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“But damn it, Alexis, I know you’re meant for me. I feel it. Our first meeting wasn’t a chance encounter. Not really. You weren’t terrified by a dangerous stranger following you around, threatening and propositioning you in turns, because you lack good sense, but because you recognized your destiny. It was tolerating someone who would stand by you while you claimed your birthright.”

I struggled to keep the emotion out of my tone. “Just my destiny?”

“You freed my mother when no one else knew how, and I know you’ll free me of my father, too. Just when I needed you most, I found you. With your help, I’ll stay on the path my mother set me on. One of compassion and morality. You make me a better man, Alexis. You’ll make me a better leader, if ever I should rise to that mantle. You are not just my destiny, you are my salvation.”

I blew out a breath slowly, tears clouding my vision.

“Take that house, Alexis, for you and your kids. Give them a better life. Let yourself live a better life.” He paused as he stared down into my eyes. “Be mine, and only mine, as I will be yours.”

I held his gaze for a long moment, and finally, against all logic and sense, gave in. Kinda.

“Make me.”

17

Alexis

His eyes flashed with desire. He ran his palms up my inner thighs, pushing, spreading me wider.

“There is no going back after this,” he said with a warning in his voice.

I moaned as his sexy magic caressed my skin and soaked down into my body. “I know.”

I licked my lips as he leaned forward. His mouth skimmed across my core before sucking in my clit.

“Oh God…” I leaned back and closed my eyes, letting my hips drift up of their own accord. “Deeper,” I breathed.

He pulsed the suction while running his fingers in and out. With his other hand he reached up and massaged my breast, lightly pinching my nipple and sending wave after wave of bliss through me. I lavished in the exquisite pleasure, so close to coming even though I’d already climaxed once already.

I grabbed a fistful of his hair and yanked. He groaned, sucking harder. His hand working faster.

“Holy…fuck!” I shook with the orgasm, arching back and floating on the waves of passion.

He didn’t give me a chance to come down. Faster than thought, he settled his muscular body onto mine. I groaned as his tip slid up my wetness.

“You’re mine,” he whispered against my ear, and thrust.

Colors burst behind my eyes. The whole world stilled in the moment. His magic blistered pleasantly across my skin.

“Mmm,” I moaned, deliciously filled.

“Mine,” he said again, his rough voice sending the shivers of ecstasy down my spine. A tidal wave of his magic sucked me under to a place with no thought. He pulled back before ramming into me again, then again, hard and rough and fucking fantastic.

“Yes, Kieran,” I groaned, holding on for dear life as his power dizzied me.

Something about this time felt different than all the others. Something about his magic skimming flames across my skin made my heart leap expectantly. And it made me want to call my magic and entwine it with his.

Giving in to the feeling, I opened up the power of the Line, letting it fill the room and seep into our soul connection. He groaned in bliss and thrust harder, hitting me just right.

“Yes, Kieran. More.”

His movements became wild. The passion rose like a storm, overcoming me. A gale force wind blew from the Line, covering our soul connection with spirit and hardening it into something unbreakable. Invulnerable. Forever.

He crashed into me with a fervor I’d never experienced. I raked my nails across his back, lost to the exquisite feel of him. Basking in his magic and power. The pressure built, higher and higher, winding through my core and tightening.

I held on for dear life as his power spun around us, almost a solid force. I cried out as I hit another high, my body unbearably tight. The pleasure so sharp it cut, so delicious I could barely breathe. For a moment, I hovered right there, at the cliff’s edge, just needing a little push.

“Mine!” he exalted, and a surge of power such that I couldn’t understand slammed into me. Magic seared my skin and soaked down into my body. The pleasure wrapped around me as his body drove down deep.

The room lost gravity and I lost my grip on reality. Suddenly, we were falling—then floating—weightless in pleasure, limbs entwined. The well we’d tumbled into had no bottom.

With one last thrust, he whispered, “Forever.”

I exploded into so many pieces I was sure they’d never all be found. He groaned and shook over me, finishing with me. His lips lingered against mine as my body vibrated against his.

Our heavy breathing filled the quiet room. My heart thudded against my ribcage and every muscle in my body loosened, then went completely limp.

“You’ve outdone yourself this time,” I said softly, my voice slightly hoarse. I had the distinct impression I might’ve been screaming instead of ladylike moaning.

Breathing deeply, like he’d just sprinted a mile, he rolled onto his side before pulling me with him. I settled my head in the hollow between his neck and shoulder and breathed a sigh as the weight of his arm wrapped around me.

“That was…” His voice drifted away. “I have no words for what that was, Alexis.”

“Incredible? Fantastic? Legendary?”

“Permanent.”

I looked up, surprised by the gravity of his voice.

He skimmed his fingertips across my back. “I didn’t ever imagine a person could feel this way. It’s exhilarating and consuming. I feel like I’m still floating.”

I smiled, knowing exactly what he meant. It was like the bed was just a prop for appearance’s sake, and if it weren’t there, we’d still be at exactly the same height, me wrapped up in his strong arms, enjoying the soft thrush of the ocean in the distance and the warmth of each other’s bodies.

“My father must’ve felt like this with my mother,” he said quietly, almost like he was talking to himself. His breath rustled my hair. “It must’ve started out like this. I want to give you the world, Alexis. I never want you to want for anything.”

“Two wants don’t make a right.”

He huffed out a laugh. “Trust you to laugh it off. I’m trying to tell you this new feeling is scaring the shit out of me.”

Well that wasn’t expected.

“Something just happened there with my magic,” he went on. “I’m honestly not even sure what it was, but it feels…” His voice drifted away.

I shrugged. “It felt good, whatever it was. Fiery but not painful. I liked it. I’d be down to do that again.”

He shook his head. “I don’t think I can do it again. It’s done, now. That’s it. I think.”

I frowned. “What is…it?”

“I don’t know.”

“Right…”

Thankfully, I had a lot of experience shrugging off random magical things for which I had no explanation. I’d been doing it most of my life, learned from my mother, who had always taken all my crazy in stride.

And along those lines… “I think I accidentally made the soul connection permanent. Sorry. But you were claiming me, or whatever, and—”

In a rush, he rolled me onto my back, settled between my legs, and thrust into me. I gasped in shock, then groaned in pleasure. His magic settled over me like a hot, sexy, tantalizing blanket. Fire burned across my skin again, achingly delicious.

“Found your—” I said, then I gasped again as he pumped into me before pulling back and thrusting harder. God he felt good. Better than anything in the world. Better than chocolate. “—sex trigger.”

He slammed into me, over and over, and I was hard pressed to move fast enough to meet his downward thrusts. Pressure built almost immediately. His magic sizzled. I yelled with each thrust, wild. Lost. Taken by surprise and loving it.

“Mine,” he whispered, and he reached down between us and massaged my clit as he stroked in and out. “Come with me.”

I wouldn’t have a choice. This train was smashing into the station.

“Now, Alexis. Come with me,” he commanded. His magic seared my flesh in the most gratifying of ways.

“Oh!” The wave of pleasure crashed, sweeping me along with it. For the fourth time that night. A girl could get used to this.

I trembled in bliss as he shook over me. Endorphins surged through my blood stream, and I could barely form a thought, let alone a word. He leaned down to kiss me softly.

“Surprise,” he said with a smile.

Mouth open, eyes wide, I was panting like a race horse ridden by a giant.

He settled beside me again, nestling me close to his body. “Clearly I was wrong about that magic,” he said with a note of pride.

“Uh-hum.”

“I have no control over it, though.”

“Mm. Mhm.” I swallowed and tried to get my bearings. “Saying that you’re claim—”

“No, no!” He placed his hand over my mouth. “Don’t say the C-word. It’s like a shot of nitrous and I need to take you immediately. Not make love—take you.”

He peeled his fingers off my mouth and paused, like I might say it again just for funsies. But honestly, this girl needed a break.

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