“Why?” Her fingers flexed as his grip on her wrist tightened.

He didn’t answer. Instead, he reached between her legs and cupped her mound in a completely possessive manner. Even though she was covered, the action took her so off guard she jerked against his hand. When she did, he pressed the heel of his palm against her clit with a perfect amount of pressure. Her inner walls automatically clenched with the need to be filled by him.

This is way too soon. The words sounded loudly in her head, but she ignored them.

It took a moment for it to set in that Nikan was touching her so intimately. They’d gone from petting and kissing to a very intimate embrace so quickly she struggled to wrap her mind around it. He didn’t give her a chance to dwell on what they were doing.

Moving the flimsy material aside, he didn’t stop until his rough palm was on her most delicate skin and one of his fingers was pushing inside her. Lifting up on her knees, she held the back of his head with one hand and kept a death grip on his shoulder with the other. “What are you doing?” Okay, not exactly the brightest question. It just slipped out from sheer nervousness. This was such a huge step they were taking.

“Let me do this for you.” His gaze was intense as he looked up at her. When he began moving his finger inside her, she lost all ability to think. He moved slowly at first, exploring what she liked, what made her shudder. It didn’t take long for him to figure it out.

Letting her head fall back, she tried to hold on to some of her control but knew it was a losing battle. His finger slid in and out of her in a steady rhythm that drove her crazy with need. Her breasts felt heavy and her nipples tightened to almost painful points. If they weren’t in such a semipublic place she would shed all her clothes. Hell, she was tempted to do it anyway. Knowing someone could walk in on them at any moment was incredibly erotic and so unlike her.

Without warning he tore his mouth from where he was nibbling her neck and crushed his lips to hers. His tongue stroked and danced with hers in a similar rhythm to the way he was working his finger inside her. As a sudden image of his head between her legs flooded her brain, she rolled her hips against him.

He increased his movements and began stroking her clit with his thumb with such perfect precision it scared her. It was as if he was completely attuned to her body. When he nipped her bottom lip she allowed herself to just let go even though a small voice in her head told her to hold on to some of her control. Her orgasm was swift and sharp, pulsing through her in sweeping waves. The pleasure swirled everywhere, touching all her nerve endings until finally she went limp in his arms.

Nikan embraced her, pulling her tight against his chest. Still propped up over him, she wrapped her arms around him, threading her fingers through his hair as she held his head to her chest and caught her breath.

Her heart beat out of control even though she was coming down from her climax. Luckily, she could feel his heartbeat and it was just as erratic as hers.

She wasn’t sure how long they stayed there, holding each other, but when she heard music much clearer, she realized someone was pulling the curtain back, allowing sound in.

“This booth is occupied!” Nikan snarled and immediately the curtain fell back into place.

But it had broken the intimate moment. Swallowing hard, she leaned back to look at him. His expression was unreadable, but when he reached up and cupped her cheek, some of her tension drained away. She desperately hoped things wouldn’t get awkward between them especially since she had no idea what this meant for their future.

Chapter 4

Even though he didn’t want to let her go, Nikan helped Esperanze off his lap and tugged her dress down until it covered her legs. Not that it mattered since he’d completely ripped it up the back. At least she had her coat, which she was cinching tightly around her waist. He wanted to get her back to the hotel room where they’d have more privacy. Immediately. Not only did he want to show her more pleasure, he wanted to make it clear this wasn’t just a physical thing for him.

When she glanced up, her fingers froze on the belt she’d just tied. Her green eyes were so expressive and not for the first time he thought she’d be an awful poker player. Right now she looked confused. Before he could stop himself, he pulled her back onto his lap and wrapped his arm tight around her waist.

Which was what had gotten him into trouble in the first place. Not that he’d take back what had just happened between them. Especially since he could scent her on him, surrounding him. It was intoxicating. When Maya had invited him to one of the roped off booths Nikan had seen Esperanze disappear into with that fucking vampire, he’d left Maya without a word. He’d been unable to stop himself from following after his Essie once he’d realized what the booths were used for. It had taken all his restraint not to mark her right here, to sink his teeth in to her neck, putting his scent on her for everyone to know she was claimed. He’d come close a few times, raking his teeth over her delicate skin.

But he respected her enough to wait to ask for permission. Well, his human side did. His wolf just wanted to take. Thank God he had some control over it. “You look gorgeous when you come.” The words were out before he could think about censoring himself.

Her cheeks flushed crimson, but at least she laughed. The throaty sound speared straight through his heart. “I can’t believe you just said that.” The flush spread down to her neck, but she didn’t hide her face or try to move off him. Instead she wrapped her arm around his neck, embracing him.

He was rock hard, but the sight of her flustered turned him on even more, if that was possible. “Soon, I hope you’ll be coming around my cock.”

Her green eyes widened and in addition to the lust rolling off her, he sensed . . . not fear exactly, but something that smelled a lot like panic. Another sudden thought hit him. “Do you regret what just happened?”

“No.” Her quick answer soothed him. “It’s just . . . this was very unexpected.”

“Is that a bad thing?”

Her luscious lips curved up into a small, seductive smile. “Definitely not, but I don’t think I’m ready for anything else just yet.”

As long as she didn’t have any regrets, he could force himself to be patient. Cupping her jaw, he stroked her cheek, enjoying the feel of her. The need to touch her had been overwhelming the past few weeks. Hell, he’d almost lost control earlier when he’d first pulled her onto his lap, and she’d sensed it. “Thank you for . . . calming me down earlier.”

“I should be thanking you for . . .” She trailed off and that delicious color tinged her cheeks again.

“For?” he prompted, wanting to hear her say the words. No, needing. She might be a very sensual woman, but she wasn’t a flirt and she didn’t flaunt her sexuality. His most primal side wanted her to talk to him in a way she didn’t with anyone else. So bad he craved it.

She pursed her lips and slid off his lap. “We should get out of here.” A frown marred her face for a moment as she grabbed her purse and pulled her cell phone out of it. “But first I need to call Antoine.”

Nikan hadn’t even realized he’d growled until Esperanze shot him an annoyed look. “After what just happened I wouldn’t think you’d feel threatened by him.”

The growl died in his throat. His rational, human side could tell there was no attraction between Esperanze and Antoine. He hadn’t scented any sort of lust from the vampire, though the vamp could have been hiding his reaction. Not that it mattered. Esperanze wasn’t into anyone but him. After tonight he was absolutely certain. Still, his inner wolf didn’t always see reason. Not where his intended mate was concerned.

He watched as she snapped her phone shut and slid it back into her purse. “What is it?” he asked.

“He’s not answering and before you, uh, interrupted us, he was concerned about something.” There was a thread of worry in her voice.

“What about?” He might not like the guy solely for the reason Esperanze used to have a crush on him, but Nikan would help him out to make her happy.

“He didn’t say, but would you mind if we stopped by his hotel room before heading back to ours?”

Like he could deny her anything. He shook his head as she began to slide out of the booth. Following, he said, “I thought he lived in DC.”

“He does, but he didn’t want to deal with traveling to and from the conference so he got a hotel room.”

Nikan wrapped an arm around her shoulders, keeping her close. He turned their bodies so that he was in front of her as he pulled the curtain back. He doubted anyone was waiting to jump them, but he wanted to protect her. The crowd had nearly doubled and from the look of things, the night was about to get a lot more hedonistic. Half-dressed paranormal beings and humans writhed on the dance floor, and the men and women he’d seen earlier offering their blood to vamps were apparently also offering other services.

“Oh my,” Esperanze breathed out, her voice unsteady.

He looked down to see her face even more flushed than earlier, then tracked her line of sight. Two vampires were sandwiching a female on the dance floor, dancing, groping, and before long he had no doubt they’d be in one of the private booths.

“You like that?” he asked quietly.

She didn’t answer, but he scented a trickle of lust rolling off her as she watched, almost entranced. It was an erotic sight and one he appreciated too, but something sharp jumped inside him at the thought of another male touching, or worse, sharing her. “I don’t share.”

Her head snapped up, her eyes slightly narrowed as she looked at him. “Neither do I.” There was a surprising bite to her words he liked.

“Good.” As he tightened his grip, she did the same, digging her fingers into his waist with more pressure than before. His entire body tensed at the feel of her pressed up against him. He might have imagined what it would be like to finally have a taste of Esperanze, but nothing had prepared him for the reality. He had no problem being as patient as she needed, but he really hoped she changed her mind about taking things to the next level before this weekend was over. If he could give her so much pleasure she couldn’t think straight, it would make it a hell of a lot easier to broach the mating subject.