Kiss of Snow Page 22

Nicki slid down the bar into Jason’s arms, mouthing, “Good luck,” at Sienna before she disappeared into the group of DarkRiver youths in one corner.

Reaching the bar, Hawke looked up. It was the wolf who watched her, the wolf who said, “Shoulder or feet?”

She swallowed. “Feet.”

“Good choice.” He didn’t step back as she sat down and slipped off the bar, his body heat slapping against her bare skin with masculine aggressiveness.

Suddenly, the corset-style top she’d bought on her own after that shopping trip with Nicki didn’t seem such a great idea. It left her feeling all but naked, her shoulders bare, her breasts plumped up above the bodice, her abdomen exposed from just below her belly button to the top of her low slung jeans. With her breath coming in jagged bursts, it felt as if she was offering her breasts to him with each inhale.

Hawke didn’t say a single word, gave no indication that he’d noticed her state of dress as he put his hand on her lower back and herded her to the door.

She almost went.

Halfway there, she dug in her heels, determined to make him admit he wasn’t just here to pick up a pack member who’d had too much to drink. But one look at his face and she knew it’d be a very bad idea to confront him here. She could see Nicki and Evie over his shoulder, frantically shaking their heads. Jason was wincing, but edging forward while Kit and Tai had begun to shoulder their way through the crowd—as if to protect her.

Their loyalty ignited a deep warmth with her.

But this was a private war.

Sliding her arm through Hawke’s, she pressed her breast against the part of his arm bared by the short sleeves of his white T-shirt. “Where’s the car?” She didn’t bother to slur her voice. His senses were too acute to have missed the fact that she was stone-cold sober.

In response, he untangled his arm from hers, put his hand on her lower back again—the touch a hot, rough shock that made things low in her body clench—and walked her out.

“Good luck,” the bouncer muttered as she passed, not even making a token attempt at pretending he was going to stand in Hawke’s way.

If she’d been him, she wouldn’t have either.

Because unlike the other night, Hawke didn’t look pissed. This was an anger that went deeper, ran far colder. Why the difference, she didn’t know . . . until they got to beside the SUV, and he leaned down to growl, “You smell of another man.”

Her body flared with sensation at the heat of him so close, but she wasn’t about to surrender and lose the ground she’d gained. “Yeah, well, I’m not a wolf, but I’m guessing you smell of another woman.”

He bit her. No warning, no nothing. His teeth just sank into the curve where her neck flowed into her shoulder. She jumped, felt his hands lock onto her hips. Her spine was melting, her skin taut in expectation—but if she gave in now, it was all over. Think, Sienna, think. Close to impossible when he was surrounding her, when he was taking her over. Damp heat bloomed between her legs, and his nostrils flared. Oh, God.

Acting more in self-defense than as a result of rational thought, she raised a fine line of X-fire where he gripped her.

He wrenched away with a snarl. “You burned me.” The wolf. Very much the wolf.

Raising her hand to her shoulder, she touched the lingering heat of his bite. “Just a warning.” She’d been careful not to burn, only to threaten. “I don’t like having your teeth in me.”

His eyes gleamed. “Liar.”

She couldn’t hold back her gasp as he was suddenly in her face again, but found the will to say, “Did you take out that ad?”

He traced the bite mark with his thumb. “Why are you half-naked?” An almost careless question . . . except that his free hand was on her lower back again, and this time, he was using the rough pads of his fingers to stroke the strip of skin bared by her top. Slow and easy. And again.

She shivered.

“You’re cold.”

He’d thrown her into the SUV and come around to take his seat before she knew it. They were already halfway down the block by the time her heart stopped racing enough that she could speak. “I don’t want to go home.” Part of her was terrified because she had no idea what to do with him in this kind of a mood, but retreat was not an option. Not when she was playing for keeps. “Hawke? Are you listening to me?”

Picking up a bottle of water from the holder between the seats, he said, “Wash off his scent.”

Her thighs clenched at the possessive demand in that tone, but she folded her arms. “No.”

A low growl filled the SUV, tightening her nipples to painful points. Unsettled—though not shocked—by the visceral depth of her response, she was attempting to find some kind of solid ground when he wrenched the car to a stop on the side of the road and turned. “Then I’ll do it.” Pale, pale eyes gone night-glow, a voice so calm as to make it patently clear the predator was well and truly off the leash.

Difficult as it was to withstand the impact of his dominance, she reminded herself his wasn’t the only power in the vehicle. “Touch me and I’ll singe your eyebrows off.”

A shrug. “They’ll grow back.” Tugging off the scarf she’d used to tie up her hair, he dampened it in the water.

“Hey!” She pushed back at him as he crowded her into the corner.

“You wanted to play, baby.” Soft words that had her freezing in place. “So we’ll play.”

Her mouth went dry as he ran the damp cloth over her lips with piercing focus. She knew she should protest his actions, but her voice seemed to have deserted her with him so close—so big and gorgeous and furious that he took over every inch of space, every breath of air. “There,” he murmured, running the cloth down her neck and over her shoulder before leaning down to press his lips to the bite mark.

Arousal twisted through her body, until she had to sink her teeth into her lower lip to still her moan. That wasn’t an erogenous zone. She knew that. And yet she didn’t dare move for fear he’d stop the delicious torture. Another kiss, wet and hot. His hair brushing against her skin as he licked the mark, each strand a searing brand.

“Next time that cub puts his hands on you,” he said, raising his head after another lingering taste of her skin, “I’ll tear out his throat and feed it to him.” The words were said in such a reasonable tone that it took her a minute to process their meaning.

Lurching up, she grabbed the front of his T-shirt. “You will not touch any of my friends.”

Patient wolf eyes. Deadly wolf eyes.


He leaned forward and licked the bite mark again.

Her entire body shuddered, her breasts protesting the stiff confines of the corset. “No touching Kit,” she whispered, barely able to speak past the dark pressure of a desire so long denied, it threatened to devour her.

His hand closed around her throat. Not a threat. Just the most possessive way a predatory changeling male had of touching a woman outside of sex. “Don’t say his name.” He brushed his thumb across her pulse.

Closing her hand over his wrist, she said, “You’re being unreasonable.” The instant the words left her mouth, she realized she wasn’t going to get “human” behavior from him tonight. Hawke’s wolf had always been close to the surface, and right now, it was in charge. Or perhaps it was more accurate to say that both man and wolf had shrugged off any pretensions to civilized behavior.

“I still don’t want to go home.” It wasn’t quite the truth—she’d be delighted to be alone with him. But if she was going to win him, and keep him, he had to understand that he wasn’t going to be able to walk all over her. Because he damn well would if he thought he could.

His gaze went watchful, waiting.

“I want to go dancing again.”

A slow smile.

“In a club,” she added, quite certain rational thought would become a distant memory if he took her into his arms when they were alone, if he put his mouth on her skin, his hands on her body. “There.” Breasts flushing at the hot pulse of need in the most intimate part of her, she pointed to a random club. “That one looks popular.”

The growl was so low and deep that she felt it with her body first, her skin shimmering in reaction, the stiff points of her nipples rubbing against the corset. Only the discipline she’d learned in the Net kept her from giving in. “Stop trying to intimidate me.”

Instead of answering, he returned his attention to the road and began driving. It didn’t take her long to realize they were most definitely heading back to den territory. Recognizing she’d lost that round, she forced herself to regroup, to remember that she wasn’t dealing with the cool, calculating alpha of SnowDancer at this moment, but with the wildness that lived in his heart.

That didn’t mean she was about to surrender. Even if she had no idea what she’d do if he decided to stop stalking her and pounced. “Do you like my top?”

“Is that what it is?”

“Latest style,” she assured him, ignoring the silky menace of his response. “Laces up the side, so it’s easier to take off.”

His hands clenched on the steering wheel as he headed up into the mountains.

“And the boots.” She lifted one leg up to the dash, stroked her hand over her thigh. “They make me—”

The car shuddered to a halt near the perimeter of den territory. Hawke was turning to her when he went motionless in a way she recognized. Predatory. Listening. Snapping to alertness, she brought down her leg and swept out with her telepathic senses . . . to find more than a few Psy minds in the vicinity.

“Psy,” Hawke said under his breath at the same instant. “Stay in the car.” He was gone before she could argue.

Tempting as it was to disobey him, her damn boots would make her a liability. So she gave him a different kind of backup. Keeping him on the periphery of her psychic senses, she expanded her telepathic reach once more. Unsurprisingly, the intruders were shielded. Hawke’s mind was even more impenetrable, his natural shields a solid wall. She’d never know if he was hurt or in trouble.

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