But, as he made his way across the estate grounds, he suddenly found himself seeing it from a different perspective. His perspective, he admitted, but still, a different one. She was his woman. Forget the mating, forget the heat. The plain and simple fact of the matter was that she was his, whether she wanted to admit to it or not. Had the heat not been a factor, it would have been a cold day in hell before he would have treated her with such kid gloves.
Not touching her, confining his dealings with her to the sharp, sniping comments that often hurt him as much as they had hurt her hadn’t been easy. He had allowed her to run every time she needed to, and rather than chasing after her, he had given her freedom. Because he hadn’t wanted to force something that was as natural to Sherra’s body as breathing—the need to be with her mate. He jerked the small radio from its belt holder and brought it to his mouth.
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“Sherra, where are you?”
He was damned tired of waiting on her to make the decision. The fact that she was willing to face the physical agonies she had suffered rather than come to him grated on his pride, even though something warmed in his chest at the thought of her attempting to protect him from the unknown. He smiled rakishly. The unknown could be damned exciting sometimes.
“Ammunitions shed.” Her voice was curt, distracted. “What’s up?”
Kane automatically turned toward the low, sprawling steel shed that housed weapons and ammo. It had been built and designed to Sherra’s specifications. The weapons that were due to arrive soon had been ordered based on her recommendations. The woman knew just as much, if not more, than he did about weapons. But it wasn’t handguns or rifles that he wanted to talk to her about.
“I’ll be there in a minute. We need to talk,” he answered tersely. He wasn’t about to go into it on an open channel.
He’d awakened that morning with an erection that could have driven nails into solid oak, it had been so hard. His arousal had abated little over the course of the morning. If what Doc Martin had found was true, then the physical bond between him and Sherra had been there since that first night they spent together. How it happened, he really didn’t care at this point. All he knew was the hunger for her and a need that had to be tenfold within her body.
He pulled open the door to the weapons shed and stepped into the cool, well-lit confines of the building. And there she stood.
Kane stared back at her as he closed the door, his teeth clenching at the signs of stress in her expression. Her eyes were dark with sleeplessness, her lips thin with the effort of fighting the heat that sizzled through her body.
“What the hell do you want, Kane?” she sniped instantly. “If you haven’t noticed, I have work to do.”
“Do you think you can fight this forever, Sherra?”
She flinched. If there was one thing that drove him crazy it was watching that betraying tremor of pain whenever she was forced to face something she wasn’t willing to confront.
“Dammit, Kane.” She drew herself up straight from the boxes she had been going through. “I have work to do here. I don’t have time for this.”
He strode closer, keeping his steps slow, non-threatening for now.
“Snapping and hissing as always,” he said mockingly, allowing his lips to tilt into the sarcastic grin he knew she hated. “I prefer that sweet little purr you make when I touch you.”
He needed her off balance. He had to shake that control she tried to keep between them.
“I do not purr.” She looked horrified by the thought.
“Oh, yes you do.” He watched her instinctive need to retreat, hiding his smile as she halted it, fighting to stand up to him, to best him. “You have the sweetest little purr when I touch you, Sherra. I remember it. Low and soft, resonating with pleasure.”
His c**k tightened, fully erect, harder than he could ever remember it being as he got close enough to smell the woman scent of her, to see the arousal she tried to bank glittering in her green eyes.
“You’re insane,” she snorted, turning, her hands shaking as she bent to the box, sorting through the straw as she pulled another new, gleaming automatic rifle from the depths and laid it with the others on the cart beside her.
“Am I?” He pulled her around to face him, feeling the feverish heat of her skin as she tried to jerk away from him.
“I’m going to kick your ass if you don’t let go of me.” She was panting. Kane could see the fine film of perspiration gathering on her brow, the flush beneath her cheeks, the hunger raging in her gaze.
“You couldn’t kick my ass if you wanted to right now,” he retorted tightly. “Look at you, Sherra. You’re weak, exhausted from fighting the heat, and nearly shaking with lust. How long can you fight it?”
“I’ve fought it before.” She struggled as he pushed her against the low metal shelf behind her, holding her there with his body, his own carnal hunger beating at his brain with a strength he was beginning to fear.
“Not like this you haven’t,” he growled, gripping her h*ps as her hands braced against his chest. Her fingers flexed, nails rasping over the cotton of his shirt, caressing the mark on his chest with devastating pleasure. “Do you think you’re alone, Sherra? Do you think for one damned minute that you’re suffering without me?”
He jerked his shirt open, buttons scattering as she pulled her hands back.
“Look, damn you.” One hand tangled in her hair as he forced her gaze to the mark a bare inch from his flat, hard male nipple. “Look what you left on me, Sherra. How well you marked me. Do you think for
one f**king minute that damned hormone can make this harder on me?”
His voice was rough, enraged. He didn’t know if he could hold back, if he could f**k her now without hurting them both.
He heard the small, keening sound of agony dragged from the depths of her throat as her eyes widened in pain and horror. Her face paled, her fingers reaching out to touch the reddened mark again. Kane grimaced as pleasure, hot and destructive, raced straight to his cock. It swelled, pulsed, as he felt his pre-come seeping from the small, slitted eye in the center of the bulging head. Drawing in a hard breath, he trapped her fingers against his chest, stilling them.
“I’m so sorry,” she whispered, a whimper of need and denial that broke his heart.
“Sorry?” he asked her softly. “Oh no, baby. I don’t want to hear sorry. I want to hear you purring while my tongue f**ks so deep and hard up your tight little pu**y that you scream with it. After I’ve eaten my fill of you, then I want to feel those sharp little nails scratching down my back as I fill you with every hard, aching inch of my cock. That’s what I want to hear, Sherra.”