Home > The Sweetest Burn (Broken Destiny #2)(13)

The Sweetest Burn (Broken Destiny #2)(13)
Author: Jeaniene Frost

Inspiration hit and I spun around, grabbing Adrian by the arm. “Choke me,” I announced. “Survival instinct kicks my abilities into gear, as you proved so memorably before.”

A muscle ticked in his jaw. “No.”

“But you have to,” I said, which should have been obvious. Otherwise, we’d wasted three days driving all the way out here.

His featured tightened. “I only did that before because a child’s life was on the line. Unless it’s life-or-death, I’m never hurting you again. Besides—” his voice lost its harshness “—survival instinct isn’t the only thing that can trigger your abilities. Adrenaline should work, too.”

I let out a short laugh. “So I should find a scorpion and pet it for the sheer terror of the experience?”

His mouth quirked. “You could, but I had something else in mind.”

* * *

MY SEAT BELT was on as tight as I could stand. I also had one hand pressed against the side window while the other gripped the seat divider. In addition to that, my leg was braced against the dashboard so I could wedge my body farther into the seat. Still, it felt like I’d be vaulted out of the car at any moment.

And I couldn’t stop smiling. That was the craziest thing. At first, I’d been nervous when Adrian gunned the Challenger to incredible speeds across the desert, leaving Jasmine, Costa and the bus containing Brutus far behind. Then I’d been shocked by how he could spin the muscle car around in circles and cause it to “drift” while still maintaining complete control.

I’d never done something reckless just for the fun of it before. Jasmine had always been the impulsive one. I’d been careful, polishing my mask of normalcy as I went through the motions that were otherwise referred to as life. For the longest time, I blamed my ennui on the medication I took for my hallucinations, but then I found out the pills were placebos. My parents had supplied them, knowing there was no cure for my condition, but not wanting to admit that until they thought I could handle it. What they hadn’t known was that the cause of my visions was supernatural instead of medical.

No, I’d numbed myself to the world all on my own, resigning myself to never feeling the things that “normal” people felt. Then I met Adrian. He didn’t just wake something up inside me; in many ways, he’d transformed me. No wonder I had such difficulty controlling myself around him. Maybe, for the moment, I shouldn’t even try to. Maybe, like I was doing with this wild car ride, I should just enjoy being reckless instead.

I unclipped my seat belt and slid across the seat. Adrian gave me a startled look, slowing the car at once. I didn’t wait for it to stop before I leaned over and pressed my lips to his.

His response was immediate, and electric. He yanked me closer, the momentum from him hitting the brakes slamming me harder against him. I didn’t care, because his mouth slanted over mine and his arms crushed me to him. I moaned as his tongue slashed past my lips, tangling with mine until I felt drunk with his taste. I breathed in his scent, reveled in the scrape of his lightly stubbled jaw, then arched in wordless bliss when he pulled me all the way onto his lap.

He kissed me deeper, each stroke of his tongue igniting my senses, until my whole body felt like it vibrated from desire. I was lightheaded, as if everything around me was still spinning, but the car had come to a complete stop. His hands moved down my back with sensual possessiveness before sliding over my hips and staying there. I wasn’t aware that I’d been gripping his shirt until it ripped open at the collar. The sound he made as his kiss became bruising caused things low in me to tighten so suddenly, I cried out.

That rush of passion did more than cause me to writhe with need in his arms. With an internal flash that was as intense as a solar flare, my abilities activated and I felt that the staff wasn’t anywhere nearby. Oh, a few hallowed things were, but nothing as significant as an object that had channeled enough power from on high to control nature. That wouldn’t register as a faint “blip” on my radar. It would blast it, just like David’s ancient slingshot had when I found it months ago.

Adrian pulled away, his hands now framing my face instead of gripping my hips. “I felt that. What is it?”

“You can feel that?” I asked with a gasp.

He brushed my hair away while his gaze raked over me. “You’d be amazed by some of my abilities, Ivy.”

The raw sensuality in his voice promised pleasure and threatened obsession. At the same time, there was something distinctly not sexy about my abilities rearing their head right now. To say that I hadn’t been focusing on anything hallowed for the past several minutes was putting it mildly.

Yet my abilities had had their priorities in order, even if I hadn’t. I uncurled myself from Adrian’s embrace and began to scoot back into my seat. His eyes stayed locked onto mine, but he didn’t stop me.

“You were right, adrenaline did the trick, but the staff isn’t here,” I said, voice raspy as I tried to regain control.

“Ah.” The word did nothing to tell me what he was thinking about my putting the brakes on—or starting things to begin with. Was he frustrated? Upset? I couldn’t stand not knowing.

“You—you could say something else about what just happened,” I stammered.

The faintest smile tugged his lips, which were fuller from how hard he’d kissed me. “So could you, but if you want me to go first, fine. I love how you taste, how you feel, the little noises you make when you’re turned on, and when you ripped my shirt open, I wanted to throw you in the back and fuck you so hard, all the windows would shatter.”

Adrian’s tone was light and he never lost that half smile, but his stare said that he meant every word.

“You promised.” My response was 90 percent a reminder of his vow, and 10 percent a plea for him to forget it.

He reached out, catching my hand in his. Then he brought it to his lips, kissing my knuckles while never breaking his stare.

“That’s why we’re still in the front seat, but you wanted to know what I was thinking, so I told you.”

Then he let go of my hand and moved his seat forward. I looked away, flushing. I hadn’t even noticed him moving it back, but I wouldn’t have fit on his lap otherwise. Despite my tinge of embarrassment, I also felt a sense of relief. By repositioning his seat, Adrian was further confirming that nothing else was going to happen. I’m the one who’d started this, but I’d only meant it to be a kiss. Not for it to end with sex.

Then again, if my hallowed radar hadn’t acted up, who knows how this would have ended? With lots of broken windows?

“Your turn,” he said, interrupting that dangerous line of thought. “You’re the one who kissed me. Why?”

I squirmed at his bluntness. “Isn’t it kinda obvious?”

Another ghost of a smile. “I didn’t make you guess what I was thinking when I answered you.”

No, he sure hadn’t. I looked away, unable to reply while on the receiving end of that deep blue stare. His gaze was too probing, too knowing, and yes, still too enticing.

“I shouldn’t have,” I said at last. “That makes me a tease, I suppose, but I felt so...free, right before I kissed you.” I let out a choppy laugh. “Guess it made me forget all the reasons why I’m not.”

“Ivy.” The way he said my name forced me to look at him. When I did, he pulled me into his arms before I even realized that he’d moved.


“Shh,” he murmured. “I don’t think I’ve ever just held you before. I was always pushing you away, and the one time I didn’t, we were also in this car.” His lips brushed my hair. “Did you know that old Challengers were your aphrodisiac?”

I laughed, relaxing at his loose embrace and his light, bantering tone. “What can I say? I’m into vintage things.”

His chuckle rumbled against my back. “I’ve missed you, Ivy. All of you, so don’t think you’re not free around me because you are. That means kissing me isn’t teasing. I want to do truly filthy things to you, but I can wait. If Zach hurries his Archon ass up, I won’t even have to wait long.”

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