She scurried from the bed. "Why would you be unfaithful to Saroya? The first time we were together was because she was late for a date, the second just happened, but this would be premeditated. Why can't you just wait for your Bride? It isn't me you want-you've told me a thousand times how inferior to Saroya I am. I swear I will let her rise."
Ignoring her, he commanded, "Return to this bed now."
"Did she recede because she didn't want you?"
He gave a raw laugh. "What female wouldn't want me?" Lothaire-speak?
"Me! You asked me why I was still a virgin? It's because of men like you-the takers. Selfish, stupid men! I don't want you!"
"Of course you do, Elizabeth. Just looking at me gets you wet."
"Looking at you reminds me of the kind of man I should be with."
"And what kind of man is that? Drunken, poor, pathetic?"
"No. I've never met him, but I see him plain as day. He has crinkles around his eyes when he smiles and tanned skin from working outdoors. Honest labor has callused his hands. He and I will hunt together, cook and eat big family meals together. He'll marry me and love my family, too." Voice gone soft, she said, "He'll give me a baby boy and a girl."
Lothaire's eyes narrowed. "No. He won't. You'll never know another but me. Now, come back to bed and stop behaving as if this is some kind of event. We've pleasured each other before, and all I want from you is to exchange a couple of orgasms."
"I'm not the type of woman who'll let a man treat her like trash, then get him off whenever he likes. You've done nothing to deserve being with me."
"But your honest, tanned, imaginary husband has? Think about him
all you like, yet it will be me who wrings screams from you tonight. I can make you want this. One bite, and you'll be begging for me to touch you."
"A vampire roofie? Can't get it any other way?"
"Do you want me to work for it, then?" Lothaire's voice grew husky. "I will, Elizabeth. I'm not above seduction to get what I want."
His eyes locked on hers with that predatory glint, and she again felt like his helpless prey, the object of a merciless vampire's lust.
For some reason, the idea of that made her breaths shallow. She felt her skin growing flushed as if to attract him-
One instant she stood beside the bed; the next she was in it, lying back under the firm press of his hand.
Before she could even think about defending herself, he'd worked the silk down off her shoulders to pool at her waist.
Indignation burning inside her, she threw a wild punch, but with that supernatural speed, he easily secured both of her wrists in one hand. "Ah-ah, you'll only hurt yourself. And amuse me. Now, relax."
She tensed even more.
"Sweet Lizvetta, with your hot skin and hot blood." He stretched her arms over her head, pinning her wrists there once more. "Let me see if I can't stoke a fever in you." With his free hand, he rolled one nipple between his thumb and forefinger. "Do you like this?"
"No!" She gasped out the word.
"Liar. And what about this?" He pinched the other one.
Her hips bucked. "No!"
At her ear, he purred, "Be my dear, and tell me you want me."
"I won't do it!"
He bent to one of her breasts. She felt his warm breath fanning over it and barely kept her eyes open.
He'd never suckled her before. He'd wanted to the first night, but she'd denied him. During their second time together, he'd been intent on other things. Now his desire was clear.
"Look at your pretty nipples." His tongue twirled one, making her choke back a cry. "They beg me to taste them, blood stiffening them until they're like little berries. It will be everything I can do not to pierce them." He snared the tip between his teeth . . . and gently tugged.
She heard a whimper, could barely believe that carnal sound had come from her.
His lips curled into a grin before he closed them around the peak to suck. His mouth was searing as his tongue lashed her.
When he drew back to watch her reaction with his wicked red gaze, she was panting, fighting the urge to arch up for more.
"Ah, you like that." As he nibbled and sucked her other breast, his fingers trailed down her body, circling her navel. Against her wet nipple, he rasped, "And you liked when I touched you here, didn't you?" His hand snaked under the teddy.
"No!" she cried as his forefinger glided between her folds.
"You don't want me to continue?" He stopped everything-his suck on her breast, the skillful play of his fingers.
"Lothaire . . ."
"Beg me to. Tell me you need me, that you desire me alone."
She shook her head.
"I feel your trembling, feel you getting slick. Why are you being so stubborn?"
Stubborn? That was the one thing she couldn't seem to be with him! Because right then, all she wanted was for him to make love to her with his mouth and hands.
"For seven days, Lizvetta, I've thought of this constantly. I know you've needed me as I have you." The underlying vulnerability in his words was almost her undoing.
But then he went back to aggressive Lothaire. "Fuck this. I've got a week's worth of seed for you-and you're already on the verge." He began stroking between her legs again. "You might not beg with words, but your body's pleading."
Wait. A week's worth? Realization surfaced in her desire-saturated mind. Then Saroya truly hadn't pleasured him tonight? Sex was obviously important-critical-to him, and Saroya wasn't putting out.
Maybe Ellie had been right and Saroya had never put out. Perhaps the goddess of blood wasn't a goddess in bed? "Lothaire, tell me that I don't compare to Saroya."
His fingers slowed. "What?"
"You heard me. You'll tell me directly after we come, so I just want to get it out of the way now. Tell me, 'You don't compare to Saroya.' Then I can relax-I'll be all yours."
"I'm busy right now." Another rapturous stroke.
Concentrate, Ellie! "Just tell me those five words, and then I'll do anything you want me to."
"Soon you'll do anything that I want anyway."
He can't say it. Lothaire was beginning to feel something for her.
When she'd mentioned another man, the vampire had seemed jealous. Earlier, she'd asked him about tender thoughts toward her, and he'd deflected that question as well.
Which means the game-with my one available move-is still in play.
Perhaps she should give the vampire exactly what he'd wanted. Ear horn, Sadie? Well, Ellie had something she desperately needed to communicate to him.
I want to live, to be free of Saroya!
"Lothaire, I think I do compare to her in your eyes."
"Think whatever you like." Drawing his hands away from her, he lay back, tense with frustration. But again, he didn't deny it.
I still have a shot with him! "She doesn't desire you like I do, does she?"
His fists clenched, his expression heralding another rage.
"What have I said about watching your tongue?" Lothaire hadn't wanted this mortal to know Saroya didn't desire him, but of course, nothing escaped Elizabeth.
His nerves were frayed, his fury escalating. His cock and balls were so swollen with pent-up need they felt like they'd been battered. Suckling her plump breasts and hard little nipples had only made the pain grow. . . .