Andre strode into their quarters intent upon finding his mate, who just happened to be standing by her beloved coffee machine. In an instant he had her swept her up into his arms where he strongly inhaled her sweet, feminine scent in the crook of her neck before smothering her surprised laughter with hot, sweet kisses.
“Well I just had an interesting visit with your Maker,” Emma finally announced to Andre’s throat with a smile when he finally allowed her up for air.
He loosened his hold slightly to allow her to draw back far enough to look up into his face. “You did?” The knowledge both pleased and concerned him. He knew his Maker well.
“Yup,” she confirmed, popping the “p” with a grin. “She left a couple of minutes ago. I’m surprised you didn’t pass her in the hall.”
Still holding her in his arms, he sat them both down on a nearby couch and arranged her comfortably in his lap. “And what did my Maker have to say?” His gut was leaning more toward “concerned” than “pleased” at this point as he gazed down into her kiss-flushed face.
She grinned, then turned toward him a little more and propped her elbow on the sofa’s armrest. “In a way, a lot, and in a way, not very much. You know how Sophie-Anne is.”
Wryly he nodded. While it still startled him to hear someone refer to her by her current given name, he had to agree with his beautiful Emma. His Maker could utter a thousand words and still not have said anything, or she could mutter five words and change the world…or sit and have an evening-long discussion combining the two.
Taking pity on the confusion clouding his face, Emma continued, “She said she dropped by just to visit, but really I think she was here to make sure I was ok.”
Concern immediately flared through their Bond. “Why? Had something happened?” He probed his memory of the evening to see if maybe he’d missed any sort of alert flaring through their link, but hadn’t sensed anyth…the Bond. Fuck. He lowered his forehead to hers as the realization hit him hard.
“Fuck. I am so sorry, Emma. I didn’t even realize. That must have been horrible for you.” His head and voice both lowered in shame and remorse. “I didn’t even think to try to close off my end.”
“Shhh,” she soothed him. “I know, honey, and it’s ok. I’d much rather feel what you’re feeling and know that you’re ok, though, than be blocked and left wondering.” She stroked his cheek, then smoothed her thumb over his brow a few times.
She then hooked her finger under his chin to raise his head so she could meet his sorrow-filled eyes. “I won’t lie – it was pretty harsh there for a while, but Sophie-Anne, and even Wybert, gave me some pointers on how to deal with it.”
Andre instinctively tensed and growled at the mention of Wybert’s name, and felt his fangs throb to drop. Even though he fully trusted his brother-by-Maker, the male was still unmated, and therefore an instinctive threat.
He lowered his growl a bit at Emma’s pointed look, but remained unrepentant. “I will gladly work on restricting the amount of anger and rage I allow through the Bond, but you cannot expect me to ever be comfortable knowing you were alone with an unmated male.” The strident tone of his voice and the intense look in his sparkling sea-blue stare reinforced the intent behind his words.
Emma stopped herself from rolling her eyes, but did shake her head in exasperation. “Honey, not only were we never once alone since your Maker-Mom was here with us the whole time, but you know as well as I do that you’re the one I’m Bonded with…not him. Besides,” she lightly kissed his nose despite, or perhaps because of, his scowl, “I have a feeling he’s a bit more interested in one of the donors than he lets on.”
Although Andre had never been one to encourage Palace rumor, he never minded hearing the occasional tidbit of familial gossip. They were his family, after all. And he did have a responsibility to see to their safety, of course.
“Yes?” He tried to keep his face carefully disinterested, but Emma knew him a bit too well for it to truly work.
She stored his interest in family gossip away for later contemplation…and laughter…but mostly contemplation. And some laughter.
With a chuckle, Emma began. “Ok, I have this ‘greeting’, for lack of a better word, that I use with Sophie-Anne,” she paused to peep up at him, then continued with nary a giggle in sight, “Bit any good ones lately?”
She then laughed so hard that she shook at the shocked expression on his face, and ignored the reaction in his pants to her movements on his lap.
“You greet our Queen with…that?” Andre couldn’t decide if he wanted to be horrified…or laugh along with her. He quickly adjusted her seat on his thighs.
She snorted. “Yeah, and now you know why she likes me, Snookums.”
“Snookums? What in the hell is a ‘snookum’?” He tried to glare down into her smiling face.
“You when you get all horrified and snobby over something funny, Sweet pea,” she retorted unabashedly.
“Sweet… pea? I have never been sweet,” he paused to nip at her chin, “and I am most certainly not a pea,” he growled sensually.
“I’ll have you know that you can be quite sweet when you want to be, so there!” She once again unleashed the power of the dimple upon his poor soul, so he did the only thing he could do under the circumstances.
In the blink of an eye, she was stretched out on the couch beneath his long, hard body. He propped himself up on his elbow with that hand supporting her neck to slightly tip her head back. He quickly captured her automatic gasp and slowly, steadily, thrust his tongue between her parted lips and purred lightly when she started stroking her hands along the length of his back.
After a long moment, he raised his head to allow her to breathe freely, and asked silkily, “Sweet?” The hazy, gentle look in her eyes and her soft, sultry laugh made his non-beating heart lurch.
“Very.” She bit her lip as she patted his back consolingly. “Sorry, honey, I might concede the ‘pea’, but you’re definitely sweet.”
A charming grin danced across his firm lips before he could stop it, so he ducked his head to nuzzle her exposed throat. After a low groan in appreciation of the flavor of her skin, he asked huskily, “Tell me more about this donor and Wybert.”
“Just that when I asked Sophie-Anne if she’d bitten any good ones lately, Wybert all-but blushed, well, as much as a,” she gasped as his free hand found its way inside the back waistband of the loose track pants she’d changed into earlier, “vampire can,” she finished breathily.
Andre made an encouraging noise in his throat then gently turned her head to nip the side of her neck with fangs fully extended.
As his hand slid beneath her panties to thoroughly explore the curve of her ass, she concentrated even harder on her story. “When I noticed the look on his face, I asked him about it. He just shrugged the way he does, and looked kind of…” she trailed off with a gasp then whimpered in surprised pleasure as his long fingers gently stroked and lightly explored the untouched area between her ass cheeks. “Bashful,” she moaned, determined to complete her sentence.
He slowly recaptured her lips with his and kissed her very gently while continuing his stroking exploration, his long, cool fingers slowly delving lower and lower, along the curve of her ass, until they teased the entrance to her now very moist center.
Emma squirmed as his fingers lightly glided over places where no man had been before, never going where she didn’t want them to but leaving a trail of tingling heat all along what she would never call a ‘plain crack’ again. When his long, glorious fingers began teasing the place where they were very much welcome, she automatically lifted her hips in invitation, even if he was approaching from a completely different angle.
After a few movements at vamp speed, her pants and panties were suddenly on the floor and her thighs were spread wide. Once again his mouth captured hers as his fingers plunged inside her from the exquisitely right angle, pumping, thrusting, finding that exact spot to bring her the most pleasure while he continued claiming her lips with faster, deeper kisses.
The moment he sensed she was about to reach her bliss, he tilted her head and bit the exact spot he knew would bring her the most pleasure.
Several minutes and a wet spot in his pants later, Andre rose up on his arms and surveyed his blissful mate with a thoroughly male gratification.
“If Wybert appeared embarrassed,” he continued the conversation as if nothing had happened, his blond hair falling forward from being loosened by her fingers, his eyes twinkling with smug satisfaction, “then there is a chance he has met someone.”
“I hope so. He’s a really good guy,” she retorted in light of the smugness in his eyes, her voice still somewhat breathless, and wrinkled her nose at his slight growl. “He should be with someone, as long as they’re kind and decent to him.”
Her stomach took the pause in their conversation as an opportunity to make itself heard, and he scowled. “Where is your maid?”
“I think she might still be with Rasul. I gave her the rest of the evening off since I wasn’t sure how long we’d be gone, but it’s ok, honey. I’m sure there’re some leftovers here somewhere.”
“The future queen of Arkansas does not eat leftovers,” he pronounced strongly.
“She does if she’s hungry and her mate doesn’t trust the kitchen staff,” she replied as she pushed him off to grab her intact pants and oddly mangled panties. She held the panties up by one finger and gave him a very confused look. “How?”
He shrugged elegantly, smirked, then made his way to their bedroom to clean himself up and change.
Twelve minutes, two donuts and a cup of coffee later, Emma was dressed…and still hungry. “Come on,” she politely commanded as she held her hand out to the tall blond vampire watching her foraging with interest. “Let’s go to the kitchen and feed the human.”
“Go to the kitchen? Are you fucking serious?” His profound shock at her suggestion was more than evident.
She leveled her dead-eye glare at him and his tone. His level of shock was also a smidge insulting.
Andre cleared his throat unnecessarily, and tried again. “What I mean is, are you serious? You want to go to the kitchen yourself?” His mate was hungry, and while he would do anything to see to her needs, he really didn’t think that letting her go to the kitchen was the best idea, but damn if he was ready to trust any of the kitchen staff yet, either. He could send someone trusted to one of those putrid over-night food places…
Deciding she liked that phrasing and attitude somewhat better, she deigned to reply, “Of course, and you’re going with me.”
At his continued disbelief, she elaborated, “Honey, I can cook just as well as anyone in that kitchen, and even I know that no one would likely tamper with foods in cans and sealed jars where you can tell if they’ve been messed with. Now, I’m hungry, so let’s get a move on, big guy.”
He shook his head while he called Sigebert to have him and three guards meet them in the kitchen. He shook his head as he donned his socks and boots and watched her slip on her shoes.
He was still shaking his head when they entered the kitchen.
*A/N: A bit short, but what did you think?*