CURSE THE GODS THAt thought it was a good idea to gift Caspius with a mate like her. Every bit of her was a temptation, from her bedroom eyes and pouting lips, to her sleepy voice. It took every bit of his self control to keep from claiming her.
When she flinched at his attempt of contact, it reminded him of how fragile she was. She’d been broken before arriving. Caspius would do everything in his power to try and help her heal herself.
Still, the temptation lingered. Her floral scent clung to his skin, and eternally burned a place in his nostrils. Even as she laid in the hot bath he drew for her, her scent lingered.
We must claim her. His beast paced back and forth, trying to convince him to kick down the bathroom door, sink into the tub with her, and mark her tender flesh. We will claim her when she comes out.
No! Caspius warned. He stabbed his fingers through his hair, gathering a pair out pajama bottoms from his drawers. He shoved his legs into each hole, and pulled them up over his waste. He donned a t-shirt from another drawer and heaved it over his head.
A hiss of breath sounded behind him, making him turn around. Oh, gods! She was a lovely light to behold.
Her skin was dewy, radiant. Her dark curls were soaking wet, pulled into a tight puff on the top of her head. There were untamed strands that soaked her t-shirt—the one he put on her earlier.
“Your back.” Her concerned tone made his stomach knot. “What happened?” Before he could protest, or prepare himself, Lily had her hands on his back. Her fingers grazed over his scars, the softness a contrast against the rugged tissue.
Caspius spun around and caught her hands in his. “Do not, touch them,” he growled. He could feel his beast coming to the surface threatening to burst free from its cage.
She cowered away, putting massive space between the two of them. Her shoulders shrouded her face, frowning. “I.. I’m sorry.” She looked away from him. “I’m sorry.”
The radiance of a relaxing bath suddenly washed out of her. Her fear returned to her, and he didn’t like it.
“It’s okay.” He reached for her, but she flinched again. “Don’t be afraid.” Caspius eased towards her, with slow, measured steps. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
Lily scowled at him. “I’m not afraid of you.” He could practically taste her lie on his tongue. “Leave me alone.” She stepped away from him.
He stopped. “Lily.” Caspius pulled his hands to his side, sternly holding them there. “Okay.”
She blinked at him, as if stunned. She opened her mouth to speak, but quickly shook her head. “Y.. Thank you.” Lily stepped towards him. “Thank you.”
It hit him. After what had happened, she probably wasn’t used to men understanding “no.” It disgusted him. She must’ve had far too many men take advantage of her in her lifetime. No wonder she flinched every time he tried to be tender with her. Lily didn’t trust men. She wouldn’t trust him.
“I’m not going to hurt you. Ever.” He softened his demeanor. “I give you my word. All a man has is his word.” Caspius bowed his head to her.
It wasn’t in his nature to submit, but here he was. If he were going to keep his mate, he would have to submit to her. He would have to let her have control.
The alpha becomes the beta for his mate. His beast chuckled. It was amused. I’d like to see her tame me. It licked its chops.
“Why should I believe you? Your friend wanted to eat me. Why on earth should I trust a word that comes out of your mouth?” She folded her arms across her chest. This woman was bold.
“I changed you, yet did nothing to you. I have no intentions of bringing harm to my mate. It’s my job to be everything that you want and need.” He closed the distance between them, snaking an arm around her waist. “If that means that you want an obedient male, then I will be that. If you want me to be someone that sparks your every desire,” he paused. Caspius ran his thumb across her bottom lip. “Then I will be just that.”
She sucked in a breath. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Only if you want me to, beautiful.” He smirked. Slowly, Caspius released her.
THIS MAN WAS A DEVIl. He was damn near too much to handle. Lily didn’t know how to handle this type of situation.
All of her past experiences with men left her more and more broken. They had no respect for her boundaries, nor any decision she made. He did though.
His closeness was unnerving. As much as she found herself drawn to him, she knew the dangers that came with men. She knew what was waiting for her at the end of a very long tunnel— heartbreak and misery.
Lily flattened a palm on his chest. His muscles were stiff beneath her caress. She swallowed before snatching her hand back to her side. “So you’re one of the masters here? What’s that supposed to mean to me?”
Lily was stunned by this boldness coming out of her. Normally, she was not like this. Normally, she wouldn’t talk to anyone like this—if at all. Normally, she would be in the fetal position on a bed, hiding away from civilization. That was how she was. That was who she was. A recluse.
“Yes,” he responded. Caspius leaned towards her, as if he wanted her touching him. “It should mean nothing to you. You are my mate, and I am yours. I will be all that you want me to be.”
The more he said that, the more she shivered at the thought. A man that would be everything that she could ever want. “What if I don’t want you? What if I reject you?” Could she reject him?
Lily had no clue how this immortal thing worked. She didn’t understand the whole mate thing. Hell, she barely understood that she wasn’t human.
Caspius chuckled, shaking his head. “You couldn’t reject me even if you wanted to. I feel the connection, and I’m certain you feel it too.” He took her hand in his, intertwining his fingers with Lily’s. “Don’t you?” Did he need the reassurance?
If Lily was being truthful, she felt the connection the moment she locked eyes with him. She felt the connection in her vision, when he kissed her. She felt the connection, even as he held her hand. But she couldn’t give him that satisfaction. Could she?
“Beautiful.” He caressed her cheek. “You are so beautiful.” God, how his touch burned her to her core. He ran his finger over her pulse, and she knew he felt it skip a beat.
Fuck me. She silently cursed to herself. This man truly was a devil. How dare he wear the skin of this man!—this delicious man.
Caspius leaned in towards her. He pressed his forehead to hers. He was so damn close. She could taste his minty breath on her lips. His eyes were half mass, and so damn alluring. “You’re shivering. Are you cold?” He snaked an arm around her waist again. Caspius pulled her against his body.
Fuck me! Fuck me! Lily whimpered, unsure of what to do. She found herself wanting to finalize the distance between their lips, but couldn’t move.
“Is that better?” He cocked a brow at her, giving a sultry, half smile.
Lily tried to shake him off. She tried to come to her senses, but the longer she was near him... The longer his woodsy scent filled her nose... The longer she could taste his breath. “Y-yes,” she stuttered.
“Perhaps I should get you under the blankets. You’ll be warmer there.” He hefted her off of her feet. Lily couldn’t contain the squeal that came out of her.
Caspius carried her to the bed. Gently, he laid her down, tucking her under the blankets. He petted the side of her head. “Get some rest.”
What? Lily swallowed. He was so close to kissing her—to swallowing her whole— yet he showed restraint.