She didn’t mean for it to happen. She would have never entertained such a thought, but the man that Oendir introduced as his foster-son invited her in from the cold. He invited her to warm herself by the fire. And then he spoke as if he knew her intimately for years past. Her secrets. Her desires. He said he wanted her smell. He said he wanted her.
He smelled… she could never quite place the feral, masculine scent of him, and she only understood that it drove her mad with desire. He triggered something deep within her belly that the feel of his nails on her back only intensified by a hundredfold. A thousandfold. Her lust for him surged until it overloaded her skin and left it tingling in greedy anticipation. She didn’t understand how the young man evoked such a dizzying wave of need in her that she could hardly formulate a thought to protest against him looming over her, tasting her neck, kissing the fabric over her belly. She was caught like a bird in his snare and she would only tear herself to shreds if she tried to escape his claws.
It was a coincidence, surely, that the gate she stood at belonged to the house he currently occupied. It overlooked the Tenorbekk residence where she and Neilia stayed until the family returned from their journey north. She wondered if he knew that, and if he stood at the edge of the cliff and watched her with those predatory eyes.
Those eyes. They sparkled with tiny flecks of amber gems when he drew near. She should cower from those eyes. His sharp teeth. His claws.
She shivered each time she thought of those claws raking down the cloth of her gown. The feel of their gentle, yet dangerous, press into her skin woke her at night. As she lay panting in one of the Tenorbekk’s beds, she would find herself thinking of her time with Anidore. They pushed each other’s limits and explored the boundaries of pleasure and pain together during their brief and fiery relationship. She had not abandoned herself to passion since.
But Anidore turned back to his old ways of violence and promiscuity. As much as she loved him, she could not travel down that path. For years she dwelt on her choice to love him as if love were a choice. She berated herself for not following her instincts with him, but then again, she would have never had Neilia.
After Anidore, her choices did not improve. Over and over again she showed herself that when it came to love and lust, she made poor choices and her instincts rarely served to protect her. So to hell with choice; she had long ago resigned herself to be tossed about on the winds.
But now she could not tell which way the winds were blowing.
She did right. She told him (in not so many words) that she hoped she had something with Oendir and wanted to discover what each day that dawned with him had to teach her. He stepped back. Gave her space. Her head started to clear. Be he still insisted he wanted her for a mate. That he could dispel her loneliness before time buried her beneath it.
She left him to prepare for bed alone and walked down the chilly lane and back to the Tenorbekk cabin. As she looked up at the cliffs that cradled the little bit of property, she shivered. Hugging herself, she thought of Rheb’s lips on her neck and her body flooded with warmth.
The wind growled around her as it pushed and pulled her as she made her way to the stoop of her temporary home.