He almost had.

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“I don’t care if you’re human or wolf. You’re mine, Erin. The woman I want. The only one I’ve ever loved.”

Oh, hell, and he was hers.

“Forget the past. Forget that twisted bastard and start over again—with me. You might not love me yet, but give me a chance, sweetheart. The blood and hell are behind us. We can go slow now, date like humans, play normal.”

Normal was losing its appeal. “That’s not what I want anymore,” she told him and her hand brushed against his abdomen.

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Jude sucked in a sharp breath and his pupils flared. “Erin, we can do this, we can—”

“I tried ‘normal.’ That wasn’t really for me.” Wished I’d realized that sooner.

Silence for a beat, then, “What is for you?”

A man who wasn’t afraid of the darkness inside her. A man who had a wild side to match her own.

A man who’d saved her from death.

A man who kissed her like she was his life.

“You are, Jude.” She was taking a risk. One big-ass risk. But for him, for what they might have, she’d do it. “You’re the man I want.” More than a man. So much more. “The one I love.”

That scar, the thin line on his lip that she always wanted to lick, rose as his lips curved. “You mean that? Be sure, very, very sure, because I’m not talking about a fling here. I’m talking about forever.”

Forever with her tiger. Sounded pretty good. She leaned toward him and used her tongue to trace that line on his lip. Then she said, “So am I.”

She’d never thought about spending all her days with someone else before. With so many secrets, she hadn’t even come close to trusting another man with her life.

But Jude knew all of her secrets, and he didn’t care about her past. He didn’t think she was broken or weak. When he looked at her, he looked at her with lust and hunger and—

I can see it now—should have seen it before.

Love.

Maybe she had seen it, but she’d been afraid.

It was time to stop being afraid. Time to start living. Really living.

Her hand rose between their bodies and caught the knot of her towel. With one tug, she jerked it loose. The towel hit the floor.

His gaze brightened. Such a bright blue. The tiger was close.

Good. She liked the beast and loved the man.

Life wouldn’t be perfect for them, she knew that.

But screw perfect. She’d take her tiger and she’d take her wild ride.

And she’d take the love she’d found, forever.

“Fucking beautiful, sweetheart, fucking beautiful.” His mouth pressed against her neck.

Her head fell back and the hunger rose. Jude.

She let her claws out and got ready to take her lover.

A man with more than a bit of the animal inside.

The perfect man for her.

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