Fantastical Page 10

But I didn’t let him go. He was real. He was warm. He was strong. He saved me from that thing. He fed me. He took me someplace safe, dry and warm (ish). He was a jerk, he hated me but he was taking care of me. In this strange land, if I didn’t have him, I would be royally screwed (more than I already was, that was).

“Thank you for taking care of me,” I whispered, pushing closer to his body.

That body got tight.

“But I don’t want to eat bunny anymore.” I was still whispering.

“Fine, Cora, I’ll not hunt bunny anymore,” he sounded slightly amused, slightly surprised and slightly annoyed, a strange combination that worked for him. “Go to sleep,” he said on another squeeze of his arms.

I pulled in another breath and sleep came closer.

Then I mumbled, “Pray God, those things don’t harm her.”

His body again got tight.

“Pray God,” I repeated softly.

“Sleep,” his voice rumbled the order.

“She tra la’ed and danced on her toes. Anyone who tra la’s and dances on their toes shouldn’t be harmed, even by those things. No, especially by those things.”

“Cora, what did I say?”

I fell silent.

Then, on the edge of sleep, I whispered so low it was barely audible, “I hope Aggie’s okay.”

I felt his arms squeeze one last time before I was dead to the world.

* * *

I woke feeling great.

This feeling didn’t last long because the next feeling that assaulted me was the knowledge that my body was wrapped around the long, hard body of Noctorno. He was on his back, I was nearly on top of him, my thigh thrown over both of his, my head on his chest, my arm tight around him.

To make matters worse, both his arms were around me too.

Holy crap.

My head came up but before I could move away I was imprisoned by his light blue eyes.

“You didn’t snore,” his voice rumbled sleepily and, might I add, sexily.

Uh-oh.

“Um –”

“Or move.”

“Uh –”

“Or steal the covers.”

I bit my lip.

“Gods, you cuddled,” he muttered, his eyes narrowing dangerously.

Oh dear.

“I –” I started trying to pull away but his arms got tighter so I stopped mostly because his arms were really freaking strong and I had no choice.

“What’s this now?” he murmured, his glittering, no longer sleepy eyes moving over my face.

“What?” I asked.

“Seduction?” he asked back.

Uh. What?

Then it hit me.

“No!” I cried. “I –”

“I can’t imagine you’d be very good at it,” he remarked.

Oh Lord. I was seeing he was back to the jerk.

I tugged at his hold and put my hands to his chest to get better leverage.

This didn’t work.

“Let me go.”

“Though,” he carried on, ignoring me, “you put your mind to something…” then he trailed off.

Oh God.

“Noctorno, let… me…” I shoved hard, “go!”

I got nowhere.

His eyes dropped to my mouth. “I’ve a mind to test your skills.”

Uh-oh!

“Let me go!” I repeated.

He didn’t let me go. His arms separated, one sliding up my back, the other one sliding low on my waist. The hand at my waist slanted down to my hip and his fingers pressed in.

“You feel better now that there’s more to you. I like the curves. When you were skin and bones…” he trailed off again.

Great. Just my luck. He liked that I was fat in this world.

“I’m not going to say it again,” I told him on another shove. “Let me go!”

His eyes moved back to mine. “Kiss me and I’ll let you go.”

My body went still.

Then I shouted, “No!”

“Can’t even give your husband that,” he muttered, his expression changing from speculative to daunting.

“Right. I can’t. You’re a jerk and I hate you, remember?” I snapped.

His arms tightened. “I remember,” he replied. “But that’s not it. You can’t do it.”

“Can’t do what?”

“Kiss me.”

“I can kiss you. I just don’t want to.”

“I’ll wager you can kiss me, what I mean is, you can’t kiss me the way I’d like it.”

It was my eyes that narrowed at that.

I really had no idea if I was a good kisser or not. Brian didn’t seem to mind the way I kissed. In fact, all I had to do was kiss him, give him a good, long, wet one and he was all over me. Then again, he was a guy. Guys didn’t need much and Brian needed less than most (in my, admittedly, not so vast experience).

“I could kiss you the way you’d like it but I’m not going to,” I returned.

“Drivel,” he muttered.

“I could!” I snapped.

“Not a prayer in this world,” he retorted.

What a jerk!

“Why do you even want me to kiss you? You don’t even like me.” I reminded him.

“Because, my love, I’m a man and most of your soft body has been pressed to me all night, the rest of it wrapped around me. That happens to a man no matter whose body it is.”

“Nice,” I hissed. “Just the words any girl wants to hear.”

“They’re true.”

“I’ll give you that. Now let me go,” I demanded.

He let me go and started to slide out from under me when I did it. I don’t know why, maybe because I was sick of having a bad rap due to the Cora of this world being a screaming bitch.

What matters was, I did.

And I shouldn’t have.

I really shouldn’t have.

I lifted a hand to his cheek, moved his head to facing me and I went in for the kill.

And I didn’t start small. I pulled out all the stops and went all out. I pressed tight to him, my fingers slid into the thick, soft hair at the side of his head, I pressed my lips to his, opened my mouth over his and when his opened under mine, my tongue darted in and Lordy, but he tasted good.

Sublime.

Yum!

That was when I really went all out, pushing close and giving it my all.

He took it and with a groan his arms closed around me, he rolled me to my back, his big body on mine and he took over.

Oh man, this was better. Way better.

He was a jerk but, damn, the man could kiss.

My fingers slid through his hair to cup the back of his head and my other arm curved around his muscled back just as my leg forced its way out from under him and wrapped around his hip.

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