With a shy, hesitant smile, she extricated her fingers from his and bolted across the intersection. He watched her hasten away from him, all the while preparing himself for the unavoidable feeling of loss that always followed her departure.
Adrian didn’t know how long he stood across the street, loitering beneath his favorite lamppost, staring up at her penthouse. He kept telling himself it was time to head back to his place, but his feet remained riveted to the ground. The shadows deepened, and twilight surrendered to night. The streetlamp flared to life, casting a soft, acidic glow over him.
And still, he couldn’t bring himself to leave.
If Angie were to glance out the window, she’d think him a stalker. In essence, that was what he’d become. His obsession with her pervaded every corner of his existence. He was chained to her by an invisible thread of energy. He couldn’t walk away from her any more than he could walk away from himself.
Curiosity stirred within him. What was she doing at this very moment? Was she preparing for bed? An illicit glimpse inside her penthouse confirmed his suspicions. She’d changed into a cotton tank top and a pair of matching panties, a look that proved more seductive than leather and lace combined. The soft fabric molded to her tight figure, outlining every flat plane and sinful curve.
Blood whooshed through his veins, and every rational thought in his head was reduced to cinders. He wanted to scale her building, to burst through her window and seduce her the way he damn well knew he could. But something held him back. What if he lost control? What if the darkness inside him took over and he ended up stealing her soul? He’d seduced human women before and they’d all walked away from the act alive and happy. But never before had he wanted anyone the way he wanted Angie. The truth was, he no longer trusted himself around her.
She lifted the covers and slid into bed. Her hair fanned across her pillow, a soft, alluring net that threatened to ensnare him. His fingers twitched as he imagined running them through that tempting web of curls. He wanted to please her, to set her soul on fire and see her burn for him the way he burned for her. Loneliness ate away at him, until he feared soon there would be nothing left of him to salvage.
Just once, let me know what it feels like to love her.
It was a silly plea, a moment of insanity witnessed only by the waning moon, but it sparked a wicked thought in his brain. A thought he found impossible to ignore once it entered his mind.
What he was about to do was wrong. Depraved. But Adrian had never claimed to be noble. He was a creature of the night, forsaken by humanity. He did not live by society’s rules, wasn’t shackled by anyone’s warped notions of morality. And on this cool spring night, where ozone tainted the breeze and only a handful of stars speckled the bruised sky, he gladly embraced his dark nature.
He wasn’t sure his gift would work on Angie, but he felt compelled to try. Tapping into her soul, taking advantage of the special connection he and she shared, he sought to bring her innermost fantasies to life. Kyros used this same gift to induce pain in others. Adrian only wanted to bring her pleasure.
Tonight, she would succumb to him, cry out his name, love him—if only in her dreams.
Cool, crisp sheets welcomed Angie as she slid beneath the covers. She was tired, exhausted from fighting not only her irrational attraction to Adrian but also the sweet medley of emotions he elicited within her. Seeing him with those kids, watching him bond with them so effortlessly, filled her with awe and admiration.
She’d never encountered anyone like him before. Meeting him had turned her entire world inside out. It wasn’t his uniqueness that unsettled her. Nor was it the growing esteem she felt for him. What shook her to the core was the crazy intensity of her own feelings. Feelings that were so powerful, so raw