Bradley slammed the door to her room and leaned back against it, gasping for air. Shit, shit, shit. She held out her hands — they were shaking. She couldn’t believe she’d just had a screaming match with her employer. For the past two months she and Parker MacKenzie had coexisted peacefully in the large, empty house. She cleaned and looked after the grounds, and he spent all his time in his office working.
Occasionally she’d bring him coffee, a tray of food, and once or twice she’d helped him out with some dictation or filing. They’d developed an easy camaraderie, neither feeling the need to speak much. It was the best summer job she’d ever had, quiet and solitary.
Until she’d been cleaning the master bedroom and found the file with her name on it. Puzzled, she’d sat on the bed and opened it. It was like a condensed biography. Every detail of her life, every foster home she’d been in, every school she’d attended, lists of friends and teachers — everything right down to her favorite foods. Stunned, Bradley simply sat there for several minutes, trying to figure it out. Why on earth would he have a file like this? Then anger, swift and hot, flooded her. She’d never been so angry in her entire life. Clutching the file, she’d gone up to his office, barged in without bothering to knock, and tossed the file on the desk so that the contents spilled all over the place, some of it cascading into his lap.
Parker glanced at her calmly, the phone to his ear. “Let me call you back, Mike.” He hung up and sat back, waiting.
Bradley couldn’t believe he was so calm, so cool. “What the fuck is this?” she asked, gesturing at the mess of papers.
“This is none of your business.”
Bradley stared at him. “My life is none of my business?”
“Bradley, I do background checks on everyone who crosses my threshold. I’m careful.”
The argument escalated from there, until they were shouting at each other. Bradley had never in her life had a screaming fight with anyone. Ever. But for some inexplicable reason she found her temper boiling over, completely out of control. Finally, some dim corner of her brain still operating on common sense told her it was time to leave. Turning, she’d stormed out of his office, ignoring him as he shouted her name, and run up to her room.
Now what? She had to pack her things. There was no way she could finish out the summer here. Feeling over heated and overwhelmed, she headed for the bathroom.
Bradley bent over the sink and splashed double handfuls of cold water onto her face. The argument had left her flushed, her dark green eyes blazing as though she had a fever. The back of her neck felt hot, and she trickled water over it, hanging her head down, with her thick dark curls shutting out the rest of the room like a curtain. She took deep breaths. She couldn’t believe she’d actually shouted at him like that. Her heart was still racing. She sipped at the water. Her throat was tight and aching.
Shit. He’d expect her out first thing in the morning, most likely. She’d have to find a new place to stay and a new job asap. Sighing, Bradley straightened up, placing her palms on the counter, eyes closed, trying to gather her thoughts. She opened her eyes and looked at her reflection — and over her shoulder she saw Parker, standing in the doorway.
Startled, she froze, and stared mutely as he walked up behind her, his eyes locked on hers in the mirror. Before she could react, he placed his hands over hers on the counter, and she felt him press against her back. She started to pull her hands away, but he pressed firmly down, holding them in place. He was still looking into her eyes in the mirror, and the expression in them made her stomach feel heavy and tingly with unease.
“What are you doing?” she managed, but it came out strained, almost a whisper.
He turned his head and bit her neck.
“Jesus!” Bradley wrenched her arms free and spun around to shove him back. They struggled briefly, and then he had her arms behind her back, forcing her wrists up between her shoulder blades so that she struggled to stay on her toes to ease the pain. He held her wrists with one hand, and with the other he grabbed a fistful of her hair, and kissed her. Bradley writhed, trying to escape his grasp.
“Stop!” she managed to get out.
Parker laughed. “Impossible,” he said. “Walk.” And he spun her about, wrenching her wrists so that she cried out and staggered. He guided her out of the bathroom, into the bedroom, kicking the door shut behind him. He threw her down onto the bed. She immediately scrambled for the other side, but he caught a fistful of her shirt and hauled her back. She turned to face him, bringing her right elbow up and ramming it into his jaw, and followed it up with a hard left hook. Parker shrugged the blows off. Gathering two fistfuls of her shirt, he ripped it apart and tossed it aside. He fell on top of her, pinning her squirming body to the mattress. They thrashed across it, fighting fiercely. He didn’t hit her — he didn’t have to. He was nearly a full foot taller and at least sixty pounds of solid muscle heavier. It was like punching a wall; he never even flinched. In the midst of blocking her wild blows, he somehow managed to unbutton her jeans, and plunged his hand into them. Bradley gave a ragged gasp as his fingers pressed between her thighs, immediately finding her most vulnerable spot. She abruptly stilled, as though if she didn’t move he might not either. Their faces were centimeters apart; his dark brown eyes looked into hers with something very akin to amusement as his fingers gently explored her.
“Parker, please stop,” Bradley whimpered, pushing in vain at his arms.
Parker laughed softly, kissing her lips gently. “Say that again,” he murmured against her mouth.
“Please stop,” Bradley said with careful enunciation. Her throat was closing up, threatening tears, and she clenched her jaw in an effort to hold them back.
“Spread your legs.”
“Stop!” she shouted, erupting again in a frenzy of kicking and clawing.
Parker rose up on his knees, and bodily lifted her and threw her down on her stomach. He held her down with a hand to the back of her neck and peeled her jeans off as she thrashed and struggled. He removed every last scrap of her clothes, and then one-handed, he yanked his own shirt over his head and pushed his jeans off. He rolled her onto her back again. It was a magnificent fight to pin her down again. She was remarkably strong for a slender thing of only 18 years. Parker had to damn near break her arm before he managed to cover her body with his again. Still she strained so hard that it was like lying on a bucking bronco. Parker wrestled her arms to the mattress, pinned them there. Her breasts, so soft and full, pressed against his chest, and he longed to find out what they felt like in his mouth. But that would have to wait.
She shook her head wildly, tears streaming down her face.
“Bradley!” he shouted.
“Look at me! Look at me!” Parker waited until her panicked eyes were on his, and then said, “That’s it. Just look at me.” And he plunged himself into her.
He hadn’t expected her to be a virgin.
Bradley screamed. One loud, piercing shriek, and then she bit it off, pressing her face into his neck. Parker held her as she struggled to breathe, waiting for a little of the tension to ease out of her. After a while he tilted her head back and kissed her. Her nails were punching bloody crescents in his biceps.
“I didn’t know.”
“You didn’t ask,” she said, her voice trembling.
“No, you’re not.”
He smiled. “No, I’m not.” He moved inside her, gently. “Christ you feel good.” He positioned himself carefully, and then pressed into her, rotating his hips in a circular motion. He was rewarded by a quick gasp, her eyes widening slightly. He propped himself up on his elbows, her wrists still clasped firmly in his hands, and kept up a steady rhythmic friction against her clit, watching her face intently. She gave an occasional half-hearted struggle, but after a few minutes her writhings were of a different nature. Her eyes grew unfocused, her breath came quicker. She began moving her hips, just a little, to match his rhythm, pressing herself harder against him. She made a small sound, and he smiled, bent his head to kiss her neck and whisper, “That’s it.” He closed his eyes and reveled in the feel of her young, firm body moving in time to his, arching up to meet him. A few seconds later she was panting, straining up towards him. He felt it when it happened, felt the pulsing contractions deep inside her, felt her stomach quiver beneath his, felt her entire body lift and shudder with the force of the orgasm. She cried out near his ear, and his hands tightened convulsively on her wrists. He kept moving until he’d wrung a sharp, gasping cry from her. Then he stilled, and lifted himself to look down at her again.
Bradley looked up at him, amazement written clearly on her beautiful features. A forgotten tear escaped from the corner of her eye and slipped down into her hair. Parker finally released her wrists, and she lay there, still tingling with the aftermath, unsure of what to do. He bent his head and kissed her. She didn’t respond, and he gently pried her jaw open with his fingers, and slid his tongue into her mouth. He began fucking her with long, slow strokes. She was impossibly tight, and incredibly hot. Some little sound came out of her, and he caught it in his mouth like honey. He thrust harder, and she made the noise again. Parker gathered her up in his arms, holding her tight, feeling her mouth finally come to life beneath his, and he forced as many sounds from her as he could, gradually increasing his pace and force. He buried his hands in her hair, clutched tight fistfuls of it, and finally gave in to his desire, pounding into her as hard and deep he could. Now she was crying out loudly, her head thrown back, her nails digging into his back and leaving long, angry red welts. The orgasm built slowly, and when it thundered through him it forced a guttural cry out of him, bowing his back so that he strained to be as deeply inside her as he could get. It was one of the strongest orgasms he’d ever had. It left him shuddering and gasping. He collapsed on top of her, burying his face in her hair while his heart tried to hammer its way out of his chest.
They lay there for long, quiet minutes, with only the sound of their heavy breathing to fill the silence. Bradley felt her heartbeat gradually return to normal. She felt slightly unreal. Parker’s sweaty weight atop her kept her firmly pinned, and though he was no longer hard, he was still inside her, in that fiercely aching place between her legs. Bradley shifted slightly, and winced. Parker lifted himself and looked down at her.
“Are you okay?”
Bradley stared at him a moment. “No.”
Parker carefully moved off her, and went into the bathroom. She heard the shower turn on. In a moment he re-emerged, and held his hand out. She eyed it, then slowly took it, and let him help her up. She gritted her teeth as she stood and limped into the bathroom. She got into the steamy shower, and Parker followed her. She refused to look at him, briskly soaping herself up. He didn’t say anything, merely washed himself, but after he was done he took her gently by the shoulders and turned her towards him.
“Look at me.”
Bradley looked at his feet. It was the first time she’d ever seen them bare. Slowly, her eyes traveled up his legs, to his now flaccid penis, past his flat abs, his broad chest and muscular arms, all the way up to his handsome face. It was the first time she’d ever seen any man fully naked and up close. She looked into his eyes and suddenly her chin was quivering. She looked away. Parker grasped her chin lightly and turned her face back up to his. He looked into her green eyes, like two leaves trembling with raindrops. He waited.
“Why did you do it?” Bradley asked finally, trying and mostly failing to keep her voice from shaking.
“Because I wanted you. And you wanted me, but you wouldn’t admit it.”
“But why… like that?” She pushed his hand away and lowered her face as she started to cry.
Parker pulled her close and wrapped his arms around her, rocked her gently from side to side. “The fight, I suppose. All that fury and passion. You’re magnificent when you’re angry, you know that? As soon as you started yelling I wanted to take you on the floor, right there. Honestly…. I think you wanted me to.”
Bradley pulled back a little and looked up at him with a slight frown, her eyes dark and undecided. Suddenly she reached up, gripping him hard by the back of the neck, and pulled him down to kiss him hard. They kissed fiercely, bruisingly. Parker pushed her up against the slick tiled wall and lifted her legs, wrapping them around his waist. Their hands flew over each other, gripping, kneading, scratching. Their lips met savagely as he thrust himself inside her again, too impatient to be gentle. She gave a ragged cry against his lips, but pulled him in tight with her legs. Mixed noises of pain and pleasure filled the shower. Parker groaned as he came again, leaving him feeling weak and shaky. He leaned his forehead against hers, trying to catch his breath.
“Does that mean… you’re staying?” he panted.
“Would you let me go?”
He met her eyes. “I’d bar the windows and brick up the doors. You’re not going anywhere.”
She nodded. “I figured.”