The Shadows(Black Dagger Brotherhood, book 13)(69) by J.R.Ward
But at least she didn’t know it was all based on her.
That his life … pathetic as it was … was based on her now.
If that came to light, it would be his ruination.
Xcor twisted the faucet off with a crank, determined to put an end to all of this and send her away just so he could get his defenses properly back in place. Just as he was going to rip the curtain down and put it around himself, the heavy weight of towel was tossed over the pole.
“For your modesty,” she said.
Was she laughing at him?
Not bothering to dry himself off, he covered his lower body and pushed the curtain fall back. She was indeed on the loo, the fleece she wore camouflaging her changed shape from the pregnancy.
Without a word, she pulled her sleeve back again and put out her arm.
There was a challenge in her eyes.
“Fine,” he snapped, angry at himself. At her. At this new territory they had entered.
Lowering himself to his knees—because she was right, he was awfully dizzy—he put his fangs to her flesh.
Starved. He was starved for her.
And yet he struck as gently as he could.
At the first taste, he moaned, his body swaying, its weight knocking into the cabinet into which the sink had been mounted. Her blood was a dark wine that made him thirsty instead of satiating his dry throat, and between his legs, his cock kicked again and again.
He was orgasming into the towel, the pleasure coursing through his veins, his bones, his flesh—
From out of the depths of him, the urge to take her rose so violently, that he started to act on it, his body on the verge of leaping up and dragging her to the floor so he could mount her.
Pregnancy or not, he was going to get at her sex and leave his mark inside of her—
Breaking off the contact, he pushed himself away from her, bracing his feet against that cabinet, the cold porcelain of the tub behind him biting into his shoulders as he went rigid in an attempt to control himself.
“Go!” he shouted.
Within him, his sexual beast was prowling and ready to have her—and coupled with his blood lust, he knew he could not handle the pair of instincts together. He was liable to chew her wrist off at same time he fucked her raw.
“Xcor, you have not had much at all—”
Gritting his teeth, he closed his eyes and strained. “Get the fuck out of here! If you want your young to live—leave! I will attack you! Go!”
That got her attention.
As, no doubt, did the fact that he was still orgasming all over himself, the towel now lost, the jets kicking out and marking his own thighs and belly as his leg muscles trembled at the force he was exerting—to make sure he didn’t jump on her.
A split second later, she was out of the bathroom; one moment after that she was out of the cottage. And she was in such a hurry, she left both of the doors open, so he saw the headlights of her car come on and watched them circle the scruffy lawn in front before streaking off down the lane.
It wasn’t until he could neither see her red taillights nor hear the crackle of her tires that he eased up even a little on the bracing.
Gripping his cock, he began to stroke his shaft as he pictured her eyes on him, and heard anew the strange tone she’d used as she had pronounced him sizable.
He had no interest in masturbating.
But what he really didn’t want was his rational side to completely desert him—such that he went after her through the night, stopping her somewhere unsafe just so he could do what he did not want to do to her.
No, this way he would stay put.
Oh, God … the way she had looked at him, he thought as he started to come again.
“He said I needed a parka.”
The following evening, as darkness settled over the compound and the shutters rose for the night, Selena looked back and forth between the two coats Fritz was holding up to her. One was red, the other black; both were wool and relatively long.
“Oh, I’m sorry, mistress.” He turned back to the closet in the mud room by the garage. “How about either of these?”
This time, he offered her a choice between a puffy waist-length jacket that looked like it was made of dinner rolls, and one that was much longer. Both were black and had little tags that read, PATAGONIA.
“It’s a relatively mild night,” Fritz pointed out. “Perhaps the shorter of the two?”
“Yes, I think you’re right.”
Slipping the thing on, she was amazed at how light it was, and after zipping it up, she tested out the two pockets.
“This is fantastic.”
The butler beamed. “My pleasure. Gloves?”
“I think I’ll just keep my hands in here.”
“As you wish, mistress.”
Heading out into the kitchen, she felt as buoyant as a bubble. Trez had refused to tell her anything about where they were going, and the unknown was like a heady wine, making her head buzz and her body float.
She hesitated at the flap door into the dining room. The sounds and smells of First Meal were obvious and friendly, the voices ones she knew well, the scents making her stomach rumble. And yet she turned around and headed out the other exit of the kitchen, the one that opened up by the flank of the grand stairway.
Everyone had been so kind the night before, all the females lavishing such incredible attention and support on her.
She didn’t want to bother them again and didn’t really want the extra regard.
She was feeling a little tired and wanted to save all her strength for the date.
As she came into the foyer, she saw Trez and Manny standing close together on the far side of the mosaic apple tree in the floor. They were talking intently, each one grave.
Her heart stopped. Was the physician insisting she stay in? Or was he going to make her go down to the clinic first?
She glanced behind her and considered bolting. It wasn’t going to be underground, though—
“You need to take care of her,” Manny warned.
“I will. I swear on my brother’s life.”
Oh … shoot—
Manny took something out of his pocket. A key fob of some sort.
Dangling it in front of Trez’s face, he said, “She’s never been driven by anyone else.”
“Then why are you giving her to me?”
“Because you need to go in style. You’re taking your woman out, you don’t need to be in some BMW.”
“You are a car snob.”
Selena frowned. Car? They were talking about—
Trez whipped around as if he had noticed her scent on the air, and the instant he saw her, he started to smile. “Hey, there, you ready, my queen?”
Stepping across the vast space, she smiled in return. She’d left her hair down again, because she knew by the way he stared at it, played with it, stroked it that he preferred it that way. And actually, she was not just getting used the style, but coming to like it best as well.
That formal chignon the Chosen were supposed to wear could give you one heck of a headache after a couple of hours.
Rising up to her tiptoes, she kissed his mouth and then tucked herself in against his side, fitting perfectly under his arm. “I am so ready.”
Manny clapped palms with Trez, and then said under his breath, “We gotchu.”
Then the doctor gave her a wink and headed to the dining room and all the people in it.
“What does that mean?” Selena asked as Trez opened the door out into the vestibule. “That ‘gotchu’?”
Leaning ahead, he pulled the second door free, and the cold of the night rushed in, making her nose tingle and her cheeks flush.
“Too much?” he asked.
“Too cold? You shivered.”
“I love it.”
“Good, I want to put the top down.”
Parked right in front of the stone steps was a vicious-looking black car, with black wheels and some kind of tail on the back.
“Dearest Virgin Scribe, what is that?” she said.
“It’s called a Porsche nine-eleven turbo.”
“Oh … my.”
Going down to the steps, she approached the machine, taking one hand out of her pocket and running her fingertips down its flank. Smooth, shiny, ice-cold.
“But it has a roof, no?” she said.
“It does tricks.”
Opening the door, he settled her in the passenger seat. “It’s Manny’s new baby. He got it a week ago—it’s the same make and model of his last one, but the interior is different? That’s what he says, at any rate.”
Inside, she smelled leather and the human’s cologne and Payne’s scent.
Trez got in behind the wheel and shut his door. When he turned a key, a great growl started up, a subtle vibration emanating through the interior.
“Check this out.” He hit another button. “Look up.”
Like magic, everything that was overhead unlatched and lifted away, retracting in an orderly series of folds into a rear compartment.
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