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HAIR, SHE BEARS
“How would cutting your hair kill you?” His arms shot forward, smashing into the wall behind her. Leaning forward, he forced her to contort backward into an unnatural arc. She grabbed the sides of the table, her fingers curling around the edges. The bright blue of his eyes darkened to black, a frightening mirror of his father.
She dragged in a breath, her chest barely rising before it pressed against his. She wanted to look away, but she froze, her heart hammering a violent rhythm of fear. She knew he could feel it, watching as the realization passed through his eyes.
“Once cut, the hair loses its potency.” As the words spilled from her mouth, her lips brushed against his.
“How long before it’s useless?” His whispered question sent tingles skating across her lower lip as his mouth caressed hers. Her stomach flipped over, and an overwhelming desire to touch him surfaced in the dark recesses of her mind—like lightning coursing through her body.
One hand betrayed her, releasing its hold on the table, and skated over his skin, starting at the pulsating sinew of his forearm, and moving to the inside portion of his elbow. As her fingers reached his shoulder, he growled, his mouth pressing roughly against hers. Thrusting past her lips, his tongue teased her, sending shivers cascading down her spine. His arms encircled her waist, yanking her body off the table, and secured it against his in one quick movement. He wrapped her legs around his hips and stumbled toward the sofa, his mouth never leaving hers. Her fingers slid into his hair as he collapsed on the sofa, drawing her onto his lap, and his mouth devoured hers. He froze, cursed, then lifted Zenna from his lap. Setting her firmly on the cushion next to him, he cursed again.
“Did I do something wrong?” She drew her legs to her chest. Malik was her first kiss—and her second—but she knew, without any doubt, she was not his.
“No. I have to go.”
He was abandoning her, leaving her to his father’s wrath. She felt tears growing in the corners of her eyes and blinked rapidly to clear them.
“Zenna.” He dropped to his knees in front of the sofa and sighed. “No good will come from our association.”
“You’d rather take a drug, you loathe?” She glared at him.
His mouth twitched. He reached out, his hand hovering between them. When she did not turn away, he cupped the side of her face.
“I’d rather spend the night.” He drew the side of his thumb down her cheek. “There are more firsts I’d like to experience with you.”
Her mouth popped open. “You knew?”
“Of course.” His baritone laughter reverberated through the tower. “I didn’t know you existed until this morning, how many other men could you have met during your imprisonment?”
“But you kissed me, anyway?”
“It was your request.”
“Not the second time.”
“The second time I wanted to.”