Chapter 4

She held up her hands as Percival finally showed a hint of emotion and looked at her quizzically. "I'm really sorry, but I need to borrow you for just a few minutes." He didn't budge an inch to prevent her from doing anything, and Lena drew in a quick breath. She couldn't believe she was going to do this to a complete stranger.

His eyes widened in surprise as she climbed onto his lap, straddling him. She quickly started to pull his coat off, and he actually helped her. She silently thanked God that he was too stunned by her actions to do otherwise. Next she quickly unbuttoned his shirt and smoothed her hands over his skin to bare his chest.

His muscles tightened under her hurried touch, and for one last second, she looked into his eyes. "Sorry," she said again before pressing her lips roughly to his. There was no response from him at first. She rubbed her lips furiously over his; trying to color his lips with what small amount of lipstick she wore on her own. Her eyes snapped open as his lips parted and he began to kiss her back. His hands gripped her thighs and pulled her up against him. She almost pulled back in surprise, but his hands held her firmly. Her head swam as their kiss softened to a mere brush of the lips. The world was lost to her as his lips trailed over her chin, and his hot insistent breath washed over her skin.

"Percy . . . ," she breathed softly as his lips caressed her neck.

One of his hands brushed up her side and stopped just below her breast. All she could do was hold onto his shoulders for dear life. It seemed like he was barely touching her, yet he was the one thing keeping her from losing herself in the abyss of her passion.

His skillful thumb found her nipple, hidden from him under her clothing. The gentle circling of his thumb and the friction of her bra quickly brought it to life. It strained against her clothing, begging to experience the feel of his fingers without this barrier between them.

Her fingers trembled slightly as she laced them through his silken hair. He quickly brought his lips back up to hers, and she felt herself melt into their soft touch. She wanted to stay like this forever.

She didn't even know this man, how could his simplest touch ignite a fire in her that she thought she had lost long ago? For all of her strength and fighting skills, she suddenly found herself helpless in Percival's arms.

Their lips finally parted, and Lena leaned her forehead against his. Her eyes fluttered open to see him gazing at her almost with a hint of wonder.

Suddenly, a knock came on the door. Lena bolted up in Percival's lap as she suddenly remembered why she had clambered on top of him in the first place. Ben was here to try again for another night.

Since he had a key to every apartment in the place, she had expected him to just waltz right in like he usually did. If he had seen her on Percival's arms like this he might have immediately gone away, but now she had to disengage herself from this embrace and try and get rid of Ben.

Percival reluctantly released her as a second knock sounded. She shook her head to clear her muddled thoughts, and felt her heavy braid. Her fingers worked quickly to undo it and tousle her hair.

After a third knock, she finally pulled the door open as she still struggled to even her breathing and slow the racing of her heart.

Her heavy set landlord stood there, drumming his fingers against the doorframe. She shuddered inwardly as his lustful eyes ate up every inch of her purposefully disheveled appearance.

"Rough night in the Pits?" Ben smirked and idly scratched his chin.

Lena knew full well that the general disarray of her hair and clothes would only entice him more, but she also knew that this coward of a man would slink back up the stairs the moment Percival even looked at him. "You know you shouldn't have to work so hard when I could easily help cut down on your monthly bills."

He leaned in toward her, and then his eyes darkened as he noticed the pink tinge around her lips still slightly plumped from Percival's kisses. "I'm sorry, but I have company, Ben." She was going to go on, but Ben's eyes flicked up over her shoulder and widened slowly.

For a moment, she was going to turn around, but the scent of leather filled her nostrils and her eyes fluttered slightly. A muscular arm slid across her chest, and Percival pulled her possessively back against him. She couldn't see the fire that burned in his eyes as he glared dangerously at Ben.

The spineless landlord's mouth hung open dumbly. Percival didn't give him a chance to say anything as he pushed the door closed with his other hand.

Lena hardly dared to even breathe. The silence was deafening, and it seemed like an hour could have passed in those few minutes before they finally heard Ben shuffling back upstairs. She finally emptied her lungs and dropped her head back against Percival's chest in relief.

She realized that his arm was still locked protectively around her. Then she noticed the hardness of him pressing against her rear. Color rushed to her cheeks at the sensation building in the pit of her stomach.

His free hand slid over her stomach and pressed her firmly back against him. "What are you doing to me?" He whispered into her ear. Her eyes rolled shut as his breath stirred her hair. She smoothed her hands over his arms as her mind worked to form her response.

"Me? I haven't done anything to you."

That wasn't exactly true, but she had no real intentions of arousing him when she had first climbed onto his lap. She just wanted to intimidate Ben, but now she was losing herself in Percival's arms again. His touch was like fire shooting through her veins.

"I've been watching you for a while. You intrigued me at first." His fingers curled under her top and caressed her soft skin waiting for him there. "Then tonight . . . " Lena drew in a sharp breath as his fingers slid up and caressed just under her bra. Realization struck her, and her eyes popped open.

"You were watching me the whole time?"

He cupped her breast and quickly molded it to fit his hand. Lena's knees felt weak, and she leaned heavily against him for support. Her bottom slid against him as she slumped slightly. He groaned into her hair and pressed against her.

With one hand, he held her faltering body tightly against his. With the other, he grabbed his coat and fanned it out onto the floor. He then gently lowered her into the bed of his scent. Lena ran her hands over the soft leather and gazed up at him as he knelt next to her. She reached out and lightly touched his cheek.

He slipped his fingers under her chin and tilted her head back slightly as he pressed his lips to hers. She couldn't resist the soft touch and the melting heat of her own need for him. Time seemed to drift away as they explored the depths of each other's mouths.

"What's happening?" she barely breathed against his lips. He shook his head and captured her in another kiss before slipping her blouse from her shoulders. Lena's head dropped back as he buried his face between her neck and shoulder.

"I don't know," he whispered between spreading kisses across her skin. He grasped the hem of her tank top and began to pull it up. Lena winced at her shoulder as she lifted her arms. Percival ceased his movement immediately, but she smiled and helped him slip it off completely.

He gently touched the tender shoulder as his eyes examined it. "Will this be all right if . . . " Lena quickly cut him off with a kiss. Even if it hurt, she couldn't stand it if they stopped. No pain could compare with her fervent desire for him at this moment. She couldn't control her need for him to touch her.

Percival held her tightly against him as they lost themselves in each others' lips once again. Lena could feel his heart thundering against her own. She reached around her back and fumbled with her bra. His fingers easily slid in with hers and unhooked it. The last item of clothing separating her breasts from his touch slipped delicately from her shoulders.

Her body arched to him as his fingers brushed over the soft skin revealed to his wandering touch. He coaxed her to lie back, and she settled into the warm sensation of the leather against her bare skin. She didn't have long to savor it as his lips trailed down the valley between her breasts. The breath caught in her throat as a shiver of desire ran down her spine.

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