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Authors: Christine Feehan

Dark Illusion (26 page)

BOOK: Dark Illusion
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You have the heart of a warrior, Isai, but really, the soul of a poet.

He wasn’t certain what she meant by that, but the whisper in his mind was sensual and breathless, making him feel as if she thought he was her everything.

You’re making me fall in love with you. You’re definitely becoming my everything.

His mouth closed over her right breast and she arched her back, cradled his head and gave a little startled moan.

You are my everything, Julija. Never doubt that.
He meant it. It wasn’t just because she was fated for him, although a lifemate was a treasure beyond any price, but everything about her appealed to him.

Not everything,
she reminded, her fingers wandering down his spine until she found the small of his back. They pressed there for a moment and then shaped his buttocks.

he assured.
You were so afraid, Julija, and I did not understand. I should have taken the time to find out what was wrong before I condemned you.
He didn’t like to think that he’d failed his lifemate in anything, but he knew he should have shown more patience.

He kissed his way over the curve of her breast and under, found her left breast and drew it into the heat of his mouth. She seemed sensitive, and he was gentle, using his tongue and just the edge of his teeth to build her need of him.

He slid his hand down her belly and over her mound to the tiny little curls guarding the treasure that was for him.

I like knowing you are mine,
he admitted. The thought slipped into his head often. He had someone. He wasn’t alone. She was his. Julija. She really was everything to him.

Julija couldn’t help staring at Isai’s face, all those edges and planes. He
was strong. He’d seen countless battles. He had an implacable strength and it showed, stamped in that strong jaw and ruthless set to his mouth. Right now, his face was soft, gentle, loving even. His expression turned her heart over.

I like knowing you’re mine, too.
She still had a difficult time believing he wanted her. There was a tiny part of her that kept expecting her father or Barnabas to jump out at her, laughing cruelly to tell her she’d fallen for one of their illusions.

You will be certain of me over time, little mage,
he whispered, reminding her he could read her thoughts easily—as she could read his. It was very difficult to lie to someone or carry on an illusion when that person was in your head.

His mouth was making it impossible to think. Or breathe. He took her every thought away, sweeping her into another realm, another dimension where there was nothing but pure feeling, all good.

She’d never felt sensual or beautiful or just plain sexy. Isai made her feel all three. She heard her own gasps, those little ragged pleas as he made his way down her body, taking his time. It felt as if he was worshiping her. He was almost reverent—almost. The nips and licks became more demanding, more passionate, until she couldn’t think at all. There was only Isai, surrounding her with his heat, his strength and the pleasure that bordered on sin.

Then his mouth was on her and she cried out, the sound reverberating through the cavern, sounding breathless, sexy and needy. His hands were strong, stroking caresses over her body. He didn’t feel greedy. He didn’t feel as if he was simply preparing her body for his pleasure. He felt . . . loving. Stroking love over every inch of her with hands and mouth, with his tongue and teeth. Showing her love.

Isai took his time, wanting to know every inch of her. What made her gasp? What made her cry out? What made her wanton with need? His woman. She needed care when it came to loving. She needed to know the man with her wanted to give her every pleasure and pain wasn’t in any way part of that equation. It wasn’t about him. This was for her. All for her. His pleasure came with the scorching heat of her body, the sound of her
cries, the way her legs wrapped him up and her fingernails dug into his shoulders.

She was his world and she needed to know that. After the deception that had been played on her, the dark world of the mage, pretending to love her, to care about her, and taking her down that dark path out of some spiteful need to see others suffer, Julija needed to be reassured every time he touched her. He wanted her to recognize love when she felt it, so she would never doubt, never ever feel as if she could be touched with anything but love.

“Isai, you have to hurry.” She whispered the words aloud in a rush of heat and need.

He kissed the inside of her right thigh, rubbing his gleaming, shadowed jaw there so it scraped gently over her sensitive skin. “Do I?” he asked and switched to her left inner thigh, rubbing like a cat. He blew warm air on her glistening body.

Blood pounded through her, hot and wild. Her hips bucked. His hold on her tightened as he guided his shaft between her legs. The moment he touched her with his heavy cock, she felt fire spreading. He wasn’t even in her, but he had taken his time, not missing a single inch of her body and she needed him so much she tried to push herself onto his thick, hot erection.

“We are not in any hurry,” he assured her. “We have all the time in the world.”

“We don’t!” she wailed. “We really don’t.” Because if he didn’t take her, she was going to go up in flames. Burn right there with him probably looking down at her wondering what happened.

A smile broke out on his face. She hadn’t thought anything could make him look younger, but all at once, that weathered, rough mask was gone, and he looked carefree.
Isai belonged to her.

“Get on with it,” she said, clenching her teeth as he held her deliberately still.

“I am contemplating.” He held very still, not breaching her entrance.

Her breath hissed out in a long, slow whimper of disapproval. “Now is not the time to be cute, Isai. I’m really going to spontaneously combust.”

He moved up her body slowly, kissing the dragon, the mark that told him she was Dragonseeker. Kissing his way up her belly, stopping to dip and swirl his tongue in her belly button. Nibbling on the underside of her breasts. He seemed to get distracted by her nipples, teasing and tugging, his tongue flicking until she was pushing her heels into the mattress, hips bucking, her body desperate to draw him in, to surround him with her heat. He kissed his way from her fingertips to her forearm, then over the mark of the high mage, the one that told him she was a very powerful mage.

Isai kissed her throat and then looked up at her, into her eyes. “I am saying something to you, Julija, something you need to hear. I want you to tell me what I am saying to you.”

He kissed her mouth gently, another long, drugging kiss that left her breathless. Senseless. Dazed by his touch. She studied his face through half-closed eyes. She could see love stamped there into every line. She could see it in his hooded, mesmerizing eyes. Her heart clenched hard and then seemed to melt. For a moment she felt overwhelming fear. He was wrapping himself so tightly around her heart, merging so deeply with her soul, she knew she would never be happy without him. It was too much. Too intense.

Looking at his face, she realized it might be intense. It might be too much. But that didn’t make it any less real. He felt that deeply for her. The same way she was feeling for him. She touched his face with trembling fingertips.

He turned his head to capture her fingers in his mouth.
What am I saying to you?

You’re telling me you love me.
She whispered the words into his mind because he shook her every time.

Instantly, his hand was there between them, grasping his heavy cock, sliding it inside her and then, without waiting, he surged forward. Fire streaked up her spine and radiated out from her core to every part of her body. She gasped and clutched at his shoulders, needing an anchor as he began to move in her.

With every stroke, every thrust, she felt the combination, fire and
love. Love and fire. She knew he wasn’t finished telling her. She was in his mind and knew he wanted it to sink into her bones, be branded there. For eternity.

The fire built hotter and hotter until she thought she might really spontaneously combust. Deep inside, that tension coiled tighter and tighter, desperate for release until she thought she might go insane. Through it all, through the flames and fire, she held on to him. Isai. Then she was crying out, the pleasure streaking through her, passion rocking her world, taking her somewhere she’d never been. Wave after wave crashed through her, completely consuming her.

They lay together, both fighting for air, her body surrounding his, the aftershocks keeping him gripped tightly, feeding both their pleasure. Then his mouth was on her neck, teeth sinking deep, triggering another massive orgasm that swept through her, shaking her, until she was clinging to him, one hand in his hair, holding him to her.

The moment he had taken his fill, he rolled them over, so, still locked with him, she was sprawled on top of him.
Take my blood, sívamet.

His voice was a whisper of temptation, of erotic promise, a velvet brush of love, impossible to resist. She licked over the pulse beating so strongly in his neck. His cock jerked hard, swelled impossibly. Her teeth sank deep and he moved in her, triggering another hot orgasm that swept through her so intensely it flung her back to that place she just floated in surrounded by his love and nothing but sheer pleasure.

His blood was hot, spicy, the taste exploding against her tongue, spreading through her body to merge with the tsunami building again. When it broke through her, the intensity of it swept Isai along, catching him in the strong waves rushing through her body. She felt the hot splash of his seed. All of it together, the taste of his blood, his release, hers, merged them into one being, sharing the same skin, the same mind. It was beyond anything she had ever hoped or dreamt of experiencing.

Julija slid her tongue over the twin pinpricks in his neck and then allowed herself to collapse over top of him. She couldn’t move. She might never move. She was quite happy to stay right where she was. She just closed her eyes and nestled her cheek against the hollow of his
throat. She had no idea how long they lay together, just drifting in a world of pleasure. She felt safe, surrounded by his love. It was the best feeling in the world.

She supposed she couldn’t spend the rest of her life like that, although she was willing to try. Eventually one of them stirred and she sat up, waited for him to do so as well, and she scooted back until she leaned against him, using him as a headboard. He didn’t seem to mind in the least. He just wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight. She wasn’t going to try to tell him how much what he’d done meant. She felt too raw. Too shy. But she believed.

“I take it you fed the cats this evening.”

Isai dropped a kiss onto the top of her head. “Of course. And then gave them the order to stay in the other chamber. If I hadn’t, they would have been driving us insane with their demands to feed and for attention. I thought Phantom and Sable looked better this morning.”

“Your blood is . . .” She searched for the right word and finally settled on one. “Potent.”

“Potent?” he echoed, a smile in his voice.

She tipped her head back until she could see his eyes. She particularly liked when she could get him to smile. The smiles were so rare. “Very potent,” she reiterated. “I’m addicted.”

“When you do not get blood to feed, Julija, does it weaken you?”

She nodded. “Very much. I can’t really eat regular food, not like the others in my family. Animal blood doesn’t help with the craving at all.”

“But you never slept in the ground.”

“No, I never even contemplated it, but I did lie in it sometimes. I studied your species for years, but I didn’t try any of the things I’d learned about them, especially sleeping covered completely.”

His chin nuzzled the top of her head. Strands of hair caught in his shadow, tying them together. “
species, Julija. You are Carpathian. There is little doubt. You are also mage. It is unusual to say the least. After we find this book, it will be good to ask questions of others to see if they have heard of such a phenomenon.”

“I like that you think I’m a phenomenon, but I don’t want a bunch of
strangers talking about me. Can’t we just keep that part to ourselves? I can tell Elisabeta. She won’t say anything about me to anyone.”

“Elisabeta is Ferro’s lifemate. He told us just before the prince contacted Tariq and asked him to send someone after Iulian. I recognized the name, knew it was my brother and took the job of hunter. It is my duty to make certain our name is lived with honor.”

Julija was fairly certain Iulian had been noble as well as honorable.

“There is a small lake, very beautiful. Few campers, although I saw signs of horses when I flew over the vicinity, so I’m certain there are a few people who visit on a regular basis. Hopefully, they are gone at night. We will look closer this eve.”

“Evening,” she corrected automatically and then felt horrible. She liked his more formal way of talking. It appealed to her and when his accent slipped into his dialect, the combination was irresistible.

“I need you to make certain I fit into this century, and that includes with my speech,” he assured her, subtly reminding her that he had access to her thoughts.

“You fit in. Women will be so busy drooling over you when they meet you, and the way you talk is very sexy, adding to that allure.” Did she have a jealous note in her voice? She hoped not. She didn’t want to lose him to any other woman . . .

, you still do not understand the concept of lifemates, and you had better learn quickly, before we go back to be surrounded by others. I am in your mind, just as you are in mine. It is easy to see your insecurities and know the reasons for them, but at the same time, you have to understand it is impossible for me to see any other woman but you. I have searched centuries for you.
There were times I gave up, but in my mind, you were always there. You. Not some other woman. Had I wanted other women, I would have had them. I want you. You are my choice. Lifemate aside, you are my choice.”

BOOK: Dark Illusion
4.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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