“Where am I?” he suddenly demanded. His thrusts were becoming jerkier, slamming inside harder, harsher.
“Here.” A moan of passion. “With me.”
“Where am I?”
“All over me. In me.”
“Yeah. That’s right. All over you. In you. I’m yours, and you are mine.” He dove back in for another soul-stealing kiss, shattering her, claiming her. “You like this.”
Not a question, but she answered anyway. “Love. This.” As many times as they’d been together, he’d never been this intense, this focused on ownership. And hell, she wanted to own him, too. She reached up and back and fisted his hair, holding on tight, not caring when the strands pulled.
He hissed in a breath.
Her hips arched back, with force this time, slamming into him. Both of them groaned at the bliss. She edged ever closer to release, and he was right there with her.
“Take me, baby. Take all of me. Yeah. That’s it. You know the way.”
Pressure, building and building, consuming. Just a little more… “Paris!” One more hard slam and she was shooting into the stars, pleasure flooding her in a rush, a storm. Her inner walls clutched at him, grabbing on to him, letting him know he was where he belonged, that this was right, that they were right.
He rolled her all the way to her stomach, pressing her face into the pillows, and hammered harder, faster. A roar ripped out of him, as rough as his thrusts, and he filled her up, coming and coming and coming some more. She was right there with him, launching into a second orgasm, one that snuck up on her, but took her ever higher.
When she came back to earth, she blinked open her eyes. Had she passed out? She must have, because Paris was on his side, and she was on her side, and they were facing each other, but she didn’t recall moving. His breathing was a little off, so she didn’t think very much time had passed. He’d drawn the sheet over their bodies and was peering over at her, as if memorizing her features.
“I want to leave with you,” he said. “Go somewhere Cronus can’t find you. Where no one can hurt you.”
Her heart lurched. No one—meaning his friends. “I told you. I don’t want you to be mad at anyone on my behalf.”
“They disrespected you.”
“And I deserved it.”
“No!” He threw a punch, his fist going through the headboard, wood shards raining. “I told you not to talk like that. And the next time you do, I’m putting you over my knee. They aren’t perfect, not a single one of them. We’ve all done things. Things that would shame hardened criminals.”
“Well, they’re reformed.”
“So are you. I’m not saying I want to leave them forever. I love them. Need them. I just want to give them time to accept you. And just so you know, if I ever treated their women the way they’ve treated you, they would retaliate.”
She had to change the subject. Had. To. He was melting her resolve. Being what she needed, saying such wonderful things. And he meant them. His tone was all about the serious.
“Hiding from Cronus,” she said. “I don’t think that’s possible.”
Gradually he relaxed. “There are medallions. Whoever wears them is hidden from him and all his followers. He gave them to us once, then took them away. I can steal one.”
And enrage the beast, placing himself in eternal danger? “No. I have to do this, Paris. I have to go to Galen, and Cronus is going to take me. I just have to,” she finished lamely. For you, for me.
“That’s it?” Anger returned to those electric eyes. “You’re not even going to think about it? When the very idea of my enemy breathing the same air as you drives me to commit murder?”
Her own anger sparked. “When it comes to putting you in danger? When it comes to making sure you survive? There isn’t anything to think about.”
He softened, but only slightly. “Same with me. I don’t want you in danger. Ever. And you think about this. I will waste away without you. Yeah, I know I’m the king of manipulation, playing on your emotions, but I will do anything to keep you. I will kill. I will lie. I will betray and cheat and steal. I will topple mountains.”
He wasn’t done. “All my life I have fought and I have f**ked, and I thought I was happy until you pissed me off and woke me up and I realized I’d simply existed and accepted. And you might have gotten my attention through my demon, but you kept it because of you. I could have anyone right now, and no, that isn’t ego or a front, it’s just me telling you that now that Sex knows I’m committed, he’s making me hard for every damn female in the place, or he was, and he can again, but I don’t want them and I won’t take them.”
Careful, girl. This man, this man she loved, could talk her into anything. There could be no spending the rest of the night with him. She had to leave. And she had to leave now.
The knowledge shattered her.
“Sienna, baby. I know I’m coming on strong. I know I’m pushing for a lot. Just…give me some time, okay? We’ll figure this out. There’s a solution, there has to be. Trust me.”
So many pieces of her, scattered and broken, never to be fitted back together. “I do,” she croaked. “I trust you.” The truth, but it wouldn’t stop her.
“Good.” He must have assumed she’d agreed to give him time.
She didn’t correct the mistake.
“Now, I want you to listen to me. Do you remember when I told you not to let anyone smell your blood, to always clean yourself up if you are injured?” He waited for her nod before he went on. “That’s because Cronus has made you into an ambrosia spout. Your blood is a drug for immortals and highly addictive.”
“That’s not—” Yeah, no reason to finish that sentence. Anything was possible. She was living—er, undead—proof of that. Bitterness rose, joining the anger and the hopelessness. “How did he do it? Why would he?” Even as she spoke, she knew the answer to the latter.
Why—so that she could more easily “seduce” and control Galen. That’s how she would keep his interest. How dare he do this! she seethed. How dare he turn her into a…a…walking narcotic!
Yes. She would punish. Would that stop her from doing what needed doing? No. Not when Paris’s life was at stake. But, oh, she and Cronus would have a reckoning one day.