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Branded Sanctuary, Page 52

Joey W. Hill

Page 52


  I want to fuck you.

  Easy enough to see. Still a distraction. She took another step. Two steps more, and shed be at the door. Shed never felt like this before. A ll the power was hers, as well as total resolve. The calm inside her might dissipate into a chaotic storm if she had to step outside that door, but shed do it if she had to. For this moment, however, she felt what she suspected Marguerite might feel toward a bound male, at her mercy, forcing him to confront something in himself he didnt want to confront.

  Yes, she felt the power of it, the sense of control. But this was someone she cared about, she wanted. Hed helped her, and she could help him now, for both of them. Such a different feeling from the carnival.

  Shed always been so closely in touch with what she wanted, a child of impulse and laughter, love and happiness. Marguerite had been right. It wasnt gone. It would take time to coax that Chloe back into existence, but in some ways, this was the shadow side of that person, who knew that embracing what she truly wanted was what mattered.

  Life was too short to give any less of herself, or demand any less, from the male she was almost sure shed be willing to spend the rest of her life with, if hed just say what she knew he wanted to say. The shadow and light would come together at last, and shed be an even better person than shed ever been before.

  You know, when I saw you the night of the auction, I compared you to a young Druid priest, someone so dedicated to his art and craft, a treasure. But somethings lacking, Brendan. Theres a difference between those you serve and the one you love above and beyond it all. She spoke the last words softly. So last time. What do you want for yourself?

  The look on his face was a true struggle. He was fighting something far down inside himself, so painful she could almost see internal organs begin to bleed from the strain. Hed seemed so strong, so balanced, and yet shed known, felt the shadow. So had Marguerite. Intuition.

  Chloe, I cant Im not like that.

  Not built that way. She nodded, though it was an effort. She put her hand on the latch. Im glad I met you, Brendan. A nd Im sorry it didnt work out for us. I wish you only the best. But I want the man, not the priest.

  She stepped out.

  Chapter Twenty

  No. Brendan stared at the door, feeling the chains on his arms as if they were looped lower, tightening around his chest. What the fuck did she want from him? How could she ask from him what wasnt his to give?

  Why couldnt he give himself that? Was he going to let her walk away?

  What do you want? Whatdoyouwantwhatdoyouwant

  The raw, uncertain feeling was an old wound, but one he hadnt experienced at this level in some time. It wasnt welcome, and he immediately wanted to banish it. He gave Mistresses what they wanted, damn it, so there was no uncertainty. No surges of volatile emotions like this, but Marguerite had hit it on the head that day in the auditorium, hadnt she? The answer was in the center of that tumultuous sea, as treacherous a place as the spooky London street depicted around him. He didnt want a choice. Didnt want to take that risk.

  That day in the auditorium, hed looked toward the stage when Marguerite was bringing that shameful knowledge forth. Hed looked toward the unattainable grail.

  In his minds eye, a grail always sat on a dais, brilliantly lit among darkness. Hed told Chloe he liked the idea of being Percival. A knight seeking that grail because it served his king. In reality, he hadnt ever thought of being the one who found it, grasped it, accepted the consequences and challenges of being worthy of it.

  Hed told himself that was because the focus couldnt be on recognition, winning the prize. The focus had to be on the dedication and unswerving loyalty to the quest. Hed made the journey the art form, not the completion of the task, because she was right. Marguerite was right. He was fucking terrified of what that light would show inside himself. A small boy, crouched in a corner, learning that his mother was never coming back, that fate had taken her away from him, because he wasnt worthy of her. She was the grail. Now Chloe was on that same dais.

  Jesus. A nd he meant it as a prayer. Closing his eyes tight, he faced the inevitable, that he could accept this about himself, always be the perfect submissive, the one who every Mistress wanted for a night, or he could put spurs to his horse, so to speak, and see if he couldnt actually grasp that grail, dedicating himself to everything it required and meant.

  I want you, he whispered. Even spoken low, the words were rough, thick, as if by never having been said before, his mouth had difficulty forming the words. The desolation of the night reflected his inside, his loneliness now, knowing what was walking away from him. It lanced him with such pain, he thought a vampires fangs actually tearing into him might feel good. Chloe.

  He pulled against the wrought iron of the lamp post that had been welded into a temporary plate in the floor. It didnt have any give. Come let me go, he called out, an urgent demand to whatever staff was watching him. Someone had to be, because no one was ever left unattended in a room. But maybe Chloe hadnt realized that. He had to go after her. Chloe!

  He yanked again, using his full strength. Not caring that he might destroy the prop, he put his feet against it and shoved, hoping to loosen the bolts. Chloe, I want you. Come back!

  Just when he thought he was going to have to start bellowing, the door opened. Hed twisted around, gotten the chains wrapped over the cuffs and couldnt see, but that didnt matter. Get me down. I have to go after her. Hed never spoken to anyone at The Zone like that. Hed always performed as a submissive in all ways, toward staff as well as Doms, but damn it, this was too important. Logically, he could always call her, text her, send her a fucking letter, but even the dumbest hero knew timing was everything. He couldnt lose the chance.

  Im right here. His queen of the night was holding him steady, soothing him with long scarlet nails and worried brown eyes as he tried to catch his breath, feeling the cut of the chains in his wrists. It had been less than a couple minutes, he realized, but it felt much longer, the journey in his mind a jump of twenty some years.

  Oh Goddess, your fingers are turning blue. Finding the key hanging on the wall, she came back, dragging a crate over that had been used as an alley prop. She stepped up on it to unlock the cuffs on his wrists so he could slide free of the snarled chain slack. The position put her enticingly shaped cleavage right at his face. When he got free, he banded his arms around her hips and back, taking his lips to that moist crease, then biting the fullness around it. Dropping the key, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders.

  Im right here, she gasped. I didnt leave. I didnt even take my hand off the latch on the other side.

  His knees felt weak, but he managed to get off the cobblestone and lay her down on a pallet draped in velvet in the shadows, a convenience if shed decided to take their scene to the semblance of a vampiresss boudoir.

  A s he laid her down, he followed her, propping on his elbow, his body braced between her legs. When she curved a leg over him, he felt the bare brush of her pussy against the front of the tight dark trousers. He wanted to rut on her like an animal, but she had more in store for him.

  Closing her hand on his shoulder, she pushed at him, hard. He let himself be knocked over on his back as she straddled him with that shapely, mouthwatering hook of her thigh.

  Im sorry, I didnt catch that last thing when I left the room. Her expression was serious, despite the slight teasing note to her voice. She was right back in scene, completely in control. Her fingers hooked in that cravat around his neck, tightening the slack in a way that made his cock pulse hard beneath the clamp of her pelvis. She moved against it, rubbing him.

  I want you. Only you. It was harder with her looking at him. Is that okay?

  More than you know. Testing him, she arched a brow. A nd if it wasnt?

  He understood, because his hands tightened on her, slipping down to mold over her backside, letting her feel his arousal for her, the need in his b
ody. Well, I guess Id just have to say the hell with whats okay or not and convince you that Im right, that Im the only one you need.

  Her eyes warmed on his face. More, slave.

  A smile pulled at his mouth. I want you. You. For myself. A ll for myself. Mine.

  No matter if I think youre a completely worthless drama dweeb beneath my notice?

  Even then. I still want you. Heart, body, soul, everything from your deepest thought to your most casual gesture. I want to see all of it, be a part of all of it.

  If I try to shake you off, youll stalk me like a predator?

  Until you have to get a restraining order, and even that wont stop me. Even if you call on Tyler and Mac for reinforcements. It felt so damn good to say it, mean it, see how it lit her face up with everything he wanted to see in her eyes. Hed been such an idiot for withholding it from her, and found himself ashamed that hed put her through the stress of wresting it out of him.

  She took a deep breath, let it out with a shudder. Gave him a beatific smile at odds with the dark vampire-of-the-night fangs and expression.

  Good. Now why the heck was that so hard?

  He chuckled, he couldnt help it. Though she was sitting quite solidly on him, he felt as if a weight lifted right off his chest. I dont know. Chloe, Ive been dying for you, three weeks now.

  Im yours, she reminded him with a smile full of seductive promise and open- hearted need. Take what you need.

  But it was Chloe who took, reaching between them before he could do it and opening the trousers, taking him firmly in hand. Her noise of pleasure almost put him over the edge. When he reached up toward her, she shook her head, that feline smile still on her face as he obediently dropped his arms back over his head, though his fingers clenched with the desire to touch, grip. She was indulging that desire fully, working him in her grasp, even as she began to rub her mound along the base of his cock and testicles, letting him feel how wet she was.

  Chloe, he said, urgent need filling his voice. Damn it. Please.

  He didnt ever make demands, but he did now, letting her feel that every part of him was rigid with desire for her, not just what she was working in his hand.

  I dont want you to ever forget to give me what I want, when I want it, she said, those dark-rimmed eyes fixed on his face.

  Never. His gaze coursed greedily over her breasts, the flirty roll of those rubies back and forth over the high curves. Let me suck on your nipples.