Unraveled, p.48

Unraveled, page 48

 part  #2 of  Intertwined Series

 

Unraveled
 



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Page 48

 

  “Yes. ”

  Was she a novelty, then?

  “I know what you’re thinking,” he said, and rolled on top of her. His weight pinned her down, and she…liked it. “Your aura is a very sad, very depressing color. You think you mean less to me than all the others. That you are somehow less. ”

  His opinion shouldn’t matter. If they survived the curse—you will. She wouldn’t believe otherwise—she was going to break up with him, she reminded herself. “Let’s just say I’m not exactly sure what you see in me. ”

  “We’ve covered this before. I see your beauty…” He kissed the shell of her ear, softly, sweetly.

  She shivered. “Beauty fades. ”

  “I see your intelligence. ” Another kiss, this one on her chin.

  Another shiver. “I could lose my mind. ” And was probably close to doing so even now.

  “I see your bravery. ” Another kiss, once, twice, this one just under her bottom lip.

  Shiver…shiver… “Lots of girls are brave. ”

  “I see a pair of hazel eyes that view the world with an enviable mix of innocence and optimism. Those same eyes, when turned on me, go soft and hot at the same time, the innocence blending with wickedness, and that does something to me. ” He kissed her lips then, tongue sliding out for the briefest taste. “What do you see in me?”

  His words…they were drugging, delicious, suddenly as necessary as breathing. No matter what the future held.

  Their gazes locked, and he braced his hands beside her temples, caging her in, waiting.

  Oxygen somehow trickled into her lungs, and she said, “I see the hottest boy alive,” and leaned up to kiss his jaw.

  He shook his head. “Someone wise once told me that looks fade. ”

  So the tables had been turned, had they? She almost grinned. “I see the sharpest wit I’ve ever encountered. ” She kissed his chin.

  “Humor is subjective. ”

  “I see strength. ” She kissed just below his lip.

  “One snap of my spine, and I’m useless. ”

  “I see…a boy who would stand between me and my enemies a thousand times, dying a thousand times if it meant keeping me from the smallest of scratches. ” Truth. “I see a boy who knows what I need before even I know, and then delights in giving it to me. ” Again, truth.

  She pressed a soft kiss into his lips.

  He hadn’t lingered with his kisses, but she did with hers. She pressed again, then again, until he opened his mouth, and she opened hers, until their tongues were twining, exploring. He was heavy against her, but he didn’t crush her. Having him there actually felt good. Her hands had room to move, along his back, kneading, squeezing.

  His, too. They roamed, and soon both their shirts were off and they were skin to heated skin. Nothing had ever felt that good. His taste was in her mouth, somehow in her blood, warming her up another degree. His hands were just as hot, soft and hard all at the same time.

  Soon they were moaning, she was swallowing his breath, and he was swallowing hers. She was clutching at him, no longer content to knead and squeeze. If he’d been human, she would have feared she was hurting him, but he seemed to like everything she did, each new, inexperienced touch she gave, because he constantly growled his approval.

  For a moment, his fingers played at the waist of her jeans. Her skin tickled there, and she found herself arching up, seeking more, but he stiffened, growled—and this time it wasn’t in approval, but in…pain?

  “We have to stop,” he rasped.

  He’d stopped them last time, too. This time, she wanted to scream. “Why?”

  “This is your first time. ”

  “I know. ”

  “But I don’t want you to be with me because you’re afraid of dying. ”

  “I’m not. ” She was, but that wasn’t the only reason she was with him, doing this.

  His eyes were grave, haunted. “Mary Ann, only this morning you were done with me. ”

  “To save you. I don’t want to hurt you. ”

  His forehead pressed against hers. Both of them were sweating, shaking. “Oh, yes, you’re killing me tonight, and one day I’m going to get a medal for this. You have no idea how hard this is for me. ” He snorted, as if he’d made a joke. “Listen, your first time should be about love. Only love. ”

  “Was yours?”

  “No, and that’s how I know how important it is. ”

  He rolled off her, but didn’t sever all contact. He pulled her into his side, and once again she rested her head just above his heart. The organ pounded wildly, and that soothed her. He wanted her, and stopping had been difficult for him. But he’d done it. No other boy would have stopped. She knew that, and it was another reason she was falling so deeply in love with him.

  Despite how upset her body currently was with him.

  “I want you to be sure,” he said huskily. “Of me, of us. I don’t want you to ever look back and regret. I don’t want you to wish things had been different. I want the things we do to each other to be about nothing but us. ”

  But what if she never reached that point? She sighed, kissed his chest. Either way, he wanted the best for her, the sweet darling boy. “Thank you. ”

  “I’d like to say it’s my pleasure, but…I feel like I’m dying. ”

  She laughed. “Your fault, not mine. ”

  “No. It’s absolutely your fault. Now let’s get some sleep. ” He hugged her tight for a minute. “Okay?”

  “Okay. ”

  “Good. ’Cause we’ve got a big day tomorrow. ”

  She didn’t want to think about tomorrow, the day before the spell kicked in. Sleep, though, proved impossible. Her body was achy, and she couldn’t stay still. She needed something, but she didn’t know what. And then, minutes later, perhaps hours, her stomach began to hurt, twisting and cramping, so terribly empty. Like what had happened in town, only magnified a thousand times.

  Hungry…hungry.

  “What’s wrong, baby?” Riley asked, concerned. She didn’t think he’d fallen asleep, either, because he’d never truly relaxed, but had adjusted his long frame to her every time she’d moved, trying to make her more comfortable.

  “I…I don’t know,” she said. A lie. She tried to raise her head, to look at him, but she didn’t have the strength. A tremor was slipping and sliding the length of her spine and vibrating into her limbs. “I can’t move anymore. And I hurt. ” Oh, God. Panic set in. “Riley, I can’t move! I’m paralyzed. ”

  “Don’t worry. I can fix this. ” Riley popped from the bed, dressed, then helped Mary Ann do the same. She didn’t have the strength to do anything. He even had to tug her hair out from under her shirt.

  “Am I dying? Already?” So…hungry… She’d thought she would have more time. Hungry… A moan escaped her. “Riley!”

  “Calm down, just calm down. I’ll take care of you,” he said, easing her to the side of the bed and propping her up. “I’ll make it better. ” He strode to the door that connected his bedroom to Victoria’s and knocked.

  What was he doing? Did she care? No. Another moan escaped her. HUNGRY…

  There was no answer. He knocked again. Finally, the door swung open and a frowning Victoria glared up at him. “You’re the hundredth person at my door. I know. You sense Aden. So did they. But to prevent upheaval, I didn’t lie to them, so I hope you’re prepared. Tomorrow, though, and not tonight,” she rambled. “Tonight he’s trying to sleep—I commanded him to sleep actually. We’ll deal with the consequences in the morning because I won’t have him disturbed. ”

  “Are you finished?”

  She hissed at him. “I’m not sending him away, Riley. ”

  “I didn’t ask you to. In fact, I’m glad you’re finally standing up for what you want. Now, enough about you, brat. I need you to take us to the cabin. ”

  The cabin, where the witch was being kept
. Understanding dawned. Riley was going to feed her. Mary Ann wanted to protest, but she also wanted to feel better. She’d never been this weak, never been this helpless.

  “All of us?” Victoria looked back at her bed, and Aden sleeping there. “Why?”

  “Just Mary Ann and me, and because I said so. Leave us in the cabin and then come get us in an hour. Okay? Actually, during that hour, go to Mary Ann’s house and convince her dad she’s there tonight and in the morning so he doesn’t worry. ”

  “Why do you want to go to the cabin?” she asked again, gaze sliding to Mary Ann.

  Starved, dying, scared, agonized…

  “I need your blind trust,” Riley told the vampire. “As I’ve often given you. ”

  Victoria nodded without hesitation. “All right. Yes, of course. Who first?”

  “Me, but be careful with Mary Ann. She’s…ill. ”

  A second later, the two disappeared. Mary Ann could only sit there, her mind starting to hurt, too. Then Victoria was there, gripping her hand, the bed was falling away, and she was floating, spinning, stopping, then starting all over again. Finally, solid ground appeared. She wanted to vomit, but had nothing in her stomach and ended up dry heaving, intensifying the pain in her body.

  “What’s wrong with her?” Victoria asked.

  “Like I said, she’s ill. ”

  “And you think the witch will cast a healing spell? I assure you—”

  “Thanks for your help. Now go back to Aden,” Riley said, scooping Mary Ann in his arms. “Please. ” She was floating again, only this time she had an anchor. Strong, magnificent Riley. “Out. I’m serious, Vic. ”

  Victoria growled, but disappeared.

  “What’s going on?” a familiar voice asked. The witch.

  Suddenly warmth and power swept through Mary Ann, easing her hunger, her pain. She sighed in ecstasy, drinking in every molecule she could. Yes. Yes. This was what she’d needed, what she couldn’t live without. Strength returned to her limbs, her body becoming hers again.

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