Kiara trudged up the mountain. She’d never visited Great Wing, and she’d thought of the place more of a city than an eyrie. She’d been wrong. The tiny fucking hire car had taken one disbelieving gasp at the bottom of the steep incline and refused to go any farther. That left her with little choice other than to repack a few things into a small bag in case she didn’t get back today and walk. The unseasonal snow that had been a scatter when she’d left her car behind turned into drifts, and then it started snowing again. Fuck.
Half an hour later she appreciated that even a toothbrush had some weight. She shifted the bag to her other shoulder, wriggled her arms to get rid of the tension building and trudged on.
Another half hour and her legs were soaking. Her body was screaming in pain, but she refused to give up. Nobody passed her on the road but she saw several birds overhead. Fine, if you can fly to the bottom of the mountain. Did no humans live here? When she thought of being alone with shifters, a chill crept down her spine. She’d never associated with them much before, at least not knowingly. Shifters didn’t always announce themselves and there was no way of knowing a shifter from a human that she knew of. Unless they actually did the shapeshifting thing, which few did in public. They had to strip, for one thing, unless they didn’t care about the clothes they were wearing, and stripping in public was still not something approved of.
The climate grew colder as she climbed, but the walk had warmed her so much that she was sweating under her warm clothes. Her boots had modest heels, but her arches were aching and her calves throbbing. She’d have taken a rest, but was afraid that if she stopped, she wouldn’t get up again. She had to keep going.
After another hour she spied houses in the distance. Ordinary, if pleasant, wooden houses, except they were at the top of this fucking mountain.
On the outskirts of the city she paused, wondering if there were cabs or even buses. She didn’t see any, and this was less a city, more a small town. Nothing that she could see. But the road was broader, less stony. Her feet thanked her for that. Pausing, she fumbled in her bag for her brush and lipstick.
Her hair was wavy rather than curly, but the ends she’d ruthlessly blow-dried into submission that morning had started to curl. Couldn’t be helped. With the help of her tiny purse mirror she did her best. Her eye shadow had gone into the crease in her eyelids, so she used her little finger to smooth it once more. That was the best she could do. With a coat of lipstick, she had to call it done. Then she straightened her clothes, tugged her jacket down and put up her chin, walking with a more upright, purposeful air.
It wasn’t hard to see where she was going. At the top of the town, sitting on an outthrust crag, was a huge building, wide and low like the nest that the shapeshifters’ eagle counterparts built. Windows gleamed and glinted in the afternoon sun, and its natural stone slabs that blended with the background of the mountain. If she wasn’t going there, the people there would know where she needed to go. Failing that, she had her GPS on her phone. If it worked. She hadn’t checked. Too busy walking.
Less professional in appearance than she liked, she decided Daniel Great Wing would have to put up with it. He’d virtually blackmailed her into coming here.
But as she crunched through the snow, she became aware of the spacious beauty of the place. She was too exhausted to appreciate much, still the way the houses were spaced, and the way they blended into the landscape were masterpieces in architectural design. Like a Frank Lloyd Wright city. But it did mean she had farther to walk before she reached the great house towering above everything.
Stairs, there were stairs. Fuck, fuck, fuck. She didn’t think she could do it. She toured the rocky base of the building, and found a small button, half hidden by a small spur of golden rock. Yes!
A moment later an elevator door opened. The outer door was jagged so it wasn’t immediately obvious, and if she hadn’t been hunting for an elevator—praying for one—she’d have missed it. Recklessly, she jabbed the button for the highest floor.
He was waiting for her at the top. Of course he fucking was. He probably watched her trek through the whole city. “You don’t have a car?” were his first words, as if she had driven around the corner instead of driven a couple of hundred miles after an overnight flight.
“Yes, but it wouldn’t take the path up the last bit of the mountain.”
Was that the ghost of a smile in his golden eyes? She hoped not.
As it had when she’d seen him before, his presence made her breathless. And she hated it. Hated having anyone have that effect on her but especially this man. Her pussy dampened and she had to work hard not to press her thighs together to bring herself some relief. Fuck the man. Or rather, don’t fuck him.
He waved a dismissive hand and turned to lead the way, so he missed her daggers glare. “You’re late.”
“That’s because I walked.”
As he passed a window she caught a glimpse of his face reflected in the glass. He was smiling. Fuck. She’d never cursed so much in her life. At least in her head. Her suspicions coalesced into certainty. This was revenge, pure and simple. He wanted to make her suffer. Well then, she’d do it. For the contracted month he got his pound of flesh and she got the money she desperately needed. He wore a beautifully tailored business suit in navy that was as good as a suit of armor at declaring his intent. He was rich, she wasn’t. He held all the cards.
She tasted like no other woman, with a tang he’d never come across before. Something special, unique, a rare fruit. He loved it. Plunging deep, he swept his tongue along her crease, delving deep until he got to her opening, and he paused there.
He wanted to drink her dry. He’d give it a fucking good try. The more he drank her, the thirstier he got. He suckled, licked, and slurped, loving the sounds he made and her little cries as she got wetter and he got thirstier. If he curled the tip of his tongue inside her he could lap, draw out more.
In danger of losing control, he pulled back, took a breath, enjoying the fragrance of this woman while he regained his self-control. He knelt at by the side of the bed, her legs spread wide either side of him, and he knew he could stay here for a long time. But he wanted in her as well. It was only when she moaned and reached out to grab his shoulders that he realized he was still dressed.
Leaping to his feet, he stripped as fast as he could, dropping his clothes carelessly on the floor, although that wasn’t usually his way. Now he couldn’t give a shit. Only one problem remained, and that was easily sorted out. “You know I’m going to fuck you, don’t you?”
She nodded, keeping her green gaze fixed on him. “I was hoping so. Then something good would have happened today.”
“After the crap that went before.” He could smell her, taste her on his tongue. He wanted that all night. To wrap around her until she bled her essence into him so he was never without her.
Shit and fuck, what was this? His eagle was watching, fully alert as if it knew something he didn’t. Which was ridiculous because he was both creatures, man and bird, but they had distinct differences. The eagle was closer to the basic man, but now he was acting on instinct. When he considered asking her if she was too tired, the bird made him bite back the words. If he asked, she might say yes, and then it would be Madame Palm and her Five Fingers for him.
No, he couldn’t bear it. He wouldn’t ask that, but he needed to ask something else. “You know I can’t give you a disease or get you pregnant, don’t you?”
Shock rocketed through him, turning him to ice. There was one woman he could get pregnant under certain circumstances, but as far as he knew he hadn’t met her yet. To his knowledge. Here lay a woman on the bed reserved for that special woman, stark naked, legs wide. Waiting for him to fuck her. As if she was born to be here.
“I knew about the disease, doctors talk about it all the time. You catch things and then one or two shifts later you don’t have it any more. I didn’t know about the pregnancy bit.”
“That’s not as well known,” he said, but he didn’t explain further. Although he would, he knew that now. “If you want me to use protection I will, because I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. I’m only telling you it’s not needed.”
His cock bobbed, hard and hot against his stomach. He touched it, but daren’t to more because he wanted her so badly. After this first time, after he’d taken the edge off, he’d do more. He wanted to see that pretty mouth close around his cock, wanted to watch those eyes as she sucked him.
She followed his action and swallowed. “No. I don’t need that.”
Fuck, that made him so glad! He’d have to go to his room and scrabble about in his closet trying to find the condoms he’d stashed there for emergencies, for a time like this. He didn’t even know if they were in date. But it was irrelevant now. They were about as useful as party balloons.
She was staring at him like a starving woman.
“Like what you see?” he said.
“Oh yes.” Her response was instant and instinctive. Her eyes gleamed and he knew she wanted him as much as he did her. Perhaps. If she didn’t, he’d make sure she was as desperate as he felt before he came.
Smiling, he came down to cover her. Her legs were still dangling over the side of the bed, giving him a perfect view of her pussy. Shoving his arms under her knees, he lifted them so her heels were tucked against her thighs, propped at the bed’s edge.
Now he had an even better view. Wet with her own juices and his tongue, glistening, her cunt open, her clit swollen. He wanted that little knot of flesh, wanted it for himself. Now.
He kissed the inside of her thigh, then the other, barely touching the delicate skin with his lips, teasing her with his closeness. Maybe he’d make her beg, except that would hurt him as much as it did her. Desperation urged him on, and he reclaimed her clit. He sucked it deep, hearing her strangled cry long enough to register his triumph. Releasing it again, he teased the tip with his tongue, circling it, and then stimulating it until it stiffened even more. Then he slid one finger inside her, as deep as it would go and crooked it before drawing it out slowly.
A scream told him he’d found her sweet spot, that part of her that corresponded to the sensitivity in her clit. He’d hit double. He attacked her, fiercely sucking her clit before caressing it with his tongue, pushing another finger in to join the first. Careful to keep his fingernails clear, he pulled back, teased and tickled that spot inside her that would drive her to madness. When she stiffened, her fingers gripping the coverlet convulsively, he straightened his fingers and softened his torture of her clit. No, he wouldn’t do that. He needed to feel her come around him. He wanted to know how fiercely she would grip his cock, how hard she liked it.
He wanted to know everything.