The last vestiges of Ryder’s nightmare faded away, helped along by the honeyed peach scent of Jamison stretched above him. He knew he was still dreaming, knew in a few minutes he would open his eyes and these moments of peace would be gone. But for now he would take the comfort this Dream Jamison was offering and lose himself in it. Revel in it.
Taking a deep breath, he held her scent deep inside of himself as he battled once again to put the specters of his past behind him. It was an unwinnable fight, one that was tearing him apart a little more with each day that passed. But he had to try, had to search for just a small reprievefrom the pain of all the ways he’d failed and all the things he’d done wrong.
Above him, Jamison crooned wordless sounds of comfort. Her fingers combed gently through his hair, smoothing the tangled mess of it from his face. He stiffened for a second—it had been so long since he’d taken solace from anyone that at first he didn’t know how to accept what she was offering. But eventually he relaxed, gave himself up to her.
How could he do anything else when her touch was soothing him in a way nothing else had in far too long? He had no idea why she was here, now, in his dreams, but he wasn’t going to question it. And he sure as hell wasn’t going to give her up, not when he could feel the tension and self-loathing slowly leaking away, burying themselves deep inside of himself where he kept them locked away when he was conscious. The absence of pain, even for a little while, felt amazing.
He wasn’t sure how long he lay there, lost in the unfamiliar relief of having Jamison surround him. But he was grateful for every second the dream went on. She didn’t move, barely breathed, just wrapped herself around him and let him absorb her warmth and tenderness. It had been so long since he’d felt these emotions, even longer since he’d let himself accept them.
But nothing lasted forever, especially not dreams. It was how he’d gotten through every night of the last decade since Carrie had died—by knowing that eventually day would come and his nightmare would end.
This was different. He didn’t want it to end, didn’t want to leave behind the serenity he was feeling. But Jamison started to squirm a little, her body moving over and against his until a different heat started to build between them.
He groaned at the feel of her, tightened his hand on her hip and pulled her closer until her sex ended up centered directly above his cock. He would hate himself for this dream later, for reducing Jared’s little sister to the basest sexual fantasy, but right now it felt so good that he couldn’t stop himself. Couldn’t resist. Besides, it wasn’t real. No one else had to know what twisted, fucked-up ideas went on inside his head. This was just one more thing for him to add to the pile of his self-loathing.
But later. Much later.
Arching his hips, he ground himself against her seductive wetness and reveled in the shivers she didn’t even try to hide. Her hard little nipples stabbed at him through the thin material of her shirt and his mouth watered with the need to taste. To lick. To suck.
He slid his hand up her rib cage. He wanted to see her, to find out if her nipples were the same delicate pink as her lips. As his fingers skimmed against the underside of her breast, she jerked against him, gasped.
He liked the sound, wanted to hear her make it again, so he flicked his thumb over her nipple. Once, twice. Then again and again until her entire body was trembling.
“Ryder, what are you doing?” she demanded, her voice breaking on the last word.
He had no fucking clue. But it felt so good he didn’t want to stop. Not now. Not ever. Bringing his other hand to her hip, he pressed Jamison more firmly against him even as he swiveled his hips. Pleasure—sharp, powerful, overwhelming—shot through him at the contact and he groaned with the need for more. With the need for everything.
He wanted her, wanted Jamison, and suddenly no one else would do. Not when his brain was filled with images of kissing and touching and fucking every part of her with every part of him.
He wanted to tie her up, to have her completely at his mercy as he gave her as much pleasure as she could stand.
Wanted to bend her over the arm of this couch and fuck her until she couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t see anyone but him.
Wanted to sit her on his face and lick up every drop of her honeyed sweetness until she came, screaming his name.
It wouldn’t take much. He could smell her arousal, could feel the wet heat of her even through the thin cotton of her panties and his pajama pants.
The thought gave him pause for the first time since his nightmare had shifted into this much more pleasant erotic dream. What the hell was his subconscious up to? Why was Jamison wearing panties? And why the fuck was he in pajama bottoms? She should be naked, her sex wet and open to him so that he could slide right in—
“Ryder!” She was gasping now, her fingers tangling in his hair, tugging at him, even as her lower body rocked gently against his. “Are you awake? Are you—”
He darted his tongue out to lick at the hollow of her throat. Mmm. She tasted as good as he’d hoped. He nipped at her collarbone and the sensitive skin of her neck, then used his tongue to lave away the small stings. Her heart was going crazy, beating so hard and fast that he could feel it against his chest even as he traced the frantic pulse at the base of her throat. He appreciated her excitement—reveled in it, in fact—but again found it strange that her physical responses felt so real.
And then her fingers were in his hair, tightening to the point of pain. Her other hand slapped against his chest as she tried to shove herself up and away from him. His arms went around her back and he tightened his hold, trying to keep her—to keep the dream—from slipping away. He didn’t want to go back to the cold, didn’t want to be alone anymore. Not when the dream Jamison had showed him just how much he was missing.
But she was insistent, her voice urgent now as she called his name. “Ryder. Ryder! Come on, Ryder, wake up for me. Open your eyes.”
She shook his shoulder, pulled at his hair, and the last vestiges of his dream fell away.
With a groan of dismay, he pushed himself into a sitting position. But something was off. There was a soft, warm weight on his lap, pressing against his chest. A soft, warm, womanly weight.
Alarm jolted through him, chasing away the last of his sleepiness. He flipped open his eyes, tried to focus on the concerned face only inches from him. And that’s when he knew. None of the last few minutes—hours?—had been a dream. Jamison was on his lap. Her knees were straddling his hips. And her sex, her soft, damp, glorious sex, was nestled intimately against his cock.
Jared was going to kill him. That is if Ryder didn’t do the job first himself.