The Devil's Angel – Excerpt

"I need you to know that I want us to work," Yvan said.

"Kiss me." Rae regretted the words as soon as they left her unruly mouth. However, after a second of thinking over her new rush decision, she decided it was a good idea. This was the only way to know if he was attracted to her. She didn't know what she was doing or talking about, but all the movies and books said so. It's in His Kiss was a song that explained it all. Cher surely knows what she's talking about. "Kiss me," she repeated.

Yvan cupped her cheek in his palm, and Rae felt like she would melt. Her chest heaved with anticipation. When his head lowered to hers she closed her eyes in expectation, her heart beating out of her chest. And when he kissed her, it was with an urgency that only left pain in its wake. Rae felt her heart swell with a tender ache then break like delicate glass shattered against a hard and harsh reality. Her heart broke in the desperation of his touch. She felt his need, but something stopped her from feeling his passion, something that told her that kiss wasn't meant for her or for anyone.

Rae stepped out of his arms and away from his kiss. "I don't see Rubi in your eyes, not anymore. You don't want her, but that doesn't mean you want me. Your lips are searching for something I can't give you. Your body is looking for a familiarity that I don't have. And your hands, your fingers…when they caress me they feel like strangers."

"That's because they are. I have never touched you intimately, never made love to you. And our first kiss was from a demand to prove something." A frown of irritation pleated the skin between his soft brown eyes. "But that doesn't mean I don't want you."

"You want me because I'm sweet and kind, and inside I'm everything Rubi is not. But on the outside you may still want her. Her curves, her boldness, the way she makes you feel sexually. I'm not her, Yvan, and I never will be."

"But I don't want you to be her. I'm just having a hard time because you look like her. You look like the person I am fighting so hard to get away from." Yvan held her head between his hot palms. He pressed a kiss on her lips. "But I am trying. I want what only you can give me…a home, a family, and security. I know I can love you, Rae."

"Why? Is it because you love my twin sister?"

"I don't love Rubi. Why do you keep bringing her up?" He made no effort to close the distance between them, yet there was something in the close matching of the pace of his breathing to hers that set off alarm bells in her. "I want you. I'm a red-blooded man. How could I not want you? What I want most is to love you."

"You can never convince your heart to love someone. It just loves," Rae said.

"I'm just confused."

"Then maybe you should take some time. You should go to Madrid."

"Maybe I should."

Rae forced herself to stay rooted at the spot. She kept staring at the painting, trying to ignore what was going on around her. But it was hard not to react as Yvan pulled out one suitcase after the other and filled them with clothes. There was a moment when she heard herself sob. Yvan heard it too and he froze for a second. Rae didn't know how long she had been standing there, her hands at her side, a fistful of cloth in them, her teeth biting down on her lower lip, and a sob trapped in her chest.

Rae didn't dare look up at him when he stood in front of her. A shiver of reaction moved over her and there was an aching constriction in her throat.

He kissed her cheek then said, "I will miss you."