“Come closer,” he said. So Uma could see him better? So he could get a clearer look at her? So he could touch her? She wasn’t sure she could take him touching her, but she gave him three small steps.
Still a ways from the rumpled bed in the corner, he stood beside his anvil, shirtless in the half-light. She wished he’d pick up the hammer and make the sparks fly again. She wished for bared teeth to go with the dark smattering of fur across his chest and arrowing down into his waistband. Uma wanted him feral, a beast she could tame. Would he bite her if she let him?
Her gaze slid down his body—taking in the long lines marred by gentle whorls of dark hair and the occasional scar. Thick thigh muscles wrapped in white, white skin. Their heft excited her. Her nostrils flared with some strange animalistic desire to bite .
Oh, . notion was right.
“Will you take your shirt off?” he asked.
She shook her head. “No.” It didn’t even sound like her voice—harder, surer.
A strangled little half sigh escaped his mouth, and Uma felt for him; she really did. Only she wanted so badly to see him that she couldn’t let him off the hook. So she waited.
And then he did it. Throwing his head back to look down his nose at her in that defiant way that big men have—professional athletes in the stadium, soldiers on the battlefield—he curled his fingers around the elastic clinging to his hips.
Without blinking, Uma stared, panting lightly. Nothing could have pulled her away.
For once, she wasn’t the self-conscious one. For once, she was in the position of power, the watcher instead of the watched. Was it wrong to enjoy it? Probably. She nearly put her hand out to stop him. She shouldn’t demean him like this.
He smiled. A strange hybrid of a smile—a perfect mix, much like the man. The kind of smile a gentle monster would give. Half-sweet and half utterly wicked.
Praise for Under Her Skin:
“The perfect romance…a hint of danger, a whole lot of spice, and an HEA you believe in.” - Anne Calhoun, award-winning author of
Adrianahas acted and sung, worked for start-ups, multinationals and small non-profits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, and two small children in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.