No different from all the others. Her name should be Myst the Possession.
She wondered if she'd keel over dead if someone finally asked her to be with them.
"Wroth," she whispered, snaking her arms up his chest to twine her fingers behind his neck. He leaned down to hear her. "Do you know what it would take to make me your Bride in truth?"
"Tell me," he said quickly.
"The life leaving my cold, dead body." She kneed him, deciding at the last minute not to break his tailbone with her blow. When he fell to his knees, she backhanded him, sending him flying twenty feet into the courtyard wall.
He bellowed in fury, slow to rise as she sprinted down a breezeway nearing the wrought iron gates at the street. But he traced forward, snatching at her, brushing down her back with his fingertips, then snagging the chain. She screamed in pain when it broke from her.
Great Freya, not the chain. If he figured out its power over her, it wouldn't matter how strong she was as a Valkyrie or how well she fought. She ran for her life, busting through the locked gates, blowing them off their hinges to clatter and spark across the street. For two thousand years it had been unbreakable.
Don't hear, don't hear, run, escape from his voice...
"Myst, stop!" he roared, frustration choking him when he found only the fine, gold strand from her waist.
Yet she froze, nearly falling forward her feet planted so quickly.
She turned to him, sauntering back down the corridor to rejoin him in the courtyard. Licking her lips and smoothing her hair, she said, "That's mine and I want it back."
She reached for it, but he held it high from her. He was not magically inclined - he hadn't believed in the Lore until he was turned - but even he felt the power in the strand of gold. The power of what?
Lightning streaked the sky behind her. She must want it very badly indeed.
"Would you steal from me?"
"You've stolen from me. Years - you've taken years from me."
"I thought we were even."
"That was until you tried to unman me."
"I will be kinder to you if you give it back."
Her eyes were mesmerizing, and he had to shake himself. "We're past that point. All I wanted was to make my life with yours. And you left me in pain." Earlier, when he'd finally been released from endless nights of torture, he'd felt overwhelming gratitude to her - irrational, since she'd consigned him to it - but he'd known a measure of contentment for the first time in years. Then she'd lashed out again. "After tonight, I understand that you'll never be brought to heel." He clutched the chain, recalling earlier how she'd stopped so suddenly. "Unless..." He trailed off, staring down into her eyes, riveted to his. "Kneel."
Her knees met the stone as if she'd been shoved down.
His eyebrows drew together in shock, his breaths coming fast. "Shiver," he commanded, not quite believing...
She did, and her skin pricked as if with cold. Her ni**les hardened and she hugged her arms around herself.
He knew his grin was wicked. Five years of imagining had never prepared him for this. "Grasp my belt."
She looked up with dread, was staring into his eyes pleadingly when he said, "Come."
As soon as her mind registered the command, her body rushed to obey with a swift, fiery clenching that left her sagging against him, her grasp on his belt the only thing that kept her from falling - as he'd anticipated.
When the bliss finally ended and she could catch her breath, she raised her face, parting her lips to ask -
She moaned, unable to release his belt as she twitched and swayed on her knees, brushing her br**sts frantically against his legs. "Stop, please..." She pressed her face against his huge shaft, needing it, her body squeezing only emptiness. She ran her mouth over it even as she begged him to stop. Though she'd hurt him, he was recovering right beneath her lips.
To her shame, she did, arching her back and crying out, opening her knees and undulating her hips for him to come fill her.
As the waves of pleasure relented, she dimly perceived him scooping her up into his arms. She was limp, disbelieving, yet every nerve was on fire. There was blackness, dizziness, and then she was in a new place, in a dark paneled study.
He set her to her feet, but she'd gone boneless from his orders and from...tracing?
In a tremulous voice, she asked, "Where am I?"
He held her until she was steady, then crossed to open a small wall safe. He tossed the chain in and shut the door. "You're at Blachmount, my manor in Eesti. This, Myst, is your new home."
Her lips parted in shock. "You can't just keep me here - "
"Apparently I can do anything I want where you're concerned. This is where you'll stay and where I'm going to show you all the mercy you showed me."
Her eyes went wide.
"Listen carefully. This safe is unbreakable and you will never, never touch the lock. You'll never try to deduce the combination or garner it from me. Do you understand? Answer me."
He strode to her, clutched her arm and traced them into what looked like a bedroom. A vampire's lair. With the bed in the corner on the floor as they preferred. She shivered, knowing she was well and truly screwed in every possible sense.
"Undress," Nikolai ordered from the shower.
Her shock had been quickly replaced by rancor, and she glared before obeying. He didn't care. Watching her yanking her clothes off in the steamy bathroom was like witnessing a gift unwrapped.
He stood under the pounding water, his body healing at a rate he'd never imagined. He'd taken a blow from her that would've crippled him for days in the past, and yet he was already hard for her again. In fact, his pain had been the only thing that had kept him from covering her in the courtyard and plunging into her as she writhed from her orgasm, her eyes firing silver with pleasure. Now nothing would spare her.