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|Jacob(Nightwalkers #1) by Jacquelyn Frank|
Isabella was drowning in his fierce passion, hypnotized by the rock of his body as he used her mouth with wicked skill. He moved against her as if he needed urgently to caress all of her at once. Then she felt fingers thrusting hungrily under the shirt she wore, burning back up over her hips and belly until he’d caught her breasts in impatient palms. His touch was aching skill, an assured manipulation that molded her supple weight as he rubbed his palms against her. Then he drew an already peaked nipple between thumb and forefinger and rolled it into a deft pinch. Isabella gasped, her torso bucking forward into him. She moaned when he toyed with the opposite breast in a similar fashion, melting liquid down the center of her body until she was soaked with it.
She became aware of his personal scent, musky and darkly spiced, and ripped away from his mouth so she could burrow her face into his neck and drag him deep into her lungs, just as he had done to her. Her tongue licked along his carotid pulse and he whispered a fast, foreign phrase through clenched teeth as he shuddered in response.
“Tell me,” she demanded mindlessly. She let go of him suddenly, reaching for her shirtfront and ripping it open, not even pausing to think about what a wanton gesture it was. She looked down, stirred by the contrast of his dark skin against her pale breasts as he fondled her. She placed her palms on the backs of his hands, urging him on, tightening his touch. “Tell me,” she repeated in a low, coaxing voice.
Jacob’s senses roared, every nerve ending in his body broadcasting her heat, her sultry perspiration as it dampened their clothing and her deliciously lithe skin. His fingernails lengthened slightly, reflexively, and he felt the bristling of the fine hairs on the back of his neck. The animal within was so close to the surface now that he could hear it howling in the recesses of his mind. This woman, with this impossibly tempting body, was his.
“Mine,” he growled, low and dangerously.
The urge to mate with her rode over him in torrid waves. He could slice the remainder of their clothes from their bodies with his bare nails. He could be buried deep inside her a second later.
“Yes,” she panted softly, as if reading his mind. Her hands swept through his hair, fingers curving until her nails were running over the sensitive back of his neck, erotically taunting those alert hairs and making him even harder than he already was. She scraped her nails through the fabric of the shirt covering his back, around and up to his chest, simultaneously drawing him deeper into the tender trap of her locked legs.
Her name rumbled out of him roughly, the aroused sound of his voice brutal in its honesty. His primitive need was to dominate her, to feel her writhe in pleasure, to make her his mate. He launched back and away from her for all of a second, grabbed her roughly by the shoulders, and in a rush of vertigo and harsh manhandling, she was thrown to the ground on her hands and knees. He was behind her immediately, his muscled arm like a band of steel as it crossed her lower abdomen from hip to hip, his other hand grasping through her hair until he had firm hold of the back of her neck. He jerked her back hard against himself, her bottom snuggling deep into the well of his hips as his thighs pushed hers apart.
Isabella cried out, a gasp of stuttered shock and carnal awareness. Something in her mind tried telling her she should be afraid, but she wasn’t. Quite the opposite. Her body was eager, damp and welcoming, and becoming more so with every erotic rub of his suggestive burrowing against her. She didn’t know that he could smell that heady increase in her aroused scent and that it was putting her in escalating danger. All she knew was that, for the first time, she wanted to know what it would be like to be taken by a man.
That was when the room exploded.
Isabella was crushed into the floor by the initial force of it. Violent winds suddenly ripped at her body, lifting her and throwing her through the air like a limp doll even as single-minded hands tried to hold on to her, the lingering grip bruising her flesh as she was torn from its hold. Isabella landed with a grunt on soft furniture. She sat up and shook away the whipping tendrils of her hair, the haze of passion, and her disorientation. Her vision cleared in time to see Jacob hurtling across the room, slamming forcefully into a wall, driven into the plaster by hurricane-force winds.
That was when she noticed there was another man in the room.
Perceiving the blond stranger instinctively as a threat and hearing Jacob roar in outrage, Isabella scrambled off the couch and hurled herself at the intruder. Unfortunately, he was built like a brick fort, and she felt rather like a dust mote bouncing ineffectually against him. He turned his head, a lazy, unconcerned movement, and cocked a gold brow at her in surprise and… amusement? He flicked a hand in her direction and once again she was swept into a maelstrom of wind that stole her breath away.
A second later she felt all of her weight suddenly disappear, her body becoming the consistency of dust, causing the confining wind to pass right through her. She watched in awe as debris caught in the slipstream rushed through her as well. She heard the newcomer swear bitingly, and Isabella instinctively knew the golden-haired visitor was going to do something to injure Jacob further as he focused all of his attention on him. She felt a force of power explode out from the giant and could see the eddy of air currents as they hit Jacob like a nuclear blast. About the time the side of the house blew out and sent Jacob flying outside, Isabella became solid again. Her touchdown onto her feet was abrupt and awkward.
By now, she was working purely on instinct. Jacob had saved her life and was in terrible danger, and she had to do something. Before another millisecond could pass, she was once more hurtling through the air. As if Bruce Lee had suddenly invaded her, Isabella found herself nearly kicking the man’s head off his body. She whirled and struck again, his surprised grunt giving her satisfaction as she swung her leg up and around high enough to force her heel into his Romanesque nose.
The intruder flew backward at the impact, landing hard on his back with a stunned cough. Before he had a chance to regroup, she was on him, straddling his massive chest and grabbing up the nearest thing she could find to threaten him with. It happened to be a heavy potted plant, the planter made of some kind of pewter. It wasn’t an iron bar, but she was sure it would hurt. She wielded it over his head with the confidence of that fact radiating out of her every pore.
“No, wait!” He threw up his hands in a protective gesture, and in spite of herself, Isabella hesitated. “I was protecting you!”
“Like hell!” she barked out, aiming the planter with intent.
“I swear! Listen to me, please. He would have hurt you! Don’t you understand that, you foolish woman?”
“Tsk… it’s not wise to insult a ‘foolish woman’ with the upper hand,” she threatened, jiggling the pot in her hands until the leaves of the plant within shook.
“What in hell is going on here?”
Isabella and the stranger looked at each other, both taking a moment to realize that neither of them had spoken, even though that had been the sentence on the tip of each of their tongues. They turned their heads in unison to see yet another stranger, this one with dark reddish black hair and an imperious aura that, in a way, reminded Isabella of Jacob. This new stranger stood reeking of power and authority on the threshold of Jacob’s home.
“Noah!” the one stranger said to the other, a mixture of relief and embarrassment in his voice. “Get this hellion off me.”
“Come one step closer and I’ll bash his tiny brain in,” Isabella warned.
Noah didn’t move, but he didn’t look very concerned either. Instead, he looked as though he were just this side of laughing his head off. Isabella was aware of his eyes traveling leisurely over her, and that was when she realized the torn shirt she wore was gaping wide, exposing a great deal of her breasts.
With a cry, Isabella dropped her burden and grabbed her shirt, clutching the material closed. Unfortunately, she forgot she’d been holding the pot over blondie’s head. With a yelp of shock, he jerked his head aside, avoiding the brunt of the would-be weapon’s strike but getting a face full of planting soil when the pot burst and spilled its guts all over him.
Isabella was aghast as the man spluttered and spat out words that sounded suspiciously like swearing in a foreign language. She scrambled off his chest, not wanting to be within reach when he regained his eyesight. The blond giant sat up and shook off mounds of soil with a couple of jerks of his head. Isabella was backing off from the two strangers, her wary eyes glued to them, her hands still grasping at her shirt.
Noah watched the ebony-haired female take in her surroundings with the sharp eye of a hunter. The King was full of questions, but he didn’t think he was going to get much satisfaction out of her. He turned instead to the other man in the room. “Elijah, would you care to tell me what is going on?”
The huge male surged to his feet, dusting dirt out of his hair with a disgruntled sound as he turned a grim expression to his King. “I was passing by and there was a massive change in the atmosphere. It was so strong it literally jerked me out of the sky. I investigated and it turned out it was a change in gravitational force. A side effect of… well… Jacob was out of control. He was… I found Jacob… um… ” Elijah shifted his weight in discomfort. “He was consorting with this female… or about to. I stopped him just in time.”
“Jacob?” Noah gasped, his shock so resounding that Isabella felt instantly insulted.
“No one asked you to stop him,” she said sharply, her eyes shooting fiery daggers at the one called Elijah. “What the hell business is it of yours if Jacob… uh… consorts with me?”
“That would require a lengthy explanation,” Noah offered in answer.
“I have time,” she shot back.
Noah stepped forward, made eye contact with her, and raised his hand in a graceful sweep of his fingers. “You look tired,” he remarked.
Isabella blinked, was overcome by a wash of exhaustion, and yawned against her will. Her chin lifted stubbornly as she swayed on her feet.
Noah went very still and Elijah’s jaw fell open.
Noah manipulated her personal energy further, literally sucking the strength out of her with such force that Elijah could feel it tingling across his skin. Isabella stepped back hard as if hit physically. Helpless against Noah’s awesome power, she crumpled to the floor, curled up into a fetal position, and promptly fell into an exhausted sleep.
Jacob opened his eyes and instantly regretted it. His head was a gymnasium of jumping, dashing pain. With a groan, he forced himself into an upright position, trying to shake the fog out of his skull. He looked up, focusing on two blurs before him, one darklike shadow, the other decidedly more like gold.
“What in hell are you doing here?” he demanded upon recognizing Elijah, indulging in the knee-jerk reaction of hostility even though he wasn’t at all sure why he wanted to.
“Saving your ass,” Elijah quipped, smiling with a flash of teeth that was a combination of boyishness and outright feral pleasure.
“The hell you are!” Jacob barked, his pride bent at the very idea. He might be in a fog, but he knew he could take care of himself and needed no one to save him from anything.
“I am sorry to say it, my friend, but he is telling the truth.”
Jacob swung his gaze to the Demon King. Noah’s sea green and gray eyes were a serious match to the grim press of his mouth.
“Look, Jacob.” Noah indicated to something lying curled up on the couch next to his hip.
Beautiful Isabella. Curled up like a sweet kitten and breathing so deeply that she made a noise in the back of her throat with every exhale. Sound asleep, looking like an ethereal angel, and…
He stared in horror as he realized those were his fingerprints pressed deeply into her neck and throat, as well as the bare curve of her upper thigh. Everything came rushing back to him, the implications hitting him like a gut punch, stealing his breath away as his face burned in appalled shame.
“Oh, no,” he rasped, his dismay and devastation grinding into those two simple words.
“Easy, Jacob,” Noah said quickly. “Elijah arrived in time to keep you from harming her any further.”
Barely, Jacob recalled. He remembered the lust, the craving for Isabella that had so overwhelmed him. He remembered how close he had come to taking her, mating with her, damn the consequences. In fact, the consequences had never once entered his mind. Even now, though he was full of despair over his lack of control, he couldn’t shake the urge he had to get closer to her, to touch her, to drag that delicate body in a crush against him and taste her again. It rode him heavily, rooted in his gut and groin, and he was filled with the dreadful conviction that he would never be able to remove that need from his soul. Ever.
“I never meant to hurt her,” Jacob said quietly. The irony of speaking the exact words Kane had used gutted him with anger—anger at himself and frustrated outrage that those he highly respected had been witness to his humiliation.
“We know that,” Noah said evenly, hoping to be some kind of comfort to him. “What we do not know is how she came to be in your home.” Noah leaned forward. “What in the world would possess you to bring a temptation such as this onto your territory?” the Demon King demanded of his champion. “You are not infallible, Jacob, even if you are the Enforcer. You are Demon. You too can fall to the madness of the Hallowed moon.”
“I know that!”
“Then why,” Elijah asked, “did you bring her to your home?”
“Because she… because I needed to figure something out about her. She is not usual for a human female.”