Lothaire Read online
His gaze dipped to her mouth. "You want a real kiss now? From your own male?"
My own male. She nearly swayed. Lothaire had never treated her like his Bride; now his gaze upon her was heated and possessive. "I do, Leo, but Im gonna want it for a lot longer than a week. " I want to live!
He cupped her face with pale hands. "Im keeping you, Lizvetta. "
"Do you mean"-Elizabeths eyes started glinting-"I dont have to die?"
What monster could kill such a one as she?
Id been planning to. No, worse than death. "Youll never die! Keeping you forever. "
Because she would be . . . his queen.
At Helvita, hed recognized Elizabeth as the Bride fate had chosen for him. Now he gazed upon the cunning queen hed chosen for himself.
Somehow he would figure out a way around his vows to the goddess. He was Lothaire, after all. He could figure out anything.
"But what about Saroya?"
"Ill take care of her. "
"The rings still in play, is it not?" he said. "You will live, and I will take care of Saroya, but in return, you must . . . " He grabbed her shoulders. "Im ordering you to forget what went on between us before. "
"What do you mean?"
"Hag told me you wouldnt be able to get past my treatment of you. "
"Ohhh. Like the threats against me and my loved ones? Like the mental anguish and never-ending mockery? Like putting me on death row?"
He scowled. "If you want to live, then all that must be forgotten, just as youve done with your miseries in the past. You told me youve done this before!"
"I have, and I will now. All I ask is that you vow never to hurt my family, by your hand or order. Do we have a bargain?"
"Always with the vows," he muttered. "I add my own condition. In the next few weeks, you do not question me about my plans and actions. You trust me to decide what is best for both of us. "
She hesitated. "Agreed. "
"Then I vow to the Lore never to harm your family by action or order. "
"And I vow to let you decide what is best for us. For three weeks. "
He narrowed his eyes at her qualifier, but let it slide. "You also told me you could make me happy. " He curled his finger under her chin. "Youve got your work cut out for you. "
"Ive heard-probably just a wacky rumor-that sex makes males happy. You wanna seal this deal, Leo?"
He drew her tightly into his arms. "You think I dont want to claim you?"
She tilted her head up at him. "But you believe youll hurt me. "
"When a human male hurts a female during sex, what happens?"
"I guess she might walk funny. "
"I can lift a fucking train, Lizvetta. What would happen to you?" For the first time in his long life, he regretted his strength-though hed paid so dearly for it. Now it was an obstacle.
Not to mention his vampiric instincts. He was no turned mortal; he was of a different species, a born vampire with no human impulses to temper his predatory behavior. "Imagine if you tried to wrestle with a butterfly, but knew you couldnt dust its wings. Its equivalent to our situation. "
She dragged her forefinger down his chest, saying in a sexy drawl, "What if the butterfly rode you like a lazy horse?"
He stiffened all around her. "Continue. "
"Instead of grinding on you like I did when we were on the sofa," Ellie said, "I could ride you. "
The vampires interest was definitely piqued. But then he shook his head. "I havent had sex in millennia. What makes you think I wont lose control?"
"I just know you wont. " Ellie had made up her mind that this was going to happen. She believed that she was his Bride-though he hadnt specifically acknowledged the fact yet-which meant she believed he wouldnt hurt her.
Plus, in the back of her mind, she did want to seal this deal. To steal him from Saroya completely. Just guard your heart, Ellie. His jealousy earlier had done funny things to her.
"This is your first time, Elizabeth, and far, far from your last. I cannot risk your being hurt or frightened. "
Her hand slipped down to stroke him through his pants, earning a growl. "You havent scared me in the times weve been together. " Much. "All Ive felt is pleasure. " After a bit of pain.
"I have been denying my instincts with you. "
"What do you mean?"
He scrubbed a hand over his tired face. "Vampires dont fuck like human males. The act for us is all about possession, blood, dominion. Those drives will be stronger if Im inside you. When you become a vampire, I wont have to hold back as much. "
"Me? Become a vampire?" Whoa. Shed never thought it would happen to her, only to Saroya.
"When I told you I was keeping you forever, I meant it. "
She swallowed at the intensity in his words, the flash of fang. Clearly a discussion for another day . . . "I have an idea. Lets take off our clothes and fool around on the settee. If I trip and fall and land smack-dab on your cock, then it wont be your fault. "
"Lose your virginity while on top?"
"Ive already kind of lost my virginity. "
Had his face flushed? "It would be easier for you if I lay upon your body-once you are turned. "
Shed never seen him so torn. Just when she was about to give up, he exhaled a gust of breath. "Cant fight this. " He stripped off her top. "Because now my mind has seized on you landing smack-dab on my cock. Can almost feel it already. "
With no care for his clothes, he ripped at his belt and pants. When his erection sprang free, he traced her to their customary spot.
While he sat, gloriously naked, on the couch, she stood between his knees, slipping out of her cutoffs. "Are you nervous, Lothaire?"
"Its been a while. " He raked his gaze over her. "And I want your first fucking to be . . . "
His lips curled into the sexiest grin shed ever seen on a man, and she briefly forgot how to untie her bathing suit bottom.
Shed suspected Lothaire would crave excitement. Now his eyes were aglow with it, his breaths shallow. One of his legs jogged up and down.
Once she was naked, she crawled over his lap, rising on her spread knees above him.
"Im going to be inside you," he said, as if he was only now accepting it. His shaft jutted in anticipation, the crown nearly meeting her sex.
"Loaded for bear again?" she teased, making him grin once more.
"I did, in fact, come loaded for bear. " He leaned in to ever so gently graze his fangs along her neck. "Only to find a butterfly. "
She shivered. He could be so charming, so seductive when he wanted to be.
"I want to kiss you, Lizvetta. "
She eagerly leaned forward to press her lips against his.
But he took the lead, turning her back on his arm. With his lips above hers, he forced her to accept the strong thrusts of his tongue, until it felt like . . . sex, like he was screwing her mouth with his tongue.
She gave a yelp against his lips when he delved a finger into her sex from behind, thrusting it in time with his kiss. As he wedged a second finger inside, she thought, Hes preparing me.
Again and again, he kissed and thrust . . . harder. Rougher.
No, hes warning me.
Instead he set her imagination ablaze. Shed seen the way he moved; what else could he do with that sinful body of his? What were these drives that he kept talking about?
She and Lothaire had had some touch-and-go moments together, but ecstasy always followed.
When he released her from his kiss, she was breathless, in a haze of desire. "Im ready, Lothaire. "
Hed told her that the phrase deal with the devil came from him; Ellie felt like she was on the verge of selling her soul.
"You truly trust me not to hurt you. " Lothaire shook his head hard, wondering exactly when hed agreed to claim her.
Earlier, shed told him she was like a sucker punch. Now he