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DRAGON RISING
by Jaime Rush

Genre: Paranormal Romance, E-book, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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She blinked at him, amber flames flickering unsteadily in her blue eyes. Her pain and fear overwhelmed him. He focused on the feel of her skin beneath his hands, then realized that skin was her ass, soft, round…

Hell.

He could see the reflection of that fine ass in the brass walls of the elevator, his hand splayed across it, his other arm around her back. She had to be naked. Because this wasn’t hard enough. He tried to force cool energy through his being to compensate for her heat where their skin touched.

“Hurts…,” she uttered in a strained voice.

“I know, I know,” he soothed, because I can feel it. “It’ll be gone soon.”

The elevator opened, and he stepped into the apartment. He set her down on his bed.

“You’re b-beautiful,” she whispered, her eyes glassy.

“Sleep.” He waved his hand over her face, and her eyes drifted closed.

She was shivering, going into shock. He placed his palm over her shoulder, her warm blood slick on his skin. Pain seared his shoulder, hot and intense. He jammed the corner of the blanket between his teeth. She jerked, grimacing as the pain tore away from her. Then she relaxed as the last of it left her and now cut through him. He breathed through it, biting down hard on the blanket. How had she endured it? She was brave, fighting like a warrior. Finally, the pain left him, too, and he sagged with relief.

He went to the kitchen and returned with a bowl of warm water and a towel. He knelt on the bed beside her and ran the cloth over her skin, washing away the blood. There was no need for modesty because he had no sexual drive. Another side effect of the human–angel union was to suffer pain at feeling desire, others’ and their own. All Caidos had to shut down that part of themselves for self-preservation. So it meant nothing to run the cloth over her breasts, her flat stomach and hip bones that jutted out slightly. To wash her yellow Dragon tattoo that slept as she did.

That he was taking his time had nothing to do with his drinking in her curves. Yet his fingers itched to touch her. His body stirred as it had not in many years. How long since blood had rushed into that particular organ?

He dropped the cloth into the bowl and set it on the nightstand, then pulled up a sheet to cover her. He had never been drawn to a woman. Desired one, yes, but never pulled like this, right from his soul. Archer ran the back of his fingers against her cheek, so soft and flawless. He would allow himself only this touch. Nowhere intimate that would violate her sanctity. It would be the last time he’d touch her.

You’re weak from the healing. Stop. Don’t give in.

He knew his conscience was right. Where angels feared to tread … that place was here with this woman.