“Ho, ho, ho!”
I glanced up from the register counter of Mystic Maybelle’s. Clara strolled in from the back carrying a red bin and wearing her traditional Santa hat and red-and-green boa.
Oh, hell. Not today. Not TODAY.
“Good gracious, Iz. How can you possibly be panicked by our annual holiday decorating? You love doing this with me.”
Damnation. I couldn’t hide my true feelings from Clara. Her Aura magic made her super in-tune to every tiny emotion spilling into a room.
“I love decorating.” Did my voice quiver?
“Then why do you look like you’re about to bolt out the door?”
I couldn’t bolt anywhere even if I wanted to.
When I told Devraj what his early Christmas present was two weeks ago at breakfast, I wasn’t prepared for the fastidious prepping that would take place. Silly me. If there was anything I knew about that man by now, it was that he wouldn’t let a single, tiny detail go amiss when it came to sex.
I smiled to myself, remembering his response. His slack-jawed expression then devilish smile was the best kind of thank-you. When I’d told him so, he said he’d be giving me a real thank-you soon enough. He’d been preparing me for two weeks since then. For tonight.
“Come to think of it,” Clara added, opening the bin and pulling out a string of white lights, “you’ve been acting weird and restless all day. Like you’ve got ants in your pants.”
I huffed out a laugh, trying not to break out into another sweat as I shifted gingerly off the stool.
Not ants. Something altogether different.
The very day I’d told him what his present was, he came home with a shopping bag from our favorite sex toy store in the French Quarter and pulled out the package.
A pretty, pink and sparkly…anal plug.
Three actually, in various sizes. The length of them were shiny stainless steel, but the ends were decorated with heart-shaped, pink gems.
First, I cracked up laughing. Devraj chuckled with me. Right before he said, “Come on, let’s go try the baby one first.”
So every time we’d had sex since then, I’d been gradually moving up the ladder. So to speak.
When I went home for my afternoon break today, he’d been waiting for me, lube and big plug in hand. I hadn’t worn one this long, or one this big, so I wasn’t prepared for how the constant stimulation would feel at work.
And I certainly wasn’t prepared to climb and stretch and scamper and jingle all the way around the store to string lights with Clara.
“Why can’t we decorate tomorrow before work? When it isn’t busy or anything.”
Clara had already retrieved her step ladder and pulled it over by the window when she stopped and glanced around the shop. There was one lady still parked by the crystals where she’d been for half an hour, still trying to decide between rose quartz and moonstone. Z snoozed on the shelf of new crystal balls, blinking his orange eyes lazily at us. Besides us, that was it.
Clara’s gaze swiveled back to me, eyes narrowing. “Are you sure you’re okay? Your aura is so,” she glanced down my body and tilted her head, “weird.”
I laughed, wondering what color aura someone wears when she’s been both mildly uncomfortable and highly aroused for the better part of three hours.
Clara scrunched up her brow. “What’s going on?”
I was close to my sisters. Truly. We’d had more than our share of guy talks and sex talks over the years. But this just wasn’t something I wanted to share. Besides the fact that I just didn’t want to share something so intimate before it had even happened, it felt like a secret between me and Devraj. Something I wanted to share with only him.
And right then, as if conjured by the sexiest of angels, he walked through the door with Ruben Dubois, the vampire overlord of New Orleans, right behind him. The pair of them were lethal, side by side.
They’d had another meeting with the regional leaders of vamp covens today. Devraj had told me that he was helping Ruben tighten the reins on this new generation of vampires who were likeminded with the Bellingrath boys and thought that starting their own enterprises—like illegal blood trafficking rings—was completely okay. Ruben and Dev were making sure they all knew that it one hundred percent was not okay and under no circumstances would be tolerated.
I couldn’t help the goofy grin that spread across my face when he locked eyes with me on stepping his first foot in the door. I wasn’t even aware what Clara was chit-chatting to Ruben about as Devraj strode straight across the room to where I still stood next to the register. The naughty gleam in his eye contrasted with the warmth in his tender smile as he finally stopped two inches in front of me, easing a strong hand around my waist to my back.
His smile never slipped as he whispered his lips over mine then asked, “How are you feeling, my love?”
Gripping his dress shirt at the waist, I stared up at him, blushing five shades of pink. “How do you think?”
His large hand at the small of my back swept gently over the slope of my behind. I flinched, my pulse skipping ahead at the mere hint of his hands in that vicinity. Not surprising was the answering throb between my legs.
He leaned forward, nuzzling my hair aside to whisper in my ear. “I thought you might be ready to go home early today.” A tender slide of his palm over my left cheek, a soothing stroke that promised all manner of delightful things.
“Yes,” I breathed. “Early is good.”
“Good?” He traced the shell of my ear with his nose, inhaling deeply.
“Early is fantastic actually.”
“I couldn’t stop thinking about you all day. I’ve been going crazy.”
“Funny. I’ve been unable to stop thinking about you too. I’ve had a constant little reminder.”
He smiled against my jaw, scraping gently with a fang. If those bad boys were already out, he was aching as badly as I was.
“Someone is as primed as I am,” I whispered.
“You have no idea.” He straightened, the lights catching a silver flash of the vampire in his dark eyes.
The backdoor leading to the courtyard opened and slammed. I eased back a little though Devraj’s hands never left my body as he eased behind me, his hands sliding up to my waist. My oldest sister Jules stepped in, carrying a to-go bag from the Cauldron. Her eyes widened for a millisecond when she saw our visitors.
“I brought you guys dinner,” she said to me, pointedly not looking toward the window display, “since I was finishing up.”
“Not working nights anymore?” asked Ruben, casual as hell with his hands in his pockets though his blue eyes were blazing.
Jules set the food on the counter while Clara continued to unravel a twisted set of lights. For some reason, Clara never would let me organize her holiday bin. If she had, she wouldn’t have to fight with the knots every year.
When Jules didn’t answer Ruben, I did. “Jules decided she’s only working three nights a week at the restaurant. Letting her sous chef Mitch do the heavy lifting.”
“Oh?” Ruben tilted his finely coifed blond head. “Why is that?”
Jules shot one of her death-glares at me, because I knew she didn’t like other people knowing her business. Specifically Ruben. I smiled serenely back and answered, “Jules has decided to dedicate more time to her role as head of the Covens in New Orleans. She wants to take a more pro-active role. Right, Jules?”
She dropped her steely-eyed glare and said nonchalantly, “That’s right. Someone needs to keep the renegades from starting their little crime rings.”
That was a jab at Ruben for allowing the Bellingrath boys to get away with theirs right under his nose. Rather than frown, Ruben smiled and sauntered closer. “Perhaps we should start meeting on the regular then and put our minds together to keep the peace.”
Jules scoffed and rolled her eyes then Clara huffed out a frustrated breath. “Isadora, would you please come help me with this? How does it get so tangled up just sitting in a box all year?”
When I started to take a step toward the window display, Devraj tightened his hold on my waist. “Afraid she can’t, Clara. I’m taking my girl home early today. She’s a little tired.”
“Hmm. She hasn’t been quite herself today,” agreed Clara, turning to Jules. “You’re gonna have to help me.”
Ruben suddenly shrugged out of his charcoal gray jacket and tossed it on the counter. “I’ll help too.” He removed his cufflinks and shoved them in his pockets then quickly rolled up his shirt sleeves.
“You don’t have to,” said Jules tightly, watching his every move. “We’ve got it.”
“Don’t be rude, Jules,” added Clara. “The more the merrier.”
“Absolutely.” Ruben beamed a smile at Clara. “I’m more than happy to help.”
“You’re so kind, Ruben.” Clara handed the string of lights to him once he’d climbed the ladder. “Isn’t he, Jules?”
Clara turned expectantly to our oldest sister, blinking with innocence, but I knew all too well that Clara more than anyone felt the swirling emotions between these two. I could feel it well enough, and I wasn’t even an Aura. Jules was blessed, or cursed, with incessantly meddlesome sisters, I’m afraid.
“Whatever,” shrugged Jules, slowly dragging her eyes away from Ruben’s lean and muscular body stretching to hang the lights. She bent over the bin and pulled out one of Clara’s glittery ropes of greenery. “Where does this go?”
Devraj nudged me toward the door. “That’s our cue.”
“Hope you feel better,” said Clara, hopping over to Jules.
“She will.” Devraj opened the door for me. “I’ll make sure of it.”
I pinched him lightly on the belly as I passed him. Not that there was much to pinch. He simply laughed and took my hand. As we walked around the corner to our street, he stopped me and glanced around.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Not a thing.” He lifted me in his arms, bride-style. “I just want to get you home and comfortable as soon as possible.”
He traced in that hyper-speed vampires were capable of. He didn’t set me down at the back door, but kept me in his arms while unlocking it, balancing me on his knee. I wasn’t surprised when he strolled straight through the living room toward our bedroom.
Archie click-clacked from the kitchen, trailing behind us with a happy wag of his tail and a soft yip.
“Someone needs attention,” I murmured in his ear, my arms linked around his neck.
“Yes, I do.” He grinned at me. “But I’ll be sure your other little man is cared for first.”
I pressed a smiling kiss under his jaw, which earned me a soft groan of pleasure. He set me on my feet in the bathroom.
“Get into the shower. I’ll join you in a minute.” He lifted Archie into his arms. “As for you,” he spoke to our dog, “I bought a special treat from Pet Smart to keep you preoccupied.”
After turning on the shower, I eased out of my clothes, my skin hyper-sensitive with every brush of clothing falling to the floor. I was on stimulation overload, my body almost jittery with anticipation.
I reached back with my hand but Devraj was suddenly there, grabbing my wrist. “I’ll do it.” His voice was a low, sultry hum. “Get into the shower first.”
By the time I stepped inside, he was stripped and following me in. His long-fingered hands started a soothing path over my body as I stood with the steamy shower beating onto my chest. He made a path from my shoulder and down my spine then across to my hip before sliding back to my bum where he gently eased the plug out and set it aside.
When I started to turn into his arms, he said, “No, love. Lean back against me and relax.”
Letting Devraj take the reins was the easiest thing in the world. I’d been revved up all day long, so resting my shoulders against his broad chest, my head on his shoulder, while his hands worked magic with every gentle glide and intentional sweep felt like complete heaven.
He petted me into a warm puddle of yes.
He poured body soap into his palm then started to wash me with long, lovely strokes. He skated over my breasts, skimming his palms over my nipples once, twice, until they beaded then moved on. After soaping my stomach, he slid his hand between my legs, grazing with light strokes again. Just enough to make me arch my neck and grunt in frustration.
His lips found the base of my throat, brushing back and forth. “Patience.”
I arched my spine, sliding my back and bum against his hard body. “I’m ready.”
He reached for the shampoo and began the slow massage of my scalp, letting one hand dip to my nape, squeeze then slide around to cup my breast for a fleeting second before sweeping away again.
“Goodness,” I murmured, eyes closed, dazed and intoxicated.
He continued on, not expecting a response, I suppose. I couldn’t respond if he wanted me to, utterly entranced by his tender movements. Devraj had a way of coaxing my body into a pliant vessel, willing to do anything. And tonight, I would.
After he’d ducked my head back in his palms to rinse, he turned the water off, which got my attention.
“I thought we’d—”
“No. Not here. I want you in our bed.”
Our bed. We’d barely had a conversation about me moving in. I just kept staying over till one morning he’d rolled over and spooned around me then murmured, “Stay with me. Always.” I’d just said okay and started moving my clothes from next door that week. A sight that had made Devraj blindingly happy.
I smiled as he toweled himself quickly, squeezing the excess water from his long hair, remaining completely naked. His body was a marvel. Beautiful, dark, hard. I looked my fill as he grabbed a new towel and dried me off. I didn’t even try to fight him to do it myself. When Devraj was in doting lover mode, I just leaned back and enjoyed the ride.
He stood in front of me to towel-dry my hair, and I couldn’t help but skate my blunt nails down his chiseled abdomen. He tightened with a hiss. His thick cock bobbed. When I went to reach for it, he caught my wrist again, lifting it to his mouth.
“If you touch me right now, I’ll never last.” His eyes were liquid silver. He nipped the tender skin of my inner wrist then licked the spot, holding my gaze with that heated promise.
“The idea of this turns you on that much?” I eased closer till my breasts brushed his chest.
He cupped my face, long fingers sliding into my hair to wrap my skull.
“You turn me inside out.” He pressed his mouth to mine, sliding his tongue along the seam. I opened for him but he didn’t come inside. He whispered, “Yes, the idea of taking you, being inside you in the last place I haven’t been, where no man has ever been, makes me burn.” A slow, barely-there kiss. “I’m on fire, Isadora.”
The edge of dominance sizzled in the air, raising goosebumps on my skin. “You have my heart,” I assured him. “No man has ever had that either.”
“And that I treasure more than anything else.” Then he did crush his mouth to mine, slanting to go deep and stroke inside with a guttural groan.
I wound my arms around his neck, pressing my body close, his hard cock flat against my stomach. I couldn’t help but squirm, knowing how good he felt inside me. I broke the kiss suddenly and opened my mouth on his neck, nipping at his pulse that pounded beneath my tongue.
“You want it all though, don’t you?” I teased.
“Every fucking thing, love.”
With that, he scooped me into his arms and carried me to the bed, setting me on the edge. I was well aware that when his vampire peered out with silver eyes during sex that it was going to be a wild ride, maybe even a tad rough. The way I liked it.
“Lean back and spread your legs.”
I obeyed as he dropped to his knees and looped his arms around my thighs, tugging till my ass was on the edge of the bed. I tried to prepare myself for what was coming, but it always hit me with an overwhelming wave of sensation the first moment his mouth opened on my slit.
I grabbed a fistful of hair with one hand and cried out as he devoured me. No sweet and slow now. Just an unrelenting attack on my clit, his tongue flicking with perfection before he’d suck the entire plump nub into his mouth then let go and start flicking again.
He gripped both my ankles and planted them on his shoulders, opening me up wider. I used the leverage to grind up into his mouth. Then I heard the tell-tale buzz of Big John. Devraj often kept it close and used my favorite vibrator during sex. Usually it was to tease me into arousal as foreplay or help get me to climax once we’d been going at it awhile.
Not today. He was using the big guns right out the gate. He slid just the tip of Big John right inside my pussy while he licked and flicked my clit without mercy. The vibration combined with his hot mouth catapulted me toward orgasm.
“Dev, Dev, Dev.” My voice rose higher as I pushed onto his shoulders, my hips coming off the bed with an explosive climax.
He removed Big John as the spasms went on, still licking my pussy, but being sure not to touch my sensitive clit anymore. He hummed his appreciation, his hands bracing the backs of my thighs.
“In a hurry?” I huffed out, panting.
He pushed my thighs upward, lifting my hips then licked down to my entrance and then farther down to rim the other hole before easing my hips down and kissing a line from the inside of my knee to my inner thigh. “Not in the least,” he finally said.
“What?” I asked, forgetting my own question for a second.
He chuckled then scored the fleshy skin of my thigh with his fangs till he found the vein he was looking for.
“Oh, fuck,” I mumbled, remembering the last time he drank from me there.
He grinned then sank his teeth in and sucked, his cheeks hollowing, his glinting gaze on mine. The vampire toxin bled into my veins, rushing like a tidal wave straight between my legs. The level of arousal his toxin sparked in me was stratospheric. I’d thought it would level off and diminish with each time he drank from me, but no. It was the opposite. As if his body created an elixir specifically for me, to bring me infinite pleasure.
I reached for my breasts, mounding them and pinching my nipples. His eyes closed on a growl as he palmed my pussy, rubbing my clit with the heel in a slow circular motion. Just enough to get me going again.
“Please, Devraj.” I thrust my hips up, wanting more. Needing him to fill me.
With a deep exhale, he released my thigh, licking the puncture wounds to make sure they’d stopped bleeding. He crawled up the bed and put his hands beneath my arms to lift me to the top of the bed in one big whoosh.
His possessive gaze devoured me as he flipped me over to my stomach, his large body caging me in from behind. Then he took one of the pillows and slid it beneath my hips.
“Bend this leg like this.”
He bent my left leg so the knee was high, the other straight.
“That way you have good leverage to push back and fuck me from the bottom.”
This was the way with Devraj. I wasn’t inexperienced, but he apparently had far more experience than I did. I didn’t get caught up in thinking about his past lovers but rather, focused on the fact that he was always concerned with my pleasure, coaching me to help me find it.
His body disappeared. I pulled up onto my forearms, looking over my shoulder. He was on his knees, his cock straight up against his stomach, thick and long. I gulped at that, a little anxious as he warmed lube between his palms, pumping some onto his dick with long strokes.
“No need for that look, love. Or that spike of fear I sense in your heartrate.”
I smiled and eyed his cock. “Just a little nervous.”
He edged closer. “I would never hurt you, Isadora.”
He slicked my pussy lips, already pretty wet, then lubed my ass. He leaned his body over me, one hand planted next to my face as he gently probed in and out with one finger. I gripped the wrist of his hand beside my head and leaned over to nip the skin with my teeth. He wasn’t the only one with a fondness for biting.
“Mmm.” He slid two lubed fingers into my ass, stroking shallow and slow. “That’s right, baby. You bite and scratch me all you like.”
“May be hard to scratch from this position.”
“You’ll find a way, I’m sure.”
There was amusement in his voice, because he was right. I always found a way to mark him up during sex. I couldn’t help it. I wanted to scratch and bite and mark him all over, which was why I’d understood his intense desire to have anal sex. He wanted every single part of me, and as nervous as I was, I wanted it too. I wanted him to fill me up with all of him. To leave no part of me untouched.
He lowered his body till his chest pressed against my shoulders, his fingers still working me. “I’m going to fuck you in this sweet ass, love. Let you feel me nice and deep.” He nipped the curve of my shoulder and neck, not breaking the skin. “Then I’m going to fuck this pretty pussy good and hard till I come inside you.”
“Gah, Dev,” I muffled into the comforter.
He knew exactly what his dirty talk did to me.
“It’s going to feel so good being inside your tight ass, baby.” He nuzzled against the skin beneath my ear.
My clit plumped with every word. “Need you,” I whispered, already curling my nails into his forearm beside my head. “Get it in.”
He slipped his fingers out and notched the head of his dick at my ass. He paused, whispering against my ear. “I’ll go slow but stop me if it hurts. You hear me.” It was a command, not a question.
I barely nodded. “Yes. Come on.” I wanted him inside me so bad I was shaking.
He leaned his body and weight more onto the arm planted on the mattress. “Look at me.”
“Did you hear me? Don’t let me hurt you.”
“I won’t,” I assured him.
The intensity of his gaze set my body ablaze. He stirred me to distraction, especially knowing I drove him just as crazy.
“Keep your eyes on me,” he commanded.
Again, I did.
He slowly thrust the tip inside me, stopping when it breached. “God. Damn,” he muttered, closing his eyes for a second before shifting his weight and reaching for something on the other side of me.
The familiar buzz of Big John vibrated in the air right before he switched his weight to the other arm and reached under my bent leg. As soon as he rubbed Big John against my clit, I was moaning and thrusting back, taking more of his dick inside me.
“That’s it, baby. Take me. Take it all,” he ground out with a primal grunt.
He thrust in a little deeper as I whimpered and rocked back.
“Just like that. Suck me in.” When he was buried to the hilt, filling me up with an insanely pleasurable feeling of bursting, he stopped moving, except where he rubbed the vibrator in slow circles on my clit.
“Fuck, baby.” He lifted out just a little then ground back in, massaging in a circle rather than pumping in and out, stretching me, making my body take him easier.
“So good,” I mumbled.
“So fucking good.” Then he started to fuck me nice and slow like he’d promised.
I had no idea it would feel like this.
Then he moved the tip of Big John to my entrance, stroking inside just an inch or two in the same rhythm he was fucking me from behind.
I became lost in sensation, rocking with him, against him, letting him invade every part of me and relishing the utter ecstasy of it. This man. This vampire. He was my greatest pleasure. My greatest desire. My deep and only love.
Reaching back with one hand, I found his ass and sank my claws in, feeling his muscles tighten as he thrust inside me.
“Knew you’d find a way.” He thrust a little deeper, a little harder, desperation tinting his voice. “Scratch me all you want, love. I’m yours to do what you will.”
And that had me thrusting back, demanding he fuck me harder. Without warning, I came with such violence, I sobbed once before crying out his name again with a shudder.
On a barrel-deep groan, he pounded a few more strokes, then he suddenly whipped Big John from underneath me and tossed it aside. He threw it so hard, it flew right off the bed and rolled into the dresser.
He pulled out of my ass and was on his knees, grabbing my hips to square me beneath him. Then he pushed with one deep glide inside my pussy. I reached up and curled my fingers into the covers, holding on as he pounded hard and fast.
“Deeper,” I muttered, not even having come down from my orgasm. Didn’t matter. I just wanted him pounding me as hard as he could.
“Fuck, baby, fuck.”
He slammed inside me, our thighs slapping, a dozen more times before he drove so hard he then fell forward, crushing my pelvis into the mattress with his own.
His deep, dark masculine groan as he came inside me, his hot, ragged breath on my neck, his hard body caging me beneath him. Yes, this was the best magic I’d ever experienced in my life.
He eased up with his weight but stayed inside me as he swept sensual, tongue-laden kisses up the slope of my neck. I arched to give him better access. This was typical post-sex treatment by Devraj, a continuous petting with his hands or mouth. He liked to extend the euphoria as long as possible, much to my utter delight.
“You might’ve broken Big John,” I mumbled, sleep already trying to pull me down after such an intense release after a very long day.
“I’ll buy you another one,” he promised, easing up to kiss along my jaw. “I’ll buy you a thousand.”
I laughed, squeezing my internal muscles.
He hissed. “Don’t laugh. You’ll break him.” He gave a tiny thrust.
“Break him? I’m lucky he didn’t break me.”
He pulled out in a millisecond and flipped me onto my back, a sudden look of fear hovering in his eyes. “Did I hurt you? I told you to—”
“Settle down. Jeesh.” I reached up and cupped his face, tracing the edge of his trim beard with my thumb. “It was incredible.” My voice broke, which caught me by surprise. But it was joy that had choked me up. “You’re so incredible,” I whispered.
The look of fear replaced by complete adoration, he then crushed his mouth to mine and moaned into a sinking kiss. He cupped the back of my head, fingers tangled in my hair and his hot body pressed to mine. When he broke the kiss, he had that look that told me everything I needed to know. But he said it anyway. He always did.
“I love you. So very much.”
I pressed a soft kiss to his lips. “Merry early Christmas. Not sure if I can top that present though.”
His wide, beautiful smile brightened his face. “We’ll need to make another trip to our favorite store and see what we can do.”
“You’re insatiable!” Not that I was complaining.
“When it comes to you, I am.” He nuzzled into my neck. “I’ll never get enough.”
I laughed, combing my fingers into his hair. “I love you, too.”
He grinned, glancing at the closed door. “I love Archie, too. He has perfect timing.”
Truly, Archie had Devraj wrapped around his little paw, even if he pretended that Archie was really my dog.
“He is a good boy.”
“So am I,” he teased.
He shrugged one shoulder with that typical Devraj smile that must’ve melted hearts and slayed women around the world. Until he was mine and these secret smiles were now only for me.
I traced my finger along those lips, that smile, pondering how I looked forward to a lifetime of them. And of him. And us.