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Closing her eyes, Helania panted and groaned. Then she had to open her lids and watch him again.

As if he knew she was looking at him with wonder and heat, he deliberately licked up the center of her as he held her stare, his pink tongue and bright white descended fangs the kind of thing she was never going to forget.

But what about him? He needed—

All thought left her mind as another release rocketed through her, her undulating pelvis creating friction against his mouth, and magnifying everything.

Boone might not have been into teasing, but he sure took his time with it all. He seemed content to spend what was left of the night and all of the coming day right where he was, the purring sound he was making deep in his throat suggesting he was enjoying this as much as she was.

But eventually he straightened, his hands going to his fly.

“Oh, God . . . yes . . .” she said. And she would have sat up to help him, but she was utterly boneless, her body at once totally satiated and ready for more.

The next thing she felt was his hard, hot length penetrating her. And there was nothing else she needed in order to go over the edge again. Even as he started moving, she was already there: The sensations plowed through her and then were cranked up even higher as he began to pump—and she got a hell of a show as he swept his sweater and shirt up over his head, his chest and heavy arms on display as the last of his clothes disappeared.

Now he was holding her by the hips again, pulling her into him, pushing her away in a rhythm to his thrusts. The pounding increased until her breasts were jerking back and forth, their ultrasensitive tips carrying echoes of the sex they were having sure as if he were touching her all over through that connection down below.

Boone’s eyes were on fire, and his fangs flashed as he suddenly reared back and locked into her. The force of his orgasm was so great, the cords of muscles that ran up his shoulders into his neck stood out in stark relief, the thick veins popping, the power in his body activated in service to her.

Boone was utterly magnificent.

And he did not stop filling her up.

For a very, very long time.

“I have to say,” Helania murmured, “that the night ended even better than I imagined it would.”

As Boone’s female cuddled in closer to him, he smiled. They were lying naked on her little bed, her sprawled over his chest, their bodies throwing off so much heat that covers were unthinkable—in spite of the fact that they had finally collapsed from the sex well over an hour ago.

The scent of dark spices was thick in the air, and he wondered if she’d noticed.

Male bonding was not a subtle thing. Yet he was aware that there were a lot of things unsaid between them—nothing bad; on the contrary, just stuff that seemed too good to be true.

“You know,” he murmured, “I have to agree with you. There were many finishes on both sides . . .”

They had made love for God only knew how long, and talk about hot and heavy. For some reason—maybe it was the stress they had been under and the release of all that pent-up energy—the session had been a marathon one. To the point where he was worried he’d chafed her.

And then there was another issue. Cleanup.

“Should we . . .” He cleared his throat. “I’ve made a mess all over you.”

Helania’s low, sexy chuckle made him feel like he was Male of the Year. “It’s not a mess. And most of it is inside me—where it can stay.”

He smiled so broadly that his cheeks hurt. “You are amazing. I know . . . I know that sounds like a line, but it’s not. You bring me to my knees and lift me up at the same time. It’s the definition of magic.”

“I’d say we’re good together.” She yawned so wide, her jaw cracked. “Very good.”

Boone kissed the top of her head as they both fell silent. A moment later, she groaned and rolled away from him, lying flat on the mattress beside him.

“Do you need more room?” he asked as he moved over.

“I think I left the heat on too high. Hold on.”

As she got to her feet and walked over to the thermostat on the wall, he admired the view of her shoulders, her waist . . . her beautiful lower half . . . and thought back to when he’d been kneeling between her legs, making love to her sex with his mouth. He had taken his time—and he couldn’t wait to go back there. To give her pleasure, to hear her say his name in that hoarse way, to feel her most intimate place against his lips . . . All he wanted was to return to that experience.

“It’s just on seventy,” she said with confusion in her voice. “Guess we create our own heat.”

“You can say that again.”

When she turned back around, his eyes went to her breasts. Her nipples were a deep rose color and very pronounced, the tips protruding out of their creamy swells, the swaying of her body as she walked toward him causing them to move.

Desire licked at his pelvis again, his cock jumping in response. But as much as he wanted to be with her again, the rest of his body was spent.

Helania stopped at the side of the bed and looked down at his arousal. “Don’t take this in the wrong way, but how are you still . . .”

“Hard?” he drawled. “It’s just what you do to me.”

Although actually, he couldn’t believe he was erect again, either. And then suddenly, he wasn’t worried about his stamina anymore: Helania got up on him, those soft thighs of hers spreading wide over his hips, that core of hers hovering just above his arousal.

“Be honest,” she said as she put her hands on either side of his torso. “And you can totally tell me no if you don’t want to—”

“I will never not want to be with you,” he groaned, his pelvis rolling, his well-used cock begging for more attention.

“If I do the work—”

“Please, fuck me.” He bit his lower lip with one of his fangs and arched up. “I will beg for it. I will beg you for—”

Leaning down to him, she kissed his mouth. “No need for that.”

Her hands went to his arousal and she stood him up. As she lowered her body down onto him, they started moving together, the sex resuming as if they hadn’t just been at it for two hours straight. And for some crazy reason, he didn’t last long. Neither did she.

It was the best kind of madness, wasn’t it.

After she collapsed on his chest again, they breathed together for a little bit and then she slid off of him, rolling onto her back once more. Skootching over, he made sure she had room both on the mattress and the pillow, and when her hand gripped his, he squeezed her palm in return.

And things were peaceful . . . for a little while. Blissful . . . for a time.

But the wolves that nipped at his heels eventually returned to him, reality intruding on the sacred space with Helania in a rush, as if it had resented being locked out by the passion: His father’s death. His father’s lover. His father’s will. And so many other things.

Closing his eyes, he resolved not to think about what had happened at the Audience House. Or about that woman he had saved in that alley. Or what he had done to that man—which he acknowledged had been wholly inappropriate, and which he would never do the likes of again.

And then there was Syn—

Resolutions to the contrary, Boone quickly became a live wire under his skin, the stress of it all spiking his adrenaline in a fresh surge, as if the quiet and peacefulness of Helania’s bedroom were top soil that helped a poisonous plant to grow.

But FFS, you’d think all those orgasms would have drained the energy out of him completely. Then again, he had had blood from that Chosen’s vein when he’d been injured out in the field. That was known to give a male superstrength—

“So I reached out to Isobel’s friends,” Helania murmured.

Boone’s lids popped back open, and he turned his head on the pillow. “You did?”

“On Facebook. I found the page of the female who came here to tell me about Isobel—the one who I . . . buried my sister with. Anyway, I private-messaged her. And then I decided, why stop there? I hit up everyone who left a tribute for my sister.”

“Did any of them get back to you?”

“Some did.” There was a pause. “I asked them all about the boyfriend. A name. Contact info. Possible location.”

Boone forced his voice to stay level. “Did any of them know him?”

“No. They’d heard about him, but no one knew him or had met him.” There was a pause. “And no one has seen or heard from him since, either.”

Boone tried to keep his curse to himself. “Maybe there’s a reasonable explanation.”

“I really used to think there was.” She sighed. “But if he’d been abusive . . . I just don’t know why Isobel would have lied to me? And I know what I saw here in this apartment. I lived with her my whole life, I could read her better than anyone could. She was happy.”

All Boone could do was shake his head. He wanted to step carefully around the subject of that boyfriend out of respect for her and her Isobel, but damn, his warning bells were ringing: Even if her sister had been happy, males sometimes snapped. Hello . . . he himself had tonight in that alley.

“We need to keep digging,” he said. “What about the female who came to see you? Did she answer?”

“No. Not yet. And as with a lot of people in the species, she’s clearly using a pseudonym. So I don’t know what her real name is.”

As a shiver went through her, he lifted his head and eyed the quilt that had been pushed off onto the floor. “You cold?”

“I don’t know what I am,” she said with exhaustion. “What I do know for sure is that I’m glad you’re here.”

Boone stroked her arm. “Me, too. I’m glad I’m here, too.”

They were quiet for a while, and Boone passed the time attempting to control the twitching of his thigh muscles. And his legs weren’t the only thing wide-awake. He was totally erect again, his arousal straining, his blood thickening in his veins. But whatever, Mr. Happy down there could fuck right off with the bright ideas. Sex was the last thing on Boone’s mind, even if it was the first thing on his libido’s agenda. He had worn his female out enough, and hopefully, with the Virgin Scribe’s blessings, they would have so many more days and nights together to look forward to.