|Home > Christine Feehan > Dark Series > Dark Blood (Chapter 35)|
|Dark Blood(Dark #26) by Christine Feehan|
He used his mind to free her arms, not wanting her to feel discomfort. In any case, he loved the way she clutched him, driving her nails into his skin and holding on to him as if he was her only anchor. Immediately she slid her hand down his belly to the junction between his legs, where their bodies joined, her fingers stroking back and forth over the base of his cock.
“You’re so beautiful, Zev,” she whispered, her breath coming in ragged gasps.
She was the beautiful one. Around them, the ground took on a red glow as he began to move, long, excruciatingly slow strokes, dragging over her sensitive bud, burying himself deep, all the while watching her face. Her head tossed and her lips parted. Her skin grew hotter. The fierce heat spread like wildfire while the storm built inside of her.
“More,” she pleaded. “Give me more.”
He laughed softly. “You’re an insatiable little thing, aren’t you? A very demanding woman.” He loved her that way.
He took his time, holding her hips in place, refusing to give in to her demands, setting a leisurely pace that drove her wild. She squirmed and writhed, trying to force him into a more forceful speed, but he refused to cooperate, watching her skin flush even more red, watching the sparks leaping around her body and the glow spread across the ground as she tossed her head and pleaded with him for release.
He kept her on that edge, building the tension, feeling her coil tighter and tighter. She screamed again when he suddenly shifted gears, riding her hard, setting a brutal pace, wanting to drive her up as high as possible, to stay inside of her for as long as possible. She began her song, that soft melodic chanting of his name, tears swimming in her eyes, fingers digging deeper into his biceps.
He let himself lose all control, reveling in his ability to do so. Branislava not only could handle it, but she welcomed the madness that took him. Her body was made for his, for the pounding pleasure and the incredible, impossible heat. The firestorm leapt from her to him, burning through his every vein, pooling in his groin like the molten lava rising in her.
They burned together, the scorching heat growing hotter by the moment until a fine sheen of sweat spread over his body. Still, he didn’t stop, couldn’t stop. He lost himself in her, all that fire, burning with her, getting closer and closer to the very heart of the volcano. He felt the first wicked ripple, her sheath clamping down hard around him, fisting him in living silken flames. The volcano erupted, shaking them both, a fireball bursting through her, through him, her body milking and squeezing every last drop from him as they burned together.
The orgasm tore through her, her panting cries filling his mind with pure joy. His body sang along with his heart. He savored every second of her orgasm and his, the heat and fire, the ecstasy unmatched by anything else he’d ever known.
Very slowly he lowered her legs to the ground, slipped from her body and collapsed beside her. She turned into his arms immediately, snuggling close to him, her body still shuddering with aftershocks. She was burning hot against him, her skin like the smooth silken fire that had wrapped around his cock so lovingly. Her hair tumbled over his chest, adding to the sensation of being covered in silk.
“The night air feels good, doesn’t it?” she said, when she could catch her breath.
She was right. The cool of the snowcapped mountains felt amazing against the heat of his skin. The ground was a hot bed of petals, but it was cooling rapidly. “The night’s fading, Branka. Let’s just stay right here. We can open the ground and rest here.”
She pressed kisses along his neck. “I like the idea. It’s so beautiful up here.” She glanced toward the tree. “And look at that, we didn’t even burn down the tree.”
He brushed a kiss on top of her head. “It does look a little scorched. Look at the base and the leaves.”
She laughed softly. “I don’t think so. You’re making that up.”
“Maybe.” He wasn’t so sure. The ground had definitely heated up around the base of the tree, probably affecting the roots underground.
“You make life fun when everything around us is a little crazy, Zev,” she confided. “Thank you. This is the perfect place, far from everything and everyone.”
“It’s the two of us, Branka,” he pointed out. “We’re good together. We belong.”
She nuzzled him again, inhaling his scent. “You always seem to know what I need.”
He laughed softly. “Of course I know what you need. I take my vows to you seriously. You’ll always be first.”
There was a stirring in Zev’s mind. Faint laughter. Do you want to tell me why the lake has risen three inches? I think half the glacier melted. Down here, everyone thinks there’s a possibility that the volcano is becoming active. I told them you two were setting the night on fire, Fen taunted him.
I don’t believe you.
How did I know you two were up there? The entire top of the mountain glowed right through the mist. You can bet it caused quite a stir down below with farmers rushing out to make certain the volcano wasn’t about to blow and kill them all.
Ha. Ha. You’re so funny. Zev was beginning to grow just a little uneasy. Fen sounded amused, but not necessarily as if he was making it up.
Not three inches. We didn’t melt the entire glacier. Although they could have. Branislava had burned hot enough to melt the ice cap.
Don’t bet on it, bro. And go to ground. Both of you are exhausted.
Zev gave him the mental equivalent of rolling his eyes. Dimitri had warned him about Fen’s penchant for being the older brother and how he’d forget that Zev and Dimitri were not only entirely grown-up but had been around for centuries.
Zev wrapped his arms around Branislava, holding her close. “I thought we’d be safe up here, mon chaton féroce, but already, Fen is asking why the lake below has risen three inches. He claims we melted the glacier.”
“He’s such an exaggerator,” Branislava countered, content to bury her face in his neck. She lay quietly for a moment. “He is joking, right? We didn’t really melt the glacier, did we?”
“Hell if I know,” Zev said, too content to move and go check. “We could have.”
“What else did he say?”
“The mountain glowed red through the mist, and the farmers all thought the volcano was active again. But you know he likes to tease.”
She started laughing. “You have to admit it would be kind of funny if it was the truth. Can you imagine the prince asking everyone for reports? Worse, what if he told Gregori to do a flyby to make certain the mountain was safe?”
“He’d get an eyeful with the two of us lying here naked,” Zev said. He glanced up to the sky. Dawn was breaking, light penetrating through the clouds of mist. “We do need to go to ground and heal a bit, Branka. Your spirit and my body. We’re both a bit battered.”
“I suppose so. This feels like such freedom to me, Zev. Thank you again for finding this place for us. I really love it.”
He tipped her chin up with his thumb and kissed her thoroughly. “Open the ground, mon chaton féroce, and let’s get some sleep.”
Branislava waved her hand and opened the ground close to them. “If we did melt part of the glacier, you know we’ll never hear the end of it. My sister and Fen and Skyler and Dimitri will never stop giving us a bad time.”
He floated them into the deep hole. “Let me just say, Branislava, if we did melt the glacier and the lake has risen three inches and we’re teased for the next ten centuries, it was so worth it.”
Her soft laughter told him she agreed with him.
Branislava stared down at the deep blue lake shimmering below her. She studied the water lapping at the shore very closely. I don’t think there’s more water in it than there was last night, she told Zev, but her voice indicated she wasn’t certain.
Zev moved up beside her. They hovered together over the body of water, two trails of vapor, looking a little like comets in the night sky. Laughter welled up. Take a look at the reeds and the trees. They’re in the water, Branka, and they weren’t like that last night.
You can’t possibly know that, she protested, but again she didn’t sound sure.
Of course I can, he said, keeping as sober as possible. Elite hunters have to notice every detail around them. I registered the lake last night . . .
She stirred in his mind, giving him the impression of a raised eyebrow. I thought you were entirely focused on me.
Exactly, he replied smoothly. With the small exception of noting the water and shoreline as we passed by.
Her laughter teased at his mind like the brush of butterfly wings. I will concede the reeds seem to be a bit more under water than I remember them. And maybe the two trees on the southern end look as though the waterline moved up, but that’s all. I checked the snow pack and there’s absolutely no problem with it, and the glacier is totally intact.
I’m certain the prince will be happy to hear that. And we can reassure him that the volcano remains dormant. Zev’s voice was droll.
She laughed again, sounding carefree, a sound which he hadn’t heard from her ever. He loved that he’d found a way to get her to relax, to forget about what she’d seen and heard in Lyall’s mind. Lycans and Carpathians would have to find a way to ferret Xaviero out and rid the world of him, but Zev wanted to keep Branislava as far from the mage as possible.
They took their time, hunting leisurely for sustenance, dropping down near a farm to talk casually with the farmer and his wife. They laughed together at the antics of horses, and Zev helped the farmer put a tire back on his broken cart. When they had fed, they left the couple sitting on their front porch, smiling happily, remembering the nice couple who had stopped by to inquire about the beautiful handmade quilts the wife had hanging up to sell for extra money. Her pocket was fat with cash and one of the quilts was missing.
“That was fun,” Branislava said, hugging the quilt to her. “They’re nice people.”
Zev took the quilt from her and threaded his fingers through hers. “I agree. We’ll have to check on them once in a while. It’s always a good thing to make friends with neighbors and locals. Mikhail is quite charismatic and he takes the time to fit in. Those living in the village are very loyal to him.”
“Are we going to make our home here?” Branislava asked.
He caught the little note of apprehension in her voice. He brought her hand to the warmth of his mouth, his teeth nibbling at her knuckles. “I told you we would always stay close to Tatijana. I like it here, and if we use these mountains as our base, with our ability to fly, we can get to places very fast if need be.”
He stopped walking, turning to plant himself directly in front of her. “When I said I would cherish you for all time, Branka, that I would put your happiness above my own, I meant it. You never have to do anything you don’t want to do.” He slung the quilt over one shoulder and tipped her chin up with his fingers. “I treasure each moment we have together, I do, but if I have to go off hunting rogues, or tracking vampires or the Sange rau, it will always be your choice whether or not you leave our home and accompany me.”
Tears swam for a moment in her vivid green eyes but she blinked them away rapidly and managed a mock scowl. “If you think I’m going to let you go off somewhere hunting rogues, vampires or Sange rau without me, you’ve got another thing coming. Someone has to look after you.” She reached up to circle his neck with her arm and pulled his head down to hers. “You take too many chances, Zev, and I’m not willing to let you go. So stop.” She punctuated each word with a fierce kiss.
His heart turned over and heat rushed through his veins, not just the heat of desire, but the heat of love. He had no other way to describe it. She ran through his veins like life’s blood, an addiction and obsession, that scorching hot love she poured into him every time she entered his mind, or kissed him as she was doing. Every time she touched him, sparks leapt between them, igniting an overwhelming rush of pure love he felt for her.
He wasn’t a man with fancy words. He never would be. He was a predator, a wolf, an elite hunter and rough as hell. But he knew without a doubt that he loved her fiercely, with every cell in his body, with every beat of his heart. Had he been a poet he would have written her something beautiful, but he only had his body to show her how he felt.
He kissed her, pouring that hot, ferocious love he had for her into her mouth. He was demanding and rough and insistent, sweeping her up into a vortex of fire, as alpha as it got, forcing her response, yet knowing she gave it to him freely.
Branislava clung to him for a moment when he lifted his head. She kept her body tight against his, as if he was her sanctuary. He wanted to be that haven for her, a shelter she could always count on. He closed his arms around her and held her to him, counting her heartbeats, listening to the rhythm of her breathing until his body followed the tempo of hers.
“Are you all right, mon chaton féroce?” he asked, brushing a kiss along the top of her head. “You don’t have to come with me for this meeting. I know anything to do with Xaviero distresses you.”
“I’m just holding you, Zev. Keeping you close, gathering strength from you. You never seem to get upset, not even in the worst crisis. You just feel calm inside. I want to be like that.”
He laughed softly. “Branka, do you know what mon chaton féroce means?”
She nodded, puzzled. “My fierce kitten.”
“Exactly. You are fierce and passionate and fiery and I love all those things about you. In a fight, I can count on you to keep your head and get the job done, even if you’re afraid. There’s no need to be anything other than who you are, who you’re meant to be.”