Cowboy Mates, Psychic Connections - Book 4
Jake McKade is a man who needs control. The death of his parents made him understand that everyone he loves will be taken from him. Loving a woman would be no different. The accident that put him in the hospital made him give up on life. Until he met Claire.
Claire Hamilton can sense the emotions of others. She can’t survive the pain in her head from her empathic ability. Taking care of Jake allows her to see into his soul which tells her three things. He’s her shield from the pain of the world. He’s a good man whose need to dominate doesn’t frighten her. He’s her mate, and she wants him just the way he is.
He calls her his angel. He knows she’s his mate. Others plan to destroy their love. Their happiness depends on Jake finding the courage and the strength to accept the love of his angel and the babies she will gift him with.
Jake felt a soothing touch on his face. He struggled to make sense of it. No one ever touched him in that way. He was confused. It was the gentle touch of a woman that he was feeling. A woman? What woman?
He could smell her. She had a scent that was clean and soothing. It reminded him of the field of wildflowers that grew where he wanted to build his future home. He had always wanted a home to share with his destined mate. He used to believe that it was something he would have in his future. He knew better now.
“Jake,” a soft voice called to him. “Can you hear me? Do you want to open your eyes and look at me?”
Jake struggled against the pull to become aware. Everything hurt too much. He didn’t want to open his eyes. He didn’t want to feel the aching throb in his left leg. He hated the way his head felt like it was filled with cotton that had been soaked in hard liquor. It was worse than a hangover. It was torture.
“You don’t have to open your eyes, Jake,” the feminine voice told him gently. “Just listen to me and try to relax. You’ve been in an accident, but you’re doing well. You’ve been unconscious for a while, but I’ve been here with you the whole time.”
“Who?” Jake managed to croak out. “So dry.”
He found a straw at his lips within a heartbeat. He drew on it slowly, thankful for the cool water. Too soon the straw was pulled away. He was helpless to move and draw it back toward his mouth.
“More,” he demanded.
The soft laughter that met his words made him angry. Did this woman not know that he demanded respect? Did she not know that she must listen to whatever he said and do whatever he told her to do?
Before he could voice his demands, he felt the soothing touch of her hand along the side of his face. When he felt the wet tip of her finger trace ice chips across his dry lips, he opened his mouth and sucked the chips and her fingers into his mouth. When she tried to move them away, he bit down lightly and captured her so she couldn’t get away. He growled softly as he exerted his dominance.
The soft gasp and then the sweet laughter that he heard confused him. Opening his eyes slowly, he saw the most incredibly beautiful woman that he had ever seen in his life looking down at him. There was a soft glow of white surrounding her, making her appear ethereal. Her brown eyes sparkled with joy, and her sweet face made him think of gentleness and love. Her hair was almost a midnight black, it was so dark. It was pulled back from her face in a high ponytail but he could see the curls of its thickness. He wanted to grab on to that ponytail and hold her in place. The intensity of that thought surprised him. He had never had such an immediate, gut reaction to any woman before.
“You’re fresh,” she whispered, tugging at her fingers and smiling widely when he refused to release her. “Jake McKade, you need to let go of my fingers.”
He shook his head slowly, surprised when he saw the way her expression softened as she listened to his refusal. When she reached up and threaded the fingers of her free hand through his hair and tightened her hold, he couldn’t help the way his body tightened with need.
Opening his mouth, he expected her to snatch her hand away but she surprised him. She gathered another ice chip, wet her fingers again, and drew them back to his lips to trace them once again. He licked at her fingers and smiled when she took a shaky breath.
“You know, you’re entirely too cute for your own good,” she told him, dragging her fingers across his cheek and rubbing his temple with the pad of her thumb. “How’re you feeling? Do you have a headache?”
“I’m fine,” he insisted, the barrier to his heart slamming closed once again.
“Liar,” she said softly.
Straightening, Claire pressed the call button that was wrapped around the side bar of the bed. The deluge of emotions and pain from the people within the hospital hit her the moment she wasn’t touching Jake. She couldn’t help but moan softly as she raised her hands and touched her temples. She had forgotten to put up her mental shields. She had become so comfortable not needing them whenever she was with Jake that she had become lax in her vigilance.
Jake saw her pain and reached out for her immediately, grunting when his sudden movement caused pain to shoot up his left leg and into his hip, radiating up into his stomach and groin. He clenched his teeth against the pain, but he never let go of her arm.
Claire sagged against him, her body draping across his chest as the relief from her own pain was immediate. She rested her face within the crook of his neck and breathed in the masculine scent of him.
“I’m sorry, Jake,” she whispered, doing her best to push herself off of his chest so that she wouldn’t cause him any further pain.
“Don’t move,” he told her firmly, glad when she immediately stilled.
“I don’t want to put pressure on your ribs,” she explained softly, reaching up to run her fingers through his hair and massage his scalp lightly.
He sighed at the gentleness of her fingers on his head. He eased his hold on her but never let go of her forearm. “I think you need to be right where you are,” he whispered, fighting to control his pain.
“You think so, huh?” she asked, soft laughter escaping her.
Copyright © 2012 Lynnette Bernard
All Rights Reserved.