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       Moonbeam, p.27

           Adrienne Woods

  “You yelling for help?” he said in a seductive, playful voice. Standing over me like a panther, ready for the kill. Taunting me with his eyes that even shimmered in the darkness of this room.

  “Something tells me I’ll only end up with you coming to my rescue.”

  He smiled. “Well, I’m here to serve and protect, Princess.”

  “Oh, is that what you’re calling this now?”

  He bent down and nestled himself between my legs, kissing me like there was no tomorrow. I thought I’d fall into his kiss forever. I was certain my mother hadn’t been expecting this when she’d phoned them. What did she think would happen? Wait, I was so not thinking about my mother right now.

  I tugged off his button-down shirt, leaving him with that black T-shirt that hugged his body tightly and shorts. Could he be more perfect?

  “You sure you want to do this, Elena?” he asked as he pushed himself off me. It was as if he could already read my mind, knowing what I was thinking. He pushed himself onto his knees, scanning me like a prize he’d won.

  “Just shut up,” I breathed. I pushed myself up, grabbing his shirt and pulling him back down.

  He took off his shirt and kissed me again.

  It was fast, vigorous. Everything I’d dreamt his kiss would be. My body was on fire. His hands roved over my body. It felt so fucking amazing.

  His hand slipped into my bikini bottom and I gasped. That was that. I was a goner.

  We did it. Blake was my first and hopefully my only, too. It wasn’t that wonderful, the actual intercourse part. I understood why all the girls who had done it said the first time wasn’t as awesome as it appeared in the movies. But he’d been gentle and made it amazing on so many other levels. He did this thing with his tongue that literally made me squeal and squirm with a pillow over my head, trying to dampen sounds I didn’t even know I could make.

  I felt possessed. He was the only one who could calm me down or drive me insane with a mere touch of his hand.

  When it was over, I rolled halfway onto his chest and was surprised to discover he was shivering.

  “Are you okay?” I said, out of breath. He was warm like always. Is something wrong? Did I do it wrong?

  His hand shook as he touched my head.

  “Shh.” He chuckled. “I’ll be fine. Just need to get control over my body.”

  Control over his body? Oh man. When he was inside me and growling like some kind of beast, I had joked, “Try not to shift.” But maybe that was a real risk.

  “Um, you’re freaking me out. This always happens to you?”

  He shook his head and grinned. He brushed his lips against my arm. A tiny electric shock marked the spot. “Actually, I think this is a Dent thing that wants to happen but can’t, since you haven’t claimed me yet.”

  He took a deep, shuddering breath and held it in for a good twenty seconds, then blew it out.

  I grinned. “You serious?”

  “I think so, yes. I’ve never felt this before.”

  Pure happiness shone in my soul at those words. I started to laugh softly. I lay with my head on his shoulder. When I woke up this morning, we hadn’t been speaking. Now this. How the hell had this happened? How had I ended up here?

  He kissed my forehead. Another little shock.

  “Please,” I said suddenly. “Don’t let this be awkward. I don’t know if I can handle you ignoring me again.”

  He laughed, his lips still against my skin. “Sweetheart,” he said and I bit my lower lip. I loved hearing that. “I never ignored you. Besides, you’re mine.”

  What, already? I squinted at him and he saw that.

  “I didn’t put my mark on you, you did.”

  Oh fuck, he saw my tattoo. Shit.

  “Does mommy dearest know about it?”

  I laughed. “No, she’d kill me. But it’s not the reason you think.”

  “Oh no?” His fingers played in my hair. “Then why?”

  “I had to remind myself who I am.”

  He smiled. “It’s still the same. I’m your dragon, which means you’re mine.”

  I laughed the way he made it sound so possessive. “And make sure Lee knows. It seems he’s forgotten what is lurking inside of me.”

  “I was scared a few minutes ago that you’d forgotten yourself, and that the Chromatic nature was going to come out any minute. Just think about that.”

  We both laughed. “I can control the beast, Elena.” He kissed the tip of my nose.

  I sighed. “No regrets?” I asked.

  “Not a single one.”

  Blake got dressed. I watched him putting layers back on his body.

  Then he bent down. “Go take a shower. You smell like me.”

  Heat rose in my cheeks. He kissed me on my lips softly. “Just don’t take too long.”

  He got up and walked out.

  I sighed. Please don’t let this turn out to be the biggest mistake of my life. I was terrified that this was the Sun-Blast in him. Annie had a thing for virgins; she was obsessed with them, and when she got what she wanted, well, she tossed them aside. I loved that dragon to bits, but she was wilder and more out of control than I was.

  I freshened up in the bathroom and put on my clothes again. I checked to ensure my makeup wasn’t smudged and dried my hair.

  I went back up to the deck.

  Blake was already up there. He speaking to everyone with a beer in his hand.

  Our eyes met. But then someone grabbed me and turned me around. I was facing Lee.

  He hissed through clenched teeth, “Elena, where the hell were you?”

  “I was…it’s got nothing to do with you, Lee.” I wielded my shield. He liked that.

  “I’m not your possession. Stop treating me like an object!” I yelled.

  “Where were you?” Lee was raging drunk.

  “Go sleep it off, Lee,” I said and let my shield down. Everyone was staring at us, especially Blake. He wasn’t smiling anymore.

  “No,” Lee slurred. He pulled me back and kissed me. I’d had enough. I slammed my knee into his groin and hit him with my head at the same time. The movement was so fast, in a split second he was on the floor, writhing in pain.

  Oh fuck. I saw the blood from his nose.

  “Whoa!” Annie’s voice yelled. “Ass zero, Dragonian one.”

  I kneeled down. “Stay away from me.”

  “Okay, calm down, sport.” Blake was at my side.

  “Get off.” He pushed Blake away. “You broke my fucking nose, Elena.”

  “Sorry, but you deserved it.”

  “We are so through.”

  My laugh was cold. “Honey, we were never something to start with.”

  “Bitch,” he said. I wanted to kick him, but Blake beat me to it. He lifted up his elbow and knocked him unconscious.

  “Sorry, my elbow does that sometimes,” he said, real cool, as I just gaped at him.

  The whole party cheered. Then he grudgingly healed Lee.

  I stared at Lee’s face as the blood stopped and his face returned to its normal color. The redness of his nose vanished.

  I was in awe of Blake and what he could do. Completely in awe and crazy in love.

  He dumped Lee on one of the side benches to sleep it off.

  The party carried on. It was late now. I told everyone that Sammy had been a handful and I’d had to sit with her, and that I didn’t know where the hell Blake had gotten off to.

  “It’s got fuck-all to do with you, or you, or you.” He pointed at Ty, Isaac, and Lucian.

  Then Ty got up. “Guess it’s my time to tame the jaguar,” he said. We all laughed as he strutted over to Sophie and started to chat with her. I guess his band knew him better than I did.

  Blake just shook his head and took another pull from his beer.

  “Elena,” Lucian said. “That was a record time, knocking Lee down.”

  I struck a pose. “He is such a pushover.”

  “That was hot,” Isaac said appreciatively.<
br />
  We all laughed as Blake stared at him without any expression.

  “Not like that,” Isaac backpedaled. “I’m just saying a girl who can defend herself is hot. It means I don’t have to do it.”

  I flexed my bicep to general applause.

  “You’re just scared, Blake,” Lucian cajoled. “You know in the next few months it will be you facing this.” He cocked his head at me and Blake started to laugh.

  Yeah we’ve already faced each other… a few minutes ago.

  “Little ninja.” Blake touched my arm.

  “You didn’t fucking spar against her for an hour. I’ve never seen my ass so many times,” Lucian said, remembering the day when they visited for Christmas. “How did you even do that?”

  “Do what?” I asked.

  He lit a cigarette and blew a stream of gray smoke into the night air. “You want me to tell him your moves?”

  “Oh, hell no.” I winked. “I’ve had, like, six instructors now.”

  “Six?” Blake raised his eyebrows. “Elena, I’m one fucking dragon, not ten.”

  Ty and Olivia laughed.

  “You want to rephrase that?” I said, knowing that he was ten morphed into one.

  “Okay, fine.” He smiled. “Still, I only have one form.”

  We finally docked. I was glad that Blake was still speaking to me. We all said goodbye as we disembarked my father’s yacht.

  Lee woke up and Clair took him home. I said goodbye to Isaac and Ty, then it was Blake’s turn. He took me aside and his shield went up.

  “I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?” He hugged me tight.

  “Still no regrets?”

  “Elena, none. You are not an insecure person, so stop that. Just do me a favor.”

  “What?” I whispered in his ear.

  “Take a proper shower when you get home. Before your mother sees you. She has a nose like a dragon. She will know, and I really don’t want her to hate me anymore.”


  He just laughed. I felt like a fish in a tank with everyone trying not to look our way, but they did anyway. “Everyone is looking.”

  He kissed me on my head and said goodbye. The shield vanished. Ty launched into teasing Blake.

  He slapped the back of his head. “What? She can’t hear us,” he spoke loudly as they climbed into the Jeep.

  Lucian took Sammy and me home. Lucian and Sammy had arranged to spend the night in my castle tonight, with my parents’ permission.

  Arianna slept over at a friend’s house. They were still going clubbing.

  I was dead beat. Tired and slightly sore. I couldn’t get the images of him out of my head.

  Once we were in the car, and Sammy was safely snoozing in the back seat, Lucian asked me, “Seriously, though, where were you?”

  “Fine, Blake and I had a talk, okay? Everyone kept interrupting us and we had a lot of catching up to do.”

  “That was it?” he asked. “Just talk?”

  “Yes, what else?” I lied.

  He shook his head. “Nothing.”

  “Don’t say ‘nothing’ like that. What?”

  “He really checked you out this afternoon. He almost spat out his beer when we told him it was you.”

  My cheeks burned again. “He checked me out? When?”

  “Before Lee took you downstairs.”

  I soured. “He’s an asshole.”

  “He didn’t like it, Elena.”

  “I get that much. Lee is extremely possessive, biggest fucking mistake I’ve ever made. I know, I know, you warned me.”

  Lucian laughed. “I wasn’t talking about Lee. I was talking about Blake.”

  I gasped. “What did he say?”

  “He was, like, crazy. Thought if you heard Isaac’s voice you would come and investigate, but you didn’t show. He kept staring at that fucking door. Annie thought it was hilarious.”

  Bad on you, Annie. I smiled. I’d misread all the signs tonight.

  “And then he just said fuck that, got up, grabbed his guitar, and started playing that song. He was positive it would work. That the minute you heard his voice, you would come back.”

  I laughed.

  “It did the trick. Lee still wanted to talk. Asshole.”

  Lucian laughed. “We all figured, because there were a few seconds when he was still waiting and then a huge smile appeared on his face. It’s amazing what you do to him, Elena. He was so grumpy when he was still on the speedboat, but the minute he stepped onto the yacht, it was like he melted. He became the old Blake. The one who used to be my best friend. I’ve missed him.”

  Not as much as I did. “How did you know he was grumpy on the boat?”

  “Oh, Isaac told me.”

  I laughed.

  “But your shit is sorted out now?”

  “Yes, it is. He thinks my mom’s behind this.” I frowned. I still didn’t know how I felt about that. “I told him she wouldn’t even have phoned him if she was.”

  He kept quiet for a while. I knew exactly what he was thinking.

  “Not you, too? She would never.”

  “Elena, c’mon. He has a point. Your mother was always so scared of this connection you two have. She wasn’t one of his biggest fans to begin with.”

  “She would never do that, Lucian. You’re wrong.”

  “Okay, but you need to find out who is behind this. I saw him send you a crow when Pluggs died. He even whispered sweet words to the crow.”

  I laughed as he said it. Then why didn’t I get that letter?

  It started to worry me. Was my mother really behind this?

  I did what Blake suggested and took a long shower—at least double the length of time I usually took to bathe. Tim, my shower’s name, finally announced the final rinse. I got out and toweled off. I’d never felt so clean before. There was no way Blake’s sent was still on me.

  I pulled on my pajamas. As soon as I did, a soft knock came on my door. I decided to leave the questions for later.

  My mom came in and she smiled. I ran to her and flung my arms around her.

  “He came,” she sang.

  “He came. We sorted everything out. He’s finally talking to me, Mom,” I said.

  She studied me.

  “Thank you for calling Isaac.”

  Her smile crinkled her eyes. “Sweetheart, I couldn’t handle knowing that you were going to have a crappy birthday again. I’m just glad that he showed.”

  “Me too.”

  “So what did he say?” she asked.

  “Something weird happened,” I said, “because he swore he wrote.”

  “He did?” She sounded just as surprised as I was and that was my answer. She wasn’t behind this.

  “He never got my letters, either. So all my invitations, birthday wishes, and letters…he never got them. He thought I hated him. He said he had to take other measures when he got dark. He didn’t even say what. I felt so sorry for him, Mom.”

  Something strange crossed my mother’s face. Was it guilt? No, it must have been pity. “It’s all over now, sweetheart. And soon we will have the biggest claiming Paegeia has ever seen.”

  I smiled.

  “Thank you, Mom. It was the best birthday ever.”

  She kissed me on my head. “I bet Lee wasn’t too happy.”

  I huffed. “He’s an ass. I didn’t even tell you what the shit did.”

  My mother’s eyes rose. “What did he do?”

  She closed my door and we sat on my bed. I told her about the thing with Claire. She was stumped. “You still invited him?”

  “Yes, I had a soft spot for him, but not anymore. Can you actually believe that he cornered Blake?”

  My mother threw her head back and laughed. “Oh my word, Elena. Seriously? He does know who Blake is, right?”

  “Oh, he knows.”

  “He has a pair. That I can give you. Little shit. I hope Blake roughed him up a bit.”

  “There was an incident but it didn’t come from Blake, I’
m afraid. I broke his nose.” I cringed as I said it.

  “You go, girl.” My mother held out her hand for a high five and I hit her palm. “I hope you didn’t show all your moves to the mighty Rubicon.”

  “No, I didn’t, but I think he’s actually a bit scared.”

  She laughed. “As he should be. The Malones are not a family you mess with.” She got up. “I’m glad the two of you are friends again. Isabel was so worried about him.”

  “He seems fine, Mom.”

  “It’s only because of the effect you have on him, sweetheart. That still scares the living hell out of me.”

  “Relax.” I fluffed one of my pillows idly. “I don’t think he’s there yet.”

  “He’s still with the Snow Dragon?”

  Oh fuck. I hadn’t thought about that. I nodded. I had to lie in case my mother really was the one…No, she wasn’t. She wouldn’t have phoned him.

  “Idiot. You’re a better woman than she is in every way. He’ll come around. You’ll see.”

  “Thanks, Mom.” I yawned hugely. “I’m beat. I’m going to sleep.”

  “Sleep tight. Have good dreams. I guess that saying, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ is true. I should send your dad away for a year.”

  I laughed.

  She left. Shit, was my mother behind this? I didn’t like her last statement.

  I practically floated back into my quarters. So happy. She didn’t even suspect me. This shit was sorted without me seeing my ass. I was humming as I went inside the outer room and shut the door behind me.

  “You sound happy,” Albert’s voice came from the bed.

  I shut the door and tidied up a bit before joining him in the inner chamber. I didn’t switch on the light and disturb him. Just my bedside lamp. “Everything is sorted.”

  My husband gazed at me with sleepy astonishment. “I still can’t believe you phoned Isaac. What do you mean it’s sorted?”

  “I told you I know how to get myself out of a tight spot. My daughter doesn’t hate me, and she and Blake are friends again.” I was so happy.

  “Really?” Albert sounded surprised.

  “I’m the Queen of Paegeia, mister. I know how to handle sticky situations.”

  “Yes, sticky situations you caused. So unfair,” he grunted playfully.

  I was so proud of myself. “Can you believe that Blake still sees Elena as his little sister?”

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