Excerpt - Gabriel's Mate

Enjoy the Prologue and the first two chapters of Gabriel's Mate:


Philadelphia, 1863

Only wearing his breeches, Gabriel gazed at the woman who stood before him in her virginal night rail. The lace trim around her neck and sleeves only accentuated her innocence. Earlier in the day, the minister had declared them husband and wife before God, but now it was time to make Jane truly his.
This was his wedding night, a night he had anticipated with the eagerness of a young buck ready to start his own brood. Except for a few kisses, he had not been intimate with Jane. Her strict religious upbringing had demanded he wait to touch her until they were married. He’d waited because he truly loved her with all his heart, but also because he had his own inhibitions about making love.
Jane took a tentative step toward him. Gabriel met her half-way. His arms snaked around her back and pulled her to him. The fabric under his fingertips was soft and so thin it felt like touching her naked skin. As he lowered his lips toward hers, he inhaled her perfume, a mix of roses and jasmine which had been the flowers of her wedding bouquet. Underneath it was her own personal scent, the heady smell of Jane, a scent that had made him dizzy when he’d first taken it in. He’d been hard and ready ever since.
“My wife,” Gabriel whispered. The words felt right when they rolled off his lips and collided with her sweet breath. On a soft moan, he kissed her with all the passion he’d been holding back, waiting for her to become his wife. Her body clung to him more eagerly than he had expected, yielding to his touch, imprinting him with the love he’d seen in her eyes long before he’d asked for her hand in marriage.
Without breaking the kiss, he untied the little ribbons on the front of her gown, then brushed the garment off her shoulders and let it fall to the floor. With a soft rustle it pooled at her feet. She would never again need a nightgown. He would warm her every night from now on. The shiver he noticed go through her lithe body wasn’t from coldness. No, she was nearly as aroused as he was.
Gabriel released her lips and looked at her. Small round breasts topped with dark hard nipples stood firm. Her hips were wide, her skin soft and yielding to his touch. When he lifted her into his arms and carried her to the bed they would share for the next fifty years, his desire for her spiraled.
Already, his breeches were so tight he could barely breathe, but now his cock expanded even further, impatient to impale her. He laid her onto the bed and watched her as he opened the buttons of his fly with trembling hands, his heart beating into his throat. Perspiration built on his brow. All the while his anxiety escalated. As he stripped, Jane’s loving gaze drifted from his face lower down his body. Then her expression suddenly changed. It was what he’d secretly feared most.
“Oh, God, no!” She jerked up, her gaze transfixed on his groin, horror distorting her features. “Get away from me!” she screamed and jumped off the bed on the other side.
“Jane, please, let me explain,” he begged and went after her as she ran out the door. He should have prepared her for this, but it was too late for that now. He’d hoped that if he was gentle and patient with her, she would accept him.
He caught up with her in the kitchen.
“You monster, get away from me!”
Gabriel snatched her arm and stopped her from running any further. “Please, Jane, my love, listen to me.” If only she would give him a chance, he would prove to her that inside he wasn’t a monster, that inside he was the man who loved her.
Her eyes wild, Jane darted frantic looks around the kitchen, before she struggled free from his grip and turned.
“Don’t ever touch me again!”
“Jane!” He had to get her to calm down and listen to him. Their future depended on it.
When she turned back to him, all he saw were her horrified eyes. Too late did he see the gleaming knife in her hand – too late to turn away and avoid its blade slashing his face. But what hurt more than the stinging blade cutting his flesh was seeing his wife recoil from him in horror.
“Now, women will shy away from you like they should – you’re a monster, Gabriel, you’re the devil’s creature!”
The scar that would form on his previously handsome face reached from his chin to the top of his ear, and it would be a constant reminder of what he was. A monster, a freak at best – not worthy to be loved by any woman.


San Francisco, Today

The click-clack of her heels echoed against the buildings. Maya could barely see the pavement through the fog, which hung like a thick mist in the night air, amplifying every sound.
A rustle coming from somewhere behind her made her accelerate her already hasty steps. A chill so severe it felt as if an icy hand had touched her skin went through her. She hated the dark, and it was on nights like these that she cursed her on-call duty. Darkness had always scared her and lately it did even more so.
She opened her purse as she approached the three-story apartment building she’d been living in for the last two years. With shaking fingers, she fished for her house keys. The moment she felt the cold metal in her damp palm, she felt better. In a few seconds, she would be back in bed and get a few hours of sleep before her next shift started. But more importantly, shortly she would be back in the safety of her own four walls.
As she turned to the stairs leading up to the heavy entrance door, she noticed the darkness in the foyer. She glanced up. The light bulb over the door must have burned out. A couple of hours ago it had been burning brightly. She put it on her mental list of things to tell her landlord.
Maya felt for the railing and gripped it, counting the steps as she walked up.
She never reached the door.
Her breath caught as she spun on her heels. Engulfed in the dark and the fog, she couldn’t make out his face. She didn’t need to – she knew his voice. She knew who he was. It almost paralyzed her. Her heart beat into her throat in a frantic tattoo as fear inside her gut spiraled.
“No!” she screamed and scrambled back toward the door, hoping against all odds she could escape.
He’d come back like he’d vowed.
His hand dug into her shoulder and pulled her back to face him. But instead of his face, all she could focus on was the white of his pointed teeth.
“You will be mine.”
The threat was the last thing she heard before she felt his sharp fangs break through her skin and sink into her neck. As the blood drained from her, so did the memories of the last few weeks.
“And you’ve tried surgery already?” Dr. Drake inquired without looking up from his notepad.
Gabriel released a frustrated huff and brushed an imaginary dust particle off his jeans. “Didn’t work.”
“I see.” He cleared his throat. “Mr. Giles, have you had this …” – the doctor winced and made a nondescript hand movement – “uh … all your life? Even when you were human?”
Gabriel squeezed his eyes shut for a second. After puberty, there wasn’t a day in his living memory that he’d not had this problem. Everything had been normal when he’d been a little boy, but the moment his hormones had started raging, his life had changed. Even as a human, he’d been an outcast.
He felt the scar on his face throb, remembering the moment he’d received it and jerked himself away from the memory. The physical pain had long eased, but the emotional pain was as vivid as ever. “I had it long before I became a vampire. Back then, nobody thought of surgery. Hell, an infection would have probably killed me.” If he’d known how his life would turn out, he would have taken a knife to himself, but hindsight was always twenty-twenty.  “Anyway, as you probably know better than I do, my body regenerates while I sleep and heals what it perceives to be a wound. So, no, surgery hasn’t worked.”
“I assume this has caused problems with your sex life?”
Gabriel pressed himself deeper back into the chair opposite Dr. Drake’s, having ignored the coffin-couch with an internal shiver upon entering the practice. His friend Amaury had warned him about the doctor’s choice of furniture. Nevertheless, the coffin that had been fashioned into a chaise lounge by removing a side panel gave him the creeps. No self-respecting vampire would want to be caught dead in it. Pun intended.
“What sex life?” he mumbled under his breath. But of course, the doctor’s superior vampire hearing assured the words weren’t lost to him.
Drake’s shocked stare confirmed it. “You mean …?”
Gabriel knew exactly what the man was asking. “Other than with an occasional desperate prostitute who I have to pay outrageous sums of money to service me, I have no sex life.”
He dropped his gaze to the floor, not wanting to see the pity in the doctor’s eyes. He was here to get help, not to be pitied. Still, he needed to impress on the man how important this was for him. “I haven’t met a woman yet who hasn’t recoiled from my naked body. They call me a monster, a freak at best – and those are the kind ones.” He paused, shuddering as the memories of all the names he’d been called came rushing back. “Doc, I’ve never had a woman in my arms who wanted to be with me.” Yes, he’d fucked women – whores – but he’d never made love to a woman. Never felt a woman’s love or tenderness, or the intimacy of waking in her arms.
“How do you expect me to help you? As you said yourself, surgery hasn’t helped, and I’m only a psychiatrist. I work with people’s minds, not their bodies.” Drake’s voice was infused with rejection, every single syllable of it. “Why don’t you use mind control on human women? They won’t know any better.”
He should have expected as much. Gabriel leveled a glare at him. “I’m not a complete jerk, Doctor. I will not use women like that.” He paused before he went on, bringing his anger at the dishonorable suggestion under control. “You helped my friends.”
“Both Mr. Woodford’s and Mr. LeSang’s problems were different, not …” – he searched for the right word – “physical like yours.”
Gabriel’s chest tightened. Yes, physical. And a vampire couldn’t alter his physical form. It was set in stone. It was the exact reason why his face was marred by a scar reaching from his chin to the top of his right ear. He’d received the wound when he was human. Had he been injured as a vampire, there would have never been a scar, and his face would be untouched.
Two strikes against him – already the hideous scar scared plenty of women away, and once he dropped his pants –. He shuddered and looked back at the doctor who patiently sat in his chair.
“They both claimed you used unorthodox methods,” Gabriel baited him.
Dr. Drake gave a non-committal shrug. “What one might call unorthodox, another might deem natural.”
That was a non-answer if there ever was one. Subtle hints wouldn’t get Gabriel the information he sought. He cleared his throat and nudged forward on his chair.
“Amaury mentioned you had certain connections.” He emphasized the word connections in such a way the doctor couldn’t mistake what Gabriel was referring to.
The almost unperceivable straightening of the doctor’s body would have escaped most others, but not Gabriel. Drake had understood only too well what he was after.
The doctor’s lips tightened. “Maybe I can refer you to another physician amongst my connections who might be able to help you more than I can. Nobody here in San Francisco, of course, since I’m still the only medically trained vampire here,” he waffled.
Gabriel wasn’t surprised at the revelation: since vampires weren’t susceptible to human illnesses, very few became doctors. Given that San Francisco had a vampire population of under a thousand, it was lucky to have even one medical professional within its city limits.
“I see we both agree that we’re not a good match,” the doctor went on.
Gabriel knew he had to act now before the doctor dismissed him completely. When Drake moved to the rolodex on his desk, Gabriel rose from his chair.
 “I don’t think that’ll be necessary –”
“Well, then, it was a pleasure meeting you.” The doctor stretched his hand out, his relaxed face now showing relief.
With a light shake of his head, Gabriel dismissed the gesture. “I doubt the rolodex contains the name of the person I’m looking for anyway. Am I right?” He kept all malice out of his voice, having no intention of alienating the man. Instead, he let a half-smile curve his lips.
A flash in Drake’s blue eyes confirmed he knew exactly who Gabriel was talking about. It was time to bring in the big guns. “I’m a very rich man. I can pay whatever you wish,” Gabriel offered. In his nearly one hundred and fifty years as a vampire, he’d amassed a fortune.
The doc’s cocked eyebrow indicated interest. There was a hesitation in Drake’s movement, but seconds later he pointed to the chairs. They both sat back down.
“What makes you think I’m interested in your offer?”
“If you weren’t, we wouldn’t be sitting.”
The doctor nodded. “Your friend Amaury speaks very highly of you. I trust he’s well now.”
If Drake wanted to chit-chat, Gabriel would indulge him, but not for long. “Yes, the curse is broken. I understand that one of your acquaintances was instrumental in figuring out how the curse could be reversed.”
“Maybe. But understanding how to fix something and fixing it are two different things. And as I see it, Amaury and Nina reversed his curse all by themselves. No outside help was needed.”
“Unlike in my case?”
The doctor shrugged, a gesture Gabriel was getting increasingly tired of. “I don’t know. There might be a perfectly plausible explanation for your ailment.”
Gabriel shook his head. “Let’s cut to the chase, Drake. It’s not an ailment. What plausible explanation am I going to give a woman who sees me naked?”
“Mr. Giles –”
“At least call me Gabriel. I think we’re past the Mr. Giles stage.”
“Gabriel, I understand your predicament.”
Gabriel felt heat rise inside his chest as anger churned up, something that was becoming more common as he dealt with his predicament. “Do you? Do you really understand what it feels like to see the disgust and fear in the eyes of a woman you want to make love to?” Gabriel swallowed hard. He’d never made love to a woman, never truly made love. Sex with prostitutes wasn’t love. Sure, he could use mind control like the doctor had suggested and lure some unsuspecting woman into his bed and do with her whatever he wanted, but he’d vowed never to sink that low. And he’d never broken that vow.
“You mentioned payment,” he heard Drake say.
Finally, there was light at the end of the tunnel. “Name your price and I will wire the money into your account within hours.”
Drake shook his head. “I’m not interested in money. I understand you have a gift.”
Gabriel straightened in his chair. How much did the doctor know about him? He knew Amaury would have never revealed any of his secrets. “I’m not sure I understand – ”
“Gabriel, don’t take me for a fool. Just as you must have made your inquires about me, I have looked into your background. I understand you are able to unlock memories. Would you care to explain your gift to me?”
Not particularly. But it appeared he had no choice. “I see into people’s minds and can delve into their memories. I see what they’ve seen.”
“Does this mean you can look into my memories and find the person you’re looking for?” Drake asked.
“I only see events and pictures. So unless I find a memory that shows her at her house or other such criteria, I wouldn’t be able to find her. I don’t read minds, only memories.”
“I see.” The doctor paused. “I’m willing to give you the whereabouts of the person you’re looking for in exchange for the one time use of your gift.”
“You want me to delve into your memories and find something you’ve forgotten?” Sure, he could do that.
Drake chuckled. “Of course not. I have perfect recall. I want you to unlock another person’s memories for me.”
Hope deflated. His skill was only to be used in emergencies or when someone’s life was at stake. He wouldn’t rape someone’s memories for his own gain, no matter how important this was for him. “I can’t do that.”
“Of course you can. You just told me –”
“What I meant to say is I won’t do it. Memories are private. I will not access a person’s memories without their permission.” And he was sure the person whose memories the doctor wanted revealed to him wasn’t going to give their consent.
“A man with high ethics. What a pity.”
Gabriel glanced around the room. “With the money I’m willing to pay you, you could redecorate quite lavishly.” And get rid of the coffin couch.
“I like the way my practice looks. Don’t you?” Drake gave the offensive couch a pointed look.
Gabriel knew then that the negotiations were at an end. The doctor wouldn’t budge, and neither would he.


The moment Gabriel arrived at Samson’s Victorian home in Nob Hill, he took a deep breath. He needed to leave for New York now, the sooner the better. Maybe if he was back in his usual environment, he would be more content and not hope for the impossible. Why he’d suddenly started feeling like he could do something about his problem here in San Francisco, when he’d given up on it years ago he didn’t know.
Having to clear his departure with his boss Samson, he was glad that he’d been called to the house the moment he’d stepped out of Drake’s office.
With a determined gait, Gabriel entered the foyer, leaving the mist and fog behind him. The house was brightly lit despite the late hour, just like the house of a fellow vampire would be. It came alive at sunset and would quiet down once the sun rose. Gabriel let his eyes wander around the entry hall with its dark wood paneling, its elegant rugs, and antique ornaments. He liked Samson’s home – it had retained all the charm of the Victorian era it was built in while shucking the claustrophobic feeling of its small rooms. Samson had opened up the space to give it an airy feeling. Yet the charm remained.
Gabriel lifted his head toward the ceiling. There was a commotion upstairs. Footsteps belonging to several men came from the upstairs corridor. A moment later, Samson made his way downstairs.
First Samson’s long legs came into sight as he dashed down the pristine mahogany stairs. Then his entire body came into view. His raven black hair was in stark contrast to his hazel eyes. Being well over six feet tall and well built, he was an impressive figure. His sharp intelligence and strength had earned him admiration and respect from both his colleagues and his friends. His decisiveness and determination set him apart: Samson was the boss. And Gabriel was proud to be his second in command.
As Samson noticed Gabriel, he raised his hand in greeting. “Thanks for coming so quickly.”
Behind him, two men came down the stairs. Gabriel recognized one of them as Eddie, Amaury’s now brother-in-law who worked as a bodyguard for Samson’s security company Scanguards. But there would be no reason for him to be at Samson’s private residence unless there was a social event planned.
Samson turned to the two men. “You have your orders, and not a word to anybody for now.”
The two grunted their agreement and, with a nod of their heads to Gabriel, strode out the door.
“What are they –?” Gabriel started.
“We have a situation.” The look on Samson’s face was serious. “Come, we need to talk.”
Samson waved him into the living room with its authentic Victorian era furniture. Gabriel followed, a strange sense of foreboding settling in his gut. His boss and friend of many years always had a calm demeanor, but tonight he was different. His black hair was ruffled, his eyes worried, and the lines on his face spoke volumes.
Samson stopped in front of the fireplace and turned back to Gabriel. Even in June the fireplace was lit to provide warmth against the foggy night. “I know you’re anxious to return to New York –”
“I was planning on taking the jet to–” Gabriel interrupted.
“I’m sorry, Gabriel, but I’ll have to pull rank on you. I need you here. You can’t leave.” Samson’s announcement came as an utter surprise.
“I know you want to go home, but I need you to run point on this for me. Ricky is useless right now. Ever since Holly broke up with him last month, he’s just not the same.” Samson ran his hand through his hair. Ricky was Gabriel’s counterpart in San Francisco – the operations director. Gabriel didn’t say a word. Something was wrong, seriously wrong if Samson found it more important for him to stay in San Francisco rather than get back to work in New York.
“This is too important. Believe me, I would have Amaury take care of it, but he and Nina need some time together. He’s practically on his honeymoon holed up at his place. I can’t do that to him right now.”
Gabriel nodded. “What’s going on?”
“Sit down.”
Gabriel sat and waited until Samson did the same. “I’ve never seen you like this.”
Samson gave a mirthless laugh. “I guess my responsibilities as a husband and expectant father don’t go well with having a newly turned vampire in the house.”
“A newly turned vampire?” This was indeed a shock. A newly turned vampire was a danger, unable to control his urges, liable to attack anybody. That Samson was uneasy made perfect sense. His wife Delilah was human and pregnant with their first child. She would be a prime target for any new vampire.
“She was attacked tonight.”
“Delilah? Delilah was attacked?” Gabriel felt adrenaline shoot through his veins.
“No, no. Thank God. Delilah is fine. No. This woman – a human – she was attacked and turned. The two bodyguards who just left – Eddie and James – scared off her attacker and went to help her. Her eyes had already turned black, so they knew the process had started.”
A human’s eyes turning entirely black with not a spec of white remaining was a sure sign of the turning. Only once the turning was complete would the eyes turn back to normal.
“They brought her here about half an hour ago,” Samson continued. “She must have been attacked on her way home. We have to find her attacker and take him out.”
Gabriel understood. “A rogue. As long as he’s out there, he’s a danger to everybody and particularly to her if he realizes we’re sheltering her.”
Gabriel and his colleagues despised vampires turning unsuspecting humans against their will. It was a major infraction in their society, a crime in fact, punishable by death. A vampire’s life wasn’t easy – Gabriel of all people knew this for a fact. He therefore believed in protecting a human’s right to choose and wouldn’t force this life on anyone. He’d punish anyone who violated this right.
“Yes. That’s why I need you. I need somebody I can rely on.”
“What do we have?” Gabriel was all business now. This was his job. This was what he did best. A case to sink his teeth into and turn his thoughts away from his personal problem.  “Do we know who the woman is?”
“She’s a doctor. She works at UCSF Medical Center. We found her ID. Her name is Maya Johnson, age thirty-two, lives in Noe Valley. We haven’t been able to ask her anything yet. When Eddie and James brought her in, she was unconscious. I hope she can give us a description of the vampire who attacked her when she wakes. In the meantime, I’m keeping radio silence on this. It could be anybody. Until we know who might be behind this, I don’t want anybody to know she’s here.”
“That’s smart,” Gabriel agreed. Until they could talk to her, they had to play it safe. Of course that was assuming she could tell them anything. “You’ll know she’ll be in a panic when she comes to.” Not only would she be traumatized by the attack, but once she realized what she had turned into, she would truly panic.
Samson closed his eyes and nodded. “I can only imagine too well.”
“Should we bring somebody else in to help her through this?” Gabriel knew he wasn’t the right person to guide a woman through a life altering transition like turning into a vampire. He wasn’t good with women.
“I’ve already sent for Drake. He’ll know what to do. Maybe he’ll be able to calm her down when she panics.”
Considering his own interactions with Drake, Gabriel doubted the man would do any better than he. But he wasn’t going to contradict Samson, who clearly held the doctor in high regard.
“Yeah, let’s hope he can. Should we have a woman here when she wakes up? Having a bunch of six foot something vampires gawking at her when she comes round might be a little intimidating.” Gabriel glanced into Samson’s eyes. He sure had no interest in being the one to tell her the bad news. He also wasn’t shy to delegate things he had no business doing. It was better if a woman, someone with a little more sensitivity, did the job.
“Not Delilah. I want her nowhere near the woman. You know as well as I do what a newly turned vampire is capable of. She won’t be able to control her strength even if she doesn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
Gabriel held up his hand. “I wasn’t thinking of Delilah. Yvette’s not left for New York yet. I gave her a couple of days off to do some sightseeing.” Yvette was a good bodyguard and, despite the fact that she could act a little prissy, she was solid and had a strong sense of right and wrong. He was sure the two women would bond instantly.
Samson let out a breath. “Sure. Yvette. That’s a good idea.”
Heavy steps sounded on the stairs. A moment later Carl, Samson’s trusted butler, rushed into the room. He was a stout man, heavy around the midsection and somewhere in his fifties. As always, he wore a formal dark suit. In fact, Gabriel had never seen him in anything else, and he was sure the man didn’t own a single pair of jeans.
 “Mr. Woodford, the woman is doing worse.”
“Dr. Drake is already on his way. There’s nothing I can do until he gets here. You shouldn’t leave her alone,” Samson said.
“Miss Delilah is with her,” Carl responded.
Samson and Gabriel jumped up.
Panic struck Samson’s face as he bolted up the stairs. Gabriel ran after him and stormed into the guest room.
“Delilah!” Samson’s voice was full of alarm.
Samson’s petite wife sat on the edge of the bed and wiped the woman’s face with a wet cloth. “Samson, please, I’m trying everything to make her comfortable. You storming in here screaming doesn’t help.” Delilah’s scold was soft. Her long dark hair fell into her face as she bent over the woman. Despite the fact that she was pregnant, her body showed no bump yet. According to Samson, she was only three months along – which meant she’d gotten pregnant almost instantly after the couple had blood-bonded right after Chinese New Year.
“You shouldn’t be here at all. We don’t know how she’ll react. It’s too dangerous for you.” Samson put his hands on her shoulders and pulled her up and away from the bed. “Please, sweetness, you’re taking decades off my life by doing this.” He looked over his shoulder at Gabriel and gestured toward the bed. “Gabriel, would you?”
Samson wanted him to play nurse? That was not part of the deal. He would investigate who’d done this to her, even protect her if she was still in danger, but under no circumstances would he sit by the woman’s bed and play nurse.
It was best to tell his boss right now. Babysitting a newly turned vampire female was not what he needed right now, especially not when he was expected to actually interact with her on such an intimate level. A few interrogations, sure, he would be more than willing to do that, but not this, not sitting by her bed, taking care of her.
Hell, he would have no idea what to do. His knowledge of a woman’s body was limited to some hurried sexual interactions and many not so hurried porn movies. Surely nobody could expect him to take care of a vampire female? Where the hell was Drake? Shouldn’t he be here by now?
Gabriel turned toward Samson, who was leading Delilah out the door, ready to decline the job expected of him. But a low moan from the woman in the bed made him glance in her direction.
His breath caught in his chest as he saw her for the first time.
Gabriel heard the door close and knew he was alone with her.
The woman lay on top of the blankets, her clothes bloodstained. She wore pants and a t-shirt, a loose white doctor’s coat over it. In red letters her name was stitched over her breast pocket: Maya Johnson MD, Urology.
Maya’s face was pale, and it looked even paler framed by her shoulder length dark hair. It wasn’t perfectly straight, but had large waves which seemed to caress her face. Her eyes were closed, thick dark lashes standing guard. He wondered what color her eyes would be once they returned to their normal state. Her skin had an olive tint to it, hinting at Latin, Mediterranean or even Middle Eastern ancestry.
She had bruises and cuts on her face, mostly around her lips which were full and perfectly curved. She had fought her attacker, he knew instantly. Within hours her injuries would be gone, her vampire body healing itself while it slept.
He could only imagine the pain she’d gone through and the horror when she’d realized what was happening to her. She had died tonight at the hands of a rogue, and then he’d brought her back from the brink. She’d had to experience death to gain a new life. How painful had her death been?
Gabriel knew that every vampire’s transformation was different. Many had horrifying memories of the event, things nobody spoke of. And this woman’s memories would be terrifying – being turned against one’s will would have been traumatic. Her wounds attested to it.
Gabriel looked past the injuries and the ugliness of the bite wound on her neck. It was clear the rogue had been interrupted since he hadn’t had a chance to close the wound with his saliva. It would take longer to heal without it. Had he licked the bite wound it wouldn’t even be visible anymore.
Gabriel only saw the woman underneath the injuries: the sensual curve of her nose, the strong lines of her cheekbones, and the gracefulness of her neck. Her slender figure might as well have been bare, for he could almost imagine what her nude form looked like.
Elegant long fingers extended from slim hands, hands whose caress he wanted to feel on his own skin. Long legs, which he wanted her to wrap around his waist as he made love to her. Full breasts he could suckle from as he kissed every inch of her body. Red lips he would taste with his.
There was something so enthralling about her scent, something so foreign, yet so familiar at the same time. No other scent compared to hers. Rich and dark, it engulfed him, cocooned him in an aura of warmth and softness. Every cell in his body responded to her call.
She was perfect.

Copyright 2010 Tina Folsom