Dark Wolf Page 70

Her heart jumped. She gave a little shattered cry and buried her face against his neck. He hadn’t been with her. She’d lost him and panicked. Just that one act of aggression on his part and instead of feeling his familiar form—in a field of flowers holding his scent—her past still had such a powerful grip on her that she’d lost the man she loved more than anything. That seemed so much worse.

“I want to go home,” she whispered, feeling defeated.

It was as if those men, those terrible monsters from her childhood, had defeated her. They’d won. She’d let them come between her and Dimitri.

To her astonishment, Dimitri put her feet back on the ground. “You are home, Skyler. Wherever I am, is home. There is no more comfort in that house than there is here with me. No one has defeated you—or us. It is impossible unless we allow it.”

There was steel in his voice, and the butterflies in her stomach took flight. She threaded her fingers through his to gain courage. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

He sighed. “Csitri, you’re hurting yourself, not me. Why are you so upset over something we knew would happen?”

“I didn’t really think it would,” she confessed, more to herself than to him. “Not once I committed to you. Every time we’ve made love it’s been so perfect. I honestly thought I could do anything because I do trust you, Dimitri.”

“You can do anything,” he replied. “What happened here is nothing at all. It will happen again and again at unexpected times and it’s perfectly all right. This is not a defeat. It isn’t a failure. It simply is.”

Skyler swallowed hard. Allowing his wisdom to sink past hurt was difficult, but his calm logic was difficult to ignore. He wasn’t upset with her.

She moved in his mind and all she could find was his love for her and the memories they’d made in the field. She could see the image of herself before him with the petals wrapped around her head, covering her eyes, kneeling in the field of flowers. She did look beautiful and sexy. Her body stirred all over again.

“I don’t know why I lost you.” That was the real problem. How could she have let him go out of her mind for even a moment? That was all it had taken, and she had allowed the monsters in.

“When we make love, the chemistry is very intense and powerful between us,” he said. He stroked a finger over her breast and watched her shiver. “The slightest touch and our bodies respond. That’s how it’s supposed to be, Skyler. Sometimes, when we’re really enjoying what we’re doing, we get lost in the act of it, in the doing. It feels good, so how could we not?”

“So I was thinking of myself, not you?” She tried to puzzle it out in her mind.

For months, long before she had committed to him, she’d thought about whether or not she’d be able to perform o*al s*x when the very idea of it terrified her. Whether she would like it. How to do it—could she actually please him.

She had loved giving him so much pleasure. At the same time, it had brought her pleasure. The field of flowers with his scent, the mask of soft petals, even kneeling before him with her hands on his thighs, feeling that heavy erection against her face, her mouth. All of it was sexy and wonderful. She had gotten lost in the moment, her own body on fire.

He shook his head. “You were definitely thinking of me, sívamet. Had another man crept into your mind I would have banished him immediately. I have always touched you gently. Reverently. Even when I become a little aggressive, you can feel my love in the way I touch you.”

She frowned. She hadn’t considered that, but it was true. She loved it when he was aggressive, but he was there in her mind, holding her to him. She had always felt surrounded, even protected by his love.

“Shift, Skyler. Let’s take to the sky. We can circle around together above the trees and head home. I want you to feel who you are. What you are. Carpathian. A formidable being without me. You have never needed me to be strong. In your own right, you wield more power than most. You are not insignificant or weak. You are Skyler. Dragonseeker. Mage. And most of all, that elusive mother of yours we know so little about, provided you with an indomitable spirit. That is your true self. We all have monsters in our past. We shrug them off as no consequences because we will never allow them to devour us.”

Tears burned in her eyes again. She turned away from him and spread her arms, calling to the bird in her mind to come forth. A night owl, one that would take her soaring through the sky. Feathers burst through her skin and for a moment the world around her shimmered into strange colors and then she was in the sky.

She was lucky to have Dimitri. He saw her worth when she couldn’t. He held the way he saw her out to her, that strong love he felt, giving it to her like a gift to wrap around her when she couldn’t find her own way.

It was impossible to cry, not for joy or for their lost moment, while she was in the form of an owl. Instead, they flew together over the meadow of flowers. Above them was a canopy of white stars and below them there was that same sight, hundreds of stars looking up at them. It was a beautiful sight, and one she knew few would ever see.

I love you, Dimitri. And I loved the ritual we performed tonight. I loved seeing myself through your eyes. And I loved giving you pleasure the way I did.

I was the one on the receiving end, csitri, so I will admit to you, it was a wonderful evening for me as well.

She took a breath and let her failure go. If Dimitri didn’t see it that way, then she wouldn’t either. She had panicked. It was simply a fact, and it probably would happen again. She knew it would take a long time for her to accept those moments in the matter-of-fact way Dimitri did, but someday, maybe a century or two away, she would.

She dropped down into the canopy of the forest, flying lower through the branches, playing a little, as she had to maneuver through the openings between boughs.

Don’t get carried away, he cautioned, the male owl shadowing her flight.

She changed direction abruptly, dropping out from under the male, swooping through a narrow opening to glide low over the grass growing on the forest floor.

She was Carpathian. She embraced the fact that she could fly like this, that she could see the world through the eyes of an owl.

If you were blindfolded, csitri, you could still see through the eyes of the one you merge with. It is well within your power.

Of course that had been the lesson all along. Dimitri had told her, but she’d been too upset with herself to listen to him. He had found another way and simply waited until she realized what she should have known all along.

She’d been merged with Dimitri. When they made love, he always merged with her. She knew it was not only for their heightened awareness of one another’s needs and pleasure, but to protect her. All she had to do was reach out to him and she could have been in complete control.

I will remember. She made the vow more for herself than for him.

Dimitri was—well—Dimitri. He never seemed ruffled or annoyed or angry at her over anything, least of all lovemaking. He hadn’t expected her to come to him and offer herself and he really took everything they did together as a miracle.

Let me show you what you gave to me, this great gift of love I will treasure always.

She flew just beneath him, heading for their home. She could see the structure in the distance, nestled in the trees. One by one they had gone through the rooms in the old stone house and remade them to their liking. There was a fire already roaring in the fireplace. Of course there would be. Dimitri saw to details.

He was always there for her, her steady rock. No matter what happened, she could count on him. She felt a burst of pure joy. Nightmares didn’t have a chance against a man like Dimitri. He could say all he wanted that she was strong without him—and maybe that was the truth—but she was better with him. Always. Forever.

Show me, my love.

The images slipped into her mind unfiltered. With them came his feelings. The absolute ecstasy of her tight hot mouth surrounding him like a velvet fist, sending fire dancing through his groin, down his thighs and up into his belly. She had done that.

The sight of her, so trusting, that blindfold of petals, her hands on his thighs, her complete gift of herself, it had all combined together to make him lose his control and get lost in the feeling of bliss she created, that paradise he’d slipped into.

Your trust is your absolute gift to me, Skyler. Not the way you make me feel. You put on a blindfold in the middle of a field and gave yourself to me. Look what memories I have. I’ll cherish them for all time.

Show me the moment I panicked. I want to feel what you felt. That was all important. She needed to know if she’d ruined that beautiful memory for him.

Dimitri didn’t hesitate. The intensity of his hunger for her overwhelmed her, that need surging through his veins, centering in his groin, a roaring firestorm building hot and fast. She found herself caught up in the heat, her own body coiling with sexual tension, hunger for him moving through her even deep within the body of the owl.

She felt that first flicker of uncertainty moving through his mind. Skyler. His world. Instantly the focus went from what he was feeling to her. His mind completely and utterly focused on her. There was no thought for him or his building desire, no regret, no anger, nothing but the need to made certain she was all right.

You are my life. Your happiness is placed above my own always. Just as you trust me to do these things for you, I know that you will do them for me.

The little owl came to rest on the wide stone railing around the verandah, spreading her wings and flapping them before she shifted back to her human form. She stood on the broad, stone rail, holding her arms out to the night. She didn’t bother with clothes, their home was far from any others, and she had scanned the area around them just as Dimitri had taught her.

The male owl landed on the stone floor of the porch, shifting fast, so fast she barely caught the change as she turned to face him.

“How do you do that?” she asked, swinging around to face him. “Shifting is way cool, but I really have to think about what I’m doing.”

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