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“I sure as h-hell hope I have to ho-hold them up.” I pulled the sweatshirt a little tighter as he brought up the sweats.

“I wouldn’t have hurt you,” he said softly as he bunched the sweats around my middle. His mostly nude body stood nearly pressed against mine, and his warm breath dusted my face. “Not in a way you didn’t like.”

Tingles raced the shivers across my skin. I fought from leaning in, craving the warmth I knew his body would provide.

“Don’t fear me, Alexis. Don’t ever fear me. I may hurt a lot of people before this is through, but never you. Do you understand?”

“Before what is through?” I asked, struggling to keep my teeth from chattering. “Helping your mother?”

He looked down at me for a moment, but didn’t answer. Instead, I felt one of his hands tighten into a fist, pulling the sweats around me that much tighter. His other hand slid upward until the heat of his touch burned across my lower back.

“Did you hear what I said? About your magic level?” he asked, stepping just a bit closer. His arms tightened around me, pulling my body flush with his. “About my plans for you?”

I could hardly breathe. His proximity vibrated through my body, his power drilling into me until it soaked deep down into my middle. His hand drifted a little lower on my back, and his grip on the pants loosened, his fingers dipping down into the waistband.

My whole world stilled in that moment. I let my eyes drift shut, feeling the glorious heat from his magic and body. I wanted his touch much, much lower. I wanted those shapely lips to skim my fevered skin as I moaned out his name.

I wanted to feel the rush of his size as it thrust into me.

“Please…” I meant to say “stop,” but the word wouldn’t come out. He was, quite possibly, the epitome of a bad idea, but I just wanted to throw caution to the wind and take him for a ride.

“You’re mine, Alexis,” he whispered next to my ear. His hand dipped lower, his fingertips brushing the top of my panty line.

And that was part of the reason he was the epitome of a bad idea.

I tried to reel away. To back up. But my body wouldn’t obey.

In a quick movement, he pulled his hand from my back and nudged my chin up.

His lips settled against mine, soft and full. He increased the pressure of his kiss as his first two fingers slid along my jaw, the touch light and teasing, making my insides dance. He sucked softly on my bottom lip before his tongue flitted in, teasing.

I fell into that kiss. That sinfully decadent kiss.

Fireworks went off in my middle and color exploded behind my closed eyes. Lightness filled my body until it felt like I was floating up off the ground. My skin felt alive, brimming with electricity. My core burned for his touch.

“Your magic feels…unbelievable.” His kiss deepened as his hand roamed down my chest.

My own hands betrayed me, loosening their grip on the sweatshirt to allow his hand to slip in and cup a breast.

I moaned, reaching out now and running my palms across his cut body. I’d been with a couple of lookers in my day, but no one who could even remotely compare to the perfection that was Kieran.

He pinched a nipple softly, and I gasped at the shock of pleasure that speared through my center and boiled in my core.

“I want to fuck you, Alexis,” he said against my lips, his hand moving faster now. It slid over my belly and down to my panties. His fingers traced along the edges before slipping in. I moaned. “I want to fuck you right now.”

33

Alexis

My brain buzzed with desire, blocking out all thought. All of the many reasons why this was a terrible idea.

Kieran’s tricky fingers slid along my wetness before dipping in, nearly buckling my legs and sending me to the floor. His thumb massaged my clit while his fingers plunged into me, starting up a rhythm, the perfect speed.

His other hand rubbed a nipple, the pleasure from all the stimulation pulsing within me.

I yanked on his neck with one hand, the kiss bruising now, while running my other palm along the hardness in those boxer briefs. His rigid length filled his underwear and then some, straining to get out. His fingers worked me higher, his skill with his digits just a glimpse of what was sure to come.

A soft buzzing wormed through my desperation to have him inside of me. A phone ringing somewhere.

A phone ringing!

Mine had been in my pocket when I’d fallen in the water. It was surely dead, which meant Mordecai wouldn’t be able to get a hold of me!

Panic blared, cutting through my passion-dizzied mind.

I yanked my hands up, leaned back, and then shoved with my palms, hitting Kieran square in the chest.

“No,” I said, taking a big step back before remembering the state of my borrowed sweats.

My feet caught on the fabric, but my weight continued to move backward. I staggered and then tipped, stupidly expecting to be saved and instead landing right on my tailbone.

The last traces of desire fled, and I blinked in the chill of the air, getting my bearings. The sweats were around my ankles and the sweatshirt lay wide open, exposing my mess of a bra and my nipples, still budded, sticking out through it.

“That’s embarrassing.” I yanked the sweatshirt closed and quickly zipped it up. I struggled to my feet, this time stupidly thinking I’d get a hand. Still a nope.

Kieran stood stock-still, looking confused, surprised, and wary, his large hard-on raging against the confines of his briefs.

“That’s probably also embarrassing, given the change in our situation.” I brushed my wet hair out of my face before bending for my clothes. A pat and a few squeezes revealed empty pockets. No phone, dead or otherwise.

I glanced down at my sopping purse, but knew it had been in my pocket. I spun, looking back toward the pool, before hurrying that way.

“Alexis, wait…” Kieran’s voice was wispy, completely unlike him. He clearly wasn’t used to girls saying no when he’d gotten them that far.

“I shouldn’t have let him get me that far,” I quietly berated myself, stopping at the edge of the pool and looking down. The sweats slipped down to my thighs before I could grab them and haul them back up.

Water shimmered on the surface, distorting my view, but even still, a certain sleek black object that I’d worked very hard for could be seen at the very bottom.

My heart sank. It had been in there for a while now. I should’ve had Kieran fish it out before I’d shoved him away and shouted no in his face.

“Okay. Surely there has to be a net around here somewhere…”

“I’ve got it.” Kieran sauntered up like he owned the world, his hard-on still going strong. No embarrassment about that fact bled into his poise, gait, or expression. He didn’t even seem annoyed. It was business as usual for him, like the moment before hadn’t happened.

In a smooth motion, he dove into the freezing water, straight down to my phone. He grabbed it without hunting, turned, and kicked back to the surface, utterly at home in the water. Of course, he was a descendant of the god of the sea and the son of one of the sea’s creatures. He belonged in the water.

He grabbed the lip of the pool and pulled himself out. Without a word, he handed my phone over.

“Shit,” I breathed, taking it in hand, not even bothered when the sweats slipped down around my ankles again. “What if Mordecai was trying to get a hold of me?” I looked up at him. “Do you think my phone is dead forever?”

He studied me for a quiet moment before glancing at my phone. Without a word, he turned and strutted away.

A twinge of guilt pinched my gut. “I should probably apologize for how I handled that other thing,” I mumbled, watching his muscular backside as he moved away. “Then again…” I tore my gaze away and turned my phone over in my hands. “He’s the reason my phone is possibly dead, and that I might’ve missed a call from the medical office, and that my life has been turned upside down.” I lowered my eyebrows. “He deserved that harsh no. And maybe a kick to go along with it. Hopefully he takes the hint—”

“I have superhuman hearing, Alexis,” he called from the beginning of the obstacle course, interrupting my private conversation with myself. Rude. “You’re mine, and you just proved you feel it. I protect what’s mine.” I saw him bend for something, but couldn’t see what. Probably his phone. “We’ll talk soon about my job offer.”

I caught a glimpse of him stalking away before he turned a corner. The soft click of a door said he’d gone.

All I could do was stare in disbelief for a moment.

Between showing up to the appointment and this moment, I’d made my situation infinitely worse.

“Crap,” I said quietly, letting the silence soak into me. “Crap.”

After a few deep breaths, I worked my way back to my clothes, only to stop in confusion when all I saw was a wet stain. Confused, I glanced around the floor. Nothing beyond a few mats and a scrap of paper that had been discarded.

“He took my fucking clothes?” I put out my hands, opened my mouth, and dramatically turned in a circle. “What the…”

The guy was a lunatic. There was no other explanation. Power had gone to his head, cracked something vital, let sense and reality seep out, and left behind only a great face with a breathtaking body.

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