I frowned. "I don't understand."
"I know that you love me, ma petite, but my arms do not fill you with that last drop of something. I see you with Micah and Nathaniel and that last drop of emotion, or contentment, is there." He held up a hand as if someone had started to speak. "It is the truth. I do not begrudge it, especially with the news we have had tonight. You will need that bond, but it is"?e shook his head--"discomforting to watch, and know that I am not a part of it."
I didn't know what to say to that. I mean what do you say to the man you love when he's just told you that he realizes that you love two other men more?
"Besides, ma petite, you have expressed doubts about me now. You say you enjoyed our time with Augustine, but your actions state otherwise. I think your cats are what you need tonight, ma petite, not the memory of..." He gave that Gallic shrug, and got off the bed. He stood there adjusting his robe with smooth, nervous gestures. When he was nervous, and not policing his movements, he smoothed his clothes. It was one of the few truly human gestures that had survived centuries of being dead. I liked that he did it, and that he didn't realize he did it, because once he noticed it, his hands went still, as still as his face.
The little bit of sex I'd had with Micah and Nathaniel had helped me clear my head. "Do you think that I think less of you for having seen you with another man?" I asked.
"You have implied it," he said in a voice that was almost neutral.
I raised myself up on my elbows. "I guess I did, but I don't mean it. I think I thought it should bother me, but it didn't. I tried to talk myself into it bothering me, but the truth is--" I sat up, folding my legs tailor fashion. "The truth is, Jean-Claude, I liked seeing you kiss Auggie. I don't know how I feel entirely about the rest, but it didn't bother me at the time, so why should it bother me now?" I shook my head. "I'm not going to talk myself into an issue I don't have."
He gave a small smile, uncertain around the edges. Was it my reaction that had made him uncertain? Or was it that I'd trained him that after a major metaphysical or sexual breakthrough, I pulled back and ran? I guess either way, it was my doing, that uncertain smile. I didn't want him uncertain. I loved him; I shouldn't be the one making him insecure, not if I loved him. Sometimes the hardest thing about having so many men in my life wasn't the sex; the sex we could handle, but the emotional stuff... The emotional stuff was harder. I couldn't help Richard tonight, because his issues were things I couldn't really help him with, but this issue, this I could fix, or I could try to.
I smiled at him, and tried to put into that smile everything a man wants to see in a woman's smile. I watched his eyes fill up with that dark light that has nothing to do with vampires and everything to do with a man. His smile matched his eyes, confident, sure of itself, anticipatory.
"What would you have of me, ma petite?" His voice curled over my bare skin like the tickling edge of fingernails. It made me shiver.
"You're overdressed," I said.
"Are you certain you wish to do this, ma petite? You have never taken three of us before, and the ardeur will not rise again tonight, it has been too well fed."
He was offering me an out, but if I said no, then he'd leave the room. I'd already watched Asher and Richard walk out; I did not want to lose another of my men tonight. I needed as many around me as I could manage. Saying it made me almost want to call Asher back, but... I'd never done the full deal with three of my guys at the same time. Four would have to wait.
"I said, you are overdressed," and I made it a very firm statement.
Jean-Claude's smile widened. "Easily remedied." He undid the robe, and let it fall to the floor. He stood there pale and perfect. I had seen him nude a thousand times or more, but I never got over the shock of him. It was as if he were some amazing work of art, and I had stolen him away from the museum where they kept him roped off and safe, stolen him so I could run my hands over the smooth, flawless surface of him.
"You're too far away," I whispered.
He smiled wide enough to flash just a hint of fang. "That, too, is easily remedied." He crawled up on the bed, and I watched his body, small and loose, more than his face. Until he fed, he'd be small, which meant I could indulge in something that I didn't get to do much. By the time you get most men out of their clothes they're not as small as they can get--no, definitely larger.
"I know what you are thinking of, ma petite." His voice was chiding.
"Did you read my mind?"
"Non, ton visage."
He'd said he'd read my face. I was picking up a little French here and there in self-defense.
He hesitated at my feet, and I realized he was looking at Micah. "And you, Nimir-Raj, what do you say to this?"
Micah smiled at him. "I'm here to try to make things work better, not make them worse."
"I don't try to make things worse," I said.
"Shh," Micah said, "don't take it personally."
I opened my mouth, realized I was going to start a squabble if not a fight, and I didn't want to fight anymore tonight. "Fine, I won't take it personally."
"You're not going to argue about it?" Nathaniel asked.
I shook my head, and lay back against the pillows. "Nope."
Micah and Nathaniel exchanged looks.
"What?" I said.
They both shook their heads. "Nothing," Micah said.
"Nothing," Nathaniel said, but he was smiling.
"I don't argue about everything."
"Of course not," Micah said.
"I don't," I said.
"Not anymore," Nathaniel said.
I slapped his shoulder.
He grinned. "Hit me harder, if you want it to hurt."
I didn't hit him again. "You'd enjoy it too much."
He grinned wider.
"I am no longer the only one who is not ready," Jean-Claude said.
I glanced down at the other two men. He was right. They definitely weren't ready to go.
"We've talked too long," Nathaniel said.
I waited to be uncomfortable at the thought of three men and just me with no holds barred on the sex. I waited, but the discomfort didn't come. I lay there and waited to feel overwhelmed, or uncomfortable, but... I just wasn't.
"I think I can fix it," I said, and started to slide lower on the bed, turning toward Nathaniel as I did it. I started kissing my way down his body, then thought of something. I looked back at Jean-Claude where he knelt on the bed. "You didn't ask Nathaniel's opinion."
"Micah is your Nimir-Raj, Nathaniel is not."
"But he's still my sweetie."
"It's okay, Anita," Nathaniel said, petting my shoulder. "Thanks for thinking of me, but I'm okay with not being asked."
I looked up at his face with my face almost to his groin. If it seemed an odd time for a in-depth talk he didn't complain. "Why are you okay?"
"Jean-Claude is right, I'm not anyone's leader, and I'm okay with that. If we were all completely dominant our happy little domestic situation wouldn't work."
"But just because you're not dominant doesn't mean that your opinion doesn't count."
"No," he said, and gave a little laugh, "no, but it does mean that I don't have as many opinions."
"You want me to be more dominant?" he asked.
"I'd like to know how you feel about this, yeah."
"Suck my dick, so we can f**k." He was smiling while he said it.
I blinked at him for a second or two, then shrugged, and said, "Okay."
I DID WHAT he wanted, and a lot more. I used hand and mouth to get both Micah and Nathaniel back to the smooth hardness that they had been before all the soul searching. I didn't want any more soul searching tonight. I wanted to touch and be touched. Sex was the only time I let myself go. Let all the worries, the issues, everything wash away. When I had sex I just concentrated on the sex. It was the only time I was truly in the moment with no hesitation and no other thought.
I held them both in my hands. When I'd first tried to play with them both at the same time, I'd found that I couldn't do it. I couldn't concentrate on both hands equally, and when you've got a handful of the most delicate bits on a man's body, you want to be able to concentrate. But practice makes perfect, and I could do it now. I could hold each of them in my hand and stroke and play with them. I'd finally found something I was ambidextrous at.