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|Jacob(Nightwalkers #1) by Jacquelyn Frank|
She was wild beneath his hands and mouth. She couldn’t hold still, constantly arching and twisting, the sounds bursting from her as primal as the arousal clawing through his body. He wanted her to burst free, to soar. She pushed him to his limits, her capacity for back-building before her release astounding. He leapt into her torrid mind, adding mental to physical, flooding her with image after erotic image of his memories of their initial joining, of what his release into her had felt like, sensation that nothing else in the world could come close to.
Isabella ignited. Her back arched and locked in one long, inconceivable spasm. She shrieked on a breath that went on and on, just as her release rode the top of the world in one endless shattering of time. She’d barely come to the drop off her crest when Jacob covered her with himself, his mouth engaging hers wildly, sharing the taste of her pleasure even as he thrust into her body with a brutality of urgency.
His hands gripped the bed violently, his nails tearing through the fabric audibly as he drove into her hot, reaching body. Still she cried out, every sound tearing him apart, reducing his world to nothing but her wildness and his response to it—nothing but the intense thrusting rhythm of his passion, which she matched with not only acceptance, but urgent bodily requests of her own. The sweet, hot flesh that surrounded him clasped at him in an insistent embrace, so eager and wild, doubling the sensation of every movement he made into her.
When she suddenly locked up once more, her hoarse wail of ecstasy snapping every last thread of sanity he had, he became ground zero, a cataclysm of excess that turned him completely inside out and back again.
He collapsed on top of her even as her limbs dropped weakly away from him and onto the bed. They lay together, gasping violently for breath, their hearts slamming into the press of the other’s chest, their perspiration pooling onto her body one drop at a time.
Jacob turned his face into the curve of her neck, which had become like home to him, and knew what it meant to be complete. He wanted to laugh, to shout, to cry and dance, to sing and swear in every language he knew. The mishmash of impulses was so ludicrous that he did laugh, albeit breathlessly. But after a minute or two, the laughter came easier and stronger, until he was scooping her up and rolling her on top of himself so he could sprawl across the entire width of the bed, throw back his head, and laugh until the rafters shook.
Noah glanced up at the stone ceiling above him, smiling and chuckling. He had known something was up when Legna had hightailed it out of the house as if her shoes were on fire and the nearest water miles away. His suspicion had been confirmed when his home became the epicenter of a minor earthquake. And now, listening to Jacob laugh in a way he could not recall having heard before, he felt a calm settle over him. Destiny, as was Her wont, had been satisfied.
The Enforcer, the unloved, the undesirable… no longer existed.
“Amen,” Noah whispered.
The ground shook beneath Elijah’s booted feet, the only warning of Jacob’s arrival. He looked at the necromancer chained spread-eagle to the wall and smiled wolfishly.
“Uh-oh,” he offered as the ground shook more violently.
The necromancer’s eyes widened slightly as plaster dust dribbled down onto his head. Elijah sat down, his wicked grin widening as he lifted his feet onto the table in front of him, crossing them at the ankles and rocking back onto the rear legs of his chair.
Elijah gave major kudos to Jacob for his subsequent dramatic entrance. The dirt floor of the cellar erupted like a volcano, spouting up soil and one mightily ticked-off Earth Demon. Then every last particle of earth sucked back into the hole Jacob had made, packed as tightly as it had been before he had disrupted it.
Jacob floated two feet off the ground, his blackened pupils flaring with menace and rage, the sheer power of his presence pressing at the air in the room. Jacob finally touched down on the ground, still saying nothing as he looked the necromancer over from head to toe. He gave Elijah a look over his shoulder, a silent message to the warrior that he had noted something significant already. Elijah could make an educated guess. This necromancer wasn’t the one Jacob had been expecting to see, wasn’t the one from the warehouse.
That didn’t change the fact that this necromancer was in deep trouble.
“Is this the creature that dared to put his hands on my mate?”
Of course it was, but Elijah appreciated good theatrics. He nodded to Jacob, his expression suitably grave. “I haven’t harmed him, knowing that it would be your due.”
Jacob turned back to the necromancer. “Did you find the weapon he struck me with?”
“No. Not yet.”
“You won’t find it,” the necromancer blurted out, his tone far too cocky for an idiot chained to a wall at the mercy of two incredibly powerful Demons, one of which was clearly in the mood to bash his head in.
“It does not matter. You will never again have the opportunity to use it,” Jacob noted smoothly.
“Brave words coming from a coward too scared to meet me on even ground,” the necromancer hissed.
In the blink of an eye Jacob had closed the distance between them, snarling in the magic-user’s face, displaying a rare show of normally retracted fangs.
“Brave stupidity coming from a coward who tried to use a female to trap me,” Jacob growled with clearly suppressed rage. “Do you know what my kind does to your kind when they threaten something so precious to them?”
“Whatever it is monsters do. I wouldn’t know,” the necromancer spat. “You make yourselves appear like us, but you’re fooling no one. I’ve seen what you really look like when you’re stripped of your disguises!”
Again, Jacob shot that brief look at Elijah. The warrior dropped his feet to the floor, standing up so suddenly the necromancer jolted in fear. When the Warrior Captain rose to his full height in anger, it had an effect that could quell any man alive. The blond behemoth looked as if he could crush the world between his hands, and his bright emerald eyes held the rage it would take to do it.
“Would you care to explain how you have seen that?” Jacob asked, his slick voice clearly hiding menace behind the politely phrased question.
“I’ve seen a lot of things,” the necromancer boasted. “I’ve seen vampires conflagrate in the sun, I’ve seen a werewolf implode from being shot by a silver bullet. I’ve seen your kind slavering and drooling entombed in a simple pentagram marked on the floor. This human make-up you wear starts to dissolve very rapidly after you’re summoned.”
“Actually, now that we are going to kill you, it does not matter what you know. It will die with you,” he stated, shrugging his shoulders and smiling with obvious enjoyment over the idea.
“Fine, but you’ll never get all of us. We’ve been prepared for getting caught.”
“I see. So we are some kind of association, are we?” Jacob smiled that slightly fanged smile again. “I am six hundred years old, necromancer. Do you have any idea how long that really is? I have seen your kind come and go. The Demon not a foot away from you has forgotten more ways of defeating your kind than you can ever imagine.” Jacob leaned so close to the necromancer’s face that the magic-user could see the grain of his irises.
He’d been told these demonic creatures had awesome power. All he’d needed was a name. It would’ve given him more power than any of the others had captured, the necromancer thought as he looked at his intended target. He knew the possibilities of power the vessel held, and his failure screamed with rage in his head.
“And yet, with all this longevity and all of our power,” Jacob continued, his tone deceptively intellectual, as if he were teaching a class, “we do not threaten other races. Unless an individual or society acting as a whole against us gives us cause. But your kind, attempting to pervert our powers for yourselves… to what end, I do not even wish to imagine. From what you say, ours is not the only race you hunt, destroy with malice and without justification. Tell me now, necromancer, which of us is the monster?”
“You want justification? Just look at yourselves! Look at how I found you!”
Jacob lifted a brow casually, not betraying in any way how much he wanted that particular bit of information.
“You say you don’t destroy—well, what about the earthquake in Dover that led me to you? Yeah, we know what things you are capable of, so we know that sometimes natural disasters aren’t all natural. Whenever there’s an earthquake, a tsunami, an unusually violent storm, a plague, or wildfire, we know there’s a likelihood one of you animals is at its epicenter. You’re so easy to track and you don’t even know it!” The necromancer barked out a laugh. “This isn’t six hundred years ago, pal. Technology has caught up with you. You can’t hide anymore. How much property damage did you rack up in that little quake you caused, demon? How many injuries? Deaths? That one was minor, but how many weren’t so minor? Why’d you even do it? Were you playing around? Showing off to your she-bitch?”
Elijah moved literally with the speed of the wind to place a restraining hand on Jacob’s shoulder when the necromancer’s reference to Isabella struck the Enforcer hard. Elijah was certain that normally the other Demon wouldn’t have been so sensitive to mere insults, but Elijah suspected the slim truths behind the necromancer’s conjecture were throwing Jacob off balance.
“That is so like a human,” Jacob said quietly, his voice low and wintry, “to pass judgment on a people just because they are different. You cannot take the time to understand them, viewing them as a threat just because they were born somehow a little stronger or a little smarter. Ignorance and fear, the age-old call signs of the oppressors of your species. You will not succeed this time. Not with us. And I will see to it not with any other race in the night world.
“From this day forward, your kind will no longer feel safe. You think we are so easy to track? Your stench carries for miles. Did you know that? We can smell you, necromancer. When you are shopping, playing, conniving, or rutting, you will always be vulnerable to us simply by your stink, something you will never be able to hide or get rid of. How many times have you caught one of us with these so-called technologies and wondrous tracking skills? Once? Twice? Because, somehow, by accident, one of us made the oh-so-rare mistake of losing focus, or one of our young has not yet learned total control over that which nature saw fit to give us?”
“You keep thinking that. It’s not the only way, and I know it as well as you, demon. A minute more and that soft-necked mate of yours would’ve been screaming your name from the rooftops, making you prey to any necromancer for the rest of your days… which I promise you could be as short or as long as we want it to be.”
This time Elijah had no hope of restraining Jacob. The Demon turned to dust in order to pass over him, rematerializing with a roar of outrage and a hand slamming into the necromancer’s throat, smacking his head into the unforgiving stone wall behind him.
“She does not know my name, necromancer! Our mates never do, for this reason in specific. And I swear to you, you will answer for the harm you have visited upon her. In ways you could never imagine no matter how long I leave your pathetic carcass chained to this wall. Mark me, magic-user. The next breath you take, and every one after that, is yours only because I decide you should have it. Remember that the next time you think to speak of my woman.”
With that, Jacob released the gasping necromancer, burst into dust, and left with a shattering of tectonic plates that nearly brought the cellar and the house above it down on the prisoner.
Isabella sighed softly, stirring between the sheets, enjoying the coming-awake feel of the warm and cold spots as she slid her limbs over the fabric. She stretched, yawning ferociously, feeling blindly for the warm male body that for some reason was not draped over her. When her search turned up empty air, she lifted her head from under the pillow and blinked against the sunlight pouring into the room. She groaned, covering her eyes with a slack hand.
“I see you have already become adjusted to the night.”
Isabella gasped, sitting up and twisting around at the same time to face the voice that had addressed her. A second later she remembered how she was dressed, or rather, not dressed, and yanked the sheet up over her breasts as she glared at Gideon.
“What are you doing in here?”
“A Demon of the Body can go anywhere he chooses.” He flicked that crystal gaze over her slowly. “And do not continue to try to sense me as you do others of my kind. I am too far away.”
Isabella blinked, trying to figure out how sitting in a chair at the end of the bed could be considered too far away.
“It is called astral projection,” Gideon explained. “It is how we of the Body travel. The separation of the soul from the body, existing in two places at once. But, unlike the human conceptions of the insubstantiality of astral projection, I can touch, see, smell, hear, and taste anything I want to in this form.”
“That doesn’t explain why you’re seeing… I mean… sitting in my bedroom.”
“I needed to meet with you.”
“No one. Yet. But it is only a matter of time before Noah and the others come to me and ask me to assess you.”
“And I repeat, you felt you needed to do this in the privacy of my room while I slept? Improperly clothed, I might add? This won’t go very far toward mending the rift between you and Jacob.”
The Demon’s eyes narrowed on her, and she suppressed a smug smile.
“What, exactly, has he told you about that?”
“Actually,” she confessed, “he didn’t. You did.”