The ​Crown of Gilded Bones

Page 51

“Good. Your comfort is my utmost concern.” Water clung to his lashes as he curled one hand around an ankle. He grinned, his gaze rising to mine as he lifted my leg. My breath snagged as he placed my foot on his shoulder. The position left me…oh, gods, it left me utterly exposed to him.

A shaky breath left me as I watched him shift his gaze to my very center. A hint of fang appeared behind his parted lips, and everything inside me twisted most deliciously. My palms flattened against the smooth bench as he drew his soapy hands up my calf and then my thigh. I held my breath as his fingers reached the crease between my hip and thigh. He dragged his hand along the inside of my leg, his knuckles brushing my most sensitive area. Air punched out of my lungs.

Casteel’s hand stopped there as he met my gaze. “Still comfortable?”

“Yes,” I whispered.

That sensually cruel smile of his appeared, and tension gathered sweetly in my body. He dragged his hand back down as the mist of water continued wetting my skin. When he finished, he placed my foot back on the floor and then lifted my other leg. Cooler air rushed against my heated flesh. He did the same as before, sliding the soap between my toes, over the pad of my foot, and then up and up my leg. I tensed, nearly straining in anticipation, my heart pounding as his knuckles once more grazed my core. Drawing his hand back down the length of my leg, he wiped away the soap and bent his head, kissing the jagged scar on the inside of my knee.

Hooking his arm around my calf, Casteel didn’t put my foot down on the floor. He moved in closer, the width of his shoulders widening my legs.

My heart stuttered as my eyes widened. A wave of taut shivers cascaded through me. Not even that morning he’d woken from the nightmare and had been close to bloodlust had I been this exposed to him. A flutter moved from my chest to my stomach.

“Are you…are you still being thorough?” I asked, my voice husky.

“Yes. I think I missed a spot.” He kissed the space above the old scar. “I think I see many more spaces I missed. And you know me, I’m a perfectionist. I also wouldn’t want those spots to feel left out. Do you?”

“No.” My heart pounded so much that I wondered if he could see it, but when I looked down, all I saw was the turgid peaks of my breasts between soaked strands of coppery hair. I lost a bit more breath as I took in the sight of myself—my shoulders back against the tile, my breasts thrust out, and my legs open wide for Casteel. My eyes remained open as my head fell back against the wall. I watched him as his wet hair teased my skin.

“How about here?” He kissed the inside of my thigh as his palm ran up the back of my leg. “Or here?” His lips found one of those ragged scars on the insides of my thighs. He shifted his head as he brushed his lips over the pulsing flesh between my legs. I jerked. “Yeah, I think this spot is especially dirty and lonely.”

I moved beyond words as his head bowed. The wet slide of his tongue over me dragged a throaty moan from me. My eyes fluttered shut and reopened only halfway when he said, “I need to pay extra special attention to this area.” He made another pass with his tongue, this time swirling it around the tight bud of nerves. “It may take me a while.”

I trembled as his tongue flicked the skin and then slipped inside me. A dizzying burst of pleasure shocked my senses. He tilted his head again, and his lick was deep and slow and wonderfully indecent. My hips tilted up, matching his strokes—his teasing, shallow strokes. What he was doing was decadent and not anything I had ever imagined when thinking about bathing.

I would never be able to think of anything else when I was near water now.

My hips twitched as I felt a long finger replace his tongue, trailing lightly over the swollen flesh then slipping inside me a fraction with each sweep. My body was becoming an inferno.

“Cas,” I breathed, shuddering as I teetered closer and closer to the precipice.

He halted, looking up at me with eyes that were now luminous. “You should hold onto the bench.”

With shaking hands, I gripped the edge of the seat.

One side of his lips curved up. “Good girl.”

He dipped his head, his breath hot against me. A heartbeat passed. I felt his lips and then the erotic graze of a fang—

I cried out as the sharp, brief sting sent a shockwave through my entire body. A knotted whirl of burning pleasure shot down my legs and up my spine. My eyes were wide-open, but I swore I saw bursts of white light. Then his mouth closed over the throbbing bundle of nerves as his finger thrust inside me. He sucked deep and hard, coaxing not only my arousal but the thin bit of blood I knew he’d also drawn. My entire body reared off the bench, my grip slipping—

He placed his other hand on my stomach, pressing me back down to the seat. He feasted from me as his finger pumped in and out. He consumed me, and I was lost—willingly lost in the raw sensations flooding me, devoured by the groan he unleashed against my flesh. I squirmed against him in senseless desperation. The feel of him was too much, and yet, it wasn’t enough. The pleasure bordered on pain wrapped in beauty. It was exhilarating and frightening as the intense heat coiled deeper and tighter inside me.

“Cas,” I moaned again, not even recognizing my voice as his hand left my stomach. Tipping forward on the edge of the bench, I gained leverage with my other foot. My chin dropped as my hips lifted from the tile and rolled against his finger, against his mouth. The sight of me churning against him became branded in my mind. The sight of the muscles in his upper arm flexing and tensing as his hand moved between his legs was imprinted on my skin. His lashes swept up, and his gaze locked with mine as his arm made quick and jerky, hard movements and pushed me over the edge. I came apart, screaming his name as he gave a hoarse shout against my skin. I shattered, over and over, breaking into pleasure-wrapped shards. The release was devastating and glorious in its intensity, coming in on endless waves that left me boneless against the tile. When he eased his finger out of me, tiny bursts of pleasure still sparked through me.

His lips curled into a smile against my swollen flesh. “Honeydew.”

Casteel wrapped a towel around me. Before I could take one step, he lifted me into his arms.

I grasped one shoulder. “I can walk.”

“I know.” He carried me into the shadow-filled bedchamber.

“This is not necessary.”

“Everything that has to do with you is necessary.” Casteel deposited me on the bed, and within a heartbeat, he had me stretched out on my side and was seated beside me. He was fully and unabashedly naked while I was still wrapped in the fluffy towel. “So, how did you enjoy your first shower?”

My cheeks warmed as I grinned. “It was very…life-changing.”

“Agreed.” One side of his lips curved up as he reached over, tucking a strand of my wet hair back from my face. “Hungry?”

I nodded, smothering a yawn.

“I’ll see what I can wrangle up for us.” He leaned over me, capturing my lips. The kiss was soft and languid and wrapped my heart in warmth and light.

He withdrew, rising from the bed, and I watched him through half-open eyes as he walked to the oak wardrobe. He pulled on a pair of black breeches. As he made his way back to me, he unsheathed the wolven dagger. “The wolven are outside right now, patrolling.”

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