The soft light put a glow on her pinkened cheeks and on the flush of color rising up the smooth column of her throat, making the fine sand that dusted her skin glitter like diamonds. Under the windblown tangle of her long brown curls, her sandalwood-colored eyes were fathomless and filled with desire. Her breath was still racing and shallow, the outline of her breasts teasing him from under the crisp white linen of his shirt.

He’d never seen anything so lovely.

With the storm howling all around them, sand buffeting the tent like rain, Jehan stood speechless, the sight of her like this branding itself into his memory forever.

He couldn’t resist reaching out to stroke the velvet of her cheek. And then that wasn’t enough either, so he cupped her face in his hands and dragged her into a fierce kiss.

The instant their mouths met, it was as if no time had passed between their fevered kiss before the sandstorm and this electric moment now. Hell, it was as if they were merely picking up where they left off that first night at the villa. All of the hunger he felt for this female, all of the desire...it was right there below the surface, waiting for the chance to reignite.

And he knew that Seraphina felt it too.

On a moan, she melted against him, her lips parting to give his tongue the access it demanded. Heat licked through his veins at the taste of her passion, scorching everything in its path. In an instant, his fangs punched through his gums to fill his mouth. Need hammered in his temples, in his chest. In the aching length of his cock.

He groaned with the intensity of it.

He had to pace himself. Wanted to take this slowly with her, despite his own impatience to have her spread out beneath him as he buried himself inside her.

But Seraphina was merciless. Her wet mouth and gusting breath tore at his resolve. Her soft curves and strong, questing fingers on his shoulders and chest, in his hair, stripped away his already threadbare control.

Sliding his hands under the loose hem of the tunic, he greedily caressed the firm swell of her satin-covered breasts. Seraphina gasped, arching into him as he flicked open the front clasp of her bra and cupped her bare flesh in his palms. Her nipples were tight little buds that pebbled even harder as he rolled and tweaked them between his fingers, hungry to taste them.

He released her, but only so he could take the shirt off and feast on her with his eyes.

He drew the linen over her head and let it fall to the floor of the tent. The red sash holding up her pants came off next. He untied it and watched as the slackened waistband of the linen trousers slid off her hips to pool at her feet.

“So beautiful,” he murmured, reaching out to run the backs of his knuckles down her arm, then across the flat plane of her belly. He ventured further, toying with the lacy edge of her delicate panties. “This is what I wanted to do that first night with you, Seraphina. Undress you inch by inch. Pretend I had the right to look at you like this and think I could ever be worthy of having you.”

She slowly shook her head. “I don’t want you to pretend, Jehan. Tonight, I don’t want you to stop. I didn’t want you to stop that first night either.”

A sound escaped him, something raw and otherworldly. He slid his fingers into the scrap of fabric between her legs, and...holy fuck.

She was almost bare beneath the lace. And wet. So damn wet. Hot, liquid silk bathed his fingertips as he delved into her slick cleft.

She bit her lip, dropping her head back on a sigh. Holding on to him as he stroked her silky folds, she squirmed and shuddered against his touch. “Jehan, don’t make me wait. Please, don’t make me want like this again.”

“No chance of that,” he uttered, his voice like gravel in his throat, raw with desire. “Not tonight.”

Not ever again, some possessive part of him growled in agreement.

He didn’t know where it came from—the bone-deep sense that he belonged with this woman.

That she was his.

And that as ridiculous as the ancient pact between their families was, it had somehow delivered him to the one woman he craved more than any other before.

Jehan drew her mouth to his and kissed her again, as reverent as it was claiming. He broke contact only so he could strip out of his shirt and jeans, leaving both at his feet. He wore nothing underneath, and as soon as his cock sprang free, Seraphina’s hands found him.

She stroked and caressed him, her fingers so sure and fevered, he nearly came on the spot.

Need twisted tight and hot with every slide of her hands over his stiff shaft, pressure coiling at the base of his spine.

Somehow, he managed to collect himself enough to douse the lantern with his mind. The tent plunged into darkness. Although the sandstorm raged outside, driving everyone in the camp indoors, he wasn’t going to share Seraphina or this moment with anyone else.

Pulling her down onto the pallet of blankets and pillows with him, Jehan removed her panties, then smoothed his hand along every beautiful swell and delicately muscled plane on her nude body. The temptation of her sex was too much. The sweet scent of her arousal drenched his senses as he moved over her, parting her thighs until she was opened to him like an exotic flower.

One he couldn’t wait to taste.

He lowered his head between her legs, groaning in a mix of agony and ecstasy as his tongue met her nectar-sweet, hot, wet flesh. His fangs were already fully extended, but at the first swallow of Seraphina’s juices, the sharp points grew even larger.

The urge to bite—to draw blood and make her his in the most powerful way he knew how—rose up on him without warning.

No.

He tamped the impulse down hard, blindsided by the force of it.

Losing himself to carnal pleasure was one thing. Binding Seraphina to him for eternity was another. And it was a line he wouldn’t cross.

He had no room in his life for a mate, and if she woke up in the morning with regrets, he sure as hell didn’t want one of them to be irrevocable.

Tonight, he wanted to give her pleasure.

Selfishly, he wanted to give her the kind of pleasure that would ensure that every other male who’d ever touched her was obliterated from her memory.

Tonight, Seraphina was his—not because some ridiculous agreement said she should be, but because she wanted to be.

Because she felt the same undeniable desire that he did.

“Come for me,” he rasped against her tender flesh. “I want to hear you, Seraphina.”

“Oh God,” she gasped in reply, arching up to meet his mouth as he kissed and sucked and teased with his lips and tongue. When she writhed and mewled in rising pleasure, he gave her more, sliding a finger through her juices and into the tight entrance of her body. She cried out as he added another, thrusting in tempo with his tongue’s deep strokes.

He glanced up the length of her twisting body. “Open your eyes, beauty. I want to see you come for me.”

She obeyed, lifting heavy lids, her gaze drunk with pleasure. “Jehan, please...”

Her hands tangled and fisted in his hair as he coaxed her higher, desperate for her pleasure—for her release—before he would let himself inside.

Ah, fuck. He’d never seen anything as erotic as Seraphina caught at the crest of orgasm. The sexy sounds she made. The unbridled response of her body. The tight, hot vise of her sheath, clamping down around his fingers as he flicked his tongue over her clit and drove her relentlessly toward a shattering release.

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