The single kiss we'd shared had come in thedepths of the night as this did. Then I'd still believed in a world without pure evil. Then I'd believed I had a life ahead of me, that I still had a shot at true love.
Now I knew better. That knowledge made the kiss no less mind-bending. Maybe the knowledge made it more so. If tonight was my last night, I wanted to spend it like this. With him.
I opened my mouth, deepened the kiss. He tasted of mint – fresh, cool, new. I licked his teeth and he moaned.
My fingers managed to pop several buttons of his shirt before fumbling in their haste and becoming unable to finish the job. Instead, I latched on to the lapels and tugged.
He stumbled forward, almost knocking me down. "Lo siento.I – "
I kissed him again. "No talking."
If we talked too much, I might lose my nerve. If we waited too long, he might lose his.
Grabbing his hand, I practically dragged him to thebedroom. There I yanked my shirt over my head and tossed it into a corner. My bra followed just as fast. His dark gaze wandered over my breasts. I might be short, and I might be dumpy, but my breasts were pretty darn good.
He kicked the door shut behind us.
His shirt hung open, framing his chest. The ripples and curves, all that bronzed skin…I wanted to run my hands everywhere; so I did.
My thumb skated over the tattoo on his breastbone. Very small; without my glasses I had to get closer to make out the tiny cross inside of a circle. I wondered what it meant, then I wondered if I'd ever have time to ask.
I leaned forward and ran my tongue over one nipple, then the other. They tightened against my lips so I scored them with my teeth.
He grabbed my hair and I stilled, ready to fight for the right to taste him. But instead of pulling me away, his palm cupped my head, urging me on.
I suckled him, the tiny bud of his nipple hard against the roof of my mouth. His free hand smoothed over my back, up my ribs, then settled onto my breast where his thumb teased me into a similar state.
My knees wobbled, so I let them collapse, sliding my cheek down his stomach, rubbing my mouth against the front of his pants. I'd always wanted to open a guy's zipper with my teeth.
It didn't work as well as I'd hoped. My teeth ached; the zipper stuck. Too much pressure from the other side.
Impatience flared, and he wrenched the thing open, taking himself in his own hand and jerking his palm over the length just once.
I shoved him out of the way and took him in my mouth. No time to be shy, no time to learn all the nuances. I wanted to experience everything, and I only had one night.
His palm at my neck, he showed me how it was done, throwing his head back, his hips flexing in an ever-increasing rhythm. When he pulled away, I pulled him back. But he lifted me to my feet and kissed me so roughly our teeth clashed.
He was hard and hot against my stomach, wet from my mouth. I gave an involuntary shimmy, and the resulting slide made us both groan.
He tore his lips from mine and pressed our foreheads together. "Where did you learn this stuff?"
"I'm making it up as I go along."
The soft breath of his laughter brushed my cheek. "I love a woman with an imagination."
After inching me backward several steps, he put a hand to the center of my chest and shoved. I tumbled onto the bed. He stared at me with a strange expression – as if he'd never seen me before.
"What?" I asked.
"You're so pretty."
I snorted. "Don't bother, Chavez. I'm a sure thing."
"Bother?" His head tilted; his hair swung free of his shoulders and his earring winked in between the dark strands.
"I'm not pretty. Never have been. I never will be.Don't care."
Or at least I didn't anymore. What would be the point?
The realization was freeing. Ididn'tcare about my rounded belly, my wide hips, the stretch marks that resembled a road atlas across my butt. None of that mattered anymore. Only this did.
Him. Me. Together just once.
He shucked his pants, then removed mine and joined me on the bed. I lifted my arms. He came into my embrace and brushed his lips across the slope of one breast.
"I know where beauty lives," he murmured.
His dark fingers drifted over my skin, gentle and sure as he aroused me. He learned what I liked as I did. His clever mouth wandered; his devilish tongue arrowed in on erogenous zones I'd never heard of, as well as those everyone had.
His beard had lengthened past the rough stage and become almost soft. The texture both tickled and tormented, another sensation to add to so many. He teased me to oblivion more than once, and then he teased me to the precipice again.
"I can't," I gasped.
His body slid up and over me, nearly into me. I opened for him and he stopped.
"Ahhh!" I smacked his back with my fists and he choked on stifled laughter. The sound rumbled all the way to my toes, making me hum everywhere, making me want to laugh, too. To be laughing now was both a wonder and a gift – a downright miracle.
"This might hurt a little," he said.
"What did I tell you about talking?"
His smiled deepened, and he kissed me, the way I was starting to crave. Hot, wet, lots of tongue. The man knew what he was doing.
While I was preoccupied with his talent at tickling my tonsils, he drove forward, burying himself inside.
It didn't hurt. I felt…full. A tiny bit uncomfortable maybe – I shifted, and something wentping. That hurt a little, but I forgot all about it when the very earth seemed to move. I know that sounds so dumb, but there you go.
Warm and alive he filled me. His body moved to an ancient rhythm – a rhythm echoed in the beat of my blood. I rocked against him; he rocked against me, and for that moment there were only the two of us.
His face was fierce, his eyes dark, intense as they stared into mine. I'd always thought sex an act better performed in the dark, but we'd left on all the lights, enjoying every sight, every sound. I couldn't help but reach up and touch his cheek.
"Chavez," I whispered.
He slowed, staring down at me with such an intense, searching expression, warmth spread through my chest. Something had changed, but I wasn't sure what.
"My name is Zac."
"Zac," I repeated.
At the sound of his name on my lips, he pulsed inside me, the force of his release inciting my own. The orgasm went on and on – him, me, us – there was nothing and no one else, just the way the world ought to be.
When it was over, we lay tangled together. He stroked my hip; I played with his hair. I didn't want to let him go, and that was a very dangerous thing to want.
"Did the world move?" I asked.
He lifted his head, kissed the tip of my nose. I got that weird feeling again – the sock in the gut, the warm, gushy swirl. My eyes burned.
"What's the matter?"
I glanced at the window. Still night, but not for long.
"You think we can do it again?"
He rolled off me but grabbed my hand as he went, tangling our fingers together, then playing footsie, too.
"We can, but not right this second."
I drew one finger over his tattoo. "What does this mean?"
He stiffened. "You know what a crucifix is."
"Yes. But the circle?"
"Your mother – "
I bit off the word, but he already knew.
"It told you about my mother?"
"Don't be. She did her best."
"Hurting you was her best?"
"She didn't know any better. I was possessed by a demon. What was she supposed to do?"
I wasn't sure. What would I do if my son had a bit of Satan inside of him? I hoped I never had to find out.
He touched the tattoo with his fingernail. "She gave me the cross. I did the circle myself."
I thought of the pain he must have endured – at his own hands and those of someone he trusted. I wanted to take that pain away, but it was too late, and I didn't know how.
"Why did you do it?" I asked.
"So I'd never forget what I'd sworn to do. If it takes eternity, Iwill kill every demon on this earth."
I shivered, knowing that meant he'd kill me, too.
"Cold?" He pulled me closer. "I'll keep you warm while we sleep."
Oh-oh,said a tiny panicked voice in my head. I was in serious trouble now.
I'd vowed not to have sex without love, but what was I going to do now that I'd fallen in love because of the sex?
Not love.No. I was just dazzled by the orgasm. Once he killed me, everything would be different.
I pulled away. I couldn't sleep in his arms and wake up to a gun, a knife, or whatever he planned to use.
Getting out of bed, I yanked the sheet along with me and wrapped it around my chest. Chavez didn't even try to cover up, merely stared at me with wary, confused eyes.
"When are you going to do it?" I demanded.
"You have to give the equipment a rest, Kit. I'm not seventeen."
"Not it, it. When are you going to kill me?"
His brows drew together; his mouth turned down. He sat up slowly, and I took a step back at the violence in his expression.
"What do you think I am? A monster worse than the ones I hunt?" He climbed off the mattress and began to stalk me around the room. "You think I'd make love to you, then murder you?"
"You have to, Zac."
"Don't call me that!" His voice broke, anguish washed over his face. "You can't call me by that name and think I'd hurt you."
I let him get too close and he grabbed me, then gave me a good shake. "I wouldn't kill you. Not for any reason."
"You won't need to," said a strange voice from the door.
I yelped and spun around. No big shock to find another stranger in my house. This guy was nondescript – not too tall, not too short, average weight, dishwater hair, gray eyes. But there was something strange about him that I couldn't quite put my finger on.
"Does a person have to be dead to find some peace around here?" I muttered.
Of course being dead didn't seem to mean what it once had. According to Satan, the dead would soon be dating all over the place.
Chavez shoved me behind him, facing the latest demon wearing nothing but a scowl. "What do you want?"
"To set the record straight. I guess you didn't tell her."
Chavez's shoulders tensed and I got a bad feeling.
"Tell me what?" I asked quietly.
Average Joe grinned. "There's more than one way to sacrifice a virgin."