Vampire Queen 8 - Bound by the Vampire Queen - Joey W Hill, page 3
He sobered, eyes becoming flint. “It’s the lesson a human servant learns early, my lady. Keldwyn doesn’t view me as an equal, no more than the Council did when I was human. However, I can challenge him—or them—on your behalf. It suits my purpose to do just that, in every instance where you suffer insult.”
When he spoke like this, he reminded her of a medieval courtier. After he’d stopped working for his brother as a vampire hunter, he’d traveled with a Ren Faire, but the Faire hadn’t taught him the principles of chivalry and honor. Those things were magnets already lodged in his soul, elements of a past life drawing him to the circuit. She remembered the knight who had moved over her in the dim light of a desert tent centuries ago, making her feel his strength and fragility at once— and her own. She’d never forgotten that knight’s eyes, the soul they revealed. A few hundred years later, that soul had stared at her out of Jacob’s blue eyes. As a result, she’d embraced the unlikely idea of taking a former vampire hunter, drifter and Ren Faire player as her next full servant. And the fact he was easy on a woman’s eyes had only helped the decision.
His hair had once possessed copper highlights from the sun, but as a vampire, the reddish brown had become a deeper bronze color. Loose, it fell to his shoulders. When she met him, he’d also had a trimmed moustache and short beard, so like the medieval knight’s she’d shivered, remembering the feel of them and his firm lips against her skin.
Jacob’s nose had been broken at least once and retained that interesting shape even after she turned him, but of course it was his eyes that arrested. Fine, reddish-blond lashes framing the vivid blue color. A stubborn, vivid blue.
When he spoke like he did now, she could do nothing to change his mind. It overwhelmed her with anger, despair and love for him, all at once. As he moved back in her direction, recognizing it, she wouldn’t let the last take precedence, not when she had a point to prove.
She backed away from him. The still ness that entered his gaze warned he could leap forward, use vampire speed to catch her. But he didn’t. Not yet.
He slowed his steps, matching her pace. It was a deliberate tracking maneuver, guaranteed to bring another element into their shared tension. She had no problem using the irresistible attraction between them to make her case, though she didn’t deny there was far more to it. Just as his determination to follow her no matter where she went could go hand in hand with the sexual predator taking him over now.
Moving out of the low hedge garden in which they’d been arguing, she stepped into a sculpted maze that had been created out of lattice walls taller than Jacob. Along the edges of the winding gravel paths were a variety of whimsical ground flowers.
Occasionally an oval window opening allowed her to get a better view of the other paths. Otherwise, the walls were solidly covered by lush vines coated with dark, shiny leaves and white trumpet-shaped blooms as wide as her hand.
As she turned a corner and moved out of view, he followed her with those unhurried steps, his booted feet crunching the gravel.
For many years, she’d been able to transform into the winged gargoyle creature that proved her Fae blood. Each time she did that, the Fae magic had stirred within her soul, but she hadn’t recognized its potential. It had been like starlight she could see, but too far out of her reach to comprehend its true essence, the heat and power signified by that glimmering light.
That had been fine. Dormant Fae power meant that it had never attracted the attention of the purist-minded Vampire Council.
Then things had changed. Jacob had been human, her third-marked servant. She’d illegally turned him to save his life. In doing so, she’d dumped most of her considerable vampire powers into him by accident. The thirty-year-old male, who should have had only a fledgling’s grasp of a vampire’s strength and speed, had instead acquired the skills of a thousand-year-old one. And Lady Lyssa’s Fae powers had started to wake, with wild and unpredictable results.
Such energy had a mind of its own, and a way of pulling the soul into its purpose. As she stayed one turn ahead of him, glimpsing him for a breath each time, that primitive desire kept growing.
At the center of the maze, she found a carved trellis of heavy oak. The archway piece looked like a pair of muscular stallions leaping in opposite directions. The four posts had been driven deep into the ground to stand fast against the pressure of the thick root stalks that twined around them. As the foliage reached the top of the trellis, the vines twisted along wood pieces that created a starburst of symmetrical spokes connecting to the closest set of maze walls. This was the anchor point and birthplace of all the foliage that covered the maze.
When she stopped on the other side of the trellis, she could feel the energy of such a place, a tangle of nature and symbols, the circle, the wheel, the deep rooting into the earth. It unfurled a craving inside of her, and she opened herself to it. It was a part of her, a set of new magical limbs and senses, and she could do remarkable things with them. Her loss of vampire abilities had left her reeling, but she’d been propel ed up close and personal into this new galaxy, so much power at her fingertips.
Though she got tired of moving so carefully, when she’d turned the invading vampires into a new arbor for Mason’s garden, she’d contacted Keldwyn. While she obviously had a great deal of raw power ready to call, her use of it at this point was far more intuitive than learned. She understood power enough not to be irresponsible about it. But this moment wasn’t about being responsible.
Perhaps she was a child who’d not yet mastered running, but she could careen out of control and it would still be thrilling, her blood surging with youthful invincibility. It had been a very long time since she’d felt that way, and having Jacob here with her only spurred it.
She hadn’t been surprised that Jacob had taken it upon himself to join the conversation with Keldwyn when he did, to provide a physical show of support before Keldwyn’s imperiousness. Even so, she decided it might be time to remind him who held the reins on their relationship. For her own pleasure as much as for the lesson.
He’d halted on the opposite side of the trellis.
Now, his gaze locking with hers, he stepped to the right to follow her in a circle around it, a far-more-adult version of ring-around-the-rosy. A bench was built inside of the trellis. In his mind, she saw them both naked on it, her straddling him, holding either side of the trellis as if restrained, yet using it as a bracing point to shove herself down on him. It underscored the point that they were bound together, locked into one purpose, one soul. She answered that challenge with one of her own, no less intense.
With his precognitive ability, Jacob sensed the change before it happened, but her magical reach was greater than his speed. He sprang back, but the roots snaked out from the trellis, cinching around his biceps. They slammed him against the right side of the frame, flush against the crossed oak pieces.
Capturing his wrists, they drew his arms up, tightening in swift loops and knots so that he was arched against the wood, making his body an offering to her. Another speared out to loop around his throat, holding it fast. Others wrapped around his legs, all the way up his thighs. The surface of the strong roots was rough enough to cut through the thin denim of his jeans in several places, biting into his flesh, tempting her to taste.
She was still enough of a vampire to savor Jacob’s blood. But a servant savored a vampire’s blood as well, and she was both, wasn’t she? When she’d turned him and lost her vampire powers, she’d been pregnant and nearly defenseless for a short time period. Jacob had redefined being a servant then. He was there to protect and care for her, no matter if that meant he had to reverse their roles.
He’d marked her as a full servant. Though that meant he could delve deeply into her mind, whether she will ed it or no, he didn’t do that unless she invited him to do so, as she had during her conversation with Keldwyn.
Well, amend that. He didn’t do it except when he thought her well-being was more important than her orders. Her
“With all those fine muscles, you might be strong enough to tear loose,” she purred. Moving closer, she savored the danger in his vibrant blue eyes. “But Mason does love this trellis, and we’ve already done quite a bit of damage to his property.” Trailing her fingers down his sternum, she registered the rapid beat of his heart. “Can you submit to me, as you did when I was your vampire Mistress?”
“You’ve never stopped being my Mistress, my lady.” His mouth was taut with a perilous desire that made her tremble low in her belly . “Even when I found you in the forest, your body weak and carrying my son.”
No matter the role he played with Keldwyn, now the possessiveness was there in full force, his reminder of the claim he’d put upon her that no other male ever had. It got her even hotter. “There’s nothing I won’t do for you,” he said. “Except let you leave me behind again. You'll have to kill me to do that. You will kill me if you do that.” Since she knew it was the truth, it was like a knife twisting hard in her heart, tempering the moment with far more than violent lust and predatory games. That knife was always there, ready to stab her with the likelihood of losing him in the dangerous life they led.
But she didn’t want to give herself to painful sentiment. She didn’t want the softening of his mouth, the compassion in his eyes as he registered her feelings. It wasn’t tenderness she craved right now. If things weren’t going to go her way in this, she was going to exact a price for it.
He recognized her shift, whether through vampire mind games, his own intuition or the fact they seemed to share the same soul. The softness disappeared into a far more feral expression as he bared sharp fangs at her. Crimson light glinted in his eyes.
“Show me that upper hand, my lady. Do your worst.”
He was irresistible, the beautiful layers of muscle, firm skin, blood and bone. The heat of an aroused male. Sliding behind him, she put her knee on the bench. Reaching through the cross pieces, she threaded her hands beneath his T-shirt. She started at his armpits, enjoying the sense of those layers over his rib cage, down to his waist. Because of his stretched position, the jeans had fallen lower so she could tease the bare hip bone. From the very beginning, she’d liked that look and preferred him without underwear. Knowing that, he honored her desire as often as possible. She couldn’t see his front, but it was a familiar path, her knuckles following a straight line from his hip bone to the upper thigh, though the line was disrupted by his arousal, the fabric straining.
It made her press her lips together, wanting to taste. She thought about letting her fingers wander over to stroke that engorged organ. Instead, she drew back and changed her target. The leaves brushed her forearms as she found his lower back with both hands. Pressing her thumbs into the shallow valley there, she dropped her grip to his ass, sliding into the loose hold of the jeans to take hold of the firm buttocks and squeeze. His muscles flexed in reaction, tension strumming up his thighs.
“You are the most beautiful man,” she murmured.
“In my dreams about you, I’m still fully vampire. I have you stretched and chained on a table before me, naked and vulnerable. I’ve torn into your flesh, devouring you bite by bite as if I’m a ravenous monster. I bathe in your blood, shuddering with desire, and then the blood becomes tendrils like these vines, winding around me, my limbs, my throat, binding me to you…”
Rising onto her knees, she reached through higher openings to settle her grip below where the vine collared him. Her fingers teased the strong column of his throat, knowing how erogenous a zone it was for both a vampire and servant. “I drown and shatter at once, dying from the pleasure, the lack of air.”
“My lady.” His rough voice betrayed a need matching hers.
“You understand the meaning of the dream. We will die together, because we are the same being.
The hunger will never abate. Knowing that truth doesn’t make me accept putting you in danger any more gracefully, Sir Vagabond.”
“Then you know how I feel, my lady. Come be one with me. If I don’t get inside you, I’m going to die right here, right now.”
It gave her a painful smile, even as her inner muscles contracted eagerly, wanting the same. She slipped off the bench. Despite her urgency, she stepped out far enough that he could watch her as she approached him straight on. The sway of her hips, the tilt of her head and arch of her back were all designed to catch a man’s gaze. But she liked the way he looked at her, how he saw those things as part of everything she was, not just the purely sexual being she was right now. Everything she was… all of it was for one particular male. For him.
He made no apologies for being in her mind right now. Those fangs were sharp and glistening, his eyes like blue lasers. “Now, my lady,” he demanded, his fingers curling in his bindings.
She placed her fingertips on his chest, a tiny pressure. Dug her nails through the thin cotton, and then lower, until she found the hem and raised the shirt. Keeping her upper body away from him, she nevertheless stepped onto his booted feet and pressed her lower body to him, feeling his cock against her belly . Using a tight grip on a handful of his jeans, fingers curved in a belt loop, she rubbed, enjoying the feeling as he growled low in his throat.
She dug her nails further into his flesh, pushing the shirt up to the base of his throat. When she put her mouth on his skin, her hair fell down over her shoulder to caress him as the wind blew it against his abdomen.
Tell me how you will fuck me, Jacob.
Deep… hard… I want to claim you to the point of blood and pain. I want to push you far beyond that, give you so much pleasure it takes you into a place beyond fear. I can smell how wet you are.
Your cunt is dripping for me. I want it.
She bit him hard enough to leave marks, tasting the salt of his flesh. In her Fae form, she not only had fangs but also talons that could tear his flesh. They had, in the past. She’d licked away the blood as the wounds healed, as he quivered beneath her, as his cock spurted inside of her. Though he was not a natural submissive, he served her and so understood the way of it, an instinct that could command his body when she desired it.
She teased him further, bending her knees for a sinuous dance against him, dragging her breasts over his abdomen, then lower, pressing aroused nipples against what was beneath the denim.
Shifting her hold, she fished out the switchblade he kept in his front pocket, caressing the impressive organ within tempting distance of the weapon. As she flipped open the blade and used it to cut the T-shirt away from him, he followed her every move with a man’s lust and a warrior’s alertness, a thrilling combination. She recognized the still ness that held him now. He was done playing. He was waiting for opportunity, and it only excited her more.
Tearing the rest of the cotton away, she attacked his flesh anew, keeping her head tucked beneath his jaw as she tasted, bit, licked. When she was a vampire, she’d given him the second mark around his nipple, and though the scar was no longer there, the memory was, such that he always shuddered hard when she mouthed him there. Then she went back down, sinking to her knees to press her mouth over the brand above his hip bone, dragging on the waistband to pul the jeans even lower. The brand was a cross, a symbol of faith she’d placed there herself.
“Take off your clothes, Lyssa. Let me see you.” He did that sometimes, called her familiar, always in deeply intimate moments like this. It was an indicator of the unpredictable nature of their relationship, the exchanges of power, determining who would surrender and when the next battle would be. She wanted him to see her. Restrained as he was, she could torture him to madness with the way she unbuttoned her blouse, letting it fall open to reveal the cream-colored bra, which pushed up her small breasts. The cups were low enough to expose the areolas. The blue color of his eyes was black in the darkness of their shared desire. As she shrugged out of the blouse and released the bra, her nipples got even tighter, bared to his gaze.
Then she slid out of the slacks, takin
“All for you,” she whispered. “You can merely look at me, and my body readies itself.”
“My lady,” he said again, and this time instead of an honorific, he was saying it as it was meant. My lady. His love, his heart. His temptress, his tormenter.
It was when he combined everything that way, engaging her heart, mind, body and soul, that she was most vulnerable to him, most off her guard. So she wasn’t ready when, in a flash of movement, he pul ed free of the vines on his left arm, breaking their hold with a screech of splintered wood from Mason’s trellis. That arm banded around her waist, yanked her body fully to him, high enough that her pussy pressed against the hard ridges of his abdomen.
Her knees landed against the openings of the trellis, finding a desperate brace as he sank his fangs into her throat.
She cried out at the pleasure and agony of it, because he always seemed to know just how gentle or not she needed him to be. He bit down like he was an animal taking her flesh, drinking deep out of that frantically pounding artery. The flow was so thick that some escaped in a heated trickle over her collar bone, flowing down to her breast.
Let me go, my lady. Let me have the ability to pleasure you fully.
Perhaps I like my vampire like this. A partially caged beast, proving his ferocity and passion to me while still under my control.
As he swallowed her blood, a throaty chuckle vibrated against her flesh. Then put my cock inside your needy pussy, my lady. I’ll prove what a wild beast can do for you.
He refused to relinquish his hold on her throat, so she had to work her hands down between them blindly to open his jeans, but she used his banded arm around her back for leverage. When he sprang hot and hard into her hands, she caressed and squeezed him, his pre-cum slippery on her palm.