He cleared his throat. “Is there a reason I found you naked out there? I mean, you lost your clothes somehow, right?”
The secret smile she gave him made his throat feel dry. “Do you want me to lie?”
“Of course not.”
“The ritual was best practiced in the nude. Skyclad rituals are very common, you know. The Goddess tells us, ‘You shall be free from all slavery, and as a sign that you be truly free, you shall be naked in your rights.’"
He lifted a brow. “Even if that were the case, you didn’t walk there naked, did you?”
Maybe she was crazy after all.
“I didn’t walk at all.”
He thought she might be saying that she was transported by magic. Yep, she was batty as hell. He was so not touching that one. He cleared his throat again.
A sharp cry startled him and instinctively, he reached forward and grabbed her when she started to fall. Unfortunately, she ended up right in his arms.
Or maybe it was fortunate after all. With her luscious lips so close, he could almost taste her. And her scent…dear God, she was intoxicating, like a mixture of night air and jasmine. “You all right?” he managed.
She nodded. “My foot caught on a rock, I think.”
“Is it bleeding?”
“My foot or the rock?” Her cheek dimpled.
He laughed. “Your foot, of course.”
“No, I don’t think so. It’s all right.”
“Good.” He realized his mistake immediately. Some strange instinct caused him to keep her close. Stepping back would be a crime and she was seductive. Knowing she was naked underneath his coat didn’t help anything. She was way too accessible. Heedless of the costs, he plunged a hand into the soft waves of her dark hair and lowered his mouth to hers.
She tasted like wine, potent and sweet. He explored her mouth slowly, allowing her the chance to pull away or slap him. He knew he’d deserve it. He’d never stolen a kiss before, and he couldn’t think why he’d done it now. But, she tasted delicious. And her body felt so good against his. He groaned and drew her closer. When she moaned in return, he kissed her deeply and moved a hand down her back. His hands wanted to roam further, but he held himself in check. If he was a real gentleman, he’d pull away now. Reluctantly, he did.