Frustration built inside her until his hands found their way to her outer thighs. Clutching her bare skin in a dominating grip, he paused a moment before he pushed her flimsy nightgown up. His large, callused hands slid up her hips, her waist, and the sides of her breasts until he’d pulled the gown completely off her.

She’d removed her hands from the headboard while he stripped her, only to have him guide them back. As she held on to the iron posts once again, he pushed up and stared down at her mostly naked body.

He always said how much he wanted her, but now that she was splayed out in front of him, she worried that he didn’t like what he saw. She wasn’t stick thin and definitely had her share of curves. Instinctively, she started to cover herself, but he stopped her with one word.

“Don’t.” He seared her with a hot, penetrating gaze before lowering his head over one of her breasts.

Her nipples were already hard from his intense scrutiny, but when he tugged one into his mouth, she felt the sweeping action of his tongue all the way to her toes. It was a shock to her senses, electrifying and erotic.

As he kissed a moist path around her nipple, then made his way to the underside of her breast, she tore her hands from the headboard. She didn’t care what he said. She wanted to touch him. To feel all that masculine power under her fingertips.

Tunneling her fingers into his dark hair, she held his head as he continued his delicious assault. So intent on what he was doing, he didn’t seem to notice. Continuing the trail with her hands, she rubbed them down his back, savoring all that raw strength.

Unable to stop herself, she wrapped her legs around his waist and began rubbing herself against him. His jeans and her underwear weren’t much of an obstruction. His cock pressed so insistently against her, all she could imagine was what it would feel like to have him slide into her. Everything about him was big and she had no doubt he’d be no different down there. Her inner walls clenched involuntarily.

Liam lifted his head, causing her eyes to open. In a daze, she stared at him. Why was he stopping? He was so talented with his tongue she thought she might actually climax from his teasing alone. Her entire body was that primed for release.

“You are so fucking perfect, woman.” His voice was gravelly and rough and the words turned her on more than she could have imagined.

She wasn’t sure how to respond. If there even was a response. The intense look on his face took her breath away, making speech or coherent thought impossible.

“I want to kiss you here.” He reached between them and cupped her mound. The feel of his large hand covering her made her abdomen clench and sent a shiver of desire curling through her.

Knowing how dominating he was, she was touched he’d asked first. “I want that too.”

And she did. Very much.

Smiling, he dropped a lazy kiss on her mouth before he pushed off her. In doing so, she loosened her grip around him and let her thighs fall open.

As he leaned back, he grasped the thin straps of her bikini-cut panties and pulled them down her legs in a quick, almost jerky motion. His hands shook slightly and something told her that was a rare thing for him.

Spread out like this for Liam, December looked like a gift one of his ancestors might have offered to their gods. But she was his alone. Even though his most primal side wanted to flip her onto her stomach, take her from behind, and mark her so that everyone would know she belonged to him, he held fast to his control.

His body ached with the need to sink into her, but he cared for her too much to take her so roughly. Especially now. Not after what she’d been through tonight. She deserved gentleness and care. Her desire was potent and damn near overwhelming, but he sensed how fragile she was and he just wanted to take care of her.

When he stared at her like this, it was hard to breathe. A thin strip of trimmed, light red hair covered her mound. The arousing scent she gave off was something that would forever be embedded in his memory.

When she went to cover herself, he realized he’d been staring too hard. He’d finally gotten her where he wanted her and he refused to screw this up. As gentle as he could, he placed his hands on her inner thighs and lightly pressed them open farther. Bending down, he swiped his tongue along her wet slit in one fluid motion. She tasted just as sweet as she smelled.

Her hips jerked erratically at his first lick, but he didn’t stop. Increasing the pressure, he continued teasing her until her thighs clamped around his head and she fisted the sheet beneath her. She was so close he could scent it. Even if he couldn’t, the panting sounds and moans she made got louder with each stroke. And it was written in every tense line of her body.

With one finger, he slowly inserted it into her tight sheath. She was so wet he couldn’t help the satisfaction that curled through him. This reaction was because of him. She was turned on because of him. She might want to deny their connection, but her body couldn’t.

Slowly, he pulled out, then pushed back in with another finger. When he did, her inner walls clamped around him. He could feel the small contractions starting the faster he moved his fingers, so he increased his pace.

The moans that tore from her throat were in unison with each unsteady roll of her hips. His balls pulled up so tight at those sounds he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to control himself.

Finally, her back arched as the orgasm ripped through her. Clutching the sheet beneath her, she moaned and writhed as she found that release. His name fell from her lips as her body finally stilled against the bed. Her erratic breathing and the blood rushing in his ears were the only things he could hear.

Looking up, he found her staring at him with wide, blue eyes and a faint smile on her lips. “Wow,” she murmured.

If he could put that look of satisfaction on her face every day, she’d never want to leave his bed. Or him. Smiling, he covered the distance between them and stretched out on top of her. He’d never been great with words, but especially not in the bedroom. His partners had all been shifters and talking wasn’t usually on the menu.

When she wrapped her arms and legs around him and molded to him, he relaxed. This was exactly where he’d wanted her and now that he had her naked and underneath him, he couldn’t imagine letting her walk away from him. Something tightened around his chest when she increased her grip. After what she’d been through tonight, she trusted him enough with her body to completely open herself to him. Considering the invisible walls she’d been putting up for him, this act of submission touched him on a level he didn’t quite understand.

When she started to tug at his shirt, he tensed. Reaching between them, he covered her hands, stilling her.

“What are you doing?” She frowned at him.

“If I take off my clothes, I’ll forget all my good intentions.” It was hard to remember why he was being so noble when she had her hot, naked body wrapped around his.

Withdrawing her hands from his, she smoothed them up and down his back. The action was surprisingly soothing. “And what good intentions would those be?”

“Not to take advantage of you,” he managed to rasp out.

She smiled seductively. “I don’t think it’s taking advantage when I’m offering myself.”

Liam knew he could strip and be inside her in seconds.


But he held back. When they finally took that next step, he didn’t plan to let her go. He’d mark and claim her then. He wouldn’t risk her throwing it back in his face later that this was a mistake or that she regretted it. That she’d been weak or needy or some excuse. When they took that step, he wanted it to mean something to both of them. No doubts and no barriers between them.

He placed a light kiss on her lips, then pulled the covers back and slid in next to her. “I want tonight to be only about you,” he murmured against her hair as he pulled her back against his chest. She tried to protest, but he just tugged her tighter and kissed the top of her head as she settled against the pillow. “Tell me something about yourself.” He kept his voice a low whisper and his grip around her firm.

“Like what?” Her question was asked just as quietly.

“Anything. Something I don’t know.” He didn’t care what she told him as long as he learned more about her.

She paused for only a moment. “When I was about five, a German shepherd adopted me.”

His eyebrows drew together at her statement. “Adopted you?”

“Mm-hmm. Before my parents died, we lived in a giant house in South Carolina. Lots of land. Easy to get lost on. Parker was supposed to be watching me, but I was a handful and managed to escape his watchful eyes. Long story short, I got lost and was close to hysterics until I stumbled on an adorable puppy who I thought was just as lost as me.”

“So he adopted you?”

“Pretty much. He decided I was his owner and led me home. My mom wasn’t an animal person, but there was no way she could deny me or his cute little face.”

Liam could feel her smile against the pillow. Hell, he could practically feel her entire body smile as she spoke. “What was his name?”

She chuckled, the sound low and husky and sexy as hell. “Bubblegum. Parker tried to tell me it was a dumb name for a dog, but I was five and that was that. No one could change my mind. I haven’t thought about him in years.” There was a wistful note in her voice before she continued. “What about you? Did you ever have any pets?”

He couldn’t help it. A sharp bark of laughter escaped. “Sweetheart, wolves don’t have pets.”

“Oh, right…smart-ass.” She nudged his leg with her foot as she snuggled deeper against him.

“Get some sleep, Red.” He kissed her head again.

She didn’t try to fight him and minutes later the sound of her steady, rhythmic breathing filled the air.

Rock-hard and sexually primed, he knew it would be impossible to sleep anytime soon, but holding December this way was worth it. As she snuggled closer into his embrace, a light movement by the window made him tense. A black raven landed on the ledge. Pausing, it stared at him for a moment, then just as quickly flew away.