Mine to Possess (Psy-Changeling #4)

But Talin was scared of him. She had told him that to his face, and the sharp knife of it was still buried in his heart. The man wasn’t sure he wanted to chance another rejection. Keeping the animal’s instincts in check, he finally stepped out of the shadows. “Do you want to be held, Talin?” Her damp eyes widened at the blunt question, then she nodded in a little jerking motion. Something in him quieted, waiting. “Then come here.” A pause during which the entire forest seemed to freeze, the night creatures aware of the leopard’s tense watchfulness.

“Oh, God, Clay.” Suddenly her arms were wrapped around his back, her cheek pressed against the white cotton of his T-shirt.

Hardly daring to breathe, he closed his own arms around her feminine warmth, blindingly aware of every inch of her pressed into him, every spot of wetness soaking through his T-shirt. She was so small, so damn soft, her humanity apparent in the delicacy of her skin, the lightness of her bones. The Psy might be fragile in comparison to changelings, but they had powers of the mind to compensate. Humans had the same fragility but none of the psychic abilities. A wave of protectiveness washed over him. “Shh, Tally.” He used the nickname because, at this moment, he knew her. She had always had a heart too big for her body, a heart that felt such pain for others while ignoring its own. “I’ll find your lost one.”

She shook her head against him. “It’s too late. Three bodies already. Jonquil is probably dead, too.”

“Then I’ll find who did this to them and stop him.”

She stilled against him. “I didn’t come here to turn you into a killer again.

Clay, if anyone followed anyone, it was me tagging along after you. I didn’t dare order you around.”

“Load of shit,” he muttered, but she thought she heard a softening in his tone. “You fucking made me attend tea parties.”

She remembered his threat before the first one: “Tell anyone and I’ll eat you and use your bones as toothpicks.”

~ Talin and Clay dialogue

He leaned down until his lips brushed her ear. “I told you to stop flinching.” And then he bit her. A slow, painless nip but there were definitely teeth involved.

How can I be angry with the other half of my soul?" he asked, his tone so tender it tore little pieces out of her heart. "I have a temper, baby, and I know I fucking brood. But even if I act pissed, even if I snarl, it doesn't mean I love you any less. Your soul shines, Tally, and I'm so damn glad it shines for me.

I can smell arousal, Talin. You get hot every time you see me half-naked."

The erotic need that flared through her body was mortifying. Perhaps that explained the stupidity of her next words. "Maybe I get that way for every half-naked man.

I love you,” she whispered.

He stroked his hand down her back. “Yep, you do.”

“You’re supposed to say it back,” she said, pretending to be offended because the silliness kept the fear/hope at bay.

“Why?” He scowled down at her. “You know you’re my heartbeat.

I’m hungry.”
“So am I.” His tone was a lazy invitation. “When are you going to feed me?

Pa Larkspur?"

She smiled. "Don't be so chauvinistic. He's the best cook in the county. His baskets bring in more money than any others at the picnic auctions."

"Jesus. Baskets? Picnic? Just how country is the Nest?"

"Very." His horrified expression made her laugh. "Clay, you live in a tree. I don't think you should throw stones.

It had never occurred to her that she might adore the adult Clay even more than she had the youth, but there it was. The man her friend had grown into—well, he enchanted her, brooding temper, dark kisses, animal protectiveness, and all. To her delight, the feeling seemed to be mutual. But the separation had scarred them both. What would it do to Clay if this disease succeeded in killing her?

It was you. Always. Only ever you.

I want you,” she said. “Naked.”

His nostrils flared as if he was soaking in the scent of her arousal. “Tally, honey, I can’t get any more naked. That’s my cock you’re playing with.”

She grazed him lightly, very lightly, with her teeth for that remark. He swore again but didn’t make any attempt to take control. “I want you,” she said, “naked and on your front.”

“Why?” A suspicious growl.

“So I can stroke you. Pet you. Love you.” She ran her nails along the inside of one thigh, felt him shudder. “At least half an hour.” Bending again, she closed her mouth over the top of his erection without warning. Something definitely tore this time.

“Fuck!”

She released him. “Yes?”

“Yes! Damn it, yes! Now suck me or I’m going to have you on your back so fast, you’ll—” His threat ended in a roar as she took as much of him in her mouth as she could fit.

Clay, she decided, tasted good. Very good. She liked giving him this pleasure. But more, she liked that he allowed her to see the extremity of his reaction, no holds barred. So she loved him, learned him, tasted him. And when he tugged at her hair to pull her off him, she resisted.

Oh, Clay darling, if you had told me you were feeling irritated because of your...problems, I wouldn't have made a fuss." She knew very well the changelings around her could hear every whispered word.

"Tally." It was a warning growl.

"I mean it must be embarrassing for you...being that you're such a big man." her tone implied all sorts of things. "Last night was an aberration, I'm sure. And if not, there are always the pills.

Remember that,” he groaned. “And tell everyone you know.

She fucking turns me inside out."
"Women who matter have a way of doing that." Lucas scowled. "We sound like a couple of women, talking about feelings. I think Sascha's having a bad influence on me."
"You started it.

She had known that being with Clay would be good, that it would eclipse the other times into nothingness, but this was beyond good, beyond anything. All she could think was—no wonder women liked sex. But of course, this was nothing so simple as sex. This was…“Oh, man.

She raised her face to the canopy and took a deep breath, as if trying to hold on to her temper. He wondered if she’d succeed. His Tally had always been very quiet…except with him. He alone had known that she was neither shy nor particularly calm. The girl had a temper like a stick of dynamite. Quick to heat, quick to blow over.

Some wounds should be healed, no matter how much time has passed or how much time is left.

Still adore me?” he said into that kiss, his tone husky. A tone between lovers, between mates, between a man and the only woman he had ever wanted.

“Too much,” was her response. “I only feel whole when I’m with you. Does that make me weak?”

The cat stretched out inside him as she pressed kisses along his jawline, down his neck. “If you’re weak, then so am I.” He could function without her but in the way a machine functions. His heart, his soul, he had given to her a long time ago.

That was before Clay moved those big, warm hands up over her body, spreading one on her lower back while the other curved around her nape. The hold was so proprietary, so aggressive, it should’ve scared her into running in the other direction. Instead it sparked a darkly sexual heat in her, stoking her need past blazing. She melted into him, pressing her aching breasts against the solid wall of his chest. He purred into her mouth. Nipples shocked into sudden pleasure by the vibration, she pulled back. “You purr?”

His smile was pure cat. “Only for you.”

Any resistance she might’ve harbored to this dangerous, inevitable escalation in their relationship dissolved into a big fat pool at her feet. He was being charming. Clay did not do charm, not for anyone. Except, it seemed, her. She pressed a kiss to his jaw. “Stop being so sexy.”

His smile widened and, sliding his hand from her nape to her hair, he tugged back her head so he could kiss her again. The embers in her stomach burst into flame as she realized she was rubbing her nipples against him. He didn’t seem to mind—he was doing that purring thing again.

These predators loved with wild fury, but they were also darkly possessive, crossing the boundary into what humans might term obsession.

You're so big." He would fill her up, take her over.

"Remember that," he groaned. "And tell everyone you know.

You," she managed to say hoarsely," are a very bad kitty cat.

You try to leave and I will hunt you down."

Relief poured through her, but she smacked at his thigh with the back of her brush. "Like a rabid dog? Very romantic.