“This isn’t about you being the Living One,” Virgil protests. “I- you’re a lady, and a doctor, and you’ll do great things and I…” his shoulders slump. “I’m just a piece of street trash, a hoodlum pretending to be something I’m not. I’m not good enough for you, Miss Clarisse.”
My backhand catches him by surprise, hurt warring with anger in his eyes. “Vorak,” I correct harshly.
“I-I-I…I beg your pardon?”
“If you will persist in wallowing in your base origins, then I have no choice but to do the same. My name is Vorak. Since you will not acknowledge that you have risen above what you were born as and deal with me as a civilized man to a civilized woman, then you will deal with me as a hoodlum to an orc.” Somehow, my fists have become knotted in the front of his shirt, pulling him nearly off-balance. “And orcs take what they want.”
I can feel his surprise as my lips dominate his, and then his hands go gingerly to my hips and tentatively, he kisses me back. When I deepen the kiss, he groans and pulls me closer.
“Clarisse-!” he breathes when we finally part. “Or…I suppose I should say…Vorak?”
“That depends,” I say, fists still in his shirt. “Are you going to stop being a silly goose about what you think is good enough for me?”
“Ah…I…I believe I’ve learned my lesson,” he says sheepishly. “Although…I may need you to…repeat that lesson sometime?” he finishes hopefully.
The adrenaline rush leaves me as swiftly as it arrived, and I remove my hands from his person with a measure of embarrassment of my own. “If you’re sure,” I say demurely, once more the picture of a well-bred human woman.
He takes my hands in his. “Clarisse…Vorak…whichever you are, I don’t care. When I’m with you, I feel like I can do great things. You are the light that lifted me out of the darkness. Whether we’re courting like civilized people or going at it like wild animals, I...I would be delighted and honored to have you be mine…or to be yours.”
He pulls me gently into his arms. “I did dedicate my life to you, didn’t I?”
I can’t help but laugh. “Yes, you did.”