“I’m here. We had a little run-in with some very official-looking SUVs, but someone took out the stakeout crew. Sabrina and I took care of the chase team,” Brandon said with pride. He threw the car keys on the table with a heavy clank.
“Mea Dulcis, how did you take care of them?” Hadrian sounded more like a parent asking a child what they did in school that day.
“I don’t really know. Someone driving without their headlights on chased us, and I felt afraid they might ram us. My necklace put a barrier of some sort between us. They crashed into it at top speed. I don’t see how anyone survived. Brandon took out the other one. I just held the car steady,” she said, feeling guilty. She lowered her head and fought back the tears.
A crooked finger lifted her face. “None of that. You did what you had to do. Your safety is our priority, Mea Dulcis.”
Brandon cleared his throat. “Can I get you something to drink? We’re fully stocked,” Brandon offered.
Hadrian sighed. “No, we need to get down to business,” he said, letting go of Sabrina and walking toward the living room.
He sat in Eleanor’s favorite chair by the fire. The large wing-backed chair gave Hadrian the appearance of sitting on a throne. The low-lighting of the lamps, combined with the flickering fire, made the room seem cozy, even though it was summer.
“It’s like a million degrees outside. Why on Earth did you build a fire?” Sabrina asked. Although somehow comforting, no one needed extra heat on a humid summer night in the North Carolina mountains. She worried the smoke rising above the trees would seem out of place to the people on the surrounding farms.
“Because, Mea Dulcis, not all intruders use the door. Now, Brandon, I need all the details of tonight’s adventures,” Hadrian said. He motioned to the loveseat across from his chair.
Brandon told him about the two men at the shop and of Winston’s discovery only minutes later. The chase sounded less dramatic, the way he told it. His just-the-facts method made Sabrina seem like a cunning sorceress rather than the frightened passenger she really was.
When Brandon finished recounting the events, he asked, “What does this all mean? Who would want to break the spells?” Worry colored his tone, but he managed to keep his face neutral.
“I’m still working on that, but I can tell you that this wasn’t an inside job. I checked with Delilah. She assured me this wasn’t a demon’s handiwork. The magic felt too old and lacked earthbound magic’s qualities,” he said. “As for who is after you, it isn’t the government. The people you’ve encountered wanted you to think they came from the Feds. Winston found foreign weapons in the truck of the wreckage. He phoned me before you arrived to say he was following you home.”
“You know Winston?” Sabrina felt left out of the loop.
“Yes, I’ve known his family for centuries. You do, too. Delilah is his great-great-great aunt,” Hadrian said as if she should have simply known.
A deep, ringing bell tone coming from upstairs cut off any more of her questions. She shook her head. Charon had given her the crystal orb as a means of communication. It worked like a dimensional cell phone.
“I’ll call him back later,” Sabrina said, dismissing the bell sound. Before she could ask Hadrian more about Winston, the bell rang deeper and louder. This time it sounded more urgent.
“Just answer it,” Brandon said and gave a disgruntled huff. While he never denied her time to make friends with the Ferryman, he clearly did not like the friendship.
“I still don’t see why you want a man who tried to kidnap you as his unwilling wife for a friend,” Brandon muttered.
“I thought we settled this. He didn’t know what else to do. How would you like to spend eternity without a friend?” Sabrina replied. She knew all too well what it felt like to have only one friend. For a large portion of her life, her only real friend in the world was the late Clay Birch. Sabrina felt pity for Charon. Being the Ferryman provided him no chance to have a friend the way she had Clay.
She hurried upstairs and into her bedroom. The orb glowed as the third bell rang. She scooped it up and held it to her heart. “Charon,” she whispered.
His young, rugged face framed in a mass of brown curls appeared in the crystal ball. “Hear me and do not speak. Time is short. Remember the statues of the frozen gods and goddesses that lined the Hall of Eternal Light?”
Sabrina’s memory flashed to the bright hall. The length of the long room held pedestals with marble statues of defeated celestial beings. At the end closest to Lucifer’s throne, two stood empty, save a golden sun and a silvery moon.
“Yes, I remember,” she said quietly. A knot formed in the pit of her stomach. Dread rose in her chest.
“Many have awoken,” he said without further explanation.
“Meaning…what does that mean?” A million thoughts swirled in her mind. Her lioness crouched with her ears laid back. She gave a defensive snarl.
“Someone hunts you once more,” he said and faded from the orb.
Brandon started to say something, but she cut him off with a hard, forceful kiss. He gave in to her and wrapped his large, muscular arms around her. His tongue worked its way carefully between her fangs and delicately probed the inside of her mouth.
The lioness seemed satisfied at Sabrina claiming her prize. The queen of cats retreated, giving Sabrina more room.
Brandon gathered the loose cotton gown in his hands and wriggled it up as far as he could without Sabrina needing to move. As she lifted her body weight, he broke the kiss only long enough to whisk the fabric over her head.
Sabrina’s long, curly, blue-black hair surrounded them like a soft curtain. Her skin felt warm compared to his. She leaned in, pressing her bare breasts to his chest, and kissed him again.
His cock stiffened as his hands ran the length of her back. He stopped, gripping her ass with both hands. Lifting his hips, he applied pressure to her body.
Sabrina enjoyed the feel of him as she sat astride his hips. She shifted her body enough to line his rock-hard cock up with her damp slit. The stiff rod rubbed her clit just right, sending a ripple of pleasure through her body.
He belonged to her, and she wanted him, body and soul. The lioness wanted to mark him with her scent, to prove her territory included him. This man, who slept naked in her bed, had no other mistress, no other goddess, but her.
Her slippery juices flowed between her velvety folds, coating his thick shaft as she moved. Her clit became a sensitive, swollen pearl. She felt her nipples rise into tight pebbles that needed to feel his wet tongue lap at them. She rose up enough to offer her nipples to him.
Brandon sucked on them in turn, allowing his fangs to graze her flesh but not break the skin. His cock pulsed against her body, practically begging for more. Letting go of her breasts, he turned his face away from her and exposed his neck. Most of the time, he discouraged feeding on one another during sex. That he offered meant he gave her his complete trust.
Sabrina positioned her body so the head of his cock aligned with her wet, willing cunt. As she lowered her body over his cock, she pressed her fangs into the side of his neck. His flesh parted for her just as she opened for his cock. Blood filled her mouth and his thick rod filled her pussy.
The sweet, tangy, hot, wet liquid satisfied her thirst. Mouthful after mouthful, she drank him down as she rode his cock. Her pussy quivered with anticipation. Her lust for blood and sex swirled inside her. One felt as provocative as the other. To feed and fuck, to claim his flesh and his affection brought triumph and pride.
In her mind, she projected her claim over Brandon, sending the ripple of thought outside of the protective shadows. “Mine. Mine and no other’s.”
She stopped feeding and rose up fully to her knees. Her weight drove him deeper into her body. Lifting her chin, she ran a hand into her hair and squeezed a fistful until it pulled hard against her scalp. The other hand found her clit. Using the pads of her fingers, she drew tight circles over and around the sensitive pearl.
Their eyes meet. She watched as he gave in to her.
Brandon’s brow furrowed. His jaw clenched. The throbbing cock buried in her pussy filled her with sticky cream. A guttural noise escaped his throat as he came.
Sabrina did not stop. She embraced his orgasm, allowing his pleasure to increase her own. Higher and higher, she felt the tension spiral. Stroking up and down his cock, teasing her clit, her quivering pussy turned to quaking and then into full spasms as her orgasm crashed into her.
It felt like a tidal wave of emotions. Love for the man beneath her. Lust for his body. She wanted to protect him from the world. She wanted his devotion and commitment forever. Jealousy blended in at the thought that he had ever given himself to another goddess.
He was her disciple, her priest. He worshipped at her altar with his body and soul, with his love and affection. She took his offering and gave him herself in return.
The inner lioness stretched and panted, taking in the smell of sex and blood. She relished this claim. She was Regina and claimed this man her as a part of her pride.
Brandon held Sabrina’s hips. He slowly ran one hand across her belly, smearing his blood across her skin. He gave her a wide grin.
“You look beautiful like that,” he said.
“Like how?” Sabrina knew, but she wanted to hear him say the words.
“Like a beautiful woman taking what she wants and enjoying it. Like a vampire. You truly are an amazing creature,” he said.