Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #8)(5)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

"Yet, here I am, ma petite. I am dressed for your dreams and you do not even offer me a kiss."

His reaction surprised me. Just when I thought I knew him. "Are you hurt that I didn't give you a hello kiss?"

"Perhaps," he said very softly.

I shook my head and tossed the blouses in the general direction of the suitcase. I bumped his knees with my legs until he opened his legs and let me stand, pressing my body the length of his. I put my hands on his shoulders. The sheer red cloth was rougher textured than it looked, not soft. "How can anyone as gorgeous as you are be insecure?"

He wrapped his arms around my waist, snuggling me against him. He squeezed his legs against me. The leather of the boots was softer than it looked, more supple. With his arms around me and his legs squeezing against me, I was effectively trapped. But I was a willing captive, so it was okay.

"What I want to do is go down on my knees and lick the front of this nifty shirt. I want to know just how much of you I can suck through the cloth." I raised my eyebrows at him.

He laughed soft and low. The sound raised goose bumps up and down my body, tightening my ni**les and other places. His laughter was a touchable, intrusive thing. He could do things with his voice that most men couldn't do with their hands. Yet he was afraid I'd leave him for Richard.

He rested his face on my chest, cradled between my br**sts. He rubbed his cheeks softly back and forth against me, making the satin slide against me, until my breath came faster.

I sighed and leaned my face over him, folding our bodies together. "I don't plan to leave you for Richard. But he's in trouble, and that comes before sex."

Jean-Claude raised his face to me, our arms so entangled that he almost couldn't move. "Kiss me, ma petite, that is all. Just a kiss to tell me that you love me."

I laid my lips against his forehead. "I thought you were more secure than this."

"I am," he said, "with everyone but you."

I pulled back enough to study his face. "Love should make you feel more secure not less."

"Yes," he said quietly, "it should. But you love Richard, too. You try not to love him, and he tries not to love you. But love is not so easily slain -- or so easily aroused."

I bent over him. The first kiss was a mere brush of lips like satin rubbing against my mouth. The second kiss was harder. I bit lightly along his upper lip, and he made a small sound. He kissed me back, hands sliding to either side of my face. He kissed me as if he were drinking me down, trying to lick the last drops from the bottle of some fine wine, tender, eager, hungry. I collapsed against him, hands sliding over him as if even my hands were hungry for the feel of him.

I felt his fangs, sharp, bruising against my lips and tongue. There was a quick, sharp pain and the sweet copper taste of blood. He made a small inarticulate sound and rolled over me. I was suddenly on the bed with him above me. His eyes were one solid glowing blue, the pupils gone in a rush of desire.

He tried to turn my head to one side, nuzzling at my neck. I turned my face into his, blocking him. "No blood, Jean-Claude."

He went almost limp on top of me, face buried in the rumpled sheets. "Please, ma petite."

I pushed at his shoulder. "Get off of me."

He rolled onto his back, staring at the ceiling, carefully not looking at me. "I can enter every orifice of your body with every part of me, but you refuse me the last bit of yourself."

I got off the bed carefully, not sure my knees were steady. "I am not food," I said.

"It is so much more than mere feeding, ma petite. If only you would allow me to show you how very much more."

I grabbed the pile of blouses and started taking them off the hanger and folding them in the suitcase. "No blood; that is the rule."

He rolled onto his side. "I have offered you all that I am, ma petite, yet you withhold yourself from me. How can I not be jealous of Richard?"

"You're getting sex. He's not even getting dates."

"You are mine, but you are not mine, not completely."

"I'm not a pet, Jean-Claude. People aren't supposed to belong to other people."

"If you could find a way to love Richard's beast, you would not hold back from him. Him you would give yourself to."

I folded the last blouse. "Damn it, Jean-Claude, this is stupid. I chose you. All right? It's a done deal. Why are you so worried?"

"Because the moment he was in trouble, you dropped everything to run to his side."

"I'd do the same for you," I said.

"Exactly," he said. "I have no doubt that you love me in your way, but you love him, too."

I zipped up the suitcase. "We are not having this argument. I'm sleeping with you. I am not going to donate blood just to make you feel more secure."

The phone rang. Asher's cultured voice, so like Jean-Claude's: "Anita, how are you this fine summer evening?"

"I'm fine, Asher. What's up?"

"May I speak with Jean-Claude?" he asked.

I almost argued, but Jean-Claude had his hand out for the phone. I gave the phone to him.

Jean-Claude spoke in French, which he and Asher had a habit of doing. I was glad that he had someone to speak his native tongue with, but my French just wasn't up to following the conversation. I suspected strongly that sometimes the vampires spoke in front of me like you would speak in front of a child that doesn't have enough grown-up talk to follow the conversation. It was rude and condescending, but they were centuries-old vampires, and sometimes they just couldn't help themselves.

He switched to English, talking directly to me. "Colin has refused you entrance to his territory. He has refused entrance to any of my people."

"Can he do that?" I asked.

Jean-Claude nodded. "Oui."

"I am going down there to help Richard. Arrange it, Jean-Claude, or I'll go down there without arrangements being made."

"Even if it's war?" he asked.

"Shit," I said. "Call the little son of a bitch and let me talk to him."

Jean-Claude raised his eyebrows but nodded. He hung up on Asher, then dialed a number. He said, "Colin, this is Jean-Claude. Yes, Asher told me what you have decided. My human servant, Anita Blake, wishes to speak with you." He listened for a moment. "No, I do not know what she wishes to say to you." He handed me the phone and settled back against the headboard of the bed as if watching a show.