Afterlife Page 15

“Why do vampires need sleep? Doesn’t make much sense.” Lucas kicked off his boots and slid out of his jeans. Now that he wore only his boxers and a T — shirt, I could see that his whole body had taken on the sculpted beauty of the vampire. The T outlined every broad muscle of his chest.

Although I had lost my mortal body, I could still feel desire.

I turned off one of the side lamps nearer the window and pulled shut the heavy drapes that would keep out the morning sun. Lucas had fed recently enough that sunlight wouldn’t hurt him, but he’d probably hate the glare. “My mom used to say that she thought it was more of a habit than anything else, like the body keeps on doing what it knows it should do. See how you’ve started breathing again? You won’t stop, even when you’re sound asleep.”

“Though I’ll never need air again.” Lucas said it as a joke, but it fell flat. I could tell he’d just realized that he’d never feel the relief of a good, deep breath, or a heartfelt sigh.

He collapsed into bed, sinking back gratefully into the feather — plump pillows. Probably he could have fallen asleep within seconds, but I had different ideas.

Maybe Lucas’s ravenous blood hunger could be channeled into other things. Other needs. Where being ravenous wouldn’t be a problem — quite the opposite, actually.

Carefully, I tried shimmying out of the cloud — patterned pajama bottoms. They weren’t so much actual clothes as they were the memory of clothes, so I wasn’t sure whether or not they’d come off.

They would. The pajamas crumpled to the floor and just sort of vanished. I hoped they’d come back — but later. Ideally, I wouldn’t want them for a while.

Lucas raised an eyebrow.

As I slipped into the bed beside him, he smiled a little — the first sign of real pleasure I’d seen from him since his resurrection. “Does this still work?” he murmured. “You and me?”

“Let’s find out.”

He pulled me down into his arms; we were cold against each other now, but it was natural to him and to me, to what we had become. Delicate lines of frost laced the sheets around us as our lips met gently. For the first moment, Lucas was so unsure — of his reactions, of mine — that I felt unbearably tender toward him. Like all I wanted to do was wrap myself around him like a blanket and shelter him from everything we’d been through.

His mouth opened beneath mine as he tangled his fingers in my hair. The only thing I wore now was the coral bracelet that would keep me solid, make this possible.

We made it, I thought. Every complication we faced seemed to have faded away. We’re back where we began Death couldn’t take this away from us.

Our kisses intensified and deepened. Lucas’s hands were still his hands, strong and familiar. He touched me the same way. I felt pleasure differently now — softer, more diffuse and yet all — encompassing — but it was no less for having changed. And as Igrew surer, passion building between us, it seemed as though my joy in him flowed through us both.

He rolled me onto my back, but then his expression changed. Isaw his fangs, understood, and smiled. Ifelt the urge to bite, too — not as strongly, now that I no longer needed blood, but sex and fangs would always go together for me.

“It’s okay,” I whispered against his throat, between kisses. “You can be hungry for this. You can have this.”

“Yes,” he said roughly. His green eyes bored into me, a desperate plea.

“Do you need to drink?” I arched against him and let my head fall back, exposing my throat. Lucas breathed in, a hard gasp. “Drink from me.” With a growl, he sank his teeth into my flesh. I felt again the real pain of having a body, and that alone was its own kind of pleasure. My hands gripped him tightly around the back, surrendering to his hunger —  — until he shoved himself away from me, shouting out in pain.

“Lucas?” I sat upright, clutching the sheet to me. “Lucas, what’s wrong?”

“It burns!”

As he stumbled from the bed, clutching at his throat, he choked and then spat. Silver wraith blood shimmered on the floor briefly before it faded. I smelled smoke and snapped on the bedside light; on the carpet Icould see a couple of faint singe marks. Then I realized the sheets were scorched too — coffee — colored drops from where my blood had fallen. I put my hand to the wound at my throat, but it was already closing. The skin knitted beneath my fingertips. a ticklish sensation.

For a few seconds, we just stared at each other. The only thing I could think of to say was, “Now we know why vampires don’t drink wraiths’ blood.”

“Yeah.” Lucas winced wlhen he spoke, and his voice was hoarse. I realized that his lips, tongue, and throat remained scorched. As a vampire, he’d heal quickly, but not instantly. Every place we touched was just a source of pain for him now.

Maybe he saw the pity in my eyes, because he turned his head. “We should sleep.” He yanked back the covers on the other hotel bed. “Lucas — it doesn ‘ t always have to involve blood drinking. You remember that.”

“I know.” He lay down in the other bed, heavily, as though he could no longer support his body. “We’ll — we’ll figure it out.”

Though I wanted to argue, I knew this Wasn’t the time.I simply shut off the light again and slid back beneath the covers, cold and lonely in the big bed. After a couple of seconds, it felt pointless to remain solid, so I took off my bracelet and dissolved into the blue, misty void by myself.

Prev Next
Free Novels Read Online | Read Wuxia Novel | Read Xianxia Novel