...Cullen swept Rowan into his arms and carried her—two steps at a time—up the outside stairway, through the door, and down the short hallway to her bedroom suite. He sent magic winging ahead to open each door the moment before he touched the wood.
It had been five hundred years since he’d lain with any female—sidhe or human. Now he held a woman whose presence had stirred his blood and roused his cock from the moment he’d seen her high on the wall-walk two weeks earlier with the wind blowing her auburn hair and the look of distant memories in her emerald eyes.
“Rowan, miurnin,” he murmured, tenderly laying her on the high, canopied bed in a room filled with the golden glow of sunset.
“What?” Slowly she raised one hand and touched the side of his face.
“Miurnin means sweetheart.” He turned his head to kiss the palm of her hand and breathe in her intoxicating scent.
She gazed at him, as if searching for a different truth.
Gently, in spite of his raging hard-on, Cullen said, “Did that bastard, Jeffrey, make you doubt terms of endearment?”
“He calls every female ‘sweetheart.’”
Cullen nodded. “A lazy fucker.”
Rowan’s eyes widened. “Lazy?”
“Sure.” Cullen traced her lips with one finger, wondering how soon he dared to kiss her again. “He can’t be bothered to remember the name of every woman he screws, so he calls all of them ‘sweetheart.’”
Cullen felt the impact of her gaze as she studied his expression. “And you call me, miurnin, sweetheart, because...?”
“Because of this…” Kneeling on the bed beside her, he lowered his head and took her mouth in another long, hungry kiss.
After a moment’s hesitation, she returned his kisses with growing passion. While her lips and tongue tangled with his, she slid her hands up his skin inside his T-shirt and gripped his bare waist.
“Do you want my shirt off?” he murmured against her lips.
“Let me.” She pushed against his chest. Obligingly, he sat up, wondering what was going through her female mind.
She rose, going up on her knees. Silently, she gathered the bottom of his cotton shirt and drew it slowly over his head, as if unveiling one of her paintings for a favored client’s approval.
Carefully, she folded the T-shirt and set it aside, then lifted her eyes and studied him with the intensity of an art critic.
“Good muscle definition.” She traced the bottom curve of each pectoral muscle.
His skin twitched. Invisible sparks followed the path her hands made. His dick grew painfully hard.
“Excellent use of light and dark to enhance detail.” Her fingers strayed higher and spiraled around each nipple—forging a sensuous path without touching the taut buds aching to be stroked.
“Get on with it,” he muttered, curling his hands in fists to keep from touching her.
She raised her chin in fake haughtiness. “My good fellow”—her eyes gleamed with laughter—“expert art appraisal cannot be rushed.”
“This Goodfellow,” he said in a low tone, “is losing patience.”
“It is written, ‘All things come to he who waits.’” She brushed two fingers against one nipple and then the other—and he wanted to explode.
“Finish the damned inventory,” he growled, “before I embarrass myself like a fuckin’ teenager.”
“Oh?” Her hand slid down his chest and abs to the hard-on bulging against his jeans. “Is this an object lesson in good muscle definition?”
“It’s an object lesson in the dangers of teasing an aroused male.” Cautiously, he unsnapped the jeans, lowered the zipper and his cock sprang out.
“You’re awesome.” She cradled his meaty member in one hand and brushed the warm fingers of her other hand up and down its length.
His heart rate sped up. His breath came hard. The world narrowed down to Rowan; to her scent of sweet musk and female mystery; to her delicate touch with the power to move him beyond space and time...