Her dress falling in a pool around her feet, revealing her silken nudity to the beast’s hungry gaze—-
The feel of her skin under its claws, the way her gloriously large breasts would jiggle at its touch—-
Liquid heat laced its blood, and a shudder ran over the beast’s large, powerful body.
Just thinking of her name –
Of being able to say it as the beast kissed her –
The beast’s cock swelled and hardened into a formidably hard erection behind its pants.
How it wanted this woman!
But would she want the beast back?
Breathing hard, the beast turned away sharply at the thought.
Logic told the beast that wishing for such a thing was a sheer waste of his time, and yet –
It could not forget her words.
Although the beast had never left its island, it still retained full control of the family empire. It knew the business inside and out, and that included each and every person who worked in the company. Like the security chief, the beast believed that Maurice Blume had been a pawn, and it had been the beast’s idea to set a detective on the father and daughter’s trail, hoping that they would reveal something in their private conversations.
And indeed it had.
It revealed that Arabella Blume, daughter of a man accused of theft, might be the one woman in this world who could love the beast…because of her words.
Her very own words—-
Not even if the whole world thinks you’re a monster.
I will always trust and love you.
Because I know you.
The beast could not help turning to face her again as her words echoed in its head like the most elusive of promises.
From that moment on, it had wanted her.
It had wanted her like it had never wanted a woman before –
More than Louise Baldwin even.
It had wanted her for those words alone, for the beautiful heart that could have given her the strength to speak such words.
It had wanted her before it had even seen her.
But the beast also knew wanting on its side was not and would never be enough.
Arabella Blume had to want him, too.
So could you do that, ma belle?
Could you want a beast like me?
A hiss of frustration escaped the beast before it could stop itself and this time, it was enough to wake the figure on the bed. As Arabella started to sit up, the beast swiftly retreated past the shadows, the wall soundlessly sliding shut behind it as Arabella rubbed her eyes.
The clouds of hair framing her too-pale face fell against her back as she looked around her, obviously searching for what could have wakened her up.
The beast stared at her through the mirror, willing her to let it go.
Go back to sleep. Forget what you’re thinking. Let it go –
So it, too, could walk away.
But she did not.
The quiver in her voice, the way her gaze kept searching for the beast in the shadows –
Even without seeing the beast, even when the stealth of its movements had never failed the beast before, even when it should not be –
Arabella Blume knew the beast was here.
Its heart thudded against its chest at what this could mean, but even so, the beast dared not let itself hope. It could not hope. It should not.
Or at least not just yet—-
Not until she understood the only thing the beast had left of Aurélien Sauvage was his name.
What Am I Here For?
“Bonjour, ma belle.”
The voice was a low rasp, with just the faintest accent. But what had me clutching the covers hard was how I knew it came from beyond the shadows. My instincts told me it was so, but I just wasn’t sure how it was possible.
“W-Where are you?” I demanded in a voice that shook more than I wanted to. “Are y-you Aurélien Sauvage?”
More silence passed, and unable to bear it any longer, I swung my legs off the bed and jumped down to the floor. It was rather embarrassing I had to do so, but with the bed more than four feet off the ground, it wasn’t like I had a choice.
Sliding my feet back into my beaten pair of flats, I gathered all my courage to venture into the shadowy corners of the room, one at a time. “Show yourself!” I poked the air about me, feeling silly and foolish all the while, but I couldn’t help it.
He was here! He was! Even without him saying a word, I could feel his watchful and possessive gaze on my body, caressing my skin, chaining me, and branding me like a master would his slave.
How could a mere gaze feel this intense, I wondered in a mixture of confusion and anxiety. And how was it that his eyes felt as gentle as they were daunting? It made no sense!
I looked around me again, squinting hard, trying to find even the smallest clue to his presence. The glow from the fireplace was blazingly bright, but it simply wasn’t enough for the sheer size of the room.