"Maybe that's not the only reason I want to be with you," she said.

"Explain."

"I'm going to die soon. Maybe I don't want to die a virgin."

"But I won't fuck you. That I save for my Bride alone."

She nibbled her pouty bottom lip. "Then I want to be with you because I've gone ages without a man's touch."

Her nipples were so hard he could almost believe she truly desired his hands on her. "I'm not a man."

"No. You're not. But you'll do." She reached up and unpinned her silky mane, letting it cascade over her shoulders. Curls bounced over her breasts, tickling the peaks, her tantalizing scent washing over him-

Wait. I'll do?

Then she reached forward to undo the middle button of his shirt, spreading the opening as wide as it would go, baring the center of his

torso.

With another smile, she eased in and pressed her mouth to his skin. His muscles tensed beneath her lips.

She gave a lick. He hissed out a curse. Another button opened, another accompanying kiss. Again and again she did this with the lightest kisses. Sweet but sexy.

By the time she'd drawn his shirt off his chest, she'd kissed from his collarbone to his navel and started upward again.

When she reached one nipple, she hovered just over it, letting him feel her warm breath before she grazed her lips over it. At the contact, his shaft pulsed in his pants.

As he gazed down at her, she flicked his nipple with her tongue, making his body go rigid. Then she sucked it.

Just as he was about to groan, she . . . bit it. His hips shot up uncontrollably.

"You like that?" she asked.

"I'll do the same to you, girl. See if you like it."

She gave his other nipple a lick, murmuring against it, "Promise?"

"Playing with me? I'll pierce you, drink from you. Take off your shirt and watch me."

She rose up and collected the hem of her shirt, lifting it slowly, baring inch after inch of her trim torso . . . then the beginning swell of her breasts.

Higher, higher, about to reveal her nipples-

She let the material drop. "I'm driving. Not ready to put the top down yet."

He grabbed a length of her hair, wrapping it around his fist. "Understand me, Elizabeth," he began, about to tell her that he was done playing her game. But the rana came over him. Can't lie.

Apparently he . . . wasn't done playing her game?

Might I even like it?

Not with her! He tugged sharply on her hair.

Instead of crying out with fear, she said, "Looks like you're going to drive, then. It's a shame you won't be seeing the one thing I'm really, really good at."

Damn her. Again she'd spurred his curiosity. He recalled the pleasure he'd felt merely from watching her dismantle his cable box. He certainly hadn't expected her actions then; what other surprises did she have in store for him? "Hmm. How good?"

"I'm probably better at it than you are at killing."

"You've got five minutes to impress me," he said. "And know this, my killing skills are exceedingly well-honed. You had better have me yelling to the rafters."

"Hell, Lothaire, I can do that in four. Now, if you're done chattin' me up, I'd love to show you my tits."

He stifled a shocked cough. Mask your surprise. Show no reaction. Eyes narrowed, he released her so she could remove her top.

When she was bare to him, he hissed between his teeth.

The mortal's breasts were . . . divine. High and full, with smooth, golden skin. Her rosy nipples were upturned.

As he stared transfixed, she lowered herself atop his shaft, wrenching a groan from him and a cry from her. "Damn, vampire, you came loaded for bear!"

"What does that mean?"

"Hunters in bear country have to go out armed to the teeth, even if they're hunting small game. So what I'm saying is you're hung, and very, very hard."

"I'm superlative in every way."

"Uh-huh." She laid her hand flat on his chest, then leaned forward to press her breasts against him. With her hand fitted between their bodies, she stroked his nipple-and her own-as she tenderly kissed his cheek, then the corner of his lips, giving a little lick there. "I like the way you taste, Lothaire."

When she was lustful like this, her accent grew thicker, the cadence more pleasing.

For some reason, he found it . . . sexy as hell.

"You taste all superlative."

Was she making fun of him? Another stroke of his nipple. He couldn't think.

And then she really began to talk. After sucking on his earlobe, she whispered to him how she felt-wet and aching-how he felt against her-hot, rigid like steel. How she imagined licking him from his knees to his neck and feasting in between. "Would you feed me my fill, vampire . . . ?"

Yes. Yes I would. All the while he struggled to resist the heat bearing down on him.

And Lothaire realized he might like her games indeed.

What had started as an exercise, a means of self-preservation for Ellie, soon burned out of control.

Just the way he was gazing at her aroused her like nothing in memory. He stared at her as if he wanted to devour her.

Would he really bite her breasts? At the idea, her nipples puckered even more, as if taunting him to do it.

His flawless skin called to her lips; the unyielding planes of his body made her breath shallow. And every intake of air brought his delicious scent into her-woodsy, masculine with a bite. "I love your scent too."

"I know. I saw your reaction when you smelled my coat."

She was too turned on to be embarrassed, her attention spellbound by the muscles of his torso, by the promise of that incredible strength in every sculpted inch of him. "Your muscles are hard, vampire. They feel so good."

"My cock's hard too," he rasped. When his shaft surged beneath her, her sex throbbed in readiness for it. "Does that feel good, pet?"

His rough accent, his challenging tone . . . desire as she'd never known flooded her. "Just when I think it can't get any harder, it does."

She gazed at his lips while licking her own. She needed to kiss him. But would his fangs cut her?

Soon she'd be uncaring. . . .

Ellie was losing control. When she got turned on enough, her mind seemed to go blank until all she cared about was reaching her orgasm. There'd never been any communion with her partner, no meeting of their eyes and minds.

Just her working to get off.

She'd never set out to rock a boy's world or anything like that. It was only a fortunate coincidence that the guy beneath her always got off, too.

And now the seam of her jeans and the top of Lothaire's shaft had aligned against her aching clitoris. She was about to start moving on him, and then it'd be all over. She'd find a rhythm that would bring her to her end.

"I can feel your heat," he grated. "Want these pants off you."

Take away that perfection? She pressed her forefinger over his lips, giving him an indulgent smile. "Just let me do what I'm needin' to."


Chapter 24

Lothaire put his hand over her throat, pushing her back. "You are mad, then?"

Again, he saw no fear in Elizabeth's eyes. They were heavy-lidded, a deep, lambent gray.

"You flirt with my rage, as if trying to bring it forth?"

"That's not what I'm trying to bring forth just now. Busy on something else." She used both hands to draw her silky hair up, piling it atop her head. The sublime scent of her hair washed over him as her breasts swayed. His thoughts grew indistinct.

No! He was angered over something, needed to discipline her. "You've had your five minutes. Now it's time . . ." His words trailed off.

Because she'd begun to move.

Gods almighty. His head dropped forward, his gaze riveted as she languidly rocked her hips up and back over his lap, sensually rubbing her sex along his swollen shaft.

After another undulation, she moaned, drawing his gaze up.

His vampiric instincts fired, noting the changes in his prey. She panted her breaths as her pupils dilated; blood tinged her high cheekbones, spreading down her neck to her breasts, stiffening her nipples even more.

Yes, he'd seen lovers reach a point of no return when all inhibitions were lost, when nothing could pull them apart. Elizabeth was there.

For once, he thought he might like to experience that point himself.

"Lothaire, you're looking at my nipples . . . still wantin' to bite me?" She lowered her hands, released dark waves of her hair, then clutched his shoulders.

"Lean forward, pet. I'll only use my tongue on them."

She shivered. "That's what you want?"

"Yes."

She leaned back.

Though her boldness attracted him like a font of fresh blood, his anger couldn't be denied. "You want me to suck them."

"Aching for you to."

"Then obey me now, Elizabeth!"

Eyes closed, head falling back, she whispered, "No."

He was the master, she was his belonging. She would mind him. Just as Lothaire reached to grab her by her breasts and drag one to his mouth . . . he caught the scent of her arousal.

Like breathing a drug he knew he'd never get enough of. He groaned, "You're wet for me."

She wrapped her hands around his nape, holding on to him as she used his lap. "Sopping. Surprised you can't feel it through my jeans."

The idea of her so aroused that she soaked her panties and jeans . . .

A predator's impulses racked him, drives to master her, to take from her-his release, her blood. He imagined pinning his woman beneath him, her thighs forced wide to accept his cock . . . or his mouth on her.

My fangs on her lush female flesh.

"Don't anger me, Elizabeth. My control slips."

She grasped one of his hands, bringing his forefinger to her lips. When she sucked it into her mouth, wetting it liberally, his cock jerked in answer.

Then she placed his slick finger against one of her nipples. Eyes rapt, he slowly circled the tip. "Can feel it throbbing."

With a cry, she spread her knees wider to get lower. The more he circled, the harder she rode him.

He was going to spend like this if he didn't stop her soon. Slumming with a mortal? But, gods, it felt so good. He couldn't prevent himself from bucking beneath her.

She moaned with delight, finally drawing his hands to her breasts. When he felt her nipples strain against his palms, he almost lost his seed.

"Eager little Elizabeth." He used her breasts to press her down while grinding his cock up against her. "Is this what you like?"

"Right . . . there."

"You're going to come?" If he was, then she would too.

"I'm so close." She bit that bottom lip as he yearned to do. Then her gaze settled on his own lips. "Vampire, I'll come from ridin' you . . . come hard till I scream, if I can kiss your mouth. You want me to?"

"You like to talk dirty, show me what else you can do with your tongue."

She hitched in a breath. Just as he perceived another flood of desire, she brushed her lips against his.

Hers were soft, giving. When she darted her tongue into his mouth, he met it, twining his with hers, swirling over and over.

Seeming to melt for him, she wrapped her slim arms around his neck as if she'd never let go, as if she couldn't get close enough. . . .

When she began sweetly sucking on his tongue, his eyes rolled back in his head.

Elizabeth!

How could this feel so good to him? The tales about a vampire's Bride were true? Infinitely more pleasure with his Bride. Too much pleasure.

No, she was a mortal, not his woman. Confusing her with my Bride. Even as he told himself this, his fangs readied for her. Take from her . . .

Against her mouth, he groaned, "Bite you." She didn't pull back; had she nodded?

Didn't matter. He sank one fang into her bottom lip, as if into a plum.

Blood spilled onto his tongue; his body jolted. "Uhn!" Her essence raced through his veins, like a fever spreading over him.

Frenzy took hold, lust mounting. Drop after drop wetted their tongues while she bore her sex down on his cock.

Nothing could feel this good.

He licked, he sucked. His vision wavered. Want to consume her, take her into me.

Too much. She's too fragile.

Too mortal.

Somehow he broke away from her to catch his breath and gauge her reaction, knowing she'd be disgusted by the blood.

He wanted to see that disgust, to remind himself that the human girl would never understand how he lived.

Her lids were heavy, but her gray eyes were fierce on his mouth. As if she hadn't noticed the blood trickling from her own, her hands shot out, her fingers tunneling into his hair. She grabbed two fistfuls and yanked him back into the kiss, licking his bloody tongue.

Fuck! Hot little piece!

With shaking hands, he cupped the back of her head and clenched her ass, drawing her to him, shoving her breasts against his chest. As she rode him, her nipples rubbed up and down over his sweat-slicked skin.

Make me come like this. Don't care. He grew light-headed. His cock was engorged with seed, the crown thick with it. Just don't stop.

Between kisses, he rasped, "You'll come, I scent you're close. . . ." He knew if he cupped her right now, her jeans would wet his palm. He wanted to slip his fingers inside her, to lick her honey from them.

She pulled harder on his hair, writhing on him faster. Faster. Faster.

Her blood in his veins. Scorching friction over his cock. "Ahhh! Whatever you do . . . do not stop this . . ." Tongues tangling. Pressure building-

His body stiffened, back bowing. The pleasure made him break the kiss to throw back his head and roar, "Fuck! Elizavetta!"

For a moment, his mind rolled over, grew blissfully blank. All he could perceive was her heart racing.

Then he heard his own savage groan: "Woman, you're making me . . . come!" Seed shot from his cock, the ejaculation so strong he bellowed curses in Russian. He yelled uncontrollably with each jet, louder and louder.

Her undulations grew frantic. As she bathed semen all over his shaft, he thought, Follow me, Elizavetta, follow me down.

"Lothaire!" Ellie screamed. "Oh, God, I'm coming, coming-" Her lids slid shut. Her orgasm overwhelmed her.