Slumber Page 41

“I-”

Whatever banal thing I would have said was cut off as Wolfe reached a hand out to slide behind my neck. I gulped, feeling so hot I thought I was going to combust. The way he looked at me… I shivered… no one had ever looked at me like that before. Like I was the most-

“You’re so beautiful,” Wolfe told me hoarsely, and maybe I was naive, but as he looked at me I believed he really thought so.

And then I wasn’t really thinking much because his mouth was on mine. He brushed his lips across mine in soft feathery butterfly kisses, beautiful and frustrating all at the same time.

“Wolfe,” I muttered in complaint and his lips smiled against mine. “Cruel,” I whispered.

He took it as a challenge. I was gripped closer, his arms wrapped around me, binding me to him so I was flush against him, my arms trapped. And his mouth…

His kiss was hard and persistent now and I pushed into it, intoxicated by the feel and scent of him all around me. A little strangled sound erupted from the back of my throat at the feel of his tongue against my lips and he took the opportunity to sweep into my mouth, drugging me with the unfamiliar dark pull of the kind of kiss Haydyn had told me about but I’d never experienced. I must have stilled, unsure of what to do, letting him kiss me and enjoying it, but afraid to participate in case I did it wrong. Wolfe suddenly stopped, breaking the kiss. He pulled back to frown at me.

I blushed, feeling like an idiot. Wolfe was used to experienced women, not nineteen year old girls who were as sensual as the straw we sat on.

“You’ve never been kissed properly before?” He asked softly, stroking my flushed cheek. I was still wrapped tightly against him and despite my embarrassment I didn’t want to pull away from him. I was addicted. Wonderful.

“No.” I shook my head, feeling like a schoolgirl.

“But I thought you and Jarek-”

“Me and Jarek, what?!” I snapped back, my eyes flashing angrily. What in haven was he insinuating exactly? Or had Jarek said something? Had Jarek spread lies about me? No, he wouldn’t… would he?

Wolfe arched his eyebrow arrogantly. “What was I supposed to think? You’re always flirting with him.”

Arrgh! I hit my hands against his chest trying to pull away from him but he only held me tighter, grinning now, which made me madder. “You are the most-”

“I’m glad I was wrong.” He cut me off, his eyes narrowing with lustful intent. “Now kiss me back.”

I shuddered, my earlier annoyance disappearing in a puff of smoke. With my usual aversion to being vulnerable I jutted my chin out defiantly. “I don’t know how, so maybe we should stop.”

Wolfe smirked. “Not a chance. Just follow my lead, mimic what I do.” His breathing grew laboured as he leaned in towards me. I trembled terribly as his lips reached for mine again and I felt his arms flex around me. This time his kiss began a little gentler as I opened my mouth tentatively. When his tongue touched mine I followed it with my own. Wolfe groaned against me and I felt it reverberate through me in delicious waves. I gasped at the feeling taking over me. This must be what Haydyn was always talking about. The kiss grew more frantic and I freed my arms so I could wrap them around him, my br**sts flat to his chest, every inch of my body as close as I could get to the heat of his. We collapsed back against the blankets, Wolfe’s body covering mine, his thigh pushing my legs apart. I shuddered at the feel of him against me, my brain no longer able to work against the sparks and explosions that were shooting off around my body as his drugging kisses went on and on, his strong hands sliding up and down my waist seeming desperate to touch me but afraid to move higher or lower. When I arched into him Wolfe shook against me. I felt him reluctantly pull away, both of us gasping for air as he rolled off of me. I didn’t know what to do with my body - my nerves were twanging, my hands shaking. I noticed Wolfe’s were too as he exhaled heavily, running a hand through his hair I had mussed up.

“We have to stop. You drive me crazy, Rogan,” he whispered gruffly. “You always have.”

My heart was struggling to calm down and I laughed at the strange, wonderful but awful turn of events. “Well, you took the perfect revenge.”

He turned his head to look at me and he grinned smugly, taking in my flushed face.

I swatted at him. “Very nice.”

“What?” he laughed, rolling up onto his elbow and reaching out to brush my hair off my face. “After spending the last few years panting after you it’s nice to know you want me back.”

My eyebrows rose in surprise. “The last few years?”

Laughing softly, Wolfe reached for me, pulling me into his embrace, tucking my head under his chin. I automatically snuggled against his heat. “Let’s stop with the questions for now, Rogan. We need to sleep.”

I was sceptical that after our kissing session I would be able to fall asleep. But surprisingly, with Wolfe keeping me safe, I drifted off quickly into a dreamless slumber.

Chapter Eighteen

I couldn’t see her in the crowds. Where was she? This was her night. Smiling benignly at a Raphizyan Baron and his insipidly vapid wife, I made my way out of the noisy ballroom and into the foyer. I had already asked Vikomt Matai, her newest bodyguard, if he had seen her. He had turned his back for one minute and she was gone. I knew the man felt terrible, losing the Princezna in a crowded ballroom two weeks into his new post. I tried to reassure him. Haydyn could be a minx and he’d have to get to know her better to understand her better. Once he had, looking after her wouldn’t be a problem. Two footmen stood guard at the entrance.

“Have you seen the Princezna?” I asked anxiously, before reminding myself to stop twisting my hands together nervously in case they thought something was amiss.

One of the footmen stepped forward a little. “Her majesty left the ballroom a few minutes ago, my Lady. She was headed in the direction of the orangery.”

I nodded my thanks and lifted my gown, my steps picking up pace as I followed the luxuriously gilded hallways of the palace to the large orangery in the east wing with views of the Silver Sea in the distance. Not that you could really see the views past the exotic plants and citruses Stena, the gardener, had populated the glasshouse with. Briefly, I closed my eyes, wondering what an earth I’d find when I got to the orangery. This was supposed to be Haydyn’s proper debut as Princezna of Phaedra; she was sixteen now, no longer a child. But something had been plaguing her all day.

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