Jax had already jumped to his side when he saw Luca struggling. He laid his hands gently on his shoulders. “Calm down, Luca. Don’t panic. We won’t do it. Victor can remain in hiding.”
Luca wrapped his hands around his neck. He couldn’t calm down. The walls seemed to be closing in on him, trapping him.
“I…can’t…breathe,” he fought to say between chirps and pants. His throat refused to widen so air could pass through. It was as if a ball of tension had materialized, making his nerves and tissue twist around his windpipe, tightening it.
Jax cupped his face, touching his warm forehead to Luca’s while he stared into his eyes. “Breathe.” He took deep breaths, trying to guide Luca.
Luca shook his head, even though Jax cupped his face. “I can’t,” he croaked.
“You need to calm down, Luca. You’re having a serious panic attack.”
“I can’t,” barely escaped his lips. He wanted to tear off his hoodie at the collar.
“You have to think of something else. The more you panic, the harder it will be to breathe.”
Luca shook his head again, only this time he couldn’t speak. He was going to die. After living through hell for one hundred and fifteen years on this Earth, he was going to die right here of suffocation.
And just when his vision began to fade, he felt warm lips on his.
They were Jax’s lips. Was he trying to force air into his lungs?
Then Luca realized that he wasn’t. Jax was kissing him.
* * * *
Jax hadn’t seen anything like this. One minute Luca was fine, and the next, right after Jax had informed him his father and Victor would need to be in close proximity for the spell to work, Luca rolled into hysteria.
Nothing Jax said was helping to calm the handsome vampire down. He was turning blue. He’d pass out soon if Jax didn’t do something to shock him out of his panic attack.
That was when Jax kissed him. It wasn’t premeditated, although he had fantasized for a moment earlier how it would feel to kiss a gorgeous vampire like Luca. Would kissing a human draw Luca’s primal vampire lust and edge him into a feeding frenzy?
Would Luca turn on Jax, bite him and drink all his blood?
No, he wouldn’t. The aura this gentle vampire reflected was good, innocent. He might be a one-hundred-and-fifteen-year-old vampire, but he’d led a caged, passive life. Luca wouldn’t hurt him or anyone else, unless he was cornered and had no choice.
As Jax’s lips warmed Luca’s cold ones, he heard and felt Luca take a deep breath and then another.
Cool air fanned Jax’s cheeks as Luca’s breathing alleviated. He could feel the vampire’s tense body relax.
It had worked. Jax should release his lips now that the panic attack had settled, but he didn’t want to. He wanted to deepen the kiss, having his tongue and fingers explore more of this delectable vampire.
When Luca’s hand touched Jax’s chest and pushed him slowly away, Jax knew it had come to an end.
Luca stared at him with confused gray eyes. The black flecks in his irises seemed to dance and float. “Why did you do that?”
“It was the only thing I could think of to get you to snap out of it.” Jax smiled impishly.
“You could have slapped me.”
“True. But I’m a lover not a fighter.” He waggled his eyebrows, which brought a blush to Luca’s cheeks. He was so cute when he was bashful.
Stepping away, Jax added, “Just kidding.” He paused before asking, “You feeling better?”
Exhaling, Luca nodded. “Yes.”
“I didn’t mean to freak you out like that, Luca. If I would have known you’d react like you did, I wouldn’t have said anything.”
“But you did say it, because you think that is the only way we can change Helder’s mind, isn’t it?”
Jax could see Luca’s brows furrowing, and his chest tightened. He was going to panic again.
“No, it isn’t the only way. I’ll search. It’ll take me a little longer, but I’ll come up with something that will work and is permanent.”
He took Luca’s hand and stared deep into his eyes to show him he was being genuinely honest. “I promise you, Luca, that Helder will never hurt you or your brother and his mate. I will never put any of you in danger.”
Luca stared into Jax’s eyes and then at his lips. Without realizing it, he licked his own lips. Jax had a strong inkling Luca had never been kissed by a human before. Was his first human kiss satisfying or disgusting?
Jax would bet it was not the latter, because Luca didn’t pull his hand away from Jax.
That energy that flowed between them was more intense. It was bringing them together. He was sure that Luca was finally sensing it.
But Jax needed to take things slow, let Luca take the initiative. Otherwise, he knew he’d freak the vampire out if he kissed him again. He couldn’t use the panic attack as an excuse this time around.
Instead he would appeal to his stomach. He knew vampires ate and drank like humans if they wanted, though they still needed blood to sustain themselves.
So hoping to win him over, so he could get to know him better and grow closer to him, he asked, “Would you like to join me for lunch, Luca?”
Luca didn’t understand why the witch chose him to cast the spell on, but Luca had to fight it.
Mustering strength from his inner core, he pulled himself away.
“I have to stop,” he said, tearing away from Jax’s embrace.
A dazed look overcame Jax’s features, and then one of disappointment.
“Don’t be afraid of what you are feeling, Luca. Don’t be afraid of me. I won’t hurt you. I promise.”
Luca wished he could believe the witch, but he couldn’t. How could he? Jax was a complete stranger.
“Why are you doing this to me? What do you want from me?” he asked, staring at the door, too afraid to look into Jax’s eyes and be tempted once more.
“I want to help you. I want to get closer to you, get to know you. I want to explore this physical and spiritual attraction that is pulling us together.” Jax laid his hand gently on Luca’s shoulder.
Luca looked down at Jax’s hand. “Why? Why do you want all this? We only just met.”
“Because we are kindred spirits, you and me. We both have darkness surrounding us, but we refuse to give into it. We fight it every second of every day, hanging on to the goodness in our hearts.”
Luca turned, peering at him keenly. “A powerful vampire is suppressing you, too?”
Jax shook his head. “No. My past is. I’m constantly running from it.”
Luca scanned at the room before continuing. “Is this why you hide behind the Dark Web, making potions and casting spells anonymously?”
“Yes, I came to Hell hoping to find and help others like myself. But I lost my purpose along the way. That’s until I met you.”
Jax slowly brought his hand to Luca’s cheek. The warmth emanating from his touch drew Luca in. He closed his eyes, placing his cheek against Jax’s gentle open palm.
“Fate brought you and me together, Luca, for a reason.” He leaned in closer, resting on his tippy-toes to kiss him.
His kiss was soft and sweet, not pushy or demanding. It lassoed Luca’s heart, and he wanted to wrap his arms around him.
“Be afraid of your father and all the monsters in this world, Luca. But don’t be afraid of me or the magnetic energy drawing you to me and me to you. Embrace it and let yourself free to enjoy it.”
He brought his lips again to Luca’s. But this time, his kiss wasn’t sweet. It was lustful and intense. Jax slipped his tongue into Luca’s, looping his and tasting every crevice of his mouth.
Jax let his hands explore Luca’s thick neck, wide shoulders while he pushed him against the wall.
This time Luca didn’t fight him. He didn’t fight the wanton desires pulling them together. Jax was right. Something was bringing them together for a reason.
Maybe this was what he had been searching for all his life.
He let go of all his inhibitions, all of his fears and allowed his body and heart to guide him. They were telling him to kiss Jax back, get closer to him in a more intimate level.
He yearned to make love to him. He slipped his cool, nimble fingers under Jax’s T-shirt to touch his ripped abs.
Jax tensed for a second, but as soon as his body became accustomed to Luca’s cool touch, he relaxed and moaned in pleasure.
Jax pressed himself against him. Luca could feel his bulging arousal. His cock hardened and grew as his sexual desires intensified. He hadn’t had sex in so long, he couldn’t remember.
He wanted to sink his cock deep into Jax’s ass and fuck him, pleasure him until they both screamed out in ecstasy.
As if reading Luca’s mind, Jax began to unzip his jeans. Luca followed. In haste, they began to strip in a clumsy fashion.
Luca couldn’t draw his eyes away as Jax pulled off his shirt and pants. His tanned, toned body glistened in the room’s artificial lighting. He had sparse dark brown hair between his pecs that trailed down in between his six pack abs and came to rest over his well-endowed cock.
He groaned, taking it all in. “You are so beautiful.”
“So are you,” Jax responded while he stared at him with admiration in his eyes. He traced the tattoo of a galloping stallion just above Luca’s right pec. “Wow, this is amazing work.”
Normally, Luca would have simply thanked him for the compliment as he had done with everyone who had commented on it in the past. But for some unfathomable reason, he wanted to bare himself to this human. Not only in the literal sense as he’d just done, but also in an emotional and spiritual way.
“Thanks. I got it over twenty years ago. Victor and I had decided to get one together. We gave the tattoo artist carte blanche to create whatever he pleased. He tattooed a stallion on me because he said that was what he envisioned I was in my past life.”
Jax grinned, outlining Luca’s lower lip with his finger. It sent chills of excitement throughout Luca’s body. “You were a free spirit in that life. You deserve to be one in this life, too, Luca. I will find a way to break you from your prison so you can run free again.”
Luca’s heart warmed. Other than Victor, no one had ever wanted to protect him, save him. And although he knew no one could free him from Helder’s death grip lock, he was touched by this man’s kind, loving soul.
He cupped Jax’s pretty face, staring into his golden-brown eyes, losing himself in their heavenly bliss. He kissed him passionately, pressing his body against the wall. He ground himself against him.
“Mmm, fuck me, Luca,” Jax groaned, releasing Luca’s mouth and trailing his scorching hot lips down his neck, shoulder, and chest. “I want you so bad.”