Heat of the Storm Page 1

Author: Elle Kennedy

Series: Out of Uniform #3

Genres: Romance

Chapter One

Wicked hands.

Wet tongue.

Body aching, pulsing, throbbing.

The erotic images jolted Mackenzie Wade out of an already agitated sleep. Outside her rambling old ranch house, the wind howled, slapped against the shingles of the ancient roof and shook the walls with a ferocity that had her heart pounding faster. Rain slid over the windowpanes, leaving wet streaks on the glass, and the ominous rumbling of thunder and white flashes of lightning were a startling combination of light and dark, silence and chaos.

She hated storms. When she was a kid, the arrival of a thunderstorm would send her running into her older sister’s bedroom, where she’d burrow under the covers with Alice, shut her eyes and wait for the powerful display of nature to subside.

Nowadays she didn’t cower. Tonight’s storm was violent, but it wasn’t what woke her. Oh no. The carnal vision was responsible for that.

It wasn’t a vision.

She said the words in her head a few times, hoping the repetition would convince her wired brain the images that had just flashed through it were not of the psychic variety. But both mind and body refused to accept it.

The physical symptoms were there—dizziness, numbness in her fingers and toes, the burning in her temples that was neither painful nor pleasant. Her brain also showed signs of extrasensory activity. She could practically feel it humming, synapses and neurotransmitters crackling and hissing.

It wasn’t a vision.

With a sigh, she hopped out of bed and headed for the door. The hardwood floor under her bare feet was icy, prompting her to slip into a pair of thick wool socks before descending the stairs and heading for the kitchen.

She brewed herself a cup of herbal tea and leaned against the large cedar work island in the middle of the country-style room.

Warm lips dragging over fevered flesh…

“No,” she whispered.

It was too late. Her body reacted instantly. Nipples hardened into tight peaks, thighs trembled, stomach clenched. For God’s sake. It wasn’t like she was hard up for sex or anything. She’d only broken up with Dan a couple of weeks ago. Her body shouldn’t be this hungry.

Just a dream, she told herself. Because no way would she have had a vision about Will Charleston. Will, for God’s sake. Her best friend. The one man in her life she’d always been able to count on. He was the broad shoulder she leaned on, the ear she whispered her secrets into, the arms that caught her when she fell. He wasn’t the man she’d envisioned having wild animal sex with. He couldn’t be.

Even after years of living with this gift—and she used the term loosely—she still wasn’t entirely sure how it worked. The images came and went. Sometimes a mundane detail, like the image of Amy, the owner of the bakery, burning a rack of brownies. Other times the images were more troubling. A car accident, her neighbor Mrs. Harrison breaking her back, a death. Visions of the future and always the future of others—she’d never seen herself in a vision.

Which meant that it had all been a dream. A figment of her imagination. She’d only imagined her naked body sprawled across cool white sheets, devoured by Will’s talented mouth and eager hands. Only imagined the delicious stretching of her body as his thick c**k penetrated her, thrust into her, drove her over the edge.

A dream.

A wicked dream that wasn’t going to come true. Especially not tonight.

She sipped her tea, the hot liquid warming her insides. The storm continued to rage, the wind shrieked, the rain pounded.

The pounding grew louder. It took a moment to realize that it wasn’t the rain after all. Someone was knocking on the door.

Wariness climbed up her throat like a vine. She’d taken two steps toward the kitchen doorway when her eyesight blurred. Temples throbbed. Light-headed. Numb.

Long fingers gripping her ass, digging into her flesh.

Hot mouth clasping over a rigid nipple.

I want you, Mackenzie. Now. Always.

She swallowed hard. What was happening? She couldn’t shut out the mental assault, the seductive images prickling at her mind like dozens of little bee stings.

The knocking grew incessant.

Sucking in a breath, she walked to the front door and reached for the knob. Her fingers froze over the metal as a rush of heat suddenly torpedoed into her and settled between her legs.

“Who’s there?” she called shakily.

“Mac, open up. I’m getting drenched out here.”

Droplets of rain sprinkling onto her lips.

Tongues tangling.

No. Oh God, no.

“Let me in, Mackenzie.”

She slowly opened the door then stepped aside as a very wet Will Charleston pushed his way inside.

“What are you doing here?” she blurted. “It’s past midnight. And in case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a hurricane out there.”

“Thunderstorm,” he corrected. “It was a bitch driving all the way out here from Coronado in this rain, but I needed to see you.”

Her mouth grew dry. “Why? What’s so important that you risked getting into a car accident over?”

“I think you know.”

Four words. Smoky with seduction and shrouded with erotic promise.

This couldn’t be happening.

And yet everything about the situation, everything about him, spoke otherwise.

His dark eyes glimmered with passion. His sensual mouth was set in a firm line, his defined jaw tight, as if he’d come here prepared for her to fight him. She’d never seen Will like this before. Raw masculinity seemed to ooze out of his pores. It teased her, taunted at her, wrapped around her like a lover’s touch and caused every nerve in her body to tingle.

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