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Authors: Carol Lynne

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BOOK: Liquid crimson
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, I don’t have time for this,” Liam growled.

Michael was picked up off the ground and thrown over Liam’s broad shoulder. Despite the blood dripping down his face, Michael continued to fight with everything he had left. At some point in his struggle, drops of his blood splattered onto Liam’s bare skin.

Liam screamed and dropped Michael to the dirt. “What the fuck did you do to me?”

Michael tried to clear his vision, but there was no way what he saw could really be happening. Liam’s flesh was dissolving as if Michael had thrown acid on his skin. Michael covered his bleeding wound with his hand and ran out of the cave without looking back.

He started down the mountain and came face to face with a snarling white wolf. “Gunnar!”

Gunnar shifted. “Who hurt you?”

Michael pointed towards the cave. “Some guy, Liam. I-I think my blood is burning him.”

“Stay here,” Gunnar said, shifting once again.

No sooner had the wolf sprinted off than Neo appeared through the break in the trees. “Michael.”

Michael held up his free hand. “Stay back.”

nostrils flared as his fangs dropped. “You’re bleeding.”

Michael nodded.. “There’s something wrong with my blood.”

Gunnar reappeared and stepped between Neo and Michael. “Go back to the house, Neo.”

“Why? What’s going on?” Neo asked.

“I’m not sure, but there’s a dead vampire in the cave.”

“Liam,” Michael cut in. “My blood splattered on him.”

Neo took a step back and stared up towards the direction of the cave. “Liam?”

“You knew him?” Gunnar asked.

Neo nodded. “He’s one of Francois

“Was. Like I said, he’s dead. The flesh burned from his bones.”

Neo glanced from Gunnar to Michael. For the first time, Neo seemed to notice Michael’s nudity. “What did he do to you?”

Michael looked away, unable to meet the gaze of the man he loved. “He tried to…but I fought him.”

Neo rushed forward but Gunnar blocked his path.

“You can’t touch him until we know why his blood killed Liam,” Gunnar growled.

“I know why, and I also know Michael’s blood will no longer hurt me.” Neo pushed Gunnar out of the way like he weighed nothing.

The moment
arms wrapped around him, Michael collapsed as his world went black.

* * * *

Staring at the fire, Neo held Michael on his lap, unwilling to relinquish his hold on the fair-haired sleeping man. His body cursed his mental control. The scent of Michael’s blood hung in the air like the finest of wines, and Neo longed with every fibre of his being to sample the gift of the gods.

“Would you like me to bring Master Michael a blanket?” Joseph asked, setting a bowl of warm water and a soft washcloth on the table beside Neo.

Neo nodded. His fangs had not yet receded and even though Joseph was a trusted member of his family, Neo couldn’t bring himself to display his savagery to the man. It was enough that Joseph had mentioned the shaking of
body as he fought to carry Michael into the house.

“Very well, Your Highness.”

Joseph disappeared and was back moments later with a soft, cashmere blanket.
trusted servant knew enough to avert his gaze as he spread the blanket over Michael’s nude body.

Neo did his best to smile, hoping Joseph knew how much he was appreciated.

Joseph bowed and exited the study.

With his free hand, Neo dipped the cloth into the warm water and began washing away the blood that had dried on Michael’s cheek. He could easily heel the cut, but until he spoke with Spiro, he didn’t dare.

Although Spiro had warned Neo not to drink Michael’s blood, no warning had been issued about touching it. He still didn’t understand what had happened to Liam but hopefully Spiro could shed some light on the situation.

Neo wrung out the soiled cloth. As the water in the basin turned pink, his rage threatened to take over. Neo pushed his anger down, knowing it would only put Michael in more jeopardy if he were to lose control. If Liam had found out about Michael, it meant the other four men, Francois
called his sons, also knew.

A soft breeze rustled
hair, informing him that his brother had arrived.

“Gods, what’s happened?” Spiro asked, kneeling beside
chair. His long fingered hand ruffled Michael’s blond curls.

“It seems
self-made coven found out of his existence in my life,” Neo answered.

“There were five vampires who chose to follow Francois, right?” Spiro asked.

“Yes. Now there are four.” Nero didn’t like to think about how many others Francois
tortured and turned before he came up with five minions who had been tortured into insanity. He couldn’t comprehend why anyone would willingly serve such a sadistic Master.

Shame filled him as he went on to confess to his brother what had happened.

Neo was surprised at Spiro’s nod of acceptance when he mentioned the way Michael’s blood killed Liam. “You knew it would happen?”

Spiro shrugged. “His blood is holy. To a vampire, it would mean certain death. I warned you.”

“Yes, but I thought…” Neo gazed down at Michael. “It isn’t burning me the way it did Liam.”

“Because you love him. I told you that as well,” Spiro reminded him.

“I’m fond of him, but I’m afraid to love him,” Neo admitted.

Spiro chuckled. “Afraid or not, you love him. If you didn’t you would have drained him by now. I see the way your hands shake. The fact that you haven’t given in to your desires for his blood is proof of that love.”

“Will I be able to heal him?” Neo asked.

“Of course.” Spiro once again put his hand on Michael’s head. “It isn’t his body that is hurt, it’s his spirit.”

Spiro stood, his gaze still on the man he’d raised. “If you insist on staying here, I think I should send some of my guards to double the protection.”

“It wasn’t my guards’ fault Michael was hurt. It was mine. Thank you for the offer, but I’ll take care of my mate.”

“I’ll send my spies to find
four remaining minions.” Spiro bent and placed a kiss on Michael’s brow. “He’s my world. Brother or not, if you fuck up again, I’ll fight you to the death.”

“I mess up again and I’ll bow to your sword.”

“As long as we’re clear.” Spiro disappeared on another breeze.

* * * *

The sound of running water woke Michael. He opened his eyes to find himself in
bathroom, but more importantly, in
arms. “What’s happening?”

Neo smiled down at him. “I thought I’d give you a bath before I put you into bed.”

“But this is

Neo nodded. “And with your permission it will be my bed you sleep in from now on.”

Memories of his time in the cave came flooding back, along with the confrontation in the study. “Why now? What’s changed?”

Balancing Michael on one arm, Neo turned off the faucet. He climbed into the oversized bathtub with Michael cradled against his chest. Once he had them settled in the warm water, Michael nestled between his legs, Neo sighed. “Me. I’ve changed.”

Despite his pounding headache, Michael turned to straddle
lap. “Why are you shaking?”

“Because the monster in me wants to consume you.” Neo closed his eyes and leaned his head back on the marble tile. “I’m…sorry.”

Michael brushed the silky strands of hair away from
gorgeous face. It was yet another side of Neo that Michael hadn’t seen before. In the cave, Michael told himself he’d play hard to get if Neo came looking for him, but staring at him now, Michael knew he couldn’t do it. “I’ve fallen in love with you. Not just parts of you, but all of you. You may think of yourself as a monster, but I don’t. What happened to you was horrible, but it doesn’t mean you have to pretend that part of you doesn’t exist, or that it’s bad.”

Neo cupped Michael’s cheek. “How can you say that? Do you have any idea what that monster wants to do to you right now?”

Michael leant in and whispered against
lips. “Do you love me?”

Neo closed his eyes and nodded his head.

“My blood was designed for you. It’s yours as much as it is mine.” He tilted his head to the side, bearing his neck. Michael had known the day would come when he’d gladly submit to his mate. Of course he’d assumed it would happen in a moment of passion, but he realised it was better this way.

“I give my blood to you freely,” he whispered, still waiting for the bite he knew would come.

Neo surprised Michael by kissing his neck, following it up with a long lick. “I won’t hurt you.”

“I know you won’t, but I really want you to fuck me, and we can’t do that until you get yourself under control.”

Neo wrapped his arms around Michael’s waist and stood. As the water ran off their naked bodies, Neo took Michael’s mouth in a deep kiss. “Not here.”

Michael buried his face against
neck, peppering soft kisses to the olive-toned skin as Neo took the time to gently dry him off. The moment was tender, something Michael hadn’t expected. His love for the man deepened with each caress of the towel.

“Did you miss me?” Michael asked. It was probably a lame question, but he needed to know.

Neo carried Michael into the bedroom and carefully set him on the mattress, pulling the covers over both of them. “I thought you’d run home to Spiro. It wasn’t until Gunnar set me straight on your feelings…”

“It’s okay,” Michael said, running his hand over
sculpted chest.

“No, it isn’t. I thought you were trying to trick me into loving you,” Neo admitted.

“Why would you think that?” Michael’s hand travelled down to the short nest of curls surrounding
cock. The length of his chosen mate’s hard cock brushed against the back of his hand, giving Michael an erection.

“I know you believe I should step up and take my place as leader of the Blessed Creatures.” Neo pressed his cock against Michael’s hand.

Michael grinned and wrapped his fingers around
cock. “Whether or not you choose to lead is your business. If you do, I’ve been trained to do all I can to help, but if you decide the vineyard is the right place for you, I’ll still love you.”

Neo rolled over to cover Michael with his glorious body. “I’m afraid I want too much. For the first time in my life I’m in love. What if I screw up?”

Michael wrapped his legs around
waist, releasing his hold on
cock in order to get closer to the man. “Then I’ll call you on it and we’ll move on.”

Grinning, Neo ground his cock against Michael. “I don’t deal well with being reprimanded.”

“That’s because you’re a ruler. I promise if the time comes, I’ll do it in private.”

Although Neo had professed love,
still sat in the back of Michael’s mind. “And
? Are you finished with him?”

Neo sighed and closed his eyes. “Forgive me. My time with
was the only way I knew to stay away from you. I didn’t know
had feelings for me.”

“You only had to look into his eyes to see what he felt for you.”

Neo shook his head. “I was blind to everything but my need for you and it didn’t sit well with me. But don’t worry. I’ll make amends to

Although he worried
presence at the vineyard would always be a temptation to the man he loved,
explanation went a long way in soothing Michael’s pride. He once again bared his neck. “Now, bite me so we can fuck.”

Several moments went by and still no teeth sank into his flesh. Michael was about to say something when he felt the pierce of
fangs. He gasped as a heat like no other moved through him. The longer Neo drank from him, the more energized Michael felt which didn’t make sense.

With a final moan, Neo licked Michael’s neck, sealing the wound. It wasn’t until that moment Michael realised
cock was buried balls deep inside of him. “How…?”

“Very carefully,” Neo said with a chuckle.

Michael hitched his legs higher around
waist as the bigger man’s cock began to move in and out of him. He stared into the breathtakingly handsome face and couldn’t believe a man as great and powerful as Neo would want him.
, Michael reminded himself. Neo had said he loved him.

The slow lovemaking would have been perfect if only Michael could get the image of Neo fucking
out of his head. Michael knew from overhearing the two men this was different.
was a screamer, there was no doubt about it, but Neo had also been quite vocal as he fucked the

BOOK: Liquid crimson
2.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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