Come Alive

Page 1

CHAPTER ONE

So f**king horny.

I know that was a crude thing to think after a day of assisting the police with the gruesome search for Mitch and decapitated llamas, plus taking Perry to the local hospital to get her injuries looked over, but I gave up on censoring myself from myself a long ass time ago.

Besides, wouldn’t you be horny as f**k when the woman of your dreams was sitting beside you in your car for eight damn hours, wearing a low-sliced top that did nothing to cover up her amazing tits that jostled with every turn? Every time we hit a bump in the road I nearly came in my f**king pants.

Yeah, f**k seemed to be my word of the day. But Perry brought that on herself when she crawled into my room last night like something out of my most depraved and desperate dreams. I still felt like pinching myself to make sure what happened was real and not one of my ghosts. If only pinching didn’t turn me on.

When we had sat in the motel hot tub for longer than doctors would recommend, we both went back to our rooms, our stupid separate rooms. The last thing I wanted after nearly dying in the mountains at the hands of a lunatic and the teeth of a motherf**king Sasquatch was to have her out of my sight. I wanted her in my bed, in my arms. Screw the formalities, screw whatever had happened between us—I needed her like I’d never needed anything and I could swear that she needed me too.

But she told me to sleep well and retreated to her room, the one next door, closing it between us. I felt like she shut the door on everything that was and could ever be. It was like a guillotine blade on my future, our future.

I tried to make peace with it, just lying there on the sketchy motel sheets, working over the scenarios in my head, the ways I could cope. I could turn off my heart as I had done so many times before, but the funny thing was for once I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to turn it on again. It was like if I gave up on Perry then I was giving up on love forever. Dramatic, yes. But I was Dex Foray and “dramatic” was my middle name, along with “The Fuckmaster” and “Pierre.”

I stewed on it for a while, wondering if Perry was going to follow through with her threat of moving out as soon as we got back home. I’d do anything to make her stay, I just couldn’t figure out what I had to do. She knew how I felt. I couldn’t have been more honest, more clear out there in the forest with her, essentially handing over my heart. She had it and it just seemed like she didn’t want it. I couldn’t blame her but I also couldn’t give up; I’d given up on so much before. I was afraid that I’d drive her away if I didn’t give her space, if I didn’t let things be. She’d told me that maybe we were only meant to be friends and though I couldn’t have disagreed more, if it meant having her as a friend or having nothing at all, I’d have her. I’d always have her, in any form I could get.

Getting nowhere, feeling her presence in the other room and wishing I could pick up on snippets of her dream like I had sometimes gotten from her thoughts, I’d gotten up to use the bathroom. It was when I was glancing at myself in the mirror, seeing my reflection in the darkness, that I swore I saw another person in the room with me. It was just for a split second but it was one second too much. I had a feeling I knew who it was, too.

After that, I left the bathroom light on. I didn’t care if that made me a p**sy. I’d rather have a vag**a than see my dead mother again, and if I felt leaving the light on helped, so be it. But like the most beautiful of ghosts, soon Perry appeared at the foot of my bed, her spirit shattering my fear, her body shattering my resolve.

She came toward me, half lit by the bathroom light and I couldn’t even believe what happened next. She stripped down until she was nak*d as all hell, all f**king woman to the max—the wide curve of her hips, the small of her waist, her fat, heavy br**sts that begged me to weigh them in my hands. To say I was hard was an understatement. I was made of steel, the only solid thing in this sea of bewilderment I was drowning in. Like, what the actual f**k was going on?

It wasn’t too long before I figured it out. She crawled on top of my body, hands all over, br**sts pressed against my chest, and took me all in. She gave herself over and took me with her and I couldn’t have asked for more. I mean, I guess I could have asked for a bl*w j*b before the morning sun reared her ugly head, but I was fast asleep with Perry in my arms, holding her like I’d never let her go.

And then, before we could even wake up slowly, warm skin to warm skin, before I could relish in the morning after that we’d never been granted before, there was a ridiculous ruckus outside.

“Dex Foray!” someone bellowed as they pounded on the door. I jolted up, almost forgetting who was in my bed with me. I looked down at Perry, who was both wide-eyed and annoyed. Still f**king beautiful.

I looked over at the clock. It was 7:30 AM. The a**hole bird got the worm. I gave Perry a sympathetic look and quickly slipped on my jeans and checked through the peephole. Three cops were outside. I was right about the a**hole thing.

Apparently they hadn’t been up into the mountains yet and were relying on us to show them the scene of the Twatwaffle massacre. Fair enough, I suppose, but don’t you think they’d let two foreigners who’d nearly been eaten alive in their primitive Canadian woods sleep in for a little bit?

No such luck. Captain Asshole was the officer who had been drilling us the most the night before, and he barked at me to be ready in five minutes. Then he went to the next room to do the same to Perry and I had to gleefully inform them that she was in my room with me already. They didn’t care, which was too bad because I thought everyone should care that I f**ked Perry last night and f**ked her good. Perhaps I needed to get an airplane to write that in the sky. I knew an auburn-haired snatchslinger who needed to see it.

Because we were forced to get ready for the latest episode of M.O.U.N.T.I.E.S: Canucks on Patrol, Perry and I didn’t have any time to discuss what the previous night meant. Not that I was one for having relationship talks so soon after sex, but I would like to have at least some idea of what was going on between us now that it was the light of day and our hormones were no longer at the wheel. Although, mine were always driving me—Perry had turned me on even when she came out of her room with no makeup on her face, dressed in jeans and a bulky sweatshirt. You see, it’s what’s underneath that counts.

We climbed into the back seat of Captain Asshole’s squad SUV and listened to him drone on about the dangers of the woods and how Rigby’s llama trekking expedition was always a little suspect, and how his daughter Christina had been caught smoking pot once behind the 7-Eleven. Only I wasn’t listening to him, I was listening to Perry.

And she wasn’t listening to him either. She was thinking and thinking hard, nodding her head only so often to let the cops think she was paying attention, but I could tell from the way her brows came to meet each other above her bunny nose that it was all for show. Plus, you know, I heard her thoughts.

All right, so I had only heard two of them, but it was enough to make me want to open up her head and stay a while.

One thought was the more harmless, “I just want to go home,” which I assumed she meant was our home in Seattle. But maybe it wasn’t. Because did she consider that her home or did she mean her home, her parents’ place in Portland? After all, that whole “I’m moving out” thing was still on the table and I couldn’t be sure that a night of hot sex would eradicate that.

The other thought that blasted its way into my head, like I couldn’t have kept it out even if I tried, was a lot more loaded: “This is so f**king weird.”

The minute I heard that, I had to bite my actual tongue to keep from asking what was so weird. Not only did I not want the cops to think we were nutty telepaths, but I didn’t want to put Perry on the spot. She knew I could read her thoughts on occasion, but the less I drew attention to it, the better. I never censored myself but I knew Perry would, especially when it came to us. I was fortunate enough that she was sitting there and thinking away without shooting me nervous looks.

Not to say that she didn’t look a bit uptight, rubbing her lips together like she was on the receiving end of never-ending Chap Stick. She kept staring out the window, at the endless rows of trees as the cop car climbed higher and higher into drama llama land. There were so many f**king things I wanted to say to her, to do to her. And no, not just bending her over, but holding her hand, putting my arm around her. But maybe that’s just what was so f**king weird. Maybe it’s that things between us were so unresolved and we couldn’t even have a moment to resolve them.

I waited until we pulled up to Rigby’s to finally reach out to her.

“You doing okay, kiddo?” I asked before she stepped out of the vehicle, putting my hand on her knee.

She gave me a small smile and I was relieved that she didn’t flinch from my touch.

“Just tired,” she said.

I couldn’t hide my smart-ass grin. “It was worth it though.”

She nodded, her cheeks going pink. Score one for me.

I applied pressure to my grip and leaned in closer. “There’s more of that where that came from. We’ll just do what we can this morning, then get you to the hospital—”

“Dex, I’m fine.”

“And after we get you checked up at the hospital,” I went on, voice harder, “to make sure nothing gnarly happened to you yesterday—”

“You’re the one who should get checked out. You were buried under a ton of rubble when the cliff collapsed beneath you.”

“Yeah, but I’m clearly fine.” And that was my own thing that was so f**king weird, every day finding out that I wasn’t quite the man I used to be. “And I’m sure you’re fine too, but I’m being more careful with you from now on.”

She rolled her eyes.

I continued, giving her knee a final squeeze. “And then we are high-tailing it the f**k back to Seattle.”

Captain Asshole chose that moment to rap loudly on the hood of the car.

“Are you coming or what?” he said, opening Perry’s door.

I leaned across her and looked up at him. “I thought Canadians were supposed to be polite.”

“Not when Americans are wasting our time,” he said. “Now please, if you will, let’s get this thing over with.”

Clearly they still didn’t believe in the whole Sasquatch thing, even when we handed them what evidence we had. They wanted to write Mitch and Twatwaffle off like the victims of a mangy bear and move on. For once, I was totally cool with them not believing us. It would make things move a lot faster.

“Can you give us a moment?” I asked, and then reached for the door handle and shut it on him before he could answer.

My face was just inches from hers, and if this was weird, it wasn’t coming through. She just looked scared, like a baby deer. A totally fuckable baby deer.

Jesus, Dex, I told myself. Get a grip before you start imagining her on Animal Planet.

“Perry,” I said softly, my mouth too close to hers. Could I kiss her? Should I kiss her? Would she want me to? Did that belong only in the bedroom? Did it belong to only last night?

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