Chapter 26

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Author's Note: See "Multimedia" to the right for the soundtrack to this chapter.

Dana froze as Lawrence pierced her. Not because it hurt – surprisingly enough, the quick sting of his fangs hadn’t hurt much at all – but in shock. Because she couldn’t believe the bastard had actually bitten her. He had to have known . . .

She waited for it. Any second now he would rear back and spit it out, disgusted by the taste of the Sotirus poison. He should have tasted it the second her blood hit his lips . . . and yet . . . he wasn’t pulling out. He kept drinking, letting the flow slowly fill his mouth before he swallowed it down.

Oh he was going to be sicker than a dog, she thought smugly, letting the tension ease from her muscles. Go ahead and drink your fill, jerk, she thought, weaving her fingers through his hair, encouraging him to take more.

A low moan rose from his chest, and then he began to suck at her throat, softly pulling at the wound.

Oh, that felt different, she thought on a sigh, relaxing further into the pillows. It felt . . . almost . . . erotic.

As she slid into a hazy euphoria, she faintly registered that one of his hands was wandering. He kept one around her back, fingers tangled in her hair, pushing her neck into his gently suckling mouth, but the other was everywhere. Rubbing over her lower lip, running over her cheek, then back to her lip again. Then her breasts.

 She heard a little moan and wondered if it was her own. She wouldn’t be surprised if it was at this point. She was hot again. Sweaty. Feverish. And some instinct told her that although he was causing the fever, he could break it as well.

She arched her back, pressing herself up against him. His leg was right in between hers, and every movement she made against it rubbed just the right spot, every movement brought a little shot of pleasure. And as his hand slid into the front slit of her dress and his fingers brushed over her bare nipple, she nearly cried out. She’d never felt anything so intense in her life. It was almost painful, this heat, this burning need for something . . . something only he could give her. His smooth hands, his soft lips . . . If he would just suck at her neck a little harder . . . if he would just squeeze her nipple instead of brushing over it so softly, if he would just move his leg up a little so she could grind in a little harder . . .

But he did none of it. Instead, he broke away, licking her blood from his lips, removing his mouth from her throat and taking all that hot ecstasy with him. She grabbed at him, tried to pull him back to her neck, but he shook his head and eased her hands away.

“I want to,” he groaned, his breath as heavy as hers, “You have no ideahow much I want to. But it’s too much for one night.”

She stared at him blankly. Until the realization kicked in: she’d just let Lawrence drink her blood – which had been her intention when she’d choked down that half-pint of Sotirus – but she hadn’t intended to like it! She hadn’t meant to rub up against him like a damn cat in heat, to hate that it was over, to want more.

She felt dizzy, nauseous, confused, and then angry. This was supposed to be her game. But she felt like she’d just been played.

“Why did you drink that?” Her voice shook as she spoke.

“You said I could,” he stated simply.

Bullshit. His lips must have been on fire since the moment she’d kissed him. And the Sotirus? It was ripping through his gut as they spoke. She could see the flush of his cheeks fading, his skin paling as the illness overtook him. He’d known damn well that her blood was poisoned, but he’d continued to drink it anyway. To seduce her. To make her want him. To make her feel exactly what she’d felt.