Eva looked down at the huge paw—now a human hand but still larger than anyone’s hand she’d ever seen before—which was wrapped around her ankle, and then followed the line of the stranger’s arm with her eyes, up his arm and shoulder, thick with cords of muscle, to his face. His face was now that of a roughly handsome man, but his shaggy, longish hair was still the same texture and color of the fur he had as a bear, and his dark brown soulful eyes were also the same. She would have recognized him anywhere, as a man or a beast, based on those eyes. His eyes held hers now, commanding her but asking her forgiveness for the command at the same time.
“All right.” Eva nodded in understanding. Of course he wouldn’t want to go to the hospital. He was a creature who could be a man and a giant bear, and Lord only knew what else. He made a move to get up but hissed in pain again and sat back down, hard. Eva leaned in a little bit so they were on the same level, though with how tall he seemed to be—even in this form she estimated he must be around six foot five or six—she didn’t have far to lean.
“I understand not wanting to go to the hospital, being, well, whatever you are, but can I take you somewhere else? Or do…something else to help you?” Eva searched his eyes, and he searched hers right back, seeming to gauge her sincerity. She tried to put him at his ease. “You’re obviously in a lot of pain, and…you saved me from the other…animal. Thank you.” She reached out to touch one hard shoulder, which was toasty warm despite the cool night air. The man shivered, and a dark, hot look entered his eyes at her innocent touch.
“You know not what you offer, little one,” he said and looked away, obviously torn. Eva warmed at his endearment, and his words sent a stab of longing mingled with fear straight into her core. No one had called her little for a long, long time. She was tall and curvy, and had been since she’d hit puberty, but she supposed she was small compared to the behemoth in front of her. He could lift her easily. At that thought, Eva’s mind jumped to what it would feel like for him to lift her in his huge, strong arms, so she could wrap her arms around his neck and her legs around his trim hips, and he could thrust right up into her…
“If you keep looking at me like that, I’ll forget what little honor I have left and I will take all that you offer.” The man bit out the words as if he were in agony, and Eva realized that she’d been standing there, leaning over him with her cleavage exposed provocatively, having a full-on fantasy about a complete stranger. A scary complete stranger. And yet she still wasn’t afraid he would hurt her. She was…drawn him, more strongly than she’d ever been drawn to another. Eva felt a flush creep from her cheeks across her chest and up her face until she thought her whole body must be rosy. When she darted another glance at the man’s face, it showed naked hunger and…longing. Great, gnawing longing.
“Why don’t you tell me what I’m offering?” Eva couldn’t believe that throaty, temptress’s voice had come from her mouth, but she couldn’t regret her words when the man drew in a sharp breath of pleased surprise. At least he no longer looked so sad. Instead, a trace of hopefulness was now evident in his gaze.
“If you truly wish to help me, I need to taste you.” He looked tentative, and so hopeful and unbelievably sexy, despite his grievous injury, that Eva had to step closer to him, still touching his shoulder. She noticed a faint accent in the cadence of his words, too, which somehow made him even more appealing and less threatening.
“Taste me how? My blood?” she whispered.
The stranger looked her straight on, holding eye contact. “I need blood, yes, but I also need to taste your woman’s honey. That will truly speed my recovery. But once I’ve tasted you, I don’t think I’ll be able to stop until I’ve possessed you fully, not with the blood of the fight still in my veins.” Eva quaked at the thought of not only trusting this man to drink her blood but also opening up for him in a way she’d never opened for another man. Her ex-fiance had never even wanted to try giving her oral sex once in the years they’d been together. She realized that, even if this stranger hadn’t just been injured saving her life, she wanted to do this. She wanted this man so much she ached with yearning and practically shook with her need, feeling suddenly empty.
“Yes,” she breathed.