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|Shadowed(Dark Protectors #6) by Rebecca Zanetti|
He lifted his head. “We’re mating, Bren. I plan to taste every single inch of you.” One finger slid between her swollen folds. His teeth scraped her thigh, and she had a second to clench before his deadly fangs plunged deep.
She cried out, her body firing, her back arching.
Dark pleasure coursed in her veins. Pleasure from him as he drank. He sealed the wound, and his short hair tickled her skin as he turned his head to kiss her mound. “You taste like honey and spice.” Then, rotating his finger, he sucked her clit into his mouth.
The orgasm flared through her with a burst of wild energy, cresting, and then rippling in waves. Sparks flashed behind her eyes. She rode the waves, her body jerking, her legs held open by his wide shoulders.
Finally, with almost a sob, she came down. Her body relaxed into the bedspread.
He released her, slowly moving up her torso. A rogue’s smile curved his lips. “We’re gonna have to do that again.”
She shoved hair off her face and widened her knees. “My turn to play.” Grabbing his flanks, she caressed down to his butt. Firm and hard, his warm flesh filled her palms.
He rested on his elbows and slowly slid the head of his cock inside her. She bit her lip as her body resisted his size. Pain and pleasure melded together. “I don’t know.”
His lips brushed hers. “I do. You’ll take all of me.”
The order loosened something inside her, and she willed her muscles to relax. Her nails bit into his biceps, and her thighs pressed against his hips.
He slid out and then back in several times, finally filling her completely. Oh God. She couldn’t take it.
Her whimper brought his focus to her eyes. Then his mouth took hers. Firm and absolute, he swept his tongue inside. Tingles of need filled her. The time for gentleness had passed, and he took what he wanted.
Her body softened around him—accepted him. He tweaked her nipple, and she groaned. Pleasure and pain combined into an irresistible need to move. Her feet pressed onto his butt.
He eased out and slammed back in. His groan coincided with her sigh. “Hold on, baby.” Manacling her hip, he began to plunge. He thrust hard and deep, holding her tight, controlling them both.
She caressed the ridges and scars along his back, meeting his thrusts as much as possible.
With a growl of her name, he pounded harder. Her internal walls flared with fire, and she gasped. Oh God.
Scraping his teeth along her jugular, he sank his fangs deep. She cried out, her body instantly spasming in something too intense to be an orgasm. A flash of fire lit her butt, and she sucked in air. The waves rode her instead of the other way around, so she held on and just felt. Her body was plucked tight as a string as the sensation rippled through her. Finally, with a sob of his name, she went limp.
His fangs retracted, and he ground against her as he came.
He stopped moving. Still embedded in her balls-deep, he smoothed the hair from her face, his gaze a dark green and on hers. “Mine.”
Jase punched the bag with a hard rhythm, his feet dancing, his thoughts swirling. Skin split on his knuckles, so he hit harder. Heavy metal music blasted from a stereo in the corner, and he was the only person in the basement gym. Three downed punching bags flopped over near the door, their leather mangled, their stuffing out. He’d have to buy Kell new equipment if he stayed any longer.
He’d left sweet Brenna in bed at dawn so he could run for a couple of hours before lifting weights and punching the bags. What in the hell had he been thinking to mate her? He’d stupidly thought he’d be able to do her a favor and leave town. Even now, hours later, his blood hummed for her. His fucking cock was ready to play. And something in the center of his chest hurt. Bad.
Blood sprayed as he slammed his hand into the leather.
The music cut off.
He stilled, turning only his head to see Conn leaning against the wall, arms crossed. The expression on his brother’s face reminded him of when Conn had tried to tame wild horses for a brief time. Turned out horses and vampires didn’t belong in the same vicinity.
But now, Conn was measuring how to talk to him.
That pissed him off beyond belief. “Turn the fucking music back on.” He began punching the bag again.
“No. You’re bleeding all over Kell’s gym.”
He stopped and turned. “What do you want?”
“I want to make sure you’re all right.” Conn rubbed his prominent chin. “I mean, after last night.”
Jase blinked. “What do you know about it?”
Conn rolled his eyes. “I can smell her all over you. Don’t be daft.”
“What is this, a slumber party?” Jase snorted, his shoulders tightening. “I don’t need to share, Conn. You’re going soft.”
Temper flashed through Conn’s eyes. Anticipation lit Jase’s spine. Then Conn snuffed out the fire. “I’m not soft, but you need to talk.”
Disappointment tasted like ashes. “I’m fine. We mated, she’ll be cured, I’ll get her skills, and now we have a good treaty with the witches. Simple as that.”
“Mating is never simple.” Conn kicked a barbell. A crease lined between his eyebrows. “Are you really going to leave her?”
The thought was a fist to the gut. His mind rebelled against leaving Brenna. “Of course. That was the plan, wasn’t it?”
“I thought that maybe after last night, you’d—”
“What? Fall in love and be cured? Be able to have a normal life so all of you could relax and stop feeling so fucking guilty?” The words spilled out of him, the venom burning his tongue.
He curled his lip. “Sorry. We fucked, I branded her, and it’s over. Deal with it, brother.”
Conn fixed him with a look that at one time would’ve made him think twice. “Don’t talk about Brenna like that.”
“She’s mine.” Jase lifted his chin, hating himself more than Conn probably did. “I can talk about her any damn way I want.” Even so, he glanced at the doorway, his breath heating. Nobody stood there, so he relaxed and focused back on his brother.
Amusement lifted Conn’s lip. “Who are you looking for?”
Heat filled Jase’s face. “Nobody.”
“Right.” The amusement slid into a full smile. “Keep telling yourself that.” Whistling an Irish tune, Conn sauntered out of the gym.
Asshole. Jase took a deep breath. He should probably check on Brenna. Jogging toward the doorway, he rushed past the elevator to the stairs. Climbing the many stories would be a good way to end his workout.
He arrived at the penthouse sooner than he’d expected. It was quiet, so he strode silently through to peek in the bedroom. The bed was made, and Brenna was nowhere to be seen. Okay. Turning on his heel, he wandered the penthouse, finally coming to a locked door behind the kitchen. He knocked, but there was no answer.
A locked door. Why would Brenna have a locked door? Well, they were mated now, and there would be no locks. Yeah, he was a bastard. A shoulder to the edge shoved open the heavy oak.
The smell of oil paint hit him first. Ah. Her studio. Curiosity propelled him inside. Bright light cascaded in from a wide wall of windows as well as skylights. Several half-finished paintings stood on easels. Rich, full colors exploded on the canvases. Sensual and erotic paintings of silhouettes caught in passion.
The woman was incredibly talented.
He reached for a sketchbook on a battered table and flipped open the first page. His face stared back at him, so much pain in his eyes he stepped back. When had she sketched him? Considering his face bore the ever-present scar, it had been within the last couple of days. His hands shook when he flipped the top closed. She’d seen him. The real him.
God. He had to get out of there.
His phone buzzed, and he absently pressed it to his ear. “What?”
“It’s Conn. We have a report of demons being in Dublin. Somehow they got word of the contractual mating.”
The world stopped. Jase’s head snapped up and his heart clutched. “They’re after me?”
“No. Our contacts confirm they’re after Brenna.”
Terror rippled through him so quickly he swayed. Where the hell was Brenna?
Brenna tucked her packages under one arm and skirted a mom with three toddlers. “Thanks for coming shopping today.”
Deb nodded, her gaze on the huge Christmas tree set in the middle of a mall. “Are you kidding? I wanted to hear all about the crazy, fanged sex you had last night.”
Brenna forced a laugh. The sex had been more emotional than crazy, but it had been wild. “I have to admit, my ass really hurts.”
“The branding?” Deb asked.
“It’s a marking.” And yes, her butt burned like she’d been branded with a cattle prod. Though the K marking was truly stunning—and perfectly placed on her left buttock.
“Same thing.” Deb set down her many shopping bags and stretched her neck. “Are you thinking forever now with the vampire?”
Brenna shrugged. Well, maybe. It could work out, right? “No. I’m not thinking forever.”
“Liar. I know you. No way would you have slept with him without some emotion, and now, you’re probably thinking you’re in love with him.” Deb shook her head.
“I’m not in love. But he’s got a sweet side. Deep down, he’s so hurt—”
“Stop.” Deb held out a hand. “Please don’t tell me you’re going to save him. That you’re going to be the one woman to get through his hard shell and make him whole.” The words were snarky, but the concern in her eyes was genuine.
Brenna swallowed. “I don’t know.”
Deb groaned. “I knew this would happen. Didn’t I say this would happen?”
“Yes.” Brenna wrinkled her nose. “You warned me.”
“Okay.” Deb frowned and glanced around. “By the way, how did you get loose without Coven Nine security all over you?”
Now that was a good friend. One who made her point and then changed the subject so Brenna didn’t cry. “Well, the CRAP group has been taken out of the picture, and Brenna’s Warriors are no longer a threat since I’ve mated. I’m free.”
Deb hopped once. “That’s wonderful. Those stodgy bodyguards were no fun.” She glanced at her watch and frowned. “But I have to go pick up the boys at practice. Do you want to come?”
“Nope.” Freedom rushed through Brenna like a warm breeze. No more bodyguards. At least for a while. “I need to finish shopping today.”
“Okay.” After giving her a quick hug, Deb sprinted out of the mall.
There was a time when Brenna had energy. Maybe now that she’d mated Jase, she’d get her spunk back. With a sigh, she turned to finish her shopping. Store after store, she added to her purchases.
Finally, she headed to the center of the mall.
She felt him before she saw him. Slowly turning, she faced Jase, who stood looking at her with pure relief. Heat slammed into her face. “Hi. What are you doing here?”
He took her arm, his gaze sweeping the area. The relief turned to absolute concentration. “You left without bodyguards.”
Well, that was romantic. “So?” She tried to tug free, and his hold tightened.
“So?” He lowered his face, his focus suddenly on her. “You don’t go anywhere without protection. Got it?”
Her breath caught at the fury in his words. Then her temper sprang to life. “I believe I explained I don’t take orders from anybody. Got it?”
He stilled, though tension all but vibrated around him. “Let’s go. We’ll discuss this at your penthouse.”
“No.” She yanked free. Who the blazes did he think he was? “I’m not done shopping.”
The hard smack to her ass shocked the hell out of her. Her mouth dropped open.
A couple of women passed, and one giggled to the other, “Somebody’s been reading Fifty Shades.”
Brenna closed her mouth, rage shaking her arms. A blue tinge of fire cascaded on her skin to be quickly snuffed out. They were in public. But had she almost created fire?
Jase jerked his head toward a bench. “Choose. Either we go now, or I flip you over my knee and beat your ass. Then we’ll go.”
Oh. He. Did. Not. More blue cascaded along her wrists, but she couldn’t hold the plasma. “I’d blow you up if I could.”
He grabbed her arm and tugged. “The bench it is.”
“No.” She dug in her heels. Panic constricted her airway. “I’ll go.” Then she’d teach him a lesson about bossing her around. Somehow.
“Good.” He changed directions and headed for the main exit.
She could either step in line or fall on her head. “How did you find me?”
“You left word at headquarters you’d be shopping, but you didn’t say at which mall.” Jase scanned the area, keeping her close. “We have squads heading to each one. I arrived here first.”
“I didn’t think I needed to leave my location.” The danger had been eliminated for her. A blast of energy smacked her between the eyes. She faltered. “What was that?”
Jase swore and stopped cold. “Demons.”
Fear blasted into her solar plexus. “There are no demons in Ireland. We keep them out.”
“They got in.” His jaw clenched, and he tapped an ear communicator. “Conn? I’m at the west end of the Farside Mall. They’re here.” He propelled them both into motion and toward the stairwell. “An exit to the north leads to outside parking. Backup is five minutes away.”