Dark, rich chocolate colored bedding echoed the tile framing the fireplace. Dainty furniture, curved legs and soft cushions, yet the poster bed was large and sturdy. She’d seen it before while she visited his dreams. Definitely Devin’s room. And remembering didn’t help the ache snaking through her body.
Walking into the en suite, the first thing to catch her eyes was the floor-to-ceiling mirror covering one wall. Arianne studied her reflection. Her long, dark curls were mussed and tangled around a pale face. Her lips were pink and just a bit swollen from Devin’s kiss. The only thing she wore was a long white shirt. Sniffing the collar, she smelled the crisp, clean fragrance clinging to the material. His shirt, not conjured. Devin didn’t wear cologne, but the scent of his soap always stayed with her. He must have changed her clothes. What else had she missed?
Because I love you. Men were ever a puzzle. Still, hadn’t she known? The dreams they shared had changed over time, slow and sweet instead of hot and fierce. A softness came over his face each night she visited his sleep, the same one she had seen this morning. Just that look was enough to have her quaking inside.
She found a bottle of bubble bath on the side of the tub. Thanks to Devin’s dreams and Allie’s influence, she had knowledge of modern conveniences such as indoor plumbing. Turning the faucet on hot, Arianne poured two capfuls under the stream and let the water run until the big round tub filled. Reluctantly, she unfastened the shirt buttons and let the material fall away to the floor. Slipping into the frothy bubbles, she sighed and let the reality of her situation sink in.
I am finally out of that wretched circle. True enough, but she was still in a prison of sorts. One with running water, walls, food that didn’t taste like air, and a sexy male witch bent on driving her to frustration. Not so bad, all things considered.
Being trapped in the stone dance didn’t mean she hadn’t noticed changes in the world around her for a thousand years. She tipped her feet out of the water, waved toward them, and turned her toenails a bright fiery red. Allie brought her little things from the modern world. Mostly books filled with sweet love stories; more than a few of them brought a blush to her cheeks. What would Ryan think of his daughter’s taste in novels? Better not to head down that road. Allie had dreams of being a writer like her aunt and uncle. If what she liked to read was any indication, she’d write hot. Very hot. Speaking of hot, a soft tapping sounded at the door. Her maddening laird had returned.
“Okay in there?” His voice sounded hesitant. “Breakfast is ready.”
Time to ruffle the phoenix’s feathers a bit. “There is no need to be shy, Devin. You can come in.”
The sound of splashing water rippled past his ears. Temptress.
Knowing Ari was just on the other side of the door, naked and wet, willing to succumb to every fantasy he could imagine, was a torment in itself. All he had to do was accept her sultry invitation and toss aside his plan. But she deserved a sweet slide into love, not the wild, mad rush of pleasure he craved. One palm rested on the door of its own volition, ready to comply. Not yet. Now, if only his traitorous body would listen to his heart. “That depends, sweetheart.”
“Oh?” she called out from the other side. “On what?”
Devin chuckled at the line, but he just couldn’t resist teasing her. “What are you wearing?”
She laughed. “Bubbles. Lots of bubbles. Share them with me.”
He saw it so clearly. Ari’s creamy skin peeking through the frothy bubbles. Open, welcoming. Need clawed under the skin, screamed at him. Why the hell not? Feeling a quiver of desire vibrate through his body, he called her bluff. “And what would you have me do with those bubbles? Hmm, Ari?”
“Oh, I am sure you could think of something. Something deliciously wicked. I have shared your dreams. I know your fantasies, Devin.”
Oh, you have no idea. His mind made up, Devin opened the door.
She lay in his huge garden tub, feet propped up on the rim, eyes closed, waterfall of black hair piled on top of her head. A soft smile graced her face. So she was enjoying their teasing banter. “Have you changed your mind and decided to join me?”
“Maybe.” No reason he couldn’t push them both to the edge. Pulling the t-shirt over his head, Devin tossed it into the corner. He laid his cellphone on the sink–out of danger–kneeled by the edge of the tub and dipped one hand into cooling water, using his magic to heat it.
He let his voice drop to a whisper as he leaned close to her ear. “I want to slick my hands over every inch of your skin until you shiver from the heat.” His fingers found the back of her knee in the water and trailed higher along the inside of her thigh. “And then…”
A soft “Devin” slipped from her lips as Arianne’s eyes flew open. “And then…”