“I have a heart,” he said.
“Are you reading my mind?”
“No, I promised you I wouldn’t. I don’t need to read your mind; it’s in your eyes.”
Her blue, luminous eyes didn’t shy away.
Hades’ rigid body went stiffer as smoldering desire bound them together.
Zerina went pliant, surrendering to him. Just because he didn’t want an emotional attachment right this second, didn’t mean he wouldn’t in the future.
She generously opened her heart as she rubbed one of her thighs against his.
“You want me?” he gritted out between clenched teeth.
“Isn’t it obvious?” She lifted her leg higher, wrapping it around him. That was when she realized he was naked, and her movement had placed his cock at her opening.
Hades waved his hand, making her gown disappear. Then he covered one of her pink nipples with his mouth, sucking it while she felt him adjust himself to enter her wet sheath.
The sensation of his mouth on her nipple spiraled her need out of control. Add in the heat of his spreading warmth as he entered her, it felt as if a branding iron had been taken to her, not in her core, but in her heart, leaving a brand so she would always know who she belonged to.
He might not love her, but every kiss, touch, and breath she took as he gently made small thrusts showed her she was his.
“Relax, Zerina. It will get easier.”
Zerina winced, tightening her legs around him. Between the burn of Hades pushing deeper inside of her and his teeth nipping her nipple, the fire was intensifying.
At first, her moans were those of desire, but the discomfort between her thighs had them turning to those of pain.
Hades released her nipple after giving it a final lick before going to the other one. The bedroom filled with the sounds of her gasps and Hades’ groans.
Pushing her breast up, he teased her nipple as he stopped moving over her. Then he waved his hand before settling his chest back on top of her.
“What did you do?”
“Making it easier for you.” With a long stroke, he buried himself in her body.
“I didn’t mind.” Her discomfort had disappeared. Inexperienced and uncoordinated, she was embarrassed that he had taken her virginity with a wave of his hand.
“You’re only going to find pleasure in my bed.” He drove his cock back and forth inside of her; each rocking motion had her rocking back against him.
“I was …” She could barely get words out from the tightness in her throat. She tried to reason with herself that she was being silly. She had told herself before that her virginity hadn’t meant anything to her, but apparently, it had.
She moaned, turning her mind away from her hurt feelings to the determined strokes that had her urgently responding, wanting more of him.
“You’re tight as a fist.” His groan pacified her hurt feelings.
Hades accelerated his thrusts, pounding into her as the pressure built inside of her. She didn’t want it to end, fighting off the release she had been striving for. However, a small sting on her clit had her convulsing over Hades’ cock as she reached a climax that had Hades straining as he found his own.
She pushed back a stray tendril from her face. “Next time we make love, I’m going to tie your hands.”
Zerina giggled when he buried his face in her neck.
“It won’t work. I can do the same thing with a simple thought.”
She brushed his damp hair back from his face, so she could appreciate his relaxed expression. His arrogance gone, he appeared younger and more carefree. “You mean …?”
“I can smack your clit with a single thought. It won’t be easy to distract me when I’m fucking you.”
The air grew cooler when Hades moved away after pressing a kiss to her forehead. Lying back on the bed, he lifted her until their positions were reversed and she was laying on his shoulder.
Zerina yawned sleepily, worn out from swimming most of the afternoon and then making love.
Her eyes were starting to close when she felt a cold object placed on her chest between her breasts. Raising her head, she stared at the necklace. The pink jewel matched the colors of her nipples.
Hades fastened the necklace behind her neck before covering them. “I thought it was a perfect match. I’m glad I was right.”
“Hades … it’s beautiful.” She didn’t know what to say. She curled her fingers over the stone, infusing its coldness with her warmth. She wished she could do the same to Hades.
Seeing he was going to sleep, she wearily closed her eyes, slipping into a wishful dream where Hades was chasing after her with one of her shoes gripped in his hand, unaware that, with a flick of Hades’ wrist, he could send her back to her own bed.
Zerina lifted her eyes as she sleepily rolled over, greeted by Jinx’s grim expression. Sitting up in bed, she looked around the room, seeing she was back in her room and Hades was nowhere in sight.
“He’s not here.” She awkwardly tugged her sheet up to cover her breasts.
Jinx looked away as Zerina went into her bathing room. Taking a quick bath, she dressed herself before reentering to the room.
Jinx’s eyes went to the necklace that lay just above the swell of her breasts. “That gown matches the necklace.”
Zerina flushed. “Hades gave it to me last night. Do you like it?”
Jinx avoided her gaze. “It’s beautiful, but he wouldn’t have given it to you if it wasn’t. Hades collects beautiful things.”
Her euphoria of the night before was slowly dissipating after waking up alone. And with the miserable way Jinx was watching her, dread was slowly beginning to steal into her, making her wish she had dressed in her jeans and sweater.
She went to her bed, staring at the fairy. “Jinx, please tell me what’s wrong.”
“When I told you to make friends with Hades, I didn’t expect you to fall in love with him.”
She felt a tide of red flush her cheeks. “I didn’t, either.”
“He doesn’t love you.”
“I know. He never said he did.”
“Did Hades tell you that he has concubines?”
Zerina took a step back. “No, he doesn’t. He summons one woman at a time.”
Jinx shook her head. “He may only summon one at time from Mother’s court, but there are many goddesses who aren’t allowed at court. Some of them have made their home here.”
Zerina winced as if she had been struck. “How many?”
?Twelve, but he has nearly a hundred he beckons. All he has to do is call them from their portraits.”
“Their portraits?” Zerina’s eyes flew to the walls in her room, seeing the beautiful women staring gloatingly back at her.
Her hand went to her racing heart. “It can’t be true.” She stepped back when Jinx got off her bed to try to touch her.
“It’s true. I swear. I should have told you, but I was afraid to. Hades warned me not to discuss anything about him. And I didn’t want to leave you here alone. I’m sorry.”
Her sympathy came too late. She had already let Hades make love to her. Fuck her, she corrected herself.
Unable to bear the sight of the portraits staring at her, she went to her door, staggering as her long gown nearly tripped her.
Jinx followed silently, making no attempt to touch her again.
Going into the hallway, the line of portraits seemed unending as their mocking faces swam before her tear-drenched eyes.
She had only made three stumbling steps when Hades appeared.
She fell against a wall then forced herself to straighten, unable to bear being so close to a portrait.
It took her a couple of tries to get out the question that she wanted answered. “Where do you keep them, Hades?”
His impassive gaze went behind her to the doors along the hallway.
“You put me in the same hall you keep your concubines?”
“Yes.” The bronze of his skin paled.
Dismayed, she looked at the rows of portraits along the hallway, remembering the ones in her room, and Jinx’s, and in the entryway, the game room—every room in the castle except his office. She noticed each beautiful portrait had something in common besides their beauty.
Her hand went to her jeweled necklace. Gripping it, she ripped it from her neck and threw it at Hades.
Sobbing, she then walked down the hallway toward him. Hades didn’t move, though his eyes flashed a warning that she better not strike him.