Authors: Jackie Ivie
Tags: #vampire short story, #vampire series, #vampire romance, #vampire assassin league
“Where...are we?” she asked.
“Below the acropolis.”
“We’re in Athens? You have to be joking. That’s like...miles away.” And he couldn’t have flown that far or that fast. Or could he?
His forehead wrinkled. Dang! That was cute, too.
“Why do you ask that?”
“Because the acropolis is in Athens. It’s got a complex of buildings on it called the Parthenon. And I don’t normally know this stuff, but I’ve just spent the last week or so getting a crash course on all kinds of Greek stuff, despite every inclination against it.”
His puzzlement cleared and he grinned again. He had some very nice smile lines, and really fine, straight, white teeth. And there wasn’t a fang anywhere in sight. And there went the vampire thing, too. Right out the window.
“Every city has an acropolis. It’s a term for high city.
is a root word that means high. It is in words such as acrophobia, which is fear of heights. The other part:
? That means city. It’s the root of several words as well. Police. Politician.”
Oh. Great. She had to dream up a gorgeous Greek guy just so he could turn into a fountain of useless facts, too? She must’ve read too much after eating a really tainted meal and then tried to sleep. None of this was real. And that meant she could just go with it. Because sooner or later she was going to wake up. And while that would be a shame, given the view, it was still inevitable. She gave him a deadpan expression.
“So, if we’re under an acropolis, what city is above us?”
“Right. Hephaestia. That name sounds familiar. Is that another god?”
He nodded. “Hephaestus. Aphrodite’s husband.”
“Oh yeah. The guy in charge of fires and forges. The one tossed out of Olympia by Hera because she didn’t like his face or something. And didn’t that cripple him when he landed? But hasn’t he got an entire island named after him or something?”
“Several cities as well. Including the one above us.”
“Well. That just clears everything up, doesn’t it?”
His brows drew down and his eyes narrowed, and Darcy’s pulse decided to ramp into a staccato-type rhythm. Wow. That sort of look was enough to make any woman’s knees weak. She had to lock her legs to keep from swaying.
“Are you making fun of me?” he asked.
Darcy gulped. Okay. If this wasn’t a dream, then she was really being stupid. She’d just seen him murder a bunch of guys prior to abducting her, and now she was alone with him. And he might be the best looking thing around, but he was probably certifiably insane. The last thing she should do was piss him off.
“No,” she answered.
He grunted and his eyes came out of their ‘I-could-kill-you- and-enjoy-it’ mode. He still looked dangerous. Or maybe what he really looked was deranged. She had to keep him talking. Speech. Communication. Thought processing. That was the ticket to sanity. Or so, her Psych professor had always claimed. Maybe she should’ve stayed in college.
“Wh-what is your name?” she asked. Good. The first word was stammered, but the rest came out just fine.
Thanos? Damn! Sweet name.
Totally fitting. And her mind had to keep moving so her mouth would keep making words. “What is your last name, Thanos?” Saying his name aloud gave her worse than goose bumps. She trembled before she could halt it.
He stepped closer to ask it, sending vibes she could almost see. And definitely feel. And she wasn’t the only one. That little leather skirt of his wasn’t hiding much. And he was hefty sized there, as well. Damn. Damn. Damn.
“Um...you know. A last name. Family name. You know...like Smith. Jones. Or since we’re somewhere in the vicinity of Greece, maybe something that ends with ‘-sis’? I’ve met a few of them.”
“I’m from Macedon. I only have one name. Thanos.”
Darcy was tingling everywhere. Like an electrical current was in the air. It just wasn’t possible. She’d never felt this incredibly hyped. Turned on. Craven. And nothing she tried worked at halting the mix of sensation. Or even muting it slightly. She could try arguing. But he’d already shown he possessed a really wild-man, bad-boy side. She didn’t need to find out if it had been just for show. But then, just as she wondered what would open an argument, he cocked his head to one side and asked a question that was almost guaranteed to get him one.
“You are an Amazon, aren’t you?”
Darcy gulped, and tried ignoring where his hips were nearly touching hers. But he wasn’t wearing enough! And he was more than large. Or she was way out of practice.
“Oh. Right. An Amazon? Like I never heard that before. The answer is no. But thanks. Thanks a lot. You know, where I come from, six foot blondes are a dime a dozen. You can find them on just about every street corner. At the grocery store. In the mall. It’s not that unusual.”
Keep talking Darcy...
“You are not six feet tall.”
Her mouth opened. Shut.
Words, Darcy. Just keep spouting them.
She opened her mouth again.
“Fine. I’ll cop to five-eleven and a half, but I have half inch soles on these boots. I’d say that makes me pretty close.”
“But I am six feet tall.”
“Uh...no. I’d go with six one. Maybe taller.”
“Maybe you grew.”
He smirked, putting his lips into a semi-pout. Darcy’s entire body lurched toward him without one bit of volition. That placed her so close to his flesh she was vibrating to the sparks shooting off him. And worse. Her nipples tightened as if in answer. Oh! This was bad. Insane. Amazing. Awesome. Thrilling.
It was bad.
“I can’t have grown. You are wrong.”
And you are way too close!
“Um. Look. Thanos. I had to get shots for this trip, and that means I had to visit the doctor, and they just measured me, and I am five feet eleven and a half. You’re the one who’s off.”
“Hmm. You are also not blond.”
He’d leaned even closer to say it, putting the words against her cheek...and damn! She barely caught the move to reach for him. Jam her breasts against his chest. Yank him closer...and lock lips.
She had to get her mouth moving on something besides kissing him!
“Yeah. Well. Um. I...like to experiment...you know. With color. I had this red tint applied...uh...before. Just before...we left Vancouver.”
He was so close! His lips hovered right above hers. In a pout. Looking totally kissable. And immensely desirable. And her mind wasn’t functioning. Only her hormones. And this was completely outside the norm. Or sane. Or rational.
“It resembles dark wine.”
“If you don’t...like it, just say so.” The words came out chopped. That’s what happened when you tried to talk when every breath was short. Clipped. Almost panted.
“Who said I didn’t like it?”
He was too much male. Too finely arrayed. Gorgeous. Muscled. Primed. And he was so close. And she’d been celibate so long, she was nearly virginal again. There just wasn’t any stopping what happened next. Darcy lunged blindly, wrapping her arms about his waist to yank on him, although her body was the one that moved, and then she locked her lips to his. And the solid groan that emanated through the space didn’t come only from him.
Damn hormones anyway.
The gods be praised!
Thanos thrilled over every inch of the goddess hand-delivered to him. Just him. She seemed fashioned with everything he most liked. Tall. Athletic. Trim. Passionate. Sweet Aphrodite! He’d lay out sacrificial wine the moment he had a chance.
He’d guessed the moment he saw her, and knew for certain when they touched. Kissing. Licking. Sucking. Nipping...
Oh sweetness! Light! Paradise!
At the first taste, he arched upward, pulling her with him. His hands beneath her arms, while hers were still wrapped about his torso.
It was ecstasy! Rapture! Complete and total and vast.
“Uh...Thanos? Wait. Please?”
She lifted her lips from his to whisper it, taking her sweetness from him. He nearly growled.
“No flying stuff. Okay?”
He consciously forced his body back to the ground, landing lithely and easily. And exactly as she must’ve wanted, for she started moving her hands, running her fingers along his back...beneath his scabbard. Along the ridges of his shoulder blades.
“Oh sweet! We...mustn’t...go too fast.”
He was panting between words, alternately licking at her lips, and then toying with another kiss.
“Oh yes, we must,” she answered.
And then she moved her hands to his waist and pushed away from him!
Thanos shook in place, his arms dropping to his side as he fought some inner demon. His eyes narrowed. His hands balled into fists. He locked his entire body against an infusion of such heat he was at a loss on how to contain it. It was as if fire ate away at his muscles, straining against his hold, while everything got washed with a red hue that got darker with every heartbeat his dead heart gave.
His heart was beating. And he actually felt it!
Oh...paradise! Everything he’d been told was true. He had his mate, and he had his life force back. With an intensity that was nearly impossible to absorb. It was better than wondrous, more satisfying than an untainted, week-long blood feast. And almost worth the wait. It was almost uncontrollable. He’d been wrong, too. She was a better than an Amazon in the flesh. She was pure goddess.
She was undressing?
His knees wobbled before he locked them, forcing his legs to support him. His eyes slowly opened, and then went wide as she pulled the buttons of her shirt apart, yanked her arms out of the sleeves, and tossed the garment aside. She wore a breast band, but like none he’d ever seen. Women warriors of his age had worn such items, but always tight across their chests, constricting bounce and movement, pressing their bosom flat so it wouldn’t be an encumbrance in battle. The garment his mate wore did the opposite, lifting and holding her breasts up, so it was impossible to look away for a moment. It flashed through his mind that those Macedonian women may have had it wrong all those years ago. Any man catching sight of what he was looking at right now would be a dead one.
Her breast band was vibrantly-colored, with bright pink polka-dots atop a vivid green backdrop. Odd. Why waste such fabric and color on a garment that wasn’t seen? And he’d been wrong. Her frame was a bit too slender for goddess ranking. It was much closer to his first impression. Amazonian. She was definitely fit...and she was also most definitely curved. And luscious. Her skin appeared soft. Unblemished. Untouched by much sun. Ripe. Tinted a rosy shade by her life fluid pumping just beneath the surface. Her blood. His ambrosia. Thanos sucked on his upper teeth, striving to control the fang growth.
It was next to impossible! The shadow of her cleavage drew his gaze as she moved, working the buttons of her trousers loose. Thanos stood straighter, absorbing more strangeness and even more sensation. His hands relaxed. The heat cooled. He no longer saw anything through a red haze. But his canines were still pinging with anticipation.
“I mean...I’ve never done...uh...this before.”
The fire sensation slammed back, bringing worse tremors than before, along with a worse sharpening of his fangs. And worse. Her words came out disconnected between pants for air. She was suffering breathlessness. He matched it. And what she said just couldn’t be true.
She chuckled. “Uh...no comment. I mean, I’ve never attacked a man I’d just met. Never. Nobody would believe this. I don’t even believe it. It’s...uh...”
Her voice drifted off. His was missing. It had to do with the way she shoved her trouser waistband open and pushed the loose-fit pants to her ankles, revealing a slip of cloth in the same vibrant color scheme as her breast band, but striped rather than dotted. That little triangle didn’t cover much, and had little inch-wide straps holding it together across her hips. And he’d been off on his evaluation. Those legs definitely belonged on a goddess.
He grunted something she took for an answer. She panted her way through a lengthy explanation he tried to follow. Just because her mouth was moving. He could almost sense each breath she gave as it brushed his exposed skin. Feel the thump of her pulse through her veins. Taste her fluid...
And there wasn’t any holding back the fangs.
“I think it’s a combination of things. You know. For every action, there’s a reaction. Like...my ‘fight or flight’ response finally kicked into gear or something. I’ve got the shakes from escaping certain death, and that’s combining with shock and awe from witnessing a very violent and bloody fight. Dang! I can see why the Romans had such a fixation on their gladiators. It’s an incredible high. And you were really something to watch. Really. Oh. Shit. Look at me. No wait. Don’t. I already have the shakes. What am I saying?”
She might be asking things. He might actually be hearing them. He didn’t answer. And he didn’t obey. His eyes were glued on her. His mouth was dry. She was wearing so little! She had a body worthy of a master sculptor. And each thread seemed designed to show it off.
“I’m suffering an out-of-body experience here. That must be it. And it’s canceling out any kind of barrier – including guilt. I mean...damn! I’m a ball of estrogen, spinning almost out of control, and at the center of all that is you. The man with one name. Thanos.”
He had a voice. It sounded like the rumble of a small earthquake just before it hit. It didn’t sound remotely like him. And he’d lost control over his canines. They were elongated and sharp. He had to lift his upper lip to give them room.
“Yeah. You. Um...yeah. You just happen to be the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen, Thanos from Macedon. You might be the sexiest thing like...ever. Trust me. Every nerve in my body is pumping adrenaline through me. And it just keeps getting higher and higher. I’m totally afraid if I slow anything down, reality is going to intrude, and it’s going to be a bitch. So, you might want to get in gear, and ditch the sword and skirt thing, or we’re going to have an issue here. Got it?”