When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(55) by Alexandra Ivy
“Arrgh,” she breathed, glaring at him in exasperation.
He hid his surge of amusement. It was becoming obvious that his soon-to-be mate wasn’t a scholar, despite her shrewd intelligence.
She preferred far more interactive pastimes. Like scrying. Or...
Hastily shoving aside the memory of Fallon’s thorough, agonizingly slow exploration of his body in the shower, he concentrated on her obvious frustration.
The sooner they discovered what the hell was going on, the sooner he could have her in his bed.
“Troubles, princess?” he asked.
She held up the heavy leather-bound book she’d been reading. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be looking for.”
He set aside his pencil, astonished at the sense of rightness he felt to see Fallon in his most private sanctuary.
This room was the one place that he never allowed his guests to enter. Not only because it contained priceless manuscripts given to him by his foster father, but because this was the one place he could simply . . . be.
No women, no games, no outrageous behavior that made him infamous throughout the vampire world.
He’d never thought to willingly invite a woman into his refuge.
Then again, Fallon wasn’t just a woman.
She was his mate.
The other half of his soul.
“You’re supposed to be searching for a spell that closes dimensions,” he murmured, not surprised when she narrowed her eyes at his bland tone.
“Half the time it doesn’t even say what is happening,” she groused, glancing down to read from the book that was dedicated to ancient nymph history. “‘A great and terrible darkness rose from the bowels of the earth to seek destruction upon the bright and shiny people,’” she quoted, giving a shake of her head. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
He shrugged. “The fey do have a love for melodrama.”
She tossed aside the book, deliberately allowing her gaze to take a slow survey of his body that was casually sprawled in the chair.
“What are you doing?”
The amber eyes narrowed. “Aren’t we supposed to be searching for a way to save the world?”
“This helps me think.”
She placed her hands on her hips, her expression revealing her disbelief.
“Really?” Her eyes widened as he turned the sketch pad so she could see his work. “Oh.”
She moved forward, taking the sketch pad from his hands to study the image of herself standing in front of a small cottage in a pretty dale.
“Where is this place?” she asked.
Cyn rose to his feet, reaching to tuck a stray curl behind her ear. “My foster parents’ home just a few miles south of here.” His heart gave a painful twist at the thought of the cottage being empty. Dammit, as soon as he found them he was going to have a long chat with them. “I’ll take you to visit as soon as they get back.”
Her expression softened, as if she sensed the worry for his foster parents that gnawed at him.
“They don’t live here?”
“They visit, but they prefer their own space,” he said, taking the sketch pad from her and tossing it onto the chair. Grabbing her hands, he pressed her palms flat against his chest. He needed to feel the warmth of her skin seeping through his fisherman sweater. He’d always been more tactile than most vampires. No doubt a result of having been taken in by fairies. Now, however, his craving for touch was limited to this one particular female. “They said my lair was too big.”
Keeping one hand against his chest, she lifted the other to lightly tug on the narrow braid that lay against his cheek.
“Are you sure it wasn’t the orgies that ran them off?”
Ah. He knew jealousy when he heard it.
He didn’t bother to hide his pleased smile.
“You really are obsessed with those orgies.”
Another tug on his braid. This one sharp enough to cause a prick of pain. “Do you deny them?”
Cyn hesitated, choosing his words with care. He wasn’t ashamed of his past. He lived with an open lust for pleasure that was shared by those who moved in and out of his lair.
Still, he didn’t ever want Fallon to think that she was one of a long line of lovers.
“In the past I filled this lair with friends. And my clansmen are always welcome to stay,” he slowly admitted.
“So it was like the . . .” She halted, clearly struggling for the words. “What was the name? Playboy Mansion?”
“As I said.” He leaned down to place a kiss on top of her head, soaking in the scent of warm champagne. “The past.”
“Why the past?” She absently pulled the braid through her fingers, her head lowered as if she was trying to pretend that his answer didn’t matter.
Cyn cupped her chin, gently forcing her to meet his somber gaze. “You know why.”
He heard her breath catch in her throat, her eyes darkening with a potent combination of fear and gut-deep yearning.
Time halted as their gazes locked, both sensing the vast, unyielding bond that was slowly, irrevocably forming between them.
For Cyn it was the natural progression of finding his mate.
For Fallon . . . His lips twisted as panic rippled over her face.
Clearly she wasn’t ready to accept the threads that were tying her to him on a fundamental level.
With a skittish movement she was tugging free of his light grasp, her cheeks flushed as she tried to pretend her heart wasn’t thundering a hundred miles an hour.
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