Antennae slashed all around Malkom; he dodged them to attack the beast's body.
Now his succubus female could behold his skill. As with the head he'd gifted her, this contest was proof that Malkom could protect his woman and their offspring.
He landed a mighty blow, glancing back. Had she seen it? Was she looking -
She was gone? Foolish female! Running from him when the Gotoh hunted in pairs? He had to dispatch this one swiftly.
And then I am going to heat her backside for this!
The beast sprang closer, the tip of an antenna slicing past his face.
"Demon!" she screamed from a distance. A second Gotoh's roar sounded. Which meant it was about to feed on its captured prey.
Though Malkom hadn't killed the first one, he sprinted toward the sound, knowing the beast would follow him, knowing he'd have to fight two.
Gods, to be able to trace. Even with his speed, he might not reach her in time. Pumping his arms ... faster, faster.
His newly beating heart raced as it hadn't in centuries. Dizziness washed over him, and his vision wavered.
What was this frenzy? The feeling that had weighed on him now escalated. When he recognized it, his eyes narrowed.
Thiswasfear. For her. It'd been so long since he'd felt it that he hadn't comprehended it.
The only people who knew fear were ones who had something to lose.
At last, he did. And he'd be damned if anything took her from him.
His fangs sharpened even more, that mindless furor from the night before arising again.
Swinging to avoid the creature's leaps, Carrow repeatedly flung her body upward to try to secure that lead rope. "Demon!" she screamed again. When the thing's claws brushed her hair, she added, "Get your ass over here!"
Slaine burst into the clearing. He scowled, yelling at her in Demonish as he launched himself at the beast.
"Behind you!" she cried when the original one appeared directly after.
He was going to have to defeat both of them - while keeping them away from her.
As he clashed with them below, she hung like a pendulum, helplessly swinging. The second creature kept jumping for her, and the demon kept batting it away while still contending with the first.
With one flick of its antenna, it slit through the demon's chainmail, slashing his chest. He bellowed in fury as blood gushed. But he caught the antenna the next time, using it to force the creature's head down. Hauling it back like a leash, he moved in for the kill, claws bared. A grisly spray of blood erupted. The thing was no more.
One down. But while Slaine had been occupied, the other had begun crawling spiderlike up the tree for her. "Demon! Eyes up!"
At once, he leapt for the beast, tackling it away from her. He wrestled it to the ground, evading those sharp antennae as he punched holes in its body. The thing snapped that mouthful of fangs, but the demon was too "uick, too powerful....
With a wrenching crack, he twisted off the second one's head. Two down. He hauled the twitching bodies away.
Now that the fighting was done, no longer was he roaring or berating her; he'd grown eerily silent as he crossed to the bone tree behind her. She nervously twisted around, pulling her skirt over her ass while keeping him in sight.
He untied the lead rope, feeding out a length to lower her. As he approached her with the line in his fist, she saw he was battle-maddened once more - and getting aroused. The raised outline of his shaft bulged in his pants.
He eased her to a sitting position on the ground, just enough that the pressure was relieved from her ankle. As he stalked closer, she heard his heartbeats accelerating, his breaths growing more hectic than they'd been in the fray. His fangs were elongating.
He was about to bite her. Again.
"No, demon!" She scuttled back, but he merely stepped on the rope. "Bastard!" When her palm landed on a stone, she chucked it at him, popping him in the horn. "Snap out of this!"
One's memories could be taken through the blood. The more he drank from her, the more likely he'd be to see hers. He might discover her plan to betray him. Then he'll behead me, put my head on a pike. "Don't bite me," she warned.
His eyes now a hungry black and locked on her pulse point, he dropped to his knees before her.
He growled at that.
"What? You don't like being called a vampire? Then don't act like one!"
Though she fought him, he looped his arm around her back, pinning her arms to her sides as he covered her body with his own. His erection was like a steel rod as he rocked it against her.
She thrashed as he made her arch up to him, digging her nails into his skin under his chainmail, scarcely breaking the surface. "Damn it, stop this!"
With his free hand, he tugged her hair to the side. When he leaned down to nuzzle her collar higher, she ... shivered?
Before she could analyze her response, he gave a wretched groan and pierced her.
As he snarled in bliss against her skin, she cried out, trembling in confusion.
It doesn't hurt this time.
* * *
Malkom drank deep of her blood, a rich stream of heat sliding down his throat. Shuddering, about to come from her taste, he clutched her closer for more.
Her essence inflamed every inch of his body, stoking his need. Searing and sweet ... His cock swelled, throbbing.
He groaned into his bite as he found his release. Over and over, the dry spasms racked him until his eyes rolled back in his head.
The mindless frenzy began to recede, leaving him with that awing sense of closeness, with a satisfaction he'd never known before her.
Once the pressure had finally subsided, he withdrew his fangs. Catching his breath against her neck, he felt her shivering beneath him.
Her head had fallen back, her lips parted. Could she ... could she have enjoyed his bite?
When she angrily shoved at his injured chest, he rose up with an exhalation. Or not at all.
Staring straight ahead, she swiped her tangled hair out of her face, streaking her cheek with grease from the rope. Had her bottom lip trembled?
Could any female withstand all that she had without tears? The imprint of his hand on her chest was a glaring bruise. Her fatigue weighed on her so plainly, and his bite had weakened her even more. Now her face had paled.
He'd taken too much. He vowed that he would not suck her so greedily next time, would take but a few sips. Have to get control of myself.
Surely she would cry now. Damn it, if she cried, it should not be by his doing. Nay, he dreamed of collecting her in his arms and comforting her. He would ask her if she wanted him to take away her troubles, and she would softly nod against his neck.
She could give him purpose.
Yet he didn't have a way of asking her that.
Do I not ... ? He'd once known her language but had buried it so deeply. He couldn't remember it without recalling his torture - and his childhood. Centuries had passed since he'd spoken it.
With a swallow, he concentrated, staring at her lovely face while struggling to recall words from a language he associated with torment and misery. How to tell her that he didn't wish for her to cry? That he needed to see her safely to his home?
That he would endeavor not to hurt her again?
When she s"ueezed her eyes shut and clenched her hands, he realized this female wasn't on the verge of tears.
She was on the verge of attack.
And he suspected she'd just become even more powerful than the night before.
Once she opened her eyes again, they were glittering with wrath, brilliant starbursts flashing.
Glorious female. And not a little fearsome.
When she raised her glowing hands, he exhaled, tensing his muscles, bracing for his woman's unholy pi"ue....