Author: Hanna Martine
The Elementals #1
Released: July 3, 2012
He leaned in, so close his breath ruffled the hair next to her ear. “What’s your name?”
The rest of the bar dropped away like a trapdoor.
She turned her head just enough to make out the details of his tattoo. Leaf- and thorn-covered vines twisted around this neck, the tip of the last leaf resting just below his earlobe. She clenched her fingers, resisting the urge to touch it. To touch him.
Her voice came out in shaky threads. “Gwen.”
She felt him smile. “Gwen. I’m Reed.”
Reed nudged her hair with his nose, inhaling. “Tell me more about this Ed Ruscha guy.”
She chuckled low. “are you serious? Now?”
The hand on the back of her chair dropped to her knee. Palm covering the top of her boot. Thumb on her thigh. Fingertips dancing like snowflakes at the edge of her skirt hem. She stopped breathing.
“Actually, no.” Chin stubble scraped just below her ear.
She forced herself to inhale. “Good. Because I can’t think.”
Reed pulled back enough for her to see his face again. “I really did think out you today. I wondered if what I’d felt this morning was wrong. Misplaced.”
“I thought about you, too.” For different reasons, but those didn’t seem to matter anymore.
“Good. I’m glad to hear that.”
“Where are you staying?” It slipped out before she could stop it. She couldn’t take it back, and she realized she didn’t’ want to.
His expression turned heated. “The Four Seasons. Just for tonight.”
“I hear that’s nice.” And expensive. And a quick cab ride away.
“It is.” He licked his lips. “Would you like to see it?”
His voice thrummed deep bass chords in her ears, sending quivers straight to her legs. He tightened his grip on her thigh, and she watched him react to her reaction.
She’d never wanted to be naked more in her entire life.
This was it. The one pass granted to her by the Allure. Forgiven only if it was temporary. She knew for a fact that Griffin had slept with a Primary a few months ago, before they’d heard the rumblings in the Board about their match. He didn’t know she knew and there was no reason to confront him about it. Had it been just sex to Griffin? Or had he connected with that woman in the way Gwen connected with Reed?
No, she would not go there. It would only be sex for her, too. And by the firm, gentle way Reed touched her now, she knew it would be good sex.
“Yes,” she whispered. “I’d like to see your room.”
The smile he gave her was positively feral.
Vaguely, she heard the door to the bar opening, followed by the tickle of cool air on her back. Reed’s gaze flicked over her shoulder. The lust in his eyes and the promise in the curve of his mouth vanished. Whatever he saw pulled down a cold, hard wall between them.
The speed with which he went from seductive to nonchalant made her gasp. When he removed his hand from her thigh, it was like taking away a blanket in the dead of winter.
“The people I’m supposed to meet are here. Won’t take a minute. Will you wait for me?”
She nodded numbly.
He stood. “Told you I wasn’t lying.”