I trailed my tongue over her lip again as I slid my hand down the front of her throat. I expected her to pull back, maybe even hit me, but she remained perfectly still. If I had any sense of conscience, I would’ve stopped. Serena knew exactly what I was, but her defenses were most definitely down.
But a conscience wasn’t something I really believed in.
Taking it one step forward, I brushed my lips over hers. A sharp pang of need deafened me for a moment and lust rose rapidly. I lifted my head, searching her face for a sign of something. She stared up, lips parted and swollen.
The flush spreading over her cheeks fascinated me. I couldn’t gain crap from her expression, but she wasn’t swinging on me.
She should be and I shouldn’t be doing this.
Dipping my head, I captured her lips. Her sharp intake of breath reverberated through my skull. I deepened the kiss, slipping my tongue past those sweet lips, and damn. Serena tasted like chocolate and that freshness I’d come to recognize as sunlight. And who the hell knows what sunlight tasted like, but if it had any kind of tang, Serena had it.
Fuck. I was drowning in her taste and her warmth and I didn’t care. A whimper escaped her as she gripped at my arms, her fingers digging into my shirt, and my hand was now between the hollow of her breasts, each swell teasing my hands.
I wanted more.
My hands slipped to her rounded hips. Grasping them, I twisted and tugged her body under mine in one fluid movement that had her brown eyes wide and unfocused.
The chocolate bar thumped to the floor.
Using one arm, I supported myself over her as I trailed my other hand back up the thin cotton shirt she wore. Her body jerked in such a delicious way when I stopped between her breasts again.
It was such a dangerous game I was playing, but damn did I love playing it.
“Open your legs,”
I growled, more than pleased when her thighs parted.
I lowered myself, my erection pressed against her core, and when I moved against her in a slow, undulating grind, she gasped out my name. Oh, yeah. I liked it. And hearing that, well, the game was on. I claimed her mouth once again. Over and over, my lips moved with hers, and I was lost in her warmth as I grinded against her.
Her mouth opened, and it happened. The human side of me, which really only was the skin I wore, the pretense I existed in every day, gave way and my true nature roared to the forefront. There was no stopping it, even if I wanted to, and back in the farthest corners of my thoughts, where only darkness lived, I wasn’t sure I wanted to.
Oh hell, the first taste, the first drop of her essence was a deep, firm stroke to the fire that burned inside me.
It spread rapidly, lighting up every cell until my body flamed. I was always so cold, but not right now. Oh no. I was burning. I slid a hand down her side, around her thigh, hooking her leg around my hip, and I rocked into her. I was nothing but the taste of her, a husked shell soaking it in. That was what I really was, a living, breathing monster. I was a killer. I’d done it before, more times that I could even count and… Before I could draw in another breath, I tore my mouth from hers and launched backward, hitting the arm of the couch. My senses were buzzing. The room was bright even though there was only the light from the kitchen. That tiny taste and I… Serena.
Pushing off the arm of the couch, I crawled over her still form and smoothed the sunlight-colored hair from her cheek. Her complexion was pale—too pale against the dark lashes fanning her cheeks. A faint bluish tint shaded her lips.
Yep, there was a second when I thought I might have killed her.
The deep rise and fall of her chest told me that she wasn’t dead, so I guessed that was a good thing.
Oddly enough, though, my chest tightened as I hovered over her. She looked incredibly small and vulnerable lying there, completely subject to my will.
I placed my hand on her cheek, just above the bruise. “Serena?”
I’d knocked her out.
I woke up to the sound of birds chirping and a soft, warm breeze. At first, I didn’t remember where I was. Rolling onto my side, I willed my eyes open and for my fuzzy brain to work.
Bright sunlight spilled in through the open glass doors. Lacy, white curtains hung in the air, rolling playfully in the breeze. I blinked once and then twice.
Jerking up, I clutched the comforter to my pounding heart.
Last night came back to me in a rush—running off, the other Arum, and then Hunter, saving me once more…and his kiss. He had kissed me and I hadn’t stopped him.
Hadn’t wanted to when he’d licked the tiny pieces of chocolate off my lips. Stopping him had been the last thing in my mind, and when he’d deepened the kiss, a deep fierce ache had woken inside me.
My cheeks burned at the memory of him pressing down, rocking his hips in a way that twisted pleasure inside me. There were so many things wrong with that, I didn’t have time to write down the stupid list.
But that wasn’t all. I was sure he had fed off me again last… wait. Had that even been last night? Had I’d been out of it for days again, like last time?
I scanned the room again, my gaze landing near the dresser. There were several shopping bags next to it. I frowned, knowing they weren’t there before.
“Are you going to come out here?” Hunter’s deep voice intruded on my thoughts and startled me.
“The coffee is getting cold.
So is the food.”
My heart tripped up.
Hunter was out on my balcony, which meant he had to have gone through my bedroom while I slept.
Okay, technically it wasn’t my bedroom or balcony, but he’d been in here while I’d been sleeping. What if I’d been drooling or something?
“I know you’re awake.”
Dry humor laced his voice.
“I can hear the change in your breathing.”
Jesus, was that an alien super sense?
I debated ignoring him, but that was stupid.
Throwing off the comforter, I made a quick dash to the bathroom, where I brushed my teeth and splashed water over my face.
Hesitant to join him, I peered around the open balcony doors.
Hunter was sitting on one of the reclining chairs, legs crossed at the ankles.
He was dressed in jeans and he was wearing a shirt, but it wasn’t buttoned up. Maybe he got bored with it? He also had a pair of dark sunglasses on, and somehow they made him even sexier, which I didn’t think was possible. There was a large, white mug in his hand, and there was something entirely intimate seeing him there.
A brow arched above the shades. “There’re a lot of chairs out here. You can pick any of them, or you can stand.”
Crimson swept across my cheeks as I forced my legs forward.
Hurrying around him, I sat in the chair on the other side of a small table, sinking into the soft cushion. I should’ve made time to brush my hair. And why in the hell was I even worrying about my hair? I think Hunter had fried my brain cells.
“Coffee,” he reminded me.
I took the black mug, surprised to find that the cup was still warm. “Thank you.”
“I added milk and sugar —you don’t strike me as a cream type.”
Even though I couldn’t see his eyes, I knew he watched from his reclined position. The way he was sprawled in that chair was a complete picture of lazy arrogance. “Did you sleep well?” he asked.
“Yes. I slept well.”
His lips tipped up. “I am thrilled to hear that.”
For some reason, I wasn’t quite sure if I believed him. “How about you?”
Hunter shrugged. “I had some trouble falling asleep.”
I started to squirm. How in the world could his stare be so intense without me even seeing his eyes? I turned my attention to the bacon. Extra crispy. My favorite.
“Eat,” he said.
My stomach grumbled in response, but I couldn’t stand his commanding tone. So I ignored him.
“About last night…”
“You want to talk about it? Which part? The one where you didn’t listen to what I told you?” Hunter tipped his head back. The shirt he wore gaped, revealing a bigger glimpse of his rock-hard chest and abs. “Eat.”
My hand tightened on the cup as I took a deep, slow breath. “No. You… we…”
God, this was awkward. “I mean, I don’t normally let guys…or whatever…kiss me.”
“That’s good to know.”
Hunter slowly lowered his head and looked at me.
“Is there ever a moment when you’re not bossing someone around?”
“And do you realize how rude and annoying it is?”
A half smile appeared.
“Yes. And before you ask, I don’t give a shit if it’s annoying and rude. Eat, Serena.”
Well, he got points for being honest, but I was half tempted to throw my mug in his face.
“We really didn’t kiss,” he said. “I kissed you.”
Heat flooded my cheeks.
“But it was more than that.”
One eyebrow arched over the dark shades.
“Well, I was on top of you for a few very enjoyable moments.”
“That’s not what I was getting at,” I snapped. “Did you feed off me again?”
Hunter said nothing.
Anger flooded me.
“Damn it, you can’t keep doing that!”
“You’re fine, but you should probably eat.”
“It’s not okay. How long have I been out of it?”
He didn’t answer for a long moment. “It was a day ago.”
My brain didn’t fully register that for a minute and when it did, I was stuck between anger and panic. “I…I lost another day?”
“You slept through another day.”
I gaped at him. “Slept? I slept through another day because of what you did to me. You can’t do that and —”
“I know,” he cut in. A muscle flexed along his jaw. “I stopped when I realized what I was doing.”
I started, unsure if I should believe him. “You didn’t mean to?”
“Eat, Serena.” He turned back, giving me his profile.
“Feeding is in my nature.
Sometimes it just happens.
I didn’t want to—okay.
That’s a lie. I did want to, but I shouldn’t have. That’s why I stopped.”
I glanced away, biting down on my lip. I didn’t know what to say about that. The fact he fed on me twice pissed me off. It couldn’t be healthy and it wasn’t right. Even if he hadn’t meant to and stopped, I wasn’t okay with it.
“Don’t do it again,” I said, looking at him.
“I won’t.” He paused.
“While you were sleeping, I had some clothing picked up for you.”
I remembered the bags in the room and I didn’t know what to say, but words came out. “Thank you.”
Hunter stiffened like I’d insulted him.
“What are you doing on my balcony anyway?” I asked after a few moments, changing the subject.