I want you.
Then it is his turn for a quickened pulse, a stolen breath. Mihai watches her in that following pause, his dark eyes shifting between hers; searching. Her hand hovers near his mouth, and it would be so easy for him to cut the distance by leaning in to press his lips against her crimson fingertips. To thank her for being open. To thank her for giving him the chance to appreciate her gifts.
But that minimal distance is not closed. He hovers just as her hand does. His lips part in a wavering exhale as she speaks again. You don't want to know me, he thinks. It isn't a question. It's a reiteration of fact. He should be sending her away. He should be encouraging her to surround herself with family and friends; commanding her to prepare herself for a war that isn't his to help fight. He's already fought so many. He's tired.
Releasing the hand he holds, he instead enfolds her hovering wrist, and draws her hand back down to his chest where she bared the tattoos across his collar. The other hand lifts to cup her face, his cool palm pressing. His thumb sweeps gently over the crest of her cheekbone.
"You do not know what you are asking of me," he warns. It isn't a refusal.
Over on the coffee table, the cat makes a curious sound. Her tail flicks a quiet, agitated tattoo against the surface.