Rosalie,” he began. “Sorry, Hunter—”
“I have nightmares, too.”
Killian stilled, not sure he’d heard her correctly. “What’s that?”
“Or I did have them…” she continued. She sighed. “They were a lot like that. Like yours. No words, just…” Her eyes lifted to meet his. “Pain.”
He stared at her, couldn’t believe she was sharing anything with him. Much less something so personal.
“I don’t know what you’re doing here, Human—” she started.
“Human,” she returned. “But I know real pain when I hear it.”
Sh*t. What was this? He really wanted to know. Wanted to ask. But he didn’t. He was pretty sure she wouldn’t tell him anyway. “So they’re gone?” he asked. “The nightmares?”
She nodded. “When I let my cat form take over. Sleep in it twenty-four/seven.”
But Raphael hadn’t wanted her in the cat form. Said she would kill him if she was. So… Killian sat up on one elbow. “But you can’t be in your cat form when you’re around me.”
Her eyes met his. “Really?”
“Why don’t you stop this, Hunter? Let someone else guard me. Go back to what you were doing. Go back to your puma and…sleep.” His eyes roamed over her beautiful but very guarded face. “That really made the dreams stop?”
With a sniff of derision, Killian mumbled under his breath, “Maybe I should give it a try.”
But she heard him. “Humans can only be human, Human.”
“Yeah, you’d think, wouldn’t you?” he ground out.
Her eyes narrowed. “Tell me why you’re here.”
“Help,” he said.
“What kind? Immunity? Did you do something on the outside? Are you trying not to go back into combat? Do you know something about the military’s plans for the Pantera and our very unique and highly sought-after DNA?”
He remained silent.
Which pissed her off. Not like that was a hard thing. “You’re a soldier,” she snarled. “But you don’t know who Locke is. You’re a human, but you’re not a criminal or Raphael wouldn’t have let you—” She stopped, blinked at him. Killian could see her mind working, and it was fast and sharp. “When I came up on you and the rat in the bayou…I didn’t scent human right away. Only Pantera.”
“Is that right?” he said softly.
Her lips parted then, and she leaned in. All the way until the tip of her nose brushed his throat. Killian inhaled sharply. He didn’t know what she was pulling off him, but her scent was intoxicating. Like a rare flower, whose fragrance existed only for him. He growled at the ridiculous, romanticized, almost insane thought. But when her nose moved up to his jaw and her breath caressed his neck, he lost all brain function whatsoever. His hunger, his desire were on a level he’d never experienced before. An almost animalistic…