When you meet me, You complete me. You bring me back to life again.
DOMINIC TO SOLANGE
The cavern was lit with torches, sending a soft glow dancing over the ceiling. Spiderwebs of glittering silver adorned the walls in various patterns. Woven rugs lay on the floor and two high-backed, overstuffed armchairs sat on either side of a small table. A basket of fresh fruit looked inviting on the table beside a platter with cheese and bread on it. Solange looked around at the small enhancements Dominic had added to her sanctuary. The food made her stomach growl, but she was too busy looking at the shimmering pool of water in the rock basin.
The water glowed in the middle with a flickering orange-red flame. The colors made the water seem even more inviting, and she walked over to the pool to give herself time to collect her thoughts. She had made the decision to see this through, now she just had to figure out how to maneuver her way through the pitfalls. If only he weren't so sexy. Or such a good warrior. If she could find a balance with him she could handle this.
"Do you like the changes?" he asked.
She nodded. "Very much." He hadn't touched anything of hers, simply added to what she already had, and that made her feel a little better. She wanted him to like the few things she'd gathered over the years.
"How in the world do you make the water look like there's a flame inside of it?" She turned to face him and jumped when her body nearly bumped against his. He was so close. Silent. And his scent didn't reach her until he chose. She took a breath and breathed him into her lungs. His body heat surrounded her. He was close enough that the heavy erection brushed her stomach. She could barely force herself to look up his tall body, her gaze resting on his tempting mouth, not daring to go any higher to see the look in his eyes.
Her body reacted to him, going soft and pliant, her nerve endings close to the surface. She never reacted physically to men, not even when her cat was in heat. The need rode her hard, her cat feeding her drive to procreate, but the moment she was near a man, she just couldn't feel physically ready. Not even her snarling, edgy cat could overcome her distaste for males. But with Dominic, she couldn't seem to keep her raging hormones under control.
She knew he was aware of her body's reaction, just as she was aware of his, but somehow her lack of control embarrassed her. Wanting a mate was perfectly natural, yet . ..
"You are so hard on yourself," he said.
His voice was that sexy blend that only added to her growing desire. She swallowed hard. "I just don't know what I'm doing."
"Is that really so bad?" His fingers skimmed down her hair, tucked a strand behind her ear with exquisite gentleness. "Do you have to be perfect at all times? I would imagine that would be rather wearying."
The pad of his finger traced over her mouth, brushed back and forth until she parted her lips. He pushed inside her mouth and instinctively she closed her lips around his finger, her tongue flicking over it, sucking before she could stop herself. Hot color swept into her face and she tried to turn her head, but his hand spanned her throat, holding her still, his head slightly thrown back as if he was enjoying the sensation of her mouth around his finger. She stroked along his knuckle with her tongue, and followed as he slowly withdrew, so that she nibbled at the pad of his finger before he went back to tracing her lips.
"Do you, Solange? Do you have to be perfect all the time?"
"Of course not." She could barely speak.
"Only with me then." He bent his head and brushed his mouth across hers.
The shocking jolt slammed through her body with the force of a lightning bolt. His touch had been so light, yet a fireball shot through her to settle deep in her core.
"You want to please me." He made it a statement. She nodded, afraid to speak. Afraid he would move. Afraid he wouldn't move.
"That is as it should be. Has it occurred to you that I wish to please you?"
She glanced up, her gaze colliding with his. He looked so powerful. A predator looming over prey. She was jaguar and not afraid of anything--with the exception of her lifemate--and wasn't that insane?
Lifemate. She tasted the word.
"Solange." He refused to allow her to look away from him. "When I ask a question, I require an answer."
The color in her face went from pink to crimson. "Yes, I'm sorry. It has occurred to me. It's just difficult to believe. I'll get used to it, though." Maybe. "I just need a little time."
He smiled at her, that slow, sexy, heart-melting smile that she seemed to feel all the way to her toes. She loved to see that look on his face. The light in his eyes.
"That was not so difficult, was it? To tell me how you feel? How will I please you if you do not tell me the things you need?"
He brushed a kiss over her mouth again. Her lips trembled in response. The fireball in her core radiated so much heat she was afraid she might spontaneously combust. Her feminine channel burned for him, and between her legs she could feel the hot dampness spreading.
"I have put several items of clothing in the small alcove for you. It would please me greatly if, when we are alone, you would wear one for me."
All over again her heart began to accelerate. Her pulse beat frantically, drawing his attention. He swept the hair from her neck and leaned toward her. She went absolutely still. His breath was warm against her skin. A shudder of desire started a wave of tremors. She rubbed her hands down her jean-clad thighs--her armor.
Solange had to moisten her lips twice before she could get a word out and then it was a croak. "Where?"
He turned and gestured toward the little alcove where she had stashed extra clothes and weapons. Needing to put space between them, she forced her trembling legs to walk across to the small grotto arched with rock where she could hide her burning face from him. There was a full-length mirror that hadn't been there before. She could see the shock and excitement on her face. Her eyes were bright, almost emerald green. Her breath was ragged, drawing attention to her full breasts--more than full. She wasn't fashionably lean, for all the exercise she got. She was built--sturdy. Compact and sturdy. Solange was grateful he hadn't followed her. She felt overwhelmed by him. Somehow he had managed to put a small closet together to hang several items in a corner. She touched the fabric of the nearest long dress. At least she thought it was a dress or some kind of gown. It was long, and she bet it fit perfectly, but it was a dress--and she didn't even own dresses. Made of black stretch lace, it was formfitting at the top, with spaghetti straps. The front dropped scandalously short, just barely covering the vee between her legs, and the back was a long train that reached her ankles. The lace was utterly sheer. Transparent. Only a few darker webs of fabric tried to hide anything, and it was more teasing than hiding. If she put the thing on, her curvy body would be on display. There were no panties or bra.
She cleared her throat. "You want me to wear this?"
"When we are alone together."
That same soft, compelling voice. No demands. It would be her decision. But he had said this would please him. Did she want to do this for him? Could she? Her fingers touched the lace with a kind of reverence. She wasn't the kind of woman who could pull it off, but ...
Solange pulled the next one out to see if maybe that one would give her more confidence. This was a duster, a shimmering metallic red that fell all the way to the floor. At first she breathed a sigh of relief, but as she studied it, she realized the fabric stretched and would fit like a glove over her breasts, would cinch tightly at her waist and flare to the floor with the front completely open from the waist down. A generous portion of her breasts would be revealed by the V-neck. She stepped back, swallowing hard.
"Have you heard of underwear?" She dared to ask because she couldn't see him.
"I would like my woman available to me when we are alone," he replied in that same calm voice. But the way his tone lowered when he said available to me sent another wave of arousal crashing through her.
She took a breath and looked at the next dress. This time she was more prepared, but still shocked when she saw the dress--if it could be called that. This was nothing but film and straps, a micromini halter dress with a see-through front just barely there and the back was nothing but pieces of thin strips all the way down, hugging the form so the very edges of her bottom would peek out with every step. There was more skin than material down the back.
"I've never worn anything like this in my life. I've never even seen such a thing."
"You are not comfortable with your body, kessake. Dressing this way will not only please me, but it will make you very aware of how sexy you really are."
She swallowed hard and forced herself to look at the emerald green dress. Again, it was very short. Made to hug her curvy figure and show it off, the material stretched over and clung to skin. This one also had spaghetti straps, scooped low in the front. A vee of straps laddered down the dress both in the front and back, revealing bare skin. Most of her chest would be bare, and what was covered could be clearly seen through the thin fabric. Due to the straps the dress was as open in the front as it was in the back.
She frowned at herself in the mirror. "I've been in a battle. I need to . . ."
"Bathe? The water is hot. And then you can put on your choice and come eat."
She shivered. Another bath in front of him. But if she could do that, then surely she could wear one of his dresses.
She forced herself to pull off her shirt. At once she caught sight of herself in the large, full-length mirror. Her breasts were full, high, and her nipples peaked in the cool of the cavern. Her hair was wild and with her tilted cat's eyes, she looked . . . exotic . . . if she didn't look too harshly at herself. She'd never been so aware of herself as a female--and that was it, that was the problem, she realized with a gasp. Dominic Dragonseeker made her feel completely, utterly, absolutely feminine when she was alone with him.
She peeled off her jeans and stared at her body. She was short, but she had an hourglass figure. Juliette had once described her as a "pocket Venus" and she'd looked it up. To her shock, the description had been one of a voluptuous, beautiful woman. Well, she wasn't beautiful, but she was definitely voluptuous.
"I don't have a razor." She didn't want to walk out nude in front of him and she couldn't find much to wrap around her. "And I need a robe." The moment the words were out of her mouth, she bit down hard on her lip. He'd asked her not to cover up her body and that was the first thing she was looking to do. But honestly, did women just walk around naked in front of their men? Without shaving their legs first? She should have asked Juliette or MaryAnn that question, too.
Dominic suddenly appeared behind her in the mirror, a good foot taller than she was. He seemed to dominate the small space and it wasn't just his physical frame, but the power emanating from him. He held power in his eyes and voice, compelling her without physical force to do as he wished. Or maybe it was really her, so desperate to keep that look she loved so much on his face.
Out of reflex, she tried to cover her breasts with her hands, but he caught her wrists and held her arms outstretched, away from her body.
"Look how beautiful you are. For me alone. Do you have any idea how appealing that is to a man who has had no one of his own for centuries? You are my other half and I find you incredibly sexy."
She met his eyes in the glass. There was a dark lust there, a glimpse of a stark, raw hunger that made her shiver in anticipation. His heavy erection, the evidence of the truth that he found her sexy, lay hot against the small of her bare back through the thin fabric of his trousers. There was something very decadent about being nude, staring at herself in the mirror, arms outstretched, with Dominic fully clothed, watching her with a predator's stare and standing so close just behind her.
His arms wrapped around her even as his hands came up to cup the weight of her full breasts in his palms. He watched her in the mirror. She could see her eyes go cat, slumberous, her lashes falling as his hair brushed her bare shoulder.
"Stay this way for me," he murmured softly as he lowered his head to the pulse beating so frantically in her neck. "Open and giving. My woman."
She felt the rasp of tongue, a stroke of velvet that sent a tremor through her body.
"You are my woman?"
It was a question. When he asked a question, he required an answer, no matter how difficult it was. She was trembling, her body in need just from the way his hands lifted her breasts so possessively. "Yes." It was barely a whisper, but she managed.
"Your skin is so soft, my little cat. Like the fur of your jaguar, only better. Silky soft."
His teeth scraped along her pulse and the breath left her lungs in a rush. Her breasts heaved, nipples so hard they were small beads. His thumbs brushed against her, featherlight, and then his fingernails sent a fire bolt careening from her nipples and through her belly to lodge with white-hot heat in her core.
"Tell me you want this," he whispered. A temptation. "Say please. Ask me for this."
She swallowed the lump in her throat. Her mind was already accepting--no, not accepting, craving--the erotic bite. His fingers stroked over her breasts, then rolled and tugged her nipples until she thought she might fall. She couldn't look away from the sight of him. So handsome. All that black hair falling like a shimmering deep waterfall on the darkest night. His eyes burning with passion, with desire, his arms so strong around her. She'd never seen a more erotic sight than the two of them in the mirror.
"Ask me," he prompted. His teeth took a small nip, sending streaks of fire through her veins.
She could barely breathe, let alone talk, but she wanted this moment for herself as much as for him. "I want you to take my blood," she whispered.
He waited. One heartbeat. Two.
Her womb clenched. Her feminine channel spasmed. For one moment she thought she was on the verge of an orgasm. She was so close, riding the edge, and he had done no more than touch her breasts and take tiny nips over her pulse. She was wet and needy, the pressure building at an alarming rate, pushing her farther and faster than she'd ever gone. Her cat had always driven her sexual needs, and this craving was frightening but impossible to ignore.
"Please take my blood," she whispered, knowing her need was as great as his.
His teeth sank deep and she cried out as pleasure and pain merged together, bursting through her body like a star exploding. White lights danced behind her eyelids. Her body went boneless, so she felt as if she'd melted into him. His fingers were on her breasts, yet she felt them between her legs, stroking, penetrating deep. Or was that his tongue stroking deep inside of her? The pressure built and built while the white-hot heat consumed her.
She didn't want him ever to stop. Fire roared in her womb and spread through her body. Her brain seemed to seize, until there was nothing in her mind but pure pleasure. Every thought disappeared, every embarrassment. There was only Dominic and his magic mouth and hands. There was only the fire burning through her body. She felt the first ripples of an orgasm and gasped, no sound coming out. The rush was strong, ripples swelling in strength, gathering speed and momentum, tearing through her body like a massive quake. She heard her own strangled sob of pleasure as if from far away. Her legs went weak, but Dominic's strength kept her up.
Open your eyes for me.
The soft command was a sinful whisper impossible to ignore. Her lashes fluttered once before she managed to find the ability to lift them. She found herself staring into the mirror. Her body was flushed with pleasure. Her mouth was open, her eyes glazed and bright, her breasts swollen, cupped in his big hands. Behind her, he loomed large and powerful, surrounding her with his arms, his mouth against her neck while his long hair fell in a shimmering cascade of silk.
Was that her? Sexy and uninhibited with the most sensual man on earth? She could feel his heavy erection pressed tightly against her. Had she done that? Brought his body to such a state? Her womb nearly convulsed at the erotic sight. She'd never considered herself a sensual being, but Dominic saw her that way, and looking into the mirror, she had no choice but to see herself the same way.
His tongue slid over the small pinpricks, closing them. He rested his chin on top of her head and just watched her in the mirror, holding her while the tremors eased in her body.
"Look how beautiful you are, Solange."
"That's how you see me." "This is how you are. I see true."
She couldn't bring herself to ask aloud, but she wanted to give him the same kind of pleasure. Dropping her gaze from his in the mirror, she managed to use the more intimate means of communication. I have no idea how to take care of your needs the way you have mine, but I'd like to try . . . please.
He gave a soft groan and brushed a kiss over her hair. "This is your time, kessake. When you reach the point where my need is your need, I will teach you all you need to know. The beauty is in the giving. You need this right now, becoming comfortable with who you really are, not in pleasuring me. That is only an added complication for you and one more thing for you to be nervous over. I do not wish you to be afraid of who you are, not when you are with me."
"Who do you think I am?"
He smiled and her world tilted.
"You are a sensual, passionate woman in every sense. You just need time to discover that."
She wasn't certain how she felt, both a mixture of disappointment and relief. He'd effectively allowed her to relax a little now that she knew nothing was expected of her, but still there was the continual relentless aching pressure and welcoming dampness that didn't seem to go away. And, if she was being honest, the desire to explore his body. She wanted to be the woman who could give him pleasure.
Dominic held out one hand, still retaining possession of her left breast with the other, his thumb almost lazily brushing her nipple. While she shivered against him, and aftershocks rippled through her body, a long robe appeared across his palm. "For you, Solange."
She loved his voice, that low, sexy tone that made her feel so special. She looked up at him as he enveloped her in the soft folds. The robe draped over her body. Sensuous. Filmy. Barely there. She could see her body, every curve, through the midnight blue of the fabric in spite of the silver dragon star constellation scattered across the material. The robe enhanced and emphasized her curves rather than hid them.
"Thank you, Dominic," she whispered, running her hand over her thigh.
She felt shy. A little embarrassed at her wanton behavior. Again, she had a difficult time looking him in the eye. Jaguars had no problem holding a stare, and all her life no one, male or female, had been able to lock eyes with her and not look away first. With Dominic, she couldn't seem to meet his direct gaze.
She didn't know what to think about her appearance. He made her feel so different about herself. It was difficult not to get caught up in the spell he wove. She felt not only feminine, but sensual. Her body was very sensitive, every nerve ending alive, raw and focused on him.
"You are very welcome."
Dominic stepped back, allowing her to slip past him. It was strange walking in the transparent robe, the dancing light spilling over the constellation so that the dragon gleamed as if in the night sky. She could feel his eyes on her and every single step she took sent more heat rushing through her body. She was so damp she knew the evidence of her need gleamed between her legs. He was Carpathian; he couldn't fail to scent her arousal.
She forced herself to keep walking, and if there was an added sway to her hips she couldn't quite stop, she was going to blame it on the robe. Who could wear such a thing and not feel particularly sexy, especially under his burning stare, and with his compliments spinning around and around in her mind?
She reached the edge of the basin and shrugged out of the robe almost reluctantly. Just as her jeans and tees were her fighting armor, the sensual lingerie made her feel feminine and attractive. The material seemed to hide as much as it revealed. She felt flawless in it, yet the moment she shed it, she felt strangely exposed.
His hand reached over her shoulder for the robe and she relinquished it, knowing that garment would always be a particular favorite no matter what happened. While wearing the robe, for the first time in her life she felt wanted as a woman. She felt sexy and even beautiful. The robe was as magical as Dominic. Standing so close, with him behind her, she was conscious of his heat, of the absolute control he seemed to have over both of them, and of his enormous strength. As a female jaguar, she looked for those qualities in a mate, and he had them in abundance.
She slipped into the steamy water and gratefully sank deep. The heat eased the soreness in her muscles. "Dominic, this feels so good."
He moved into the shadows, sitting in one of the two armchairs, almost hidden from her. One candle flickered with just enough flame to occasionally throw light across his face. A warrior's face. Dark. Mysterious. So tough. He was beautiful to her. She ducked her head under the water and rinsed out her hair. Strangely, even that familiar action seemed sensuous.
Solange allowed her head to rest against the side of the rock pool. She knew Dominic was watching her. The light spilled directly across her, probably spotlighting her breasts under the transparent water. The flame turned the water into prisms of color, drawing the eye, but with Dominic in the shadows, it was almost like her dreams when he would come to talk with her.
"I am glad you are enjoying your bath. I could tell you were still sore from your wounds."
She flashed a small, tentative smile. "You actually healed the worst of them. I just have a few aches and pains. Nothing serious." She hesitated.
She cupped a handful of water and watched it run through her fingers. "You made me feel cared for."
"You are cared for."
Her gaze jumped to his. Her stomach fluttered at the impact of meeting those dark, mysterious eyes. "Thank you."
"If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
She frowned. "I've never been anywhere. Never. I've only lived here in the rain forest, but I used to dream of traveling. I would have loved to see all the different rain forests in the world. My aunt sometimes talked of far-off places. I used to pretend I was a princess, like in the stories she read to us, and a prince would come along and rescue me." She shrugged her shoulders. "I stopped needing to be rescued a long time ago."
"Perhaps," he murmured. "Or perhaps you simply stopped dreaming."
"What about you? Where would you want to live if you could live anywhere?"
She heard the chair move slightly, as if he had shifted positions. She glanced up and saw his hooded eyes drift over her. Instantly she was aware of her body again. It was the look in his eyes, she decided, that made her feel so sexual. Her cat wasn't in heat, yet she was. The burning between her legs just kept growing as if her body would never quite be sated. The craving for him seemed endless.
He wanted her to know herself as a woman and for his needs to become hers. She was fast approaching the point of needing him. She thought she'd been relieved when he'd told her that he expected nothing of her, but now her palms itched to touch his skin. She found herself sitting in the heated bath and fantasizing a little about taking him into her mouth, just to see what he tasted like, and most of all, what it would feel like to have him inside her, relieving the relentless ache.
"I have traveled all over the world and gone to the highest peaks, and the densest jungles. The Carpathian Mountains will always be my homeland, but my home is a woman. Solange Sangria. You are home to me. Your body is my home. Your mind. Your heart and soul. It matters little to me where we are."
She inhaled sharply. Now she wished she could see his face more clearly. "Are you saying we could live anywhere in the world that I wanted?"
"You have only to wish it."
There was no way to hide the shock on her face, and she knew he saw it by his sigh.
"Do you think yourself less than me?"
"No!" She absolutely didn't but . . .
He nodded his head. "I see. You thought I would think you were less than me."
She was ashamed. "I'm sorry." She sensed his disappointment in her for her lack of faith in him, and that hurt more than if he'd yelled at her. Dominic had never given her reason to think that he would ever think her less. "I think most men . . ." She trailed off when he lifted his hand to stop her.
"There is only one man in your life, Solange. You have only to worry yourself with what I think and feel, not other men."
His voice, as always, was utterly calm, but she sensed the edge to it and she pulled her knees to her and wrapped her arms around them, under the water where she felt warm and safe.
"Do you understand?"
She nodded her head. He waited.
"Yes," she said aloud, almost stammering. "I really didn't mean to accuse you of . . ." What had she been accusing him of? What was wrong with her? Why did it matter so much that she might have hurt him?
"You thought I would dictate to you," he finished for her. "We are partners--equal, Solange, in every sense of the word. As your lifemate, your happiness and health matter more to me than my own, but lifemates are in one another's mind. I know what you need. I think some things are difficult for you to see or admit about yourself, and it is my job to make certain you get all that you need."
She lowered her eyes. "What about your needs?"
"We will see to them in time. I have waited centuries to find you. In that time I have learned patience. Before anything else, I need your trust. Your absolute trust in me--and in yourself. You have to know you are the only woman I will ever want or need. You have to know that it is in you to meet my every desire, just as I will meet yours."
"What if I'm no good at sex?" She voiced the question most on her mind and blushed a deep crimson while she did. Her body went hot and she was very grateful for the steamy water that helped to disguise her embarrassment.
"Then your teacher will have failed and we will begin again."
She swallowed hard. "Is that what you're doing? Teaching me about sex?"
His white teeth flashed briefly in the flickering candlelight and then he was completely in the shadows. "We have not yet begun your instruction on sex."
"Oh." Her heart jumped and then beat wildly in her chest.
"Lift your leg out of the water for me."
Her gaze widened as he stood up and glided over to the edge of the basin. His movements were so fluid she knew there was no other way to describe him. He loomed over her, his shoulders wide and his dark hair flowing. She hesitated, uncertain what he wanted of her. If she scooted close to the edge so her leg would be out of the water, she'd have to lean back and she'd probably go underwater. He said nothing at all, simply waited.
Solange scooted forward as far as she could and took a deep breath, leaning back as she obediently lifted her leg out of the water. To her shock, her back and head were instantly supported.
Dominic took her ankle in his hands, his touch gentle. He smiled at her. "That's my kessake. Your trust in me is growing."
She wasn't certain it was her trust in him so much as her desire to please him. She wanted that smile and the look of approval in his eyes.
She couldn't look away from him, aware of how she must appear, only the steaming water for a cover. The water lapped at her breasts, teasing at the soft, feminine curves. One leg was bent, her foot on the floor of the basin while his hands shackled the ankle of the other. He moved his palms up her calf to her knee, a long, slow, very even stroke. Her body felt the touch deep inside. If it was possible to grow even wetter and more welcoming there in the water, she managed to do so. It took a moment to realize he had removed the short stubbles of hair on her leg.
His hands continued up her thigh. A small whimper escaped. She bit down hard on her lip to prevent any more sounds. His fingers brushed over her entrance, teased at her lips for a few moments before his palm covered her mound, shocking her. She nearly pulled away, but his eyes held her still.
She swallowed hard as his fingers moved over her body, exploring every shadow, every hollow, until she couldn't stop squirming, her body no longer her own. "I don't understand what you're doing." She gasped the words, feeling a little desperate. She'd never even dreamt a woman could want a man so much.
"There will be nothing between my mouth and your body. I want you to feel everything I do to you."
She was already feeling it. How was she going to feel any more without it killing her? He replaced her leg gently and crooked a finger at her. Solange gave him her left leg and closed her eyes, trying to breathe through the exquisite pleasure. Could a woman just have orgasms over and over without her man actually entering her? Evidently Solange could, because she was on the brink of one. His hands worked their magic, and when he was finished, he lowered her leg carefully, as if she were made of the finest porcelain.
This time, rather than ask her to lift her leg, he reached into the water and secured her right ankle, pulling her leg to him. She was grateful. She felt almost weak, unable to move, mesmerized by the look on his face. The lines were etched deep. His eyes were dark with lust. He appeared so focused on her she was almost afraid to breathe.
Small droplets of water ran down her leg, revealing the silky smooth skin. He bent his head and licked the drops of water off her thigh.
Solange's breath hissed out of her. "Dominic!"
He smiled and released her leg just as gently as he lifted it. "I think you are beginning to understand."
The only thing she understood was that he was the most amazing man in the world. This time when he held out his hand, she didn't hesitate in taking it. He drew her up out of the water and she stood, totally exposed to him. This time, as his gaze moved over her, she stood still for him, not attempting to cover up.
"You look beautiful." The warmth in his voice made her flush.
"You make me feel beautiful," she replied. And he did. The look in his eyes made her feel as if she were the most wanted woman in the world.
What would it be like to have the love and respect of a man like Dominic? To be in his care? She was a woman who had answered only to herself.
Dominic enfolded her in a warm towel and dried her off. He took his time, paying attention to detail, making certain to catch every drop of water. He rubbed her breasts, down her belly and even in between her legs. He nudged her knees apart and made certain her thighs and buttocks were completely free of moisture. He wasn't in the least impersonal as she'd hoped. His strokes were deliberately provocative, making her squirm. She could hear her own breathing change as his hands lingered. Once he bent his head and caught a drop of water that ran down her thigh. Her entire body was flushed and alive, acutely aware of him. He slipped the sleeves of the dragon robe over her arms and tied the cinch at the waist. The spidery fabric slid over her bare skin like living silk. She stood still while he towel dried her hair. To her amazement, he began to blow warm air over it as he used his fingers to encourage the unruly waves. Only when he was finished did he indicate the chair.
She smiled up at him, dazed by his care. "My aunt took me in when I was eight years old, Dominic, but we were always on the run. She home-schooled us, and we learned weapons and fighting, but there was . . ." She looked around at the snug room. He had done all this for her. "I was responsible for my cousins by the time I was fourteen. I don't know how to do this back for you."
His hand curled around the nape of her neck and he drew her close to him, bending his head to hers. Her breath caught in her throat when his lips brushed hers. She was stunned at the impact of that slight touch. Electricity sparked over and through her skin, sending a hot, sizzling rush through her veins. Her breasts swelled, nipples sensitive and aching for attention. The fire burned lower still, deep in her sex, so that she throbbed and pulsed with need.
He straightened, took her by the shoulders and led her to the chair. "You need to eat."
"Eat?" She looked up at him. "I can't even breathe."
He laughed softly, the sound filling her with unexpected joy. She hadn't known joy. She hadn't known a man could be like Dominic.
"Then I will breathe for you."
He probably would, too. She picked up an orange, too awed by him to wonder where he got it. "I'm so afraid of disappointing you. I'm not very good at relationships. Ask my cousin. She only puts up with me because we're related."
"She puts up with you because she loves you," he corrected, and took the orange from her trembling hands to peel it himself.
***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com