She locked the door. "One night."
He leaned his back against the wall. He would give in, he knew it. How could he resist when he wanted her so much? But if she thought they could simply shake hands afterward and go their merry way - then she didn't know how deeply he felt.
Her eyes wavered with a hint of insecurity. "Are you repulsed by me?"
"God, no." Not when he was considering giving up everything for her. Holy irony. How many times in the past had he been the one satisfied with a one-night stand? Was this some sort of divine payback? The thought that she could settle for one damned night was slowly twisting his guts. It trivialized their feelings, their connection to each other. It pissed him off.
"Are you afraid of me?" She lifted her chin. "I've never bitten anyone, and I never will. I'd rather die."
"You don't bite?" he ground out the words.
"No, I don't."
"What a shame. I do."
She stepped back, her eyes wide. "You... want to bite me?"
"Sure." He crossed his arms, acting nonchalant in spite of his growing anger. "I like to bite."
She gave him a wary look. "You mean hard?"
"Not enough to hurt. It's more like a series of nibbles, a scraping of teeth over the more sensitive parts of your body. Then, there's the swirling of the tongue. And let's not forget the joys of suction."
Her mouth fell open. Then, she recovered and licked her lips. "Where exactly would you want to bite me?"
He looked her over slowly. "The base of your neck where it meets your shoulder. And the soft place a few inches below your belly button."
"Here?" She slipped her hand under the elastic waistband of her pale blue shorts.
"Yes." His voice sounded hoarse, so he cleared his throat. He motioned to her sequined flip-flops. "And your toes."
"Oh." She kicked off her slides and wiggled her toes into the thick carpet. "Anywhere else?"
"Your calves. Inner thighs. The back of your thighs where they curve into your delicious little bottom."
She turned sideways and lifted the hem of her shorts to reveal the curve of her derriere. "Here?" She stroked the skin. Her eyelids lowered slightly. "Anywhere else?"
His erection strained against the flimsy silk of his boxer shorts. "Hip, below the waist where it widens."
She shimmied her shorts down her hips a few inches, then skimmed her hands over the bare skin. "Anywhere else?"
"Underside of your br**sts, where it's full and heavy."
"Ah." She rolled up her tank top 'til the plump curves were revealed. She stopped just before she reached the ni**les. She cupped her hands beneath her br**sts and lifted. When she looked at him, her eyes darkened and began to shimmer.
Holy crap. He tensed. "Your eyes are glowing red."
"It means I'm hot. And I'm ready."
"It's an automatic thing?" Damn. If she had no control over her vampish behavior, what else would she do? Would her fangs spring out? What if she was actually stronger than him?
She strolled toward him. "Tell me where else you want to bite me."
He wasn't going to let her overpower him. He had other strengths at his disposal. He gathered his mental power and zeroed in on her brain. She halted with a gasp. Her eyes closed as a pink blush colored her face then crept down her neck.
Take off your shirt.
Her eyes opened. She smiled slightly. "As you wish." She pulled the tank top over her head and dropped it on the floor.
He was admiring her br**sts when an icy wisp of psychic power drifted toward him and hovered around his head. He automatically swatted it away, and the cloud dissipated.
"You're very strong," she whispered.
She shrugged. "I've never tried it before. I don't believe in invading people's privacy."
"Then you don't like me getting in your head."
"I don't like vampires doing it. They're so terribly cold. But you, you're so wonderfully hot." She blushed. "I don't have anything to hide from you, and it feels so good to be warm inside. I've been cold for so long."
Cold because she was literally dead half the time. What was he getting into? Every morning he would wake next to a dead woman. But he couldn't ignore the pain and longing in her eyes. Her pain had become his own. Her world would become his own.
She stood before him, naked except for a pair of shorts. Her eyes had turned sky blue again, filled with a mixture of desire and fear. She was afraid he would reject her.
"You were telling me where you'd like to bite me," she reminded him quietly.
"Yeah, there's one more place. But I wouldn't bite you there. I'd make love." He leaned forward and breathed in the scent of her shampoo. Gently, he moved her hair back. There, on her neck, were two little scars from a vampire's fangs. Poor Darcy. No wonder she always wore her hair down. He caressed the scars with his fingertips.
She shuddered. "Where would you love me?"
He whispered in her ear, "Your clit." He lifted her in his arms, strode toward the bed, and dropped her on the comforter.
"Yes." He was taking her, and damn the consequences.
Darcy's heart was thundering in her ears as she reached for him. Yes! If all else failed, she would at least have this one glorious night. Austin fell onto the bed and pulled her into his arms. Yes, her mind repeated the same word since she was too excited to think of anything else. She scattered kisses over his face and raked her hands into his hair. It was thick, damp, and oh, so soft, a wonderful contrast to the darker whiskers lining his jaw.
He was planting kisses all over her face, too, and she didn't mind that he seemed rushed. Even frantic. So what if this quickly careened out of control and exploded? She loved the aura of desperation, and it would be one hell of an explosion.
Their mouths found each other, instantly opening and melding together. He invaded her with his tongue at the same time that he entered her mind.
I'm here, Darcy. You'll never feel cold again.
She opened for him, both mentally and physically, reveling in the heat from his mind and body. A wave of awe swept through her as she realized just how open she was. He was in her mind and would soon enter her body. He would know every inch of her, inside and out. And the wonder of it was she wasn't afraid. She trusted him. She'd never trusted anyone so much before.
He pulled back and looked at her. "Darcy." He brushed back her hair. "You honor me."
He'd heard her thoughts. She felt as if her heart would burst with an overabundance of love. She wanted to show him how much. She had to. With a lightning-quick move, she shoved him onto his back and pinned his arms down.
"Whoa!" His shocked expression turned wary. "You're, uh, really strong."
Stronger than she'd realized. Cool. She examined Austin's muscular arms and chest. Why, she was as strong as a macho super spy. He clenched a fist and strained against her grip on his wrist. He couldn't budge her. Very cool.
Frowning, he studied her. "I guess this turns you on. Your eyes are red again."
She smiled. "Don't worry. I'll be gentle." She released his wrists, letting her fingers glide up his arms, over his biceps and shoulders, and onto his chest. She splayed her hands into his curly chest hair, then followed the trail of dark brown hair to his navel. What a gorgeous man. She could eat him alive.
He propped himself up on his elbows, watching her with a worried look. "I'd rather you didn't."
Oh, the rascal had heard her. "I meant it metaphorically. Relax." She shoved him back down. "I said I'd be gentle." She grabbed the waistband of his sexy red underwear and pulled.
Rip. She winced as the flimsy silk tore in two. "Oops."
He lifted his head to look at his ripped shorts.
"Sorry." She gave him an apologetic smile. "I'm a little overly eager." She glanced down at him. "I'm not the only one."
With a groan, he let his head drop back on the bed. "If you don't know your own strength, you should st - " He gasped when she curled her hand around him.
"I should what?" She gently stroked the shaft.
He gritted his teeth. "Continue."
She drew little circles around the tip. "I thought you could be persuaded."
"Yeah, I'm easy." His eyes flickered shut. His chest heaved with rapid breaths.