The Bed You Make
chapter 1

“Alright. Enough!”

Dara Jensen-Cassadine's angry interjection echoed throughout the empty suite. She took a final disbelieving glance around before heading toward the door. The brisk staccato of her heels against the stone tapped out an unmistakable cadence of irritation.

Did her new husband bother to tell her, as he was proposing that night's outing at the Outback, about such minor details regarding her belongings and their new location?

Of course not.

Dara threw open the door and nearly collided with Stefan. “You!” she cried. “What is with you? You have-” Her words were silenced by the unexpected descent of Stefan's mouth upon her own. Dara's new husband crushed her against his taut body and proceeded to invade her mouth with his tongue.

“The walls have eyes and ears,” Stefan broke the kiss long enough to whisper in his bride's ear. Just in the shadows Dara caught a glimpse of a watchful bodyguard. Surely Stefan was not warning her that his guard could not be trusted?

She had no time to consider the matter. Her feet were swept out from under her as Stefan easily lifted her into his arms. “It is American tradition,” Stefan announced so that the guard could hear, “is it not, to transport one's bride across the threshold?”

The guard hurried forward to open the door to Stefan's suite. < ”You are dismissed,”> Stefan curtly threw back over his shoulder.

Dara did not understand the curt Russian words Stefan spoke to the guard, but she had no difficulty figuring out their meaning. The frustration in the eyes of the watchful bodyguard as the heavy door closed in his face was explanation enough.

Stefan silently lowered Dara to her feet. The new bride felt her irritation return. “Would you mind expla-”

Once again, Stefan silenced Dara with a kiss. He held her pressed against the heavy wooden door of their suite and tasted her mouth possessively. For just a moment, Dara felt her body respond to the hard male form pressed oh so intimately against her.

“Stop,” she commanded. “What are you doing?”

Stefan immediately stepped away from his confused bride. “I was attempting to prevent a most unfortunate error on your part.”