He stopped short at the soft question. Kingston spun around, wrinkling his brow in confusion. "What?"
Elina shifted. Tilting her chin upward, she met his gaze squarely. "The woman I saw you with. Why her? What's so special about her?"
Of all the things he expected, that wasn't it. He shook his head. "I don't get it. What are you asking me, Elina?"
"Did I stutter?" Her voice rose sharply. "Why her and not me? Why?"
He burst out laughing. The surprises kept coming, didn't they? Elina glowered at him before turning and stomping away.
Taking two strides after her, Kingston grabbed her by the shoulder and forced her to look at him. "What the hell are you asking me, Elina? Why I'm not fucking you?"
Color appeared in bright spots of red on her face and neck. She couldn't possibly mean it like that. She couldn't--
"Yes." She shrugged away his touch. "I've been here, waiting for you to see me as someone other than your sister's best friend."
"No." One word, but his voice still trembled. Kingston spun away before she saw the reaction her words had on him, on his body. "You're not--I'm not the person for you."
"You are, King. It's always been you. You're the one I want."
Those fucking soft words. "Don't say it. I won't...it can't happen."
He faced her again. "I choose those women because I can walk away after the fucking is over. No one's looking for anything other than skin on skin contact and no one's fazed when I move on to the next. You're different." So different.
"But I want it."
She stepped closer, laying a gentle hand on his chest. Too close to his thumping heart for his liking, but Kingston couldn't move away from her touch even if his life depended on it.
His deepest fantasies where coming true in front of his eyes, yet Kingston couldn't allow it. He'd wanted her for so long. From the moment she fainted at his feet inside his club, he'd needed to touch her. And now that she offered herself, he had to say no.
"Not going to happen, Elina." He removed her hand from where it lay on his chest. "Don't bring this up again." He shifted away, but her fingers dug into his upper arm.
"Test me. Test me and if I don't pass, we can forget it." Elina stepped back and clasped her hands in front of her. Voice strong, gaze steady on him, she said, "I was made for this. For you. Only you can make me feel like this. Whatever you require, I accept."