|Jaded Touch (Vesper #2) by Nola Sarina|
Release date: August 6, 2013
I almost laughed, but pulled my hand back. “We don’t do this.”
“Vespers. We don’t… do things like this.”
“You don’t touch each other. Or humans,” Jack said.
I shook my head, and the sound of my thick heartbeat, pumping viscous Vesper blood through my body, hollowed at the truth of that spoken out loud. No, we didn’t do this. Not unless we wanted to get caught, punished, and killed. I knew that all too well.
Jack hummed and reached forward again, touching my arm. He slid his fingers all the way up to my shoulder, watching his tan skin glide along my powdery Vesper pallor. My breath drew in ragged as he stroked his hand along my arm with a warm, gentle touch, as though touching a priceless antique. “But that doesn’t mean you don’t like it, right?”
I swallowed and wanted to lie, but couldn’t find any words. His hand reached my shoulder and he hesitated for a moment, but then cupped my chin and pulled my gaze to meet his.
His light jade eyes searched mine. “Three, if you like this so much – touch – why don’t you do it more often?”
I knew I should flinch away from his hand. I had been without touch for so long, save for my sister’s torture and my Lady’s occasional affectionate contact. It wasn’t the same as this. It wasn’t… warm, or inviting, like this. My voice was rough with something foreign, unknown, slipping through my body like hot oil. Touch. “Physical intimacy has nothing to do with procreation for us.”
He tilted his head to peek at my fangs. “You drain blood and fill the body with poison to make other Vespers, right?”
“Right,” I whispered.
Jack grimaced at the pain in his injured bicep as he slipped his hands on either side of my face, cupping my face for a moment. I leaned into his warmth, but he let go too soon and slid his fingertips up and down my arms, stroking me. “So you were human, once.”
I nodded. I had been human, once. Breakable, like Jack. And intimacy had hurt me. But I wasn’t human anymore, yet Jack’s caress woke up a sensitivity in my heart I’d never felt before. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I recognized how wrong this was… but this heat licking through my body… I wanted more of it, more than I wanted to feed, more than I craved darkness. There was no way this man could hurt me, with the strength I possessed as an immortal. And this desire had been suppressed for so long it coursed through me with undeniable potency.
Jack pulled me back to his bed and sat down. I hesitated, so he tugged on my fingers and I climbed into his bed, sitting astride him once more as he lay back, my body alight with something so foreign I almost felt like I was operating a shell that wasn’t my own. A shell that felt good, for once, liquid heat moving through me, melting my fears and smoothing out the sharp ridges of rage in my soul.
The moral screaming in my argumentative head dwindled behind the sound of Jack’s breathing and heart, the life force that made him so tempting to my hungers in every terrible way.
Jack’s hands fit around my hips just right and I leaned down again, my mouth above his. He stretched to kiss me, and I pulled back, but just a touch.
“Careful,” I said, cautious of my anaesthetic venom.
Jack chuckled, his voice so low and rough with the growl of arousal that I nearly lost my breath. “Oh, trust me, I want to be alert and coherent for this.”
I kept my lips tightly closed as I closed that final gap and let him kiss me.
And holy crap, did he kiss me.
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