Taken by Midnight (Chapter Twenty-eight)

Jenna had never seen Brock so quiet.

He and the other warriors had returned a short time ago, accompanied by Lazaro Archer and his grandson. The relief surrounding the boy's rescue was severely dampened by the cost at which it had come. While arrangements were made to accommodate the new arrivals at the compound and get them cleaned up and settled, Brock and the other warriors on tonight's mission had dispersed to their own quarters.

Brock had hardly uttered a word since he'd returned. He'd been covered in blood and grime, his face drawn taut with tension and not a little horror for what he and his brethren had witnessed during the recovery of the boy. Jenna had walked with him back to the room they now shared and had since been sitting on the edge of the bed alone, staring at the closed bathroom door while he ran the shower on the other side.

She didn't know if he'd welcome company or preferred his solitude, but after hearing about what had occurred on his patrol, she found she couldn't sit idle when he might be hurting on the other side of the closed door.

She walked over and tested the latch. It wasn't locked, so she cracked it open and peered inside.

Brock was naked under the steaming spray, his glyph- covered back toward the door, hands fisted and pressed against the shower wall in front of him. Although she didn't see any wounds on him, the water ran in red trails down his dark skin before swirling into the drain at his feet.

"May I come in?" she asked softly.

He didn't reply, but he didn't tell her to leave him alone, either. She entered, shutting the door behind her. She didn't need to ask him if he was all right. Despite that he seemed physically unharmed, every thick muscle in his broad back was bunched with tension. His arms were trembling, his head bent low against his chest.

"An entire family was blown to bits tonight," he murmured, his voice rough and raw with restrained emotion. "That kid's life is never gonna be the same."

"I know," she whispered, drawing nearer.

He lifted his face into the hot cascade of water, then slicked a hand over the top of his head. "I tell you, there are times when I don't think I can handle all of the goddamned pain and death."

"That's what makes you human," she said, then laughed quietly to herself at how easy it was to think of him as a man–her man–despite all the things that made him something more than that.

Hell, it was getting hard to think of herself as being purely human anymore. She was morphing into something she didn't quite understand–

more and more every day–but she was growing less afraid of the changes taking place within her. They were making her stronger, giving her a renewed sense of purpose … a rebirth.

She found herself looking forward to the chance to have a different life. A new life, perhaps right here in this place. Perhaps with Brock at her side.

After the last time she'd been in his arms, she realized she was less afraid of the feelings she had for him, too.

It was that lack of fear that prompted her to take off her top and step out of her loose yoga pants. Her bra and panties went next, discarded on the floor as she walked into the shower with Brock and wrapped her arms around his strong back.

He tensed at the contact, drawing in a sharp breath. But then his arms came down over hers and he held her there, his big hands warm and soothing as he caressed her. "I'm filthy from the mission, Jenna."

"I don't care," she said, pressing a trail of kisses to the smooth, muscled arch of his spine. His dermaglyphs pulsed with deepening color.

"Let me take care of you for a change."

She pulled her arms from around him and took the bar of soap from the shower shelf. He stayed unmoving as she filled her hands with lather, then began to gently smooth the suds over his immense shoulders and bulky biceps. She washed his strong back, then slowly let her hands drift down, past his tight waist, to the sides of his lean hips.

She felt the powerful twitch of his body as she reached around to the front of him, her soap-slicked hands skirting the edge of his groin. He was erect even before she got there, moaning as she splayed her fingers around the base of his cock, teasing but not yet touching. She brought her hands around and gathered more lather, then crouched down behind him to wash the lengths of his legs.

He shuddered as she dragged her soapy fingers back up his thighs, pressing her body flush against him as she rose, slippery from the suds that still lingered on his skin. She wrapped one arm around the front of his waist, her other hand reaching down to stroke his hard shaft. He growled a dark curse as she caressed him, his sex swelling even greater in her grasp.

She found a rhythm that seemed to please him, and she worked it mercilessly, delighting in the feel of his body's response to her touch. With a low moan, he leaned forward to brace one elbow against the shower wall in front of him. "Ah, fuck, Jenna … I love your hands on me."

She smiled at his praise, losing herself in his pleasure as she stroked him harder, more intensely. He grunted, his sex kicking in the tight hold of her pistoning fist. Then, before she could make him lose all control, he hissed a raw curse from between his gritted teeth and fangs.

He flipped around to face her. His erect cock rose up past his navel, hard as steel but hot as a flame when he dragged her against him, his big hands firm on her upper arms, his hold possessive and fierce. His handsome face was drawn in sharper angles in the throes of his passion, his eyes as bright as glowing coals, his fangs stark white and enormous, deadly sharp.

Jenna licked her lips, her throat suddenly gone dry with need.

He knew what she wanted. She could read his understanding as surely as he'd read the hungered look in her own eyes.

He lifted her off her feet, guiding her legs around his waist as he carried her out of the bathroom and toward the big bed in the other room.

Their bodies were wet, still slick in places from errant suds as they flopped onto the mattress together in an intimate tangle.

He kept her thighs wrapped around him as he rolled onto his back, settling her on top of him. He thrust inside her, filling her up so perfectly.

She tipped her head back and exhaled a slow, pleasured sigh as he seated himself to the hilt beneath her.

"You're so beautiful," he murmured, his touch roaming all over her sensitive flesh.

She opened her eyes and stared down at him. "I want to be beautiful to you. That's how you make me feel." She held his unwavering amber-flecked gaze, forcing herself to not shy away from the emotion that was swamping her. She felt safe with him. Safe enough to tell him what was in her heart. "I feel happy, Brock, for the first time in a very long time. Because of you, I'm feeling so many things …"

"Jenna," he murmured, frowning now, his expression turning very serious.

She forged on, having already stepped past the edge of this cliff and determined to take it all the way down. "I know you said you don't like complications or long-term relationships. I know you said you don't want to get involved–"

"I am involved," he said, running his hands down her sides, resting them on her hips where their bodies were intimately joined. He rocked into her slowly. "It doesn't get more involved than this. God, I never planned on you, Jenna. I thought I was playing it safe, but you've changed everything."

His touch was light as he caressed her cheek and jawline. "I don't have the answers when it comes to you … to us … and what we have together."

She swallowed, shaking her head in mute denial.

"I didn't want to fall in love," she whispered. "I didn't think I could ever again."

He held her in a tender gaze. "And I told myself I wouldn't."

Jenna parted her lips, uncertain what she meant to say. An instant later, it didn't matter. Brock drew her down to him and kissed her, wrapping her in his arms. His mouth pressed hers, his tongue pushing past her lips and driving her mad with the need for more. She ground against his hips, heat flaring brighter in her core and flowing out to her every nerve ending.

She rose up, panting now, unable to keep from moving on him as her need swelled to a fever pitch.

"You're in control, baby," he said, his voice thick and raspy. "Take whatever you want."

She eyed his throat, watching the vein that pulsed so strongly at the side of his neck. Hunger kicked deep inside her, startling her with its ferocity. She pulled her gaze away and met the glittering heat of his transformed eyes.

"Anything," he said, looking more than eager for her to have her way with him.

She rocked on him, savoring the feel of their joined bodies, and half dizzy from arousal already. Her orgasm roared up on her quickly. She tried to stave it off, but sensation flooded her as she rode the heat and power of Brock's sex.

He watched her with avid interest, his lips pulled back off his fangs, the ropelike tendons in his neck strung tight as he arched his shoulders up off the bed. Jenna couldn't keep her eyes from the frantic beat of his pulse. It echoed in her bones, in her own veins. In the impatient rhythm of her body as she shuddered with the sudden detonation of her release.

"Yeah," he groaned, splaying his hands at her back and not letting her draw away when the hunger bore down on her like a tidal wave. "Let it go, Jenna. Anything you want."

With a snarled cry she couldn't hold back, she buried her face in the side of his neck and bit down hard. Blood surged into her mouth, hot and thick and spicy-sweet.

Brock hissed a rough curse that sounded anything but sorry. His body shook as he drove deeper inside her, every hard thrust increasing her pleasure, driving her hunger to even greater heights. He shouted as his orgasm racked him, his strong pulse drumming against the tip of her tongue as Jenna closed her lips around his open vein and began to drink.