Vampire Queen 8 - Bound by the Vampire Queen - Joey W Hill, page 21
“That is your last opportunity to treat me with insolence,” she promised. Cupping the back of his head, she pul ed him down to meet her mouth. Wet, heated, knowledgeable lips that parted his, her tongue sliding in to tease and seduce, keep him hard inside her. He felt dirty, wanted a shower more than anything except his lady. He’d never wanted to do permanent physical damage to a woman before, but this one might take him into that territory. Any one who harmed his lady, male or female, would get no mercy from him. Even so, Rhoswen’s earlier tears bugged him, as well as his momentary carelessness that had led to the lack of circulation in her hands.
Fucking Sir Galahad. That’s what Gideon had called him.
Breathing a heavy sigh into her mouth, he settled onto his elbows and imagined it as his lady’s mouth, that generous moist heat. Her hands stroking along his back, cupping his buttocks, keeping him inside her as he hardened anew so that he could satisfy her once again. Those jade eyes, so deep in color he’d get lost in them, knowing he’d do anything for her.
He wasn’t too far gone in the fantasy, though.
When one of Rhoswen’s hands began to travel down his chest, to his abdomen, he caught her wrist before she could touch the cross branded over his hip.
Opening his eyes, he stared into the queen’s face.
“No,” he said. “That’s not yours.”
The clamp of his hand on her wrist brought a trace of that earlier look, what he’d discovered about her that had taken them to the armory. But there was more, too. She was a Fae queen. She knew the power of sacred rites and symbols, and things you didn’t mess with. When he let her go, she moved her touch back to his biceps.
“Kiss me again.”
That was easy enough, with his eyes closed.
Leaning in, he pressed against her soft mouth, inhaling the scent that was different from his lady… or not. It was the same… only now he wasn’t kissing the Fae queen’s cool lips.
His gaze sprang open. The setting had changed once again. Lifting his head, he stared down into Lyssa’s face. They were in their guest chamber, just the two of them.
The queen who trusts no one…
He started up, but he took Lyssa with him, his arm banded around her waist. He was bal's-deep inside her wet cunt, and she trembled at the movement, framing his face with her deceptively small, elegant hands. “God.” He put his forehead to hers. “Are you all right, my lady?” And of course at the same moment, he was unashamedly plundering her mind, making sure. She’d been deeply rattled, but she’d held, and Arrdol had only touched her throat, her back, leaving that mocking bite on her shoulder.
“I'll extract his teeth and you can wear them as a personal trophy,” Jacob promised.
Her lips twisted in a small smile. “I prefer my emeralds and diamonds.” Studying his face, the smile, faint as it was, went away. “Where did you go?”
“To Hell. That’s what I call any place you aren’t. But I’m back with you now.”
“I’m all right,” she said softly, registering the quiver in his muscles, the wildness in him.
“Good. I’m not.” Withdrawing from her, he laid her down on the covers, asking her to wait there with a gentle squeeze of her arm, though he kept hold of her fingers until they reached the extension of their arms. Moving into the bath chamber, he found soap, a full cauldron of water and used both to scrub himself vigorously. To rinse, he poured the remaining contents of the cauldron over him, heedless of the floor. Tossing it aside, he came back to her dripping wet. Without preamble, he scooped her up off the bed, his arm around her back, palm on her buttock, and slid full force into her, so decidedly it pushed her against the headboard. She gasped, caught his biceps and arched into him.
All yours, my lady. This cock is all yours. Every part of me is yours.
I know. Her gaze held his, and she stopped him in mid-thrust by digging her nails into him, a Mistress’s command. Jacob, stop. Cease. Turn over.
He rolled, letting her straddle him. Laying her hand on his heart, staying there for a full measure of beats until he was steadier and more in need at once, she held his gaze as she slid her hand up, up, collaring his throat. Just as he had with Rhoswen, only this was his Mistress. Her touch there sent a surge of blood into his cock. As she felt it, her eyes darkened.
She began to rise and fall upon him, and he held still at that unspoken command, letting her set the pace, taking the pleasure she wished from him. He was her slave, to do with as she wished, and he wanted to immerse himself in that. Now he was trembling even harder, his hands flexing on her hips.
I don’t know what’s a dream and what’s real here.
“This is,” she responded. “We are.”
He reared up then, tore the black lace from her body, shredded and got rid of the hated thing entirely. The clothes, Lyssa’s darkness against Rhoswen’s light, had been the Fae queen’s attempt to make her half sister look like a mere shadow of herself. In his mind, just the opposite was true.
Capturing her breasts in both hands, he suckled the nipples, until her cunt rippled on his cock and he sent her over. When she finally whispered a throaty,
“Come for me,” he gave her what he gave no other.
She could be nurturing, too, his lady. After their climax, she bade him lie still, and placed her mouth on him, tenderly sucking and laving his nipples, her sweet tongue soothing the ache there. Then, despite his halfhearted murmur of protest, she made her way down his body, licking and nipping, light kisses, and put her mouth full over him. As a vampire, he had a short recovery time, so he wasn’t at all surprised to feel his cock rise in her mouth. But while she liked keeping him aroused and wanting her, that wasn’t her intent this time. She was reasserting her claim, no different from any other primal creature, marking him with her mouth and touch. And it aroused him incredibly, watching her do it, knowing the purpose.
When she’d satisfied herself at last, she let out a small sigh and then curled between his splayed thighs, her head on his lower abdomen, lips nearly grazing his throbbing cock. Her fingertips traced the cross she’d branded into his flesh.
They hadn’t spoken of any of it. Not right now. To help her deal with what had happened with Arrdol, he’d given her the control and climax she needed, the comfort of his surrender. She’d given him all of this to help with Rhoswen. Though he felt it festering in her mind as it was in his.
“What is this Hunt we’re supposed to attend?” She tilted her head up to look at him, her eyes lingering on the terrain between, showing how pleasing she found it. It made his cock harden further under the press of her body. The wanting of her never stopped.
“And I hope it never will . I couldn’t bear it.” Her mouth quirked. “To handle the loss of your affections, I expect I’d have to kill you. Painfully and slowly.”
“There’s the gentle queen I know and love. I’d expect and deserve nothing less,” he assured her.
She tilted her head to nuzzle his palm and bite, not so gently, winning a flicker from his eyes, a tightening of his hand in her hair, two predators in lazy love play. “So tell me about this Hunt, before I have to resort to torture.”
“Torture is a tempting weapon in your hands, my lady.” He gave a muffled curse as she scraped her nails across one still tender nipple. But he didn’t stop her, didn’t close his hand on her wrist. “You keep this up, I'll never tell you anything, just coax you underneath me”—he unfurled a very graphic image in his mind—“spread your legs and…”
“The Hunt,” she declared, flexing her nails with ominous intent over the other nipple.
He relented with a tight smile. “Once a year, on Samhain, the Seelie court mounts up and rides through the mortal world at night. Since the Fae are descended from Danu, an earth goddess, their intention is to bless the crops and woods, to ensure a good harvest and fair hunting season to help people make it through the winter. It’s an ancient, ancient tradition, my lady. The fact they still do it is… reassuring. It’s the entirety of the Hi
Or, even worse, you could incite their anger if you don’t offer the proper respect as they pass, since the Fae have capricious tempers.”
“I hadn’t noticed,” she said.
“Hmm. Knowing you have half-Fae blood has explained a lot to me about your temperament, my lady.”
“If I didn’t have an annoying and insolent Irishman for a servant, I would be sweet and fair-tempered every day.”
“Should we cal Thomas back from his peaceful cell in Heaven and ask him about that?” Chuckling, he pul ed her up his body. She wrestled with him, but she didn’t put up too much of a fight, her gaze softening when he rolled them over so he was back between her legs. The minor angles and shifts to come together were almost instinctual now, following the desire to be joined. She bit her lip as he pushed in, flexed his thigh muscles to make her feel his demand, the thickness. In the semidarkness, her jade eyes glowed.
“As a boy,” he continued in a husky voice, “I dreamed of seeing the Hunt, based on the stories my mother told me. Later, Gideon made them even more vivid, battles with other Fae and galloping charges through the woods, the Wild Hunt going to collect dead souls. A lot of magic happens on that night. Should you see a white hart, you’re supposed to try to hunt it down, because if you strike the creature through the heart, it will turn into a princess of such beauty, it will make a man weep. And she will love that huntsman for the rest of his life, being his loving, sweet, gracious, faithful and obedient mate.”
“That’s a lot of adjectives for a teenage boy to string together.”
Jacob grinned. “We liked that story. We were too young to know that a sweet and gracious female, let alone an obedient one, was indeed something only found in a fairy tale.”
“Whereas arrogant and male go together so well for certain individuals, they might as well be the same word.” Lyssa traced his lips with her fingers, her own parting as he closed the distance between them, pressed in for the kiss with her fingers still on his mouth. The way he smiled against her, she knew he didn’t disagree. Or maybe it was the fact he no longer cared, his big male body strong and ready, his mind impatient to bring her pleasure again.
She was more than ready to accept the gift. Not only would it stave off the horrors of the night, but the homesickness she felt down to the depths of her soul. She hated it here. She wanted to go home. And the fact she felt it the way a child did, as an all consuming longing, made her even more worried.
She pushed it away. She didn’t need a poisonous tea to help her get lost in the temporary balm of sensual oblivion. Just Jacob.
WHEN sunrise came, though Jacob was reluctant to give himself to sleep, Lyssa insisted on it. Upon her request, the Fae household staff had provided heavy curtains for the open window. Just before darkening the room for dawn, she lingered there, watching a pair of phoenixes fly past, feathers catching an early glimmer of dawn’s rays. Several fairies, trailing glittering dust, winged their way with erratic swiftness across the field. They were laughing and chasing one another. Though one could never tell with Fae, they acted like teenagers, rushing home before dawn’s light and their parents’ waking betrayed they’d been gone all night. She thought about what Rhoswen had said, wondered if they’d figured a way to slip out to spend the evening carousing in the mortal world.
It was odd, thinking of teenage rebel ion in such a context. But there were far more similarities between the two worlds than Rhoswen wanted to accept. Fae, vampire, human… those were just the clothes for the souls trapped inside, all trying to find things that were remarkably the same.
Cayden was out early, doing sword drill's by himself. He was stripped down to breeches and boots, and working up a fine sweat, his long hair tied back but sleek at his temples. She watched him for a few minutes, never averse to studying a fit man exercising the full range of his muscles in a half-naked fashion, then she let the curtain fall shut.
She could see in the dark, though at this point she couldn’t say if that drew from her Fae abilities or her lingering vampire ones. Jacob was watching her.
The blanket was pul ed up to his hips, barely. With one arm over his head, fingers loosely grasping the carved wood spindles of the bed, the other lying loosely on his abdomen, he made a pleasurable picture. His gaze was serious however, concerned.
That concern probed into the dark areas she’d experienced earlier in the evening, and she refused to go there. Not right now.
“I really don’t want you wandering around without me,” he said quietly.
“I know. But I need to see and be seen in this world. I need to understand it better, through my own eyes. And I want you to truly sleep,” she added, with a reproving look. “Don’t follow me around in your head, and don’t worry. She hasn’t kill ed me yet, which means there are reasons she needs me alive
—either that, or killing me would cause her too many problems. That protects us both. She knows enough about vampire lore to know if she kill's you, she kill's me.”
She didn’t add whether the converse was true.
She knew Jacob stayed away from that topic as well, neither of them able to confirm if her original third marking of him still existed under the overlay of his. She didn’t mind him staying away from it—it wasn’t something she wanted to know had been lost, either. Unless it might save his life, though having been in his mind, she knew how he felt about living without her. She felt the same way about living without him.
Crossing the room, meeting those blue eyes that understood and saw so much, she bent and touched his forehead, following it up with a kiss. “So sleep, and sleep deeply. You have a Hunt coming up, after all. And perhaps a white hart to chase, though I wouldn’t suggest you catch that princess, if you know what’s good for you.”
His fingers curled into her waist and he nudged her chin downward to give her a much deeper, more stirring kiss, one that dispel ed any amusing images of her tucking him in for the day like a child. That thought summoned another feeling, though. Seeing it, he caressed her cheek. “He’s probably driving Mason crazy as we speak. Your old friend will rethink any desire he’s ever had for his own children.” She snorted. “He’s not driving Mason crazy. All he has to do is thrust Kane at Jessica and he turns into the world’s best baby. Your son is besotted with her.”
“Not even a year old, and he has his first girlfriend.
A much older woman at that. That’s my boy.” Lyssa pinched his arm, hard, and slipped away when he made a grab at her. “Sleep. I'll bring back some of that honey to make you besotted with me, and then you'll be the perfect baby, too.” Some fairly heated images of retaliation filled her mind for that remark, images that warmed and bolstered her at once as she closed the heavy oak door behind her. Despite her confident words, once she sensed him settling down, she laid a hand on the door. She didn’t know any protection spell's that would stop a powerful Fae queen on her home turf, but she availed herself of a simple prayer charm to keep him safe. Whatever Rhoswen’s agenda, the personal and royal motivations were mixed, and that could make an already unpredictable Fae even more so.
But it didn’t change what she’d told Jacob. Though they had stayed away from a great deal of the more difficult things that had occurred last night, he’d told her of Rhoswen’s ability to bend reality and time.
Lyssa hovering over him in the room wouldn’t be as useful as meeting other Fae in this world and seeing what resources and allies they might garner from that. And she needed some time to think. Not about Arrdol, his hands touching her, his dark eyes coming close, becoming someone else’s eyes… She stopped, gave herself a vicious shake. She needed to focus on the fact she had a half sister and what that might mean. The rest was the past, gone and buried.
Though Cayden was a somber, steely-eyed type, with a veteran circle of the same around the queen, many of his guard appeared young. Regardless, none of those who came through were averse to bantering back and forth with the laughing girls, fueled perhaps by the festive holiday air.
A veritable army of brownies were cleaning every corner of the great hall. One even scooped up her feet with a surprisingly strong hand to sweep beneath them. He set her slippered feet back down as if she was a piece of furniture, with only an irritated grunt for acknowledgment. Other Fae polished the multitude of long tables that had been set up, another group coming in behind to put down the place settings. Intrigued, she noted the dinner plates ranged from the size of a turkey platter to a teaspoon. Doll-sized tables and chairs had been placed on the big table between normal or larger settings, and those received the tiny plates.
“The Unseelie tradition is to have several representatives from each Fae species join us to celebrate Last Night after we return from our own hunt. Or Haunt, as the case may be.”
Keldwyn stood at her elbow. The Fae wore a plain brown tunic over hose and soft boots. His dagger belt was slung low on his hips, but overall it was a casual look for him, despite the unwavering aristocratic reserve. “You know,” she mused, “I can’t determine if you’ve appointed yourself my fatherly guardian, or if you’re just guiding me down the path of good intentions toward Hell.”