Bound In Death Page 17


As had the others.


Now there would be no room for love.


Only death.


Alerac turned from the assembled wolves. He carried her inside, and he shut the rest of the world.


***


“I guess that makes you think she’s less,” the small female said as she glared up at Ryan, “because your sister just tied herself to a vampire.”


Ryan barred his fangs at her. Her scent…He shook his head, feeling a little drunk. Maybe that was just fury making him feel that way. Four werewolves were holding him in place—two on each side of him. If it hadn’t been for their cutting grip, he would have rushed up and stopped Alerac long before the alpha claimed Keira.


“It was her choice,” the woman continued. Her skin was the most delectable shade of dark cream that he’d ever seen. “Let it be, and you’ll both be under pack protection.”


Right. Like he gave a damn about that. “The same pack that attacked her just an hour ago?” He was tired of those SOBs holding him. His fangs were ready to rip and tear.


“Don’t.”


He frowned at her.


She shook her head. Then she pointed to the werewolves. “Let him go. I’ll watch the vamp.”


They let him go. Just like that.


The other werewolves were all backing away. The show was over, so they were gone? Forget that.


He stalked toward the main house’s entrance.


“You don’t want to interrupt him right now.” She sighed and said, “Whether you’re her brother or not, Alerac might just take your head if you interrupt the bonding ceremony.”


Ryan halted. “I can take Alerac.”


“Why? Because you’re an ancient vampire?” She rolled her dark eyes. “Big deal. Alerac has killed plenty of those.”


Yes, he had.


“You know he’s not just a werewolf. Not anymore. Not thanks to her.”


His sister had changed Alerac. That change made the alpha even more dangerous.


He turned his head. Found his gaze sliding right back to the woman. She was small and delicate, when werewolves were normally built along much harder, tougher lines. Her dark eyes were wide, almond shaped, and her full lips were set determinedly.


“Who are you?” Ryan demanded as he studied her. She looked young, barely twenty-five, but werewolves and their ages could be deceptive.


Not as deceptive as a vampire’s age of course but…


“Zoe.”


He lifted a brow.


“He won’t hurt her. You know he can’t.” She glanced toward the sky. “The sun’s rising soon. You need to get to shelter.”


Shelter wasn’t what he needed. “Keira is being hunted.”


Zoe gave a little shrug as she headed away from him. “I think she calls herself Jane now.”


He stared after her.


“Sunlight makes you weak, right? I wouldn’t think you’d want the others to see you that way.” She looked over her shoulder. “No one is letting you leave, by the way. So you can come willingly with me, or one of those guys—” She pointed toward the wolves who lingered near the edge of the woods. “Those guys will just lock you up until Alerac is ready to deal with you.”


Deal with—


“He said we couldn’t kill you, not that we couldn’t hurt you.” She wasn’t looking at him any longer. “After the pain vampires have inflicted on this pack, there are plenty of werewolves looking for some payback.”


“I’m not afraid of some mangy wolves.”


The words were barely out of his mouth before he found claws at his throat. Her claws. “Maybe you should be,” Zoe snapped.


He smiled at her—and knocked those claws away. In the next breath, she was trapped in his arms, and his teeth were inches from her throat. Her scent—so heady, so tempting—dared him to take a bite.


But when he looked up, he saw the wolves circling in on him.


Ryan let her go. Except…he didn’t want to.


He wanted to bite.


He locked his teeth. “I’ll stay with you for today. You keep your claws off me, and I’ll keep my teeth out of you.”


Maybe. He’d try.


She was just…tempting.


“Do we have a deal?” Ryan pushed.


She smiled at him. The woman actually flashed dimples as she said, “I don’t make deals with vampires.”


He didn’t usually want to fuck werewolves.


“But I think we can avoid killing each other until nightfall.”


Sounded like a plan.


He followed her away from the main house, enjoying the sway of her ass. A very nice ass, one that was encased in tight jeans.


“Are you this fierce when you shift into a beast?” Ryan asked her, curious. Because if she was, the woman would be one dangerous killing machine.


She stopped at the door of a two-story cabin, one with a row of flowers growing on its side. Pain flickered over her face. “No, I’m not.”


“I don’t know if I believe that.”


Her gaze slashed up to meet his. “Believe it. What you see is what you get.” Zoe swallowed. “I don’t shift. I can’t.”


A werewolf who couldn’t shift? He stared after her, and he felt shame. Shame that he’d attacked her. Shame that he’d made her hurt and—


“Get your ass in here, Drac, before you burn.”


He got his ass in that cabin.


***


Heath stared at the pool of blood on the floor. His blood. Just inches from his face.


He should move. Get up. Run.


But he just felt so weak.


A door opened. Closed. Footsteps came into the room. Soft, rustling.


“Hello, witch.” That was Lorcan’s rough voice.


The footsteps stopped. Heath managed to turn his head, just a few inches, and he saw the woman.


No, not just a normal woman, a witch.


She was beautiful, with golden hair and deep eyes. But those eyes looked wrong—broken.


His gaze slid to her neck, and to the deep marks there. Would he soon bear similar scars?


Lorcan destroys everything that he touches.


The witch stared down at Heath. Pity softened her face. “I thought you were going to let him live.”


“I am.” Lorcan just sounded bored. He usually did. “Don’t worry, my dear, I didn’t drain him dry. He’ll be able to pull himself off the floor soon enough.”


The legs of a chair screeched as they were shoved across the wooden floor. Then Lorcan appeared. He wrapped his hands around the witch. Pulled her close.


The vampire acted as if he didn’t even feel the flinch that shook her. “Do you have the cure?” he asked as he bent to lick the woman’s neck.


The pain had lessened in Heath’s neck. What cure?


“I do,” she said. Her eyes didn’t actually look broken so much as dead.


“Once she discovers that she has a brother, Keira—I mean, Jane—will pay dearly for that cure.”


Jane had a brother?


I can use that. I can use this cure. Heath kept his body still on the floor, not wanting to draw Lorcan’s attention.


“Pity for her,” Lorcan muttered, “that she didn’t get the cure sooner. Now it’s time for Ryan to die. Time for him to burn.” He laughed then. “And he will burn, from the inside, out. He’ll die screaming. He won’t even last another full day.”


Lorcan freed the witch. He stalked toward Heath and kicked him in the ribs. “And, human, it’s time for you to finish our deal. Go get Jane. Bring her to me.”


Heath crawled for the door. And, with every painful inch, he planned.


***


She’d chosen him. Him.


Alerac kicked the bedroom door shut behind him. His hands were shaking. The control he’d kept so carefully was being torn to shreds.


Jane waited in the middle of the bedroom. Her arms were by her sides and her feet shifted nervously. “Ah, what happens now?”


Now he took her.


But first…Alerac cleared his throat, and tried to speak with the voice of the man. Hard, when the beast was clawing his way to freedom. “You have to bite me.”


Her sensual lips parted. “I-I already have.”


He shook his head. “That was different. That was about survival. This time, it’s for bonding.” He crossed to her. His fingers lifted, and his thumb pressed against her lips.


She stared at him, and the darkness spread in her eyes.


“You drink from me so that we can be linked.”


Her breath blew lightly over his thumb. “I’ll get more of your memories.”


“Yes.” That didn’t matter to him. She’d chosen to be his mate, so there was no going back now. He wanted her to know all of him. Good. Bad. Everything gray that fell between.


No matter what she saw in his memories, he would find a way to prove to Jane that he could be better. That their life together could be a happy one.


Her fangs were growing. Maybe he shouldn’t have found vampire fangs sexy. He did, but only on her.


“Go ahead.” He invited her as he forced his hand to drop. “Bite me.”


Her fingers rose and pressed against his chest. The palm of her right hand was just over his tattoo, and the mark seemed to burn at her touch.


“What is this?” Jane asked. Her gaze had fallen on the edges of that tattoo. “How do you even have it? I would think that when you shift, it would vanish.”


“It’s a special tattoo.” And it had taken two days to get it. Two days of gut-wrenching pain. Because she was right—a normal tattoo would have vanished with his shift. “A witch made a magic ink for me. One that would last forever.”


He didn’t tell her what the Celtic knot meant, not then. Alerac didn’t reveal that the tattoo itself was a symbol of forever, that the corners symbolized his search. North. South. East. West. He’d vowed to search every corner of the earth.


For her.


She’d already accepted his claim. In that moment, he just wanted to focus on the present. On making sure the bond that they created was strong.


Her eyes met his. “I don’t want to hurt you.”


“You won’t.”


“When Liam bit me…” Her body trembled. “It hurt. I don’t want to do that to you.”


“When you bite me, it’s not about pain.” His fingers slid down her body. Gripped her slender waist. “Only pleasure.”


“Promise?”


“I fuckin’ vow it.”


Jane gave a small nod. Then she rose onto her toes. Her mouth was on his throat. Yes. He felt the lick of her tongue. The caress of her lips.


The bite of her teeth.


His control shattered as the pleasure pumped through him.


He pulled her tighter against him. Held her closer. His cock was fully erect, desperate to thrust inside of her. He was desperate.


Her mouth on him…the pleasure was almost as strong as the release he found when he was thrusting into her body.


He shoved down her jeans. She kicked them away, along with her shoes.


He tore her underwear. Tossed it.


Her mouth was still on him.


He wanted in her.


He lifted her lips. Jane’s legs wrapped around him. Her tongue pressed over his skin. She was lifting her teeth—


“Don’t stop,” he ordered. Or maybe he begged.


He took two steps. The bed was too far. He pushed her back against the nearest wall. Held her in his arms. Drove as deep into her as he could go.


He filled her. Every single inch of her hot core. She was tight and wet, and he had no control. None.


He was holding her too tightly. Driving in to her too deeply. But he couldn’t stop.


Again and again, he thrust into her. Deeper. Harder. More.


She came, bucking against him, and her mouth pulled from his as she cried out his name.


Her sex clenched around him, spasming with her release. Those milking contractions propelled him to his own climax. He thrust hard into her. And erupted.


The pleasure blazed through him, consuming him from the inside out.


Her breath heaved out. So did his. Alerac’s heartbeat raced in his chest.


He looked down at her. Jane’s eyes were wide, her face flushed with pleasure.


“We’re not done.” Not even close. But at least he’d taken the edge off. Now he could make it to the bed, and he did. He carried her toward the four-poster. Made sure not to let his claws hurt her skin.


He eased her down on the covers. She started to lie down on her back.


“No.”


He turned her onto her stomach. Put her hands down. Lifted her onto her knees. She glanced back at him. “Alerac?”


“I need you this way.” Gravel-rough.


Her gaze fell to this cock. “You didn’t—”


“I did.” And he was about to, again. He pushed into her, and she was slick and swollen from her release. Thrusting into her right then was better than the best dream he’d ever had.


Her fingers clenched the bed covers. A moan spilled from her throat.


He covered her with his body. Alerac put his mouth on her shoulder. He’d marked her there, in front of the pack. Now he’d mark her while they were alone.


In and out. He thrust slowly, holding back the pleasure. In. Out.


It was his turn to lick her skin. To taste her. Not just as a werewolf, but as the being he’d become, because of her.


Part wolf.


Part vampire.


His teeth sank into her.


Her hips shoved back against him. “Alerac!” A demand this time.


He met that demand. His thrusts shook her. Shook the bed. Could have shaken the whole damn house for all he cared.


Her blood was on his tongue. His cock in her snug sex. He surrounded her.

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