Quince experienced another pang of homesickness, wishing for a past that could never be. Better to think about the now, he thought as he hid in the feminine day spa catering to Ac-taw and humans alike. Thanks to the Hunter’s mist he’d sprayed over himself to mask his scent, he was all but invisible. And if Dean hadn’t totally fucked him over, he might just have a shot at getting Joy under his hot, hungry hands…
The doorknob against the far wall turned, and he froze behind the slatted closet door. The older woman who preceded Joy gave the closet a subtle nod. For a hundred bucks, and Dean’s voucher, she’d been more than happy to play secret matchmaker.
“Okay, Ms. Bermin. You can take your robe off and hang it there.” She pointed to a hook on the wall. “Mannie will be with you shortly. Just lie down on the table, close your eyes, and let yourself relax.” Crappy New Age music piped through overhead speakers in the ceiling.
He was in hell. Until Joy grinned.
She looked adorable in a white terrycloth robe two sizes too big for her. Though by no means short, she still came to a few inches below his chin. But she had curves in all the right places. So damn sexy. The only dark-headed Bermin amidst so many blondes, she had short spiky hair, mischievous jade-green eyes, and a mouth made for sin.
Just thinking about their one and only kiss aroused him.
“Terrific,” Joy said. “I was stressed out. But I tell you, that mineral bath was amazing.”
The spa attendant smiled and lit a few candles, giving the room an herbal smell. Lavender? Maybe rosemary? He didn’t much care, except that the candles would help cover his scent even more.
“We’re Whitefish’s premier spa. Of course, I’m biased, but when my friends ask what I want for my birthday, I always tell them a gift certificate for this place.” The woman laughed. “Your sister Stacey agrees. I was so excited to learn that the Bermin line was coming to Montana.” She made a bit more small talk about high fashion, Stacey’s new plans to expand her design wear, then left Joy with instructions to lock the door behind her, because her massage therapist would enter through the other door. The one right next to the closet.
After the door shut behind her, Joy went over to lock it, then turned and unbelted her robe. She hung it on the wall and let out a deep breath, looking relaxed for the first time in ages.
Good Christ. His mouth dried and he found it hard to breathe.
She had golden skin, dewy from her bath, and was just…perfect. Full breasts with rosy areolas, a slender waist, and a curvy ass. He wanted to taste her like crazy.
He forced himself to keep quiet as she moved to the massage table and lay belly down, putting her face in the donut-shaped pillow. Good for him, because she wouldn’t be able to see him. Then she drew a sheet over her ass and legs, hiding that delectable derriere from view.
He gave it a few minutes, then deliberately opened the door and closed it behind him. He locked the door next to the closet, securing them together. Alone.
“Hello, Ms. Bermin. I’m Mannie,” he said in a much deeper voice.
“Mmm.” Nice. She was almost asleep. According to the woman he’d bribed, Mannie was Stacey’s personal massage therapist, so Joy wouldn’t fret about being in the same room with the striking gay man.
Quince swallowed a curse, not liking the thought of any man, gay or straight, touching his mate—future mate, he reminded himself. Go slow and don’t blow it. Reel her in, slowly. Seduce a yes out of the tricky feline.
Quince would much rather have been honest with Joy, but the woman made it impossible to deal with her on the level.
Even Dean had agreed. “You want to win her?” he’d said last night. “Trick her into saying yes before she can backpedal. Trust me, Joy should have been born a fox. Woman has a thing for always trying to pull one over on a guy.”
Quince cleared his throat and reminded himself not to get naked and mount her yet. He knew they shared chemistry, but she needed to want all of him. Or so he kept telling himself as he stared down at her slender neck and smooth, rounded shoulders.
“This will feel good. Just lie there and relax.” He slathered almond scented oil over his hands and placed them on her back. His dick spiked, so in tune with the rest of him needing to caress her. Touch her. Keep her.
She froze for a moment but soon relaxed under his soothing touch. From her shoulders down to her lower back, he butterfly-stroked the tension out of her. Each time his fingers drew closer to the curve of her ass, and each time he fought the urge to deepen the intimacy and release his scent. His cat growled and paced inside him, needing to scent mark his mate.
Not yet, he warned it, understanding too well the cat’s yowl of denial. Soon. Let’s play with her first. The cat sniffed with grudging approval, but when Quince deepened his touch, kneading her skin, the cat purred in his breast before he could shush it quiet.
“Oh, that feels good,” Joy whispered on a breathy sigh.
Too good. Quince was hard enough to split wood. A bead of sweat trickled down his temple, and he wiped it away with his shoulder. Then he moved to her waist. “I’m going to adjust the sheet so I can get to your hamstrings and calves.”
“Sure,” he heard her murmur.
He slid the soft sheet over her back, keeping it barely covering her ass.
Then he moved to the base of the table, prodded her ankles wider, and started rubbing her feet, curling his lips at her barely audible purr. His cat heard it and purred along with her.
Joy’s muscles locked. She’d heard him. He didn’t care.
“Easy. Let yourself go,” he rasped, imaging how beautiful she’d be the first time she came in his arms.
He stroked her heels, her ankles, and higher up her calves to the backs of her knees. Then he caressed the insides of her thighs, moving higher but not high enough to be called on it.
Fuck if he could think past the need to take her.
“That feels… that feels…” She hitched her breath.
“Good?” he ended for her, having a hard time breathing.
“Uh, yeah,” she squeaked.
He ran his thumbs back up the insides of her thighs again, this time skating perilously close to her pussy. He inhaled and scented raw, powerful lust. Oh God.
She squirmed, and his thumb brushed her folds, coated with her arousal.
“Mannie, I don’t think…”
“No, don’t think,” Quince growled, making no effort to disguise his voice any longer.
“I knew it!” But she didn’t flinch or try to move off the table. Instead she shivered under him, as caught in the spell as Quince.
He knew better than to give her time to think things through. He yanked the sheet off her back and continued to massage her, this time running his fingers against the slick flesh between her legs before sliding his hands down her thighs. He massaged on an upward sweep again, higher and higher, until unable to stop himself, he slid his finger inside her.
She clamped down on the digit, moaning and surrounding him with heat, and he swore. “Fuck. Let me…” He didn’t want to hear her reject him again, so he took charge. Quince removed his hand, flipped her onto her back, and then pulled her ass to the edge of the table, where she dangled her legs on either side of him. The perfect position for him to spread her thighs wider and shove his face into the sweetest pussy he’d ever had.