Chapter 8

Dawn woke with a start. The scent of spicy potpourri filled her senses. A heavy thick comforter covered her as she lay on a large, massive bed. Four cherry wood bedposts loomed overhead. She grabbed the bedcovers and shrank against the pillows. The sharp edges of paranoia pricked along her spine. This wasn't her loft.

Where am I? She felt eyes watching her.


"He isn't here." A form moved from the shadows. "Claude had a problem at the bar that only the proprietor could handle. You'll have to make do with me."

Nikolas' hooded brown eyes seemed to miss nothing as his gazed bored over her from toe to head. Unease and the tingle of excitement put her nerve endings on edge. She swallowed hard to collect her bearings.

"You shouldn't be here. Lucky wouldn't like--"

"You're exquisite in the morning," he murmured as if she hadn't spoken. He moved to the foot of the bed and made no further move toward her. "Your eyes are bright, your mouth soft and the way your hair falls onto your shoulders…" His hand closed around a post and clutched until his knuckles whitened. "Lucky has no idea, does he?"

"That you're harassing me?" she asked. "No, he doesn't but he will soon if you don't stop."

A faint smile parted his full lips. "You'd attempt to come between brothers."

"Don't turn this around on me!"

The bed made her feel vulnerable and his position was too heady. He stood poised as if he'd pounce at any moment. She snatched her robe from the foot of the bed and rolled onto her feet. As she knotted the belt at her waist, she noted the amusement in Nikolas' eyes. A fleeting desire to sketch that look came to mind. She blinked, willing it away. This entire situation was absurd. Any fascination she had of the Cassadine heir was ludicrous if not outright dangerous.

She backed toward the door. "I'm with Lucky. We love each other. You can't come between us."

"Are you issuing a challenge?" He came around to sit on the side of the bed. "Are you daring me to seduce you?"

"A challenge or a dare would make it seem as if you have a shot. You don't. I'm not like the women you usually spend your time with. I'm a one man woman. I love Lucky."

His eyes narrowed. Blood flooded his cheeks. He rose so quickly from the bed that she stumbled backwards. He caught her and pulled her hard against him. One arm wrapped around her waist. The other cupped the back of her head. His moist, warm breath came in ragged spurts from his mouth.

"Who said anything about love?" he asked.

Before a coherent reply formed in her frazzled mind, his mouth swooped down over hers. Skillful lips coaxed a response. His tongue parted her lips, slipping inside and performing a thorough exploration. The sensible part of her brain told her to fight and run for her life. But her body…

It refused to obey.

Liquid heat boiled at her core. Her knees felt weak. She grabbed his arm for support. The hard bicep bunched and tightened without her grasp. The strength of his well-formed body was arousing. Her nipples tightened. As he held her closer, the hardened tips pressed against him. His tongue suckled hers, drawing her in and making the rest of her body ache to be licked.

The heat of his manhood throbbed against her lower belly. A thousand alarms rang inside her head. This time, she fought harder to obey. She tried to pull away. But the kiss didn't end until he decided.

His mouth trailed a fiery path from her lips down her throat. His tongue flicked across her rapidly beating pulse point. Finally, he lifted his head. Desire flared in his chocolate brown eyes.

Just when she thought he'd release her, he caught her hand. He guided it between their bodies and cupped her palm against his rock hard erection. A low groan rose to her throat. She'd felt Lucky's arousal, but Nikolas' reaction to her… Feeling him twitch and stiffen seemed so decadent, so naughty. So exciting.

"This," he said, rubbing her hand against him, "has nothing to do with love."

He removed his hand from hers and placed it at the apex of her thighs. For the first time, she noticed the dampness of her underwear. Involuntarily, her thighs parted. His fingers stroked and tormented. He watched her closely, stopping just as she was on the verge of begging.

"Sooner or later, it will happen." He raised his fingers to his nose and inhaled. "Intoxicating."

Then, without another word, he left.

Dawn stumbled to the bed, squeezing her thighs together to quell the vicious ache burning inside.

"Oh, God," she whispered. "Help me."

Obsession | Chapter 9