“You’re mine,” he breathed against my neck when his lips left mine to travel lower. “Forever. Say it.”
“I’m yours,” I swore, the words ragged from passion. “Forever. Now, take me and prove it.”
His mouth slanted over mine again and he grasped my hips with both hands. A deep, searing thrust tore a cry from me, then another and another as he moved with barely restrained ferocity. His hands were brands on my hips, his body lava contained by rock-hard muscles. Pleasure mixed with sensations that felt too good to be pain, yet before this, only agony had made me aware of every nerve ending with such excruciating intensity. I began to whimper, yet my legs tightened around his hips, and if I clutched his head any tighter as I lost myself in his kiss, I might crush him.
I screamed into his mouth as I climaxed so hard, my body felt splintered from the ecstasy. My arms dropped, my head fell forward, and the strength left me as suddenly as I’d been filled with my burning, uncontrollable lust. I was boneless, held up only by his grip, body, and the sensations that crested inside me like the popping of millions of champagne bubbles.
He pulled my head back, lips curled with primal triumph as he stared at me. Then he dropped to his knees, taking me down with him since I couldn’t hold myself up. With a single, lithe movement, he was behind me, one arm locking me to his chest while his free hand slid between my thighs.
The change in position took him deeper inside me. He moved with those powerful strokes that now felt like they split me down the center, yet my climax-induced lethargy vanished. I bit my lip to stifle the cries that built in my throat, then couldn’t hold them back as he thrust so deep, it pushed me forward until my forehead touched the pillar in front of us.
Later, I’d be embarrassed at how loud I shouted. Every vampire in the hotel probably heard me. At the moment, I didn’t care. The pleasure was indescribable, and I braced against the pillar with one hand while raking nails from the other down Vlad’s thigh until I left scarlet tracks in my wake.
His laughter taunted me not to stop. So did the emotions strafing mine, making me move against him almost as feverishly as his body continued to slice into mine. When rapture eventually broke over me again, it was mine as well as his, and when he laid us back against the cool marble floor, I wanted to roll over and kiss him, but I couldn’t move.
It wasn’t a supernatural issue or a sign of dawn’s imminent approach; I just couldn’t summon the strength. My mouth still worked, and when I told him that, laughter puffed onto my back.
“Allow me,” he said, rolling me over until I was cradled in his arms, our faces so close they were almost touching.
“Everybody did leave, right?” I asked, only now wondering if we’d given anyone a free, explicit show.
Another laugh. “Yes. I’d kill anyone who stayed to watch.”
I smiled before deciding it took too much effort. “My second wedding night,” I murmured. “I guess it’s your . . . what? Third? Fourth?”
He stiffened slightly, then relaxed when he realized I wasn’t jealous. Just curious. “Third human, first vampire,” he said, brushing his lips across mine. “And by far the best.”
I smiled against his mouth. “No need for flattery. You already got lucky.”
“You know me better than to think I would use flattery to get anything I wanted.”
No, he wouldn’t. He’d consider that lying, and whatever flaws he might have, Vlad was also the most honest person I’d ever met.
“Besides,” he continued, his mouth curling down. “My first wedding night was dismal and my second one was spent alone.”
“What happened to make the first bad and the other lonely?” My voice was soft while I wondered if he’d tell me. Vlad rarely spoke about this part of his past, and after that tidbit, I was more than a little intrigued.
He didn’t say anything for several moments. I’d just decided to change the subject when he spoke.
“My first marriage was arranged by my father when I was a child, a common practice for the time. You know what happened during my boyhood imprisonment and how it affected me, yet I couldn’t break the betrothal without losing an important ally.” His smile became twisted. “And I couldn’t very well admit to my intended, her father, or anyone else that I didn’t know if I could stand being close enough to her to father children, as I was expected to do to continue the royal line.”
I don’t know why this information surprised me. He had told me how his brutal treatment had caused him to hate being touched, even in casual contact. For some reason, I’d just assumed he meant by other men. Vlad was so sensual, insatiable, and dominating in bed; it was hard to reconcile him with what he’d just described.
“Before the wedding, I made sure that I could, in fact, perform as required,” he went on, no emotion in his tone now. “It took several unsuccessful visits with whores who knew better than to repeat my difficulties before I could get through the act in its entirety. Then I married Clara and rushed through my husbandly responsibilities with as little contact as possible. I was relieved when she became pregnant because that meant I could finally stop.”
My heart broke at how miserable he must have been, unable to talk to anyone because the emotional aftermath from his abuse would have been considered weakness in the fifteenth century.
“I’m so sorry,” I breathed.
Now the smile he gave me was jaded. “Don’t pity me. Pity Clara, who was forced to marry a traumatized barbarian who couldn’t show her any of the gentleness she deserved. Somehow, she didn’t hate me for it, and her pregnancy changed things for the better between us. Once I was no longer forced to bed her, I didn’t find touching her as repulsive, and feeling my child move in her belly was the first time after my captivity that I put my hand on another person and felt nothing except joy.”