Page 16


“Eli,” I said, the sound not as strong as I’d planned.
In a flash-second, his hands grasped me by the hips and pushed me hard against the wall; he followed me, leaning in close, crowding me. My breath caught in my throat on impact, and I stared into Eli’s icy, angry cerulean eyes. They searched mine with ferocity.
“What?” I demanded, trying to shove him. It was like pushing on a concrete wall.
“I,” he began, his voice way too steady, “don’t like sharing. What’s mine is mine alone. And I don’t like being helpless or out of control. Lately I’m both, and, as far as I can see, only two things need to happen: Victorian has to die, and whoever else has crawled inside you has to die.” His fingers dug into my hips, his body pressed against mine. Although his face was cast in gray distorted shadows, his eyes all but glowed as they searched mine; intense, radiant, and livid. “I fucking mean it.”
I looked at him, not so stunned. I’d learned a while back that Eli was more than possessive when it came to me. He was a hothead on top of it. “You know, anger management class might do you some good, or a little Xanax—”
Eli’s mouth covered mine, quickly silencing any further words of psychiatric or medical wisdom I might have offered. I didn’t care. My desire for him had been building all night, just as much as his tension had. I grasped his neck and threaded my fingers through his hair, and kissed him back—hard. Our tongues grazed, tangled, and the sensation ignited an intensity of raw need that all but lit the room on fire. I groaned, sucked his bottom lip, kissed him hard again, and shoved Eli around. His back hit the brick wall as hard as mine had. Anger and passion drove me.
We both struggled for control; it became an involuntary game.
Neither of us won.
Our mouths fused. My fingers clawed at Eli’s coat, pushed it off his shoulders, and it dropped to the floor. Blindly, I fumbled with his tie, and, finally, I loosened it enough to get it off his neck without strangling him. Our breathless moans and desperate kissing filled the otherwise silent corridor like a porn movie, and at the back of my barely reasoning brain I could hear it loudly. It turned me on, and I found myself seeking Eli’s bare skin, almost insane to touch him. I unfastened the buttons on his shirt, pulled the hem from his pants, and dropped it, only to find an undershirt.
“Shit,” I muttered in frustration, and I felt Eli’s smile against my mouth. He broke from our kiss long enough to snatch the thin ribbed shirt over his head and fling it somewhere; then he pulled me against him. As his mouth sought mine again, he dragged his lips slowly, erotically, using his tongue against my bottom lip, then against my teeth; it drugged me. He tasted sweet, like coconut, and that other indescribable, irresistible vampiric thing that was alluring and uniquely Eli. As my hands grazed his flawless skin, over the muscles etched into his chest and lower, into his abdomen, I shuddered at the sensation the friction caused within me. I straddled his leg, mine on either side, and leaned into him, inhaling, tasting, devouring, and he pulled me hard against his thigh. I moaned and ground into him. When his hands left my hips and grasped the length of my dress and slowly lifted it, my breath caught. Finally, we were skinto-skin. His hands raked over my bare thighs, cupped my ass, and pulled me hard against him. Our bodies fit perfectly, touching in all the right places, and my craving for him reached a level of desperation that shocked even me. My mouth moved to his throat, nipping and tasting as my hands pushed between us, grasping his belt and loosening it enough so my hand would fit down the front of his Armani slacks. The bare shaft of hard muscle I found, covered by nothing but velvety skin, made me groan against Eli’s neck. He let out a low chuckle.
I found myself suddenly flung around, my bare back now digging into the wall, scraping against the rough aged brick, allowing Eli complete control. My mind became total gravy as his hands brushed my skin, over my hips, until his fingers slipped beneath the silky triangle of material that was my thong. Wedging his leg between mine, he shoved my thighs apart and scraped the highly sensitive flesh that throbbed with need. I arched against Eli’s hand, my mind momentarily going blank. Fuck me now, dammit! my inner, primitive, craving-nasty-sex voice screamed without my permission. Maybe that sounds trashy, but good God—I couldn’t help it. Eli makes me mindless-crazy. If I’d had any inhibitions before, they would have been swiftly bludgeoned with Eli’s powerful, sensual touch. He was that potent. I moved my mouth to his ear. “Now,” I half begged, half threatened.
With both hands on my hips, Eli lifted me to his waist; I wrapped my legs around him and, kissing me, he began to move. I didn’t know where we were going; nor did I care. One second we we’re in the corridor; the next, in his bedroom. He loosened his hold, I slid down his front slowly, and Eli grasped my face, lowered his head, and tasted every inch of my mouth, and when the angle didn’t suit him, he tilted my head. Then his hands left me, found the clasp at my halter strap, and unfastened it. My dress pooled around my ankles, and Eli’s hands covered my breasts. I moaned as pleasure shot through me.
His lips left mine and moved to my ear, the sensation of his mouth dragging against my skin making me shudder and my cravings increasing to a painful pitch. My fingers dug into his back, my eyes closed, and my head dropped to the side, weightless.
“I hope I’m more than a good fuck to you, Riley,” he whispered against the shell of my ear. His hands moved to my lower back, then slid over my ass and pulled me tightly against him.
The words froze me, and my head snapped up. Amidst the haze of horniness, I stared into Eli’s eyes. I’d regained my senses; yet I could say nothing. We simply stared at each other. I had no way of answering him convincingly, except with my mouth, my body. Words meant nothing. I lifted both of my hands and grasped Eli’s jaw, and I kept my eyes trained on his as I pressed my lips against his. He stood statuelike still as I kissed him, gently, slowly, pouring all of my unstated feelings for him into that one act. Then, I wrapped my arms around his neck and simply hugged him. I buried my face in his neck and snuggled against him. His arms went around me, wrapped completely around me, and pulled me close, just as gently.
Now will you fuck me?
Damn. I couldn’t help it. I’m telling you. I. Could. Not. Help. It. The dirty request slipped out of the restraints deep in my brain and into open, vampiric-readable gray matter. Dammit!
Eli’s body shook against mine, and it was a few seconds before I realized he was laughing. I pulled back and stared into his shadowy face, peered into the depths of his ancient, disturbing eyes, and I knew then he understood me—fully. Then, he lowered his head, pressed his lips to mine, and kissed me.
“I love you, too,” he said softly. It was the first time he’d said it. I’ll never forget it, although I couldn’t say the words back. Not then, anyway. Hopefully later. He then kissed me deeply as he backed me up until we reached his massive bed. Eli lifted me, kicked off his shoes and the pants that had dropped below his hips, then followed me down into the softness of a white down comforter. Not once taking his gaze from mine, with his forearms, he braced his weight, his body above mine.. Lifting one hand, he smoothed my hair back, traced my brows, the bridge of my nose, and with his thumb, grazed my lips. I saw nothing more than half his face; the other half was swallowed in darkness. The image was intimate, sexy, and Eli exploring my facial features like a blind man became the single most erotic experience I’ve ever had. It sank to my soul, and I felt my insides flutter with excitement. I couldn’t believe someone like Eli belonged to me.
Slowly, he lowered his head, grazed my lips with his, then moved to my ear. “Watch me,” he whispered erotically, and I felt myself grow wet at his seductive words. “Watch what you do to me, Riley.” He pulled back and stared into my eyes; the possessiveness, the intense longing I saw there rocked me. Without another word, he moved, pushing his hard length fully into me. I was wet and ready and about to absolutely die with need, and his eyes grew dark with desire at contact. I wrapped my legs around his waist and moved with Eli, our bodies and rhythm becoming one, my heart beating enough for the both of us, and the whole while I kept my gaze trained on his. I held on as the orgasm built, strong, intense, until it erupted deep inside me. Its strength finally forced my eyes to close, and my body arched with pleasure against Eli’s as waves crashed over me; over him. Finally, the climax began to descend. As it came to a rest, Eli wrapped his arms and legs around me and encased me completely, and I let him. It was as submissive as I’d ever get—with anyone. Eli wasn’t after submissive, though. I knew what he wanted—the L-word—but I couldn’t give it to him right now. Not that I didn’t feel it, but … it’s hard to explain. He knew, though, and patiently waited. My feelings for him were greater than for anyone I’d ever encountered, and it scared me. He knew it scared me. I hoped one day it wouldn’t.
How long we lay there, our bodies wrapped and melded, I had no idea. I’m not even sure when I fell asleep. One minute I was completely relaxed, content, being drugged by the sensation of Eli’s fingers dragging up and down my spine, his intense intimacy unlike anything I’d ever experienced. The next minute, or hour, or however long, I sat up, looked around, dazed and confused. Eli was nowhere, and I was in a strange, unfamiliar place. A church? An old Spanish mission? In ruins, the brick and mortar were covered in vegetation, something wild and out of control like wisteria or ivy, and surrounded by a dense wood. It wasn’t Savannah but somewhere … else. I was alone. The heavy scent of rain and damp, along with ripened plant life, permeated the ruin, and overhead, the roof was almost completely gone. Nothing but a few old rotted rafters remained, the rest of the gap spindled and webbed with aged vines. It was night, and shots of moonlight breached the porous roof, illuminating the floor in splotchy, distorted, uneven patches. And although I was alone, several lit candles sat clustered together near the front of the ruin, and their flames caused shadows to skip across the brick. In the corner, beneath the only remaining stained glass arch, a long, wide stone bench stretched invitingly. After glancing around and seeing nothing or no one, I noticed how weary my body was, and I picked my way across bracken, sharp-hulled acorns, and scattered pine straw to the bench and sat down. One lone candle flickered in a ruby-colored glass holder on the sill. I pulled up my feet, which were bare, and wrapped my arms around my knees. It was then I noticed I wore nothing more than a white silky slip with satin straps, and it glided smoothly over my bare skin as I moved. I could have been completely naked, the slip was so skimpy, and as it was, I had nothing beneath it, anyway—no panties, no bra. No wonder I was so cold….