Riannon needed time to process what was happening. Why was he holding her in his arms in the middle of the night, and why did he barely have any clothes on? Now that her mind ventured there, there was no going back. Werewolves were a gorgeous race, but having her arms on this Lycan’s chest caused heat to spread all the more quicker through her bloodstream. Gideon looked as if his body was carved out of stone by a true master with love and not sparing any effort to sculpt pure perfection. His chest was so hard, all the lines of each contour were so perfect that she couldn’t form a proper word for them.
“Are you alright?” He asked as his fingers pressed harder into her flesh. She realised she herself was wearing next to nothing. A flimsy silk slip was all that separated their two very heated bodies.
“My King” she said and immediately heard a growl, not being able to decipher whether it was one of pleasure or of anger. However, her heart increased its steady thump, beating faster, and her chest started heaving up and down. Gideon couldn’t ignore her reaction to him as it created some friction between them. He was barely managing to control himself as it was.
“Riannon,” he said in a much lower voice than usual, “Call me by my name. Please.”
She sucked in a breath because his arms remained clasped tightly around her. She also kept her hold of him and did not push him away.
“Gideon,” was all she managed, again catching herself on the thought that she did not ask him to leave. She should have done it and yet she hadn’t.
He was looking at her as if he was expecting this, although, at the same time, the look in his eyes was strange and feral. As if he was about to devour her at any second. She doubted she would mind that. What on earth was going on between them?
“You were screaming” he told her, trying to clear his throat, “I was afraid that something had happened to you. That’s why-“
“How did you hear me?” she asked and bit her lip, which made him let out a heavy sigh.
“Our rooms are adjacent,” he clarified, “
Goddess, Ria, I thought someone attacked you.
“No, no. So sorry,” she managed to say, shaking her head, “I am fine. It was just a bad dream.”
Gently and firmly, he placed his palm on her chin and turned her to face him, care*ssing her gently with his thumb.
“What kind of dream would make a person scream like that?” he asked, looking her in the eye in hope that she would open up to him.
“It was … something from my past,” she admitted. Without thinking or considering the consequences, he pulled her into a hug. Strong and warm. And just what she needed for a while. She relaxed into his arms, and he wrapped them tighter around her, inhaling her wonderful scent deeply since he now had the opportunity.
“You can tell me,” he whispered. She flinched at his words, knowing full well that she couldn’t.
Gideon was a good man, she could tell. Even though he had made the worst first impression, he was earning back points with her very quickly. He seemed reliable. Most importantly, he was generally interested in her and her wellbeing. She had lacked that level of care with Brayden for a while.
Still, it was one thing to ask him for help with her divorce, which she figured was perfectly normal and understandable in her case. However, it was completely another issue to tell him she had already lived her life, died, and came back from the dead to fix her mistakes.
Who would believe in a story like that? What if he thought she was crazy and refused to help her after all?
No, she couldn’t risk that much. He didn’t have to know. It wouldn’t make a difference in the long run.
“It’s okay” he said, distancing himself to grant her space, “You don’t have to tell me. It’s fine.”
She found herself nodding in affirmation, guilt rising for unknown reasons as if she owed him an explanation.
However, her guilt evaporated the minute she saw him lying down comfortably on one side of her bed. She stared at him for a short while, startled and confused. In the meantime, the Lycan King folded his hands under his head and closed his eyes.
“What are you waiting for?” he asked without a hint of embarrassment, “Go to sleep.”
Riannon’s lips parted in shock. What did he think he was doing here?
“Excuse me.” She tapped his firm abdomen.
While she could have nudged his arm, she somehow ended up feeling his washboard abs instead. Which he, in turn, was flexing while pretending to sleep.
He did not respond, and she coughed loudly.
“Excuse me!” she repeated herself, “What is the meaning of this?”
“The meaning of what?” He now looked at her curiously.
“Why are you lying on my bed?” It took all her inner strength to raise her chin and look him in the eye at this moment. The Lycan King only curled his lips into a crooked smile.
“Isn’t it obvious?” he queried calmly.
“Not really.” The Luna folded her arms across her chest, much to his disappointment. Only, he didn’t move a single muscle.
“l am staying put to keep you company,” he informed her.
“In my bed?” Riannon practically yelled at him, but he remained unmoving.
“Why not?” he asked her bluntly, ” I am already here, and you just had a nightmare that sounded as if someone was killing you.”
Blood drained from her face as she heard his words. He had no idea how right he was about everything.
Nonetheless, she couldn’t let him stay.
“You need to leave,” she sighed, exhausted.
“Give me one good reason why I should.” Their eyes locked, and Riannon realised she didn’t have one. So, she came up with the usual.
“It’s inappropriate,” she stated plainly, and he chuckled softly. He liked that she was reserved and collected at all times. She-wolves who weren’t his mates were always happy to share his bed. He didn’t have to say anything. One look was enough, and any woman was his.
But not Ria. She respected herself. Unless there was another reason?
“Do you love your soon-to-be ex-husband?” he asked, hating having to say that out loud.
“No,” the Luna replied and covered her mouth, realizing she answered way too soon.
“Then again, what is the problem? I will guard you at night, and that’s it,” he smirked, “I will not touch you … unless you ask me to.”
“As I have already said” Riannon reaffirmed, exhaling through her nostrils to loudly show her disapproval, ” It is improper for us to sleep like this.
I mean … l am wearing next to nothing.”
“No worries, it does not offend me,” he countered as he grinned at her. She let out an exasperated sigh.
“But you could practically see-” she started saying when he interrupted her.
“I have seen more than this,” the Lycan King confessed. Her cheeks were flushed though not from embarrassment but from anger.
“I have no doubt that you have seen women of all shapes and sizes, but that doesn’t have anything to do with me!” She now sat on a spot next to him with her arms still crossed. “So, please, go and find one of those.” She almost cursed, which she had never done.
“Oh, no!” He rolled to his side and rested his head on his hand, watching her blush yet again.
That wasn’t what I meant. I mean, I saw you … as in all of you.”
She swallowed hard, meeting his stubborn and challenging gaze.
“What do you mean? I have never”
“Swum? Naked in the lake close to the border? ” he interrupted, smiling softly, watching her as he recalled where he saw her that first time.
“The large wolf that time!” she gasped, “lt was
“Yes, Riannon, it was,” he confessed, nodding, ” saw you enjoying yourself in the water under the moonlight, and let me tell you, it has been impossible to forget you ever since.”
“Oh, my Goddess!” she exclaimed, covering her face with her hands. She quickly glanced at him, “ls that why you want me?”
Suddenly, everything began to make sense.
Wolves were predators. He saw a prey that he wanted and was ready to do whatever it took to get her. But it wouldn’t last if that was the case.
“No, Riannon,” he responded, cupping her face and leaning toward her so that their lips almost touched, “That’s not the reason. Although it’s a part of it too. I am not going to hide the fact that I want you more than anyone and anything in this world!”