Kiss of Snow Page 53

“If you?”

“You know.”

Teeth nibbling at her shoulder, a wolfish tease. “Orgasm. I think that’s the word you’re looking for.” His fingers dipped just below the waistband of her pajama bottoms, making her pulse jump. He licked over the spot on her neck.

She clenched around his thigh. “Hawke.”

“Say stop and we’ll stop.” Words spoken against the flush of her skin, but they held a serious undertone.

It turned a key inside of her to realize he was doing exactly as he’d said he’d do—respecting her decision when it came to her abilities. “Not yet,” she whispered, keeping a rigid psychic grip on the reins of the cold fire.

Murmuring in approval, he withdrew his fingers, shifting their positions until he was braced on his side beside her as she lay on her back. Throwing a leg over her own, he said, “Wouldn’t want you to escape,” as he bent to kiss her.

It was slow, lazy, as if he had nowhere to be, though she knew he had a thousand calls on his time. Curling her arms around his neck, she drank in the warm masculinity of him as he continued to play his fingers over her skin. “Yes?” he asked into her mouth when she broke off to catch her breath.

Her stomach held a thousand frantic, trapped butterflies. It scared her how much he made her feel—and that angered her. Sienna Lauren, Cardinal X, was never scared. It wasn’t who she was. “Yes,” she said.

He chuckled, pressing affectionate little kisses on the corners of her mouth. “So stubborn.” Another kiss, a little bite of her lower lip as he slid his hand a fraction lower. “Exactly like I like you.”

She felt her abdomen quiver, was powerless to stop it. Gripping his arm with one hand, the other on his shoulder, she luxuriated in the sensation of the muscle and tendon of him moving under her touch as he drew more of those languid circles low on her navel.


A gasp escaped her, smothered against the skin of his neck. He smelled of warmth and man and Hawke. Just Hawke. Always Hawke. So when he slipped his hand under the waistband of her panties to run his finger down the center of her, she arched her body toward him in instinctive response.

He liked that. She knew because he kissed her jaw, murmured, “You’re damp. I can smell you, all luscious and ready. Makes my mouth water.” His finger stroked back up, and then he used two to spear through her, trapping her clitoris in between.

SO responsive, Hawke thought as her body arched again, so sweetly responsive. It was all he could do not to pull down the pajama bottoms and panties she’d worn to bed with a faded red tank and lick her up like his own personal dessert banquet. The sole thing stopping him was the fact that he knew he’d have to rush it.

“That’s it,” he murmured against those lush lips he loved to kiss, to bite, to suck, “let me pet you. Let me please you.” Circling one finger at the slick entrance of her body, he pushed in gentle demand.

Her hands clenched on him again, but he tasted no fear in her scent—only the earthy, intoxicating musk of feminine arousal. Still, he kissed and stroked and nuzzled until she relaxed, until she let him in. God, she was tight. Her cry was a breathy sound against his senses, her hips motionless for two long seconds before she began to shift them in experimental little moves on the intrusion of his finger.

He shuddered, kissed his way back up her throat to capture her mouth. “Damn, you’re beautiful,” he said when she gasped for breath.

Using his thumb to rub at the tight bundle of nerves at the apex of her thighs even as he continued to thrust in and out of her with his finger, he bent his head and very carefully bit her nipple through the soft fabric of her tank.

“Hawke!” Her body fractured around his hand, the slick heat of her such wicked temptation that he continued to stroke inside her as she trembled down from the orgasm, inciting tiny aftershocks of pleasure and indulging himself in the silken tightness of her at the same time.

Withdrawing his finger only when she moaned, her body limp, he cupped her with possessive intimacy and took her mouth again, nipping and licking and tasting. “Good morning.”

That cardinal gaze was a soft, hazy black when her lashes lifted. “Good morning.” Kiss-swollen lips shaping the words, the skin of her face marked red from the roughness of his stubble.

He should’ve been sorry he supposed, but he wasn’t. He liked seeing his marks on her. Playing with the damp curls between her legs, careful not to touch her oversensitized clit, he simply watched her for long moments. His cock was a hard ridge in his sweats, his need painful, but no way in hell was he going to settle for a quickie their first time together.

Then she reached down to close her fingers over him.

Chapter 37

CHRIST. SLIDING HIS hand out from between her legs to press against the bed, he allowed himself to push into her touch. Once. Twice. “Enough.” Grabbing her wrist, he pinned it by her head.

Lazy, sated eyes smiled at him. “You felt so hard and hot and—”

“You put your hand on me again,” he warned, “I won’t be satisfied with a few strokes.” No, it would just take the edge off . . . and unleash the wolf.

Curving her leg over his hip, Sienna leaned up to kiss his throat. “Thank you for my orgasm.”

His cheeks creased. “You’re welcome.”

Another kiss before she lay back on the bed, looking up at him in a way that said she’d glimpsed the harsh reality that had begun to force its way back into his mind.

“We’re going into war,” he said, releasing his grip on her wrist. “There’s no longer any doubt about it.”

An intent gaze, fingers stroking his nape in tender affection. “I think conflict has been inevitable since the instant the packs decided to stand against the Council on any level.”

He took another kiss before changing their positions so that she lay on top of him, his hand on her lower back. Skin, his wolf insisted, skin. So he pushed his hand under the waistband of her pajama pants and panties to lie over the sweet curve of her butt. She jerked but relaxed almost at once. Good. He wanted her to get used to him, to his touch, to his body, since he planned to be indulging her, and indulging in her, on a regular basis.

“We didn’t go looking for war,” he said, caressing her with small, slow movements as he allowed himself a few more minutes of rest. “If the Council had left us alone, we’d have left them alone.” Discussing such a critical issue with Sienna was not something he’d have considered even a few months ago, yet it now felt natural.

“They can’t accept,” she said, playing her fingers over his collarbone, “that you’re a power in the world.”

“That’s always been the problem, hasn’t it?” He placed his free arm under his head.

“Silence takes away everything else,” she mused, “but power—there is nothing in the Protocol that prevents a hunt for more. In truth, Silence rewards those who are cold-blooded enough to go after it with single-minded focus.”

Hawke tried to think of what it must be like to live in the PsyNet, couldn’t imagine it. “I’ve heard people say the Net is beautiful.”

“Yes—in the same way as a perfectly cut gemstone. Pristine and cold.” Her hand stilled on his skin. “I didn’t understand that while I was in there, but even then, I knew it was wrong for a mother to be parted from her child.”

He heard the pain in her, slid up his hand to press against her lower back. “You loved her.”

“She tried to save me, but she was a cardinal telepath with a secondary telekinetic ability”—a hitch—“and in the end, she couldn’t save herself.”

Hawke knew her mother had jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, could guess at the scars the tragedy had left behind. “Did her shields shatter?”

A shake of her head, her cheek pressed to his shoulder. “She went mad. It happens with some strong telepaths, even under Silence. It’s as if no shield is enough to protect them, as if other people’s thoughts sneak in under cover of night and take up residence.” A touch of wet on his chest, the taste of salt in the air. “Free,” she said. “That’s what my mother shouted as she jumped—that she was free. Everyone believes she spoke of Silence, but I know my mother would’ve done anything for silence. She wanted only to be free of the voices.”

Such a pragmatic tone hiding so much pain. Such a slender body hiding so much power. Everything about Sienna was a contradiction. But on one thing, he wanted no doubt. “You’re mine,” he said. “Understand that.” He’d meant to reassure her that she need never fear he’d abandon her, but her body was suddenly all tense muscle and bone against him.

“I’ll never be yours until you’re mine.”

He fisted his hand in her hair, tried to make his response gentle. “I can’t give you the mating bond, Sienna.” He’d been honest with her from the start, had hoped she wouldn’t make him hurt her this way.

“I know.”

A taut silence . . . because what else was there to say?

But Sienna spoke again. “I don’t think the attack means the Scotts intend a rapid escalation.”

He didn’t try to force the conversation back to the original topic, though the possessive heart of him didn’t like the answer she’d given, no matter how unfair it was of him to demand more from her than he could offer. “Explain.”

“It’s part of the scattergun approach we talked about earlier.” Self-possessed words, no hint of the tears drying on his chest. “The Councilors are well aware by now of how a changeling pack functions. They’ll expect the attack to motivate you to evacuate your young, your vulnerable—and so they’ll be ready with an ambush.”

Hawke’s heart went cold at the idea of the pups being hurt.

“The targeted strikes, the ships designed to evade your defenses—everything indicates that whoever is behind this has done their research,” Sienna continued. “In my opinion, they’ve figured out that the best way to demoralize the pack to the point of no return would be to wipe out the young.” Her words were cool, crisp, but he didn’t make the mistake of thinking she didn’t care. He knew how many hours she volunteered in the White Zone, how many of the pups called her “Sinna” and raised their arms for a cuddle.

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