Authors: Kathi S. Barton
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Paranormal, #Romantic Erotica
“And you would do that, just on the say of me not liking this house?” He nodded. “That’s not right. This is your home. You bought and paid for it. Made it look the way you wanted it to. Why would my opinion matter to you in anyway?”
“Because I want you to be happy wherever we live.” She frowned at him, and he laughed. “What I mean is, this is not a home. Not to me. My parents’ place is a home. My brother’s place, that’s a home too. Even the cabin that they stay at in the mountains, that’s a home. But here? This is a place that I slept when I was too tired to go to the apartment I have in town. On occasion had a meal in. My family has been over a few times, but I think this place is cold. That is, until you got here.”
“You think I warmed your house up?” He nodded and stood up. He moved toward her slowly so as not to scare her. “If I may be honest with you, this is just the kind of house that I had in mind when I won the money. I had much smaller dreams before that. A one or two-bedroom house, a big yard in the front and back. Trees, too, and a little garden in the back for me to grow things in. You’re too close again.”
“No, I’m not close enough. Not yet anyway.” He kissed her gently but wanted more. “I’d like for you to warm this house up. Put a part of yourself here, pieces of your heart, as it were, around so that I can see that you live here with me.”
“I don’t have anything of my own.” He nodded and moved her head so that he could nibble on her throat. “I don’t have any books. Not a single plant. The furniture I had in the other place was things that I picked up at garage sales and auctions. I can’t talk to you about this when you do that.”
“Good. Since you came into my life, I’ve not been able to think at all, much less talk in a way that makes any sense.” He picked her up in his arms. “Did you see the bedroom? I’d like to show you the bed right now. How bouncy it is. The way the mattress holds me up when I lay on it.”
Her giggle had him pausing on the steps. He would bet his life savings on the fact that she didn’t do that much, especially not lately. Elijah decided that he was going to make her laugh as much as he could from now on.
“I don’t like sex.” He nearly fell going into the bedroom when she made that confession. “I mean, I’ve not had it a great deal—once or twice—but it’s sort of boring, don’t you think?”
“Boring? Not if you do it right.” He dropped her on the bed. “Maybe it’s the guy you were with. He might not have known what to do.”
She bounced twice before she sat up. “He said he did. Told me that women all over the world would line up to take him to bed.” Elijah was sure that she was kidding and waited for the punch line. “After we were done, all I could think about was they must have been in the wrong line or something.”
He couldn’t help it, he burst out laughing. And when she laughed as well, he thought that he was seeing a side of her that few had seen. Or had bothered to see. Taking off his shirt, he talked to her about his wolf and what he wanted to do to her.
“I don’t know what you mean by marking me.” He nodded and told her that he wanted to taste her. “You mean like oral sex?”
“Yes. He would like to drink from you and take your juices into his body.” She watched him and he her. Elijah wasn’t sure she was going to go for it, and calmed his wolf with the knowledge that they had all their lifetimes to let him have her. “If you don’t want to, sweetheart, he’ll be fine with it.”
“No, it’s not that. I just never...it sounds like it would be good.” He could tell that she was nervous, but she was excited too. “How does it work? Do we have to go outside so you can shift?”
He stripped off his pants and let his wolf take him. Elijah watched her carefully. Jumping up on the bed, he lay down beside her, putting his head on her belly. When her fingers touched his head, he closed his eyes, enjoying her touch as much as he did being near her.
“I thought you’d be rough. Your fur I mean. But you’re very soft, aren’t you?” When she rubbed him behind the ears, he groaned, and she laughed. “You’re nothing but a big baby, aren’t you? Well, you’re beautiful, and I think I might just be in love with you as well.”
Do you love me, Noelle?
Her fingers stopped moving, and he looked up at her
. We can talk this way because I’ve tasted your blood. Do you love me?
“I’ve never been loved, I don’t think.” Her hands moved over his head to his shoulders. “I’m not even sure what it is, but this feeling that I have for you, even though it’s only been a short time, is powerful. And I feel safe with you. All of your family really, but you mostly.”
I do love you. Very much. And I’m very glad that we make you feel safe. You need to never worry about any of us hurting you either. We might tease you, but we’d never harm you.
He licked her belly, and she giggled.
You have no idea how it makes me feel to hear you do that. Laughter is wonderful.
“I need you.” His wolf stood up. Elijah felt the connection he had with his other half, but at this moment it was different. Right now, he felt like the wolf was in charge of them. He couldn’t even talk to Noelle, and that frightened him just a little. But he moved down her body to her scent, her heat, and Elijah felt his need. Snapping his teeth into her shirt, his wolf tore it off her. Then she helped him until she was naked for him.
Her legs spread for them. Elijah was hit with her scent like a slap in the face. His wolf growled low in his throat and Noelle put her hand on his head. As soon as he licked her from gate to clit, she screamed out his name. It was the best sound he’d ever heard, and his wolf loved it as well.
He ate her hungrily. Over and over he fucked her with his tongue, licked her thighs and pussy until she cried out that she’d had enough. But still he brought her over the edge, taking as much of her cream into himself as he could get. When he sat up, Elijah was surprised at how easily his wolf let him come back to himself. Now moving just as slowly, he leaned into Noelle’s pussy and took over where his wolf had stopped.
“Please, no more. Please.” Elijah slid his fingers into her while he suckled at her clit, watching her face to see the beauty of her release. And when she bowed up off the bed and let out a cry that had his wolf wanting to howl with her, Elijah moved up her body, nipping and tasting her as he went.
She told him she couldn’t come any more. “Oh, but you can. And you will. I want to feel your pussy wrapped around me. I want to release deep inside of you. Hear you scream out my name when I bite you.”
He slid into her, his cock so hard that he moaned at the tightness. Fucking her slowly, kissing her mouth, chin, and throat, Elijah felt her hands at his back, her legs wrapping around his. Elijah wanted this to last, to bring her over and over so that the word boring never entered her mind when he made love to her. And when she screamed out his name, he watched her face, seeing the emotion, the beauty of it as it took her twice in the same moment. When she begged him for more, told him to fill her, he felt his balls tighten and his wolf snarl at him to finish. Elijah threw back his head and howled as he came as hard as he’d ever come.
Even as he emptied, he felt his need rise up again, his balls fill even as his cock thickened more. And when she tilted her head, offering him her throat, Elijah took it. He tore savagely into her hot flesh and drank deeply of her hot blood as he came again, holding her body to his, unsure if he was keeping himself from coming apart or her. And when he was empty, not just his balls but every part of him, he dropped atop her and felt sleep take him as he rolled to his back. His last thought as she curled around him was that he was never going to be able to do that again without dying.
Sterl crossed the street with care. Just a couple of days ago someone had nearly been hit here when the driver was too distracted texting to keep an eye out for people. When he hit the other sidewalk, he kept running. He’d been making good time this morning, and hoped that it would help him sleep better.
He’d been having nightmares for the last several years. Sterl figured that nightmare was a mild term for what he was having, and they were more memories than anything. Memories of the night that several of his friends had been murdered and he’d been marked by a she-devil.
Nearly stumbling when he saw her face again, he had to pace himself a few steps before he felt like he could breathe again. Every time he thought of her, saw her in his mind, he’d remember what she’d done that night.
They’d been out, the five of them. His date had been sick that night, but instead of bowing out like he wished every day now that he had, he went along with them, bar hopping and having a good time. He didn’t drink, not that it would have affected him like it did the others, but he had drunk some soda. He’d thought it was bad, so hadn’t finished the drink before they left. He was sure now that it had been poisoned somehow. That it had been meant for all of them to be impaired.
The thing—he’d not known until recently what it was—had appeared out of nowhere, causing the driver, Mitch, to swerve to miss her and causing them to go over an embankment. Sterl was still fuzzy on how that had happened. By all rights they should have just gone into a ditch, not careened over the hillside, throwing them all from the vehicle and him into a tree. Then she’d moved from person to person to kill them, even going so far as to make sure that the ones that had not survived were really dead. She’d crushed Beth’s—one of the sweetest people he knew—skull with a boulder too.
“Sterl?” He lashed out at the sound of his name. He’d not even realized that he’d run his five miles and was now on his own front porch, and that the man that he’d hit because he’d been deep in his memories was a friend of his. When he put out his hand to help him up, Michael took it but didn’t let him pull him from the ground.
“I’m so sorry.” Michael nodded but continued to hold his hand as he lay there. “I was thinking, thinking of things that I should leave in my dreams and not hurt people who have done nothing to deserve it.”
“If you do not mind me saying so, you look terrible.” Sterl nodded and pulled the man up. “I think I have someone that can help you. Well, she’ll help, but she can be a bit much. I have called in a favor and she said that—”
“Oh, poo on your favors. I would have come anyway. My name is Myra. I’m an assistant to a very lovely and powerful witch. They’re panthers, so if you smell a little feline around, that would be me.” The woman was dressed in the most brilliant color of pink he’d ever seen. Not just her clothing, but her hair and the jewelry she had on as well. When she put out her small hand, he stared at it. “You will allow me to touch you, won’t you, young man? I can help you in ways that you cannot imagine.”
“I don’t think so. Not yet, at any rate.” She just grinned at him. “I need to go inside and get something to drink. If I invite you into my home, will there be consequences?”
“Well of course there will be.” Her laughter made him smile. “There it is, that lovely smile that I knew was hidden somewhere deep within you. She hurt you, didn’t she? The she-devil. Ripped into your heart and life as if you belonged to her, for no other reason than she wanted you. If you would allow me to, young wolf, I will help you in ways that you will not realize for years and years.”
Sterl felt the effect of her words all the way to his feet. When he staggered back, his body just limp with exhaustion and fear, she grabbed him in her arms and helped Michael to practically carry him into his home. He was handed a glass nearly full to the top of a dark amber liquor. He handed it back to Myra, and she shoved it back at him, telling him to drink it down.
“I don’t drink, and even if I did, it won’t do anything to me. I’m not human.” The woman just laughed and drank it straight down as if it were nothing more than a glass of water. “You do know that was about a hundred fifty proof, right?”
“Yes. Very nice. And I’m not human either, my dear boy. Now, let us get to the point here. You have someone after you that needs to be dealt with. I’m not saying that I can do it on my own, but we can work some of my considerable magic around the place to keep you safe.” He nodded, then glanced at Michael, who was wringing his hands. “He thinks I’m sexy. Young Michael has been after me to get with him for decades.”
“I most certainly have not. Myra, I swear to you that I sometimes wish I had never saved you.” Myra patted him on the cheek and asked him to contact Noah. “He said that he would be here when you have prepared the house for him. And you should also know that he is bringing the book with him. I think it will be most helpful.”
“The house has been ready since you told me where we were going.” She looked at Sterl. “It would be most helpful if you could call your brother Trent, as well as your father and mother. The rest will be brought here as well, but for now, we need to speak to them.”
Sterl reached for his family, all of them. If this woman could help, even in a small way, he wanted them all to be safe as well. When Trent told him he was on his way, he told Myra. She sat across from him and asked Michael for a cup of tea, if he wouldn’t mind.
“I’m to understand that you have no help here.” He nodded, not sure where she was headed. “I have a few people I should like to place in your home. Just as a precaution. Alta is a wonderful woman that will cook for you. She’s also a cook that can help you put your weight back on. How much have you lost?”
“Nearly forty pounds.” She nodded as if she knew that. “I don’t know what you think you can do. Noah has taken the poison away, and for the first time in years, I can shift and move without any pain. I’m not yet back up to my weight because I’ve been taking it easy.”
“You’re having nightmares that plague you even during the day. Your temper isn’t what it used to be, and you’ve been avoiding your friends and family for fear of hurting one of them with your words. And on top of that, you’ve convinced yourself that you should have an operation that will take away your seed so that you cannot father any children.” He felt his temper slide up over the edge of reason and his wolf snarl at him to kill. “You do and I will put you down, young man. I might give you the illusion that I am very laid back, but you fuck with me and I will hurt you in ways that Helenia might not have even thought of.”
The tears, always there on the surface, seemed to fill his eyes. He hurt. Not physically right now, but all of him. He missed his family, his friends, and his way of life. He missed his students that he’d taught, the feeling of being around the younger people who were just starting out. Sterl let the odd woman wrap him in her arms as the gates to his emotions seemed to slide open.
Sterl was not one to cry. But he sobbed now, holding onto this stranger as if his very life depended on it. He knew that his thoughts were disjointed, just as his mind seemed to be, but he need to speak to her, needed to let her know what he’d been going through.
“She killed them. All of them, as if they were nothing. Tore them in half, crushed their heads with rocks. Even poor Beth, who was dead…she smashed her head into the ground so that her parents couldn’t identify her.” Myra asked him what she’d said to him. “Her nails were in my chest, and I wanted to just die then, but she held me there as if she waited for me to ask her to end me. I think...perhaps that is what made her pick me. That I didn’t give up. You have no idea how every day I wished that I’d just died as well. Then she told me that I was going to be her biggest prize as yet. That my seed would flood the earth with demons.”
“She had marked you before that. I’m sorry to say that she’s not right in the head.” He stared at Myra, and she grinned at him. “You have to admit that she didn’t strike you as all there when she came to you, did she?”
“No.” He wasn’t sure if he was supposed to laugh or not, but she touched her fingers to his cheek and he closed his eyes. “I see her now. Staring back at me with her dead eyes. Every time I think of her, see her there, I see something more about her. Noah said that she wasn’t really a vampire.”
“No, she’s not. A she-devil is not a term that we use lightly. There was no classification for her back when the Board was formed. Vampires are very strong, live a long time, and have for the most part the best ways of keeping track of people. People like Helenia. I have a book for you that I would like for you to read. It will help you understand the vampire ways of life, as well as some of Helenia. She is what we now know as a she-devil. A killer for no other reason than it makes her happy. What you saw that night is her true self.” He looked at her when she took her hand from his face. When she nodded to the doorway, he looked too. “This is Alta. She’s going to be staying here. You don’t have to worry about her having a home to go to…she wants to stay in the little cottage at the back of your property.”
“I don’t have a cottage back there.” She told him that he did now as the older woman served them up some tea. “I don’t think...I’ve been out of work for some time. I get a little pension from teaching, but it’s running out. I’m sure that I can’t afford to pay anyone right now.”
He had money, a great deal of it, but it was his stash…the money that he’d been putting back since he’d gotten his first job. That money had been earmarked for a larger house, one that would have had plenty of bedrooms for his children to live in, his family to use if they came to visit. Sterl realized that he should use it now. The family was never going to happen for him.
“No worries, Mr. Sterling. I’ve done well for myself, and I’ve no real need for money.” He only nodded at Alta. “I hope you don’t mind, but Myra said that I could make the kitchen area my own, so I enlarged it to suit my needs, and the pantry is now filled.”
When she left them after pouring the tea and giving him a plate full of cookies and scones, he looked over at Myra. She was munching on several of the treats as she sipped her tea. Her clothing had changed, along with her hair. She was now dressed in plaid. Even her hair was marked with the pattern.
“You’ll get used to me.” He wasn’t sure that was going to be possible, but nodded at her. “Ah, Noah is here, as is your father and mother. Trent is very close with his wife, Joe. Lovely woman, Joe.”
The room was filled with his family before he could say anything. He looked at Trent when he sat beside him and asked him if he was all right. Sterl wasn’t sure and said as much to his brother.
“I feel like I’ve been on one of those rides at the fair, where you know that it’s all an illusion but you’re not sure how it works.” Trent nodded and laughed. “Myra said that she can help me. Help all of us with this woman.”
“Do you believe her?” They both looked at the woman in question, who was currently talking to his dad and mom. Both looked as confused as he felt. “She has a way of making herself known, don’t you think? I’m wondering if she makes her own clothing or she has to have a blind person make it for her. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that shade of green before, have you?”
“It looks like pus.” They both laughed, and Sterl felt some of his unease fall away. “If she can help us, then I’m all for it. I’ve been so terrified for so long.”
“I know that, Sterl. We’re all worried about you.” Sterl knew that as well. He’d been worried about himself too. Things were not going well for him, and he needed it to be better. “Elijah and Noelle are on their way over now. I think they were sidetracked again. Having a mate is very exhausting, so you know.”
Sterl didn’t point out that he’d never find his so long as this threat was over them. Having offspring, even with a mate that had nothing to do with the devil that haunted him, still scared him. He wasn’t sure that he’d ever feel comfortable being with a woman again after this.
“All right then, I guess that we’re all here.” Alta, his new cook, moved around the room as Myra called things to order. Everyone not only had a cup of tea or glass of water, but everyone had a plate of food. He wondered where it all came from, but knew that he’d never ask.
Noah started speaking when everyone settled down. “Helenia, as some of you might know, is not a vampire. She is what we know of as a she-devil. There are no male counterparts to her that we are aware of. Her evilness is what has made her live for as long as she has, and she is old. Helenia also has a great deal of power, but it’s nothing compared to a vampire of the same age. Terror is what she uses to control people into doing what she wants, and it has worked well for her. Up until now. She does not drink blood to live. As far as I know, she needs nothing to sustain her. And as such, it has been difficult to make her abide by any rules set before her.” Trent asked how much trouble they’d had with her before. “More than you can ever imagine. And it usually centers around her finding someone to father the masses of beasts that she claims to know how to control.”
“I don’t understand.” Sterl started to tell his dad the story of what had happen to him that night…no one knew the truth of it but Trent and Noah. Now he assumed that Myra and Michael knew as they were here, but his family had never been told. “This person, she’s coming here? For what reason other than us to kick her butt?”
“She wants Sterling here to father her beasts. Not sexually, though his seed will be involved. Her magic will make them.” Trent looked around the room, then at him. “I’m not sure how it comes together completely, just that she needs him.”