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|Rapture(Shadowdwellers #2) by Jacquelyn Frank|
“M-Magnus…” she choked out, her nails digging into him as uncertainty and fear made her chest ache.
“All I want,” he whispered as his mouth lowered to drift in sensuous rubs against her solar plexus, “is a taste, little spitfire. I want to know if you taste as sweet and soft as you smell.” His tongue flicked out against her skin, the touch of it like delightful acid as he repeated it for fuller contact. Then he kissed away the moisture he had left behind as he moved farther down her belly.
Dae was numb and overloaded by turns, her brain quickly muddled by too much information and so much sexual awareness it was like lying on the tips of needles. His words of desire and need combined with every virgin caress she experienced to dizzy her until all she could do was breathe in a series of soft, hitching rasps. She shook her head and closed her eyes, trying to break from the strange sexual spell she was swept up in, but it was impossible when he was lazily stroking his fingertip everywhere except just where she needed it most. Wherever that was.
“Magnus, please,” she begged him frantically, her fingers finally releasing his skin to catch into his thick hair. “Don’t.” She actually felt the bastard smile against her skin, and it made her want to rip his hair out. In a minute. Just one minute…
Daenaira felt liquid warmth easing from her body to wet his passing fingertips, and she blushed hotly in embarrassed confusion.
“Yes, baby, that’s what I want,” he groaned as he felt the viscous proof of her arousal. “There’s my treat.”
He shifted over her, parting her tense thighs firmly until he could see the beckoning plum of dark, wet tissues. Just looking at her made Magnus realize how agonizingly hard he was for her. Drenna, he’d just climaxed not fifteen minutes ago and already he felt like it had been forever. As he anticipated his little sweet feast, it only became more intense. A wild urge to connect with her beat through him like a massive drum. Not just plunge into her, but connect. Link himself to her. Join. Yes. Join. He needed to join his very spirit to hers, via the moist little sheath waiting so innocently for him. Just the thought brought him to the edge of climax, his cock dripping in anticipation of it. Never had he reacted so strongly to a woman. It was embarrassingly out of control, almost juvenile to a man of his age and skill.
Magnus had avoided her budded clitoris on purpose, wanting the first touch to be the one that had all but driven him mad inside his ruthless visions. The touch of his tongue. The smell of her arousal was overwhelming, that heady, sweet lure that made his head spin and the feminine purity of musk that used every pheromonal trick in the book to snare him. He looked up her body to see her liquid amber eyes.
“Don’t,” she whispered almost soundlessly.
Her fear struck at him so hard it left a stinging flavor of distaste across his tongue. Stunned to realize she was in such a different space than he was, Magnus went still. He shook his head, trying desperately to shed the spell possessing him so mindlessly, but with the scent of her pervading him it was a losing battle.
“I won’t hurt you,” he said hoarsely.
“How can I believe that?” she asked as her hands shook within his hair. “How can I believe anything you say when you never tell me the truth?”
“I never lied to you!”
“You never tell me the truth,” she echoed numbly. “I only get to feel it in sharp stabbing moments when you use sex against me.”
“Against you?” Magnus surged up her body, his hands beside her shoulders caging her as he braced himself over her. “I’m not using sex against you! This isn’t a battle, jei li! These are not tactics!”
“Don’t you call me that! Don’t you dare call me that. Nothing you have done has given you the right to call me jei li! You use me and make me feel things…You confuse me and hurt me and you think I am just going to give in to you and let you master my existence any way you please. Well, I won’t! I am not your goddamn slave!”
Magnus jerked back away from her as if from a punch. He lurched off the bed, grabbing hold of her arm and dragging her to her feet as well. He shoved her toward the door joining their rooms so hard that she stumbled.
“Go then!” he spat at her. “Do not lie here and take my unkind abuses any longer, little girl. Run away and hide like the child you are.”
Daenaira felt the sting of the insult lashing viciously across her back.
Just like the nine-tailed cat.
With her chest aching and eyes burning with emotions she refused to feel, never mind show to him, she moved to leave.
She couldn’t help herself. She had to stop when she heard the plain hurt and confusion in his voice. Her chin held high, she turned to look at him over her shoulder. She chilled herself to the vulnerability in his eyes, however. She wouldn’t be tricked by it again.
“You think you are so superior to my aunt and my uncle,” she said hoarsely, knowing she was doing what she had always done best. Going violently for his balls. “But you’re so much worse. At least they were honest. At least they never fucked with my head by pretending to be anything other than the monsters they were.”
Daenaira turned her back on him and left.
Daenaira left Sanctuary.Not for good. Not that she knew of yet. She just needed to leave the cloistered environment and find space to breathe different air. She didn’t go very far before she saw someone she realized she recognized. He wore the uniform of a royal guard, but she had no idea how she would know someone like that. The idea that she couldn’t remember his face both mystified and irritated her.
He was chatting casually with another man as she watched him from a distance and tried to figure out where she knew him from. He had an easy smile, warm and friendly eyes, and a straight tousle of dark brown hair that was cut much shorter than most men around him; the only exception was the man he was talking to, whose jet locks were trimmed tightly to the back of his neck, though it was a little longer where it fell in feathered layers against his temples.
She looked back at the guard whose lean athleticism tickled her memory as he leaned back against a stone outcropping. He was an animated talker, his whole body moving as he related a tale to his amused audience. Finally, curiosity got the best of her and she boldly walked up to both men. The story stopped cold when the guard caught sight of her approaching him, and he glanced at his companion before letting a wolfish smile cross his features.
“Excuse me, but don’t I know you from somewhere?” she asked directly.
“Uh, I don’t know, honey. Do you?”
“I think so. I was just trying to place you.”
He shrugged. “Probably around the palace or something. I think if we’d met, I would remember you.” He slowly let his eyes roam over her figure in the k’jeet she was wearing quite openly in public. Women only wore such things in the privacy of their homes. They were provocative, the way they were held to the body with only two ties beneath the breasts and one in between. That was to say nothing of the fact that, even though the material was a deep scarlet, it was quite sheer. Also, tradition dictated that no undergarments were worn when a woman wore a k’jeet. She was as good as naked as far as he was concerned, and his smile grew. He was used to women coming on to him in all manner of ways, but he had to admit this was pretty bold, especially considering whom he was standing with.
“I’ve never been to the palace,” she said with a shake of her head that made her unusual hair shimmer with color. The funny thing was, she looked very serious as she made a show of racking her brain.
Daenaira was entirely serious, of course. She had worn the k’jeet because it was the only thing she owned besides her now-ruined sari. Since walking around butt-naked was the only alternative, this was the least provocative choice.
“What’s your name?” she asked him, hoping it would help.
“Killian,” he responded with amusement. She really was quite a little actress, the guard thought.
“Oh.” Then he watched her color pale right before she flushed and her eyes grew large. “Oh! Oh, okay. Thank you. I’m sorry I interrupted,” she said hastily, retreating from the men quickly.
Killian looked at Trace and blinked.
“What in burning Light was that?” he demanded.
Trace held up his hands. “Don’t look at me, friend. I just stand here basking in the glory of your manly charms.” The vizier chuckled when Killian scowled at him.
“Tell me she wasn’t just trying to pick me up,” he demanded of his friend. “She was, right? I mean, who in Darkness doesn’t know who I am? That’s almost as bad as asking who Tristan is!”
“I’m sure there are people who don’t know you. You aren’t as memorable as most,” Trace dug at him.
“Keep it up, smart-ass. I’ll tell your wife you’ve been making up excuses to avoid her.”
Trace didn’t find that funny in the least. So, in retaliation, he decided to do something he never did.
He gave out bad advice.
“Well, if you’re so convinced of her intentions, you better go after her. She’s probably waiting for you to follow her. You know how women like to be chased.”
“Yeah.” Killian licked his lips as he stared after the shapely figure moving quickly away from him. “Damn, I swear there’s something in the water lately. I just left Diana a little while ago.” He grinned at Trace. “We did a class. She completely gets off on being watched. She kept having these silent little orgasms every time someone asked a question. Do you have any idea how that tests a man’s sanity? I had to keep completely still sometimes and she would be milking me relentlessly. M’gnone, it was Light. I was so damn glad when Magnus was called away unexpectedly.” Killian looked back to his new feminine target. “Say hi to Ashla for me, okay?”
Trace nodded. After listening to Killian’s rather lustful description of Diana, Trace was more concerned with finding his wife and saying a hearty hi for himself. But first, he very much needed to witness the crash and burn of his cocksure friend.
Daenaira was so embarrassed she could hardly see straight. He was the model from the class! The minute she had heard the name, she had gotten a perfect recollection of whipcord strength in taut nude skin and an impressive erection that had made his partner moan quite loudly. She had had more than enough sex lessons for one day, thanks, she thought with heat as she pressed chilled fingertips to her cheek. She should have realized! The only others she had met were priests and handmaidens!
A few minutes later, she heard a hurried step coming up behind her just before he grabbed her arm and drew her to a stop.
“Hey, baby, where are you rushing off to?”
She turned at the inviting rumble of the male voice, a frown darkening her features when she saw Killian.
“Please remove your hand,” she said coldly, glancing down at his offensive touch. After everything that kept happening, she wasn’t about to let anyone touch her without her permission. Not anymore, damn it.
He released her, smiling with obvious charm as he moved a couple of steps around her and touched her shoulder with the back of his knuckles in a long, slow caress.
“Were you going to tell me how you know me?” Killian asked her, his dark eyes full of his amusement.
“If I had intended to, I would have. However, I did not. I thought the walking away part would have made that clear. Silly me.” Dae struck the palm of her opposite hand hard against the inside of his wrist, harshly knocking his touch from her body. She stepped back to brace her balance, her knees flexing automatically.
Killian gaped at her as she took a defensive stance. Then he laughed. He couldn’t help it. She was too cute. All sexy curves, youth, and an overblown attitude. Trying to be aggressive toward the head of city security! All this while dressed in her nightie! And she didn’t like him laughing at her, if he read those narrowing eyes right.
“Come on. Don’t be like that. Where do you know me from?” he asked playfully. “I’m not letting you pass until you tell me.”
“You think you’re going to stop me?” She snorted so cuttingly he had the urge to wince. “Trust me, you shouldn’t test that theory.”
“Okay, let me get this straight. You are standing there copping an attitude with a top-level security officer and threatening him while—and this is the part I love—in a dress the consistency of tissue paper?” He leaned forward with a cocky little grin. “I could reach up and pull that thing off you, leaving you butt naked in front of the entire city, and then you’d be begging me for my protection, hiding behind me and clinging to me like a vine.”
Daenaira looked down at the dress in question and then back at the guard. She reached down for the skirt at her hip, grabbed the fabric, and tore a hole in it.
“Hmm. Pretty flimsy,” she agreed, her amber eyes flashing as she tore the skirt completely down to the hem, snapping it in two and leaving herself with a ragged slit up the entire length of her leg. She turned her hip outward toward him, making a show of inspecting the damage that draped the smooth length of her very long limb. Killian’s eyes dropped like metal to a powerful magnet. The guard completely missed what Trace could see from behind them. She settled her weight back on her opposite foot, her strength coiling fast and tight, and the vizier winced in sympathy for his friend even before she moved.
Dae whipped her leg up and snapped her shin hard against the arrogant jerk’s cheek, not bothering to pull the strike in the least. The guard went spinning down to the ground hard and fast, laid out in a single shot as he had stood unprepared for her attack and the strength behind it.