SHE IS HIS SAVIOR
Warrior, leader ... virgin. Gavan has fought for his people’s freedom his entire life, ignoring his own needs—until his arranged wife joins the Resistance. Marrying hastily, they complete the mating ceremony in a passionate rush as the enemy closes in. But when the war takes an unexpected turn, Gavan’s life hangs in the balance. Will T.J. be able to save him?
SHE IS A SOLDIER
No stranger to duty, T.J. leaves the Army to join her fated mate … but emerging into the Other Realm, she gets far more than she bargained for: a war, a cause, and a seriously hot husband. Can lust become love? Or does Gavan only value her because of the shapeshifting ability their arranged marriage might give him?
The clattering of stone had them freezing. A heartbeat later, several rocks tumbled down the walls, a small rolling cascade dislodged from the crevice top. They were still falling when Gavan gripped her arms and backed her up against the sloping wall. The curving lip offering them a chance at remaining hidden from anyone above.
Sandwiched between the hard stone and Gavan’s big body, she strained to see, to hear, what had disturbed the rocks as her heart tried to escape from her chest. When her eyes and ears came up blank, she opened her link and stretched out her senses, probing the air with Affinity—and every inch of the muscular frame shielding her tautened.
Slowly, T.J. lifted her gaze from the chest caging her, and looked into his eyes … and time seemed to slow. Despite the danger, maybe because of it, she became achingly aware of every hard inch of the body pressed against her own, and the fact her hands were gripping onto his hips. Holding his gaze, she moved her thumbs, stroking where ridged abdomen met the masculine vee of muscles above the band of his cropped trousers.
He shuddered, and the air around them seemed to flex with what she felt sure was Gavan’s link to Affinity.
“An animal,” Gavan said quietly.
As though realizing the same, the warriors who’d taken shelter as they had peeled themselves from their hiding places.
Gavan didn’t budge.
“We’re safe,” he said softly, his gaze dropping to focus intently upon her lips.
“That’s good.” Like him, she didn’t move.
“Yes.” He inhaled deeply, his chest muscles expanding, and then he lowered his head to hers.
Not wanting another kiss on the cheek, she met him halfway and pressed her lips to his. She expected him to seize control, to make a masculine claim of the woman who’d agreed to marry him, a passionate demand that insisted she yield. Instead, his lips caressed hers with surprisingly chaste pressure in a kiss that seemed to offer friendship, and conveyed the hope for more.
Moved by the emotion she could sense, T.J. lifted onto her toes to deepen the kiss, urging his lips apart so she could explore his mouth. Their lips clung, tasted, the heat between them building, then their lips drifted apart. She looked up at him, waiting for him to open his eyes, but when his eyelashes remained dark crescents upon his cheeks, she lifted a hand to his face and gently touched her fingertips to his lips.
“You’re acting as though you’ve never been kissed before,” she said softly.
His eyes fluttered open, and his gaze burned with some deep emotion. “I haven’t.”
He dipped his head, but rather than kiss her again as she expected, he pressed his cheek to hers in a tender gesture.
She tilted her face into his, enjoying the rasp of his stubble against her skin. Then she blinked as she realized something else, and she pulled back so she could see his face.
“If you’ve never been kissed does that mean you haven’t had sex? You’re a virgin?” She waved a hand, indicating his body, his face. “You’re seriously hot. How is that possible?”
He must have had offers.
He shrugged and didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed when he said, “I never found a female who I wanted to be intimate with.”
Her brows climbed. “You’ve waited a long time.”
“Yes.” A smile slowly stretched across his face, and the twinkle in his eyes left no doubt that he was looking forward to more of what they’d just shared.
“Maybe you were waiting for me,” she joked, but Gavan didn’t laugh as she’d expected. Instead, his expression became thoughtful.
“As your ordained mate, I was born for you, T.J. So, I agree it is possible I sensed that fate and waited for you.”
About to brush off his words as fanciful, she stopped. Given she’d always believed her destiny was to pass through the gateway, it would be unfair to dismiss his comment. The past eighteen months of Exchanges had taught her that Mother Nature wove an intricate web of fate. It was entirely possible that on an unconscious level, he really had been waiting for her.
Possessiveness unfurled in her chest, swift and unexpected. According to the Oracle, this huge, honorable man would be hers, and given what he’d just revealed, he would be hers alone.