Blazing Bedtime Stories, Volume IV



THIS WAS THE LAST PLACE he needed to be.

The warning echoed in Rayne Montana’s head as he stood in the shadows outside the Iron Horseshoe—a small bar and grill that sat on the outskirts of Skull Creek, Texas. He was only in town for a week. The fewer locals he ran into, the better.Hell, the fewer people he came into contact with, the better.

At the same time, the Horseshoe was the only decent bar in his map dot of a hometown, and pretty much the only place on a Tuesday night that a man could find a woman.

And Rayne needed a woman in the worst possible way.

He pushed through the door, into the neon-lit interior. Anticipation hit him like a sucker punch to the gut. Hotter and more potent than anything he’d ever felt before, and he’d always been a lusty man.

It was different now.

He was different.

His body vibrated. His muscles clenched. His senses magnified, his perception heightened to a new level that had nothing to do with fourteen years of special ops training as part of an elite Navy SEAL unit, and everything to do with the hunger that now lived and breathed inside him.

He was clear across the room, yet his nostrils flared with the rich lilac scent of a woman sitting near the jukebox. His razor-sharp vision sliced through the cigarette haze to see a tiny spiderweb near the far corner of the tin ceiling. Taylor Swift blared from the jukebox, but the song didn’t drown out the subtle slide of boots against the sawdust-covered floor.

He heard everything—the glub-glub as a man chugged a beer near the pool table, the sizzle of burgers popping on the grill out back, the hum of the Coors sign that flickered on the wall, the sharp intake of breath when the woman behind the bar turned and spotted him.

He stiffened and awareness skittered up his spine. He turned and found the bluest eyes in the Texas Hill Country staring back at him.

Need knifed through him. Fierce. Overwhelming. Unexpected.

Because she wasn’t just one of the dozens of women he’d had in the past few weeks as he’d tried to sate the craving deep in his gut.

She was the one woman he’d wanted all of his life.

The one woman who hadn’t wanted him.

She turned and took off for the back room, obviously desperate to avoid him. His chest tightened and pain twisted inside him. A crazy reaction, he knew. So what if Lucy Rivers still hated his guts?

He wasn’t here for her.

She’d been his girl way back in the day and he’d been her man, but that had ended a long, long time ago. He hadn’t seen her in the fourteen years since. Hell, he didn’t want to see her.

Especially now.

He ignored the small voice that whispered otherwise and forced his attention back to the sharp need pushing and pulling inside him. Walking the few feet to an empty table, he grabbed a chair and sank down, his back to the wall.

He scoped out the room, his gaze going to a blonde that sat nearby. The minute his attention zeroed in on her, she felt him. She turned. Her brown eyes collided with his. Interest sparked in her gaze and her thoughts rolled through his head as clearly as if they’d been his own.

Her name was Sherry and she was a local real-estate agent. She’d just sold her first house this afternoon and she was here celebrating. She’d left the husband and the kids at home and she was now on her fourth margarita. She’d never had an affair before, but the minute her gaze locked with Rayne’s she was suddenly more than willing.

She would gladly peel off her clothes. Spread her legs. Do any and everything he wanted—

He broke the connection and shifted his attention elsewhere. As starved as he was, he wasn’t about to add bastard home wrecker to his ever-growing list of sins. His gaze went to the next woman.

She had red hair. Green eyes. Nice smile. Her name was different, but her reaction was the same. She wanted him.

They all did.

He shifted his attention from one female to the next. Some smiled. Some licked their lips. Others waved. One even leaned over just so, giving him a spectacular view of her bare breasts topped with rosy-red nipples.

There was no doubt. They wanted sex.

And he wanted it, too.

As fiercely as he wanted the succulent heat of their blood in his mouth, gliding down his throat, filling his body.

A vampire.

He still had trouble wrapping his mind around the concept, but there was no other explanation for what had happened to him that night two weeks ago in the Afghan mountains outside Kabul.

For what was happening to him.

Right here. Right now.

His body ached. His insides knotted and twisted. Electricity skimmed up and down his arms, making him feel more alive than ever before. Ironic considering he was stone-cold dead.

He had been. For those few brief moments before he’d swallowed the blood of his attacker, he’d been limp. Lifeless.

No more. A few ravenous sips and he’d turned into something dark. Dangerous.

A vampire who fed off blood and sex.

But not tonight.

Tonight was about drinking in the sweet, decadent energy of a woman’s climax. He’d figured out early on that if he did that, he could escape the bloodlust a little longer and keep his fangs to himself.


His attention shifted to the doorway where Lucy had disappeared. The urge to go after her hit him hard and fast even though he’d learned his lesson long ago where she was concerned. He’d trusted her and she’d broken his heart.

She’d dumped him without a word of explanation. Just a quick “It’s over” that had cut like a dull blade straight into his heart. And damned if he’d ever understood why.

Sure, he’d wanted to ask.

To plead and beg even.

But where some kids had been raised with nice clothes and good food and a loving family, Rayne had grown up the son of an alcoholic father and a neglectful mother. He’d had nothing but his pride. And so he’d kept his distance until he’d left for West Point.

He hadn’t looked back since.

But things had changed in the past few weeks.

He’d changed, and the only person likely to do any begging, should they come face-to-face, would be little Miss Lucy.

For his kiss.

His touch.

His cock.

His body stirred and he grew harder. Hungrier. In spite of it all, she had given him some of the best sex of his life. She’d been as wild as he’d been, and just as uninhibited. Together they’d been explosive.

A perfect match.

Or so he’d thought.

Memories stirred and images rolled through his head. He saw Lucy’s smiling face. Felt her small hand in his. Heard the sweet sound of her laughter.

His chest tightened and bitterness welled inside him, along with something else. A deep-seated curiosity. She might have faked being happy with him, but had she faked the chemistry, too?



Get over it, buddy.

Solid advice, he knew. But while she’d made it more than clear at the end that she felt zilch for him emotionally, he couldn’t help but wonder if she would still react to him physically.

If she would squirm when he bit her nipple and dig her nails into his shoulders when he licked her clit and gasp when he plunged hilt deep inside her.

There was only one way to find out.

He pushed to his feet and went after her.


The truth snapped at Lucy’s heels and followed her through the rear exit and out into the gravel parking lot behind the bar. Panic punched her in the chest as she leaned back against the building. Her palms flattened against the cool tin and she tried to calm her pounding heart.What the hell was wrong with her?

She was Lucy Rivers. She didn’t run from men. Hell, she liked men. Maybe not as often as some might think, but enough to feed the bad-girl reputation she’d inherited from her late mother and older sister.

Then again, this wasn’t just any man.

This was the man. The one who’d made her tummy quiver and her knees quake.

Fourteen years ago, she reminded herself. No way should he have the same effect now.

Her traitorous hands trembled and she stiffened.

Okay, so her body was definitely in overdrive, but not because she was still hooked on him. It was simply the shock of seeing him out of the blue that had her heart pounding so fiercely.

He’d been so busy all these years with the military—first West Point, then special ops training, then mission after mission. He’d been too busy to come home to Texas. Not that he would have wanted to. His father had been a bastard and his mother hadn’t been much better. It was no wonder Rayne hadn’t bothered to show up when the old man had passed away three years ago from a heart attack.

Shortly after that, Rayne’s mother had abandoned the run-down farm, packed up and moved to Arizona with some guy she’d picked up at a truck stop. With his only family gone, he’d had no ties to Skull Creek and so Lucy had given up on ever having to face him.


That was what had her pulse racing and her hands shaking and her nipples throbbing.

“That, or maybe you’re just glad to see me.”

His deep, sultry voice came from out of nowhere, whispering through her head, sending her hormones into a tizzy. Lucy knew then that she could no longer avoid a confrontation. The time had come.

Rayne Montana was finally here.

And he was standing right behind her.


LUCY TRIED TO CALM her frantic heart as she turned to face him, but it was useless. Seeing him up close was even more of a jolt than when he’d walked in the bar.

He was taller than she remembered. His dark hair much shorter, cropped close to his head in typical military fashion. A plain white cotton T-shirt outlined his broad shoulders and heavily muscled arms. A pair of silver dog tags hung around his neck. A black slave band tattoo encircled one thick bicep and peeked from beneath the edge of his sleeve. He wore faded jeans and dusty cowboy boots and an air of danger that made her pulse race.A day’s growth of stubble shadowed his jaw and outlined his sensuous mouth. Aqua-blue eyes, as deep as the Caribbean and just as intoxicating, stared back at her and her stomach hollowed out. He looked so decadently sexy that she could have eaten him up with a spoon.

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