She is the creature who dazzled the man in him.
She is the morsel that his wolf could not get enough of.
It was thoroughly entertaining, enough to distract them from asking too much about her real name and background. It was also infinitely embarrassing, enough to leave her torn between gagging him with his cravat and smothering him with kisses.
Dancing resumed after dinner, but the marquis invited her for a walk in the gardens. As they went down the marbled pathway, he asked her yet again about Zari’s visions. When he had her repeating everything for the third time, she shook her head, saying, “I, too, have gone over it several times, milord. I do not believe there is anything else I can do except be wary of the color blue.”
“True.” Without missing a step, the marquis carefully moved her to his other side as they continued on. When she looked over her shoulder, she saw that there were only rose bushes growing on his left.
And they were the shade of blue.
When she turned to him with merriment dancing in her eyes, he said flatly, “You may laugh all you want, but until you remain mortal, I will not take any chances.”
“Oh, Ilie.” He could be so dangerously sweet!
He stilled. “It has been a long time since you had last called me by my first name.” His gaze captured hers. “I like it…Soleil.”
Her cheeks became flushed with color, Soleil unable to believe the amount of pleasure she derived from simply hearing the marquis say her name. I’m being too, too silly. She knew this, and yet…she couldn’t stop herself from feeling that way.
How was it that being silly felt so glorious?
When they stopped, she saw that they had reached a pillared gazebo, hidden in the deeper and darker end of the garden, where there were more shadows than light. The marquis took a step towards her, and she found herself instinctively and breathlessly retreating until her back hit one of the pillars. She clutched it from behind, its massive width preventing her from even encircling it with her arms halfway.
The marquis placed his hands on the pillar, trapping her in his hold. “You have been captured.”
“And i-if I am?”
“Then you must submit to whatever I ask of you.”
Her heart slammed against her chest. “And w-what would you ask, milord?”
Her eyes widened.
“I wish to know if you truly possess not a single doubt that I may have something to do with your impending death?” It mattered to him very much that she did not. Ever since he had learned of the soul seer’s visions, Ilie had wondered what he would do if it turned out that Soleil did not trust him.
And if she didn’t, he could not even blame her for it. As a half-demon, his very nature did not inspire trust, and more so when one considered his duty as part of the Galere. His first loyalty would always be to the demon duke.
He gazed down at her. “Milady?”
She swallowed, the hooded look in her eyes ironically making it clear just how much her answer meant to him. Her entire life, she had been trained to distrust otherworlders and most especially demons. They were the reason she had been cursed, the reason she had been sentenced to die as an infant.
But even so—-
“If only,” she whispered unevenly, “truth serums also worked in making people confess their feelings, then I would—-ah—-what are you doing?” she ended up half-hissing, half-shrieking.
“A reward…” The marquis’ fingers were inhumanly swift as they made short work of the row of pearl buttons at the back of her gown. “For your trust—-”
What? A cool breeze touched her now-naked back, and she gasped, “I don’t need a reward—-”
He smiled down at her. “Then it is a reward for myself.” The last button was released, and then the marquis was pulling the gown off her shoulders.
But it was too late, the gown falling to the floor.
“Milord—-oh.” He had not wasted time, his mouth latching on one nipple, and her eyes closed. He began kneading her already aching breasts, and she couldn’t stop herself from clutching his head and pressing her nipple deeper into his mouth.
Oh, how addictive this sensation was!
Heat churned inside of her when he did the same thing to her other breast, its flames licking higher and higher, touching every part of her body. But when he started to move his mouth down, she shook her head. “W-wait!”
He lifted his head.
“I w-want it to be different.” She could feel her cheeks turning pink as she spoke. “You keep doing it…” She swallowed. “I want it to be my…turn.”
Ah. He straightened to his full height. “Do you mean—-” His lips curved in a knowing smile. “You wish to have my cock in your mouth?”
Her eyes flew to him in a mixture of embarrassment and vexation, and she exclaimed, “Must you always be so explicit?”