Authors: Jaide Fox
She was soaked for him, so
eager and ready for him to thrust his shaft inside her. He bent and kissed the
smooth skin along the inside of her knee. She jumped, and he smiled, knowing
she couldn’t resist learning what he planned.
Trailing kisses up her thigh,
he moved his thumbs in circles on her hips, calming her nervousness. He nipped
the soft flesh at the crease of her juncture and she gasped in surprise.
When he ran his tongue up her
slit, she moaned and squirmed. He plunged his tongue into her passage, and her
hips jerked against him at the shock of it.
“Please ... Damian ... don’t
stop,” she gasped, grasping her skirts and tilting her hips to his greedy
mouth. He held her down as he lapped at her juices, alternately teasing her
swollen clit and thrusting into her sheath. He wanted to taste her so badly,
to smell how much she wanted him. Her muscles clenched around his tongue like
a glove, and he moved one hand to replace his tongue, plunging two fingers deep
inside her wetness.
He stood, inexplicably
weakened, his mind surging with need.
Bianca writhed on the table,
tilting her hips to his fingers curling inside her. To see her legs spread and
the dark pink lips of her femininity, unleashed a savage desire in him. He
ached to drive deep inside her until their souls melded as one. Damian
unbuckled his cod piece, freeing his cock. He removed his hand and settled
between her thighs. The pleasure halted, she looked up at him through heavy
“Please, Damian ...
please....” She arched back, moving her hips closer to him. His arms shook
with the effort to control himself from ramming into her.
She didn’t know what she was
saying. She was as drugged with lust as he was. He could take her now, wanted
to with a desperation bordering on insanity, but he couldn’t. The shreds of
his honor wouldn’t allow it. And deep down, he knew he would draw no pleasure
from the act, that taking her would only be tormenting mockery.
With a frustrated growl, he
pushed away from her and tucked his aching shaft back inside his mail. He
couldn’t satisfy himself, but he could take her to bliss.
Picking up one of the tapered
candles that had fallen to the floor and gone out, he rubbed it against her
thigh and leaned over her.
Bianca wrapped her arms around
his neck as he neared, pulling him down to her neck. She kissed his face as
something cool and hard slipped inside her.
Yes, that was what she
needed. He pushed it in further, as if reading her mind, inching into her
tightness until he encountered her barrier. He kept pushing, stretching it to
pain, then pulled back to the edge.
Her juices flowed harder as
he worked into her again, easing his passage. “More,” she begged, feeling
herself edging to that precipice again. Damian scraped his teeth down her
throat and nuzzled the valley of her breasts, nipping her soft flesh as he
pushed inside her again, harder, nearly breaking the seal of her body.
She cried out at the pleasure
and pain, jerking her hips as she spasmed around it. She dug her fingers into
his neck, forcing him to take her nipple into his mouth, writing beneath him as
he pushed in and out, faster. He sank his teeth into her aureole, and she
screamed as the orgasm burst through her body, singing in her veins.
He pulled the hardness out of
her, leaving her strangely empty, and brought his hands up to cup her face.
Her scent covered his hands, marking him, and it pleased her in some
He pressed his lips to hers in
a brief, chaste kiss. Bianca clung to his neck, desperate for more, for a
deeper connection to him, willing him to open his soul to her. If he would
just allow her in, she could heal him, she knew. She cupped an arm around the
base of his neck, keeping him close when he would have pulled away. Willing
her power to heal him, she tasted his lips with her tongue, hoping this time it
would work if she prayed enough, wished enough.
Nothing happened. Her eyes
watered as he pulled away. She’d failed again. No matter how much she wanted
it, she could not help him.
His eyes grew dark, angry,
and she knew he thought the worst, that he thought she hated him for touching
her like this.
He scooped her into his arms
and carried her across the floor, away from the glass. He set her on her feet,
and without a word, left her.
She stared after him. She
did hate him. With a passion. But she could never tell him why.
As much as Bianca hated to
admit it, there was no future for her at Helmskeep. She could forgive Damian
for being determined to find a cure, and she could forgive him for being
selfish in locking her away. She could not forgive herself for allowing him to
have hope. To dangle the promise before him was abominable, and she couldn’t
live with the guilt. He surrounded her here, this castle, his lands, the
whisper of his voice as he spoke to himself in the library--the constant
reminder would slowly eat her alive.
She had to get out, if only
to grant them both peace.
She’d unintentionally hurt
him last night and had made no effort to dissuade the turn of his thoughts. It
was better that way, she felt, for his anger at her would allow him to easily
There was no comfort for her
in the thought. Only to think of him passing the years away with no memory of
her hurt her inside.
Bianca didn’t know what
horrid deeds he’d performed long ago, but she would pray for his soul on her
return to Raedan. There could be no deed so horrible as to justify a penance
that lasted an eternity.
The hour was early when she
went outside to roam the withered orchard behind the castle. A fog coated the
ground like gauze, chilling her feet as she walked among the ancient, twisted
trees that no longer bore fruit. She could see her breath in the cool, crisp
air, and she hugged her arms around her chest.
Nothing lived here, almost as
though perpetual winter encased the land. The only life she saw were a few
birds wheeling in the sky. And they were so few in number as to be
depressing. It was almost as if what infected him also diseased the land. She
was saddened by it, for she could see Helmskeep had once been a jewel. Now it
was dead and decaying. How long had it been like this, unkempt, ruined and
As long as she walked, she
could see no way out other than to scale the wall surrounding Helmskeep. The
stone facade stood high, at least as tall as two great men, and likely taller,
for she could not judge the distance it was so high above her head.
On the interior, no trees
reached close enough that she could cross their branches and bound over the
wall. Even if there had been, she had no way of getting down the other side
other than jumping, or possibly using the vines that covered the outside. She
would break something, of that, she was certain. The castle was meant to keep
others out, but was just as effective at keeping her inside.
She would have to examine
more of the grounds later, lest she arouse his suspicion staying out too long.
As she walked back and passed the tower, she caught the flutter of wings
overhead and looked up, just as the bird struck the uppermost window of the
Her hands flew to her mouth
as the bird crashed to the ground in a broken heap. She ran to where it had
fallen. An unbearable sadness crushed her heart, that even so small a thing
could not survive in this place. She knelt on the ground and touched its soft
Her fingertips shimmered, and
she looked at them in surprise. She gently scooped the bird into her hands,
and they glowed brighter. The crimson light enveloped the bird. Its soul had
not fled the body yet--she could give it life once more. She knew she could.
Slowly, carefully, she
massaged its chest with her thumbs, infusing it with the power. Mere seconds
passed, but to her, it seemed an eternity until the bird’s chest rose and its
golden eyes blinked up at her. She released it and it flapped its wings,
Bianca gave a watery laugh,
wiping her eyes. She’d not lost her power, as she’d secretly feared.
“You would do for that bird,
what you will not do for me?”
His deep, accusatory tone cut
to the quick of her soul. “Yes, I have,” she said softly, rising from her
position. She slowly faced him, banishing the sorrow she knew darkened her
eyes. “There is nothing more I can do for you.”
“Nothing more you are willing
He began walking away, down
the drive. She debated not following him, but she had to make herself clear to
“You can take my meaning as
you will, my lord,” she said, walking beside him.
He glanced at her briefly,
continuing his stride. “So we are back to formalities.”
“It helps me to keep an ...
emotional distance.” The gates loomed ahead. Why had he led her here? Merely
to tease her yet again? She turned to go back, and he caught her arm.
“So you feel nothing for me?”
Bianca faltered, her
confidence wavering. Did she? How could she feel anything beyond hate for
him? Did he want her love? It wasn’t possible, not in so short a time. And
yet each minute seemed an eternity with him, not with the dullness of passing
time, but with a rushing sensation of pleasure. His presence intoxicated her,
yes. His touch made her weak.
An addiction wasn’t love, and
she should have never allowed herself to dwell on such feelings. He would
always be a death knight. Black deeds cursed him. Nothing she could do would
change that. That she wanted to save him from his own accursed eternity was a
testament to her silliness in thinking she could save the world—and him.
Swallowing hard, she summoned
her voice and said, “No, I feel nothing.”
Expression vanished from his
face as if he were made of stone. The light in his eyes, the amusement she’d
given him over the weeks had faded. She didn’t know when it had happened, but
she knew it would never return. A sick hopelessness assailed her, turning to
despair. She’d hurt him with her admission.
She caught movement out of
the corner of her eye and turned her head to it. The gates slowly opened of
their own accord. “What are you--”
“Shhhh,” he soothed, and
cupped her chin, tilting her face up. She closed her eyes, parting her mouth,
slightly breathless. Had he forgiven her?
He stroked a finger along her
jaw and pressed his cool lips to her eyelids before whispering, “Go, Bianca.
Remember this only as a dream ... or a nightmare, as you choose it.”
“What did you say?” she
He pulled away from her, and
she opened her eyes to find him gone. A cold breeze slid across her skin, and
she shivered, turning to look at her freedom. The gates still stood open,
awaiting her departure. She’d been right. There was nothing for her here, no
Bianca walked to the entrance
and passed through the gates, out into the beyond and out of his life.
* * * *
The patrol guard found her on
the overgrown road, freezing and exhausted. She collapsed as they gathered her
up and settled her onto a horse in front of one of the men.
Bianca scarcely noticed in
her misery. More than in her body, she felt a weariness in her mind that
refused to relinquish control.
As the men began the long
ride to Raedan, she fell into a deep sleep.
When next she awoke, it was
in her own bed. A blurry shape stood above her, blocking the light from the
“Bianca? Are you awake?”