Simon is an alpha male. A capital M Man. He’s big and braw. Muscled. Fierce. Also smooth and stylish. He loves to shoot guns and he loves designer clothes. He’s also a prince of sorts. Lycian, from the other side of the Veil where man who shared their bodies with their beasts ruled in large packs (sort of like giant werewolves). He spent 500 years as a warrior at his father’s right hand and now he’s a successful businessman in Seattle, his own alpha on his own terms. He’s everything Lark is sure she never wanted until she realizes he’s exactly what she needed. She doesn’t let him push her around and he likes that. She admires his honor, his courage and his loyalty. Oh and his butt.
He was not for her. She had to remember that. The problem with being friends with a man who looked and acted like Simon was that . . . well, he looked and acted like he did.
This was silly flirting. Nothing more. A close moment. A friendship-type moment. He cared for her, as of course she cared for him. But he wasn’t tingly for her as a woman and she would be a total idiot to think it was anything more than the fun back-and-forth they had enjoyed up until then.
She needed to find her center and for the purposes of interrogating a prisoner, that was not it. Lark took a deep breath and went to her knees, her palms open, facing upward.
Even just being in the garden had begun to fill her reserves. But when she drew all that magick simply floating in the air all around her, her back bowed as she sucked in a breath.
He moved to her, she knew this, felt the pull between them tauten. Her eyes flew open to take him in. Wild there in the moonlight as he clasped her hands. His wolf was there, close to the surface. It had ceased to surprise her, just how thin that barrier was between man and beast.
His magick was warm, golden. It tasted like sunshine, smelled like the heat rising from the trees, that spice of cedar and pine. It filled her up, into every corner, even as she opened her mouth to tell him to stop.
And instead, found his mouth on hers, more magick pouring into her system until her eyes watered and she dug her nails into his wrists to try to keep herself afloat.
“Shh.” A puff of air against her lips. “Don’t fight it.”
Fight what? She knew she was struggling, but not against what.
He stood, pulling her along with him. “We’ll talk later. Right now you have a job to do.”
Why was he telling her that as if she didn’t know? Why was she so pissy that he was saying what she was admonishing herself with in her head?
Boys. Damn it.
Without saying anything else, she managed to get back to the deck and into her tights and boots. He followed, remaining very close to her the entire time.
She paused before heading down the hall toward the doors where the prisoners were being held. “Thank you for sharing your energy with me.”
He frowned and then nodded. “Next time don’t make me push it at you. It’s freely offered, use it.”
“Don’t spoil it by being a dick.”
“A dick? You’re being a dick by not just accepting the offer right off.”
“I told you I didn’t need it.” She said this through a clenched jaw, which sort of defeated the nonchalance she’d been aiming for. “I appreciate it. But I had plenty from the air all around and the earth at my feet.”
He took her upper arms and hauled her close. “I won’t have you endangering yourself more than is necessary.” And then set her back and opened the door before she could respond.
She gulped and his smile changed. He took a step closer and then another and then he was right up against her, stealing her breath, muddling her wits and sending all sorts of zings and tingles through her system.
He saved her from further embarrassment as he touched her chin to close her mouth. “I don’t know how you did it. But it’s done.”
Well, what the hell did that mean?
“That doesn’t sound like a compliment.” She frowned.
“Did you know you get a line between your brows when you get agitated?” He drew the tip of his finger over the furrow and made her shiver. She’d known he was sexy before. Charming. Attractive even as she knew he and she wouldn’t fit romantically.
But the force of all that sexuality and charm focused at her? He played her senses, pushing every single button, rendering her to near purring.
Wouldn’t do at all, though, to let the man know what power he had. It was hard enough not to rub up against him as it was. Simon knew his attractiveness, was aware of the effects as women and men right and left stopped to simply stare at him.
Okay, some of her previous suspicion cut through the haze lust had cast over her brain.
“What’s that got to do with anything?”
He laughed. “An observation. I seem to like observing you.” He paused and then shook his head. “As for compliments?” He shrugged. “I’m here, drawn to you. I didn’t see it until it was right under my nose.” He bent and breathed in deep in the crook of her neck. She was a little ashamed to admit she thought she might have whimpered. “Damn, you smell good.”
“I feel like I’m only hearing one side of a phone call.” He made her dizzy and silly and agitated all at once. She was having distinctly more-than-friend feelings about Simon, which was stupid. Stupid! He was all suave and stylish. Handsome. Ridiculously sexy and she was . . . not. She liked boys who smelled like the inside of stores that sold tea and candles along with vinyl singles and bongs. He was luxury cars and cashmere throws on the back of a couch that cost more than all her possessions combined most likely.
He brushed his lips across her forehead and stepped back. “Get some clothes on or I won’t be able to finish a sentence. All that exposed skin makes me want to take a bite.”
Her breath caught. “That’s supposed to get me to put clothes on?”
He made a sound. A snarly sort of moan. It snagged her attention, held her in place. And then he smiled. Oh goddess, that smile. It made her legs go to rubber.
“You’re playing with fire, pixie. Go on and dress. When I take that first taste, I want it to be when we don’t have anything else but that on our schedule.”
I most definitely had Dwayne Johnson in mind as I wrote Simon who is similarly big, broad shouldered and has that charm that sends all sorts of tingles through your ladybits!