Beneath the covers Andre slid his hand over Emma’s warm side and lightly palmed her ribcage as he considered how best to inform her of his plans. He had never done this before, so he wasn’t exactly sure of what to tell her to ensure her compliance. Her cooperation wasn’t strictly mandatory, of course, but he didn’t feel that coercing her acceptance was the best option, either…not until or unless he had to, at any rate.
He shook his head mentally. When had shit gotten so fucking complicated?
He seldom acted on impulse, and this situation was the perfect proof of why. Here he was in bed with the human female who had damn well wormed her way into his skull in some unfathomable way, and now he couldn’t evict her sweet little ass with a pitchfork.
And now…now he was going to have to come up with a way to convince her to go along with his plan when even he, himself, wasn’t exactly sure of how to explain it all to her….yet, even though it was much more in line with his nature, he couldn’t bring himself to just make her do it, either. Well, at least not without trying to gentle her to the idea first.
Fuck feelings, he cursed to himself.
He glanced back down to her face, flushed and barely peeking out from under the covers she’d drawn up to her nose, and snorted. Her modesty and shyness tugged at his heart in ways he didn’t want to recognize and didn’t particularly like.
The last soft spot he’d felt for a woman damn well got him turned.
“There has been a change in plans,” he began succinctly. “After considering the information gained this night, I have decided that stronger measures need to be taken regarding your safety.”
“What information? And what measures are you talking about?”
The slight but acrid scent of her fear fouled the air, and Andre subconsciously started smoothing his hand over her back in slow circles. She had lowered the covers from her face a bit, and he could tell that he had her full attention. She shifted her legs and grimaced at what he guessed was pain from her ankle, and turned her trusting brown eyes back to meet his serious expression.
“Rasul has been kidnapped. Bluntly, BeauChamps will torture him for information, and plans to use him as ransom in exchange for you.”
Andre wanted to make sure she understood how serious this was, but silently cursed when Emma’s eyes filled with tears…this was not going as planned. He had to do something fast to stop them.
“Don’t worry, Em. I have a plan that will help keep you safe.”
She sniffed then sat up clutching the comforter to her chest. “I know you’ll keep me safe, but I’m worried about Rasul. I hate to think of what they’re doing to him.” She kept her eyes focused on the comforter she was worrying in her hands.
Sudden jealousy burned like fire through Andre’s blood at the mere thought of Emma shedding tears for damn Rasul until she spoke again.
“I mean, I don’t know him very well, but he’s funny and he’s always been nice to me. I hate the thought of anybody being hurt because of me.” She sniffed, wiped her eyes, then shocked Andre by once again leaning over and resting her head in his covered lap.
His hand automatically moving to stroke her hair in long, soothing motions, he reassured her, “He is vampire. He’s strong and tough, so don’t worry about him. He will heal.”
“I don’t care if he’s vampire, human or Pillsbury Dough boy, honey, I can’t stand the thought of anyone being tortured. Well, unless they deserve it, and he sure doesn’t.”
He looked down at her in surprise and was immediately sidetracked. “You…so, who do you think deserves torture, then?” This he had to hear, he thought to himself as he continued stroking her hair.
Emma chuckled once, then answered, “Well, rapists, animal and child abusers and child molesters, definitely. And people who use old people then break their hearts. Those people deserve it, too. I sure don’t believe in torturing anyone for information or anything like that, but for the really big stuff? Hell yeah – make’em bleed.”
Andre threw his head back and laughed harder than he could remember since his turning. He hauled Emma up into his lap and held her close as he kept laughing.
She looked into his handsome face and visually traced the chiseled lines of his jaw and his lips parted in merriment. Andre looked down into her eyes still moist with unshed tears and, with regret, remembered the point of this portion of the night.
“ Mon Dieu, ma chere, but you are a delight. However there are things we must do this night to help secure your safety.”
Emma’s face flushed with pleasure at his endearment. “Like what?”
“You will take my blood, and if you are agreeable, I will bond you to me.”
When she stared at him blankly, he inhaled unnecessarily in preparation for giving explanations on a subject that even he himself didn’t completely understand. It wasn’t like he’d ever bonded with anyone before.
“If you take my blood, I will be able to sense your feelings to know if you’re frightened or harmed, and I will be able to track you if you’re stolen from me. If I take your blood at the same time as you take mine, from what I’ve been told these benefits will be strengthened.”
Emma bit her lip. The thought of “taking” someone’s blood made her stomach queasy…but this was Andre. She would ponder his “if you’re stolen from me” later, when she had time to savor it.
“And just to clarify for the uninformed human, how would we go about this, exactly?” She was afraid that biting might be part of all this, and while the thought sent an unexpected shiver of anticipation down her back, she couldn’t help but think that biting equaled pain.
Andre smirked as if he’d clearly read her thoughts. “The simplest and most efficient way would be for me to bite my wrist and hold it to your mouth and, while you drink from me, I would then bite your neck and drink from you.”
Yup, she thought…biting.
“Won’t that hurt? I mean, both the part where you bite yourself and the part where you bite me. Those don’t sound like any fun at all. Plus, will you be able to sense my feelings all the time or just really strong reactions like if I’m in danger?”
“Yes, when I’m awake, I will be able to sense all your feelings, and,” his voice deepened into a low, rumbling growl, “I can assure you…you will more than enjoy being bitten by me.”
She watched as his nostrils flared and his fangs abruptly elongated even further. His eyes burned with a hazy, languid heat as he briefly cupped her chin to run his thumb over her bottom lip.
Intensely aware of the rising bulge beneath her hip as she sat across his thighs, Emma squirmed a little and was rewarded with a deep, quiet purr coming from somewhere in Andre’s chest. Flushing, aroused, and abruptly shy, she tried to move a bit out of his grasp only to be pulled back and swung around to straddle his lap faster than humanly possible.
His mouth quickly smothered her involuntary gasp as he forcefully crushed his hard lips into hers. His hands slid down to grasp her hips and he growled when pull her flush with his hardened cock.
“Wait! Stop!” Emma was understandably proud of herself for being able to withstand the delicious onslaught of his lips and still be able to think almost rationally. She braced her hands on his wide shoulders, and after taking a couple of deep, steadying breaths, she began, “Hold your horses there, big guy,” she paused, her voice almost breathless, “this is all going too fast.”
“Time is a luxury we do not have,” he stated, his deepened voice vibrating where their bodies touched as he glanced down at her already swollen lips before meeting her wide mahogany gaze, “Dawn is nearing and we still have much to accomplish.”
He lowered his head again, but this time with a softer, gentler purpose. His lips smoothed over hers like water over silk as he mumbled, “A mutual exchange will form a weak bond between us,” he paused to glide his tongue over her bottom lip, “which will enable me to feel what you feel,” he repeated as he nibbled at her bottom lip for a moment, “and locate you if you’re hurt or need help,” he breathed into her mouth before thoroughly exploring the depths of her sweet mouth. He hoped repeating the information might help her somehow.
Long moments later Emma broke off to breathe and whisper into his neck, “Will I be able to sense you?”
Andre grazed his fangs over the spot he planned to bite and inhaled deeply before he replied, “Unlikely, but possible.” Emma moaned when he started lightly licking and sucking on her neck.
He moved his hands back down to cup her round cheeks to hold her steady as he instinctively ground himself into her core and cursed the two thin layers of cloth separating them. He barely avoided sinking his fangs when she shuddered and drove her nails into his shoulders as she clutched him to her.
Andre chuckled darkly when his fangs slid over a particularly sensitive place on her neck causing her to break out in goose bumps, and in delicious retaliation Emma very gently bit the same place on his neck and sucked. He then ground her even more intimately against his risen cock, and her responding moans of pleasure were the sweetest sounds Andre thought he’d ever heard.
“My blood will make you stronger,” he paused to nip her neck with his blunt teeth before continuing with a voice huskier than ever, “and faster,” another nip, “and you’ll feel better in a general sense.” He threw his head back with a growl when she gently nipped and sucked at his collarbone.
He allowed his hands to roam over the curves of her waist and back still hidden under his shirt before cupping the back of her head to encourage her to look at him. “My blood will also heal your injuries, and…increase your libido.”
The hot look in his sea-blue eyes told her that he wouldn’t mind that part one little bit.
He was shocked when barely a second later Emma firmly shoved herself away from him.
“What? Did you just say that your blood would heal me?”
Confused by her actions and irritated at the interruption, Andre scowled as he nodded, hen got a clear look at her face.
He’d never seen brown eyes shoot sparks before, but he had a sinking suspicion that if hers could have, they would have. He replayed his words..and groaned at his own stupidity.
“So…. what you’re saying is that you could have given me your blood to heal me and create this bond thing the night I was attacked outside my apartment…but that you chose not to,” she demanded, her voice rising in both tone and volume.
Andre opened his mouth to defend his questionable inaction, but no sound came out.
“So…yeah…let me get this straight… you chose to leave me wounded and hurting…on purpose?” The fact that her voice had lowered dangerously did not escape him.
Stunned with both the level of her anger and the odd sense of panic seizing his chest, Andre sat immobile as Emma moved herself off his lap. She was right, and while his reasoning had been sound at the time, he somehow knew it wouldn’t hold up just now…
By the time he reminded himself that he needed to get his blood into her regardless of her anger, he realized that she’d grabbed her crutches and was almost to the bathroom.
The slamming of the door made his ears ring.
Ten minutes later he cursed when he finally realized that Emma was not coming out of the bathroom any time soon, and that repeatedly raking his hands through his hair as he sat stunned and useless on her bed wasn’t solving this problem.
Thoroughly disgusted with Emma, the world, and, most of all, himself, he gathered his strewn clothing and stalked off to his own bedroom.
This night had so not gone according to plan.
**So…what kind of dog house should we build for Andre? Review, please!**