Rowan was resting at the end of a down-filled sofa, wrapped in a pale sheet that had ridden down far enough to nearly expose one of her plump breasts. Rafe was nude, one of his long legs stretched out beside Rowan, the other knee bent and his foot sunk into the overstuffed cushion.
Their eyes flickered with the inner light Erika had grown to recognize as their secret peek at her mood. She imagined her own eyes doing something similar as she stared at Rowan, but only because she couldn’t look anywhere else.
She should stop staring, as a matter of fact, but couldn’t pull her eyes away if she wanted to. The long, tangled tendrils of hair might be different, but Rowan’s face was a feminine mirror to Geva’s, and a very alluring one, too.
Rowan’s red gaze heated, making Erika’s skin prickle and her nipples harden.
“Why didn’t you say something before?” Rowan asked. “Your aura’s about to burst. Have we been torturing you this entire time?” Her brow crinkled with sudden concern and she shifted in her seat, pushing herself further upright from her lounging position. The sheet around her chest slipped lower, one hard, pink nipple rising above the edge, taunting Erika.
“I wanted to wallow in loneliness a little bit, I suppose,” Erika said with a rueful smile. “It makes me feel like I actually deserve him when he’s gone.”
Rowan’s eyes filled with understanding. “I know the feeling, but I don’t think I know this feeling—whatever it is your aura is full of at the moment. At least not coming from a woman I wasn’t actively trying to seduce. I promise I haven’t let a wisp of breath out since you got here.”
“You don’t know?” Erika asked, stepping toward her, compelled by some force she couldn’t quite explain. She fell to her knees on the floor at Rowan’s side, afraid to touch the woman for fear of being burned by her own craving, but forcing herself to anyway, just to see if she could survive. You do love playing with fire, don’t you?
She rested her hands on Rowan’s thigh, a little startled at first by her warm, smooth skin—as warm as Geva’s had been the last time they made love. “Geva is half of my soul, and all of my heart. In you I see a reflection of him and I can’t turn away from that looking glass until I’ve tried reaching through to see if you’re real.”
She lifted one hand up to Rowan’s cheek, letting her fingertips trace the smooth line of cheekbone. The same line graced her lover’s face, a little heavier and more prominent on Geva, but she could have drawn the contours with her eyes closed.
Rowan’s eyes flickered with light. Only her eyes were different—more slanted and otherworldly, reminding Erika that this princess of her own race was the product of a union between two dragons, unlike her beautiful brother who only shared their mother’s blood. Geva’s father had been as human as her own.
Rowan reached up and took Erika’s hand, pulled it to her mouth and pressed warm lips into the center of her palm. Their eyes remained locked, Erika’s pulse pounding as Rowan pulled her hand lower, placing it against the one creamy, bare breast.
Erika gasped. The heartbeat beneath her hand raced as fast as her own, speaking its own honest message.