The Darkest Craving (Page 41)

The Darkest Craving (Lords of the Underworld #10)(41)
Author: Gena Showalter

“I won’t let myself take you—” not here, not now “—but I want something from you. Need it.”

A tremor swept through her. “What do you want?”

Disaster banged against the sides of Kane’s skull. I’ll hurt her. I will. Hate her so much.

He gnashed his teeth. Shut up! You hate her because she’s the only relationship I can have that won’t end in disaster, and that—

There it was. The answer. The reason the demon hurt him whenever Tink neared. She was a blessing and not a curse. Of course the demon wanted to be rid of her.

She really was Kane’s “mine,” just as his instincts had screamed.

His. And not the demon’s.

He looked into her mesmerizing eyes, and felt a swell in his heart. His fingers hadn’t abandoned the silkiness of her hair, and were now holding on to her as if she were a lifeline, causing her neck to arch. He should probably loosen his grip. He didn’t. He couldn’t. He wanted to own her, even in the smallest way, whatever the future held, and this was how he’d go about it.

“Let me kiss you, Tinker Bell.”

She wet her lips, and whispered, “What about Synda?”

“I don’t want Synda.”

And now, he was done talking. He swooped in, not bothering with preliminaries or gentleness, but thrusting his tongue inside her mouth, then against hers, unleashing all the intensity of the need driving him. She softened against him despite the ferocity of his claiming, and welcomed him fully. The utter sweetness of her taste stoked the fire inside him from a blaze to an inferno.

She held nothing back, leaning into him, wrapping her arms around his neck and giving herself up to his total domination.

And dominate he did.

Taking. Giving. What he wanted was too powerful to contain. It was overwhelming. Shattering. A connection more binding than flesh and bone. Undeniable. Uncontrollable. He crackled with new life as he fed her one frantic kiss after the other.

And still he yearned to give her more. He jerked her so firmly against him, not even air separated them. His passion was insatiable, demanding her total acceptance, and an unending obsession. More than she was probably willing to give, more than she’d probably ever expected to give. But he demanded without mercy, forcing her tongue to keep pace, and her body to grind against his.

He would meld her to his soul.

One of his hands slid down the bare skin of her upper arm, then down her side, to the sumptuous curve of her waist, then hooked beneath her thighs and lifted her. He spun her and strode forward, until her back pressed against the wall. Hands now free to roam, he jerked at the hem of her gown, untangling the material from her legs. Automatically she wound herself around him, his body becoming an anchor for hers.

It nearly slayed him.

He’d never had more reason to despise intimacy, and yet he’d never craved it more.

The harder he kissed her, the more she rubbed against him, his own little kitty, and the more she rubbed against him, the more he wanted their clothing out of his way. Every hated piece. Her skin was like heated silk, and he was desperate for more. All. Her taste and scent were his dream of home…his…yes, yes. His, and no one else’s. He needed to put his mark on every inch of her.

She moaned, and he lifted his head long enough to peer down at her passion-hazed features. Her beauty was a fantasy he’d never dared have. Her lips were swollen and red. Moist. Perfect.

Her eyelids slowly parted. “Kane?”

She was panting just as forcefully as he was.

He had to have this woman. And he would. He dove back down for another taste. He would rip away her new dress, and the underclothing. He would toss her on the floor. He wouldn’t bother removing all of his clothing. He would just undo his pants. He wanted her too badly to waste time stripping—no matter how badly he craved the skin-to-skin contact. That would come later. After the burn of the first time had been extinguished.

Now, he would spread her legs, and bury himself so deep inside her.

—no, no!

Disaster’s piercing shriek claimed his attention for one poisoned second.

That was enough. He stilled, tried to catch his breath.

“Kane.” A moan escaped Tink as her glove-covered fingertips scraped against his back.

Hands…all over him…

Suddenly feeling like a caged animal, he straightened. He set her back on her feet, his head swimming. She had no idea how close she’d come to losing her virginity in a dress shop.

The demon had somehow broken past whatever barriers Tink had built, intending to taunt Kane with the reminder. Instead, the creature had done him a favor.

Tink traced the seam of her lips with trembling fingers. “I’m sorry. Did I do something wrong?”

He didn’t want to explain and have to deal with the humiliation, but he owed her, and he would pay. Whatever the cost. He tried to get his breathing under control. “In hell…the demons…forced me to…”

Her lashes fused, but not before he caught a glimpse of her pity.


He hated pity.

This was what he’d feared, however. Making a fool of himself sexually. Dealing with the aftermath.

“I’m sorry for what happened to you,” she said. “I wouldn’t wish such a fate on my worst enemy.”

He nodded to let her know he’d heard her, but offered no more than that.

“But…about the kiss. We can’t do that again,” she said with a tremor. “Whether you want Synda or not, you’re engaged to her, and I won’t be the other woman. Ever. Not for anyone, not even for you.”

“You’re right.” Not because of his supposed engagement—but because he had nothing to offer her. As he’d known, but ignored. As he’d just proven.

He hated this situation, too. Hated his mind, and his emotions, and yes, the weakness he would have denied with his dying breath.

“No, really, we have to—wait. I’m right?” She shook her head, as if to dislodge the thoughts, dark locks of hair dancing over her shoulders. “Never mind. I only ever want to kiss my man, and that’s not you, so…”

“You’re right. I’m not.”

Cheeks reddening, she said, “Besides, I don’t want a man. We would…you know, and I would have children, and the king would want to use them the way he uses me, and I would never allow my own flesh and blood to suffer in such a way.”

“I may be a warrior, and cruel to my bones, but I understand.” She was protective of what she considered hers. Fiercely so. It was admirable. But hope had been stolen from her, exactly as it had been stolen from him. She couldn’t see herself in the future. Couldn’t see herself happy or content—or even safe.