Her hands go to my wrists. “Not about yours at all, right?”
I slide my palms to her shoulders, my gaze lowering to sweep her full breasts, one pink nipple peeking from the edge of one cup. “I’m already there, baby,” I say, my gaze lifting to hers.
Emotions flicker over her face and she cuts her stare. I catch her chin and force her gaze back to mine. “I’m not him.”
She covers my hand with his. “Can you just kiss me already, preferably before and after you get naked?”
“I don’t need another invitation,” I say, my fingers tangling into her hair, my mouth closing down on her mouth and the moment my tongue thrusts against her tongue, she moans, leaning into the kiss. The taste of her a heady mix of pain, hunger, and female, and just that easily she’s pulling me under. I’m right there with her, remembering that month after the funeral. Remembering the guilt, the pain, the shock, that I feel in her now. Every emotion I’ve felt since finding out my brother was dead at only thirty-six years old rages to life.
I deepen the kiss, and with it is a punishing demand that those memories, mine and hers, die right here and now, and yet they flare to life. Nothing is as simple as it should be. She is a Knight and as far as I’m concerned, the Knights killed my brother. Emma is a Knight, but I want her to be different than the rest of them. Because as long as the taste of her is on my tongue, revenge will be far more bitter than sweet, but I won’t let it go.
I tear my mouth away from hers, and for a moment, Emma and I just stare at each other—and fuck me, I feel this woman, I feel the vulnerability in her, a deep, cutting vulnerability that is familiar in ways I don’t want it to be familiar. It’s fear. It’s the kind of fear that death creates in you. It’s raw. It’s real. I feel those things in ways I have not felt anything but anger in months. Because I understand it and her. I understand how this kind of fear changes how you look at love and life. It makes you vow to never willingly love again, only life isn’t that simple. Some part of me is back to that earlier need, the one that has me burning to strip her naked and bury myself inside her, here, now, but that would be about her body, about pushing her away, and nothing more. For the first time in a very long time, that’s not what I want. I want to stay here in this night with her, to live it. Live it with her.
My first inclination is to reach down and rip away her panties, sit her on top of the back of the chair and make her wait while I undress. That submission comment gives me pause, though, and my instinct is to earn her trust in ways I might not need to otherwise. But friend or enemy, and I hope like hell it’s a friend, I need this woman’s trust. But again, it’s not that simple. I want her trust, too. I want her to forget to feel the pain.
I caress a path downward until two fingers of each hand run along the line of her ample breasts, sliding beneath the lace on one side to tease her nipples. Her teeth scrape her bottom lip, and I lean in and lick the offended skin, kissing her before I press her hands to either side of the chair next to her. “Don’t move.”
“And if I do?”
I could promise to spank her or work her to near orgasm then deny her pleasure, and I believe at another time or place, she might like it. Just not now. Not this night. “You’ll never know if you move, now will you? I’m not going to punish you, not unless you want to play that kind of game.”
“Then we won’t, but nothing has changed. Don’t move.” I cup her face and press my cheek to her cheek. “Good things come to those who wait. Only good things tonight, Emma.” She trembles beneath my touch, and I can almost feel the emotion radiating off of her. Emotions that aren’t about me, but her. I’m just here for the ride.
I step back from her and reach for my belt. Her gaze follows, her expression tightening, and I have this sense that she knows a belt in a way no woman should know a belt. Holy fuck, I might kill York. I need to get out of this city before I see him again. Her eyes meet mine, her bottom lip trembling with the truth that gives new meaning to Mrs. Nichols’ comment about her never bringing men here. And yet she brought me.