Soulless. Irredeemable. Blood-drinker. Vampire.
Many people have called Domenic Nadal many names in the course of his nine-hundred-year life. None has come close to what he really is. He has also been called a recluse, a name he accepts because it is true.
Mortal fundraiser, Ariadne Fortesque, has no idea her boss is using her to wage a five-hundred-year old vendetta on the handsome, ageless vampire. Neither is she prepared to deal with her attraction to a man who could destroy her will with a single glance from his silver eyes or drain her lifeblood.
He will live forever. How much time can they have together?
“Do I make you nervous, Ariadne?” His mouth hovered just above her neck.
“Yes.” Her heart continued to flutter, half-fear of him biting her, half-hoping he would kiss her. It seemed her body knew instinctively what her mind was still fighting. Her head tilted to one side, inviting him to do what he would.
“Do I arouse you?” He nipped the sensitive junction of shoulder and neck. “Be honest, querida.”
“I…I can’t describe how you make me feel.” Wanting to touch him, she clenched her hands in her lap.
“But nervousness is one you can describe. Do other people—other men—make you nervous as well?”
“S-sometimes.” She thought he stopped breathing, as if holding his breath for her next words. “The first time I approach a prospective donor… That makes me nervous.”
He nibbled her earlobe. “Butterflies reside in your belly kind of nervous?”
“Sometimes so many butterflies my knees shake.” She tried to fill her oxygen-deprived lungs. “Do these questions—”
“Are your knees shaking now?”
A nervous laugh escaped her lips. “My whole body’s shaking.”
One warm hand came to rest between her tilted head and shoulder. “Can you feel my trembling?” He cupped her cheek.
Her voice deserted her, but she managed a wobbly nod.
“Do you know why I shake?”
“H-how could I?”
“Because it is the same reason you shake. It is the yeaning to touch and be touched. The craving to kiss until you forget where you are. The fear of rejection by the one you yearn for and crave.” He raised his head and met her gaze.
She wanted to close her eyes, keep him from seeing how his words affected her. Contrary to her wish, she couldn’t stop gazing into his eyes or avoid imagining herself sinking into their silver depths.
“I am going to kiss you, Ariadne Fortesque. I am going to touch you, bring you to bliss. And when you are trembling in my arms, I am going to do you over and over again.”
“B-bring me? D-do me?” She didn’t understand the words, but her body did. It already trembled. It yearned for his touch and craved his kisses.
“Show you time and again that this body you so dislike was made for me to fuck.”
He brushed his lips across hers, a whisper, a promise of more to come. Oh please, many, many more.
She didn’t remember moving, but felt his thick locks curl around her fingers. And somehow she managed to lift her head enough to kiss him. He resisted at first but, at last, his lips softened, then he took control once more, kissing her gently, nibbling, sucking, teasing until she whimpered and opened to take his tongue within her mouth. He tasted like strawberries and cream, sweet and tart and smooth all jumbled together in an unknown concoction she couldn’t resist. She could drink his essence for the rest of her life and never thirst for anything else.
He eased away. A moan of disappointment followed her as she tried to draw him back.
“I want to look at you, querida. See in your eyes how much you want me to kiss you. See how red and lush your lips are and how they plead for my lips to return.” Tangling his fingers in her unbraided hair, he drew her face to his.
She parted her lips, silently begging him to kiss her again, wild to have his lips on hers, his tongue and hers twining in an endless waltz of pleasure.
And then there was more. So much more. His fingertips feathered down her neck, the pads rough, but not unpleasant against her skin. When he slid his hand under her sweater, she sighed into his mouth, massaged his scalp and neck and arched into his warmth. Into his hand cupping her naked breast, his fingers plucking her rigid nipple and circling her puckered areola.
“My bra,” she protested, her voice a purr of pleasure.
“You do not need it, querida. In truth it would please us both—” He swept his tongue across her lips. “Were you to forego underwear altogether.”
His tongue plunged into her mouth and her mind whirled with unexpected colors. Colors she had never seen before or felt before. All the myriad rainbows held in his hands as he massaged her belly. She thought about sucking it in, but the idea floated away before her body obeyed, too lost in sensation to care what she looked like. The colors shared his heat, the blues cooler, the golds and reds seeming to relax her muscles and warm the empty place between her thighs. So empty, she mewled and shifted her hips to bring his hand closer to where she craved it.
“Raise your hips, querida, so I can teach you the bliss no underwear allows.”