Mesmerizing light radiated from his eyes. “That, you must say again.”

I wetted my lips. “I want you.” Desire sizzled between us. Soon neither of us would be able to fight it.

“For all these lifetimes, I’ve waited for you to say that and to mean it.” He had endless centuries of pent-up loneliness—and lust.

I was almost afraid of what we were about to unleash. “I do mean it.” I leaned in to press a kiss against one of his runes, my tongue flicking rain from his damp skin.

“My gods.” Voice a rasp, he said, “And so I am snared? I won’t deny us—because I can’t?”

I drew back, shucking my pack, gaze drifting to his mouth, to that sexy dip in the center of his bottom lip. “Let’s talk after you kiss me.”

His arms wrapped around me. “Good idea.” He leaned down, his lips descending over mine. At the contact, my eyes slid closed; his pained groan rumbled against my mouth. When his tongue slipped between my lips, I twined my hands around his neck.

He slanted his mouth, his tongue slowly tangling with mine. For someone with so little practice, he was a devastating kisser. He tasted like rain and need.

My toes curled as we shared breaths. At some point he’d begun holding me upright—my legs had given way.

Gripping my ass, he easily lifted me. He groaned with approval when my legs wrapped around his hips.

My hands flew to his shoulders, kneading with delight as his muscles rippled beneath my palms.


But he broke away from our kiss, leaving me panting. His gaze narrowed with intent. With possessiveness. “If we cross this line, there is no returning from it. I will never let you go. You will be my wife in truth.”

“I won’t let you go either. And you’ll be my husband.” He. Was. Mine.

“We will be forever. We are forever.”

I gazed at his noble face, raising my hand to caress it. “Yes.”

His eyes slid shut with bliss when I smoothed my fingertips along his jawline, across his strong chin, over a broad cheekbone. “Sievā.” That one word was laden with yearning.

He wants to be a normal man. I was determined to give him anything he needed from me. Now. Amid all of my emotions, I dreaded that something would prevent this. The gods, the universe, whatever . . . When I yanked my poncho over my head, his eyes opened and went wide.

“Here?” He swallowed thickly. “I need to get you ready . . . you should have a bed. . . .” His sentence died away when I pulled off my sweater, revealing my glowing glyphs. They reflected in his gaze.

“Here, Aric.” I unfastened my bra from the front, shrugging out of it.

He stared with such hunger that my breasts seemed to swell for him, aching for his sword-roughened palms to cover them. I whimpered, arching my back.

At the sight, his jaw slackened. His pupils were blown. Then came more of that starry light. Like a sunrise.

As I pulled his hand to me, the rain and hail intensified. I was glad of the wild storm all around us. Feels fitting.

He kneaded me, biting out a choked sound of pleasure. “This will be over before it starts.” Had his accent ever been so thick?

My eyes went heavy-lidded. “Don’t wait another second.”

He shook his head hard. “I didn’t plan for this, don’t have anything.”

“I’m on something.” I’d refused to approach him with nothing new to promise, so I’d gone to Paul for contraception the night of the snow. “I’m ready for this, Aric.” For his first time. “For you.” I surrendered completely to lust and adrenaline and the driving need to experience passion with him. My senses overloaded. My skin was flushed, my nerve-endings hypersensitive.

I smelled the rain, the electricity, his addictive scent. How could he possibly smell so good? His taste lingered on my tongue, making my head swim. “I’m ready now.”

My expression must have betrayed my emotions; he looked stunned. “Sievā?”

A pulse point beat frantically in his neck, drawing my gaze. I leaned forward to kiss it. With a moan, I sucked on his skin, feeling the strong beat against my tongue.

His head fell back. He bit out something in Latvian that sounded like a curse. In a dazed tone, he said, “This will happen. I . . . I believe.”

The awe in his voice made me desperate for him. “Now, Aric.” Lightning flared almost as bright as day, thunder booming mere instants later. “Before something stops us!”

He raised a knee, pinning me against a metal support to free his hands. “Nothing could take me from you. Nothing.” He tore open my riding pants, yanking them and my panties to my knees. Unhappy with the barrier between us, he used his strength to rip my clothes in two.

My glyphs swirled wildly.

He sucked in a breath, his rapt gaze following his fingers as they roamed between my thighs. Over me. In me. He groaned at the feel. “You’re so perfect.”

I rolled my hips to his hand.

“Yes, yes,” he murmured as he watched me writhe. “You like my touch.” He teased me till I was just on the verge.

“Don’t wait!”

Material ripped as he shoved his pants down his narrow hips. Between my legs, his hardness nudged and prodded.

I moaned, my head lolling.

He wrapped my hair around his fist, holding my head up. “Look at me.” Our gazes met as he began to press inside. With wonder in his eyes, he rasped, “Gods almighty.” His chest muscles flexed against my breasts, his ancient runes kissing them.

Sudden winds howled, and the structure groaned. Aric withstood each gust; he was strong. As I clung to him, my hair whipped in the wind, snaking over him like vines.