Nisha Jenkins undid the straps of her dress, and the lightweight fabric drifted down her body to the floor. She stretched, feeling all the day's tension leave her arms and shoulders, then dropped her hands to tousle her close-cropped curls.
"Damn." Slade was watching her, hunger in his eyes. "I have got to say, Nisha, dresses look good on you."
"But even better off," she finished for him, then pounced, pushing him playfully onto the bed. Six foot four and well muscled, Slade nevertheless went along with it, falling backwards and pulling her down with him.
"The days when you're here are like magic."
She laughed, but he went on. "No, I'm serious, Nisha. The whole world just disappears when you show up."
She smothered his words with a kiss before he could get to the inevitable proposal, and licked her way, catlike, along his jaw line to nibble at his ear. "Get your clothes off," she pleaded. "Talk later." Rolling her gently off his body and onto her back, he complied.
Seconds later she was writhing under his skillful tongue, her muscles clenching involuntarily as he probed and lapped at her. She was shuddering with excitement, her whole body quivering as he played with her. But just as she felt herself nearing orgasm he stopped and nipped her gently on her inner thigh. Then he lay back, arms folded behind his head.
"You have skin like..."
"Slade Turner, if the next word out of your mouth is chocolate, coffee, or any other food, you are in serious danger. I'm a reporter, not an item on a menu."
"Silk," he finished weakly, and she snorted.
"Nice recovery." She ran her tongue slowly up the length of his cock, then gently swirled it around the tip before teasingly sucking it into her mouth. She felt herself getting wetter at the thought that this slick length would soon be deep inside her. She shivered slightly, a moan escaping her, and Slade chuckled.
"Shouldn't I be the one moaning at this point?" His voice was a low growl, sexy and confident, but with all the boardroom brashness replaced by genuine warmth. She loved knowing she did that to him, loved stripping away his carefully cultivated exterior to expose the man within. She lifted her head, and now he did moan, a wordless plea for her not to stop. Smiling, she bent her head to suck just the head of his cock into her mouth, savouring the scent and taste of his excitement.
Before she could make him come, he gently pushed her away. "I need to be inside you, Nisha."
He piled pillows into a mound and laid her across them facedown. She arched her back, urging him to mount her, and he spread her thighs, tasting her once more from this angle before kneeling behind her. She felt his erection against her ass and lifted her hips to press against him.
His fingers stroked her silken folds, slipping inside her, rubbing against her swollen clit.
"Slade, I can't stand it!" She was panting with eagerness, and he, damn him, was laughing. His low, masterful chuckle was infuriating -- he knew how wild he was driving her, damn it, and he was enjoying it! -- but also, confusingly, a turn on. There was something delicious about losing control in front of him, while being reminded that he still retained enough of his self-control to enjoy the sight. She felt wanton, like an animal in heat. All she wanted or needed right now was his cock.
Finally he gave it to her, slipping the length inside her slick pussy, then pulling out and whispering hoarsely, "Beg for it, Nisha. Tell me you want me."
"You know I do." Her voice was almost sobbing with frustration. "Oh, God, Slade, please. Please, I'll do anything, just let me come for you."
With a growl of sheer pleasure, he drove his cock inside her, his thrusts strong but controlled. One of his hands held the back of her neck; the other reached beneath her to stroke the wetness of her sex. She pushed against his hand, hard, as he rode her. It took only moments before she was coming, calling his name in ecstasy, and felt him throb in response, coming with her in a gush of heat and liquid.
Afterward, she lay in his arms, nearly purring with contentment as he lazily stroked his hand along her torso. He looked utterly spent and blissful, and she knew her expression mirrored his. The tensions of the workday had vanished from both of them. At moments like this, she almost felt as if she'd worked some kind of magic by having sex with him. Nothing, not his high-pressure job or the stress and insecurity she faced working freelance, could come close to disturbing the peace her body brought them.
Slade's eyes were drifting closed. "When are you going to give in and marry me?"
Nisha sighed. He was asleep before she had to answer or parry the familiar question.
She was almost asleep when the voice woke her. "I have found the Layer. May she be blessed by Erzulie, sometimes called Oshun."
Nisha blinked and sat up. "What was that about the ocean?" She rubbed her eyes and then abruptly came completely awake. There was a strange man at the foot of the bed, dressed in a long black coat and wearing his black fedora pulled low over his face. "Who the hell are you? What are you doing here?"
"I came to speak to you, Nisha."
"Speak to the cops. I'm calling them now." Thank God for speed dial. She fumbled her cell phone open, nudging Slade sharply in the ribs. He didn't move.
"It won't work." The stranger spoke with the patient weariness of someone who'd had this conversation before. "Look, we're in a kind of frozen moment in time, all right? I'm here to inform you of your destiny."
"A frozen moment in time? How the hell does that work?"
The stranger shrugged. "Don't ask me, I'm not one of the tech guys. I find 'em, inform 'em, and train 'em. That's it. Can we get on with this? I'm here to inform you of your destiny."
"You've said that twice now. Inform, already." Without taking her eyes off this nutcase's face, Nisha stood up and edged her way around the room, groping behind her with both hands for some kind of weapon. She felt Slade's golf clubs with a sense of profound relief. Never had his yuppie habits been more valuable.
She risked a glance back at the bed. Slade still hadn't moved. She wasn't even sure he was breathing. "What did you do to him?"
"I told you, frozen moment --"
"-- in time, yeah, you said that. Look, if you've hurt him, then the cops are going to be scraping bits of you off the wall and using your teeth for identification, do you understand me?"
"He's fine. He won't even remember we had this conversation. Could you, uh, stop menacing me with that thing?"
"No," said Nisha, tightening her grip on the golf club.
He sighed again, but he didn't back away or even look overly concerned, which made her wonder just how crazy he was. Maybe he was on something. Tranquilizers. But his speech wasn't slurred, just bizarre.
As if to underline that last thought, the guy launched into a monologue. "You've been chosen for a very important task. Into each generation the Layers are born --"
"Slayers," she corrected. "And I'm pretty sure that's under copyright."
"I did not say slayers. I said Layers. Could you stop interrupting?"
When Nisha didn't answer he sighed once again and went back to his speech. "The Layers are those born with the power to reshape reality through the heat of their desires and the intensity of the pleasure they bestow on their partners."
Nisha raised one eyebrow and looked at Slade. He had been pretty satisfied, true, but she doubted it had done anything to reality.
"Now, with so much suffering in the world, your destiny is more important than ever. It is up to you to use your sexual skills to heal and protect humanity. Don't give up your day job, by the way. Layer gigs mostly take place at night."
Nisha snorted. "You really are insane," she said, almost admiringly. You had to give the guy credit for creativity, anyway.
"I'll be in touch." The stranger tipped his hat and vanished. Really vanished. He didn't walk out of the room, or jump out a window. He just suddenly wasn't there anymore.
Slade was leaning on one elbow, looking at her. "You coming back to bed, darling? It's a bit late to be practicing your putting."