Sienna sat up, one hand braced on his chest. “That’s not true. Arrows feel no fear, and that makes them strong.”
“Yes,” he agreed. “But an Arrow won’t have a kiss waiting for him at the end of a hunt, no warm body next to him when a nightmare strikes.”
A steady look—no longer that of the girl who’d blushed, but of the woman who had taken him on more than once. “Hawke?”
“What does this mean?”
He curled a strand of ruby red around his finger. “It means you have to learn to deal with me.” There was no going back. Not from this.
Furrows on her brow. “Perhaps you should learn to deal with me instead.”
His wolf bared its teeth in a feral grin. “Baby, I’ve been trying to master that trick since the day I met you.”
“Liar,” she said. “Your wolf thinks it can control me.” A shift of her lower body as she got more comfortable.
He hissed out a breath. “Easy.”
“You’re aroused.” Such a cool statement, but he could scent the earthy warmth of the damp heat between her legs, hear the rising pulse of her heartbeat.
Leaning forward, he nuzzled at her throat, licking up the salt and spice of her. “I can handle it.” His wolf had had a taste, was starving for more, but it understood that to claim her to the deepest level, man and wolf both would have to move carefully. Neither part of him ever wanted to see fear in her eyes when she looked at him, especially in bed.
SHIVERING against the impact of those slow, wolfish licks, Sienna clenched her hand in Hawke’s hair. “Your hair is beautiful. You know it, don’t you?”
She felt his lips curve against the sensitive skin of her neck before he nipped at her. Jerking, she curled her other arm tighter around him, her cheek pressed against the abrasive stubble of his. Then she did what she’d wanted to do for so long. She petted him, stroking her fingers through the heavy strands of silver-gold until he relaxed . . . and switched their positions so she found herself flat on her back with him stretched out on top of her, his weight braced on his forearms.
For a second, she halted in her caresses, overwhelmed by the sheer, wild masculinity of the wolf in her bed. He growled low in his throat . . . and her skin stretched tight over her body. Sucking in a breath, she began to pet him again, this gorgeous, powerful man who wore his wolf so very close to the surface. One of his own hands settled on her hip, heavy and warm and possessive.
“What was it like?” she dared ask. “To have the wolf in charge while you were in your human skin as a teenager?”
Nudging her legs apart, he settled more heavily against her. “It just was.” A very wolf-like answer. “The wolf sees in black or white, no shades of gray. At that time, that was what was needed.
“And,” he continued, surprising her with his willingness to talk, “I was always present. The wolf didn’t truly take over, so much as allow the boy to borrow its strength for a while.”
Sienna parted her lips to ask about the Psy, what they’d done to SnowDancer, closed them before the words could escape. That darkness had no place here, no place in this room, in this bed. Instead, she continued to stroke him, not realizing until several minutes later that her own body had relaxed under his, one leg raised at the knee to press against his side.
He began to kiss the sensitive slope of her neck again, slow and wet and a little rough.
HAWKE’S WOLF WAS drunk on the taste of Sienna, on the scent of her, but it halted, clawed at the human half until it paid attention. Raising his head from her neck, he shook it, trying to find a glimmer of rational thought.
“Hawke?” Sienna’s hands stroked up his nape and into his hair, the spot so sensitive that had he been a cat, he would’ve purred. “Why did you stop?”
It was the answer to his own confusion, putting the wolf’s hesitation into words. “Because,” he murmured, pressing an open-mouthed kiss to the hollow of her throat, “you’re tired on both the physical and psychic levels.” His need for her was a wild thing, but for her first time, she deserved better than a frantic coupling.
Scowling, she tugged at his hair. “I don’t need you to make that decision for me.”
He settled his lower body flush against her, growled in satisfaction when she made a hot little sound in the back of her throat. “I need to make this decision for me.” No regrets, that’s what he wanted to see in her passion flushed face after their first time together.
Fingers going motionless, she searched his eyes. “All right.” It was a solemn whisper, as if she’d read his thoughts. “Kiss me before you leave.”
“Baby”—a nip of that lush lower lip—“I have plans to do a lot more than that.” He wouldn’t take her, not tonight, but neither was he noble enough to walk away without indulging himself with a long, deep taste.
Her nails dug into his nape. “How far?”
So serious. It turned his wolf playful. “I intend to get to second base.”
When her chest rose up in a jagged breath, he knew full well she understood the sexual reference. “What’s second base on a man?”
Blinking, he raised his head, having never had cause to consider that question. “The same, I guess.”
“Then take off your shirt.” She undid the first button, went for the second.
A hundred images flashed into his mind, all of them involving the sweet heat of her br**sts rubbing against his bare chest. Gritting his teeth, he grabbed her hands in one of his and pinned them above her head. “No touching.”