Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements 2) - Page 43

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“Maybe I don’t need to feed to take their souls. Who knows?” My throat clogged with rawness. “My abilities have changed. I can’t see auras anymore, but I can feel emotions. Maybe my ability to take souls has changed, too.”

“This is absolutely ridiculous. Do you hear yourself?”

“Do you hear me?” I threw back. “What I’m saying isn’t impossible and you know it.”

When he didn’t say anything, I unhooked the seat belt. I couldn’t sit in the car. I couldn’t be near him with my emotions so explosive. The need to feed was there, simmering below the surface, which was just great.

I pushed opened the door, ignoring his shout, and started walking. I made it a few feet and he was suddenly in front of me. “You need to calm down,” he said.

“You need to listen to me! You know that stuff that’s been happening at the house? I thought maybe it could be Petr, because I took his soul, but maybe it isn’t him. Maybe it’s me.” My heart was beating so fast I thought I’d be sick. “Maybe Abbot is right and I’m unaware of what I’m doing.”


“You don’t get it!” Wind whipped around us, but I barely felt it. “I was mad when the windows blew out and I was annoyed with Maddox when he fell because of the way he looked at me! And both you and Danika said I feel like an Upper Level demon to you all now. You said that yourself!”

“That doesn’t mean you’re going around killing people and not knowing about it!” The wind seemed to toss the words in his face. “I know you, Layla.”

Wetness gathered on my lashes as I stumbled back a step. “You just want it not to be this way and that’s blinded you—”

“I am not blind.” He lurched forward, grasping my shoulders. “I know exactly what I’m looking at when I see you. I know exactly what I’m dealing with when I touch you. And I know that no matter what, you would never hurt me. And because of that, I know that whatever is doing this, it’s not you.”

I shook my head. “You can’t—”

He cut my words off as he pulled me against his chest and lifted me up until my toes barely brushed the ground. My eyes widened in that tiny second that I realized what he was going to do, what he was willing to risk to prove that his words were the truth, that his convictions were right, that I was just freaking out. I jerked back, but it was too late. I couldn’t escape him. I never could.

Zayne kissed me.


My gasp of surprise was captured by his lips. I planted my hands against his chest and tried to push him away, but he was locked on and this...oh God, this was no innocent brushing of the lips that was over before it started.

This was a real kiss.

The kind that broke hearts and then patched them back together. His lips were on mine, demanding and fierce as I kept my mouth sealed. A deep sound rumbled up from his chest as he nipped at my bottom lip. I gasped again as the little bite blasted through me. Zayne took complete advantage, deepening the kiss. His tongue swept over mine, and I breathed in his taste, because I couldn’t help it, and he was everywhere, in every sense, and I was burning up.

When he finally broke free, I cried out and I wasn’t sure if it was from the loss of him or from what I knew was surely to come.

Zayne held on to my shoulders, his gaze locked on mine. And he was standing, not convulsing, not dropping to the ground or turning into something straight out of a nightmare.

We stared at each other, both of us breathing heavy. “You... You’re okay?”

“I am.” Part of him sounded a bit surprised. “I am completely fine.”

“I don’t understand,” I whispered, staring into his eyes.

One side of his lips curled up. “I told you, Layla-bug. I f**king told you.”

My heart tap-danced in my chest. “It doesn’t make sense. This is impossible. Something has—”

Zayne kissed me again, effectively shutting me up and shutting down everything in me that wasn’t focused on the way his lips felt against mine. He took my breath in the most wonderful way possible.

My feet were once again flat on the ground and his hands slid to my cheeks, tilting my head back. I moaned into the kiss as he slanted his head, taking it deeper and longer. I gripped his shoulders.

I didn’t know what came over us. Maybe it was the fact that we’d gone forever thinking we could never share something that everyone took for granted. Or maybe it was all the wild emotions we were feeling. Maybe it was more than just a swelling of passion. I didn’t care. Either way, the promise I’d made to myself last night crumbled like a dried up petal. I was drowning in him.

Our mouths didn’t break contact as he gripped my waist and lifted me again, urging my legs around his hips. I didn’t think we’d ever stop kissing. There was no way. Not even if an Alpha landed beside us and started to dance naked.

Zayne turned, his hands skating up my back, tangling in my hair, and then they were traveling down to my hips. The shivers drove me crazy. He was walking and the next second, my back was against the Impala.

I slid my hands into his hair, getting my fingers tangled in the softness as he shifted his weight to the side, reaching for the door. The boy had skill, because somehow he got the back door open without breaking contact.

He bent at the knees and then we were out of the cold and inside the backseat, his long body pressed down on mine, and he was still kissing me, dragging my breath into his.

He should’ve weighed a ton, but the weight of him was delicious and maddening in all the crazy ways.

“God,” he whispered against my swollen lips as he lifted his head. “I’ve thought about this for a very long time, and I had no idea it would feel like this.”

My thoughts were scrambled as I placed my hand against his smooth jaw. He kissed me again, like a man starving for oxygen, taking lengthy, breathy draughts. He nibbled when he pulled back, only to come back for more, and things spun out of control.

His hand slid up my h*ps and under my shirt and the touch of his skin against mine, the mixing of our emotions and needs, it reached deep inside me, warming every cell, filling every dark space in me.

All the years of dreaming about being able to do this rushed to the surface in both of us and it made us greedy and crazy. My fingers clutched at his shirt and when he lifted his head this time, I tugged and he answered, letting me pull it off. My hands smoothed down his chest as he bent his head to mine. I tasted in him my own consuming desire. I felt it and I welcomed the whirl of it, reveled in it, and it was I who deepened the kiss this time.

The sound he made curled my toes as his h*ps pushed against mine. My heart kicked and my pulse pounded throughout my body. And then my thermal was off, disappearing somewhere on the floor of the Impala. His fingers skated over my ribs, reaching the fragile clasp. There was just a flick of his wrist, and then we both were bare from the waist up.

Oh my God, we were on the side of the road, in the backseat of a car, half-undressed, and it was human and normal.

A laugh bubbled up from me and escaped against his lips. Zayne’s brows drew down, but before he could speak, I stretched up and kissed him again, simply marveling in the fact that I could kiss him—that this was happening.

“Sorry,” I said. “I just never expected this. I never—”

He kissed me softly, a lazy sensual exploration that had to have steamed the windows of the car. “I never thought it was impossible. I’ve always trusted you.”

Tears pricked my eyes for a very different reason this time. “Zayne, I...”

I couldn’t finish the thought, but it was okay.

Time seemed to stop for us and what we were doing was crazy insane, but we were too caught up in each other to care. His lips trailed a fiery path over my cheek as his hand traced where Bambi was curled around my ribs. Her head was using my breast as a pillow again, and I didn’t mind. Not when he followed the elegant curve of her body with his hand and then his mouth, causing mine to arch into his touch.

He lifted his head again, his gaze hooked to my face, and then it traveled down, and my breath caught. Then our bodies were flush, chest against chest and I’d never felt anything like it before. A deep groan rumbled through him and a thousand emotions erupted inside me. Our bodies moved together, against the backseat. A wildness pulsed through me. I pulled him closer, sweeping my lips over his, and he trembled. I wanted to feel more. I slipped my hand down the thick cords in his neck and back, and then lower. He sucked in a sharp breath.

And the way his body rocked against mine and the tension I could feel building in both of us told me where this was heading. It wasn’t impossible, the location and all. In the back of my head, I knew I wouldn’t be the first girl, and maybe not even the first with Warden blood in her veins, to do this. If there was a will—and, holy moly, there was so a will—there was a way.

There was something in me, though, that threw on the brakes. I didn’t know what it was or if it had a name. Or maybe I did, and my heart and my brain didn’t want to claim ownership of that, but confusion left my skin chilled. I wanted this. Badly. Maybe it was just nerves, but suddenly my hands were shaking. All I did know was that my anxiety had nothing to do with the stupid spell tied to my virginity. If a Lilin really had been created, my virginity was a moot point, and even if there was no Lilin, Lilith’s chains were already broken, so that didn’t matter. No, it was something else.

“Zayne,” I whispered, breathing in his air. “We should...”

His eyes were closed when he answered. “Stop?”

I nodded.

“You’re right.” He rested his forehead against mine, dragging in deep breaths. “We need to stop. I don’t want it to be like the backseat of my car.”

Somehow I flushed. Strange to be embarrassed now, when being half-naked didn’t have that effect on me. I swallowed as he pressed his lips to the bridge of my nose and then lifted up, using his arms to support himself and put space between us.

The way he stared at me made me want to take my foot off the brakes and floor it. “God, Layla, I... There really aren’t any words.”

There weren’t, and not in a bad way. Even though there was a niggle of weirdness in me, threatening to shatter this warmth, speechlessness was a bounty.

Zayne ran his hand over my skin, as if he was seeking to memorize the feel, and then he found the clothing that had ended up on the floor of the car. He helped me get back into them, and it probably took longer than necessary, because he’d stop and kiss my shoulder, then my neck and he had me wanting to undo all of his hard work.

When he pulled me out of the backseat, cool night air washed over my blazing skin. He captured my cheeks, tilting my head back. “I don’t want to hear anymore crap about you being responsible for what’s been happening,” he said, his eyes holding mine. “If this proves anything, it shows you that you are capable of controlling your abilities. You’d know if you were taking souls. You aren’t. So that’s it. No more. Promise me.”

I’d been real bad at keeping promises lately, but I promised him and prayed it was one I could keep.

* * *

It was a little after six in the morning when, mostly asleep, I felt my bed dip under sudden weight. I blinked groggy eyes open and smiled a little as the blankets stirred and an arm snaked around my waist.

Warmth pressed against my back. Every morning for the past week, this was how Zayne woke me when he returned from hunting. The past couple of days...well, it had been something straight out of dreams. We spent a lot of time together, either holed up in my bedroom or his, or we’d spend time over at Stacey’s place with her and Sam. Thanksgiving came and went. On Saturday, we’d left and had coffee like we used to, but this time had been different. There’d been kissing. There’d been a lot of kissing. So much so that my lips felt swollen a good part of the day.

My favorite part was the mornings, though. He was always extra touchy then and it was one Hell of a way to wake up. I knew eventually that this would have to stop. Someone would catch him entering and leaving my bedroom and his father would stroke out. And there were bigger reasons why. Reality hadn’t really existed since my suspension. There were no issues with the Lilin, nothing from Roth except harmless texts here and there, and when I was with Zayne, it was easy to believe that I wasn’t responsible for the infection.

Zayne nuzzled my neck and then chuckled as I squirmed when he hit a sensitive spot. “Good morning,” he said, kissing the space below my ear before he lifted his head.

“Morning.” I rolled onto my back and somehow, right into his arms. “You’re back early.”

“Yeah.” He tugged my blanket down to my waist, grinning when he saw Bambi’s head peeking out from under the low collar on my shirt. “It was kind of dead last night.”

His head dipped and his lips brushed over mine in a soft, tantalizing touch. I raised my hand, placing it against his chest. The thin shirt he wore was a hindrance that annoyed me, but his heart pounded strongly against my palm.

The kiss deepened as he shifted closer. One of his legs ended up between mine and the weight of him above me did wonderfully wicked things to my insides. His hand ran down my stomach and then under the hem. When it came into contact with my bare skin, I picked up the intensity in what he was feeling. The need. Desire. Something far stronger drove him. My back arched into his touch and my toes curled.

After what felt like forever, but not long enough, he pulled back with a regretful sigh. Both of us were breathing heavily. Our chests rising against each other. One of his hands was still under my shirt, touching me. Little tremors coursed through me.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout The Dark Elements Fantasy