“You’re a fool. Don’t pretend you did what you did as a favor to me,” he said bitterly.

I swallowed hard. “We’re both fools. But I want you to tell me that you could have made Arch with an unknown Other on your arm.” He was silent. “Exactly. I get it. I handled the break-up badly. You have every right to hate me for that. But I didn’t exactly have to return a ring when I left you.”

“What the f**k does that mean?” His voice was a shout. He was back in my face in a flash.

“It means that you weren’t going to give up Arch, and I wasn’t going to make you. So maybe we aren’t such fools, after all.”

“Bullshit. That’s all bullshit. The only problem we had that couldn’t be worked out was your propensity for f**king other men.” I kept my expression blank, but my nails dug into my palms hard enough to draw blood. “At least have the decency to take credit for a decision you made alone.”

I inclined my head towards him. “I take it. I always have.”

He stared at me for awhile. “How was I with you for so many years and I never saw how cold you are? Your element must be ice.” He’d done some research. Not many knew much about the dragon elements.

Each dragon adopted a different element. It was the gnosis to our power. And the focus. The element colored every magic we had. In my clan, fire was believed to be the most powerful element, but I had always been skeptical. Every element could wield equal power in the right hands. Fire simply put on the biggest show.

“Is that a question?” I finally asked.

He just shook his head at me. “I can’t believe you’ve trusted the dragonslayer all this time. But perhaps trust is the wrong word. You know what he’d do if he found out what you are. He couldn’t help himself. An unfulfilled destiny is a powerful thing to come between friends.”

I smiled at him sadly. “Indeed. It’s a problem without a solution. The story of my life.”

“Maybe you like your life like that. I mean, how perverse do you have to be, to be a dragon, with a slayer for a best friend?” He wasn’t being funny, he was being mean, but strangely, it still made me want to laugh.

I smiled wryly. “Pretty perverse, I suppose. No more perverse than the druid King who lives in the desert.” He glared at me for the jab, but was silent. “Are you bringing any charges against him?”

His mouth hardened. “I don’t see the point. He won’t learn anything, and he’s too stupid to be humbled.”

“Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me.”

We were silent for awhile, and I thought we were done. We didn’t look at each other. “The dragons won’t stop hunting you. None have been born to your clan since you left. I got the impression that your clan was very short on females.”

I shrugged. I always assumed I was being hunted. And I didn’t want to talk about The Purging. “Are you having them followed?”

“Of course. They wait patiently at the hotel for my answer. You should wear more clothing,” he commented, changing the subject suddenly. “You never used to dress like that.”

I rolled my eyes, still not looking at him. “I always dressed like this to work out. I didn’t come here expecting a meeting.”

“Does it work, not looking at me?”

I shrugged, still not looking. “It helps some. I haven’t jumped you, so that’s a good sign.”

“So much has changed, but the wanting hasn’t gone away. Do you suppose it was only ever lust?” he asked. Ouch, that one hurt. I tried to shake it off. His shot had hit it’s mark squarely, though. I only wished it had been aimed to take out my libido.

Finally, I met his stare. It hurt my chest just to look at him. The pain was sharp and enduring. He was the only thing in my life I’d ever wanted badly enough that it made me shake like an addict.

I had never been like him. His absolute faith in our love, in our ability to be together, in spite of the odds, had floored me. And I had stolen it from him. And from myself. In the cruelest way that I could think of.

I’d never just been with him, thinking it would last forever. I’d always known the clock was ticking on our affair. My sense of borrowed time had always been acute. But it still made me ache to know I’d never have him like that again. A brief taste of his body only made it harder to bear the permanent loss of his love. Still, I couldn’t seem to stop myself from coming back for more.

“Maybe,” I said vaguely. “We can always just blame our libidos.”

“I’ve grown rather accustomed to blaming you,” he said with a rare combination of bitterness and humor.

A corner of my mouth lifted slightly. I shrugged. “Join the club.”

He moved toward me, and that was all it took to sweep me back in.

He backed me deliberately into the wall, pressing hard against me until I gasped from the sheer, solid contact. “Ask me for it,” Dom growled at me, and it was clearly an order. He was trying to get a reaction, I thought. I wasn’t in the mood to balk at his methods, though.

I ripped his shirt open. My hand slid down his chest and directly to his heavy erection. I gripped him with just the right amount of pressure that I knew he would love. “Please, Arch, may I have this?” I asked without a hint of mirth.

He answered by gripping my hair and pulling down until I went to my knees. I freed him from his pants and he buried both hands in my hair, pulling me towards his length. I obliged eagerly, taking him into my mouth with wet lips pulled taut over my teeth. I sucked him hard, drawing a groan out of him that I knew he was reluctant to give. I began the familiar rhythm that I knew he wanted, and that I myself relished. I used my hands at his base in a wet, twisting motion, and took him deep into my throat. He held my head and pushed into me. I felt the very air around us changing when he was close to release. He climaxed deep in my throat with a muffled groan, and I swallowed. I pulled back to look up at him, licking my lips. He put a hand on the wall, leaning heavily against it for a moment, but he’d always been quick to recover.

He lifted me back up to stand not even a minute later. And this time it was him that knelt, pulling down my tiny lycra boy shorts and my lacy thong in one efficient movement. He buried his face against my core, throwing one of my legs over his shoulder, and his clever tongue had me screaming in seconds. “Please,” I said, even after I came. I loved what he could do to me with his mouth, but it never felt complete until I had him buried deep inside of me.

Tags: R.K. Lilley Heretic Daughters Vampires
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