She laid her palm over the center of his chest, then stiffened and drew it away. Oh, aye, she knew what had happened to him. Did she think he was still injured? Or that he wouldn't want her to touch him there? He bloody craved her touch there-

She leaned her head down to his chest. He felt her fluttery breaths; he didn't breathe at all.

She pressed a single soft kiss over his heart, having no idea he'd just given it to her.

Chapter Twenty-One

Chloe was adrift in that stage between wakefulness and sleep when a scent tickled her nose.

What is that smell? Masculine, crisp, intoxicating. Her heart began beating faster, her skin heating.

She turned toward the source and found her head resting on a man's bare chest. Her man. She lazily smiled.

He was asleep beside her in the dimmed room. Pale sunlight tried to steal in through a crack in the heavy curtains. Morning?

Though she was tucked beneath the covers, he lay atop them-no doubt to keep control for her. Because he was generous and protective.

And athletic, sexy, fun, smart, sexy, cocky, and sexy. Realization struck her. She could look for lifetimes and never find anyone who fit her so well.

She watched him sleeping. His firm lips were parted, stubble shadowing his rugged jaw and stubborn chin. Her gaze swept lower to his muscle-packed chest and the indentations of his stomach muscles.

That line of hair descending from his navel to his low-slung jeans.

On the outside, he was physical perfection. But inside . . . he'd been hurt and still bore the mental scars. Last night, he'd unconsciously covered his heart when thinking about his torture, confirming what Ronan had told her.

MacRieve had realized that she knew. He'd accepted that. And after she'd kissed his chest, he'd clasped her in his arms so tightly she'd feared he would break her.

Then, as if he'd been waiting for ages to sleep, he'd seemed to pass out. She'd missed the opportunity to tell him of her fears, to ask for his help in discovering what she was.

Today, she decided. She'd talk to him today. Because she did want this thing between them.

For now, she reveled in his scent and heat. Yes, she'd realized she could get used to him. Waking up with him like this made her wonder again if she was exactly where she was meant to be.

Fated to this man.

He'd told her that he'd lived for more than three hundred thousand days. Yet yesterday had been his favorite of all of them?

She decided that today would be his new personal best.

No more cowardice. She would boldly explore this thing between them. When she nuzzled him, her lips skimming one of his flat n**ples, he woke.

"Chloe?" He inhaled, muscles tensing. "You needin' me, lass?" he asked in that rumbling brogue.

"Mm-hmm."

She watched his penis begin to stiffen, caught within his straining jeans. With a groan, he adjusted himself, and his length distended once more, jutting into view.

Her fingers curled as the urge to seize him arose. The more she stared, the more she wanted to kiss it. She licked her lips for it. "Yesterday, I thought about something." Her h*ps had begun rocking against her will. Literally.

"What's that?"

Her fingers walked down his torso to the bulge between his legs, caressing him there. "About kissing you."

His hoarse voice broke lower as he said, "Were you then?"

"Kissing you"-she rubbed her thumb across the head-"here."

His hands flew to his pants, snatching them down his body so he could kick them off with a growl. "Well then, if you must. . . ."

His body was laid out like a bounty before her. Broad shoulders, narrow hips. That glorious shaft continued to harden.

"I've never done it before," she said absently as she moved between his legs.

He spread them, beckoning her, that big rod pulsing up and down. "I'm honored you're starting-and ending-with me. But do it so I can see that little body of yours."

She gave him a businesslike nod, as if he'd just told her to drop and give him twenty. Yet once she'd gotten her shirt off, she hesitated at her bra.

"Show me those bonny br**sts, Chloe."

His home turf. She might've been shy in front of this man, but baring herself to him felt so . . . right. So she did, following with her panties.

As his gaze raked over her, he spoke to her in Gaelic, words she knew were praise. Remembering himself, he added in English, "Ach, this will no' last long for me."

"How do I go about it?"

"What do you feel like doing?"

Gaze locked on his mouthwatering erection, she murmured, "Lick it like a candy cane."

"Gods have mercy," he hissed as more moisture beaded the head. He took his shaft in hand, holding it for her like an offering. "Come have a taste."

This felt natural to her, like she was supposed to be here, with him, about to do . . . that. So she leaned down and gave the head a long lick. As she gazed up to gauge his reaction-utter bliss-she tasted the delectable bite of his seed. An almost electrical sense of pleasure flooded through her. She moaned, "I think I'm going to love this." One thought repeated itself: Need more.

Another lap made his shaft pulse again, giving up more moisture, providing another hit of sensation. If hints of seed were making her feel like this, she couldn't imagine what his orgasm would do to her. She eagerly licked each new bead, like she was racing a melting ice cream cone.

A growl rumbled from his chest. "I need . . . I need your eyes on mine."

For him to keep control. Gaze locked on his, she descended once more, circling the crown with her tongue. As she loved him with her tongue and lips, she recognized that something was clicking into place inside her, like some kind of womanly intuition was emerging. She kissed down the side of his length so he'd move his hand and let her drive.

"There, my lass," he rasped, "that's it."

This intuition guided her, until she seemed to know exactly how to kiss him. She knew he needed her to take him deeper into the heat of her mouth. She knew he craved her hand tight around the base of his shaft, pumping him at the same time. She knew his balls would be aching for her to fondle them in her rolling fingers.

Her ears twitched at his every groan or growl, at the way the timbre of his voice changed as he neared his peak.

According to her new intuition, she needed to take him to the edge. And then maybe to let him linger there. . . .

Two nights ago, Will had mused, "I think I'm bluidy in love."

As Chloe took his c*ck between those plump reddened lips, he thought, I know I am.

She moaned and the scent of her arousal deepened. The sweetest, most alluring scent. She was enjoying this.

Lucky man, Will! He was hard as stone and randy as a lad, excited like one.

He could tell Chloe was unpracticed with this-she'd hesitate before trying something new. Yet she was figuring it out handily.

He relaxed back, stroking her hair as she explored him with her soft lips and seeking tongue. But then his beast began to stir with more aggression. It clawed inside him, and again, Will clawed back.

This was Chloe, giving her first bl*w j*b. If he didn't get control, he could ruin this forever. She was so young, so eagerly doing this. Don't ruin it. He released her, clamping the headboard. If he had to white-knuckle his way through it, he would.

When she moaned and pulled on his length, he arched his back. This is mine to enjoy, beast. He was harder than he'd ever been without it rising, sweating with pleasure.

Yet an underlying uneasiness arose. He was worried about his beast, but also about how utterly perfect this felt. He'd woken to her nuzzling him after he'd slept with nary a nightmare. Will MacRieve simply didn't get mornings like this. "Head case" took on a totally different meaning.

When she began using her hand to pump him as she sucked him deep, he knew it was only a matter of time. "You're sucking it so good, lass. Can you feel my seed rising up my cock?"

She squeezed her hand around the swollen ring, making him buck to be free of that sem*n.

Just when he was about to come, was opening his mouth to tell her, she eased off, leaving him hanging at the edge. His claws dug deeper into the wood. The intensity was mind-numbing. Biting back a curse, he reminded himself that she was exploring him. Let her play.

When her hot little tongue tucked against his sensitive ballocks, he gave a shout. "Chloe!"

She set in with her hand and mouth once more-until he was shuddering with the need to ejaculate-only to ease off again.

"Finish me!" he grated between breaths.

She licked the slit of his cock, then pursed her lips to blow on it.

"Ah! Merciless woman!"

She worked him steadily until the pressure was unbearable, until he'd reached the point of no return.

Have to warn her. "You've got me in a bad way! I'm goin' tae come a river."

She drew back, gazing up under those long lashes. "Okay." She played with his laden ballocks, grazing her nails behind them.

He tried to speak. Couldn't. Tried again: "Okay? How do you want it, then? Have care, or it'll come right upon your tongue."

She lovingly rubbed his shaft against her cheek . . . such a sweet gesture amidst all her hot and dirty sucking-his mind was blown as thoroughly as his dick.

"I want it now." She returned to her kiss, taking him even deeper, pumping him faster.

He drew his knees up beside her, thrusting hard to her lips. His claws dug into the headboard as his eyes rolled back in his head.

Chapter Twenty-Two

MacRieve's head thrashed, sweat slicking all his tightened muscles. His legs quaked around her ears as that bulge of seed in his shaft climbed all the way to the top.

She'd rendered him this way. This was her doing. Pride and arousal warred inside her, along with a tenderness for this man that shocked her in its strength. He's mine.

When his h*ps bucked too wildly, Chloe's nails sank into them, holding him still.

"Fuck, fuck! You want me tae come harder than I ever have?" His accent was so thick. "Then doona stop, baby, just doona-ahhh!" His back bowed.

Heat spurted into her mouth as he roared her name. She jerked at her first taste, as if lightning had struck. How could anything be this delicious? She felt as if she'd waited forever to taste him. When she swallowed his sem*n down, energy seemed to fill her, like currents racing through her veins.

Panting around the head, nearly delirious, she drew even deeper. My man, my man . . . mine.

Her scalp began to tingle. She saw tracers in her vision. Shivers danced over her damp skin.

His heartbeat thundered like earthquakes in her sensitive ears.

And when he was spent, he put his palm atop her head to stay her. But she was reluctant to end an experience like this, kept tonguing him.

Though he shuddered violently with each of her lingering licks, he didn't stop her. "I think I'm in a dream." He reached out his straightened arms, cupping her face. "Just came till my eyes rolled back in my head, and my mate is lapping at me like a kitten with cream."

He was grinning. Her heart twisted in her chest. He was the most handsome male she'd ever seen. A golden-eyed Scottish sex god. And he wanted her. Forever.

She grinned back, excitement seizing her. Because she suspected she would come to want him for just as long.

Again they were smiling at each other like they'd pulled off some kind of coup.

At that moment, she thought, Why would I ever let him go?

Will lay stupefied, legs sprawled around her body.

Chloe had just sucked him till he'd seen stars, and now his beautiful mate was licking him clean. As he gazed down in awe, she continued to kiss and nuzzle until he was hardening again.

Never had he been pleasured so profoundly. Which was something for a nine-hundred-year-old to recognize. He was proud of his control-and completely enamored with his mate. "Looks like we've found something Chloe genuinely enjoys."

"I loved it."

"And it loved you, mo chridhe."

"What did you call me?"

"My heart. Now for your turn."

"Hmmm?" she murmured against the tip, her breaths tickling him. When he drew her away, she cried, "Hey, I wasn't finished."

"It's no' going anywhere, love." He turned her over on her back, spreading her legs. Found her gaze locked on his mouth. "Ah, Chloe, your heart speeds up when you look at my mouth. Because you know what I'm about tae do with it." She's mine. And I'll take her. Just not completely. Keep the beast in check.

"I'm goin' tae make you come till you ride my tongue like a wanton. Because that's what you are."

"What does that mean?" she asked in a throaty voice that sent blood rushing to his shaft again.

"It means you were made for me." He started kissing down her neck, intending to blaze a trail all the way to her toes and back.

Suddenly he stilled.

"MacRieve? Is this more of your teasing? I'm already about to die!"

Another scent was now coursing through his consciousness. He gave himself an inward shake. Flashback? Memory of a nightmare?

Chloe was rocking her h*ps against his torso when he scented something he'd hoped never to smell again.

Succubae. Close. He inhaled deeply, the scent getting stronger and stronger. Gods, they've gotten inside the wall! Were they here for revenge? Or to steal Chloe for the Pravus?

With a bitter curse, he dove for his pants, snatching them up over his cock. "Get dressed now!" He tossed his shirt to her.

"What?" She pulled it over her head. "What's going on, MacRieve?"

Dressed enough! He grabbed her, securing her in his arms as he lunged for the bedroom door-

He froze, all his muscles tensing. He slowly drew back to stare down at her eyes. They . . . glowed green. Her hair was lengthening by the second. Claws tipped each of her fingers.

"No, no. This is no' happening."

"Why are you looking at me like that?"

This was no mortal in his arms; she was a succubus. My mate . . . my mate is one of their ilk.

Bile rose in his throat. She'd just fed. Off of him!

Though he'd vowed to the gods that he would rather die than feed one of those vile creatures again, he'd allowed this parasite to play him, seduce him, then harvest his seed.

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