Tink softened against him, warm and welcoming.

Now...now he was finally going to have her.

“I want you,” he said, the hunger gnawing at him now. “All of you.”

A moment passed before she nodded.

“Roll over.”

This time, there was no hesitation. She obeyed.

“I want to be everything you need,” she said, “the way you’re everything I need.”

A heart he’d thought hardened beyond redemption thrilled. “You already are.” He rose on an elbow and unbuttoned the back of her uniform. As the material parted, his eyes adjusted to the dark and he was able to see the plain white undergarments she wore. Lovely. Pure.

Every inch his.

“All right. On your back.”

Again she obeyed.

As he eased the gown from her shoulders, down her waist, and over her feet, she shivered. The undergarments and then her ring and gloves received the same treatment, at last leaving her bare. Beautifully, exquisitely bare.

He looked her over more leisurely. She lay utterly still, allowing him to drink his fill. He could only marvel. Every inch of her had been made for his specific tastes. Lush, yet slender. Ripe for plucking, yet delightfully innocent. She undid him. Destroyed him. Ruined him for all other females.

My woman is perfect.

“Wait, my ring,” she said, trying to swipe it out of his hold.

He held it back, out of reach. “Not until you promise the gloves are gone for good.”

“I don’t know why it’s so important to you, but all right.”

“We’re going to be what’s known as a disgustingly lovey-dovey couple. I want skin, not leather.”

As her features softened, she said, “I promise.”

He slid the ring back on her finger.

Her lips lifted in a slooow grin. A vixen’s grin. “Now, it’s time for you to take something off. It’s only fair.”

“I do want to be fair.” A dark fever drove him as he ripped off his clothing. Tink’s eyes devoured with the same greed he had displayed. He wished he had the patience to let her study as he had studied, but need could no longer be denied. He stretched on top of her, remembering at the last second to brace his weight on his elbows, and oh, the agony. The agony of being this close to her and not being inside her.

Have to get inside her.

“Spread your legs,” he demanded, and she obeyed.

Suddenly he could feel her against him, the most intimate part of her, all barriers gone; the exquisite, moist heat nearly pushed him over the edge.

“Oh, Kane. It’s...it’s...” With her nails in his back, she arched against him.

As he swooped in to kiss her, the bed began to shake, stopping him even while grinding him against her with far more force.

He hissed. She cried out.

“Silly demon,” she said on a moan. “This is actually...oh...oh! Don’t stop, Kane. Please, don’t stop.”

Disaster cursed. The bed ceased moving.

Growling, Kane smashed his mouth into her. He’d meant to proceed gently, but...screw gentleness. She hadn’t wanted it any time before.

She opened for him immediately, welcoming him, moaning with her pleasure; he swallowed the sound. He kissed her, kissed her harder, kissed her deeper, every second wrought with more tension than the last. As his hands moved on her breasts, her stomach, between her legs, she came alive.

A crack echoed. He caught the scent of plaster in the air. The wall was taking the brunt of the demon’s fury.

Tink started.

“Forget him,” Kane said. He fit his hand between her lower back and the mattress, and lifted her, drawing her more firmly against him, fitting them together until not even a whisper separated them.

She gasped. Her fingers shifted through his hair, tugging the strands. “Already done. Now give me more.”

“Always.” His lips returned to hers in a fierce meeting of mouths, dueling tongues, and nipping teeth. The passion...the utter rapture. The ecstasy.

“I want to touch you, too.”


Her hands roamed over him, exploring him, learning him, fisting his length, and that should have bothered him, but he was too relieved to be with her to entertain even a glimmer of reservation. The past fell away. There was only Tink and this moment and the pleasure and the light. Here, in her arms, surrounded by her, accepted by her, needed by her, the wounds inside his soul finally began to heal. Strength infused his bones, plumped his muscles. The blood in his veins became molten, his need for her too intense to ever again deny.

“I like this,” she said on a groan.


“I want...the rest...” The words ended on a groan. “Do the rest.”

“Soon.” He took over completely. Awed by her—mine, she’s mine, and I can have her, can have this, as many times as I desire—he did everything in his power to prepare her for his invasion. His mouth, on her body. All over it, lingering. Her taste, down his throat. Like honey. His fingers, between her legs. Rubbing, playing. She moaned, again and again, and the sounds were like music.

He liiicked. Sucked. Kneaded. Played again. Worked his fingers in slllowly...picking up speed...faster and faster...all while he whispered to her, praising her sweetness.

“I’m going to...something’s happening...”

“Let go, sweetheart. I’ve got you.”

She erupted, the pleasure hitting her, making her spasm and gasp. And when she came back down to earth a few minutes later, he started up all over again.

Panting, she said, “That was...that was...”

“Next time I’ll be in you, and it’ll be even better.”

“Yes,” she said, a plea, barely discernable. “Please. If you don’t...I’m going to...oh, I need that again...please.”

Yes. Now. No more waiting. She was his. He needed to claim her. Brand her from the inside out.

He donned a condom and moved into position, settling between her eagerly opened thighs. Concern for her was the only power strong enough to stop him from immediately thrusting home. “It’s going to hurt at first. There’s nothing I can do about that, but it’ll get better. I promise it’ll get better. But I’ll stay still until you’re ready, okay?”

“Hurts now. Just. Do. Something.”

He surged inside her, roaring, the reins of his control instantly shredded, the power of the joining utterly overwhelming him.

She cried out, the sound laced with pleasure and pain.

Mine. She’s all mine now. Claimed. Possessed.

He remained still, as promised. Sweat poured from him. His heart thundered at the incredible pressure inside him. Pressure he resisted with all of his might.

Any second, he would break apart.

“Want me to...pull out?” he panted. Please, don’t want me to pull out.

“No. Go! Finally doing...what I...need.”

He almost laughed. Almost.

He slid backward, and she squeezed at him, trying to hold him inside. Then, he slammed forward, giving her more, giving her harder, all hope of regaining control gone. He utterly ravaged her. His need for her was too great, and she liked it, was still grasping at him, once again begging for more, and more, and more.

“You feel so good,” he moaned. He told her how much he wanted her, needed her, had to have her, and she responded with soft mewls. “Don’t think I’ll ever get enough.”


“Tink, my Tink.”

His already frenzied rhythm quickened, and when she gave another cry, this one high-pitched and broken, a testament of her release, the pleasure utterly consumed him. He roared with the sublime satisfaction of his.

When the last of his shudders subsided, he collapsed on top of her. Drained. Sated.


Panting, she said, “That was...that was...”

“Awesome and wonderful.” He rolled onto his side, freeing her from his weight. “Like you.”

She kissed the hammering pulse at the base of his neck. “No wonder you did it so many times before coming after me.”

No condemnation. Still no judgment. Was there any woman like her? “Sweetheart, nothing has ever compared to this.”

She snuggled against him, a content little kitten, rubbing her cheek against his chest. “Husband?”

Oh, he liked the sound of that. “Yes. Wife.”

“Let’s do it again.”

* * *

WHEN MORNING DAWNED, Josephina was once again snuggled against the warmth of Kane’s body. She hadn’t slept, had been too busy marveling. The man wanted by all others wanted her. The man who couldn’t tolerate the touch of others had yearned for hers. Now, he held on to her as if he couldn’t bear to let her go. As if she meant something to him.

What a wonderful life she suddenly lived.

And what a wonderful man at her side. He’d experienced the worst life had to offer, was still hurting inside, might always carry the scars, but he’d turned to her. He’d found a measure of peace with her; she would cherish him all the days of her life.

A strange vibration tickled the skin of her cheek, and she frowned. “What’s happening—”

“It’s from my ring,” Kane said with a sleep-rich rumble. “It’s been bugging me all night, shaking my arm, creating some kind of heat.”

“That’s not exactly normal ring behavior.”

“I know. Apparently, William is some kind of collector, and he was willing to trade this one for a bag of Skittles. Don’t ask me where he found it. I don’t know.”

“Hmm, Skittles,” she said with a moan of longing.

He snorted. “You’d trade your rock for the candy, wouldn’t you? Never mind. Don’t tell me. I’ll only want to Super Glue the thing to your finger.”

She held the ring to the light, the jewel sparkling majestically. “Even though it’s size giant, I won’t take it off.” It was a symbol of their commitment to each other.

He kissed her temple, gentle and sweet and almost boyish. “Are you hungry, wife?”