Into the Mist eBook: Page1

Maya Banks (2009)

Chapter One

She had the look of a woman on a mission. Eli Chance recognized a sexual predator when he saw one. And damn if he didn’t want to be her next victim.

He watched from his perch at the bar as she waded through the mass of writhing bodies on the dance floor. Music boomed and swelled, bouncing off the walls and shaking the room. The tight techno beat wielded a frenetic energy, reflected in the wildly rotating laser lights.

The popular Singapore nightclub sheltered a wide variety of people and types, from the very young—too young to be in a nightclub—to the not much older orange-haired, pierced, tattooed throwbacks to the eighties. Mixed in were the deadbeats, those who dealt in prostitution rings, gun running and drug dealing.

And yet, he’d bet his last dollar his mystery woman fell into none of those categories.

She paused on the outer rim of the dance floor, her gaze searching the crowd beyond. Then her eyes settled on him. She moved forward again, her long, dark hair sliding like silk over her shoulders.

Eli raised one brow. Was she looking for him? He held her gaze before allowing his to drop meaningfully down her body. The thin piece of material posing as her shirt was nothing more than a square of satin held together by two strings. One circling her neck and the other tied around her back just below her breasts.

And very nice breasts they were.

She wore jeans tight enough that he guessed it hadn’t been an easy task to put them on, but he appreciated the effort, because he simply knew her ass would be to die for. And he would get a glimpse before the night was over.

He moved down her shapely legs until he got to her feet. Lord have mercy, she wore combat boots. Color me in lust.

“Like what you see?”

He lifted his gaze back to her face. She was a mere foot away from him now, and he leaned forward, wanting to see the color of her eyes. All the damn flashing lights in this joint were about to make his head bust wide open, not to mention they were interfering with his perusal of the woman he planned to take home for the night.

She stared back at him unflinchingly. She raised one eyebrow in question.

“Yeah, I like,” he drawled.

She moved past him to the bar, and he was forced to turn sideways on his barstool. He pulled his head back to let his gaze wander down her backside. The “shirt” she wore had no back. It bared a tantalizing expanse of her skin. And her ass… Oh yeah, he liked very much.

She wasn’t all soft woman and curves. She had a lean muscle tone that bespoke of a rigid fitness regimen. Nice. He bet he could bounce a quarter off her abdomen. But her breasts and ass? Just perfect. Just the right amount of soft and swell. He listened as she gave her drink order to the bartender, puzzling over her accent. It wasn’t one he could place, and he was an expert at languages. At first, he’d thought it sounded Eastern European, but she had hints of other places mixed in. A little American, a little French and maybe even a little Hispanic. A regular mutt.

He leaned in closer, not wanting to shout over the bellowing music. “Where are you from?”

She cocked her head sideways, her green eyes glowing from the florescent tube of lighting that ran the length of the bar.

“I’m from lots of places.”

Vague heifer. Ah well, it didn’t really matter. It wasn’t as though he was marrying her.

The bartender slid a shot glass toward her, and she curled her hand around it, raising it and throwing it back in one gulp. Eli liked a woman who could hold her liquor. Unless being sober was an impediment to him getting her into bed.

She turned around, resting her elbows against the bar as she gazed out at the sea of gyrating bodies. Then she slid him a sideways glance from narrowed eyes.

“Want to dance?” she asked.

Eli leaned back on his stool and let his eyes glide suggestively over her. “I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t we ditch the dancing and hit the bed? My bed.”

She turned more fully to him, staring coolly.

“I said dance, pretty boy. Not fuck.”

He trailed a finger down a strand of hair hanging over her shoulder. “I may be a lot of things, but pretty I ain’t. Let me take you to bed, and I’ll show you. You look like a woman who likes it rough.”

She stared at him for a long moment, her expression indecipherable. Then she laughed.

She pushed away from the bar and walked, if you could call that come-and-get-me strut walking, toward the dance floor. She hooked one finger over her shoulder in a come-hither motion, but she never once looked back at him.

Hell. He didn’t dance. Dancing was for fucking pussies, but if she wanted to do some dirty dancing moves on him while he stood there, he certainly wouldn’t tell her no.

He followed her onto the floor, dodging hands and hips the entire way. She stopped in the middle and turned to face him. Game on.

He stood, legs apart, his arms folded across his midsection. It was her move.

She closed the distance between them, her hips swaying and those delectable breasts straining at the thin material covering them. As she reached her arms up to twine around his neck, he moved his hands up her taut belly to cup her breasts.

She tensed, and then as if willing herself to relax, slowly melted into his embrace. The night got more interesting all the time.

He bent his head, sliding his hands around to her back. When his lips were close to her ear, he asked, “What’s your name, sugar?”

She pulled away and stared into his eyes. “What do you want my name to be?”

“Mine,” he replied. “Just say you’re mine for the night.”

“Still determined to fuck me.”

“Not determined, sugar. Convinced.”

He could swear fear flashed in her eyes for the briefest of seconds. But when he blinked it was gone, replaced by a sultry stare. Her lips twisted into a tempting pout. The kind that dared a man to taste them. He was never one to back down from a dare.

He hauled her against him, cupping her cheek in his palm. His lips found hers with a command to submit. She didn’t surrender right away, but he deepened the kiss, demanding access. Finally, her lips parted and he slid his tongue inside. He’d been dying to taste her, wondered if she tasted as exotic as she looked.

He wasn’t disappointed.

He scraped the tip of her tongue with his teeth, nibbling and sucking at her soft flesh. A groan worked from low in his throat. Forgotten for a moment was his curiosity over why she’d sought him out. He didn’t care as long as she let him take her out of here.

Her chest rose and fell as she panted against his mouth. Her small hands gripped his shirt, but he could feel her touch all the way through the material. Damn, but he wanted her hands on his naked skin. Why the hell were they fucking around in this human wasteland when they could be miles away enjoying each other? And maybe he could find out who the hell she was and why she was looking for him.

“Let’s get out of here, sugar.”

A myriad of expressions flew across her face before she slowly nodded. He didn’t waste any time waiting for her to change her mind. He took her hand and pulled her toward the exit.

A blast of hot, humid air hit him square in the face as he strode into the small alley that paralleled the club. By the time they made it to the sleek sports car parked a half block away, sweat dampened the T-shirt he wore.

He opened the passenger door for his lady then hurried around to slide behind the wheel. He keyed the ignition and revved the engine, the motor purring as he accelerated down the street.

She didn’t say much, another point in her favor. He could think of a dozen better uses for her mouth than talking. They drove the rest of the way in silence. A few minutes later, he pulled into the parking garage of a downtown apartment complex.

“Home sweet home, sugar.”

She turned her head, cocking an eyebrow. “Does that Southern boy charm work for you all the time?”

He flashed her a grin. “It worked on you.”

She eyed him evenly. “Your charm had little to do with it.”

She intrigued him. No two ways about it.

He got out of the car and started around to her door, but she slid out and met him halfway. As she moved closer to him, he started to curl his arm around her waist, but she shied away, keeping a foot of distance between them. He shrugged and walked into the building.

They took the elevator up, and a few seconds later, he unlocked the door to his apartment and ushered her inside where the welcoming blast of cooler air hit him in the face.

She walked into the small living room as he flipped on the lights. Her hands crept around her middle. As before in the bar, he sensed hesitancy on her part, but then she turned and let her arms fall to her sides. “Do you have something to drink?” she asked in a husky voice.

All he really wanted to do was get her into bed as fast as he could, but he supposed he could slow down and try to act a little civilized.

He walked over to the liquor cabinet and opened the beveled glass doors. “What would you like?”

She moved in beside him and laid her hand on his arm. “What would you like?”

Hell if that wasn’t a loaded question.

“To drink,” she said in an amused voice.

“Whatever you’re having, sugar.”

He stepped back and allowed her access to the cabinet. She pulled two glasses down then reached for the first bottle on the shelf. She didn’t seem particularly discerning when it came to her liquor.

He almost missed what she did next. Almost.

It was done so quickly and efficiently, he almost thought he’d imagined her making the dump into his drink with an expert swipe of her hand. Conniving little wench had spiked it. The question was whether she was trying to kill him or incapacitate him. Neither option was particularly enticing. Not when the alternative was spending the evening between her legs.

She turned with a smile and handed the glass to him. He took it and raised it to his lips, watching her as he did. A subtle spark of satisfaction and triumph lit her eyes.

As she tilted her own glass back to take a swallow, he lowered his and set it on the sideboard. She frowned.

“Is something wrong?”

“Not at all, sugar. I’m just not very thirsty. I find I’m craving something else altogether.”

To her credit, she didn’t let her thwarted attempt bother her. She set her drink down then sauntered over to him and slid her fingers into the waistband of his jeans. He sucked in all available breath when the tips delved into his underwear and scraped over the ridge of his dick.

Slowly, he squeezed the air back out of his lungs and gripped her wrist in his hand, gently pulling her away.

She raised that eyebrow again, an action that was starting to get on his nerves.

“What’s your hurry, sugar?” he asked.

She shrugged. “Well, if you don’t want me…”

He yanked her against him in one swift motion. She let out a small gasp when he swung her up into his arms and headed for the bedroom.

When he shouldered past the door, he nudged the light switch with his elbow then moved toward the bed where he dumped her in the middle.

Her lips quirked into in a smile as she rose up on her elbows. “You going to stand there all night, cowboy?”

When he didn’t move, she edged off the bed and reached for him again. This time he didn’t stop her. She obviously had a desire to dictate the action, and he could be a reasonable man. When a gorgeous woman wanted to call the shots, he didn’t object. At least not until he could get her naked and underneath him.

He allowed her to start peeling his clothes away. She started with his jeans, hiking them down his legs. He kicked off his shoes and did a little dance step until he was free of the confining denim.

She moved forward again, sliding her hands underneath his shirt and pressing her palms against his abdomen. He flinched as a thousand teeny tiny needles assaulted his skin. The chemistry between them was off the hook. At this rate, he’d go off like the Fourth of July before he ever got between her legs.

With tantalizing slowness, she edged the shirt up and over his head. She rose up on tiptoe, straining to reach, but he wasn’t about to help her. Not when she was at full stretch, her breasts plumped against his chest. Hell, he’d sit back and enjoy the view.

Finally, she wrestled the shirt from him and tossed it aside. Then she went for his underwear. He let out an agonized hiss when her fingers brushed across the sensitive skin of his groin. Her palms smoothed down his legs as the underwear inched lower.

His cock sprang free as if it had a life of its own, and half the time it did. It strained outward, begging for her touch. When he was free of his underwear, she ran her hand back up his leg and cupped his heavy sac in her hand.

God, he ached. Her fingers all wrapped around his balls was enough to make him explode. Then she let go, and he groaned.

She stepped back, her eyes running up and down the length of his body.

“You like what you see, sugar?”

“Very nice,” she purred. “Nothing wrong with your equipment.”

He grinned and wrapped a hand around his straining cock. He pulled gently, working his hand up and down as he grew even harder.

“Lie down,” she murmured, gesturing toward the bed. He wondered what her back-up plan was now that he wasn’t passed out or dead from whatever drug she’d slipped him.

He wagged his ass over to the bed like an obedient stooge, but really, what red-blooded man wouldn’t be jumping to do this woman’s bidding? Hell, right now, he’d leap out the window naked and bark at the moon if that’s what it took.

He flopped onto the bed, legs spread, hands behind his head. If she wanted to run the show, he’d let her. For the time being.

She reached into her back pocket and pulled out a foil-wrapped packet. Came prepared, did she? It was then it registered that she didn’t carry a purse. Combat boots and no purse. He might have just lost his heart.

As she moved to the bed, she ripped at the edge of the condom pack with her teeth. She threw the foil away and slipped the tip of the condom between her lips. A red condom. What the hell?

Okay, he wasn’t arguing. Really. She could put a pink rubber on him, and he wouldn’t bitch, but the idea of a colored dick set his teeth on edge.

All complaints ceased when she crawled up between his legs and lowered her head to his thighs. Oh hell, she wasn’t.

Fuck. She was.

She slipped the condom over the tip of his cock with her mouth. And she didn’t stop there. Warm, moist lips surrounded him as she slowly eased her way down.

Fuck, she was well on her way to deep-throating him. He liked head as well as the next guy, but he’d never had a woman slide a condom all the way down his dick with her mouth.

The head of his cock bumped against the soft flesh of her throat, and her tongue unrolled the remainder of the condom. Unbelievable.

Slowly, she began inching her way back up, her mouth working its magic over the thin latex. If ever there was a time he cursed condoms, that time was now. What he wouldn’t give to feel that tongue and nothing else.

“Get your damn clothes off,” he growled.

The corner of her mouth quirked in amusement as she stared up at him. “Now who’s in a hurry?”

“You can take them off or I’ll tear them off,” he said calmly.

Annoyance flitted across her face, but she set to work untying the little string that held her shirt on. When the scrap of material fell away, his pulse sped up. God almighty, the woman had gorgeous breasts. And her nipples. Perfect.

He reached out to palm one, wanting to feel the slight weight in his hand, but she pulled away and climbed off the bed. She bent down to take off her boots, giving him a perfect shot of her breasts as they swayed with the motion. Then she stood and shimmied out of her tight jeans, no small feat, and hooked her thumbs in the waistband of her underwear. It was interesting to note that her panties were white and functional. Kind of like her combat boots.

She yanked her underwear down, and his eyes drifted to the curls that shielded her pussy. His cock tightened, became unbearably hard.

She noted his reaction and pinned him with her emerald stare. Her small, pink tongue darted out and ran across her upper lip as she moved back to the bed.

The mattress dipped as she climbed between his legs. Soft hands gripped his hips as she straddled him. In one quick motion, she arched over him then sheathed herself fully on him.

His body jerked in reaction, and he shut his eyes against the pleasure, sharp and exploding. God, she was tight. So tight and hot. Her pussy convulsed and quivered around his cock, sucking him deeper into her body.

He reached up to cup her breasts, rolling his thumbs over the pink nipples. They tightened under his touch, and when she would have pulled away, he slid one hand around her back, holding her in place.

She increased her pace, riding him as if she wanted to get him off quickly. And maybe that was her back-up plan. Too bad.

He trailed his fingers across her lean stomach and dipped lower to the curls of her pussy. She froze then pushed down against him. He wouldn’t be deterred.

He eased one finger between them, seeking her hot, wet flesh. He circled her clit and stroked the taut bud. Her pussy spasmed around his cock, and despite her cool façade, he could see her start to falter.

Her entire body quivered against his, and she resumed her ride, rotating her hips as she bucked up and down on him. He’d had about enough of allowing her to call the shots.

He moved his hand from the small of her back to her hip, and before she could react, he rolled her underneath him. His cock slid out, but he reached between them and guided his dick back into her pussy.

She looked almost panicked as he thrust forward. And if she wasn’t panicking before, she was when he yanked her arms above her head and held them there.

He grinned down at her, knowing he had her right where he wanted her.

“What are you doing?” she gasped.

“Not letting you call the shots.”

She opened her mouth as if she’d retort, but he didn’t give her the opportunity. He swooped down, capturing her lips with his.

She tasted sweet and spicy. He refused to hurry the kiss even as she squirmed beneath him. When he finally pulled away, she panted for breath.

The soft skin of her neck beckoned him, and he bent, nibbling a path down the curve of her shoulder. A soft moan filtered through his ears, and he smiled triumphantly. The little wench wasn’t as unaffected as she’d like to be.

She stirred restlessly against him as he rolled his hips forward, diving deep into her warmth.

“Please,” she whispered.

“Don’t worry, sugar, I plan to,” he murmured against her ear.

He licked the lobe then sucked it between his teeth. He nibbled his way around her ear before sinking his teeth into the soft skin of her neck.

She arched her back then wrapped her arms tight around him. Her nails scored his shoulders, and he moaned low in his throat. Little wildcat.

“That’s it, sugar. Let it go.”

He ran his hands underneath her back and held her close while his hips pumped against her. Damn, she felt incredible. If he didn’t get a grip, he was going to shoot his wad before things got really good.

With reluctance, he withdrew. She whimpered in protest, but he moved his body down hers, kissing a path to her breasts.

He’d waited all night to sample her nipples, and he wasn’t going to rush the experience. He flicked his tongue around the rigid peak, leaving a damp trail on her skin.

A soft sigh escaped her when he sucked the puckered tip into his mouth. He pulled at the nipple, suckling in a steady rhythm. With his free hand, he reached down to slide his fingers between her legs.

He eased inside her, stroking the inner walls of her pussy. Her breath hitched and escaped her throat in a ragged sound. He smiled.

“Like that, sugar?”