Both our movements suddenly became more erratic, frantic even. And with me not having to hold back, this particular f**k – love or not, this here and now was a pure, hard f**k – was like none we’d had before.

Dipping her backwards, I bit down on her nipple, drawing blood and drinking it. That was when I discovered something that made me unable to pull back straight away – her blood tasted different, had a delicious syrupy quality to it that hadn’t been there before. Still, I didn’t take much, because I wanted to lift my head and stare into her eyes again. “Make me come, Sam.”

I wouldn’t have thought her bouncing could have become any harder or faster, but shit, was I wrong. Then, just as I felt her muscles beginning to flutter around my c**k with her approaching orgasm, she bit into the crook of my neck, taking long, greedy swallows. That was it – I was gone. My climax slammed into me so hard, I was surprised it hadn’t hurt. Her head fell back and her body arched as she screamed my name, shuddering with the force of her own orgasm. Then she collapsed onto me, still shaking with the aftershocks.

It was a minute or so before my brain switched back on and I could form words. “That was f**king amazing.”

“It really was,” she practically slurred.

“Your blood tastes different. And your skin.” I breezed my hand up and down her smooth, slender back. “In a good way,” I added quickly. All I got in response was a lazy, aloof ‘hmm’ sound. Apparently, she was close to nodding off. I kissed her hair. “Sleep, baby.” After the eventful evening she’d had, she definitely needed it. Me, on the other hand…I doubted I’d get to sleep any time soon. Not with how confused and anxious I still was.

The brothers were right in what they had said; what they had done to Sam had made her stronger. But, was that really a good thing?

Sam was, to my knowledge, the only hybrid in the world. Sure, people might admire and respect her for it, but these people might also want her, want to use her to create more like her. With Sam’s saliva, they could Turn humans into vampires who were as powerful as her. Yes, the brothers could do that without Sam, but only providing they could find someone as strong as her to use.

In any case, would it really be wise to create more hybrids? That would be to make them a breed in their own right. And they would become a ruling breed, without a doubt. It went without saying that the other breeds would feel threatened by this new, much more powerful breed. They might all decide that, therefore, the best thing to do would be to unite, and to kill Sam and the brothers before any more like her could be created.

Given that, maybe it would be better not to announce her new condition to others, and to instead allow people to think that her strengthening bond to me was what was making her stronger. Or something to that effect, anyway. It wasn’t like they would ever suspect the truth, because it seemed too impossible to even be true. But then, so had a Sventé with a Pagori power.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

(Sam)

Opening my eyes at dusk, I found Jared’s gaze locked on me. I didn’t get my usual boyish smile. There was a combination of adoration, mystification, and anxiety in his odd expression, making me frown. His words distracted me from quizzing him about it.

“You kicked me out of the bed in your sleep.”

My eyebrows flew up. “Say again?”

“You were mumbling something too. What was your dream about?”

Thinking hard, I quickly remembered. “The brothers. I dreamed that they’d come for me now that the changes are complete. They will, won’t they?”

“They’re eccentric enough to try. I won’t let them take you.” He ran the pad of his thumb along my cheekbone, seemingly drinking in every detail of my face like nothing else existed.

“It’s the Keja allure,” I reminded him, feeling a little sour that the person I loved was only gazing at me like that because of some preternatural enchantment.

Frowning, he shook his head. “It’s you. Just you.” He nipped my bottom lip. “You’ve never had to do anything to make me want you. It’s…almost visceral.” As if to demonstrate that, he then hooked my leg over his hip and surged inside me. Every thrust was smooth, deliberate, and sensual. Not once did he even slightly up his pace. No matter how many tricks I tried, he didn’t speed up, didn’t move harder, didn’t handle me with anything but reverence. I sensed why. He was determined to remain in total control of himself, intent on proving to me that he wasn’t swept away by any Keja allure; that he was inside me for no other reason than that he wanted to be there.

When he finally came, it was with his eyes locked tight to mine. “It’s just you,” he repeated, his voice husky. “Don’t ever doubt that.” As if to ensure that I didn’t, he did the exact same thing again in the shower. Or maybe that was just because he had an overactive libido.

It was as we sat at the breakfast bar, drinking NSTs and eating cereal, that there was a knock at the apartment door. No sooner had Jared opened it than the entire squad barged inside and piled in the kitchen. They all seemed to sag in relief when they saw I was fine. Then they were all staring, open-mouthed. Not so much in admiration of the new allure, but in surprise − despite the occasional compliment, they really thought of me as one of the boys as opposed to a woman. It had only ever been Max who behaved differently on that score.

Currently, his face was scrunched up in confusion rather than admiration. “Is this and your super strength good changes or bad changes? I mean, yeah, power’s good but for you to actually change in any way, like with the irises…” He let the sentence trail, knowing we’d get his point.

I shrugged. “I don’t know.” I addressed them all as I said, “I can’t say much about it. Not because I don’t trust you lot, but because − as Ryder will soon show − there are other ways of getting information from people. All I will say is that these changes will only be temporary.”

Harvey frowned. “What’s with the mercury rings to your irises anyway? Don’t get me wrong, they’re nice.” He smiled at Jared’s growl.

Sighing, I shrugged again. “No idea.” I felt bad that I had to be so secretive. This was my squad, and there had to be total trust between us all. I didn’t want that to change but if they felt slightly embittered by my failure to be totally open with them, it might just happen.

As if he had guessed my train of thought, Chico patted my back once. “Hey, we get it. You’re trying to protect us and protect yourself.” The others nodded.

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