A night of secrets a par.., p.22
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       A Night Of Secrets, A Paranormal Romance, p.22

           Lori Brighton

  His hand cupped the side of her face. She curled into him alike a cat. His hot and pulsing shaft pressed against her thighs, branding her. When he nudged his knee between her legs, she hooked her thigh over his, as if she knew what she was doing. With a tilt of his pelvis, his erection slid against her sleek folds.

  Meg breathed deeply his spicy scent. She felt feverish, aching with the need to have more, have him completely. His right hand rounded her hip to cup her bottom and pull her closer. She eagerly welcomed his touch, becoming a wanton woman with his nearness.

  He rolled her over, pressing the length of his hard body to hers. His strength was evident; it should have frightened her. What he was should have frightened her. Yet, she felt only the desire for more. How she loved the feel of his weight! His hands slid up her arms. Finding her palms, their fingers entwining. Before she could voice her objection, he lifted her arms and pinned them above her head. She felt no fear, only need when he lowered his mouth to hers. A soft kiss. A gentle kiss. It was as if he was savoring the very feel and taste of her.

  “I’ll never hurt you, Meg,” he whispered between kisses.

  And she believed him. For some insane reason, she believed him.

  He could easily kill her, yet she trusted him. He slipped his finger under her chin and tilted her head back. “Look at me, Meg.”

  She tore her gaze from his chest and peered into his glowing eyes. The need was there, the hunger, the desire. And god save her, she wanted him. Wanted him to kiss her. Wanted him to taste her blood once more. Wanted all of him. She felt his desire, his erection, pressing long, hard and impatient against her thighs. A tingle of fear shimmered through her. He was so large and she was so … a virgin.

  “Are you sure this is what you want?”

  She knew he wasn’t asking her if she wanted to be intimate, but if she wanted a man like him. “I’ve never wanted anyone more.”

  He groaned, and cupped the sides of her face, his thumbs brushing her lower lip until she parted them on a sigh. She didn’t belong here, at this wealthy estate, with this wealthy man. She didn’t belong, yet she didn’t care at the moment.

  He lowered his head and his lips— firm, warm— pressed to hers. A soft, gentle kiss that eased away any worries and made her hungry for more. Timidly, she returned his kiss. When he slipped his tongue between her lips, she opened with a sigh. Every touch stirred her soul, every touch felt oddly natural, as if he belonged here, close to her.

  Her hands slipped around his neck and deepened the kiss. With a groan deep in his throat, he rubbed his tongue against hers. Blood rushed through her body in a dizzying whirl that left her disoriented. With a low growl, he sucked her lips, her tongue, exploring her mouth. Blimey, she couldn’t get enough of the man.

  The velvety stroke of his tongue made her drunk with pleasure. Slowly, his hand traveled up her leg. Boldly, she sucked his lower lip into her mouth. His arousal arched against the tender flesh between her thighs. She felt him tremble and knew he was holding back.

  The small part of her that feared what would happen, gave way to the sudden sinful seductress she’d become. With a moan, she thrust her hips upward. Grayson slipped his fingers through her sleek folds. Meg gasped, his touch shocking, yet wonderful. Her body thrummed with a need she’d never known…couldn’t possibly understand.

  As he stroked her folds, desire shot through her body. Heat flushed from her face and down lower to her thighs. Meg moaned, her body clenching around him. He didn’t break their gaze, but stared deeply into her eyes as his fingers worked their magic. The ache pulled at her pelvis, almost unbearable. Meg bit her lower lip, her nails digging into his shoulders as urgent need pulsed through her being.

  He rested his lips against her ear, his fingers still inside her. “Do you want me to stop?”

  The thought made her whimper. “No, never.”

  He sighed, resting his forehead against hers. “You’re killing me.”

  “Grayson, please,” she begged, hoping he’d know what she asked for.

  He pressed his mouth to her once more and swept his tongue between her lips. Need coiled tightly in her lower belly. His knee nudged her legs further apart and she felt his cock press hot and hard to her damp folds. She arched her back, lifting her pelvis so she rubbed against his erection.

  She felt the sharp scrape of his teeth and sucked in a breath, stiffening.

  And then he moved lower, to the valley between her breasts and her body relaxed. He said he would not feed on her and she believed him. But why did she feel oddly bereft? As if she wanted him to do something so sinful? He took a hard nipple into his mouth and she thought no longer. Only felt. Felt achy. Felt confused. Felt need so intense she thought she’d die.

  “Open for me,” he demanded.

  His glowing gaze met hers. A shiver of desire and something akin to affection wavered through her. He looked almost feral yet she wasn’t afraid. She only wanted him. All. Her pulse pounded through her veins, urging her for more…more…

  Meg tightened her hold around him, her fingers biting into his back. She felt the thick tip of his shaft slip between her folds and press into her opening. Meg bit her lower lip and lifted her hips, urging him further.

  “Look at me,” he insisted.

  She dared to look into his eyes. His gaze had grown harder, those green orbs glowing with an intensity that frightened her. With a hiss, Grayson surged his hips forward. Stinging pain interrupted the sensation of desire. Meg froze, her breath catching. For one long moment, he merely lay atop her, his body hard, stifling.

  “It will fade, the pain,” he whispered, his warm breath whispering seductively against the side of her face. She believed him.

  But she needed assurance. Meg tilted her head and pressed her lips to his. As his tongue swept against hers, she forgot the pain, the discomfort. The ache inside her intensified once more. Meg shifted, lifting her hips and taking him deeper.

  “How I want all of you.”

  He pulled back, cupping her bottom and lifting her. Without hesitation, he surged forward. Her sheath tightened around, quivering. He lifted his hips and surged into her deeper…deeper. He filled her with long, slow strokes that sent heated shivers racing through her body.

  “Grayson!” she cried out.

  Again and again he thrust into her until waves of pleasure rippled through her body, sending her senses spinning. He filled her completely. Her body grew tight, the place between her legs aching fiercely.

  “Grayson, please!” she cried out, begging for something she didn’t quite understand.

  She felt him grow harder as he thrust into her one last time. Meg’s entire body seemed to burst into a million white stars. She drowned in pleasure as wave after wave swept through her being. If it wasn’t for Grayson’s body wrapped around hers, she could have floated away. He lowered his lips to her neck, his breath warm and harsh.

  “Meg,” he groaned.

  She didn’t understand what had happened, she didn’t care. She only wanted him to hold her close. To tell her everything would be well. To give her some words of love….any. Instead, he rolled off her, staring at the ceiling as if lost and confused. He lay next to her, but felt so far away. His eyes no longer glowed, but he looked disoriented, confused. Had something gone wrong that she didn’t understand?

  “Grayson,” she whispered, the emotion in her voice was obvious and humiliating.

  He closed his eyes and sighed. “Shh,” he whispered. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close. “Sleep.”

  She didn’t care if he realized she had feelings for him. She didn’t care if he knew that she wanted to crawl into his very soul. For now, she would pretend that he cared about her as much as she cared about him. Tomorrow’s regrets would come soon enough.

  Chapter 16

  Grayson wasn’t sure which was worse, taking Meg’s virginity or her blood. Merde, how could he lose control? How he wished he could blame it on the alcohol. For years he’d pretended to be no
rmal… human. It had taken only one young woman to turn him back into the monster he truly was.

  “My lord, the post.”

  Lost in thought and feelings he didn’t understand, Grayson didn’t bother to glance away from the fire as Nelson swept across the study, silver tray high in hand. Reaching Grayson, the butler bowed and shoved the tray under his nose.

  Pompous arse, Grayson thought with a frown. He snatched the envelope from the tray and read the postmark. London. His gut clenched. He was only vaguely aware when Nelson bowed and left.

  “William,” he said to the empty room.

  He broke the seal and unfolded the vanilla paper.


  Leave me in suspense no longer. Please tell me you have news of Collette.

  Your brother-in-law,


  Grayson crushed the paper in his fist and tossed it into the fire, taking satisfaction when the flames curled and licked the missive into ash. His brother-in-law expected too much from him. He knew the man’s health had deteriorated since Emma’s death and Collette’s disappearance, but what did William want him to do? Provide a miracle? His sister had made a mistake by marrying the human male. Weak. They were all weak. Demon’s like he would do best not to get involved. Unfortunately, it was too late. He’d known having Meg completely would be like nothing he’d ever experienced. But he hadn’t expected touching Meg to change his life. He had a feeling it would take decades, centuries even, for his body to forget her.

  He sensed Millie before she spoke, smelled her French perfume as she started toward him and had to bite back his curse. Damn it all, he merely wanted to be left alone for a few bloody moments.

  “Gray, please tell me you haven’t been sitting here all night.”

  He didn’t answer, didn’t bother to look at her, but continued to stare into the crackling flames. He’d left Meg early this morning, so early the sun hadn’t even risen. Left her sleeping in her bed, the sheet low across her bare back, those full lips parted with her even breath. Her dark hair fanned out across the white sheets. He’d left her there because he was a damn coward and didn’t have the courage to face her. He needed time to think. Time to be alone. And Millie was ruining that.

  She sighed long and loud. “It’s time you married.”

  Grayson slowly lifted his head. Surely he’d misheard her. “Pardon?”

  She strolled toward the fireplace and trailed her fingers along the mantel, feigning disinter est. “You heard me. It’s time you married. In human years, you’re well past the age.”

  “Did you just say I’m old?”

  She picked up a small ceramic lion left behind by the previous owners, studied the object then replaced the piece. “Of course not. We’re never old, until we’re dead.”

  He dropped his gaze, attempting to focus on the flames, but his mind weighed heavy with exhaustion and jumbled thoughts of Meg. Merde, he’d taken her virginity, and he could barely regret his actions. How hard it had been to keep from sinking his teeth into her neck, to have her completely. He closed his eyes, smelling her body on him, sensing her blood still pounding through his veins.

  “You must have offspring.” Millie sighed and propped her shoulder against the wall next to the fireplace, drawing his attention back to her. “Well, what say you?”

  “Who said I’m going to have children?”

  She lifted a golden brow. “Gray, you, more than anyone should have the little brats.”

  He released a harsh laugh. “Why? So I can worry that some mad monster might take them from me? Murder them as they murdered the rest of my family? I swear, Millie, at times I wonder if I’ve done something wrong. Something so heinous that the heavens are conspiring against me.”

  “And what if you find Collette? Surely she’d like to have other children to play with.”

  His heart felt heavy at her words, sinking into his hallowed chest. “Collette is dead. It’s time I accepted that. The monsters who killed Emma and my parents would not have let her live merely because she was a child.”

  There was a moment of silence and then, “You don’t really believe that she’s dead.”

  He surged to his feet and moved to the sidebar. “What choice do I have? This was my last lead.” He slid his fingers down a bottle of whisky, a bottle he’d been saving for that special day when he found Collette. He was going to share the bottle with his brother-in-law, William.

  “You could trust Meg enough to tell her the truth. I still think Hanna is the link.” Millie sighed and collapsed into the chair behind his desk. “You can’t be alone, Gray. It’s time to start a family.”

  He poured a glass of the dark liquid. God save him from meddling women. He didn’t need to be a genius to know where she was going. Since Millie had arrived, she’d been trying to push Meg on him. So why did the idea not send him running back to London? Because more than anything, he wanted Meg. He wanted the life that Millie mocked. But Meg deserved more than a disillusioned, brooding monster.

  “Time to marry,” Millie added in a defiant tone.

  “Really?” He glanced at her, wondering how far she’d take the ruse. “And do you have anyone in mind?”

  A smile spread across her lips, a wicked smile he’d seen many times before, usually when she was ready to charm some unwary man. “Why yes, I do.”

  “Surprising.” He sank into the chair flanking the fireplace and set his glass on a small table. Steepling his fingers together in front of him, he added, “do go on.”

  “Well.” Her finely arched brows drew together as if she were truly contemplating the question. What an actress she was. “It must be someone who could take your surly temper, your moodiness. Someone who will accept you for who you are.”

  “I sound like quite the catch.”

  She tapped her finger at the corner of her mouth. “Someone warm, inviting. A person who would be a wonderful mother, a faithful wife. Someone who understands how to take care of people. Someone you could trust, who would keep your secrets no matter what.”

  He snatched up a newspaper from the table and pretended to read, anything to break away from Millie’s prying eyes. Truth was, when put that way, Meg would make the perfect wife. But surely for someone else. No doubt, if he ever married it would be to a woman as jaded as Millie, someone he would not taint, someone who could protect herself from the monsters in the world.

  “Blood suckers and humans don’t match,” he said, then cursed himself for speaking it aloud.

  “Who better for a vampire, than a human? Think about it. A ready meal at your beck and call.”

  “And if my wife grows annoyed with me and doesn’t allow me to feed?”

  She frowned. “Hmm, I hadn’t thought on that.”

  There was a soft knock on the door.

  Grayson lowered the paper, relieved for the interruption. “Yes?”

  The door opened and Meg peeked inside.

  His entire body flared to life, the blood inside him rushing through his veins in a roar. What was she doing here? Grayson stood so quickly his chair tilted back, before landing on all four legs with a thud that matched the hammer of his heart. He wasn’t prepared to see her, to be so close to her, this soon.

  Seeing them, she dipped into a curtsey, pulling out the folds of her soft blue gown. The paper crinkled in his fisted hands. She looked young, beautiful, healthy and he couldn’t ignore the way her mere presence stirred desire deep within. Did she think of last night with fond memories? Did her need keep her up at night, tormenting her dreams? Or did she curse him the way she should?

  Millie moved across the room, a rustle of lavender skirts. “Why Meg, how wonderful to see you up and about.”

  She took Meg’s hands and kissed her on each cheek.

  Meg frowned. “Did you not send for me?”

  A layman would never have noticed the slight stiffening of Millie’s smile, but he most certainly did. “So glad you are better. You are better, aren’t you?” She was obviously trying to chan
ge the subject.

  Meg nodded. The audacity of Millie to bring the woman here and force a marriage. What would she do next, send for a Vicar?

  “Don’t even think about it.” He glared at Millie.

  With a tilt of her chin she swept across the carpet toward him. She snatched the newspaper from his grasp, holding it behind her back. “Tell me what you just read.”

  Grayson rubbed the back of his neck, feeling very much like a school lad being caught woolgathering. He dared a quick glance at Meg. With her brows drawn together, she looked as confused as he felt. “Something or another about the new trains.”

  Millie smirked, damn her. “Hmm. What exactly?”

  He snatched the paper from her hands, crumpled it and tossed it into the fire. “I bloody well don’t remember.”


  He crossed his arms over his chest. “Exactly what?”

  She stepped closer to him, her hands on her hips. “You’re obviously preoccupied and we both know what, or should I say who, has taken control of your thoughts.”

  That damn heat crept up his neck into his face and he had to resist the urge to tug at his collar. He was a grown man, for god’s sake!

  “Would you two like me to return later?” Meg interrupted, annoyance flashing in her eyes. “You seem to be keeping up the conversation well enough without me to interfere.”

  “She should still be resting, Millie,” Grayson snapped, trying desperately to change the subject.

  “Then stop drinking from her,” Millie replied just loud enough for them both to hear.

  Meg flushed and looked away. “I’m fine, really.”

  She didn’t like to be talked to like she wasn’t there. Why did he find her ire endearing? Disgusting, everything she did was endearing. The way she twisted her skirt in her hands when she was nervous. The way she took her lower lip between her teeth when she was thinking. Even the way she shouted his given name when she was annoyed with him. Merde, the woman had him thinking silly thoughts, desiring impossible dreams.

  “My lord?” The butler stepped into the doorway. “A Vicar James and his daughters are here.”

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