Two. Two days of haunting memories. Two nights of intensely erotic dreams leaving Cara mentally and physically exhausting. There was no peace since opening that blasted book in the library. It only created more questions—ones she wasn’t sure she wanted answered.
Though, she did try. She found herself back in the library several times and tried to find the book again. Maybe someone could translate. Unfortunately, she couldn’t seem to find it, no matter how much effort she put into it. And worse, when she tried to explain what she wanted, the words couldn’t form in her mouth, like someone was blocking out the sound before it could escape her lips.
Kat, her new best friend apparently, at least helped to keep her mind off of things for an hour here or there. And, then, on occasion, Father Marcus dogged her steps, trying to make her repent or something super Holy, which nearly drove Cara out of her mind.
But, finally, the man from town who brought up the food arrived and was willing to haul her back to Braeden. Finally, she could set out to find that. . .whoever he was to give him a piece of her mind. With her fists.
Kat and Father Marcus walked her down to the car. Naturally, Kat’s warm eyes were wet with tears at their parting. She gave Cara a huge hug, nearly lifting her off the ground.
“I am so happy to have met you,” the young woman sniffled.
Cara gave her an awkward pat on the back. “You, too.”
“Maybe you could visit us, again?”
Cara wanted to say that she’d rather set herself on fire before stepping foot back into the place, but she took pity. “Yeah, maybe. Anything can happen.” Mollified, Kat’s watery smile brightened slightly.
Father Marcus placed a hand on her shoulder. His eyes were beyond serious, though he gave her a soft smile.
“It was a pleasure having you stay with us, Cara. I am sad to have you part. However, each of us has to choose his path on his own.”
A sermon. Of course. Cara gave him a grim smile. “Yeah, that’s life, right? God wanted us to have free will.”
Mr. Perez, the courier from town, called out the open window. “Are we about ready? I want to get back before sundown.”
“Yeah, I’m ready,” she returned. “Thanks again, guys. Take care.”
She climbed in the dirty white pickup truck. When the driver started the car, she leaned out the window slightly and waved her hand slowly. Kat walked behind the vehicle as it pulled down the driveway, weeping with a smile. Cara watched her until she became another speck of dust behind them.
Out of sight, she turned to Mr. Perez. “Please tell me you have some smokes or some booze in this rickety tin-can of yours.”
Something told her that she wasn’t the first stray he’d taken back to town as he chuckled and pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his blue shirt’s pocket. She gladly took them, lit one, and took a long drag from it. Leaning back in the hot leather of the seat, she blew the smoke out with a relieved sigh.
“Seriously, this is the only heaven I need.”
He shook his head, still smiling. Well, she figured he was smiling beneath the large, bushy mustache adorning his wrinkly face.
“Plenty more where that came from in town,” he said. His accent was so distinctly mid-western, she almost had trouble making out what he said.
“Thank the good Lord.”
He looked over to her with a raised eyebrow. His brown eyes twinkled. “The Lord is good.”
Cara let out a barking laugh. Still smiling, she asked “How long will it take to get back into town?”
“About three hours, give or take.”
Well, it seemed there was a downside to the journey. Three hours, in the desert, in a pickup truck without AC. Lovely. But, hey, she had smokes and she was going to eventually be far away from the convent, so it was certainly worth it.
“Okay, well, then I think I’m going to take a nap.” She readjusted herself in the seat for maximum sleep-on-the-go comfort. “No funny business or nothing, alright?”
“I’m a married man, little girl,” he said with a drawl.
“That doesn’t stop some people.”
He shrugged. “Suppose that’s true. Enjoy your rest.”
It took her very little time to relax enough to start dozing. The last thing she remembered before fully dozing off was Mr. Perez’s chuckle.
She was running again down stone corridors that were too hard on her bare feet. The ceremonial gown was so sheer it didn’t protect her from eyes or elements. But it didn’t matter. She had to get out somehow.
However, there didn’t seem to be an end. Each corridor blended with the next. Always leading her back to the same spot. Always back to where the beast waited.
“You can’t leave me,” a voice whispered. It felt like the speaker’s lips were against her ear, but no one was there. “You don’t want to.”
And it happened again. Pleasure rushed through her body, so strong her legs buckled. She cried out from the delicious feel of it. It wasn’t right, though no matter how exquisite it was. When the spasms between her legs finally stopped, she gathered herself up again to race down the halls.
Eventually, she saw moonlight up ahead. Surely it had to be an exit. Finally, escape was near. She made her way into a clearing, surrounded by woods in every other direction except behind where the stone fortress waited. Having no idea where she would wind up, she pressed on into the waiting trees.
As soon as she crossed the line of trees, something grabbed her. It wrapped around each leg and around her delicate wrists. She tried to pull at it, whatever it was, but it held her too tightly. It took a quick glance to realize that the very trees had betrayed her. The braches had come alive and had captured her against a large oak. It held her open, exposed to the night air for all to see, but it was for one person only.
And then he was there, before her, standing between her splayed legs. He buried his face into her neck and nibbled, teasing the flesh until it was so sensitive, every lick and bit shot through her. When she couldn’t help but moan out, his lips finally rested. She could feel them curving into a smile.
“My, my, what an imagination you have.” The man pulled back until she could see him. His crystal blue eyes glittered with mirth. “Every time, it’s a different adventure. It’s been so long since I’ve had this much fun.”
What was he talking about? She didn’t understand.
“Just let me go, please. I beg you,” she whimpered. She wasn’t sure if it was from fear or deep desire.
He laughed. “Absolutely not.”
The man slightly bent until his mouth found her nipple. Her back arched against her will. When he pulled back, the air instantly chilled the moisture left behind, causing her nipple to harden even more.
He pressed his mouth to her ear and whispered hungrily, “Don’t you know that you belong to me now?”
Large hands ran down the sides of her body until his hands reached her open thighs. His fingers tickled along her inner thighs until one hand found her womanhood. He gently stroked her there until she moaned again. Eventually, he pushed a finger inside of her, sending shocks through her.
“All of this is mine.”
Slowly, he moved his finger in and out. Each pump was rewarded with slick, wet sounds from her excitement.
“Say it,” he moaned with her. “Tell me who you belong to.”
He slipped another finger in, filling her so much and bringing her so close, she could barely speak. Somehow she managed to answer “You. Always you.”
Another deep rumbling laugh escaped him. She could almost feel his joy from the conquest. As a reward, his thrusts deepened, sending her higher and higher. She was almost there. One thrust. Two thrust. Almost. . .Almost. . .
“Hey, kid! Wake up. We’re in town.”
Mr. Perez knocked Cara from the dream. She jumped nearly out of her skin at the feeling of his hand touching her shoulder. She pushed him away with a smack.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.”
She shook her head a few times, trying to wipe away the last remnants of sleep. As it had been for the last few days, it wasn’t a restful sleep. It felt like she’d been running a marathon.
“Sorry, it’s me. It’s ok. We’re cool.”
He nodded, taking the apology for what it was. After she calmed down a bit, he gave her a knowing smile.
“Guess you didn’t need to worry about me. Sounded like you were having your own fun.”
Cara was not easily embarrassed, but this time her cheeks reddened significantly and she knew it. Since she didn’t know what to say, she opened the truck door and climbed out. When she gained her composure somewhat, she gave her thanks as she flipped him the bird. Mr. Perez laughed and pulled off.
So, she was back at the scene of the original crime. Now all she had to do was find the inn where she was staying. Hopefully they didn’t throw out her stuff since she hadn’t returned. She headed in the direction of where she thought it was as she thought about the dream. This madness had to stop. Immediately.
She wasn’t sure she could handle much more.