This sensual excerpt, a full love scene, takes place between Warrior Jean-Pierre and his woman, his breh, Fiona. Jean-Pierre has taken her to his home in Sedona, Arizona, near Oak Creek and shown her his workshop. He has a devastating French accent and has been craving this moment for a long, long time…
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And now for the sensual excerpt, a full love scene, from BORN OF ASHES…
— Collected Proverbs, Beatrice of Fourth
Jean-Pierre’s chest expanded at the sight of Fiona with her hand on his work-table, the place he had laid each timber of the house; measured, sawed, planed, sanded. His heart swelled again, as though with her words and the things she did, she kept breathing life into his soul, almost more than he could bear.
He did not refuse this invitation. He did not remark that the table though not dirty was not clean either. He did not suggest his bed or even the soft couch in his living room.
No, he went to her thinking that this was good and right in a way his soul could understand even if his mind would have suggested other places to take this step on their journey.
He had built his house with his hands and now he would put his hands on her, and build something new.
He drew close, standing in front of her. He touched her face, her skin soft beneath his calloused warrior hands. She turned her face into his hand and kissed the toughened ridges, shaped by the leather-wrapped grip of his sword for two centuries.
“You honor me,” he whispered.
Her lips were swollen now and her scent filled the room, buttery pastries. He knew what would happen as he leaned toward her. Little puffs of air left her mouth. Her scent thickened the space between. A light groan met his lips as he kissed her.
Jean-Pierre, she sent. You will make me come.
Come. He deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue between her lips. She cried out and he bored deeply. She clutched his arms as he brought her. She cried out again and again until she could barely stand. He slid his arm around her waist and drew back just enough so that he could look at her flushed cheeks and liquid eyes.
“How do you do that?”
“You ask me that every time. I think the better question must be, how do you do that, cherie? Was it this way between you and your husband?”
She looked down and he wished the words unsaid. Some memories took her back to unhappy times and this was one of those memories.
He put the side of his finger beneath her chin and lifted, forcing her to look at him. “I value your love for your husband.”
“Oh, Jean-Pierre, how you please my heart.” Tears swam in her eyes, a little ocean of pain. Then she laughed and wiped at her cheeks. “He used to tease me. I was always so ready for him. I seemed to be a little pile of kindling just waiting for the strike of a match. But doesn’t it bother you to hear that?”
He shook his head. “Of course not.” He smiled. “Well, perhaps a little but that is just the breh-hedden being absurd.”
She searched his eyes. “I don’t want you to take this moment too seriously.”
He shook his head. “I believe we feel the same way, desire but restraint, non?”
He put his hands around her small waist. He smiled because his fingers touched.
He unbuttoned her slacks and since he dipped his chin to work the front zipper, she leaned close and sniffed his skin all along his temple until chills chased each other down his neck and his chest.
His muscles flexed and released.
He pushed her pants to the floor and she stepped out of them then kicked her heels off as well. He looked down, not at the floor but at the expanse of lovely pale skin, thigh to ankle. He ran a finger across first one warm thigh, then the other. She hissed softly and put her hands on his shoulders.
She leaned forward and nuzzled his neck again. “Take your hair from the cadroen,” she whispered. “I want to see your hair, to feel it between my fingers. I have wanted to do that for so long. For so long I’ve wanted to do so many things with you.”
She kissed his neck and licked and kissed. These small kitten-like ministrations built a fire in his body and weakened parts of him while strengthening others. For that reason, he had difficulty lifting his arms in order to obey her command. But he succeeded at last and freed his hair. He folded the cadroen to his bedroom.
Using both hands, she drew his hair forward. It was long now, in somewhat wild waves with a few errant curls here and there. The Warriors of the Blood all had long hair, an ancient ritual, the keeping of long hair to reflect strength and dedication. Her fingers sunk into his hair on both sides and she dragged her hands lower and lower, the tips of her fingers poking through and connecting with his jacket.
But her fingers became knotted, of course, so he took her hands and untangled her fingers. He held her gaze as he lifted both hands to his lips and kissed each finger one after the other. Her breaths were light again and very quick.
Her lips parted. Her breath flowed toward him, a sweet scent of the patisserie. Shivers chased over his body. What she could do to him!
She was killing him so sweetly. Did she know how she affected him? That her gaze never strayed told him she did. She must have pleased her husband very much, and all, no doubt, without the smallest awareness of the effect. This he knew to be so very true about her—she had no guile and he loved her for that.
He released her hands and untied the small bow at her waist. He unbuttoned her blouse until he could push it apart. Her bra was cut low and made of a very fine cream lace. She had full breasts and his breathing changed at the sight of them. He dipped low and a soft sound swirled from her throat as his lips kissed each mound in turn. His hands became restless as he continued to kiss.
He thumbed her nipples through the fabric and made them into hard beads. His touch, of lips and hands, drove new sounds from her throat, new cries and whimpers.
Her fingers worked through his hair again. “Jean-Pierre,” she murmured. He felt her lips then kisses on his head.
He pushed the bra over her left breast and took the nipple in his mouth. She gasped and cried out. “You will bring me again,” she said, panting.
Good, he sent.
He suckled, hard and fast.
Her body writhed. He vowed he had never known a woman to come so quickly but he suspected that these were but faint shadows, very small petits morts, and but a prelude to what he could accomplish with her body.
Would she let him? Could he sweep over her as he wanted to, a heavy wave across her body, of great pleasure, perhaps like nothing she had ever known?
* * * * * * * * *
Fiona was draped over Jean-Pierre, her arms wrapped around his bent shoulders as he slowed the suckling of her nipple. Her breath came in shallow pants and her body had that sweet drift of lethargy that always accompanied such a swift climax.
She stroked his hair then unloosened her arms to drift her fingers once more through his long half-curling, half-wavy locks. He released her breast and rose so that her fingers could travel all the way to the tips once more.
Jean-Pierre had magnificent hair. It wasn’t blond or brown, but someplace in-between. All the outer layers and long tendrils were gold, especially in sunlight and what lay beneath was darker, heavier, as though he were these two qualities blended, a soft more playful layer over the toughness that characterized all the warriors.
He was infinitely gentle with her as well. Did he know how much she needed his gentleness? Her pursuit of Rith had toughened her and brought her courage. But in this quiet intimate moment, her fears returned. She was reminded of all that she had lost when she had been taken from the streets of Boston so long ago.
He placed a finger between her eyebrows. “Why so worried, cherie?”
She shook her head then she laughed, that falling laughter of frustration. “I fear waking up bound again.”
“Oui. Of course you do. That will not go away very soon. So, tell me, what more can I do to ease you?”
His smile was soft, almost teasing.
She should be thinking of him. After all, he had already given her two lovely light releases. “Kiss me,” she said.
He didn’t wait for further invitation but swept the few inches of his extraordinary height down to meet her lips. This time, he was not gentle and she leaned against him, against his hard chest, and slung an arm around his neck, across his thick glorious hair and she took what he gave and gave more in return until he released her with a groan.
He waved a hand. She wasn’t sure what he meant by it until he lifted her up on the table and instead of feeling wood beneath the thin silk of her underwear, she felt a soft fleece blanket. He was so damn thoughtful. Her heart began to hurt as she put her hands on his shoulders.
He looked down very low and eased her knees apart. The crook of his finger drifted over her clitoris. A gasp left her throat.
He met her gaze. “Your body, ma cherie, is a finely tuned, delicate instrument.” She kept gasping as he gazed into her eyes and continued that soft intimate drift.
His fingers spread and she felt a very strange movement then realized he’d folded off her underwear. She giggled then swallowed hard.
Fear began to move in a circle in her stomach, like a living creature that his touch, his nearness had awakened. Were they going to do this? Were they really going to make love?
She didn’t understand that small creature but the movements quickened and the creature began to swim up and up paralyzing her stomach, her chest, her throat.
“Cherie, what is it? What is the matter?”
She shook her head and clutched at her throat. “I don’t know. I don’t know.” Strange tears burned her eyes.
He covered the hand over her throat. “Regarde-moi. Look at me.”
She fixed her gaze squarely on his but she couldn’t breathe.
He searched her eyes for a long moment. “I can feel your pulse racing.” He eased back from her. “I will stop.”
She gasped and shook her head. “No. This wouldn’t be fair to you.”
“I do not care what is right or fair. I worry only that you are in such sudden distress.”
Fiona forced herself to breath, to move past the tightness around her throat, the grip of something like steel bands around her chest. She forced the creature back into her stomach but she could not make it stop moving in swift threatening circles.
She should leave, but she hated the idea of leaving like this. Something was very wrong with her. Something hadn’t worked right since she’d been rescued. Even after five months, she lived with such agony and fear.
Something had to give, had to change.
When he took another step back, and his gaze fell from hers, when she could feel not just his despair but his resolve as well, she thrust her arm forward and caught his neck at the nape. She would not let him go. “Enthrall me,” she cried.
“What? I do not understand.”
“Put me in thrall. I’ve heard tales of it. I know you can do it. All Militia Warriors enthrall the women they dance with and make love to at the Blood and Bite. Enthrall me.”
He shook his head. “Non. I will not take you like this.”
She understood what needed to happen next if they were to move forward. She understood the way the sun rose and set each day, the way the tide came in and went back out. She had to be enthralled. Her fears, not of her own making, wouldn’t allow her one more step with him.
Her resolve deepened and she let her arm fall away from his shoulder. She met his gaze in a hard stare and overlaid his mind with her thoughts. I have been held captive by a quiet monster and made to feel powerless. I know that I could not bear your weight on me without having those fears overpower the moment. But, Warrior Jean-Pierre, mon homme, who would be my breh, you must do this for me and for us.
I want your weight on me more than anything in the world. I want to be connected body and soul with you more than anything in the world, here and now, on this table from which you built this house. I beg of you to enthrall me and make me yours. Please.
The last word had resonance and she watched him close his eyes and weave on his feet.
When he opened his eyes, she saw his new resolve and the creature fled to the darkest recess of her soul and his mind came to her through his gaze in waves of exquisite peace.
* * * * * * * * *
Jean-Pierre had bedded so very many women in this way, putting them in thrall and taking them into the red velvet booths at the Blood and Bite, the club designed especially for the warriors of Metro Phoenix Two.
But even as he felt her begin to sink, as his vampire mind, that which was truly and purely vampire, began to send you-will-do-my-bidding thoughts over her mind, he knew this would be different from anything he had experienced before. And not just because of the breh-hedden.
Fiona’s mind was unlike any of the mortal women he had seduced. As he held her mind in a gentle seductive grasp, he felt her power. Waves pulsed toward him, over him, like fingertips exploring not just his mind but his body as well.
He was firm within his slacks, ready for her, ready to pleasure her. With a thought, he folded off his clothes, which brought a sharp cry from Fiona’s throat. Enthrallment didn’t mean a diminishing of experience, just an easing of fear.
He slid one hand to the back of her head and one behind her back as he laid her down on the soft dark blue blanket he had folded from his bed. He could not bear the thought of splinters in her ivory skin.
Her silver-blue eyes were glazed, her lips parted, her breaths coming once more in little pants, which swept her soft patisserie scent over him, which in turn was like a new set of fingers rubbing ever so lightly over his cock.
With great care he positioned her, lifting and adjusting until her hips were low on the table and he had arranged her legs carefully over his shoulders.
He trembled now, not from exertion, but because what he had wanted for so long, for five long months, was within a few inches from his tongue.
She had a perfect chestnut triangle of hair and as he sank to his knees, not caring that the cement floor was hard and cold against his skin, his lips finally met her lower lips. Her hands now pressed into his scalp as though urging him to go where he needed no urging to go.
He kissed her long and deep and made use of his tongue. How he had wanted to be here, to taste her, to feel her rippled flesh over his tongue.
Her hips rolled beneath him. He used his forearm over her hips to keep her seated. The heels of her feet pushed against the muscles of his back.
For him, a woman’s nest was a place to savor, to take his time and for once, she did not rush to a climax. He smiled and licked a long line from her sweet opening to the apex of her nest. Yes, for once she did not rush and he began to build her fire and with each kiss and lick. One upon the next, he felt her urgency grow as well as the elegant flow of power that moved in waves over him now.
He groaned and in response, his mind filled with her thoughts, Jean-Pierre, thank you, thank you. I feel so peaceful and your tongue and lips, like heaven.
He made love to her with his mouth and tongue for a long time, driving her to the edge, then pulling back until her heels pushed harder and harder into his back and her whimpers turned to cries.
Jean-Pierre, she cried out in his mind.
He pushed into her now, deep thrusts with his tongue. He shifted one hand to press on her nest, pushing and pressing. Her cries grew lower in timbre until she groaned and arched her back. He drove his tongue hard now, deep inside, faster and faster until she screamed. But on he pushed, so that he brought her again and again.
When at last her hips settled. He kissed her very low once more, slowly and with reverence, savoring each delicate fold.
He rose up and saw that her eyes were still glazed, but in his mind, her thoughts were coherent. How you satisfy me. I have never felt like that before. Always, it’s a quick rush, and pleasant, but not like this…oh, Jean-Pierre.
He responded, Your power, Fiona. It is as though you possess my mind, as though you are inside my mind. It is so beautiful. And I feel your power in a flow of waves over my body. I have great need of you.
Her lips tried for a smile but enthrallment tended to keep the face very quiet. Then take me, cheri.
He carefully repositioned her legs, drawing them around his waist as he stood up. She locked her ankles.
He looked down and shuddered because he was so close to possessing her as he had wanted to, ached to, since Toulouse. Using his hand, he guided himself, and began a gentle push. She was very tight and moaned at the presence of his cock.
He pushed a little more, and began to enter her, slowly, so slowly, savoring this first taking. She gave little cries and tugged on his arms, urging him, but he would not be rushed. He watched his long thick hardness begin to disappear into her body. He trembled now, the muscles of his arms shivering like a stallion ready to run.
He curled his buttocks and took her another inch. He rolled his hips and pushed from side to side.
She cried out and her hips arched off the table. Only then did he lift his gaze to her face and saw that tears trickled from her eyes. Only then, did he realize his eyes were wet as well.
There was great beauty in making love.
Once more he looked down between them. The dark hair of his body now shielded their connection from sight. But he had to see more and he pulled back. His cock was wet so that when he pushed back in it was a smooth glide and he collapsed forward, catching himself with his hands on either side of her. His hips would not stop as he wished them to and he was hard, so very hard.
* * * * * * * * *
Fiona was lost, deep within her mind because Jean-Pierre held her in this magical place. She was at the same time so at peace yet stimulated and alive as she had never been before. He was thrusting now, into her, and rubbing over a place inside her body that was bringing her such pleasure. She wished he would continue forever, thrusting and driving.
She rolled her head from one side to the other.
Fiona, he whispered inside her mind.
She could hear him, but she couldn’t focus on him. Oui, she sent.
She heard him groan and his thrusts were faster now.
I want to remove you from thrall. Will you allow it? Will you try?
I’m afraid. This is so wonderful. You don’t know. I’m afraid. Afraid.
Never mind. His voice was but a whisper. Are you close?
Close? Close to heaven? Yes, she was. Close to ecstasy? Oh, God, yes. She had never felt anything like this before.
But there was one thing she desired, something very specific to the vampire world in which she now belonged. She wanted Jean-Pierre to take her blood.
Jean-Pierre, she sent.
He groaned. I love your voice in my head. Tell me what you desire. I will do anything.
Take my blood. There she had said it and the moment she did, her internal muscles tightened around him.
Cherie, I wish for nothing more than that, you know I do. But after all you have been through—
She cut him off. It’s not the same thing at all. You have to remember, what was done to me was done with needles and machinery. It’s not the same thing at all.
But are you certain you are ready?
Yes, I’m sure. With every beat of my heart, I’m sure. You are flesh and blood. You are Jean-Pierre and I want this more than I say.
“Shit,” he said aloud and his body stilled.
The trouble was, she was so ready and thoughts of his fangs in her neck so aroused her that she played him, deep within, as though the well of her had fingers and he was her instrument. She couldn’t exactly control what she was doing, but the feel of him, so still, so hard, brought deep groans from her throat.
“You must stop. I’ll come. Fiona.” He gasped each word. “Please stop.”
She sucked in a deep breath and grew as still as he was. She panted lightly, trying not to feel so much. The only thing she regretted was that she had waited so long to give herself to him.
After a long, long moment, he relaxed his shoulders and seemed to take a deep breath. He leaned over her now and nuzzled her ear, her throat, her neck.
He began to lick right above her vein and each stroke of his tongue sent shivers down her shoulders, her breasts, over her abdomen and caused her to tighten around him. He began to move within her once more, slowly now.
The enthrallment surprised her, that she could feel so much, almost acutely, and yet her mind could be so relaxed.
She felt her vein rise to meet him and before she could prepare, he struck deep and began to suckle.
The sharp sting passed so fast and the suckling, as he took her blood down his throat, was an erotic ballad. She savored the sound and loved that what she gave him would nourish him in a way that was a mystery on Second Earth. She knew that her blood contained her power and that in some way, his power would be affected by hers.
His hips moved, his thrust grew quicker. Her heart sped up and he groaned, drawing harder at her neck.
You taste exquisite, cherie.
Her hands drifted over his long hair then found his back. Wing-locks were so sensitive and she found that his wept with pleasure. She drifted her hands down them so that he writhed beneath her touch, moved faster into her, sucked harder.
His movements grew quick.
Jean-Pierre. So close.
He left her neck and drew back. His lips tinged red.
Kiss me, she sent.
He crashed down on her and the moment that she tasted her blood coupled with the flavor of him, pleasure began to flow, to pull hard within her body, in spasms that sent ecstasy shooting over the folds low on her body, traveling up her well to rise, higher and higher, grasping her abdomen, her stomach, flowing, another kind of geyser.
I am giving you what I have to give, his mind cried within hers. She felt the power leave her body and he cried out sharp and loud, driving into her in hard punches that once more brought her.
Your power is a wave over me, plucking at my skin, my nipples, stroking my neck, now low, so low…oh, God. He shouted now, words in French she didn’t understand, but it didn’t matter. The orgasm flew then retreated to build and fly again until she was screaming at the wood beams of the ceiling, her back arching, his back arching, his body slamming against hers.
Fiona. Mon Dieu!
The orgasm drifted away, like the last note of a beautiful song, something French, La Vie En Rose, perhaps.
His hips slowed and finally stopped. Her body grew slack.
A moment later, he lifted the veil of thrall, Fiona blinked several times. He was poised above her, holding himself away from but still connected.
She brought her hand to her chest and looked into his eyes, ocean eyes.
She put her hand on his cheek. “Oh, Jean-Pierre, that was so beautiful.”
“Only one thing would have made it more perfect,” he said.
She nodded. “I know. Perhaps soon I can do this without the thrall but for this moment, perfection.”
He kissed her and she tasted her blood once more and that which was from the depths of her body.
But even as he remained within her and held himself just inches away from her chest, the fierce wild thing in the pit of her stomach began to wriggle around. She fought for her next breath and the next.
“Please,” she whispered.
He seemed to collapse within himself, though he did not fall on her. His head dipped forward and in a smooth movement he pulled out of her. But at the last second her body seemed to cling to him, very low and tight. She met his gaze. She was startled that she clung.
His brows rose. “Fiona?”
She shook her head, trying to ignore the swirling in the pit of her stomach. “I…I.” She covered her face with her hands.
He completed his withdrawal and folded a washcloth into his hands and pressed it gently between her legs.
This gesture, so normal, so absurdly normal had a strange calming effect on her and she chuckled softly. “Thank you,” she murmured. She had forgotten how messy and how embarrassing sex could be and yet as she met his gaze, she saw only tenderness.
With the thrall gone, she looked at him, his flushed complexion, the sheen of sweat on his forehead, his throat, his chest, his eyes very bright and his glorious warrior hair hanging about his shoulders.
“You look like…a god, something out of mythology. I swear it.”
He chuckled and in the playful manner she’d come to know as uniquely his, he lifted his right arm and flexed his bicep.
The vampire had muscles and she cooed. She lifted up and put her hand on his bicep and squeezed. A wave of coffee scent flowed over her. She breathed in and her eyes closed. Desire once more swirled over her as though she hadn’t just had the best sex of her life.
But this was ridiculous. She sat up the rest of the way. She was suddenly aware how few clothes she wore and that the room was cool. She covered her chest with her arms.
He held out his arm and a moment later another blanket appeared. He wrapped her up so that she felt warm and safe. He held the front together with his hands.
He was a very attentive man, in every respect, and her heart reached for him, an almost physical leap in his direction. Would it be so very bad to make a life with this man?
Could she? Could she give herself again?
She didn’t know. The truth was, she hadn’t expected to go even this far. But Endelle had helped her to release a new power and in that release, some of her resistance to the demands of the breh-hedden had fallen.
This she could do, making love to Jean-Pierre.
“Now,” she said, scooting to the edge of the table and sliding to her feet. “I want to see you in bed. No, stop that. Asleep. I want you to sleep.”
A sigh flowed out of his chest. “I think I could, if you were with me.”
She nodded. She knew what the last five months had cost him and this she could give him, just a little peace of mind so that he could sleep.
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Caris Roane is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-nine paranormal romance books. Writing as Valerie King, she has published fifty novels and novellas in Regency Romance. Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, loves gardening, enjoys the birds and lizards in her yard, but really doesn’t like scorpions!
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