A Vampire's Embrace, p.15Part #2 of Blood Rose Time Travel series by Caris Roane
He gasped then released her but only to pull her into his arms and hold her fast. She felt his chest shudder as a painful sob left his throat. “I was hoping you might find her.”
She held him tight in return.
One minute, then another.
When he finally had command of himself, he drew back. “Will you come with me, Holly? Will you help me rescue my daughter?”
There was only one answer she could ever give to such a question. “Of course, I will.”
~ ~ ~
Rez held onto Holly as though she was a life preserver in heavy seas. She’d given him hope as he’d never had before.
He drew back slowly. “So, you saw her? My daughter?”
Holly nodded then relayed the specifics of the vision. She included his daughter’s prayer and how close she was to the end.
Rez released her. “We need to go. Right now. Do you have a sense of the location? Anything?”
Oregis flitted close, hovering at Rez’s left shoulder. “You’re being an idiot, Mastyr. You’re not fit to go back out.”
Rez scowled at Oregis. “Holly has seen Isobel. We’re returning to the cavern.”
“You both need food, sex and rest, in that order. It’s dawn for the Goddess’s sake.”
Rez barely registered any of these arguments. “Holly’s fine and Underworld is in a cave. Tell him, Davido.” Rez looked around, but Davido was gone.
“He left, Genius. He needed to get home to his wife and little girl and he put me in charge. I say you stay here.”
Rez didn’t think this last statement deserved a response, not even a ‘like hell’.
He turned back to Holly. “Are you ready?” Only one thing mattered. Getting his daughter out of that hellhole.
Holly had a hand to her chest, rubbing. But she didn’t say anything.
Oregis had stopped arguing and moved away.
Though Rez felt a little dizzy, he scrubbed his face with his hand thinking hard. “Okay, this is what we need to do. We’ll use the time-path and go back to my house in Boylbury. Then …”
A sudden, unexpected jolt to the back of his knees brought him down to the floor. He just missed slamming his head into the stones of the fireplace surround.
“What the hell?” He flipped over and stared up at Oregis. “What did you do that for?”
The gremlin looked nothing but amused, with one brow raised and his arms crossed over his chest.
Rez didn’t get it. “I’ll ask again, Oregis. Why did you knock me down?”
“Tell you what, Mastyr. You stand up, face me then I’ll tell you why.”
That’s when things went haywire. Rez leaned forward intent on leaping to his feet, but his body wouldn’t respond. His legs shook. All he could do was sit there.
Oregis scoffed. “Yeah, that’s what I thought. Davido said you were going to be impatient, erratic and stubborn because of your daughter. But if you go in too fast, without a plan, and without your strength, you’ll get her killed. By the way, those were his words, not mine.
“So, listen up. I’m here to be your common sense until your brain recalibrates and you calm the hell down.” Oregis turned his attention to Holly. “Vojalie brought over a soup for you, a beautiful tomato bisque. If you’ll show me where everything is, I’ll heat up some sour dough slices, pour some German wine and have things ready while you shower. How does that sound?”
Rez watched Holly move toward the kitchen with Oregis levitating off her right shoulder. He still couldn’t get up but he could hear them.
Holly made a cooing sound. “I didn’t realize I was so hungry.”
“Does your chest hurt?”
“Not yet, but it’s feeling full.”
“You’ll need to donate soon. Davido said this would happen a lot probably because of the stress.”
Oregis’s voice faded as both he and Holly disappeared into the hallway beyond, heading toward the kitchen.
He hated when Oregis was right.
He remained on his back, eyes closed. He could hardly move. The adrenaline had faded and combined with the difficult night and having been in the time-path too long, he was exhausted.
He also needed to feed.
His profound drive to rescue his daughter had momentarily obliterated his common sense. He would have been slaughtered if he’d returned. Holly wouldn’t have survived either and he could never let that happen. He was responsible for her given her non-military status.
He had a helluva lot to think about.
A few more minutes, and he heard Oregis on the phone. The gremlin had returned to the entry way. Rez recognized the murmurs and teasing sounds.
He finally felt some of his strength return. At least sufficiently to put him on his feet, though he was still dizzy.
By the time he made his way to the kitchen, he realized Oregis had finished his phone call and Holly was no longer there. He wondered if he’d fallen asleep for a few minutes. He might have.
“She’s showering is the answer to your question. And Davido fetched some of your things from Boylbury. They’re in the guest bedroom. You might want to take a quick shower yourself. Just sayin’.”
Rez got the message and headed to the guest bedroom. It was small and had three paintings above the bed. These were also of oaks though set in larger landscapes. A variety of his clothes was laid out on the bed. Oregis wasn’t kidding. Davido had brought a quarter of his wardrobe over.
He made short work of showering, then shrugged into his jeans and t-shirt. He had plans for the next couple of hours. If all went well, he wouldn’t be needing his clothes.
When he returned to the kitchen, Oregis hovered near the stove. As small as he was, he had to use both hands to stir the soup with a wooden spoon. “Come ladle this out. It’s hot enough.” His large ears twitched and swiveled. “Holly’s coming. You’ll want to feed your woman. She’s built a supply for you, so don’t be an ass.”
“You were earlier. Did you see how white she was?”
Rez realized in his panicky need to do the impossible and head back to Underworld, he hadn’t really seen Holly. “Point taken.”
Oregis held the handle of the spoon in his direction. Rez took it and filled both bowls. Oregis’s phone rang, a miniature version meant for gremlin hands.
He moved away from Oregis. “Hello, my love. Yes, I’m hard for you or I will be as soon as I get out of the kitchen. Let me get some place private. Where are your hands, baby? Oh, that’s hot.” His voice faded. He was moving down the hall that led to the guest bedroom.
Rez was used to the interplay and just shook his head.
Oregis had worked for Rez a long time, as had several forest gremlins. His wife often showed up halfway through his shift at the mine for a quickie, something that had made Rez envious on more than one occasion.
His wife made squeaking sounds at the height of passion. He’d thought more than once the high-pitched cries had the cadence and pitch of someone repeatedly stepping on a mouse’s tail. Oregis had once apologized for the noise then added it was his favorite sound in the world.
He always kissed his wife on the cheek when she arrived and when she left. He gave her gifts constantly. Of course, in the world of the forest gremlin, women had tremendous demands.
Rez had been around their kind long enough, however, to know it wasn’t solely materialistic. It was about territory and social rank. A female gremlin’s possessions announced her status.
A few minutes later, Holly came into the dining area and moved to stand by the table. His breath snagged on the sight of her in a dark green silk tunic. It almost looked like a negligee with narrow straps and a simple design that went to mid-thigh. She wore no pants. Her curly black hair was a sensual fall all the way to the upper curve of her bottom.
Goddess, she was beautiful.
She held onto the back of one of the chairs, her gaze fixed on the windows now shielded with the shutters. He
Rez saw the faint glow of light near the edges. He didn’t look too long. His vampire aversion to sunlight ran at the acute end of the spectrum. Some vampires could view daylit countryside no problem. He couldn’t. Even a faint glow hurt his eyes.
“Vojalie made tomato bisque.”
She turned in his direction. “I’m sorry, what?”
He carried a bowl of soup and set it in front of her at the head of the table.
She glanced at the white ceramic and nodded. “Right. Soup.”
She didn’t seem fully present. Maybe it was latent time-lethargy. She pulled her chair out. Her movements were slow as she sat down.
Rez brought his own bowl to the table, afterward the bread. He poured wine, but the whole time his thoughts and intentions had become fixed on Holly. Oregis was right. She was the color of her dishware.
She put another hand to her chest. “Rez, you’ll have to take care of this right after the meal.”
A shiver ran through his body. “I will.”
Hell, yeah, he would.
He could smell her now, even above the aroma of the soup. She was the fragrance of a flower the women of his family had planted around their homes for centuries.
Sudden need for her swept over him and damn if his knees didn’t almost give way.
He sat down and waved a hand at the bread and at her bowl. “Eat.” The command came out stern but had a good effect. Holly picked up her spoon.
He followed suit and started in.
Maybe it was the effect of the time-path, but hunger struck him hard. He had to work to keep from wolfing down the soup. He kept tearing off chunks of the sour dough loaf and dipping. In order to keep his gaze from becoming fixed on Holly’s breasts, he watched the heavenly pureed tomato concoction catch the holes of the bread.
Holly moaned softly. “This is so good.”
As he shifted his gaze to her, he realized he was hunched over his food like a madman. But she wasn’t much different. Her face was angled toward the ceiling and her eyes were closed like she was caught in ecstasy.
Maybe she was.
Without thinking, he rose, slid his bowl so that it landed next to hers, then dragged his chair close.
Her brows rose a little as she opened her eyes and met his gaze. Her words surprised him. “What a good idea.”
She held a small chunk of bread in hand which she then dipped in her soup. When it was coated, instead of eating it herself, she extended it toward his mouth.
Holding her gaze, he opened his mouth. But he got more than the bread as he caught her fingers and gave a tug with his lips. He wasn’t sure he’d ever felt a jolt of sexual need like this one before.
As her fingers left his mouth, he tore off a small chunk and dipped it in her soup. Her eyes glittered. “Are you going to feed me, Rez? Because I’m so hungry.”
When she parted her lips, the powerful image of his cock sliding into her mouth had him shifting in his seat. His pants had shrunk like hell.
“I’m going to feed you, all right.” His voice had dropped an octave.
He watched her shudder as the soup-dripping bread went into her mouth. She closed her eyes again and once more moaned.
He leaned closer and drifted his fingers over the upper portion of her chest, running the tips along her clavicle. He travelled up her throat where he would soon sink his fangs.
Her breathing grew uneven.
“Keep eating, Holly.”
She nodded and opened her eyes. She broke off another piece, dipped it in the soup and fed him again. She met his gaze. “You need to keep eating, too. I want you strong.”
He growled softly. His fangs made an appearance.
“I want you wet.”
Holly stared at the tips of his fangs. They weren’t fully extended, so Rez could continue to eat.
He wanted her wet.
She was that and so much more. She’d made an extra supply of blood for him which had her heart feeling laden and her mind euphoric for what was to come. Her sex was so swollen, she could hardly sit still. If he pushed her on her back, right now, right here on her dining room floor, she wouldn’t have resisted.
She almost suggested it herself.
But a secondary and equally critical requirement existed. She needed sustenance and so did Rez, so she kept feeding him. He continued to tear off bits of bread as well, sopping up the soup and sliding them past her lips.
The wine was wonderful, too. Then again, all her senses seemed heightened. Was this because of Rez, or time-pathing with him? Or maybe her blood rose qualities had broadened her senses.
Rez kept touching her upper chest, her throat and her shoulders. It took her a moment to realize her left hand was glued to his leg and kept sweeping up and down his muscular thigh in a rhythmic pulse.
She didn’t try to curtail her physical reactions or expressions. The leather was soft beneath her hand, his warrior muscles rigid. Very much a cock experience.
She was in a profound state of tension. Pleasure flowed but her need to eat demanded as much of her as sex would in a matter of minutes.
From her peripheral, she watched Oregis emerge from the guest suite. He was adjusting his belt. She didn’t shift her attention away from Rez, however. She didn’t think she could.
Rez’s hand slid to the nape of her neck, a place of control. Her sex tightened as he pushed another bisque covered chunk of bread into her mouth. His fingertips were there. She caught them with her tongue and lips before he withdrew.
“So, I’ll be going.” Oregis was now in the foyer. “See you at full dark.”
Holly heard the door open and close. By then, she’d pushed another chunk of bread into Rez’s mouth as well as one of her fingers. She withdrew, but rimmed his lips.
He offered her more wine. She drank greedily and finished her glass.
He kept feeding her until her soup bowl was empty.
When they’d finished the entire meal, he rose to his feet then dipped own and picked her up. He carried her past the green shuttered windows overlooking the vast Tannisford forest. Her hand was in his hair.
Leading her into her master bedroom, he paused at the foot of the bed. He turned toward the wall where a wrought iron headboard served as the bottom frame for a huge amount of her paintings. Other paintings.
He didn’t say anything for a long moment. He didn’t move, either.
She was looking at the dimple in his chin, and thinking about using her tongue right there, until she realized he still hadn’t moved.
She lifted her gaze to his eyes. He looked stunned. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
“This is a gallery. In your bedroom. I didn’t expect this. You did all these?”
Holly felt her cheeks warm up. She felt suddenly exposed and vulnerable. She’d never brought anyone here before. Her bedroom was a work-in-progress, something taken, literally, from her dreams. And a couple of those dreams had occurred during the past two months and involved Rez. They weren’t meant to be seen.
“Oh, Sweet Goddess, I forgot.”
“Or maybe you wanted me to see this.”
She loved her bedroom. The bed was covered in a teal silk comforter that went to the floor. The headboard was made of strong, black wrought iron. End tables and lamps flanked the bed. A stone fireplace, much smaller than the one in the living room, added a cozy feel.
“You have an amazing gift, Holly. But these three of me must be recent.” Slowly, he set her on her feet. He seemed captivated by her art and moved to examine her work more closely.
“They are. They’ve haunted me from the time I healed you in the Wild Boar. I kept having recurring dreams. Vojalie suggested I put them on canvas. It stopped the dreams, but now here you here.”
Holly had found the paintings of Rez mysterious. She often looked at them last thing before sleep. In an odd way, they comforted her. He appeared to be moving towa
Her gaze was fixed there, wondering that fate had brought them together. What did it all mean when she was a teacher and he was a warrior?
“Holly?” His voiced had deepened. He even sounded hoarse.
“Yes?” He stood near the east wall where the gallery continued.
She gasped and this time her cheeks heated up like coals. “Oh, no. You shouldn’t be looking at those.”
“They’re self-portraits and very beautiful.”
She knew what they were, what they would be considered by any halfway intelligent realm person. She was naked, with her hands bound, and appeared enrapt.
He drew close and caught one of her wrists. He lifted it to his lips and kissed the tender inside. Her embarrassment gave way to other things. “I need to ask you a question,” he said.
“Do you have any scarves? Long ones, meant for tying?”
She could hardly breathe. She felt odd, almost out-of-her-body strange. Words kept rising to her lips then falling away. While painting these works, she’d fought the euphoria on her face. But it had returned repeatedly and she’d finally given into it. She was naked in all three, nipples peaked, her hands bound to the wrought iron.
Rez shifted and moved behind her very close and pushed her hair away from her neck. He kissed a line up to her ear.
The man could kiss. Each touch of his lips was moist and hot and forced shaky gasps from her throat.
Part of her wanted to say no. He was talking about using the scarves and tying her up.
“Do you touch yourself, Holly?”
“Yes.” She wanted him to know the truth about who she was.
“Have you ever thought about me with your hand between your legs?”
Only a few dozen times. “Yes.”
He turned her slowly in his arms. His eyes seemed filled with an unholy light that sent small erratic shocks to her sex.
“I want to tie you up. I want to do things to you and you won’t be able to stop me. I’ll be in charge. I’ll have control. Do you want that?”
A Vampire's Embrace by Caris Roane / Romance & Love / Mystery & Detective have rating 4.6 out of 5 / Based on41 votes