His little desert rose had yielded to him as readily as he had expected. So deliciously soft as he kissed her, allowing his every advance while molding her supple body against him without hesitation, thus confirming what he’d known within the hour that they’d met—she wanted him. Despite the dire situation he’d dragged her into, despite her very rational reasons to fear him and the dubious fate he might bring her to, despite simple common sense and the instinct for self-preservation, she wanted him.
What he hadn’t foreseen was how badly he’d come to want her.
Khan had recognized long ago his predilection for women of a softer sort; Augmented women—brilliant and beautiful as their biology dictated–were the worthiest of consorts, but they lacked a softness, a feminine vulnerability, which he had always found appealing, as far back as the first time he experienced the stirrings of sexual desire. Females of his kind could be as selfishly cunning as he was himself; cold and calculating, which made them perfect compatriots in battle and in governing—but in intimacy, he had found that they usually lacked the willingness to let him fully lead; to give themselves over to the act completely and surrender to his will. With such women, there was mutual satisfaction, but no marrying of spirit, no sacrifice of self to please their partner more than to achieve pleasure of their own. Oh, they would meet his passion with equal heat and ardor, but the tenderness that he kept well hidden—and which he longed to receive as much as to give, in the depths of his secret heart—they would spurn as pure weakness. Only in the beds of ordinary, impractical, flawed– yet beautifully human–women, did he find the satisfaction of connection at a deeper level than the physical. On this matter, though, he had always kept his own counsel, letting his brothers believe he preferred such simple women as mere playthings, just temporary conduits for pleasure.
His pretty Seraphina—for yes, in his mind he already thought of her as his—was exactly the sort of woman he would have sought in his old life, to satisfy his hunger for both physical and emotional connection.
Having thought of Seraphina’s obvious attraction to him as just another means of ensuring her cooperation, Khan had been employing well-timed moments of physical contact to keep her off kilter and cloud her judgement. Her behavior in the diner booth had pleased him, in keeping with his plans—and intrigued him, too. For the first time since they’d met, he allowed himself to consider taking her, reading the offer in her clear, grey eyes and the heat of her skin at his slightest touch. If time and place allowed it, he might lay his fretful responsibility aside for a time, to slake himself in her soft, welcoming heat. It had been far too long since he had indulged in such a carnal pleasure…