That kiss was all of those things and so very much more. After a thousand years of honing my instincts, denying my impulses and forcing logic into every situation to ensure my continued survival, I’d lost all sense and reason in one idiotic impulsive instant.
And I’d do it again in one of her racing heartbeats.
One heartbeat was all it took. One gasp of surprise in response to my idiotic impulsive move and physiology took care of the rest. My blood hit her tongue and in an instant I could feel her every emotion. Surprise giving way to lust. Desire warring with uncertainty. Attraction battling reason.
It was like looking in a mirror. We were – as she so eloquently put it – matchy matchy.
I could sense her location. Even without her caged in my arms I knew I would be able to find her. How far it would work was another question, but for now – right now with her pressed so close to me – it felt like she was in my chest. Sharing every one of her galloping heartbeats with me and bringing my long dead chest back to life.
Even her sweat impossibly smelled of honey and sunshine. My tongue darted out only so I could refute her olfactory claim and say, ‘Liar. Liar. Now let’s fuck ‘til you tire.’ But the proof in her taste all but slapped me in the face.
And I wouldn’t have been surprised if her hand had done the same.
The ship had sailed long ago for when it had been time for me to leave. I shouldered some of the blame, but mostly it lay with her in a seventy/thirty split in her favor.
Take your pick.
My compass was set on her Northern Star.
My rudder was lost in her Bermuda Triangle.
My dick was firmly anchored to her ass.
Any and all were true.
She didn’t even shy away from my cold touch. Pressing her body against my own even harder, as though her warmth yearned for the coolness of my touch.
Like she was the summer to my eternal winter.
Just as I’d wrapped myself around her, she too clung to me. Her hands gripped my hair. Her tongue fought with mine. I couldn’t tell whose decision it was. Hers. Mine. Ours. Our newly formed blood tie fucked with my senses, but within moments the sound of Velcro ripping apart filled my ears as I felt her leg slide up, hooking around my waist which she then used to pull the rest of her body up.
I helped to keep her there with my hands cupping her ass.
I should’ve worried when I felt her hands slide out of my hair and down to my neck. Been concerned when they didn’t stop there and ventured even farther, dipping into my shirt and sliding down my bare back. Her scorching hands mapped out my cold hard muscles and yet I felt no feelings of uncertainty within her. No anxiety or query at our obvious difference in temperature. Lost at sea as I was, I’d have no choice but to erase her doubt with glamour because I couldn’t willingly choose to put any distance between us. She seemed to be of the same mindset because she only pressed into me further.
Feeling her desire raging against my own was an odd but welcome sensation. Having never shared my blood with a soul, the experience was a first in my long lifetime. It only made sense considering she was another first for me and now that I’d had a taste of her – of what it would be like to have her – in my arms, my bed, my life, I couldn’t bear the thought of letting her go.
Not only had I erased my vampire nature from my previous bedmates, but once I became more of a public figure due to my ownership of the casino, I went one step further and glamoured away their desire to seek me out again once our time was done. Truthfully, they were nothing but tools I used to sate my need for sex. Meals on heels to quench my thirst for blood. None of them held my attention. None of them garnered my esteem. And despite Miss Stackhouse’s assessment of my character, my ego wasn’t so overgrown that I’d willingly suffer through catfights or tears night after night when I was through with them.
She however, I couldn’t imagine ever growing tired of. Everything about her sucked me in. I had serious doubts I could let her out of my arms, much less out of my life. I doubted even my preternatural strength wouldn’t be able to break the invisible hold she now had on me.
I was the trailer park to her tornado.
The warrior part of my mind. The one I’d sought guidance from. The one I gave myself over to when confronted with situations where it was kill or be killed fought to break me free. While I suspected the end of the path we were set out on would come to an explosive conclusion, it couldn’t end well. Yes, I could try and hide my nature from her. Take my meals from others when out of her sight, only to return and take her to my bed to relieve the never ending ache she represented.
But then what?
I would only grow more attached. I would never be able to truly share her bed without the possibility of her waking to find she was sharing it with my dead body. Because it was her I had no doubt she would question my departure from her night after night before the sun rose. At first she would make a joke. Then she would push and prod. When that didn’t work she would stomp her feet and demand answers. Demands that would be met with my silence and it would incite doubt. Insecurity. Distrust.
And I would end up losing her anyway.
The other part of my mind – the idiotic impulsive side – raised its sword to cleave away the uncertainty the warrior side had just lain in our path. The whimpers and growls coming from the conundrum in my arms only egged them on. Taunting them both and all but daring them to make the first move.
I shouldn’t have been surprised she would be the one to take up arms and do it in their stead.
And by arms, I mean fingernails, which she used to claw up my back.
Her actions. My fangs. They shouldered equal responsibility. They snapped down of their own volition, piercing her tongue and when her blood met my own I was truly lost. Like sunshine in a pretty blond bottle. The finest mead served in the halls of Valhalla. I got drunk on her.
She didn’t even flinch. Not when my fangs made a sudden appearance. Not when they unwittingly stabbed her tongue. Not when our mouths filled with her blood and I suddenly had her back pressed up against a wall. Grinding my body into hers and all but pushing her into the drywall to display her like the Mona fucking Lisa she was.
I had just enough sense left to retract them just as quickly, but not before she’d managed to swipe her tongue across them. I shuddered against her, feeling as though her tongue had swiped across what was fighting to break free of my pants, and growled into her mouth. Her only response was to arch her back and cling to me harder. Her chosen weapons ran up over my shoulders, up my neck and into my hair. My fangs threatened to make another appearance as she used her handhold to jerk my head back just enough to separate our lips and take a much needed breath into her lungs to say, “We should stop.”
I might’ve worried I’d offended her. Taken things too far by taking her lips with my own. Taking her halfway across the room to use her body like a Sybian. Taking her blood without asking.
I might’ve been concerned about all of these things had she not mumbled her words from my neck as she chewed her way across from one side to the other.
“Only to take our clothes off,” I sighed, moving my head to give her access to kill me one nibble at a time. “And then we should continue.”
With her jacket gone, I could truly appreciate the top hidden underneath. It was nothing more than a leather washcloth held together by flimsy strips.
I looked forward to stripping it from her body.
Her legs remained locked around my waist and she used her hold to grind her heated core against my raging hard on. Snickering at the sound it created and sending shivers down my spine.
And more precum from my tip.
“No,” she whispered in contradiction to her next assault on my self-control. Pushing my shirt aside, she licked her way across the top of my shoulder before biting down lightly where the skin met my neck and added, “You need to go and I need a cold shower.”
Liar! Liar! But my pants are on fire!
That’s all I had. I couldn’t tell her I could feel she wanted to continue. That her own body was rebelling against her words. It wanted to mutiny and pirate my own.
And I would surrender. Without pause.
My white flag would already be waving if it hadn’t been held prisoner in my pants.
“You’ve had as much of my butt as you’re going to get tonight,” she laughed softly. Pushing against my chest, I only pulled back far enough to look down at her in the hope she was kidding.
Even though I could feel she wasn’t.
Lust colored her expression, matching her emotions, and her eyebrow rose slightly before she swiped her finger across my lower lip. Pulling it away she showed me the blood now covering it and said, “Kissing you is a contact sport.”
And then she stuck the finger in her mouth and sucked the blood away.
She was mine whether she knew it or not. Whether by mass email or my thunderous roar from a fucking mountaintop, this woman was mine.
I would figure out a way to have her. Have her and keep her because seeing that?
I would never let her go.
“I’m not like them,” she whispered.
I didn’t know who she meant. I didn’t believe she was speaking of vampires, despite her willing ingestion of our mixed blood, so I waited until she added, “Like the other women you’ve been with.”
She may as well have said the sky was blue, but my expression gave away my query because she went on saying, “I’ve done my own research, Mr. Northman. Your business expertise is only equaled by your sexual prowess. It’s no secret you find entertainment with a different blond nearly every night and while I’m sure you’re the Merriam Webster the judges would consult in a sexual Spelling Bee, my fuckcabulary is quite limited.”
And grass was green. Just like the sky was blue.
My mouth had spit out the words like my mind wanted her to spit out the knowledge of my sexual past from her thoughts.
“I am,” she agreed. “I work for you. I’m not looking to climb the corporate ladder by climbing into bed with you. Nor am I judging how you choose to entertain yourself. But as you said, I’m different. I’m your personal assistant. I couldn’t do that and then go back to acting like it never happened, so we can’t get that personal.”
Her legs loosened their hold, signaling she wanted me to let her down, and it was only my shock over her statement that allowed me to do it. I could feel her misery as if it was my own. Hell, it matched my own, but her expression never gave it away.
I could almost appreciate her poker face.
She patted my chest and smiled up at me saying, “I appreciate you letting me walk on to tryout with the pros, coach. The scrimmage was fun. And if I find out tomorrow that I’m dying of a terminal illness, you’re in the number one spot on my Fuck It List.”
Anger. Anguish. Amusement. They all flowed inside of me, but I was left adrift. No compass. No rudder. No anchor.
Because she’d declared her ass off limits.
I should be agreeing with her. I should walk out her door and out of this situation because she was right. We shouldn’t be doing this.
But because of other reasons. Reasons that had nothing to do with a one night stand.
Still my mind fought. Raged and railed against the idea she wouldn’t be mine. Of her only choosing me if she were on death’s door.
As if I’d allow her to die.
But I understood her reasoning. I’d never hidden my philandering ways and now it was biting me in the ass.
So I would have to win her over and then repay the favor by biting her in the ass. Soon.
“And if I wanted more?” I asked, using my blood in her body to take a stranglehold of her emotions.
“Another scrimmage?” she smiled apprehensively. “I’d need to get a helmet and shoulder pads.”
She was unsure. Disbelieving I could want anything more than a fuck from her.
“More than one night,” I soothed her unspoken worry. I wanted her every night.
Her breath hitched in her throat when I trailed my finger along her jawline. My cold skin didn’t come into question. Nor did it dissuade her from leaning into my touch.
My cock throbbed.
“Two nights?” she shakily breathed out, still doubtful. There was an underlying hesitation threatening to overcome her desire for me. One she was fighting.
I just couldn’t be sure which one she was fighting for or against.
“I haven’t checked my schedule for tomorrow and my boss is a real stickler for abiding by the rules,” she added with a cheeky smile.
Yes. I would bite her in the ass for this. And both of us were going to enjoy it.
“We’ll need more than two,” I replied.
I’d always made a point to keep up with humanity as it evolved. Sports. Politics. News and entertainment. I couldn’t be convincing as a human without being able to speak their language on any given topic.
When in Rome…
Using that knowledge I played on her earlier analogy and offered, “Several scrimmages. A few practice runs. Preseason will give way to the regular season. Before you know it we’ll be Super Bowl champs.”
I could feel her hesitation was giving way to her desire. Sixty/forty in my favor if I had to guess.
Her eyes closed, hiding her want from me even though I could feel it as though it was my own, as she whispered out, “I’ve always wanted to go to Disney World.”
My smile was triumphant.
My cock was still hard.
“And you’ll look stunning on a box of Wheaties. You’re already my number one draft pick in my fantasy league.”
The doubt she still felt came out in her reply of, “But what if I’m traded to another team?”
“Impossible,” I scoffed.
Truly. She was mine.
“You have an ironclad contract,” I added.
Truly. She was mine.
The emotional tide she was riding could give any tsunami a run for its money. While her body remained still, every emotion inside of her clashed. Rolling and rocking, each trying to claw its way to the top. I rode the waves with her. Waiting as each tide came crashing down onto the shore and taking with it more of her resolve in its wake as it retreated. And like a tidal wave, it tossed me around until I unexpectedly bobbed up to the surface, with her next words filling my lungs with the air I no longer required but suddenly needed just the same.
“Put me in coach.”