Hunter was silent a moment, watching her. “You can’t save the world, Khalia. Believe me, I know.”
She stopped pacing and looked over at him, something in his tone pulling at her. “I’m not trying to save the world. But I damn well feel like I should be doing something other than hiding out here with you.”
He stood so fast she took an instinctive step back. It was on the tip of her tongue to apologize for snapping at him but the absorbed look on his face made her stay silent. He erased the space between them with two strides, until he stood close enough for her to smell the shampoo and soap he’d just used in the shower. His nearness and the heat radiating from him made her dizzy, scrambled her thoughts.
In the midst of all that dark stubble his lips looked incredibly soft. That black shirt was stretched taut across his chest and shoulders, emphasizing the firm planes of muscle. She’d felt them against her on the drive back to Islamabad. Now she wanted to run her hands over them, feel his hard body pressed full length against hers. His size and nearness woke every feminine cell in her body. Staring up at him, she watched his pupils dilate in response to her arousal. An instant wave of heat suffused her.
Though he had to feel the tension simmering between them, Hunter laid both hands on her shoulders and squeezed, the contact setting off tiny shocks in her belly. “You did what you came here to do and you helped get those girls to safety today. You don’t have anything to feel guilty about.”
His words banked the fire building inside her. Oh, but she had a lot of things to feel guilty about. Because right now all she could think about was how scared she’d been today, and how much she wanted him. “You could’ve been killed today because of me.”
His gaze softened and the hint of a smile played at the corner of his mouth. “I could’ve died from a fall in the shower just now, too.”
She shook her head, frustrated that he was making light of it. “I put you in the position to have to fight off those militants.”
He lifted the hand resting on her right shoulder to brush a lock of hair away from her temple. She sucked in a quiet breath as his fingers grazed her skin, sending shocks along her nerve endings. “The job did that, not you. I knew the risks when I signed on. I’ve faced worse things than we did today. And yet here I am, safe and sound.”
The touch was so gentle, almost a caress. She couldn’t help but lean into it. His eyes darkened from caramel to amber. The air between them felt electric, crackling with tantalizing possibility. She wanted to touch him, be held in those strong arms, have him pin her beneath him on the double bed behind her and strip everything away with his hands and mouth until she was naked and his for the taking. She wanted to stop thinking, seize the moment and feel alive.
To hell with waiting. She placed her hands on his wide shoulders, reveling in the strength and solidity of him beneath her fingertips. Swaying forward, she rose up on tiptoe to kiss him, unable to fight the unbearable hunger a second longer.