Her touch was warm, strong.

The initial shock faded.  Gradually, something else took its place, something he was entirely unprepared for.  A groan rose in his throat.  He caught it, but not soon enough.  The tiniest sound slipped out.

Georgia blushed.

Actually blushed.

Darius could only stare while she rushed through the rest of the spell.  He barely heard her, his full attention tuned to her face.  Her sharp, wild, adorably pink face.  Georgia Clare—biker, black witch, all-around badass—was blushing.

“Sickness flee, and strength return.  So mote it be.”  Georgia blew out the candle and abruptly set it down on the couch.  Hot blue wax spilled onto the cushion.  She seemed unusually winded as she clapped shut her grimoire.  Her fingers danced—no, trembled—over the cover.  Darius tightened his jaw.

Georgia took a deep breath and straightened.  “Okay.  How does it feel?”

“Fine.  Thanks.”  His side still tingled where she’d touched him.  Darius rubbed the spot absently.  “We need to have words, you and I.”

She didn’t meet his eyes.  “Do we?”

Frustration bubbled to the surface, mixed with something he didn’t want to examine too closely.  “Hell yes, we do.  Back there in the street.  I told you to run.  You didn’t.  What the fuck were you thinking?”

Color rose in her cheeks.  Still, she didn’t look at him.  “Gosh, I don’t know.  Maybe that it would be pretty shitty to just run off and leave you to your death.  Silly me.”

Darius’ head swam.  He leaned down before he could think better of it.  “You could have been killed.  You realize that, right?”  He could practically feel his ribs rattling, like his heart was trying to beat its way out of his chest.

Georgia squared her shoulders.  Her face was maddeningly calm.  “What’s your point?”

“What’s my…”  Darius gaped.  “Are you serious?”

She finally looked at him.  “Honestly, I don’t see what you’re so upset about.  We’re here, aren’t we?”

Darius seethed.  “That’s not the point.”

“Then what is the—”

“YOU COULD HAVE DIED.”  The words exploded out of him.  In the apartment next door, a dog started to bark.

Georgia’s mouth clapped shut.  The color drained from her face.

Darius forced his voice back down.  “You heard me.  You could have died, Georgia.”  Just saying it out loud turned his stomach sour.  “Jesus Christ, woman, did that even cross your—”

Georgia stretched up on her tip-toes, and pressed her lips to his.

It was more experiment than kiss.  She broke contact almost immediately.  Darius forgot to take his next breath.  Damn, she tasted sweet.  He took in the rapid rise-fall of her breathing, the glazed heat in her eyes.  He had the taste of her on his tongue, a flavor he didn’t quite know how to name.  He needed more.

His vision tunneled.  He leaned forward and kissed her back.

† † †

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