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|Noah(Nightwalkers #5) by Jacquelyn Frank|
He sought that special point of stimulation that so enjoyed the skillful sweep of his thumb. He combined this with the plunge of his fingers deep into her body and the sucking of his mouth upon her breast. He felt the sudden bite of her nails into his back and he shuddered in unison with her. Her hips lunged up off the bed to meet the rhythm of his fingers, just as he transferred his mouth to her belly and the sensitive line down the center of it. His progress below her navel deprived her of her grasp on him beneath his shirt, so she was forced to satisfy herself with a clutch of deep fingers in his hair, holding him to her-or perhaps pulling him away, he couldn't tell which from one second to the next.
When Noah's tongue replaced the work of his thumb against her, Kestra cried out with pleasure. At first it was a sound of denial, begging him not to push her to that level of hypersensitivity. Then it changed to acceptance, and finally encouragement. He felt the press of her knees against his shoulders, tasted the delightful ambrosia of her need as it built and flowed over his tongue. Her inner muscles clutched at his fingers, seeking blindly for release. A release he pushed her toward the next moment with an artful combination of strokes, both of taste and touch.
He loved the abandon of her orgasms, the vocal cries bordering on and sometimes surpassing screams. Still he pressed her, teased her, dragged out every last gasp and hitching whimper he possibly could before her strong legs practically kicked him away from her oversensitive body. Then, at last, he rose to his knees and stripped off his shirt. She lay spread out before him, flushed and ready still, gasping to catch her breath, all of it painting a picture of beautiful arousal that spurred him to strip faster.
When he was nude at last, he drifted up the length of her body using the brush of his mouth to herald his approach. He felt the trembling of her legs, the soft, gasping shudders of her breath, and it humbled him that she allowed him the trust and openness necessary for her to reach such a point of helplessness in pleasure. When she wound her arms around his neck and drew him down to her mouth, his heart pounded with the intimacy and emotion she was using to speak to him through them. Still she guarded her thoughts about the matter, and it stung him painfully, but he was willing to accept what she offered. It was more than she had been willing to give mere days ago.
For the moment, he allowed himself to be lost in the sensation of her silken legs wrapping around his, the press of her calves against his buttocks drawing him down to her, bathing his hardened shaft with welcoming liquid as he settled against her.
Kestra slid her hand between their bodies, seeking him, pressing him against her wet folds until he and her fingers were saturated, the head of his engorged penis rubbing her so intimately that they were both groaning with the eroticism. She had needed him forever, it seemed. While he had taken his time pulling pleasure from her body, she had writhed with the want of him. His manipulations had left her soaring, yet bereft, because she hadn't had him deep within the heart of her, hadn't clutched him to her very core where she so ached to hold him.
"Come inside me, Noah," she begged him on a gasp. "Please…please…" That word became a litany as she whispered the plea over and over, sometimes strangling it in her throat as he bided his time sliding against her. But she felt the rivulets of sweat skimming off his body to drop onto hers, saw the dampening of his hair that put increasing curl into the dark locks. She knew, though, what he was seeking. Knew he would find it if he kept teasing her a few moments longer.
She burst into release, colors exploding brightly behind her eyelids as they clamped down tight in reflex. Finally, as she was quaking and pulsing still, he found her threshold and began to ease into her.
Noah pushed against the rhythmic squeezing of inner muscles as he entered her. She was slick, but tight, trying to finish her spasms of pleasure and adjust to his girth at the same time. It was a breathtaking and unbelievable sensation, and his pulse pounded under the onslaught.
"Kes…ah, baby…" He could barely speak as he slid farther into her, her hands sliding down to clutch at his hips in guidance, goading, and desperation.
Kestra felt him shift, brace a knee, grab her hip for leverage, and then he sank to the hilt within her. How was it possible? How could he make every time feel like the first? As if it were something new and wonderful they were only just discovering? As they went, they became less wild, but more intense. Was that even a differentiation? Yes, yes, she thought, it was.
Because she was beginning to care for him, and beginning to allow herself to accept that he truly cared for her. As a person. For who she was. Not because of genetic predisposition.
And that changed everything.
He suddenly covered her mouth with his, his hands sinking into her hair and cradling her head with tenderness and warmth.
"Shh," he whispered against her kiss-swollen lips. "Time enough for thinking come the dawn. Just feel me, baby," he coaxed her gently. "For now, just feel me."
She nodded, allowing the sudden surge of panic to ease back into the racing pulses of passion. She did as he directed, focusing completely on the feel of his hard invasion into the very core of her. Noah began to move very slowly, drawing out each withdrawal and incursion back into her with blinding control. Kestra understood that all he wanted in the world was her pleasure, and he was going to go to hell and back to see she had it. She realized that he felt it was the only way he could express himself to her, the only way she would allow him to.
So he did so with the utmost of eloquence.
She pulled him back to her mouth and kissed him, her heart wrenching into a back flip as she put more feeling into it than she'd ever done before in her life. If he could use body language to fulfill the needs of expression, then she could, too. The kiss and the emotion she put behind it seemed to stir him as nothing else could. She felt it in the sudden slam of his body into hers, the impact as his breath shot out of him, and the pulsing spear of fiery heat that burned her suddenly from the inside out. Speed suddenly became all important. He pushed up the tempo until she couldn't see or think straight, never mind catch her breath. His mouth worked against hers between gasps for breath and pauses to take her a little bit harder and a little bit deeper.
"Sweet Destiny," he gasped hoarsely. "How you feel!"
Like heaven. Like hell. Everything…everything.
He resorted to the touch of their minds when he was too breathless to finish his decree. It was all the more intimate, so much more stirring, as if he were stroking her soul.
Noah felt the tumult of her mind when he touched it, the blur of thought and emotion too much to sort through, but he knew it was all focused directly on him, and that was all that mattered. He fought for control when that thought sent tension gripping readily through him, warning him that all it took was an emotionally intimate idea to bring him to the brink inside her. He forgot, however, that the door swung both ways. He left himself open to her divination and she snagged the realization of his avalanching need for release. Instantly she strove to thwart all attempt at control, stealing him blind and breathless as she flexed around him, coaxing with the rippling work of sleek muscles and artful hips. Her nails punctured the skin on his backside, and he realized he was lost.
He gripped the sheet so violently as he plunged into her that it tore, even as his fingertips bit right back at her where they grasped her hip. Coming inside her was like the crash of thunder, his entire body locking. He couldn't even make a sound, his jaw clenched as his breath froze and his orgasm robbed him of sense and strength. All he could do was jerk into her with each violent pulse, the roaring in his ears blotting out even her strangled cries of delight.
Noah was so profoundly shaken he could only brace himself over her as he trembled from head to toe. He felt her arms tighten around him, drawing his forehead down to hers, simply holding him while he tried to catch his breath and recover. After a beat he felt the urge to scream, so bad was his need to tell her how he felt, to not be afraid of scaring her away and just tell her. He hadn't felt such frustration in all his life, and that was saying something after nearly seven hundred years. He couldn't even guard his thoughts, so weak was his patience, and it only added to his dissatisfaction. If she were to reach for his mind just then, it would be there, a raw emotional display that could cost him everything.
He shouldn't do it, he knew, but he couldn't help himself. He rolled away from her and sat up on the edge of the bed, raking both hands through his hair. He was reaching for his clothes, jerking them on before she was even half aware he was doing so.
He kept his back to her, knowing that his every emotion was written across his face, knowing that if he saw the bewilderment on her face he would do something rash and impassioned that he would come to regret.
She simply wasn't ready.
"Do not ask me questions," he said, knowing he sounded harsh, that leaving like this bordered on being cruel. "And…" He swallowed hard. "And do not try and take your answers, for you will not want what you find."
Kestra watched in shock as he stormed out of the room, the slam of the door reverberating until it echoed endlessly in her mind. What in hell just happened? She reached to pull her towel from the floor, feeling vulnerable and somehow rejected in her naked state. The liquid evidence of his explosive release into her body slid from her as she moved, reminding her of the appalling speed with which his mood had changed. And had he just demanded privacy of his mind from her? Yes. That was absolutely what he had meant. Her knee-jerk reaction of infuriation dismayed her in its hypocrisy. How often had she asked for that very thing and been willingly granted it? He had no less a right to it.
It only disturbed her because it wasn't in Noah to even desire such a thing. At least, she hadn't thought so. She stared at the door without blinking, even though she sensed he'd already left the castle. The sensation of bereavement that washed over her took her breath away. Tears stung her eyes as sharply as his abandonment had stung her feminine pride.
What had happened? What had she done to drive him away?
She was terrified that she might never get the chance to find out.
Isabella sat up with a gasp of shock.
She reached out blindly for Jacob, but his side of the bed was empty.
Samhain, she recalled. He was out hunting. She'd been left to recover from her earlier ordeal, lying down after she'd put Leah to bed shortly before three a.m. Dawn had broken in the meantime. She listened for the baby, certain that she'd made some noise to wake her. But silence greeted her, and she sensed her daughter slept on blissfully.
She was certain something wasn't right. She tried to recall if she'd experienced a vision in her sleep, that being the only thing other than Jacob or Leah that could wake her out of a dead slumber. That or a call to hunt. She touched on Jacob briefly and unobtrusively, checking his status while keeping far enough in the background so as not to disturb his concentration. He was in complete control of his quarry, and there was no pressure in his mind that there was more than a single transgression going on, one that she would be needed for.
Damn it all, she hated it when she got the willies like this and they went unexplained.
She got out of bed, tugging down the long slit skirt of her peignoir so it swirled into proper place against her ankles. Then she pushed away the heavy black mass of her hair as she strode barefoot to the baby's room just to double-check.
She had barely rounded the doorway when she crashed into a solid body.
She felt strong, heated hands curl around her upper arms, helping her right her balance even as her heart leapt into her throat. It took a panicked second for her to recognize the stormy gray and green of Noah's eyes.
"Jeez! Noah! You scared the crap out of me!" she exclaimed, jerking away from his grasp in her irritation. "Damn it!" She backhanded him across the shoulder for good measure. "You big jerk!"
His tone tossed a bucket of ice on her bluster, and she drew in a breath of soft shock when she caught the full impact of his ravaged features.
Noah fell to his knees before her, and to her continued shock and alarm, he caught her around the waist and buried his face against her stomach.
Bella was speechless and stunned, but above everything else, she was a woman of intense heart and empathy. Her hands instantly dove into his hair, holding him to her in comfort as his powerful frame was racked with his pain. She said nothing, didn't try to hush him, merely let him spend himself as he so clearly needed to do. She'd never thought to see him in such a way. Oh, she knew he was capable of great depth of emotion. It was the nature of his people, and it was what made him such a fine monarch. But he was also a controlled and private person when it came to showing those outside of his family anything that could be construed as insecurity. Projecting an image of an even keel was imperative to Noah. Others might be ruffled, but he must always appear calm and tranquil. In this way, he kept order and maintained respect.
Why he had come to her was the mystifying part. A week earlier…yes, perhaps…but as things stood?
None of it mattered, she realized suddenly. It no longer mattered to her, and, clearly, it didn't matter to him. He was in pain, and he'd come to her for comfort. Not his beloved sisters, not Jacob…her.
Touched, she had to swallow past her own sudden rise of tears.
Softly she began to stroke his hair, reminding her of the way she mothered Leah when she was distressed. It made her smile slightly. Noah and Leah were two peas in a pod. She'd always thought so. Jacob had often joked that he was suffering from "displaced father syndrome." He'd made the term up, of course, as a way of expressing his amusement over Leah and Noah's affinity for each other. It had been that way since her birth, and would always be that way, angry mothers notwithstanding. She knew she'd torn out his heart the day she had ripped Leah away from him as punishment for something she'd always known he'd been helpless to control. She, of all people, showing intolerance for one of the Enforced. Showing intolerance for her King, whom, as Jacob had so painfully pointed out, she loved very deeply.