Cinder x, p.22
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       Cinder X, p.22

         Part #2 of Death Collectors series by Jessica Sorensen
Page 22


  Standing before me

  So bold and bright


  Like the sun

  So striking

  Almost unreal

  “Ember. ” The sound of Asher’s voice brings me back to reality.

  I blink away my thoughts that are still forming poetry and outstretch my hand to him. I trace my fingers up the front of his stomach, which flexes and sends heat soaring through my body. My hand pauses on his chest before traveling to his shoulders then around to his back. His focus is entirely on me, his gaze relentless, yet beneath it, there’s vulnerability. Asher looks human. And the look only amplifies as my fingers connect with the lower part of his wings where they rise out of his skin.

  “God, they’re so soft,” I whisper in awe, stroking the feathers with my fingers.

  He shudders as he lets out this soft moan, then his head lowers towards my neck. He buries his face into the crook of it and breathes in my skin. “God, that feels so good. . . ”

  I press my lips together, fighting back the urge to moan with him as I continue to let my fingers explore the base of his wings, the feathers getting softer the higher I go. He gasps for air as his shoulders start to tremble and then suddenly his wings are folding up into his back as his head snaps up.

  “I can’t take it anymore,” he growls as he grabs me by the waist. Before I can react, we’re stumbling back onto the mattress, landing with a hard bounce.

  His eyes darken as he jerks my shirt off and then undoes my bra, chucking it to the side. My breasts spring free and my nipples perk as the cold air hits them. I fight to maintain my breathing, but I can barely get control of anything inside me; my heart rate, my body heat, my desire. I know I’ve done this before with him, but for some reason, I still feel as nervous as the first time.

  When he covers my body with his and conceals his mouth over mine, my nerves vanish and turn to eagerness. The fiery heat of his chest spreads to mine and my back curves upward as his fingers graze my nipple. I gasp, biting at his lip as my neck angles back and I draw my mouth away from his. He nips and sucks a path of kisses across my jawline, down to my neck, and when his mouth covers my nipple, I cry out, threading my fingers through his hair, pulling him in while seeking a way to release the helpless energy building in my body.

  Finally, he sits up, his mouth leaving my breast. With one flick of his finger, he undoes the button of my pants and then tugs them off my legs along with my panties. Before I even have time to process being naked, he spreads my legs, and seconds later, the cold metal of his tongue ring flicks across my skin, sending an eruption of sweltering heat throughout my body.

  As he moves his tongue and drives me further and further into blissfulness until I can’t breathe, I clutch onto the blanket while my body bucks against his mouth. Every part of my body pulsates as I climb higher and higher, drifting out into sheer ecstasy.

  Seconds or maybe minutes later, I start to come back down. I can barely see, but I feel his mouth leave me. I hear the sound of a condom wrapper being peeled open, however I don’t open my eyes, spreading my legs when he shifts to position himself between them. He lowers his body closer to mine and I grip onto his arms as his mouth reaches mine. Then, with one swift thrust, he sinks deep inside me as he pins my arms beside my head and kisses me fiercely.

  I cry out, stabbing my fingers into his back as he rocks into me. Want, desire, and passion potently flood through me and I can barely breathe. He thrusts into me again and I move my hips with him, meeting him in the middle. We continue to move rhythmically until our skin is covered in sweat; until we can’t breathe. Until we’re drifting away from everything, coming undone together, holding on, never wanting to let go.

  Minutes later, he carefully slips out of me and rolls to his side, his arm slipping around me. He hugs me against his chest as I work to catch my breath.

  “I think I’m glad I got banished. ” He sounds like he might mean it.

  I place a soft kiss on his chest. “I think I’m glad, too,” I mutter, still breathless.

  At the moment, I mean it. Because right now, I could live in the wonderful solitude we’ve just created. Just Asher and me and no one else. However I know when I wake up the next morning it just might be gone.

  We lie there for a while, in the silence, only it’s not as maddening as before. In fact, it’s sort of comfortable having him there with me. He makes everything else a little less terrifying. Eventually Asher starts to kiss me again, unable to keep his hands off me. I welcome his kiss, opening my mouth and letting his tongue slide deeply inside while his hand drifts up my spine. When he reaches the center of my back, however, and his skin brushes the spot of flesh between my shoulder blades, I jerk back from the tender pain.

  “What’s wrong?” Asher asks in concern.

  I bend my arm and reach over my back, wincing the moment my fingers touch the area and the pain doubles. “My back hurts,” I say, bringing my arm forward. “It’s probably from falling on the ground like a dumbass when Raven was here. ”

  Asher’s brows furrow. “Can I see it?”

  I shrug and then roll over onto my stomach, shivering with excitement as he leans over me. “It’s not that big of a deal,” I try to tell him, flinching when he touches the area. “It doesn’t hurt that bad. ”

  He’s silent for a while as he continues to examine me. “You said you fell?”

  I nod, my eyes shutting as his hands move away from the tender area and down my back, massaging my muscles. “Yeah, when I was being attacked. ”

  “You have a couple of bruises,” he says softly. “But usually a human doesn’t bruise that quickly. ”

  “It could be from something else…” I drift off as his fingers work to unwind the knots on my back.

  “Yeah, maybe,” he says, yet he seems unconvinced. “But still, they’re in the strangest place. ”

  “Where…” A moan escapes my lips as his hands reach the bottom of my back.

  It takes him a second to answer. “They’re about in the same area where Angel wings usually sprout. ”

  My eyes snap open and I start to sit up, but he gently pushes me back down against the bed. “Relax, Ember. I didn’t say you were growing wings, only that the bruises are in the same area. ” I start to relax again as he continues to massage me. “They might simply be bruises. ”

  “What if they’re not, though?” I ask. “What if I am growing wings?”

  His fingers stop moving. “Then it might mean that you’re the last Grim Angel standing,” he whispers. I feel the tension in the air and start to panic, so he quickly adds, “It hasn’t happened yet, though. ” He returns to massaging my back again. I think it’s his way of trying to keep me calm. “Just relax,” he says, his hands moving up and around the tender spots to my shoulders. “I promise we’ll figure stuff out. ” I feel him lean in and his lips brush just above the sore spot, right between my shoulder blades. “I promise I’ll take care of you. ”

  I nod, the tension leaving my body with every movement of his hands. There’s so much tension in my body, but he seems to be drawing it out, alleviating the pain as he moves up and down my back.

  “You have amazing hands,” I mutter with my eyes remaining shut as my mind drifts off towards sleep.

  “I’m glad you think so,” he replies with a hint of amusement in his tone. Then his chest lowers down onto my back and his head dips over my shoulder. I open my eyes and my heart leaps inside my chest at the lust blazing in his eyes. When he leans in to kiss me, I lift my head enough that our lips meet in the middle. It’s kind of an awkward kiss with me on my stomach and him hovering over my back, but it’s equally as amazing as it is awkward as he explores my mouth thoroughly.

  The kiss goes on for hours and I wish it would go on forever, however eventually he moves away to get another condom. Then he’s back over me and lifting my hips. With one swift rock of his hips, he thrusts deep inside me.

p; I get lost, clawing at the blankets in desperation as I vanish into bliss. And if I could, I’d stay in this place forever, just him and I.

  Chapter 11

  Later that night, somewhere between midnight and sun rise, Asher and I lie together in my bed, exhausted and tired from round three. My legs ache, but in the most wonderful way. I want to go to sleep, yet at the same time, I don’t because I’m afraid that the moment I close my eyes all of this will be gone. Knowing that when I wake up, I could very easily be in bed alone, with nothing except death around me.

  “What’s it like?” I ask as Asher situates his head on the pillow beside me, lying on his side with his hair hanging in his eyes and his legs pressed against mine.

  He brushes my hair out of my eyes and then places his hand on the curve of my bare waist. “What’s what like?”

  “Heaven? Or wherever it is Angel’s live. ”

  He frowns. “Right now, most of the Angels live on earth, at least ever since the battle. And the one’s that aren’t, live in a pretty peaceful place between worlds. ” His fingers spread along my skin and he guides me closer to him. “But honestly when I’m not here I live in a place that the human mind couldn’t even begin to comprehend… a lot of angels choose to. ”

  I slip my knee between his legs. “I don’t get what you mean. ”

  “I know you don’t,” he says. “The best way I can describe it to you is that it’s not really a place; it’s more a state of mind where we can create a place just how we want and put whoever we want there. ”

  “It doesn’t sound that bad. ” I delicately put a hand on his chest right above his thudding heart.

  “It isn’t that bad. And when this is all over—when the battle ends and I’m forgiven for what I’ve done—I’ll go back to it. ”

  I try to hide my discontent the best that I can. “And what will happen to me? If I survive?”

  “You will survive,” he insists, intensity burning in his eyes as his hand slides up my spine to the nape of my neck. “And when the battle’s all over, you’ll go back to being Ember and living your life just the way that you’re supposed to. ”

  “But the rest of the Grim Angels that gave in won’t?”

  “Unfortunately no, but they will go to the good side, because I know that’s the side you’re going to choose. ”

  He has so confident in me, but I wonder if he still would be if he lived inside my head and saw my thoughts.

  “But what if I become the last one?” I ask. “What happens when there’s only one Grim Angel standing? Do they just make a choice and then poof, the battles over?”

  “No, it’s not that simple at all. In fact, I don’t even know everything that will happen, only a few details,” he replies with a pucker at his brow. “But regardless, after you make your choice, your blood will be free of angel and reaper blood. ” He pivots on his hip and rolls over me, covering my body with his and propping up on his elbows. “And so will you. ”