Only a man could delude himself in such a way.
He kicked back into motion, silent now. At his door, he shouldered his way inside. Olivia tensed, but sure enough, Legion was nowhere to be seen. She sighed with relief as Aeron laid her atop the soft mattress.
“Aeron,” she said, not ready for him to leave and suspecting he intended to do so.
“Yes.” He remained in place, hovering over her, and smoothed a hand through her hair.
She almost purred as she leaned into the touch. “I didn’t mean it before. When I said I wouldn’t thank you. I truly am grateful for your aid.”
What are you doing? He’ll never see you as a potential lover if you constantly remind him of your angelic nature.
“Yeah, well.” Clearly uncomfortable, he coughed as he straightened. “Are you hurt anywhere else?” He didn’t wait for her reply, but cast his gaze over the length of her. Perhaps that was his first full glance at her new clothing, because his jaw suddenly dropped. “You…you’re…”
Perhaps her potential lover status wasn’t in jeopardy, after all. Confident. “Isn’t it pretty? Kaia helped me.” Aggressive. She smoothed her hands down her breasts, stomach and hips, wishing he were touching her instead. Goose bumps broke out over her skin. Oh, now that was a surprise. It felt good. Really, really good. She’d have to remember to touch herself like this again.
“Pretty,” he said thickly, hotly. “Yes.”
“What do you think of my makeup?” When his gaze lifted to her face, she traced a fingertip over her lips. “I hope Legion didn’t smear it.”
“It’s…nice.” Again, his voice was thick and hot.
Was that good or bad?
Did it matter? She wanted him; she’d decided to go after him. She would have him.
Licking her lips—and tasting coconut, hmm—she sat up, propping her weight on one elbow and reaching for Aeron with the other. She flattened her palm over his pounding heart. Part of her blushed at such boldness, screaming to pull back. The other part preened, shouting to rush onward.
To achieve great joy, she reminded herself, you often had to step out of your comfort zone.
So step out already. “You can kiss me if you want.” Please, please, let that be what he wants.
For a moment, he stopped breathing. At least, his chest stopped moving. A blaze erupted in his eyes, expanding his pupils, and his muscles twitched under her grip. “I shouldn’t. You shouldn’t. You’re an angel.”
“Fallen,” she reminded him. Again. “I could have died the other day. I could have died today. In both cases I would have died without knowing the taste of you. What a shame that would be, since it’s all I’ve ever really wanted.”
“I shouldn’t,” he repeated, leaning…leaning… Regrettably, he stopped himself just before contact.
She tried not to scream in frustration. How close had she come to finally getting her wish? “Tell me why.” So that she could obliterate each of the reasons.
“I don’t need the distraction.” At least he didn’t move away. “I don’t need a woman. I don’t need anything.”
There was no way to refute that. Never had a man been more unwavering about remaining alone. So, rather than argue, she simply said, “Well, I do need a distraction,” and slid her hand up to his neck. She wouldn’t step out of the zone this time; she would sprint.
Determined, she jerked him down.
He could have resisted. He could have stopped her. He didn’t. He allowed himself to fall on top of her. They remained like that for a long while, simply looking at each other, his body pinning her down, neither of them able to catch their breath.
“Aeron,” she finally rasped.
“I don’t know what to do,” she admitted, all the longing she felt wafting from the words.
“I may be a fool, but I’ve got it from here,” he replied, and claimed her mouth with his own.
SHE’S WEAK, PRACTICALLY HUMAN. Worse than human, Aeron reminded himself as their tongues twined, but he couldn’t make himself care. Later he would. Later he would regret, but for now, all he wanted was…her. Olivia. A woman his little Legion despised, a woman who had just gotten her ass handed to her—although, if he were honest, he would admit that she’d been holding her own until he’d distracted her—and a woman he would kick out of the fortress very soon.
The way she calmed and charmed Wrath made him uneasy, throwing him off his game. Even now, the demon purred, enjoying what was happening. Eager for what was to come.Foolish. Olivia was a distraction he couldn’t afford. He hadn’t lied about that. He couldn’t waste time worrying about her, saving her when she got herself into trouble—and she would. She wouldn’t be able to help herself. The woman was determined to have “fun,” for the love of the gods.
Any other man would have been willing to help her with that, he thought next, hands falling beside her temples and fisting the sheet. Look at William. Sex-happy William. Bastard.
Mine. The angel is mine.
Wrath? Staking a claim? Laughable.
Not yours, and certainly not mine. But oh, how he wished otherwise.
In her new clothing, she’d exposed luscious skin and dangerous curves. Both of which were sins in their own right, pure temptation no man could hope to resist. Not even him. She’d wanted a kiss and there’d been something inside him that had demanded he give it to her. For once, he hadn’t had the strength to pull away. Had only been able to press their lips together, open her teeth with his tongue, and take. Take her sweetness, take her innocence. Take everything he could from the kiss.
And holy hell, the taste of her… She tasted of grapes, sweet with just a little tart, as her tongue tentatively sought his. Her nipples were hard and every few seconds she arched upward to brush her core against his erection. In contrast, her hands slid through his cropped hair and remained soft, her kiss gentle.
She would be a tender lover, just as he’d always preferred.
He’d never understood why some of the other warriors gravitated to women who scratched and bit and even hit during this most intimate of acts. Had never wanted to do so himself before. Why bring the violence of the battlefield into the bedroom? There was no reason good enough. Not to him.
Aeron’s past lovers, the few he’d allowed himself, had expected more intensity from him than he’d been willing to give. Probably because he looked like a biker, was a confessed warrior and killer, and backed down from nothing. But he hadn’t allowed them to push him into going faster or harder.
One, he was too strong and they too weak. He could too easily break them. Two, harder and faster might have roused his demon and Aeron refused to participate in a three-way with a creature he sometimes couldn’t control. Again, he could break his partners, morphing from lover to punisher.
Except…if he were completely honest with himself, there was a desire, small though it was, to push Olivia past all boundaries, to hurtle her over the edge of her own sense of control, so much so that she would attack and plead and do anything necessary to reach her climax.
Wrath’s purring increased in volume.
What was wrong with him? What was wrong with his demon? With this much interaction, Aeron should have feared hurting Olivia more than he’d ever feared hurting another. He didn’t. He deepened the kiss, taking more than she was probably willing to give.
Wrath’s voice was a whisper, but still it jarred him back into reality; he raised his head from Olivia. I’m not edging into bloodlust. You should be quiet.
Even though the demon had always been silent around Legion, his baby calming it much the same way Olivia did, Wrath had never wanted to kiss her.
Why was it responding this way to Olivia, then? An angel?
We need to slow down, he replied, not knowing what else to say.
Like a petulant child denied his favorite treat, the demon whined, More heaven. Please.
More…heaven? Aeron’s eyes widened. Of course. To Wrath, Olivia must represent a place the demon would never have been welcome, making the unattainable seemingly within reach. Though, to be honest, Aeron had never before suspected that the demon wished to visit the home of the angels. Angels and demons were enemies, after all.
And maybe he was wrong, but nothing else explained the demon’s…affection for her.
“Aeron?” Her eyelids cracked open, her lashes thick and black, the perfect frame for those magnificent baby blues. Her lips were wet and red, and she licked them slowly. “Your eyes…your pupils…but you’re not angry.”
What about his pupils? “No, I’m not angry.” Why would she think so?
“You’re…aroused, yes?” Those lips curved into a wanton grin, saving him from having to reply. “So why’d you stop? Am I doing it wrong? Give me another chance, please, and I promise I’ll learn the way of it.”
He pulled back a bit more and blinked down at her. “This is your first kiss?” He’d known that. I don’t know what to do, she’d said earlier. But the truth hadn’t really hit him until now. Angels remained utterly innocent, even in this? No wonder Bianka had chosen to linger in the sky with Lysander. This was…intoxicating.
Olivia nodded. Then, surprisingly, she offered him another grin. “You couldn’t tell? You thought I was experienced?”
Not entirely, but he didn’t want to spoil her excitement. Plus, he liked her inexperience a little too much. He liked being her first, her only. Liked the possessiveness now flooding and consuming him.
A possessiveness that was wrong on so many levels. “Perhaps we should—”
“Do it again,” she rushed out. “I agree.”
Innocence and eagerness, wrapped in such a pretty package. Oh, yes. Intoxicating. “Not what I was going to say. Perhaps we should stop.” Before he introduced her to far more than a kiss.
Before he introduced himself—and Wrath—to heaven. A heaven they might never want to leave.