EXCERPT FROM THIEF OF SOULS:
“Do you believe in destiny, Regina?” Nick asked.
She was beginning to. “I don’t think so.”
“I do. The first time I saw you I felt a connection, a powerful one. That is not something easily ignored, especially if one is superstitious as I am. I believe fate occasionally tips its hand, and it is wise to listen.”
“I don’t know what it’s telling you, but maybe it’s telling me to run like hell.”
Nick lifted her hand, watching her as he did, and placed his mouth on her knuckles. His lips, which he had licked suggestively, were slightly parted, wet and warm in a lushly erotic way. Regina felt the tip of his tongue on her skin, and her insides went soft as hot wax. He held the kiss for long moments then raised his head, although he continued to hold onto her.
“You can’t escape me, Regina. You may make me work for what I want, but in the end you are caught as surely as I am.”
Her hand in his began to tremble. “What do you want, Nick?”
“You really don’t know?”
“I’m not into casual relationships. And I’m not ready for something more serious.”
“Some things are out of our power, Regina.” There he went again, using her name like a caress. “The choice is no longer ours to make.”
“From the depths of my soul, I believe it is.”
“But…” it came out in a whimper, “I can’t get involved right now. There’re things I have to do.”
“Being a doctor?” When she nodded, he said, “I won’t interfere with your responsibilities, Regina. I want your heart, not your life. What is important to you is important to me.”
Regina met his smoky gaze. Unexpectedly, a voluptuous image of two heated bodies, sleek and golden, entwined in man’s most primal activity rose in her mind. Lust as hypnotic and compulsive as opium smoke permeated the scene. Even as the vision consumed Regina, she knew he shared it with her, knew who belonged to those writhing bodies.
Nick leaned toward her and touched her lips with his. Rather than breaking the spell, she felt as though she were spiraling out of control, felt the swelling of exquisite sensations she would have thought impossible in a public place. He was so close the scent of him filled her senses, and Regina found herself gripping his fingers with a strength she didn’t know she possessed.
Nick drew back then, but instead of looking smug at her obvious weakness, he appeared as moved as she. Regina had to fight the urge to throw her arms around his neck and pull him back against her. All at once she wanted to cry and, indeed, when she spoke she sounded tearful.
“I need time, Nick.”
“All the time you need, love,” he said in a gentle voice.
A prickling of memory touched her then, as though he had said almost those same words to her once before. But when?
“You’re very sure of yourself, aren’t you?” she said.
Nick simply continued to watch her, but Regina knew what he was thinking. Sure or unsure, it didn’t matter, for the future was no longer theirs to decide.
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