"What are you doing?"
The shirt slides off her arms to the floor, landing in a heap. Juliette stares at me, her eyes twin pools of darkness. "Finishing what we started."
I watch her, warily, as she approaches, sensing a predator in the room. She is as angry as I am, but for different reasons. I have just taken the beating of my life; she has lost everything… and like me, she is sick of it. Weary of this endless torment. Furious at her own existence.
She should not touch me, but she does. I should not let her, but I do. I know better. Hexenbiests have magic in their caress, a sensual appeal that overcomes any man's instinctive desire to resist them… and it works especially well on me.
I know damn well this is a mistake. It's just that right now, I don't care.
Her wicked fingers latch into the open cut on my lip, digging in, pressing it into my teeth and causing it to bleed. "Does it hurt?" she hisses at me.
Catching her wrist, pulling her bloody fingers away from my face, I snarl, "Yes."
"So will this."
It is a promise. An invitation. Finishing what we started.
Oh, yes, I remember that night all too well. Passionate, frantic kisses interspersed with violence as we tried to keep each other at bay, to cease the raging fire in our veins. I remember her slaps, her pistol-whip, her biting down on my lip until she drew blood. None of it worked. It merely turned me on. But then, we neither one wanted it.
Now, both of us do.
This is insane. Demented. Stupid.
Nick will kill me.
Or maybe I will kill him. I am in that kind of mood.
We look at one another, equally angry. Her eyes are intense, bottomless, empty… evil. She is a full on Hexenbiest. Her red hair is gone, merged into this new creation, this dark Juliette… this angry, vengeful, wrathful, bitter creature that reminds me so much of myself.
If I do it, I lose my alliance.
That meant so much to me last week, and now, having been beaten, humiliated, and punished, it means nothing at all. I want to lash out at something, someone, to be in control.
"Good," I snarl, and pull her lips to mine.
I am not careful. I am not gentle. She's a Hexenbiest; she can take it. My mouth parts hers with increasing lust, as she entangles her thin fingers in the hair at the nape of my neck and digs her nails into me. It is an intense, bruising kiss, painful and full of blood, the taste of iron on my mouth.
Is this her revenge? Mine?
She presses against me, pulls at me, every muscle screaming in agony. Her nails dig in and pull my head back, as she shoves me hard into the wall. I'm stunned at first from the pain, arcing through me, the blinding, pulsating throbbing in the back of my head, and then … in the midst of it, I feel him start to surface. He likes it. He prefers violence and pain. That inner self, that second self, that stronger self that I have hidden all my life… I feel him emerge, snapping my head to one side as sinew becomes visible.
Juliette is caught off guard for just an instant; and for that immeasurable fragment of time, I see a flicker of her true self underneath the Hexenbeist… of repulsion and fear. Then it's gone, as her eyes harden once more to a darker hue and she slaps me. Hard. I grab her wrists and spin her around, pinning them over her head against the wall. My mouth brushes against the side of her face, her throat, my tongue teasing her pale skin as she strains against me, panting. I sense her anger that I am in control. She wants to be in control. Our lips meet again and she bites me, hard. Sean would have reacted; but he is in charge now. I do not back down. I do not let go. I want her to feel helpless.
The room starts to shake. Objects fly around me, smashing into the walls. Her knee comes up, catching me in the stomach. He snarls and closes our hand around her throat. Wrenching her around, I shove her onto the bed. She kicks my legs out from under me and I go down hard, cringing at the blow against my sore ribs. The pain causes me to woge again, returning to my human face as she straddles me. Fabric rips and buttons fly in all directions. Her mouth finds mine again and I taste dampness… salt… tears.
Nick. Of course, it is all about Nick. Her anger at him, at her friends, at my mother, at me. This is our fault. We caused it. She is no longer human, because of us. She wants to hurt them all, and I am the only one within reach.
But I am angry too. At all of them. At Kenneth. At myself. So I retaliate.
It is violent. Intense. Full of rage. Savage. Drowning in snarls, and slaps, and scratches. My body screams with exquisite agony, so sore I can hardly move as we decimate the room. She has more power than I do, more magic, but I am physically stronger. I finally take control away from her, pinning her to the floor, watching her face as we finish what we started. I see her woge and she sees mine. After, both of us are covered in sweat, the pain returning as the ecstasy fades. Our mouths meet one last time, our tongues caressing each other, both of us exhausted.
She shoves me off her, sitting up in the afternoon light, her dark hair spilling over her shoulders. Gazing at me, I almost do not recognize her. Juliette… the Juliette that cared about Nick, that kept me at an arm's length, that fought our lust spell before, is gone. She is a Hexenbiest again. Cold. Unreachable. Distant. It meant nothing. It means nothing. I was her revenge and her punishment, and she was mine.
I find that strangely reassuring.
She doesn't say anything as she picks up her scattered clothing and leaves. I do not stop her.
Her anger is not gone, and neither is mine. I still feel it, raging underneath the surface.
Come morning, there will be hell to pay with Nick.
Yet, I cannot find it in me to care.