“I wouldn’t.” I gasped as he lifted me up and turned, bringing me down to the bed so that I was on his lap, straddling him. “And you do deserve me.”
His hands came to my face. His fingers traced my lips and jaw, and for a long moment, he just stared at me, and then his lips were on mine. Our kisses took on a different life, became full of an urgency I’d never quite experienced before. I straightened in his arms, placing my hands on his shoulders. They drifted down his hard chest, becoming pinned between us when he tugged me closer. Something about the way he kissed me became desperate, panicked even. He was kissing me like we were running out of time.
The moment that thought crossed my mind, I felt the same desperate surge even though I told myself we weren’t. I wiggled to free my hands, and Luc’s groan turned the tips of my ears red.
I didn’t slow down, even though I knew there was so much we needed to be focused on. We both needed these minutes amid the confusion and lack of answers, the blood … and death.
I don’t know if it was him or me or both of us, but his hands were on my hips, open and closing, rocking them as he nipped at my lips, at my throat. Then the tiny buttons on my sweater came unclasped and the material was parted, but his hands never left my hands.
Stunned, I pulled away and looked down, seeing plain pink lace. “That’s a nifty talent.”
“Isn’t it, though?” Pricks of white light filled his pupils as one side of his mouth kicked up.
His mouth returned to mine and then wandered away. The path of kisses blazed a trail down my throat, over the slope of my collarbone, and then lower, over a swell. I felt his fingers along my shoulder, hooking under a strap, guiding it down and down until the cup loosened and those fingers, those lips drifted over sensitive skin. The same thing happened to the other strap, to the other cup, and goose bumps spread over my cool, damp skin as my head fell back, my mouth opening in a sharp gasp.
Luc lifted his head and sat back. There was a wicked gleam to his eyes, a daring twist to his lips as he stared at me. I’d never been exposed like this before, and I didn’t know what he thought when he looked at me, seeming to watch the flush spread from my neck and lower.
“You’re beautiful, Evie,” he said, voice husky and reverent. “I’ve told you that, but it doesn’t matter. I already know I haven’t told you enough. You’re so beautiful it drives me to distraction. Perfect.” Those eyes lifted to mine, and there was an awed look on his face.
I placed my hands on his cheeks and I kissed him, hoping that somehow he could feel what I thought of him when I knew words wouldn’t suffice. Luc was worthy, and that had nothing to do with all that he’d done for me, but what he’d done for countless Luxen, for Emery and Grayson, for Kent and Zoe, and more.
I tugged at his shirt, and he obliged, leaning back and lifting his arms so I could tug it off over his head. I dropped it on the bed beside me and soaked in all the bare, hard skin.
No bruises in sight.
Luc was completely healed from being shot three times, but I still bent, kissing each spot that had been struck. I didn’t need a bruise to know where he’d been hit; I’d remember those locations until I died. An inch below the right shoulder. The center, between the defined pecs. Centimeters to the left of his heart.
I heard his ragged inhale as my hands made their way down his stomach, to his navel and then to the button on his jeans, and lower still. I felt him straining against my hand. “Can I?”
“Yes. Y.E.S. Totally,” he said. “Definitely.”
A soft laugh left me as I reached for the button on his jeans and then his zipper, and when he didn’t stop me, I was emboldened.
At the first touch of my fingers, his back bowed as if I’d burned him, and he broke the kiss as his entire body became impossibly taut. I opened my eyes, worried that I’d done something wrong.
He opened his mouth and then closed it, and for the first time ever, he looked like he was at a loss for words.
Another first for him.
I skated my fingers over him as I glanced down, flushing before bringing my gaze back to him. “You’re beautiful, and you’re worthy.”
He shook his head, jaw tight.
“I don’t understand how you can think you’re not, and I … I don’t want you to think that. I don’t like it.”