In one easy, effortless step, Gabe was at her side. “Nothing is going to happen to your sister.” He secured her face in his hands, his thumbs swiping away the tears from her dampened cheeks, soothing the flood of fear coursing her veins. Lifting her until she dangled in his arms, Gabe placed her on the black and gray swirled granite, holding her against him. After a moment, he stood back to expose a raw glint flashing from his azure gaze, those ethereal orbs penetrating her depths. He closed his eyes, taking in an unnecessary breath that she knew was an attempt at calming himself.
Katy’s thoughts and equilibrium shifted, her muscles weakening from the close contact and sparks shocking her from the touch of his skin. It had been too long since they’d been so close. Her eyes widening, she clasped the edge of the countertop with hands that trembled, fighting against the urge to kiss him, knowing she might go limp if she did.
His mouth came tantalizingly close to hers, unspoken apologies and desire passing between them. Their bottom lips nearly hinged and the sweet potential of a kiss quickened her pulse. Gabe’s hold tightened on both sides of her head, a gesture that was as much about distance as it was control.
Katy sensed the restraint in his hold, felt the impatience in hands that roamed her body and ended pressed against her lower back. She breathed him in, the succulent smell of him its own mouthwatering aphrodisiac. She wanted him too much, her body straining to get closer. The remembrance of her erotic dream only intensified that need. Gaining a small fraction of her faculties, she twisted her fingertips into his hair, hoping to finally fulfill the promise of a kiss still hanging in the air between them.
His fingers flexed against her butt, his palms squeezing and cupping her ass cheeks, urging her closer to designer boxer briefs housing a very noticeable erection. Gabe growled, his tongue sliding across his lush lower lip.
His sensual gesture was so lascivious that Katy felt it register as a trickle in her core. Her breathing became shallow, too audible to conceal, and a gasp to even her pants did nothing to quell her nerves. Raised in a household tinged with tension and wrought with abuse, while being forced to practice a religion she never wholly embraced, Katy learned to doubt that true love existed for anyone. It was only after witnessing Shauna and Ascher’s unshakable connection that she began to believe. If Shauna, who’d suffered most of the two siblings, could love so deeply, surely it was possible for her.
The thought of loving or needing someone so much terrified her, yet she needed Gabe. It wasn’t just about the physical part. His unconditional affection appeased the hurt child who grew up devoid of that type of love. The fact that he was a vampire, and less inclined to experience such intense emotion, made what they shared all the more special.
Clearing his throat, Gabe took a step backward, and then brusquely motioned her over to the bath.
Katy just stared at him, confused. How could he go from hot to cold in an instant? “You don’t want me.”
Gabe scrutinized her with a gaze so hot that her insides quivered, putting her insecurities to rest. He definitely wanted her. Invading her personal space, his lips teasingly grazed hers as he murmured, “I want you beneath me. I want it so badly that it’s all I can think of. The thoughts I have—the things I’d do to you. I wish I could scrub them from my brain.” His grip tightened, almost to the point of pain.
“Then do them. Make love to me. I want it.”
“Why, Katherine? Why do you want it when you barely trust me? Just wanting it is not enough!”
Katy stood, silently contemplating his query, knowing she had no convincing argument—other than a body full of racing hormones. Lowering her head in shame, she sniffled in an attempt at stemming her tears.
“Hey.” Gabe lifted her gaze to his. “I’ve never wanted anyone or anything more. I look at you and I can hardly contain the urge to feel you. It’s damned torturous to want something this much.” In a gesture that signaled his calming, he kissed the tears streaming down her face. “No crying, dearest. When the time is right, I’ll joy in losing myself in you. But not now—not tonight. We’re not ready.”
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