"She’s watching me warily, and I wonder if she’s expecting me to attack her. I place my wand down on the table and lift both my hands, palms facing her.
" I ’ m n o t g o i n g t o h u r t y o u , G r a n g e r . Y o u d o n ’ t h a v e t o b e s o s c a r e d . "
" I ’ m n o t s c a r e d , " she says, colour rising to her cheeks.
She looks so beautiful when she’s angry. I can’t stop myself from prodding at her.
" R e a l l y ? " I say, stepping around the coffee table. I stop when I’m standing right in front of her, but she meets my stare readily and doesn’t step away from me. " I ’ d l i k e t o b e t t h a t y o u a r e , " I finish.
" A n d w h a t i f I ’ m n o t ? " she challenges.
I consider crossing my fingers behind my back before making my wager. Bugger it, I don’t care. Here goes nothing.
"I’ll allow you to make one request of me, and I will carry it out without protesting or resisting, as long as it doesn’t expose my new relationship to the Order."
Her eyes widen. She certainly hadn’t expected that.
"And I suppose that you’ll expect the same from me if I am scared?" she asks.
I grin. “Precisely.”
"Done. Now ow are you going to decide whether or not I’m scared of you?"
"Well, I could always take the easy way and use Legilimency on you," I say. I smirk and continue, "But that’s no fun, is it? You want to have some fun, don’t you?"
I take another step, entering her personal space, and she automatically steps back, away from me.
"And you say you’re not scared."
"Not scared, cautious," she says.
I laugh lightly. “All right, then. You define what you’ll consider as scared, and I’ll test whether or not you’re scared of me.”
She sighs. “I really should be getting back.”
"Now that sounds like you’re scared."
She glares at me. “I am not! Fine. If you can make me scream, or yelp, or…I don’t know, quiver with fear, then you win.”
"Sounds fair to me," I say with a devilish grin.
I take the parchment from her and place it on the table behind me. Then I hold out my hand.
"Wand, please. You won’t be needing it."
She looks at me carefully but doesn’t hand over her wand. Instead, she steps around me to put it down on the table, next to mine. I turn around to face her.
"Well, get started. I don’t have all night," she says impatiently.
I grin. I don’t intend on scaring her at all. This bet isn’t for me to win. It’s just a test. And I can’t believe how easy it was to goad her into it.
"Close your eyes," I say.
She eyes me distrustfully before closing her eyes. I take a moment to admire her face. Her lashes are long and dark, and they curl upward just slightly. She has dark eyebrows, maybe a shade darker than her russet brown hair. My eyes travel down to the curve of her small nose and rest on her lips.
I extend my hands slightly so that they’re hovering around her wrists, down at her sides, prepared to grab them if she resists. Then I wait.
Impatiently, she opens her mouth to speak, but before she can get a sound out, I lean down and press my lips to hers, slipping my tongue into her open mouth. She tastes of strawberries and mint.
My doubt fades away. Hell, this is worth dying for.
Her hands start to move—to push me away, no doubt—but my hands wrap around her wrists, holding her arms down at her sides.
I explore her mouth and massage her tongue with mine, trying to elicit a response from her. Her stance is already loosening up, and her arms aren’t struggling against my grip anymore. I let my hands slide up her arms to rest on her shoulders, then bring them around her, tangling them in her long, bushy hair.
She lets out a shallow breath that flows into my mouth, and then her tongue comes alive, battling for dominance with mine. Fire courses through my veins as she wraps her arms around my neck to pull herself up against me. I don’t bother trying to hide my arousal and walk her backwards until she’s against the wall beside the fireplace.
When I decide that I need oxygen and start to back away, she takes a step forward, not allowing our lips to separate. I break the kiss, breathing unevenly.
"Fuck," I mutter.
Her eyes are still closed, and her arms are still wrapped around my neck.
"You got that right," she whispers breathlessly"
- Turncoat, Chapter 15