Author's Note: All characters in this story are the property of Karen Chance, and are from the Cassandra Palmer series. This story takes place at the end of "Curse the Dawn". Reviews are appreciated. *Spoilers*
Pritkin and I had just killed a god…and Jonas's car.
We were drifting downward in the dawn sky under a chute formed by Pritkin's shield. He held the ends of the chute in one hand while his powerful arm held me by the waist, my back pressed against his hard chest. I reached behind me and wrapped one arm around his neck and twisted in his arm until I faced him. My other arm curved around his neck as I gazed into bright green eyes. The crazy war mage had enjoyed himself.
"We're alive!" I marveled, grinning foolishly.
He frowned. "Of course we are. I told you before you would not die while you were with me," he said severely.
"But you might die while you're with me. You almost did." I shuddered, remembering how close he had come to dying from the injury to his leg, an injury received while I was in his body. I still felt guilty. I had almost gotten him killed. He was going to let himself die, too, until I ordered him to feed from me until he healed. His incredible incubi touch had brought me to climax so fast, and then he had stopped abruptly. We had unfinished business. I sadly wondered if we would ever get to complete it.
Pritkin inspected me, assessing. "I should get you back," he decided.
"Please don't take me into a ley line," I begged.
He raised one pale eyebrow. "Why not?"
"I want to stay out of ley lines for a while. Nothing good has happened to me inside of one lately". I had just been scared out of my wits again with this last trip. Although we were currently hanging in the middle of the sky, gripping a very small shield chute, it was almost restful by comparison.
"Can you shift?" he asked.
"No," I said tiredly. "You pulled a lot of power from me during your feeding. Let me rest a while."
I closed my eyes while I leaned into him with my chin resting on his shoulder and sighed near his ear.
"It was worth it," I whispered.
Pritkin did not respond. There was no acknowledgement of what I had done for him, not even a simple thank you. Saving his life must not have meant much to him. Again, I was reminded of how little he believed his own life was worth.
He wasn't getting off that easily…exciting my body to an unbelievable high and then suddenly stopping. He was going to at least explain some things this time, dammit. I moved my head to stare into his eyes.
"What would happen if we tried sex when you aren't injured?" I probed.
He was startled by the question, then mulled it over. "The incubus drain would not be automatic…but the feeding could start if strong feelings were present. I have to consciously stop the feeding…it is difficult. I must stay in control or I could kill my partner," he answered while sadness flickered in his eyes.
Pritkin was several hundred years old, and he knew how to please a woman. I knew that firsthand. He had to have practiced to get that good at it, I mused.
"Have you ever…er…finished successfully…with your partner unhurt?" I queried.
"Of course I have!" he said indignantly. "I am not chaste!".
He knew what I was asking. He took a deep breath and continued. "Before my father claimed me, I had already lived half a human life span for that era. I was a good-looking young man without scars, having never suffered from the pox or been afflicted with spots on my face. I traveled widely within Britain performing as a bard, and wherever I went ladies always managed to find their way into my bed." He shrugged, as much as that was possible with both arms heavily occupied. "Such easy liaisons with women were common in that time, and I enjoyed what came my way." A small smile briefly touched his lips. "What man wouldn't?"
"You would have noticed if you hurt them, right?"
"I believe my incubus powers had not fully matured yet. After my father took me, I lived at his court. It was full of exotic diversions and the demon females took great interest in me.
"Why? You were a half-blood."
"I was Prince Rosier's son, and as so often happens, those close to power are treated differently. The females competed to couple with me, in hopes of gaining favor at court…and for their amusement. I was eager and I learned a lot from them. At the time, I had no idea feedings could become too strong - so strong that they killed. I now know that demons have their own defenses and are hard to kill, so the feedings were harmless."
"But you didn't stay in Hell," I prompted him. "What happened after you left?"
"By that time, I was in an era that discouraged the casual fornicating of an earlier age. I preferred to frequent an establishment that employed incubi in female forms whenever I felt the needs of a man. I understood much later that the incubi have their own protection and I could not hurt them. And there is another realm that exists, whose sole purpose is entertainment. Sometimes my needs were met there as well."
"Do you still go there?"
"No. Not since the middle of Victoria's reign." He exhaled sharply. "I wanted a normal life. You know the rest."
"Have you been alone since…you know…your wife…?" I asked quietly.
"After my wife died, I did not wish to stay in the human world. I would not go back to Hell, so I went to live in Faerie for a time. The few Fae that knew about me allowed it because of my mum's Fae blood. Fae females are desperate for children. They would ply me with drink and sometimes I let them bed me. My demon power had little effect in Faerie, so I could not drain her. It was welcome oblivion from the pain in the human world."
I watched his brow crease in thought, then he summarized.
"I can have sex with a Fae female without hurting her…but they don't like me so it doesn't happen often," he explained. "The Weres avoid me but they stay within their clans anyway."
"I won't feed from a demon again and I refuse to have sex with one!" he said flatly.
"I can't feed from a vampire…and I shan't have sex with one of those either!" he snarled.
This was more information than I had asked for…but I wasn't stopping him. Pritkin might not ever be in the mood to talk like this again.
"Uh…do you have ch-children in Faerie?" I stammered, "Or in Hell?"
"Unlikely, but not entirely impossible," he observed.
"Could you feed your incubus side at all while you were in Faerie?"
"No…demon powers barely manifest in Faerie."
"So if we went back to Faerie, you and I could have sex safely!" I murmured triumphantly.
"You would be safe from me, but you would not be safe from the Fae. That is too dangerous, Cassie." He thought a moment. "Some Fae females would kill you if they saw you with me. They don't share," he added.
Now I felt bad for Pritkin, sentenced to a life of risky intimacy and empty liaisons. Well, he meant something to me. I wasn't sure exactly what, but I knew he mattered. I rested my chin on his shoulder.
"How did you know where to touch me to get such a response from me?" I whispered.
He tensed, hesitating a few moments before he calmed. His lips brushed my ear.
"When I was in your body, I touched every part of you". His tongue flicked the soft area behind my ear. His voice lowered to a growl.
"I touched you with fingertips and sometimes tongue. I noted how each feathered stroke down the side of your belly made you shiver…how each exploring finger in your soft folds excited you…how your smooth skin heated with a touch of tongue…how your nipples tingled with a gentle pinch…how quickly you were hot and slippery between your legs".
I leaned back and searched his eyes. I was speechless. His comments were embarrassingly right on, but talking like this was so un-Pritkin. I sighed again and rested my flushed face against his neck. I was pleased he had opened up to me, shared himself with me. But he was still a mystery to me. Until just this moment, I had believed I was just a job for him. He behaved as my part-time bodyguard although he was away often enough to make me wonder. The bodyguards Mircea assigned to watch over me were on duty round-the-clock.
His arm tightened further and pressed me against him. "You are amazing". His voice was low and rough.
I wrapped my legs around one of his, my thigh tight against his arousal. There was no sky between us.
"I know how to pleasure you," he said quietly. He had that right.
I looked up at him again and touched my forehead to his. I touched my tongue to his lips as he opened them slightly, then I tilted my head and kissed him. He kissed me back, hard and hot and open-mouthed as warmth spread thru me. Our tongues touched and twined around each other. He sucked my tongue as he pulled away and started dropping gentle kisses across my cheek and down my neck. I felt him tremble as he groaned. I was instantly, hotly wet.
"You have a pretty dick," I told him earnestly, remembering my time in his body. Maybe I should have paid more attention to it at the time so I could talk intimately to him just like he had to me, but I was too distracted then. Trying to stay alive and such.
He smiled…an honest-to-gosh smile. I ran a hand thru his soft, soft hair as it moved gently in the cool morning breeze.
His lips worked their way back to my mouth, nipping tiny kisses along my skin. He kissed me deep and dirty and open-mouthed again. I shivered all the way up my spine. I waited for the drain to start, but it didn't. He wasn't injured and he had taken a big feeding earlier in the hidden room. Maybe, I thought, he was full? Maybe he was controlling his incubi? He had better control than I, and if he was willing to continue then so was I. While he kissed me breathless, I carefully snaked a hand down between us and gently cupped him. He was hard and huge inside his pants. I feathered my hand over him and was rewarded with a low, rumbling groan. I worked his zipper open and his erection unfolded from his pants, bobbing stiffly upright between us. His arm loosened and I froze. We were still high in the air and I didn't think I could shift if my life depended on it. He held all of me with one arm and I knew he was wonderfully strong, but I knew he must be straining. I unwrapped my legs and lifted them around his waist, locking my ankles behind his back and taking some of the weight off his arm. My heat was hard against his bare shaft, with only the thin rainbow sequined jumpsuit between us. I slowly rocked against him while he pushed his tongue back into my mouth. Sweat dripped between my breasts as the motion started us gently swinging in the air. He pulled his mouth away from me for a moment.
"What is scratching me? There is something on your clothing down there". I moved my hand down again and felt. He was right…there was a zipper in the crotch of my jumpsuit and it had split sometime during all the death-defying stunts he had put me thru. I grinned as I pushed aside the rough edges of the broken zipper and pressed against him. Oh, crap. I wasn't wearing underwear. Pritkin had not included the thong when he dressed my body that morning. What, exactly, did the war mage have against underwear? My thong was probably still at Marsden's place.
"Better?" I teased. He tensed. I sighed in exasperation. I looked straight into darkened green eyes.
"You aren't draining me…I would know," I explained helpfully.
He gazed solemnly back at me.
"John," I asked seriously, "really…can we try sex again…only without the blood and almost-dying part?"
"Miss Palmer…I try very hard to keep you from getting killed. I am not going to risk it again," he grimaced.
"Cassie," I corrected him automatically.
"We almost went too far just now," he admitted ruefully. "As much as I want to, I can't".
"You mean you won't," I argued.
Green eyes narrowed. "Miss Palmer…unless you wish to endure a combat landing, I suggest you back off," he threatened.
"Huh? What's that?"
"No chute to slowdown our descent…just a freefall until a landing cushioned by shields. I love them!". His eyes glittered with excitement.
I moved so that I wasn't pressing against him so tightly although we were still touching intimately. Pritkin calmed a bit.
I had just learned more about Pritkin in the past few minutes then in all the weeks I had known him. He was still a mystery, and I wanted to know more.
"I want us to get to know each other better. Maybe we can date," I suggested.
"Your vampire won't like that," he said with annoyance. "Wanker," he muttered.
I sagged in his arm as I thought of Mircea. Handsome, sexy, powerful, protective Mircea. Manipulative, sneaky, smothering-me-with-scary-bodyguards Mircea. With handcuffs, and a she-who-must-be-obeyed boss. I frowned. I took a deep breath and sighed while I glanced around. We were still gently rotating in the sky. I pulled myself up, repositioning myself just as a gust of wind hit us. I squeaked fearfully as I gripped his shoulders hard. Pritkin instantly tightened his arm and I suddenly found myself seated straight onto his penis.
Pritkin and I stared at each other in mutual shock, not moving. When I could breath again, I noticed there was still no power drain. I tentatively slid up and quickly down again, just a teensy bit of rubbing inside me. He swallowed. I moved again, stroking him inside me as I got slippery. He hesitated, then leaned close and kissed me. Our tongues moved to meet each other, as he started to move his hips. I moved in concert with him, pulling back at the same time, pushing towards each other at the same time. We were twisting heavily in the breeze…I was hot and slick and getting dizzy. There was still no power drain. Pritkin noticed too, puzzled over it briefly, then doubled his enthusiasm and moved inside me with sure, powerful thrusts. Sweat soaked his hair as he nipped my ear, my neck and my shoulder, licking his way into another heated open-mouthed kiss. His tongue and his shaft were deep in me when I felt the pressure inside me building. My toes started to curl and my nipples were throbbing as I tightened my legs around his waist. I threw my head back and screamed in pleasure when I climaxed.
"Cassie!" he barely managed to moan out as he came a moment later, thrusting hard and deep. We were both panting as I rested my head on his sweat-dampened shoulder. We stayed like that, drifting gently while I stroked his neck. Suddenly Pritkin cursed, his attention instantly focused on our airspace, actively adjusting the shield chute.
"Cassie…those rocks are getting closer fast. This might be a rough landing. Hold on tight," he warned. He silently and masterfully brought us to a soft landing. He quickly stretched his arms one at a time, joints popping, before he folded both arms around me. My legs were still wrapped around his waist and he was still inside me. One hand rubbed my bottom while the other held the nape of my neck as he moved my head into position for another kiss. He gazed into my eyes and smiled with absolute pleasure.
"I want you naked," he demanded.
I glanced around at the harsh landscape. We were in the desert of New Mexico, resplendent with low scrub and rocks and snakes in the purple early morning light.
"Er…I think I can shift back now. Let me try". I focused on where I wanted to be and felt the familiar pull. Although the pull was weak, we arrived intact in Pritkin's room in Vegas. Fortunately, the hotel had not kicked him out of his room to accommodate some refugee from MAGIC, so we were alone. The bed was covered with a faded quilt, one that I knew was not from the hotel linen service. There were several neatly arranged rows of potion bottles on top of the dresser, boxes of ammo stacked against the wall, knife sheaths laid out carefully on the counter, and several hard-sided cases. "What are those?" I asked.
"Compact grenade launcher, personal flame thrower, and my sniper scope. Don't bump that case…the optics are precisely calibrated."
"I still want you naked," he reminded me as he placed his hands on my hips and helped me climb off of him. His torn and bloody pants were still unzipped, and his pretty dick was on display again…and changing size. I felt a tingle starting low in my belly. He stripped off his shirt and sat down on the bed while he unlaced his boots, pried them off and gingerly removed his socks, one of them blood-soaked. At least it was old blood. I grimaced at the dried blood flaking off his foot.
"Um…do you want to shower first?" I suggested as I tottered towards the nearest chair.
"After," he said impatiently. Pritkin picked me up and sat me on the edge of the bed. He sank to his knees as he started to unbuckle the 5 inch high fire-engine red glitter-covered Mary Janes that Dee Sire had insisted I wear as part of my escape disguise. The shoes hurt like a bitch. Pritkin pulled them off of me and started a deep foot massage.
"Oh…that's so…OH!...," I melted and laid back on the bed as Pritkin rubbed the soreness away. I was moaning in pleasure when I noticed a cool breeze in my nether regions. I lifted my head and peered down my body. I belatedly realized the broken crotch zipper was spread open right in Pritkin's line of sight. I blushed in embarrassment. Pritkin's mouth twitched in amusement. Then he pursed his lips and blew on my damp heat again. I laid back while he moved his mouth closer...and closed over me. His tongue worked magic, tracing patterns on my throbbing bud. That delicious tingling started between my legs while I started to breath heavily, whimpering. Pritkin closed his lips tighter and gently sucked, alternating with flicks of his tongue. I arched my back, lifting it completely off the bed while I shuddered in pleasure. Pritkin stood up and offered me his hand. I smiled as he pulled me up. "Take this silly thing off," he muttered as he fingered the sleeve of my jumpsuit. He watched hungrily as I unzipped. His erection was huge, pulsing with heat.
I peeled the jumpsuit off and my gold pentagram ward dropped out. I had forgotten I had it in my bra…safely snuggled against my skin. I had placed it there for safekeeping right before we left the ruined penthouse. The jumpsuit had no pockets.
"My ward!" I realized quickly. My pentagram was supposed to protect me. But it was spelled with human magic that was supposedly ineffectual against demon magic. Had my ward protected me from the incubi drain? Then why wasn't Pritkin fried? That's how the ward worked before. But it wasn't actually imprinted on my skin this time, and I had lost track of who had done things to it. I simply did not know anymore what my ward could do, only that Sal and Dee Sire had both told me it was very powerful now.
"Pritkin?" I held the ward out to him. He moved his hand over it and murmured what sounded like a chant. Nothing happened. He scowled and repeated the move but whispered something different this time. The ward glowed briefly. Pritkin stared at it and slowly smiled.
"Your ward deflected the power drain. I have never seen that," he said with wonder. "My shield is strong with energy I took from you while feeding, so the ward determined I was part of you and did not hurt me," he continued.
Grinning widely, he grabbed my hand and pulled me towards him while he started to push off his pants.
I pressed the ward against my skin as I asked "Do you have any tape?"
He stepped out of his pants and stood naked in front of me. He was magnificent. Taut golden skin covered hard muscles, with a light patch of dark blond hair covering his pecs, then narrowing to a line below his navel, continuing to the thatch in his groin and on down his thighs…Oh, crap…his legs were shaved. That was my doing and he hadn't noticed yet. Well, I thought, I'd best give him something else to look at instead. I quickly removed my bra and dropped it on the floor. Pritkin stared at my breasts, licked his lips, and stalked straight over to a tall cabinet. I watched his hard muscles ripple as he bent over to open a low drawer. I hadn't seen that view before. He was heavy between his legs. I swallowed hard and I felt hot and slick again. His balls were a dark peach color that went nicely with his pretty dick.
"Tape? Hmmm…can you use a field dressing to hold your ward against your skin?" he asked as he rummaged in the drawer. He stood and turned, holding a compact white package out to me. I took it gratefully and puzzled over where on my body I should place it. I glanced at Pritkin, raising my eyebrows.
"Armpit" he said instantly. "I won't be licking your armpit." His lips quirked as he added "everything else is fair game, and I mean everything!"
Pritkin backed me up to the bed and laid me into the quilt. He held my arm over my head and helped attach my ward. That attended to, he laced his fingers thru mine and stretched both arms over my head as he pressed his powerful body on top of me.
"No handcuffs!" I blurted, as he eased my legs apart with his knee.
"Never," he agreed, and kissed me, deep and wet and open-mouthed.
Billy popped in. Of course he did. Would my life ever go differently?
"Cassie!" yelled Billy, "Get out of here!" he almost screamed. "They know you're in the hotel. They're checking likely places first, then a room-to-room search. Mircea is staying up even though its daylight. He says he won't sleep until you're found. You know damn well the mage's room will be one of the first ones searched," he warned hurriedly. My heart jumped as I stared at Pritkin.
"We can't be found like this…Mircea will kill you. Dead. Very dead." I told him as I frantically pushed him off me and rolled off the bed. I grabbed the jumpsuit and pulled it on.
"C'mon Billy…lets go find my vampire." I looked back at Pritkin as I opened the door.
"Go," he said stonily. I ran out the door.