Read Destined for love Online

Authors: Diane Thorne

Destined for love (page 3)

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“I’m sorry, I…” She scratched her head and looked up at Mark. “How did I find you? Maybe I did hit my head.”

Mark chuckled and showed a perfect set of white teeth. “What’s your name, sweetie?”

Her pulse quickened and she felt flushed. He’d called her sweetie. “Valerie. Val for short.”

James rose and held out his hand to help her. “Val, we’re here to help you.”

Help her? How did they know she needed help? Considering how her day had been one heaping pile of crap, she wasn’t about to refuse assistance from a stunning man—especially not from two of them.

She accepted his offer of help, and he gently pulled her to her feet.

“Careful,” James said.

“I really am fine. I think.” She looked from one man to the other. They were models—heart-thumpingly attractive and were making her hornier by the second. How on earth did she get lucky enough to find them?

Mark stepped closer to her. “Maybe we should take you home.”

“That’s a good idea,” James said. “We can discuss this at your place and clear everything up.”

“Clear everything up?” Confusion picked at her brain.What did he mean?

He grinned. “Come on. We won’t hurt you. I give you my word.”

Mark walked along her other side, holding the beer bottle. “Do you feel all right, love? One of us can carry you.”

The headache she’d lost earlier slowly returned.Sweetie? Love?Clear things up and carry her? On top of all that, James had given his word they wouldn’t hurt her. Something terrible had gone wrong. She had to be dead. But if she was in heaven, why bother going to her car, or apartment? Two attractive men were escorting her and her hormones were running wild. Why not take advantage of the opportunity and have fun?

Val quickly answered her own question. Things were never what they seemed. The evidence lay in the bottle Mark was carrying. Perhaps she’d blacked out and the two men had been walking along, drinking, and had found her.

“This is very strange,” she said, rubbing her temple to ease the growing ache.

“Does your head hurt?” James brought her to a stop. He turned her to face him then placed his hands on the sides of her face. “Let me help you.”

Val stood frozen while he gently massaged her forehead with his thumbs. Each swirling motion generated a soft wave that soothed her mind, similar to the way the sound of the ocean brought her peace. She felt relaxed within seconds, and free from worry. Hell, she felt ready to melt in his arms if he kept touching her. And he did. When he tenderly caressed her with his fingers, electrical tingles spread through her body. Her nipples ached and moisture dampened her panties.

“Relax, Val. We’re here to help you.” James’ voice sounded soft, seductive and as smooth as honey.

Mark slid his arm around her waist and lifted her off the ground. “Don’t fight it, sweetheart. Just relax.”

James took the beer bottle from Mark. “Just tell us where to find your car and let us do the rest.”

When Mark started walking, Val locked her arms around his neck. “But don’t fall asleep on us. You’ll still need to give us directions to your place.”

Could she fall asleep in the arms of an attractive man with another one nearby? Never. Her body had awakened from James’ touch. She yearned for more, and she wanted to know about the two gorgeous men.

“Keep walking, and I’ll tell you when to head for the top of the hill. It’s quite a ways. Are you sure—?”

He chuckled. “I could carry you for days and never grow tired. You’re a flower to me, delicate, beautiful, and in need of love.”

That did it. She knew right then that she’d died. No man had ever said such a thing to her. She didn’t know if she should kiss him or cry.

“I’m dead, right? Something happened, and I died.”

“You’re far from dead, sweetheart,” Mark said, smiling. “Far from it.”

“Who are you?”

“Think of us as your knights in shining armour,” James said. “You want something, and we give it to you.”

She pressed her lips together while her mind processed his words. Her wants were growing by the second. Sure, she wanted a job, a home, and fewer worries in her life, but, in the arms of such a handsome man, her body longed for attention.

“Where did you come from?” she asked.

“You won’t believe me if I tell you,” Mark answered. “And it’s not really important. All you need to know is we’re here to help you.”

“Help me how?”

“However you wish,” James said.

Too strange. “If I want you to clean my apartment, or go shopping for me, you’ll do it?”

James smiled. “If that is what you wish.”

If I'm not dead, am I dreaming?But why would he continue to carry an empty beer bottle in my dream? Did he want to discard it properly just as I did?It was a rational possibility. Even in dreams, morals and values revealed a bit of truth about a person.

“You’ve had a long day. The best thing for you to do is relax and rest,” Mark said.

“You have no idea the kind of day I’ve had.”

His lips stretched into a sly grin. “Darling, bad luck happens to everyone.”

“I lost my job, my boyfriend, and my home, all in less than twenty-four hours. If you hang around me for too long, something bad might happen to you.”

He tilted his head back as he laughed. “Oh, you are truly a unique one. Don’t worry, love, nothing will happen to us.”

She kept her mouth shut and gazed into Mark’s hazel eyes. For several long minutes, he stared back.He’s a stranger, yet I feel safe with him. Why? Why am I not freaking out?

She mentally laughed at herself. She didn't know the answer but she knew with certainty that, if Mark kissed her, she’d strip her clothes off and let him have his way with her, regardless of the fact that he was a stranger. The smoking hot man titillated her core with his words and beautiful eyes.

“I’m glad you found us,” Mark said.

She gave him a confused look. “How did I find you?”

“This.” James lifted the bottle.

“It’s a beer bottle someone forgot to throw in the trash.” Surely, he had to be joking. How could a liquor container have brought them together?

“This is more than a mere bottle,” James said.

“Darling, that glass is our home.”

 

Chapter Three

 

 

 

Val gripped the wheel as she drove to her apartment. James had tried to talk her into letting him drive so she could relax in the back with Mark. It was a very tempting offer, but, after hearing Mark’s words about their home being the glass bottle, she had decided to put her feet on the ground and wake up to reality.How could they live in a beer bottle?These men have to be drunk or crazy. But they don’t reek of alcohol and they don’t act stupid or immature like a drunk would. They’re kind and compassionate. Maybe I’m the crazy one. Damn, their cinnamon scent makes me want to roll my tongue down the muscles along their torsos. I need to know more about them.

After they had reached her car, she took the reins in the driver’s seat, Mark sat in the back, and James rode next to her.

“Do you live alone?” James asked, his head at an angle as if he had been watching her closely.

“Yes.”

“And you lost your boyfriend?”

“Well, he left me.”

Mark peered between the seats. “The man was a fool. You are much better off without him.”

She glanced over her shoulder then back at the road. Who was this stranger sitting in the back seat? He knew nothing about her. How could he possibly know she was better off without Thomas?

“Mark’s right. Any decent man wouldn’t give up such a beautiful woman.”

James smiled and a tingle spread straight to her sex. She brought her thighs closer together.

“But you don’t know me. I could be some crazy person, a serial killer, or someone who hasn’t cleaned their toilet in months. Maybe I gave him a good reason to leave.”

Mark chuckled. “Oh, I love your sense of humour. You are a special one.”

Val shook her head. If they knew how unique she was with all her bad luck, they’d run.

“Do you have a home nearby?” she asked. “Do you want me to drop you off somewhere?”

James bent slightly then lifted the bottle from the floor. “This is our home, and right now, we’d rather stay with you for a while.”

She tightened her grasp on the steering wheel. Why did they continue to make up such a strange story? “A bottle is your home? Seriously?”

“We’ll explain it when we get to your place.” James handed the glass to Mark.

Val inhaled a deep breath. The explanation had better be a good one, or she would have to consider calling the police. They hadn’t done anything to harm her, but, the way her day had gone, she wasn’t about to let her guard down.

From the interstate, she took the main roads to her cosy little town. She glanced in the rear-view mirror a few times to check on Mark. He seemed curious as he stared out of the window, as if he was a visitor in a strange city. Unusual. She looked at James, and unlike Mark, he had his attention focused on her.

“You have nothing to fear from us,” James said as she flipped on her signal.

She brought the car to a stop, and waited for the traffic to clear. “You say that, but you claim you live in a beer bottle. I’m sorry, but that’s not normal. Either I am in some kind of warped dream, or you’re crazy.”

The last car passed by, then she turned down the side street. Finding an empty space, she parallel-parked then cut the engine.

James reached over and placed his hand on top of hers as she withdrew the key from the ignition. “Can you feel my hand?”

His warmth spread up her arm, giving her a slight chill down her spine.

“What does it feel like?”

“Warm,” she replied.

“You’re not dreaming, and we’re not crazy. This is real. You just need to open your mind and accept it.”

Mark appeared from between the seats. “I don’t know about you two, but I am starving. Can we go now?”

James slid his hand from hers. As she sat for a few seconds, watching him exit the vehicle, she considered his words. She’d felt his soft touch and his warmth, just as she had earlier when he’d massaged her forehead. The man was real, solid flesh and gorgeous. And he didn’t seem crazy. Maybe she was.

Carrying her purse in one hand and keys in the other, she met up with the duo on the sidewalk, then headed for her apartment building. Mark reached the entrance before her and opened the door.

She led them up the stairs to her apartment. Voices spilled into the hall from next door. It sounded as if her neighbours were watchingThe Simpsonson television.

Val unlocked her door then entered her humble abode. She dropped her purse and keys on the coffee table before turning to face James and Mark.

“Welcome to my home. Would you like something to drink?”

Mark moseyed into her kitchen. He set the beer bottle on the counter. “What have you got?”

She passed James and headed for the refrigerator. Although she hadn’t been to the store in a week, she was certain she had a few bottles of water she could offer.

Mark made it to the refrigerator before her and opened the door. After a two-second glimpse, he turned to her with a look of horror. “Is this all you have?”

She peered over the door and glanced inside. The shelves were empty except for two containers of leftovers and a couple of bottles of water at the bottom. Since visitors rarely stopped by, she hadn’t bothered to stock her shelves with much food, drink, or even liquor.

“I’m sorry. I haven’t been to the grocery store in a while. I wish I had more to offer you.”

Behind her, she heard a snap. A second later, a cool breeze brushed over her and chilled her flesh. Rubbing her arms, she turned to face James.

“What was that noise?”

James stepped closer, sliding his hand over the counter. “Just snapping my fingers.”

“Ah, excellent,” Mark said.

 She twisted to face him.

Mark withdrew a large steak and held it to where she could see it. “My favourite.”

Val stared in fright. “Where did you get that?”

She peered into the refrigerator and found it fully stocked with food. “What the hell?”

“If you want something to eat, we can fix it for you,” James said.

She turned and saw him holding her cabinet doors open. Boxes and cans filled the shelves. She was certain only a few canned items had been there this morning.

“Where did all this food come from?”

“You wished for it.” Mark set the steak on the counter. He opened another cabinet door and withdrew a bottle of champagne. “Let’s celebrate.”

Val stared into his dazzling eyes. The word ‘wish’ had slipped out of her mouth.It was a harmless word. I’ve said it plenty of times and nothing happened before. Why now? How did the food get here? Where did it come from?

Nothing made sense. She walked around James and opened the cabinet doors. More food stacked the shelves. Her mouth dropped. She’d never stored anything in these two particular cabinets.

“How is this possible?”

“Anyone want a juicy steak with potatoes and a small salad?” Mark asked, peering into the refrigerator while he held the champagne bottle.

“That sounds good to me,” James said, then met her eyes. “Hungry?”

‘Starving’ accurately described her, but the word got lost somewhere between her head and her parted lips. Staring blindly at him, her mind attempted to piece the puzzle together, but none of the pieces fit. Her cabinets had been bare earlier, and now they were jam packed with food items.What the fuck?

“I need to sit down,” she said as she walked out of the kitchen.

She sat at the end of the sofa, bent over her knees and with her face in her hands. The thumping in her head had returned.

“Here.”

Val looked up and found James holding two glasses of champagne. He handed one to her.

“Thanks.” She took the drink and swallowed a big gulp.

“Easy.”

Bubbles flowing down her throat tingled within her. She considered imbibing the entire glass to clear her thoughts.Who are these strange guys?

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