Never do that to us again. Give us a chance to at least convince you otherwise, curse you, Soleil Orpheline!
He nodded grimly at the memory. Every word was damn right, he thought, and his fingers curled into a fist. He hoped to hell that he would never be made to experience such helplessness again.
Throughout the night, the baron and the younger daughters had lectured Soleil about her penchant to keep her trouble to herself. And she had let them, never saying a word in her defense, and if she did speak, it was in calm, soothing tones.
Not once had he heard her cry, Ilie thought, and that alone convinced him he had to be here.
Even though it would have been better and safer to recuperate in Brimstone, he would never abandon Soleil in her time of need—-
Soleil’s bedroom door finally opened, and Ilie waited patiently for his heartkeeper to notice him. He watched her shut the door and promptly lean back against it, closing her eyes wearily.
When she opened her eyes and saw him, the marquis smiled. “Good morning.”
Soleil burst into tears.
As expected, Ilie thought in amusement.
In a blink, they were in bed, Soleil in his lap, and as he licked away her tears, he murmured, “Serves you right, thinking you could get away with something like that—-”
“Jerk is less of a mouthful, ma lisse.”
She sobbed obediently, “Jerk.”
He kissed her hard, and with her hands trapped between their bodies, Soleil could feel the way his heart thundered against his chest.
“Yes,” he gritted out, reading her unmasked thoughts with ease. “I’m still fucking terrified. I don’t think I will ever forget feeling so damn helpless.”
“I’m sorry.” But more than that, she thought dizzily, she was thankful to him. She stared at the marquis, wondering what could she have possibly done in her past life to deserve someone so exquisite like Ilie Marcovici.
“Don’t worry,” the marquis was muttering.
Even his tone was beautiful.
Everything about him was beautiful.
And he loved her!
He loved her!
“I’ll make you pay—-”
Her feelings spilled over, and she could no longer contain herself. She moved forward and covered her mouth with his.
She whispered brokenly in his mind, Milord…I love you.
A moment later, and he sighed raggedly, Damn you.
More tears streaked down Soleil’s cheeks. Demon. He really was a demon. No one but a demon could have made such words sound so unbearably sweet.
Silver eyes caught blue ones. How do I punish you when you say that?
She couldn’t answer, gasping as she was for in the next moment, he had her lying on her back under him.
And then he was undressing her—-
No, she protested. Milord, stop, no—-
Why not? But already he had managed to completely unbutton her dress and was now pulling the sleeves down her arms.
Desire blazed into life between them, and there was nothing she wanted more than to surrender herself to his touch.
Soleil cupped his face, forcing him to look at her. Are you not in pain, Ilie? She knew so little about heartkeeping, but she was at least certain it was not an easy process. A demon having a soul was like injecting alien DNA in one’s system, one that was parasitic in nature.
Ilie closed his eyes in pleasure. She had called him by his name. But then he thought about how he had gotten so damn close to losing her—-
To never hear her say his name again—-
A shudder racked the marquis’ powerful body, and this time when he moved, he did not pay her cried protests any heed. This time, he tore the rest of her undergarments away and the moment she was naked, he moved down between her legs, placed them over his shoulders, and sank his mouth into her.
Soleil arched off the bed, her eyes rolling back at the pleasure of his kiss.
He started thrusting his tongue in and out of her, and Soleil clawed the bed as she fought to keep her screams to herself. Oh dear Lord, this pleasure. It was not of this world. It could not be. The way his tongue slid against her folds, the way it stroked the insides of her pussy—-
His mouth moved up, and as his fingers thrust between her folds, his lips closed over the tiny swollen nub of flesh.
Covering her mouth, Soleil let out a wild gasp of pleasure.
His hands went under her bottom, cupping each cheek before pushing her up to his mouth.
His fingers drove in to the very deepest part of her.
She started to come.
He bit her clitoris.
And she realized just how hard an orgasm could be and how long it could last.
When she resurfaced, she could only whisper one thing.
How she loved him.
The marquis moved up, leaning his weight on one elbow as he stared down at her.
She touched his cheek. I love you.
His lips tightened. I hope you do. I hope you fucking mean it. His voice was tight. Because when I remember the way you felt, dying in my arms—-