Okay, I know, I've been a very bad writer. I have done absolutely nothing with this for the past 2-3 months and my only excuse is school, also known as laziness. But here it is, The Long Expected Update (cookies for anyone who gets that reference) complete with smut. Lots and lots. And lots.

Disclaimer: This is Karen Chance's universe and characters. Not mine.


A hand was shaking my shoulder, nudging me out of my dreams. I stirred and blinked at the wavering light of a candle. The flickering flame came from an old fashioned copper candle holder, sitting in the hand of the dark figure leaning over me. It took me a minute to wake up enough to identify it.

"Pritkin," I slurred. "Wha's goin' on?"

He put the candle on the sturdy little bedside locker and rubbed his neck nervously. "We have a problem."

I stared. "What now?" I asked, too tired and too jaded to muster any enthusiasm.

"You're ovulating."

I half wished I had a drink, just so I could spray it across the room. "WHAT?" I screamed and he winced.

"Shhh," he pleaded. "You're going to wake the whole house."

"What do you mean ovulating? How can you even tell?"

"Well, your temperature is up and I, um. I can smell it."

I shuddered. "You what? How do you even know what that - " I stopped, too creeped out to continue. Pritkin went pink in the candlelight.

"My senses are more acute than a human's," he muttered. "You'd be amazed how much unwanted information you pick up with a sharp nose."

I thought about that and then decided I really didn't want to.

"Okay, okay," I sputtered. "So what does that mean?"

Pritkin's face went from pink to scarlet. "Well, usually this wouldn't be a problem, seeing as half-bloods of any species are generally much less fertile than the norm, and demons, as a rule, are fairly infertile, presumably because of their extreme longevity, but seeing as you've reached, uh, that point in your- "

"Pritkin!" I barked and he shut up. "Stop babbling. What's the problem?"

He fidgeted and looked down. "Well, basically, I need to cast a contraceptive spell on you."

"That's it?" I squawked. "Couldn't you have just done it without waking me? Or better yet, waited until morning?"

"Well, contraceptive spells are usually potions which are administered orally, but I don't carry them 'round with me. There are a limited number of straight incantations that are regularly effective."

My headache was back with a vengeance. "I still don't see why I'm awake," I groaned.

"Um, well, the best one to use has to be cast within an hour of sex. And unfortunately, we missed that one about three hours ago."

"Pritkin, if you don't just get to the point, I'm actually going to strangle you. Slowly."

He almost smiled, and for a second, with his crazy hair mussed, his cheeks red and the lines around his eyes crinkled, he looked cute, there was no other word for it. Then the moment vanished, and I remembered I hated him. Sort of.

"So, er, that leaves us with one other choice," he continued uncomfortably ."That I really had to wake you up for, because, I have to - well, it's a bit . . . invasive."

I raised my eyebrows. "Meaning?"

"This spell is a spermicide," he explained.

"Soooo . . . ?"

"Hand gestures are quite important for most incantations and this is a tricky one. Basically, you trace runes, usually in the air."

He left it hanging and I prompted him, still not quite getting it.

"But?"

"For this incantation, for greater effectiveness, I, ah, well, I have to make the gestures as close possible to the, uh, the sperm."

I opened my mouth to yell at him again, then got it and choked on a lung full of air, my brain freezing. After an awkward few moments of him staring at the pealing paint on the wall and me gulping like a fish out of water, I cleared my throat.

"Um, is it going to hurt?" The question slipped out of my mouth without consulting my brain and I winced in embarrassment.

He shook his head fractionally and we stayed there, frozen in complete mortification for a long moment. Then, going so red I was giving off heat, I sat up and slowly drew back the covers, inch by inch, until I was totally revealed to him. But despite every effort of will my legs remained firmly clamped together.

Pritkin sank to his knees in front of me and rested his hands lightly on my thighs, the warm candle light casting liquid reflections in his eyes, making them softer and smoothing away the angry lines that tugged his lips downward. I hesitated and then parted my legs.

Callused fingers brushed their way along sensitive skin, finding the heat at the join of my thighs and carefully, delicately coaxing it open. I swallowed a groan as one hard digit slid inside me, stroking my skin a little too expertly. It was swiftly joined by a second, making odd little movements as Pritkin began a husky, almost musical chant. It didn't sound like any spell I'd ever heard before. The sounds were more guttural and the intonation more lyrical and flowing. It sounded almost like some kind of Gaelic language, hoarse and lilting. The rhythm of it perfectly matching the strange movements of his finger tips within me.

I gritted my teeth, and squeezed my eyes shut, thinking that maybe if I couldn't see him, crooning gently to me as his hands teased me so perfectly, I wouldn't feel it either. This stellar idea worked about as well as you'd imagine and my breath began to hiss through my painfully clenched teeth as my treacherous brain focused on nothing but the symphony of sensation bombarding me. My joints turned fluid, making me sway and Pritkin slipped his arm around me, supporting my back and holding me even closer. The chant rose and fell, and my hips began to thrust up helplessly.

"Pritkin!" I gasped out and he chanted faster. Then the musical ululation cut off abruptly and the sweet caressing inside me was jerked away. I cried out, almost collapsing and Pritkin swore.

"It's okay!" he blurted. "It's over, hey, it's okay, it's over!"

He pulled me upright and I stared up at him feverishly. My body trembled, slick with sweat and frantic for release. How could he do that to me? I was so completely turned on that it was actually beginning to hurt and he was telling me it was over?

"Like hell it is!" I growled, wrapped my hand around the back of his neck and crushed his mouth roughly with mine. He kissed me back for a fraction of a second, then pushed me away, sputtering.

"What the fuck?" he gasped, staring at me with widened eyes. His arm was still wrapped around my waist and it suddenly seemed to be burning my skin. I wriggled away from him frantically, hot tears of humiliation burning my eyes, but he wouldn't let me go.

"You know," I hissed, "For a minute there, I thought you were different, when you stopped when we were - when we were - " My throat closed up and I fought to keep from babbling hysterically. "Just let me go!"

His arm just tightened around me and though I refused to look at him, my skin prickled as his eyes brushed over it. I tried one final heave but he was just too strong. Without even thinking about it, I shifted.

I heard his cry of surprise as I landed on the other side of the room. The cold night air assaulted my naked flesh and I shivered violently. At least I could shift again, I thought miserably. I heard Pritkin get up and come over behind me but I couldn't look at him. I was shaking with cold and the beginnings of hysteria, but my sex still throbbed insistently. My body still wanted and it wasn't being shy about it.

There was a soft rustle of fabric and something warm descended around my shoulders. I clutched at it instinctively and realized Pritkin had wrapped me in the blanket from the bed. His hands smoothed gently down my upper arms and I could feel the heat even through the thick comforter.

"We met less than two weeks ago," he reminded me softly. "Just last week, we tried to kill each other! I assumed you wouldn't want me to stay. I thought you wouldn't want me anywhere near you." It was scary, how he read my mind, put his finger right on the problem I hadn't even admitted to myself. It had stung when he left so abruptly the evening before, like I was some sort of cheap hooker.

I turned shakily to face him. The weak light of the candle didn't illuminate much but it showed enough. I reached out and cupped his cheek hesitantly. His breath caught and without the thick blanket between us, I could suddenly feel the evidence that he hadn't been as unaffected as I thought. I stretched up to kiss him lightly and this time he didn't pull away. Our lips pressed together and stuck, tingles of electricity pulsing from the point of contact. I could feel the stiff arch of his arousal against my stomach and a surge of desire rocked through me, making me weak at the knees.

I pulled away, the forgotten blanket pooling at my feet, my heart pounding in my throat.

"Take off your shirt," I ordered hoarsely and the speed with which he obeyed sent a thrill of excitement through me. I stalked forward slowly, backing him up against the wall. He started when he bumped against it, then swallowed as he met my eyes. I gave him an excited smile, then let my eyes trail lower. My smile vanished and I began to pant as I focused on the perfect muscles on his chest and arms. They rippled in time with his harsh breathing, like steel cords beneath his skin, all dusted finely with dark gold hair that trailed down his abs to vanish into his jeans. I licked my lips unconsciously and Pritkin inhaled sharply.

"Cassie," he rasped and I enjoyed the urgency in his voice. I leaned in and licked his earlobe, bracing my hands on his pecs, then digging my nails in a little because I just couldn't resist. He groaned and shifted his hips so his erection pressed into me and I nuzzled his shoulder.

"Patience is a virtue," I whispered in his ear, exploring the soft hollow behind his collar bone. I discovered an interesting series of little ridges that turned out to be raised white scars gouged into his back. I wondered briefly what could have hurt him like that when every other mark seemed to just fade away and then got distracted by the rigid muscles of his chest. I outlined them gently with my tongue, then turned my attention to his nipples, sucking and teasing. I trailed my fingers lower, then hooked them into the waistband of his jeans, savouring the searing hot skin beneath. His breath came faster and faster and then, without warning, he flipped us around and kissed me hungrily.

I gasped at the cold of the wall behind me, such a shocking contrast to the heat of his body in front of me. I kissed him back and moaned into his mouth as his hands began to wander, one supporting my hips, the other stroking my breasts, then my stomach, before plunging between my legs. I gasped as he began to stroke my clit, feeling sparks race over my skin.

He stopped kissing me and rested his forehead against my mine, his face so close that I could feel the brush of his lashes against my eyelids. He gasped my name, almost pleadingly and I kissed the tip of his nose.

"Don't hold back," I whispered and he didn't.

He paused briefly to flick open his pants, then thrust into me and I felt it all the way up my spine. I shuddered against him as he slowly pulled out, before groaning and slamming into me again. He found a rhythm swiftly and my entire body turned to jelly, the reverberations of those deep, powerful strokes turning my bones to liquid. I folded weakly around him and just clung as he pounded into me, stars bursting in my vision. I shook as he hit a particularly sweet spot, then bit down hard on the thick muscle of his shoulder. Pritkin yelled in what must have been pleasure because he increased the pace until I thought I was melting, grasping my hips and moving me forcefully against each thrust. I knew I only had a few seconds before I came, but suddenly that was far too little. I wanted this to go forever. I wrapped my legs tighter around him and shifted.

We landed on the bed with me on top, straddling him. I panted dizzily, the sudden change of position playing havoc with my balance and grinned down at Pritkin, who seemed to be having the same problem. His rhythm had faltered totally and he gaped up at me, his eyes wide and slightly frazzled. My grin widened as my earlier observation was confirmed. Pritkin looked cute when he got flustered.

I leaned forward to kiss him, sucking lightly on his tongue before lifting my hips and impaling myself on him. He bucked under me as I set the pace, moving as slowly as I could. His fingers gripped my ass and the heat began to build deep inside me again, building to an unbearable point as I swallowed him to the hilt again and again. I lost track of time, forgetting about the cold and the tiny room and the ridiculous situation we were in. My muscles spasmed in pleasure and I arched my back and buried my fingers in my hair. I felt a now familiar burst of coldness over my skin as Pritkin lost control, increasing and increasing until it was like heat, approached from the other direction. It made my eyes roll into my head and my body thrash wildly but this time, it didn't stop.


So, I know a cliffhanger after all this is probably a little cruel, but hey, it means there'll be another chapter, something I never intended. And I know I promised someone (I forget who) that I'd write this from Pritkin's POV, but don't worry. That's coming (hehehe, never gets old) up next.