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Authors: Rhyannon Byrd

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Paranormal

Edge of Hunger (8 page)

BOOK: Edge of Hunger
8.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Lust thickened in Ian's throat, choking off his ability for speech. He gripped her wrists, pulling her arms away from her body, pinning them at her sides. The red-and-black swirl of the rug accentuated the warm, luminous glow of her skin, while her honeyed scent grew stronger with the rise of her pulse. Atop the delicate swell of her breasts, her nipples hardened like tender berries, lush and beautiful and ripe. He wanted to draw them into the heat of his mouth, suck on them until she came undone. Wanted to run his lips across her fever-warm skin, so smooth and soft and delicious, and work his way down the mouthwatering length of her body.

"Ian?" she whispered, her voice hushed...shaky. "How?"

He shook his head, unable to pull his heavy gaze away from the provocative details of her figure, each exquisite discovery making him ache just a little harder, a little deeper. "I don't know."

"Where are we?" she asked, her breasts rising and falling as the cadence of her breathing grew shorter and sharper.

"Don't care. Just don't move, don't cover yourself," he growled, a grittier edge to his voice than he'd ever heard before, graveled and rough. He released his hold on her wrists and shifted, rubbing himself against her, against those perfect breasts and the soft, slick folds nestled between her splayed thighs, her sex so tender and wet he damn near lost it then and there. There were so many things he wanted to do to her, to take from her. Harsh, explicit intimacies that had no place between strangers--and yet, he'd have taken them if he had the time. Hell, he'd have given her more of himself than he'd ever given any other woman in his entire life--have lost himself in her, content to spend days on end exploring the sensual secrets of her body, drowning in the the breathtaking details.

But time was the one thing he didn't have.

He knew that with each harsh, erratic breath, the seconds he'd been granted with her were slipping away. Trying to grab hold of them would be like struggling to trap rushing water within his hand. Pointless, futile, and a waste of his time.

The scene was just too perfect to last. At any moment, Ian expected to have it ripped out from under him, leaving him completely destroyed.

He only hoped he didn't crash and burn when it happened--when he lost her.

Pointless apologies for being such a jackass jammed painfully in his throat, leaving a bitter taste in his mouth. He choked them back as he caught the hazy, burnished glow of her gaze, saying, "I want to go down on you. I want it so bad I can taste it, Molly. But I don't know how long this is going to last, and no way in hell am I missing the chance to fuck you again."

She didn't recoil at his crass honesty or try to roll away from him. She just lay there against the carpet, beautifully supplicant, arms bent, palms open either side of her flushed face, her hair a tangled fury of golden curls around the violent bloom of color in her cheeks. The luminous depths of her eyes pulled on him, dragging him deeper, as if he were falling into her, completely under her spell.

A log popped, crackling in the fireplace while an ominous bellow of thunder rumbled somewhere in the distance, the harsh pulse of the oncoming storm echoing the violent pounding of his heart. Taking her softly panting silence for consent, Ian pressed closer, wanting to cradle her hands within his own, to rub his thumbs into the humid cups and stroke her skin, but he fought the urge, afraid of where that closeness would take him. It was already scary enough, this wild, unknown emotional no-man's-land he kept finding himself in every time he got close to her.

Settling deeper between her spread thighs, Ian braced his weight on one elbow, then greedily opened his mouth over the succulent tip of her left breast, so hungry for her, he wanted to eat her alive. He rolled the exquisite, berry-red nipple against his tongue...and fit himself against her. Their gazes locked. Held for a single, smoldering instant. Then he lifted his head and drove his body into her with a thick, grinding motion, having to work at her as hard as he had the night before. Her eyes went wide, white teeth sinking into the pansy-soft cushion of her lower lip...and Ian shoved deeper.

Locking his jaw, he slowly pulled back his hips, the sensations so acute they bordered on that intense precipice of pleasure and pain. When he'd almost pulled completely out of her--his muscles tensed, skin sweat-slick and burning--he shoved back in, harder this time, somehow giving her more of him. His left hand came up to fist in the pale curls that haloed her head, holding her steady as he came down over her. Needing her taste, he claimed her mouth in an urgent, eating kiss, savoring her throaty moans against his tongue like a breathless stream of promises. Wrapping his other hand around her hip, his fingers biting into her flesh, he powered himself into her as if his life depended on it. Each heavy, possessive thrust fed a part of his soul that was greedy for every part of her, as if he could break her open and claim the pieces for his own.

"Look at the reflection," he commanded against her lips in a dark, husky whisper, sharing her breath, her nipples hard against his chest, dragging against his skin as he moved over her, inside of her.

She panted, shaking her head.

"Look at the goddamn reflection, Molly."

His fingers tightened in her hair, turning her head for her, and she stared at the explicit image emblazoned upon the wall of windows that took up an entire side of the room.

"I bet you've never had that particular look on your face before," he rasped with a low, wicked rumble of laughter. "Not Little-Miss-Molly-Do-Right. You're too shy. Too buttoned-up. Except with me. You know how hot that makes me?"

She shook her head again, gasping, and he said, "I get off on knowing that I'm the only man who can crack that cool, pristine surface of yours and make you go wild. Make you scream and claw at me, completely out of control."

And it was true. At the moment, her small nails were dug into his biceps so hard, he knew crescent marks would be left behind on his skin, a testament of her passion.

Her eyes drifted closed as the intensity cranked higher, her body writhing, drawing closer...and closer to the edge, before she suddenly turned her face away from him. She was holding it back, denying her body what it wanted. Fighting it. Hiding from it. Hiding from him.

Grasping her chin, Ian pulled her back. "Eyes open, Molls. I want to see it happen. Want to watch your face when you go over."


"Oh, yeah." The words were gritty and thick with lust, with pleasure. "Stop fighting it."

"You'll leave me again," she said quietly, her lashes lifting, revealing eyes that glistened with tears, the look in their mysterious depths making his breath catch, while something in his chest clenched with pain. In that moment, Ian had the strangest feeling that even though she was the one pinned to the floor, she held all the power, and there was nothing he could do to reclaim it.

Lowering his mouth to the moist hollow of her throat, he told her, "I won't. I won't leave you."

She drew in a deep, shivery breath, clutching his back, her hands cool against the scalding heat of his body, and broke with his next down stroke, the tight, rhythmic pulses of her orgasm pulling him in, holding him, refusing to let him go. His tongue flicked against the damp heat of her skin, wanting the salty sweetness of her flesh, needing it...craving it, and the next thing he knew, his fangs were buried deep in the side of her throat, near her shoulder. A sharp, hoarse scream pierced the air, the roar of his heartbeat deafening and fast in his ears, while the warm, heady spill of her blood filled his mouth, thick and hot and seductively rich.

This was what he craved. This claiming of both her blood and her body. It was the one thing that satisfied that gnawing emptiness in his soul. The one thing that made him feel almost at peace, as if he was right where he belonged.

The thick pleasure slipped down his throat, his mouth working with greedy intent against her skin, needing more...and more, the hunger growing more insatiable than it had been before, suddenly frightening him with its power, its urgency. Ian fought himself for what seemed like endless, drugging moments. Wicked, decadent pleasure pulsed heavily in every cell of his body. Finally, he managed to rip himself away, terrified he would drown in that dark, destructive burn of gratification and drain her dry.

Can't...Can't lose her.

Ian screwed his eyes shut against the haunting beauty of her blood spilling gently from the puncture wounds, slipping across the translucent glow of her skin.

"Shit...shit," he hissed, his fangs heavy within his gums, her taste exquisitely hot in his mouth, while his body slammed into her harder...faster. He wanted to run, to escape the uncomfortable knowledge sinking into his bones, but he kept his word, staying with her until the hot, blistering friction shoved him into his own raging explosion. He pulled free at the last second, erupting onto her pale stomach in hard, violent surges, the intensity of the orgasm all but destroying him, turning him inside out. He looked everywhere and nowhere--anywhere but at her face, in her eyes. He had no idea what'd he see there, and he was terrified of finding out.

"Ian," she said softly, her voice hitching with emotion. "Don't leave. Please. Not yet."

He ground his jaw, not knowing what to say, how to give her what she needed. Comfort.

Warmth. Caring. Those things were as foreign to him as color to a blind man.

You have to give her something, jackass.

"Molly," he rasped, forcing himself to meet her gaze. "I..." He tried to choke out an apology, an explanation, the words somehow strangled inside of him, and she lifted her hand, cupping his cheek in her cool, soft palm.

"Shh, it's okay," she whispered, the look in her eyes so strangely tender, it scared the ever-loving hell out of him. "You don't have to say anything, Ian. Just hold me."

"Yeah. All right." The simple words came out alarmingly shaky, his eyes suspiciously hot, the strange buzz of emotions slamming through him as terrifying as they were unfamiliar. There was more than just a beast awakening within him. The very fabric of his being, his personality, was being shifted, altered, molded into something new beneath the power of her hands.

He loathed it as much as he hungered for more, for everything she could give him. The rational part of his mind wanted to retreat, to escape the gauzy web of emotional overload closing in around him like a suffocating fog, but he held firm, unwilling to leave before giving her this one thing. He owed it to her after she'd given of herself so freely, so beautifully.

"Come on," she teased, holding out her arms to him. "I promise I don't bite."

The corner of his mouth twitched with bitter humor, and he lowered himself over her, letting her take his weight, the delicious cushion of her body pressed against his own making him hiss, his fangs still heavy within his mouth, the exquisite taste of her blood lingering like a gift.

But it was her arms closing around him that undid him. That, and the way she suddenly smiled at him. Beautiful. Sweet. Shy and serene. So trusting, it blew his goddamn mind.

He should have known it was too good to last.

Her breath sucked in on a sharp gasp the second the dream began changing on him, the room melting away, like an acid trip gone bad. A blistering wind swept through the swaying pines, replacing the warmth of the fire, the carpet giving way to the fertile soil of the forest. The air was heavy, electric, the storm rolling in hard and fast.

"Ian!" Molly cried, her small nails digging into his arms, eyes huge within the startled expression of fear creeping over her face, the damp flush of satisfaction paling to ghostly white.

Ready to reassure her that everything was going to be okay, that he wouldn't hurt her...that he'd protect her, he opened his mouth, when something cried out in the distance, like a wolf's howl, but different. Harsher, thicker, grittier. Guttural and terrifying as hell.

"Fuck," he snarled, sweeping his gaze from side to side. The hairs on the back of his neck were standing up, his body tense, ready for battle. Something was out there. Something evil.

Something hungry.

Hating the helpless feeling of inevitability creeping over him, slimy and cold and slick, Ian scrambled to his feet, spinning in a circle. Panic clawed its way beneath his skin, digging painfully deep, shredding his confidence. "Go!" he barked at Molly, when she stumbled to her feet. Her pale body gleamed like a pearl beneath the ethereal streams of lavender moonlight, and it terrified him, how delicate and fragile she was. "Get the hell out of here!" he roared, knowing they were running out of time...that every moment she stayed with him put her life in danger.

Whatever was out there, it was closing in. Fast. And it wanted him.

She shook her head, chin lifting, and then her eyes suddenly went huge as she looked over his shoulder. He braced himself for the blow before it came, survival instincts surging into focus.

Something heavy and thick slammed into him, taking him to the ground, knocking the air from his lungs at the same time Molly let out a bloodcurdling scream of terror.

"She's going to scream like that when I fuck her stupid little brains out, just like that other useless bitch," a grizzled voice rasped in his ear, the heavy weight of it pinning him to the ground, and Ian felt the stirring of that thing inside of him. Felt its growl breaking out of his chest, bleeding out in a feral sound of outrage and fury as the darkness rose beneath the fevered surface of his skin.

"Casus," he snarled, the word surging up from the depths of his subconscious without any direction from his brain.

"Come on, Merrick," it whispered huskily in his ear, the rank, meaty stench of its breath filling his nose, sliding down his throat, gagging him. "Give me a run for my money."

And in the next instant, Ian awakened.


WITH A STRANGLED GASP, Ian opened his eyes, blinking against the shifting shadows of his living room, the low buzz from the TV drowned out by the hammering beat of his heart, the colors from the screen painting the room in a hazy, psychedelic glow. "Christ," he hissed, scrubbing his hands down his face, struggling to get his breathing under control, his body slick with sweat, chest so tight that for a moment he almost believed he was having a heart attack.

BOOK: Edge of Hunger
8.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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