Chains of darkness, p.8
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       Chains of Darkness, p.8

         Part #2 of Men in Chains series by Caris Roane
 
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She arched her neck, creating the right angle. He teased her with the sides of his fangs, up high enough that the sharp tips wouldn’t cut her.

  She groaned. Do it. Please. I want you to take your fill, take what you need.

  He knew she meant what she said, because the chains vibrated against his neck. He sensed she’d become desperate, just like him, longing for the experience that would bring them even closer together.

  Come for me first. Your orgasm will flavor your blood. Come for me.

  He sped up his thrusts, anchoring her even harder with his hands, keeping her pinned close to his groin.

  She gasped for air now. So close. Damn, I’m so close.

  I’m fucking you, Claire. And I’m going to drink from you as soon as you let go. Just let go.

  The combination of his words and the feel of his cock deep sent Claire over the edge screaming. He drove faster and harder, wringing pleasure from her body.

  He strove to hold on, knowing how much better it would be if he waited. He wanted to come while he drank from her neck. He ran through a couple of algebraic equations in his head just to calm down a little as her satisfied body slowed and she relaxed against his chest. He surrounded her with his arms.

  Holding her close, he tried to remember just how long it had been since he’d held a woman like this. Too long—maybe a decade or more prior to his imprisonment. Most of his couplings had been brisk and didn’t involve any kind of intimacy. He didn’t put much stock in love in any form, but after what he’d been through, her body and the soft mounds of her breasts soothed him.

  His starvation pressed him forward and he nuzzled her neck. She shifted but kept her throat close. “Will you let me drink from you, Claire?”

  “Yes. God yes. I need more right now.”

  “More like this?” He stroked her deep with his cock, then withdrew almost all the way out before he plunged back in. He’d been right about her; she was ripe as hell.

  “Yes, just like that.” She breathed in gasps, ready for him again.

  “I’m going to bite you now.”

  She cried out. “Lucian. Yes.”

  He cupped the back of her neck, his hips moving in short strokes, the way he would attack her vein. His fangs protruded to their farthest point, his lips easing away from the sharp tips. Saliva pooled in his mouth, ready, so ready.

  Do it came as a sharp command from her mind.

  At almost the same split second he bit down, and her blood spilled into his mouth.

  His rational mind receded to a dark quiet place and what was pure vampire moved to the front. A beast of thousands of years of evolution emerged, groaning as he sucked, driving his cock into her hard as he drank her down.

  She groaned heavily in response, her voice hoarse and loose, savoring what was happening to her.

  He thrust faster, but just as deep and hard. Each time, her pelvis ground against him. Her blood glided down his throat, powering him, feeding the vampire, the entity that required her blood. She tasted of the moon and water, of the earth and stars, all that was life.

  Come for me again, Claire, and I’ll come with you.

  He moved faster and her breathing grew shallow and quick, brisk pants. He continued to drink from her neck. How much had he taken from her? He didn’t care. He just needed to feel her pulling on him as she came again.

  He drove faster, sucked harder. The power he felt now spread to each limb so that he became one quick movement, drinking her down, driving his cock.

  You’re close, aren’t you?

  Yes, so close.

  He pumped faster and a series of sudden cries left her mouth, then her back arched and she screamed. He kept his mouth fixed to her neck, still drinking.

  He grunted, pushing harder and faster. His lower back tightened, and suddenly the orgasm rushed through him, a stream of pleasurable fire. But he kept drinking and on the sensation flowed.

  Her cries continued to fill the air. Lucian, my God, Lucian. So much pleasure.

  Ecstasy filled him as he released over and over, pumping into her.

  Her blood was doing something to him, something miraculous, and he felt himself winding up again. As he pumped faster still, once more her cries splayed over his shoulder.

  Keep sucking on me, Lucian. The sensation is making me come again.

  Oh, God, yes. Same here.

  He fired into her once more from the depths of his body and groaned in a steady cry against her throat.

  Finally she grew quiet in his arms, maybe too quiet, but he still kept drinking from her, unwilling to let her go.

  He didn’t want to stop.

  Lucian, I can’t open my eyes.

  Her body felt heavy on him now, more than just the lethargy following orgasm.

  The blood that now flowed into his mouth had grown thin. Too thin.

  His rational mind came powering back and with a jolt of adrenaline, he released the serum that would rebuild her blood supply quickly.

  Oh, God, he’d taken so much.

  Claire. Claire.

  But nothing returned to him.

  He drew back. She was limp against him and pale, deathly pale. Suddenly he felt very weak as well, and his blood-chain no longer vibrated. To his horror, he realized Claire was close to death. But if one died, so did the other. Had he just killed them both?

  He felt for her neck artery with his fingers and waited to feel the pulse of her beating heart. Nothing. He pressed harder. Fear worked in him now, fear that he’d let the beast he knew himself to be take over and kill the woman who’d brought him out of captivity.

  The weakness he felt told him the truth of what he’d done.

  Shame crept over him. He’d lost control. He’d been unaware of how much blood he’d taken because no part of him could think.

  Claire, come back to me. Please. I’m sorry. So sorry.

  He rocked her. He felt weak as well, when her blood should have given him enormous strength. She walked close to death, treading the shores, almost lost.

  The only hope he had was that his serum could reach her marrow and produce red blood cells fast enough that her heart wouldn’t give out and her brain would get enough oxygen.

  What had he done? God help him, what had he done?

  Images of his father’s smiling face, always smiling, the charismatic bastard that he was, rose up to torment him. Join me, Lucian, you’re blood of my blood. We’re the same.

  How many times had he told Lucian that over the centuries, reminding him of his heritage, that he’d been created by a psychopath. Lucian knew, deep within his soul, that of all the brothers he was most like Daniel, created in his image.

  Claire, I’m so sorry, but I couldn’t help myself.

  And there it was, the absolute truth that Lucian hadn’t wanted to stop taking from Claire, so he hadn’t.

  Claire. Please come back.

  Claire.

  Claire.

  * * *

  Claire.

  Claire heard a man’s voice, but he sounded so far away. Her mind seemed to be drifting in some kind of fog.

  Where was she? Lying down, but too weak to move. She moaned softly and the arms that held her tightened suddenly.

  You’re alive.

  Of course she was alive. Sort of. She felt so strange, as though she could barely make her mind work.

  Where am I?

  Just lie quietly. My serum will restore you in a few minutes. You’ll be weak for a couple more hours, but no longer than that, I promise.

  Why was this man promising her anything?

  Why did he sound so desperate?

  Who was he?

  The gray fog started lifting from her mind. Her bare breasts were smashed against the hard planes of a man’s chest, of Lucian’s chest. She was on top of him.

  Why?

  Maybe that was the dumbest question she could ask.

  The smarter one came to her: Why was she so damn weak?

  Oh, that’s right. Lucian had been drinking from her.
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  He’d sexed her up that way, made her feel impossible things.

  She opened her eyes, looking at a nightstand and a lamp. She was essentially in bed with a vampire.

  She tried to lift up and off Lucian, but she couldn’t move. She was too weak.

  Oh, my God, he’d drained her.

  Lucian, you almost drained me dry.

  He didn’t answer her, but his arms grew slack. He patted her shoulder. “I was out of control. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

  As the memories came flooding back of what the sex had been like, she moaned softly. He had been amazing. He’d come more than once, and because of it so had she. Sex had never been like this before.

  “I’m going to lift you off me now, okay?”

  Then she felt him low. They were still connected. “That’s fine.”

  He slid his hands under her arms and lifted her, gliding out of her at the same time. He swiveled and laid her on her back next to him. He sat up and released the ankle restraints.

  When he was free, he once more stretched out next to her, then turned to caress her face. “I’m so sorry, Claire.”

  He looked sunk in his guilt, and she didn’t want him to feel that way. Her blood-chain vibrated with his shame.

  He watched her for a long moment, then finally rolled onto his back as well, pulling the sheet up at the same time.

  He stared up at the ceiling, but remained silent.

  Then she felt it, a stream of sensation that she’d only sensed in small pieces. For a long moment, as the dark waves rolled over her, she tried to understand exactly what he communicated. Shame and remorse had all but drowned Lucian. He’d fallen deep into the pit of those feelings, one of the reasons the chains barely spoke to her. Old wounds surrounded him, spoke to him, assaulted his mind.

  She looked up at the ceiling as well, the beautiful light-blue waves, like the ocean, flowing over the top of the room.

  She felt better. The serum in her blood was working quickly, giving her more strength than she would have thought possibly in such a short time.

  Lucian had been right: She was recovering at light-speed. Drained to the point of death, yet she lived.

  But above all, she needed to remind herself repeatedly of what had just happened, that she’d almost died because Lucian had lost control. She had no intention of dying before she had a chance to rescue Zoey, and then to return to her former life in Santa Fe, to see her parents and brothers again.

  She sat up, further indication of her progress, then slid off the bed, heading into the bathroom. A shower sounded like exactly what she needed.

  She felt the warning tug at her neck, letting her know that she’d reached the proximity limits of the blood-chain.

  As she stepped into the steaming shower and lathered up, she knew she had to do better with Lucian, to suppress what was proving to be a profound attraction and desire for the man. She washed her hair and applied a crème rinse, all the while searching for some means by which she could resist him. Unfortunately, nothing very specific came to her.

  Toweling off, she was almost dry when she turned to find Lucian standing in the doorway, the sheet wrapped around his waist. He leaned an arm against the upper jamb, which revealed the powerful angled line of his chest and waist. Just looking at him, however, caused her resolve to falter.

  She felt a flush cover her face and neck that had nothing to do with embarrassment. His navel was exposed along with his well-defined abs. What he could make her feel just by standing in a doorway. She honestly didn’t know what she could do to stem this tide.

  She cleared her throat. “Everything okay?”

  He held her gaze, nodding. “I just wanted to say thank you.”

  Her brows rose. “For what?”

  “For blood. For sex. For giving me what I needed despite your reservations. I know this isn’t easy for you. And it’s not easy for me, either, knowing that you’re having to do things that you otherwise wouldn’t.”

  Her gaze drifted to the tiles of the floor as she thought about what he said. When she looked back at him, she took a deep breath. “I need to keep this simple between us and sex is never simple, at least not for me. I tend to get attached, and I don’t want that. When all this is through, I’ll need to go home to New Mexico.”

  “I know.” His frown formed a ridge between his brows. “Then we’ll keep it simple.”

  She breathed a sigh of relief. “You want a shower?”

  “That would be great.”

  Wrapping herself up in her towel, she gathered up her toiletries. But when she tried to move past him, he caught her arm.

  “Claire.” The resonance of his voice alone forced her to look up and meet his gray eyes. Right now they weren’t steely at all, as they could be at times. Instead they were warm and almost questioning—concerned.

  Now more than at any other moment, even through the difficulties of altered flight or having Lucian almost drain her dry, Claire wished the whole thing undone. She felt horribly vulnerable, a state she despised. She didn’t want to desire a vampire this much.

  Finally she eased past him anyway. “Enjoy your shower.”

  * * *

  Lucian moved into the bathroom, acutely aware of what Claire was feeling. This was perhaps the hardest part of the chain-bond, that he always knew what was going on with her. He’d felt her distress as she moved by him, and he thought he understood. She feared getting close, getting attached—and maybe for the first time in his life he felt the same way.

  He turned the water on and stepped inside the enclosure. The warm water flowing over his short hair and down his shoulders, chest, and back was a soothing balm. Most of the cramping was gone, at least for now, though he knew he’d need Claire’s blood again within the next few hours.

  He just wished another woman would do for the blood service part of their arrangement, as well as the sex. But the blood-chains seemed to invoke some kind of instinctive possessive response that he couldn’t override.

  He didn’t want anyone else but Claire.

  So what the hell were they supposed to do?

  Neither of them wanted this level of connection. She wanted to go back to New Mexico and her family and he needed to be free to continue working on behalf of his society.

  He’d always kept his liaisons with women on a strictly superficial level. At the very least, a man ought to know his limitations, especially where women were concerned. He had no interest in hurting Claire or any female, but if he got much closer, yeah, he’d hurt her, emotionally if not physically.

  By the time he left the shower, he’d shored up his resolve to do all that he could not to make a mess of things. He wrapped a towel around his waist, feeling more confident. But when he left the bathroom, the mere sight of Claire overturned his resolve. Even with her hair damp, she looked so beautiful that his lungs seized.

  She wore snug black jeans and a double set of tank tops, one cut low and hanging off her left shoulder. She looked damn sexy as she moved in the direction of the dresser. Even in profile she was beautiful. Despite looking away, desire rushed through him so fast that he coughed and sputtered.

  “You okay?”

  “Sure. Fine.”

  She settled her brush on the dresser and turned to meet his gaze. “I called Rumy and ordered breakfast for us. I probably should have asked for your preferences.”

  He waved a dismissive hand. “I’m sure whatever you chose will be fine.”

  “Good.” She smiled. “And as for me, I think I’d eat anything right now. I’m so hungry, probably because I’ve been feeding you.”

  He wished she hadn’t said that. He looked anywhere but at her because the thought of sinking his fangs in her neck or her wrist, or a dozen other places he could think of, sharpened his needs all over again.

  In an effort to distance himself, he searched for his battle leathers and slipped them on. He added a long-sleeved black T-shirt and steel-toed boots. He was now ready for whatever came at the
m next.

  CHAPTER 5

  When breakfast arrived, Claire sat opposite a very quiet vampire. She worked her way through a wonderful spinach-and-mushroom omelet while Lucian ate waffles that he speared into bites stacked three high.

  And he’d stopped talking to her.

  He didn’t look at her, either.

  Just keeping things simple.

  She sipped her coffee and sighed, but the silence didn’t seem like a solution. “I like the clothes Rumy provided for me. He really takes care of the details.”

  “Yes, he does.” His gaze shot to the shirt hanging low off her shoulder. He kept chewing, then speared another section of three-high waffles, sliced it off from behind with a knife, and in they went.

  Earlier, Lucian had called Rumy and arranged for them all to meet in Rumy’s office to plan their next move. “Did Rumy say anything else when you talked to him? Anything about Daniel’s tip line, for instance?”

  Lucian shook his head but remained focused on his meal. He looked so damn serious.

  He also looked sexy as hell, which she decided was not hard for him at all. She liked his short hair; parts were almost spiked but not quite. His face had a faint stubble, and the dark blue, long-sleeved T-shirt he wore really set off his smoky eyes.

  This close, and with him looking away from her, she was free to just take him in. There were permanent tension lines around his eyes. She was pretty sure Lucian held himself together by sheer force of will.

  She wondered what would happen if he ever really let loose. What would that even look like? Who would he be?

  She blinked and recalled what it had been like riding him. These were errant, dangerous thoughts, of course, because suddenly her mind was full of the sight of him beneath her, before he’d put his fangs on her neck, before he’d almost drained her dry.

  You were exquisite.

  His gaze flashed to hers. “What?”

  Had she spoken? She hadn’t meant to, but the word had slipped from her mind, aimed at his. “Nothing.”

  He scowled. “What’s with the rich scent you’re throwing at me? I thought you wanted to keep things simple.”

  She blinked at him, then glanced down at her omelet. Using the side of her fork, she cut off another section. “I want you to know that though parts of what happened over the past twenty-four hours have horrified me, other parts were incredibly beautiful. Sex, for one thing.” She chuckled and felt her cheeks grow warm. “I mean before you almost killed me.”

 
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