Authors: Jana Downs
Two months later
Thwack! The breath left Aidan in a whoosh as he fell backward and landed flat on his back…again.
Sky sighed, annoyance thick in his voice. “Once more. You have to be prepared to absorb the mental blow instead of letting it affect you physically. I will be blocking for you, but I doubt I will ever be able to block all of them.”
Aidan glared up at his tormentor. More than an hour had passed since they’d begun training, and Sky was showing Aidan no quarter. Instead of the gentle embrace and tentative touches from their first practice, it was a vicious pounding worthy of the senior MacGregor’s preparations for a hunt.
“Then maybe you should teach me to block instead of how to be your damn whipping post!” Aidan snapped, pushing himself up on his elbows. His entire body was aching from a thousand falls, and internally he felt he’d been thrown through a meat grinder.
They had fallen into a training pattern over the past weeks that left Aidan sorer than he’d ever been in his life. First, they’d spar mentally, pounding on each other’s defenses until they were both slick with sweat and panting. Then Sky would growl in that low, inhuman manner of his, pull Aidan’s loose pants down around his ankles, and fuck him until they were both too exhausted to move. It was driving Aidan insane. While Sky fucked him he forbade the hunter from leaving him, telling Aidan that he belonged to Sky, that no one could love him like the vampire did. In the past, Aidan could’ve counted the number of times he’d seen another man’s genitals on one hand. Now he was convinced that Sky’s cock spent more time lodged in the welcoming crevice of Aidan’s ass than in his own breeches.
“I can’t have you thinking about blocking when we fight. That is my job. Your job is to win our fight with aggression. I will not have your attention divided because you don’t trust me enough to defend you.” Sky’s eyes were stone cold as he spoke, and Aidan felt an answering look of distress pass over his face. He didn’t like this new attitude of Sky’s.
“Damn you, Sky! What is your problem?” he asked. He felt rather than saw Sky’s anger coursing through his body. Sky hadn’t allowed them to sink into each other’s minds like he had the first few days they’d been together. Aidan felt distressed and terribly cut off because of it.
. Aidan growled as he felt Sky withdraw even farther at his inquiry. With a thought he opened his mind and reached for the vampire.
Sky froze as Aidan’s mental touch invaded his mind. As he reached Sky’s core he groaned.
“Why are you so angry with me?”
Aidan asked in his mind.
“Your anger is like a weight between us…I understand that we need to practice by doing this, teaching me to take a hit and learning to inflict them on my opponents, but your anger overwhelms me.”
He wanted them to be as they were that first night with lust and desire warring inside them. The soft adoration followed by the hard possession that Aidan had learned to crave was sorely missed. The touches were now almost painful in their intensity. It was as if without Sky’s gentle manner to start them off, the entire experience was thrown precariously off-balance. He waited for endless moments for Sky’s reply.
“I told you I love you, and you tell me that it means nothing,”
Sky murmured at last. Aidan felt the pain he’d inflicted on the vampire come down their cord and felt a moment’s shame.
“A vampire’s nature is a bit more pronounced than that of our human counterparts. My entire being is screaming that I claim you, that I make you love me. It doesn’t make any sense, but I can’t help it.”
“I’m sorry, Sky. Come here,”
Aidan urged, struggling into a sitting position. He wanted to make up for his disregard of Sky’s confession. Even if he couldn’t return the sentiment, he wanted to make Sky feel like he meant something, more than the piece of ass Aidan had called him. Sky came to stand in front of him and dropped to his knees.
Aidan immediately wrapped his aching limbs around the vampire, pulling him down until he was once again on his back and the vampire was on top of him. Aidan urged his head closer and took up his lips in a gentle kiss.
“It’s not that our sex doesn’t mean anything,”
Aidan said even as they continued to nip and lick at each other’s mouths.
“It’s just that when this is all over, I’m going to be leaving and, if we keep it strictly physical, it will be easier on the both of us. All right?”
Sky wound his hands into Aidan’s hair, holding his head still so that he could take control on the kiss.
don’t want any barriers between us, Aidan. I want to absorb into you until we share one skin. I want you to be free. But for now, can’t you just let me be with you? Can’t we forget about when you leave until the time comes?”
Aidan thought about it for a moment, using the moment’s distraction to rub against the big German, his body deliciously hard. He sighed.
“Fine. You win, vampire. You can have me, mind, body, and soul until I leave. Is that acceptable?”
Sky’s deep growl of approval was his only answer.
* * * *
They broke the kiss with a gasp of mutual pleasure. Sky was throbbing with unspent passion. He couldn’t believe he could want to take Aidan again. He thought he could easily wait until after the practice was complete as he usually did. But Aidan tempted him with a siren’s song that couldn’t be denied.
“Sky,” Aidan groaned aloud, running his hands over his bare shoulders. He began to squirm against the vampire, and Sky answered with a warning growl. He didn’t want his love even having that much control of his pleasure.
“You belong to me,”
Sky thought, the alchemy that drove them beginning to boil once again.
“I want to feed on you, Aidan.”
He turned his lover’s head so he could nip at the column of his throat. He hadn’t done this since London, but for some reason the vampire thought it was of paramount importance to do it now. He needed the sustenance, and he wanted it to be from his jäger.
“Oh yes!” Aidan said breathlessly. His eyes had gone dark in effect with the magick. He was his most submissive when the spell was triggered, and Sky loved it. The alchemy between them was a burning desire that couldn’t be denied at times like this. Sky growled and stripped off his pants.
“I’m going to fuck you well, my lover,” Sky promised, his fangs elongating with his desire. “I’m going to drink you down and make you scream.”
Aidan moaned and arched into Sky’s arms. His lover was incredibly responsive. Sky smiled wickedly. He felt the venom glands located beneath his gums begin to swell in anticipation.
A voice called from behind him. “Sky! Sky, wait!”
Sky hissed in the direction of the voice. How dare someone interrupt him with his beloved? Sky growled and struck, driving his fangs into the soft, vulnerable throat before him. Aidan gasped. His hips swiveled, grinding against Sky’s naked body. Sky felt a dark satisfaction at the wide-eyed look of sheer pleasure on Aidan’s face as the venom coursed through the hunter’s system. Sky took several deep draws on Aidan’s pulse point. His jäger tasted like heaven, Sky decided, his own hips beginning to grind against the hunter beneath him.
“Oh, God!” Aidan gasped. “Harder, Sky. Bite me harder. God, Sky! I–I want you!” The admission caused Sky to draw harder at the wound he’d made, his hips grinding away. He wanted to be deep inside his lover in the worst way. Without slowing the suction of his mouth, he gripped Aidan, bruising his hips. He had to be inside him, had to drink him down as he fucked him, had to drain him and turn him and keep him forever.
Sky should’ve been frightened at the direction of his thoughts, but all he could think of was having forever to spend in the arms of his jäger…
! The sound coupled by the crippling blow to the back of Sky’s head made the vampire release the soft white flesh of Aidan’s throat. He groaned in pain as his eyes rolled into the back of his head. Sky growled and twisted his body so that he was over Aidan like a wolf over a fresh kill. He curled his lips back in a feral expression of possession. Who would interrupt the most intimate dance that could be had between a vampire and his lover?
Two men stood above them, both of them squared in a fighting stance. Sky had no recognition as he prepared to tear into the two men with all the power in his ancient body.
Lucian’s measured, oh-so-reasonable tones, washed over Sky. “Sky, Sky, what you’re feeling is a byproduct of a spell cast by Jessup. You’ve got to get some control so we can remove it.” He knew that the other vampire was trying to influence him with magick of his own. Sky threw out a bolt of power with his mind, staggering the other man. Andren growled and took a menacing step forward from the other side of Lucian.
“Don’t,” Lucian said, shaking his head to clear away the daze that Sky’s blow had probably caused. “He can’t help it. The instinctual need to protect and claim his alchemy mate is upon him. Jessup enhanced the need with a spell, increasing Aidan’s submission and Sky’s dominance. That’s why Aidan is covered in cuts and bruises. Sky’s marking him.”
“I don’t give a damn,” Andren rumbled. “He touches you again, I will hurt him badly.”
“Sky.” Aidan’s groan brought them both back to the topic in hand. “Finish it, vampire. Make me yours.” His eyes sparkled with desire as he tugged at Sky’s bare shoulders. The grip was weak, most likely from blood loss. It should’ve bothered Sky a lot more than it did. In his mind, it was all right because he would fix it just as soon as Andren and Lucian left them the fuck alone.
“I will, jäger,” Sky promised, his voice a menacing growl. Andren took a step toward them. Sky growled again. “Stay away from my mate.”
“Sky, please, be reasonable!” Lucian encouraged, his voice desperate. “If you turn him, you will lose your conflict with Jessup.”
That seemed to get through to Sky a bit.
“Jessup? What about Jessup?” He blinked several times, trying to clear away the wispy tangles of the spell. When he began to trace the spell, he saw where it attached to the already-present alchemy that they shared.
“Jessup cast a spell to increase the pitch between the two of you so that you’d turn Aidan and lose the match,” Lucian said, his eyes never leaving Sky. “One of your allies in court sent us a message that they detected the spell on their way through the estate, and we came right over.”
“That vile man!” Sky snapped, anger infusing him. He could’ve handled Mirah messing with anything but his bond with Aidan. It was sacred to him.
,” Aidan moaned, his eyes rolling and his body pliant and needy. “I need you. I want to be vampire. I want to be yours forever.” The words poured from his mouth, his very being begging for Sky to do as he bid. Sky nearly gave in. He gritted his teeth hard against the foreign “push” in his mind.
“Aidan, I love you,” he whispered, kissing him hard on the mouth. With effort he extricated himself from his beloved’s embrace. “Andren, go to your brother. Calm the spell in him. Lucian, I need you to help me. I can’t stay away…” He gritted his teeth as Aidan reached for him again. Andren scooped up Aidan in strong arms even as Aidan fought to get back to Sky and carried him from the room.
“What triggered the spell?” Sky asked Lucian as he allowed the other ancient to cleanse him with deep scrubs of his power against his mind.
“Aidan admitting his affections for you and allowing you to love him fully triggered the spell. We hadn’t actually expected it to be activated yet. I was unaware your relationship had progressed that far,” Lucian said, running his hands over Sky’s shoulder and extricating the last remnants of the spell. “So has he decided to stay with you then?”
Sky sighed. “I wish,” he muttered. “He says we can love one another until it’s time for him to leave. After that he wants his full freedom.”
Lucian chuckled. “Yes, well, when you have alchemy with a MacGregor, you learn a whole other depth to the word ‘stubborn.’ Given enough time though, they’ll come around. I can’t explain to you the hardship Andren and myself endured because of his stubbornness.” His face showed clearly the depth of his affection for his mate.
Sky envied him in that moment.
“Darling?” Andren called, popping his head through the door. “Can I have some assistance please? Aidan is panicking, and the blood loss is not making him very agreeable.”
“I’ll be happy to assist, love. Give me moment, and I’ll finish up with the prince.”
They waited until Andren nodded and ducked back into the house before they continued their conversation. “Lucian, I am trying very hard to have patience with him, but I find myself losing my sanity in the wake of his anger. I want to lock him in my room until I can convince him to stay,” Sky said as Lucian traced the last runic symbol of healing power into his flesh.
“I know the feeling, my friend. Try to have a little patience, Sky. Don’t worry. The MacGregors fall in love like pistol shots. They fall suddenly and hard. Give it enough time, and the alchemy will work for you.” He handed Sky back his shirt and stood. “I’ve got to go help Andren with Aidan. We’ll bring him back to you in just a minute. Shouldn’t take long.”
Sky nodded and sat back into his couch. He prayed for patience.
* * * *