A deep, husky voice from behind made me jump. "Hello, Athena."
Jerking around in surprise, I was amazed to find myself staring at Damian. "What are you doing here?"
He smiled and the sight of those dimples made my knees wobble. "I was going to ask you the same thing. Do you know someone who lived here?"
I shook my head. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Let's just say I was carried along with the tide."
He nodded, his dark blue eyes straying again to the raging fire across the street.
I watched him carefully. He looked tense. "What about you? Do you know somebody who lived here?"
His eyes stayed locked on the inferno. His jaw clenched with tension. "My brother."
I felt the blood draining from my face. I'd just talked to Peter the night before. "Oh my gods! Is he okay?"
Damian flashed me a look filled with questions. His beautiful, wide eyes narrowed on me. "He's not here. He's out of the... country... right now."
"Oh, good." I shivered under the onslaught of his penetrating gaze. Turning my head back toward the fire, I tried to ignore him.
It didn't work. I could feel his eyes on me like a physical thing.
For that matter, I could feel his heat, smell his skin... I was more deeply attuned to the man standing next to me than I'd ever been to another creature.
It was discombobulating, to say the least.
Finally I couldn't take it anymore. I jerked my head around, "What?"
He blinked. "Huh?"
"Why are you staring at me?"
He smiled that smile again and my thighs clenched on a wave of pure lust. I had to lean against the warm brick of the building behind me for support.
"You're a beautiful woman, Athena."
I frowned. "Okay..." I peaked an eyebrow at him in question.
He laughed softly. "You took that pretty well."
Sighing, I looked away again. My system could only take so much of Damian Leandar or I feared I would explode from sensual overload. "I only meant, it wasn't that kind of staring. You looked as if you wanted to ask me something." My eyes slid back to him.
He took a step closer, leaned down until his lips were a hair's breadth from mine and said, "I find myself somehow... drawn... to you."
I jerked my gaze back toward the fire, fighting with everything I had not to give in to an urge to pull him into my arms and consume him with my lips and body. But I knew that wasn't right. It couldn't be right. I barely knew the man.
He didn't move away. His breath against my face was a warm, sweet promise. I stopped breathing, trapped within my body's raging need like a deer in oncoming headlights. I closed my eyes and prayed my stillness would help me resist. But it didn't help. My body nearly vibrated with need.
He touched my cheek with his lips, "Athena."
I whimpered slightly and turned, closing the distance between us, my lips melting hungrily over his.
As soon as our lips touched it was as if a spark had ignited and something exploded through me. The flash fire was more than heat, it was light and sound and incredible sensation.
His arms snaked around my waist, pulling me indecently tight against his body. His teeth drew my bottom lip in, nibbling softly before his tongue swept over the tingling aftermath and slid into my mouth to tangle with mine.
I slipped my hands under his t-shirt and up his smooth back. His skin warmed and tightened under my hands and the scent of him wafted over me, infusing itself into my senses like a drug.
The kiss deepened and held, pulling us both inexorably into our own place, our private niche, apart from the real world playing itself out on those streets around us.
An untouchable, incredible place.
I thought I'd stopped breathing. But discovered I was sharing his breath.
Between my thighs, a clenching wetness told me I wanted the man in my arms more than I'd wanted anyone in a long, long, very long time.
A warm, salty tear slid between our lips and Damian pulled away. "You're crying." He looked so alarmed I laughed.
"It's okay. I'm okay."
He stared at me for a beat longer and then lowered his head again.
I closed my eyes in anticipation of another kiss. Instead I felt his hot tongue, sliding across my cheek where the tears had been.
His hands fell away. The air around me grew cool again.
I gasped and opened my eyes.
He was gone. Leaving only a thought in my mind, which I was pretty sure had to be a figment of my imagination.
Take care, Athena.
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