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Authors: Billi Jean

Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction

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BOOK: Eternal Embrace
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Joey. She was a survivor. He’d make certain of it. Maybe this was his second chance, and fate didn’t toss beggars crumbs too often. Joey provided enough proof by existing that he wasn’t the cold, heartless bastard he wanted everyone to think he was. He cared for her until his chest tore at the thought of her hurt, let alone suffering like she was on his bed right now. She was going to shake his life to the foundations, but wasn’t he ready for that? He should be. Excitement warred with his fears until he shoved his chair back and walked to the bed. Joey was his life now. It might take some convincing and maybe even some pleading on his part, but hell if he was sitting here when this salve might cure her.

Swallowing tightly, he sat next to her. She was silent. No more signs of a struggle appeared to be bothering her, but her breathing had turned shallow.

“Shit, get your ass together, man,” he muttered.

She twisted, as if she could hear his voice. If she could, she’d probably snap his head off. A smile tugged at his lips for a moment. Yeah, he’d nearly jumped into that cab with her when she’d let him have it. She’d yelled at him with enough heat to burn him. For some damn reason her tirade had turned him on so badly he’d wanted to jump in the cab with her then jump
her
. Not the reaction she was probably aiming for, but damn, the woman stirred him. Even now, he wanted to wrap his arms around her and hold on as tight as possible.

Insane. She drove him insane.

Stilling her with a hand on her flat stomach, he pushed the sheets and blankets off her slim legs with his other. A low growl broke free from him at the sign of another vampire’s bite on her inner thigh. His anger had no outlet though, so he breathed steadily and settled his nerves. He’d killed the bastards who had done this, but looking at her wounds made him wish he’d made them suffer first. Barbaric, but hey, that was life. Brutal.

She murmured, the first time since he’d brought her here days before.

He froze with his fingers a breath away from her cool skin, and cautiously glanced up. She still slept, but her breasts rose and fell rapidly, the pink nipples so hot his body hardened just at the sight of them. On the inner curve of the left one, hidden from him, he knew another bite mark marred her perfection. The spot taunted him, drawing his lip in a snarl he couldn’t control.

After several seconds of her not moving, he forced himself to turn his gaze away, unscrewed the lid and spread a small amount of the clear salve on her wound as gently as he could. After a few more minutes of massaging the wound, he examined the two puncture marks and felt his breath come easier. The blue, angry lines trailing off had lightened to nearly invisible against her healthier-looking skin. The wound looked almost like any other injury after a few days of healing.

Beneath him, Joey’s breathing slowed and gradually she relaxed.

She belongs in my bed.
The thought stilled his breath. She did, though. Her short red curls made his hands ache to run his fingers through them and tug her beautiful lips to his. She had an amazing mouth—her lips were lush, puffy-looking. Her hair simply teased him—the bright colour drew his eyes even when he tried not to look at her. Teased him, too with the silkiness of it.

He usually liked long hair on a woman, but the chic bob fit Joey so well, he never wanted her to look any other way. The soft edges brushed along the nape of her neck and made his heart race just remembering how he’d taken her, from behind, his lips pressed right there. He wanted her to pulse under his lips again, wanted to taste her sweet-smelling skin and experience the caress of her silky hair against his face.

She shifted her legs restlessly on the bed, jarring him out of his thoughts. If she looked better, did that mean the salve had healed the wounds, or rid her of the curse? Uncertainty pissed him off. He liked to know the battle before he hit the field. With Joey, it was like someone had ripped the rug right out from under him. Cursing under his breath in case his voice woke her, he bent over her, carefully smoothing more of the balm over her rounded breast. His fangs dropped in anger and lust at the mark of another on her, but he fought the need to tear through her flesh and erase all evidence of anyone before him. Instead, he concentrated on the easy, gentle motion of his fingers against her flesh.

He’d have decisions to make if she survived. If he had to guess, Joey would not be happy—not even slightly happy—he’d saved her only to live among his kind.
Will she hate me?

Will it matter?

Yes, it would matter, he realised, understanding in that moment why he’d fought his attraction to her for so long. He wanted her until it had almost made him cross the line. Their night of passion had almost ended completely differently—with him claiming her.

He’d not. He’d resisted by some power he still couldn’t understand. But now, he looked down at the perfection of Joey and knew he’d do whatever he had to in order to keep her—claim her.

But what if she doesn’t want you? Elizabeth didn’t—not really.

Jax shook his head at the memory of Elizabeth. She’d never wanted him. Joey though, she had wanted him.

Once.

Before you deserted her.

“She is different.”

Shaking himself, he focused on her, examining the mark to see it, too, had lost some of its savage colour.

Her body, though, began a completely new round of torture—on him. Her nipples grew hard, turning from lush rounded beads to sharp berries he wanted to devour. Her breathing increased, turning hectic and outlining her tiny ribs with each pant. She shifted her hips, sliding her legs along the sheets, to open her slim thighs in a mockery of every wet dream he’d ever had.

His body went hard as stone, aching and heavy with the need for her.

Startled at his own intense reaction, he broke away and stood, half turned from her, fighting not to rip his jeans off and slide between her lush thighs to ease the throb hitting him all the way down to his toes. She smelt of heat, too, the lush, sweet scent he’d lost his mind to only once before—in her bed.

Would she want him again? He needed her until he’d grown used to the tight ache in his chest. She’d been safe from him as a human, and he’d protected himself from his desire for all of her, he admitted. Now, with her in his bed—where she looked like she belonged—there was nothing holding him back from taking her, sampling her body and her erotic power nightly, hourly if he chose. From possessing her so deeply that there would be no Joey without Jaxon.

If she lets me.

If she wants me.

“Fuck!” He punched the wall by his head, and cursed again when his knuckles cracked against the solid stone. “When the hell did you start thinking in circles?”

What’s wrong with me?

He looked down at Joey and knew. She was what was wrong with him. Had she eased even more? Was her colour getting better? “What the hell am I going to do with you?” he snarled, more to himself than her.

“Jaxon?”

The softly spoken word shut him down, cut his rant in mid-blow and stalled him where he stood.
Joey.

Will she hate me now?

Something woke Joey, a warm wetness on her face that only slowly did she realise were her tears. Startled, she opened her eyes to an unfamiliar ceiling filled with Romanesque architecture.

She heard a voice grumbling close by, then cursing.

Jaxon?

The knowledge that somehow she was in Jaxon’s home and in his bed—naked—slowly seeped into her consciousness. She sat up, the silk sheet slipped down and she gripped it tight to her throat.

Jaxon stood with his back to her. He was shirtless. He felled her, completely, utterly knocked her on her butt with how sexy he was. Broad-shouldered, with that lean, cut back of a man who could lift the world on his shoulders and barely break a sweat. He had curled her toes with just his sexy smile, let alone all those perfect muscles driving her to orgasm after orgasm. Jaxon looked like Hugh Jackman
wished
he could look. So sexy, he had only to breathe and she wanted him—wanted him to the degree that she’d slept with him, then cried herself sick when he’d sneaked out after leaving her alone in
his
bed.

“Jaxon?”

He spun around, and the complete look of shock on his face did odd, very odd things to her chest she’d think about later. Right now, she was going to kill him. Had he spiked her drink? Her limbs were weak and woozy, as if she’d had one too much tequila the night before, but when she tried to remember the club, all she could remember was the one drink, then…nothing.

His startling blue eyes widened, then he winced and held his hands high as if to ward off her temper. A bit of his dark silky hair fell in his eyes and he jerked it off with a quick snap of his head.

“Joey, darlin’, I know this looks bad, I mean, I don’t want you to get upset, but I have to—”

Darling?
The jerk
had
spiked her drink. Jax was many things, but using ‘darlin’’ on her was low.

“You complete bastard! How could you? You gave me a roofie! What kind of creep
are
you?” She fought with the covers, managed to drop them twice, and ignored the sound of his sudden indrawn breath. Now he appreciated her naked? What about before when he’d walked—no—sneaked out and stayed gone? For weeks! She wrapped the sheet around her body like a toga and glared at him when she tripped over the ends of it trying to get off the bed and he jumped to help her.

“Don’t you dare touch me!”

“Joey, easy, come on—”

“Don’t. You’re lucky I don’t call the cops on you. Did you think you could just sneak out on me, disappear for weeks, yell at me for being in a club—and by the way, it’s a free country, you know? And now, now you’ve obviously dropped something in my drink—” She broke off when he fixed his blue eyes on her with a truly frightening glower, but raced on quickly so he didn’t know how freaking hot that look was. “Geesh! I don’t understand you, I mean why do that? Do you get your rocks off with passed-out women?”

His face flushed and she lost her train of thought when his shoulders and chest muscles did some odd bunching and flexing, but she managed to drag her eyes off the display and zero in on his pissed-off look. What right did he have to be angry with her? She was the naked one—in his bed.

“Whatever, not like you hit the Richter scale the first time.”
Lie.
He’d nearly killed her with such amazing, life-changing sex. She wanted to do things to the man that she knew were illegal in most of the countries of the world.

His shoulders shot up with both his dark eyebrows. “What? Settle the fuck down, Joey, before you choke on such stupidity—”


Stupidity
?” She jumped down from the bed, hating how small she was. If she’d been bigger, she’d have decked him. As it was, she just might anyway. “Whatever.” She held a hand out and he stopped half a foot from her. “I’m outta here.”

“Like hell you are. I need to explain—”

“Oh, I bet you do, but guess what? I don’t have the time and you don’t have the dime.”

“Fuck, when did you turn into such a smart ass? I just—”

“Gah! Stop, would you?” She spun around, startling them both when she hit his bare, sexy chest. Of course, he had a mouth-watering, flat slab-of-muscle chest with just enough hair to make her breasts tingle in memory of how hot his body had been on top of her. He also sported an eight-pack.
Who does that? Has that many tight, hard muscles?

It should be illegal. Truly.

“Back up!”

He stumbled back, looking so outraged it would have been comical if she didn’t want to jump on him and kiss him silly. Or slap him. At six-foot-four or so, he towered over her and as hot as that was, right now she wanted his handsome face just a few feet closer to her so she could slap him.
When did you turn into such a bruiser?
When he’d shown her all she’d been missing in her life, then ripped it out from under her nose before she could grab on and never let go.

“Joey—”

She ignored how just hearing her name from his sexy lips made her want to forgive him everything, or knock his head off. Confusing. He confused her, made her crazy with dreams and ideas, then shoved her into complete disarray with his sneaky departure. She hated wondering why someone did something. She never did that shit, but with Jaxon, she’d tried until she’d needed alcohol just to stem the flood of excuses she’d dreamed up for him.

He settled his hands on his hips like he was large and in charge, and she settled on doing him bodily harm if he so much as touched her.

“You’re going to have to slow the hell down and listen to me for a minute, wildcat! You were in trouble, I need to explain—”

“Stop!” She stalked off in search of her clothes and spotted her skirt and top folded on a chair.

“Joey, stop, you need to slow down and let me explain things.”

When she ignored him and marched over in her toga sheet to her clothing, he growled out a nasty swear word and demanded, “Why did you go to that club? I told you—”

“If I were you, I’d not go there right now.”

She swung her hair out of her eyes and glared over her shoulder at him. How dare he bring up how he’d grabbed her out of that club like some jealous angel, only to shove her in a cab and head back inside?
Without her?

He stalled out as if she’d shocked him. She probably had. She barely recognised her own pissed-off voice. He brought out things in her no one else ever had. Feelings of love and lust she’d sworn she’d never let rule her life. And now, it seemed, hurt and anger. She wanted him to the point of pain. She’d never wanted another man the way she yearned for Jaxon. She’d put herself out there for him. And when she did, he’d done what? Fucked her and left.

Now she seemed to be throwing herself out there in the fighting ring—another first for her. She didn’t get involved in pissing contests, or in verbal warfare. That kind of thing was for women who didn’t understand that you couldn’t force someone to love you by arguing with them. Like her mother.

“I… Joey, look, darlin’, just calm down and let me explain. I wanted to keep you out of that club—”

BOOK: Eternal Embrace
12.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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