When our glow has worn off, Rafe flicks on the worktable light. My kind, gentle lover helps to peel the tools off my back. The items became slightly embedded in my flesh when he changed our position for the spectacular ending.
Ah… there’s nothing like a good rogering from your husband to make you feel special and push the cares of the day away.
“Okay, sweet cheeks, jump on down. You look fine.” He punctuates this with a slap to my hip.
My indignant look falls on his uninterested visage as he starts to whistle softly in his happiness. I’m a non-whistler. Those who like to whistle, who aren’t very good, like Rafe, can be difficult to suffer through.
I decide not to let anything bring my mood down, especially after I have supped so sweetly from my mate’s neck. A girl can forgive a lot after some fornicating, two great orgasms and a blood chaser. Never taking more than a taste allows me to indulge more frequently. A lap of my tongue and the enzymes from my saliva repair any damage to leave Rafe unblemished. At my age, I don’t need much sustenance to survive. After a full feeding, I could go weeks without additional nourishment if I really had to, which isn’t an issue with Rafe on hand.
Never one to let an opportunity to tease slip by, I jump down gracefully and stare Rafe square in the eye. He towers over me by seven inches, but the come-fuck-me-heels put us a little closer. Intensifying my look, I drop my lids and recall the way my body felt when I came that last time. I push out a bit and watch his pupils dilate with passion.
Want to go again? His voice rumbles in my mind.
I turn and step away. I hesitate a bit then look back over my shoulder. The corner of my mouth turns up in a delicious little grin.
“Later,” I say aloud. “Can you keep up, baby?”
He smiles, reaching out to smack my rump. I prance away with a little burst of speed so his fingers miss me, but barely. I spread my legs in a wide stance before bending from the waist to pick up my discarded dress. His quick intake of breath indicates the only answer I need. Oh yes, he’ll be ready to play again later.
With the dress in hand, I rise to walk away without looking back. “Come have some coffee with me. I need to discuss our new guests and see what you think.” I walk up the stairs, with my naked butt jiggling in the breeze, the dress draped over my arm.
Who happens to be standing at the top of the stairs but Jonathan. Damn! Caught almost nudie with blatant physical evidence on me that I’ve recently made love. I can do this. I can pretend I always walk around like this.
“Umm,” I raise an eyebrow then look down at my watch, “you’re a bit early. It’s only 7:30.”
I love to flirt, but it’s usually on my terms, not being caught by surprise after making love with my husband.
Jonathan, a sturdy man of medium height, stands not much taller than me. He’s dressed as usual: jeans and layers of thermal with a plaid flannel shirt. His good-old-boy style screams lumberjack, but it helps him blend in well with the locals. The smell surrounding him contains elements of the outdoors with hints of animal musk too. His thick chest supports crossed arms, which I know are corded with muscle under the bulky clothes.
I imagine he could’ve made an excellent wrestler, but picturing him rolling around in tight clothes may not be a good idea right now. His quick smile adds to his natural aura of confidence, making him a great choice to handle dealings in town.
Jonathan inhales deeply, which triggers a low-pitched rumble in his chest. That bastard scents my recent releases and gets off on it! Arrogant prick.
“Down, boy,” I say with as much nonchalance as I can muster. “Let me get a robe on.”
I walk toward the bedroom as gracefully as I can in my semi-naked state. I’m not going to cover up with my hands, acting embarrassed. It would show weakness to a predator, which is exactly what this werewolf is, something I can never allow myself to forget.
“I’ll be back in a minute,” I add.
I can feel his eyes follow me as I walk away.
He starts to snigger, “Nice hammer imprint on your shoulder blade.”
Deciding to rise above his school-aged amusement, I ignore him and keep walking. Rafe comes up the stairs as I cross into our closet for a robe. I grab the closest one, an emerald silk number, before hustling back out.
“Watcha doing here, Wolfman? Like to listen in to what you’ll never get?”
Uh-oh. Danger, Will Robinson, danger! I sprint down the hall projecting calm happy thoughts into their minds before inserting myself between the two. Catching them both right as Jonathan straightens to launch himself at Rafe.
“Now, now, let’s play nice. Rafe, you must know why I’ve called Jonathan here.”
Jonathan’s the only werewolf on our compound. He left his pack in Canada about seven years ago when he didn’t want to challenge his Alpha for dominance. In my eyes, it made him an honorable man for doing so. Two powerful male wolves, Alphas, can’t stay in the same pack for long or a fight to the death would occur. Rafe stares down at the shorter but still powerful man.
Time to get everyone back on track and off the lingering scent of sex in the air.
“The whole ‘dead body in the shed’ thing,” I remind Rafe. He comes back to himself and meets my eyes with a fond smile. He loves baiting Jon, the jerk.
“What are you talking about, Viv?” Jon looks like he’s almost back to his normal laid-back self. His hazel eyes leak back from the lighter golden brown of his wolf form. Rafe loses interest in poking at him and sits down at the kitchen table. I fill Jonathan in on everything we know so far, including the location of the body in the shed, finishing up with the question he never did answer.
“Why are you here early? That’s not like you.”
Jonathan doesn’t avoid the main building—he’s just busier outside of it. In addition to being head groundskeeper, he cares for a huge pack of thirty Alaskan Malamute-wolf crossbreeds, which he employs to patrol the property. Jon does come over when we ask him to, but it isn’t a habit of his to hang out and mingle at the bar. He’s a bit of a loner and it’s fine by me. Once I started feeding from him seven years ago, Rafe hasn’t been overly friendly toward him. Jonathan made his intentions clear: he wants to be my bonded mate, which will never happen.
The simple fact remains that Were blood carries more potency than a human’s. I need more blood than can safely be taken from Rafe in order to stay up around the clock during the long darkness, which is not normal vampire behavior. He’s never minded in the past when I had to feed from some of the employees out of necessity, but when Jonathan entered the picture, it became a whole new game.
Jon’s blood makes me temporarily stronger. Let’s face a cold hard fact: with so many powerful vamps on site, it wouldn’t pay to be weak. Nor does it help matters that this wolf is arrogant and makes a play for me whenever he thinks he can get away with it.
On principal, Rafe understands. He’s secure in our relationship and trusts me, but he doesn’t like Jon. The cold reality exists that through these feedings, Jon became my servant. He wants to please, protect and provide for me. All the things a servant should want after a dual exchange of blood takes place. This relationship, with all its complications, leads Rafe to tweak Jon at every turn. He wants to put the Were firmly in his place and suffers no qualms about being cruel to do it.
Other monogamous, mated couples who need servants may not choose a Were for the job, with good reason. Weres are desirable as hell by nature; it’s a pheromone they put off. Jon’s blood smells like dark chocolate to me, which makes feeding from him akin to drinking down hot cocoa spiked with adrenaline. The mate bond allows Rafe to experience first hand the delectable taste of Jon’s blood. That’s a hard lump for any man to swallow—they too desire the man their wife feeds from on a regular basis.
Jon answers my question about why he arrived early. “There’s an unknown vampire on the property.”
“What? I don’t understand,” I say, recoiling in shock. “Do you think you may have confused the scent with someone here on vacation?”
“No,” Jon snorts. “I don’t make simple mistakes. Besides, I double-checked outside all the cabins and all the entrances to the hotel. The trace isn’t from a guest nor is it someone who’s ever stayed here before.”
“Hmm,” Rafe comments, “which means it could have something to do with John Pierre’s dead body in room six.”
That’s my Rafe: he loves to tease me, but he’s not some sharp-tongued, witty detective either. I don’t release my snide observation of his less-than-stellar addition, having learned enough over the years to keep such thoughts in.
“Is it possible, Viv,” he continues, “that you missed the scent of another vamp?”
Okay, now he has a valid point, dammit.
I think back to the moment. The smell of the blood overwhelmed everything. So yes, I could have missed another vamp scent. And to be honest, I did not think to walk around the room like a bloodhound. While it would have been awkward in my dress, it could have revealed some new information.
“Yes, it’s a possibility.” I turn to Jon. “I don’t have time now, but do you want to check the room out later with me? If it is a match, we should both get familiar with the scent.”
“Yeah, I’ll head up whenever you’re ready. Have you thought to question the other guests yet?” Is it condescension I hear in Jon’s voice? I know I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but I do remember to question people.
“No, and I’m not an idiot. I will ask them. It’s only been,” I check my watch, “about two and a half hours since we discovered the corpse. I’ve had other things to do, you know. Business to run, guests to see to…things like that.”
“You left off ‘husband to shag’,” smiles Rafe.
What can I say? I have a very strong sense of priorities and shagging my husband remains at the top of the list. Yeah, yeah, I’m horny, so sue me. He loves the trait and that’s all that matters in the big picture.
“Yes, well, no need to point out the obvious now, is there?” I reply with some heat.
“Uh-um,” Jon clears his throat. “I came by early to tell you both my news, but why did you call me here?”
Jon can figure out why I called him; he just wants to hear me say it.
“It’s time for me to take a full feeding again. It’s been a few weeks so I knew you’d be able.” I try to keep my tone light and neutral.
Projecting my need, I let the hunger envelope him so he knows what to expect. It’s not a rip-your-throat-out kind of feel, more of a topping-off-the-tank one. I don’t ever get famished with Rafe around. The murder makes me prefer to play it safe and be at my peak when I know it may be needed.
Jon’s face lights up like he’s anticipating this could be the moment he’s been dreaming about.
“Finally decided to dump that human you’ve shackled yourself to and mate with the stronger man?” He grins and I know it’s partly to hide his own feelings of self-doubt. Rafe just snorts while walking away from the table.
“Anytime you want to see who the stronger man is, Jon, you let me know.” Rafe goes to the fridge to collect ingredients for his dinner. He gives Jon his back, a clear sign to the Were he doesn’t consider him a real threat. The blood bond between us has made Rafe as fast as a vamp and as strong. My husband doesn’t need to prove his point or fear Jon in any way, and he knows it.
“Done yet, you two?” I ask as bland as I can. Silence. “Okay then. Jon, come into the office with me.”
I head toward the bedroom then make a left into the office Rafe and I share. Jon settles himself on the couch with an eager look on his face. A vampire bite transforms every experience, making it more detailed. The vampire controls the donor’s mind, removing any pain associated with the bite, and turning it into passion. It’s common to even let the person experience an orgasm during the feeding. Since I have no desire to leave Jon hot and bothered every month nor will I give him pleasure, I’ve had to alter the feelings he would normally get from this deep feeding to something he really wants and needs. He doesn’t know I’ve read his deepest desire is to have a pack of his own.
We have given him that here, to an extent, with us and all his half-wolves. Some day I’ll find him a female Were and all will be good. Until then, I do the best I cannot to hurt him. Sitting on the couch next to him, I feel the excitement come off him in waves. He’s hopeful this time I will make it sexual, but sadly that will never happen. I angle my body toward him while he turns to face me.
He gazes deep into my emerald eyes with a sigh.
“God, Viv, you’re so beautiful. You know, you ever get tired of him, you just have to call.”
Ignoring the comment, I smile while deepening my look to put him into a relaxed state. I project calm feelings of home and acceptance, security and love. These are the key components in a pack, which I’m able to help him feel most when he’s here by my side.
I project the aromas of the forest along with the heavy scent found in a wolf den. His shoulders relax, allowing him to sink back into the couch. The tension drains from his body as his earlier anticipation of a romp is replaced by the warm cocooning feel of the pack. He drops his head back, breaking our eye contact, to the cushion behind him while breathing in the scents he thinks are engulfing him.
Leaning in, I don’t allow my body to touch his. The delicate spell takes care to weave, which means I need to concentrate not to break it. Cool lips graze his warm neck while I test his skin with my teeth. My canines elongate and sharpen, eager to pierce his skin. I project more of the same sensations I’ve been feeding him since we locked eyes and place my mouth firmly over his pounding pulse. The smell of him intoxicates me. A combination of rich chocolate and warm male, fresh from outdoor exertion, makes my own pulse pound in response.
The blood rushes under his skin through the vein. This moment of control differentiates a young vamp from an experienced one. It would be so easy to rip into his skin and take more than I need. The desire to do the unthinkable is a hard one to contain, but one I always must.
I allow one sharp fang to puncture the surface, causing my mouth to fill. I drink down his life source as it flows over my tongue. The flavors assailing my senses are delicious. It’s possible to read all of him in this moment if I choose. Every secret, every desire, every thought. Nothing can be hidden from nosferatu when they feed.
To hold myself apart from him, to protect his heart, I block the images flooding my mind.
Jonathan sighs, closing his eyes in contentment. The mood wraps around him like a hug, both comforting and protective at once. I know, from past feedings, he will soon fall asleep, letting the peace which envelopes him complete its loving embrace.
The warmth of his blood fills my body. I’m naturally on the cold side, so being infused with a lot of blood at one time makes me almost feverish. Even though I project calm and peace, I feel a flame burning from within. It never fails to turn me on when feeding, but what I do with that arousal is what counts.
Enjoying your dinner, luv? I can feel the power coursing through you. You’re feeling a bit warm in all my favorite places.
I work the wound open to pull more deeply from Jon’s neck. Instinctively, I know exactly how much to take and I’m almost done. No matter he tastes so damn good I want to keep going. I can’t. It’s easy to see why some vampires become addicted to Were blood. Having supped from very few wolves in my lifetime, one thing is clear; they are all damn yummy.
Yes, I respond to Rafe, it’s like licking chocolate off mister stiffy with a blood chaser at the end.
Rafe’s sharp bark of laughter sounds from the next room.
At least the furball’s good for something.
Lapping at the small wound, I seal it beneath my tongue. Jon has drifted off to sleep. I rise from the couch then reach down to adjust his legs. Once they’re on the couch, I cover his slumbering form with a blanket. He’ll be out for at least an hour and it’s the least I can do to make him comfortable.
The power pulsing through me right now feels exhilarating, as though I’ve fed from a half-dozen donors at once, but without the bloating. The refreshing zing energizes me as if I’ve slept a whole day after being awake for weeks. There’s a strong sensation, like a surge of electricity, beating under my skin.
The force filling me warps my mind, making me slightly high with the thought I could rule the world.
God, Dria, you’re too much! Rafe laughs out loud with me, at least I prefer to think that over him laughing at me. Rule the world? Now you’re sounding like you’ve had too much alcohol to drink!
Maybe he isn’t quite laughing with me. Well, okay then, maybe I can go on ruling my own little corner of it. I trip on the edge of my robe in my haste to leave the room, stumble and catch myself before actually falling. Then again, maybe not.
I’ll be lucky not to make an ass out of myself these next few hours.