In Pursuit of Mr. Sands Part 6: A KDG Consortium Story

Mondays are always happier when they start with a cheeky little read, and nobody is cheekier than Mr. Sands. Unless it’s Elise North.  Today is the sixth instalment of In Pursuit of Mr. Sands,  and Elise learns that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  As I said,  I’ve been in pursuit of Mr. Sands for quite some time now, and somehow he always manages to elude me. And surprise me. Just recently he made another titillating appearance, only to lead me on a merry chase. I lost him in North Africa somewhere and ended up recovering in Delphi, where I met up with some unexpected acquaintances. (More on that to come. )Never mind. There are worse places to end up, and I’m sure Mr. Sands will raise his oh so fascinating head again when I least expect him.

But for now, Elise finds Mr. Sands hanging out in Soho, not doing what she expected him to do.

If you missed the last instalment of Mr. Sands, catch up with this link.

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands Part 6: Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar

For several hours, I slept in blessed oblivion until a soft knock on the door woke me. I would have thought I’d imagined it and went back to sleep, but it came again. I forced myself to my feet. My head ached and my eyes were swollen and gritty. I wiped them on the backs of my hands, wondering, as I stumbled down the hall, if Magda Gardener had sent someone to check on me. “Ms. North,” came the voice that I immediately recognized. “May I come in.”

For a moment, I stood silent, my heart trying to hammer its way out of my chest, and then I gathered myself. “Mr. Sands, it’s the middle of the night.” I leaned my throbbing head against the door.

“It is, yes, and we’ve already established that you are safe from me, though I am not so sure I am safe from you.”

That shook me a bit, and not in a bad way, as I recalled my conversation with Dru. “I’m working.” The words came out sounding more like a question than anything that remotely resembled authority.

“It’s the middle of the night.” His chortle was more of a purr.

I couldn’t force back the twitch of a smile at the corner of my mouth as I squared my shoulders and opened the door, stepping aside for the man who now wore sweatpants and a hoodie unzipped just enough to show that he wore nothing under it.

“Why are you here?”

He inspected me with a touch of satisfaction in those sea storm eyes, and I realized I might well be the only person in the world who could enjoy those eyes for their sheer beauty without being enthralled by his magic. Then my visit from Dru came back to me in full force, reminding me what an absolute mess I must be with eyes swollen and nose bright red, hair no doubt standing on end. But Mr. Sands wasn’t my date, and I didn’t need to impress him at two in the morning when most respectable people were in their beds asleep.

His mouth curled into a hint of a smile. “You look better.” Those were the last words I expected to hear.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I folded my arms across my chest and stepped back, but he moved in closer, his gaze locked on me.

“Only that I was worried about you. You have been an exhilarating adversary, dear woman, and imagine my sadness when I found your own exhilaration at trailing me dampened by your brokenness.”

“My … brokenness.” I tried to bring all the neutrality I was used to bringing into a case that I was working, but somehow, I couldn’t quite manage.

He stepped still closer until his nutmeg and coffee breath feathered the hair around my ear. I should have pushed him away when I found myself up against the wall with him standing near enough that I could feel the heat radiating from him. I should have told him to leave. But it was almost as though he had read my thoughts “I will go if you wish.”

I couldn’t answer. All I could do was stand there and breathe him in as his fingers pushed the damp hair away from my forehead and moved to trace the shell of my ear sending a shiver down my back. The look in his sea storm eyes a question, one I waited just long enough for both of us to be uncomfortable, for that question to be answered with disappointment in those eyes, for him to pull away.

And then I did the unthinkable, the totally unprofessional, I fisted the front of his hoodie and pulled him down until I could devour his mouth, and I realized as I slid my hands inside the open zipper across the tensed muscles of his chest that tonight I wanted him to feed me.

I’m not a large woman, and Mr. Sands was tall with an athletic build, nearly engulfing me in his dark embrace. His sigh against my lips rattled me for just a second, and then I reminded myself, he was simply responding like any man would to such a desperately needy kiss. I reminded myself again that sex is its own powerful magic?  “Sometimes,” he whispered as his tongue traced my lips and teased me to open, “things are just what they seem, and a cigar is just a cigar.” He bit my lip and his tongue darted in as I offered up my own little gasp and pulled him still closer until I was pressed up tight against the wall, until my breasts pressed hard against his chest where the hoodie had fallen open to reveal dark nipples peaked and stippled. Without stopping his delicious homage to my lips, he ran his hands up under my t-shirt and down to slide into the elastic of my workout shorts. With a little groan, he cupped my arse cheeks and hoisted me up until I was forced to wrap my legs around his waist, feeling the weight of the erection tenting his sweatpants as he positioned me so that the weight of him pressed and slid up against the crotch of my shorts. I gave in to the irresistible urge to rock and shift against him, which created a wave of heat and friction I had every intention of riding out. His own shifting became thrusting, delicious dry humping that made me feel that naughty, sneaky rush of arousal of two teenagers having a grope as we ground and raked and strained with one conclusion in mind, one end suddenly the focus of every rasping breath. A dozen desperate grinding strokes, still fully clothed was all it took. We both came, growling and panting into each other’s mouths as though we were joined at the lips while the aftershocks rolled over us, amazed at the speed and the intensity of the release, or at least I was. Finally when the shock of it wore off enough that we could breathe again, that we could move, with me still wrapped around him like a sleeping child, he carried me into my room, laid me down on my bed and lay down next to me. For a long time we said nothing. I was certainly at a loss for words, a thing that never happens. I had just had sex with the man I’d been tailing, the incubus I’s been trailing. I was shocked by the sheer brazenness of what we’d done. But I wasn’t sorry. That was a bit of a shock in itself.

Mr. Sands finally raised up on one elbow and I found myself locked in his stormy gaze, the centre of his attention, which I liked very much, it turned out. He traced the shape of my ear and stroked my hair. “A practical cut for a practical woman,” he said.

“Not very practical at all, it turns out.” I reached up to return the favor.

“I could lose myself in the softness of it, the color. Cream and honey. Have you ever considered letting it grow long?”

“Not since a troll nearly broke my neck by grabbing my ponytail.” I cringed at the words. Wasn’t I just rocking the pillow talk thing?

“Then I’m glad you cut it for the sake of your lovely neck, Ms. North.” He bent to give said neck a kiss and a little nibble and I tensed. His sigh was warm against my neck, as he captured my gaze once again. “There’s more to my life than feeding Ms. North, and there should be more to yours than working and mourning.” The last word he spoke into my mouth before his tongue swept in to play with mine. When he finally pulled away, both of us breathing hard again, he said. “What is ahead of you, you cannot face when your heart is still in the past.”

“So you’re a psychic too then?” I whispered with one last flick of my tongue.

“Just very intuitive to what people are in need of. Your job is very dangerous, dear woman, and you are lucky to have survived this long when such a large part of you would prefer to commune with the dead. But,” he pulled me closer until I lay my head on his chest. “A heart belongs in the present where the living are, where the pleasure is.” He kissed me again, a kiss that ended in a little nip of my lower lip as I cuddled in next to him. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, Ms. North. But joy, pleasure, well that there is never enough of either.” He brushed a finger over my lips. “Take it, darling woman. Take all the moment gives you,” he whispered against my ear, pulling me close. I had a million questions, and none of them mattered at that moment because sleep overcame me, sleep that had nothing to do with magic.