He’d started slow, innocuous brushes of his fingers against her soft flesh. Her shoulders. Her arms. Her neck. His simple touches and soft whispers wrecked her.
"You’re so soft, so warm, cara mia."
Each touch, each word, a melody lulling her further and further into here and now. Here, with her clothing strewn across the floor. Now, with her eyes closed and her body numb and on fire in turns.
This was what she wanted, and it was torture. Exquisite, painful torture.
Her lover was light and shadow, fire and ice. An artist working with tongue and teeth, until he molded her into a piercing, all-over ache. She could take no more of his torment. Her body, soft, fragile . . . human . . . wasn’t designed to take any more.
The biggest part of her wanted it anyway.
"Please, I can’t." The plea sounded so faint, she didn’t even know if he heard it.
She needn't have feared.
He heard every little sigh that passed her lips.
"Open your eyes, cara mia," he whispered. "Open your eyes and let me see."
Her body arched toward his cold touch of its own accord even as her head moved side to side on the pillow in a slow denial. "I can’t."
He trailed his fingertips across the valley of her stomach. Even with her eyes closed, she could feel the weight of his gaze devouring the way her body arched, begging for another caress.
Every inch of her craved him, golden brown silk against pale white stone.
"You can, cara mia/" His fingertips swept across her hipbones as he spoke, pulling another soft groan from deep within her throat. "I need to see."
"Please," she said again.
"Show me, beautiful girl."
She tried to resist again, but she'd never been particularly good at refusing him. She knew he needed that connection with her, maybe more so than she needed it herself. Her eyes were his gateway into her soul, the only one between the two of them. The soul was hers, but he’d taken up residence there too. Her goodness and his darkness met in those deep recesses like yin and yang, sustaining both of them.
She gave in.
"Cara mia." His gratitude came in a soft sigh as her lashes fluttered.
Her dark emerald gaze met his.
She let what she felt for him – what he made her feel – shine for him; pleasure and pain settling like teardrops upon her lashes. Desire for more warred with an intrinsic need to protect herself, buttress walls, and build defenses against him. She let him see that, too. She couldn't hide it from him.
He’d taken her so far already, playing her body like a finely tuned instrument. For him, it was an instrument. One he seemed to know better than he knew himself. One she thought he'd been created to play. In the dark of night, when he came to her, he whispered that his existence was hers. That her pleasure was his.
She believed him.
The way he looked at her, tenderness searing his dark eyes seemed more painful to her than even the burning, shredding, unending desire she felt to wrap herself around him and stay there.
His cold hands swept across her overheated skin like an artist with his brush, blending light and shadow. His cool breath wafted across those secret places only he knew. It fanned the flames inside higher and soothed the burn all at once.
His tongue dipped, traveling the same path he’d explored a thousand times already. Down the valley of her stomach, across the soft curve of her waist, and then around the peak of her hip. He raked his teeth across her skin, a stinging nip bringing her to the edge of heaven.
She felt that tingling pleasure all over. Felt everything he did to her, all the way to her soul.
"Please." This time, that word wasn't a plea that he stop, but a request for more. For everything. Her body arched beneath his mouth, seeking relief, an end, a beginning.
"Close your eyes, cara mia," he whispered, his cold breath fanning across her hip again. His tongue followed, tracing that delicate bone as she shuddered beneath him.
Her eyes fell closed.
"Ti amo, cara mia. Ti amo." He dipped his head again, his hair brushing like silk across her stomach, her hips . . . her inner thighs. His tongue touched first, tentative, soft. His lips followed.
Starbursts of warm, white light danced behind her lids as his mouth worked against her. They danced again as he rose up over her. And again when he slid himself inside.
"Ti amo," he breathed against her neck, planting gentle kisses across her face. "Per sempre." His body tensed like a spring atop of hers, "cara mia" falling from his lips like a prayer.
Hot, happy tears made silent tracks down her cheeks.
He raked his teeth against her neck, whispering his soft promise as starbursts ruptured behind her lids again, tumbling her over the edge into warm waves of forever. He followed quickly behind, not letting her drown alone.
"Are you ready, cara mia?" he whispered, resuming his pace as she drifted in that radiant spot between life and death; la petite mort.
She nodded her head and reached for what he offered. A crescent mark upon her skin. A promise. Forever.
"Ti amo," she whispered. "Ti amo."
He dipped his head, his fangs sinking into her flesh.
Happy Valentine's Day, my loves,
FALL– The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million