A Court of Mist and Fury Page 109

I sipped from my wine. “And if he had grabbed me?”

There was nothing but uncompromising will in his eyes. “Then I would have torn apart the world to get you back.”

A shiver went down my spine, and I couldn’t look away from him. “I would have fired at him,” I breathed, “if he had tried to hurt you.”

I hadn’t even admitted that to myself.

His eyes flickered. “I know.”

He finished eating, placed the empty tray in the corner, and faced me on the bed, refilling my glass before tending to his. He was so tall he had to stoop to keep from hitting his head on the slanted ceiling.

“One thought in exchange for another,” I said. “No training involved, please.”

A chuckle rasped out of him, and he drained his glass, setting it on the tray.

He watched me take a long drink from mine. “I’m thinking,” he said, following the flick of my tongue over my bottom lip, “that I look at you and feel like I’m dying. Like I can’t breathe. I’m thinking that I want you so badly I can’t concentrate half the time I’m around you, and this room is too small for me to properly bed you. Especially with the wings.”

My heart stumbled a beat. I didn’t know what to do with my arms, my legs, my face. I gulped down the rest of my wine and discarded the glass beside the bed, steeling my spine as I said, “I’m thinking that I can’t stop thinking about you. And that it’s been that way for a long while. Even before I left the Spring Court. And maybe that makes me a traitorous, lying piece of trash, but—”

“It doesn’t,” he said, his face solemn.

But it did. I’d wanted to see Rhysand during those weeks between visits. And hadn’t cared when Tamlin stopped visiting my bedroom. Tamlin had given up on me, but I’d also given up on him. And I was a lying piece of trash for it.

I murmured, “We should go to sleep.”

The patter of the rain was the only sound for a long moment before he said, “All right.”

I crawled over the bed to the side tucked almost against the slanted ceiling and shimmied beneath the quilt. Cool, crisp sheets wrapped around me like an icy hand. But my shiver was from something else entirely as the mattress shifted, the blanket moved, and then the two candles beside the bed went out.

Darkness hit me at the same moment the warmth from his body did. It was an effort not to nudge toward it. Neither one of us moved, though.

I stared into the dark, listening to that icy rain, trying to steal the warmth from him.

“You’re shivering so hard the bed is shaking,” he said.

“My hair is wet,” I said. It wasn’t a lie.

Rhys was silent, then the mattress groaned, sinking directly behind me as his warmth poured over me. “No expectations,” he said. “Just body heat.” I scowled at the laughter in his voice.

But his broad hands slid under and over me: one flattening against my stomach and tugging me against the hard warmth of him, the other sliding under my ribs and arms to band around my chest, pressing his front into me. He tangled his legs with mine, and then a heavier, warmer darkness settled over us, smelling of citrus and the sea.

I lifted a hand toward that darkness, and met with a soft, silky material—his wing, cocooning and warming me. I traced my finger along it, and he shuddered, his arms tightening around me.

“Your finger … is very cold,” he gritted out, the words hot on my neck.

I tried not to smile, even as I tilted my neck a bit more, hoping the heat of his breath might caress it again. I dragged my finger along his wing, the nail scraping gently against the smooth surface. Rhys tensed, his hand splaying across my stomach.

“You cruel, wicked thing,” he purred, his nose grazing the exposed bit of neck I’d arched beneath him. “Didn’t anyone ever teach you manners?”

“I never knew Illyrians were such sensitive babies,” I said, sliding another finger down the inside of his wing.

Something hard pushed against my behind. Heat flooded me, and I went taut and loose all at once. I stroked his wing again, two fingers now, and he twitched against my backside in time with the caress.

The fingers he’d spread over my stomach began to make idle, lazy strokes. He swirled one around my navel, and I inched imperceptibly closer, grinding up against him, arching a bit more to give that other hand access to my breasts.

“Greedy,” he murmured, his lips hovering over my neck. “First you terrorize me with your cold hands, now you want … what is it you want, Feyre?”

More, more, more, I almost begged him as his fingers traveled down the slope of my breasts, while his other hand continued its idle stroking along my stomach, my abdomen, slowly—so slowly—heading toward the low band of my pants and the building ache beneath it.

Rhysand’s teeth scraped against my neck in a lazy caress. “What is it you want, Feyre?” He nipped at my earlobe.

I cried out just a little, arching fully against him, as if I could get that hand to slip exactly to where I wanted it. I knew what he wanted me to say. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of it. Not yet.

So I said, “I want a distraction.” It was breathless. “I want—fun.”

His body again tensed behind mine.

And I wondered if he somehow didn’t see it for the lie it was; if he thought … if he thought that was all I indeed wanted.

But his hands resumed their roaming. “Then allow me the pleasure of distracting you.”

He slipped a hand beneath the top of my sweater, diving clean under my shirt. Skin to skin, the calluses of his hands made me groan as they scraped the top of my breast and circled around my peaked nipple. “I love these,” he breathed onto my neck, his hand sliding to my other breast. “You have no idea how much I love these.”

I groaned as he caressed a knuckle against my nipple, and I bowed into the touch, silently begging him. He was hard as granite behind me, and I ground against him, eliciting a soft, wicked hiss from him. “Stop that,” he snarled onto my skin. “You’ll ruin my fun.”

I would do no such thing. I began twisting, reaching for him, needing to just feel him, but he clicked his tongue and pushed himself harder against me, until there was no room for my hand to even slide in.

“I want to touch you first,” he said, his voice so guttural I barely recognized it. “Just—let me touch you.” He palmed my breast for emphasis.

It was enough of a broken plea that I paused, yielding as his other hand again trailed lazy lines on my stomach.

I can’t breathe when I look at you.

Let me touch you.

Because I was jealous, and pissed off …

She’s mine.

I shut out the thoughts, the bits and pieces he’d given me.

Rhys slid his finger along the band of my pants again, a cat playing with its dinner.



“Please,” I managed to say.

He smiled against my neck. “There are those missing manners.” His hand at last trailed beneath my pants. The first brush of him against me dragged a groan from deep in my throat.

He snarled in satisfaction at the wetness he found waiting for him, and his thumb circled that spot at the apex of my thighs, teasing, brushing up against it, but never quite—

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