Ran awoke to a warm and silky weight on his chest. "J'hiya," he murmured in sleepy satisfaction even before his half-open eyes took in the ruffled, reddish-dark hair. Sighing in contentment, he pulled her closer and allowed his eyes to drift close. They snapped open an instant later.
He sat up quickly, stifling an oath as a pair of hazel eyes stared unblinkingly at him. "How did you get in here?" He was torn between pulling her back into his arms and pushing her away. He had no memory of how the woman of his dreams had ended up in his bed. But even as he was fearing he had completely lost his mind, he couldn't help but notice how her short robe revealed as much as it concealed and that he was covered with nothing more than a thin sheet.
"Rather you should ask how you came to be in my rooms."
A small whimper escaped his lips as Ran's eyes closed. He could almost feel the words sliding and caressing their way across his hot skin. Warm silk, he thought. Would her skin feel the same if same if he were to reach out and touch it?
He could see it clearly. His hand, dark against her brown gold skin, sliding beneath the robe, tracing her warm curves. What sounds would she make when heó
Ran's eyes flew open and he swayed on the bed. He was breathing heavily and sweat was trickling down his spine. Looking at J'hiya he could see she was similarly afflicted. Her breath came in short, quick gasps through parted lips. Her face was flushed, and she trembled.
What had just happened? Ran shook his head to clear it. He'd fallen into the most vivid daydream he'd ever had at just the sound of J'hiya's voice and then it was as if a door slammed in his face.
He looked at the woman sitting beside him. She hadn't moved, and yet it seemed as if there was a great distance between them. He would not be blocked out. The anger and fear rolling through him surprised and shocked him, even as he reached for her.
She slid back off the bed. An expression of nervousness was quickly masked as she licked her lips. "It would be better if we had this discussion in more.... Are you able to walk?" she said.
"Of course." He bit the words off. To his own ears he voice sounded savage. A dull tattoo of pain beat behind his eyes.
Ran started as two warm hands cradled his face. Warm silk he thought again, dizzy with J'hiya's nearness. The scene of warm kanill and vitleysa filled his senses. Then he stiffened as he felt a push in his mind. The throbbing stopped. He looked into the face that was so close to his own.
"You must control it," she said. Was it a whisper or was she as breathless as he?
"Yes," he agreed without having any consciousness that he did so. If he leaned just a fraction closer, his lips would be touching hers, tasting her.
She was gone; her hands no longer soothing his fevered skin, back behind that invisible wall. Ran felt his hands knot into fists, as if he could break through it physically.
"We will talk downstairs," she said from beside the door.
Ran's mouth twisted into an unwilling grin.