Dark Skye Read online

Page 36


Chapter 35

  Ahh!” Lanthe screeched to find herself under a pounding waterfall in waist-high water. She swiped her forearm across her face, sputtering. Thronos was before her, filling her vision. He pulled her from the cascade, shaking out his dark hair. “Where are we?” The demon blood that had coated him had been scoured clean. Turning to survey their surroundings, she blinked against the brightness of the day. The sun was a blazing golden ball in the sky. Past a field of bloodred wildflowers, she saw pink sand and a placid sea the color of new grass. This huge waterfall and pool were the same shade. I know this pink beach. I know this scent. The air was sultry, smelling of . . . Hawaiian Tropic, flowers, and sex. Oh, no, no, this couldn’t be! Yet then the sun began to twinkle. Feveris was usually sunny because its clouds were translucent; when they passed in front of the sun, they made it glimmer like a star. “Oh, my gold, this is Feveris. ” “We’re in the Land of Lusts?” Thronos said in the same tone a human might say, “For real, we’re Powerball winners?” “This can’t be—I aimed for Rothkalina!” “How long will it be till we’re robbed of control?” His voice was growing huskier. “Less than ten minutes. That’s how long I was here before I had my servants drag me back. I’d just wanted to see if the rumors were true. ” She lost track of what she’d been saying—because Thronos was smiling. And it was glorious. Twinkling sunlight struck his eyes, setting his irises aglow, molten silver. His firm lips curled, revealing more of his even, white teeth and those fangs. She felt the mad urge to tap one of those points—with her tongue. With his face relaxed, his scars seemed to fade. The first time she’d seen him smile since he was a boy. Struggling to collect her thoughts, she asked, “Why do you look so pleased with yourself?” “For one, you’re alive. More, you saved me from a demon army—and waited for me. For the first time! And then you brought us to Feveris. Maybe you wanted to come here with me as badly as I did with you? I think I’m growing on you. ” She wanted to deny it, but couldn’t. Something had happened in Pandemonia, a shift in her feelings for him. Had a fragile sprout of affection poked its head above snow? Illusion was reality. Act like partners long enough, guess what you’ll become. . . . Stupid sprout. “Already I feel the effects of this place. ” He raked his gaze over her body, making her skin flush. “I do too,” she admitted. Out from under the cascade, the water of this pool was balmy and soft. Warm breezes caressed her face, soothing her. Before, she’d worried about letting go with him. She’d worried what he would think about her. Now the decision had been taken from her. Had she subconsciously steered them here? “Why did you await me, Melanthe?” He reached forward to smooth his fingertips along her cheekbone, casting her a proud smile. “Why did my brilliant mate save me?” Because this entire journey felt bigger than the two of them? Because when he’d called her lamb, her heart had ached from missing their friendship? “I just did, okay? But I didn’t intend to come here!” At her tone, his smile dimmed, and she wanted to call it back. What was happening to her? She just needed time to think! She tried to march away from him in the waist-deep pool, but her boots were water-logged. With a curse, she pulled off one, then the other, tossing them to the bank. He must’ve seen this as an invitation to shed his own clothes. He dragged the remains of his shirt over his head. Faced with the body he was revealing, she couldn’t quite disabuse him. “I thought Sorceri were hedonists?” Off went his own boots. “We’re in a plane devoted solely to pleasure. You should be gladdened. ” “If we lose control and have sex, it would be disastrous! I might get pregnant. ” She could ask him to pull out at the last second, but she doubted a virgin would have the willpower necessary—especially when his instinct would be clamoring for him to break his demon seal and spill his seed. He closed in on her. “Would it be so bad to have a child with me?” “You mean a bastard?” she countered. “Look, I know you’re really gung-ho about having kids and all. But to me, getting pregnant would feel like getting trapped. ” She reminded herself that Sorceri were unfruitful in general. The odds of it happening were overwhelmingly against. “Honestly, I’m not as gung-ho as I was,” he said. “Before, I thought our young would be the only thing we had in common, and raising them our sole occupation. Now I’ve realized there’s much else for us to do. ” He brought her hand to his groin, to the stiff shaft straining against his sodden breeches. In a heartbeat’s time, she was just as aroused. “Like sex?” Typical male. And this one didn’t even know what he was missing! “Not only sex. You could teach me all the references I don’t get. We could travel over realms together, exploring worlds. ” With each of his deep raspy words, her willpower dwindled. “You liked exploring with me, didn’t you?” She had. Their wild-and-woolly adventure in Pandemonia had exhilarated pampered Lanthe. But there was more to consider! “What about our history? Our families? The war between our factions? We haven’t resolved anything between us. ” Even as she expressed her worries, her hand had begun stroking his length. “We will,” he said, biting back a groan. “But now is not that time. Right now, we’re in Feveris, together, after surviving Pandemonia. We desire each other. Denying pleasure between us would be like squandering our coins. ” He curled his finger under her chin. “And that’s something we don’t do. ” Irresistible demon. Her anxiety was diminishing, Feveris’s spell taking hold. Still she fought it. “Turning my words against me?” She dropped her hand—and regretted it immediately. “If we succumb to the magics here, how will we ever escape?” “Once we’ve burned off the worst of the lust, you can persuade me to feel no Feveris effects. I’ll keep us focused until you can create another portal. ” “And again, you want me to use my power on you. ” “We don’t have a choice. I’m already losing control. For now, lose it with me. ” “Thronos—” She felt a sudden sharp twinge across her entire shoulder. What the hell? But when she glanced down there was no mark, and the pain ebbed. It was forgotten when he reached for her breastplate, unfastening the clips. He tugged off the piece, tossing it to shore like a Frisbee. Sunlight met her bare breasts. She couldn’t stop herself from arching toward the warmth, rolling her shoulders. Lingering misgivings receded like the lazy waves of the nearby sea. When her breasts bobbed with her movement, Thronos was transfixed, as if he was witnessing a miracle. “Melanthe, I’ve never wanted anything like I want this. ” With his black claws curling, he reached for her skirt. It soon joined her breastplate. “I must claim my beautiful mate. ” He tried to remove her panties, but in his haste, the lace gave way. Once she was stripped of everything but her necklace, his eyes roamed over her greedily. He never took his gaze from her as he started removing his breeches, fumbling with the laces. How nervous he must be! Did he worry how he’d measure up to her past lovers? Despite his uneasiness, he wore his determined look. He knew what he wanted—and he knew he was about to get it. He shoved off his breeches, lobbing them to shore as well, the soaked leather making a fwap sound. And then he was naked. Mist from the waterfall dotted his tanned skin, drops clinging to his lean muscles. Just beneath the surface, Lanthe could see his shaft pulsing. She probed his thoughts, finding his blocks wide open. He craved to feel her sex, to taste it. To claim it. His gaze met hers. And he wants me to know these things. Maybe they could just release some steam without consummating anything? She stiffened when she felt pain on her forearm, like a fresh burn. She broke away to search for a mark, finding none. “What is it?” “Nothing. ” Probably residual hell-plane stress. “Absolutely nothing. ” He looked to say more, so she reached for his cock, curving her fingers around it, which apparently robbed him of thought. His lips parted, and he couldn’t keep from bucking to her grip. When she traced her thumb across the taut head, his shaft jerked in her palm, continuing to grow. “You’re really big,” she said as she fondled him from base to tip. He had to clear his throat to manage: “Females like big. ” “Only if they’re prepared for it, and it’s deployed properly. ” Worry creased his brow. “How should I p