Cupping her jaw, he rubbed his thumb over the elegant arch of her cheekbone. “Hey.”
She shook her head, pulled away. He didn’t like that, but he let her get up off the bed and place the figurines carefully on the small vanity tucked into a corner. When she returned to straddle him in a single smooth motion, his body responded like a match to a flame, the sexual connection between them white lightning. Her lips were soft and wet as they seduced his, the taste of her an addiction that fought to steal his senses.
Not right, his wolf growled, this isn’t right.
“Adria.” Chest heaving, he wrenched her away with a hand fisted in her hair.
In response, she dug her claws into his shoulders and pushed, her eyes a pale, dangerous amber. It would’ve taken him to the bed if he hadn’t been ready for it. Blood scented the air, sharp and metallic. Snarling, he ripped her hands off him, braceleting and pinning her wrists behind her back with one hand. It didn’t induce her to desist. Thighs locked around him, she angled her head with predatory focus.
He gripped her jaw when she would’ve snapped forward to sink her teeth into his neck, squeezed. “Behave.” This was a challenge, and he had to win it, or they’d never move past this moment.
A soft smile, eyes wolf-sly. “Riaz.” Moving her body in a sinuous curve that enticed, she broke his hold on her wrists with a single wrenching move, went to slam her claws into his chest. But he wasn’t stupid, and he knew damn well who he was dealing with—a trained and honed predatory changeling female out to win. Mercy was not something she understood. Not here. Not now.
Twisting at the last moment, he used her own momentum to pin her to the bed on her front. He manacled her wrists on either side of her body before she could catch her breath, pressing down on her with his much heavier frame. She was smart, she was strong, but in a contest of sheer brute strength, she would never win.
When he sank his teeth into the smooth curve of her shoulder, she bucked. He continued to hold her until she stilled, her entire body quivering with tension. Releasing his grip on her shoulder, though he continued to pin her wrists, he licked at the mark, then nuzzled aside her hair to press a kiss to her jaw, her face turned sideways on the pillow. “Say it.”
The sound of teeth grinding.
Driven by possession and grim determination both, he allowed more of his weight to fall on her as he licked at the mark he’d made, using slow flicks of his tongue. It was a taunt, and the growl that rumbled up from her chest told him she knew it. But he had her good and pinned, and regardless of how much she strained, she couldn’t throw him off.
“I yield,” she finally gritted out.
Not quite trusting her—not in this mood—he released her wrists one at a time before bracing himself above her on one forearm. Using his free hand, he brushed aside the damp tangle of hair from her face and neck, baring the clean line of her profile. “Want me to get off you?” He continued to run his fingers through her hair, petting her to calmness.
A slight pause before she shook her head.
“Tell me when I get too heavy,” he murmured, easing his lower body into the lithe curves of her own.
Her lashes came down over eyes that remained a haunting wild amber, then rose again. “It feels good.”
Sliding his hand to her shoulder, he rubbed his thumb gently over the bite mark before reaching up to massage her nape, her scalp. Slow, long minutes passed, but she relaxed at last, going boneless under him. Pressing a hotly possessive kiss to the curve of her jaw, he squeezed her neck. “We’re not just sex.”
Riaz had made up his mind to pursue this indefinable, wonderful thing that had grown between him and Adria when neither one of them had been looking, and he wasn’t going to allow the damage done to her by another man to destroy that. “Are we?” It was a question heavy with demand, his fingers tightening.
She dug her nails into the sheets, her jaw set. He knew she wasn’t physically scared by him being on top of her—they both understood he’d release her the instant she made it clear she wanted out. No, her fear had an altogether different cause, her panic one he could taste in her skin when he licked out at her, the sheen of perspiration that covered her a fine sparkle. “Adria.”
ADRIA jerked at the unrestrained dominance in that command. For the first time, she realized exactly how careful he’d been with her in their sexual encounters to date—he might have been tender, passionate, and urgent in turn, but he hadn’t allowed her to see into the heart of the black wolf within. This man, the one who was speaking to her in a soft tone that was a hot blade over her skin, this was the primal core of him.
His fingers moved against her neck, a silent reminder that he held the reins. Her wolf wasn’t happy with that … yet it was. The confusion of it caused a chaos of emotion inside her. So long she’d been with a man who had forced her to silence and stifle her true self in a hundred small ways because he hadn’t been strong enough to handle her. Now, she was with a man who not only didn’t have a problem accepting her strength, but who was also strong enough to overpower her in every way that mattered to a changeling.
Panic burned her gut like acid. She was the one who had always been in control, the one who could stop things before they went too far, before they pushed her too deep into painful emotional territory. “I changed my mind,” she said, her tumult a smoldering blaze inside her skin, swamping all rational thought. “We need to break it off.”
Releasing her nape, Riaz began to stroke his hand through her hair again, slow and easy and unmistakably, unbearably possessive. “I can scent your panic.” A kiss on the mark he’d made when he’d bitten her. “Talk to me about it.”