"Did you dress for me?" Sebastian visibly swallowed when Kaderin stood at his arrival.
He'd been doing that tentative-step thing as he entered, but after his gaze raked her from head to toe, he strode forward as though pushed. There was no mistaking his appreciation of her tight black sweater, short skirt, and strappy heels.
She was glad when his avid gaze strayed again to her breasts, or he might have seen her dropped jaw.
The vampire was undeniably hot.
He was so tall that the highest point of the plane's seven-foot ceiling barely cleared his height. He wore dark jeans that highlighted his narrow hips and a dark shirt that molded to his muscles. Everything was tasteful and seriously expensive. His face was completely healed, and his longish black hair was damp at his collar from a recent shower.
Sexy. He has too much of a biological advantage. What female could be expected to turn him away when he wanted to be inside her?
When he met her eyes again, he had such a ravenous look that she grew flustered, feeling a blush creeping over her cheekbones. Blushing. Now the vampire has me blushing. "This is how I usually dress." After nervously trying on thirty combinations of clothing. "That is, when I'm not fighting, running, or climbing."
He reached forward to brush his hand at her nape. "Or diving from cliffs to tackle unwitting sirens," he said with a half grin.
So, he was going to be charming tonight? Little did he know that she was a-sure-thing. He didn't have to unleash an arsenal of devastating good looks and that quiet, unstudied charm.
She was his tonight.
Before he'd arrived, she had been miserable. She'd felt so alone and so, well, doomed. After much soul searching, Kaderin had made a decision.
In the young, immortal words of Regin: Fuck it. If she was going to die, Kaderin was going to have one night of passion before her dirt nap. And she couldn't think of anyone she wanted to be with more than him - for this one night.
She'd told him this was how she usually dressed, and that was true, but she didn't want him to suspect that she'd tried on everything in her bag twice. She'd stared in the mirror, considering her appearance for the first time in ages, wondering what he would find attractive about her - or was it merely the blooding that made him fancy her? She'd been so anxious about being intimate with a man after so long, she could scarcely close the tiny fastenings on her heels.
Sad but true, she was grateful to him for his company. If he weren't here, she would have done nothing but mull her death, but now he was with her, and there was something in his eyes, something a bit alarming that thrilled her.
She bit her bottom lip. Call her Betty Fucking Crocker, because the cake was so going to be worth the bake.
"You look beautiful." Such simple words, but the way he said them, his eyes so compelling, gave her shivers.
She glanced down at herself and back up. "Not too small?"
That gorgeous grin again. Gazing at his chiseled, masculine face changing expressions was a decadent pleasure. "I love how you are made. Even as I'd worried about hurting you when I touched you." Listening to the low timbre of his voice was just as blissful. She knew she shouldn't enjoy these things so much, and yet she couldn't help it.
"Hurting me?" She gave a light laugh. "Losing limbs hurts. Boiling oil hurts. Whatever you can dish out, I can take - if I wish to."
He closed in, all hot, massive male, towering over her. Gods, he smelled good.
"And do you wish to, Kaderin?"
Yes! She wanted him to kiss her, to lick her body. Him, a vampire. When she nodded breathlessly, his hand cupped her face, drawing her in so he could take her lips.
His kiss was gentle at first - though she could tell he struggled to make it so. Then he groaned, and it turned desperate, that gallows kiss. Tonight she shared the sentiment completely.
The lights blinked twice, and she finally forced herself to break away. "We're about to take off. It's, uh, customary to sit."
He dropped into the closest seat, seizing her waist, then dragged her across his lap. When he settled her ass over his rampant erection, he hissed in a breath, and she gasped, reminded of his size.
In an awkward attempt at conversation, she asked, "H-have you ever been on a plane before?"
"No." He brushed her hair from her neck to press a sizzling kiss to the bared skin. "And I doubt that I'll remember much of flying this time."
When he nuzzled her neck, she stiffened and pulled away. "No biting?"
"No, I promise," he said. "I am sorry it happened that night."
As her uncontrollable emotions continued to do, unbidden words bubbled up from nowhere. "Sebastian, no matter what happens in the future, I want you to know that I'm... " She glanced down and murmured, "I'm glad you're here now."
But he curled his finger under her chin and caught her eyes. He looked proud of her. "Thank you for telling me this."
"I just felt I should."
"These feelings are confusing, are they not? Mine are, too. But we'll muddle our way through."
She wouldn't be around long enough to...
With that thought in her mind, she turned to straddle him. Her hands trembled as she cradled his face. She leaned in to press her lips against the corner of his mouth, his cheek, and lower to his neck, then returned to brush her lips fully against his. As before, the mere contact of his lips with hers made her breathy and abandoned. She tilted her head to deepen the kiss, setting in to him, licking his lips, his tongue.
She drew back to work her sweater up and off, then reached back and unsnapped her lacy bra. When she faced him again, his gaze was rapt on her bared breasts, his jaw slackened.
Today in the cave, she'd determined that he hadn't wanted to rush their encounter. Now, she again had the idea that he wanted to take this slowly, and judging from his reaction, he thought she'd just skipped a step.
"I... Katja... " He swallowed, seeming to memorize the sight. As if he believed he'd never see something like this again?
The awful truth was that she enjoyed him gaping at her breasts, enjoyed his pained expression when her nipples hardened right in front of his eyes.
"So lovely," he said, his voice rumbling in that sexy way, shooting heat through her that centered between her legs. Gods, she'd missed this.
He placed his hands flat on her back and pulled her forward to lightly lick one of her nipples. She moaned at that small contact even before he took it between his lips. Groaning around the peak, tongue flicking, he sucked hard until it throbbed. He released her only to repeat the attentions to her other breast, then he stopped to gaze again. She had the crazy idea that he wanted to see what he'd wrought with his lips.
But his breaths were heating the wet peaks, making her ache. "Please, Bastian," she murmured. If he was going to touch her, he needed to do it now.
He moved her until she lay across his lap, her neck against his arm. "Spread your legs," he rasped, pressing them open until her skirt rode up enough to reveal her panties. He grazed the backs of his fingers up her inner thigh.
With his eyes heavy-lidded, he pulled her panties aside with one hand, reaching his other hand around her waist and down to begin stroking her. He bit out a foreign curse at how wet she was. "For me," he said, his voice hoarse. It wasn't a question, but she got the sense that he wanted her to assure him.
"For you," she whispered, making him shudder.
"That pleases me. You should be, since I'm hard for you constantly." He rubbed her wetness around, making her gasp, seeming fascinated with how slick she'd grown. When he slipped his finger into her, he groaned from low in his throat, and she writhed, feeling his shaft pulse beneath her.
"I'm going to kiss you here" - he rocked his hand upward, delving deeper, as his thumb slowly stroked her clitoris - "all night."
She cried out. She'd always found that act intensely erotic, and now the wicked thought of a vampire doing it to her made her squirm.
Who was this domineering, sinfully sexy man? He'd seemed cautious, even tentative, in the beginning. But not now.
Never had a takeoff felt so good. "Bastian, I need - "
"You want me to kiss you, Katja?"
"Yes!" She rolled her hips to work his finger in and out, and he groaned against her damp nipple.
He continued this agonizing play until they leveled off and the lights in the cabin dimmed to darkness except for the light over the table opposite them. He lifted her and gently placed her on the table, pressing her back.
His hands skimmed up under her skirt until he could hook his fingers around her panties. She shimmied to help him as he tugged them off.
He pushed her skirt to her waist, then sat before her in the plush seat, in the dark while she was lying back in the light. He placed his palms on her legs and gently spread them. When she was bared to him, he rasped, "You're beautiful," making her sex clench. She whimpered as he continued to stare.
She'd never been looked at like this, never felt so exposed and vulnerable. And yet she trusted him with her body. At last, he pressed his lips to her thigh, kissing higher with wet licks until she was shivering, threading her fingers in his thick hair.
She sighed, drawing up her knees and letting her legs fall open for him to do as he would.
Her inner thighs were like silk. Nothing could be so soft.
Sebastian already felt as though he'd explode, and he hadn't even tasted her.
He wanted to savor the experience, but he'd waited too long for this fantasy. After the cave, he'd paced in her townhouse with nervousness for hours. He'd known what he was going to do to her tonight - what he'd thought about again and again. But could he please her? Would she be able to tell he'd never done this before?
Now that he was certain he was about to have it, he was desperate for his first taste of her.
He gave a last kiss on her thigh, and then, with a growl, he found her wetness. Mouth open, he rubbed his tongue at her center, in a long, slow lick. As she cried out, his body shuddered with pleasure, his cock jerking in his pants. "You're like honey."
Wet, slick, luscious. For more than three hundred years, he'd waited for this.
And she was so fucking worth it.
Encouraged by her cry, he licked more deeply and felt her growing wetter against his tongue. She moaned, and her arms fell overhead. He'd never imagined her sex could be so hot, the flesh so giving. I will never get enough of this. Never.
If it took becoming a vampire to have this one night with her, would he suffer the turning again?
In the space of one of his new heartbeats.
When he lashed a hard stroke of his tongue against her swollen little clitoris, she sucked in a breath and arched her back sharply. How had he ever thought he could handle his own reaction? It was everything he could do not to yank out his shaft and impale her exactly where his tongue was dipping right at that moment.
But then, there was no way he would forgo this pleasure now. He had waited for so long and already he was in love with the act. Her sexy heels were digging into his back, urging him on like spurs.
She leaned up on her elbows to watch him, biting her bottom lip, panting, sending a shock of lust through him. She touched her own breasts, strumming her nipples as if for him. How did she know he was enthralled with her pink nipples and plump, soft breasts? For her to play with them... ?
"Bastian!" she cried. "I'm so close... "
No, not yet! Shouldn't have taken her with my fingers. She'd have lasted longer. I could have had my mouth on her longer. But she threw back her head, arching with her nipples tight and pointing, and he couldn't stop himself from licking her madly.
She moaned as she began coming, and his eyes closed with pleasure, as it went on and on. Her lithe body shuddered against him and her cries filled his ears.
Once she'd finished, she pushed at his head to close her knees, when all he wanted to do was taste her orgasm. No, damn it, he was going to have more of this. Had to. "I'm not done yet," he growled, not recognizing his own voice.
Her eyes widened when he scooped her up and carried her to the bed in the back, tossing her down. The room had a panorama of small windows, and all around her, he could see lightning striking in the background. Sebastian was in a plane - actually flying - and he could not give a damn.
When he moved her bodily so he could lie between her legs, she said, "Bastian, I-I can't... not so soon."
She pushed at him when he spread her legs wide once more, but he yanked her arms to her sides and clutched her wrists, capturing her in place.
"Spread your legs," he ordered in a tone that dared her to deny him.
She did with a whimper, knowing what was to come. He set back in, more aggressive, emboldened at how he'd made her come already, at how she'd given off lightning. He'd worried that he would be awful at this, that she would yawn with boredom. But she'd made it so easy with her moans and cries, letting him know exactly how she liked to be kissed.
When he decided to try suckling her clitoris, she moaned with abandon, head thrashing on the pillow, making him grind his cock into the mattress in agony. Her legs fell wide again in total surrender, and light exploded outside; the plane shook as she rolled her hips to his waiting tongue.
"Yes... yes... yes," she cried, panting, writhing. She screamed - loudly - when she came, and though he held her wrists, her claws dug down and shredded the sheets.
He devoured her until he'd wrung every last whimper from her. Then he kissed her silky thighs where he'd squeezed too hard, wanting to soothe her even as he ached.
"Bastian?" she murmured.
He finally pulled himself away and rose to sit back on his haunches, not bothering to hide his amazement. She appeared to share the feeling. "Well" - she had to swallow before continuing - "you're, uh, certainly no slouch in that department."
Sebastian was proud and relieved. Very relieved. But now he would have to leave her. He had a cock full of seed that would not be denied. And he'd promised her he'd do no more than touch her. Even in the unlikely event that she wanted to make love to him, he didn't want her to in exchange for anything -
"Bastian," she purred. "I want to touch you."
He shook his head. "I told you I wouldn't." But when she reached out her soft palm, his hips shot forward, seemingly of their own accord, to place his cock at her disposal.
By the time he'd gathered the will to think about denying her, she'd already undone his jeans.
In a throaty whisper, she asked, "Do you think I could let that go unrewarded?"
Kaderin grasped his shaft, pulling it free. Her eyes widened at her first sight.
Gods, he was glorious. The crown was glistening, the shaft so thick as it pulsed and throbbed in her palm.
She glanced up to find his face flushed as he looked down to where she held him. When she caught his darkened eyes, she realized he wanted her to like what they were doing, that he wanted her to find him attractive.
"I love the way you feel," she murmured as she circled her fingers around him, squeezing him firmly in her fist until he groaned low. "I couldn't stop touching you even if I tried."
Pulling on him, she eased him down to where he rested over her on his hands and knees. Then, stroking his length, she touched the head to her breast. He began shuddering, his legs shaking. She rubbed it against the flesh, even around one of her nipples. With her other hand, she cupped his heavy sack, kneading.
She saw him clench his jaw and sensed he was just preventing himself from thrusting into her palm to end this. "Katja... I'm about to... come."
"Yes!" She stroked him harder, faster.
He bit out, "Like this - ?"
She pressed the head directly to her aching nipple.
"Ah, God - " The words ended with a brutal yell as he ejaculated against her. She pumped her fist, shivering at the first contact. The room lit with lightning once more.
When she'd stroked him spent, he looked as if he could scarcely believe what he'd done. "I didn't expect... I didn't plan for this."
She bit her bottom lip. "I know."
Without another word, he pushed up, tucking his shaft back into his jeans, looking angry with himself. He rose to go to the luxurious bathroom, then returned with a plush towel, wetted on the end. When he sat beside her, he clearly wondered what the protocol was. He held up the towel with raised eyebrows, and she nodded, stifling a smile.
He reached out to clean her breasts with languid strokes, staring avidly. He exhaled a long breath and muttered, "I can't believe I did this."
Each of his light strokes relaxed her even more, and she gave him a lazy grin, no doubt surprising him. Hey, what could she say? She'd needed him for tonight, and he'd satisfied her thoroughly. Even if they hadn't made love.
Kaderin found it sexy as hell that he wasn't too suave and overly practiced in bed, the way she'd heard immortal men could be - nor was he jaded. He didn't try to hide how much pleasure he was feeling, or check his words, or downplay how much he ached.
She sighed, every muscle in her body relaxed. "Bastian, I thought tonight was wonderful."
"You did?" He'd just come across her breasts, watching as it happened as though out of his body. That was something he'd thought he'd go his whole life without experiencing. And though he found it hard to believe, she looked as if she couldn't be happier with him.
He shook his head again to clear it, then rose to toss the towel into the bathroom. When he returned, he leaned against the bedroom doorway and gazed down at her. She'd turned onto her side, and seemed half-asleep, but she raised her head to give him a drowsy smile. And something felt as though it shifted in his chest, twisting... aching.
Her sleek skirt was bunched at her waist, and her wisp of underwear had snagged on the fastening of her shoe. Seeing her like this, so soft and relaxed, made his chest hurt again. Frowning, he rubbed the palm of his hand hard against it.
When she murmured his name and rounded her back as if coaxing him to lie behind her, his eyes widened. He returned at once, sitting beside her. Yes, he would sleep with her. He yanked off his boots and pulled his shirt over his head, then reached up and closed all of the curtains.
He knew she would set out as soon as they landed - but for now, he planned to enjoy every aspect of being with his woman, including undressing her for bed.
He tugged the underwear free, removed her shoes, then unzipped and removed her skirt. When he lay behind her, pulling the blanket over them, he could have sworn she mumbled something about a cake.
After drawing her into his arms, he buried his face in her hair and squeezed her. He'd gone from famine to feast - no middle ground. He'd gone from having no one to call his own to having a fantasy here in his arms.
He could win her. He would win her after tonight. He'd known he would be a good husband, a good father, but he'd wondered if he could satisfy her in bed. Now he felt confident he could, since she wasn't shy about what pleased her. God, how she lets me know. He grinned against her, well aware that they slept on shredded sheets.
She sighed, flexing against him. Then as if she caught herself doing something she oughtn't, she tensed. "Tonight changes nothing, vampire."
"Tell yourself that, Valkyrie" - he brushed her hair aside, kissing her neck and making her shiver - "as much as you like."
"Good morning, Katja."
She mumbled something in answer. When he'd woken, she was draped over his chest, half on him, panting with sleep. He grinned, savoring the feeling. She would deny it, but his Bride liked sleeping with him. He could get used to this ultimate luxury - blond curls spilling over his chest and warm woman in his arms, his for the taking. Was she, after last night?
She'd given him the most pleasure he'd ever experienced, and she'd also given him a teasing hint of what more he could find with her. He squeezed her even closer. When she said something he didn't catch, he let up. "Sorry."
She sounded half-asleep when she asked, "Why're you always worried 'bout crushing me?"
He stared at the ceiling. "My size has not put me in good stead with women." What a vast understatement.
"Did last night," she murmured, with a yawn against him. "Your size was a panty remover."
Panty remover? He drew her up by the shoulders, and she blinked at him sleepily like a kitten peeled off a couch.
"Whaa?" she muttered. "That in good enough stead?"
He chuckled, settling her back, using his whole hand to cup her face against him. How could a few well-placed words begin undoing centuries of doubt - ?
She shot up in bed, eyes wide. "We've landed?"
"About an hour ago. I turned the Do Not Disturb key, and the pilots left."
"What time is it?" She sprang from the bed. Naked. She dashed to the bathroom, started the shower, then flashed by on her way to the closet for clothes. So very naked.
He glanced at the bedside clock. "It's six-forty here." Where exactly was here? All he knew was that the pinpricks of sun coming through the shades were bright.
"I've got a car coming at seven!"
He sat back with his arms behind his head and knew his grin was one of pure masculine satisfaction. He'd never seen a woman get dressed before. He never wanted to miss it again.
This was what he'd imagined having a wife would be like. Seeing her dressing, enjoying tantalizing views of her beautiful body. But with her, the reality was so much better.
He hadn't, for instance, envisioned his wife's complete lack of modesty or wicked bed play. He hadn't imagined that her stunning eyes could burn with such absolute purpose and drive - or go silvery with desire.
She caught her ankle in the strap of her bag and stumbled forward, righting herself with a kind of preternatural grace. When she bit out a curse, he chuckled again.
She peered around the bathroom door and quirked an eyebrow until he raised his hands in surrender.
Soon he was treated to the light scents of her shampoo and soap that would be mixed with her own luscious scent. When he imagined her working soap over her sleek body, he shot to his feet. Not wasting a second, he stripped off his jeans and traced into the shower.
She cried out with a start, glanced down at his erection, then back up with her face flushed. Regrettably, she was already rinsed clean, and before he could touch her, she hopped out. She secured a towel around her torso and twisted one up around her hair, then dashed from the steamy room. He heard cabinets slamming in the bedroom as she hurried.
He didn't understand this obsessive need of hers to win. "Why are you so rabid about this prize?" he called out from under the water. "I've told you a hundred times before, the key will not work." He found an unopened bar of soap that didn't smell feminine and tore open the monogrammed seal.
She entered again, still in her towel, and squeezed toothpaste onto her pink toothbrush. She answered while brushing. "Ill ew." Will to.
Just as she finished brushing and exited, he finished showering, then grabbed the last towel.
On her way past the bathroom door once more, she tossed his jeans at him. He dried off, stabbed his legs in, and entered the hall - plowing right into her.
He should have known, in such a small area. Careless...
His hand shot out to catch her, but she easily checked her fall with one light step back. Her hands flew to his chest, then relaxed to rest there, rubbing a few remaining drops of water. She didn't give him that hurt look. No, she tilted her head and studied his chest, her tiny fang pressing against her bottom lip, her eyes growing silver.
Just as he was about to pick her up on the way back to the bed, she shimmied by, then hastened down the hall, hips gently swaying under her towel. Perfect for me. Suddenly, he was completely respectful of fate, since it had had blooded him with exactly the right female.
When she was out of his sight, the silky underthings in her opened clothes bag caught his attention. Kneeling down to root through them, he picked out a scant black bra and matching panties that resembled no more than artfully arranged strings. He stood and clenched them in his fists, groaning to recall tugging her silk panties aside the night before. He'd shuddered to find them so very wet...
She appeared, one hand on her hip, the other raised for her underwear. He reluctantly handed it over. When she turned and began dressing under the towel, he said, "I know a bit about the subject of time travel. And I know this key can't work. Have you ever studied the laws of general relativity?" he asked slowly, not imagining why she would have. His head tilted with each word, gaze locked on the edge of the fluttering towel. He needn't have bothered angling for a peek. She dropped the towel as soon as her underwear was on - in other words, when the string was in place.
He hissed in a breath. Again, his feet shuffled to keep himself from falling over. That ass is going to be the death of me.
"I know a bit about the subject myself," she said over her shoulder as she donned her bra. "And since the mid-twentieth century, it's been widely accepted among physicists that the possibility of time travel can be reconciled within the laws of general relativity."
His brows drew together. Perhaps he shouldn't have spoken to her so slowly. But then her words sank in. General relativity was only one argument against time travel. "Even if that were so, time travel is not compatible with the law of conservation of energy. You cannot remove matter and energy from one sphere without creating a vacuum. Nor can you take it and force it into another sphere."
Mercifully, she shimmied into her low-slung pants, though she had to bend over briefly, with her breasts threatening to spill out. Half dressed, she began combing out her long, wet hair. He sat back against the headboard once more and savored every sight.
"True. But only if you believe that all matter and energy are interconnected on a global scale," she said.
Could she be any sexier than at this moment, brushing her hair, discussing one of his favorite subjects? Somehow he managed to speak. "It must be. In a closed system, all is integrated."
Twisting the mass of curls into a knot on her head, she bared that graceful neck he couldn't seem to keep his lips from. "The earth isn't a closed system," she said with absolute authority. "There are bridges to other dimensions, even other populations like the Lore. I've been to some."
What? he thought dumbly. Christ, he believed her about this. Though it went against everything he'd learned.
And just like that, one of the foundational beliefs of his life collapsed while a slip of a female traipsed by in a silken black bra.
Shaken, he redoubled his efforts to concentrate. He wanted to convince her of this. And to be honest, he wanted to impress her. "And what about the Grandfather Paradox? What happens when a time traveler has a quantum-mechanical intrusion with his past self or his ancestors?"
"What if he kills his own grandfather? Well, if one believes tachyons - "
"You know what a tachyon is?" he nearly shouted.