Lochinvar pressed on. “What’s different about me?”
“You’re rougher. Wilder.”
His analysis continued. “Did this start with me chopping the wood or before?”
“The wood. The axe.”
“Ye like that harder side. The violence.”
Again, not a question. I slowly nodded anyway, then gave up my truth. “I have a fantasy of ye. It’s dark.”
“I can let my tastes run dark, if ye want.”
I shivered at the promise. “It’s of ye pursuing me.”
The admittance smarted. I was giving him power over me. Power he could use to humiliate me or reject me.
Lochinvar paused, considering this, then placed a hand on the sofa back and leaned in. He was so big, so broad.
My skin zinged in awareness.
Fear sprang, loading my muscles.
He was going to kiss me. I wasn’t ready. Didn’t want this.
He brought his mouth close to my ear. “Get up.”
“Go to the door.”
I obeyed, my frightened soul needing direction. I stepped into my shoes, no clue what was happening.
Lochinvar stalked over and grasped my waist. He manhandled my stiff body out of the way, then unlocked the door, opening it. With a finger, he pointed outside into the frigid night.
He…kicked me out?
“What…?” I stammered.
What the hell was he doing? And why was this working? I skipped backwards. Lochinvar took a long tread after me, his jaw clenched tight.
Those black eyes glittered.
I was looking at a predator. A threat. A dangerous animal.
Excited, I turned and bolted. My pulse skyrocketed, and I flew over the ground. Every sense trained on the danger at my back. My spine tingled, fear merging with a different state. This was nothing like the emotion I’d felt in that hall at work. No, this was…exhilarating.
I reached the cars when a heavy arm caught me.
A helpless sound burst from my throat, and Lochinvar spun me around. He gripped my biceps so I couldn’t escape and pushed me against his vehicle. Only his hand stopped me from banging my head on the metal.
With his huge frame, he caged me in, eclipsing the night.
I panted, every place we touched blazing to life with sensation. All fresh. All real and vital.
I struggled in vain.
Then Lochinvar crashed his lips onto my neck.
I opened my mouth in pure shock. The energy behind his almost-kiss-almost-bite bruised me, his beard abrading my skin.
But the pain was nothing to the splintering joy.
I tried to move his lips to mine, but he didn’t budge. All I could do was receive. His mouth slid to under my ear then to my collarbone, his teeth testing my flesh.
Then he dropped me.
Lochinvar stepped back, breathing hard. I staggered, nearly falling, and my chest rose and fell where I couldn’t pull in enough air.
Neither of us spoke, but the dark light in his eyes only intensified.
Lochinvar gave a snort that sounded like satisfaction, then he turned and strode to his cottage. His door slammed, and I was left alone.
The night air cooled my ardour, and I stared, seeing nothing.
It hadn’t been a real kiss, nor gentle or sweet. What the hell was it? And why did I only want more?
Releasing May 31