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|Gideon(Nightwalkers #2) by Jacquelyn Frank|
That was when she was struck violently from behind and shoved face first into her own floor. She landed with a grunt as the carpeting burned across her chin and elbows. The force of the strike bruised her nose forcefully, and as her breath left her in shocked release she sprayed blood over the sky blue fibers.
She knew with sudden dread that it was not her lover who did this to her. He would have killed himself before harming her even accidentally. No, this was an attack, one of vicious malice.
“So, little Druid,” a soft, feminine voice of deceptive beauty purred into her ear, loud and clear as her accoster’s weight came down hard into the center of her back, forcing what little was left of her breath out of her. “Where is that spawning little whore of a sister of yours now that you need her?”
Remembering what had happened to Bella, the one who had been blessed with remarkable fighting instincts and skills after her Druidic awakening, Corrine suddenly felt the most intense terror of her life. Whatever skills it was she would develop, none would be as powerful as her sister’s. If these were those who had attacked Isabella when she’d had all those defenses at her disposal, what chance of survival would someone weakened by a retarded access to her powers have of defeating such an enemy?
“Oh yes, you should be afraid,” that singsong voice of threat cooed to her.
The last thing Corrine remembered was being dragged off by fistfuls of her long, red hair.
Legna awoke with a start and a deep, indrawn gasping breath as she propelled herself into an upright position. Gideon, who had been sleeping with both an arm and a leg securely across her, was awake and alert only a second later.
“Neliss? What is it, sweet?” he asked, his worry and concern pouring over her highly sensitized emotions.
His attentive feelings helped soothe her, bringing her respirations down to a more manageable level. Legna reached up and pushed back the heavy fall of her hair as she blinked and oriented herself to where she was. She was still not used to waking up in Gideon’s home. But what did she expect, after waking in her own bed without fail for almost all of the nearly three centuries she had lived?
She was, however, definitely getting used to all the sweetly achy places she woke up with. Gideon always offered to soothe any of her sore places, and although she knew he was privy to her thoughts and feelings, she always responded with “What sore places?” making him laugh and grin with a purely male smile of satisfaction.
However, those loving feelings they had engaged in for the past days were close to dormant in that moment. Instead, her heart was gripped with an inexplicable sensation of fear. He moved to face her, close enough that they pressed thigh to thigh as they sat facing each other on the bed. He cradled her head and face in the width of his gentle hands, making her look up into his concerned eyes.
“Tell me,” he urged softly.
“I… cannot. I do not understand. Maybe… just a bad dream.”
“And does this happen often with you? Just like this?”
She mutely shook her head, tears welling in her eyes as the alien fear continued to claw at her.
“Listen, love, things are not the same for you anymore. You will never be like an average female Mind Demon again. My power inside of you changes everything. I do not know how exactly. That will show itself in time. But remember that it will tend to frighten you as you first begin to figure it out.” He paused to kiss her trembling lips, the connection warm and soothing in ways his words could never be. “You have to think calmly. It is just like when your natural abilities first revealed themselves. You have to examine what is happening, accept it, and try not to be afraid of it.”
“How do you know that’s what it is? New power and ability?”
“I can feel it, Nelissuna. I have been feeling it for days now. So have you, but you do not want to acknowledge it.”
Legna exhaled heavily, scattering stray strands of hair.
“Thank you for the timely warning,” she said dryly, giving him a dirty look far too much like the ones she used to give him. But this time it made him chuckle softly.
“If you like, I can leave and let you figure this—”
Legna grabbed his arm at the bicep when he made a strong movement to get up off the bed, jerking him back down definitively.
“Absolutely not! You did this to me; therefore, you get to enjoy the fallout.”
“You make it sound like a punishment,” he remarked, his eyes dancing with silver humor. “There is nowhere I would rather be than in my bed with my beautiful mate.”
He leaned forward to engage her mouth in a tender kiss, their lips clinging together as if reluctant to release. Finally, he sat back, leaving her warm and happily flushed.
“Charmer,” she accused him without malice.
“Siren,” he countered, pulling them back together and into a deep kiss that left them both longing for breath.
“Mmm, what about the nightmare?” she asked absently, her lips brushing back and forth over his, her tongue flicking out to lick against them temptingly.
Gideon pulled back a half inch, arching an inquisitive brow.
“From just a ‘bad dream’ to a nightmare? What do you remember?”
“I think… ” She stopped, swallowing hard. “I had this terrible feeling like I was losing Noah, that he was fading away from me.”
“Like a Summoning?”
“A little, but it was not a Summoning. Somehow, I knew he wasn’t in that kind of danger, but I could not escape the feeling that I would never see him again. Gideon, it broke my heart.”
The tears spilling down her cheeks confirmed that emotion, and he leaned forward to kiss them away.
“So, just an average nightmare after all,” he mused.
“How do you know that?” she sniffed.
“Because, love, Noah is going away from you, just as you are going away from him. It is very likely an anxiety dream, brought on by your move out of your childhood home and the comfort of the reach of your family’s love and protection.” Gideon reached to stroke her hair soothingly. “I am only surprised it has not happened sooner.”
“Are you sure?” Her nervousness was clear, but she was truly relaxing already.
“Yes. And so are you. You know everything there is to know about psychology, you tell me what you think.”
“But you thought it was this… new level of ability.”
“And for the first time in a millennium my diagnosis is wrong. I do despise it when such bothersome things occur. Now I shall have to start the ‘No Mistakes’ clock all over again.”
Legna giggled at him, which was of course his intention. She swung her arms around his neck, hugging him warmly.
“You smell so good,” he murmured against her ear a long minute later.
“I smell like sex,” she argued.
He nodded, making a loud noise of appreciation as he sniffed and nibbled her neck.
“You smell of very good sex,” he amended with a voracious growl and an eager mouth moving over her bare skin with bold appetite.
“Gideon!” She squealed as he went straight for her waist, knowing she was ticklish there. The playful flicker of his tongue and the scrape of his teeth drove her mad, and she twisted as she screamed for him to stop.
When he tickled her she absolutely could not use her classic escape method. She could barely catch her breath, never mind her concentration. He replaced his mouth with his fingers, making her yelp as he reached to draw one pert nipple into his sucking lips, his hands perpetuating the torture that made her squeal with laughter.
She tried using her legs to push him away, but only succeeded in giving him the opportunity to grab her thigh in his free hand and push her open to the approach of his body. He stopped tickling her the moment he thrust deep into her.
Legna’s head pushed back, a silent cry locked in her arching throat as her back came up off the bed. Gideon was done with tricks and ploys, and, drawing his lip between his teeth in purposeful concentration, he proceeded to play the interior of her body like the fascinating instrument it was. Nothing would ever equal her abandoned sounds and expression as she met thrust after thrust, her reaction so profound each time it was as if he achieved perfection just by moving. She made him feel like he was a flawless lover, but he knew it was Legna who was the perfect one.
She was meant for passion, for touch and kiss, and for each and every movement that brought them tighter and closer together. Gideon felt her around him, a cocoon of conditions meant to tend to him, created just for encouraging growth and sensation and the remarkable release of rebirth.
She pulled him down to her mouth, knowing that it drove him mad to feel her cries of pleasure vibrating over his lips and tongue and face. It always spurred him on, even when no encouragement was necessary. She met his rhythm with both her reaching hips and her vocalizations. He plunged into her mentally as well as physically, doing all those things to her chemistry that made her go ballistic with mindless bliss.
It was when they both saw starbursts of silver and gold behind their eyes that they broke, a throbbing explosion that made them shout release against each other’s lips. He felt her shudder hard around him again and again, the pulsation of her muscles a sweet, sweet torture.
Gideon refused to relinquish his mate’s mouth or her body. He needed to cling to her just as he was, soaking in the heat and aftermath of her release. She smiled against his mouth, kissing him again and again with all the emotion in her tender heart, allowing him to stay where he was until he was ready to leave.
“Who said I was ever leaving?” he murmured against those soft, sweet lips he would never stop craving.
“Well, not to sound like Jacob, but… Mother Nature?”
He laughed, rolling over until she was once more lying limply over his body. He liked to feel her weight like that. No matter what position they began in, afterward he rolled her onto him as if she were a living blanket. Actually, considering the mass and fall of her hair, it wasn’t such a far-off thought.
“I will be right back.”
She disappeared instantly, leaving him feeling terribly chilled. It was a mental perception, of course, because he could regulate his body temperature perfectly. But he was happy to prefer the imperfection of a chill so long as it encouraged Legna to blanket his body.
Gideon was smiling with the thought when a surge of energy skimmed over his senses. He sat up just as Legna rematerialized beside the bed, clad in a burgundy dress that had formerly been in the closet.
“Noah is coming.”
“I thought so,” Gideon said dryly. “It felt like him.”
“Get dressed,” she urged, rubbing her hands together nervously.
“Legna, do you not think he knows what goes on in this house?”
“Gideon, do you not think you better not make me lose my temper?” she threatened. “Please. Please, will you get dressed?”
She popped out of the bedroom instantly.
Destiny forbid her brother should see her coming from his bed, Gideon thought with a sigh. It was so… non-Demon, the way she thought about these things. Legna herself had run across Noah with a partner more than a few times over the centuries, but it meant nothing to her and she accepted it. Now here she was with her future husband, her Imprinted mate, and she was afraid of her brother realizing they had just been having sex?
Stop criticizing my motives and please come down here.
Love, do you not think your brother felt the energy of our love-making from miles away?
I hate you.
Perhaps, but only for the moment, he chuckled.
The beautiful catamount circled the house slowly, her muzzle to the ground every now and then as she tried to make sense of the scents she was picking up. The door was wide open and, with slow steps, the mountain lion progressed into the dwelling. She picked up blood scent immediately and made a beeline to it. There was a stain on the carpeting, still wet with freshness.
The wild cat licked at the spot slowly, unable to resist the lure of the aroma, never mind the taste. She had never tasted anything like it before, its composition so alien it left her confused. There was a touch of power in it. Nothing strong, but enough to indicate it did not belong to just a human.
The room was full of the scent of Demons, and the cat flicked wary golden eyes around herself. She smelled the odor of residual fear, the scent of hostility. Something violent, predator versus prey, had taken place in this dwelling, and suddenly the cat understood that she should not tarry there in case others arrived and mistook her intentions.
She turned to lope out of the door, but was frozen in place when a sudden flash of sulfur and smoke blew into the room with uncontrolled violence. The Demon that rushed out of the cloud stopped short once he saw the catamount dropping into a sudden, defensive crouch upon seeing his approach.
Kane had felt his mate’s distress for all of a second, and when the minuscule whisper that was her presence suddenly vacated its home in his mind, he became instantly fearful. It had taken him some time to calm down enough to concentrate on his teleport home, his fledgling status making him raw with the knowledge that had he been just a little older, a little stronger, he would not have been so unschooled as to allow his feelings to interfere with his ability.
But now, as Kane looked from the mountain lion to the spot of red sprayed over the carpeting, he was blinded by rage and pain. The scent of the blood was that of his mate, and he knew with every fiber of his being that she was injured and in severe danger. His hands curled into fists, his dark eyes, so much like his elder brother’s, flashing with intent and emotion as he advanced on the cat.
She backed up, the hackles on her back rising as she looked for escape. She made her decision quickly, understanding that she could never outrun a teleporting Demon. The cat began to shake, the jingle of the collar around her neck giving the Demon pause. It was incongruous that a wild cat would be wearing a collar. It bought the cat time as she continued to shake, her fur beginning to peel away in long, fist-thick coils of gold.