yes the color of steel ice were pinned on Pandra’s belly. Thomal’s fingertips traced the ugly scar there. “You’ve been hurt so much in your life,” he whispered, bending forward to brush his lips over her scar.

Every muscle in her body tightened. Bristling with irritation, she shifted rigidly under his touch.  

“Tell me what happened to you.”


Thomal straightened. His gaze was cloudy and filled with a poignant ache. He moved back.

The absence of his body heat chilled her. My, what a recognizable feeling. Her fingers curled inward.

“Maybe it’s too soon for this,” he said. “Too soon after Oţărât. Too soon for us.

“Why?” she snapped, sitting up. “Because I’m unwilling to subject myself to your pity?”

“My—?” He looked at her as if she was a complete nutter. “Because I’m one of the people who’ve hurt you, and you understandably don’t trust me, yet.”

“You’ve been nice to me all of a few hours, Thomal. What the bleeding hell did you expect?”

“Exactly my point.” Turning around, Thomal grabbed his blue jeans off the floor.

She narrowed her eyes as she watched him tug on his trousers. Anger slithered a hot coil through her body. She vaulted off the bed, stalked across the room, and wrenched the door open. “All right, then. Get out.”

He stopped dressing, his shirt draped over the palm of his hand.

“That’s what you do best, isn’t it?” She squeezed the doorknob, forcing it from a circle to an oval. “Leave.”

A sinew bunched in his cheek. “This isn’t me rejecting you, Pandra. The total opposite. I don’t want to get into that bed with you until it can be more than screwing. I want it to…I don’t know, to mean something beyond the obvious—that we’re both horny as shit for each other.” He dragged in a deep breath, the muscles across his chest tensing. “I don’t want to ask too much of you. I know you don’t love me. I…this is the first time we’ll be together since the night of…” He trailed off.

Her eyes drifted sideways, away from him.  

He walked over to her and reached behind her, gently closing the door, grinning as he said, “This is my bedroom, by the way.”

She flushed.

“Now you and I are going to do that thing couples do when they don’t have sex.” More humor rippled through his tone. “I think it’s called cuddling.”

eBooks available at:

Box Set available at: