“But you don’t want a mate, remember?” he said, looking down into her eyes.
She swallowed and shook her head. “Damn straight I don’t. I want my career back.” Despite her bravado, her voice came out shaky. Her body seemed to gravitate toward him of its own accord, drawn to his naked heat.
“Then does it really matter what we see in each other? Whether you see it in me, or Simon, or Val. Whether we see the same in you, or each other. We want different things, all of us.”
She rested her palms on his chest, inhaling sharply at the jolt of heat that shot between her thighs at the mere feel of him.
“You’re right.” She sighed, tracing the lines of his strong muscles, drifting her fingers down his stomach. “I definitely don’t want to touch you, and I’m pretty sure you hate this, don’t you?” She dropped one hand to his groin, exhaling in a low murmur when she found his hot, hard erection. She stroked him once and he groaned.
“Fucking hate it,” he said.
“And you probably don’t want anything to do with my mouth going near your dick, do you?” She dropped to her knees, peering up at him as she brought her lips close to his tip, flicking her tongue out and tracing the line of his slit. Tangy fluid hit her taste buds and her mouth watered.
“Fuck no, that’s literally the last thing I want.” He threaded his fingers through her hair, letting out a sharp exhalation as she wrapped her lips around him and took him into her mouth.
She whimpered around his shaft, hating the game but loving it all the same. Hearing his subtle admission of his feelings was all she’d ever wanted, and having him pliant under her touch was even better. But despite her unbearably powerful desire for him, for Simon, and now for Val, Javin had succeeded in reminding her what mattered more: the arena. If she lost sight of that by falling in love, she’d never forgive herself, and she wouldn’t doom a relationship with the inevitable resentment that went with mating a champion.
But she would have this moment, savor it, because she may not ever get another. She sucked him harder until he gasped and tugged at her short hair.
“Astra, baby, you know what I want even less? Stand up.”
She stood and looked into his eyes, her breathing ragged. He brushed his lips across hers as he hooked his fingers beneath her shirt and tugged it off.
“I don’t want you naked right now.”
“Well that’s just too bad,” she said, smirking as she shed her boots and pants, then stripped out of her bra and panties. “You don’t always get what you want, Javin. You should know that.”