"I figured," she said through a throat that had gone as dry as dust, "my status as a likely enemy spy would save me." Except somehow, she was draped across his lap, her heart thudding in time to his.
"No one said," he murmured in that low, compelling voice, "I couldn't have it both ways." His lips touched hers.
The intensity of it made her toes curl. "You can't." But her hand was on his neck, though how she dared touch a man this dangerous, she didn't quite know - no matter how tame he appeared, he wasn't, never would be.
"No?" Another fleeting touch, the hand that had been on her leg closing gently around her throat.
"No," she whispered. "I'm either the enemy or . . ."
"Or?" He sipped at her lower lip, a tiny, suckling kiss.
"Exactly." It came out ragged, her heartbeat pulsing in every inch of her skin.
He gave her another one of those maddening little kisses, making her fingers clench on his neck, her body twisting impossibly closer. Something flickered in his eyes, a glimmer of what seemed to be gold. Then his head dipped and she forgot everything but the pleasure that arced through her body.
Taking her lips in a slow, so slow kiss, he drove her mad even as he gave her just what she wanted. The heat of him was a wave against her body, making her ni**les ache, the soft cotton of her bra suddenly unbearable. It would've made a "normal" Psy pull back, scramble to reinitialize the conditioning. But Katya craved the sensations, the feeling of being alive, of existing.
Here, with Dev, there was no room for the madness that had stalked her in that lightless, formless chamber, where the temperature never changed, and no one spoke to her for so long, she would've debased herself for a simple human kindness.
Teeth sinking very deliberately into her lower lip.
She opened her eyes to find him watching her with the glittering gaze of a tiger who'd sighted prey. When he released her kiss-wet lip, she stayed in place, feeling his pulse against her palm, his skin hot and somehow intriguingly rougher than hers, his body so big, so strong that it blocked out the world. What would it be like if he covered her with that raw male heat, if he simply took her over?
Rubbing his thumb over the sensitive hollow at the base of her neck, he said, "Top or bottom?"
"What?" Had he read her mind?
"Top or bottom?" he repeated softly.
She was suddenly very certain she was in over her head. Devraj Santos wasn't the kind of man a woman "learned" on. He'd not only take, he'd demand, and if those demands weren't met . . . He'd be no easy lover.
As his next words proved.
"Would you like me to kiss you here" - the brush of his knuckles across her br**sts - "or go lower?" A big hand closing over her thigh.
Dev knew he should stop, that she'd hate him the next day if this went any further. But he'd used up his self-control last night. No amount of metal on earth could stop him now. All he wanted was to strip her na**d and taste. "I'm a selfish bastard."
Her eyes were almost pure green as she looked at him. "Not if you're the one being kissed."
Before he could snap himself out of it, she was pushing up his T-shirt, her intent clear. He wasn't about to argue. Releasing her only for the seconds it took to rip the soft cotton over his head, he shifted their positions until she sat straddling him, her hair brilliant in the sunshine pouring in through the huge windows to his right. "I'm yours," he whispered, his voice husky with the ferocity of his hunger. "Do whatever you want, whatever you like."
She spread her fingers on his pectorals, the shock of it going straight to his cock. "I want to . . ." Her voice whispered away as her fingers caressed him, light, so light that his entire body arched upward, begging for more. She shuddered, leaned forward. . . then shook her head. "No."
It took him almost a minute to find his voice. Even then, it came out gravel rough. "Are you sure?"
"What happens when I insist on going north?" Her hand swept out, accidentally knocking the trail mix to the floor.
And he knew the time of illusions was over. "I can't let you go."
Hazel eyes locked with his, the intent in them unmistakable. "You can try to hold me. You'll fail."
"I'm not used to failure."
"Dev, I have nothing to lose." Quiet words, but her will - it was a steel blue flame. "I know I'm looking down the barrel of a gun that will go off in my face. So if necessary, I'll cut off my hands to get them out of cuffs, break my own ankle, do whatever it takes to escape."
The bloody images slammed into him, hard, brutal, unforgiving. He'd heard words like those before. From the men in his old army unit when they'd been boxed in, with no way out. All seven had survived - because they hadn't cared whether they lived or died. Better to go out fighting than live as a prisoner of the enemy.
Katya would do exactly as she said if he tried to hold her.
And he would do everything in his power to keep her. "You're still a threat," he said, knowing he was tearing apart the fragile new bonds between them, damaging them beyond repair. "I'll do whatever it takes to contain you."
Katya felt an unwelcome start of surprise.
Dev, she realized, had been very careful with her. She'd thought she'd known, but he hadn't truly shown her the utterly ruthless side of his nature until this moment. Though his voice was soft, everything about him said he was speaking the unvarnished truth. He'd lock her up and throw away the key if that was what it took.
And she had no way to fight him.
Angered by her own helplessness, by her foolish hope that he'd change his mind, she pushed off him. His hands tightened on her h*ps for the merest fraction of an instant before he let her go. Moving to a separate armchair, she folded her arms around herself. "I want to see Ashaya." It was a small rebellion, a reminder that she wasn't as alone as he might think.