“No wonder I missed it,” Adria said, stepping in front of him and to the water’s edge. “It’s literally tucked between…”
He didn’t hear the rest of what she said, his eyes locked on the bare skin of her nape, her braid having slid over her shoulder. His hand curved around that nape before he was aware of moving. She wrenched away, her eyes slamming into him, bright cobalt touched with purple. For an instant, he froze, but then his wolf roared to the surface and he knew he’d been fooling himself about his ability to resist her.
THE electric charge in those eyes gone a vivid wolf gold raised every hair on Adria’s body. “No.” Not even if the rough heat of contact had rocked a lightning bolt through her. “I told myself I’d never again invite you into my bed and I meant it.”
Riaz flinched. “I’m doing the inviting.”
Bruised pride made her want to repudiate him as he’d repudiated her, but if being with Martin had taught her one thing, it was that her pride could be a terrible weakness. “You’ll just hate me for it.” And she’d had enough of a man’s hatred.
Shuddering, Riaz stalked forward to cup her cheeks in his hands. Startled at the tender hold, she didn’t jerk away when he bent to press his forehead to her own. “No.” A hot breath on her lips, his hands warm and callused on her face. “It’s on me.” Raw, his soul stripped bare. “I can’t carry on as I have been doing.”
“So I’m the bitter pill?” Even as she said that, part of her resonated with the tumult of need and pain tearing him apart.
“No.” A finger pressed to the firm curves of his lips. “You’re right. You need to make a clean break … and so do I.” She gave him that piece of herself so this wounded wolf would know he wasn’t the only one going into this with the most painful of motivations. It wasn’t simply about the sex any longer, wasn’t simply about assuaging the skin hunger that haunted them both. It was about saying good-bye to a dream that had never had a chance. “But,” she whispered, forcing herself to hold the potent dominance of a gaze that was pure wolf, “you have to be sure.”
“I am.” No hesitation, even if the words were jagged as broken stone. “There’s nothing for me in the past.”
Yes, she thought, the past was forever gone, for both of them. “All right.”
His eyes glowed wild and beautiful in her vision as he dipped his head, stole her breath. She let her lids flutter shut, knowing that regardless of what happened after this, whether they remained lovers or walked away, one thing she would never, ever be able to change—that she was the first woman to lead him into betrayal.
A dull ache, an accepted pain.
Then her wolf came to life inside her body, and the thought fractured under a chaos of sensation. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she met the fever of his kiss, her bones molten with passion. Yet … there was a hesitancy to them that hadn’t been present before, and Adria wondered if their time had passed. A twisting in her chest. A hurt that was deeper. More dangerous. But when she made as if to pull back, the growl that rumbled out of Riaz’s throat was a primal thing.
His hand closed over her breast, his mouth sucking on the pulse in her neck almost before she processed the fact he’d taken her to the grass, the earth still holding the sun’s warmth. Any thought of retreating fragmented, the hunger inside her a wild craving. Clawing at his T-shirt, she heard something tear. He snarled against her, thrusting one hand under her own tee to push up her bra and spread his fingers over the bare flesh of her breast, cupping and shaping.
“Oh God!” Arching into the firm, confident touch, she tore at his T-shirt until it was in pieces around them, his big, muscled body rising over her own, his mouth busy on her lips, her jaw, her neck.
His skin was a shade of burnished brown, warm and beautiful, her pleasure at touching him—at last—almost painful. When he shoved up her T-shirt and lowered his head to her breast, her womb clenched in anticipation. His breath on her skin … the hot suction of his mouth. Twisting wildly, she fisted her hand in his hair, attempting to pull him off. The pleasure, oh God, the vicious pleasure was too much, her body too sensitive.
He used his teeth.
Crying out, she was bewildered at the sudden cold on her damp flesh. “What—” An instant later, he was unzipping her jeans, pulling them off, along with her boots. She felt something rip, knew her panties were gone. When he unzipped and moved between her thighs, she spread them against the heavy intrusion, ready until her skin ached.
A single hard thrust and he was seated deep inside her, the thickness of him a pulsing brand.
She froze for a minute, her body stunned at the almost violent possession. Long unused muscles ached, but below all that was need. Such naked, raw need. Rising toward him, she met eyes glowing against the dusk. She wasn’t the least surprised by the warning growl, or by the hand he fisted in her hair to arch her neck. The bite along the sensitive slope where her neck flowed into her shoulder was hard enough to sting, hard enough to push her over.
Even as she came with a scream, he pounded into her with such wild fury, the feel of him reverberated through her very bones. A brutal word in a masculine voice so harsh, it was almost unrecognizable. Her internal muscles spasming in erotic response. His hand clenching on her breast. The primal heat of him spilling into her.
RIAZ lay on the grass, so angry with himself that he couldn’t look at Adria. But he could sense her pushing her bra and T-shirt back down into place. She didn’t rise to find her jeans, and he wondered if they were even in one piece. “I’m sorry.” His voice was coated with gravel.