Emma heard Andre’s fangs click and gasped as he slowly trailed them down the side of her neck. The sensual torture tripled when he started in with the open-mouthed kisses and nibbles.
She didn’t think she’d ever been so turned on in her life, but knew this wasn’t exactly the best time for such things. Besides, this was Andre…and she had a very strong suspicion that he might be a bit more than she could handle just then, no matter how incredible his scent…or how talented his tongue…
So, she pushed her hands against his chest and firmly commanded him to stop. It was like pushing into a brick wall…he didn’t even budge.
His mocking laugh, deep and low and quite sardonic, tickled her ear. “Do you really believe such a pathetic attempt would stop someone like BeauChamp?” Mon Dieu she couldn’t be that stupid! And why the fuck did he care anyway?
Emma’s stomach tightened in direct response to his blunt teeth nibbling her earlobe. “No, but I do believe it will stop you, though.”
Andre snorted. “Really. And what could possibly give you that impression?” He trailed his nose half way down her throat to nibble and suck at her already sensitive flesh. Maybe she wasn’t so much stupid as naive, he posited as he sucked in one particular place, knowing he would leave his mark.
She couldn’t help the slight groan that escaped as she concentrated on maintaining her sanity. “Because that piece of walking necromancer bait doesn’t appear to have even half of your intelligence or self-control.” She hated how breathless she sounded, but damn, he was so, so good. She didn’t realize that her hands were clawing into his chest instead of pushing him away.
He was equally torn between sinking his throbbing fangs into the warm pulse thrumming in her neck, stripping her bare and fucking her hard against every flat and bent surface in his chambers, or turning her over his knee for even thinking she could fend off a vampire, any vampire, much less one as strong and…fuck.
He ground his teeth as her words hit home. As much as he wanted to… He took an unnecessary breath. He had to make damn sure that she knew exactly the danger she could face if she didn’t listen to him.
Still holding her with firm hands, he drew his head back enough to glare down into her wide brown eyes. The flush and scent of her arousal didn’t escape him. Neither did the faint tinge of her fear. “You do realize that if I wished it, you would be fucked, drained, and dead, when and how I wanted, and you would have no way of stopping it,” he hissed.
His face hardened at the thought of her in BeauChamps’ foul clutches, of what that bastard would undoubtedly do to her. “You stupid, defenseless human, how the fuck do you think you would fare if I were BeauChamp!” Instantly she was pinned between a very hard wall and a very hard, loudly incensed vampire. He slapped his hands against the wall on either side of her and made her jump.
He didn’t understand this unusually fierce urge to get his point across; he just knew that he had to make her understand and, for once, he didn’t feel the least bit inclined toward subtly.
“His kind would not care to prepare you for either his fangs or his cock. His kind would delight in hurting you, not in pleasuring you,” he growled deep in his chest as he leaned down to almost touch his lips to hers. “His kind is aroused by the scent of your fear and pain. If you were very lucky, he would end you the first night in his captivity. Otherwise you would exist chained to his bed, raped and fed from repeatedly, until you were either starved or bled to death, or chose to end your own life.”
Andre shuddered at the image in his mind and drew in a few deep breaths of her scent as he fought back his frustration.
That small whiff of fear he had detected pulled at his chest. Bizarrely, it felt…wrong, even though it was something that he normally wouldn’t have even noticed.
In a voice somewhat softer but no less severe, he rasped into her ear, “I do not tell you these things to make you fear me, woman, but to make you understand the true threat of his kind. There are as many types of vampires as humans, and his kind is among the worst. To them, humans are no more than contemptible food and entertainment. You show more respect to an old pair of shoes than he would show to your whole species.”
He straightened back up, and glared into her eyes. Sternly he asked, “Now do you see why you cannot leave my chambers unless you are accompanied by either me or one of the brothers…why you will not be left alone?”
Inwardly Andre was very pleased when it appeared that this silly, beautiful girl finally seemed to truly grasp her situation. He tried to ignore his displeasure with the hint of fear still lingering in her eyes. What aggravated him more was the fact that he was bothered by her fear in the first place, and he absolutely refused to think about how he missed her dimples.
He had to give her points for courage, though. She accomplished a feat few would dare attempt – she not only looked him straight in the eye, which was rare enough for a human, but managed to maintain that eye contact throughout their entire encounter. That her eyes were a lovely shade of deep warm brown did not go unnoticed.
Emma swallowed hard. The bleak, raw picture he painted disturbed her to her core. If even Andre was that worried about this asshole…
He continued. “I have verbally claimed you, and while that would be enough to protect you from vampires with any intelligence,” he scoffed, “I am certain it would not be enough to dissuade that bastard. This is why you will remain in here, with me, until tonight when I, or one of my brothers, will escort you to your home to pack. Afterward, you will go nowhere unless you are accompanied by one of us. Do you understand me?”
The heat in his sea-blue eyes didn’t quite match the stern expression on his face, but it burned nonetheless. Emma nibbled her lower lip as she mentally reviewed her non-existent options.
Sharp impatience jabbed at Andre’s nerves as he waited for Emma’s answer. And why the fuck did she keep worrying at her lip like that? It was soft and pink and plump, meant for slow licks and…what the hell was he thinking!? He hadn’t even thought about kissing anyone in – he couldn’t even remember how long it’d been…a century at least…until earlier that same night. Fuck. And he didn’t even like kissing, he reminded himself as he continued staring at her lips.
Finally she nodded. Her gut whispered that that one simple nod would have consequences she couldn’t even imagine.
It took her damn near long enough, he groused to himself in unacknowledged relief.
She cleared her suddenly dry throat and wondered why he’d been staring at her mouth so intently. “So what do I do about working with Sophie-Anne tomorrow night?”
Displeasure was evident on his face. “You dare call her by name?” He refused to admit how cute her accent was when she pronounced the word as “tomorra”.
Emma shrugged, very highly aware of being surrounded by the cage of his large body and arms. “She told me to.”
“That’s highly unusual.” Andre was at once annoyed by his Maker’s courtesy to a mere breather and yet strangely pleased for the human. Sophie-Anne didn’t favor many with such familiarity, and rarely ever a human at that. Even her pets referred to her by title.
“What exactly do you do for my Maker?” He’d heard her briefly mention an Emma in previous conversations, but didn’t remember her stating anything specific. She’d been made to sound more like a new friend than an employee.
Although the angst portion of their conversation seemed to be over, Emma noted that Andre made absolutely no effort to move away from her. She also noted that his fangs were still extended behind his firm, full lips, but she lightly rested her hands on his trim waist to relieve her tiring arms anyway.
“That’s just it – I never know from night to night what she’s going to want me to do.” Emma laughed…the whole “employment” situation with the Queen struck her as a bit ridiculous. Aristocratic yet somehow youthful, Andre’s face looked much less severe when he quirked his brow.
Emma continued, “It seems I mostly just hang out with her. We talk, joke around, laugh a lot. Earlier this evening we spent a few hours going over plans for that big party she’s throwing next week. The color scheme is cobalt blue and stark white, by the way…well, until she changes her mind again,” Emma laughed again. “I hope she doesn’t…they’re my favorite colors.”
Andre dreaded having to endure yet another of Sophie-Anne’s “festivities”. What was she celebrating this time? Oh, yeah…nothing. He mentally rolled his eyes.
“I take it you’re less than thrilled with her latest party, huh.” Emma shocked him with her astute observation.
He prided himself on his ability to keep his true opinions and reactions hidden behind a carefully crafted facade. He must be slipping if this petite upstart had been able to discern his true thoughts. He zeroed in on the humor in her sparkling brown eyes and managed to quell a sudden burst of ire. What the fuck was she grinning about now?
“It’s ok, Andre, I won’t tell. I hate parties too,” she whispered conspiratorially as her dimples made an appearance. Damn it, how could he be angry with her when she looked up at him like that? “Now, back it up, big guy. My throat’s dry and I need a drink of water or something.”
After staring down into her sweetly smiling face for a very long moment, Andre relented and gestured toward the table they had used earlier. Emma’s eyes lit up when she saw the coffee service she’d thought was gone.
“Oh, perfect,” she exclaimed as she brushed by him. “This was what was on the cart? I’m glad you saved it. Coffee is always the answer,” she laughed and nodded wisely as she poured herself a fresh cup from the thermos. Before she added the milk, she inhaled the strong, delicious aroma with delight. Her slight moan of appreciation went straight to the tall, blond vampire’s cock.
Andre folded his arms and leaned against the wall that still held Emma’s warmth and scent. He could maybe – possibly – understand why his Maker enjoyed the girl’s presence if little things like a cup of coffee often gave her such appealing pleasure.
Recalling her circumstances and blushing slightly, Emma quickly added the milk to her cup and took a seat. She flicked her eyes toward Andre and quickly looked away when she spotted the bulging tent in his khakis. She really hoped her face wasn’t nearly as red as it suddenly felt.
He wondered if he should caution the human about just how enticing a blush could be to a hungry vampire, but decided against it. For one thing, he vaguely remembered that blushing was involuntary. For another, her flushes were so tantalizing he didn’t want to stop them anyway. He noted his mark on her neck and made a point to ponder his deep sense of satisfaction later.
Emma glanced down at her bare wrist and frowned.
“What,” Andre demanded in a clipped tone as he shifted uncomfortably.
“I was just wondering what time it was. It can’t be that long till sun-up, can it?”
“We have about an hour and a half left.”
“Why the frown?” Like he cared.
“I keep forgetting that my watch strap broke and none of my freckles know how to tell time.”
He chuckled. He…fucking…chucked. Out loud. In front of a human. What the fuck was wrong with him?
Pretending that horrible noise hadn’t come from him, Andre pointed toward the bedroom. “You’ll sleep in there.”
Emma jerked her head up and looked toward the bedroom. “But…where will you sleep?”
Instantly his entire demeanor changed from relaxed and controlled to intensely predatory. His eyes darkened to the most potent blue Emma had ever seen and slowly, carefully, raked over her from the tips of her toes all the way up to the top of her head and she just knew he’d missed nothing in between. She was eternally thankful she was sitting down because she knew her knees would never have been able to withstand the results such minute, sensual, scrutiny.
As his gaze scalded over her entire frame, Emma could swear she felt every single nerve in her body awaken.
His nostrils flared as he scented her unintentional arousal and heard the increased fluttering of her heart. As he willed his fangs and cock to stop with the damn throbbing, he plotted the quickest course to extricate himself from this precarious situation. He needed a feed and fuck now…and not in that order.
“I have a secure room hidden behind these walls,” he growled, his voice deep and dark.
Emma cleared her throat, and really wished she had a clean pair of panties with her. Did the manpire have any idea how damn sexy his voice was? “I need something to sleep in.”
Andre stomped into the bedroom and a brief moment later reappeared directly in front of her. Still seated, her gaze automatically focused on his…
“I put a shirt on the bed for you.” She tore her eyes away from the mountain at his crotch and focused on his intense blue eyes. He smirked knowingly. “Unless you’re volunteering,” his gaze rested directly on her breasts which tingled in response, “I’m leaving for a feed and fuck. Do not leave my quarters for any reason. I will arrange for your food; just dial this number when you’re ready for it.” He vamped over to a side table, withdrew a pen and paper, and wrote the number down.
“Flip the lock after I leave.” He gave her one last long, searing stare, then left.
**Also: Ahh, poor Andre…such a losing battle he fights! I very much appreciate every one of your thoughts and reviews – they mean so much to me! So: Thoughts?? Reviews??**