“I need to see you,” he said. When she held up her arms, he yanked off her shirt.
The ruby necklace she wore resettled in her cleavage. His gaze traveled over her body, then returned to her breasts, sheltered by a scrap of lace. Lace the same red as her jewelry.
“Exquisite,” he rasped.
His pupils dilated as he cupped her, then kneaded the giving flesh. Beneath the lace, her nipples puckered for him, seeking his attention. He paid no heed to his bandaged injuries as he lightly pinched those distended crests.
Air hitched in her throat as she spread apart her legs to welcome him closer. Since he was already shirtless, his muscles and tattoos on magnificent display, they were skin to heated skin. Not close enough. Never close enough.
He was a killer, dangerous to everyone but her.
“You are the one for me,” he rasped. “I’ll have you and no other.” Then he was kissing her, scattering the thoughts in her head. Only pleasure mattered.
* * * *
Galen divested Leila of her bra…her pants…her panties, leaving her in the necklace, and the necklace alone. Stopping their kiss was torture, but he did it, then stepped back to look his fill. Those glorious, bountiful breasts with their rosy tips. Curves for days and legs for miles. Between those legs resided the center of his entire world.
Hand and prosthetic resting on her knees, he pushed her legs even farther apart. So pink and pretty. So wet for me, only me. He claimed her mouth in another searing kiss, and plunged two fingers deep into her hot, drenched core.
Pleasure owned him. Owned her, too. Every time he scissored his fingers, she writhed and scored his back. I’ve made her lose control.
With pleasure came a new surge of desire—more!—the assault on his senses unparalleled. Necessary. He had her sweetness in his mouth, and her exotic scent fused to his cells. Her essence soaked his fingers, her inner walls clamping tight. Release beckoned, but he fought it, just as he’d fought to protect this precious woman from Cronus.
What greater cause could a man have than the safeguarding of a treasure?
The moment Leila had first entered the war room, he’d forgotten his injuries and the audience, losing track of the world. Had even lost track of the demons. He hadn’t been jealous of anyone. There had been—was—no need. With Leila, he had everything he could ever want or need. And, for one of the first times in his life, he hadn’t had to wonder about the legitimacy of his hope. He’d realized true hope wasn’t accompanied by fear or foreboding, but peace. Such beautiful peace, as if light had chased away the darkness in his soul.
In this, the demons no longer had power over him. He and Leila had a bright future, because they were both willing to put in the work.
“Remember when I wanted to go down on you in the hall?” he asked, kissing a fiery path down her neck.
“Doubt I’ll ever forget.” Passion had roughened her voice, every word as potent as a caress.
“Time to make fantasy a reality.” He dropped to his haunches. Cupping beneath her knees, he pulled her forward until her bottom rested on the edge of the counter. Her legs remained spread, her luscious core mere inches from his waiting mouth.
Peering at him, adoring him with her eyes, she leaned back, offering herself to him in supplication. “Do it.” Not a request, but a demand. One he relished.
At the first lick, lust fogged his head and his muscles went taut. He had to stave off a sudden and fierce climax—he would last for his woman, would last as long as she needed.
“Yes! More, more!” She shook and moaned. “Pleeease, Galen.”
Those pleas nearly pushed him over the edge, straight into the throes. “I understand the nickname now. Honey.” He nuzzled her inner thigh, goose bumps rising up to greet him. Kiss. Lick. Suck. “I want your honey all over me. My greatest desire is giving you everything you need.”
He licked again. Then again. He flicked his tongue over her little bundle of nerves before sucking harder. Then, oh, then, he thrust his tongue into her tight sheath, mimicking sex. She sank her nails into his scalp.
“Will never get enough of you.” He feasted on her, wringing one…two…three orgasms from her body, until her breasts heaved with every breath, and her cries were incoherent.
Until he could withstand the agony and emptiness no more.
He jackknifed to his feet. She ripped at the fly of his leathers, freeing his throbbing shaft from its prison. Finally! Delicate hands wrapped around the base, squeezed, and stroked up, dragging a moan from deep in his chest.
He expected the worst of the throbbing to subside, or dull. Nope. Every sensation intensified.
“If I don’t get inside you, I’m going to lose my ever-loving mind,” he said between labored breaths. “You ready for me, sugar?”
“Beyond ready. Need you.”
“You’re aching for me, then?”
A bolt of pride shot through him. Millions of men in the world, yet Leila desired him, and him alone. She trusted him with her body…and her heart? Maybe. She peered up at him, giving him the look, all adoration and hope, and he puffed up his chest. A common occurrence in her presence. But then, he had a woman other men envied. A life other men envied.
He reached out, opened the top drawer, and fished a condom out of its box.
“You’re the one who’s been storing condoms in my bedroom. But…they’re flavored. And small!”
“They were a gift from Torin.” He used his teeth to rip open the foil, then slid the latex down his rock-hard length. “He thought it’d be funny if I stopped to explain the condoms inside the box are actually extra-large. But they are. Extra-large. Probably XXXL.”
She snickered, then he did the same.
He used the prosthetic to urge her forward. At the same time, he positioned the tip of his erection at her opening. Just like that, desperate need replaced amusement, and they moaned in unison.
“You are hot as fire, sweet Leila, and I long to be burned.”
Their gazes met. Desire hooded her eyes, her irises wild. Passion-fever radiated from her flesh. Red, pouty lips were swollen from his kisses.
He leaned into her to nip that sweet lower lip—and thrust home. The muscles in his back pulled taut, the pleasure almost too much to bear.
She uttered breathy moans, enthralling him with her uninhibited abandon. “Galen!”
No woman had ever responded to him so fervently.
His legs began to tremble, so he flared his wings, using the feathery appendages to hold himself upright. Then…
He pounded in and out of her, the carnality of her reactions fraying his control. Flushing skin. Trembling limbs. Racing pulse. Her breasts bounced, and her nipples grazed his chest. A sensual abrasion, like flint on steel, igniting a fire. Her hoarse cries rang out, a siren’s song.
It wasn’t pleasure that owned all the good, all the bad, and all the ugly in him, he realized; it was this woman. Whether she was the fiery vixen he’d first met, or the vulnerable beauty he’d rescued in the cabin, she was his, as if tailored to fit his every secret desire. He was her first, and he would be her last.
Exhilaration flared inside him, rapture. Wonder. He didn’t deserve her, but he would not part with her, ever. Nothing and no one would separate them.
He ran her earlobe between his teeth, then licked her hammering pulse. Little mewling sounds slipped from her. Ravenous, he bit down on the cord of her neck. She jerked against him and screamed his name, inner walls contracting around his length, demanding their due.
The pleasure…the pressure building inside him…the rightness of the moment, his partner… Finally, he was home, where he belonged, with the one who owned his heart.
He made love to her mouth before lifting his head just enough to peer down at her. Light spilled over golden skin, illuminating her flawless beauty. One of his feathers had floated into her hair, the sight breathtaking.
Every part of me belongs to her.
Sweat dampened him as he increased his thrusts. Slam, slam. Heat collected in his testicles, soon shooting up his shaft…
“Leila!” Galen climaxed with a roar, his head thrown back. Hot lash after hot lash of pleasure jetted into the condom. He shuddered with rapture.
Finally, when the shudders died down, he sagged against her. She rested her head on his shoulder, trying to catch her breath. His own breaths were ragged, his throat raw from his bellows.
“That…that was amazing,” she said.
“One of my favorite memories of all time.” He removed the condom, tied the end, and tossed the latex into the trash bin. Despite his profound satisfaction and contentment, he was already hard again.
Holding her gaze, he dug through the drawer and withdrew another condom.