10. Passion and Compassion

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Ayla was sure she had been about to say something very clever and profound about Christian values and the moral duties of a true knight, but as soon as Reuben's lips touched hers, it all flew out through one ear.

God, give me strength, she pleaded. This was by no means the first time that Reuben had assaulted her like this since he first kissed her in the orchard. But no matter now often he did it, every time, the riotous feelings roaring through her were just as strong, just as uncontrollable, as if it were her very first kiss. How could anyone's lips be so soft, and yet so hard? So gentle, and yet so demanding at the same time? It wasn't fair...!

"S-stop," she gasped when he came up for air for a second. "You c-can't do that! It's sinful!"

"What, torturing people to death? I think I already knew that that's sinful." She felt him smile against her mouth. "But it also happens to be fun."

"No! Not the torture, I mean what you're doing right now!"

His lips captured hers again, hungrily. "Well, that's fun too. Even more so than torture."

"It's a sin! Stop right now!"

"Oh really? What exactly do you want me to stop? This?" Taking her lower lip between his teeth, he gently pulled on it, and she felt the sensation all the way down her spine to the very core of her being. A soft moan escaped her. It was as if she were a mare and he was her rider, pulling the reins, directing her whichever way he wanted.

"Or this?" Letting go of her lower lip, he gently moved up the side of her mouth, caressing her all the way and whispering sweet, sinful things against her skin.

"Or this?" He had reached her ear by now. She could feel his warm breath tickling the senstitive skin of her earlobe. Then he suddenly reached around her with one hand and took hold of her mass of golden hair. Before she knew what he was doing, he had buried his face in it, breathing in her scent as if it were the sweetest perfume he had ever smelled. Ayla's knees nearly buckled.

Dear God, she prayed fervently, Help me! Give me the strength to resist!

But apparently, God was busy at the moment.

"You have to tell me what you want me to stop doing," Reuben whispered into her ear. "Otherwise I can't stop doing it, now, can I?" Gently, he kissed her earlobe. Ayla let out a soft mewling noise.

She tried to concentrate, tried to think, but her brain had melted into a puddle the minute he had touched her. What should she tell him? To stop kissing her? That would hardly be enough. What he was doing to her was as far beyond kissing as Luficer, the king of hell, was beyond your average, run-of-the-mill succubus.

"J-just stop doing... sinful things," she pleaded. "Stop doing those things to me that—"

"—make you shiver? Make you tremble with desire? Make you want to tear my clothes off and pull me down to the floor to celebrate our victory together by surrendering to me?"

"Stop! Just stop doing anything that isn't morally accepta—"

She got just that far before his mouth covered hers again, cutting off her words.

"You might as well ask a lion to start eating grass," he muttered against her lips. All she managed in response was a longing sigh.

"You don't really want me to stop, do you?" he asked. It was incredible, but he seemed to be able to kiss and talk at the same time. As if he wasn't dangerous enough already! Maybe she could have resisted his kisses, or his low, demanding voice, but both at the same time? Impossible!

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