Court of the Vampire Queen
I don’t want to be here.
Rain slashes my face, the wind turning my long hair into whips. I feel like I’ve been walking for hours, but I suspect in the light of day I’ll discover it’s a mere half mile from the tall iron gate to the front steps of the house looming in front of me. It looks like something out of a gothic novel, towering peaks and narrow windows, all dark and vaguely faded as if it’s stood on this hill for time unknowing.
Probably because it has.
I readjust my grip on my suitcase and march up the steps. There’s no point in turning and running as far and fast as I can. I already tried that and it got me a brand new scar on my knee and a limp that made the hike up here agonizing. The only reason my father healed me the little bit that he did was to keep me from being fully damaged goods. The man in this house won’t care about a few scars. He’s interested in what lurks beneath my skin.
Specifically, my blood.
I don’t knock. The vampire in this house knows I’m coming. There’s no point in playing the courteous guest or pretending I want this. I make it three steps inside before the door slams shut behind me, sealing off the roar of the storm and leaving only eerie silence in its wake. I glance over my shoulder, but I don’t expect to see anything.
Vampires move faster than the human eye can see. And while I’m only fifty percent human, I’m tainted by that lineage enough to not be able to see more than a blur of movement. Another way I’m seen as damaged goods. At least if I had full vampire reflexes and strength, it might make up for my lack of magic. As it is, I’m barely better than a human. Barely better than prey.
The knowledge sticks in my throat, preventing a shriek of surprise when I turn around and find a man looming close. No, not a man. A vampire. It’s there in his pale skin, the barest hint of fang pressing against his bottom lip. It’s the slightest loss of control, and it makes me wonder how long it’s been since the last sacrificial lamb was sent to this house.
He’s gorgeous in the way all vampires are, flawless beauty and hidden strength. This one has dark brown hair that falls in a sleek wave to his shoulders, fathomless dark eyes, and a muscular body slightly too thin for his frame. He holds himself stiller than any human ever could. “I apologize.”
I blink. Of all the things I expected him to say, that didn’t number among them. “What?”
“Cornelius sent you.”
It’s not a question, and I can’t quite stifle the flinch at my father’s name. At the reminder of who I can blame for my current circumstances. “Yes.”
“You know why.”
Now his stillness makes sense. He’s barely preventing himself from attacking me. My heartbeat kicks up, and I can see well enough in the dark to note how his nose flares as he inhales my scent. I’m running out of time. I want to stay silent, but there’s no point. Despite my best efforts, my voice wobbles a little with nerves. “He gave me to you.”
“Yes.” It’s hardly more than a sigh. “We’ll discuss this…after.”
“After—” This time I can’t stop the shriek of surprise. One blink he’s a few feet away, and the next he hits me with the force of a runaway truck. He still manages to control our fall so I don’t bash my head on the marble floor, but I don’t have a chance to appreciate the consideration. Not when he surges forward and bites my neck.
“Fuck!” My curse turns into a breathy moan. I knew to expect this, but being lectured on the pleasure of a bloodline vampire’s bite does nothing to translate how good it feels. It’s as if every pull of his mouth is connected directly to my clit, pulsing through my body and turning my resistance liquid. I don’t want to want this, but my body doesn’t care. I arch against him, reaching up to pull him closer to me.
One of his hands is in my hair, using the leverage to keep my neck bared to him, and the other snakes around to press against the small of my back, urging me closer to him. As if I wasn’t already straining against him.
I have the distant horrified thought that I’m going to come if he doesn’t stop. “Wait!”
“I’m sorry.” I feel more than hear his murmur. His tongue strokes my neck and then he moves to the other side. “I can’t stop.”
He bites me again and I whimper. Fuck, that feels good. My dress is tangled up around my hips and I wrap my legs around his waist, arching closer. I can feel my blood warming his cool body, and evidence of his bite is already hardening against me. He rolls his hips and growls against my skin, but he doesn’t move his hands from their spots. He doesn’t touch me like I’m suddenly desperate for him to do.
“More,” I moan.
He gives a hard pull to my neck and I slide my hands down his back to his ass, holding him close as I roll my hips, grinding myself on his hard cock like a wanton thing. It doesn’t matter I’ll regret this later, I’ll hate both him and me for this loss of control. I need to come more than I need my pride. It will still be there on the other side of this.
I work myself against him, and I have half a thought to reach for the front of his pants, but it would mean stopping this delicious friction, and I’m not willing to do that. Another time.
It’s what I’m here for, whether I chose this role or not.
I realize he’s stopped sucking my blood, but the endorphins have nowhere near worn off. I should stop. I know I should stop, but the subtle pressure of his fingertips against the small of my back urge me on. Pleasure winds through me, tighter and tighter, and for one breathless moment, I think I won’t get there, that I’ll be poised on the brink for an eternity.
My orgasm hits me even harder than the vampire did earlier and I come more intensely than I ever have before, crying and panting as I hump him like I really do want this. The last wave crests and I slump back to the cold marble floor, my head feeling fuzzy and too light. “You took too much,” I murmur, my words coming as slowly as taffy.
His tongue strokes my neck and he gives another of those growls I don’t want to enjoy. “You don’t taste like a human.”
It’s strange to be having this conversation on the floor while he’s pressing between my thighs, but I can’t seem to find the energy to shove him off. “I’m not.” I lick my suddenly dry lips. “I’m half bloodsucker.”
“Ah.” He inhales and slowly, oh so slowly, he releases me and sits up. There’s a new flush in his pale cheeks and his eyes are blazing with power. He kneels between my legs and his gaze strokes over me in a way I can almost feel, lingering on my lips, on my bloody neck, where my breasts are nearly escaping this ridiculous dress, where said ridiculous dress isn’t covering my panties any longer. My panties that are soaked.
I start to cover myself, but he catches my wrists, easily overpowering me. He does another of those long inhales and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt he’s scenting my arousal. He shifts my wrists to one hand and reaches for my panties with the other.
The vampire’s eyes are pure black and his fangs are on full display. The little glimpse of control from earlier, of regret, are nowhere in evidence. Gods, I’m in trouble. His gaze drops to my panties again. “You know why you’re here.” His knuckles brush the wet fabric, lightly stroking against my pussy. Despite just coming, I have to fight the desire to lift my hips in invitation. I know it’s the aftermath of the bite, but I hate myself a little for it.
He pauses, his hands shaking as if he’s fighting himself. He could have broken my wrists, could do so much more damage and there’s nothing I could do to stop him. “Say it.”
I don’t want to. I very much don’t want to. But the words spill from my lips, almost as if he compelled them with his low voice. “I’m here to satisfy your hunger.”
“Hungers, little dhampir. All of them.” He strokes me again. “Lift your hips.”
I obey even as I argue. “You said we’d talk.”
“Yes, after.” Still, he hesitates. A drop of blood drips down his chin and I dazedly realize he’s bitten himself. “Say yes.”
The fact he isn’t simply taking what he obviously wants confuses me even as I hate him for making me say it. Would he really stop if I tell him to? I’ll never know. “Yes.”
His eyes flash to my face as he grips the crotch of my panties and tugs them down my legs. He could have just ripped them off—it probably would have taken less effort—and that little show of restraint almost makes this worse. Or better. I’m honestly not sure.
I didn’t choose to be in this house, to be a sacrificial lamb, but that doesn’t stop my body from shaking with need. I bite my bottom lip as he moves down my body and I know I should argue more, should never have let the word yes leave my lips, but he gives my pussy another of those light strokes and the touch short circuits my brain.
“Please,” I whisper. I don’t know what I’m begging for, for him to stop or not stop. It doesn’t matter. He shifts slight to the side and strikes, quick as a snake, sinking his fangs into the sensitive skin of my upper thigh.
I come again instantly.
I keep coming, wave after wave, until I’m sobbing and begging, but I can’t begin to guess what I’m begging for. For him to stop. For him to fuck me. It doesn’t matter. Before I can decide, he lifts his head.
And then he’s gone, a flash of motion up the curving staircase, and I’m left alone in the entrance hall. Wet. Bleeding. And filled with enough confusion that my head feels like it’s spinning wildly on my shoulders. “What the fuck just happened?”
|September 25, 2022
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