Malkom sprang forward, snatching the female's ankle just as she dropped from the ledge. She screamed, was still screaming as he flung her up to safety.
She landed on her belly, clawing at the sand to get away from him, but he clutched her slim leg tight in his fist. Though she thrashed, she gained no ground.
Why was she resisting him? Confusion roiled. Why can she not recognize me as I have her?
Her scent was so feminine, so maddening to him. Lust assailed him as he raked his eyes over her back, her narrow waist, her flaring hips. Her body begged to be mated. At the thought of impregnating the female before him, his horns straightened even more, and his shaft pulsed in his trews.
But she surprised him with a mule kick that connected with his mouth, splitting his lip.
No, do not taste the blood....
Against his will, his tongue flicked his lip. One hot drop made him even more crazed. All his vampire instincts rushed to the fore. His newly beating heart thundered, his chest heaving with breaths.
The instinctive drive to plant his seed - the seed she'd brought forth - was overwhelming him. He'd produced it for her, but he couldn't lose it until he was inside her. The throbbing pressure turned to pain.
Cannot fight this!
When she kicked out again, he planted himself betwixt her thighs, capturing her wrists behind her back with one of his hands. As she flailed, the remains of her skirt rode up her hips, baring ... a sight such as he'd never seen before.
Her undergarments were gone. In their place, she had a thin band of shining silk that encircled her hips, then dipped between the curves of her shapely backside.
Astonished, he beheld this vision with his body shuddering and his cock about to explode.
She still resisted beneath him. And some part of him wanted to release her, to not do this thing he seemed driven to do.
To not use her as he had been used.
But her thrashing goaded the vampire within, made him want to pin her down, made him desperate to drink her. His demonic instinct clamored for him to come inside her body, to mark her neck and claim her as his own.
Both natures commanded him to take her neck.
When she reared back in her struggles, her mane of hair tangled in the brush, baring her neck to him. Beneath the strange collar she wore, the skin was pale and smooth, ready to glove his throbbing fangs.
Never had he bitten another. Reminded of this, rage scorched him inside. A remembered rage. How hard the Viceroy had tried to make him drink.
Now Malkom knew that the long-dead vampire would win. Because there was no way to stop this.
The pain, the frenzy. In Demonish, he rasped, "Forgive me." Then he dropped his body over hers, his head descending to low on her neck. Into her creamy skin, he plunged his fangs.
"Unh ..." He groaned against her as his lids slid closed. Her rich blood streamed into his mouth, even before he sucked her.
Euphoria lit within him with each scorching drop.
Soon the pressure in his cock couldn't be denied. Unable to control himself, he ground it against her backside. The intensity, the mindlessness ... so much fucking pleasure. A single thrust had him coming spontaneously, roaring with his release, snarling yells against her skin. He bucked against her over and over until the pressure receded at last.
Spent, stunned, he collapsed atop her, reluctantly relin"uishing his bite. Though he hadn't released his seed, the orgasm had been mind-boggling. And her searing blood continued to dance in his veins. Satisfaction overwhelmed him until he moaned with it.
That had been only the beginning. At last, he'd know a woman. Soon his shaft would be buried in her secret flesh, pumping his seed deep inside her wetness. At the thought, he hardened at once.
Before, he'd been so frenzied that he'd been unable to wait. Now he would claim her slowly.
When he raised up to tell her as much, she struggled beneath him again. He eased his grip so she could twist around to face him. She stared at him with hatred, her vivid green eyes glinting.
Did she still not understand that she was his female? He captured one of her hands and shoved her palm against his chest, over the heart she alone had brought back to life. "Minde jart."
But she cried out in pain. Only then did he realize he'd broken her wrist in the struggle.
He jerked away from her. She was an immortal of some kind - he sensed this. But she was no demoness, and now he'd hurt her with his unnatural strength.
Abomination, his mind whispered.
She rose unsteadily, looking at him as the Trothans had - with revulsion.
When she began backing away, he said, "Alton, ara." Come, female. But she didn't speak Demonish.
Damn it, 'twas not safe for her out here. In this plane lived a thousand different threats, beasts as well as other demon fugitives. He ran his hand over his face, then tried to communicate in Latin.
In a low voice, she replied in Anglish. He'd heard her talking earlier but hadn't accepted that she spoke that cursed off-plane language. The one I learned as a boy from my master, his urgent mutterings in my ear....
The one the Viceroy had tried to force Malkom to speak. Desperate for one less trait to share with the vampires, Malkom had tortured himself to forget that language forever.
How the Viceroy would have relished that Malkom's female spoke it!
"Alton!" Once more, he ordered her to come to him.
Surprisingly, her chin went up, her uninjured hand rising with a lewd gesture.
He comprehended this. Females who were lewd often came from the lower classes. She could even be a slave, considering the collar round her neck and her provocative clothes.
But everything else about her indicated nobility. A "uick cataloging of her unusual dress revealed that her intricate boots were of the finest leather. She wore a sizable jeweled ring, and her ears were pierced for more adornments. He knew she wore silk, one of the most valuable commodities in Oblivion.
She spoke again, the sounds clipped. Though he didn't understand the words, he distinguished the tone. She'd just given him a command. Definitely not a slave.
Did this highborn think to order him? The demon urge to master his mate clawed within him.
Dimly he realized she'd begun panting her breaths. Her green irises soon glimmered with pinpricks of light, like starbursts. Her visage was marked with aggression, her plump lips curling back from her little white teeth. But when she spoke, her words were purring, sounds tugging on his memories.
He recognized the word vampire just as he spied light glowing in her palm.
After the demon-vampire had drunk her and used her body as his plaything, he'd experienced pure satisfaction for the briefest moment. And she'd seized on it, fueling her power.
Now she manifested the crackling energy in her good hand. It hadn't been much to feed on ... but she'd make do!
"If you knew what kind of week I've had, you prick!" Carrow bombarded him, laserlike beams exploding from her. They connected with the dazed demon, pitching him into a rock face, the stone crumbling around him. "That's for biting me, Neanderthal."
She'd never been drunk from before. He'd stolen her essence - and possibly so much more. How long would it take before she knew the total damage? "Keep your filthy fangs to yourself!"
She fired another shot and another, until he dropped to his knees, lurching in pain. "That's for breaking my wrist." She wasn't strong enough to kill him, but torturing him was more rewarding than anything she could remember. Yet somehow she forced herself to "uit, reserving enough energy for a cloaking spell.
Though Slaine was down, amazingly, he wasn't out. He lay, still conscious, his massive body "uaking. He reached for her, so she reared back her leg and punted her pointy-toed boot into his balls.
His strangled bellow was delicious.
Then she made herself undetectable. To him, she was as good as vanished. He'd see, scent, and hear nothing. She'd leave behind no trail.
Cloaked like this, she hurried away, cradling her broken wrist, running as fast as she could manage in this strange place. About twenty minutes into her escape, she had to flatten herself against another rock face as he charged past, appearing hell-bent on finding her, his onyx eyes firing with determination.
How had he recovered so "uickly? Those beams should've scrambled his brains. His spear wound still bled, but again, he didn't seem to notice it.
When he thrashed through the woods in one direction, she took off in the other, hoping to gain distance away from his mountain lair.
She forced herself to continue until his roars of frustration grew distant and night began falling. As the brown of the sky darkened to black, the winds increased their howling, the temperature dropping sharply.
Morning on the island must be late afternoon in Oblivion. No wonder they wanted the vemon at the portal at midnight - they hoped to capture him in daylight if possible.
When the dust swirled so hard she could no longer see her way, she found a rock overhang to weather out the now freezing night.
Huddling under the cover, weak from blood loss and thirst, she stared down at her bruised and broken body. She could heal herself with her remaining power, but then the cloaking spell would fade.
Noises surrounded her; the plane was filled with life, even more creatures wailing at night. If her spell wore off, she'd be at their mercy. She raised her fingers to her torn neck. And at his.
No, there'd be no healing, no matter how much pain she was in. Nor would there be any other spells, though she had no water canteen, no food, no blanket.
Now she'd kill for the clothes and gear she'd ridiculed at the facility. When Dixon had outfitted her with an assault pack filled with a Multipurpose Portable Tool Kit, a high-powered flashlight, twelve pairs of socks, MREs, and a first aid kit, Carrow had been so smug. "Though I dig the tacticool chic, Dixon, I'm an immortal, remember? Unless that gauze can fix a beheading. Oh, and twelve pairs of socks? Wool ones for the enchantress? Now you're just being silly, human."
Carrow stared out into the night. Some blister care and wool socks would do her so right just now.
A lone witch torn from her coven. In pain. With no friend to buoy her.
Gritting her teeth, she decided that she'd simply have to buoy herself. She would keep fighting for her life - and for Ruby's.
Yet even as Carrow thought this, a small part of her asked, But how much more can I take?
Just before she finally slipped into a fitful sleep, her eyes flashed open. She'd suddenly remembered what the word cotha meant.
Earlier, the demon had told her ... to run.