With a bitter curse, he lowered his head, forehead against her neck, but he only thrust against her ass. "Can't stop," he grated, and she knew then that he wasn't going to take her body, just touch it, use it. Why would he refrain for her...?
His fingers strummed her nipple. Lightning. No, she couldn't want this.
His breath was hot on her and made her body go liquid. She could want it, just as she did every night in her lonely bed. The air was sultry, redolent with the scent of jasmine and even more moist than usual from the pounding fountain in the corner. No one was home. He wouldn't take her, so why not enjoy this for mere moments?
When she went soft in his grasp, lacing her arms back to lock behind his head, he growled and kicked his feet against hers, making her spread her legs. Shuddering, he ruthlessly shoved against her flesh, then threw back his head and yelled out just before he came. At the last minute he turned from her and began to spill his seed onto the ground.
She was frozen, unable to see, and for some reason it affected her more to only hear his reactions, the guttural groans erupting from deep in his chest. She felt the violent shaking, the strength in his wracked body as he clenched her through waves of pleasure.
It went on and on, each second that passed reminding her of how badly he'd needed this. Then he put his lips to her neck, clutched her ass and she knew he was stroking himself directly to ejaculate again. When she thought about how many nights he would have envisioned this, her head fell back against his shoulder.
The second time was impossibly even more powerful as he desperately kissed and licked her skin, squeezing one breast then the other, reminding her keenly of when he'd brought her to come that night in the dungeon. She wanted to join him - she wanted him to work those fingers on her next.
When he was done, he lifted her hair and brushed his lips to her neck, shuddering and breathing heavily. Her eyes closed and she was just about to say, "My turn," when he did the most bizarre thing.
He arranged his clothing again and pulled down her skirt, then he turned her to him to stare down into her eyes. He cupped the back of her neck hard to yank her to face him, but instead of drinking her, or hitting her, he squeezed her into his broad chest, his hand moving to the back of her head, tucking her into him with those powerful arms. Which was disconcertingly pleasant.
Curious, she let him embrace her, relaxing a fraction, and in return, he lowered his head to kiss her hair. Finally he set her back to face him. His expression was not as wild, but grim. "I've searched for you, Bride."
"Been right here."
"You've treated me ill, leaving me in that state."
"My sisters were going to kill you, but I saved your life. And you were about to treat me far worse."
"And licking my fang?"
That had been an accident! Still she raised her chin and said, "The least I could do since you were about to torture me. Consider it a memento."
His face hardened at that, but then he seemed to get his temper under control. "For five years I've envisioned the retribution I would mete out, constantly imagining making you pay for what you did to me." He exhaled a long breath. "But I'm weary of it, Myst, weary of carrying this. I want to look forward and get on with our life."
"From here I'm willing to start with a clean slate. We are even for our misdeeds against the other and we will forget about any past...indiscretions that might have gone on before we met."
"Indiscretions?" How magnanimous of the vampire to give her an empty score card. To fill back up.
"Your blood gave me more than a mere taste. How do you think I found you?"
"So you collected my memories?" Lovely. Did he now know she'd been utterly infatuated with him? Had he harvested all her knowledge about the Lore? "Did you enjoy telling your brother and your friends all about my life - my private thoughts and private...deeds?"
"I have never told anyone anything I've seen. Believe me," he added in an odd tone. "And I vow I never will. That is between us."
"Can you vow you'll never use information about my family to harm them?"
"Forget it, then. Doesn't matter anyway," she said, trying to wrench away from him. "There's no starting our life - even if you hadn't been about to do what that night? Break my fingers, my legs?"
He didn't deny these things. "That is in the past and you've paid me for that in kind. If it is consolation you want, know that I've suffered far worse than I could ever have dreamed to inflict on you. For these years, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't drink. The only thing I could do was fantasize about f**king you, with no relief."
Warmth bloomed in her belly, but then she frowned. "It doesn't console me. I just want you to let go of my arms and allow me to walk away. My kind abhors yours. And even if I liked you and you were decent to me, my sisters would kill you, and I'd be ostracized by every being in the Lore. There's no way I'd choose pariah-hood with you over my current life - which I happen to enjoy the hell out of - so back off. I don't want to have to hurt you again."
He raised a patronizing eyebrow at that, which made her bristle, then said, "I can't let you go. I'll never do that. Not until I die."
"I've given you a warning and I'll say only once more - release me."
"It will never happen. So what will make you accept this? A vow? Done. I vow to you that I will never use what I've learned to harm your family. As your husband I could never hurt them anyway because the end would be hurting you."
When she saw he was deadly serious about this, she realized playing with him was over. He was going to try to force her to live with him. Because he felt that was his right over hers.