It made her feel young and sexy, beautiful and graceful, at the same time.
For her feet, she’d chosen not respectable heels, but the very unrespectable thigh-high boots she’d worn the night Hawke had carried her out of Wild. That was the night they’d danced their first dance, a dance she would never forget.
Her hair she’d left down, because her wolf preferred it that way.
That wolf now growled. “Come here so I can take a bite.”
Her thighs clenched. “Behave.” He looked gorgeous in a formal black shirt and pants, his hair and eyes thrown into startling relief, but she had another outfit in mind. “I bought you a present.”
A slow wolfish smile. “I have one for you, too.” Closing the small distance between them, he made her hold out her hand, palm open.
“Oh,” she said in delight, “which one did you get?” The intricate toys he’d given her during their courtship were some of her most cherished keepsakes.
When he put the old-fashioned mechanical toy on her palm, she stopped breathing. It was a tiny representation of an atom, complete with colored ball bearings standing in for neutrons, protons, and on the outside, arranged on arcs of fine wire, electrons. Turning the key on the side made the electrons move, what she’d thought were ball bearings actually finely crafted spheres of glass that sparked with color.
A brilliant, thoughtful, wonderful gift for a physics major.
Eyes burning, she swallowed. “It’s perfect.” It still shook her at times, how he remembered things that mattered to her—even when she didn’t think he was paying attention. The other day, a book had appeared on her reader that she’d only mentioned wanting in passing.
He rubbed his knuckles over her cheek, as if he understood exactly what his care meant to her … then she realized he did. The mating bond connected them on a level that was as primal as the heart of the wolf.
“Why magnesium?” she asked, identifying the atomic number of the light metal.
His hand on her jaw, his mouth on her own. “Because it’s beautifully explosive, just like my X.”
Her heart skipped a beat. “I like the way you pet me, too.” The way he made her feel as if her cold fire was a gift, not a curse.
Placing his gift on the vanity when the clockwork mechanism wound down, she reached for the box she’d laid on the seat in front of it. “This is for you.” Nerves knotted her stomach. “If you don’t like it, it’s okay,” she said as he pulled off the ribbon with male impatience and opened the lid to reveal the contents.
“I can send it back, reorder another—” His kiss stole her breath, stole her words, would’ve stolen her heart if it hadn’t already belonged to him.
Touching her fingers to her passion-swollen lips, her br**sts straining against the bodice of her dress, she watched him put the box back on the seat and strip off his shirt, exposing the beautiful chest she’d licked and sucked in the shower not long ago—her mate could be patient now that “the edge was off,” though patience was a relative thing.
She’d ended up pinned to the wet tile, her legs wrapped around lean hips. Petting her with lazy possessiveness, he’d stroked into her slow and deep until she came in a rain of pleasure. Yet her body pulsed for him all over again, the sensory memory of rubbing against his chest sensitizing her ni**les to aching points.
Hawke’s nostrils flared, but he didn’t stop what he was doing.
Dropping his shirt onto the bed, he lifted out and shrugged into the one she’d spent hours upon hours searching for online. When he raised his hands to the buttons, she stepped into his space. “I’ll do that.” She couldn’t resist kissing each hard, muscled inch before she covered it up.
A shiver rippled over her skin at the sound of that deep growly voice. “We can’t be late to our own ceremony.”
Tugging back her head, he nipped at her lower lip, his eyes wolf blue. “I’ll put it on your tab.”
“Or maybe I’ll put it on yours,” she said, giving him a little bite with her “claws.”
“I promise to pay up.” His free hand, proprietary and warm, on the curve of her hip. “With interest.”
Slotting in the final button, she resisted the urge to undo her work and stepped back to watch him tuck the shirt into his pants and do up his belt. There was something intensely erotic about seeing her man getting dressed, and Sienna had the feeling that would never change. Not with Hawke.
“So?” he said afterward.
She straightened the collar. “Take it off, you’re too handsome.”
“No, it’s already my favorite shirt.” Hawke remembered seeing Lucas in a T-shirt that exactly matched his eyes not long ago, and feeling the hard stab of envy at knowing the leopard alpha’s mate had purchased it for him. He’d thought the wild beauty of such a bond forever out of his reach.
Now, he was being petted by a woman who had somehow managed to find a shirt that matched the unusual shade of his own eyes, the ice blue threads so fine, it felt like wearing a kiss against his skin. Sienna’s kiss. “What are you buying me for my birthday?” Both parts of him admired his reflection, his hair almost glittering against the foil of the blue.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you,” was the arch response.
Delighted with her, he stole another kiss before tangling his fingers with her own. “Ready?”
“Yes.” The slightest hitch to her breath. “I know these events follow their own rhythm, but do you have any idea of what we should expect?”