I felt no hesitation after that first time and when he drew me down by the fire I surrendered eagerly. Even in my wildest fantasies, numerous and varied as they were, I had never quite given myself leave to imagine he might really share this hunger, let alone act upon it with such intensity. Whatever aches and rug burns I suffered the next morning were worth it for the sight of Daren’s pale skin lit by the flame’s glow, his eyes glittering down at me like hot coals. He’d looked as wild and regal as a god of fire and burned me to ashes like one with lips that melted me, fingers that carved me, hips that pressed and molded me into a shape of his own desire. I had been wrong about him; so blessedly, wonderfully wrong. He was cold, yes, remote and reserved so much of the time, but he harbored a beast kin to my own and saw in me someone worth claiming. And so trembling, gasping, I gave anything he wanted and everything I am to this beautiful dark god. Afterward he chuckled, a sound deep in his throat that made me shiver, and held me as I caught my breath. “It’s different, isn’t it,” he said, a note of wonder and a wealth of meaning in his sparse words. I could only nod; my mouth was busy showing my own wordless thanks.


[ I haven’t written anything from Tanim’s point of view since September? Damn, boy, you gonna let Daren get all the attention? ]


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