He drew himself out slowly, so slowly.
"I'm still tight."
"Yes," he said, "yes, you are." He drew himself out of me, then used his knees to spread my legs wider. It made me lower my head to the couch, pressing my face to the leather. Asher entered me, shallow, just inside, inside over that sweet spot. He started slow and steady, pushing himself in and out, and always over that one spot. I kept expecting him to speed up or go deeper, but he kept that slow, shallow rhythm.
I started moving my h*ps to help, but he put his hands firmly on my hips, kept me from moving. It was strangely like all the ballroom dancing they'd made me learn for the party. A flexing of the man's hands, a squeeze in one direction or the other, and you knew what he wanted, or thought you did. He wanted me not to move, to let him do the work.
He spread my legs even farther, forced my body at a higher angle. "Up, Anita, I want you up on all fours."
I did what he asked, but my knees were spread so far that my h*ps protested the angle. It didn't exactly hurt, but it might if we did it long enough. And through it all he kept up that gliding, gentle rhythm inside my body.
The orgasm began to build inside me. To build with each caress of his body just inside mine. Building, building, on the gentle touch of him inside me. Most of the time sex was about the ardeur. The ardeur wasn't gentle. I fed and I f**ked because I had to. I realized as Asher took me so carefully, so gently, that it had taught us all bad habits. I loved a good, hard f**king, more even than most women, but just because I could take it didn't mean that that was what I wanted, not always. This, this was perfect. This was what I had been missing in all the frantic sex. All the emergency feeding had made me forget that gentleness had its own pleasure.
I fought to stay where he wanted, and not to move, fought to keep my legs spread, fought to hold the pleasure. "I'm close."
"Go," he said.
I might have argued, but he pushed his body over mine one last time and the orgasm caught me. Only his hands digging into my ass kept me from writhing my pleasure around him. He kept me in place, and he kept going, as if I weren't screaming, digging fingers into the leather. So much pleasure, so much pleasure, that my hands needed something to hold on to. I couldn't reach him, so I dug nails into what I could reach.
"Anita, I love you, I love you, I love you!" The rhythm changed. I felt him fight his body, not to lose himself yet. He grabbed my hair and jerked me to my knees with his body still inside mine. It changed the angle, and he didn't try to stay shallow. He used all the length of him, still pushing gently, still fighting his body not to pound into me. I felt the struggle in his chest and arms as he pulled my head to one side and exposed my neck again. "Now," he whispered.
"Please," I whispered.
He plunged his fangs into me, locked his mouth around me, and sucked. He stopped fighting his body, let himself plunge into me as hard and fast as he could. He brought me screaming again, brought me with his body, brought me with his bite, brought me with his power. He came inside me with one last powerful thrust. I raked nails down his arms, and screamed myself hoarse.
He fed at my neck, and as long as he fed the orgasms continued. For me, for him, for us. It was one of the things that made him so dangerous. While you were in the middle of all that pleasure, you could forget. Forget that this was my fourth blood donation tonight. Forget that he shouldn't open his mouth and let the blood pour down my body, because he was too full to take more. Forget that we were supposed to save something to go outside to meet and greet. Forget everything but the feel of him thrusting inside me, until he poured from between my legs, poured over his own body. Forget until my blood poured down my neck to soak into the dress and the diamonds. Forget until hands pulled us apart, and Asher turned snarling to the room.
I didn't snarl. I collapsed onto the couch, because I couldn't do anything else. I lay there like a broken doll, and even my thoughts circled lazily, white edged as if the world were covered in cotton.
Someone rolled me over. Remus's jigsaw face loomed out of the growing dimness. "Anita, Anita, can you hear me?"
I meant to say yes, but the world went black, and I was floating, and I couldn't say anything to anyone.
I WOKE UP in the hospital. Not the human hospital, but the lycanthrope hospital. The building that the local shapeshifters keep for just such emergencies. If they'd taken me to the humans, then Asher might have ended up with an order of execution against him. The downside to going to the furry hospital was that the blood they used for transfusing wasn't human blood. If you get the right blood type, humans can take in lycanthrope blood, and lycanthropes can take in human blood, but lycanthropes have trouble taking in blood that isn't their strain of lycanthropy. Since I carry three, I was something of a problem. But since I was also O-negative, there wasn't a lot of choice. It's not the most common blood type around, especially in a small hospital like this one.
Doc Lillian won't actually tell me what strain of lycanthropy she decided to add to my mix, or if she chose one that I already had. She thinks that if I know what it is, it could influence which beast wins. Since my mental process shouldn't have anything to do with it, I have no idea what she's babbling about, but she won't give in, so come next full moon we'll see if my mixed bag of furry picks a winner.
I slept off and on, and when I woke up again, Asher was sitting by my bed. I startled when I saw him, made a little gasp.
He looked away from me, letting all that long hair fall forward to hide his face completely. He wasn't flirting, showing that perfect profile. He was just hiding. "You are afraid of me now." His voice held regret like a light, persistent rain, one you know will go on all day.
I started to deny it, then stopped myself. Was I afraid of him? Yes. Yes, I was. But not for the reason he thought. I touched the bandage at my neck, and from the feel of it alone, I knew the bite wouldn't be some polite pricking. He'd gotten carried away at my neck, as he had elsewhere. It wasn't like collarbone-scar bad, or even the bend of my arm bad, but it wasn't what the old vamps usually did. It felt like a rookie mistake under the bandages.
That made him sit up a little straighter, his arrogance kicking in. "I am sorry that my manner displeases you so." He sounded a little angry; good. It was better than despair.
"You're right, I should be furious with you. And you're right that I've kicked men out of my life for a hell of a lot less than this."
The anger leaked away, and that numbing depression rolled over him again. It was like watching the light fade from him. "Did you ask me to sit so you could grind the knife in deeper?"
"If I want to grind a knife in, you'll know it. I'm just trying to talk." I had to cough to clear my voice. "Is there water?"
Asher looked around the room. It was Remus who found a pitcher of water and a little cup. He poured it, then hesitated, and finally handed it to Asher. The two men had a moment where you could almost feel the battle of wills, then Asher finally took the cup, and came to the bed. He would not look at me as he offered the water with a little bendy straw in it.
The water tasted stale, but it was cool, and felt wonderful in my mouth and throat. I raised my untaped arm to help hold the cup. My fingers brushed Asher's hand. He jumped, as if it had hurt, but I knew it hadn't hurt. "Have I spilled water on you?"
"No, just a little on the sheets."
"You are the only woman except Belle who has ever made me feel clumsy."
Ixion was there with a handkerchief. Asher took it and dabbed at the few spots he'd gotten on the sheets.
"Is that a compliment, or an insult?" I asked. My voice sounded better, less hoarse. It made me wonder how long I'd been unconscious. I didn't ask, because if it had been a long time, then Asher would feel worse, and I'd be more scared. I let it go.
He finished trying to soak the water up, handing the handkerchief back as if he expected Ixion to simply be there to take it. He was, and he did, but the offhand quality of the gesture made me wonder again how long had I been out. "It is neither, just the truth. You have made me feel awkward from the moment I met you."
"I tend to have that effect on ladies' men."
He looked at me then. I tried to read his expression and failed. "I am a ladies' man, am I?"
"Belle Morte made certain that all of you were good with the ladies."