So he locked his muscles, dropped his head, hair falling around his face, and let her pet him. Remaining quiescent under her exploration was torture, hungry as he was to claim her. Yet the wolf grit its teeth along with the human, as if aware that this woman, while strong enough to survive a childhood that would’ve broken most, was also deeply vulnerable in certain ways.
“You’re so beautiful.” A husky murmur that was a rough stroke across his taut flesh. “Your chest hair, it’s so smooth, so fine. Like the thinnest of pelts.”
It was also highly sensitive. “Use your mouth,” he found himself demanding as the leash slipped.
But Sienna didn’t shy. “Oh, yes. I want to do that.” While he was still trying to quiet his primal response at the unhidden delight of her response, she wiggled down a fraction and placed a hot, uninhibited kiss right above his left nipple. He bit back a very blue word, a sheen of sweat coating his entire body. As he knew, Sienna learned fast. Her next kiss included the scrape of teeth.
Hawke’s growl raised every hair on Sienna’s body. Shivering, she licked at him, taking the salt and heat of him inside her. Part of her couldn’t believe she had her hands on him at last, that she was free to stroke and taste as she wanted. The rest of her wanted to gorge, her legs clenching around the sensual intrusion of the big body between her thighs.
It would be easier to reach all of him if she pushed him to his back, but first, she wasn’t entirely sure he’d go, and second, being surrounded by him was . . . beyond pleasure. His thighs pushed against the insides of hers as the thick weight of his erection pressed through his jeans, just brushing against her. His arms were tense with muscle on either side of her, his chest above her, his hair falling sexily around his face as he watched her with a predator’s focus. One who wanted to bite.
She tried to reach his lips, fell short. “Kiss me.”
Leaning down without a word, he ran his lips across hers. It was a tease, made her attempt to rise toward him once more.
“Nu-huh.” He shook his head. “Be good.”
Trembling, she lay back down.
Her reward was a suckling kiss, teeth closing over her lower lip, a languid release that made things low in her stretch tight. “I hope you like teeth,” he said in that rough, deep voice that made her want to do infinitely wicked things.
“I like yours.”
He settled himself more heavily on her. She felt at once caged and as if she would fly into a million pieces with the slightest touch. Panic fluttered in her throat, the shock of a woman who’d grown up in a prison of discipline and darkness. “Hawke.”
“Shh.” Kisses on her cheekbone, his forearm bracketing her head as he used his free hand to play with strands of her hair. Another kiss, this one on her nose. “We’ve got all night.” A whisper of a kiss on the corner of her mouth. Another. “No need to rush.”
Gentling her, she thought, he was gentling her.
The unexpected tenderness of him surprised her . . . undid her. Yet, even at this moment, there was no doubting the power of the wolf who prowled behind his eyes. “Did you always know you’d be alpha?” she found herself whispering into the intimate hush.
His expression changed, became touched with darkness. “I knew when I needed to know,” he said at last, and though the words were unspoken, she understood he wanted her to drop the subject.
That was the one thing she couldn’t do, though she knew her persistence might shatter the magic of this sensual moment. Touching him, being with him, it was only part of what she needed from his man. She couldn’t have his soul, couldn’t have the mating bond, but she’d fight for the rest of him even if it left her bruised and bloody. “What did the Psy do?”
“They broke my father.” Clipped-out words. “It took them a week.”
Bile burned the back of her throat. It was near impossible to disrupt changeling shields without killing or injuring the target, but given a week with a wolf who, in all probability, had been dosed with drugs . . . “I’m sorry.”
“Nothing for you to be sorry about.” His fingers tightened on her hip. “You didn’t have anything to do with the experiment.”
A chill over her skin, the first glimmer of horror. “Experiment?” She reached out to stroke his jaw, found it hard as stone.
“Enough. There’s nothing there except blood and death.” He thrust his hand into her hair. “What we are now, that’s what’s important.”
How could he say that? The past had savaged him—he carried the scars on his heart to this day. “Don’t,” she whispered. “Don’t shut me out like that.” Don’t give me even less of you.
Shaking his head, he moved as if to kiss her, to end the conversation . . . froze. “Sienna, your eyes, they’re burning.”
Jerked back to the cold reality of her life, she dropped into her mind, saw the storm of flame. It shouldn’t have built to critical again this fast, shouldn’t have incinerated her shields and poured into her eyes, a violent voracious thing that would consume everything in its path and search for more. Fear squeezed her throat, but she had no time for the ice of it. “I need to get out of the den. Now.”
THEY TOOK ONE of the all-wheel drives as deep into the isolated interior of den territory as possible before Sienna said, “Stop.” Tumbling out of the vehicle the second Hawke braked, she ran toward a small clearing surrounded by the tall bulk of dark green firs, her feet cushioned by millions of pine needles. “Step back,” she ordered when Hawke caught up to her.