Authors: Christine Feehan
“Magic can do a lot of things, but can it build you a pool?”
Once again, she took her gaze from Isai to study the rock. She lifted her hands and began to weave together a spell to gather the smaller pebbles into a basin to begin her build. Before she could utter a single word, he caught her wrist and pulled her hands down.
“In your mind, build what you want.”
“I was doing that.” She glared at him. “You stopped me.”
“You are using magic as a crutch. There is no reason to use it on something so simple as creating a pool for you to bathe in if that is your wish. You can give yourself a shower without taking one. You can change your clothes. Build it in your mind. See yourself clean and refreshed. Design the clothes you want to wear. It all takes place in your mind first.”
“I do that.”
“I know you do, that is how your illusions are so perfect. You already have built whatever it is you want in your mind and then you come up with your spell. I’m telling you, you do not always need that spell.”
“You use it for your safeguards.”
“Because we were taught that was how best to ensure we were safe when we went to ground. Over the centuries, all of us have changed those weaves and made them stronger, using our own abilities to strengthen our guards so we can rest easy in the ground. Had we not done so, Xavier would have long ago found a way to eradicate our species.”
Julija had to agree with him. She took a breath and once again studied the wall, a tendril of excitement sliding down her spine. Was it possible? Could she do what Carpathians could do? If that were so, then her magic would add to that power . . . She broke off her thoughts, elation causing a little thrill of anticipation.
Isai nodded at her. “You can do this.”
Could she? Something very simple. She considered what that might be. She wanted her pool wide enough that she could turn around in it easily. She stared at the rocks, feeling for them, studying how each was formed. Magma from long ago had crystalized. The granite had traces of various minerals such as feldspar and quartz with bits of others as well.
Using the rock, in her mind she began creating her dream pool. She closed her eyes and, keeping the build in her brain, simply manipulated the properties of the rock, heating them so they ran together again, forming a wide, thick wall that was just a little deeper than her waist. She layered her granite there until she had exactly what she wanted.
Julija had always enjoyed creating things and she’d spent hours in her mind, building the things she wanted. It never occurred to her that she
could accomplish the things she wanted without magic. In her creation, water ran from the wall into her pool, the temperature perfect for a refreshing shower. She paid attention to every detail, just as she’d learned to do over the years with her magic.
The sound of water falling into a pool grew in intensity. She imagined the spray, tiny droplets, hitting her face as the water entered from where it fell naturally from the wall. She made certain to color the water, that deep crystal blue she always found waterfalls and the pools beneath them to be. The beautiful ones. Her rock formations followed the lines of a natural basin, collecting the water as it ran off the wall. There was natural drainage, a small runoff that took excess water out of the cave, to run back into the ground.
Once again, she stepped forward, raising her hands into the air to aid her near-perfect illusion. Isai blocked her. “Before you do that, look at what you’ve done.”
She could hear the water falling into the pool, the sound as real as the illusion in her mind had been. She’d always been good at illusion because she did pay attention to detail. She turned her head slowly and the basin was there. Solid. Real. She stared at it for a long time and then looked up at him.
“You did something.”
He shook his head. “No, little mage. You did something. You created exactly what you wanted to create because you are Carpathian. You are also mage, and that makes you extremely powerful. And dangerous to your father and his followers.”
She couldn’t help the little surge of hope, but she didn’t dare believe him. She would have known, right? How could she not know? It didn’t make sense.
“Come here to me. You need to feed. You are very pale. If you are going to continue to create things, you will need your strength. I have fed, although, I do crave the taste of your blood. A lifemate’s blood is perfection to him.”
She was a little obsessed with his taste. She had continually pushed aside the need that would come at her out of nowhere. Just him making the offer to her brought such a surge of absolute hunger for his taste alone, it shook her. That wasn’t right. She recognized that she shouldn’t want his
blood to the point that everything else went out of her head. Worse, the moment he made his offer, she wanted him to take her blood.
Daringly, she looked up at him, already taking the few steps that separated them, so she was standing in front of him. “I want you to take mine as well.”
“That can be dangerous,
kislány hän ku meke sarnaakmet minan
“We both live dangerously,” she pointed out. “Just by being who we are.” She ran her hand up his body, from his wonderful abdomen with its multitude of muscles to the defined muscles of his chest. Her lips followed the path of her palm. “You taste delicious. Your skin.” He did. She didn’t care what that sounded like, need was on her. Overwhelming her.
She found his heartbeat and then slid her tongue over the beating pulse just above that. She felt the slide of her teeth and she bit deep. His body jerked. She felt the lengthening of his cock while the taste of his ancient blood burst through her senses. Perfection. Absolute perfection.
She stroked his cock, petting him, wishing his clothes were gone. He couldn’t possibly know what she was thinking, so she built that picture in her mind while she drank. Isai. Naked. Her hand around the thick length of him. Shockingly, his clothes were gone, and she found herself with his hot girth in her fist. That was even more perfect.
She drank more and slipped her thumb over the wide crown to smear those pearly drops and use them to help pump him while she consumed his blood. When his hand came up to warn her to stop, she did so immediately, licking across the twin little holes that proclaimed him hers and then licking her way down his chest and abdomen to his cock.
Take my blood.
She had to entice him. She could already feel his rejection, the way he was steeling himself to back away from her. He hadn’t been able to resist her when she was feeding, the erotic pull between them was too strong, but now that her tongue had closed the twin holes, he was gathering his strength.
He murmured something in his language she didn’t catch. She was certain she hadn’t caught it because there was a strange roaring in her ears. Her head felt chaotic. Her body felt on fire. She . . .
. The taste
of his blood was hot in her mouth and she didn’t wait to see if he would do as she asked. She bent her head to taste—him.
His breath hissed out in a long, slow trail of desire, heating her blood more. She parted her lips and took the head of his cock into her mouth. Instantly his hand dropped to her head, fingers buried in her hair. She was aware of the pull on her scalp, but whether to guide her or to pull her away, she wasn’t certain. Whatever his first intention, as she suckled, he gave in to the pleasure.
Her body felt hot, burning, flames licking at her skin with the same dark intensity as she was his cock. She no longer wanted her clothes and as she concentrated on learning the shape and feel of Isai’s cock with her mouth and tongue, she built a picture in her mind of herself without clothes, her skin rubbing along his. She was demanding, not submissive, her fingers digging into his sculpted buttocks as she began worshiping his cock with her mouth. He tasted like perfection. He felt that way. She didn’t want to ever stop, but her body burned.
I need you.
You are my lifemate.
She was. She totally was. At that moment she would have worn a neon sign in order to entice him to have sex with her.
The thought of another woman with him made her crazy.
I am your lifemate.
You accept me as your lifemate?
Her mouth clamped down on him, one hand working his cock with her fist, sliding it in and out of her mouth while her other hand cupped his heavy sac and worked much more gently. He was filling her mouth with his heat. His fire. With that addictive, perfect taste she would never be able to replace.
Julija. I have to have your consent.
I need you in me!
she wailed. She was burning from the inside out. Between her legs she was on fire. She sucked harder, becoming almost frantic.
Do you accept me as your lifemate?
Clearly, I’m your lifemate.
She was beginning to detest that word. She just wanted him. Like
Do that thing.
Now she was wild. Out of control. The burning was getting worse.
That thing you do when you bind us together. So there’s no going back.
She was going to have him. Take him. Keep him. This man was going to be hers.
You are certain?
In answer, she sucked harder and took him deeper. His girth stretched her lips and there was no way to get him as deep as she wanted, which was just to swallow him down, but she tried. She was staking her own claim on him.
The hands in her hair became two tight fists.
“Te avio päläfertiilam. Éntölam kuulua, avio päläfertiilam.”
Speak English. I don’t know everything you’re saying.
She should have stopped what she was doing, but she couldn’t. Her mouth clamped over his cock like a vise and she suckled strongly, her tongue lashing at him, dancing up and down, needing to know him intimately. One hand began to slide downward along her belly, her body desperate for relief. He caught her hand and guided it back to his balls.
Ted kuuluak, kacad, kojed.
I belong to you.”
She agreed with him. No other woman was going to get her hands on him, not if she could help it. She really was frantic for him.
I offer my life for you.
I give you my protection.
. I give you my allegiance
. Sívamet andam
. I give you my heart.
. I give you my soul.”
She needed to know that he belonged solely to her. She liked that. No, she loved it. No one had ever been hers. She couldn’t say she’d ever had a family. She didn’t know love. She did know lust, and she totally was in lust with this man. Surely, that was a positive thing. He was giving her his allegiance. He meant it. She could hear it in his voice.
His hands were gentle on her face, slowly lifting her mouth from him. She chased after his cock while his thumb brushed at the tears on her face. “Little mage, you are definitely mine.”
“And you’re definitely mine.” She needed his reassurance.
He lifted her and she immediately circled his neck with her arms, locking her hands behind his head. He lowered her to the bed she’d slept in all day, coming down over her, his knee nudging her legs apart. Heart
pounding, she widened her thighs to accommodate him. To welcome him. He brushed kisses over her wet lashes and then she felt him, that thick, broad head pushing into her tight entrance. Her breath caught in her throat.
I give you my body.”
wanted his body. She tried to push herself onto him, but she was so tight, her muscles resisted his invasion. She didn’t care if he stretched her beyond burning. She needed him. Nearly sobbing, she bucked her hips and squirmed, desperate to take him all the way inside her. The birthmark over her left ovary began to glow, the dragon showing himself.
Isai’s breath caught in his throat and then he kissed the mark gently. Reverently. “Mark of Dragonseeker. It is strong in you,” he whispered. “
Sívamet kuuluak kaik että a ted.
I take into my keeping the same that is yours.”
He surged a little deeper and she almost couldn’t breathe. When he bent his head to hers, his sapphire eyes burning his claim into her, his dark hair brushing like fingers over her skin, she couldn’t look away. Then he was kissing her with exquisite tenderness. He lifted his head, so their gazes collided, and she was held prisoner in all that blue.
Ainaak olenszal sívambin.
Your life will be cherished by me for all my time.
Te élidet ainaak pide minan.
Your life will be placed above mine for all time
He began to move in her, all the while those eyes staring into hers, as if he could see right into her soul. He held her as if she was the most treasured, precious woman in the world. She felt like she was truly beautiful, cherished, maybe even loved. He looked as if he knew her, and maybe he did, he’d been in her mind.
Te avio päläfertiilam.
You are my lifemate. I’m so grateful that you’re the one, Julija. That you are mine.”
She was more than grateful he was hers. She almost didn’t believe it, but it was difficult to refute it when he was looking right into her eyes. She could barely blink. She certainly couldn’t look away. “I feel the same,” she whispered, praying he was for real. That this wasn’t some elaborate illusion or dark, sinister plot against her. She wouldn’t be able to live through another one, not whole and intact. “Be real, Isai. Please, be real.”
“I am going to be so real most of the time, my little mage, that you
will wish me otherwise.” His voice was warm with amusement, but it was also a warning.
She chose to ignore that. She found herself lifting her hips to meet his every stroke, urging him on with one hand to his hip.
Ainaak sívamet jutta oleny.
You are bound to me for all eternity.”
She wanted to be bound to him. Maybe he would drive her insane, but he would be hers. They would fight their enemies together. She needed that. She needed someone to care whether she lived or died.