That snapped through the sensual fog. “But I let you take off your socks first!”
“Yeah, I didn’t know you had a foot fetish. Shirt.”
“You reneging on the bet?”
Fuming, she began to unsnap the buttons of the black shirt.
Hawke watched her with predatory alertness. “You’ll be cute dressed in just your socks.”
The image made her fingers halt on the final buttons, but when he raised his eyebrows, she kicked herself back into gear, shrugging off the shirt before she could lose her nerve.
His groan made her thighs clench. “You’re wearing a fricking tank top underneath!”
“Frustration’s not so funny now, is it?” she said with a smirk.
A slow smile that made her stomach go twisty and tight. “So this is revenge?”
“Maybe.” Her satisfaction lasted until she figured out that Hawke was a cardsharp. Heart in her mouth, she was certain he’d make her strip off the despised tank next, but he rubbed his jaw and said, “Tank with the socks—could be cute.”
Nervous anticipation or not, she couldn’t keep from stroking her gaze over his chest as she waited for the verdict. What would it feel like to touch him, to rub her—
“Want me to change my mind?”
“No!” Getting rid of the socks, she dealt the next game since he appeared to be content with her playing dealer. Except it was impossible to concentrate with him lying on his back only two feet from her, one leg stretched out on the carpet, the other bent at the knee as he held his cards up above him. It was like being shown the most beautiful classic statue in the world and being told not to touch.
Her nails dug into her palms.
Expecting more of the sensual teasing that had her melting from the inside out, she was surprised at the tenderness she caught in that wolf-pale gaze. “Yes?”
“Do you want to be naked?”
“I agreed to play the game.” Sienna always kept her word. It was a choice she’d made after leaving the Net, a stance that defined her.
“That’s not what I asked.”
She could’ve lied to spare her pride, but that wasn’t what she wanted between them. “I’m not as comfortable being na**d as a changeling.” She’d never been nude in front of anyone after the age of five, except in a medical setting. Those weren’t good memories.
Hawke put down his cards. “Want to touch?” The sensual invitation sliced right through the cold echo of the humiliation that had been her yearly physical, when her entire body was inspected from head to toe to ascertain that she had no imperfections that might make her a less viable weapon.
“Yes,” she said, her throat thick with raw want.
“Then I’m all yours.”
Pushing aside the cards, she crawled to kneel beside him. “Anywhere?”
“As long as you don’t indulge your weird foot fetish.” A lazy smile that invited her to play.
It was an irresistible temptation. Leaning down, she kissed that teasing mouth. His hand immediately fisted in her hair, holding her to him as he tasted her with breath-stealing thoroughness. “Will you ever,” she said, chest rising and falling as she attempted to take in air, “give me control in this kind of a situation? In a sexual context?”
“No.” The wolf looking up at her. “Does that bother you?”
She put her hand on his chest, the tensile warmth of him a sudden, acute addiction. “I have to be in control of my power every minute of every day.” It was impossible not to stroke him, not to sleek her hand over the light covering on his chest that was even softer than it looked. It made her wonder how it would feel against her ni**les.
His hand tightened in her hair. “What just went through your head?”
“Figure it out,” she murmured, because while she discovered she wasn’t averse to handing him the reins in bed, she wasn’t about to roll over either. “I want to touch now.”
His chest vibrated under her palm, and she realized he’d growled. But the sound held no anger. It was more sensual, deeper . . . intimate. Thinking back to what she’d been doing, she realized she’d grazed one flat male nipple with her nail.
So she did it again.
Making that same rumbling sound, he tugged her down with the grip he had in her hair, and took her mouth again, his lips a possessive brand. She found herself on her back, with him heavy between her thighs a second later. When she pushed at his shoulders, he said, “You can still touch.” A light kiss on the corner of her lips, his stubbled jaw scraping across achingly sensitive flesh.
“Not if you keep doing that.” It was beyond impossible to concentrate with him so big and warm and aroused above her. “Hawke.”
Something in Sienna’s voice made Hawke’s wolf go motionless. Bracing himself with his forearms on either side of her head, he looked into eyes of inky black. “You need a break?” He hadn’t forgotten who and what she was, the demands her gift made on her.
Her hands smoothed down his chest.
It took teeth-gritting control not to order her to stroke those hands over the hard ridge of his cock. “Baby, that’s not going to make me behave.”
“You have to,” she said, “because it’s my turn. I need to touch you.”
A cool statement, but he heard the very real frustration behind it. As evidenced by the last time they’d been together, frustration in bed could be fun—but not the kind he heard in her voice. Need stripped bare, the same raw-touch hunger that had had him in its claws before he’d allowed himself to indulge in her. She was right. It was her turn.