Viehl, Lynn-Darkyn (Juliana SS) 01-03 - Worthy, Willing, Wanted, page 7
“That cannot be, my lady,” another man said, his tone apologetic but firm. “No female could be changed without a lord to attend to her.”
“Lady Alexandra is correct,” Lucan said as he came into the room with Samantha. “The change was forced upon this human by a healing gone wrong. She has not yet bonded to a Kyn lord.”
Some of the men took a step or two toward me.
“No one will lay a finger on her,” Lucan continued, making a show of his velvet-gloved hands, “unless they wish to discover the mercy to be had at my hands.”
All the men took a step back.
I felt humiliated. “I don’t think I can do this, Alex. I can't just pick someone like this. I need to . . ." get back home to Marco and Neal, was what I wanted to say. Only that was just as ridiculous.
"I can still smell Marco on her," Lucan said. "Are you quite certain she has not bonded with him, Alexandra?"
"All I know is that if she doesn't bond with someone, and soon," the doctor said, "she's not going to make it."
I don't know why I ran to the elevator, but I did. And the reason I escaped the nightclub? I had no clue. I just had to get out of there, away from the vampires and the way they were looking at me.
I ended up sitting on a bench on the boardwalk and watching the waves break on the sand. Like my heart, like my heart.
"You are so lovely that I would take you and complete your change myself," Lucan said as he sat down beside me, "but I have to rest some time, and my sygkenis is a homicide detective. If anyone knows the most creative and painful ways to kill a straying lover, it is my Samantha."
I glanced sideways. "I don’t want to insult you, Suzerain, but I think I have enough problems already, thanks."
"You know, Marco is not precisely the cockroach I made him out to be when last we met," he continued. "He survived his imprisonment among the Saracens by catering to his master's desires, no matter how perverted they were. His self-imposed exile was largely to preserve the finer sentiments of the Kyn." He looked down at his gloves. "At least he never killed anyone, even when he wore the white."
"I don’t know what you're talking about."
We both watched the ocean for a while.
"The women will be worried if we don’t return soon,” Lucan said at last. “I will help you choose someone suitable if you like, Juliana. But I would rather see you return to Marco. His blood runs through your veins now. You must have some feelings for him.”
I had all the feelings. "He doesn't want me."
"He’s not gone blind, has he?"
"I'm a woman." I realized I'd said too much. "I mean, I'm not his type of woman."
"Marco has bedded so many women I doubt he has a type." Lucan saw my face. "He didn’t tell you that he was a brothel slave for two hundred years, I take it?"
I tried to imagine Shamaras being forced to prostitute himself for two centuries, and couldn’t. "Is that why he doesn't like women?"
Lucan laughed. "Of course not. He loves them. As he will doubtless adore you."
Now I was getting mad. "This is really none of your business, Suzerain."
"Marco’s living arrangements may require a certain amount of discretion, but I assure you, Juliana, your lord Shamaras has known more women than any Kyn alive. It was his profession." He gave me a shrewd look. "Ah, now I see that the rumors are true. He has a human male living in his household, does he not? And you have feelings for that one as well."
I wasn't going to spill the beans about Neal. "I can’t talk about this with you."
"You don’t have to. I am sending you back to the villa." Lucan stood. "You will tell Marco everything."
I could have screamed with frustration. "He doesn't want me."
"As you are almost Kyn, I am your ruling lord. You have no choice but to obey my command.” He offered me one of his gloved hands. “Tell Marco of your true feelings for him and this human male. If he refuses to bond with you, direct my driver to bring you back. I will personally see to it that you have your pick of the jardin."
I took his hand and stood up. “This is crazy.”
“Trust me, love.” He flicked a velvet-covered finger over the tip of my nose. “Only be sure to tell him the truth.”
I walked into the dark, quiet villa and dragged my feet as I climbed the stairs. I was tired, defeated and wanted nothing more than to sleep for a week. Lucan’s command still rang in my ears, however, and he was right: I needed to tell Marco and Neal how I felt. Once I’d done that, I could make a clean break without any false expectations on either side.
They were both sitting and reading in the library, and Neal jumped up as soon as I came in the room.
“Jules, you’re back.” He hurried over to hug me and look me over. “Did it work? Was Lady Alexandra able to help?”
“Sort of.” I looked past him at Shamaras. “Neal, I need to talk to you.”
“I will leave you alone,” Marco said, closing his book and rising.
“I need to talk to you, too,” I told him. “Alex didn’t take me to get any kind of medical treatment. She wanted me to pick out one of Lucan’s men so that I could bond with him.”
“What?” Neal gaped.
“You are making the change,” Shamaras said slowly. “I knew it. But why would she take you from me at such a time?”
“Alex told me what can happen with the whole life companion thing, and I didn’t want to complicate your lives any more than I already have.” I almost lost my nerve right there, but forced myself to tell him the rest. “I have very strong feelings for you, Marco. I can’t define what they are, because I’ve never felt anything like them. Sometimes, when you touch me? It’s all I can do not to jump on you.” I turned to Neal. “Neal, I know I’m in love with you. I have been ever since you kissed me. I’m sorry. I know it’s inappropriate and ludicrous and probably offensive to both of you, but it’s how I feel.”
“Why,” Shamaras asked, “would you think we would be offended by your love?”
Neal smiled a little. “She knows that we’re lovers.”
“But it’s not a fatal attraction, okay?” I didn’t want their pity or their sympathy. “Lucan said he would find a normal, I mean, a straight Kyn guy for me, to help me get through this, and then I’ll be out of your hair forever–”
“Jules, we’re not gay.”
“–and everything will be fine . . . what?” I frowned.
“Do you know what a tre vie is, Juliana?” Marco asked.
“Doesn’t everyone?” I hadn’t the slightest idea.
“Literally it means three-way,” Neal told me. “Or, as you put it, a threesome.”
“Get out of town.” I waited for them to laugh, but they didn’t. “You mean to tell me that you and he . . . you share women?”
“Not in the way you think.” Neal ran a hand through his hair. “It’s not about the sex. We like the sex, don’t get me wrong, but it’s more than that. Marco and I are together, but we’re unhappy. We’re incomplete. We love each other, but we want more. We want a woman we can love together.”
I had always thought of ménage a tois as something kinky people did for kicks, not a structure for a relationship. What had Lucan said? Marco’s living arrangements may require a certain amount of discretion . . .
“It’s very difficult to find a woman willing to love two men, and be loved by them, and to accept their love for each other,” Marco said. “We had hoped you would be the one. It seems that you are.”
All this time and angst, and they had both wanted me. I didn’t know whether to kiss them or kick their asses. “You never thought to mention this to me before now?”
“It’s a very delicate subject,” Neal admitted. “We didn’t want to scare you off before you got to know us. Marco knew from the moment you shot Eric that you were the one for us. He could feel it. I didn’t believe him until I kissed you.”
I wasn’t so easily convinced. “Have you ever real
Neal nodded. “Our wife died after a long battle with breast cancer five years ago, in Tuscany. We were together for ten years. There hasn’t been anyone else, until you came into our lives.”
I thought of Lencho, the old man who had saved my life. Marco and Neal would have been with their wife back then; maybe they’d even known about her cancer. I didn’t believe in fate, but it was almost as if the tresora had known they would need me someday.
And maybe that I would need them.
“We will wait for you to become accustomed to the idea, Juliana,” Shamaras promised. “All we ask is that you give us a chance to show you how it can be for us.”
“Alex says I don’t have a lot of time left,” I told him. “I have to choose now. What if I only wanted Neal, or just you?”
“Then Neal and I would have to send you to Lucan to find another to help you through the change.” Shamaras glanced at Neal, who nodded.
“It’s like I told you after I kissed you, Jules,” Neal sounded a little sad, as if he expected me to refuse on the spot. “You can’t have just me. You get him, too.”
I could see the desire and longing in their faces, smelled it in the blue hyacinth Marco was shedding. Their eyes never left my face. I had never imagined being with two men, and this seemed more important a step than even making the change from human to Darkyn. If I chose them, it would be forever for me and Marco, but only a human lifetime for Neal.
That didn’t seem fair, or right.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Neal said, “but it doesn’t matter. As long as we have each other, I’ll be happy. Maybe I’ll make the change, too. If not, then I know someday you two will walk through this minefield for someone else you believe that you can both love.”
“Okay.” I held out my hands, and when they took them, I kissed Neal and then Shamaras. “You’re sure about this? About me?”
“Oh, yes,” Marco said. “You are the one.”
Neal’s eyes gleamed. “Why don’t we show you?”
I admit, I was nervous, and I didn’t know what to expect from the physical side of this a tre vie outside of some pre-conceived notions of tangled bodies and unlikely acrobatics. But Marco and Neal didn’t jump me, or try to rush me. They hugged and kissed me, taking turns like affectionate brothers. Then affection flared into heat, and hands began unfastening buttons and tugging aside fabric.
For me, everything doubled. The hands touching me, the mouths gliding against my skin. Everywhere I was accustomed to feeling a lover press, a mirror of the sensation occurred on the other side. It made me feel giddy, almost drunk with the power of it.
However the choreography was supposed to happen, I didn’t know. It just did. We were standing and stripping each other in the middle of the bedroom one minute and fitting our bare bodies together on the bed the next.
I expected to feel a surge of jealousy when I saw Neal kiss Marco, or Marco caressing Neal, but that never happened. They were as passionate and tender with each other as they were with me, no one left out, no one dominating the other. We all received equal attention from each other in a kind of dance that had a rhythm and movement unlike anything I’d ever known.
It was not all perfect. I didn’t have a vast amount of experience anyway, and I felt constantly, almost painfully awkward when it came to the physical mechanics of trying to make love to two men at the same time. After tangling us all up, I dissolved into giggles, laughing at myself and them. They joined in, evidently delighted as much by my lack of experience as my earnest attempts to please them both. The joy seemed to snap the last of the restraints between us, taking with it my clumsiness. As they cradled me between them I felt beautiful and sexy and so loved that a tear cruised down my cheek.
“We love you, Juliana,” Marco said, curling his hand around my thigh as Neal kissed away the tear. “Come with us now.”
I went with them, and they took me together, merging and blending and tightening until we weren’t two men and one woman but a single thunderous heart, beating in time to the cadence of our bodies, moving in unison, in a triangle dance of pleasure and satisfaction and love.
A tre vie.
Alex Keller came to Volare a week later to examine me. Once she checked my fangs and took a vial of blood, she informed me that I’d made it through the final stage of transition and was now a full-fledged Darkyn female.
“I’m glad you decided to stay with Marco,” she said as she packed up her medical case. “I was worried that he had already established something of a bond, and anyone else might have caused a conflict with it. I’ve been torn between bonds with two guys, and what it does to you is not pretty.”
I thought of the coming night, my two lovers, and all the hours of pleasure we would share. “Unless you stop fighting it.”
I brought her to the courtyard to share a bottle of bloodwine with me while we watched the lights from the boats sailing across the bay. “Are you going to see Lucan again before you leave town?”
“I can’t avoid it,” she grumbled. “He wants to know all the details of how you made out.”
I considered giving her some of the details, and chuckled. “You can tell him that he was right, and I’m very grateful for his advice.”
“That’s a first.” Alex looked up as Neal joined us. “Hi, there.”
“Good evening, Lady Alexandra.” Neal took off his lab coat before bending over to kiss me. “How’s my girl?”
“On a scale of one to ten, a fourteen,” I advised him. We both looked over as Marco came into the courtyard from the opposite direction. “Someone else overslept, though, and missed seeing the yacht parade at sunset.”
“I am six hundred years older than you. I need more rest.” Marco bowed to Alex before he kissed me and then Neal. “I hope your stay in south Florida was an interesting one, Lady Alexandra.”
Alex grinned. “Never a dull moment around here.”
About the Author
Since 2000, Lynn Viehl has published thirty-eight novels in five genres. On the internet, she hosts Paperback Writer, a popular publishing industry weblog which she updates daily. Lynn’s StarDoc science fiction series has been a genre bestseller for seven consecutive years. Lynn’s first three novels of the Darkyn, If Angels Burn, Private Demon and Dark Need all made the USA Today bestseller list, and her fourth Darkyn novel, Night Lost, debuted in May 2007 at #21 on the New York Times extended bestseller list.
Readers are always welcome to send feedback on this free e-story by e-mail to LynnViehl@aol.com.
Lynn Viehl, Viehl, Lynn-Darkyn (Juliana SS) 01-03 - Worthy, Willing, Wanted
Other author's books:
- Disenchanted & Co.If Angels BurnMaster of ShadowsDisenchanted & Co., Part 1: Her Ladyship's CurseShadowlightNightbornPrivate DemonViehl, Lynn-Darkyn (Juliana SS) 01-03 - Worthy, Willing, Wanted
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