Shelli Rosewarne

Author of paranormal romance and fantasy

TEMPTED BY SIN

The world was spread out before her, rolling hills and quaint villages. If she strained, she could make out people scrambling in their busy little lives, so convinced of their importance. If only they could see things from here, perhaps they would realize the insignificance of it all.

Perhaps her life was no better. Lately, she’d been feeling dissatisfied, and that shouldn’t be in her nature.

“Enjoying the view?” The low voice made her jump and she spun around, shocked.

“What are you doing here?” she snapped.

He laughed, spreading his hands wide, a gesture of innocence she knew he didn’t possess. “It’s a free sky.”

She glared at him. Sin was always appealing—it was designed that way—so it shouldn’t surprise her that he was gorgeous. Well over six feet, heavy muscles under pale skin, one arm encircled by an intricate set of tattoos that wrapped lovingly around his biceps. His face was masculine perfection: strong lines, dark hair, and eyes the deep green of emeralds. Gazing into them, Isaura could almost see the flickering flames in their depths. She was well aware that she shouldn’t look, but sometimes it was just too tempting.

“Surely there’s plenty of sky,” she retorted. “Must you pick the same cloud as me?”

He smiled; really, that smile should be outlawed. “There is indeed, but then I came for the view as well.” His gaze was bold and slightly amused as it ran over her.

“Go find another view,” she told him sharply.

“You know, you’re blushing.”

She glared. Lying was a sin, so she couldn’t deny it, but she didn’t see the need to admit to it, either.

His eyes mocked her. “Still sticking with the guys upstairs, then?”

She nodded shortly, turning away.

“A shame.” His voice had dropped and she felt it running down her spine. “It’s so much more fun below. But then you’re too pure to be tempted by anything like that. Aren’t you, Isaura?”

She half-turned, surprised he knew her name. He took a step closer, his body brushing up against hers. An odd tingle ran through her, an unfamiliar feeling starting in her stomach and pooling lower.

“It’s called desire,” he murmured.

She should leave, run away and never see him again. Despite herself she was curious; it was intense, so far away from anything she’d experienced. She recalled the restlessness she’d been experiencing lately, the desire for something else, something new.

That deep green gaze was consuming her. She couldn’t look away as his head dipped and his lips covered hers. The softest brush of flesh, but over and over until her lips tingled and burned and she felt herself parting them on a soft gasp. His tongue slipped between them, the kiss deepening, becoming more desperate, needy. Flames spread through her body as her blood caught on fire. The sensations were earthier, more elemental than anything she had experienced, and yet they made her feel lighter, freer than she had in a long time.

He released her. She knew she ought to rail at him, but instead her fingers crept to her swollen lips, feeling oddly bereft.

“I have watched you for a long time, Isaura. You are not meant to be on high. It is not where you belong.”

Isaura wanted to protest, but she had the same doubts, the same questions herself lately.

“Where do I belong, then?” she whispered.

He smiled at her. “With me.”

Shock went through her. “I can’t. I would have to fall.”

His gaze was mocking. “It’s not as bad as they make out, my dear. Besides, you are hardly the pure of mind and heart, are you?”

She blushed again; right now her thoughts seemed to be entirely impure—almost downright wicked. He grinned as though he knew exactly what they were.

“It is a free choice. When you decide, come and find me.”

Before she could reply, he stepped off the edge of the fluffy cloud, floating lazily for a moment before disappearing. She had no idea how he did that. If she fell, she would lose her powers, be essentially mortal. It was a ridiculous thought and based on nothing but a kiss! It was too much to give up.

***

Isaura’s legs were shaking as she entered the biker bar. She felt ridiculously out of place, with no idea if this was even the right spot. A wolf whistle almost made her hightail it out of there, but she was desperate.

“Excuse me?” she asked the bartender. His scraggly gray hair was knotted in a bandana. He looked her up and down, unimpressed. “I’m looking for someone. Maybe you know him. He’s tall, dark hair, has tattoos all down one arm.”

The man’s gaze flickered around the bar; her description could match half the guys here.

“He usually goes by Jaraxx.”

The man’s face was shuttered. “Never heard of ‘im.”

“Please,” she whispered. “It’s really important I find him.”

The man glanced at her, and then shook his head slowly. “Like, I said, don’t know ‘im, and if I were you I’d look somewhere else. This is not the place for someone like you.”

As if she didn’t know that. She felt despair push down on her. The man was lying, but what could she do? As she turned and headed for the door, a burly man blocked her way.

“Leaving so soon, pretty lady?” he asked. The look on his face made her shiver.

“Yes, I’m sorry, I need to go.” She tried to step around him, but was stopped by a meaty hand taking her arm in an iron grip.

“What’s your rush? Stay and have a little fun.”

She tugged her arm but he didn’t budge. “I really need to go. Someone’s waiting for me.” She heard the note of desperation.

The man obviously could too; a slow smile spread over his face. “I don’t think anyone’s waiting for you, cutie. I think you’re all on your own. But don’t worry, we’ll keep you company.”

Isaura began struggling in earnest now, but she might as well have been trying to move a brick wall. He dragged her against him and she felt his beery breath a second before meaty lips covered hers in a bruising kiss.

A freezing chill suddenly cut through the air, and the bar behind them went deathly quiet. A voice cut through the silence.

“Get your hands off her. Now.”

Isaura sagged with relief and spun around to see Jaraxx standing there. She swallowed at the look on his face. His eyes were literally glowing and his expression promised death. The man holding her shifted uncomfortably.

“Hey, we were just having a little fun. I didn’t know she was with you.”

Jaraxx stepped forward and removed the man’s hand from her arm in a way that made him wince in pain and tucked her into his side.

“Now you know.”

The man was cradling his hand against his chest and fear filled his eyes. “Yeah, man, sorry. Won’t happen again.”

Jaraxx gazed at him as though he was debating whether to kill him or not. The man shrank back on himself, looking terrified. Isaura found herself actually feeling sorry for the man. No matter what he might have had planned for her, she didn’t want him to die. She lightly touched Jaraxx’s arm and he glanced down, fire still raging in his eyes.

“I want to go now, please,” she said softly.

She had a brief impression of the other man’s expression of relief before she felt the cool night air on her skin. The sense of freedom was almost enough to bring tears to her eyes. Jaraxx looked at her with concern.

“Did he hurt you?”

She shook her head. “No, I’m fine.”

She didn’t add, “Thanks to you,” but the thought of what could have happened suddenly struck her and she felt tears building. He cupped her face in his hands, those deep green eyes looking down into her soul.

“Do you want me to go back and kill him?”

His tone was light but she believed he would do it. That made her cry more, because that was the kind of person he was and yet she was entirely at his mercy. To her surprise, though, he merely pulled her into his arms. She felt an odd jerk and when she opened her eyes they were inside a house. His powers were impressive, but right now she was merely grateful for the more private setting when she was embarrassing herself like this. He cradled her against him, stroking her hair; she gradually relaxed, her sobs subsiding.

“It’s okay,” he told her. “The new emotions can be difficult to deal with at first.”

She pulled back, rubbing her eyes. “Why are you being so nice to me?”

He smiled, but there was no softness in it. “I told you, Isaura, you belong to me. I take care of what’s mine.”

She frowned. “I don’t belong to anyone. I’m not a possession.”

“You believe it on some level if you fell.”

“They threw me out.” Tears welled again. “They said I was no longer pure, that I was not worthy.” The words still hurt.

His face clouded with anger. “You are worth fifty of them.”

She laughed shakily. “No, I’m not.”

He cupped her face again, leaning towards her. She held her breath, her body tensed as his lips brushed hers and her breath drifted out on a sigh of longing. This was what she had been dreaming of since the last time he’d touched her. All she’d been able to think of was being back in his arms. She wound her arms around his neck, pulling him closer, opening her mouth, wanting him to deepen it like last time. He obliged her, his tongue probing the warm wetness of her mouth, drawing little whimpers from her throat. He pulled back, feathering kisses over her cheeks and her jawline before drifting down a blazing trail down her throat, over her collarbone. He lazily waved a hand and her top disappeared.

A shocked gasp left her lips and she pulled back, trying to cover herself. He stopped her, holding her hands out to her sides; the bold admiration in his eyes set her heart pounding.

“You’re beautiful,” he told her. “And you’re mine.”

Before she could protest again he bent his head, taking her nipple in his mouth. She squealed in shock. No one had ever touched her there before; it had never occurred to her, and the sensations were indescribable. The tight buds hardened and ached, his wet mouth sending a line of heat that seemed to pool between her legs. Her body shifted restlessly, wanting something but no idea what. Jaraxx seemed to know much better than she did as his hand slid over her stomach. Before she knew what he was doing, his long fingers were probing at the secret area between her legs. She stiffened in shock, and then moaned as his fingers began stroking; sensations like nothing she had ever known before began building within her.

She was barely aware of her pants disappearing, or of him laying her on the bed. Everything seemed to be centered on the unbelievable sensations building between her legs. Something was spiraling, building within her. Her hips bucked and strangled whimpers escaped her throat.

“Please,” she whimpered. He smiled down at her.

His fingers quickened and he added his thumb on the tiny bead at the top. Her eyes closed and she screamed out as she felt herself fall over the edge into blissful oblivion. Isaura had barely begun to drift down from the lofty heights when she felt him settling between her legs. Her eyes flew open with shock as she felt him slide inside her. It was the oddest sensation, not painful, but a little uncomfortable and very full. Then he began moving, the smooth thrusts speeding up and the sensation building back up until her hips were bucking against him, legs wrapped around his hips, and moans rising until she reached the crest again.

This time she exploded; her body shattered as she screamed out his name. She felt him thrust deeply into her, his guttural groan telling her he’d found his own release. He rolled them to the side so he didn’t crush her, keeping her clasped against him. As her ragged breathing gradually slowed, she finally dared to look at him.

His green eyes were softer than she’d ever seen them. She could almost imagine tenderness there.

“Are you okay?”

Isaura nodded, touched by the concern in his voice. “That was amazing. I had never imagined…” she trailed off.

His face spread into a self-satisfied smile. “I told you you were mine; things will go much easier if you just admit it.”

She smiled. “Fine, I’m yours. But you’re mine too.”

He grinned back at her. “Of course, I thought you knew that.”

Jaraxx drew her closer still, and she felt him stirring within her. Okay, she could maybe get used to a life of sin.

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