I turn to see Xarion leaning against the frame of my terrace door. A slight smile curves his beautiful lips, and his arms are crossed over his bronze muscled cuirass.
Feeling brave, I slip close and wrap my arms around his waist, the brass studs of his belt pressing against my stomach. “I wasn’t hiding,” I say, looking up into his face. I can see his exhaustion there, in the dark crescents under his eyes, though he’s putting on a good front. “I’d never tempt a great hunter.”
He chuckles as he steps away long enough to slip off his breastplate, then he embraces me. Leaning down, he whispers in my ear, “You’re always tempting.” Running his thumb over my cheek, he lowers his face before mine, his breaths shallow. “In fact, your power of seduction is having its desired effect on me right now.” His lips softly brush mine, sweet and inviting at first, then he deepens the kiss.
I realize that anyone could walk in, and I begin to pull away. “Xarion, my room is not secure,” I say between his kisses.
He groans against my lips, and the deep rumble sends my hands into his hair, pulling him to me. I feel him smile. He scoops me into his arms, his lips never leaving mine, and walks us inside.
My sense breaks through, and I whisper, “Lunia or Phoenix could come looking for me and—”
“That’s what locks were designed for,” he interrupts.
I laugh. “Oh, that will not stop either of them.”
He turns the bolt on my door, keeping his arm sturdy beneath my legs. Then he takes me to the bed where he lays me down. I let my head fall back against the coverlet as he hovers above me, his fisted hands pressing into the mattress on either side of my head, his knees parting my legs.
Suddenly he bounds up, and I think he’s come to his senses. My stomach tumbles as I realize how much I don’t want him to be responsible—but we can’t chance it here. Only he grabs the chair from my desk and kicks the back. My eyes widen in surprise. He places one of the panels against the door, securing its ends in the torch brackets.
“That should give them some difficulty,” he says as he unbuckles his belt, the action making my heart beat wildly. “And give me enough time to hide in your dressing room like a clandestine lover.”
A smile twitches at my lips. “You mean, like exactly what you are?”
Shaking his head, his dark hair falling against his eyes, he counters, “I’m offended.” He strips off his leather armor. I pull my bottom lip between my teeth as my eyes slip over him, and a crooked smile hikes his face. “Ah, but that does it for you, huh? You like stealing kisses in the shadows, the constant fear of being caught.” Climbing onto the bed, he positions himself above me. “I bet your heart is pounding hard right now, the adrenaline claiming your body”—he presses his palm over my heart—“with a need only your clandestine lover can satisfy.”