“This won’t work for long,” he warned her, his breath caressing her ear. “You know it won’t, Sherra. You need more than just the c**k and hot seed. Your body and your mind need more. You can’t deny it forever.”
She shook her head, trembling at the ring of truth in his words. She would make it enough. If this were all she ever had, then it would be enough.
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He moved away from her slowly, his softening flesh easing from the hold she had on it as he breathed out roughly.
“Are you okay now?” His hand smoothed over the curves of her butt. She nodded quickly. She had to get away from him. Had to have a minute to figure out exactly what had happened and where she had lost every measure of common sense she possessed.
“Do you need more?” She could feel the hunger throbbing in his voice. Her pu**y screamed yes. Her head pleaded no. She shook her head, her fingers digging into the cushions of the couch.
“Fine.” His voice was hard, bleak. “Be in the doctor’s office first thing in the morning. I’ll meet you there. You can hide from me all you want to, but I’ll be damned if your health will suffer for it.”
He was dressing. She could hear him behind her as she allowed her body to settle against the floor, her head resting on the couch away from him. She couldn’t look at him, couldn’t face what she had just allowed to happen.
“Damn you for being so stubborn,” he finally cursed shortly. “If you need me, Sherra, you know where to find me.” The blend of sarcasm and fury had her shivering in dread. She had purposely never really pushed Kane in the past five months. Had let him make his smart-assed comments, let him torment her with his presence and his often-angry asides. But she hadn’t pushed back. She hadn’t pushed because she knew when she did she would trigger the dominance he kept such a tight leash on. The dominance she had just triggered with her refusal to share the heat with him. With her
refusal to give in to the needs rioting through her body.
The bedroom door closed behind him as he left, leaving her naked, the tatters of her gown hanging from one shoulder, his seed weeping from her aching pu**y. But the pain was gone. At least, for now.
Sherra stomped from the basement labs late the next morning after the intense examination and ritual bloodletting Martin was into. The man had to be part vampire to need all that blood. Foregoing the elevator, she moved quickly up the short flight of stairs, coming out just beyond the wide front entryway and directly across from the kitchen.
“You promised.” She heard Cassie’s low forlorn voice.
“I know I promised, pup,” Kane said softly, his voice drifting into the hallway. “But Dash and your momma had to move again. They’ll call us as soon as they settle in. I promise, everything’s okay, but we need to make sure they stay safe, too.”
“But I need my momma,” Cassie told him with irrefutable logic. “The fairy misses her.”
Sherra sighed softly. Cassie blamed everything on the fairy, even her harebrained rush into the danger the day before.
“And the fairy has every good reason to miss her,” Kane said gently, his normally rough voice velvet-soft.
“They’ll be heading home in a day or so anyway. I sent Merc and Tanner just to help Dash watch over your momma. I told them, no matter what, you stand in front of Cassie’s momma, and they said they would. Do you think they’ll let anything happen to her?”
Sherra tilted her head, her eyes closing as his voice soothed even her frayed nerves.
“No,” Cassie said hesitantly. “Merc and Tanner and Dash will keep her safe. But I’m her little girl, Kane. She’s supposed to tuck me in. And tell me when it’s okay to eat my chocolate so I don’t get a tummy ache…” Sherra’s eyes flew open, her heart clenching at the sound of coming tears.
“Excuse me?” Kane adopted a tone of false offense. “Have you got a tummy ache yet?”
Sherra shook her head. They had kept chocolate strictly out of reach.
“And don’t you get plenty of chocolate?” he asked her then, causing Sherra’s eyes to narrow warningly.
“Yeah. Those Oreos are the best, Kane. Double chocolate.” The sigh of bliss had Sherra staring into the doorway in surprise.
Surely, Kane was not slipping that child chocolate. He wouldn’t.
“Good girl. So, what’s your poison? Milk?”
“Yes, please. And four cookies this time,” the little girl answered.
“Four?” Laughter filled his voice. “Double chocolate? I don’t think so, my girl. Two double, or four normal. Your choice. And don’t remind me that you aren’t supposed to have more than one today. I might feel like I need to keep practicing how to say no to wily little girls.”
“I might cry.” Silence met the little girl’s threat.
“You might cry harder when there’s no cookies,” he grunted. “Don’t you attempt to blackmail me, you little swindler.” Cassie giggled at his gruff tone. “I helped raise Merinus. You can’t come up with a threat she didn’t invent first. That woman was a terror on two legs. You can only hope to match her wiliness.”
“I can do better, but I like you. Even if you did spank me. That’s not daddy training, Kane.” The little girl laughed. “Okay, four regular now. Two double later.”
“Who said anything about later? Six a day limit, pup. You already had two. And if you sneak away from Dawn when she comes to collect you, I’ll cut you off for sure. Spanking might not be daddy training, but discipline comes in somewhere, hotshot.”
“Shew, you’re tough as Momma. You sure you’re not a daddy already, Kane?” The little girl’s words splintered Sherra’s heart.
“No, baby, I’m not a daddy.” His soft, regretful tone destroyed her soul. “Come on, cookie time before Merrie comes in. She’ll tan both our hides if we’re not careful.”
“I love you, Kane.” The little girl sighed. “But if I don’t talk to my momma soon, you’re not going to have enough chocolate to bribe me with. Little girls need their mommas.”
“Yes, baby, they do,” he agreed softly. “More than anything, little girls need their mommas.”
Sherra lowered her head, her hand clamping over her mouth as she turned and hurried quickly to the back of the house and into the late morning air. Tears tightened her chest, clogged her throat. A knife stroke of agony ripped through her soul as her womb pulsed in grief. If you can’t protect someone else’s child how can you hope to protect your own?His furious words after Cassie’s near-death still had the power to slice through her soul. He was right. She should have been ready for whatever Cassie would pull. They all knew how adept her hearing was. She should have thought, should have caught the little girl before she rushed through the door. He had been furious, as terrified as she was when Cassie slipped away from her. Sherra knew he hadn’t meant the words to be as hurtful as they had been, or the memories to rise inside her as bleak and black and they had.