“I’m out on my balcony, which happens to be outside my guest bedroom that you’re borrowing, because I like the view out here.”
I looked up. There was another deck, most likely attached to the loft upstairs. “Your bedroom is the loft?”
“Then the view there has to be much better.”
He tilted his head to the side. “I also like the view inside my guest bedroom.”
Heat infused my face.
A grin played across his cheeks, almost teasing in nature. “Not that I was watching you. That would be creepy.”
“Yes. Yes that would be.”
Back to that again. I set my cup down, but didn’t move toward the bacon.
His commanding attitude sparked a rebellious nature I never knew I had. “Did you make them?”
He nodded. “I can cook.”
“What else can you do?”
Hunter’s grin spread.
“There are a lot of things I can do. I’m more than willing to give a detailed breakdown of them, or I’d gladly show you.”
I sucked in a sharp breath.
“I’m sure you would.”
A deep, infectious laugh rumbled out of Hunter, and I felt my lips start to spread in response. “Eat,”
“I wasn’t talking about those things, by the way.”
I did smile then, only a little, because there was something about his unapologetic nature that was humorous—irritating, but definitely humorous.
He sighed. “I can hear your stomach growling, so it seems pointless that you would fight me on this. And you don’t look like one of those women who starve themselves to have the body of a pubescent girl.”
I gaped at him. Should I be offended or not? Hell, I was a woman, so I was going to go with offended.
“You’re an asshole.”
He chuckled deeply.
“Look, no man—human or other—wants a woman that is straight up and straight down. Men like curves. Men like softness.”
Well, I had plenty of that.
“Good to know aliens appreciate hips on a woman,”
I muttered, picking up a piece of bacon.
“We also like a nice heart-shaped ass, in case you’re wondering.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
In a low, sexy voice, he said, “You do that.”
I cleared my throat.
Another change of topic was needed.
“I didn’t realize I was fighting you on anything. I just don’t like to be bossed around.”
Setting his mug down, he folded his hands across his chest…and waited.
“Oh, for the love of God,” I griped, shoving the bacon into my mouth.
I shot him a dirty look as I picked up another slice of bacon. Arrogance aside, he made a mean cup of coffee and some damn good bacon. It was sweet with a hint of spice.
“Look, things will be easier for you here if you get used to the way it needs to be.”
This was going to be a dandy. “And how is that?”
“You do as I say. It’s that simple.”
I stared at him a moment and then burst into laughter.
He frowned. “I didn’t say anything funny.”
“Oh, but you did.” I giggled. He couldn’t be serious.
“Just because you’re supposed to be protecting me doesn’t give you the power to tell me what to do.”
“Protecting you has nothing to do with the power I have over you.”
Nibbling on the last of the bacon, I snickered.
Without a napkin in sight, I sucked off the leftover grease and salt on my forefinger. “God, arrogant doesn’t even cover what you are.”
“No. It doesn’t.”
Without any warning, Hunter leaned over the table and grasped my wrist. Startled, I let out a little squeak. “And you’re never going to find any words that accurately describe me.”
Hunter pulled my hand toward his mouth, and my eyes widened.
A moment later, his lips closed around my finger, sucking the salt and grease right off.
The tugging motion shot straight through my body like lightning. Another gasp escaped my parted lips as his tongue got involved, tracing upward. A flood of moist heat surged between my legs.
When he lifted his head, he was smiling slightly. “I was feeling left out.”
I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. My body ached now, my breasts heavy and full. I watched him let go of my wrist and back away.
“You taste good,” he murmured.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” I said finally, cradling my hand to my chest.
“Why not?” He stood and stretched his arms over his head, back bowing.
“Why not?” I sputtered.
Anger rushed through me, partly due to his audacity and my response to him. “I can’t believe you’re asking me why not.”
“Explain,” he said.
“Because…because you don’t know me and—”
“I want to,” he said, as if that was enough of a reason—just because he wanted to.
I shook my head. “But you can’t do things just because you want to.”
“I can’t?” He laughed then, and it sent a heady shiver down my spine. “I think I just did, and I also know you enjoyed it.”
I shot to my feet. “How dare—?”
“Don’t even deny it.” He smirked. “I can tell.”
“What?” My knees felt weak. “Please enlighten me and tell me how you can tell.”
“I can.” He was right in front of me in an instant.
Standing beside him, his enormous size and strength overwhelming, I wanted to step back, but there was nowhere for me to go. And there was also that part of me that didn’t want to back away, that wanted to see what he was going to do next.
Hunter captured a piece of my hair, untangling it from the rest. Twirling the strand around his finger, he tugged me forward and onto the tips of my toes.
To keep my balance, I placed my hands out, onto the cool skin of his chest.
His skin… I never felt anything like it.
Satin stretched over steely muscles.
He lowered his head so that his breath danced along my brow. “You are most definitely aroused.”
“No, I’m not.”
His dark brows rose above the sunglasses.
Before I could shake my head or take the next breath, his free hand slipped between our bodies and his thumb brushed across the tightened bud. I gasped as the touch shot straight from my breast to my core.
Hunter smiled. “I think we both can agree now that you’re aroused.”
Then he let go and took a step back. I wobbled to the side, dazed. “That… that was really not proper,”
“By your standards, not mine, but I was just proving a point.”
I wished I had thicker clothing. “My standards?
How about human standards?”
Hunter laughed again.
“Just because you’re not human doesn’t mean you don’t have to abide by human standards.”
His eyes narrowed. “Is that so? Why won’t you admit you’re aroused?
Because I’m an Arum and not human?”
“What?” Was that it?
Sure, it weirded me out that he wasn’t human, but honestly, I forgot what he was half of the time. Like when he wasn’t feeding off me it was easy to think he was human. “No. That’s not it.”
The smirk that graced his lips as he strode past me was a work of art. I wanted to smack it off his face, and maybe that was a bitchy thing to think, but he did suck on my fingers, and then some.
Hunter said nothing as he disappeared back into the room I was staying in.
Though tempted to follow him, I remained on the deck.
He probably expected me to trail after him like a good puppy dog.
I placed my hands on the railing and closed my eyes, letting the warm breeze wash over my flaming face. I was positive that my stay here was going to turn into something completely insane and out of control.
Because Hunter had been right, twice now.
I had been aroused—I was still aroused. Several parts of my body were all tingly and warm. I was attracted to him on a base, primal level.
And the second thing Hunter had been right about?
Even knowing the truth behind everything, I still really had no idea what kind of shit I’d stepped in.
Several hours later, I was flipping through a magazine I’d found, but my eyes kept straying to the study doors. Tossing the magazine onto the coffee table, I looked around the living room and exhaled loudly. I swung my legs off the couch and started toward the study.
“What are you doing?”
Heart stopping, I placed a hand to my chest as I spun around.
“Jesus! Where did you come from?”
“The kitchen,” Hunter said, swaggering into the room. He stopped at the arm of the couch, the old tee shirt stretching across his broad shoulders as he swirled a spoon along the inner edges of a bowl.
“What were you doing, Serena?”
For some reason I felt like I’d been caught doing something bad and that ticked me off. “I was looking for you, actually. I thought you were in the study.”
One dark brow arched. “I was.”
I glanced at the closed door and then raised my brows questioningly.
Hunter grinned. “Doors don’t really apply to me.”
My eyes widened. “So you can just squeeze through cracks or something?”
The grin didn’t fade. “Or something.”
Blowing out a frustrated breath, I watched him finish off whatever he was eating and place the bowl on the coffee table. “Can I ask you something?”
“Depends on the question,” he replied.
I really hadn’t expected a different answer. “How can you go from human form to something that’s not even solid?”
He sat on the edge of the couch, stretching his long legs out. Moments passed and, just when I figured he wasn’t going to do anything other than stare at me, he finally answered. “We’re able to break down molecules and spread them apart. We’re still in a solid form, but to the human eye it doesn’t appear that way.”
Curious, I sat on the couch. “So it’s an optical illusion then?”
I thought about how he’d worn sunglasses outside earlier. “Does light bother your eyes?”
“If it’s bright, yes.”
“Do you like being in the dark more than you do the light?”
He rested his hands on his knees. “Actually, I prefer the light.”
“Is that strange…for your kind?”
“No. We prefer light and warmth. Both things are not inherent to us.”
I digested that the best I could. “Is that why your skin is cool most of the time?”
Moments passed, and then Hunter tipped his head back and closed his eyes.