Blood Vow (Blood Moon Rising) (5 page)

Slowly she rubbed her neck as she regarded him.

“You belong to me now,” he said roughly.

Unthinking, Falon smiled. How many times had her proud Lucien said those exact words? And how true had they proved to be? So true that there was nothing left of her for any other except Rafa to claim.

Shoving Fenrir away from her, Falon stood. Her power simmered impatiently beneath the surface, her beast on the prowl, cautioning the Corbet blood to keep a low profile.

“I belong to Vulkasin and Mondragon. Not only will they never release me, I would never accept you.”

“Not even for the lives of your lovers?” the wolf threatened.

A chill so deep it froze her blood momentarily paralyzed Falon before she could speak. “Not even for their lives,” she lied.

“For your mother’s life?”

“Leave her out of this.”

Fenrir smiled, the gesture turning uglier. “Come here, lovely, come see what I can do.”

Not wanting to witness his power but knowing she must understand its boundaries if she was going to defeat him, Falon stepped closer to where he stood.

He cast a circle of stones on the dewy earth. Extending his arms over it, he opened his hands palms down and slowly began to rotate them over and under each other. The earth began to steam and take the shape of—Layla, crying in the woods.

“Mother!” Falon lunged toward the circle.

“She can’t hear you but—” Fenrir made a quick stabbing movement, and her mother cried out as she doubled over.

Falon snarled and slapped his hands down. The mist evaporated and the stones sizzled as if they reclaimed the magic.

Fenrir hissed in surprise.

“I have power, too, Fenrir. Don’t forget that when you threaten someone I love.” Moving closer to him she stood so close to him she could see the pulse of the yellow striations in his red eyes. “And understand I would do
everything
in my power to save them from you.” She moved within inches of his face. “And understand this even more: if you hurt one hair on any one of their heads, any chance you have of winning my heart would die with them.” She looked hard at him. He was a pitiful creature to be sure. For nearly millennia shunned not only by his own people but scorned by humankind. He had no place in either world.

“You admit there is a chance for me?” he asked with the excitement of an adolescent boy. By his hand alone, thousands of Lycan had died. By his hand alone he had perpetuated deep-seated hatred that should have died centuries ago. He alone was responsible for the continued persecution of Lycan. But she would give him a sliver of hope, buying time to escape.

“I admit nothing. My heart belongs to Lucien Mondragon and Rafael Vulkasin. It will as long as the three of us live.”

“If you can love two alphas, you can love three,” he pompously declared. He pulled her into his arms. “Accept me and I will give you the world.”

Not in your lifetime, Wolf.

“Release me, Fenrir, and I will accept you into my packs.”

His arms tightened around her. “I don’t want them. I will begin my own pack. With you,” he growled.

Tipping her head back Falon calmly threatened, “Find another to found your line because I will kill you if you force my hand.”

“I am immortal.”

Maybe, but even immortals had weaknesses.

“You have the power to set right nearly a thousand years of wrongs, Fenrir! Strip the power from the Slayers and return to your own kind.”

“My own father and mother cast me from my pack! My siblings laughed at me. No pack would accept me.”

“And for their faults all Lycan should pay?”

“Yes, and once I am alpha of the nation, I will have the respect I am due.”

Falon scowled. “That is not respect that is fear-driven bidding. Terrorism. A true alpha leads by example.” Falon nudged the angry beast. “Why not turn your power to right? Use it to equalize this terrible wrong. Do you hate so deeply that you cannot love?”

“Love?” he snarled, moving into her. “
Love?
My own blood could not find it in their hearts to love me. How could I expect another to?”

“Your parents were not fit to parent. For that, I’m sorry. But for you to be loved, you have to give it. It cannot be forced or extracted.”

“The Slayers love me.”

“They use you.”

“It doesn’t matter!” he roared. “I do not need love! I don’t want it! There is only one thing I need.”

“And what is that?”

“Your acceptance.”

“Why do you
really
want me?” She didn’t buy the “two bloods” thing. Why would he want two other alphas’ blood?

“You represent all that is beautiful and strong in a Lycan. With your acceptance, the others would also accept me.”

“They would think you forced me.”

“Does the sight of me so disgust you?” he snarled.

“Your hateful heart disgusts me.”

He laughed low, the sound sending shivers along her spine. “My hatred has kept me warm at night.” He moved around her, his fangs flashing beneath the stars. “But it’s not enough now. My body craves another kind of warmth.”

“Find it somewhere else, Fenrir.”

“I know a secret, Falon. A secret that if your beloved alphas learned of it, would turn them against you for all time.”

“What secret?” she whispered, dreading the answer.

“Thomas Corbet lives.”

She gasped in horror just as euphoria sang in her blood.
What was that?
Why would she feel joy at the news that such a vile human lived? Her beast snarled. She would kill him. But why would Lucien and Rafe turn against her if they learned that Thomas Corbet lived. She looked up to Fenrir for the answer.

“He’s your father, Falon.”

Five

DRIVEN BY THEIR love for Falon, Lucien and Rafael covered an enormous amount of ground in a short period of time. Falon’s blood ran hot and potent in both of them. Combined with the Eye of Fenrir, their power surged. It wasn’t until the setting of the sun the next day that exhaustion overcame them.

They hunted as wolves, ate as wolves, and slept fitfully as wolves. Fitfully was being generous. Lucien had not slept more than a few hours over the last several days; fatigue wore on him. He saw Falon everywhere. Smelled her, heard her—

“Lucaaaa—” Falon called from the forest.

Lucien’s heartbeat spiked. He was up in an instant.

“Luca,” she called again.

He squinted against the sunshine, focusing. There, just mere feet from him, Falon’s laughing eyes and smiling lips beckoned him, teasing and taunting with promise.

“Falon!” he called as she skipped away from him, the lilt of her laughter an invisible string pulling his heart after her. He could deny her nothing. She was the sunshine to his darkness. The calm to his storm. The very air that he breathed. It terrified him to love her so deeply. Life without Falon would be no life at all.

He stood still as he thought of Rafael, and understood more at that moment than at any time before what losing this precious woman could do to a powerful honorable man. Bring him to his knees. Snuff the life from him. Drive him mad with sorrow. As it had when he had taken her from Rafe.

“Lucien,” she called pulling him from his deep thoughts. “Come, I have a surprise for you.”

He smiled. She never ceased to amaze him. His passion for her was equaled only by hers for him. Falon Mondragon was a prize among prizes.

She disappeared behind a thick clump of shrubs. Hot blood thundered through his veins. He was rock hard. The need to lose himself inside of her was never more urgent. He slowed his pace and stalked her as his wolf would a rabbit. Hands out he leapt around the tree and grabbed her squirming body. She screamed with delight, wrapping her arms around his neck, pressing her warm suppleness against him.

Their gazes caught and held. Overwhelming joy filled him. She was in his arms again, where she belonged. Her cheeks pinked as she lowered her lashes coyly. When she slowly opened them and looked up at him, Lucien grinned.

“Hi,” he whispered.

“Hi, yourself.”

“I missed you.”

Fisting his hair, Falon pulled his lips to hers.

When they met, Lucien tightened his arms around her waist, pulling her into him, until he felt every curve and valley of her body. She was so soft, so succulent, so—his. Not his brother’s. His. Mondragon!

“I hope you have another dress,” he growled. “Because I’m going to reduce this one to threads when I tear it off you.”

She squealed and broke free from his embrace. “It’s all I have!” she teased over her shoulder.

He stood rooted to the forest floor. She’d look sexy in a burlap sack, but the dress she was wearing defined a man’s wildest fantasy. A simple black sheath that hugged her curves like a second skin begging for removal. It offered her luscious breasts up like an appetizer. It laced up the front giving a subtle glimpse of her deep cleavage and down her back to the gentle rise of her ass. He couldn’t wait to unwrap her.

“Lucien, Lucien! I love you!” she cried happily as she stopped on a small knoll and faced him. She extended her arms to him. “I need you.
Now
, Luca.” Her naturally husky voice dropped several octaves. Her bright blue eyes shone brightly, her nostrils flared and her chest rose and fell with each excited breath she took.

Ah, and how he loved her! He ran to her and scooped her up into his arms, twirling her around and around and around. He never felt so free, so light, so happy. He kissed her sweet lips. She was so soft, so fragrant, so female to his male. “Angel face,” he breathed against her parted lips. “You never cease to thrill me.” He pulled her harder against him. “Promise me you will never leave me.”

Taking his face into her hands, she gazed at him with those big blue eyes he always lost himself in. She nipped playfully at his bottom lip drawing blood. Her eyes darkened as his heated. “Lucien, you are mine as I am yours. We are blood bound.”

“And we are heart bound,” Rafael’s deep voice interrupted from behind them.

Lucien’s arms tightened around Falon as rage unleashed within him. His beast, ever protective of what was his, reared its head. Though he acknowledged the heartbreak his brother had suffered at losing this amazing woman, it changed nothing for Lucien. He would
never
release Falon.

Falon smiled over his shoulder at his brother who approached. When Rafe stopped beside her, she placed her hand on his chest.

Lucien’s jaw clenched so tight his teeth ground.

“My first love,” she purred, smiling up at Rafe.

Jealousy ripped through Lucien. His beast snarled, snapping its jaws, rising dangerously close to the surface. Bewildered by Falon’s words and her actions, Lucien dropped to a knee and reached for her. “You belong to me,” he beseeched.

With her hand still on Rafe’s chest, Falon turned to Lucien and smiled extending her hand. Fervently, he grasped it.

“I belong to you both.”

Lucien’s heart plummeted to his knees. She had said as much before Balor slit her throat. He thought it was her desperate attempt not to hurt his brother, but—

“You chose me!” he roughly reminded her.

Her gossamer smile widened. “I choose you both.”

“It can be only one of us,” Lucien ground out, having none of this nonsense. She was his, by gods, and she would stay his!

Rafe turned her away from Lucien, taking her fully into his arms. “My love, by the Blood Law, you belonged to me first. Lucien has no claim to you.”

Lucien grasped her forearm and pulled her back into his arms. “You are mine, Falon.
Mine
.”

Unperturbed by their tug-of-war, Falon continued to smile. “I choose you both.”

Taking each of them by the hand she led them to a velvety green knoll. Sunshine shone warmly on the idyllic spot. She stepped back from them both and slowly unlaced the bodice of her dress. Lucien’s groin tightened as his breath shortened. As she slipped off the black sheath, revealing more of her creamy smooth skin, his heart pounded with the force of a wrecking ball against his rib cage.

Her full breasts swelled, the pink tips hard and pebbled. He groaned, wanting to drag his tongue across each one. Her belly was taut and concave, her hips smoothly rounded. He swallowed. The apex of her thighs was smooth and bare of hair. The dress slid noiselessly to her feet. Smoothly she stepped out of it and knelt on the cool grass then back against it. The plump pinkness of her lips glistened with moistness.

Holy mother—

She lay back, spreading her long velvety hair around her like an ebony halo.

“Make love to me,” she softly commanded them both. “Like the night in the pond.”

Lucien looked at Rafe, his hunger for Falon ravenous. That same hunger was reflected in his brother’s eyes. Neither one of them took a step toward her, though it was what they both wanted more than their lives.

Gritting his jaw, Lucien dragged his fingers through his hair. Rafael struggled with the same demon beside him.

Lucien took a step toward her at the same time Rafael did.

Lucien growled a warning. Rafael mirrored it.

Lucien shifted. Rafael shifted.

They lunged viciously at each other.

Lucien woke with a start. Sweat-soaked, his breathing labored, his heart pounded violently against his chest. Rafe stared at him from across the space they slept with the same agonized stare. Had he dreamt the same dream? Or had it really happened?

“I will not share her with you, Lucien,” Rafael said slowly.

“Nor will I share her with you, Brother,” Lucien said, standing up.

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