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Lockdown has a unique setting for a romance and a unique pool of characters. It’s a prison. My heroine’s a corrections officer and not a fluffy, curvy soft woman. She’s competent, fit, and can handle herself in the worst situations. My daughter was the inspiration for Gillian. She worked for a time at a men’s prison and her stories, some of them scary, some funny as hell fueled my imagination. How could I craft a story set in a place like that into a romance? And how could I have Gillian lusting and loving two men, a fellow corrections officer and a prisoner—a huge no-no inside a prison.
Gillian blinked when he first appeared. She’d been sitting on the porch of her family’s cabin at Canyon Lake, Texas, on a hot summer’s day. Nothing to think about except how much she missed this place.
Only she’d been alone. Her sister wasn’t playing on the edge of the water. Her brother wasn’t casting a line into the water hoping to catch supper. Her mother and father weren’t in the hammocks strung beneath the live oaks, laughing softly to themselves.
And yet, she’d felt peaceful.
What the hell was Vlahos doing in her dream? He stood at the bottom of the steps. His smile was slow.
“It’s not fair you look so damn good,” she groused. God, had she just said that out loud?
“It’s a dream,” he said, climbing the porch steps. “No place for secrets here.” He turned toward the lake, his gaze scanning his surroundings. “It’s nice.”
He didn’t belong here. Not in her special place. “I don’t want you here. You’re strictly off limits.”
He unbuttoned his coverall and pushed it down his legs. The boxers beneath quickly followed.
Gillian’s chest lifted around a swift gasp. His body was perfectly formed—broad shoulders, lean abdomen, chiseled cuts bisecting the muscle layered down his belly in perfect rows. His cock was gorgeous as well. Long and straight with a pretty tapered crown. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Getting comfortable. Preparing to give you what we both need.”
“I don’t need to see you naked,” she said huffily.
“Then close your eyes.”
“As if. You’re a murderer.”
His lips curled in that feline smile of his. “Things aren’t always what they seem. And this is only a dream.”
“I suppose you’re innocent,” she said, her voice catching.
His head canted and he sat on the wooden step beside her. “That didn’t sound like sarcasm. That was pain.”
She shook her head. “It’s none of your goddamn business.”
“And I don’t really have the time. But hold that thought. Pain works for me, too.”
“What are you talking about?” she said, growing alarmed at his mention of pain.
He turned suddenly, his hands coming down on either side of her, his body rising over her and pressing her to the porch floor.
Her hands came up between them. “Get off me.”
“Do you really want me to? Don’t you want to see whether you can orgasm inside a dream? Have you done it before?”
“I usually wake up,” she said, then groaned at admitting something so personal.
“What if I promise it won’t happen this time.”
“You’re still a goddamn convict. I shouldn’t be with you, even if this is just a dream. I don’t want you in my head.”
“Then find someone else to fuck when you’re awake. Right now, I need you every bit as much as you need this. So just shut up.”
His lips slammed into hers, grinding the soft tissue inside against her teeth. She tasted blood. Some dream.
But that was all it was. A dream. She could do this. Follow it wherever it led and no one would ever know.
“That’s right,” he said, lifting his mouth from hers. “Just you and me.”
Gillian looked up at him, at the need stretching his skin tautly across his sharp cheekbones and lending a harsh edge to his solid jaw. At the tension in his shoulders and arms as he held himself. Waiting.
For her to accept this? For her to give him permission to proceed. “I don’t like that you can see inside my mind.”
“I won’t do anything you don’t want,” he said softly, “from here on out.”
“Why do you need this so badly?”
“I feel your hunger, your loneliness—your pain. I don’t know where it comes from, but I need it to fill me.”
“Because I need emotion to sustain me. Bad times are coming. I have to be strong.”
“What about me and what I need?” she whispered harshly. “This is my dream, my body you’re getting ready to take.”
“You’ve already thought ahead to what will happen?”
“I know I want to you to fuck me. See if it’s possible to do what you said.”
“Come inside your dream?”
She almost smiled as his lips curled, lending his hard features a surprisingly whimsical expression.
“Tomorrow,” he said, leaning down to press a quick kiss to her forehead, “you’ll watch me and feel a little nostalgic, a little sad that this didn’t really happen.”
“Tomorrow, when I watch you shower,” she bit out, “I’ll probably be disappointed that I didn’t get the details right.”
His eyebrows lifted. “And maybe you won’t.”
Needing to erect an emotional barrier between them, she lifted her chin. “I have my eye on another man. Someone more suitable.”
She wasn’t surprised this time that he’d guessed so accurately. He was just an extension of her subconscious after all. “Yes. And he’s built like a goddamn bull.”
One side of his mouth quirked upward. “Trying to make me jealous?”
“Is it working?”
“Yes. Now, shut up.” His hands gripped the edges of her sleeveless cotton blouse and ripped it open.
She jerked against him, but stopped trying to fight him. When his hands tugged her shorts down her hips and the lacy scrap that passed for underwear with it, she mewled.
He was on her, inside her, shoving his perfect cock deep. She was already hurtling high and hoping like hell the phone wouldn’t ring and pull her away, because she thought that just maybe he’d do it. Bring her body to orgasm.
But suddenly, something else started to happen inside her. Something that sucked away her breath, her will, left her quivering and shaken because she couldn’t break free of the grip of whatever it was thrusting straight inside her chest and mind. But the pressure in her chest couldn’t compete with his luscious assault farther down her body.
His cock stroked steadily, so fast she couldn’t lift her hips to meet the strokes, could only tilt upward to give him access as he slammed inside. Her cunt clasped around him, trying to hold him, but he was too fast, too strong. Moisture seeped from inside her, drenching his cock, her thighs, the crease between her buttocks as he hammered on.
She watched him strain above her, his cheeks darkening, his lips pulling away from his teeth in feral snarl. Then a dark heavy curtain fell over his eyes, like a crocodile’s eyelids, covering the golden brown of his irises and the gleaming whites. She saw herself reflected in the fierce black lids, saw her mouth gape in horror as she catapulted over the edge of the precipice, her body shuddering in the throes of an orgasm so strong, she knew it wasn’t just a dream.