Geryon removed his breast plate and tossed it aside, his too-corded chest with its scars, fur and over-large bones revealed. His hands shook as he then unwound the leather wrapped around his waist, slowly revealing his hardened shaft, his scarred and fur-lined thighs. He tensed, waiting for the inevitable gasp of horror, even though she'd assured him of his "animal magnetism."

"Beautiful," she said reverently. "A true warrior. My warrior." She reached up and ran her fingertips through that fur. "Soft."

Breath seeped from his parted lips, breath he had not realized he'd been holding until just then. "Kadence. Sweet Kadence," he rasped. What had he ever done to deserve her? If he hadn't fallen in love with her already, he would have fallen then.

As the hottest thrum of desire he'd ever experienced pounded through him, he kissed his way down her stomach, stopping only to dip his tongue inside her navel. She trembled. When he reached the apex of her thighs, he worshipped her, and the trembling became writhing.

"Amazing," she gasped, fisting his hair.

He wanted to devour her, possess her, but he held back, her taste like the sweetest ambrosia. Only when she came apart, screaming her pleasure, did he rise above her. He was proud and honored to have given her such ecstasy. But he was trembling now, his body on fire. Desperate. For her, only her.

Her legs wound around him, and she cupped his cheeks, staring deep into his eyes. "I need more of you."

He entered her an inch, one blessed inch. Stopped, gave her time to adjust. He'd go slowly if it killed him. Make it good for her, the best.

"Why do I not feel the  need to master you?" she purred into his ear. She bit the lobe.

Sweet fire. "That's how it was, before?"

She nodded, arching her hips to take more of him. Another inch.

He had to cut off a groan. "Perhaps because my heart is so completely yours, there's nothing left to master."

"Oh, Geryon. Please." She stroked his horns, circling a fingertip over the hard points. "Take me all the way. Give me everything."

He could deny her nothing. Releasing his fierce grip on control, he pounded forward and she cried out. Not in pain, but in joy, he realized. Over and over he filled her, giving her all of him. Their wills intermingled so completely, it was impossible to tell who wanted what.

His nails raked the floor beside her head, his teeth even nipped her, but she loved it all, urging him on, begging for more. And when he spilled his seed inside her, her inner walls clutching him in her own surge of satisfaction, he shouted the words that had been building inside of him since the moment he'd met her. "I love you!"

To his surprise, she gave a shout of her own. "Oh, Geryon. I love you, too."

They quickly dressed. Kadence was still weak, but at least the pain had stopped.

"Are they still at the gate?" Geryon asked.

"Oh, yes. They're working it feverishly."

He kissed her lips, and she reveled in another taste of this man she so loved. "Whisk us there, lock them in place, and I will do the rest."

"I hope this works," she said, because she couldn't bear the thought of being parted from him.

"It will. It has to."

Otherwise, she feared they were both doomed.