“Nadia. You came to me.”
Oh, God! The tortured inflection of his tone curled around her, inexplicably tugging at her heart. The pain in his eyes captivated her. Something inside her snapped, it bloomed and turned her inside out. “Yes, Gunnar, I came. I’m your nurse and that means I’ll always be here for you.”
The muscles in his chest twitched and flexed as he pulled his hand from hers. He pressed his fingers to her collarbone and even though they trembled, he skated them along the column of her throat to her chin. Warmth assailed her as his calloused fingertips alighted on her bottom lip and ran back and forth. Her eyelids drooped; air became impossible to take in. “Gunnar?”
“Come here,” he demanded as his hand slid down and cupped her waist, tugging gently.
A sane part of her yelled that complying meant she’d be crossing into unprofessional behavior but she quickly shut that voice up and gave in to the direction of his strong hand—she’d do anything to ease his suffering. Depressing the button on the side rail, it clanked as it released, no longer impeding her from Gunnar’s embrace. She leaned close, pressed her cheek to the feverish skin of his forehead.
“Please.” His hand lashed around her wrist and tugged.
Why was she fighting? He needed her. Holding Gunnar would bring him solace and comfort. If it’d help him get through the worst of his healing, she had little cause not to. The reasons against doing anything so crazy shrank by the second.
He sucked air in over his teeth and strained against the pillow. The muscles in his chest quivered and the veins at his temple swelled taut. All the electrical equipment did that flickering thing again as if a power outage hovered moments away. With a guttural moan, he bent his knee, pushing one foot into the mattress. He cursed in Turkish and swallowed rigidly.
Don’t you dare crawl into bed with him like some mated female! Snuggling with Gunnar goes against every hospital regulation, not to mention the tenets of your people.
“Nadia.” Just her name but it was a distinct plea.
After shackling her conscience and muzzling its ethical diatribe, she hitched one leg on the bed. Sliding onto the small mattress, she settled on top of the blankets and propped on her side to give him as much room as possible.
“Let me hold you.” His pitch was low, gravelly. “Help me heal.”
Kan Asma Vampires Book 1
When the kraliyet bodyguard ended up in her hospital bed after an explosion left him in critical condition, Nadia tried to warn herself not to fall in love with him. After all, she’s no vampire Cinderella, and happily-ever-afters didn’t happen to low-born females of the Kan Asma. But her heart wouldn’t listen, and soon she wanted to claim Gunnar as her forever mate, even if it meant taking him the only way possible, as a husband in a disgraceful human ceremony.
Gunnar fell in love with his nurse the moment he saw her smile. He yearned to claim her as his, but the Council would never allow him to mingle his powerful blood with a female from a poor family. The penalty for an unsanctioned mating is a death sentence. He doesn’t care about the threats and possible consequences of making her his. Though, due to the high probability of genetic incompatibility, he can’t complete their blood-bond without knowing if it might take her life. Losing her would be worse than torture.
Their only hope lies with the treasonous Faction hell-bent on destroying the very people Gunnar calls family. Determined to find a way to be mated, Gunnar seeks out the leader of this hidden uprising. Together, Nadia and Gunnar must break every law and rite of their vampire culture to become bonded for life. Gunnar will play a deadly game of subversion or pay a blood price that would sever him from their people and put a bounty on his head. They must survive a dangerous infiltration of the Faction, because they’ll do anything to be together, even if it means being mated in treason.