Carys started to come again. Her moans built toward ragged cries. The soft, grasping walls of her sheath rippled around him as he lost himself to the intense, unstoppable pressure of his own mounting release.

He’d never felt anything as addicting as the way their bodies fit together. So primal, so goddamn perfect. He tucked her beneath him and folded his body atop hers, watching her face, holding her fiery gaze, as her orgasm swamped her. Her fingernails sank into his shoulders with her pleasured scream.

Fuck, yeah, baby. He was right behind her, release rolling up on him fast. He wouldn’t be able to hold it back more than another second.

His muscles went rigid. His blood turned electric in his veins, roaring in his temples, throbbing in his shaft with every driving thrust of his body into hers.

His pace turned furious now, beyond his control. His fangs ached to penetrate too. Breed instincts fired up like sparks as his climax coiled into a tighter knot, ready to blow. His pupils homed in on the frantic tic of Carys’s carotid.

Christ, he could hear that rapid beat drumming in his ears. Echoing in his veins. Calling to his blood and everything Breed in him.

He wanted to claim her completely.

He wanted her bound to him forever, whether he deserved that gift or not.

In that dangerous moment, his control slipping, he’d never wanted anything more in his life.

Instead, he clamped down with everything he had. He shut his eyes and threw his head back on a raw bellow, then sank in all the way to the hilt as her tiny muscles milked him into a blinding haze of pleasure and the oblivion of a staggering release.

CHAPTER 20

They made love again, and eventually worked their way into the shower in the large en suite bathroom. After washing each other under the steamy overhead spray, they lingered there, kissing and caressing, neither one eager to let go of the moment, or each other.

Sex between them was always incredible, but there was a raw honesty to it tonight—an unspoken vulnerability—that had intensified everything. Carys’s entire being still thrummed with an electric awareness of him, with a craving that would never be fully sated.

As his large palms skated over her back and shoulders, massaging her in slow circles, she ran her wet hands over the muscled slabs of his strong chest and the elegant tangle of his glyphs. From the first time they’d lain together, every inch of him had been emblazoned into her memory, into all of her heightened senses. Tonight, she explored him with new eyes. With a deeper understanding of the solitary, unreadable man she loved.

She dipped her head to press a kiss to his sternum, directly over his heart. The powerful drum of his pulse vibrated against her lightly parted lips and the tip of her tongue.

He groaned deep in his chest, a contented, pleasured sound.

She smiled in response, delighting in the fact that she had something to do with his current satisfied state.

Of course, she’d enjoyed all of the ravenous, wickedly carnal states that had preceded it too. She’d enjoyed everything about the past several hours, and could only bask in the peace she felt as Rune held her in the wet quiet of the shower.

“Thank you for tonight,” she murmured, glancing up to meet his heavy-lidded gaze. “For coming to the museum and taking me out on our date. For letting me in. For all of this.”

“You don’t have to thank me—”

“I do,” she said. “Because I know it probably wasn’t easy for you to go there—back to your past. You want to leave it behind. I understand that. I just want you to know what it means to me that you trusted me enough to let me see what you’ve been through. Where you’ve come from.”

“Carys.” He slowly shook his head, looking uncomfortable with her praise. His hand came up to cup her cheek, his thumb smoothing over her lips. “You deserve more than I can ever give you.”

“You’re all I want, Rune. Like this, tonight. This is all I’d ever need.”

His sensual mouth quirked wryly. “Then the pressure is on now to deliver no less than four orgasms a night.”

She laughed. “Careful, I might hold you to that.”

“With pleasure, love.” He tilted her chin up and took her mouth in an unhurried kiss.

His lips were tender and affectionate, and it was all she needed for the banked embers of her desire to kindle with renewed heat. Arousal stirred to life, and she clung to him, her body beginning a slow melt with every brush of his mouth on hers, every light stroke of his tongue.

She would always crave this man. She knew that in her bones, in her blood.

She’d meant it when she’d said she was his. Only his.

When their kiss broke, Carys reached up to hold his handsome face in her hands. “God, I love you, Rune. So much it hurts.”

His head swiveled slowly, but there was raw emotion in his stark, midnight blue gaze. “And I love you. More than you can know. More than I should.”

He drew her into his embrace and kissed her again, deeply this time. With a need that drenched her senses and left no doubt that he’d meant every word.

Yet a small, insidious whisper seeped through the bliss, reminding her of the hunger she’d seen on Rune’s face earlier tonight when he’d been caught in the throes of release and his fevered amber eyes had been locked on her throat.

This was a truth he hadn’t shared with her yet. His rejection of her blood. His torment and denial that he wanted that kind of bond with her. With anyone.

It seemed to have taken all of his will to resist, but he had. And for the first time, she’d glimpsed fear in Rune’s eyes.

Fear that he would regret binding himself to her? Or fear that she would one day?

As desperate as she was to have that answer, she couldn’t work up the courage to spoil what they had right now.

She was afraid to know the answer. She, who had never backed down from a challenge in her life. Who had never allowed any obstacle to stand in the way of something she wanted.

But this was too important. Too consequential. Because she knew that if his answer wasn’t what she wanted to hear, she might never recover.

So she kept her doubts to herself, too entranced by the feel of Rune’s hands moving over her soap-slickened body, his kisses making her delirious with desire.

He guided her farther under the spray, his palm skating down the underside of her thigh, toward her knee. He lifted her leg up, settling her foot on the marble bench built into the wall of the large shower.

“Put your arms around my neck, love. Hold on to me.”

She obliged, draping herself against him as he continued his sensual assault on her mouth. She gasped against his tongue an instant later, when his fingers delved into the sensitive cleft of her sex.

“Just for you now,” he murmured against her lips as her hips began a faint rotation with his caress. “That’s it. All for you, baby.”

She moaned as her pleasure raced up on her and sent her reeling. Rune’s mouth took her possessively, kissing her so deeply and passionately she could have come from that alone. Combined with his touch, the ecstasy was electric, overwhelming. He stroked her relentlessly, masterfully, until the need for release was so intense, she couldn’t hold back for another second.

She came on a cry, shattering in his arms. Rune held her with one arm, while his other hand slowly brought her back down to earth with gentling strokes of her blissfully spent flesh.

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