Page 15

Her breasts were perfectly sized, a little less than a handful, and those nipples were as red as her lips. His mouth watered as he lowered his head. And dear gods, sucking one of those little berries into his mouth was a religious experience. The moment his tongue made contact, his entire body felt as though it went up in flames from the inside out. His blood turned his organs to ash. His ashed organs liquefied his bones, and those liquid bones scorched his skin, leaving blisters.

She must have experienced the same melting sensation, because a scream of pleasure exploded from her. An honest-to-gods, I’m-losing-my-mind scream of pleasure. He loved it, reveled in it. Except a thousand other screams followed hers. And those weren’t forged by pleasure. Those reeked of fear and pain.

“Gideon,” she rasped.

Once again, he raised his head. Her eyes were still sealed shut, only now her mouth was pulled tight in an agonized line. Thick black shadows were seeping from her ears, her mouth, and swirling around her head.

Her demon, he realized.

Since Gideon had gained control of his body and his actions all those centuries ago, Lies had been like a ghostly companion. There, but hardly noticeable. Well, until recently. Before Scarlet, the demon had rarely spoken to him outright or asserted its presence physically. Rather, his demon had mostly led him through compulsions.

This wasn’t a compulsion for her. This was an all-out manifestation. And he had no fucking clue what to do.

“How can I make this worse, devil?” He tried to pull away from her, to ease her in any way he could, even if that meant no longer making out with her. But her eyelids at last popped open, her irises glowing bright red, and she grabbed his shirt, jerking him back.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” The words were a harsh growl, and all those discordant screams layered the undertone, a tide of malevolence. “Hear us well. If you dare stop, we will punish you.”

Us. We. Her demon was that involved? That much a part of her? O-kay. Not his first three-way, but certainly his strangest. There was no time to marvel, however.

Scarlet dragged a finger down the center of his shirt, ripping the cotton, exposing his chest. She flattened her palm against his pierced nipple and licked her lips. “More,” she moaned, arching into him.

Her cleft brushed his shaft, and the rest of the blood left his brain. The moist tip of his cock even pushed past the waist of his pants. The fact that the shadows were still drifting from her, the fact that those screams were still echoing between them, failed to faze him. His desire for her was simply too great. He, too, had to have more.

Not sex, he told himself. Not yet. He still thought it would be pushing her too hard and too fast. And he wouldn’t have her crying foul later, claiming he’d taken advantage of her and using that as an excuse to distance herself further.

“You’re just sitting there. Hurry!”

Complaints about his performance already when she was clearly passion-drunk. He’d like to say that was a first, but couldn’t. Many women had complained about his get in as fast as you can, get and give an orgasm and leave mentality. “Gideon! Obey.”

“Sure, sure. Don’t show me what you want first.” He didn’t leap into action, of course, but watched as Scarlet began kneading her own breasts, exactly as he’d yearned to do. Strands of her silky black hair fell down her shoulders and curled around her fingers, as if tickling her.

Her eyelids closed to half-mast, and her teeth chewed at her bottom lip as she reached down with one hand, past her pretty blue panties and into the wet heat of her. Gods, she was sexy. Her stomach hollowed into the most sensual navel he’d ever seen, and her thighs stretched into the hottest legs.

“That good enough for you? I showed you, damn it, now keep up your end of the bargain.”

Finally, he moved. He reached out and fisted her dress, lifting the material the rest of the way over her head and then tossing it aside. “Press your knees closer together,” he croaked out.

At first, she obeyed and closed her legs to him. When he applied pressure to her knees, urging them farther apart, she realized what she’d done and dropped them open. Spreading herself, eager for him. Her hips arched forward, back, beseeching him to do something, anything.

For a moment, he luxuriated in the image of her. He’d seen her like this before. He knew it, to his very soul he knew it. For this image didn’t seem new, but somehow a part of him. Deep inside, hidden but there. Yet, when he tugged those panties aside, pushed her fingers from the place he wanted to be and lowered his head, when he traced his tongue up the slick heat of her, the taste of her was new. He had absolutely no memory of it.

And what a shame. Nothing had ever tasted as sweet, as heady. She filled his mouth, invaded each of his senses, branded his every cell.

“Gideon. Please. Please, please, please.” Scarlet. “More. Now!” Her demon. Funny that he could tell the difference between them already.

But he needed no more urging. He lay on his belly, his face right between her legs, and did everything his fevered brain had been imagining since he’d discovered her in his dungeon. He licked, he sucked, he nibbled, he tongued her in the sweetest possible way, sinking deep, savoring every drop of her.

When that wasn’t enough, his fingers joined the play. First one, then two. Three stretched her, and he was afraid he was hurting her, so he took his time, letting her become used to him. And when she did, she rode those fingers with complete abandon, arching into him, tugging on his hair, clawing at his scalp. Again, he loved it. Couldn’t get enough. Wanted it to last forever.

Wanted to do more. Do everything. Things he’d only ever dreamed of doing to others but hadn’t been able to do because of his demon. Wicked things, things most women would probably shy away from. Hell, things most men would probably shy away from. But he was a warrior who had seen and done things most people couldn’t comprehend. He’d lived for a long, long time and normal had grown yawn-inducing.

Perhaps Scarlet would have let him do everything he wished. Perhaps she even would have enjoyed it. She’d lived a long time, too. But with her past, having spent so many centuries as a slave, she might have hated it. Either way, now wasn’t the time, he reminded himself.

This was about getting each other off while reassuring her that he wouldn’t do more until she was ready. Mentally as well as physically. That she could trust him. With her body. Her secrets.

A lie? Suddenly, he didn’t know anymore.

“Gideon, Gideon. Yes, like that. Don’t stop. What you’re doing…gods, I love it.”

More decadent words had never been spoken. She was getting close, her body tensing, readying for completion.

Not without me, he thought. Though he wanted her hand wrapped around his cock, stroking him, maybe even cupping and pulling at his testicles, he fisted himself. As he began licking her once again, he worked his shaft up and down, his grip strong, the glide sure and wet from her. Gods, yes. That was good.

He sank his tongue deep, just as he had done with his fingers, and just like that, she erupted. Her inner walls clamped down on him, holding him captive. Her knees squeezed his temples, hard, and he thought his skull might crack. He didn’t care. He’d done that to her; he’d given her that pleasure. He’d pushed her over the edge of control.

Pride and possessiveness poured through him as he tasted the sweetness of her orgasm. His strokes on his cock increased in speed, in intensity, and he shot up, over her, keeping himself from crushing her with one hand flattened beside her shoulder. Her eyes were still at half-mast, and she was panting. Sweat glistened on her brow, and there was a trickle of blood seeping from the corner of her swollen mouth. Her nipples were still hard, even though an air of absolute satisfaction radiated from her.

Mine, he thought, and then he, too, was hurtling over the edge, jetting hot seed onto her stomach. Perhaps he should have angled away from her, but he wouldn’t have been able to turn away if a sword had been poised at his throat. His gaze was too busy drinking her in, and yeah, he liked the thought of his seed on her. Like a brand. It was only fair, after all. Her essence was inside him, swimming through him.

Now he collapsed on her, crushing her, unable to help himself, the last drop having emptied him out completely. He had no energy left. He couldn’t quite catch his breath, and the only thing his mind wanted to do was to relive what had just happened. The sights, the sounds, the taste, the feel.

It was probably the same for her, her mind caught up in what had happened, her heart softening toward him. He could ask her anything now, and she’d tell him the truth; he was sure of it.

“Get off me, you big lug,” Scarlet said, shoving him aside.

Wait. What?

Surprised by her vehemence, he rolled to his back, looking up at her as she stood. The shadows were no longer pulsing around her, and the screams of pain had died. She kept her back to him as she marched to the bubbling spring. It was too dark to see the nuances of her tattoos.

Next time, I’ll kiss those tattoos. But oh, he could see the contours of her ass, and damn. Three words: Per. Fec. Tion. Firm, made for cupping. Why didn’t I cup her?

He’d concentrated on her fun zone, and lost focus on everything else. Next time, he thought again.

Without a word, she entered the water and sank to her shoulders. That’s when she finally faced him, though her gaze never quite touched him.

“You’ve got a, uh, slow recovery time,” he told her. He sat up and scrubbed a hand through his tangled hair.

“Well, there wasn’t much to recover from,” she replied tartly.

His eyes widened in surprise, then narrowed in affront. The little brat had really gone there, not so subtly telling him the experience hadn’t been good for her. She was lying. Of course. And he didn’t need his demon to tell him that. (Which the bastard did not.) She’d enjoyed the hell out of herself. She’d writhed and screamed. She’d begged for more, damn it.

Scowling, he jumped to a stand—and pretended he’d tripped when his knees almost gave out. Apparently, he hadn’t recovered. Motions stiff, jerky, he removed the tattered remains of his shirt and shoved his pants to his ankles.