It made me feel powerful in a way I’d never felt before, and I was continually drunk off it.
I leaned in to him, my hands pressing into his knees to steady myself as I kissed him.
He made a satisfied moan, soft but so full of passion that he clasped my jaw, tugging me into his chest as he deepened the kiss.
The stark, swirling desire inside me made me breathless, turning my insides out, and I clutched his shirt, needing to keep myself balanced or I would tip over with the powerful sensations coursing through me.
His mouth leisurely took mine, his thumb brushing over my jaw like he treasured my very skin.
Our kisses grew deeper, stronger, as we were unable to pull away from each other, and he sat down, pulling me to straddle his lap as the intensity between us grew. His hands roamed my face, caressing the skin of my cheeks, then my eyes, my nose, then slid down my neck. His thumb pressed there, clasping it softly as if he could hold my very breath in his hand.
My own arms slid around him, clutching him tighter to me, my mouth needing to devour his, trapping his arm between our two bodies pressed tightly together.
We were lost in a world of our own making, a world where only he and I existed, where the cook, Phyllis, didn't need the carrots for the stew, or where Detrand didn't need to meet with the captain of one of the ships to renegotiate a contract.
In our world, it was only him and me, our bodies pressed together, our lips consuming each other’s, a whirlwind of emotion building and surging like a giant wave.
Would these feelings ever abate?
Would I ever not want to feel his lips on mine, his roaring emotions through my body, the press of his heartbeat against my chest?
Would I ever grow tired of holding this man, touching him, wanting him to be mine?
All these thoughts and more tumbled around my mind as Detrand's hands roamed down to my side, squeezing me tight, tighter, as if he never wished to let me go.
As if he could hear the thoughts inside me and wished me to know that he was never letting me go.
That I would always belong to him.
That, no matter the passage of time, I would remain in his arms only.
It was only the clearing of a throat that made me hesitate, to pull back even though Detrand didn't, and finally pull my gaze away from his adoring eyes to look at Emily.
She was staring down at us with a disgruntled look on her face, her arms crossed against her chest, her foot tapping.
"I'm sorry." I grabbed the basket, holding it up to her. “I was distracted.”
“I can see that.” She didn't take the basket, but looked down at it, displeasure clear on her face. "And the peppers?"
"Oh." I'd forgotten about those.
Detrand's fingers on my chin pulled me back to look into his eyes and I was caught up in his gaze once more. He leaned forward, kissing me again, while simultaneously taking the basket from my hands. Then he lifted it, his voice a command in between kissing me.
"Get the peppers for yourself, that's one of your duties in this household, am I correct?"
He didn't wait for her response, but as soon as she'd taken the basket from his hands, her fingers lingering against his, he clasped my face, a dark rumble escaping him as he deepened the kiss, twisting my head and pressing his lips so tight against mine that I could barely breathe.
He was claiming me, in front of her. Deliberately.
She didn’t say anything, but stomped across the garden walk towards the rows of peppers.
"I don't mind helping," I murmured against his lips.
"Oh, but I do, if it's going to interrupt your assigned duties."
I pulled back, my eyebrow ticked upwards. "And what duties are those? I don’t have any assignments.”
"Ah, but you do.” He kissed me again, then his lips pressed across my cheek and moved down to my neck.
"And what are they?” I clasped his shoulders, reveling in the feel of the burning sensation across my skin.
"To attend to the master of the house, of course.”
I grinned, then my breath hitched as his fangs sunk deep into the soft skin of my neck. Emily's pouting steps were quickly forgotten as I was lost in the addicting sensation of his bloodlust for me.
As we made our way, hand in hand, back up to the manor, I realized that he hadn't really answered my question about his life before he was a strigoi. I decided not to press him on it, as it was obviously still a bit painful for him.
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