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|Gideon(Nightwalkers #2) by Jacquelyn Frank|
Legna sighed softly. She felt his touch like the balm it was. He had, of course, started with her injured leg. It ached badly, so she was glad of his concentrated care of it. His hands were hot over the still-raw area. He was completing the task left undone due to his weakness after the battle. He numbed the area with her natural endorphins, and she was glad of it because he extricated a few remaining iron filings before continuing to heal her. The relief was instantaneous. She exhaled happily as he bore the burn of the iron long enough to dispose of it in a nearby wastebasket.
Legna reached to run her fingers through his hair, pulling him forward so his ear was beneath her lips. She kissed him softly just below it.
“Let me finish this, love. Take a shower. Relax. I will still be here when you return,” she murmured gently.
“Are you trying to tell me something?” he asked with quiet humor, kissing her nearby cheek with a brush of his lips.
“One of the perks of civilization I refuse to relinquish to my instinctual side is the benefit of soap and water when it comes to removing the scent of battle.”
“I see. For me, the rise of battle in your blood was… beautiful. You are one of the great creations of all time, Nelissuna.”
“Liar. You wanted to throttle me the moment after I first left your side.”
“That, my love, is completely beside the point.”
She giggled, pulling back to match silver with silver, searching his gaze for a long moment.
“You would have me bathe you myself as women once did to the males of the house when you were born. I see the thought in your mind, so do not dare to deny it. But if I start with you, should I not tend my guests as well? I am not so certain Isabella would like it if I—”
Legna gasped midsentence when he yanked her up from the bench and pulled her over his shoulder as he rose to his feet. He marched her into the connecting bath as she squealed with indignant laughter and not-so-adamant demands to put her down. He had a possessive hand on her backside as he crossed to the deep bath that had been carved out of an enormous piece of pink quartz and rubbed to a smooth shine. He set her on her feet in the center of the tub and turned on the water as she put her hands on her hips and stuck one hip out to the side in a posture that was only missing a tapping foot of impatience to complete it.
“I already took a bath,” she declared, completely uncaring of the fact that she was holding the argument in the nude. “I am not the one all befouled with dirt and blood and who knows what else. That bed is going to have to be fumigated between the two of us.”
“It will be replaced by midnight,” he assured her as he stripped off his clothes.
Legna moved to the opposite edge of the tub from him and sat on the wide rim as she kicked the water filling it. Gideon seemed to be ignoring the fact that her kicking got stronger each time and he was beginning to get sprinkled with water as he disrobed.
At least, he ignored it until she thought to try something she had never heard of anyone doing before. She imagined a bowl in her mind in the center of the deepening water. Then she teleported the imaginary bowl and its liquid contents to a point just above his head. The water kept form for all of a second, then released in a deluge in one sudden moment.
Legna cried out, a loud cross between a victory cry and delighted laughter. Gideon shook his soaked hair back from his eyes and two seconds later was around the tub and grabbing for her. When she appeared on the opposite side of the tub with a pop, she was laughing even harder. So hard, she clutched her sides and rolled onto her back, kicking her heels against the floor with her irrepressible humor.
Undaunted, Gideon crossed through the center of the tub to grab her, and this time she was laughing too much to concentrate on a teleport. He dragged his hysterical mate into the water and dunked her head under it. She popped up spewing water and laughter, smacking him harmlessly in what he supposed was some sort of retribution for the act. It seemed more like a flirtation, however, as she moved into the circle of his arms, clinging to his shoulders as he sat back in the hot, refreshing water.
“You got water in my ears,” she complained, sneezing sharply from the water that had also gone up her nose. She shook her head, spraying him with water from her hair.
Gideon frowned suddenly, noticing something was a little off. He turned her back to him, using the float of water to assist him in the task. He reached for her hair and passed it through his hand.
“You cut your hair,” he said, his astonishment clear. “You have never voluntarily cut your hair. Noah always had to wait until you were sleeping before setting scissors on you. Why did you cut it now?”
She turned back toward him, moving forward to straddle his thighs and rest her hands on his shoulders as she met his perplexed gaze.
“It is nothing. If I want you to grow it for me, I know you will.”
“That is not an answer to my question.”
“Well, I am afraid it is the only one you will be getting. And do stay out of my head about it, if you please.”
“Legna,” he warned.
“Gideon,” she mocked. Legna reached past his shoulders, grabbing a bar of soap and a bath sponge, holding both up with tantalizing waves and a wiggling brow. “Where should I start?”
“I will not let you change the subject,” he told her. “I want to know why you—”
Legna’s hands plunged beneath the water as he spoke. The sentence ended with what Legna deemed a satisfactory intake of his breath.
“Subject changed,” she announced wickedly, her smile split by the appearance of a saucy little tongue touching her upper lip. “Now,” she purred naughtily as her hands encircled him, stroked him, “we are going to have to discuss the concept of privacy and private thoughts. If you do not allow me to have them, I will never be able to surprise you. Now, correct me if I am mistaken, but you seem to like surprises.”
She stroked him with a skillfully soapy touch to punctuate her point.
Gideon found himself nodding, completely speechless unless he counted the unstoppable groan that rose up out of him. His hands were on her thighs, flexing opened and closed rhythmically as she continued to explore him with a blind but deft underwater touch.
“You know,” she mused, “I like you much better when you are like this. I think we will be doing this a little more often.”
“Oh, I hope so,” he said at last, dragging her forward so he could reach her giggling mouth.
He kissed the laughter right out of her, keeping his mouth locked on hers until humor was replaced by growing heat and interest. Her hands never stopped but began to skim over wider, more diverse areas. She was soon bathing him in earnest, her mouth never leaving his as she covered him with erotic swirls of soap and sponge. She relinquished both to him a while later, her chest pressed to his, her thighs bracketing his hips as she filled her hand with shampoo and began a soft, sensual cleansing of his silver hair. While the amazing feel of her fingers sent whorls of sensation down through his body, he was spreading a rich lather of soap over her back and shoulders, slipping his hands between their chests and cupping her breasts in his soapy hands.
Legna purred with soft pleasure into his mouth. She gently coaxed his head back and, using the cup of her hands, meticulously rinsed his hair even as he continued to touch her in his most arousing ways. He shook his wet head back when she finished, reaching for her hands and pulling them back beneath the water as he recaptured the lips he realized he would never grow tired of.
They traded hot, slippery caresses until they were both breathing a chain of pleasurable sounds. Legna broke away from him suddenly, her abandonment disturbing him. He reached for her, but she slid in his grasp.
Then he realized she was turning around, sliding back into his embrace and reaching to slip his hands back over her breasts, nestling her thrusting nipples into his palms with a sound of eager encouragement. His mouth was on the elegant column of her neck instantly, making her shiver as she slid back toward him. He reached for her throat, using her collarbone to steady her from floating away from him as his other hand went to her hips, moving her back into him until he was moving into her.
Legna’s body arched as he began the erotic intrusion, soapy water making them slide in incredibly stimulating ways against each other. He pulled her onto him at the same time he surged up into her, sending himself deeply into that hot haven of femininity he loved and craved.
The sound of pleasure that shuddered out of him made her smile, her eyes sliding closed as she felt him move her floating body with such ease into a second thrust.
She felt so different this way, but even better for the difference. Without her mouth to split his focus, he was left with watching her spine curve and move as she moved her silky body over him. Outside of that, he was completely fixated on the feel of her, the strange and wonderful change of temperature between her and the water, the growing friction between them as the natural lubricants of her body were washed away, replaced, and washed away again.
She clutched at him so tightly he could hardly see straight. She was lost in the creation of those sounds of pleasure he loved hearing escape her. He reached a hard crest quickly, grabbing her hips and forcing her to be still while he inhaled deeply and gritted his teeth for control over the body he should have complete mastery over.
It was astounding that she could do this to him, astounding and incredibly wonderful. She smiled, knowing his thoughts as clearly as she knew her own in that moment. She could take control of him there and then in ways he would never expect. She tested the thought, flexing her body tightly around him until she elicited the hot curse he was prone to releasing in moments of ultimate vexation. His hand wrapped around her throat, pulling her head back so her ear was against his heated mouth.
“Do not move. Do not so much as cough, Magdelegna.”
“But I do not want you to stop,” she said softly, her voice a coaxing, sexual stimulant. She crossed the line, clutching him once more with that dangerously skillful muscle control she had.
Before he finished the requisite swearing due the moment, she found herself out of the tub and being pushed down onto her hands and knees on the plush white carpet that covered the floor. Her hips were pulled back toward him, rejoining their bodies in one movement.
She paid a pretty price for her insolent seduction. Her mate was more animal than man in that moment, moving with hot and sure movements into her body, reaching depths she didn’t realize she had. She cried out, a series of whimpers that grew in volume moment by moment, spurring him on until she felt the scrape of nails against her skin and the primal surge of his body into her, setting her on fire. He groaned one moment, then surged into her with the beginnings of a long, low growl.
The sound magnified as they reached alternating peaks of pleasure. She was the first to leap headlong off the summit of her pleasure, her wild cry drowned by his throaty vocalizations as he exploded inside of her. He threw back his head, calling out, a shout of joy, a growl of warning. She was his. His. If any other dared to touch her or try to take her from him, they would pay the price to the beast behind the man.
It was only a minute before he was able to relax the possessive grip he had on her, but he had bruised her nonetheless. He moved from her, turning her over in a limp movement of arms and a delightful sound of female satisfaction. He had been worried to see he had marked her pretty much all over, but that sound seemed to make everything better.
He stood up, pulling her into his arms and scooping her off the floor. She hung limply in a very theatric pose of satiation, making him laugh when she smiled and peeked at him from under her lashes. He carried her into their bedroom, dripping a trail of water the entire way. He dropped her feet, holding her against him as he secured a clean blanket from the closet and wrapped it around them both.
“What bedrooms did you give to our guests?”
“The ones all the way… way… way on the other side of the manse.”
He laughed at that, hugging her tightly for giving him that ability to indulge in humor once more.
“Then I’d say the bedroom with the old armoire you like should suffice.”
“Yes, master,” she teased, flicking her hand and sending them there. “Oops, one sec.” She winked at him and snapped her fingers, the bottle of lotion suddenly in her hand.
“Show-off. You know, you are going to have to tell me how you do that.”
“Well, first you pump this little thing on top, then the lotion—”
Legna yelped when he slapped her hard on her bottom, the blanket doing little to shield her from the sting of it.
“Gideon! Do not ever do that again!” she scolded.
“Not even if you beg me to?” he countered lecherously.
Legna laughed, unable to help herself.
“I hate you!”
“No, you do not,” he insisted. “How many times do I have to tell you that?”
Beltane came on a moon-filled and cold night. Fire lit the horizons at every turn. The pyres of the dead had been honored the night before, and tonight the revelers threw flower wreaths on the lost ones, saying final goodbyes. They had lost seven men and two women in all, nothing compared to the enemy losses, but everything to a society who valued even the weakest member as highly as any other.
These beings of the old world, be they Vampire or Demon, had known the times of matriarchal societies and worshipping, what many now called the Pagan ways or the ways of the Witches. They had never, and would never, doubt the power of females. This sad battle had been a testament to why they never should. The lost female Demons had died protecting the backs of their mates, in the way that had passed from generation to generation.
“… and with your mate at your back, you will know that no force can ever reach you without first facing his heart and her soul,” Noah said in a bold voice so all the couples being wed that night could hear him.