Part 1House of Immortal PleasuresCopyright © 2010 by Katie SalidasThis book is for ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. It contains substantialsexually explicit scenes and graphic language which may be considered offensive by some readers.
Connor knew the signals; her body relaxed under his attentive hands. She would give in. They always did. His chest puffed with pride as the thick, sweet scent of her pheromones slowly permeated the air. He enjoyed the caramel scent of her arousal, knowing her body would be filling her mind with sexual need. His own body began to tighten, his cock swelled in reaction. She slumped backwards into his chest, giving him an ample view of her breasts. Her nipples were already hard, tiny pebbles, visible through her white cotton top.
She spoke in a sing-song, peaceful voice. “No, I’m nowhere close to getting married.” A small moan escaped as he deepened the pressure again, pressing harder into her tight muscles.
“Such a shame.” He lowered his head, his voice deep as he whispered into her ear, “A man would be a fool to not scoop up a beauty such as yourself.”
He felt the shiver of her reaction to his blatant seductive attempt. A knowing grin crept across his face. “So, why is it that your friends brought you here?” he continued, pretending the conversation was important. He knew she was already melting, turning into putty in his soothing, capable hands.
“They want me to have sex,” she said bluntly.
“Well.” He laughed. His hand sank lower, down her back. “That is obvious by the location they chose for you. People don’t usually come here for dinner and a movie. Surely you don’t have a problem getting men into your bed.”
Daphne’s head dropped sharply. He felt her muscles tense again. She took a deep breath.
Connor was taken aback by her sudden, unexpected reaction. His heart slammed hard in his chest. “Have I said something wrong?” His voice filled with concern. “I did not mean—”
“No, I’m fine,” Daphne said in a choked, whispering breath.
Connor reached around and guided her chin up so she could turn and look at him. Small tears welled in the corners of her eyes. He studied the deep emerald pools, reaching into her mind to see what could be causing her so much pain. The weight of her emotions hit him: fear, uncertainty, shame, and anger. Like a giant tidal wave of sadness, they crashed into him.
The image of a pale, pudgy, blond man came into view. He was naked and in the throes of passion with a woman who was not Daphne. That scene was the center of her pain. This man must have betrayed Daphne. The intensity of this memory and the flood of anguish he felt could only mean one thing: she’d had the terrible misfortune of walking in on this scene. It all made sense to him now.
Anger filled Connor’s mind as he lived her pain. He sensed the innocence in Daphne’s soul and found himself despising this man who had betrayed her. How could anyone harm such a sweet woman?
He blinked a few times, breaking the mental connection, and calming his inner rage. Focusing back on Daphne’s sad face, after a moment of silence, he spoke solemnly, “Someone has hurt you deeply.” His heart felt heavy, as if breaking for Daphne. “I am so sorry. What can I do to make you feel better?”
Daphne sniffled and wiped away a tear. “I’ll be fine,” she squeaked the words out.
Her face told otherwise. Large, glassy eyes spoke volumes of sadness. She could not hide the gulping breaths she took while fighting back the emotions radiating off her.
An overwhelming sense of compassion filled Connor. He understood now the secret depth of those glistening eyes. This was a woman who had been terribly shamed and heartbroken. And though he could tell time had passed since that terrible day, she still suffered needlessly, unable to let go.
Her tears were proof that she still carried around the terrible weight of leftover, emotional baggage. She needed to let go.
Connor was overcome with a need to take away that pain. To make her feel better. To remove the terrible weight burying her beautiful soul.
And he would do it the only way he could. Connor silently vowed to show her exactly how beautiful, how desirable, and how special she was. He would replace this terrible memory with a new one.
No longer would this be a game of seduction to do his job and make Alexander profit. Just getting through the night and seeing his freedom was no longer the goal. He would use his abilities for a nobler mission and give her the best night of pleasure he could manage.
“I am sorry for bringing up such a painful memory. I do not wish to cause you to relive such suffering.” Connor pulled her close. Her back pressed against his chest. His arms encircled her in an embrace. “Some men are terrible creatures,” he whispered into her ear, “undeserving of such beautiful gifts as the love of a good woman.”
Daphne relaxed into his arms but said nothing.
“You must believe you are a good woman, deserving of a real man,” he said softly. “One who will cherish you and allow you to see the true beauty you possess.”
With his right hand, he stroked her folded arms.
“Oh, you’re good, Connor,” she said with a sigh. “I can see why you got into this business.”
Connor whispered into her ear, “I’m speaking as a man, sitting here with a beautiful woman in his arms, not as a man of the evening. I told you before; we do not have to have sex.” It was a half-truth. He was attracted to her, but he knew she needed to feel the pleasure of sex with a real man, not the beast who broke her heart. “I am content to sit here and talk with you all night. I only ask that you would allow me to hold you in my arms. I want to pretend I am good, and deserving enough to be here with you. You are a special woman.”
She sighed. “Thank you.”
He picked up her hand and brought it to his lips. Gently, he pecked a kiss on the knuckle and then returned her hand to her lap.
She adjusted her position, her body relaxing further into his, her head leaning back against his shoulder. Her back pressed against his engorged member, which had been demanding attention since she had arrived in the room. His jeans felt stretched and restrictive, yet he enjoyed the pressure of her body against his own. Connor’s mind wandered to the things he wanted to do with her. He needed to make sure she had the best night of her life. She needed to experience real pleasure to dampen the pain she carried.
Connor knew he would have to test the waters. Start slowly and see how willing she was and what she would be able to handle.
He lowered his head to nuzzle Daphne’s neck. Pausing for a moment, he waited to see if she would react. She sighed but did not attempt to stop him.
He took a long, deep breath, inhaling her feminine scent. She smelled of honey and sweet caramel, mixed with her own natural pheromones. The intoxicating aroma called to him, awakening more than just a sexual need. A hunger in his body needed to be satiated. Sex and blood went hand in hand in the vampire world. To have one without the other was like eating a sumptuous meal and forgetting the dessert. Just the thought of her arousal had him salivating for a small taste.
His lips gently grazed her neck. Her pulse quickened in response and she flushed with goose bumps accompanied by a small gasping breath. He fought back at the urge to sample her blood, and concentrated on testing Daphne’s acceptance of his advance.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist,” he whispered, while pecking softly at her neck. “I’ll stop if you want.”
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