**A/N: NSFW. First, though, if you’re interested, there’s a bit under my Scrapped Bits heading (hover over Odds & Ends) about Sophie-Anne’s thoughts during the ride to the rescue. It wouldn’t fit in last chapter but I didn’t necessarily want to delete it, either, cause I liked it. So, check out Sophie-Anne’s Thoughts if you’re interested. Now, erm, you know vampires with their bloodlusty urges and all, right? There might be a scarf involved.**
When Emma woke the next afternoon she was more thankful than ever for the healing powers and other benefits of vampire blood, the taste of which still lingered rather sensuously in her mouth. Andre had somehow held back from succumbing to his bloodlust until they had reached – at considerable speed – the privacy of their quarters, but after that, all bets were deliciously off.
She dreaded seeing how far the remains of their clothing had been scattered…and if they’d broken anything else.
The stress of his worry combined with the residual effects from the too-short fight mixed with a large case of his usual insatiable appetites meant that her satisfaction had lasted from late yesterday afternoon until a little while after the sun had risen that morning.
With a smile as she entered the shower she thought back to how she had lost count of the orgasms almost immediately. One didn’t tend to do a lot of thinking when they had their arms filled with a huge single-minded vampire intent on all-things-sensual.
He had held himself back as best he could, commendably so given his incredible strength and the force of his lusts, and while she’d of course appreciated his consideration for her human frailty, she had despised the needed for such restraint.
Andre deserved to be able to let himself go, to be free to grab and thrust and hold and pound as hard as he wanted to without fear of hurting her, and Emma couldn’t wait to be able to give him that. She adored the gentle times she had with him, the slow sweet explorations of each other’s body, their tastes and textures, the soft catches and sighs of breath as certain spots were mapped in exquisite detail with soft fingers and tongues…there was much to be said for the slow-hand approach…but sometimes maybe she wanted a good, hard fuck, too, and as things were, given her human condition and Andre’s fear of hurting her in his enthusiasm…
Somehow, though, they still needed a new mattress.
And a new bed.
Emma finished her shower quickly and was soon downing her coffee as she searched out and collected the shreds of fabric in the main room. She knew it wouldn’t be long before either Sookie arrived for some gossip time or Tracy arrived with some food. Her stomach rumbled in anticipation as she’d worked up an incredible appetite.
Fortunately for all concerned the were-lynx arrived soon thereafter with a hearty breakfast. Emma saw that there was easily enough to feed a party of six hungry teenage’d boys and laughed even as her stomached snarled in appreciation of the luscious aromas of a meat- and carb-heavy buffet.
Tracy had cocked a knowing brow at the short brunette who had immediately shrugged, laughed, and grabbed a plate, and just that fast their friendship was back on track.
Emma, knowing that the other lady’s were-senses would most certainly have detected the previous evening’s goings-on, had given a very short thought about being mortified, but had mentally shrugged as she loaded her plate with bacon, sausage, toast, another rasher of bacon… She was now almost the vampire equivalent of an old married lady, and it wasn’t as though Tracy hadn’t likely received the same sort of “welcome” from Rasul.
Besides, Andre was damn good in the sack…and on the pre-shredded mattress after the bed had broken.
And with a certain blue scarf.
Bless the little blue scarves of the world…
She wondered if they came in bulk…
Tracy, meanwhile, wisely hid her smirk when Emma had started blushing as she ate. To her sensitive nose the room reeked of vampire/human sexcapades, but as her human…humanesque?…charge seemed to be in perfect physical and emotional health, none of it was her concern. She was simply glad that Emma was home, hale, and happy.
Plus she had enjoyed her own beautifully thorough attentions from Rasul upon her return home. When she had returned to the Palace, he had taken one look at the returning team hyped up and wearing the blood of their enemy, snarled viciously, and tossed her over his shoulder. He had blurred them to his quarters, placed her gently on her feet, and proceeded to give her one of the most thorough vamp-style check-ups of her life.
It hadn’t mattered that she had been completely unbloodied – she had carried foreign scents and had arrived in the presence of ones who had recently fought. It had raised the hair on the back of his neck and set his fangs on edge.
Once satisfied that she had been in no way injured – or even bruised for that matter – he had backed her against the wall and kissed her insanely senseless for quite a few minutes…before the questions started.
Initially he had been almost frighteningly angry and had fully intended to go after Andre for putting her in such a risky situation, but once she had explained how she had volunteered and how helpful her involvement had been, he had become…even angrier.
His quarters had suffered the brunt of his rage and would need to be entirely redecorated after the walls were repaired, but he had never once even came close to placing an angry hand on her person.
She who had grown up hearing of abuse happening so often in the were community that she’d almost believed for a while that it was a normal thing, had been amazed. The force of his anger over the mere potential of harm coming to her had been a fearsome thing to witness, though.
At one point the fear must have shown on her face because Rasul had stopped and stilled so quickly it had been almost eerie, then with a shudder he had walked slowly over to where she had remained standing against the wall, and placed his hands so very lightly on her cheeks.
After a deep breath he had spoken so softly, “Trace, I am angry, very angry, that you were in such a dangerous situation, that you took such risks upon yourself. But I am also proud of your courage and your bravery, of the care you hold for those you call friend. This is a thing I must deal with, a thing that I do not have to like but must accept as being a part of your nature. I will not ask you to never put yourself in such danger again, but I will ask that you take every possible precaution should you feel the need to do so again, and I will ask you to remember to consider me, to consider how I would feel, if something should happen to you.”
Gazing down at the breakfast plate in her hands, her own eyes grew moist as she remembered the growing redness in his own.
He had then kissed each eyelid and solemnly stated with his forehead leaning against hers, “I could survive without you, my love, but I would not want to. Please, no more unnecessary risks with my heart, yes?”
No more words were spoken between them until the daylight hour lulled the one to sleep.
She had slowly come to earlier that afternoon to find a tastefully extravagant, obviously antique ring on her fourth finger.
Emma, not always being the sharpest pencil in the box until after her second cup of coffee, only noticed the new addition to Tracy’s hand half-way through her third cup.
Her repeated squeals as she pointed at the finger in question should have disturbed Andre.
“WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?”
Tracy, as pleased with Emma’s reaction as any newly affianced person could be, attempted a sedate smile before finally grinning brightly enough to light up the room.
“Last night,” she said with a slight giggle she would never admit to. “I guess,” she added with a shrug. “I woke up this afternoon with it on my finger. He must have slipped it on after I went to sleep.”
“Awww!! That’s so romantic!”
Emma meanwhile had placed her cup on the table and gotten up to circle the table to hug her friend, and it was during the ensuing excitement that Sookie knocked on the door.
Tracy – with a cautionary glare at Emma to not answer the door – rose and let her in, and Sookie was quickly told, albeit more “squealingly informed”, about the happy news by her hostess, and in short order all three were chirping away with potential, and generally outlandish, wedding and/or pledging plans. As no one was certain at that point which it would be, all plans were briefly considered.
As the afternoon slowly progressed the vast amount of food, kept appealing on warming units, and many cups of coffee were eventually consumed by the three hungry and understandably somewhat tired women. Emma was determined to be present when Andre rose, and Sookie and Tracy apparently had the same idea for their own vampires, so it was easy for Emma to bid them goodbye until later that evening…if they didn’t all decide to remain sequestered for the night…
With a sense of coming home, Emma undressed and slid under the covers beside her still resting Andre on the remains of the mattress now resting on the floor.
As she stroked her hand slowly over his well-defined chest, she thought back to what she could remember of the night before. The first time had been against the wall beside the door slammed shut mere moments before. They had still been partially dressed then, if she recalled correctly, but just afterward she had definitely been naked when he had bent her over the arm of the sofa.
As hard as he had tried to temper the force of his movements, if he hadn’t nipped a gash in his finger and applied his blood directly to a rather delicate place immediately thereafter, the next half-dozen, give or take a few more, times wouldn’t have been nearly as…deeply satisfying.
She figured he must have been monitoring her through their bond because the instant the burning and slight throbbing had ceased, he had taken her against the wall again.
With a smirk as she circled his navel she considered his seeming fascination with walls the previous evening.
After that he had stopped long enough to ask her how she was, his gruff voice and slightly trembling hand as he stroked her hair from her flushed face showing what the deliberate consideration was costing his restraint. Once she had assured him that she was fine, he with a feral grin had hefted her over his shoulder and then tossed her on their bed.
He had left the lights in the bedroom turned off and with the door then closed the room was in full dark, so when he had disappeared for a moment she wasn’t sure what he was doing. She had felt the air move with his return, but when he had suddenly raised her hands above her head and she’d felt the silky slither of soft fabric trailing up her stomach and across her nipples before being wound rather loosely around her wrists, she at first had been surprised…and then scorchingly aroused.
Andre had obviously sensed how much his unexpected actions had turned her on for he had laughed low and deep at her reaction before drifting his long fingers down to stroke the moist sensitive softness between her legs.
“I’ve wanted to have you at my mercy for so long but there never seemed to be time,” he’d whispered huskily, his breath making her shiver as it tickled the sensitive shell of her ear. “I’ll not wait another night to do the things I want with you.”
That time was something they couldn’t depend upon having had been left unspoken.
She had felt the air move again and he was then suddenly at her feet smoothing his strong hands up the insides of her calves, then lifting and bending her legs to widely spread her thighs, then his large body had appeared between her parted legs…he was on his knees?
She’d felt the delicate fluttering of a fingertip…no, the tip of his tongue as he teased the outer edges of her clit after he’d so gently parted her lips to expose the nub. For long hours…minutes…he’d kept her poised beautifully shy of the untenable edge of orgasm, using the bond to know well before it became too much, too sensually painful. He would back off and soothe the fires then dip his head once again, his long hair tickling her thighs and stomach as he would tease and taste with the tip of his tongue…over and over…the fiery assault both overwhelming and just perfectly enough.
Finally and without warning, he’d leaned back and abruptly plunged first one then two long fingers into her wet, swollen depths, thrusting harder and faster, again and again. She could have sworn he was watching her face, watching her moan and gasp and thrash about, watching for the perfect moment to start circling her clit with his thumb, reaching out at lightening speed to brush away the loose hair clinging to her face from her now-frantic writhing.
Somehow in the full dark she knew he watched her cum, watched her face when her body bucked and stiffed and bowed as she crested then rode hard and fast on his still-thrusting fingers.
Without pause he exchanged his cock for his fingers while maintaining the harshly demanding rhythm, his hands now lifting her hips while her hands were still bound loosely to the headboard.
Her voice now hoarse from so many cries of pleasure had chanted his name in breathless cadence as his grunts and deep snarls of lust being matched filled the dark room.
Once she came yet again, in a blur he had flipped her over with firm hands so that her knees, forearms, and damp forehead now rested on the jostling mattress, and he plunged back into her still-throbbing depths as he neither slowed nor gentled the movement of his hips.
In time he had released his grip on her hips to lean forward, covering her, to grasp the banging headboard. To her almost delirious shock he had then increased both the speed and the power of his thrusts, and she vaguely remembered a bitten wrist suddenly sliding between her parted lips.
She’d drunk heartily, thirstily, with a primal urge she didn’t bother trying to understand, and the powerful suction of her lips on his wrist must have sorely tested what was left of Andre’s immense restraint.
Emma blinked as she looked down at his hard, muscular body and avoided the temptation to play with his cock as it thickened in his dayrest. With a wry smile she moved her hand back up to trace patterns over and between his nipples. She remembered feeling his fangs sliding into her skin, then remembered coming to…waking up…whichever…to the feeling of him once again tending with a bloody finger to a certain area of her body.
The contrition combined with the still-scalding need flowing through the bond had been overwhelming.
She had never felt him so…passionately, so clearly, before.
She had smiled with the realization.
Then she’d realized that the light was on and that they were on the…floor?
With a laugh she’d asked, “So now we need another bed?”
He’d raised eyes flaming with warring need and apology to meet her gaze, and shrugged.
“Looks that way.”
Emma suddenly realized that, lost in the conflicting emotions and needs raging through his body, Andre hadn’t yet realized the newest strength of their bond, but decided not to broach the point with him yet. There was nothing to worry about, and considering both the healing and arousing properties of his old blood, why waste a seriously good position?
She’d shifted her hips to slide his finger in deeper, and quirked a brow at his suddenly surprised expression.
A pointed glance down at his still-hard cock followed by an also pointed waggling of her brows had brought forth that grin she loved so much yet saw so seldom, and all she truly if vaguely remembered from the rest of the night was how her mouth on his cock had apparently contributed to the final death of yet another mattress.
Humm…she thought as she eyed that same cock now in the same turgid condition. His pebbled nipples had apparently thoroughly enjoyed her teasing fingertips and had spoken with that other part of his anatomy. As much as she would have enjoyed tonguing and sucking on his nipples…
Well, the mattress can’t get much more ruined than it already is…
As Andre awoke in the metaphorical blink of an eye, after running his usual instinctive check of his surroundings his first impression afterward was one of, oddly enough, peace.
Unbeknownst to Emma he had always somewhat had the ability to awaken without her sensing it through the bond, and with a small amount of practice he had been able to virtually perfect that valuable, stealthy skill.
Although it happened far less often these nights than he would like, he would sometimes spend half an hour or more resting still by her side simply to bask in the fact that he had someone to willingly share their warmth with him, someone who not only loved him but whose love he returned…a love he returned far more deeply than he’d ever thought possible, much less logical.
…whether he’d initially wanted to or not.
He’d finally come to the conclusion at some point or other that he didn’t actually mind loving her, that despite the emotional and mental chaos she’d brought into his unlife he’d never felt more at peace before in either of his lives. He still wasn’t sure if he trusted it all, not really, as sometimes it felt far too good to be true, but he was more than willing to accept it – to welcome it – for as long as she would have him.
Dam’d if he was willing to let her go, though.
As her fingers lightly trailed over his chest, he soothed his emotionally ruffled feathers with the knowledge that at least she didn’t seem in any hurry to flee from the dangers of the vampire world.
Like any normal, intelligent person would.
He felt as though he should be glaring at himself for allowing his brain to think such thoughts…even if they were true.
His mood crashed.
Yesterday could have ended so very differently…as could the ensuing night. His world was a rough, cruel, often heartless place, and while he was never cruel or heartless with her, not ever with her, he was rough. He had been more than rough, and he admitted with self-loathing that he would probably be rough with her again at some point in their future together.
While he was always as gently considerate of her has he could force himself to be, bloodlust was a given in a vampire’s existence.
The fact he’d had to stop and heal her three different times was terrifying proof of that violent passion simmering so close to the surface. With the use of his fingers and tongue, his cock, and the arousing qualities of his blood and bond he’d been able to bring her to climax well over 14 times, he rationalized with a tinge of well-earned arrogance, but he’d also needed to depend on that same blood’s healing powers to tend to her health, and that bothered him on a fundamental level.
That he could, and did however slightly in the scheme of things, hurt her during their intimacy horrified him.
His stomach roiled sickeningly for a moment. He wasn’t like that. He didn’t cause women pain just to get his fucking balls off.
Sure, he loved causing retributive pain to the deserving; that was a given. Torturing and carving his own brand of justice into their flesh and bones provided such a deeply grounding satisfaction that he should probably consider thinking about if he gave a damn.
But to hurt his Emma…no. Never. Not on purpose and sure as fuck not during sex.
In the past he had never particularly cared enough about a fuck to bother being anything near “gentle” or “considerate”. Sure, he hadn’t ever gone into a liaison with the intention of hurting the other person unless that’s what the idiot wanted, but those encounters had always left him feeling a bit soiled and empty.
He was not the kind of man who actually took erotic pleasure in hurting anyone, and had no respect for the functionally incompetent assholes who did. The only reason he’d ever gotten so briefly involved in that ludicrous “training” program was because his reputation was far more effective in providing those women with the so-called “skills” and “endurance” they’d decided they wanted for whatever fucked-up reason than any physical pain or threats ever could.
The ability to petrify with a glare wasn’t wasted on him although why any sane woman would want to be physically and emotionally abused was beyond him.
He barely caught his snort of slightly-frightened amusement when he thought of what Emma’s likely reaction to being called those fucked-up degrading insults. Somehow he was well over one hundred percent certain that being called “filthy little whore” or “daddy’s dirty little slut” would result in much blood loss – his – and that his precious cock wouldn’t survive that night.
He was hard-pressed to keep from cupping himself protectively.
When Emma’s meandering fingers seemed to read his mind and headed in that direction, he strongly stifled his body’s reaction and was almost successful in his attempt to keep his cock at half-mast. He wasn’t ready to have this sweetly peaceful down-time with his Em disturbed; please…not yet.
The luxury of spending this sheltered time alone with her was too rare, too precious, to rush. The slow, lazy stroking of her fingertips over his body was somehow both comforting and lulling, and he’d kill to keep it going.
As her fingers trailed back up to his chest, he motionlessly relaxed and recalled his vow from the afternoon before when he’s sworn to never waste another opportunity with her. During the frantic chaos before leaving to reclaim his mate, he had decided that their time together would come before all else, that their time together deserved far more importance than previously given.
She was his entire world and all that he had, all that he was, all that he could have and would be, was hers. Security would of course have to come first, but if he or she wanted to do something together, then that is what would happen.
If he wanted to spend the afternoon and most of the evening lazing in bed with his woman by his side and if she were willing, that’s what they’d do.
If when times were a bit safer she wanted to do that fucking “go out to eat” thing she seemed to like so much, that’s what they’d do.
If she wanted to visit Denmark or Croatia or, hell, New Zealand or some other such sunshiny place once they were settled into their new kingdom, on the spur of the moment or not, that’s what they’d do.
If she decided she detested the royal estate he was having prepared for them in Arkansas and wanted him to demolish the place by hand and have it rebuilt to her exact specifications, that’s what they’d do.
If he wanted to tie her wrists to the headboard with that fantastic blue scarf and if she were willing, that’s what they’d do.
He fought and barely won against the smug grin threatening to curve his lips. He’d only been wanting to return that favor since she’d surprised him that time…and he’d never admit to another soul that he felt a little like strutting around the Palace bragging to all who would hear about how he’d finally gotten to perform that sweet deed…with interest… Her taste…so delicate…so exquisite…those moans…the darkness freeing her expressions from that innate reserve…and when he’d watched and memorized every detail as she’d cum so, so hard…
Unfortunately his cock remembered doing exactly that the night before and waived adieu to being only half-mast…
A brief peep through the bond brought him two shocks. Not only was she becoming almost as aroused as he was, which was shocking considering their activities from only hours ago, but the feelings he was reading through the bond were crystal…fucking…clear…
Almost instantly and with total clarity he recalled taking her from behind with her face and forearms resting against the mattress he’d at some point thereafter shredded, and at that same moment he felt her warm hand wrap around his now-throbbing cock.
When he felt her comparatively hot and delightfully wet mouth close over the head of that cock, he knew his ruse was over because his fangs snicked down rather loudly.
“Good morning,” his Emma mumbled around the tip in her mouth before applying a good, hard suck complete with a tongue lave, and his eyes rolled back in his head.
Good morning indeed.
**A/N: So, yeah, they’re all back home and safe and stuff. *cheeky grin* So…what did you think?**