|Home > Jacquelyn Frank > Nightwalkers > Gideon (Page 11)|
|Gideon(Nightwalkers #2) by Jacquelyn Frank|
At least, that had been what he had thought until the night he had lost himself to Legna’s wicked eyes. He had blamed it on the moon, reaffirming the weakness to himself later on when he found himself stalking the halls of Noah’s home far oftener than could be explained away, always watching as Legna floated from one room to another, seemingly oblivious to him, never remaining in his sight for more than a minute at a time.
He had struggled with himself the entire year, and as Samhain had loomed dangerously before him once more, he had purposely removed himself from her influence. He had known on some level that she would be too great a temptation to resist, and he did not want to find himself forcing his will upon her in the middle of a fit of passionate madness.
He had thought the distance would save him. Instead, it had destroyed him, leaving him vulnerable to any female that caught his slightest attention. And that female had unfortunately been a human. A simple, fragile human who would never have survived the nature of a Demon mating.
There was no describing the mortification that followed after he had been caught attempting to break that most sacred of all their laws. The only bearable recourse was to lock himself into deep isolation, exiling himself from everyone and everything, which he had done for the last eight years.
Gideon had reemerged, ironically enough, last Samhain, when Legna had put out a call to him, dragging him to her side with a thought. This was so that he could aid a critically wounded Jacob, the same Demon Enforcer who had punished him, and rightfully so. Gideon had thought that, if he could perform normally and with control amongst his people as he had during that recent volatile time, then his bout with the madness must be over. He had thought it safe to return to mainstream Demon life, his internal struggle overcome, defeated.
How wrong he had been.
He now knew that he had not learned how to resist Legna’s allure after all. He never would. Not so long as Magdelegna had those luring eyes and the will of a brilliant, cunning huntress that flared behind them.
Gideon looked directly into her avaricious gaze, feeling the intent of it on a primitive level, the part of him that had been bred into his instincts at the beginning of time when the males of his kind had first come into being. Like males of many species, his task was to attract the female, but hers was to choose him if and only if he suited her above all others. It was then that he realized the scan had subconsciously taken on the ritualistic form of a mating dance, triggering action and reaction in them both in ways they had never expected.
She tilted her head slowly as his quicksilver eyes locked onto her face, her hair sweeping across her back and shoulders, curling over her hip and thigh like a living appendage. She reached for the hand he still held over her lower abdomen, pulling it away from her body and releasing it, a low, challenging sound erupting from her throat. Her lips twisted into an erotic smile, her tongue slipping out to wet them slowly as she stepped unhurriedly to her right. The movement was seductive poetry, rippling up along her supple form like a beckoning wave.
“You did this,” she accused softly.
Gideon realized she was correct, to an extent. They had both been undeniably attracted to each other for a very long time, their minds and attitudes and pride the obstacles that had prevented them from exploring it. But when he had entered her healthy body with his power, he had unwittingly set a chain of events in motion, bypassing the mental barriers they had erected against one another, fusing them instead on a purely biological level. Then she had sent her power into him, completing the cycle, locking them one to another in an irresistible loop.
“I may have begun it, but you perpetuated it, Magdelegna,” he told her, watching her closely as she moved one step, then another, slowly beginning to circle around him. Gideon held very still, a difficult thing to do considering his entire being was thrumming with awareness and arousal. Still, he never took his eyes off her.
She seemed to be contemplating his words, much as her eyes were contemplating his body. Gideon had never known such a primitive sensation in all his life. The power of it overcast any memory of sexual stimulation he’d ever felt in all his years.
She was remarkable.
She was a thing of primal beauty.
Legna moved closer to the male standing in the middle of her room, so aware of every nerve in her highly stimulated body that she wondered why she wasn’t screaming from the overload. She was still so connected to Gideon both mentally and through their joined power that his realizations, feelings, and awareness had become a part of her. She knew what was happening to them, but she was not afraid of it. She thrummed with his ancient power, feeling it soaking into her like a high-amplitude electrical shock that was locked in a continuous feedback loop. It was divine. It was deadly.
She did not care, because she knew without a doubt that he was as much under her spell as she was under his. They each had a naturally dominant nature. He was familiar with his, and she was just discovering hers.
She smiled, her entire face slipping into an image of beautiful sin.
“You spurned me,” she reminded him, moving close enough to him to touch his biceps, the muscle beneath the smooth silk of his shirt jumping tightly in response. Her fingertips slid up over his shoulder, changing from a ghostly touch to a bolder one as she crossed the broad width of his back and then followed the length of his spine. Her palm curved over his fit backside briefly before dropping away from the tension-tight musculature.
“I know,” he said roughly, his eyes burning like starlight as he watched her come around to face him. “I was a fool. I was guilty of the arrogance you accused me of.”
It satisfied her to hear that. The feeling was reflected in her expression as she drew up close to him so they were almost touching, breast to breast. He lowered his gaze to her mouth, the inviting shape of it making him thirsty for her taste. He remembered how exotic it was, remembered how it had flowed over his taste buds like refined honey. But she had made it very clear that she was dictating the moment, so he made no aggressive moves toward satisfying his desires.
Legna felt his need and the way he held himself in check, waiting for her to dictate the path and pace. It pleased her, made her interest in him spike off any measurable scale. His aroused state was sharp, his scent blanketing her like the aroma of an exotic rainfall. She closed her eyes, drawing in a deep, slow breath, filling her lungs with him. Gideon groaned under his breath, feeling her counterarousal as it was projected into him. His hands curled into fists at his sides as he repressed the urge to seize her. She opened her eyes and he was shocked by the vivid silver they had become, an astounding reflection of his own. This he could not coherently explain. He was far too wrapped up in her dance of seduction to even want to try.
Legna lifted her hands to his chest, slipping two fingers down the strip of crisscrossed laces that held his shirt closed, freeing them with so quick and light a touch, he didn’t realize her achievement until the moment both of her hands slid into the parted fabric, caressing the athletic contours of the muscles beneath, setting his skin on fire.
“Magdelegna,” he whispered, “in all my life, I have never come close to any creature as beautiful as you are.”
The compliment pleased her, her connection with him so firm that she knew he meant it. Gideon was a being of truth and fact, so long as it was not too close to his own faults for clarity. Now that he had admitted the truth to himself, he would see to it that she was fully aware of how he felt about this particular truth.
“You managed to resist me all these years,” she mused.
“It was hell on earth,” he insisted honestly.
She leaned close, whispering in his ear through the lightest clench of her teeth. “You hunted a human female rather than come to me.”
“I was trying to protect you.” He drew a deep breath, her aroma that of wild spices and, once again, that wraithlike touch of musk. “The human female was nothing but an instance of insanity and unfortunate timing. I did not want to use you for my sexual gratification in a moment of disrespectful madness. Your value is so far above so callous an act, Legna. I would have shamed us both if I had used you in such a way.”
“You shamed me the moment you called me a child, Gideon,” she told him sharply, her nails biting into his skin in reflection of the pain he had visited upon her.
“The words of a coward,” he confessed hoarsely. “I was so afraid of the lack of control you inspired, Legna.”
“And are you still afraid of what I inspire within you, Gideon?”
“Yes,” he admitted, “I am.” He reached up, his knuckles brushing up and over the curve of her elegant cheek. “I never once suspected such intensity could exist. It is humbling to live for over a millennium and realize there is still something to be learned… that there are still things capable of surprising you.”
She smiled contentedly at that, her eyes closing as she turned into the warmth and affection of his touch. Gideon ached from head to toe for her, the whole of his body and mind feeling as if he contained energy too vast to remain withheld for long.
“Tell me now,” he murmured, “what you will choose. Are you going to leave me, Indirianna?” he asked, her most precious secret, her power name, falling over her like the touch of a thousand fingertips, reaching deep into the most hidden parts of her, forcing a gasp of stunned pleasure from her slender throat.
“You know my name,” she said with wonder, shocked to find it did not terrify her as it should have.
The common names the Demons knew one another by were merely call names, selected for convenience and as a nod of respect to those represented in the stories of the Christian Bible. Power names were something else entirely. Once someone knew a Demon’s power name, they could exert their influence over them. A Demon’s power name was the essential component in a Summoning. With it, a necromancer could force a captive Demon to do whatever he or she wanted it to do. This was why it was the most seriously protected secret each of them carried, none of them even daring to share it with their mate for fear they could come to harm for having the knowledge.
“Say my name,” he countered, his hand wrapping around the irresistible length of her neck. This time it was he who whispered into her ear. “Say it.”
“I do not know what it is,” she said, her breath rushing out of her in an astounding rhythm.
“Yes, you do. I feel it. You only have to search for it inside of us.” “Us” was the appropriate term. It was almost impossible in that moment for them to discern whose thoughts belonged to whom.
Gideon was the oldest of them all. There was no one older, so no one who had once known his power name could possibly be alive. His parents were dead. His Siddah were dead. If Legna discovered his name, the ramifications were inconceivably serious. He would be putting his very existence into her hands. He would be placing all of his power at her fingertips, gifting her with the potential for his absolute submission. Legna tried to step back from him, the shock of what he was offering her too much to bear. But he had made sure to have his hands on her and now kept her tight and close within them.
“I cannot,” she whispered, her body beginning to shake. “No one should know that. No one. I am not strong enough to keep it, Gideon. Any male Mind Demon could take it from me!”
“You are stronger than you think, Neliss.”
“Not strong enough. Please, do not ask this of me.” She pushed at him, jerked herself backward, using the weight of her body to try and break free. He held her for a moment longer, looking deeply into her panic-stricken expression.
“One day,” he said softly.
He opened his hands and released her.
She stumbled backward with her sudden freedom. One hand flew to her breastbone, pressing on it as if she were trying to physically restrain the laboring rise and fall of it. He moved closer to her one last time, tilting up her gaze with a coaxing fingertip beneath her chin.
“You have made your choice, have you not?”
She did not pretend to mistake his meaning. A large part of him still stirred within her awakened mind. She realized there was a name for what had just passed between them. He was Imprinted on her now, for all time, and she upon him. Though they had not come together in the most intimate physical sense, each had marked their territory upon the other. Legna could feel the changes within herself already. Her scent was changed, forever mingled with his. Her thoughts were filled with the images of his thoughts. His power was now becoming a part of hers.
“Did I ever have a choice?” she asked, her entire body shaking with the shock of her realization.
“Yes. You know very well that you did.”
He was right. She did not want to admit it, but the choice had been hers to make, although nature and fate had made it an irresistible situation by rousing the feminine predator in her, bringing its very distinctive desires into the process.
“I have chosen you, Gideon,” she murmured affirmatively. “And you have chosen me. But how is this possible?”
“It is rare, Legna, I know. This happens between two Demons maybe once in every couple of centuries. But you can feel how real it is, can you not? It is inside you, just as it is inside me. For all time.”
“But… Isabella and Jacob… Corrine and Kane. I thought that the prophecy said our mates were meant to be found in Druids.”
“Perhaps it is because we were always meant to find our counterparts in the Druids, and not each other, that it is so rare between two Demons to Imprint. But there are no absolutes, Legna. Demons have fallen deeply in love even without the Imprinting for centuries, only the most profoundly lucky ones having this experience. You were meant for me. I see that now with astounding clarity. Why I did not understand it sooner is beyond me.”