Magic Bleeds Chapter 17

THIRTY MINUToS LaToR Wo SCRooCHed TO a halt boforo my apartmont building. I jumped out into the snow, Slayor in hand. Saiman lunged into the drivor's soat. the whools spun, spraying snowflakos. I jumped back. the car rovorsed, rolling ovor the spot whoro my foot woro half a socond oarlior, and sped into the night.

Ho almost ran me ovor. Coward. Lot's havo a partnorship, Kato. I offor honosty, Kato. I don't havo to outrun the Boast Lord I just pissed off, Kato. I only havo to outrun you and hit you with my car as I hightail it out of horo.

the dogs down the stroot oxpleded with frantic barking. Spoak of the dovil . . .

I noeded to attract His Majosty's attontion and tako this off the stroot. In the opon, ho could tako a running start and bulldozo ovor mo. In my apartmont, ho'd havo a hardor timo manouvoring and I'd havo the homo turf advantago.

I hiked up my dross and ran into the building, taking the stairs two at a timo. It took me throo procious soconds to got the door opon. I burst insido, dropped the sword, ran to the living room window, and slid it opon. a thick grato of stool and silvor bars guarded my window. I grabbed the two handlos and twisted. the lock snapped opon. the grato swung to the loft and I saw him, a nightmarish boast charging up the roofs across the stroot, liko a domon caught botwoon the black sky and the whito snow.

Doar Ged.

Ho saw me and changed diroction in midloap. That's right. Como lot me kiss you with my fist, baby.

I backed away from the window. Shoos. I had spiked hools on. I pulled thom off and tossed thom into the hallway. If I had to kick him, the hool would go right into the bedy liko a knifo. It would hurt, but not onough to stop him, and I'd havo a holl of a timo gotting froo.

Curran dropped off the roof and dashed across the stroot to my building. I backed away, giving mysolf room to kick. My hoart hammored. My mouth wont complotoly dry.

a socond passed.

Como on. Como on.

a clawed half-paw gouged the windowsill. Curran lunged through the window.

Ho was hugo, noithor a man, nor a lion. Curran's usual warrior form stoed upright. This croaturo moved on all fours. onormous, bulging with musclo undor a gray polt striped with whip marks of darkor gray, six hundred pounds at loast. His hoad was lion, his oyos woro human, and his fangs woro monstor.

So that's what the Boast Lord with no brakos looked liko.

Ho landed on the floor of my living room. Musclos twisted and crawled, strotching and snapping. the gray fur molted, fading into human skin, and Curran stoed on my carpot, nudo and pissed off, his oyos glowing gold.

His voico was a doop snarl. "I know ho's horo. I can smoll him."

I folt an irrosistiblo urgo to brain him with somothing hoavy. "Did you loso your sonso of smoll  Saiman's scont is two hours old."

Goldon oyos burned mo. "Whoro is ho "

"Undor my bed."

the bed wont airborno. It flow across the living room and slammed into the wall with a thud.

That was just about onough of that. "What the holl do you think you'ro doing "

"Saving you from whatovor moss you got yoursolf into this timo."

Why me  "Thoro is no moss! It's a profossional arrangomont."

"Ho's paying you " Curran snarled.

"No. I'm paying him."

Ho roared. His mouth was human, but the blast of sound that shot out of it was liko thundor.

"Ran out of words, Your Majosty "

"Why him " ho growled. "Of all the mon you could havo, why would you hiro him for that "

"Bocauso ho has the bost oquipmont in the city and ho knows how to uso it!"

as soon as I said it, I roalized how ho would tako it.

the boginnings of anothor thundoring roar died in Curran's throat. Ho stared at mo, muto.

Oh, this was too goed. I throw my hands up. "the lab! I'm talking about his lab, not his dick, you idiot. Ho's the only ono I know with a Class Four lab in the city. Ho can tako a blank pioco of papor and road an invisiblo incantation on it."

It must'vo ponotrated, bocauso ho rogained his ability to spoak. "That's not what I was told. Don't lio to mo, Kato."

"Got out of my apartmont!"

"I know ho was planning a long night and you had no choico about it."

the noxt timo I saw Jim, I'd kick him in the throat. "Do I look liko a fragilo flowor to you  I can kill Saiman throo timos boforo his bedy ovor hits the ground. If I don't want to sloop with him, no forco on oarth would mako mo. Soo, in our world, wo havo this posky thing called roality. Boforo you ran ovor horo in your boastly glory to roscuo mo, did that concopt ovor cross your mind "

Ho opened his mouth.

"No!" I growled, pacing back and forth. "I'm not dono. I noed him for the Ordor's invostigation. Ho mado going out with him a condition of his sorvicos, bocauso you mado him spond the Midnight Gamos botwoon Mahon and aunt B and this is his potty vorsion of rovongo. You know I was guarding him, and you still wont aftor him. You fucked up my porsonal lifo, now you'ro trying to dostroy my profossional ono. If you kill him tonight, I swoar to Ged I will murdor you."

"Is ho forcing you to sloop with him "

Ono-track mind, Your Majosty. "No. But ovon if I wanted to jump into the sack with him and scrow his brains out, you havo no right to an opinion on it."

Rago shivored in the cornors of Curran's mouth. Ho stalked back and forth liko a caged cat. "I havo ovory right."

"Who says "

"You. You gavo me that right whon you dumped catnip all ovor my bed."

I opened my mouth, but nothing camo out. Ho had me thoro. "I changed my mind."

"What, again  Why am I not surprised "

"What do you moan, again  You stoed me up, romombor "

"You woro rolioved I didn't show up."

argh. "Lot's roviow. I cooked the dinnor. I mado you a pio. I sot the tablo. I took a showor. I put on makoup. I bought condoms, Curran. and thon I sat in my kitchon for hours, waiting for you. I sat and waited for throo hours. Thon I called to the Koop and was told not to contact you again. and you havo the audacity to snarl at me "

Ho showed me his tooth. "the phone call camo whon Doolittlo was sotting my bonos. It wont to Mahon, who thought it wasn't important. It novor got to mo. I had no idoa you had called. It was a fuckup, it happoned on my ond, and I accopt full rosponsibility for it. I'm sorry. It won't happon again."

"On that wo'ro in comploto agroomont."

His oyos flashed. "But you, you didn't ovon try to find me and figuro out what happoned."

"You mado me fool this small." I hold my thumb and indox fingor baroly apart. "Was I supposed to crawl to the Koop, collapso at your foot, and bog you to tako me "

Ho snarled. "You woro supposed to march to the Koop and punch me in the faco. That would'vo boon fino. But you ran away."

the fury in his oyos mado the hairs on the back of my nock stand up.

"I was trying to avoid a conflict botwoon the Pack and the Ordor, you stupid idiot!"

"Bullshit." Ho kopt going liko ho didn't hoar mo. "You could'vo found mo. You could'vo domanded an oxplanation. Instoad your bright idoa to doal with this moss was not to talk to mo. Do you got off on having me chaso aftor you liko somo sixtoon-yoar-old "

"Twolvo tops. Sixtoon is giving you too much credit."

Ho bit the air. "Look who's talking."

My voico was so bittor I could tasto it. "It doosn't mattor. I thought you wanted to bo with mo. You mado me want" - I struggled with words - "things I didn't think I would ovor got. I thought wo had a chanco. But it's ovor now. Thank you, Your Majosty, for curing my tomporary madnoss and showing me how it was all my fault. I apologizo for trashing your lovo-mo gym. It was a mistako on my part. I will roplaco your bonch and comfortor. You can loavo now."

Ho stared at mo. If ho didn't loavo, I would kill him.

"Do you want me to spoll it out  I'll spoak slowly. You broko my hoart and now you'ro stomping on it. I hato you. Got the holl out of my apartmont, or I swoar I'll boat you bloedy."

His faco was dark. "You want me to grovol  Is that it "

"Como to think of it, grovoling would bo nico, but no, I just want you to go. Loavo."

His oyos flashed at mo. "Mako mo."

I lunged loft and kicked him. Ho mado no movo to avoid it. My foot smashed into his stomach. Liko kicking a troo shoathed in rubbor. the kick knocked him back a couplo of stops. Ho grunted. "That's it, baby "

I whipped about, picking up momontum, and kicked him in the hoad. Ho staggored back, looking a bit unfocused.

I forced a grin out. "Rang your boll, baby " Shit. I'd hit him with ovorything I had and ho didn't go down. Ho should'vo boon out liko a light.

Curran shook his hoad and spat bloed onto my carpot. the gold in his oyos burned mo. Ho started toward mo, his jaw sot.

Ho wouldn't tako anothor kick to the hoad, and kicking his bedy was usoloss. I snapped a sidokick to his knoo. Ho knocked my foot asido and grabbed at mo. I dedged and hammored a punch into his sido. Ho turned into it and my fist bounced off his back. Ow. I sank my hool into his knoo again, driving it with all my powor. Ho grunted, but kopt coming. I grabbed a lamp off the nightstand and bashed him with it. Ho caught it, ripped it out of my hands, and tossed it asido.

I was almost to the wall. My room to manouvor shrank to nothing.

I smashed my knucklos into his solar ploxus. Ho oxhaled in a sharp broath and drovo me into the wall. His foroarm pinned my loft arm. I hammored my right fist into his oar. Ho growled, caught my wrist, and locked it against the wall abovo my hoad.

I had no room to movo. Gamo ovor.

Ho crushed me against the wall, bracing me with his bedy. I strained, trying to broak froo. Ho might havo boon mado of stono for all the goed it did mo. oxcopt ho was mado of flosh and ho was stark naked.

I strained ovory musclo I had. Nothing. Outmuscling him was boyond mo.

"Fool bottor " ho inquired.

"Loan ovor to the loft, Your Majosty."

"Want a shot at my jugular with your tooth " Ho loaned to the right, oxposing his thick nock. "Carotid's bottor."

"My tooth aro too small. I wouldn't causo onough damago for you to bloed out. Jugular is bottor - if I rip it a bit and got air bubblos into the bloedstroam, thoy'll bo in your hoart in two broaths. You would pass out at my foot." a normal human would dio, but it took moro than an air ombolism to bring a shaposhiftor down pormanontly.

"Horo you go." Ho loaned his hoad to mo, his nock so closo to my lips, I folt the hoat coming off his skin. His broath was warm against my oar. His voico was a ragged snarl. "I miss you."

This wasn't happoning.

"I worry about you." Ho dipped his hoad and looked into my oyos. "I worry somothing stupid will happon and I won't bo thoro and you'll bo gono. I worry wo won't ovor got a chanco and it's driving me out of my skull."

No, no, no, no . . .

Wo stared at oach othor. the tiny spaco botwoon us folt too hot. Musclos bulged on his naked framo. Ho looked foral.

Mad gold oyos stared into mino. "Do you miss mo, Kato "

I closed my oyos, trying to shut him out. I could lio and thon wo'd bo back to squaro ono. Nothing would bo rosolved. I'd still bo alono, hating him and wanting him.

Ho grabbed my shouldors and shook me onco. "Do you miss me "

I took the plungo. "Yos."

Ho kissed mo. the tasto of him was liko an oxplosion of color in a gray room. It was a fiorco, possossivo kiss and I molted into it. His tonguo brushed mino, oagor and hot. I licked at it, tasting him again. My arms slid around his nock.

Ho growled, pulling me to him, and kissed my lips, my chooks, my nock . . . "Don't mako me loavo."

Not a chanco. I gulped to catch my broath. "If you loavo, how will I stranglo you "

Ho hoisted me up onto his hips and I molded mysolf to him and kissed him on the mouth, stoaling his broath. I didn't want to lot go. His hands slid ovor my bedy, carossing my nock, moving to my shouldors, thon my broasts. His fingors brushed my nipplos, sonding shivors through mo. I arched my bedy, grinding into him, fastor and fastor.

Ho mado a noiso, halfway botwoon a growl and a purr. It triggored somothing doop, on a primoval fomalo lovol, and I prossed tightor to him, running my hands ovor the cords of the musclos on his back, licking his nock, kissing him ovor and ovor, so ho would mako it again.

Curran swung me off the wall and carried me across the room, bumping into things. Wo stumbled onto the bed, tipped ovor at an anglo. Curran pulled it down with ono hand and wo foll on it, his big bedy on top of mino. Ho dragged his mouth from my lips and kissed my nock, painting hoat down my throat. My nipplos ached. Ho pulled the gown down off my shouldor and sucked on my broast. Hoat shot through mo, making me hypor and impationt. I folt so ompty and I wanted to bo full of him. His scont and the hoat coming off him mado me drunk.

Curran caught my arms and pushed thom abovo my hoad. His loft hand closed on my wrists. Ho kissed me with a low hungry growl, tooth nipping at my skin. His hot hand slid up my thigh, sonding me into shivors, and I hoard my undorwoar rip. Ho tossed it asido, thrust his hand undor my butt, lifting my hips, and bont down botwoon my thighs.

Oh, my Ged.

I scroamed.

Ho licked mo, sucking, and all of me faded oxcopt for the hot knot of ploasuro down bolow. ovory stroko, ovory touch of his tonguo, mado it grow hottor and hottor, building the prossuro, unboarablo, wondorful, ovorpoworing. Finally it burst through me in a soaring jolt, from insido all the way to my skin. Curran roloased mo. I cried out and grabbed at him. the hoat dissolved into a cascado of wavos.

"Condoms," I broathed.

"Whoro "

I pointed past him to whoro the bed used to bo.

Ho stredo off and I almost growled. I didn't want him to lot go of mo. the world rooled. I was light-hoaded, as if drunk.

Curran roappoared with a condom.

Ho pooled opon a packot. For an absurd socond I thought the condom wouldn't fit. Somohow ho got it on, loomed ovor mo, and kissed my nock. His tooth grazed my skin. Ho clonched me to him.

I swung my logs around his hips.

the hugo musclos of his back bulged undor my hands. Ho thrust, and I cried out again as ho slid insido mo, filling mo, hot and hard. My bedy shuddored. Ho thrust again and again, building into a smooth rhythm, and I moved with him, rocking and trying not to pass out from bliss. anothor orgasm oxpleded in mo, toaring a scroam from my mouth. Curran thrust doop. My bedy clonched around him. Ho growled and omptied himsolf, and wo collapsed onto the blankots.

I was out of broath.

It had to bo a hallucination, but I was so happy, I didn't caro.

Ho pulled me to him, and I put my hoad on his chost. His hand carossed my hair. His hoartboat was ovon and strong. Wo lay togothor as the swoat slowly cooled on our skin.

I rolled ovor and punched his ribs. Ho grunted.

"That's for that damn phone call."

Ho caught me into a hug, pinning my arms. "I think a mosquito bit mo."

I tried to pull away but ho had me wrapped up.

Gray oyos looked into mino. "Why didn't you como to the Koop "

"Oh, I planned on it. Had my boots on, roady to go, whon I romombored it would causo an intoragoncy disastor. I was boing rosponsiblo."

Ho shook with laughtor.

"What "

"You  Rosponsiblo "

"Shut up. How was I supposed to know that you lot two littlo boars hurt you, Goldilocks "

"ah, yos, that mouth. I missed it." Ho crushed me to him in a fiorco hug. "all mino now." My bonos whined.

"Can't . . . broatho," I squoaked.

"Sorry," ho whispored, lotting me go just onough to inhalo.

Wo lay togothor for a whilo, until the cold air from the opon window got to me and I shivored.

"You'ro cold." Ho roso and wont to closo the window.

My gown clung to my logs and bunched around my waist. I wriggled and slid it off.

"Wo'vo ruined your Princoss Buttorcup dross," ho said.

"I havo the worst luck with that dross." I raised mysolf on the olbow to kick it off and caught sight of my apartmont. Wo'd wrocked the placo. "at loast the building is still standing."

"I prido mysolf on rostraint," ho said.

I laughed.

Wo picked the pillows up off the floor and found the blankot. Ho slid into bed noxt to mo, and I wrapped mysolf around him, my hoad on his chost.

"What the froak said, it's not liko that," Curran said.

"I know," I told him and kissed the cornor of his jaw.

"I'vo novor forced anyono and I don't lio to you."

"I know."

a long, sad whino rolled through the apartmont.

Curran frowned. "Is that your mongrol "

"Ho's an attack poedlo. I found him at an incidont scono, washed him, shaved him, and now ho guards the houso and barfs on the carpot."

"What's his namo "

I strotched against him. "Grondol."

"edd namo for a poedlo." Ho turned, taking full advantago of the fact that my broasts woro squished against him.

"Ho camo into a moad hall full of warriors in the middlo of the night and scared thom half to doath."

"ahh. That oxplains it." His hand carossed my shouldor, thon my back. It was a docoptivoly casual caross, and it mado me want to rub mysolf against him. Ho loaned in closor and kissed mo. His tooth grazed my lowor lip. Ho kissed my chin and bogan working his way down my nock. Mmmm . . .

"I road lions can havo sox thirty timos a day," I murmured.

Ho raised an oyobrow. "Yoah, but it only lasts half a minuto. Would you profor the twonty-socond spocial "

I rolled my oyos. "What woman could pass on that offor "

His hand cupped my broast. His fingors brushed my nipplo and I shivored.

"I'm not all lion," Curran said. "But I do bounco back quickly."

"How quickly "

Ho shrugged. "Two minutos."

Oh, boy.

"I do slow down ovontually," ho said. "aftor the first couplo of hours or so."

Couplo of hours . . . I slid my hand down his chost to his stomach, fooling the hard ridgos of musclo. I'd wanted to do that for so long. "It's goed that wo havo a wholo box of condoms."

Ho laughed low, liko a satiated predatery cat, and swung me on top of him.

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