Authors: D.B. Reynolds,
With a final flex of his hips, he plunged balls-deep into her heat, his own orgasm racing in an unstoppable wave until it crashed over him, filling her with his release, claiming her once again as his own, now and forever.
* * * *
collapsed against Raphael and waited for the trembling to stop, for her heartbeat to grow even, for her lungs to draw a full breath. Sex with Raphael was like a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart. She snuggled her face against his neck, breathing in his familiar scent, loving the way he was smoothing one hand up and down her back, almost as if to comfort her. She kissed the soft skin of his freshly shaved jaw. A couple more hours and his beard would show up again, and she’d love that, too. Who was she kidding? She loved him any way she could get him.
His arms tightened around her, which was the only warning she got before he stood, taking her with him.
“Where are we going?” she asked lazily.
“To the shower we both need.”
chuckled. “You’re still wearing clothes.”
“Not for long.” He slid her down his body until her feet hit the ground, placing both hands on her waist until he was certain she was steady on her feet. “Stay there,” he ordered.
considered making a run for it, just because it would be so much fun when he chased her. But she was feeling too boneless to generate that much energy, so instead she watched in amusement as Raphael stripped out of his clothes in record speed, giving her a sly glance at the ruin of his shirt.
“You have plenty of shirts,” she dismissed. “In fact, you have plenty of exactly
“The loss was well worth it,” he all but purred, and
felt a little shiver of excitement tighten her nipples.
“Shower,” Raphael said, turning her around and giving her ass a smack.
“Hey!” she protested, even though he’d barely touched her. Their lovemaking became wild sometimes, but he was always exquisitely careful with her. His strength was overwhelming, but he’d never hurt her. Not that way.
“Shower,” he repeated. “Pirozzi is still waiting.”
You sure he hasn’t given up and gone home?”
Raphael laughed. “I’m certain I’d have heard if that were the case. Jared is keeping him company for us.”
good mood hiccupped at the mention of his lieutenant’s name. Jared had been behind the plan to use Raphael as bait for the assassin, and she was sure he’d argued for keeping her in the dark about it, too. Duncan would never have done that. She still missed Raphael’s former lieutenant, even though she understood that his leaving had been a good thing for Duncan and Raphael both. Duncan had finally gotten a territory of his own, which was an honor long overdue. Plus he’d met Emma who, it turned out, was the love of his life. And Raphael … well, Raphael got another ally on the powerful Vampire Council. More, really, since it was Raphael who’d made Duncan a
and the bond between a vampire and his children was nearly unbreakable. One by one, Raphael was seeding the Council with vampires who were either his own children or who’d agreed to ally with him for the foreseeable future.
Raphael had plans, and
wasn’t sure anyone knew exactly what those plans were. She wanted to ask him about it, but was afraid he wouldn’t tell her. Or, worse, that he’d lie about it. And she couldn’t take it if that happened. So, she didn’t ask, figuring he’d tell her when he thought the time was right. In the meantime, she went to every boring meeting, keeping up her side of the bargain. As
was the one who’d insisted on being in on the decision making.
“Inside,” Raphael said, and she realized that he’d hustled her into the bathroom while she’d been thinking of other things. He opened the shower door and leaned in to turn on the water.
“Aren’t you joining me?”
“Of course,” he said, with a small smile.
“Uh oh,” she joked. “You’re thinking bad thoughts.”
“Not at all,” he said smoothly, stepping into the shower behind her and closing the door. “My thoughts are very, very good.”
He lathered up and began washing her body … slowly, sensuously, his strong hands massaging her back, squeezing her ass. She moaned
arching her into him as his fingers dipped between her thighs.
“Now who’s thinking bad thoughts,” he whispered against her overheated skin.
turned to face him, taking pleasure in his indrawn breath as her breasts brushed against his chest. Reaching behind him, she pumped some shower gel into her hands and began stroking his very fine chest. “My turn,” she murmured, letting her hands drift down over his flat belly and farther, until she was caressing the hard length of his fully aroused cock. One of the joys of bedding a vampire—their stamina and recovery was phenomenal. She smiled happily.
,” he said quietly.
She looked up and found his eyes had gone nearly solid silver with lust. Her womb
an aching need swelled between her thighs. She licked her lips, and his gaze shifted avidly.
With a low growl, he lifted her by the waist and pinned her against the tile wall. Looping his hand under her thigh, he wrapped it around his hip, lifting her until his cock was positioned at her entrance.
bucked against him hungrily, wanting him inside her again … and again after that. It would never be enough. Raphael’s hand came between them, and then he was sliding between the swollen folds of her outer lips, forcing his way through the slick tissues of her sheath, until there was nothing between them but skin.
He paused for a moment, his fingers clenching along her thigh, his other hand fisted on the tile over her head as he stared down at her. His cock kicked deep inside her, as if demanding he start moving again.
looked into his eyes and smiled, then flexed her hips just slightly.
Raphael snarled and started fucking her hard and fast, slamming his cock into her, their wet skin slapping noisily in the steamy confines of the shower.
wrapped her arms around his neck and hung on, meeting every thrust with one of her own, threading her fingers through his short hair, digging her nails into his scalp. She cried out as her climax drew closer, as every nerve ending she possessed began quivering in eager anticipation. The inner walls of her sex tightened, caressing Raphael’s thick cock, making him groan as he fought to keep moving in and out.
was drowning in sensation, sweat rolling down her body in the steamy shower, hot water pounding them from all sides. Her skin felt too tight, with even the slightest touch of Raphael’s hand sending waves of pleasure straight to her clit, her nipples so hard that every scrape against his chest was a fresh ripple of orgasmic stimulation. Raphael’s eyes were closed, his muscles straining as he fought his own climax, fought against the loss of control. Focusing hard,
flexed her inner muscles around his cock. Raphael’s eyes flashed open, his hot gaze meeting hers.
“Come with me,
. Come now.”
let go with a groan of relief, letting the climax overtake her. She tipped her head back against the tile wall, her entire body convulsing as desire roared through her veins and shrieked along her nerves, her muscles
until she would have fallen if Raphael hadn’t been there to hold her up. He wrapped her legs around his waist, lifting her higher and spreading her thighs, so he could go even deeper. And then with a rush of heat that she felt in her womb, he was coming, his voice a rasp of sound against her ear as he said her name.
They were late for their meeting, but no one seemed to care. Or at least, no one dared say anything to Raphael.
was certain everyone knew she and Raphael had been humping their brains out. There was only so much one could do to cover up that post-orgasmic glow. But fuck ’
. They could find their own perfect lovers. She had hers, and she was going to take full advantage.
Jared filled them in on what they’d missed so far, a quick and thorough rundown of an incredibly boring session. In a nutshell, Pirozzi wanted to expand his very successful manufacturing operation, and since Raphael was his biggest, and only other, shareholder, he needed the big guy’s approval. Yawn.
But she managed to appear reasonably alert and interested, managed also to remain, if not friendly, then at least polite to Jared. And not to cheer out loud when the meeting ended.
Raphael gave her a discreet wink, knowing her too well not to understand what she was thinking. She gave him wide, who-me?
that fooled no one, least of all Raphael, then watched as he stood to bid Pirozzi farewell, accepting the other vampire’s slight bow of obeisance. There were some vampires in Raphael’s circle, those closer to him, with whom he’d shake hands in greeting, or even, in Lucas’s case, exchange hugs. But then, that was Lucas. He was a very
guy for a vampire. In any event, Pirozzi was not of the inner circle and definitely not a friend. He was simply one of the many vampires who called Raphael master. Raphael ruled his people absolutely, but fairly, and they accorded him both respect and fear. That’s how it worked among vampires.
When Pirozzi and his assistant were gone, Raphael took
hand and pulled her to her feet, draping a possessive arm over her shoulders as he walked her out of the conference room and down the hall to his office.
“Work?” she asked.
“An hour’s worth. You can go downstairs if you want.”
“No, I’ll stay with you. I’ve got some catching up to do, too.”
Raphael settled behind his desk, while
sat on the couch with her laptop. She still did private investigations, but most of her clients were vampires now, and almost all
of her investigations were done remotely. She hadn’t sworn off field work; she liked the adrenaline rush too much. But just as Raphael had promised to keep her in the loop, she’d promised him not to take the kind of crazy risks that had almost gotten her killed. So lately, the only time she’d been in the field was with Raphael, and her on-line research skills were getting better with every job.
“When is that thing in Chicago?” she asked. She’d received a new e-mail job request, but the time frame was short.
“The first week in December,” Raphael said absently,
looked over at her.
“December in Chicago?” she asked unhappily. “We’re going to freeze our asses off.”
“Probably, but the Midwest needs a new lord, and we can’t delay any longer.”
“Do you have to be there?”
“It’s tradition. The presence of the Council lords helps keep violence to a minimum. We will be stopping in South Dakota first, however.”
scowled. “South Dakota. That’s kind of like stopping in Fairbanks to warm up before the Arctic.”
Raphael shot her an amused look. “I need to consult with Lucas, and, against my better judgment, you’ll be meeting Kathryn.”
grinned happily. “Can Emma and Sarah come, too?”
just laughed. But the first thing she did was dash an e-mail off to the rest of the Mates Club, giving them the good news. The name wasn’t ideal—too nautical by half—but that’s what Sarah had suggested they call themselves for now, since “spouses” didn’t work and Colin’s participation ruled out anything gender specific. Their first official get-together was supposed to be at the upcoming Chicago Council meeting, and now
was about to get the full scoop on their newest member. She hit send and glanced up to find Raphael studying her suspiciously.
“I don’t think I want to know what you just did.”
“Aw,” she cooed, getting up and walking over to slide onto his lap. “You’re a tough guy. You can take it.”
“Kathryn is with the FBI, you know. She’s very law abiding, according to Lucas.”
“I know,” she said, giving him a comforting pat.
“She’s still active.
Working in the Minneapolis office.”
“I know,” she repeated in the same soothing voice.
He eyed her narrowly.
“Yes?” She gave him her best angelic smile.
He sighed deeply. “I’m going to regret this.”
“Don’t be silly. We’re