He hissed in a breath; she gasped. She could perceive his shaft throbbing in her palm, could feel the texture of his smooth skin stretched taut over the veined ridges.

Against her sensitive fingers, it grew...

So incredibly hard. Could she even take him? We'll know soon enough.

While she explored, he slipped the thin straps of her gown from her shoulders. Gathering the material in his fists, he skimmed it down her body. He paused just before he revealed her chest as if he wanted to prolong this moment.

At last, the silk inched past her erect ni**les. He stared at her br**sts as if he'd never seen them.

"Murdoch, please..."

Without warning, he gathered her in his arms, moving them to the bed so he could place her in his lap. Once he had her settled over his erection, he lifted a finger to circle her ni**les - one, then the other, his gaze transfixed as the tips swelled to his touch. With a desperate groan, he pressed his lips against one breast, palming the other.

When she felt his tongue snake out over her nipple, her head lolled.

Again and again, he flicked the puckered bud. "Do you want me to suckle you?"

"Yes, oh, yes... " She ran her fingers through his thick hair, cupping him to her.

He drew one of her ni**les between his lips, sucking, licking, giving a harsh groan that vibrated into her breast.

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"Oh, gods!" Lightning exploded outside. He knew what the lightning meant and drew even harder. Once her nipple was stiff and wet, he moved to the other, delivering the same attention. Then he gazed at them as if in awe.

"Vampire, no more teasing!"

Looking slightly dazed, he grinned. "My fire and ice Bride. Never shy about what she wants."

She shook her head. "Especially not when I've wanted it this long."

CHAPTER 41

Though they'd been together for months, Murdoch was anxious with Daniela, determined to make this perfect for her.

Since she'd waited more than twenty lifetimes for it.

And he'd noticed that she hadn't replied when he said he wanted to stay with her here. Maybe she still needed convincing? He was up to the task.

"If you knew how good you taste." He nuzzled her ear, dimly marveling that her body didn't feel cold - because his was as well. "I can't wait to taste all of you."

She inhaled sharply, shivering against him.

His hand trailed from her breast down to her spread thighs, quaking in anticipation of feeling her flesh for the first time. Reaching under her dress, he tugged her silk panties to her knees. Then returned his hand...

His palm met damp curls. "Almighty," he rasped, as he cupped her slick sex. Gently, he slipped his forefinger between her folds and into her tight sheath, making her jerk in his arms. "Easy, baby," he murmured. "I've got you."

"Oh, gods, Murdoch!" Her curling claws bit into his shoulders, which only stoked his arousal, already nearing a fever pitch.

"So perfect. You feel so good." Needing to taste the wetness he was stroking, he withdrew his finger. Her lids went heavy as she watched him suck it between his lips, then shudder from how sweet she was.

"I need more." His voice broke low on the word.

Laying her back on the bed, he removed her panties and dress completely. When she was na**d to his gaze, he stared at her, wanting to remember her like this forever.

She was a fantasy made flesh, her body arrayed with diamonds, her shining hair fanning out around her head. Her silver eyes glittered like the stones adorning her. Mine.

And I can touch every inch of her.

She was panting, her br**sts quivering, the peaks pouting. He knelt before her on the bed and nipped each tip with his teeth, giving them each a short, hard suck. "Spread those pretty thighs for me."

As she did, he drew back to watch, exhaling a shaky breath. It took all the discipline he'd ever garnered to keep from falling upon her like an animal.

Her flesh was lush with arousal, misted wet. At the sight, his c**k surged harder, hanging down between his legs like a steel rod. The crown dragged against the sheet as he bent down to her sex, inch by inch.

Whatever she saw in his expression made her murmur, "Oh. Murdoch. P-please go slow. At first."

"Trying to. Never wanted anything so bad in my life." With the first brush of his lips against her thigh, she tensed in reaction, as if she'd been burned. "Daniela?"

"No, no, keep going." She threaded her fingers though his hair, surrendering to his kiss.

"Do you want more?"

"Yes, more," she bit out, her voice throaty.

Good. Because I crave this - must have it. She whimpered when he used his thumbs to part her damp flesh. Then, at last, he pressed his mouth to her.

The first flick of his tongue against her made her moan. When she quivered for him, his c**k jerked in answer, the head brushing the sheet.

How he'd dreamed of this. But nothing could have prepared him for her maddening taste, the softness of her folds yielding to his mouth, the tight bud of her clitoris swelling under his tongue.

The act was beyond imagining and felt as if something right and natural was shifting into place. He was meant to bring her pleasure like this.

He spread her wide, fingering her as he licked and sucked, until she was wantonly rolling to his tongue. No inhibitions.

Her response had him rocking his shaft up and back, wetting the sheet with his pr**um. I'm going to spend before I'm even inside her.

But his eyes closed in bliss when she whispered, "Please, don't stop... "

"Never," he growled, setting upon her once more. Laying his hand over her flat belly, he pinned her in place, holding her fixed to his mouth as he suckled her clitoris between his lips.

"Murdoch!" At once, she began coming in a wet rush, her head thrashing.

Never releasing her, he watched as her back arched like a bow, her stiff ni**les pointing to the ceiling. He groaned against her even as he sucked.

He wrung every last ounce of pleasure from her, and was still unwilling to give up this prize. Stifling growls, he licked her clean until she had to grip his face and draw him away.

When he finally rose up on his knees, he hissed a curse at how luscious she looked - her pleasured sex slick from her orgasm, her eyes glinting with passion, her hair wild.

"You'll make me lose my mind, Daniela." My control as well...About to take her virginity like a rutting beast.

"Would that be so bad?" she purred.

Have to be gentle with her. He'd had sex before, but now he wanted to make love to his woman. Was she ready for him? "How do you feel right now?" His voice was unrecognizable. I can do this. I can hold on. Just a little longer.