Brawn Page 2

Brawn hesitated before he bent to lift his duffel bag. “Thank you. I’d appreciate that very much. Please just call me Brawn. I’m not a mister.”

Becca grinned over how polite his manners were as she walked down the path with Brawn following close behind. Her father would have her believe the guy was dangerous but she didn’t feel threatened in the least. She led him through a gate that separated the properties and grinned when her home came into view. It was her pride and joy.

“This is it. It’s two stories, as you can see, a little big for a guesthouse but my grandfather had a lot of family money. He had it built twenty years ago after his brother suffered a stroke.” She paused, feeling a little similar to a real tour guide but Brawn’s keen, interested look urged her on. “He didn’t want him to live in a convalescent hospital so he had men working around the clock to build it in record time. They put it up in five months which is pretty fast but it’s a great house. There are three bedrooms, three and a half baths and there’s even an elevator.”

Black eyebrows lifted as they paused in the front yard.

“I never use the elevator but my great uncle was in a wheelchair and he needed constant care. Two nurses lived here with him to cover different shifts. That’s why it has the extra bedroom when most guesthouses only have two. He was here for six years before his health took a turn for the worse and they hospitalized him. He died a few weeks later and the home sat empty until my grandfather died four years ago. He left it to me and the main house belongs to my father.”

She started walking again, fished out the keys from her purse and unlocked the front door to push it wide open and wave Brawn inside first. He shook his head and indicated she should precede him. It made her like him even more and she entered the house, glanced back and noted he barely cleared the doorway. It made her grateful that the entire house had high, vaulted ceilings so he wouldn’t feel closed in with his taller-than-average height.

He stepped inside and paused. His gaze traveled slowly over the living room and she wondered what he thought of her home. She glanced around too, happy she’d cleaned recently and that everything looked tidy. His gaze finally met hers and he smiled.

“It will do nicely. Thank you. You have a lovely home and it smells good. I can pick up the scent of wood and some unknown pleasant lemon scent.”

She remembered then that Species had keener senses. “There’s a lot of wood flooring and carved details in the house. My grandfather might have wanted it built quickly but he wasn’t willing to cut corners on craftsmanship. The lemon you smell is from the oil I use when I mop the floors. It keeps them clean and shiny without being slippery. Twice a year I have someone come in and actually do the stair railings and the built-in shelving in the family room. It’s too much for me to keep up with on my own.”

He just peered at her, saying nothing.

She nodded. “Let me show you the rest of the house.”

He followed her as she walked through the kitchen and dining room. There was also a half bath and the laundry room on the first floor. The family room came last. She led him upstairs to the first door on the right, the smallest bedroom and bath. Becca opened the door to show him her office.

“This is mine but you’re welcome to use the computer.”

“I hardly use the things. I’m still learning but thank you.”

She turned, almost brushed against him and noticed how good he smelled. He carried a spicy, masculine scent, perhaps his aftershave. She inched around his big bulk to open the door across the hallway.

“This will be your room and it has a private bathroom too.” Her focus drifted to the bed before she looked at him with a frown as her gaze raked up and down his body. “We’re probably going to have to switch the beds. That’s just a full size and I think you’re going to have problems with it since you’re so tall. I have a California King in my room.” Her gaze roamed over his body one more time. She nodded and met his stare. “You’re definitely going to have to sleep in my bed.”

His gaze narrowed and a small sound came from his throat. It surprised her. If she didn’t know any better, she’d think he had just softly growled at her. Of course she had to have heard wrong because he was so polite.

“What was that?”

“Clearing my throat,” he explained softly. “Sorry. So we need to exchange the beds?”

“Definitely, unless you want your feet dangling over the mattress.”

“We can change the beds.”

“Drop your bag and follow me. We’ll make sure you fit on it first. If not, I’m sorry. Maybe Dad can order you a longer bed.” She walked out of the room and led him to the last bedroom, down the hallway. She walked inside and was glad she’d remembered to make her bed before leaving for work, a habit she’d formed from having a military father. “Here we are. Do you think you can fit in my bed?”

Brawn stared at the huge mattress. “That will be fine. Thank you.”

She smiled, amused at his stiff stance and it was obvious that he wasn’t comfortable inside her feminine room. “You might want to lie down first to make sure. I’d hate to move them and then realize it won’t work.”

Brawn kicked off his shoes and climbed onto the bed without protest. It was low to the floor. He seemed at odds with how to get on at first but as he stretched out on his back his feet didn’t fall off the end—just barely. If he angled himself a little across it, he could sleep comfortably. His gaze met hers and he gave her a sexy smile.

Damn. Becca swallowed hard, thinking how incredibly appealing he looked on her rose-colored bedspread, the reddish-pink hue of it making him seem even more masculine if that were possible. The sight of that big, impressive body of his stretched out made her wish he wasn’t wearing clothes.

The urge to climb onto the bed na**d with him arose and she clenched her teeth to avoid sighing. She really needed to get laid since a stranger had her body tied in knots. She’d tried to be intimate with the few guys she’d dated but had always ended up thinking of her late husband, Bradley, and the guilt had eaten her up. As her attention wandered across the man’s body the only thing that ate at her was the desire to test out her new mattress with him.

“It’s great.”

She had to remember he was talking about the size of her bed, not her wanting to jump his bones. “Terrific. Let’s get to it then.”

He rolled gracefully and stood. Between the two of them, it didn’t take long to switch the beds. Becca glanced at the king-size bed in the guestroom when they were done. It was a little too big for the space but there was a small walkway at the end of the mattress to allow access to the bathroom.

She bent over to remove the sheets from the bed, wanting to give him fresh, clean sheets. “It’s going to be a tight fit but I think you can squeeze in without too much effort.”

Brawn growled loudly, an animalistic sound that surprised her.

Becca jerked her head around to stare at Brawn, only to find him a few feet behind her with his legs planted apart and his hands fisted at his sides. His gorgeous eyes were fixed on her ass as she bent in front of him. Her last sentence replayed in her head and she laughed, straightening.

“I was talking about you being able walk between the end of the bed and the wall and squeeze through the bathroom door.” She grinned.

Brawn met her gaze. “What else would you have been talking about?” He arched an eyebrow at her and hid his hands behind his back in a relaxed stance that seemed forced.

She laughed. “I didn’t realize you were right behind me when I said that. You growled, which made me aware of how that sounded and looked. I assumed I needed to expand on what I was talking about since otherwise it just sounded like an invitation of a sexual nature.”

His gaze narrowed. “You’re very direct.”

“I am. I appreciate that in people. It cuts down the bullshit.”

“I like directness too. I did take it wrong at first and mentally agreed it would be a tight fit. You’re small. For a second, as I admired your bent form, I forgot why I’d never touch a human female and I growled in appreciation. My kind do that when we’re aroused. You have a nice form.” He glanced at the dresser in the corner. “May I use those to store my clothes?”

“Of course. The closet is empty too. This is your room while you’re here and please feel free to make yourself at home.” She paused. “May I ask you something personal? I am curious.”

His gaze returned to her. “Ask.”

“Why wouldn’t you ever touch a human female?”

“Do you want a polite answer or a direct one?”

“I like direct.”

He hesitated, seeming unsure.

“I won’t take offense.” She reached up to cross her finger over her heart and smiled. “You can’t say something like that without me wanting to know why. I’m a bit nosey and with my father being who he is, there are enough secrets I’m not allowed to know. You don’t have to answer but I’d appreciate it if you would.”

“I’m bigger and stronger than human males. I like rougher sex than human females could handle. I’d end up hurting her without meaning to.”

She let that sink in. “I see. Well, it’s kind of muddled but I think I have the idea. Thanks for answering.”

“What part is muddled?”

“The rough-sex part. There are a lot of ways to take that.”

He nodded. “I do not hit, nor am I into bondage or toys. I’ve seen some of your human pornographic videos. I like to bend my females over and take them from behind. I do not like to be gentle during the sex, the way your males are, but I am not into choking or harming them the way I’ve seen your males do in those films.

“I just like to take a female hard, fast and deep. Species females are bigger and more durable than most human females and I would hurt a human since they are fragile. There is no pleasure for me in that. It would be pointless to have sex with a female like you because I’d end up accidentally bruising her or taking her too rough. As I said, I’m larger and stronger than your males. When I say large, I am not just talking about my height and weight. I’ve seen your males na**d and I’m thicker and longer.” He glanced down his body before meeting her gaze again. “Do you understand or do I need to specify the body part I’m referring to?”

Becca was shocked at how blunt the man had been with his answer but she’d asked for it. She let all that information sink in and hid a shiver of fear. Yeah, he could definitely hurt a woman if he didn’t restrain himself at all. All the sexual attraction she felt for him died a quick death on that note. She wasn’t into pain and that put him off the hot list for her.

“Now I totally understand. Thank you for the clarification.”

“You are welcome. Do you need help stripping?”

Becca laughed suddenly. “I thought you said I wasn’t your type?” She wiggled her eyebrows at him, unable not to tease him a bit. “You opened yourself up to that one.”

He sighed. “Stripping the bed.”

“We’re a pair, aren’t we? We keep saying things that just sound wrong.” She laughed again. “I’d love for you to help me strip.”

“What the hell?” her father shouted, his heavy footfalls rushing down the hallway closer to the guestroom. “You’d damn well better not.”

Becca watched her father barrel through the door and come to a screeching halt when his shoulder slammed into the frame. She knew he’d obviously just entered her house and heard the last part of their conversation. “Oh, so you’re going to help me strip? Great, Dad. You go on the other side of the bed and yank out the sheets over there.”

“Sheets? I thought…” He frowned.

Becca arched her eyebrows. “You thought what?” She blinked at him innocently.

“Nothing. Proceed. I just came to check…I mean help you move your things. I’ll go in your room and pull your suitcases out of the closet.” He fled.

Becca winked at Brawn when they were alone. “I love to mess with him. It’s so easy.”


“He is bossy and always treats me like I’m a kid. I have some fun at his expense whenever given the chance. It evens us up a little.”

He nodded but didn’t comment. He helped her strip and redress the bed with white-and-black bedding, the only semi masculine set she had and then she left his room to allow him to unpack.

Her father paced inside her room but paused when she entered. His green eyes narrowed and a frown twisted his features, creating lines around his mouth.

“Close the door.”

She did it and crossed her arms over her chest. “What is your problem now?”

“Were you flirting with him?”

She grabbed her heart. “Me? Flirt? Never.”

“Damn it, Rebecca. This is not a man you want to tease. He’s not anything similar to your husband or any other men you’ve known. Bradley was a pansy. He let you walk all over him and asked for more. The man down the hall would eat you for breakfast and I mean that. He’s half animal and can’t be trusted not to act on ingrained instincts. They look like us but never doubt he’s got a predatory side.”

Rage burned bright, hot and fast. “Don’t you ever,” she ground out, “EVER speak about Bradley that way. Just because he didn’t kiss your ass or join the military right out of high school doesn’t mean he was a pansy. He was kind, gentle and sweet. He was intelligent and soft spoken. He—”

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