No Man Can Tame (Page 38)

“Please,” she said, wiggling farther up the bed as he braced over it, teasing with feather-light strokes over her thighs, across her belly, over her breasts. The tips of his long hair tickled her stomach before he kissed her chest, lavished her sensitive spots with a playfulness that made her back arch off the bed.

She buried her fingers in his hair, urged him up to her face, and his mouth met hers anew, reclaimed her needy lips. As she angled to him, whimpering for union, heavenly, wonderful, glorious union, he was ready against her. So ready, but when she rocked against him, a sharpness skimmed her bottom where his hand gripped her.

Just a graze—no matter—she didn’t react, kept kissing him, her own hands roving the corded musculature of his back.

“Aless,” he whispered between kisses, “teach me to love you the way you wish to be loved.”

She moved against his hardness, gasping, pushing, and Holy Mother’s mercy, if he didn’t take her now, right now, she would die of want.

“Show me,” he said to her, his usually deep voice an octave lower.

He didn’t want to hurt her, maybe didn’t want to presume, to lose control—he wanted to please her, to be who she needed, to provide what she needed. As she wanted to do for him.

“On your back,” she whispered.

His mischievous gaze locked with hers, he did as bidden, and she sat astride him, held him at her core, watched his mouth fall open and his entire body go taut as he hissed an oath to his god.

With a gasp, she took him slowly, so carefully, until at last they were completely, utterly one, and despite his tense muscles rippling, he stroked her softly, her thighs, her hips, with perfect self-control. His eyes followed everywhere he touched, heavy lidded and intense, taking her in with a boundless hunger. There were a thousand things she wanted to tell him, a thousand memories she wanted to share, and millions more she wanted to live with him, to learn with him, to create together.

He wasn’t afraid to hold her gaze, to watch the truth on her face, just as she watched his, the fondness there, the desire, and not just for this moment, but for countless more, and for her.

She knew in that moment, in those eyes, that he would never betray her. That he would always be there for her. And that he would always hear her voice, and listen.

As she moved, she held his gaze, too, looked into his eyes, adoring and awed, his eyebrows drawn tight. A frisson rippled through her lower belly; the hard fullness of him inside her was pleasure, unbearable pleasure, and with every movement, she trembled, breathed shakily, the heat of his every touch pooling at her core, where it only wanted, and wanted.

His slow, rough breaths, rhythmic and primal, began to quicken, and her own surrender was just there, within reach, and she took him harder, faster, chasing it, chasing it, until at last she caught it, cried out, again and again, waves of hot sensation cascading through her, throbbing through her veins, pulsing at her core. As he groaned, low and deep, she didn’t stop, kept going until his eyes pressed shut and his mouth fell open, need claiming his face with creased determination that—with a hiss—pleasure freed and freed and freed with every panted breath. Warmth filled her up, heat spreading through every part of her, kindled by his touch, his care, and the love they made together.

Veron, her Veron, lay beneath her, gazing up at her with stars in his eyes, and she reached for his face, gently stroking along his jaw, over his lips, and down over the chiseled beauty of his black-sun chest and his abdomen.

With a grin, he urged her down to him, tucked her curls behind her ear, and kissed her. She took his lip between hers, explored his mouth with her tongue, teased it with playful strokes as he rubbed her bare back with firm, sensual pressure.

“Was it worth the wait?” she breathed.

He smiled. “You were worth the wait, Aless.”

Completely serene, he watched her, and she leaned in to kiss him again.

“So is that how the dark-elves do things?” she asked with a grin. “Because I approve.”

He laughed in his throat and shook his head. “In essence, yes,” he drawled, “but with us, everything is a test of strength. Even lovemaking.”

She tried to picture pinning him, gasping as he rolled her over, dueling between the sheets. If that was how things usually went, then with her, he’d been exceedingly cautious, had submitted himself completely to her whim, to her ways, and let her do as she’d pleased while he’d resisted his instincts, restrained his body. He’d been so taut, muscles rippling, quaking, and it had been restraint.

The day she’d first met him, he’d clasped his hands behind his back, but when she’d taken a step away, he’d revealed them, held them at his sides, shown her he’d meant her no harm.

“Veron,” she said, and his embrace around her tightened. She lay down at his side, nestled into the crook of his shoulder, into the warmth of him, as he caressed her arm. “What’s your home like?”

“Nozva Rozkveta?” he asked softly. “It’s beautiful, brimming with life. It’s a fortress, but you could spend hours watching the sparkling water, the gleaming surfaces…”

“Stone, right?” she asked, receiving a nod in reply. “Will we live in a stone dwelling?”

“In palace quarters. Not too different from this, actually,” he added with a laugh. “Don’t worry—we’ll make sure to have some of your fluffy human things around.”

She poked him, and he laughed again, then nuzzled her head with his nose before kissing her lightly there.

“Believe me, I have nothing but the utmost respect for human things,” he said softly, slowly, and urged her onto her back.

There was no laughter in his eyes now, only rapt attention, and he reached out to brush her lips with his thumb before taking them with his own again.

His hands explored her gently, slowly, roving over her bottom, and then he went rigid. Froze. Pulled away.

He stared down at his palm, glanced at her, and left the bed.

Wriggling to the edge, she eyed him. “Veron?”

He rubbed his face with his hand, pacing the room, then held up the other.


Chapter 19

By Deep and Darkness, he’d hurt her. Again.

As desire had claimed him, he’d remembered to be gentle, to keep his touch light, to avoid injuring her—and it had happened anyway.

“Veron?” she asked again, rising from the bed. She tried to embrace him, but he pulled away.

He shook his head. No, he couldn’t touch her like this, not again. Not with his claws.

“It’s all right,” she whispered, rubbing his back. “It was only a little scratch.” She kissed his shoulder. “Come back to bed.”

Every dark-elf of worth had claws—sharp, strong, battle-ready claws. Claws he had defended her with just earlier tonight. If they were broken, taken in battle, or maimed, it was dishonor. Weakness.

Aless locked her arms around him from behind, her delicate, slender arms, with her supple, fragile skin. His lover, his partner, his wife. His human wife.

He wouldn’t risk hurting her again, not for all the honor and strength in the Deep. Never again.

He could never give her lavish human celebrations, with new dances every season and theatre and opera and fashion and excess. He could never give her a legion of servants in her household to pamper her as she’d been in the palace. Nor could he give her a place in the sun, in the sky realm, among her kind and sunshine and light. He could never impress her or court her the way a human man would.

But the very least he could do was never hurt her. Keep her safe. The very least.

As he approached the table of toiletries, she let him go, and he searched through them until he found her nail file.

“Veron, what are you doing?” Her voice quavered.

“What I should have done before our wedding,” he murmured, then began filing down his claws.

She grasped his hand, her eyebrows knitted together. “But won’t your reputation—”

He raised her hand to his lips, kissed it. All his life, he’d guarded his reputation fiercely, never wanting to be anything but a credit to Mati and Nozva Rozkveta. But Deep, Darkness, and Holy Ulsinael, what did his reputation matter in comparison to her wellbeing?

“I don’t want to hurt you, Aless, ever,” he whispered, lowering her hand. “And if anyone questions my battle prowess, I won’t need claws to trounce them in the ring.”

He had been trained by Mati and Zoran—the best—and he didn’t need claws to fight.

He started filing them again, as short as her human nails, shorter even. They’d grow back in a month, but he’d just file them down again, and the month after, and the one after that, for the rest of their lives.

Backing up toward the bed, she tossed her long, dark hair over her shoulder and raised an eyebrow. “Are you certain you need to do this now?”

He’d already taken several steps in her direction before he realized it. With a shake of his head, he continued filing while she giggled. Their first night together, and she already knew the power she held over him—and she wasn’t afraid to use it. If she ever brought out that sheer red thing from their wedding night, he wasn’t certain there was anything he wouldn’t do.

“Not sure I’ve ever seen anyone file their nails so fast in my life,” she teased, hopping onto the bed and kicking her legs playfully. She leaned back, propped a foot upon the bed, and eyed him over her round, bare breasts.