I placed one trembling finger against his shining cheek. “I want you. I want this,” I whispered, and Luc shook. The Source flared brightly. “But not like this.”
He was still for only a moment. “Not like this,” he agreed, touching my chin. The Source crackled softly, spreading across my cheek. “You know what, though?”
He dropped his hand to my hip. “There’s a whole lot of stuff we can do instead.”
My stomach dipped in the most exquisite way. We’d done other things, and I really liked those things. So did Luc. “Yes.” The corners of my lips started to tip up. “There is.”
Luc kissed me, and then, with one unbelievably quick move, I was half on my belly, half on my side, and the long, almost burning length of Luc was pressed to my back a heartbeat later.
Surprised by the sudden move, I let out a stunned laugh. “That was impressive.”
“I know.” The wet warmth of his mouth touched my shoulder.
I bit back a moan. “And here I thought you couldn’t get any more arrogant.”
“Is it arrogance if it’s the truth?”
“Disagree.” Stretching over me, his hand splayed over mine where it rested on the bed, the glow of the Source turning my own flesh iridescent, and as his fingers slid up my arm, sparks drenched my skin. “And you already know.”
“Know what?” I tipped my head back against his chest, biting down on my lip as his hand roamed more freely.
“I’m always right.”
My laugh ended in a sound that scorched my cheeks, but I got payback when I tipped my hips back, and he let out a ragged groan that sounded part curse. All laughter died within the next couple of seconds, because I simply didn’t have the air in my lungs to do so.
His heated fingers slid over my belly, past my navel, and then halted. He waited.
Luc, still in there, still in control, waited for me.
I nodded as I whispered, “Yes.”
He shuddered against me, and then there was nothing but raw, stunning tension as his hand drifted lower with unerring accuracy.
In those moments, we drove both of us to the point where neither of us were capable of coherent words. When he finally, really touched me, I lost all sense of time. I moved against his palm. He moved against me, both of us seeking, chasing after the explosion, and when it came, his hoarse shout joined my own sharp cry.
And it was then, when fine tremors rolled through me in waves that were mirrored in Luc, I realized that what had started out being about Luc had ended being about both of us. I didn’t think until our breathing and hearts slowed that either of us realized how badly we needed the reminder that memories and the past, even the parts not remembered, didn’t define us.
We wouldn’t let it.
Ever.5Sometime later, a few hours shy of dawn, Luc no longer looked like the Human Torch. It had to have happened while I’d dozed, because when I opened my eyes, there was no glow, only shadows.
Luc had gotten an arm underneath my head, and I was currently using his biceps as a pillow. He was still curled around me, his chest warm against my back, but nowhere near as hot as it had been hours earlier.
“Your arm must be dead,” I murmured.
He was tracing idle shapes along my waist. “My arm has never been better.”
At the sound of his voice, I let out a tiny breath of relief. “You sound normal.”
“You mean when I’m only a little scary?”
I cringed. “You’re never going to let me forget that, are you?”
“Nope.” His finger moved, and I thought he was drawing a figure eight.
Tilting my head to the side, I tried to see his face in the darkness, but all I saw was his neck. “You know I’m not afraid of you, right? Not even when you were looking a lot like a Luxen on steroids.”
“I know.” He shifted slightly, and his lips touched the tip of my nose.
“I mean, I was a little freaked out. You kind of reminded me of a robot. A horny robot, which are two words I never thought I’d say in my entire life, but you were … different,” I rambled on. “And I’d be shocked if I don’t end up with sunburn in some very uncomfortable places.”
“Horny robot?” Luc laughed, his lips briefly touching mine. He settled back, his finger moving again. “I don’t think you have to worry about any uncomfortable burns in unmentionable places.”
“Good to know.” I rubbed my cheek against his arm. “I’m glad you’re not glowing anymore.”
He didn’t respond, instead drawing on my hip what felt like a … pair of lips?
Finding his other hand, I curled my fingers through his and squeezed. “I know I said thank you already, but—”
“You didn’t need to thank me the first time, and you sure as hell don’t need to thank me again. I would do anything to keep you safe, Peaches. It’s just the way it is.”