Authors: Caris Roane
Tags: #amulet series, #short story, #vampire romance, #vampirerotica, #amulet, #erotic romance, #fae romance, #novella, #paranormal romance
She whirled out of his hold, positioned herself between the vampires, then flung both arms in the air. “Enough,” she called out, surprised by the bold sound of her voice that filled the large space.
Both vampires turned to her and stared. She still held her hands in the air, palms toward the men as though holding each of them back. The gesture had an effect and in slow stages tempers cooled and the tense moment dissipated.
She had seen this before. Vampires fought easily, especially when an issue of territory ramped up the testosterone.
What she didn’t understand was why the situation had erupted so quickly and without provocation, or at least without one she could detect.
“I’m sorry,” Eligio said, addressing Gabriel. “I didn’t know you’d bound the woman. In fact, I would swear you hadn’t.”
Gabriel glared at him and his beautiful green eyes turned very dark. “I have not bound her. I have taken her blood and I claim her as my lover. For those reasons alone, you may not touch her or approach her.”
Eligio’s thick arched brows rose and a smile quirked his lips. “Of course, Gabriel.” He turned to Thea. “I think it would help, at least for now, if you stood next to your master so he and I won’t be tempted to exchange punches.”
She knew Eligio was right so she crossed quickly to Gabriel. Though uncertain how to manage him, she took his hand, threading her fingers through his. He squeezed her hand in return. He looked almost panicked as he met her gaze.
“I’m here,” she said quietly. “I’m with you.”
He nodded. “
.” His voice was barely more than a whisper. “And I am sorry. I am in a strange state that even I do not understand.”
She could sense the struggle within him as he continued to calm his temper.
Eligio addressed Gabriel. “What I don’t get,” Eligio said, “Is why the hell I’m drawn to her like this. Maybe you should think about binding her. Or if not, then at least mark her.”
Thea’s fingers hurt because Gabriel was nearly crushing them. She used her other hand and rubbed his forearm through the soft silk of his shirt. What on earth was going on?
“I will not bind her,” he said. “It would be cruel to her and the binding is a trap. You know how those relationships fare.”
“How?” Thea asked.
Gabriel met her gaze. “Not well,
. Usually, a battle-ground from one day to the next.”
She put a hand to her chest and widened her eyes on purpose. “But, Gabriel, how is that possible when vampires are so gently-natured?”
He met her gaze scowling. But after a moment, he chuckled. “Perhaps you and I would not quarrel.”
“Oh, we would quarrel, but it doesn’t matter. I have no intention of doing anything so foolish as aligning myself with
“With our kind?” Eligio rounded the blue velvet sofa nearest the fireplace and sat down. He was tall and muscular and took up a big section of the couch.
“Yes,” she said. “
, as in blood-sucking, volatile vampires.”
Eligio laughed but shifted his gaze to Gabriel. “I like her a lot.” He lifted a hand when Gabriel’s shoulders hunched. “Forget I said that. So, what brings you here? Although I’m guessing your mission involves the woman.”
“It does. We have need of the healing amulet. Thea’s mother went into the bogg-woods.”
Eligio hissed. “A lot of bad shit comes from those woods. I’m only troubled that I don’t have the amulet on hand right now. I loaned it to Chalice last night for one of his supplicants who was bitten by wraith-lice. The poor fellow had scratched himself raw.”
Gabriel clucked his tongue. “A dreadful affliction.”
Eligio nodded then drew his cell-phone from his pocket. “But I’m sure they’re done with the amulet by now. Let me get Chalice’s secretary on the phone.”
Eligio touched the surface of his phone and spoke quietly for a minute.
When he returned his phone to the pocket of his jeans, he said, “Chalice’s secretary will have the amulet ready for you whenever you arrive.”
“You are a good friend. Again, I thank you.”
Eligio then frowned at Thea. “But I’m curious about your mother. What would have prompted her to go into the bogg-woods? Surely she knew the danger.”
“She was beholden to the witch at the end of our street and wanted to repay her for her many kindnesses to our family. The witch had talked about wanting the boggwort Flower, and mother decided she would risk going into the woods for it. She’d taken precautions, but in the end the fever got her.”
“Well, Gabriel’s amulet has a lot of power and will do the trick.” He leaned forward in his seat. He cleared his throat, then added, “I’m rather fond of witches and I actually knew a witch from Reavenshire once. Is your neighbor married? ”
Thea saw the glimmer in his eye and laughed again. “You and Gabriel are incorrigible.”
The grip on her fingers tightened.
She glanced at Gabriel and met his glower once more. “What is it this time?”
“Stop flirting with Eligio.”
She got no further. Gabriel shifted to face her, his back to Eligio. He put both hands on her neck and slid his fingers up into her hair. He slanted a kiss over her lips. His tongue pushed at her until she opened her mouth. He drove into her, his tongue thrusting wickedly.
His hips connected low; the vampire was completely aroused. She didn’t understand and pulled away. “What’s going on?”
“Eligio, leave us,” Gabriel said. “And let no one enter.”
Eligio had spoken with such firmness that Thea knew something significant had just happened. She put her hands on Gabriel’s shoulders and pushed at him until he backed up enough so that she could look him in the eyes. “I repeat, what’s going on?”
She felt him trembling all over and as before the strange tendrils moved over her skin, the binding tendrils he had caressed her with earlier.
She tried to take a step back, but he prevented her, holding her arms fast. “I don’t want to be bound,” she said, her heart racing.
“I have no intention of binding you, Thea.”
“What if you do it accidentally, because I can feel the tendrils again.”
He was breathing hard. “The presence of the tendrils and sex must happen simultaneously in order to complete the joining. All I have to do is hold the tendrils back from you as I am now.”
She felt the tendrils recede and at last disappear.
She could breathe again.
“But I need something else from you.” Once more he flexed his hips so that she could feel his need.
“You want to have sex with me in Eligio’s living room?” She was appalled.
But his eyes were black once more and his fangs had made an appearance. Vampires were definitely not human. “More than sex. I need to create a mark, the one Eligio referred to, so that you’ll be protected.”
“But the mark isn’t a binding?”
“No, it is not. Now please take your clothes off. All of them. You have nothing to fear. We have privacy and the mark is very simple to create.”
She wanted to argue, to point out how inappropriate this was, but Gabriel seemed to be well beyond debating the issue.
She glanced at the doors. They were shut. This would be private, as promised, but she had a feeling it was anything but simple.
“Please help me to understand what’s going on and what the mark will mean.”
He ran his hands up and down her arms. He still trembled. “When a woman is marked, vampires find it almost impossible to draw near her.”
“Even Mage vampires?”
Well, if that was one of the advantages, then she didn’t think it was such a bad idea, especially if being marked would protect her from the Mage.
“Please, Thea. I’m begging you. I did not expect this to happen, but without the mark, I will lose control.”
She saw how serious he was and that he struggled within himself.
When she finally nodded, he let go of a deep breath and released her.
She slowly stripped off her sweater and removed her flats and jeans. She undid her bra, but Gabriel dropped his gaze to her thong and before she could remove it, he grabbed the poor scrap of lace, ripped it apart, and flung it on the Persian carpet.
She turned, intending to head to the couch, but his arm was suddenly around her and he dropped her to the floor so that she was on all fours. She could hear his zipper, which he must have been working with his free hand, because his other arm was around her stomach holding her fast.
Thea had never experienced anything like this in her simpler human world. The vampire was in a desperate predatory state and she was on her hands and knees, a very animal position. She felt him at her entrance but he didn’t try to force himself even though he was breathing hard.
“Are you afraid?” he asked gently.
“A little.” Yet at the same time, she needed and desired him. How bizarre her life had become.
“Will you permit me to enthrall you? It will make the process easier and more pleasurable.”
She’d already agreed to be marked so she responded, “Please, Gabriel. Yes, enthrall me.”
He bent over her and smoothed her hair away from her neck. She felt his breath on her ear as he began saying something in a low voice, words whispered in French, a very long string of words. Waves of peace and pleasure flowed the length of her body. Her skin grew hot, her nipples peaked and her well began to weep.
He shifted slightly, his cock stroking her tender flesh. His tongue moved in and out of her ear several times then once more he repeated the words until her body rocked with desire. The air smelled of vampire and man and at last he began to push inside her.
She arched her pelvis to give him access and he drove to the end of her. She had the worst feeling that she was in a kind of trouble she had no way of truly comprehending.
*** *** ***
Gabriel had never been this vampire, one to take a woman like this, to mark her. He was a vampire who always employed seduction. But he could not help himself, not right now, in Eligio’s living room.
He leaned over her, pushing her hair aside with his nose until he was above her vein. He struck hard, sinking to the right depth so that the blood flowed. But instead of removing the fangs, he began to pump her hard from behind while he sucked. The position and the thrusting caused the flesh on her neck to tear, something necessary to help create the mark.
“Gabriel, you’re hurting me.”
Had she said something? He was lost in the sensation of taking her like this and her blood was an erotic elixir. He pumped harder.
“Gabriel please.” The sound of her tortured voice reached him at last. He was hurting her. Of course he was. He was tearing up the side of her neck.
But she didn’t have to feel the pain.
He added another layer of enthrallment, sweeping through her mind, calming her and exciting her so that she began to buck as he drove into her.
At the same time, he retracted his fangs. They had done their work and these incisions would not heal without scars.
He had never marked a female before, but he had seen human women who bore them. The power of the master vampire who gave the mark would always be a warning. Every time he had been near a marked woman, he had felt compelled to move away from her.
Still moving into her, he watched Thea’s skin reform so that his initial, ‘G’, was prominent. She was now and forever under his protection, the closest to being bound to a human as he ever intended to get.
When the scar tissue was solid to the touch, he rose up behind her and pounded into her. She writhed against him.
“I’m so close,” she cried out. “Gabriel, so good.”
As her neck arched and she cried out repeatedly, he could feel her body seizing on him deep within. Her orgasm spurred his own release.
But as he started to come, the pleasure was like nothing he had experienced before so that he shouted repeatedly with each spurt that traveled the length of his cock.
He saw stars as he held onto her hips, still driving, not wanting to stop. But at last, his body eased up and Thea’s movements slowed as well. She was breathing hard and finally collapsed onto the floor. He held himself close to her so that he would not leave her body. He was not ready to disengage from her.
“Oh, Gabriel, you must have women begging for you.”
He lay on top of her and stroked her arms. He even smiled a little. Maybe it was true, but he wouldn’t say that to her, not right now. He was feeling far too much. He stroked her head, petting her and pulling her curls to flow down both her arms. She had beautiful hair, very soft to the touch, very fine.
“I would apologize,” he said, “but that was too wonderful for words.”
She nodded, her face gliding over the soft carpet.