“I’m sorry. I can’t imagine. You lost so much. I take it my translation and recital of the scrolls did something to undo it? Why did you wait all this time?”
“Curses are dark magic. Performing dark magic costs the person who does it. Because she had a murder on her hands as it was, she crafted the curse in such a way that it could be undone so as not to damn herself totally. But to undo the curse, I was unable to help in any way, not direct or suggest. And the right person had to translate. A witch with a touch of Fae in her blood.”
Startled, she blinked quickly. “What?”
He laughed. “The Ogham is more than symbols and words. Magic carries intent and flavor. You have Faerie magic in your blood, Haley. You know that.”
“I know that? What? You’re telling me I’m a Faerie?”
He leaned in and took a deep whiff of her. “Mmmm, yes. Not too far from the hill, maybe a generation or two. Not your parents but perhaps your grandfather? Don’t tell me you don’t know.”
The day just kept throwing more and more her way. The weight of it sent her reeling, trying to grasp it all but failing as it slipped through her fingers. Her grandmother’s words the last time Haley visited came back to her. She knew she had magic, that wasn’t in doubt, but a Faerie?
She stood up and grabbed her bag. “I have to talk to my grandmother. I can’t believe this day,” she mumbled, grabbing his pint glass and draining it. At least the warmth of the alcohol numbed the impending fall into total insanity.
He joined her, looming above her, dominating the space with his sexual lure, with the way he smelled. Her mouth watered to taste him. Oh, this was bad.
Tucking her hand into the crook of his arm, he propelled her toward the door and out onto the quiet street beyond. “After you come back to my flat.” His eyes seemed to glow when she looked up into them, stealing her good sense. He continued, “I need to contact my family too. Nine hundred years without any word, they’ll likely have believed me dead. But I don’t have all my magic back yet so I can’t get into the hill. Still, I can think of a few ways to pass the time.”
She looked into his eyes and a wave of desire so strong she might have stumbled had she not been leaning on him, rushed over her. “I…are you propositioning me?”
So close, his lips hovered above hers, his breath against her mouth, shivers blanketed her as her nipples tightened. “Haley, I want to make love to you. And then I want to fuck you. Do you know how I knew you were the one to free my soul? When you walked into my office that first day and my cock jolted to life. You’re the only woman who’s done that in the entire time I lived with the curse. I want you. I want to touch you. Taste you. I want to feel you from deep inside.”
His lips brushed over hers then and her body warmed, tightened and loosened all at once. Insanity, that’s what it was. Hormonal insanity because she hadn’t had sex in eight months. All kinds of crazy had descended into her life and her hormones thought they’d take her on a holiday. And it sounded pretty damned good right about then.
“I really need to talk to my grandmother. This is all so bizarre.” Her eyes remained halfway closed, his body against hers.
“Haley, it’s half-past eleven. You said she lives in Kerry, that’s two hours away in the daylight. She’ll be sleeping until the morning, I’m sure. Come, while away the darkness with me in my bed. I can feel your nipples through your shirt. I know you want me too.”
Oh good heavens, she was going to have sex with a formerly cursed Faerie. A stranger who was a formerly cursed Faerie. Well, technically, she’d known him for the last six months, had certainly been attracted to him since that first meeting and she did have a very strong and accurate sense of people. Lawd, talking herself into fucking a handsome man, she needed to get out more.
“Would you prefer your flat? Would that make you feel safer? You know I’d not harm you, don’t you?” His thumb slid down the line of her jaw.
Her flat did have some magical warding her gran had performed when Haley’d first moved in, and her bed was nice and big.
“How far are you from here?” God, she had to be crazy to even consider this.
That smile again, wicked, wicked man. “I’m only down the road a piece. My car is at my office. If we walk back there, I can have us to my flat in ten minutes.”
“I’m just the other way, probably the same amount of time. Let’s go there.”
His hand at the small of her back, he steered her toward the lot where he’d parked. “I bet your flat smells like you. Lilac, that’s very nice.”
“Were you this full of it before the curse?”
He laughed and squeezed her to his side briefly. “My mother used to tell me so. But in all honesty, Haley, I mean it. I do want you, very much. Not just because I’ve not lain with a woman in centuries, but because you’re you. You stir things deep within me.”
Oh boy, was she ever a horny fool. But his words moved her despite knowing she was a fool.
The drive to her apartment was relatively fast and before she knew it, they stood at her door while she fumbled through her bag for her keys. Quickly unlocking the deadbolt, they entered and she closed the door behind her. Silence fell between them again as the air grew heavy with promise.
Eyes closed, he took a deep breath. “Yes, it does smell like you. And magic. Not only yours though. Ahh.” He opened his eyes and watched as she hung up her coat and bag and toed off her shoes. “Fae magic. Female. Your grandmother set the wards here, didn’t she?”
“How can you tell?”
He tossed his jacket up on the rack and followed suit with his shoes, leaving them next to hers at the door. “You can’t tell a magic’s signature?” He stalked to her, encircling her waist and pulling her body against his.
“I can tell if there’s magic somewhere and usually if it’s right or wrong. But I don’t think I’ve ever really focused on different signatures before.”
“Okay, we’ll talk about all this. After. Because right now I need to see you naked and beneath me.”
“Behind me. My bedroom is just behind.” Her hand waved somewhat uselessly in the general direction of her room as he moved her toward it and through the door, kicking it shut behind them.
With the moon shining through the big bay windows, he leaned in and finally kissed her. Not simply a brush of lips but a kiss that rocked her very foundations.
Her fingers dug into the muscles of his upper arms as she held on and opened herself to his plunder of her mouth. A masterful possession of a kiss, his tongue, confident and sensual, stroked along hers, tickled the roof of her mouth, the insides of her cheeks, pulling back only to be replaced by the sharp nip of teeth over the flesh of her bottom lip.
On and on it went until she lost all sense of time and everything simply was right there in that room, within the circle of his arms. His taste wove a spell over her system—the earthy tang of Guinness, the acid of the malt vinegar from the fish and chips and beneath that, some elemental spice that she knew was his alone.
A deep moan came from him, vibrating through his body and against hers. He broke the kiss and looked into her face. “You taste so good. Let me taste the rest of you.”
After he released her from his embrace, she managed to get her lust-stunned fingers to work to grab the hem of her sweater and yank it over her head. She wished she’d worn something a bit more sexy than the utilitarian white cotton bra but it was too late for that.
Apparently he was just fine with utilitarian. When she looked up at him, that wicked smile had returned and he’d pulled his own sweater off. Lean, hard muscle banded his chest and upper body. His belly was flat and a light arrow of hair pointed from his navel to beneath the waist of the pants he had on.
In for a penny. She quickly unbuttoned and unzipped her jeans and kicked them off. At least the panties were sexy. Not by design. All the regular cotton bikini panties she usually wore were currently in her laundry basket so she only had her “back of the panty drawer” supply left. The thong style panties her ex-boyfriend had given her some years before on Valentine’s Day.
“Aren’t you a bundle of contradictions?” His voice was lazy as he reached down and divested himself of his pants and then the boxer briefs he’d been wearing. The socks were gone in moments and when he turned his attention back to her, he was totally naked and very happy to be there.
“Show me, Haley. Let me see all of you.” His hands fisted at his sides as he heaved in breath.