“What do you see when you look at me?” It was a valid question. Before Claudius was stuck in the attic, he saw the decrepit wizened witch. Back then, I was unable to maintain my beauty for longer than a few hours at best.
The male smoothed back my hair. “I see a vibrant female. One who doesn’t realize that she’s valuable regardless of her powers.” Claudius traced his fingers down my neck, stopping between my breasts. “Most importantly? I see a kindred spirit. You’re someone who will do her damnedest to understand me. Should I see something else?”
“No.” How could I tell him that I was experiencing feelings I’d never had before. Even with Obadiah. Especially Obadiah.
Claudius snaked his arms around my waist and clasped his thick fingers behind me. “Here’s the thing, Red. As much as I’d like to make love to you, I won’t force the issue. We can simply continue the way we’ve been. I suspect you’ve never taken your time with any male.”
Unable to speak, I nodded. As I said, there were many nameless faces in my life. Realizing that Obadiah may have never loved me, I also knew that no one had ever made love to me. I wondered what that was like.
Claudius hugged me tightly. “We have all the time in the world, Red.”
I blurted, “But, why me? There are plenty of females—”
He placed a finger over my lips. “Because I’m not interested in anyone else. Did you know that I haven’t been with a female since Maeve?”
I shook my head.
“Before her…” Claudius lowered his finger. “Before Hecate, I was the philandering dog chasing every tail in Falls Creek. Hecate told me that I was disrespecting myself. She claimed I’d only find love when I learned to respect me.”
“So, you loved Hecate? Maeve?”
“Hecate? Yes. Maeve? Hell no. She was merely a distraction.” Claudius gave me a quick peck. “You want to know why I chose you. It’s simple, Red. I have always been fascinated by you.”
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