Slumber Page 68

“Grof Krill and Grofka Ariana are so sickeningly happy, I had to get away from them.” He smirked.

I was surprised by his even tone. There was no ice in his eyes. No growl in his words.

“Get out,” I snapped, feeling the hurt roll over and over me again in crashing waves.

Wolfe’s expression hardened. “No.” He shook his head and pushed away from the door, striding towards me. I felt my pulse race at that familiar languid walk. “I’m fed up of fighting with you. It’s exhausting. I keep waiting for you to come to your senses… but I realised something today.”

I continued glowering. “What was that?”

He stopped in front of me so I had to crane my neck back to meet his eyes. “You never just come to your senses, Rogan. You have to have them shaken into you.” He reached out to touch my cheek and I jerked back, ignoring his wounded look as he dropped his hand. “I love you, Rogan.”

All the pain and anger I felt brimmed over in my eyes. “Then why did you bed Winter when we were in Caera?” I choked back a cry.

Wolfe looked surprised, sitting down beside me, trying to clutch my hands and pull me to him. “Rogan, I never bedded Winter. I never touched her. I shared a room with Chaeron that night; you can ask him, you know he won’t lie to you.”

I glanced up at him sharply, my heart pounding. “What?”

“I was nowhere near her. The last time we were in Caera, I told Winter there would never be anything between us again because… because… because I love you. I’m in love with you.”

I trembled; hope desperately clambering its way back inside me. I tried to shake it back out. I was so confused. “The servants were gossiping about you leaving her bedroom in the morning.”

Wolfe sighed in exasperation. “Winter likes to use her servants for her little games. She wants me back, Rogan. She’s trying to put up a wall between us.”

“You refused to converse with me anyway. There was already a wall.”

He slid a hand down my cheek and around my neck, forcing me to look at him. I shivered at his gentle touch. “I was terrified, Rogan. Every time I think about what could have happened… what did happen… I-”

“Wolfe, don’t,” I urged, shushing him. I reached for his hand on the bedspread and slowly threaded my fingers through his. For a moment we gazed at our hands so entangled together. His skin felt warm and rough against mine. Safe.

“I don’t want a wall between us ever again,” Wolfe whispered.

I looked up to find his eyes on my face. There was pain there I had never seen before, and I know it was fear that I would turn from him. I knew… because I knew him.

I knew him.

Slowly, my breath hitching and falling, I leaned across the space between us and pressed my lips to his. Wolfe sat tense, unmoving as I kissed him softly, almost as if he were afraid to touch me.

I pulled back.

I knew him. “He didn’t hurt me, Wolfe. He didn’t… rape me.”

Wolfe swallowed, his eyes glistening. “Promise?”

“Promise.”

Tentatively, he lifted our clasped hands off the bed and kissed my knuckles.

“Are you going to seduce me, Wolfe, or am I going to have to seduce you?” I grinned a little shyly.

Wolfe’s eyes darkened as his lips curved into that wicked smile. “I’m happy with either scenario.”

In the end… we seduced each other.

I had never been shy. Mindful of the proprieties, yes, but not shy. And with Wolfe, I felt all my inhibitions melt out of existence, no longer caring I was younger and inexperienced in comparison to the women he had been with previously. His declaration of love made me bold. Certain. I kissed his throat, loving the vibration of his groan against my lips. I leaned back and gazed up into his eyes. I realised something wonderful.

He knew me.

Gazes locked, we slowly undressed one another, leisurely, deliciously, savouring our connection…

…When I was naked under him, I felt no fear, just want. I stroked my hands over his strong chest, felt the brush of his thighs against my own and trembled with the want.

And consequences be damned, for once I was taking what I wanted.

Wolfe looked down at me with such love I almost cried. I noted the spark of uncertainty in his eyes and deliberately brushed my hand over the scar on his lower abdomen that represented so much of the strife between us. With my eyes I told him I didn’t care about any of that anymore. I had finally put the past where it belonged.

I wrapped my legs around his waist and Wolfe groaned, making me gasp at the feel of him nudging against me. He’d kissed every inch of my body, shown me things I had never dreamt of, made me blush from the top of my head to the tip of my toes, but this was different. This was irreversible.

“Wolfe!” I gasped, as he pushed inside me, a flinch of pain making me stiffen.

He stopped moving, a bead of sweat rolling down his forehead with the effort. “Did I hurt you? Are you alright?” he asked frantically.

I tried to smooth my expression to ease his anxiety. And then something changed. The pain was dissipating. I shifted under him and my eyes widened at the pleasurable rush that burst throughout me. “Mm,” I bit my lip. “No, I’m alright. Don’t stop.”

Wolfe began to move again and I cried out, this time in amazement. I tightened my hold on him, swearing I would find a way to never let go.

Chapter Thirty

I had never known I could feel this close and connected to anyone. We lay together after our lovemaking, his arm around me, my head on his chest. His heart thumped under my ear, not quite steady.

Despite what I had sworn to myself as he loved me, I felt reality creep in quickly. My plan had never been to marry. The reason? If I were honest with myself it was because I was trying to keep the people in my life that I cared about to a minimum. That way there was less heartbreak when they were taken from me. I didn’t want to love someone as much as I loved Wolfe and have to deal with the pain of losing him, or have children and fear losing them too. I’d wanted romance, passion, but not love. And I loved Wolfe. My earlier excuses that I couldn’t be with Wolfe because of who his father was no longer seemed to stand. L, in all her pragmatism, had knocked that wall down so I couldn’t hide behind it anymore. But I had other reasons not to be with Wolfe. I did! I had never planned on being pulled into the bonds that would make me a society wife and take me away from Haydyn. She needed me. Now more than ever she needed me. Perhaps I could have Wolfe for a little while. Without marriage. We could be happy with that… I tried to convince myself.

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