He lurked in the shadows, waiting for an opportunity to strike. All he wanted was the power of life. There was only way to steal it, collect the hearts of seven women and present them to the bringer of life, during the hour All Hallow’s Eve when the veil between the physical and the spiritual realms were the thinnest.
In a city where casting spells and supernatural beings were welcome, Dana had trouble quelling her gifts. With the touch of life or death, and never knowing when it would work, she avoided contact with humans and Others alike. When she rescues Simon, a handsome member of the Council, and her touch doesn’t kill, she knows he’s the one. Despite the connection they share, there’s a price. Someone will have to die.
When he flashed a toothy smile, she flinched and thought no good could come from that. He was fast. He grasped her by the wrist, jerked her to him and brought his mouth down on hers.
At first she was too shocked to protest or fight. It had been so long since she’d had actual contact with another living being she lost herself in the spicy taste of him. The solid reality of this man left her clinging to his muscular arms. His lips were cool and commanding as they moved over hers, plundering the sweet recesses of her mouth.
Dana moved closer; a sense of belonging, of peace stole over her and she felt...whole. Safe. Loved.
His hand skimmed her full breasts, now heavy and aching with need. Her nipples puckered, straining against her shirt, begging for his attention. Simon drifted a hand down the curve of her spine, molding her to his thick erection.
She moaned, wiggling her hips, but he pressed a hand to her buttocks to hold her still.
Hold on to me.
Without thinking, she complied. The walls she’d erected around her heart crumbled. She accepted his touch, his love, as she had before. How many times had she wished to feel his kisses for real, instead of a dream?
Fingers brushed her side. He grasped the wood and snatched it out.
“Ow!” She tore her mouth from his, shuddering as piercing waves of needles danced through her system.
She blew out the breath she’d been holding and as she did, warmth radiated over her skin. Her side no longer burned, but tingled as skin mended itself. She glanced down and realized a pale golden light glowed from beneath his hand.
Simon stepped away, but one hand remained to cup her cheek, his thumb sweeping her kiss-swollen lips.
“You touched me.”
“I’m holding you.”
Tears spilled down her cheeks. “And I’m not dreaming?”
So much time had been spent longing for this day, and Dana had to be sure. The last time she touched him, things hadn’t gone well. She had to know. Holding his gaze, she jerked off her gloves.
He never wavered, a silent question in his eyes, while reassurance wrapped around her as easily as his arm. Her hands trembled as they hovered inches from his chest. She tilted her head back, gauging his reaction to her proximity. Heat warmed her palms. Dragging a steadying breath into her lungs she sent up a prayer, then laid her hands on him. His heart beat strong and sure. She felt each thud as it vibrated and seemed to sync with her own heartbeat.
Encouraged, she skimmed her fingers up and over his pecs, down his broad shoulders and sinewy arms. Not once did he flinch or cringe. Each stroke of her hands was a gift. She tangled her fingers in his hair, closing her eyes to savor the silkiness of his ebony tresses.
She trailed her fingertips along his jaw, where stubble prickled and teased her skin. Her lips followed the same path until she met his mouth.
When she stepped back, he stared at her, eyes half closed.
He grasped her around the waist and drew her to him. “Satisfied?”
She shook her head. “I still think I’m dreaming.”
He tucked two fingers beneath her chin and tilted her head to meet his emerald gaze. “Do I feel like a dream?”
“You feel like paradise.”