• Layla brought her arms around herself, no doubt because she was remembering the feel of another, stronger set. "I have wanted to, but he holds back. I hope...I believe it is because he wishes to mate me properly first, in ceremony." Payne felt the awful weight of premonition. "Beware, sister. You are a gentle soul." Layla got to her feet, her smile now saddened. "Yes, I am. But I would rather my heart be broken than unopened and I know that one must ask if one is to receive.