Kissed by Fire(10)

By: Kimber White

Fire lit my dreams. I was soaring, breathless over the Chicago skyline. Xander. I whispered his name on the wind. He was everywhere, his touch warming me, comforting me. He was in me. Around me. Over me. I looked up and we were standing on a cliff made of the blackest rock. Onyx. A canyon stretched far below us. Colorful geodes sparkled from the rocky walls. Further down, red and gold flames shot from molten lava as it cut channels into the rock.

I went up on my tiptoes, reaching for him. Golden fire flared in Xander’s eyes. He was human again. I slid my hands up his bare chest feeling each granite-hard muscle. I wanted him like this. A shiver of pleasure went through me as he circled his arms around my waist and lifted me off the ground.

“Shae.” My whispered name on his lips sent me reeling. I wanted the man. I wanted the dragon. He kissed me and it freed my heart. My sex throbbed, craving him. I wanted to lay myself bare, spread wide in offering. I came, arching my back, clawing at him. The orgasm tore through me, opening me, remaking me in fire.

Lightning stabbed through me, jarring me awake. Gasping, I had gotten tangled in the sheets. I was stark naked, my nipples pebbled and hard. I slid a hand between my legs and found myself wet, dripping with desire. My God. The dream had felt so real. I’d never come in my sleep like that. Ever.

A light knock on the door made my heart hammer again. I scrambled out of bed, tossing the sheets aside.

Clothes. I needed clothes. My sex still ached with the echoes of pleasure from the dream. I felt a little drunk from it.

Tearing the tags off, I found a simple red tank top and pair of jeans. I dove for my black combat boots. I vaguely remembered throwing them in the corner sometime last night.

“Shae?” Xander’s deep voice sent a fresh wave of pleasure through me. The dream had been so vivid. Part of me wondered if he’d be able to read it on my face. No. That was crazy thinking. It was the trauma of the last twenty-four hours scrambling my head.

“Just a sec!” I called out. I finger combed my hair and twisted it, then tied it in a top-knot. After a quick toothbrushing, I rushed to the apartment door and flung it open.

Dreams are one thing. Xander in the flesh was something altogether different. Impeccably dressed in his tailored black suit, he wore a day’s worth of rough dark stubble that gave him an even more rakish appearance. His eyes darted quickly over me and again, I felt the blush of my dream.

“I didn’t mean to wake you,” he said. “I figured you might be hungry.”

My traitorous stomach growled an answer. I put a finger to my lips and smiled from embarrassment. Xander smiled. I realized it was the first time I’d ever seen it. He was gorgeous, but with an intense stare that probably intimidated the hell out of his adversaries. But, when Xander smiled, it split his whole face, making deep, curved lines in his cheeks. In that moment, I realized I wanted to see it more often.

“Are you comfortable? I mean, did you find everything you needed last night? I can have Marie…”

I put up a hand and opened the door wider. “No. It’s fine. Everything’s perfect. It’s too much, really. You didn’t have to go to all this trouble. As soon as I get back, I can return everything…”

My sentence died on my lips. The gravity of what I’d just said hit me like a sledgehammer right between the eyes. When I get back. Back to where? I lived in a studio apartment above the bookstore. Professor Marvin didn’t even own the place. He was three months behind on his rent. Now that he was gone, I wouldn’t be able to afford to stay. That was even if I could stomach going back there.

“Oh, God,” I said, my knees going weak. I would not do this. I would not cry.

“Shae,” Xander said, reaching for me. I took a step back and held two fingers to my lips. If I let him touch me now, if I let him comfort me, I didn’t think I’d have the strength to pull it back together.

Laughter spilled from me. I went a little hysterical. “He was dying. Did you know that? He didn’t think I knew.”

Xander scowled. He cocked his head to the side. “You’re sure?”

I nodded. “Lung cancer. He tried to fight it for a while, but it was eating him from the inside out. He knew he didn’t have long. A few months at best. It’s funny. I mean...if he was here right now, Marvin would have said it was all for the best. He would have liked going out in a blaze of glory.”

I let a single tear fall. Xander put a light hand on my arm, caressing me. The heat of it started my heart all over again.

“And you really have no idea what those wolves were after?” he asked.