Eternal kiss, p.37
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       Eternal Kiss, p.37

         Part #2 of Mark of the Vampire series by Laura Wright
Chapter 37


  Al Nicholas wanted to do was haul ass upstairs and get to his mate. But his brothers had insisted they talk with him first. His body humming with an irrepressible need that he knew would always be with him, he stood just inside the doorway to the library in the SoHo house, his arms crossed over his chest.

  "Let's get on with it, Duros," he said impatiently. "I have a veana waiting upstairs for me. " In our room, in the bathtub.

  Christ, just the thought of it made his cock pulse. She'd whispered it in his ear, al low and sweet before she'd taken the boy upstairs to put him to bed.

  Scowling, he looked from Alexander to Lucian. "Out with it before I disown the pair of you. "

  Standing beside the fireplace, Alexander spoke first. "It's about the balas. "

  "My son?"

  "Yes, and wel you and al of us real y . . . Aw, shit,"

  Alexander muttered, shaking his head. "This is hard, and impossible to accept. "

  "Just rip the fucking Band-Aid off already," Lucian said, dropping into a chair.

  Nicholas growled. "Okay, someone had better tel me what the fuck is going on with my son or-"

  "He's not your son, Nicky. "

  Nicholas whirled on Lucian, his head pulsing with an all-new and terrifying pain. "What did you say?"

  "Bronwyn came by today. She hadn't told Alexander the whole deal-"

  "Bul shit. She did tel Alex and he told us-"

  "No," Lucian said too harshly. He looked uncomfortable as shit. "Alex hung up on her before she could explain the ful result of the DNA test. Before she-"

  "She told him Ladd is of my blood," Nicholas said, slamming his fist back into the door.

  "And he is of your blood," Lucian said, his own nostrils flaring. "But he's not your son. "

  Nicholas stil ed, grinding his molars as he tried like hel to keep himself under control. "What are you saying?" he said through gritted teeth.

  "Your DNA and Ladd's DNA had so many matching markers she thought you were the father," Lucian said, "but when she looked closer, tested further, she found that there was one marker off. "

  "Then she made a mistake," Nicholas said on a bitter chuckle. "One marker is nothing. That's impossible. "

  "She thought so too," Alexander put in, his merlot eyes as tortured as the days he used to cage himself, living in his past pain, while protecting others from his insatiable hunger. "She did another test, and another. " His gaze flickered to Lucian, then hit Nicholas ful force. "The last marker identifies conclusively that another Roman paven fathered Ladd. "

  It was as if the room lost al its air. "What? What the hel are you-"

  "You were not born alone, Nicky," Alexander said. "Your mother gave birth to a gemino. He is Ladd's father. "

  Drowning in words that were ancient and impossible, Nicholas shook his head. It was a lie. Had to be. He would know if there was another . . . He would fucking know!

  "I don't-" He could hardly get the words out. "It's not possible-"

  Lucian came forward, grasped Nicholas's shoulder. "You have a twin, Nicky. "

  With the balas sleeping soundly, Kate had returned to the room next door, undressed, and slipped into a hot bath.

  As the water flowed over her feet and ankles, soothed her weary skin, and washed away the hours she'd spent in a prison she'd sworn she'd never return to, she wondered what would present itself next. Freedom had only been a hope, a goal to keep her breathing on the days living had seemed impossible. But now it was there for the taking. Al she had to do was reach out and grab it.

  And yet . . .

  The mark on her right breast hummed for its mate, just as her body hummed for his touch.


  He was here.

  When she heard the bedroom door open and close, heard determined footfal s move across the room, saw the door to the bathroom open, she smiled. She couldn't help herself. Seeing him was like seeing the sun after months of rain.

  He came to stand beside the bathtub, tal and dark and beautiful. But when she studied him further, she saw confusion and pain in his black eyes.

  She sat up. "What's wrong? Is it the Order?"

  He shook his head. "It is me. "


  His eyes caught hers and held. "There is another part of me out there somewhere, Kate. "

  She released the breath she was holding. "Yes, and he is wel and is fast asleep in his room. "

  A soft smile touched Nicholas's hard lips. "Yes. It's true. "


  He shook his head. "No. Later, sweetest one. Right now, I need you. I need to be inside your body, your soul"-he locked eyes with her-"inside your unbeating heart, where it's warm and safe. "

  His words made her ache, yet worried her too. But she nodded and said, "Come. "

  He stripped down, and Kate watched as every glorious inch of his heavily muscled perfection was revealed to her hungry gaze.

  He stepped into the tub and sat opposite her.

  "You are free now," he said softly, though his eyes drifted downward to the mark above her nipple. "Free to do what you want when you want, and with whom-even free from the strings of mating, if that is what you wish. "

  "Is that what you wish?" she asked, then held her breath.

  His lips curved into a grin. "My wish, dear one, is for you to crawl up onto my lap and take my cock inside you. My wish is for you to ride me until you come, drink from me until you are fil ed, and love me as I love you, for al eternity. That is my wish. "

  It was too good, too wonderful-too sweet to be real.

  And yet it was. Kate didn't have to think, to mul -she didn't even have to say a word. She leaped at him, not caring about the water splashing over the sides of the tub. She needed to get to him, feel his skin, connect their bodies.

  Tears sprang to her eyes, but she swiped them away. She didn't do tears. She did honesty and care, and the magnificent paven before her.

  "Yes. I am free," she said, straddling him, just until she felt the head of his shaft meet the entrance to her body. "To choose my life, my destination, and my true love. " Then with a sigh, she sat, taking his cock deep into her, al the way to her womb. They wouldn't have a perfect fairy-tale existence together-it wasn't their way, not with pasts stil yet to ful y overcome. But with a love this great, Kate knew they would find their happily ever after, in the arms and the smiles and the loving care of each other. "I love you, Nicholas Roman," she said passionately. "And I bind my body to yours, my life to yours, my mark to yours, if you'l have me. "

  Nicholas growled, wrapped his arms around her. "I wil have you every day, every moment," he murmured, taking her mouth as her hips rocked and swayed, as the brands on their skin fil ed in and became whole, one, a true kiss.

  As it was meant to be. "I love you, Kate. More than I ever thought possible. "

  "Never stop tel ing me," she whispered in between nips and laps at his tongue, "and never stop kissing me. "

  "Never," he declared, gripping her as tightly as her tender cunt gripped his sex. "For you wear my eternal kiss above your heart," he murmured against her mouth, "and carry my eternal love beneath. "


  Lucian Roman stood at the very edge of the dance floor, his arms folded across his chest in a show of repulsion.

  Granted, he was moderately happy for his brothers, but the fact that they felt it necessary to invite the whole fucking credenti community to their mating made his ass twitch.

  The schoolroom in the Manhattan credenti had been magical y transformed into a medieval bal room, courtesy of the Order. A mating gift, they'd cal ed it.

  Lucian just cal ed it bul shit.

  Impures were not welcome at the Veracou, much less al owed to take part in it, but when Alexander had gone to the Order, feral and protective, demanding that not only would his true mate be beside him at the ceremony, but any and al of her family, they
'd caved immediately and given their consent.

  Clearly, the Eternal Order were trying to make nice after al that happened with Cruen, and even perhaps buttering them up in case they needed to cal on the Romans in the future.

  Lucian eyebal ed the heavily robed Order member sitting alone near the musicians. Perhaps it was Daddy who had something to do with this, he mused. Bringing everyone together as though nothing had happened. Lucian didn't like it, the Order and the Romans coexisting. It was unnatural.

  His eyes shifted to the happy couple who had just completed their mating ceremony. Nicholas and Kate, dressed in their formal robes, sat at a long table, drinking each other's blood out of gold cups. Ladd sat beside them.

  Their balas. For now. Soon, Nicholas and his mate, along with both Alexander and Lucian, would be on the hunt for Nicholas's twin-their brother in blood-a mystery to discover.

  On the dance floor, acting like two animals in heat, Alexander and Sara were curled into each other, swaying to the music.

  Lucian snorted. Nothing more off-putting than a bunch of vampires playing medieval wedding music, he thought.

  Dillon must've thought so too, as her scowl from across the room was nearly as irritated as Lucian's.

  "Al alone, Luca?"

  Lucian turned. Sara and Gray's mother-and the female who had once traveled with Lucian and his brothers back during their escape-gave him a wry grin. "Not anymore, Cel ie. "

  "Oh, I'm only here for a moment," Celestine informed him.

  She had just arrived from her home in Minnesota the day before, but whenever she was around it made Lucian and his brothers feel like young pavens again. "There is an Impure over there who is anxious to dance with me. "

  "He is a lucky male. "

  She leaned in and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Oh, my dear Luca. You can be a true gentlepaven when you want to be. "

  Lucian heard the hitch in her voice, and wondered if she was thinking of her son. "Have you heard from Gray?"

  "No. "

  "We'l get him back, Cel ie, don't worry. "

  "I'm afraid he doesn't want to come back. He searches for something none of us can offer him. " She gave him one last smile, then walked away toward her male admirer.

  As the song ended with an eye-rol ing flourish, Lucian watched the crowds fan out toward the tables. Typical fare was being served-grains and fruits, seed cake, and al the blood one could drink. But as the Purebloods and Impures took their seats, a commotion from near the main table erupted, and two figures were pushed forward. A smiling paven and veana walked onto the dance floor and addressed the crowd.

  "We wished to wait," the paven said, though his smile was wide with pride. "As this is the mating day of another. "

  Lucian sighed. How much longer did he need to stay?

  Hell, he'd witnessed the mating rites, and he wasn't looking for a blood meal.

  "Announce your happy news, Kettler. "

  The cal from the crowd instantly grabbed Lucian's attention and he scanned the guests for a familiar face.

  Bronwyn Kettler. God, was she here?

  "Two weeks ago," the paven was saying, "my daughter Bronwyn went through her Meta. "

  Blood began to pound in Lucian's skul like a gas pump.

  What the hel was happening? Two weeks. That was when she'd come to him, weak, unable to take rations-when she'd come to him, weak, unable to take rations-when he'd fed her. She had been going through Meta.

  Lucian's lip curled.

  She had lied to him.

  "Her mark has cal ed forth her true mate," the paven continued, his eyes sparkling like diamonds. "And it is with happiest heart that I announce their engagement. "

  As he stared at the couple, Lucian could barely get air into his lungs.

  "When is the mating service, Samuel?" someone cal ed out.

  "Wednesday next. " The paven gestured to the crowd, and Bronwyn stepped forward, a male at her side.

  Turn around.

  Lucian stil ed. Not his voice. Titus was in his head. He slashed his gaze to the hooded paven near the instruments.

  Walk out.

  Lucian couldn't help himself. His eyes tore into Bronwyn and the paven. Smiling down at her, the Pureblood grabbed her hand with its smal animal-shaped brand near the base of her thumb and brought it to his mouth.

  A feral sound erupted in Lucian's throat. His fangs dropped, his body went hot and heavy, and when the paven put his lips to Bronwyn's pale wrist, he sprang-through the crowd and toward the unsuspecting bridegroom.
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