- The Darkest Seduction
Plus, he’d seen the crimson streaks over each of the windows and doors, and knew William had smeared his blood there. That meant the shadow monsters couldn’t come inside again.
“Who said anything about caring for our safety? We need portraits of me there, there and there.” As she spoke, she pointed.
“I’ll be sure and alert the decorator,” he said darkly.
Sex hadn’t yet given up the quest to get inside her, and Paris’s cock did that twitching thing. He gnashed his molars. The goddess was gorgeous, no question about that. Naturally feminine and sensual in a way most could never be, even with centuries of training. And once upon a time, Paris would have been all over her. Cancel out her personality, and she was just the type he used to go for. Lushly curved.
Now, having basked in a satisfaction so complete he would never be the same, settling for anything less held no appeal. Sienna’s lean body did it for him. Made him hunger. Blinded him to others. Her scent, her taste, both had been specifically designed to ramp him so high up no one else could ever hope to reach him.
“You’re beyond maddening,” Viola said.
He was maddening? Right. “You can decorate all you want. Happy?” If he didn’t change the subject, she’d keep that shit up all day and he’d end up introing her tongue to his blade. “So where’s your dog?”
“My little princess is resting in my new room. Travel is so hard on his delicate constitution.”
“Of course.” Because all vampire Tasmanian devils possessed delicate constitutions. And what was up with calling a male “princess?” Paris scrubbed a hand down his face, tired, hungry and torn up inside. Screw this. As soon as he knew Ashlyn and the babies were okay, he was taking off, finding Sienna and making sure she was okay. Then he’d let her go once and for all so that, when he slept with someone else, he wouldn’t be cheating, wouldn’t destroy her sense of trust.
But maybe…maybe he’d be with her one more time first. Sex with her was a revelation, not just because she’d strengthened him, healed him and made him come harder than he ever had in his life, but also because sex with her wasn’t about him. It was about them. Their needs. Their desires.
There was nothing dirty about it. Nothing tainted, one-sided or detached. They touched each other, kissed each other and pleasured each other because it felt good, because passion burned bright and inexorable.
“—listening to me?” Viola threw up her arms in exasperation.
He shook his head, almost told her the truth, and then stopped himself. He did, and her demon would give her fits. She’d probably follow him around like a lost little puppy. “Yeah, uh. I’m fascinated. Interesting stuff.”
Maddox paced back and forth, back and forth in front of him. Reyes tried to stop him with a pat on the shoulder, but the warrior shrugged him off and kept going. Lucien tried next, but Maddox shrugged him aside, too. A mistake. In punishment, Anya tripped him as he passed her.
“Why do I always try to befriend the hopeless causes?” Viola said. “Could you be any more selfish, tuning me out when I have such riveting things to say? Then again, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, you’re married because of me, and you haven’t ever even thanked me.”
“Mmm-hmm. Like I said, fascinating,” Paris said absently. And then her words penetrated. “What’s that now?” He twisted on the bench, pinning her in place with his narrowed stare. “Did you just say the word married in reference to me?”
“That’s right. And I never repeat myself. Except for those times that I do, in fact, repeat myself. But that’s usually only when I’m mentioning how silky my hair is, how sparkly my eyes are and how sexy my body is. Hey, do you think someone has a bag of peanuts? The spicy kind?”
I will not choke the life out of her. “Exactly who am I married to, and when did the supposed ceremony happen?”
“Oh, did I forget to tell you again? You’re married to your ghostly girlfriend, the one you tattooed yourself for. That’s how undead marriages are forged. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and all that. Well, that’s how one-sided marriages are forged, anyway. She’s not married to you, so she can tap whoever else she wants without violating any ancient laws and having to endure horrible punishment.”
His jaw creaked open and closed as Viola continued to talk. And talk. “Shut up for a minute. How am I married to Sienna?”
But then, Viola’s glare said enough.
“Sorry,” he muttered. “I’m just in shock. I can’t be… What you’re saying isn’t… There’s just no way…”
“You are, it is and there is. That’s part of the reason you’re able to interact with her now. You bonded yourself to her.”
Bonded. His mind had short-circuited. He was bonded. He was married to Sienna. She was his. His woman. For real. His wife. Forever.
And apparently, despite the fact that his body could now breach any feminine core of his choosing, he couldn’t do so without violating a law he’d never heard of, thereby sentencing himself to some kind of punishment. A punishment he wasn’t sure who would mete out.
His demon’s reaction to the other women now made sense. Sex had been on the right track. With Paris’s commitment to Sienna, his infidelity would now feed the demon. Making love with Sienna would, too, though. He’d married her before finding her, and they’d since made love three times.
“You’re sure?” he croaked when there was a lag in Viola’s monologue. He wanted this, he realized. He wanted this to be true so badly he could taste his own anticipation. Could feel the hum in his blood, the song in his ears. He wanted to be bound to Sienna in the most irrevocable of ways.
Viola patted him on top of his head. “As if I’m ever wrong. But Paris, listen to me. We’ve got to get serious for a minute.”
They weren’t serious already? “So you weren’t serious about the marriage thing?” He would kill her. Just press on her carotid and snuff her out.
“Of course I was serious.” She cupped his cheeks, her expression sad. Then she sniffed, and licked her lips. “Hmm, you smell good.” Closer…closer…she leaned in. Sniffed at his neck. “Really, really good.”
“Now tell me the truth,” she said, her voice lowering, going husky. “Do you think I’m the most beautiful woman you’ve ever met? And more important, do I look fat in this outfit?”
“I’m so going to give you to the fallen angel,” he muttered, putting a little distance between them. Her hold on him tightened, her eyes already glazed with want. “That’ll be his punishment for chasing me.”
A slow, confused blink. “The fallen who?”
She didn’t remember her own ardent suitor. Nice.
“What’s wrong with me? Why do I feel this way?” she asked, just before a low moan left her. “I don’t find you attractive, don’t want to rock your world, and yet, I’m ready to climb on board.”
A scream ripped through the entire enclosure, saving Paris from having to form a response. Everyone in the hall stilled, not even daring to breathe.
“Ashlyn.” Maddox rushed toward the bedroom door, but Reyes tackled him.
The keeper of Violence fought for all he was worth, and several other warriors had to dive into the pile to shut him down. Paris was about to join the fray when he caught sight of familiar black wings at the entrance of the hallway.
His gaze shot up, and he met gorgeous hazels that were wider than usual. Sienna’s face was flushed, her eyes red and puffed as if she’d been crying, and her mouth swollen. He was running at her a second later, leaping over the pile of his friends, tripping, getting up, and running some more.
SIENNA WASN’T MAD. What she felt was so beyond mad no single word could describe it. A mix of rage, guilt, sorrow and more rage, maybe. And then some more rage with a splash of heartbreak. And a lot more rage. Her sister was dead, and the queen of the Titans had killed her. Just slit her throat and left her on the floor as if she were garbage.
When Cronus had dropped Sienna here, all she’d wanted was to find Paris and throw herself in his arms. Not to cry, she doubted she’d ever cry again, but to forget, if only for a little while. Instead, she discovered some strange beauty had beaten her to the finish line.
A beauty his friends probably liked. The group had apparently taken over Sienna’s castle, and they were likely to tackle Sienna as they’d just tackled each other if she took a single step in Paris’s direction.
The big, hulking giants were heavily armed, an army of menace, each soldier possessing a feral red gaze that spoke volumes. The main chorus being I’ll smile when I kill you, but they never went for kill strikes. They were simply trying to subdue the one on the bottom of the pile.
What seemed an eternity ago, she had studied these men for nefarious purposes. Seeing them live and in person should have freaked her out. And maybe it would have, if Wrath hadn’t just whipped up a party in her brain, tossing out image after image, all of them involving the handsy blonde.
With her smile, her laugh, her everything, she enticed men to fall in love with her. Their adulation was her nourishment. And then, when she had them at her feet, she left them, just moved on to the next one, and forgot all about them.
That’s what she would do to Paris. And why wouldn’t he fall for her? Sienna wondered. She was the most beautiful woman Sienna had ever seen. Hell, even she was tempted.
Paris appeared in front of her, gathering her in his arms, rubbing his cheek against hers. He smelled of desire she recognized, such heady desire. “I’m so happy to see you.”
“What’s wrong, baby? What happened?”
Glaring up at him, she tugged from his hold. “I’m gone a few hours—” and in that time had decided to be with Galen to save Paris’s life, she thought but didn’t add “—and already you’ve moved on.” She gave a bitter laugh. Even knowing this would happen couldn’t have prepared her for the flood of pain actually seeing it wrought. “You tried to warn me, didn’t you, and I told you I understood.” Well, I don’t!