In The Beast's Lair
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by Marie Medina
Category: Erotica/Erotic Fantasy
Description: Beauty Allister isn't intimidated by money or power, but when eccentric millionaire Kyros Rayland offers her a job as his live-in personal assistant, she can't help feeling overwhelmed. She knows little about him, even though Kyros and her mother have been friends for years. All she knows is he's the sexiest, handsomest man she's ever met. She doesn't care about the odd rumors she's heard all her life. No sane person would believe any man could turn into a panther at night. The other rumors intrigue her more. She hears about orgies and bondage and a wickedly delightful playroom no woman would ever want to escape. Should she believe any of these rumors? Will she be safe if she ventures into his lair and puts herself at his mercy? Will she be devoured by the appetite of the beast or consumed by the desires of the man?
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011
28 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [191 KB]
Reading time: 129-180 min.
Beauty stared out into the night from her bedroom window. She knew she had heard something out in the garden, but nothing moved as she peered into the shadows. She scanned the trees, but still nothing moved. She closed the window and pulled the curtains together.
She told herself she was being paranoid because she didn't know how to work the new vibrator her sister Isabelle had given her for her birthday. She'd grown used to the simple, slender metal rod she preferred to use. Her new "toy" had far too many buttons and attachments. It had deep ridges, a pouch full of little beads, and a thing that was supposed to massage her clit. She hadn't exactly figured out what the pouch part did. It vibrated, but where was it supposed to go? She hadn't read the directions because she'd found them a bit intimidating. Plus, she didn't understand how she was supposed to take advantage of all those things with the cock part being twelve inches long. Who exactly had this been designed for? She couldn't help wondering if Isabelle had only meant it as a gag gift. Every time she turned it on the lowest setting, everything started vibrating and gyrating. She could hardly hold it, let alone use it.
She'd been lying on the bed, picturing her favorite raven-haired actor, making one last attempt to enjoy Isabelle's gift when she'd heard leaves rustling under her window. To her, it had sounded like a very large animal--or maybe a person--walking around in the garden. The last thing she needed was a prowler, even though she had to admit the monster vibrator might make a handy weapon. It had certainly scared her when she first took it out of the box.
She nestled the device back in its packing material and placed it back in the box. Maybe one day, when she felt more adventurous, she'd give it another try.
She went down to the front hall to see if there was any mail for her. There were two letters for Isabelle, one of them notably from Vincent, but nothing for Beauty. She sighed as she went into the kitchen. She had to find a job soon. Even though she didn't have many qualifications, she was a hard worker and learned fast. If she didn't find something soon, she didn't know what she'd do. She didn't want to live off the family money, even though no one cared one way or another. She could be taking classes with Isabelle, if she only knew what she wanted to do. The only thing she was certain of was that at twenty-two, she'd definitely decided that she didn't want to spend the rest of her life doing nothing and being just another Allister heir.
She poured herself a glass of milk and grabbed a few cookies before heading back up to her room. She stopped halfway across the kitchen, listening carefully. She hadn't been mistaken. She knew she'd heard something that time.
She set the glass and cookies down on the marble counter and crept up to the window. She heard a tree outside rustle and she jumped back. Grabbing the kitchen phone, she dialed her brother's cell number quickly.
"Sean, it's Beauty. Can you come over?" she whispered.
"Sure. What's happening? Why are you whispering?" he asked with concern.
"Isabelle is out with her girlfriends, and I'm here alone. I heard something in the yard earlier, and when I came down here just now, I heard it again. And the tree by the window rustled. I know it sounds silly, but whatever it was sounded so much bigger than an animal."
"Don't worry. It's fine. I'll be there in two minutes."
She hung up the phone and looked around. She didn't see anything she could use as a weapon. Her brother still lived in the main house on the estate, so even on foot he'd be there soon, but she didn't want to take any chances.
She grabbed Isabelle's waffle iron and backed herself against the wall, looking in every direction. She didn't hear anything but her own breathing and heartbeat. Despite that, she felt eyes watching her.
Kyros watched Beauty and smiled. He wanted her immediately, but he knew he had to wait until the time was right. She had to come to him willingly. He smiled. Willing was certainly the way he wanted her.
Her brown hair flowed down her back in a wave of autumnal magic, reflecting gold and red in the dim light. Her green eyes were alert, and she managed to control her fear very well. She had spirit, and he was sure her passion only waited to be awakened.
She scanned the room calmly, and her breasts moved in a steady rhythm. He watched her breasts, imagining what they would look like. He pictured her in his playroom, restrained beneath him, her breasts bouncing as she moaned and found her release under his skilled touch. He licked his lips, eager to run his tongue over her nipples, to delve lower and taste her.
He could smell the man approaching on the air. He recognized the scent of her brother Sean. Kyros moved stealthily back into the trees. He had to be patient. Soon she would be with him.
Beauty stood in the middle of the living room as Sean walked around the house. She didn't think he would find anything, but she knew there had been someone there. Or something. She shook her head. It was so loud it had to have been a person. She'd definitely felt that much.
Sean came back through the front door. "I didn't see anyone, but I did find some large tracks."
"Tracks?" Beauty asked.
"Yes. A very large cat, I'd say."
"Are you trying to say really fat pussy cat or small tiger?"
Sean laughed. "There aren't any tigers here, but I don't know how else to explain the tracks. They could be a mountain lion."
Beauty peered into the kitchen and eyed the back door. "I didn't think they came so close to the house."
"It was probably the beast of Rayland Hall," announced a female voice.
Sean and Beauty turned to see Isabelle coming through the door.
"He's prowling for a bride tonight. We better lock our doors," she said as she threw her purse and jacket onto the couch.
"That's not funny. Kyros Rayland is a little weird, but those stories are ridiculous," Sean said. "Beauty heard something real. There are tracks out in the garden to prove it."
At the mention of Rayland Hall, Beauty's mind went back about seven years. She remembered all the strange folktales about the Rayland family, but what had stayed with her more than those was her one, single glimpse of Kyros Rayland.
She'd been fifteen, waiting outside the shoe store in Market Square for Isabelle. She'd heard a noise in the alley and looked up, only to see nothing there. When she turned back to the road, she saw a limo across the street. The window was rolled down halfway, and she could see a man with jet-black hair sitting there, looking at something in his lap. As the car started, he looked out the window and lowered his sunglasses to meet her gaze. His eyes were as black as his hair, and she'd felt completely transfixed looking at him.
He'd smiled at her, and a shiver had traveled all over her body. As she'd grown older, she'd realized that shiver had been arousal, not fear.
"Beauty?" Sean asked.
"Are you with us? It's really nothing to worry about, I promise."
She waved her hand at him dismissively. "I'm not worried about some silly stories."
Sean laughed and looked at her questioningly. "I meant the animal. I doubt it will come back, but I'll bunk down on the couch just in case it's still around. If I know what it is, I can report it to wildlife services and keep both it and us out of danger."
"Oh," Beauty said. "Right, sorry."
Isabelle walked into the kitchen, and Beauty could tell she was trying not to laugh.
Sean scratched his head. "I'll go get a blanket and pillow from the upstairs closet."
When he headed for the stairs, Beauty went into the kitchen.
Isabelle raised her eyebrows. "Penny for your thoughts?"
"Thanks a lot. I don't need Sean thinking I'm losing it here."
"Why would he think that?"
Beauty rolled her eyes. "Just stop teasing me about Kyros Rayland."
Isabelle opened the refrigerator and took out the milk. She took Beauty's glass from the counter and refilled it with milk before getting another glass down for herself. She shoved the plate of cookies she'd made that morning across to Beauty. She filled her own glass, then said, "I haven't teased you in months, and this was the perfect opportunity. I mean, what else could it be?" She stuffed one cookie into her mouth.
"A mountain lion. Something that escaped from the zoo. Or one of the other estates. We've got the cream of the crop as far as eccentric rich people go around here."
Isabelle broke a cookie in half. "True." She ate one half in a single bite, then shook the other half at Beauty. "Daddy dearest included."
Beauty sighed. Well, yes, her father did, from time to time, think he was a canary in the morning, but as long as he got his lump of sugar, all was right with the world and he could attend business meetings after lunch. "Do you really think something exotic got loose from someone's menagerie?"
Isabelle started on her third cookie. "I think it was Kyros coming back for you. You're old enough now to soothe his savage breast."
Beauty counted to three. She wanted to be patient, but she couldn't keep it up at the rate Isabelle was going. "Do you really believe that legend?"
Isabelle looked into the living room. Sean was still upstairs, probably in the bathroom. "I certainly do," she finally said.
"What? Isabelle, you can't be serious!"
Isabelle nodded. "I saw him once too, remember. I was eighteen. That man's eyes could melt your clothes off. He looked at me as if he couldn't decide which way he wanted to eat me."
"What?" Beauty asked. She had no idea what her sister meant. Was she scared of Kyros? She'd always seemed to have a huge crush on him.
Isabelle rolled her eyes. "My dirty mind is wasted on you. I mean, he couldn't decide if he wanted to turn into a beast and hunt me like a deer or, you know, eat me." She gave Beauty a pointed look.
"Okay. I get it now. Thanks for the image," she said sarcastically. Why did Isabelle always have to talk about sex? And think about sex? Wasn't she busy enough actually having sex? Maybe not since Vincent had been gone. Beauty had to admit that might be a little unfair because Isabelle never brought men home or spent the night elsewhere, so Beauty really didn't know how many she slept with or how often. But what else can a girl assume when her older sister talks about sex like it's her lifeblood?
Isabelle sighed. "I'll never get his eyes out of my head. I don't know how old he is, but he's gorgeous. If only he weren't cursed."
"We're just going to have to agree to disagree here. The next time I see a limo with tiger pawprints on the door, I'll let you know."
"It's a panther. He changes into a big panther. All black and sleek and powerful."
Beauty wanted to be angry, but instead she laughed. "You've given him some thought, haven't you?"
Isabelle smiled. "I was intrigued. I wanted to get the real scoop." She finished her milk and shoved Beauty's toward her. "Drink your milk. It will help you sleep."
Beauty took a sip, and then finally took a cookie from the plate before turning to the window again.
"Don't worry, hon," Isabelle said. "If Kyros really comes prowling around, escaping is the last thing you'll want to do."
Beauty held her glass of milk up and tilted it in a threatening manner. "Just go. I'm fine."
Isabelle giggled and scurried upstairs, leaving Beauty staring out the window and thinking of Kyros Rayland's dark eyes.