Here's another excerpt from Arcane Kiss.
Alone, veteran Kurt Briggs is no match for the Arcane terrorists who threaten the nation's leadership. He needs Arcanist Genevieve Reyes by his side. But when shared danger leads to shared desires, the consequences could be deadly for them both.
In this scene, Kurt and Genevieve make love for the first time. Kurt has just melded with the spirit of a tiger, which is eroding his normal self-control. He's worried he could endanger Gen, who has just had a nightmare about his losing control.
She sighed. “It was just a nightmare, Kurt. It didn’t mean anything.”
“There’s fear in your scent.”
“It was just a bad dream.”
He sank back on the couch and rubbed his eyes with one hand. In his own dream, he’d been the one to trip the Arc’s booby trap in that cave. He’d been the one to go mad when someone bumped him from behind, reacting in blind animal rage. Except it hadn’t been Dave he’d killed.
It had been Genevieve.
I’ve got to get out of here before I do something really stupid. Like kiss her again. Kurt dropped his hand, shoulders slumping. “I don’t blame you for being afraid, especially after the way I acted tonight. Look, I’m going back to…”
Gen touched him, shutting him up in mid-word. Her silken fingers curled along his cheek. “I’m not afraid.” Her blue eyes gazed into his, vivid and steady. “You didn’t lose control, Kurt. Your father was just murdered, but you still held on. You didn’t hurt anybody. I’m not sure I could have said the same if somebody’d killed my dad.”
He inhaled sharply. Her scent flooded his head, and he realized she meant it. The acridity was gone, leaving only her personal scent, all magical ozone and Genevieve.
But if the fear had faded, the need had not. It still rolled from her, smoky and tempting as incense. “I’m not afraid,” she repeated softly.
“I had a bad dream. It’s been that kind of night. But if you were really going to lose control, you’d have done it in the arena when your dad died. If you didn’t then, I don’t think you’re going to.”
Kurt closed his eyes, fighting temptation, and saw her magic glowing behind his lids. It wasn’t just gold like his, but a hundred other shades, colors chasing each other across her aura like the aurora borealis.
The glowing woman leaned toward him. His eyes flew wide as Genevieve kissed him. It might have been their third kiss of the night, but it didn’t feel like either of the others. Those had been kisses of desperation, of grief, of pain and sympathy. This was a gentle exploration of a kiss, slow and soft.
Her tongue slipped into his mouth in a teasing lick that burned smoky with bourbon. Kurt closed his lips and suckled her gently, tasting her with senses both feline and human. Her lips brushed back and forth across his in slow seduction. He returned the swirling stroke of her tongue, sliding his own into her mouth, tilting his head as he explored her.
At last she eased back from him. Kurt stared at her, fighting the need that burned hot in his groin, his and Stoli’s desire flaring like gasoline teased with a torch.
Cool little fingers touched his hand and took the glass away. Leaning forward, she put both their empty glasses on the coffee table with a clink. His eyes caught on the sinuous curve of her back, leading down to the swell of her ass.
Genevieve turned back to him, and he took her in his arms. She felt perfect, skin soft and smooth and lush.
That image flashed through his mind: Gen on her hands and knees. Stoli wanted her to pull her under him, but he refused. Not after the fear I saw in her eyes. I am not going to scare this woman again. He was going to make love to her. Despite common sense, despite his better judgment, he wanted her. Needed her.
But he wasn’t an animal. He eased back and looked deep in those cornflower eyes. “You trust me. But do you want me?”
She caught his shoulders in both hands and pushed him back against the couch, then slung a leg astride his lap. “Yes.”
Kurt stiffened… in more than one sense of the word. His cock leaped as her soft weight came down on his thighs. She felt so delicious, he groaned. Gen covered his mouth with hers and drank the sound, kissing him harder this time, demanding, tongue swirling around his.
Closing his eyes, he watched her glow as the heat in his veins blazed.
She stroked him as she kissed him, tracing the cords of his throat, the thick muscle of biceps and shoulders.
He cupped the rise of her hips, slid one palm up to the dip of her narrow waist. Pushing up the hem of her shirt, he found bare skin, warm and smooth and soft under his fingertips.
Stoli rumbled, and Kurt had to suppress a magical echo. He had no intention of killing this mood with a growl, even a growl of hunger. Especially a growl of hunger. “Are you sure this is what you want? Because I’ll go if you’re not.”
She pulled back just enough to glare. “Don’t you dare.” Sharp little nails dug into his chest.
“All right, all right!” Laughing, he reached up to cup her breast. Soft. God, she was so incredibly soft. The smooth, warm curve filled his hand with pure erotic delight. He groaned.
So did she.
He caressed her gently, squeezed, stroked. Found the stiff little nipples that had been driving him crazy since she’d walked into the room. Made them even stiffer with gentle tugs between thumb and forefinger.
Genevieve pulled away from his mouth and let her head tilt back, eyes slipping closed. “I do love a man with talent.”
“Thank you.” He pulled the top up, revealing both lovely breasts. With pleasure, he saw her nipples were a luscious candy pink, furled tight in arousal. “See what you think of this…”
Leaning forward, he closed his mouth around one delightful bud. The taste of her was more intoxicating than the bourbon, sending fire roaring along his veins like a flame following a trail of gasoline.
A cool low voice that sounded like his father said, This is a really bad idea.
He ignored it.