sighed, and that quickly, he was wrenched very much into the present. “Good?” he asked.
“I want to eat more but my stomach is protesting.”
He let the ice of control go for the moment, the dark heat of his nature filling the empty spaces within. “I’ll pull up at a rest stop so you can throw away the cup.”
“I don’t want to throw it away.” She licked the spoon with an innocent relish that hit him as anything but.
His entire body went taut, fixated on the lush softness of her mouth, the pink dart of her tongue. Jesus, Dev, he told himself, this is hardly the time to be thinking of sex.
His body had other ideas. Weak, fragile women had never attracted him. And Katya, she was all of that. But he’d glimpsed the steel frame beneath that translucent skin, those lost eyes—when this woman found herself again, she’d be a force to be reckoned with.
“I’ll make you another one at home,” he managed to say, his voice raw. “We’ll stop at a grocer’s on the way and pick up supplies.” He couldn’t stop looking after her. Another small weakness, another chink in his armor.
“Can I choose the fruit?”
Her excitement was both a balm to his hunger and fuel for the same. “How will you know what to choose?”
“I’ll take one of each, then decide what I like.” An eminently practical answer... and yet the shimmering joy in her voice was nothing practical, nothing remotely Psy.
If she was a weapon, she was a masterstroke.
A little more than two hours later, Katya walked across a wide porch and into a graceful house isolated at the end of a long drive and surrounded by what seemed to be acres of trees. A fine layer of snow had turned the area into a won derland, but it was the house that captured her interest. “You consider this your home?”
Dev gave a short nod. “When I can get to it. Give me a second to put these groceries in the kitchen.”
Deeply curious about the man behind the director, she turned slowly, taking in everything. The split-level house was wide and full of light, with furniture that was stylish yet appeared lived in. Blown-up photographs graced a few walls—she found herself moving toward one in mute fascination. It was a shell lying on the beach, its every precise angle illuminated by the lens. But there was warmth in the black-and-white shot, a sense that the photographer had been entranced by the beauty of the simple object. “Art,” she whispered, hearing Dev’s footsteps, “is not something the Psy appreciate.”
“Perhaps that’s why the Forgotten held on to it so hard.” He leaned a shoulder on the wall beside the photograph, his arms loosely folded. “Almost all Forgotten children are brought up with a strong appreciation for art and music.”
Katya considered whether that was a piece of knowledge that could be used to harm Dev and his people should she ever be thrown back in the hole, in the darkness, and decided not. “You prefer art.”
A slight nod.
“You’re very good.” Psy didn’t truly understand art, but there was a store of data in her head that told her she’d learned how to value it. Because, to those of her race, anything that gained in value was a sound investment, whether or not the owner actually found the piece aesthetically pleasing.
Dev’s eyes gleamed when she looked to him. “How do you know they’re mine?”
“They echo with you.” Even as she spoke, she wasn’t sure what she meant. She just knew she’d sensed his fingerprint on each and every piece. The clarity, the focus, it rang with his personality. But that warmth... something had changed. “When did you take these?”
“A few years back.”
She wondered what had happened in the ensuing time. Because while he’d laughed with her, she sensed a cool kind of distance in Dev, a feeling that he held everything behind multiple shields. But then again, she was the enemy. Why should he share anything of himself with her?
Dev tapped the photograph of