Archangel's Consort / Page 17

Page 17


The bed’s cold without you.

As he opened the bedroom door, he knew he would never again be able to return to the life he’d led before her—where hardness of the heart was nurtured and love termed a weakness. “Are you tired, Elena?”

Rising up into a sitting position, his hunter allowed the sheet to slide down to pool at her waist.


Elena’s throat went dry under the unwavering focus of Raphael’s gaze, the skin over her breasts suddenly too tight. Her need for him was a deep, aching hunger fueled by a day that had stirred hidden fears, painful secrets. She wanted his mouth on her, his hands on her—but there was a dangerous look to him tonight. Nothing akin to the rage that had made him burn so cold after the events at the girls’ school, nothing that scared her ... except in the most sensual of ways.

“Planning to come over here, Archangel?” she asked when he continued to caress her only with those eyes of inhuman blue, the ache inside her transforming into something darker, hotter.

He leaned against the closed door to the bedroom. “First, I intend to savor the view.”

She was a hunter, had never been a prude, but he made her skin flush, her nipples bead to urgent points. “At least take off your shirt,” she said, rubbing her feet against the sheets. “Make it fair.”

“Why would I wish to do that when I have a naked hunter in my bed, ready to submit to my every whim?”

Her toes curled, because right now, that look in his eyes—it was that of a conqueror, a man used to surrender. But that wasn’t the only thing she saw on his face. The faintest of smiles tugged at those lips that knew her every hidden pleasure point; his shoulders were relaxed in a way that told her he was playing with her. Oh, not all of it. A large part of him was, in all probability, experiencing the same arrogant satisfaction as any conqueror faced with a woman clothed only in her skin, a woman who had no intention of denying him anything . . . but this particular one had given her the right to make her own demands.

Eyes on him, she ran her hands down her rib cage, then back up to palm her breasts. Liquid heat in that gaze, but he didn’t move from the doorway. “More, Elena.” It was a command, given in the tone she only ever heard in bed, sexual and demanding and, sometimes, without mercy.

“Always with the orders,” she whispered, rolling and tugging at nipples that begged for a harder, bolder touch, yet so unbearably sensitive that she thought she might shatter if he so much as put those strong hands on her. “Maybe I want to be the one giving orders in bed.”

“What order would you give?” An intimate question, his gaze lingering on her lips with unhidden intent before dropping to the hand she slid provocatively under the sheet.

Breasts flushing under the sexual kiss of those eyes, she took in the hard power of the magnificent body braced against the door. “I’d say come here”—stroking her fingers between her legs in sinful emphasis—“so I can show you how very ready and willing I am.” The physical connection ... they both needed it on the deepest level tonight—to burn away the cold, dark places in the soul, to lock them together in an earthy glide of flesh.

“I,” Raphael said, “do like it when you do wicked things to me,” and it was an echo of something she’d said to him once.

The memories of the velvet heat of his cock against her tongue made her thighs clench around the intrusion of her hand. “Then why,” she asked, fisting her free hand on the sheets, “aren’t you moving?” He hadn’t touched her, and she was liquid-soft with welcome.

“Because tonight, Guild Hunter, I have wicked things of my own in mind.”

She stopped breathing. When he skimmed his eyes down to linger where the sheets pooled at her waist, the command might as well have been spoken, it was so very direct, so very male. Taking a jerky breath, she used one hand to push the sheet to the top of her thighs, where the bunched material continued to hide her from his view ... and stopped.


She shook her head. “The shirt has to go.” When dancing with an archangel, a girl had to play dirty.

Pushing off the door, he raised his fingers to the buttons of the black shirt, undoing them with a quick efficiency that made her mouth water. Those fingers, they knew her body so well, had touched her both with exquisite tenderness and in dark possession. It was clear what she’d be getting tonight, she thought as he shrugged off the shirt to the floor and raised an eyebrow.

God but he was beautiful, his shoulders and chest heavy with muscle, his skin a gold that invited her mouth, her touch. But that wasn’t the bargain they’d made. Removing her fingers from her desire-slick flesh, she brought her knees to her chest before sliding the sheet up and over her thighs to gather at her feet. “There you go.”

The archangel folded his arms. “Legs down.”

Shaking her head, she focused on the proud push of his erection against pants the same shade as his shirt. Tiny internal muscles clenched. “I want something in return.”


She went to protest the flat refusal, but he’d already crossed the room to close his hand around her nape. His mouth, that lethal, knowing mouth, was on hers a fraction of a second later. Raising her hands to grab at his waist as he leaned above her, she gasped when he moved his other hand down to cover her breast with a confidence that said she was his and he knew it. The squeeze was proprietary, his skin just rough enough to tantalize her nipples.

That was when she realized she’d dropped her knees. “I guess you think you’ve won.” A husky whisper as he lifted his head and pushed her back onto the bed with a hand splayed on her breastbone. Maybe she should’ve resisted, but she wanted him on top of her, inside her, his cock parting her wet, passion-swollen tissues in hard demand.

“This round, yes.” Raphael simply stood there for long seconds, indulging in the sight of his consort. She had the body of a warrior. Strong, sleek with muscle. Pleasing to his every sense.

The eyes that watched him were hazy with desire, her lips curved in the slight smile of a woman who knew her lover would satisfy her, one leg cocked up at the knee as she lay languorous and warm and aroused in their bed. When she turned over onto her front, her extraordinary wings spreading out on either side, he didn’t stop her. Instead, climbing onto the mattress, he straddled her on his knees before sweeping the silken threads of her hair off her back, to run his finger down the line of her spine.

She shivered. “Archangel.”

He liked the way she said that, the sound a throaty pleasure on its own. Leaning to place his hands palms down on either side of her head, he kissed the back of her neck, felt her lower body rise toward him. As he continued to lave kisses along her spine, stroking his fingers along the sensitive inner edges of her wings at the same time, her breathing got choppier, the small shifts of her body more and more insistent ... the earthy scent of her arousal infusing the air.

His cock jerked, but he wasn’t done yet.

Caressing the base of her spine with a swirl of his tongue, he lifted himself up again and said, “It is time for the first wicked thing, Elena.” He slid his hands under her hips and pushed upward.

“Not from where I’m lying.” Her voice was breathless but she heeded his silent request to bring herself up onto her knees and elbows, spread her thighs.

Unable to resist, he moved both hands down the sensitive insides of her thighs, heard her make a quintessentially feminine sound of pleasure. In this position, she was open to him—luscious and flushed, her plump folds pure erotic invitation. Not giving her any warning, he put his mouth on her. She would’ve jerked away in sensual shock except that he had a firm grip on her thighs.

A shudder rippled over her as he took his first taste. He needed this, needed her. The day had taken a brutal toll, but here there was only his consort who had not shied at witnessing the ruthless reality of what it took to keep the Hudson from running bloodred, who had come into his arms though her anger at him had been a harsh whip.

“Raphael, please.” A sensual plea.

Lifting his mouth from her, he reached down to tease a single finger through her damp heat. It caused her hand to clench on the sheets, her heartbeat to accelerate . . . but she was a hunter, a warrior. Making an unexpected move, she pulled away and onto her back with a grace that had one of her wings shimmering above him for a single second. The first thing she did was clear away the tangle of her hair. The second was to rise up onto her knees and claim his mouth in a kiss that tasted of a feminine possession he had no intention of denying.

Using the opportunity to caress the lush weight of her breasts, the sensitive peaks of her nipples, he halted her when she went to push him to his back. “No, Guild Hunter. Not tonight.” He had never been loved with such fierceness as his hunter lavished on him. But the instant she put her hands, her mouth on him, he would be undone—and tonight, he wanted something else. I would pleasure you.

“Torture me you mean.” In spite of the soft complaint, she lay back, let him come over her, stroke her from shoulder to breast to hip. He plucked at her nipple, rubbed his thumb over her collarbone, ran his lips over the curve of her hip. Started again. Her mouth was a kiss-wet enticement, the pulse in her neck an inducement to suck, to mark, the leg she curled over his hip sleek temptation.

When she rose up toward him, he rocked his clothed lower body against her.

Oh. The friction of Raphael’s pants, the press of the zipper . . . It had Elena digging her nails into his shoulders. “I ache for you,” she whispered, her need a wide-open gash in her heart.

Raphael stopped his languid strokes to reach up and push back the sweat-damp strands of hair off her forehead, cup the side of her face. “You have me, Elena. Always.” His kiss was a dark claiming that had her gasping for breath, the taste of him in her every cell.


“No.” Shifting to slide his fingers between her legs, he pressed down on her clitoris, making her cry out. “Tell me,” he said, gliding his fingers through her quivering flesh to the slick entrance of her body, “if I move too fast.”

“You,” she said, hands clenching on his shoulders as he pushed two of his fingers inside her with blunt deliberation, “are a tease.”

Firmly embedded in her, he began to spread his fingers, causing her inner muscles to spasm ... but he stopped just before she would’ve gone over, keeping her balanced on that finest of edges. “Not a tease”—his fingers coming together, spreading again—“but there is something to be said for patience.” A single hard, fast withdrawal and thrust.

Raphael. Gripping at his biceps, she rolled her hips in an attempt to urge him to finish it, but he returned to the tormenting indolence of his movements even as he dipped his head to suck one of her nipples into his mouth, tasting her with that same leisurely pleasure.

Her entire body hovered on the brink. “You’re in a devil of a mood.”

A smile against her breast as he released her nipple with a wet sound to kiss the skin around it. “I wish to enjoy my consort. You will allow it.”

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