The second she said the words, he pounced, hauling her across his lap and leaning her back to claim her lips as his prize.
Unwilling to play the submissive, Nicole bit his lip, drawing blood and a curse from her would-be lover.
He wiped the blood away and chuckled. “You sure that’s how you want to play this?” His eyes glittered dark in the firelight, and she saw the excitement lurking in their depths.
She hadn’t really thought much beyond slowing him down, but she realized two things in that long moment. Patrick was getting off on the idea of a quick and feral joining, which suited her just fine. Anything that made it easier not to feel worked for her. And if he liked it rough, killing him would be that much easier. A little stab of pain here and there wouldn’t even be noticed. Too bad the knife he’d given her was still inside the cabin. Next time, she’d make sure it was within easy reach.
She grinned, narrowing her eyes and giving him a coy look, pulling his head back down. “A little pain never hurt anyone, right?”
He tore at her clothes and she at his, neither paying any mind to the odd scratch here or there, both using teeth and fingers to mark where they could. He took her hard and fast and rough, and she gave as good as she got as the adrenaline flowed freely until they both collapsed naked and spent by the fire.
Nicole gathered her clothing and dressed, watching as he did the same. She followed him back into the cabin, where he rolled out a mat on the floor and indicated for her to take the cot. When they were settled in, her eyes drifted shut as she listened to him breathe, waiting for that moment when it would carry that subconscious note. If she could slip out while he was sleeping, she could gain a slight advantage, and that could mean everything for their final round of play.
In another life, she’d want to keep him. She imagined what it would be like if he were a professor of some sort, with baggy cords and a jacket with patches on the elbows. His hair would still be long and tied back, but he’d sport a beard, maybe, and round, wire-rimmed glasses that perched on the edge of his nose.
She’d take classes just to see him, and when he finally noticed her, she’d go out of her way to stop by his office for a stolen kiss or three and to see the tattoos and muscles he kept hidden under the stuffy clothes. Because the dangerous edge he had out here, that sharp, survivalist quiet would be the same under all the trappings of civilized life.
And that wild, unfettered side would be the one she’d get when he was with her. Her own personal wolf in professor’s clothing.
The next time she opened her eyes, it was daylight, and Patrick was gone.