After sleeping until early the following evening, well over a full day after Alaric healed her, Cassie rose refreshed and energized. Her body was completely healed. The cut and egg shaped lump on her head were gone, as was the pain and swelling in her knee.
Her mind swam with thoughts and feelings, many of which conflicted with each other just as they had for the past few weeks. Although, now there was a difference. There was a different tone to some of those thoughts as if she were an antenna tuned into a radio station. She could hear and feel what was projected to her but now she could feel it as an echo, its clarity more pronounced but separate. It didn't originate from her.
For the first time in, well, what seemed like a very long time, she felt as though she wasn't losing her mind. There was logic to what was going on with her.
She felt smugly confident as she dressed and headed down stairs to find Alaric.
Entering the study, Alaric sat in his wingback chair facing the blazing fire, his chin resting on one hand thoughtfully as he stared sightlessly into the fire. He immediately straightened when Cassie entered. She was looking for him he knew. Their connection was so much stronger since he gave her his blood to heal her. He could almost feel her stomach grumbling from the long absence of food. He also knew that what she was hungry for was not to be found in the kitchen. It was residing in the wingback chair in front of her.
"I've figured it out," she said, leaning close to his ear.
"What have you figured out?" he asked, noticeably agitated by the playful look in her eye.
"We're connected. We share all of each other's emotions. You know when I'm afraid or in danger, …among other things," looking him deep in the eye with a seductive leer. "Am I right?" probing for acknowledgement as she sauntered around to the front of his chair to face him, trailing her index finger along the arm in a sultry manner.
"It would appear that way, Yes," came his hesitant reply. His eyes followed her attentively. He didn't need to enquire why she was asking, even without their bond, her body language left no doubt in his mind that she intended to experiment with this connection and test his power of self control. And, he was powerless to stop her.
Her will was clearly determined, powerful and so utterly seductive, it burned a path of arousal more compelling than any temptation he had ever experienced before.
She levelled her purposeful gaze on him. Leaning down to him, her flushed lips brushed lightly over the ridge of his ear. "I crave the time when your body is wrapped around mine," she told him, the heat of her breath and her words flying through him like an arrow to its mark. He suffocated the groan in his throat, but only barely.
The Professor and Lilith had left earlier and Mrs Philpot too had retired to her rooms. Alex and Narayan were deep in a discussion about the Buddhist way of life, so she announced casually to the three men present that she was going to have a long hot bath and turn in early. Alex and Narayan absently bade her goodnight.
Every muscle in Alaric's body stiffened as she bent down and sweetly kissed his nose, his agonised cock stiffened most of all. He could smell the liquid heat of her arousal tantalizing the air, intoxicating his senses.
She was determined to get her way.
He was determined that she wouldn't.
The minutes ticked by as he sat in his chair by the fire, resolved to stay strong and not give in to her obstinate will. Ten minutes passed, then twenty minutes, and when it reached thirty minutes, he quietly congratulated himself on winning his inner battle.
As he began to relax, a potent wave of sensation of arousal washed over him engulfing his senses and his will. His breathing quickened as his desire mounted. His cock was a steel rod in an instant. His craving became too great to bear. He didn't know what she was doing but it was working. He knew he would be utterly compliant with her demands. A tormented groan escaped his lips as the heavy length in pants jerked with need.
Alaric had spent the last five hundred years of his existence strengthening his will to overcome temptation, and this one woman had broken down all his barriers without any effort, leaving him barely capable of a feeble attempt at denying her.
He followed her scent to the top of the staircase and along the hallway. He expected to find her in her room, but that wasn't where her scent led. Further down the corridor, his bedroom door lay open. The aroma of sandalwood bath oils and the sound of water splashing in the tub lured him closer. The light within was dim, pulsating with a soft amber glow of a multitude of candles.
She didn't turn when he entered. Her hair was bundled up on top of her head, but loose enough that curling whisps spilled around her like a crown of spiralling silk. The ivory claw-footed bathtub brimmed with bubbly, steaming water. She lay in the bath with her eyes closed, one hand on the rim of the bath, the other engaged in finding the tender spot between her thighs.
The sly vixen had found his weakness. Cassie projected to him the sensation of her nimble fingers caress of the sensitised hardening nub of her clitoris and her vision of him being the owner of those talented and dextrous fingers. Her quiet mewling sounds of pleasure fuelled his imagination.
His craving for her grew in unison with hers. This was one fantasy he could experience in reality.
He moved forward and sat silently on the edge of the bath beside her, removing the sponge from her hand and soaked it in the water.
"I'll wash your back," he offered, his voice husky with restrained desire.
She leaned forward, barely breathing, afraid at any moment he would come to his senses and run away again.
His hand moved over the incredibly soft and smooth skin of her neck and down across her back, caressing every inch of her as he went. She leaned back against him and drew his hand around in front of her, aching for the feel of his hands all over her body.
Gently he sponged her throat and she turned her head to the side to nuzzle into him. His hand moved downwards to her breasts, his thumb skimming over the taut thrust of her clearly aroused nipple. Cassie practically melted under his touch. He caressed them, first one, then the other, cupping them and kneading them gently, feeling their fullness and softness. His fingers teased and pinched them lightly as she arched her back and leaned into him further. Her body pressed into his harder one with a barely audible groan of pleasure.
His hand moved lower across her stomach, engraving the contours of her body into his memory. Tendrils of steam wrapped around him, carrying the potent perfume of erotic desire and seductive oils making him giddy. He was entranced by her siren's call.
Every searching caress was like a slow heady beat that thrummed through her body. She closed her eyes, drawing in a deep breath.
His lips brushed her neck, kissing her softly, his tongue licking at the beads of moisture there. The sponge forgotten, his hands moved smoothly across her abdomen, down to the soft curls at the base. His fingers explored the space between her thighs replacing her own, parting the folds of soft flesh to find the tight swollen nub of her desire. Her pulse quickened and she groaned with pleasure at his touch, her legs opening further, arching her hips up into his caress. Her hands grasped his strong arms as he held her from behind. His heated musky scent intoxicated her already roused body.
"Do you have any idea how much I want you?" he asked, his voice hoarse with pent-up need and barely leashed impulses. His free hand cupped her face gently to keep her pressed against him.
"Probably not half as much as I want you," she answered breathlessly, her tongue licking out over his neck in a sweeping stroke. Such a sensitive and erotic part of a vampire's body, his control shuddered with growing weakness. She knew how to push all his buttons.
"Don't bet on it." His eyes were alive with the fire that burned through his veins.
The faint amber glow painted her eyes with a mysterious light, seductive and alluring.
"I knew you'd figure out our connection eventually," he whispered, nipping at her damp neck.
Rising from the tub, covered from her neck to her toes in bubbles, he watched her, his eyes blazing with passion and lust. Seductively she let down her hair and took the towel from the railing and offered it to him to dry her. Still sitting on the edge of the bath, he turned her around and dried her back and legs tenderly, thoroughly. A slight tremor rippled through her body of nervous anticipation.
He sat still, his attention riveted with awareness to every movement and every touch she made, and she knew that she literally had his attention and desires at her fingertips.
An instinctual primitive part of him bucked and reared at her wickedly seductive confrontation. His hands clutched her waist and turned her back to face him, her breasts only inches from his face, goading him to explore them further.
Cassie heard him utter an oath beneath a guttural sound of desire. A sly, knowing smile touched her lips.
"You didn't think you could avoid me forever, did you?" she answered back, returning the nip to his ear. "Do you have this sort of connection with everyone you exchange blood with?" nipping at his neglected ear.
"No. Just you."
"Then why have you tried so hard to stay away from me? And, don't give me some story about a promise to the Elders."
"You talk too much." This wasn't a conversation he wanted to have with her now. It wasn't a conversation he wanted to have with her, ever.
He grasped her firmly and drew her up his thighs and into his lap, seating her with incredible intimacy against him. She made a gasping sound of surprise as his iron hardness rubbed through her moist exterior folds, her gasp turning into a long, sweetly pained moan.
"Ahh," he growled softly in her ear. "Finally, you understand that two can play at this game."
"All evidence seems to point in my favour," her sly tone daring him to refute her as she flexed her hips to rub him more firmly against her.
The torturous manoeuvre he had initially intended as a teasing reprimand, once again backfired as the passionate friction drove his body into an inferno of desire.
Never one to be outdone or manipulated, he was faced with a conundrum. "We'll see about that," he growled hoarsely.
Her snicker of feminine victory turned to a groan of surprised delight when his hips flexed, grinding himself against her with great precision. Her back arched as a teasing finger slid into her welcoming heated flesh between her thighs, caressing the responsive depths with equal skill as she lifted into him. Her sweet scent washed over him, as did a surge of craving that struck him hard.
She could feel his impressive arousal against the very centre of herself. His body was hard, hot and straining against barriers of fabric to reach her, so close and yet just beyond reach. She made an abandoned sound of pleasure, wriggling up his dominant frame instinctively.
Her fingers curled through his hair, twisting and stroking as he pulled her closer. His body ached for her, his mind was captured by her, his soul needed her and his heart loved her more deeply than anything he had ever experienced before. It drowned out the last rational thought in his brain that urged him to run far, far away.
His lips brushed her nipple, teasing the peak until it became tight and hard in his mouth, her naked hips pressed hard against him. He felt the thunderous beat of her heart against her breasts, the vibration throbbing through his entire body, a mantra of hunger that licked through his body at an intensifying pace.
She began unbuttoning his shirt one by one. His shirt fell from his chiselled torso, muscles rippled beneath the smooth skin as he stood to unfasten his trousers, reluctantly lowering her to the floor. Her hand slid inside to tenderly caress his iron hard erection, eliciting a groan of delight as his hips flexed in anticipation.
He looked so damned sexy standing there. Tall and broad and aroused. His face was tense, his body taught. The muscles in his abdomen were tight, drawing her gaze to his thighs as his trousers hit the floor. Oh man, he was like a perfect sculpture of a sex god. And all hers.
"You are beautiful," she whispered as she closed her fingers over the rigid evidence of his need.
Colour deepened in his cheeks. "If you say so," he groaned.
"You're not going to push me away again?" she asked, caught between disbelief and relief.
"You have my cock in your hand. I have no will left to fight you. Just don't stop."
He devoured her mouth. His aggressive kiss so masculine in its flavour and force, thrust past her lips, his velvet tongue demanding reciprocation from her. She clung to him as he carried her to the bed, laying her gently on top of the soft sheets, nestling himself in the heated cradle between her legs, her thighs arching up to meet him.
He was beyond the capability of holding back.
Her body melded perfectly with his, her soft form like putty, meant to take the impression of his form against her. They were two pieces of a puzzle, cut apart but always meant to be perfectly reunited together.
His lips caressed her jaw, down the pulsing temptation of her throat, his hands continued their thorough exploration. She made a small sound. Alaric groaned as her sweet erotic flavour filled his senses. Cassie grabbed his face and pulled him back to her lips. Her bold, sweeping tongue forced a heightened clarity of need and sensation through every cell in his body. Her deft fingers wound themselves deeply into his hair, sending chills of awareness down his spine.
A more aggressive pleasure filled groan escaped her lips and radiated through him. What that simple sound did to him was indescribable. It burned a path through him, scorching him in unbridled escalating need. He was only a breath away from losing all control.
He didn't want to hurt her.
His hands were suddenly surrounding her face, cupping it between his palms in an effort to pull away from her, to recover his breath and his control. He wanted to take it slowly and savour every moment, memorise every touch and movement between them.
She writhed beneath his dominant frame, unable to get her body close enough to him, as though she was a compass and he was magnetic north, drawing her closer. His mind touched hers with a gentle caress. Her eyes lifted to meet his strong and steady gaze, radiating into her every pure and untainted pleasure he found in her touch, anchoring them together on every level. Their hearts beat in unison, their minds melded as one. She had never experienced anything like it. How was it possible to feel so much pleasure and remain sane.
Her entire body lit up with the heat of response, a flood of molten liquid rushing madly to the silky crest between her thighs. Every nerve was on fire. The swollen bundle of nerves between the sensitive folds throbbed with demanding need.
Her desire flooded his senses, solidifying his weighted flesh into granite, the ache of brutal need impossible to bear.
His mouth came down on hers. His tongue flicked against her lips, teasing them, heating her further, devouring her greedily as his tongue explored the sweet depths with his savage kiss until she was gasping for air and practically chanting a sound of encouragement that scraped over his already raw senses.
His arms held her so tight she could barely breathe. But, it wasn't enough, she needed….more.
Purposefully she trailed her fingers across his lower back, reaching down to grip the cheeks of his backside, her sharp nails digging in until he flexed his hips into her again.
She felt the swell and pulsing urgency of his erection, pressing so close to the entrance of her incessant desire. It sharpened her own hunger, the need to have him deep within her body surged through her. "Please, I need you," she pleaded, her hips lifting further, rubbing against him in an effort to seat him where she so desperately needed him to be.
Her nails bit into his shoulders when a guttural growl rumbled from deep within his chest, sending an erotic vibration through her body. She threw her head back, a fevered gasp escaping her control when her internal muscles convulsed in urgency, inadvertently exposing the soft skin of her throat and the vein pulsing wildly beneath.
His response was raw, primal. A driving hunger of pure instinct. In that moment the physical needs of his body transcended his centuries long celibacy.
With a deep growl, Alaric held her fast beneath him as his cock breached her hot tight entrance, sheathing himself deep inside her in one long hard thrust.
His mind probed hers to feel every sensation he caused in her as his hard cock penetrated her depths to the hilt. Powerful strokes burned her senses, igniting nerves she never knew existed. Sensation cascaded through her body, breaking apart and reforming again as he branded her with his strident rhythm.
The sweet, hot flesh that surrounded him clasped at him, in a demanding embrace, tight, rippling caresses washing over his erection as he worked it into her, first short, desperate thrusts and then hard lunges as his desperation and hunger surged through him. She met him stroke for stroke, so eager and wild, doubling the sensation of every movement he made into her.
She clutched him tighter as each thrust threw her higher, driving her closer, culminating in an implosion of such strength, such depth that there was no control, no restraint.
"I love you. Oh God, Alaric I love you." The truthful words whispered free, her heart expanding as her soul slipped free of its bonds, lifting, shuddering, opening to accept him so deeply inside herself, she knew even death could never separate them.
He was lost in the searing inferno of sensation inside her. She tightened around him like a passionate vice, milking him with dynamic thoroughness until his own release began bursting deep inside her core, a cataclysmic explosion that turned him completely inside out.
His blood lust rose in parallel need and he sank his teeth into her neck increasing their climax threefold. Her body milked his as he suckled her throat in spasms of ecstasy, leaving the most powerful vampire in the world without a single ounce of strength.
He fought for breath. He had no idea that pleasure could tear the world out of his grasp, that a release could recreate heaven and earth itself. For the first time in his unnaturally long life, he felt complete. A freedom of his soul so pure, it felt like life itself.
She gripped him fiercely, refusing to release him, whispering his name, shudders of pleasure still racing up her spine. And, he didn't want her to release him. He wanted her to hold him inside her forever.
They lay in each others arms reliving the shivery aftershocks of orgasm, exhausted and sated.
"See you didn't hurt me," she laughed after they'd recovered their breath. "But I might have hurt you if I didn't have my way with you tonight. You have been driving me crazy." she chided playfully.
Alaric laughed with her, although in his mind she had already done a pretty good job of tormenting him well before his willpower crumbled under the pressure.
"How did you know I was worried about hurting you?" he asked.
"This mind connection goes both ways, remember?"
"Right." That was going to take some getting used to.
Alaric lay there silently, stroking the tangle of knots from her hair.
"Alaric," her sexy voice stroked through him. "Are you okay?"
He didn't know how to answer her. On one hand, he felt better than he ever imagined possible. On the other, he had just crossed over into wild, unchartered territory.
But, when her eyes met his own, he could see her need for him and her affection. It mirrored the depth of his own feelings for her. It melted him completely.
"I'm just contemplating the future," he sighed.
"You worry too much. You should try living in the moment sometimes, it would do you good."
There was a concept he hadn't tried in a while.
He chuckled against her warm neck, holding her tighter against him and did just that, enjoyed the moment.
"Now my love, I must go. I have to pay a visit to someone tonight which unfortunately I can't put off any longer."
The night air held a winter chill. Alaric pulled the blankets over her and kissed her tenderly as he moved to get dressed.
"I don't want to leave. Believe me, I would much rather be here in this bed with you." He added when her bottom lip dropped in a pout.
"So don't go," she appealed, dejectedly. Her hand slipped from under the covers to wrap around the heavy length of his growing need to possess her again. He groaned as he pushed himself further into her palm, a shiver of remembered rapture pulsing through him. Her caress was hypnotic perfection.
The heavy weight of his arousal rested in the palm of her hand. She opened her mind to him sharing her feelings of wonder and excitement of what it was like to touch him so intimately.
He was torn. His body screamed out its need to stay, but their future might very well depend on the results of this meeting.
He reluctantly removed her hand from his iron hard erection. The loss of her touch left him feeling hollow and empty again. How was it possible that one person could become so much a part of him, so easily. He was irrevocably attached to her, his very soul sewn to her own. He could not imagine taking himself away from her and managing to survive the segregation.
"Are you upset with me for seducing you?" she asked contritely, expecting to be chastised at least a little.
"No," taking her hand in his and kissing it, tracing the outline of her long slender fingers, interlocking his with hers. "I've wanted to be with you more than you could possibly know. I promise from now on, you'll find me a very eager partner, but I right now I really must go," he answered, smiling as she drew him down for another kiss, deep and passionate.
"Then, don't go yet," she mumbled against his lips, her body sliding against his seductively, pushing the blankets off with her feet to get closer to him.
What did it matter if he left in another hour or so. The night was still young he thought, as he began memorising every inch of her body again, this time much more slowly and thoroughly.