The Dark's Mistress (The Saint-Pierres) (4 page)

BOOK: The Dark's Mistress (The Saint-Pierres)
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“There’s nothing to know that you haven’t already learned.  I’m a singer.  I’m the same breed as you.  I’m not much for conversation.”

She could be, but she was…nervous.  He was so
there
.  Larger than life.  Smelling great and looking too sexy for words.  He’d stepped off the stage for her own private show.  She almost wanted to thrust up her arms and shout.

“You’re so tightly wrapped up,” he commented.  “Put down your legs and get comfortable.  I won’t bite.”

“But that’s the thing I was looking forward to.”  The tease came easily enough, yet she surprised herself with it.

“All things in good time, Kam.  But I thought you were already dating someone.  Some dark dude?”

“I am.  And he is.”

“So why are you here with me?”

“We’re not exclusive.  I can do as I wish, with whomever I wish.”

“Sounds kinky to me.”  He followed the ducks skimming the pond surface.  His profile was sharp, clean, and the hair tucked over his ear glinted hematite.  The shaved side of his scalp heightened his prominent cheekbones.  And that pale skin put the moon to shame.  Poetic, indeed. 

“When I date someone, I desire a certain exclusivity arrangement,” he said.  “Why share her with anyone else?”

“You’ve already staked a claim to me, then?”

“Well, no.”

“Then there’s nothing wrong with us chatting.”

“Right.”  He leaned back and his shoulder rubbed hers.  The casual intimacy was unexpected to Kam, because it didn’t quickly segue to groping and begging to be bitten.  How she abhorred fang junkies.  “We have a lot in common.  Same breed, same fashion sense, a love for music.”

“It’s hard to describe what music does for me.  It is my world some days.”

“Oh yeah.”  Johnny rattled his fingers against his thigh to a silent drum beat.  “Music is the ultimate form of communication.  It’s our scream to the heavens.  It’s the power-metal thump to the universe to remind it we are here and we will be heard.”

“I’ve never heard it explained like that.  A universal thump.  I like that.”

He tilted his head back to smile at her and she wanted to gather his hair into her hands to see what it would look like with the shaved portion completely exposed.  But she daren’t touch him.  Yet.

“So how long have you been singing?” he asked.  “Your voice is amazing.”

“Hmm, a few months?”

“What?  You’re joking with me.”

“No, I started singing not too long ago.  I lose track of time so I don’t know the exact length.  The club was designed especially for me.  To allow me to have a singing career.”

“Wow.  This boyfriend of yours knows how to woo the girl.  Now I know I can’t compete.”

“Extravagant gifts and receiving every little thing I should desire is sometimes too much.  I’m beginning to forget what it’s like to just…be.”

He shifted on the bench and their thighs hugged.  Kam savored the sneaky connection, but she didn’t know how to look into his eyes and convey the anticipatory feeling he stirred in her.

“You must have been born with natural talent,” he said.  “I don’t know anyone who can take the stage when they’ve only been singing a few months and master an audience like you do.  I guess it’s similar to your ability to master men who have hopes of winning your regard, eh?”

“You’re a charmer, Johnny.”


“That’s what they call me.”  He winked, yet immediately dipped his head as if embarrassed to fess up to the title.  Oh, pretty goth rock boy.  She wanted to bleed his sweet darkness into her pores.  “I like to have fun and make sure the people I’m with have fun, too.”

“I get that feeling about you.  You speak English well.  Have you lived in Paris all your life?  Are your parents vampire?”

“Yes, and yes,” he said.  “My mother is from the Santiago tribe—well, former tribe.  They used to be vamp mafia, but have dropped the dirty dealings over the past decades.  My father is also bloodborn, grew up in Faery, but never took an official surname when he came to the mortal realm.  I’m French to the bone but I’ve always been bilingual.  Comes in handy in this city that hosts so many tourists.  Not that I hold conversations with my bites.  What about you?”

“I know a few French words, but I don’t think my brain will ever grasp the concept of the masculine and feminine nouns.  I moved here from Minnesota.  Trying to find myself.”


“Personal discovery, eh?  How’s that going?”

She shrugged.  “Okay, I guess.  Some days I feel more lost than when I first arrived here.”

“I sense that about you.  It worries me.”

Johnny propped an elbow on the back of the bench and caught the side of his head in his palm.  Kam met his gaze with the fierce defiance she often used on stage.  Let them believe they have a connection, then laugh and on to the next sucker.

Except this time she couldn’t find the disinterest, the laughing need to look away.

He touched her lips, stroking them so tenderly she could barely feel his fingertip.  The vampiric shimmer tickled her mouth.  His lashes were long, and he didn’t wear the smudged black eye shadow tonight.  Moonlight pearled on his pale skin.  Something so pure about him, and yet she knew he was not.  A decadent innocence, he.

When he stroked her cheek and over her dark hair, he suddenly smirked.

She rushed to learn his thoughts.  “What is it?”

“There’s something so captivating about you.  A man could lose his soul to you.”

He could not have guessed more correctly.  But only if she bit him.

“Of what value is a soul?” she countered.  “Wouldn’t such sacrifice be worth the adventure?”

“The adventure of you?”  He caught his chin in hand and made show of eyeing her carefully.  “I think so.  But I’m having a difficult time conceding to share you with this mysterious dark lover of yours.  I’d like to keep you for myself.”

Kam’s heart stuttered.  She forced herself to peer at the blur of neon lights and not into the devastating challenge she saw in the man’s eyes.  She wanted to believe his need to keep her—to possess her—was true.  Because if it was?  Could she trust him to reveal her desperate truth?

She wanted to.  She needed to.

“Johnny, will you…”

The tilt of his head, the expectation in his eyes, the slight parting of his lips that revealed fangs, enthralled.  Kam sighed, releasing the anxiety, the real fear that kept her wound up tightly—as he had suggested—and decided to step off the edge.  Just this once.  Into the unknown.  Which may or may not promise sanctity.  Yet it may also wage wars untold in her heart.

If she asked Johnny for help surely her dark master would know.  He always seemed to know everything.  And so she would not. 

Not
yet
.

“Kiss me,” she whispered.  For she had not been kissed by a man since arriving in Paris.  Had not allowed such intimacy with any of her bites.  And certainly the dark one should not be labeled a man in the usual sense of the word.

Johnny moved closer, his eyes never leaving hers.  The clean scent of him enveloped her in his allure. 

Kambriel closed her eyes.  She did not expect he would actually kiss her.  She was tainted.  Dark and—did he not understand with whom he dallied should he touch her?

Should she tell him?

Not when he’s so close.  You can smell his desire.  You want to connect with him.  You
need
him.  Don’t spoil it.  Steal this moment, if you dare
.

The hush of his warm breath dusted her lips, her chin and the curve of her jaw.  She sensed he was scenting her as she did him, and as he drew his nose along her jaw she wished for contact, skin against skin.  His tempting heat would surely sate her desperate want of warmth. 

Her heart pounded faster than a drummer’s solo.  When on stage her body thrummed with the beat of the audience’s cheers and dancing stomps, which in turn hummed through her extremities and filled her with a vibration of the masses.  Life, bloody life.

Yet this moment was spectacularly singular, she and him. 

Anticipation quickened her breaths.  A brush of his dark hair skimmed her cheek.  The trace of mint tickled her nose.  Her breasts rose and fell. His mouth was so near hers.  Wanting.  Anticipating.  Reaching for that which she knew could be the most dangerous act she will have committed since setting foot in Paris.

“Kambriel,” he whispered, “you’re trembling.”

She caught her hands against his chest, her fingers curling into the soft tee-shirt beneath the vest and clinging.  The vampiric shimmer heightened sensation.  The air between them sparkled sharply.

“This is a mistake,” he murmured, yet his nose nudged hers and his breath whispered across her lips.  “You willing to make it with me?”

She nodded and pulled him closer.  “Please.  I need...”

His mouth lingered before hers, brushing her lips intermittently.  Deciding whether or not to make the mistake?

Don't
reveal
the
sacrifice
required

He will run.

Kam gasped out a tiny moan.  So close. 
Please

Touch
me

Make
me
believe
what
I've
lost can once again be mine
.

The vampire’s mouth touched hers.  A tentative connection, which abandoned hope and crushed hard, sealing their fates in a manner Kam wished would survive eternity.  He was unaware.  An innocent.  This knowledge hurt her, but at the same time fueled the incessant need to claim all she could, grasp it to her chest and not let it go until it was as crushed and damaged as she was.

Moving onto her knees, she settled forward, straddling his legs without breaking the connection.  His breath mingled with hers, imbuing his minty sweetness across her tongue.  The structure of him, sitting beneath her, pulling her down and holding her across the back, felt immense and overwhelming, and yet, not so threatening.

He was safe. 
Too safe
.  Unwary.

He cupped her cheek and pulled from the kiss, pressing his forehead to hers.  “So good,” he whispered.  “So wrong.”  And he renewed the kiss more fervently, taking from her as urgently as her heart begged for rescue.

He could not save her.  But he might restore brief light to her darkness.

Dashing her tongue under one of his fangs, Kam tasted her own blood and pressed it against his tongue.  Johnny moaned, wrapping his arms across her back, holding her there.  Keeping her. 

She wanted to taste him, but would not be so bold.  It was for him to give his blood to her if he chose, and he did not, so she must be satisfied with the embrace.  An embrace she would dream about ever after.  If she never saw him again, this kiss would carry her through the days, a bright glint to the dark webbing about her soul.

“Do you know how difficult it’ll be to walk away from this?” Johnny asked, bracketing her face to peer into her eyes.  “Your kiss tastes so dark.”

Kam bowed her head to his.  How right he was, and it embarrassed her.

“Like dark chocolates.  The kind I used to sneak from my mother’s stash when I was little.  Sweet with a kick of bitter.  Made to be savored slowly.”

She liked the sound of that.  And she did not.  She wanted him to devour her. 

“But your blood…”  He tapped her lower lip and pushed his finger into her mouth, touching the tip of her tongue where she had cut it on his fang.  Healed now, but so sensitive to his touch.  “Some kind of drug,” he whispered, with an eyebrow quirking in wonder.  She’d bet he slayed a thousand hearts when on stage with that teasing brow.  “That little taste…  Kambriel.  I knew this would be wrong.”

Suddenly he stood.  Kam wasn’t even aware of him pushing her off his lap, until she had to catch a hand on the back of the bench to keep from sprawling to the side.

“What did I do?” Kam asked.

Johnny whispered, but she heard it, “You just touched my soul, Kam.”  Turning from her, he clutched a hank of his hair in a hand.  “Fuck.”

She bent her knees, bringing her legs up to her chest again, a protective position she assumed without second thought.  Shouldn’t he be holding her close?

“Guess that means there’s going to be a fight,” he said, lightening the mood.  He shoved his hands in his pants pockets and stared off at the carousel.

“A fight?”

He tilted a smile at her, and it was so charming Kam was lured to her feet to stand before him.  She wanted to climb inside his smile and find shelter there.

“Only one man can have you.  I want to be that man.”

He slid his hand behind her neck and bent to kiss her again.  This time, he dove deeply, painting her tongue with his, dashing across her teeth, breathing her air and exhaling his want.  And it was all Kam could do to wish away the past months—or years—and start anew.

“Save me,” she whispered. 

Then, realizing what she’d said, she pulled from his embrace and turned to dash down the pebbled walk.  She’d spoken her most desperate desire.  Too soon.  She didn’t know if she could trust him yet.  What mistake had she made?

BOOK: The Dark's Mistress (The Saint-Pierres)
11.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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