The Shadows(Black Dagger Brotherhood, book 13)(83) by J.R.Ward
“Oh, sweet Jesus,” he gasped.
Her breasts were high and tight and tipped with little nipples that he didn’t spend a lot of time looking at. No, he went for them with his mouth, worshiping them while she continued to take from his wrist.
And still, he wanted more of her.
Just as he was getting greedy to head lower—even though he had no idea what he was doing—she released his vein and freed him up. Without giving her a chance to seal where she had struck, he reared up over her and took both sides of what he had begun to tear in his hands.
With that, the under robing was in two halves, and she was naked before him.
Writhing dark skin was bathed in firelight, and her body was marked with smudges of his red blood—and didn’t that make him want to put other things of his on her.
So that all would know she was his.
Dimly, in the back of his addled brain, he was astounded that the stories he had heard and assumed were fiction—those tales of males being around a given female and bonding instantly—were in fact totally and absolutely true.
He had seen her face but moments ago, and now he had gone down the wormhole, lost and found by turns, overwhelmed and starved for more at the same time.
“Mine,” he growled.
Bared to her lover’s eyes, maichen had expected to feel self-conscious or embarrassed. Only her female bathers had ever seen what iAm was looking at.
She kicked the robing free from her hands and brought her palms up to cup her breasts. “Yours,” she heard herself say. Then she moved down and touched her exposed sex. “Yours.”
His upper lip curled back and he let out a growl that was both reverent and a little evil.
Then he took off his coat, his shirt. His shoes and pants.
Firelight moved over his skin, casting shadows under the cuts of muscle that ribbed his arms, his chest, his abdomen.
His arousal was enormous.
It was all so out-of-control, this extraordinary series of events—and the culmination was yet to come. What next, she wondered? She had been nominally instructed in sex in preparation for her mating, the healer giving her an anatomical overview of how things were going to go—and there had been what she had seen of s’Ex and those humans. But neither of those awkward exchanges had done anything to explain how electric it was going to be. How much she was going to want the joining. How desperate she would feel.
Planting his hands on either side of her, iAm suspended himself above her body and slowly brought his lips to hers. The contact was featherlight and fleeting, leaving her wanting more—but then he gradually laid himself on top of her, his weight impossibly erotic, his hard contours cutting into her.
His hard sex brushing at her core.
She began to arch under him, sawing her legs, searching for something although she did not know what.
“I gotchu,” he said. “I’ll take care of it.”
But he didn’t. He just kissed her and made it all worse, leisurely licking at her mouth, rocking against her breasts, her inner thighs—all without joining them.
“Why do you wait,” she moaned.
“I need to make sure you’re ready—or it’s going to hurt.”
Her eyes flipped open. “There will be no pain. Will there?”
“How much do you … ah, know about…?”
Her mouth started moving, and she supposed she was speaking—and he was nodding, saying something in return. But she had no idea what was being said on either side.
Except then his hand was moving down, going between them, brushing at her sex, delving in. The pleasure he brought out of her was like the firelight, hot and all over her body, taking her to some different consciousness.
Then there was pressure at her core, but nothing painful. Just a pushing, a gentle pushing that made her give way internally.
When his hand reappeared by her side, she realized it was his arousal going into her, not his fingers.
Shifting her hips to accommodate him further, she was aware of a pinching shock, a barrier breaking away—and then the joining was so deep, she felt as though he had entered her all over her body. Good, so good—she reveled in how close he was, their skin-to-skin contact warming her inside and out, a lifetime of hands-off treatment wiped away.
And then he began to move. Slow at first, with growing momentum, she was transported along with him to a rising, shimmering pleasure.
Sweeping her hands down his surging back, she loved the power of him, and the knowledge that this particular male was the one who had been the first within her body.
And then a dam broke and everything became so much more vivid, a cresting rush pushing her up against that body of his.
Her mouth opened and she cried out, but not in pain.
He shouted as well, and there was a pulsing inside her core.
But that was not the end. He didn’t stop. He just kept going, pumping against her, in her, over her.
The healer had not told her it would be this good.
Not at all.
He came into her life wearing a Syracuse ball cap and blue jeans that had holes in them.
Paradise was at her desk, making entries in the system, fielding inquires on e-mail, settling visitors in the chairs, when yet another cold breeze shot through the parlor. By now, she was used to the shafts of frigid air—there was one every time the front door opened and shut as a new arrival came in.
So she didn’t actually look up until she sensed a large presence at her desk.
As she lifted her eyes, she had her professional smile in place—but promptly lost the expression.
Standing in front of her was a male about six feet, seven inches tall, with shoulders as wide as a doorway, and a jaw that was straight as an arrow. He had some kind of windbreaker on, even though it was cold enough for a proper coat, and no gloves.
And then there was the Orange ball cap and those jeans.
“May I help you?” she asked.
The brim of that hat was so low, she couldn’t see his eyes, but she could feel the impact of them.
“I’m here about the training program.”
His voice was very deep and surprisingly quiet. Given his physical size, she would have expected something much louder.
“The training program?”
“For the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s soldiers.”
“Oh, yes. I know, but it’s not—I mean, it’s not here. At this house.”
As he looked around, she tried to catch sight of his eyes. “I know,” he said. “I mean, I need an application, and I thought there might be one here.”
“There was an e-mail that went out. Would you like me to forward it to you?”
“I, ah…” He glanced around again. Shoved his hands into the pockets of those jeans. “Do you have an application that’s printed out?”
“I can just send you the whole thing right now—what’s your e-mail address?”
As he seemed to focus on the wall behind her head, she decided that his hair was dark. Dark and very short.
“I don’t have an e-mail address,” he said softly.
Paradise blinked. “Hotmail is free.”
“It’s okay,” the male said, taking a step back. “I’ll find another way to get one.”
“Wait.” She opened up the desk drawer. “Here. Take mine—I mean, this one.”
He hesitated. Reached a long arm over. Accepted what she had previously taken out of the wastepaper basket.
“Thanks.” He glanced down and frowned—at least, she thought he was frowning. “This one is already filled in at the top?”
As he passed it back to her, she cursed. “Sorry. I … let me print you out a fresh one.”
Clicking through with her mouse, she signed into her e-mail, got Peyton the Jerk’s forward, opened the attachment, hit print.
As the machine behind the desk woke up and started whirring, the male put the application down on her desk. “You’re going into the program?”
Great. Like she needed to get The Lecture from a complete stranger.
She snatched the paperwork back. “Females are allowed to join, you know. It’s in the e-mail. We can join—”
“I think you should. Even if you choose not to fight, I think females should be trained—you don’t know when or under what circumstances you might have to protect yourself. It’s only logical.”
Paradise just stared up at him. “I…” She cleared her throat. “I happen to agree with you.”
As the printer fell quiet, she pivoted in her chair and took the warm pages off the top of the HP. There was no real need to paper-clip, staple, or otherwise tie them together, but she made work out of pulling open another drawer and rifling around for something from OfficeMax.
“You can bring them back here,” she said when she handed them over. “Once you’ve filled them out, I can give them to the Brothers.”
He folded the application once and put it inside his thin windbreaker. “Thank you.”
And then he took his ball cap off and bowed to her.
As he straightened, she got a better look at him, and file that under OMG.
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