Steady pressure, sliding up and down with sure, even insistence. Arm working tirelessly, unable to stop unless told, focused on the pulsing warmth it stroked. Blunt fingers, resting on soft curls freed of manmade confinement, tightened slightly. Their heat branded a cool scalp, pressure bending a yielding neck. Tiny, tiny touches that shouted out silent commands.
Wet and cool slid down to suckle the pulsing tip, the slow strokes continuing roughened skin brushing against soft lips on the upstroke. This fierce, powerful beauty reduced to whimpering as it moved in response to those tiny touches. Actions scripted to fine detail, keeping arousal a dim background hum while more important matters were attended to.
Xander turned the page.
Bobbing up and down brought cracked, aged dead skin to repeatedly thump against unlined, aged dead skin. The offending object would not be moved, despite the regular jolts, and the angle could not be changed, not without permission. But blue eyes never looked above dark brown curls. Borrowed blood filled the area that was repeatedly hit, turning it dark and painful. Whines, almost dog-like in pitch, vibrated against an object of reverence, wordless gratitude for the growing hurt.
The dull, thudding sound grew more frequent, the whimpering cries spiraling with it. A foot encased in hard, steel-toed leather moved just enough that it slid between thighs to locate a swollen bulge—and pressed the toe up, flattening the swelling back against bone. Hard. A sharp cry, a twitch, and the breathy begging took on an air of veneration, wetness increasing as the sounds made hardness impossibly harder.
The chapter was nearly completed when the old book was abruptly shut and tossed onto the bed. Two convenient hand-holds were grabbed, forcing the wet suction to sink down completely. Choked off groans competed with the aria below, a symphony of supine mastery.
As a long, pink tongue delicately lapped glistening flesh clean, dark eyes looked down for the first time. “We’re going out.”
Hands resumed the steady stroking, ostensibly to soak up moisture. Obsequious rapture gleamed from eyes gone colorless in reflected glory, the begging returning to wing its way through the still air.
“We’re going out.” A hint of growled warning, and the begging became instant supplication. “Hey.” Standing, calloused hands pulled the crouching body upward, unsurprised when eyes dropped and became fascinated with cracked concrete. “I take care of you.”
The younger voice held in it the unspoken command to remember the week past. Rules and boundaries had been established; hot, fiery pleasure forcing pain into acceptable retreat. One hand burned into a black-clad shoulder, holding the unmoving body steady as the other snaked south to cup the source of exquisite agony. Gentle, gentle touches, so gentle that it was worse than any pain, whisked along distended denim.
“Yours.” The unspoken word that followed screamed through sex-scented silence, and a hip was instantly cocked, thrusting a thigh to rub up against the beginnings of renewed interest. Flex and twitch produced a groan—and a wicked smile.
They left, walking slowly until limbs relearned how to move with slightly rearranged anatomy. Purposeful swagger developed where none had been before, proud of the increase instead of hiding it. Following was shrunken bravado, burning pain creating panting pleasure.
Their destination was dark and dirty. It should have produced unease or outright fear to the one who had been a nervous, bumbling boy not a week before. Instead it slid on like second skin, leaving the one who should have felt comfortable feeling alone and out of place. Drinks were ordered and sipped as they scanned the crowded bar.
“There.” Casual and comfortable, subtly pointing out the goal the book had indicated. “Think you can handle that?”
“Yes.” Again, the unspoken word drifted through smoke and noise.
Unvoiced plans created, they moved apart to ghost through gyrating bodies, sweat slicking their paths. Arriving at their destinations, one goaded while the other waited. The one who waited called upon skills hard-learned to lie with eyes and cheeks and lips. The hidden concern was new, unusual and unwelcome, yet it slithered and snaked through long-dead organs and would not be dislodged. The risk was great, and there were many yards and a wall between predator and protection.
Yet the door soon opened, revealing horns and slime and protruding parts, followed by blank-faced control. Anxiety fled into heated purpose and the threat the Watcher and his Slayer had bemoaned so continuously was quickly and efficiently removed.
Harsh breathing broke the red-tinged aura, bringing back the empty alley way and the human less than two feet away. Remaining crouched, attention was turned towards the electrifying sounds, the heat and fire provoking a straining reaction. A tentative question whined into the cool night air.
“Good,” came the gruff response, further words lost as the door again opened and three figures full of blood and breath and sweat exited the crowded mass indoors.
Drunken assumptions took in the tableau, ignoring strange lumps and colors that were out of place even in jaundiced shadows, just one man, aroused and confident, with another crouching in submissive adoration at his feet. Drunken hate took over, bravado hurling insults at figures that did not respond. The lack made them bolder, wilder in their rage, kicking up refuse with feet and mouths.
The silence lasted until tainted hands reached out to take what the crouching figure offered.
A flurry of movement, skills useless against superior strength and speed, more than adequate against drunken husks. Scattered under the onslaught of honed rage, only two remained—one too frightened to do more than scent the air with ammonia, the other dependent on alcoholic-fueled confidence to wield a six-inch knife.
Wrist grabbed, twisted, and a new, more confident grip on the plastic hilt drove one attacker to collapse in fear. The other continued to struggle until, already cut on both arms, he was punched full in the face. He dropped to lie unmoving beside his companion.
Smells warred in the confined area, providing their own intoxicating mixture. The decay of waste, some human-made, both fresh and old; the base for the sweet, sweet scent of coppery terror. The whine returned, nearly inaudible, and the wicked smile twisted innocent features. “Drink.”
Hairless features lifted up to stare in stunned surprise—before hurriedly obeying.
Desperate mouth, long starved and forced to live on swill fastened over the leaking wound to suck and suck and suck. No teeth, never teeth despite their razored sharpness, but hot, rich, burning taste splashed over deadened nerves, running in crimson trails down baby soft skin.
Dilated eyes watched with breathless heat as mindless thrusting against nothing joined the wet sucking. Familiar sounds and motions led to familiar responses. High-pitched whines overpowered the wet, drawn out sounds of suck and pull, and that too fueled the overwhelming need to press and touch and claim.
A low moan of pained waking caused noise and movement to still. Panic crossed over the monster’s face, forced circumstances denying previous options, but the human merely smiled. Warm hands lifted the knife to send it crashing down to land solidly on the temple of the waking body, the second one hit as well to ensure privacy.
“More?” Desperate whining sounded out in answer, making the confident smile grow wider.
Dull, gleaming edge dragged through soft, buttery skin, spilling a bounty of scarlet pleasure. A steady call of breathless hallelujah as a grasping, greedy mouth sucked at twin fountains.
“Don’t kill them.” Two more taps with the hilt, one more slice with the blade, and logic slowly forced the possessive desire to release its hold. Shaking hands removed traces of person from the scene while verifying that the grey, sickly pallor was not the chalkiness of death.
Satisfied that neither would be able to identify their attackers—a dark hat had already covered conspicuous locks—the trip back was rapid, driven by nerves that smoked and burned.
Reaching home, the smaller figure was shoved down broken stairs, landing in a dazed heap, then hauled up and thrown bodily onto the more yielding mattress. Hands, shaking from need, yanked off offending black jeans and pulled soft round globes into easy position.
“Master!” The cry was pure joy through the pain of entry softened only slightly by natural secretions. Rough and hard, harsh grunts of control mixed with whimpers of worshipful gratitude. Large, warm hands slid underneath the bucking body, squeezing tightly in a confused need for sharing and purchase, all at once. In and out and back and forward, slowly coated by sweat and drops of streaked crimson, the frantic movements shook the room, the returned symphony swelling up in grand crescendo of need and take and give.
“Yours.” A further twitch and words crowded a tight throat. “Only yours.”
“Mine.” Grunt of ownership.
“Never share?” Well paid teachers echoed in perfectly formed syllables, tone and inflection carefully controlled.
The howl of rage was an eloquent response.
Thrusts became even more brutal, pushing bent knees straight, trapping hands between double weight and savage force and, like before, there was no other answer needed.
Another word, the last word, pushed past throat muscles, to shape lips and tongue mashed down into worn cotton. “Again?”
It should not have been heard, lost in broken fibers and rusted springs, buried under the continuous cries that vibrated the throat even while forcing out the single word. It should have died under the authoritative sound of thrust and moan and pant.
It slid inside, trapped within the sea of instinct, of animal intensity, of liquid thoughts that burned with white-hot heat, focused on the tight, grasping flesh that yielded so prettily. The word echoed there. No disgust greeted the hesitant request, made with the knowledge that whatever the answer, nothing would change. Nothing wanted to change. This was the begging desire to fill a need that could not otherwise be fulfilled. Not without help.
Voices rose up in sharp denial, the strident cry of feminine disapproval, combined with softly accented explanations and persuasive reasoning. Lessons imprinted on an impressionable mind recounted themselves in harmony.
The voices were easily banished under the sound of that soft, mewling cry of want and need. Of pleasure and pain so tightly knit they joined, a Gregorian chant not to an unseen, unfelt presence but one seen and most definitely felt. The one who created the pain and the pleasure, who fulfilled the want and the need, and was fulfilled by it.
Muscles clenched, ignoring the circling question, warned by the loss of violent rhythm and uncontrollable shaking. The soft sounds increased, driving the pleasure up even higher for the one who took. “Mine!” was howled into sweat-shiny skin, essence rushing from one to the other to lie pooled on worn fabric, soaking into pale skin. It was long minutes before movement could be contemplated, the pounding heart echoing through two chests, while gulping gasps melded with ever-present cries.
Resigned to no answer, the one who gave followed previous orders, cleaning up and curling up at the bottom of the bed. A toe poked into a rib staved off impending dreams, bringing back abrupt awareness. Two eyes gleamed in dawning light, unreadable reflections.
“Come here.” The lithe body, strong now from an unexpected banquet, crawled to lie lengthwise next to simmering warmth. Strong arms pulled cool flesh closer, removing the barrier of several inches of fresh, dry sheets.
“Master.” An inadequate offering of gratitude, forehead pressed against a collarbone, ear poised to listen to the beat of a contented heart. Large hands stroked over soft hair, down cool skin to tickle and play with discovered imperfections on a bloodless back.
“You liked that?”
“Yes, master.” Hints of a worshipful aria from hours before.
“Me, too.” Hands tightened their hold in possessive fervor. “All of it.” Rhythmic in and out, bathing classic features in wet warmth. “That bar had a lot of demons. We could go after them in a few days.”
The sleeping human did not hear it, but the vampire did. The sound of a collar, dangling open for so long, snapping shut. Snug and firm against a long, pale neck, it soothed the jagged fears that not even a rich meal could not ease. The vague uncertainties of a risky plan vanished, leaving the contented feeling of a job well done.
Relaxed into purring repose, Spike laid his head on his master’s chest, and let the heartbeat lull him to sleep.