“You’ve bewitched me,” he murmured. “It’s the only explanation.”
Her eyes widened. “Witch?”
“I should know better than this.” He drew his other knee up onto the bed, and she dipped toward his greater weight. “I do know better.”
“We can only know so much,” she said. “Even you.”
“Are you teasing me?”
“No. Maybe. Stop talking.” She lifted her face, an invitation. “Stop thinking.”
And he took the invitation—and took her. He kissed her until her lips reddened, and an answering flush rose in her pale cheeks. He buried his fingers in her hair, combing out the last of the valiantly clinging braid. She moaned against his lips, and the civilized part of him said Wait, while the rest of him—a burgeoning part, in more than one sense—urged him onward.
The rush of it terrified him.
Was he no better than the tenebrae? Taking what she offered so fearlessly, with a not-so-secret darkness in his heart?
He groaned her name again, more helpless than she had ever been. Bewitched. Bedeviled. Be damned.
For once, he understood the talya thrill to freefall.
She pulled herself up to her knees, hands framing his face to slide his specs away. They clattered somewhere in the shadows. Well, he had plenty of duct tape.
She matched him, tongue to tongue, lips, teeth, and she laughed against his mouth, a breathless sound of delight that made him feel like a talya-sized hero, swelling his heart, his head, and less noble parts of him. He swept his hands down her arms, left bare by the white dress.
Alyce rocked into him, bumping his hands aside. She’d tugged the dress out from under her knees, and before he could speak, she’d yanked it over her head.
No sacrificial virgin had underthings like this. White silk and lace. Barely enough to fill a shot glass. As a man with a scientific bent, he should have been thinking in terms of milliliters, but since his brain had gone missing . . . Yeah, a shot glass was more up his alley right now.
His hands hovered just beyond the curves of her breasts, hesitant to land on that purity.
Alyce took a deep breath, and his burst out of him as the cool silk filled his palms.
She tipped her head back, and the sweet thrust of her breasts stroked up to his fingertips. Raw lust closed his grip, gentled only by the tremor in his muscles. The instinct to overwhelm her shook him to the core.
He was not that man.
His body listened only to the tactile scuff of lace against the pads of his fingers. The sensation abraded the wisps of his restraint.
In one caress, he pushed the straps down her shoulders and unhooked the back, freeing her. She had such pale skin. Had it ever seen sunlight?
Never mind the hot eye of the sun; had any gaze at all but his rested here?
Mine. The impulse was so archaic, so primitive, he blushed at it. Not Homo sapiens at all, but Neanderthal. Where was his fucking club?
Her hands went to his fly, and he groaned.
She freed his heavy flesh as smoothly as he’d stripped her. He hissed out another breath when she grazed his hip bones as she peeled down the waistband of his jeans. They moved together, and her quick fingers undid the buttons of his shirt.
Pressed skin to hot skin, he closed his eyes, trying to steady himself.
But with eyes closed, his other senses only expanded. Hearing her gasp as she rubbed against his chest, he inhaled the heat and fragrance of her breath. His taut muscles raged against the confines of his will. Each rock of their knees on the mattress threatened to overturn him, demanding he take her down.
Not a man, not even a primordial hunter, but a beast.
The howl of recognition in him tore through the last of his self-possession.
He yanked out of his shirt—a button popped at the wrist—and he tipped her to her back.
She stared up, eyes bright and bold, as she kicked off the white panties.
“God, you’re beautiful,” he whispered.
“And naked,” she said.
As if he might have missed it. “Do tell.”
She smiled and opened her arms.
The smile, simple and welcoming, ripped through him. “You want this?”
“No more words. You need this too.”
He did. As he’d never wanted anything so much. Not even the Bookkeeper’s archive key.
He couldn’t speak that, and apparently he wasn’t thinking again either, because somehow she had rolled him, and now she hovered over him, the last of his discarded clothing dropping from her hand.
“Now I’m naked,” he pointed out.
“You don’t have to tell me.”
Her lips descended, moonset slow in the darkness, inevitable. Her kiss touched down, and, hidden below the horizon of their coupled mouths, the arc of her tongue stroked his. Like some ancient mythology, her shadowed mysteries drew him deeper.
In the yielding of her body, he found himself above her again, the edges of his vision narrowing so only she remained, pale skin on white sheets, her dark hair spread like an inverse halo—a damned angel.
Book 4 of the Marked Souls
The war between good and evil has raged for millennia, and as a powerful new enemy ascends, the Marked Souls
are pushed to the ragged edge…
Alyce Carver has been alone longer than she can remember, battered by the living nightmares that haunt her city. Cornered by yet another gang of demons, she unwittingly joins forces with a handsome scholar who can salvage her past, and she in turn may be the key to his investigations. But sSidney Westerbrook has always studied darkness and damnation from a sensible distance. Now, to earn his place as a league Bookkeeper, he must discover why Chicago is such a battleground of soul-linked warriors. But the research becomes personal when he finds himself over his head and under attack — and at the mercy of a waif with demon-lit eyes and a deep yearning in her heart.
he won’t let him go until he shows her everything she’s been missing.
What begins as an experiment in possession becomes a trial by desire so powerful it threatens both their lives, even as it binds their souls.
Read Chapter 1
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