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TURNED
by Virna DePaul

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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They stood mere feet away from each other. Instead of the pitch-black hair and dark eyes he'd had back at the coffee shop, his hair was lighter and his eyes were now a sea-swept blue. The difference in coloring made him appear younger. More approachable. So did the look of yearning in his eyes. He stared at her as if he needed her to breathe. To feel. Quite simply, to exist.

Had anyone ever looked at her like that? As if she was everything to him?

He might cherish every part of her, if only she'd let him.

He remained silent, though. Watchful.

"Afraid I'm going to hurt you?" she asked, thinking of how she'd smashed his face into a wall and grabbed his balls. But that had been in real life. This was a dream. Perhaps he didn't remember. Or perhaps for this dream-Ty, none of it had actually happened.

"I am afraid you're going to hurt me," he said quietly. Yet somehow, they both knew he wasn't talking about her hurting him physically, but on a deeper emotional plane.

She didn't wake up. The slow burn of arousal continued to coil through her body. She raised her hand, cupped his neck and tugged his head down.

Though his eyes widened slightly, he pressed his forehead against hers.

"You're cold," she said, noting again how low his natural body temperature was. It was simply an observation, not a complaint, and
his features relaxed.

"Maybe to you. But I feel anything but cold right now."

"I know what you mean," she confessed, relishing her ability to talk freely for once. "Me, too."

"You're hot," he agreed. "But I'm wondering where you're the hottest."

"You know curiosity killed the cat, right?"

He laughed and she jolted slightly, awed by how much his entire demeanor softened. Dear God, she'd thought he was amazing when he'd been in full badass mode. When he let down his guard and laughed? Hell, it was entirely possible she'd climax right then and there. Instead, she instinctively squeezed her thighs together, trying to dull the empty throbbing in her core.

He took a swift breath, his eyes heavy-lidded. Slowly, ever so slowly, he reached out and trailed his fingertips lightly against her hip. "Doesn't matter. I'm willing to take my chances."

She couldn't speak. She quivered as his fingertips shifted to her outer thigh.

"So will you?"

"Will I what?" she breathed, not taking her gaze away from his fingers.

"Will you let me find out where you're the hottest?"

Swallowing hard, she asked, "Don't you know?"

She was stunned by her own daring. She was actually teasing him. Flirting. Encouraging his sexual attention. She'd never done that with a man. At least, not so naturally. On occasion, she forced herself to go to a bar and find a man to have sex with, but to her those interludes had always been about proving something. Not sexual anticipation or pleasure. This way was so much better, she realized.