I stared up into that face and said what I was thinking, "Was this the face that launched a thousand ships?" I slipped my hand behind his neck and began gently to bring him closer as if for a kiss, "And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?" I turned my face and swept my hair aside, exposing my neck, "Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss!"
He spoke, "Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it: Thinkest thou that I who saw the face of God, and tasted the eternal joys of heaven, am not tormented with ten thousand hells in being deprived of everlasting bliss!"
The quote made me turn and look at him. "That's from Dr. Faustus,too, isn't it?"
"I only know the one quote," I said.
"Let me give you another. 'I kissed thee ere I killed thee, no way but this, killing myself to die upon a kiss.'"
"That's not Marlowe," I said.
"One of his contemporaries," Jean-Claude said.
"Shakespeare," I said.
"You surprise me, ma petite."
"You gave me too big a clue," I said, "Marlowe and Shakespeare are about the only contemporaries that people still quote." I frowned up at him. "Why are you fighting me on this?"
"Today with the ardeurriding you, you say feed.When your mind has cleared, you will call foul, and I will be punished by your regret." A look of such longing and frustration crossed his face. "I want more than almost anything to share blood with you, ma petite,but if I take it now when you are intoxicated, you will refuse me later more adamantly than ever."
I would have liked to argue with him. I would have liked to find another quote from someone to help persuade him, but my control over the ardeurwasn't as good as his, yet. Just staring up at all that beauty was making me forget. Forget what little poetry I knew. Forget logic, reason, restraint. Forget everything but his beauty, forget everything but my own need.
I didn't so much kneel as fall down his body. The hot water soaked through my shirt, my bra, my body, holding me in the heat of it, as I gazed up the length of Jean-Claude. He looked down at me, and still his eyes were human, normal, lovely to look at, but I wanted more.
I leaned my face in towards him, slowly, for a kiss on the mouth.
"Ma petite,there is nothing you can do until I have fed."
I laid a gentle kiss on his groin.
He closed his eyes, and his breath came out in a careful sigh. "I am not saying it is not pleasurable, but I will be of no use to you."
I took him in my mouth, and he was small and soft, so I didn't have to fight to get all of him inside. I loved the sensation of him when he was small, not just because I wasn't fighting the erection to breath and swallow, but the difference in texture. There was nothing on a woman's body that had this feel to it. I rolled him gently around in my mouth, and he shuddered. I sucked gently, pulling with my lips, rolling my eyes upward to watch him throw back his head, his hands convulse, grabbing at empty air.
I pulled back enough to whisper so that my breath caressed the wet skin of his groin, "Feed, so we can both feed."
He shook his head and looked down at me, and there was a look I hadn't seen much on his face. Stubbornness. "Pleasure I will take from you, ma petite,but not blood, not while the ardeurrides you. If you still wish to be embraced after the ardeuris fed, then I will gladly, joyfully, comply, but not like this."
I slid my hands up the smooth wetness of his hips. "I need to feed now, Jean-Claude, please, please."
"Non," and he shook his head at me, again.
The ardeurhad been ready to be gentle, as gentle as I'd ever felt it, but being denied didn't make it, or me feel gentle. Angry, stubborn, cheated. I tried to think past it, and couldn't. I'd been good, so good for so long. I hadn't fed on Caleb, and no one would have screamed at me for it. I hadn't fed on Nathaniel, and he was my pomme de sang.I wanted him to go another day before he got munched on. I didn't like that he'd passed out at the club.
I hadn't bothered Jason, who had been too weak to argue. Once I felt Jean-Claude wake, I knew what I wanted. I hadn't even seen the other men I passed to get to this room. They hadn't existed for me. Now he was denying me, refusing me, rejecting me. Some small distant part of me knew that wasn't true, it wasn't even fair, but that was a distant voice. The voices in the front of my head were screaming, f**k him, feed on him, take him.
I'd fought until there wasn't enough of me left to fight. There was nothing but the need, and the need had no mercy.
I covered him with my mouth again, and I did something that I could only do when he was at his smallest. I drew his balls, gently, into my mouth, so that I held all of him inside my mouth. It was the most amazing sensation to be able to hold him, to flick my tongue on the loose skin between his testes, to roll the delicate eggs of his body against my teeth and cheeks. He filled my mouth this way, so wide, impossibly wide, but because there was no length to match it, I wasn't choking or fighting to breathe. It was as if I could have held him inside me like this for days. I sucked on him, the shaft, the balls, all at once, fitting my mouth around the base of him, so that my lips formed a seal against his body, and I sucked him, licked him, rolled him, explored him. I looked up and found his eyes had bled to blue at last, but I didn't care anymore. I closed my eyes, wrapped my hands around the smooth tightness of his bu**ocks, and gave myself over to the joy of it.
I heard his cries, felt his body shudder and quiver under my touch, but it was distant. His flesh filled my mouth, rolled so easily under my tongue. I'd always enjoyed the sensation of him when he was loose, but I'd never been able to indulge myself, because after a few touches, like all men, he didn't stay small.
I wrapped my mouth close and closer to the base of him and grazed my teeth ever so lightly there. There, the base of all of him, so that to bite too hard would take it all. I knew what an act of trust this was for him. I bit just hard enough to make him cry out, then pulled gently against his body, using mostly lips for pressure.
I let his balls slip out and sucked the rest of him back in my mouth hard and fast, pulling harder than I should have, sucking him as hard and fast as I wanted, no control now, no waiting, just the feel of him rolling in and out of my mouth, as I pulled on him.
He screamed my name, half pleasure, half pain, and the ardeurburst over both of us. The heat spread upward through me, and I felt it spread, thrust itself into Jean-Claude. So hot, so hot, so very hot, as if the water around us should boil. I had enough left of me somewhere in all that to let go of him with my mouth, so I didn't get too carried away. I convulsed against his legs, my nails digging into his butt, hips, thighs, as he rocked above me, and fought to keep his feet.
He finally half-sat, half-collapsed to the edge of the tub and sat there, propped on his arms, breathing too hard, and that he was breathing at all meant he'd fed his ardeur,as I'd fed off of him. Sometimes it was just an exchange of energy, sometimes it was a true feeding.
I climbed out of the tub enough to sit beside him, but didn't touch him. Sometimes right after the ardeurhad been fed, touching of any kind could reignite it, especially between people who bothheld the ardeur.So it had been between Jean-Claude and Belle, so it was sometimes between us.
His eyes were still solid blue, like midnight skies when the stars have drowned. His voice was breathy, when he said, "You are getting better at feeding the ardeurwithout true orgasm, ma petite.'"
"I have a good teacher."
He smiled the smile a man gives a woman when they've just finished such things, and it isn't the first time they've done them, and it won't be the last. "An apt pupil, as they say."
I looked at him, and he was pale alabaster with that black, black hair, those blue eyes. The folds and hollows of his body exposed to the overhead lights were as beautiful and familiar to me as a favorite path that I could walk forever and never tire of.
I stared at Jean-Claude, and it wasn't the beauty of him that made me love him, it was just--him. It was a love made up of a thousand touches, a million conversations, a trillion shared looks. A love made up of danger shared, enemies conquered, a determination to keep the people that depended on us safe at almost any cost, and a certain knowledge that neither of us would change the other, even if we could. I loved Jean-Claude, all of him, because if I took away the Machiavellian plottings, the labyrinth of his mind, it would lessen him, make him someone else.
I sat on the edge of the tub with my jeans and jogging shoes soaking in the water, looking at him laugh, watching his eyes bleed back to human, and I wanted him, not for sex, though that was in there, but for everything.