“Satisfied?” He breathed the word near my ear.
“No,” I breathed back, and then my eyes went wide. “I mean yes. I am satisfied to know you have no horns or scales on your head.”
He chuckled, staying near, the layers of his voice cutting through my defenses.
“Very good.” His lips grazed my collar bone, and I felt the urge to lay back and welcome him on top of me. I resisted. “May I keep tasting you?”
I flushed from top to bottom. “W-what do I taste like?”
“Everything sweet. Berries. Melon. Even nectar.”
“You smell like honey.” I did not mean to say it. I was overwhelmed.
“Would you like to taste me?” he asked.
“What?” My mind immediately went to some very intimate acts. “No. I’ve never…I can’t.”
And then his cheek was at my cheek again and he chuckled. “You can.”
I remained still as he moved his jawline against mine until our chins touched, and then he lifted his head so that my face was in the crook of his warm neck. I pressed my lips to his heated skin, his heady honeysuckle scent making my eyes flutter. And then I opened my mouth and let my tongue touch him. We both moaned, and he pressed into me. Gods, he tasted sweet with a hint of salt, and I knew for a fact he was not human. I’d never licked a man before, but our skin most definitely did not have flavor. He was like a living honeycomb.
I kissed along his neck, up to his jaw. He moved, anticipating where my mouth wanted to go. When I got to his earlobe, my teeth grazed the skin there as I took it into my mouth and dragged my lips away. He whispered my name and shuddered. Everything in me felt animalistic and proud that such a small gesture could bring about a reaction from an immortal. I should have stopped then, but I was too far gone. I tilted my head to his cheek, and he moved, letting me trail a line of kisses across his face to the edge of his mouth.
My heart expanded, and all of my feelings crashed down. What was I doing??
“I am scared,” I whispered.
“I know,” he whispered back, but he didn’t move away. Neither did he push. We stayed exactly like that, our breaths quickening against one another’s cheeks until I finally decided to move.
My lips touched his with shy tentativeness. I expected him to take over as he’d done before, but he remained still as if urging me to explore. I threw all my fears and trepidations aside and opened my mouth against his, lifting my chest as I leaned forward.
Now he moved, and gods it was so hard to keep my hands to myself. He took my face and together we fell back, our lips and tongues moving against one another’s with barely sustained need, gulping breaths.
“My hands,” I moaned.
His face lifted from mine. “What is wrong with them?”
“I want to touch you.”
“No,” he growled, grasping my gloved wrists and pulling them above my head. Then he kissed me with a fierceness that had me wrapping my calves around his legs to keep him close, wishing I could pull my long nightgown up and out of the way.
What were these thoughts?
My husband shifted off me, moving to lay beside me and hold my wrists with one hand. I heard a snap of fingers and felt a sudden coolness against my skin. I lifted a knee and realized my nightgown was gone. I let out a surprised shriek and brought up my legs.
“How did you do that? I…I’m not…I…”
“Not ready to be naked in my presence again?”
Oh, he thought he was very clever bringing up my moment of indiscretion earlier. I squirmed, feeling hot now.
“I am not ready to, you know. I didn’t mean—”
“Not ready to consummate. I understand. I told you; I will not have you as my wife until you ask. But I have other adventures in mind for us in the meantime. Unless you object?”
His voice shifted as he spoke, and I felt his hot breath hovering over my breast. My mouth opened, my whole body going taut.
“Psyche…?” My nipple puckered. “Is that a yes?”
“I—all right,” I whispered, but I had not been prepared for how it would feel when his mouth covered the tip of my breast. My back bowed up as I gasped and writhed. He held my sensitive flesh in his hand as his mouth worked, tongue moving, lips sucking. Then he moved to my other breast, working pure mysticism on my skin, pulling back to leave both my buds damp and sensitive from his expert mouth.
I breathed as if I’d run for the cliffs.
“I cannot say all the things I wish to say.” His voice dropped deeper and huskier, sending a ripple through me. “But if you listen, Psyche, listen to my touch…perhaps you will hear.”
His hand lay heavy across my ribcage. I felt each long finger and the graze of his smooth palm as he moved over my skin with something akin to reverence. It was the only word I could think of to describe his touch. His hand roamed me with patience, as if not wanting to miss a single spot of my stomach and waist. Gooseflesh sprouted across my skin, the tiny hairs standing up as a delightful chill spread over me.
His hand moved over my hip, rubbing small circles on my thighs. He let go of my wrists, apparently trusting me to keep my hands to myself, so he could lavish my body with both of his hands. It was difficult not to lift my hips and silently beg for more of his touch. I had no idea it could feel like this. I never dreamed I would want to be touched by him. Replacing my fears with something far greater was exhilarating.
His hand roamed down my inner leg, beneath my knee, sliding upward until he cupped my thigh, holding me like that. “Tell me what you want, Psyche.”
Embarrassment filled me. “I do not know, Husband.”
“Yes, you do,” he whispered. “Tell me.”
He continued to cup my thigh, his fingers so very close to my core.
“I want you to keep touching me,” I whispered.
His hand slid upward. “Always tell me.” And then he pulled my thighs open just enough to run his thumb gently down the center of my folds. I grasped the pillow underneath my head and held it tight. He leaned down and pressed his lips to mine, whispering, “Have you ever been touched here?”
“No,” I breathed, and to show him what I wanted, I lifted my hips. A guttural sound came from the back of his throat, so sexy. He kept his face near mine, our breaths mingling, as his thumb was replaced by a finger that pressed downward, finding the moisture that had gathered for him.
Like before, he let out an ancient-sounding curse, and his finger moved in a small circle, teasing me. I arched my back and his finger slid into me, making me cry out. As his hand found a delicious rhythm, touching sensitive places inside of me, the pad of his thumb discovered the top bundle of tension at my center and began to rub in a circular motion.
“Oh, gods,” I moaned. “Yes…Husband.”
He kissed me, his hand moving more aggressively as I bucked up to meet him, still marveling at this openness between us, this rightness. With his hands and mouth, he built me up, bringing me to a mountaintop and then exploded my senses in a lightning storm of pleasure. He once again had to hold my wrists above my head as my whole body rocked. And with every shudder and yell that came from the depths of me, he kissed my lips, one after another, until I calmed, breathing hard.
He pulled my bottom lip between his, stretching it a tiny bit and letting it go. His hand that had tended to me so well, was now at my waist, holding me close. He kissed my cheek, and lay beside me now, his fingers trailing my belly as I continued to come down from the summit to which he’d brought me.
He had asked me to “listen” to his touch. So, what had I heard? Was it my imagination, or had every single movement he’d made tonight seemed to say…he cared? How could that be? I had believed with everything inside of me that he was an evil creature. Could I have been so wrong?
“You are thinking,” he said. “Say it out loud.”
I shook my head, trying to work out the kinks of confusion.
“Say it,” he urged, taking my face in his hands. “Say it before you lose your nerve.”
“You care,” I told him, my whole body shaking now. “You care about me?”
The long pause terrified me, and then he let out a sound of laughter that was pure joy. He kissed my lips, then my cheeks and my forehead.
I would take that as a yes.
And for the first time since I had been forced to marry, and carted off to this strange, mystical land, I did not feel alone.
When I woke in the soft light of the next morning, his invisible hand heavy on my waist, a small smile graced my lips. How quickly things had changed.
“Good morning, Wife.” He sounded fully awake.
I rolled toward him, holding my hands together at my chest, and stared straight through the spot where he lay. His body’s indentation was there. His presence was there. And his scent was definitely there.
“Is it strange?” he asked. “Not to see me?”
“So strange.” Because, though I had felt most of his body against other parts of my skin, there was still a touch of fright in the mystery of the unknown.
“Would it matter if I were unattractive to you?” His curiosity was endearing.
It did not take me long to think about it. “Other aspects of a person are far more important.”