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Midnight bite, p.10

Midnight Bite, page 10

 

Midnight Bite
 


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  He took her mouth. Leaned down and kissed her with every single bit of tenderness that he could manage. Family. If he was careful, if he was charming, maybe he could have it all.

  Maybe he could have her.

  “I’m not made of glass. I’m not going to shatter.” Her nails raked down his chest as she slid her hand over his shirt. “I like rough, and I like wild, and I like what we do together.”

  Dark desire pulsed in his veins. “Keep talking like that, and I’ll want to take you right here.”

  She shrugged. Stepped back. And yanked her shirt over her head. It fluttered to the floor. “Is it against royal rules to fuck in the study?”

  “I make the rules.” His voice had grown guttural. In a blink, he rushed to the door, locked it, and then was back in front of her.

  Lark smiled at him. “Good. It is still my birthday. I was hoping I could get anything I wanted for my birthday. The first thing I want—it’s you.”

  His hands fisted at his sides. If he touched her, he wouldn’t be stopping. “I won’t bite you. I will keep my fangs—”

  “Oh, I want them in me. In my neck. Because when you bite me and I come, I go a little crazy.”

  His cock surged toward her. “Baby?”

  “But if I bite you, nothing is going to happen to me, is it?” Worry flashed in the depths of her green eyes. “Because I am not in the mood to die again.”

  “You will not die.” Not ever, not on his watch.

  “Then kiss me, vamp. Kiss me like you need me more than blood. Kiss me, then bite me, and don’t make me wait.”

  He wouldn’t make her wait. He kissed her again, a wild, ferocious kiss, even as he lifted her into his arms. He took her to his desk, perched her on the edge, and made short work of stripping her. Lark’s sweet moans were the best sounds that he’d ever heard in his life. Her sighs were music. And when she stroked him…

  Fuck, yes.

  He pushed his fingers between her legs. Caressed her clit with long strokes. When her head tipped back, he sank his teeth into her throat. Kept working her clit and taking her sweet blood, and as her body tensed, as she surged toward her orgasm, he yanked his hand away and drove his cock deep into her.

  “Dev!” She came around his cock, her sex gripping him tightly with her contractions.

  He nearly went out of his damn mind. He withdrew, thrust deep. Again. His tongue licked over her neck, and then—then it was her turn. Her nails scraped over his chest, and she arched up. Lark bit him right at the curve of his neck and shoulder.

  Devereaux growled out her name as pleasure flooded from her bite straight to his dick. Pleasure so intense that his whole body shuddered. But he wanted her coming again with him. His fingers slid back to her clit. He knew she’d be extra sensitive now, and he pressed his fingers over her, squeezed, stroked.

  She came again with a hard buck of her hips against him. Yes, yes! This was what he wanted. The pleasure erupted through every cell in his body, and he held her as tightly as he could.

  The pounding of his heartbeat filled his ears. She licked the small wound she’d made, and even though he’d just come, his over-eager cock swelled again.

  One of the good things about being a vamp. Endless stamina.

  His hands curled under her hips, and he lifted her up. Her legs wrapped around him as Lark stretched her body. Her arms twined around his neck. “I want you again.” She squeezed him with her delicate, inner muscles. “How do I already want you again?”

  He carried her to the big, leather chair that sat near the fire. He lowered into it, making sure to keep her in his lap and on his cock. Exactly where he wanted her to stay.

  His hands tightened around her hips. “You’re a vamp now. Physical changes, remember? You recover faster.”

  She lifted her hips. Pushed up on her knees.

  The leather gave a soft creak.

  Lark slid back down, taking him in balls deep.

  Fucking perfection. The flames flickered behind her. “You are so beautiful.”

  “And you’re the sexiest man I’ve ever seen.” Up. Down. Up. Her breath came faster.

  She stopped talking.

  So did he. Mostly because he was about to go out of his freaking mind.

  Her body was a wet, slick heat. Her sex so tight—absolute paradise. He wanted to fuck and bite and never stop. He wanted to devour her. Own her.

  And he wanted her to own him. To be bound with him forever.

  He didn’t want to have a night when he woke and she wasn’t there. He wanted to always be with her.

  Lark leaned forward. Her teeth scored his neck.

  Pleasure surged through him.

  Devereaux pumped his hips against her. Moved faster and harder as the climax bore down on him. He drove as deeply into her as he could go.

  And then they were both crying out as the release hit them. A surge of white-hot pleasure that seemed to consume them. Devereaux held her tight, locked her against him, and knew that he would do anything in order to keep her with him.

  Fuck the world. No one would ever take her from him.

  CHAPTER ELEVEN

  New Year’s Resolution Number Eleven: Face your fears.

  “The sight of blood used to make me faint.” She was drawing lazy circles onto Devereaux’s broad shoulders when Lark made her confession. Her body was absolutely replete, she was still on top of him, his cock still in her, and Lark didn’t think she ever wanted to move.

  The fire was warm behind her, and he was awesome under her.

  She bent and pressed a soft kiss to the faint bite mark that she’d left on him. “I can’t believe that I just drank your blood like it wasn’t even a thing. I should be freaking out.” Something that worried her. “My whole life has changed, and I should be having a breakdown or running scared or doing something other than just cuddling you.”

  He laughed. The sound was warm and deep, and she loved it.

  She glanced at his face. Such a handsome face. Incredible eyes. Sexy jaw. And his lips must have been made for sin.

  His gaze seemed so warm as he told her, “You were always a vampire, Lark. Like I told you, I just woke up that part of you. That’s why it all seems natural—because it is natural.”

  “My mother used to say that I was always meant to kill vampires.”

  He caught her hand in his. Twined his fingers with hers. “You had two paths, sweetheart. You could have become the hunter she wanted. Or you could have followed your vampire side. You turned away from hunting long ago. As for the vamp part of you…”

  She pulled in a breath.

  “Haven’t you always liked the dark a bit too much?” His voice was a low rumble. “Haven’t you always enjoyed the thrill of an adrenaline rush? Haven’t you felt the night calling to you over the years and haven’t you wanted to answer?”

  “Yes.” Almost a whisper.

  “That was me, Lark. Me…waiting for you. Waiting for you to grow up. Then, when you became a woman, it was me watching you in crowded clubs. Hungry for just a glimpse of you. Desperate because I didn’t want anything to happen to you. You were supposed to be protected, but if you’d died as a human, if I’d never had a chance with you, I think I would have gone mad.”

  She gave a weak laugh. “Surely not.”

  His hold tightened on her. “I’m not joking. You don’t seem to understand just how much you matter to me. So, let me be clear.” His gaze held hers. “I get that you don’t feel the same way. You don’t know me yet. In time, I hope you will know me. But I do know you. And I love you.”

  He’d just said he loved her. Lark’s heart surged in her chest. “Dev?”

  “I want to spend my days and my nights with you. You are the thing that matters most to me. Screw the kingdom. If there was a choice between ruling and having you, know that I will always choose you.” His gaze seemed to bore into hers. “You matter more, and I don’t care what happens. Having you would be worth any price I had to pay.”

  “I don’t wa
nt you paying a price for me.” He loved her. Lark let go of the breath she’d been holding. “You mentioned marriage to me.”

  “It would be my fondest wish to marry you.” He smiled. A half-smile. One dimple came slowly. “But I don’t want to rush you. I tried to do that, and it was wrong. When you were being hunted, I offered protection in exchange for marriage. Forget the deal. You don’t have to marry me. I’ll protect you until I’m nothing but dust.”

  “I don’t like the idea of you being dust.”

  But the idea of marrying him…

  What would marriage to Devereaux be like?

  Maybe one day, she’d find out.

  “We have time.” His smile was gone, and his voice became a bit harder. “Plenty of time for you to choose. And that is what I want. For you to have the chance to know me. For you to want to marry me. Not have to do it. Before, I was so desperate that…never mind.” Devereaux gave an abrupt shake of his head. “I can wait. I will wait for you. And I will show you that I am so much more than just Devereaux the Dark.”

  She didn’t think of him that way. Didn’t think she ever could.

  “A new world is waiting for you, love. New world. New power. You’ve already got the vamp strength, speed, stamina.” A wicked grin curved his lips as he said the last word. “But soon, you’ll be able to do so much more.”

  “Like what?”

  “Like you’ll be able to focus on your prey…and take control. Use the compulsions that come so easily to our kind.”

  A shiver slid over her. “I don’t think I want to do that. I don’t want to control someone else.”

  His gaze didn’t leave her. “If your life is on the line, you’ll see that you will do almost anything. There may come a time when you need to use that part of your power. Don’t be afraid of it. And, remember, when you take blood, it gives you strength.”

  “Maybe I can just take blood from you?” Her attention shifted to his neck. To the pulse that beat so quickly. She licked her lips. “I like drinking from you.”

  “And I like it when you drink.” He pressed a kiss to her lips. “You can always drink from me. Drink as much as you want. Whenever you want.” His head tilted. “I’d probably be jealous as fuck if I ever saw you drinking from someone else.”

  Lark blinked. “I don’t want you snacking on someone else in front of me.” Because the bite was too personal. Too sexual. And gave too much pleasure.

  “Love, you don’t realize it, but you already own me.”

  What? She gave a rough laugh. “No, surely—”

  “There will be no other for me. There is just you. There was always you.”

  Before Lark could speak, a knock rapped on the door. “Sir!” A man’s voice cracked a bit. “You’re needed down in the basement.”

  Devereaux swore.

  “What’s in the basement?” Lark asked as she scrambled off Devereaux’s lap. Their conversation had just gotten way heavy, and she was actually a bit grateful for the interruption. But her cheeks flushed as she wondered just how thin the walls in his study were—and as she remembered just how loud she might have been a little while ago.

  Oh, well, C’est la vie.

  She grabbed for her clothes as Devereaux rose slowly. “Dev?” Lark prompted. “What’s down there?” The place was a freaking mansion, so big that she was pretty sure she’d get lost inside if she wasn’t careful. When she pulled her shirt over her head, she threw him a teasing smile. “Do you have some sort of dungeon down there? A torture room?”

  “Yes.”

  Her jaw dropped. There had been no hint of teasing in his voice.

  The rap sounded at the door again.

  “I’ll be right out, Helsing!” Devereaux yelled. “Give us just a minute.”

  Her heart was back to racing in her chest. “You do not have a torture room downstairs.”

  He shrugged. “We’re not humans. Not like we can just lock the bad paranormals up in human jails. We have to apply our own laws and our own punishments.”

  Her mother had said all paranormals were bad. That they didn’t need punishing. They needed killing.

  She’d always disagreed on that point. “Do you have a prisoner down there, right now?”

  A grim nod. “One who desperately needs killing.”

  How was she supposed to respond to that? “Are you sure?”

  Dressed, he strode toward her. His hand cupped her cheek. “Hell, yes. Charles needs death.”

  Charles. Her blind date?

  “You don’t need to see what happens.” He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her lips. “I’ll be back before you know it.”

  He took a few steps away—

  “Stop.”

  He did.

  Lark squared her shoulders. “Is that how it would work?”

  Devereaux looked over his shoulder.

  “If I ever became queen, would you just expect me to keep my nose out of your business? Vamp business?”

  A furrow appeared between his brows. “You are a vamp. It’s all your business.”

  “But you don’t want me involved in—what? The dark stuff? The dangerous things? Life and death decisions?” He wanted her to stay tucked away? Hell, no.

  Devereaux shook his head. “I just didn’t want you to see me kill Charles. I’m trying to be charming, and I didn’t think you would find it particularly pleasant to watch me rip his heart from his chest.”

  “Oh.” Gross. “That’s what you’re planning to do?”

  He stared at her.

  “Was there a trial? Did you hear his side of the story?”

  “He bit you. There is no hearing his side.”

  “You’re going to rip out his heart because he bit me?” That seemed way extreme.

  “Exactly.” He gave a pleased nod.

  “No.” Determined now, she marched toward him. “I’m the one who was bit, so I’m going to be the one who decides the vamp’s punishment. I want to talk to the guy.”

  He’d stiffened. “I’d rather Charles never saw you again but…if this is what you want…” Devereaux motioned her forward, indicating for her to go out of the door first.

  Instead, she stopped right next to him. “Why don’t you want me to see him? Why are you so ready to kill the guy?”

  “Because, when it comes to you, I’m not quite rational.” Spoken softly. “I find I’m very possessive and protective of you, and I want to destroy anyone who hurts you.”

  She considered his words and realized—huh. Interesting. “I think I’d want to do the same thing where you’re concerned.”

  He blinked. She loved his deep, dark eyes. Especially when they seemed to smolder with his emotions.

  Focus, Lark. “But maybe we should work on controlling those impulses? Probably best not to leave a trail of bodies in our wake.” She reached for the door, but stopped when another thought hit her. “Helsing.” The name was pretty distinct. “Surely you don’t mean as in…?”

  Devereaux opened the door. Helsing stood there, his white hair shooting up from his head. Devereaux motioned toward him. “Morris Van Helsing, I want you to officially meet my queen to be, Lark Kinsley.”

  She shook his hand.

  He smiled at her. “We’ve looked for you a long time.”

  Her gaze darted to Devereaux. She found his stare on her, and he was looking at her with such tenderness in his eyes. A lump formed in her throat, but she quickly swallowed it down.

  Helsing let go of her hand. “Glad you’re here. It will make everything easier now.” He gave a nod, then turned and shuffled away.

  She waited until he was out of sight, then whispered, “Is he a real Van Helsing?” An infamous name in paranormal circles. The Van Helsings had once been the most feared monster hunters out there, but that had all changed about two centuries ago.

  They’d gotten out of the business, so to speak.

  “Very real,” Devereaux assured her. “His family has been with me for a long time now.”

  That d
idn’t make sense. “But Van Helsings hate vamps.”

  “Feelings can change.” Devereaux twined his fingers with hers. “Maybe yours will change, too.”

  Maybe they already were changing. Lark cleared her throat. “Let’s get to the basement, okay? I want to make sure no one has jumped the gun and started tearing the heart from that poor guy’s chest.”

  “He’s not a ‘poor guy’ so don’t make that mistake. Charles is a calculated killer. He wanted to take you for himself.” A muscle flexed in Devereaux’s jaw. “Don’t fall for any sob story he gives you. I don’t trust him. He never should have bitten you. He had orders. He disobeyed, and I’m afraid of what he would have done to you if I hadn’t shown up outside of that building.”

  That brought up an interesting point. “How did you know to show up?”

  “A tip from a vamp who followed my orders.” His eyes gleamed. “Charles was working his own agenda, and I intend to find out why.”

  ***

  The basement wasn’t cold or dark or damp. It was brightly lit and warm, and Charles was restrained in a chair that sat in the middle of a big, wide room. Metal restraints circled his hands, his feet, and his waist. And a surgical tray waited near his chair.

  The surgical tray completely creeped out Lark. It looked like something Dexter would use.

  Salvatore was there, along with a few other vamps who stood near the far wall. When she and Devereaux walked in, the other vamps quickly straightened.

  “Lark!” Charles called out as he strained against his restraints. “Thank goodness! Help me!”

  She glared at him. “The last time I saw you, you were trying to drain me.”

  He gave a rough, nervous laugh as his gaze jumped from her to Devereaux, then back to her. “Total misunderstanding. I-I was just looking for you. The prince here—he’d sent out word that you had to be found ASAP. Everyone knew that your big day was coming up, so it was a massive search. I, uh, happened to find someone who knew you—or at least thought you were the woman I was seeking—so I went on the blind date to make absolutely, one hundred percent certain you were the woman Devereaux wanted, and then I—”

  “Bit me,” Lark finished as she put her hands on her hips. “You bit me.”

 
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