Born of Fury (Page 38)

Born of Fury (The League #7)(38)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

“Sumi…”

“Don’t argue with me. I’m putting my foot down, Dancer. But if you attempt to leave, I’ll be putting it up your ass.”

He laughed then groaned.

Thia and Darice moved to stand behind her. She shoved at Darice. “Told you he wasn’t dead.”

“I knew from the snore he wasn’t dead. I said he was dying.”

Thia made a noise of discontent at Darice before she scowled at Hauk. “Why are your eyes still glowing red, Uncle Hauk?”

His gut drew tight over her question. Damn. They should have stopped that while he slept. The fact that they hadn’t…

He was in deep Andarion shite. “I didn’t know they were.”

She nodded. “They’re very odd. I never knew Andarion eyes did that.”

That’s because it was exceedingly rare for them to glow in the first place. To remain glowing – that only happened one in a hundred billion cases.

Lucky me…

A tic started in Darice’s jaw, but for once his nephew held his tongue.

Bastien brought over a small plate of food and something that appeared to be a root of some kind. “If you took the punches I did, I know it’ll be hard to chew, but… that root will minimize the pain.”

“Thanks.” Hauk set the plate down beside Sumi.

“C’mon, guys,” Bastien said. “Let’s give them some quiet time.”

Darice hesitated before he followed them back to the small fire.

Hauk winced as he tried to chew the meat. Bastien was right. Eating was rough. “I need to go back for Illyse.”

“We already took care of it.” She gestured to the fire where the lorina was curled up and sleeping. “Bastien said you owe him a good night of drinking for the scratches she gave him.” She paused. “Can you really not tell that your eyes are glowing?”

He glanced over to make sure the others weren’t paying any attention to them before he took her hand in his and led it to his swollen groin. When he spoke, his tone was so low that it was barely audible. “I can only tell how much I want to be inside you. Which, given the amount of pain I’m in everywhere else, is ridiculous. Gah, how can I be horny and dying at the same time? It’s not right what you do to me, woman.”

She blushed at his teasing. “Is that,” she dropped her gaze to his groin, which made his c**k twitch, “what causes it?”

Hauk hesitated before he answered her. “No, but it is what started it. It’s tied to my adrenaline and vasopressin levels.”

She narrowed her eyes accusingly. “You told me originally that you didn’t know anything about it.”

He wrapped a lock of her hair around his finger. “I didn’t want to scare you.”

“Why would it scare me?”

Hauk released her hair and swallowed his food. Why would it not? Even though it was a highly sought after trait, it terrified most females he knew of – and they were Andarions who knew and understood it.

His mother was the only exception to that. Once she found out the male Hauks carried the mutation, it’d pissed her off that she’d never been able to induce that kind of devotion from his father. Some of their fights over it while Hauk had lived in their house had been quite nuclear, which probably had a lot to do with his father’s inability to feel that kind of love and devotion for her.

How could anyone love someone who constantly nagged at them and derided them for something they couldn’t help?

He took another sip of water before he answered. “It’s an exceedingly rare condition for the males of my breed. A genetic defect where we overproduce vasopressin once we fall in love with someone. Whenever an Andarion male has it, it’s said that no other female will ever please him – that he can never stray from the one female who causes him to experience it. It’s the ultimate in pair-bonding.”

She drew her knees up to her chin and he saw the fear in her eyes as she watched him closely. But he had no idea why she’d feel such with him. “Does it do anything else?”

“Like?”

“Make you violent?”

His heart wrenched at her question as he finally understood the fear he saw in her gaze. How could she think that of him? “No, mia. It just makes us extremely loyal and protective of the one who makes us feel it.”

“Violently so?”

That sent a wave of anger through him. Not at her, but at the bastard who’d put such terror in her kind heart. “I’m not your ex-boyfriend, Sumi. I would never strike you. Not for any reason. And it doesn’t work that way. It drives us to protect our mate and our children – to the point of suicide. Like today when I saw you bleeding and I went after them with no regard for myself, because they had caused you harm. That rage is part of it, but it’s never directed at the one we love. Only to the ones who threaten her. They’re the ones we beat into the ground. Not our females.”

“Really?”

“Really. It was that surge of fierce adrenaline and protectiveness that allowed my family to hold off the Oksanans when they attacked Andaria.” Sinking his hand in her soft hair that fascinated him, he stared into her eyes so that she could see his sincerity. “I am yours alone, mia. You own a part of me no other will ever have. And this” – he pointed to his eyes–“is only for you.” He glanced over to Darice and sighed. “And now he knows it, too. I can’t hide this. Not that I want to.”

Her hand trembling, she picked up a piece of meat and carefully fed it to him. “I love you, Dancer.”

He nipped at her fingers. “And I, you.”

Sumi felt terrible for having done this to him. She’d single-handedly ruined his life. That was what Kyr sent you to do.

That thought really didn’t help her mood any. How simple it’d seemed when Kyr had first assigned this mission to her. Now…

How could she hurt someone who meant so much to her?

Her heart aching, she brushed the hair back from his face. “Did you get a message out to your friends?”

He winced as he tried to chew his food. “I sent one. I hope it got through. Won’t know for another day or so.”

Sumi dropped her gaze to his ribs, which were still bleeding terribly. Neither Thia nor Darice knew what to do for him. And she hated feeling useless. “Bastien said that he couldn’t get anything from them about who hired them. Only that you really pissed them off by killing so many of their brethren.”

“Told you my list of enemies was infinite.”

“You’re not funny.”

He wrinkled his nose playfully at her. “I’m a little funny.”

She growled at him.

Thia came up to them with Dancer’s sleeping bag and an inflatable pillow. “We’ve all agreed, Uncle Hauk, if you try to leave, we’re siccing Darice on you.”

He gaped at her. “Why do you hate me so much?”

Laughing, Thia squeezed Sumi’s shoulder before she returned to the fire.

While he finished eating, Sumi carefully laid the sleeping bag out and inflated his pillow. Then she helped him into it.

No longer caring what Darice thought, Hauk opened his arms for Sumi to join him. She accepted without complaint by curling up at his side, taking care not to hurt him. Closing his eyes, he savored the feeling of having her with him. Of knowing she was safe.

Sumi listened to his ragged breathing in her ear. “Are you all right?”

“No,” he said between clenched teeth. “I’m in hell. Complete and utter.”

Worried, she turned to look at him over her shoulder. “What’s going on?”

He ran his finger down her cheek. “I’ve had the shit kicked out of me and I’m so horny that I swear I’m about burst into flames from it. And because of one I can do nothing about the other.”

Sumi snorted at his dire, angst-ridden tone. “You can’t be serious.” But she knew from the size of the bulge against her hip that he was.

“What color are my eyes?” Groaning, he put his arm over his face. “I never knew this sucked so much.”

“What? Loving me?”

“Yes.”

“I think I’m offended.”

He nuzzled his face against her hair. “Better to be mentally offended than in physical agony.”

“Is it really that bad?”

He lifted his arm to pin her with an irritated smirk.

Pouting at him, she laughed. “I’m sorry, sweetie.”

“You should be. You’re killing me.”

She tsked at him. “Is there anything I can do?”

His answer was drier than the desert around them. “Geld me.”

“Really? That’s what you want?”

“No… maybe. Ah, hell, just stun me unconscious until the others get here.”

She laughed at his playful misery. “You’re such a baby.”

“I defy you to feel like this and not whine. All in all, I’m being pretty damn fierce.”

She lay back down and glanced over to see where everyone else was. Darice had already gone to sleep. With their backs to her and Dancer, Bastien and Thia were on the other side of the fire, talking to each other.

Making sure they were completely out of everyone’s line of sight, she opened his pants underneath the blanket.

He peeked out from under his arm. “What are you doing?”

“Trying to help you,” she whispered. “Shh!”

Hauk had to bite his lip to keep from crying out as she brushed her hand against his cock. And as she worked her magic on his body, the pleasure of her soothing touch overrode the pain, until the only thing he could feel was the pressure of her hand as she gently stroked him. He thought that was amazing until she slid down inside his sleeping bag and took him into her mouth.

Unimaginable tremors of pleasure racked him. His heart raced as he arched his back and shook all over. Oh dear gods… How could anything feel this good?

Beat me any time if this is my reward.

He gently buried his hand in her hair as she teased and licked him until he thought he’d die from ecstasy. And when he came a few seconds later, the love he felt for her completely overwhelmed him.

In that moment, he knew she owned him in a way no one ever would. For her alone, he’d do anything… kill anyone she asked him to.

Sumi didn’t pull back until the last tremor he felt settled down into the most tranquil bliss he’d ever known. She slowly slid up his body until her head was even to his. He locked gazes with her as he ran his fingers through her pale hair to smooth it down. Her lips were shiny and swollen, her eyes dark and filled with a tenderness that stole his breath.

Laying his hand against her cheek, he traced her amazing lips with his thumb.

She frowned at him. “Your eyes are still red. I thought that would make them normal again.”

He slid his finger along her brow line, delighting in the softness of her skin and the fire in her eyes as she stared at him. “Because you own me the way you do, they may never be white again.” She had changed him completely.

Scowling, she reached for his water to take a drink. “I don’t understand.”

He bent his arm under his head as he tried to explain it. “It’s not tied to sexual desire, Sumi. It’s tied to my love for you. My need to protect you from all harm.”

She took another drink then offered the bottle to him. “Will they really remain this way?”

“I honestly don’t know. Keris’s would come and go, depending on his drug use and emotions. He’s the only Andarion I’ve ever known who had the condition. But I have heard that in extremely rare cases, it becomes permanent.” He took a sip then asked the one thing that hung heaviest on his mind. “Do they repulse you?”

“Dancer,” she chided. “Nothing about you repulses me. I simply adore you and I think your eyes are absolutely beautiful. Red or white, makes no never mind to me. I could stare into them forever.”

He tightened his arms around her before he nuzzled her neck. “Do I need to help you now?”

It took her a moment to realize what he meant. Afraid of offending him, she suppressed her smile. “No, sweetie. While I would love to climb on top of you for the rest of the night, I know you’re hurt and I don’t want to do anything to worsen your injuries. Being held by you, right now, is more than enough.”

“Are you sure?”

“Positive.”

He screwed his face up as if he couldn’t quite believe her. “Humans are very strange.”

She laughed. “It’s not a human thing, love. It’s a female thing.”

“You’re sure?”

“Positive.” Sumi laced her fingers with his, amazed at how happy she was in this one moment of being with him. The only thing that could make it better would be to have her daughter with them.

But that was a dream that could never come true and she knew it. Closing her eyes, she tried not to think about the fact that his friends would be here very soon. Then he would go back to his life and she’d return to The League. She clenched her teeth at the thought of what Kyr would do to her for failing her mission.