Love's Prisoner (Page 10)

"And you can't wait, can you?" she hissed. "All day you've been hoping I'd escape, so you can rape me. Again. Well, I did try, and now you get to play—or at least you think you do—so why are you so mad?"

"I never expected you to end up in Gerald's literal grasp," he growled, stalking toward her. She took a great, clumsy step backward and nearly tripped over an endtable. He was there to steady her, his hand on her arm surprisingly gentle. "Jesus! He could have torn your throat out and you wouldn't have known it until you woke up in the afterlife!"

"The only one in danger of throat trouble was Gerald," she retorted, and swallowed to get the lump out of her throat. "I had his gun. I—"

"There was no bullet in the chamber, you idiot!" The heat of his rage baked her face; he shook her so hard her hair flew into her face, her eyes. "The gun wouldn't have fired! Gerald knew it, he could have killed you at any time! Now he knows your status, knows where you are, knows if he gets you he gets the next pack leader. You've been reckless and you might have paid the price with your life, if my people hadn't gotten there in time, you stupid, stupid . . ." Then she was crushed to him in an embrace so tight it drove the breath from her lungs. His chest heaved and he shuddered all over, trying to force calm. "How could you have risked yourself? Risked our baby? Frightened years off my life?"

"I didn't—I didn't—"

His mouth was suddenly on hers in a bruising kiss even as he moved, pulling her with him. The backs of her knees connected with the bed and she twisted away from him, gasping, only to have him casually toss her on the bed. He stripped off his undershorts and she couldn't help but stare at him, at the thing that had gotten her into this mess. Fully erect, almost curving under its weight, thrusting from a lush nest of black hair, she looked for a long moment, almost spellbound. Then her gaze was drawn upward until she was staring into his gleaming gold gaze.

"I can't," she whispered, but oh, part of her wanted to. "Not with you. Not again."

"You will. Only with me."

He climbed onto the bed, easily avoiding her kick, and then his chest was settling against hers and his hands were in her hair, tugging, forcing her head back. He dipped his head and inhaled her scent, seeming almost to savor her, but she could feel that hot, hard pressure against her lower stomach and knew he wasn't going to be satisfied with just her natural perfume.


"I can't help it. I've always loved your scent."

"Don't!" she said, almost gasped, as he licked her throat. "I don't want you. Don't do that!"

"It doesn't have to be punishment," he said, and sounded almost—could it be?—desperate. "Let me make it good. I want you," not your body. I don't want to take by force what you could share with both of us."

"Don't you understand?" she screamed at him, startling him, startling herself. "I can't! The qualities that make you like me also fix it so I can't . . . give . . . in." No matter how much I want to, she thought desperately. "Now leave me be!"

"Please," he said again, and his eyes were haunted. "I'll overlook what happened. I shouldn't have backed us both into this corner. Just let me—" He dropped a soft kiss to her throat. "You'll like it."

That's what I can't bear, she said to herself. Oh, God, anything but that—anything but me begging him again. I'd rather be taken in anger than reduced to humiliating screaming and begging, shouting myself hoarse while I come so hard I can't think straight . . .

And he was wrong. He was wrong to keep her here, Gerald or no Gerald. Her outraged pride could never escape that fact. Nobody held Jeannie against her will, God damn him.

"I'll escape again," she said through gritted teeth, as he licked the underside of her left breast. Her nipple rose, a taut pink rosebud, and he rubbed his cheek against it. She whimpered, the tiny sound escaping before she could lock it back.

He smiled at the sound. "I was so afraid," he said quietly, pressing his mouth to her cleavage for a brief, sweet kiss. "So terrified. When they told me who you'd run to. When they told me that mate-killing bastard had actually put his hands on you." His head dropped to her shoulder. "Jeannie, I was so scared for you," he said, so low she could barely hear the words.

She wanted to comfort him. She wanted to thank him for his concern. And she hated every tender feeling he was calling up in her. Forcing on her. Better to be forced, better to be victimized, than a willing prisoner. Anything but that.

"I think I could get a better deal with Gerald," she said with cruel casualness. "As soon as I escape again—and I will—I'll have to track him down. At least he'll leave me alone until the baby's born."

He froze against her and she held her breath. He raised his head and gave her a long, level look.

"I will leave," she said evenly, and felt shame, and felt anger at feeling shame. "I won't stay here against my will. Let me go now, tonight, or I'll find Gerald just as soon as I can." A bluff—she wasn't going near Gerald on a bet—but Michael wouldn't know that.

He said nothing. Instead, he calmly rose and padded out of the room, stark naked. She went limp with relief, unable to believe she'd gotten off so lightly.

She rose from the bed and put away the nightgown he'd thrown at her earlier. She'd meant what she had said, about not wearing clothes he'd picked out during his shop-for-my-future-prisoner spree. It wasn't to be borne, not any of this male-domination bullshit, and if he thought she was the type to . . .

He was back, carrying something.

He kicked the door shut behind him, his face dark with anger, then he unscrewed the top to the tube, squeezing a handful of—of something onto his hand. He rubbed the handful all over his turgid cock, until his member was shiny and slick with lubricant.

She watched this cold procedure—his expression never changed—with her mouth hanging ajar. Then understanding hit and she turned to run . . . somewhere. But his hand was on her elbow before she'd even taken a step. He thrust her, screaming her denial, face down on the bed. She scrambled to her knees and he let her, then he grasped her hips and plunged inside her. She shrieked again at the shock of it, the brutal intrusion, the taking of her for punishment.

He reared behind her, plunging and withdrawing, and her screams of anger—for, in truth, this didn't hurt, but it couldn't exactly be called pleasurable, either—gave way to furious weeping. He never missed a stroke, and after a minute he was shuddering behind her.

He let go of her hips and she dropped to the bed, which shook with her sobs. He let her cry for a long moment, then put a hand on her shoulder and eased her on her back. She couldn't look at him.

"That was for what you just threatened to do," he said hoarsely. "Never think of going near him. He'll kill you. I couldn't bear that."

He left her on the bed, going around the room and shutting off the lights. She tried to get a grip on herself, tried to stop crying, but it was all too much—the stress of the last three weeks caught up with her, not to mention the stress of the last minute and a half.

When he eased into bed beside her she cringed back, expecting to be used again, but he shushed her and pulled her, oh so carefully, into his arms, as if he thought she might shatter if handled too roughly. His large warm hands stroked her back and he pulled her face into his throat. In the dark, his voice rumbled against her cheek, sad . . . almost lost. "You wouldn't know this, but . . . that's how a werewolf punishes his mate. Using her but withholding pleasure. You had frightened me so badly, you weren't listening, I—I couldn't think of what else to do." Pause. "And I was very angry, tremendously angry." He licked the tears from one cheek and, when she didn't cringe or flinch, but just sobbed softly and steadily, he licked the tears from the other. He licked the ones that had dripped to her chest, chasing one errant tear all the way to her nipple.

He trailed soft, sweet kisses down to her naval and she could feel herself stiffen beneath him. He paused, obviously expecting a protest, but the agony of her recent humiliation was too great, and she was afraid to stop him. "It's all right," he said sadly, reading her mind, or perhaps smelling her fear. His tongue flicked out, caressed the cup of her navel, moved lower. "No matter what you do or say, I'm done with cruelty for tonight. I've found I don't have the taste for it when you're involved. Do you want me to stop? Leave?"

Wary of werewolf tricks, she said nothing, but couldn't stifle a gasp of protest when he settled himself between her legs. He started lapping the inside of her thighs, cleaning his seed from her, and a treacherous warmth began to spread through her limbs. She could feel herself relaxing by inches when long minutes went by and all he did was nuzzle and kiss and lick her inner thighs. When his tongue brushed her clitoris, there and gone again, she didn't even have time to squirm before he was back to tending to the less sensitive skin of her thighs. Then his tongue was delving inside her, darting, flicking, probing . . . and then back to her inner thighs.

Soon the trips to her inner thighs were shorter, and all his attention was on her cunt, which had began to throb in delighted abandon. She tried to bite back a groan, but he heard the muffled sound and murmured, "It's all right to like it."

Not with you, she thought despairingly, and nearly groaned again when he suckled her clit, swirling the impudent bead with his tongue. Then she felt his finger ease into her and her back bowed off the bed, her teeth biting her lips bloody in her efforts not to show him how his wonderfully skilled touch was affecting her.

Everything clenched within her, and suddenly her orgasm was blooming through her like a dark flower. Even as sweet aftershocks made her limbs tremble, he was pulling her toward him, and then he was on his back and she had straddled him. Murmuring encouragement, he took himself in one hand, nudged her thighs a bit further apart, and then his tip was in her, while she braced her hands on his chest to keep from falling.