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|Adam(Nightwalkers #6) by Jacquelyn Frank|
Vampires didn’t breathe after the first hundred years or so. And she had to be at least four hundred. Why is she ... ? Sweet Destiny.
Adam felt that same shift again inside his psyche. It came on the tide of her rushing breaths, the ones that gave away her level of arousal. It wafted into his senses on the myrrh and clove scent of her skin. Were they fighting or playing? Adam could hardly remember. Or he couldn’t tell the difference. All he understood with perfect clarity was the unbelievable draw of her. It had been thus since the instant he had first laid eyes on her.
“Hmm,” she purred low in her throat, her long legs sliding to wrap around the backs of his thick thighs. “Haven’t you ever heard the phrase ‘Make love, not war’?”
“No,” he exhaled roughly. “But it is a damn fine idea. Too bad I have no choice but to kill you for trespassing too close to my King.”
“Your King has left me an open invitation to come”—she put deliberate emphasis on the word—“and go as it pleases me.”
Adam tightened his grip on her wrists so sharply that Jasmine winced.
“Are you implying that Noah would sully himself with the likes of you? That you are my King’s mistress?”
Jasmine chuckled at that. “No, darling, I think not. You know as well as I do his wife would have had me gutted ages ago if I so much as looked at him wrong.”
“His wife,” Adam echoed.
“Kestra has a bit of a temper, I am told. Besides, I was rather considering sullying you instead.” She licked her lips slowly, somehow forcing Adam’s entire body to tighten in reaction. “But then,” she whispered slyly, “so were you.”
Damn her and her alluring ways! How did she do it? How did she make him burn as though his life depended on satisfying his outrageous lust for her? It was a trick! He knew damn well it was a Vampire’s trick of the mind, but for his life he could not seem to break free of it. Awareness of the tactic should have dissolved her power. Why did he crave her so strongly?
“Ahh,” she breathed with obvious pleasure curving up her spine. “Now there is the Demon I remember.” Jasmine shifted her hips up beneath the pelvis pinning her to the ground. Adam was highly aroused; he had been since the start of their encounter, just the sight of her obviously having affected him. She could smell it on him, a musky male heat that grew and grew. But now he grew hard against her as well, an enormous erection lying against the length of her own warm sex. Only man-made fabric held them apart, and the knowledge caused her body to flash hot and damp all over.
It was one thing to enjoy a taunting flirtation, but for Jasmine it was quite another to actually feel something in response. Especially a reaction as stunning and powerful as this.
Not of your blood. Not of your breed.
She heard her mind lecturing her sternly on her prejudices. As a rule, Jasmine was completely appalled by the rash of crossbreeding unions among Nightwalkers of late. The worst of them being her own Prince’s marriage to a Lycanthrope, of all things! Marriage for a Vampire was a ridiculous concept to begin with, because Vampires were so detached from truly deep emotions of affection, but to wed oneself to an outsider? All the trouble it had caused was hardly worth it and more than proved her point!
But she was over five centuries old now, and so little amused her. Almost nothing excited her. Yet as she lay beneath the brute’s body, she felt her heart come alive with a wild beat for the first time since she had grown out of the need for regular circulation. She didn’t need to breathe, but now couldn’t catch her breath. Nothing, nothing had ever thrilled her so thoroughly before. Why? Why this time, and of all things, why with this Demon?
“You take pleasure in this, do you?” he accused hotly in response to her taunting. “You tease and manipulate, finding it all so delightful. But let me warn you, Vamp, that I am not having the best of evenings. I find I am rapidly losing all concern for what might be right or wrong. Tomorrow I may even be gone, and all I do until then will never come to matter.”
“I find I do take pleasure in this,” she admitted, her low voice so sexy it made his body ache with inexplicable longing. “It surprises me to confess it.”
“I should kill you,” he warned her.
“Why? The war is long over, Adam. We are no longer enemies. Your attack and threats against me are tantamount to treason.”
“I am Damien’s most valued and trusted aide. Noah has promised me safe passage, and our peoples are rather tediously at peace. An attack against me might be construed as an act of war.”
“An act of ...”
Peace. Of course. What did he expect? A war to last four centuries? She could be lying but ... he had already known better, hadn’t he? The castle was very lightly guarded, she came unarmed and made no effort to seriously harm him, and he had already learned a hard series of lessons that night that said anything was possible.
“Anything is possible,” he murmured thoughtfully as he stared down into heated eyes of mink. “Even peace with Vampires. But you, my dark beauty, are quite a different issue, now, are you not?”
Jasmine felt her revived heart stutter under the intense reaction his contemplative words caused to rush through her. It was as though thousands of pins pricked her all along her sensitive skin.
“Tell me your name, little Vamp,” he commanded her.
“Earn it, my fine Demon brute,” she shot back before she could check the impulse. But the dare made him smile in such a slow and predatory manner that Jasmine wanted to goad him again and again. Anything to invite that awesome savagery in his pale jade irises.
“I think I will at that, Vamp.”
Adam vibrated with the stimulation of her invitation, the possibilities churning through his mind as, for the first time, he gave himself complete permission to do so. She was a bold and obviously experienced wench, so he need not be delicate with her. She certainly wasn’t the first pretty thing with delicious tits and a fine ass to fall into his lap.
The crude thought came and went in a flash, some part of his mind rejecting it sharply for a reason he couldn’t fathom. Then, of all the choices she’d flaunted flagrantly before him, Adam settled on what he wanted most. He lowered his dark head until his lips drew warm and soft against her cheek, and then he set his head lower and lower until his nose was running the length of her fragrant neck and his mouth slowly opened against her raw little pulse.
Jasmine gasped sharply, and then rolled her eyes closed with a slow groan of pure pleasure as his damp tongue flicked against her throat. When he sucked at her strongly, she all but shot off the ground. That particular spot was highly erogenous in her people, and clearly he knew how to exploit it.
“Mmm,” she moaned against his near ear in spite of herself. Of all the things for him to choose, why had he chosen this? There was no direct satisfaction for him this way, was there?
The thought disturbed her deeply. Disliking the sensation of confusion, she jerked beneath him and unwrapped her legs from around him to brace her feet on the ground. He lifted his head when he felt her acts of resistance, and now it was his eyes that were alight with amusement.
“So, my little Vamp has borders after all. She prefers to tease but not be teased.”
“Get up,” she bit out in reply.
“I do not believe I will.” Adam went nose to nose with her. “Water is my element. All that is liquid is mine to manipulate and harmonize with. Shall I tell you where you are wet, little Vamp?”
“If you have the balls to say it, Demon, you will find them missing come morning. Get up!”
Adam laughed at her threat, unable to explain his delight. As the power play rotated between them, his excitement rose to greet it. He felt more grounded as he regained control of the dynamic of the moment. Yet he still realized that the arousal itself was out of his scope of management. Just the same, he craved indulgence in it. Even if only to get the better of the brassy vixen beneath him.
“Come, come,” he coaxed, his inflection making it a double entendre, “you were so eager to play a moment ago. And I have a name to earn from you.”
“Bastard! How’s that for a name?” she growled.
“Not pretty enough for the likes of you.” He chuckled.
Jasmine flashed fangs at him with a hiss. “If I tell you my name, will you get off me?”
“Hardly a fair trade after all you have given to me.” He shifted his hips forward against her to remind her of the reactions her teasing ways had wrought. Adam reveled in her nearly airless gasp, watching her sensual nature take her over with her darkening eyes and a delicate flare of her nostrils. She couldn’t contain the involuntary sound of pleasure that followed, and he could see her fury at her self-betrayal burning over her features.
Jasmine’s head was spinning with sensory and emotional overload. On one hand, she was enraged by this queer turnabout of power, feeling she was meant to dole out, not be victim to such tricks. However, she couldn’t believe how easily and thoroughly he affected her. She craved more, the excitement of it making her feel so ...
Adam sensed a measure of surrender, and he risked releasing one of her trapped wrists. Rising up a little, he studied the pretty palate of possibilities she presented. He reached to touch her exposed belly, running a finger under the extraordinary jeweled chain.
“Do all females wear these now?” he asked softly as his callused fingertips scraped over her smooth skin near her navel.
“Some do,” she breathed. “I like it.”
“As do I,” he informed her with an intensity that made Jasmine’s blood hum noisily in her ears. “Are you bejeweled elsewhere, little Vamp?”
“Yes,” she said on a rushed whisper.
“Find out for yourself,” she countered in a wicked return of her wildly powerful flirtation. The invitation slammed desire into Adam’s already heated systems.
“Oh, Vamp. What you do to me ...”
Adam looked into her eyes, pale jade clashing with warm mink in a tangle of intensity they both felt far deeper than either thought they wanted to. He suddenly felt as though breathing was beyond his capability, and he found his full attention drawn to her mouth. Her lips were lush and dark, but the pricking of her fangs kept them from appearing sweet or innocent. Instead the image was darkly erotic and strangely tempting.
Jasmine turned her head sharply aside when he feinted for her mouth. His free hand shot up to her chin and turned her back hard to face him, holding her firmly in place.
“Too afraid to kiss me, little Vamp?”
“A kiss is nothing,” she ground out. “And my tongue is not pierced, so you need not go looking.”
“Your tongue ...” Adam laughed hard. “I would not expect it to be. Surely not even Vampires would do something so ridiculous.”
Jasmine grinned. “No. Of course not.”
Adam had a feeling she was having a private joke at his expense, but he didn’t much care.
“Kiss me, dark angel. You have nothing to fear from a man who barely exists in this moment.”
“Fear?” She laughed at that. “I fear very little and give my kiss to even less. I would not touch my lips to my food if I could possibly avoid it, but, as you see, I have little choice.”
“What? Above slitting a throat for your dinner?”
“Not above it, but merely prevented by law and a small shred of decency.”
“Oh my,” he returned, “what a little liar you are. You are not as lacking in morals as you would have me believe. Tell me, do these quills prove effective in keeping others at a distance?”
“Only certain pricks deserve pricking back.”
“Well, let us see how we two might dodge your sharpness, little Vamp,” he coaxed softly as he brushed her lips with his. She tried to pull away again but he held her tight.
“Please, I don’t kiss ...” she whispered in final desperation, her free hand reaching to push against one large shoulder.
“Yes, you do. You just have not realized it yet.”
Adam’s mouth covered hers with heated domination. She was a powerful personality in her own right, but in that moment she was on the defensive, and he could feel the tightening of resistance as it bolted through her. But he could also feel the gasp of surprise she made and the thoughtful turn of her hurried breathing. Tension that had her resisting him suddenly began to reach for him as he slipped a hot, insistent tongue between her lips. He encountered the erotic scrape of her fangs, the points sharp enough to cut him if he moved wrong, but he ignored that small danger so he could focus solely on the sweet darkness that was their kiss.
She hadn’t lied when she’d said she didn’t kiss. The intimacy was clearly one she avoided. He could tell by the awkwardness of her resistance to his initial invasion. More so, he could tell by the unpracticed way she began to relax and relent into his stolen kisses. It wasn’t that she didn’t know how to do what she was doing, just that it had been a long time since she had allowed it.
When her tongue finally fully engaged with his and her whole body seemed to lift into him in eager participation, Adam didn’t resist smiling down on her triumphantly. She made an obstinate noise and her hands came up to curve fast and strong over his shoulders, covering their expanse in an instant. Her kisses grew fiery and rich, drawing him deeply into her and setting his every inch of flesh on fire. Adam drew back after he felt her fingertips stroking down the entire length of his back, a delicate caress that seemed somehow the antithesis of the wrenching passion skipping between their mouths, yet was deeply stirring just the same. He had to look down into her darkly beautiful eyes, an attempt to center himself or possibly comprehend the depth of what was resonating through him. Could he even begin to understand what he was experiencing? He readily admitted to himself that in spite of his age, he had nothing in his experience to compare this to. Looking into her bewildered expression, he had to doubt it was any different for her. He wanted to fill his hands with her, and it was clear she would have very few complaints if he did.