Chapter Fourteen

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Now that the danger of losing Ophelia passed, Owen let the euphoria her bite created overtake him. No longer was she a wilted, skeletal version of herself. After only a couple of liters of his blood, she was back to being hale, whole and breathtakingly beautiful.

Enchanting, inky eyes narrowed. A few moments passed as Ophelia studied Owen. Then, she gave her head a slight shake in capitulation. "I'll be gentle," she whispered, tilting her chin upward. Closing the distance, he captured her lips, silencing all further speech before she could change her mind.

Shaman healed quickly, and Owen was no exception for all that he was half-human. Ever since Ophelia retracted her fangs a final time, he'd been recovering. The bespelled tats he had all over his body activated, flooding him with vigor and strength.

Ophelia thought to go easy on him? Well, after countless minutes of damned-near intoxication from her bite – her saliva must contain some sort of aphrodisiac – Owen was well primed. Gentleness was the last thing he wanted.

Taking his bracing hand from the wall, Owen transferred it to cup Ophelia's jaw. Angling his head, he deepened the kiss. When her lips parted, his tongue swept inside to caress hers. She tasted of his blood and it, mixed with her flavor, drove him into a near frenzy.

Tearing his mouth from Ophelia's, Owen panted inches away. The short, hard breaths puffed against her slightly swollen lips. He needed to get ahold of himself. Less than a half-hour ago, his fiery dragon had been knocking on Death's door.

"Dammit Owen," Fi swore. "I knew this was too much too soon for you."

"It's not that," Owen asserted through a clenched jaw.

"Then what?" Fi was suspicious. Owen would likely deny being weak from all the blood she took.

"I'm fine," Owen stated, proving Fi's hunch to be true. "I'm recovering more and more by the second," he further denied. "It's you I'm worried about."

Flabbergasted, Fi could only give voice to the question rattling in around in her head. "What?"

"You were dying not long ago." Owen straightened, putting more distance between them. "It is I who should be taking it easy on you."

A grin spread across Fi's features. It ended in a small huff of laughter. Giving her head a slight shake, she studied his handsome features. "Thanks to you," she told him, "I've healed." The smile broadened. "I'm fine," she repeated his earlier words.

Owen's gaze lifted and warm, root beer brown eyes captured Fi's. Then, his lips tilted upward. "In that case," his head dipped, and his lips brushed against hers. That was the only gentleness she'd receive for some time to come. It was as if the simple caress set free a frenzied beast within him.

Hooking the blue satin negligée's spaghetti strap with his forefinger, Owen drew it down. When it hung just above Fi's elbow, he did the same with the other. Its bodice caught on her plump breasts. A long, tanned finger edged across the V of material at the décolletage. When he clutched both sides and tore the material all the way to her matching panties, a gasp escaped her. It was swallowed by her anima as he deepened their kiss.

"Owen," Fi mildly reprimanded against his mouth. With nothing left to hold it up, the nightgown slid toward the ground. The spaghetti straps caught at her wrists, keeping it from falling off completely. Lowering her arms to her sides, she let the ruined negligée complete its journey to the floor.

A warm, calloused palm encased Fi's left breast. Its hard, distended nipple sought the rough caress of Owen's flesh. When it brushed against his coarse skin, sparks of pleasure blazed from out of its center and down to her core.

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