"You can touch." His voice was a purr that rolled over her like the softest, most sensual stroke of living fur. "I've touched you - this is your chance to get even."
It was a very bad idea. Would in all probability completely fragment her mind and leave her a splintered mess. "I can't."
"Only as far as you want," he coaxed. "I'll give you free rein." Raising his arms, he closed his fingers over the edge of the overhang that protected the porch. "Promise."
Trust a cat? She'd have to be crazy. "I have to go back," she whispered, but her eyes were on the sensual fullness of his lips, her mind awash with echoes of his erotic thoughts.
"Not for a few hours. Plenty of time to play."
Time enough to repair her shields? The ones against the PsyNet were holding, but despite everything she'd learned tonight, she hadn't yet ascertained a method to protect against the darkness and remain safe from punishment for having broken Silence. It didn't matter. She was already mad. Because she was going to accept Vaughn's invitation. And she was going to enjoy it. The lightning in her bloodstream was a heated caress, the pulse between her legs an unsettling but exquisite pleasure.
Raising the hand not gripping the post, she hesitated, mindful of his animal nature. "Promise?"
He snapped playfully at the fingers hovering so close to his mouth. "Promise."
"Even if I..." She didn't know how to say what it was she wanted to say.
"Even if you suck on me and leave me without an orgasm. Even then."
A wave of red fire swept across her vision at the idea of playing with him that way, a way so scandalously intimate she'd never before been able to understand the attraction it held for human and changeling women. What satisfaction could a female get from the act? Now she knew. The thought of having him that much at her mercy, of giving him that much pleasure, was a drug in itself. Maybe too powerful a drug. "I may have an adverse reaction." To anything they tried.
"I'll stop you before you go too far. I won't let you be helpless."
"Too far" was no longer the solid line it had once been. "I have to trust you."
"Yes." No obfuscation, nothing but blunt truth.
Her fingers brushed his lips as he finished speaking and she waited for the rush of fear. Of pain. It came, the conditioned shell of her mind recoiling from the act. Instead of withdrawing, she gave the lightning full rein. It was so extreme, so raw, that it buried the fear and pain under an avalanche of pure sensation. And she was free.
She pressed against his lips and he parted them to allow her to slide a single finger inside. The suction of his mouth went straight through to the pulsing flesh between her legs. "How?" Shaken by the intensity inspired by such a simple act, she began to pull her finger out.
His teeth threatened to bite, but released her after a painless graze. "Because it's me."
She wanted to take issue with the arrogance of his response, but there was something about the look in his eyes, something that felt like truth. Sucking in a jagged breath, she followed her fingers as they whispered hesitantly over his shoulders.
He blazed, as if his body burned for hers, as if he'd keep her warm on the coldest night. Startled by the seduction of the idea, she almost jerked back her hand, but she wanted too much to let go so easily. "I am strong," she said, unaware she'd spoken aloud until Vaughn replied, "Yes, you are."
Her fingers spread through the golden hair on his chest and she felt the beat of his heart under her palm, strong, steady, a little fast. He was as affected by this wild hunger as she was, but he wasn't scared. Because he, too, was wild.
Her own pulse was everywhere. In her head, in her mouth, in her chest, in the heat between her legs, in every inch of her perspiration-damp skin. She knew she was pushing herself and she didn't care. Her mind filled with the earthy scent of Vaughn as she leaned toward him and breathed deep. It was a rush, an addiction she hadn't even been aware of having. Her ni**les had tightened long ago, but now they seemed to bum hot, rubbing against her bra as if her br**sts had swollen and there was too much pressure.
She had the urge to squeeze her own flesh and ease the ache. Under her palm, Vaughn's pulse kicked hard. She looked up to find his eyes glowing from within, dark knowledge in their depths. "Let me," he growled, and it was a growl. She should've been afraid of the animal so thinly covered by his human skin, but she was long past doing what she should.
"No." If he touched her, it was all over.
He growled again, low in his throat, but didn't break his word. The muscles of his upper arms stood out in sharp relief as he gripped the roof edge even harder. So much strength and it was at her command. The power was heady, or was that desire turning her blood to fire?
Returning her attention to his body, she finally released the death grip she had on the post and slid both hands down his chest. He made her want to lick her lips. Lick him. Nothing, no one, had ever prompted such hunger in her.
"Do it," he ordered.
She knew what he wanted - the thick length of him was furious with blood. It was her own hunger that surprised. But not enough to stop her. Unconsciously moving closer, she left one hand on his ribs while the other slid down to skim lightly along his erection.
He sucked in a sharp breath, his body thrumming with tension. Captivated, she repeated the movement.
She barely heard him through the blood fury of pure sensation as she traced the proud evidence of his maleness one more time. His body bucked. And she curled her exploring fingers to hold him.