Authors: Jackie Ivie
Tags: #paranormal romance, #vampire assassin league, #short story, #vampire romance, #anthology
“I can’t get a reading…through your shirt.”
The slightest waver, as well as the hesitation, with her words betrayed her. She could act remote and impersonal all she liked. It was an act, and he had to keep from reacting. Rafaele stepped back one step, almost reaching the wall he’d just left. He could sense the structure right behind him. He was failing ingloriously. He couldn’t believe The Vampire Assassin League had set this up. He’d acted the gentleman and sounded an idiot. He’d tried for control and become a buffoon. And now he looked like a frightened rabbit.
“I only have two…more readings.”
“Before what?” His voice sounded like he chewed on rocks. It was almost intelligible. He swallowed and sucked on the elongated canines that made speech difficult.
“We’re doing an evaluation, here. Nothing more. I promise.”
He’d been right. He looked and acted like a frightened rabbit. Not the epitome of masculinity he’d wanted. But it was her fault! She didn’t know the demons he fought. The urges he squelched. The physical need he barely leashed.
“You can have it right back.”
Rafaele swore beneath his breath, moved his gaze over her head at one of the tulip-shaped light receptacles, and pulled the bit of cotton over his head. He didn’t dare look at her. The slightest gasp she gave was sending torrents of want and desire and need to rifle his flesh.
“This is a really bad idea,” he told her.
“I’m…a professional, Rafaele. I do this…all the time. It’s part of the uh…regimen.”
She didn’t sound professional. She sounded young. Interested. Excited. He nearly groaned and his knees wavered.
“I’ve taken measurements on hundreds of other guys. You don’t need to be concerned. Honestly.”
Her voice softened to a caress of sound that matched the touch she put on his skin, right below his shoulder. Rafaele came off the floor the instant he felt it, and had to force his body back to terra firma before she noticed. She wasn’t lifting any skin in order to pinch it. What started as fingertips was now a solid palm, four fingers, and a thumb, all just sitting atop his skin, molding to him, stirring an instantaneous vibration that went through both of them. Rafaele clenched his chin, earning two spikes of pain into his lower lip and forced words through his lips.
“I am not ‘hundreds of other guys’,” he informed the room behind her, mimicking the way she’d said it, if not the octave.
“I can see that. You’re amazing, actually. Masculine beauty mixed with brawn. I sound stupid, but it’s your fault. It’s difficult to speak and look at you. It’s hard to believe you’re real.” She sighed, cursing him with a maelstrom of warm, perfectly heated breath. “You’re probably gay.”
“It is more than that,
“There’s something more than gay?”
“I’m your mate.”
Rafaele sliced his tongue the moment the words formed in his mouth but it was too late. He’d said them. And she’d heard them. It was impossible to stiffen more, but he tried, gripping muscles to agony level as he prepared for her anger, shock, and then rebuttal. She might even call the authorities. He wouldn’t blame her. Now, he’d moved onto potential predator. He should have stuck with rabbit.
“What…did you just say?”
He didn’t answer. His throat was convulsing. The only thing he felt capable of doing was seizing her, tossing her into one of those elongated beds, and burying himself, and to hell with anything approaching gentlemanly behavior.
“I don’t understand this, Rafaele. I’ve never…acted like this before.”
He grunted. He sounded like a wild thing, even to his own ears.
Not good Rafaele. Back down. Calm. Hold.
“You should probably stop me.”
Stop her? He dared a glance down. She was looking at where her hand still rested on his chest. She wasn’t screaming. She wasn’t pulling from him. If anything, she’d stepped closer, her bare midriff taunting where his rod wasn’t being shy against the crotch weave of his sports shorts.
“Before you have to charge me with sexual harassment or something. I mean…I don’t normally come on to my clients. In fact, I never do. It’s against the rules.”
Charge her? He was afraid to move.
Keep hold, Rafaele. Slowly. Non-threatening. Gentlemanly.
She tilted her head and looked up, catching his gaze, before dragging him right into complete communion with her. His mate was incomprehensibly perfect. Faultless. Flawless. Unspoiled. Wondrous. His body shuddered, his knees quavered, and he stepped back against the wall before he fell there. She followed, brushing against his rod with the move, and that just meshed everything about them into motion. The room began gyrating and moving, like a pendulum with her at the core, one hand affixed to him, as if a lifeline.
He could easily go mad with this!
“I mean…we just met…And yet, it feels like I’ve known you forever. You aren’t going to stop me?”
“No,” he choked out.
“You’re him. The man. My rescuer. From the elevator last night…aren’t you?”
He tipped his upper lip open, allowing the slightest glimpse of his fangs. He watched her note it, assimilate it, and then return to his eyes.
“I thought I’d dreamt it. You couldn’t be real.”
Her hand moved, sliding upward along his exposed flesh, drawing his attention. She moved so slowly! Inching her fingers upward, making an anchor of movement in a growing whorl of elements. Rafaele didn’t move. He didn’t dare. He felt taut as a pulled bow and nearly as lethal.
“And yet here you are. With me.”
She had most of her arm around the back of his neck, pulling him as she rose to tiptoes. The move put her woman body fully against him. Fireworks exploded through him, sending urgency rioting through him, until the sensation meshed with the blur encasing them.
“I’m going to kiss you, Rafe.”
He nodded. She used that nickname. He didn’t care.
“I may not be able to stop there.”
“Everything on me feels…so wild. Uninhibited. Like I can fly if I just put out my arms. What did you do to me?”
“I…am not certain I can explain…just yet.”
“But you can do it again?”
. Most definitely.”
“You’ll take away more of the ugliness? Please?”
The word was split. He was surprised it made sound. His mind was locked on one thing – control. And it was losing. It was more her fault now. The way she hovered right at his lip flesh cursed him with the breath of each word, while the touch of her sent urges and needs everywhere in waves of angry sensation. To his toes. Fingertips. Groin.
Rafaele pulled his head up, hitting it on the wall as he took in her semi-closed eyes, parted lips, the lift of a vein in her throat as it pulsed with each heartbeat. She didn’t know what she played with, and he had nothing left to fight it. The tremors that ran him evidenced it.
She spat the words before lunging upward, pressing her lips to Rafaele’s, sucking at him as he was her. His fangs opened a cut within her lower lip, releasing fluid. She no longer tasted of sweet and tangy, as she had last night. She tasted now of love and perfection, musk and sandalwood, rain and sleet, flowers and vines. Every vestige of control revolted, lifting them from the floor with it. Her legs climbed him, encasing his hips, while her arms gripped his shoulders. Her every breath carried life, and he took them, giving passion in exchange. The room was no longer moving separately. It became an entity that enveloped them, moving them along with a blur of movement that seemed to pulse with energy. Rage. Urge. Need.
Rafaele dropped, spun, and had her hiked against the wall, her limbs jolting with the move before resealing about him. But he wanted more. He needed all of her. Around him. Encasing and enwrapping, and engorging. Her mouth moved from his, sliding across his cheek to the ticklish area below his ear. He returned the favor, roving his tongue about the delicate skin of her upper throat; the nape of her neck; her shoulder; and then spiking into her flesh to drink. He didn’t do it on purpose. He was beyond thought. Beyond stopping. Beyond anything other than experiencing.
“I want you, Rafe.”
“I need you. All of you. I’ve never felt…so! And I don’t know why. Ah!”
She finished her words with a cry sounding of frustration, urgency, and passion. He knew why. Tasting vampire tainted blood was known to make the blood boil with passion. And she’d had a large transfusion of it. If he still possessed the faculty of speech, he’d tell her.
Rafaele shoved his pants off his hips, and she immediately tightened her legs about him, seizing him between her clothed thighs, riding him. Teasing him. Driving him right to the brink. He was panting. Denied. Angered. Frenzied. His hands circled her waistband for the fastener ties of her pants. Buttons. A zipper. Anything!
“They pull down.” She whispered it, and then started another blizzard of reaction by the touch of her tongue to his ear.
He gripped a section at the back with both hands and split the seam open.
“Or rip,” she responded, and then giggled.
Rafaele reached behind her, grabbed two handfuls of ass, lifting her to the perfect angle, and rammed home. Any giggling instantly changed, becoming a garbled cry containing pleasure and something more. Something beautiful enough to create tears. He knew that, too. He suffered them.
Nothing had ever felt like this! Nothing. Ever. Rafaele stayed rigid for an unknown amount of time, blinking rapidly against emotion that blurred his vision, while absorbing their fusion, his rod encased in the tightest of tunnels, being alternately stroked and suctioned, and then released, creating thrill beyond measure. Sensation beyond belief. He vibrated to it, taking her along with it.
Rafaele wasn’t in charge anymore, something more elemental and visceral was. Something without boundaries and bereft of common sense. He gripped tighter about her, holding her in place for each push, each shove, each thrust and resultant withdrawal. Heaven. Nirvana. Paradise.
He moved, and something fell. He stepped backward, running into something with his thigh and a tanning bed hit the floor with a huge thud. He stumbled and the top of it cracked off. Cool, slick, hard polycarbonate met his back while the vixen affixed to him used her new position, and he let her. Rafaele’s hands moved, sliding from her hips to her waist, beneath the band of spandex she wore as a top to shove it up and off her, rolling it into a snake of material before flinging it aside. His mate was even perfect here. Not too large. Pert. Palm-sized. And incredibly inviting. He groaned before lifting to her, tonguing and then toying with her nipples, reaping cries of satiation and wonder.
And always there was motion; his hips pumping into her, before slapping back onto the unforgiving surface beneath them, her hands roaming all about him, putting minute scratches into flesh with her nails, her legs flexing to hold onto him. Pressure built. Exquisite, personal, beautiful pressure. Kneading its way into his lower back, traveling along his spine, leaching into his loins with every perfect thrust as they got large. Heavier. Wilder. Thicker. Stronger. Harder. Adding to the increase of motion, the sensation of heat, the cacophony of sighs and moans she gave that accompanied his grunts.
And then it hit him, the sensation hammering through his frame, sending such a combination of agony and bliss, he shuddered with it. His body arched, slamming his head into the structure to send the deepest, throbbing groan out into the room. Something else crashed to the floor. His throat tore, and still he sent the low vibrations through it, expressing wonderment, beauty, and fulfillment the only way he could. The combination filled him. Owned him. Encased him. Running in rivulets through him as he shook in place and accepted it. All the empty lonely years disappeared as if they’d never been. The only thing that mattered was her. Lenna. His mate.
His groan ended, dying into throbs of sound that matched how he lowered back to the now-warm surface beneath him. Lenna was collapsed onto him, her head just beneath his chin, her body trembling and twitching, rising and falling with each labored breath, while specters of her scent filled his nostrils, already haunting him. No wonder Akron spoke as he had. Rafaele would be jealous as well. This perfect cohesion was amazing. Stupendous. Better than joy. More astounding than beauty.
He may have lived, but he’d never been truly alive. Until now. With her.
The word echoed through her ear. He had the most heavenly voice. He should be on radio. No. With looks like he’d been blessed with, he should be on a movie screen. And she’d be lucky to have the price of admission after this.
“I’m going to lose my license.” It didn’t even sound bad, due to the view, and probably more to the solid sensations of lassitude and satiation that still seeped through every limb.
“You are? Why?”
“A professional trainer does not have intercourse with her clients, Rafe.”
“What is this Rafe bit? It’s Rafaele.”
“You don’t like Rafe?”
“I have changed my mind. I can get used to it coming from your lips. But only yours. As for this license thing…surely what happens between two consenting adults is between them?”
“I attacked you, Rafe.”
“I beg to differ. My pants are not the clothing item that is ripped. And please. I am too large for such a statement. Fit. Agile. Strong. Unless you are trying to cast doubt on my manhood?”
“That would be the day.”
His chest puffed up somehow, lifting her.
She’d forgotten the narcissistic part of him. But who was she to argue? It was well-earned.
“You see? Definitely consensual. You needn’t fear reprisals from me. My lips are sealed. I vow it.”
“Doesn’t look like it’ll need your word, Rafe.”
It took her a few moments to answer. Not because she didn’t have words, but because they jarred with everything. She was in heaven, or something close to it. It didn’t matter what price she paid. It was worth the sensation of hard body beneath her, the feel of his hand trailing along her back, and the echo of his deep bass voice every time he said anything. She was right. Heaven.