the rug as she lifted her hips to meet him.

He soon lost control, moving beyond the teasing pleasure he offered her body to that place where driving need took over. His head rolled back as he rose up on his extended arms, thrusting into her with powerful strokes.

She could feel the sweat on his skin as her fingers slid over him, trying desperately to hold on. This was her Niko, the only man who could ever love her this way.

Her legs tangled with his, her pelvis rising, lunging at him, taking him deeper with each thrust. She heard his feral growl, even over the sounds of her own impassioned cries. He bucked hard, driving into her, taking her to the brink again and beyond.

He exploded inside her as her inner muscles milked him dry. She felt as if a river of fire had been unleashed, filling her body with his seed. He fell on top of her, panting, sweat dripping from his brow.


This was different than their other two brief couplings since he'd returned to his Camille. It wasn't born of rage and frustration, or a vessel to slake pure carnal lust. This was making love.

She had given completely of herself; she was his wife again. It was better than his memories, a reality he thought impossible. She had opened herself entirely to him, giving him the love he knew she still carried for him.

His heart had yet to cease its frantic pounding after the loving they had just shared. Her heart fluttered against his chest as he continued to hold her, stroking the satiny flesh of her back.

There were no words between them, just their intermingled, labored breathing as they floated back to earth together. When he caressed the top of her head with his lips, she took a deep breath, letting it go with a heavy, contented sigh. Nothing else mattered at this moment than the feel of her body against his.

He never wanted to let her go, holding her even after their heart rates and breathing returned to normal. Only one thing disturbed the moment, giving him reason to rise from the hard floor. It was the sound of her stomach, rumbling with hunger after dinner was interrupted.

"Let me up, agapi," he murmured, trying to stifle his amusement.

"No," she fairly snarled, snuggling closer.

"I'll only be gone a moment. I promise."

Reluctantly pulling himself out of her soft arms, he slipped a throw pillow under her head and covered her with the afghan that was draped over the back of the couch. She curled up under the old throw, giving him a sleepy smile for which he would have gladly cut off his right arm.

Striding to the kitchen, he walked through the door to find the candles nearly burned down to the holders, illuminating the room in eerie, flickering light. He found the light switch, working quickly to reheat Camille's dinner in the microwave and dig another candle out from the drawer where he'd found the others.

Blowing out the two spent candles, he scorched his hand on hot wax when he removed the stub of one from its holder to put in the fresh one. Muttering a string of his father's best Greek oaths, he set the candlestick aside, giving his hand a shake to cool it down when the microwave beeped.

He pulled out the tray that he'd been using to carry food to Olan, setting the plate of steaming food on it with flatware, the candle, the bottle of wine and two glasses. He heard Camille giggle when he took it in to her, saw her cover her face with her hands.

"What's so funny?" he asked, trying to look stern.

She peeked from behind her hands, snickering softly at the sight before her.

"A lot of women dream of having a gorgeous, naked man serving them in bed. I just never thought it would happen to me on a cabin floor in the middle of the Ozark Mountains."

Niko grinned, kneeling to set the tray on the floor between them.

"I'll happily serve you in the nude every day, if you promise to be just as naked and as luscious as you are right now."

He was rewarded by the blush that crept under her golden skin. Her smile was dazzling, her eyes sparkling violet in the light of the single candle.

"I'm famished," she murmured, sitting up to let the afghan fall about her waist.

She wasted little time in snagging the fork and spearing a good-sized bite of chicken, following with a forkful of green beans and washing it all down with a gulp of wine.

"You're not eating?" she asked between bites.

"I will if you decide to share," he chuckled. "It's good to see you eating again."

"Amazing what being in love can do for the appetite."

"I knew it!" he hissed. "Say it."

Camille swallowed hard, her startled eyes meeting his. She looked unsure, a small frown furrowing between her brows.

"I never said I didn't love you, Niko. I only told you it was over between us."

"Is it?"

She frowned again, setting her fork down. For a moment, he was afraid she would get up and leave, but she remained where she was, staring at him. Then her eyes began to cloud, looking as if she might be holding tears in check.

"No," she whispered, shaking her head slowly. "I love you, Niko. I always will."


"But, nothing. You have my heart. See that you don't break it again."

He crawled around the tray on the floor, moving behind her to wrap his arms around her body. He found her trembling, heard her soft moan when she leaned back against him.

"You have my word on that, agapi mou," he said into her hair. "I'll get us out of this mess and spend the rest of my life making you happy."

"We'll get us out of this mess," she informed him. "We're in this together, Niko. Don't forget that."


"I mean it, Nikodemos. Don't treat me like a child. I'm your wife and partner in every way or we call it quits right now."

"This is a dangerous game, baby."

"It can't be any worse than the hell I lived for the past eight years. Don't even think about trying to put me in some shelter somewhere while you go off to save the world. I won't have it. We're either together all the way, or not at all."

"So it's all or nothing, huh?"

"Yep. That's the deal. Take it or leave it."

The soft skin of her back was pressed against his chest, her hair falling over his arm as she leaned back to look at him. Her petal-soft hand was caressing his thigh just above his knee. With a distraction like that, how could he deny her?

"I don't like it, honey."

"Too bad. You think I would like it if you locked me away somewhere and ran off to play spy games? I'd go crazy, not knowing if you were alive or dead. I did that once and I won't do it again."

He reached down, lifted her hand to look at the scar on her wrist.

"Point taken, Camille. We'll work something out. Together."

"I'm glad we got that settled," she said softly, sitting up a little straighter. "Now there's just one more detail to deal with."

"What's that?"

She didn't answer him right away. Picking up the fork again, she poked absently at the food.


"What about him?"

Niko could feel the cold fist tightening in his chest, just as it did whenever she mentioned the man. This Doug guy had put his hands on Camille, was planning to marry her. Even if neither realized she was still a married woman, it didn't matter. He wanted to beat the life out of the man.

"I have to tell him, Niko."

"To hell with him."

"No. He doesn't deserve this. The least I can do is tell him myself," Camille said quietly.

"Just how do you plan to do that?"

"Well, I could go into Cabool tomorrow and give him a call."

"That would be pretty foolish, Camille."

"I'll keep a low profile. Don't worry."

Niko wanted to shake her. He decided to try diplomacy instead.

"Baby," he said, pulling her back against him again. "Don't you think it can wait? We'll be leaving here soon. When we get to the ranch you can give him a call. It'll only be a few days."

"He needs to know that I'm alive, Niko. I had to go through it myself, that not knowing. I don't want him to suffer the way I did."

"Honey, be reasonable. It's too dangerous," he said, concern filling his voice.

She was silent for a moment, making him more than a little suspicious.

"Let's talk about it tomorrow," she said, laying her head against his chest. "Right now I'm hungry."

"Me too," he chuckled, leaning down to nibble at her shoulder.

She feigned ignorance, leaning forward to stab a piece of chicken with her fork.

"Here you go, honey. There's more than enough for both of us."

He opened his mouth to make a sarcastic remark, only to have her turn and shove the food in. She laughed at him as he sputtered, caught off guard by her sneaky trick. Before he could recover, she leaned forward again to get his glass of wine.

"Here," she laughed, "drink this."

He did his best to wash the food from his windpipe, grinning at her playfulness. Together they finished her dinner, enjoying each other's company more than the meal.

Niko fed her the last bite, getting a little of the sauce on his fingers when he laid the fork on the empty plate. Camille's eyes danced mischievously when she wrapped her succulent lips around his thumb, sucking it clean.

He wondered if she knew to what extent her teasing affected him. Her gaze never left his when she picked up her glass to gulp down the last of the wine. One shimmering drop remained on her lower lip, a temptation he couldn't resist. When he pulled her back to lick it off, her arms snaked about his neck, pulling him in for a kiss.

With a fierce growl, he reached out, bringing his hand down to snuff out the candle. In the next instant, he was on his feet, tossing her over his shoulder and bounding up the stairs to his room.


It was the plaintive call of some night bird that woke Camille. She didn't move for a moment, trying to get her bearings when she heard the bird again. Glancing at the open balcony door, she smiled to herself, remembering how Niko had taken her from behind over the railing just a few hours before.

Her body, more than a little stiff, was sore in all the right places. Each tentative movement of her limbs was another reminder of how passionately she and her husband had made love through the night.

As she uncurled her body and stretched, an urgency in the region of her bladder forced her to try to get up. Niko's heavy arm came down over her, pinning her to the mattress, pulling her up close.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"I have to go to the bathroom," she whispered, pushing gently at his arm. "Go back to sleep. You worked hard last night."

He grinned, releasing her. His eyes drifted closed again, his breath falling into the steady rhythm of sleep. She stood, turning back to bend down and kiss his forehead.

A few minutes later, after taking care of her body's needs, she stood at the sink washing her face and hands. As she dried off, she caught sight of herself in the mirror. Thoughts of Doug came unbidden.

She could barely look at herself. No matter what had happened to her since the night that Niko came back, she still owed Doug an explanation. There was no telling what was going through his mind by this time. He must be frantic. Had he given her up for dead?

They'd had so many plans: children, a home, a life together. There was no way she could ever return to him now, but he deserved to at least know that she was still alive, and to hear from her own mouth that she wouldn't be coming back to him.

There was no way that Niko was going to allow her to contact him. He'd made his feelings quite clear on that subject. Her husband simply could not understand the hell Doug must be going through, or how horrifying it was to live in that world of not knowing, that place where there's no closure.

She couldn't do it. She couldn't put Doug through it for one more day. It wasn't yet dawn. If she hurried, she could hike the three or four miles to town, make the call and get back again before she was missed.

Her decision made, she stepped into the shower and turned on the water. She washed quickly, barely taking the time to get all the shampoo out of her hair. Padding swiftly to her bedroom, she looked for something to wear. Her old jeans were far too dirty and the rest of Allinson's clothes were too large. She would have to wear the old blue sundress that she'd left downstairs the night before.

Wrapped in her towel, and carrying her shoes, she crept down the staircase to the living room. The place was a mess with a toppled coffee table, dirty dishes and knick knacks scattered about. She made a mental note to give the cabin a thorough cleaning when she got back. She hated the thought of leaving a mess for her friend to find.

Camille dressed as fast as she could, wrinkling her nose at being forced to wear dirty undies. She'd been washing them out at night to wear again in the morning since coming to this place. There wasn't much choice but to put them on. Going commando under a dress went against everything her mother had drilled into her head.

Just as she was about to leave she realized that she needed money. She found Niko's jeans, fishing through the pockets until she located a twenty.

Slipping out into the gray pre-dawn light, Camille hurried down the long drive, stepping into the woods just short of the highway.


Niko slapped himself awake when he absently swatted at an invading mosquito. He smiled, despite the blood-sucker's attempt to spoil his good mood.

"Hey, baby," he said, rolling over, "good morn..."

He frowned at the empty pillow on her side of the bed. For the briefest of moments he feared that the whole night had been a dream. He splayed his fingers, dragging them over the indentation on the pillow where her head had been.

"Camille?" he called, squinting his eyes against the glare of the early morning sunshine.

His mind was unclear, still befuddled by the rare deep sleep that took him after their night of passion. He had a distinct memory though, of a pair of soft lips touching his forehead in the dark. Grinning again, he tossed the sheet aside to go in search of his wife.

Niko was still naked when he stepped into the hall, making his way quietly to the bathroom. There he thought he would find her, but the door was open and the room was empty. He tried her room next, but she was nowhere to be seen.

"Camille!" he yelled, alarm causing a knot to form in his gut.

Jogging down the stairs, he discovered the living room in the same disarray as the night before. Knowing his wife, she would have had it cleaned up by now. The mess only served to heighten his growing panic.

He snatched his jeans from where they lay over the back of the couch, forcing his legs into them. His shirt was still on the floor, his shoes tossed off to the side of the over-turned table. Something was definitely wrong.

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