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.

Seduction.

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. . . .


She turned to her side, cupping his face with her palms. When he eventually shifted to face her, she said, "Saroya can't want you as much as I do, Lothaire. No one can."

So similar to what he'd said about Elizabeth.

In a breathy voice, she murmured, "I've been aching for you."

Gods, how he loved hearing that, like a balm on his pride. "Say it again. Tell me how much you ache."

"I'll show you." When she leaned in and pressed her lips to his, he worked to control himself-taking her mouth in a slow, languorous kiss, their tongues lazily tangling.

Just as in the past, she melted for him. Yes, Lizvetta! This is what I need from you.

But why give it to him now? He broke away. "What's brought about this change?"

"Do you care?"

"Normally? Do pizdy. Now I'm suspicious."

"I thought you'd just been with Saroya and were trying to get with both of us in one night. I was pissed. And damn it, I was as jealous as the day is long."

Jealous? Finally! And only fitting, since jealousy still seethed inside Lothaire for Elizabeth's imaginary man, and he couldn't comprehend why.

She rose up and kissed his ear, nuzzling it with sultry breaths, then she pressed her mouth lower to his collar bone. Another kiss on his chest followed.

An imaginative male could think she was taking those lips all the way down. He turned to his back, his shaft surging in readiness.

"My poor, poor vampire"-she tongued one of his nipples, making

him shudder-"all you ever wanted was me in a red teddy, giving you head."

Somehow he tensed even more. Voice gone hoarse, he asked, "Am I to have what I want at last?"

"No." She removed her gown all the way, tossing it aside. "Only the head."

"I suppose I'll have to make do."

Her lips curled. "I'm hungry for you, Lothaire."

"Are you, then?" His tone was dubious.

"When I sucked your thumb, I imagined it was the crown." She continued her trail downward. "I've dreamed of it, too."

So that is what she dreams of? "Your behavior is . . . unexpected."

"Now, I've never done this before, so I won't be quite as expert at it like I was at riding you."

Insolent chit.

She dipped heated licks along his torso, his mortal lapping at him as she might a sweet treat. When she reached his navel, she sifted her nails through the crisp hair descending from it. Already he'd begun rocking his hips, his sac tightening.

"You'll have to be patient with me while I stumble my way through this."

Patient? His shaft hadn't been sucked in eons; Lothaire wouldn't last through her stumbling.

Without warning, he traced to stand at the foot of the bed. "I'd rather teach you how."

Chapter 33

Teach me? Ellie thought dumbly as she lay back, marveling up at Lothaire. The sight of him standing in all his naked glory was dulling her wits-and setting her body afire.

Her eyes lovingly took in the muscles tapering from his broad chest down to his narrow hips . . . the rigid hollows in the sides of his rock-hard ass . . . his erection jutting proudly.

"Come to me," he ordered her. "Sit on the edge of the bed."

Once she did, he took his shaft in hand, easing it to her mouth. "Lick the tip."

As she stared at it, she felt her face flush. Part of her disbelieved she was about to do this.

Suckling a vampire's member.

She swallowed, then leaned forward to tentatively rub her tongue over it. From just that little contact, he groaned-while she grinned in wonder. His skin was so smooth there, so sensitive.

"Again," he bit out. "And look at me."

She gazed up, running her tongue along the slit.

Voice strained, he asked, "Did you taste me?"

"The tiniest hint of salt."

"Precum. This won't last long."

"Don't say that! I'm just getting started."

Yet another double take from the vampire. When he grabbed her hand, fitting her fingers along his shaft, it pulsated in her palm.

As he guided her to stroke, he hissed, "Your hand . . . so soft on me." When the bottom of her fist made contact with his testicles, another breath whistled between his gritted teeth.

"Did I hurt you?"

He found that question amusing. "No, you didn't hurt me. My balls are heavy, laden with seed. They need your touch." He made her cup them with her other hand.

His stance widened to give her more access as she weighed them in her palm, fascinated.

"Now run your tongue around the head."

She was spellbound as another drop of moisture beaded there, but she raised her gaze to his when she daubed the tip with her tongue.

All those chiseled muscles in his torso contracted in a breathtaking display. From just my tongue? Exhilaration drummed inside her, wonder. . . .

Arousal.

Which was understandable, considering his addictive scent, his delicious taste, his utterly masculine reactions. "I think I'm gonna like this, Lothaire," she said, just before she twirled her tongue around the bulbous crown.

"Suck it . . . into your mouth."

She nodded, then leisurely brought it between her lips. Another groan broke from his chest. His pleasure made her bold, and she drew him deeper, licking as she sucked.

When his head briefly fell back, Ellie realized that she loved this.

With shaking hands, he threaded his fingers through her hair. "How is your first experience?" His accent was thick, his words husky.

She gave a harder suck, then murmured, "I could do this all night." His poor testicles did look like they ached. She dipped down to give each a lick, grinning as his knees nearly buckled.

"Ah, good girl!"

When she took his shaft into her mouth once more, he held her head in place and began to rock his hips. Then, as if with great effort, he removed his hands, making fists by his sides. "Do you know how . . . difficult it is not to . . . fuck your mouth?"

That was what he needed? Then she needed to make her hand and mouth feel as if he were doing just that. So she pumped her wet fist on his shaft, as her mouth followed in time.

"Yes, that's it!" A low growl began to rumble from him. He grew even harder in a rush, just as she perceived more of that salty taste.

"Look at me." He cradled her face. Veins in his muscular arms stood in relief. So much strength-but he held her gently.

As she worked his engorged flesh, she met his gaze; red eyes consumed her.

"I'm about . . . to spend, Lizvetta." His voice was ragged. "Be my dear . . . take it from me . . . and I'll reward you, beauty."

"I will." Then she set back in, greedy for his release, wanting to feel it, to taste it.