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"My turn." Dante stepped back. The warmth and smell of her skin flooded his sensitive empathic abilities. He rubbed his temple to ease the throbbing that had begun. Why had the gatekeeper sent her to him?
"Who are you, and what are you looking for?"
Her expression went from confusion to wariness. Her head bowed, and she looked from left to right, as if searching for an answer to his question.
Dante moved forward and captured her chin in his fingers. He wouldn't abide lies. If she were some spy Zeus had sent, he would find out. No one could hide from him for long. Her face was pale, but the stormy gray depths of her eyes refused to reveal their secrets. Frustrated, he pushed her away from him.
She gasped. By the look of her, she wasn't used to even mild use of force.
"Believe me, girl, I am being patient with you." His lips felt tight and pinched with the effort it took not to force her to grovel at his feet. But he didn't want her to fear him. In some perverse way, he enjoyed her defiance. The last person who had stood their ground against him for more than a few seconds had been Beatrice. His gut twisted with a long-repressed regret. "I would have most spies begging for mercy in seconds."
She pushed strands of her silky hair away from her face, and her tongue eased across dry lips. Whatever lipstick she had started the night with had long ago vanished with the worrying of her tongue. "I-I'm not a spy."
Dante narrowed his gaze on the pink of her tongue. Arrows of desire shot to his groin. The need to feel her tongue lick, taste, and devour his cock made him clench his jaw to prevent an audible groan.
"Then who are you?" His voice sounded hoarse,but she didn't seem to notice his reaction to her. If he weren't in such pain, he would almost find humor in the fact there was a female in his habitat who was immune to his ... charms. He had been called the great seducer, after all.
His gaze took in her clothes again, so unlike the leather and metal familiar in his world. His vision traced the pure, clean lines of her face. No heavy makeup to hide imperfections.
He leaned closer and sniffed her hair. No dyes or cigarette smoke. When he'd sniffed her pussy earlier, he couldn't detect the smell of another male on her. She was clean. Enigma, most definitely. The keeper would pay for whatever game he was trying to play.
"My name is Hayley Thomas. I'm a research librarian at the local university."
His gaze didn't waver. She shifted her weight from foot to foot. The motion caused the neckline of her sweater to pull down to reveal a silver chain. The glitter of the jewelry, cool but inviting against the creamy skin of her neck, caught his attention.
"I-I study and catalogue ancient--" She nodded toward his library. "--books and documents."
"Ah. So you are interested in my collection?"
"Well, yeah. How did you get--"
He moved beside her and ignored the disorientation he experienced whenever he drew close to her. When he'd held her earlier, it had taken all his concentration to make his way to his apartment. Though the need to sink his cock into her body increased, he resisted the urge and reached for the necklace, instead. His fingertips brushed the soft skin of her throat.
She pulled away from his touch; he removed his hand.
"I'm not going to hurt you."
"That's not what you indicated a few seconds ago."
The look in her eyes held distrust and something ... Dante turned his head to feel her. The scent of her invaded, but with effort he pushed forward into her mind. Fear? Anger? He was almost there. Ah ... desire. Finally.
His gaze returned to hers as he moved closer. She hid her emotions well, but she would answer him because she desired him. No female denied him, ever. He laughed, trying not to remember the three who had.
"You silly girl. I don't want to hurt you." He let his smile fade. "I want to fuck you."
She backed away, but the sofa impeded her progress. He took advantage of her tactical error and took another step closer. She fell into the cushions with a cry.
He followed, with his arms braced enough to keep his weight from crushing her. Their legs entangled, and she was trapped. Triumphant, he smiled. He leaned forward, his mouth next to her ear, and whispered.
"Would you like to hear what I want to do to you?"
The fall had knocked her necklace loose from her sweater. Dante lifted his weight to trail a forefinger along her exposed cleavage. "Hmm?"
His eyes narrowed when he felt her nipples tighten beneath her sweater to pierce his chest. Fantastic. He lowered his head, then traced the path his finger took with his tongue.
She trembled beneath him, and the salty taste of her skin sent a surge of power rushing through his veins. He nipped the soft curve of her breast, retrieving the chain with his teeth. An oval medallion revealed the initials H.B.T. With one bite, he had the jewelry off and tossed to the end table. He wanted nothing between her delectable skin and his mouth.
Her gray eyes closed at the same instant she groaned. His cock hardened like stone at the sound of her arousal, and his powers slipped as her feminine power robbed his strength. He frowned, for only two women had ever had this effect on him. But never again.
With a growl, he ground his hips against her, wanting her to feel his desire throbbing with the need for her blood. He wanted to punish her for the craving she made him feel. Danger lay in weakness. Weakness allowed the demon loose. He couldn't take a chance on his otherness breaking free.
Little bursts of hot air from her parted lips tickled his ear during every flick of his tongue up her neck and across her chin to her lips. If he could make her as disoriented and confused as he felt by their nearness, he would be able to stay in control.
"You want me, Hayley Thomas?"
She nodded and raised her mouth to his, but he pushed her back. He wanted her first step toward damnation in words.
"No, you have to tell me what you want."
With her pupils dilated, she took on a wild, intense look, but she shook her head in denial.
God, You know I love a challenge. Dante laughed and traced the edge of her lips with his tongue. His hips rotated against her. The smell of her arousal rose between them. "Tell me you want me to fuck you."
His engorged cock slid over her clit through the material of their clothing. With satisfaction, he watched her eyes close in pleasure.
The words sounded like they were dragged through clenched teeth, but Dante had what he wanted. Her surrender. His mouth found hers with a fierceness he couldn't contain. Teeth clashed and bit. Lips suckled and nipped. The need to possess her, completely, drove him. He raised his head to see her face.
The change in her caused his power to shift toward her again. Hair tangled around the pillows beneath her head, and her pale skin flushed with excitement. Delicate hands clutched his upper arms to pull him closer. Soft, feminine hips arched into his. The conservative librarian from earlier had disappeared. Her fear and reservations had evaporated for the moment into pure hedonistic desire.