This feeling sucks. He snatched his jeans up. Hell, he had been used. And worse, he'd gained no overall ground with her, which angered him.

When she returned, he tossed her back to the bed.

"What are you - Stop this!" she cried.

"Looks like I won the bet, poppet." Taking her slaps, he shoved up her skirt, then yanked off her panties, stuffing them into his pocket. "I'll be taking my prize."

26

"Can't get my mind off earlier," Cadeon murmured, his knuckles white on the steering wheel.

No kidding, she thought. For the last two hours, she'd kept reliving the things he'd made her feel - and made her do.

Twice.

And she kept seeing the pained look on his beautiful face before he came and the way his thick flesh had pulsed as she'd stroked him. His brutal yell had given her shivers.

Going without her panties wasn't helping. Knowing they were in the demon's pocket was surprisingly erotic to her. "Well, you're going to have to try harder."

Just as she would. If only she weren't so aware of him. She definitely had hypersensitivity. His scent was mouthwatering to her, lulling her to get closer to him whenever they sat near each other, which incidentally was every minute in the car.

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Like a man's voice, a man's scent had never been particularly noticeable to her, unless, of course, it was unpleasant.

But Cadeon's scent made her claws curl for him, for his body heavy and hot atop hers.

"If I had my way," he continued, "I'd hole up somewhere with you for a couple of weeks and do nothing but - "

"Give me a good seeing to?"

"Yeah."

"Well, that's not a possibility. You need your sword, and I fear every day I'm getting closer to the point of no return with my transition."

"I know, I know."

"We're just going to ignore this."

Until now, she'd never truly comprehended the term sexual awakening. Now she did. He'd done things to her that she could never forget. Holly would never be the same again - because a line had been crossed. She'd had a taste of something, and she wanted more of it.

Which wasn't possible. So how did she get everything to go back to sleep?

"Ignore? Yeah, let me know how that works out for you," he said as he turned into the entrance of an exclusive-looking shopping plaza, what appeared to be one of those über luxury malls. "We're here."

"This is where you're getting gear?"

"Where we're getting gear. You need some warmer clothes. Things you can move in."

Actually, she wouldn't mind a new turtleneck or two. Maybe a heavier jacket.

Once he'd parked in front of an upscale department store, she got out, absently shutting her door behind her. Again, her mind was a tangle of thoughts....

For so long, any arousal she experienced had always been accompanied by the fear of hurting another.

Earlier, the fear had vanished - because she'd been unable to hurt him, helpless to do anything more than have her body expertly petted to orgasm. She felt a flutter in her belly at the memory, but then frowned. Expertly.

He was, after all, a ladies' man. Had he brought Imatra the same kind of pleasure...?

"Hey, you forgot your computer," he said, negligently waving it at her.

Her eyes went wide as she hastened to him. She'd almost left behind her laptop? It was the one thing that was absolutely indispensable in her life, so critical to her she'd often wished she could have a hard drive implanted in her hip.

"Your mind's occupied, then?" he asked in that arrogant tone. "So much for ignoring what we did."

"I was thinking about something else." When she reached for it, he held it over his head. "Give it back! You might drop it!"

"I'll give it back, if you admit that you were thinking about me."

"Fine. I was. All about you. Now give it!"

He eventually did, looking surprised by how easily she'd capitulated. But this was her computer, the source of all that was right and good in the world.

Once she'd looped the strap of the case over her shoulder, he placed his big hand on her lower back. She gave him a pointed glare, which he ignored, whisking her inside. In the ladies' department, he even held up jeans to her hips, eyeing them for size. Highhanded male!

Through gritted teeth, she asked, "Exactly how do you expect me to try on jeans without underwear?"

He patted his pocket. "You want them back? We might be able to work something out." He shoved a few pairs of jeans into her arms, snagged some cashmere turtlenecks, then marched her to the dressing room.

She'd thought he'd wait in the sitting area outside. No such luck. "Cadeon!" she snapped when he followed her in, shutting the door. "You can't come in here!"

He planted a hand on the wall behind her and leaned in. "I need to be in here. Because you're about to kiss me."

"Is that so?" She'd tried for an arch tone, yet only sounded intrigued.

"Uh-huh. If you want your panties back for tonight."

"Fine. I'll go without jeans."

"Going to get chilly running around in skirts with nothing on but thigh-highs."

Chapter 15

She exhaled impatiently. It was nippy. "I'll kiss you, but only if I'm freed completely from the bet. Not just for tonight."

"Then you have to French kiss me. Not a peck on the cheek."

There went that plan.

"Very well. But I don't exactly know how to begin." Would he be inwardly laughing at her inexperience? Comparing her to Imatra?

Holly wished she were a better kisser than that demoness.

"You won't be needing this," he said, tugging her bag off her shoulder to set it on the bench behind him. "Now, you're going to have to go on tiptoe to reach me."

"You won't meet me halfway?"

"You are kissing me, remember?"

She placed her hands on his shoulders for balance, then rose up on her toes.

"Even on tiptoe, you'll need to pull my head down to yours. Cup the back of my head."

When she accidentally touched the tip of his horn, he groaned. She quickly moved her hand higher, but he said, "It feels good when you touch them."

"You really can feel with them?" she asked, recalling what he'd said about her behavior in the bar.

"Of course. Male demons love to have their horns stroked."

She filed that away for later.

"Next you're going to put your opened lips against mine, then lick my tongue. And once you've gotten to that point, you just do whatever feels good for you."

She swallowed, unable to tell if she was giddy or nervous or both. Then on her toes, she drew him down, putting her lips to his.