The Vampire Queen's Servant (Chapter Eleven)
So he took an orange out of the fruit bowl and began to roll it across the table top between his callused palms. Back, forth. Back, forth. A simple mind-clearing exercise ironically taught to him by Gideon to help him fight vampires, to combat their overwhelming physical and mental presence.
When she returned, he was still doing it. As he lifted his head, he saw she was looking at his wrists, which still bore the light imprint of the manacles. She wet her dry lips, making something tighten in his chest. But he watched her, waiting for her to make the next move. Trying to hold on to a sense of calm.
She moved around the island. "How did you get free?" "If I tell you that, my lady, you'll know all my secrets. I won't be able to employ the same tactic to get free again. "
She stopped, a foot between them. Shifting on the stool so he faced her, he released the orange and laid one arm on the counter, his other hand braced on his thigh in an open, casual pose he was sure she knew was deceptive. A bowstring drawn as taut as he was could send an arrow to the moon.
"So does it get you off, playing the all-powerful Oz?" he asked.
Placing her hand on one of his knees, she exerted pressure until he widened the space between them. She moved in, her gaze on his face. "Is that what you think? That this is about ego?"
"It's got to be, in one form or another. You want me to hand mine to you on a platter. "
"I want you to let go of it, so it doesn't stand between me and the rooms of your soul. " She blinked. Once. "There's a pleasure in that, I'll not deny it. But there's more to it. " When she cupped his jaw, Jacob couldn't help the tension in his neck, resisting the movement. "If you don't learn how to be submissive, Jacob, you won't survive in my world. It's not complicated to understand. The only thing complicated, the only thing to solve, is your refusal to accept it even after all your training with Thomas. "
As Jacob had watched her conduct her macabre discussion with the driver, he'd noted there was an eerie stillness to her which became more pronounced as dawn approached. She didn't even shift when she spoke now, no facial expressions. As if the closer it came for her to take her rest, the less effort she put into maintaining human characteristics. Ironically it underscored the point she'd been trying to make about the difference in their status, from a vampire's perspective. An explanation echoing in his mind now.
But as he gazed at her, fighting his simmering irritation, something raw and painful surfaced in her expression, a sudden flash of anguish too powerful for her to contain. It was a stark contrast with the blankness of her features, like a slash of red paint against a white canvas. "I can't bear to lose another human servant, " she said. "Do you understand that?"
Jacob blanketed her fingers with his own without hesitation then, his heart easing. "I know, my lady. But obedience is no guarantee. Thomas was far more obedient than I'll ever be, I'm sure. In the end, he defied your rules. He loved you enough to know when it was time not to obey anymore. "
"So he's dead, " she said flatly. "Exactly my point. He didn't need to be. Your life will depend on your absolute obedience to my will. Do you at least understand that?"
"I understand you think so. " He sobered at her frustrated expression. "I told you I offer myself willingly, my lady. If you'll be patient with me, this isn't something I'm used to. Being told to–"
"Trust without question? When your mind and heart are shrieking at you to do something different from what I'm telling you to do?"
There was no arguing with the truth. He inclined his head, mouth tight. "I'm not intending disrespect, Lady Lyssa. In my own defense, you're not telling me everything going on here. Things I think Thomas didn't know about you. "
"You want too much, too fast. Do you think I don't understand? This would be difficult for most people, but for a man like you it's almost impossible. " She leaned in, breath touching his face as she spoke. "I've been alive long enough to see every form of foolish bravery and abject cowardice, Jacob. True submission is not only the most courageous act a person can commit to another, it's an act of faith. Of trust. After only a few hours together, you laid yourself on my bed and let me chain you. That intrigued me. "
She softened somewhat, though she drew her hand away from his. "I make no apologies for anything I demand. I require the type of devotion most people think only God should be given. " At his startled look, she allowed herself a tight smile. "God's definition of submission is far more merciful than mine. I want to keep you alive. God has less concern about which side of the Curtain his creations are on. "Don't touch me, " she said as he began to reach for her again. Jacob's jaw hardened, his eyes flashing, but he obeyed, surprising her. Tilting her head, Lyssa pursed her lips, blew a soft line of air down the column of his neck and watched the reaction shiver through him. "Try to offer me everything. Don't move until I give you permission. "
She heard his breath catch in his throat as he apparently made a conscious effort to breathe deeply, relax. Slowly his fingers opened as his eyes closed and he gave up his other senses to the moment, stirring her.
Cradling his jaw still, she used her thumb now to ease his head to the right so she had a clear path to her goal. Dropping her other hand, she cupped him, her fingers curving under the round shape of his testicles, the heel of her hand pressing against his hardening cock.
She didn't have to do it this way, but she wanted to make him understand what power she could and would wield over him.
Exposing her fangs, she aligned them with the artery she wanted in his throat and applied pressure. Harder, harder, until she felt the skin give way and his body tighten with reaction to the pain. Warm blood, warm heat, flooded her mouth. Sustenance. She made a sound of pleasure, kneading him with her other hand. Releasing the aphrodisiac through her fangs, she ensured his pain would mix with something worth the discomfort.
Within seconds his fist was clenched on the counter, his cock leaping full and huge against her touch. He began to push helplessly against her as she locked her grip around his shoulders, holding him. Fifteen seconds later she heard his incredulous, guttural curse against her ear, felt his futile resistance and the vibration of his harsh groan as his seed spilled, dampening his jeans against her hand. The orgasm ripped through him like lightning. He was obviously struggling not to lift his hands as she'd commanded, but suddenly she wanted him to do so.
"Touch me, " she whispered. The words were garbled with her fangs still in him, her tongue lapping at his skin, nourishing her with the flow of his blood. He heard her, though.
She'd expected him to grip her about the waist or hips, the clumsy gropings of a man in the throes of one dying climax, already starting to climb the hill to the second she would give him.
He did put his hands on her waist, fingers digging into her hips, but only to anchor her to him as he surged up from the stool and turned them. As she wrapped her legs around his waist, bringing her wet heat against damp denim, the robe fell down her bare legs, exposing her hips. He slammed her down on the wood counter of the island, his hands sliding to her thighs, pushing the robe even further out of his way to grasp flesh. She kept one arm around his shoulders, the other hand on the side of his neck, holding him as she drank, laving him with her tongue. Tearing away her panties, he got his hands between them to unfasten his jeans and shove them out of the way.
She could have stopped him, cut his legs right out from under him, literally or figuratively, but she wanted to feel him inside her as she drew in his blood and let it sustain her.
When she felt the tip of him rub over her clit, his minute hesitation at the moment of irrevocable decision, she clamped her thighs over his buttocks and drove him into her. She almost wished she wasn't so wet so his entry would have been rougher, for she wanted to feel every incremental push forward. However, despite his impressive size he sank deep and fast through her slickness.
It had been so long, he stretched her to the point of pain. She welcomed it, arching into his body.
His palms slapped down on either side of her head on the countertop to keep his balance. He didn't know he didn't need his balance. She had him. She wouldn't let him fall.
With the clamp of her limbs, fingers and fangs upon him, she would make sure he had bruises on his thighs and neck. While she slept the day away, he would finger those places and think of her, the visible claims she'd put on him. The first of many.
She'd never desired to bond with someone so quickly. Perhaps it was her prolonged self-enforced loneliness. Perhaps Thomas had known her needs too well. Perhaps the Three Fates had intervened because they delighted in driving Lyssa to distraction. Any reason was less disturbing than this incomprehensible need to be so immediately close to him that she wanted to meld their souls.
Regardless, the moment Jacob was buried deep within her, sensation exploded throughout her body. The blood in her mouth grew sweeter, more vibrant. She took a hard pull instead of a sip, rewarded with a groan from Jacob as he reacted to the flood of erotic sensation it sparked. His cock was hard as a ramrod inside her but blissfully much thicker.
She stroked, pumping her hips as she stimulated her pussy with it, again and again, using the hold of her legs to use him as she desired, up and down. Stroke, stroke, that wonderful ridged head deep inside and the heavy weight of his testicles bumping the tender base of her ass outside as she tongued his neck, tasted his blood and felt the pure pleasure of possession. Perhaps even in a small, safe way, the feeling of being possessed herself, the feel of a man's weight pressing her down.
The orgasm surprised her, for it had been a long while since she'd had one during sex with a human, no matter the stimulation. Too often, when she was nourishing herself from a stranger, she didn't want to feel the emotional emptiness accompanying a physical climax. Unprepared for the violence of the unexpected release, she increased the force of her bite, driving her fangs in deeper.
As if her soul suddenly had an agenda all its own that disregarded the shrieking warning from her mind, she obeyed its desire and released the precious drops of venom of the first mark into him. It coursed through a human's veins like a lick of flame. Instead of crying out from the searing pain, Jacob growled in response, lifted one hand from the table and cupped the back of her head. From his reaction it was obvious he knew what she had done. Exultation filled her at his obvious fierce pleasure in her decision.
He held her there, supporting her neck and skull with his large palm. The muscles of his other arm strained as he bore his weight and the movement of hers, helping him rock against her tight clasp of his body just above the hips. With a primal male sound, he came again, the heat of him filling her, making her moan against his throat. It was an agonizingly sweet pleasure, the sensation of blood and seed entering her from different points.
Even as the orgasm went from powerful waves to pleasurable ripples, slowing her movements, it took some time for her fangs to retract. He also rocked to stillness upon her reluctantly, but he was obviously spent as she drew out the feeding, enjoying the pleasure of nourishing herself with a willing lover. His body quivered with a shuddering aftermath, making her convulse with aftershocks. When at last she pulled out, she licked the wounds, holding pressure there with her lips as she put her forehead to his jaw, his mouth.
Neither of them spoke or moved for some time. Lyssa wondered at the feeling of quiet communion. As she finally laid her head back and he raised his, their eyes met, but she couldn't think of anything to say. The significance of the moment could not be denied.
On a surge of pure impulsiveness, she'd given him the first mark. The first step toward making him hers forever.