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Come Alive (Experiment in Terror #7)
Author:Karina Halle

Come Alive (Experiment in Terror #7) by Karina Halle


CHAPTER ONE

So f*cking 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*ck 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*cking pants.

Yeah, f*ck 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*cking 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 F*ckmaster” 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-ssy. I’d rather have a vagina 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 naked as all hell, all f*cking woman to the max—the wide curve of her hips, the small of her waist, her fat, heavy breasts 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*ck was going on?

It wasn’t too long before I figured it out. She crawled on top of my body, hands all over, breasts 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 blow job 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*cking beautiful.

I looked over at the clock. It was 7:30 AM. The a*shole 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*shole 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 A*shole 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*cked Perry last night and f*cked 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 A*shole’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*cking 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*cking 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*cking 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*cking 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*ck back to Seattle.”

Captain A*shole 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 f*ckable 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?

When would I know?

She swallowed, her delicate throat moving, and I had to fight the urge to run my tongue up it. I focused on those big blue eyes instead.

“I think maybe you should stay here in the car,” I told her. She twitched, shocked.

“Why?”

I shot Captain A*shole a quick glance before coming back to her. I was totally aware that I was leaning over her, encroaching in her space, but I didn’t care— she was going to have to get used to it.

“I know you don’t want to go back out there, and frankly I don’t either, but I’ll do it. They don’t need two of us to be the tour guide for the Snowcrest Llama Massacre. Besides,” I lowered my voice, “I want to get out of here. You stay here because of your injuries and then I can at least insist that they take us back to town early to get you checked out.”

She didn’t seem to think that would work—and probably didn’t appreciate me using her injuries as an excuse—but I knew she was grateful to stay behind in the car, even if the cops were a bit reluctant to leave her there alone.

Luckily, the plan did end up saving us a lot of time. Rigby came out of his house, still shell-shocked it seemed, and together we led the cops over the snowy ridge and to that damn cabin. I explained again what had happened to us over the last few days, Rigby piping up now and then to back me up. The cops were still set on the whole mangy bear idea, and if they weren’t so close-minded I would have felt sorry for them. I mean, I don’t know about you, but personally I’d want to know if some monster was lurking in the woods, ready to rip your arm off.

Speaking of mutilated corpses, the decapitated Twatwaffle was evidence enough for them that this was the work of a crazy animal. They wanted me to lead them into the woods and show them where Mitch was, but I just scribbled it down on the map, staunchly refusing to go myself. The cabin was hard enough to revisit, the horror that we experienced just waiting to relive itself in my brain. There was no way I’d be taking them into Mitch corpse territory, and especially when Rigby and I both knew that the beast could still be out there, perhaps dead or perhaps merely wounded by his shotgun. Either way, I used the opportunity to remind them that I needed to get Perry to the hospital, and one of the officers agreed to take us back to town, especially since they had to organize a bigger search party.

Perry was napping by the time we got back to the car. I was torn beside sitting in the backseat with her and riding shotgun. I decided to ride in the front because it made me behave.

On the way back down the mountain, I’d be lying if I wasn’t trying to read her thoughts again, waiting for some clarity to make sense of what I heard earlier. No such luck. I couldn’t pick up on anything, not when we pulled into town, not when the doctor looked her over and proclaimed her fine (despite slathering her scratches in antiseptic), not when we hurried back to the motel and checked out before the suspicious front desk lady tossed our luggage in the hot tub. >

And certainly not during the ass-numbing drive back to Seattle. Oh, Perry and I talked when we weren’t listening to our ever expanding playlist. But our topics were safe—wondering about if we’d get in trouble for making a run for the border without checking in with Rigby or the cops, or what Jimmy was going to say when we told him we didn’t have any footage and how he needs to trim his nosehairs. I wanted to ask her a million questions and talk about a million other things—big things, meaningful things—but every time I opened my mouth to do so, I was met with fear.

I remembered what she said last night: “You are a part of me, Dex. You’re every part of me. Always have been. Always will be.” I remembered clinging to those words as I fell asleep. And I remembered the things that she didn’t say. That I’d told her I loved her and never heard a thing in return. I had never told her just so she could say it back, but the silence was…nerve-wracking.

Which made the fact that I was unbearably horny even worse. Dex with blue balls was one thing, but when I was anxious as well, it made for a capricious situation. So I did my best to keep my eyes on the road, wishing she’d put her bulky sweatshirt back on, and got us home as quickly as I could.

It was around 11PM when I pulled the Highlander into the underground garage and parked it in my space. I switched off the engine and twisted in my seat to face her. Her eyes twinkled in the dim light but I couldn’t read her expression.

“So,” I said, trying to ignore the awkwardness that seemed to be building up in the car by the second.

She gave me a small smile and placed her hands in her lap. “So.”

Oh Jesus. Why did it feel like I was back in high school, trying to score with Cindy Brown in my beat-up Civic? Granted I ended up getting a wicked handjob, but the moments leading up to it were like pulling teeth. And I wasn’t even trying to get a handjob here, I’d just forgotten how to talk to Perry.

I bit the bullet. “Are you happy to be home?”

She nodded. “F*ck yeah.”

I held myself in check. I lowered my voice and leaned in closer. “Do you consider this to be your home now?”

My eyes searched hers, my brain concentrating, trying to hear anything, see anything, to get the truth from her.

“Seattle?” she asked cautiously. She looked down at her hands and tilted her head. “Yeah. I think I do.”

I should have accepted that. That should have been good enough. But it wasn’t good enough.

“I mean with me. Am I your home?”

She rubbed her lips together as the pressure in the car increased. The waiting, the tension, was unbearable. On the plus side, I didn’t have an erection anymore.

“Dex…” she started. “I’m still a bit confused over everything. Things have changed so fast…I just need time to get used to it, that’s all. I haven’t been able to think about much other than not dying. You know?”

I stared at her intensely and put my hand on her cheek, relishing the warmth of her skin, that incurable softness. “You’re my home, Perry. And I will be yours.”

I leaned over and kissed her softly, just a taste of her lips and what she could promise me. I pulled away and her eyes fluttered open, her lips still parted.

Swallowing hard, I gave her a quick smile and said, “Let’s get our things upstairs.”

We got our gear out of the car and embarked on a short but awkward elevator ride up to the second floor where my—our—apartment was. I started thinking that perhaps I’d been a little too presumptuous telling her I wanted to make her my home and that I would be hers. Then I realized I’d been nothing but presumptuous with her from the very start, from that very moment she made me pie. There was no point in stopping now, no matter how heavy my legs felt as we walked down the hall to our door, no matter how sweaty the back of my neck was, no matter how badly my mind wanted to analyze the moment. There was no stopping this—us.

I paused in front of the door, my keys out, and took in a deep breath. Then I turned to look at her. She stared back at me in anticipation neither of us could ignore any longer.

I cleared my throat. “I just thought I should warn you that the second we walk into the apartment, I am going to maul the f*ck out of you. I don’t care if you’re tired or bruised or scratched. You’ll just be more so when I’m finished.”

I didn’t think it was possible for her eyes to get wider. But they did. Hey, at least she now knew what was coming.

Both of us.

I opened the door and stepped into the apartment which smelled slightly musty. Damn Seattle dampness got into everything. I expected Perry to hesitate after what I’d just told her, but she marched right on in after me. Her confidence was a surprise. My hard-on was back in full swing.

I dropped my bag then grabbed her, slamming the door shut by slamming her up against it. She let out a cry, but it had a throatiness to it, the kind that reached into my gut and stroked my balls and made me want to unleash everything on her that I’d kept to myself all day.

I devoured her lips with mine, wanting so much of her, all of her, always wanting more. She tasted sweeter than she did back in the car, wetter, more open, more giving. Our tongues entwined in the heat and I pressed hard against her, wanting to consume her in every way possible. One hand was lost in the silkiness of her thick hair, tugging on it lightly, the other was jerking up her shirt, soaking in the feeling of her skin.

My lips pulled away and went to her ear where I licked up the rim, feeling her shiver under my tastebuds.

“I want to put my tongue so deep inside you,” I moaned.

She let out a breathy laugh. “I think you just did.”

I smiled as my lips trailed down her neck. “That was nothing.”

I pulled her shirt over her head and unclasped her bra until her heavy breasts bounced free. I dipped my head and sucked hard on one nipple, making it pucker delicately in my mouth. Perry’s breath hitched sharply and I knew I was on the right track. Last night she was in charge, but now, now we were on my turf and I was going to f*ck her senseless.

When a groan escaped from her sugary mouth, I started undoing her jeans and slid my fingers into her fine hair, nearly losing it when I discovered how goddamn slick she was. She was practically melting into my touch.

Once she began panting, I dropped to my knees, keeping her pressed back against the door, and yanked down her jeans and underwear until they were on the floor. I brought one of her legs up, hooking it over my shoulder, then left soft, wet kisses from the side of her knee all the way up her inner thigh. Her body tensed and relaxed from my touch, and I grabbed her ass, hard, bringing her into my face. My lips met her swollen ones and I teased her * with the tip of my nose before sliding my tongue along her cleft and plunging it inside her.

Oh god, nothing tasted better, felt better, than this. She gripped the top of my head, nearly pulling out my hair, and I knew I was blowing her mind. She was sinking into me, hips rocking for pressure, and I was an insatiable beast who still wanted more, more, more. I wanted to be inside her in every way I could. I wanted to stay there and leave my mark, make her feel me, make her never forget.

She came hard into my mouth, her * pulsing beneath my lips, her fold blossoming open, and I drank her all in, keeping her coming until she was moaning for me to stop.

I pulled my head away and looked up at her exquisitely pleasured face, wiping my lips with the back of my hand.

“Welcome home,” I said with a grin. Then I helped her shaking legs step out of the rest of her jeans and led her to the bedroom.

My turn.