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First Contact! And neither Avery nor Emeline will be the same.
A shift in the air alerted him that he was no longer alone. The hesitant whisper of feet gliding across the carpet revealed his intruder. And her scent. She smelled of him—of sandalwood and the night—mixed with her womanly aura that spiked his blood. A growl rumbled in his throat. Could he not have a moment alone? Maybe if he didn’t move she’d go away and leave him to finish meditating.
Silence stretched painfully until curiosity made him open one eye. She sat in front of him, so close he could count the treasure of gold flecks sparkling in her hazel eyes. Her gaze skimmed his face, leaving a trail of hunger he no longer wanted to deny. Her eyes widened when they dropped to his scars. Pity welled.
Her gaze shot to his. Questions danced in her eyes. Questions he refused to answer. It would serve no purpose to spill his guts to a woman who considered him damaged, less than any other man. Her hand stretched forward. Avery almost leaned into the touch, he craved her that much. But not while pity surfed in her hazel eyes. He’d have none of it.
“Don’t,” he snarled and grabbed her hand.
“It’s…” Her voice wavered.
He held his breath, waiting for her to finish her sentence with any of the words on his personal list: ugly, grotesque, monstrous.
Huh? He hadn’t heard right. Didn’t she see the scars, ravaged skin, and muscles beneath the ink?
“It’s changed. It didn’t look like this before.”
Shit! Sometimes his Ink did change from one indiscriminate mass to a slightly different indiscriminate mass.
“Now it’s intricate with swoops and swirls. Curlicues.”
Curlicues? Not possible. Her hand kept coming. He’d never let anyone touch it, not even during sex. Yet…he wanted her to touch him—all of him—but that was not going to happen. “I did it to hide the scars. Make it pretty. Didn’t work.” He lied.
Again, her hazel eyes filled with skepticism and her hand kept coming, as if he hadn’t ordered her not to. He was about to push her away when her fingers veered to his face. His breath caught, stilled by the possibilities of the moment.
She traced his face with soothing, lazy fingers. Her eyes, fringed with long, sooty lashes, were focused, intent on the torture she inflicted on his flesh. A gleam of interest sparked in their depths and a sultry smile tugged at the corners of her full lips. He’d dreamed this fantasy, never expected it come true. It was wrong to want more, yet her gaze caressed his skin.
Her hand dropped and she swept her thumb over the slight scar on his forearm, a reminder from the fight with her intruders. A jolt raced through him and he sucked in a startled breath.
She studied the slight demarcation. “Your wound? It’s gone. Want to explain?”
Kiss her, part her soft pouty lips and taste her. He shrugged. “Genetic anomaly. I heal fast.” He waited for more questions, but she surprised him when she cupped his face, and rubbed her palm over his day-old stubble. Desire flooded his system, turning the darkness within him into a sea of need.
Take her. Take what you want. Spread her. Fuck her. Take. Take. Whispered, taunted, and finally screamed. Avery balled his hands and kept them at his sides, anything to keep from humiliating himself. If only he could lock away his unending need, treat her as a client and not the only woman who’d ever made his blood simmer.
If he could do that, then he could walk away, but a little bit of Emeline wouldn’t be enough. And if he couldn’t have all of her, he’d rather have none.
He had to leave.
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