Lover Uncloaked (Stealth Guardians #1)


Aiden smelled her arousal.

Leila had taken a brief shower after finishing her dinner, a shower he had forced himself not to watch. It was inexplicable enough that he lusted after her. Watching her as hot water ran down her naked body would have snapped his control like a twig in the path of a herd of elephants. Merely imagining pearls of water trickling over her lush flesh made him wish for a dip into a frozen lake to cool down his overheated body.

Now she lay in bed, naked, the covers pushed to the side.

He glanced at her face, but her eyes were closed. She wasn’t sleeping yet and she wouldn’t for a while, because he knew what was coming next. Anticipation made him hard and battled with the guilt that he felt rising in his chest. Because what he was doing was dishonorable. He should give her privacy, but he couldn’t tear himself away. A better man would have left her bedroom and gone into the living room, guarding her from there. Maybe he was just as depraved as Manus. Wasn’t that what his second had alluded to a few days earlier? That given the right woman, he would disregard the council’s rules the same way Manus did?

Or maybe rasen was controlling him, despite the fact that he was fighting its influence.

Aiden allowed his hungry eyes to travel over Leila’s nude form: from her graceful neck and the little indentation at the base of her throat, alabaster skin stretched over well-toned muscles down her strong biceps to slender wrists. The curves that made up her luscious torso were more than just a little enticing. Despite the warmth in the room, those dark nipples that sat on perfectly round breasts were beading. Hard and demanding, they topped beautiful mounds of flesh and fairly screamed to be caressed.

As his gaze descended, sliding down through the deep valley between her magnificent breasts, he salivated. From farther south, where a dark canopy guarded a treasure he wanted to taste, her aroma drifted to him more intensely now. Without having to look, he knew she was wet there. If she spread her legs, he’d see sweet honey glistening on her rosy flesh.

At the juncture of her thighs, strong legs met, legs that could envelope a man and make him forget everything. Those toned legs could cross behind his back and tighten so she could pull him closer to her as he thrust into her. With her strength, she could force him to go deeper, take her harder, faster.

Aiden wiped pearls of moisture from his brow, but couldn’t take the deep breath he needed. Leila would hear him otherwise. Only shallow breaths entered his lungs, and they did nothing to alleviate the heat in his body or calm down his racing heart. All he could do was admire her. She was perfect, her body that of a goddess.

When her hands moved, he widened his stance, giving his ever growing appendage more space between his legs. It felt like a release, but he had no time to enjoy it, because Leila’s hands now spread over her breasts.

With languid strokes, she massaged them slowly, her fingers circling her erect nipples. They seemed even harder than before. If he could swipe his warm tongue over them, he could find out exactly how hard.

No! He shouldn’t think of this. He should leave the room now, give her the privacy she deserved and stop watching what he had no right to see. But as much as he tried to command his legs to move to the door, they remained frozen where they were. He had no control over his body. As if something or somebody was controlling him. Was it rasen that had taken over his body, or was it simply the desire he felt for her? A desire so unreasonable and yet so powerful that he didn’t know how to combat it. This wasn’t him: he wasn’t a man who sought this kind of forbidden thrill. On the contrary: he prided himself on his honor, his ethics and the emotional detachment with which he treated his charges. Why couldn’t he do the same with Leila?

Again he tried to make his legs move toward the door, but his silent command remained unanswered.

Instead, he looked back at her. Her lips parted and issued a soft sigh as if she’d waited for a while to do this. Did she touch herself like this every night? Was this what she did to release the stress of her work? And as her protector, would he be tempted to witness this night after night? Would he have to go through this torture every night, where one part of him urged him to grant her privacy and the other forced him to watch?

When she tweaked her nipples, she moaned again, this time louder. At the same time, her legs fell open and for the first time, he saw the pink flesh that was hidden there. The little light beam from a streetlamp that drifted into the room from underneath the curtains, was sufficient to illuminate what he wanted to see, and his superior night vision did the rest.

Aiden took an instinctive step closer, unable to tear himself away from the tantalizing sigh. The scent grew more intense as he approached, and it only heightened his hunger. Almost as if she was drugging him with her aroma.

With rapt fascination, he watched as her hand wandered down to her stomach and reached between her legs, while her other hand continued kneading her breast.

Her body twisted and flexed with every move of her fingers, while her moans cut through the silence in short intervals. When her second hand joined the first, she spread her legs even farther, giving him a view that nearly catapulted him over the edge. She dipped one finger inside her glistening channel while her thumb stroked the engorged bundle of flesh at the base of her curls.

Her soft sighs and moans filling the room, he closed his eyes for a moment, shocked at the intensity of emotions that overwhelmed him. This wasn’t the first time he’d seen a woman pleasure herself, but this was the first time it aroused him to the point of pain. Keeping his control had never been this hard. But he couldn’t allow himself to act on his desire. She was his charge, he reminded himself. He should leave the room now and forget what he’d seen.

Her rhythm sped up, and he could feel how her breathing turned into short bursts. “Oh, Aiden,” she murmured unexpectedly.

Her words made his heart stop as a shock wave rippled through his body.

Did she know he was there?

His gaze shot to her face, but her eyes were closed, and she was too engulfed in her own emotions to sense him. But if she didn’t know he was in her bedroom, then why had she called out his name? Had he misheard because he so much wanted her to call out to him, to scream his name as she came?

“Aiden,” she whispered again.

This time he heard it clearly: his name. She was calling for him. It could only mean one thing: as she pleasured herself, she was fantasizing about him! But then why had she rejected him earlier? Was it simply because she didn’t trust him? He was a stranger to her, but plenty of women went to bed with strangers, and he’d seen interest in her eyes at first.

Another moan pulled him from his musings, making him snap his gaze back to her hands that so eagerly caressed her sex. Her finger plunged deeper inside her, and her other hand rubbed her clit faster and faster.

“Inside … yes, take me … make me come …” She expelled the words in short, breathless huffs, her skin now covered with a light sheen of perspiration, the scent of which drove him nearly insane.

When his knees knocked against the mattress, he realized he’d crossed the remaining distance between them. From the foot of the bed all he needed to do was slide onto it and he’d be lying between her legs, his mouth at her sweet pussy. He could lick her and take her over the edge, feel her succumb to her orgasm, a pleasure he would give her.

Do it!

His hands fisted at his sides, his throbbing erection urging him to take what he wanted. She would never know it was he. All she would feel was his touch, his fingers, his mouth, his tongue. If he kept it light enough, maybe she would simply assume her fantasies were more powerful than ever, more real. And even if she suspected somebody was in her bedroom, she would see nothing, just air around her. He would be a vivid dream to her as long as she didn’t touch him and realize that there was an invisible body in her bed, because even while invisible, his flesh would feel as real as ever.

Nobody would ever find out. But he would know, and he would hate himself for it. When he touched her he wanted her to know it was him, to call out his name, to look into his eyes. Still, his mouth watered, imagining what she tasted like, how sweet her honey was and how soft her flesh.

As if she knew that he stood there, fighting his inner self, she whispered, “Yes.” Her hands continued teasing her sensitive flesh, and from her choppy breathing, he realized that she was close.

His hand reached out.

A loud bang sounding like an explosion stopped his action. His head whipped toward the door.

Shit! He rushed to the door just as Leila reared up from her supine position, equally shocked.

Then the smoke detector started beeping.

“Oh, no!” she cried out.

Aiden passed through the bedroom door without opening it. From the hallway that led to the kitchen and living room, a cloud of smoke billowed beneath the ceiling, and coming from the kitchen he saw flames shooting through the open door. A violent fire was raging there, and he knew enough about fires to realize that this one would spread quickly.

Behind him the bedroom door opened.

A startled scream nearly pierced his eardrum. He turned toward Leila, who stood in the door frame, nude.

She stared right at him, eyes wide, her lips readying themselves to scream once more.

She saw him! Shit! In his panic, he’d inadvertently uncloaked himself.

“How did you get in here?” Her hands scrambled to cover her nudity, but it was to no avail; her small hands couldn’t cover her plentiful curves.

“Leila, I can explain. Later. The fire, we have to get out of here.” He shot a worried look toward the kitchen, where the flames were engulfing the entire door and were working their way into the corridor, the smoke cloud underneath the ceiling growing larger.

Only now her look seemed to drop to his pants where his erection created a visible bulge.

Her eyes widened, and true fear shone through her irises. “Oh, my God, you came to rape me!” She shot back into the room and slammed the door. He heard the lock click shut.

Fuck! He’d screwed up royally! But there wasn’t time for any explanations now. The fire was approaching quickly, consuming anything combustible in its way. Already now, the hallway was impassible and they’d have to find another way out.

There was no time to plead with her to open the bedroom door, no time to waste on kicking it in. They would need that door as a barrier against the fire. Realizing he had to expose himself for what he was, he passed through the door.

A shriek greeted him, her hand barely holding onto the receiver she was punching a number into. 9-1-1 from what he guessed. He snatched it from her hand and pressed the off button before tossing it into a corner.

Her face blanched. “What are you?”