She raised her head. "You're back? I thought you'd left."
Sorry. Business. His fingers gently kneaded her shoulders.
With a sigh, she lowered her head onto the pillow. Business? "Where are you exactly? You're not at your desk, are you?" The thought that he might be doing paperwork on the side really irked her. The man was so brilliant, he could probably give her a mental orgasm while answering his email.
He chuckled. I'm sitting in bed, having a bedtime snack.
He was drinking blood while he mentally massaged her shoulders? Ugh. How romantic. Not.
I'm naked. Does that help?
Oh Lordy. She visualized his gorgeous body - ugly old toad.
He stroked her back with feather-light caresses. She shivered. This was wonderful. He applied pressure with the heel of his hand, burrowing into her with slow, sweet circles. Correction - this was heaven.
Can you hear other vampires?
"No. One is quite enough, thank you." She felt his presence looming larger, swelling with emotion. Pride. No, fiercer than that. More like.. possessiveness.
You are mine.
Right. Just because she could hear him, it gave him ownership rights? Alive for more than five hundred years, and he still thought like a caveman. Though his hands did feel absolutely delightful.
Thank you. I aim to please. His hands roamed her back, his long fingers seeking out knots of tension. Caveman, huh?
Damn, he could hear too much. She could almost see him smiling. It was a good thing he didn't know she was falling in - ugly old toad, ugly old toad.
You're still not comfortable with me in your head.
Bingo. Two points for the mind-controlling demon. She felt a light smack on her rump. "Hey!" She lifted her shoulders, only to be pushed back down. "You're manhandling me." Her voice was muffled by the pillow.
Yes, I am. He had the gall to sound pleased with himself.
"Caveman," she muttered. With a whole harem of women. "You said before this was impersonal. It seems very personal to me."
It is right now, because it's only you and me. I'm thinking only of you. His presence felt heavy around her, heavy and hot with desire. Her skin tingled in response. He skimmed his fingers up her spine to her neck. There he brushed her hair to the side.
She felt something hot and moist on her neck. A kiss. She shivered. It was so weird, getting kissed by an invisible face. His breath warmed her ear. Then something tickled her toes.
She started. "There's something in the bed."
"But - " It was impossible for him to kiss her ear and reach her toes at the same time. Unless his arms were six feet long. Or he wasn't quite human.
Bingo. Two points for you, sweetness. Roman nuzzled her neck and tweaked her toes. On both feet. And he continued to rub the skin between her shoulder blades.
"Wait a minute. How many hands do you have?"
As many as I want. It's all in my mind. Our mind. His thumbs dug into the arches of her feet. He massaged her back with the heel of his palm, dragging the circles down her spine. And still he continued to kiss her neck.
She sighed dreamily. "Oh, this is nice."
Nice? His hands stopped.
"Yeah. Very nice, very - " Shanna tensed, aware of a simmering irritation inside her head. It was coming from him.
Nice? Sparks sizzled around him.
Oh dear. "I'm enjoying it. Really, I am."
His voice hissed through her head. No more Mr. Nice Guy.
He seized her ankles and pulled her legs apart. More hands curled around her wrists. She wiggled, trying to get loose, but he was too strong, with too many damned hands. She was pinned down and helpless, her legs spread wide open.
Cool air wafted against her most tender flesh. She waited, tense and exposed. Her heart pounded loud in her ears.
She waited. The room was quiet, except for the labored sound of her breathing. Her nerves coiled, sensing an imminent attack. Where would he strike first? There was no way to tell. He wasn't visible to the eye. This was terrible. This was.. exciting.
She waited. Four hands still gripped her wrists and ankles. But he had an infinite number of hands and fingers, as many as he could imagine. Her heart raced faster. The muscles in her bu**ocks contracted in an attempt to squeeze her legs together. She was so exposed. So open to him. Her skin began to tingle. He was doing this to her. Making her wait. Making her ache with anticipation. Longing. Desire.
And then he was gone.
Shanna raised her head. "Hello? Roman?" Where did he go? She sat up and glanced at the clock radio beside the bed. It would be just her luck if the sun was rising and he was officially dead for the day. But it was too early for sunrise. Had he just run out on her in the middle of a date? Minutes ticked by.
She rose onto her knees. "Dammit, Roman, you can't leave me like this." She considered throwing something at the ceiling.
Suddenly she felt hands encircle her waist. She gasped. "Roman? That better be you." She reached behind her where she thought he should be, but felt nothing but air.
It's me. He skimmed his hands over her ribs, then cupped her br**sts. His mouth nibbled at her shoulder.
"Where - where were you?" It was hard to carry on a conversation while he was stroking her with his thumbs.
I'm sorry. It won't happen again. He played with her ni**les, gently tweaking the hardened buds between his thumb and forefinger. Each tug seemed to pull at an invisible cord connected to her soul.
She crumpled onto the bed and stared at the ceiling. "Oh, Roman, please." She wished she could see him. Or touch him.
Shanna, sweet Shanna. His voice whispered in her head. How can I tell you what you mean to me? When I saw you at the ball, it was as if my heart started beating again. You lit up the room, bright in an ocean of black and white. And I thought - my life has been nothing but a dark, endless night. Then, you came like a rainbow and filled my black soul with color.
"Oh, Roman. Don't make me cry." She rolled onto her stomach and wiped her moist eyes with the sheet.
I'll make you cry with pleasure. His hands trailed slowly up her legs, while two more of his imaginary hands skimmed down her back. He reached her thighs and the small of her back. Soon, soon all hands would converge on her sex. Her buttock muscles tensed. Moisture pooled between her legs. The hunger grew sweeter, hotter, more desperate.
She felt his mouth on her bottom, kissing her. The tip of his tongue slipped across one cheek, dipped into the crevice, and continued across the other cheek.
"You're driving me crazy, Roman. I can't stand it."
Is this what you want? His fingers brushed against the curly hair guarding her sex.
She jolted. "Yes."
How wet are you?
The question alone elicited another warm gush of liquid. "I'm dripping. Soaked. See for yourself." She rolled onto her back, expecting to see him. It was disconcerting to lie there, her legs open to welcome him, and no one was there. "Roman?"
I want to kiss you. His breath wandered over her breast, then he sucked the nipple into his mouth. His tongue swirled around, then flicked the hard tip.
She reached for him, but there was nothing there.
He moved to her other breast.
"I want to touch you, too. I want to hold you." She jolted when he cupped her between the legs.
His fingers began to explore. You're drenched. You're beautiful.
"Roman." She reached for him again, but found nothing to hold. This was more than disconcerting. It was downright aggravating. With nothing to hold, she clenched the sheet in her fists.
He skimmed along the slick folds, then gently parted them. He dipped a finger inside and stroked the inner walls. Do you like that? Or do you prefer this? He circled her clitoris, then teased the tip.
She cried out. She twisted the sheet in her hands. She longed to hold him, run her hands through his hair, feel the muscles on his back and bu**ocks. This was so one-sided. But so damned good.
He inserted two fingers inside her. At least, she thought it was two fingers. Maybe three. Oh God, he was torturing her from the inside out. His fingers circled and stroked, plunged and withdrew. She had no idea how many thousands of nerve endings she possessed down there, but he seemed determined to set each one on fire. He rubbed the hard, swollen nub of her sex faster and faster. She dug her heels into the mattress, tensing her legs and pressing her hips into the air. More. More.
He gave her more.
She panted, gasping for air. Tension mounted, sweet and strained. She burned with need. Harder. Harder. She pushed her sex into his hands, writhing against him. He grabbed her bu**ocks and took her with his mouth.