"You can do it." Another stroke through his hair.
He lifted his head. "No. The wound's too deep. I want someone qualified to look at it."
"I can't be DNA scanned." Fear glittered in her eyes.
Leaning forward, he gripped her nape and held her in place for a kiss that had no tenderness in it, he was so f**king scared for her. "I'll take care of it." But first he wanted her dressed, warm. "Keep the pressure on." Slapping her hand onto her thigh, he found his T-shirt, pulled it over her head, then wrapped her in a blanket.
She took a gasping breath and watched as he grabbed his cell phone from the bedside table without getting up. Flipping it open, he coded in a familiar number. "Connor," he said when the phone was answered on the other end. "Can you make a run to my place?"
"You hurt?" Instant alertness.
He could hear movement, as if Connor was already grabbing his gear. "No. But bring your full kit. Knife wound, deep."
He glanced down, parting the blanket. The cotton of the shirt wasn't soaked through. "Contained, but there was some loss of blood before I got it stopped." Holding the phone between ear and shoulder, he used a couple of strips of fabric to wrap the makeshift pads into place.
He looked into hazel eyes gone a muddy green with pain. "Yes."
"Keep him that way. I'll be at your place in ten."
Hanging up without correcting Connor's assumption on the gender of his patient, Dev put the cell phone back on the table and got up. "Connor lives close. He'll be here soon." As he bent to pick her up, she protested. He ignored her. "Katya, I'm going to do exactly what I want, and you're going to let me."
She held on to his shoulders as he carried her to the bed and sat down with her in his lap. "I am?"
"Yes." His lips were on hers before he even knew he was going to kiss her, his hand once more at her nape, his knuckles brushed by the soft fall of her hair. He licked his tongue across the seam of her lips, gained entrance, and then he turned the raging animal in him loose. Because, how dare she hurt herself?
Katya just held on as Dev took total possession. Not long before, she'd thought she'd scaled the greatest heights of emotion with this man. She'd been wrong. Never before had she felt so utterly overwhelmed. Dev was no longer holding back even an iota of what made him the powerful man he was.
Trembling from the wild fury of the kiss, she gripped the solid muscles of his shoulders and did precisely what he'd told her she would - she let him do exactly what he wanted. Because this man was as wild as any changeling, as dangerous, and right now, so on edge, she had a feeling any resistance would be read as the wrong kind of challenge.
Not that she wanted to resist. His kiss, it was melting her from the inside out, the ice of the compulsion no kind of a barrier. She shifted even closer, wanting to strip off the T-shirt and press her body to his, to soak in the essence of him. Nothing and no one would stop Dev from taking what he wanted.
And right now, he wanted her.
But he broke the kiss far too soon. "How bad does it hurt?"
It took her a few seconds to realize what he was asking her. "Hardly."
"Shock." Lips compressing, he raised one hand to push her hair off her face. "Are you cold?"
"Not when you kiss me."
His eyes flared with a deeply sexual fire. "Oh, I plan to kiss you. After Connor's gone."
Dev watched as Connor cleaned out Katya's wound. When the man's long-fingered hands touched her skin, Dev had to grit his teeth to keep himself from ripping Connor's damn arm out of its socket. The reaction made no rational sense - not only was the quiet male a friend, he was also a highly qualified doctor. Though he chose to live in Vermont, he was a critical part of Shine's diagnostic team. It was Connor who'd worked out a way to pinpoint those at risk of the Talin Process Degeneration. Taking its name from the first identified case, TPD came about because of a lack of biofeedback - biofeedback the victims weren't aware they needed, because their need was so very small.
Dev knew all that. He also knew he wasn't rational. "How bad is it?" he snapped when Connor finished and turned to get something from his kit.
The other man arched an eyebrow at Dev's tone, but his own response was civil. "Not serious. The sealant will repair most of the damage, but I'm going to have to put in stitches first." He took out the stitch stapler.
"Those things hurt like a son of a bitch," Dev said, walking over to place his hand on Katya's hair. "Put yourself under," he told her, having already explained her genetic makeup to Connor.
She shook her head, and that stubborn angle to her jaw made it clear she wouldn't be changing her mind. Instead of forcing the issue, he nodded at Connor. "You got anything that'll numb the area?"
"Sure," the other man said, "but full-bloods react badly to anesthetics. Even that much might mess her up."
"Just do the stitches," Katya said. "It'll be a quick, fast pain, and then it'll be over."
Connor gave her a long look. "The wound will ache overnight, while the sealant works. After that, it shouldn't be worse than a deep bruise."
Katya gave a small nod and reached up. Instead of letting her take his hand, Dev sat down on the bed so he could look into her eyes, and tugged her face to the curve of his shoulder. "Do it," he ordered Connor.
As the other man went to work, Katya flinched and wrapped her arms around Dev in an iron-tight embrace. But she didn't make a sound, and a few seconds later, Connor was finished. Dev felt her body go limp as the doctor put a thin-skin bandage around her thigh.