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For the Heart of Daria
Doreen DeSalvo

For the Heart of Daria Excerpt

Daria opened her eyes and found him—Gray...the target...God, the man who’d saved her life—gazing at her with a satisfied smile on his face.

She wanted to slap him. To slap that arrogant smile off of his face.

But it wasn’t really an arrogant smile. He didn’t look triumphant; he didn’t look like a man who’d just made an easy conquest. No, his smile seemed...genuine. Tender. Like he was simply happy to have given her pleasure.

And he had.

Even his eyes were lit up with that smile, those stunning golden brown eyes, more compelling in person than in any of the holo-projections she’d studied. Amber eyes. And like amber, his eyes held secrets.

She knew most of them. But he didn’t know it. And he didn’t know that she had secrets of her own.

His fingers, the fingers that had brought her to a shattering climax, were still nestled between her legs. One finger was even partially inside her, a subtle invasion of her body, staking a claim. She felt unbearably exposed, looking into his smiling eyes while his hand rested on her most private parts. She couldn’t think of a single thing to say.

She’d been prepared to fuck him to stay close to him. She’d steeled herself to endure it. To fake pleasure at his touch. To hide her revulsion, her hatred.

She hadn’t been prepared to enjoy it.

Nothing could have prepared her for the way he’d kissed her. The way he’d touched her.

Why couldn’t he have jumped on her like a horny space-sailor, fucked her quickly, and left her mildly disgusted? She’d expected him to treat her like a whore. Why did he have to treat her like a...like a lover?

He’d made a traitor of her body. And she’d gone down without a fight.

When he lifted his hand away, she almost thanked him for letting go. But he brought his fingers to her breast and rubbed wetness over her nipple. Even though she’d just climaxed, his wet fingers made her tingle.

His head dropped to her chest, his mouth closing over that nipple and suckling. Hard and deep. God, her breasts were excruciatingly sensitive. No one had ever played with her like this. Not after she’d climaxed.

She lifted herself against his sucking mouth and felt his chuckle deep inside her breast.

Enough. She needed to satisfy him. That was the whole point of sleeping with him. To make him want to keep her...just until she found a way to finish her mission.

She pushed at his shoulder. “I want to touch you.”

He rolled off of her and settled on his side, facing her. “As you will.”

An odd way to say "OK," but that must be what he meant. She stroked his chest, let her hand wander down to his belly, felt his muscles tense. Leaning closer, she kissed his neck, then gave him a little bite. His breath caught; she felt it against her lips. She kept going, laying down a ring of nips and kisses on his neck. He’d have a few hickeys to hide in the morning.

His fingers wove through her hair, holding her close. She moved her face down to his collarbone, ran her hand down his taut stomach, then back up again. Why did he have to have such a great chest? Tanned and broad, just enough hair to tease her skin with masculine roughness. Not too broad, not too muscled. Just...perfect. She followed the trail of hair down to his navel, dipping into his bellybutton.

She kept her face against his neck as she reached lower and found his cock. God, he was hot. Hot and hard...and longer than she’d expected. Not that she’d known what to expect. Her lips quirked up in a smile. That information hadn’t been in the files she’d studied.

She wrapped her hand around him and gave a tentative stroke. Would he like it hard and fast? Soft and slow?

A firm hand caught her wrist before she could do more. “No.”

“Why not?”

He rolled her to her back and bent his head to her breasts, licking across a sensitive nipple. “Because you’ll make me climax too quickly, dahsh’kara.”

She didn’t know that alien word. And she didn’t care to. But she couldn’t muster up any outrage at him for speaking in that hateful alien language, not with his mouth on her breasts, planting sucking little kisses on her straining nipples.

She whimpered. God, she shouldn’t feel this good. Not with him. Not with a collaborator. “Stop. Let me...” She could barely think. “Let me touch you.”

“I’m not done touching you yet.”

“But I already...” Her face heated. Ridiculous, considering she was naked in bed with him. Even at twenty-seven, she still blushed like a nervous virgin. “I already came.”

She felt him smile against her breast, but he didn’t lift his head. “Yes, dahsh’kara, you certainly did. But only once.”

Could he possibly be serious? “Once was...” He nipped at her breast, just hard enough to sting her gently with his teeth. “Oh! Once was fine.” Understatement. “Once was more than I expected.”

He chuckled. “I won’t settle for less than three.”

“Three?” She’d heard rumors about Prendarian women—insatiable sex maniacs, every one of them, or so the legends said. She’d never believed those stories.

“At least three,” he murmured. “And you’ll find me very determined. Best for you to accept my will.”

“What’s the most...” No, she didn’t want to know. She didn’t want to be interested in his past. Or in him.

“The most times I’ve seen a woman climax?”

Well, since he’d guessed... She nodded.

But he couldn’t see her nod. He was still nuzzling at her breasts, flicking the hard tip of his tongue over an even harder nipple.

“Yes,” she said on a gasp.

“Five.”

“Five?” God, he must be a tireless lover...and an arrogant one, for sure. Her mouth hung open. She closed it quickly, even though he hadn’t lifted his head.

“Mmm-hmm.” She felt him smile again, probably at her astonishment. “Fear not. I’m certain you can exceed that record.”

Hell, two would be a record for her. But she wasn’t averse to faking them. Not if it kept him happy. Not if it kept him wanting her.

She’d planned on faking one anyway. So much for that plan. He’d barely touched her and she’d gone off like a barrage of missiles.

She felt his tongue, so hot, wet and raspy, licking across her breasts, from one to the other and back again.

His hair, softer than she’d imagined, slid through her fingers. With his mouth teasing her like this, she couldn’t resist him. And why should she? The more he enjoyed himself, the more likely he’d be to keep her with him.

Yes, this was strictly for the sake of the mission. The fact that she wanted it, that she wanted him, that he was working so hard to please her...oh, that was irrelevant. She’d enjoy his wonderful mouth...his wonderful hands...

One of those hands slid over her hip, stroked her bush. She parted her legs shamelessly, and then those curious, knowing fingers were spreading magic over her sensitive clit.

A climax built inside her...inexorable.

Unbelievable.

His hands were wondrous.

He nuzzled his mouth against her neck. “You’re very wet, dahsh’kara.” His breath rushed over her ear, set her heart racing. “And I’m very thirsty.” He teased her earlobe with the point of his tongue. “I’m going to take a long, long drink.”


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