“You pulled your punches with me. Why?”
Shiva’s eyes narrowed on the woman in front of her. She never really had the patience to deal with bruised egos. “I told you. I came here to fight him. I only fought you to draw him out.” She paused before adding the next part, but decided it needed to be said. “Renee Montoya, you may have skills, but you are not ready for what I can deliver.”
Renee paced in long strides crossing back and forth in the lighthouse’s cramped quarters. “I can decide that for myself. Fight me, Shiva. I need to know where I stand.”
Between the pacing, the hunger, and the searing pain in her left shoulder, Shiva could only concentrate on fighting off her nausea. “Your ‘Boy Friday’ shot me. Do you think that makes for a fair fight, Renee Montoya? You like your chances a little better when I’m hindered? Besides, you promised me dinner after our fight.”
Renee stopped pacing to glare at Shiva. “I didn’t promise you anything. You showed up here demanding a fight and food—do you remember that?” Shiva only stared back, returning the intensity. “Fine. I’ll make us something to eat. But it’s only because I’m hungry too. And I wouldn’t want to be rude to you. God forbid.”
Hours later, with both their tempers calmed, and Shiva’s nausea and pain abated, they sat on the couch trading battle stories. Although they were laughing, Renee’s body language told Shiva that she had not let down her guard, and Shiva silently praised her for that. You may be bound for greatness, Renee Montoya, she thought, not ready to express that out loud.
When Renee admitted that she’d heard rumors of Shiva’s greatness, the warrior saw a golden opportunity. She moved closer on the couch, putting her nose just inches from Renee’s. She smiled when she felt Renee’s legs stiffen and saw her eyes grow wide. “I have heard rumors about things you excel at, too,” she said softly, hoping to appeal to the ego she’d seen earlier. “I must admit I have wondered if they hold truth.”
Renee leaned away, laughing. “Lady, you are something else. I lived in Gotham, and I thought I knew crazy, but you—” she stopped laughing when Shiva leaned closer again.
The kiss started intensely. Shiva allowed Renee to push her back, still studying Renee’s form even as Renee pushed up her shirt and exposed her breasts. She wants to be in control; what warrior would not? Renee worked the complicated clasp on Shiva’s belt with one hand and without lifting her head from the nipple she teased roughly with her teeth and tongue. She exceeds expectations.
Shiva lifted her hips when Renee tugged at her pants, and they fell to her ankles. Only then, with her hand already exploring the slick folds of Shiva’s sex, did Renee slow her pace. Shiva nearly cried out—she did not expect to be teased. You’ll pay for this, Renee Montoya.
“I will not beg,” Shiva warned, although the words betrayed her by coming out softer and shakier than she had intended.
“Yes you will,” Renee said, sounding stronger and more confident than she had all day. Her fingers found Shiva’s clit, pressing hard before backing away and continuing their light dance. Her mouth moved to the other breast and mirrored her motion from before.
It won a cry from Shiva and she chided herself for being so weak. She willed herself to regain control. It was of little use—Renee had her shaking.
“Please,” Shiva said, so quietly even she wasn’t sure she’d uttered the word.
Renee looked up as she slid her fingers up and down, from the source of Shiva’s wetness to the base of her clit. Her eyes smiled wickedly as Shiva jerked. “Did you say something?”
“Yes. Please,” she repeated through gritted teeth, her strong fingers digging into Renee’s back as Renee provided the precious final strokes that sent her over the edge.
“How did I do?” Renee asked, when Shiva finally caught her breath.
Goddamn. Finally she managed to calm herself enough to say, “Very impressive, Renee Montoya, very impressive, indeed.”