Bastian was shocked. Part of him wanted to tell Nicole to fuck off for talking to him like that, but the other—more dominant—part wanted to grab her and tell her how much he needed her. That temper of hers did things to his libido he’d never experienced before. Normally he liked his women timid, with a wild streak only in bed, but her strength turned him on in ways he hadn’t known possible.
He had to have her now—no matter what.
As he strutted out of his room, his brother’s voice echoed in his head, spouting things about Bastian’s impulsiveness always getting him into trouble and how he was doing the same damn reckless behaviors as usual. He stopped in his tracks, knowing exactly what would happen if he followed through.
This wasn’t like it had been with Elise. He’d known her much longer, loved her deeply. She was worth the risk. Although, the risk had led to her death. Even if he didn’t love Nicole yet, he couldn’t put her life in danger because he was horny.
But he didn’t want her to leave thinking the worst of him. He was a better man than that—or at least he was trying to be. She needed to hear him out. Unfortunately, he had no idea what he wanted to say.
He flew down the stairs at vampire speed and slammed the door closed just as she opened it. “Wait, please. Don’t leave like this.”
She gasped and dropped her purse then turned around. “You scared the hell out of me. I didn’t even hear you coming.”
When she smacked him on the chest, he grabbed her wrist. The thought of backing her up against the door and taking her right there crossed his mind, but he pushed it aside before he lost control once more. “We need to talk this out. I didn’t mean what I said. I’m just…”
“There you go again. What do you expect me to think when it’s obvious you’re hiding something?” She tugged her arm free. “What, do you have another girlfriend? Or a wife?”
How can she think that about me? “No. I most certainly do not.”
“Then what is it? Tell me I didn’t see what I thought up there in that mirror. Tell me that I didn’t feel fangs when we kissed.” She stomped forward, backing him down the hall, stopping at the living room. After an awkward silence, she turned on her heel and tromped over to the couch, then flopped down and propped her feet up on the coffee table. “I’m waiting.”
What the hell could he do? He was in deep shit. As much as he didn’t want to, he listened to her thoughts in hopes of figuring a way out of this. She wanted him to have some kind of believable story because the alternative frightened her.
As it should.
He needed to convince her it really was her imagination. In truth, though, he didn’t want to lie any longer.
With a deep breath and racing heartbeat, he ambled into the room and sat on the edge of the coffee table. She moved her legs so he could scoot directly in front of her, then leaned up and stared at him intently.
Taking her hands in his, he made a decision he hoped not to regret. “What do you think you saw?”
She licked her lips and swallowed, waves of anxiety rolling off her. “I…I don’t know. I want you to tell me what I saw.”
“I could easily say I don’t know what you’re talking about, or that if you think you saw something out of the ordinary, you must have imagined it.” He stroked the backs of her hands with his thumbs. “I could, but I won’t. If we do this, I hope you’re prepared to spend the night because we will have a lot to work through, a lot to—”
The wall clock chimed as it struck midnight, and Nicole shuddered. Her heartbeat pounded deliciously.
Bastian did his best not to focus on it or her body—at least, not yet. “Anyway, if you want to know what I’m hiding, you must be willing to stay up all night talking.”
Her hands trembled. “I’ve noticed things before, things I tried to pretend I didn’t see. Some at work, some at Surrender, and some with you.”
“I know you have. And you’ve done what most people do. You passed it off as an overactive imagination, tricks of light, and whatever other excuses made you feel better. It’s human nature.” He moved closer and lowered his voice. “Do you believe you’re ready to know the truth?”
“No, but I need to know. Especially if it’s going to come between us the way it did tonight.”
He released one of her hands and caressed her face. “So strong and brave. I only hope you still want to be with me after I confess all to you.”
She leaned into his palm. “So do I.”
“Can I have one more kiss first?”
When she nodded, he threaded his fingers into her long dark hair and drew her in for a passionate kiss. Her soft lips and sweet tongue teased his heightened senses. His body tingled with desire, and he didn’t fight the natural reactions sweeping over him. His cock stiffened, his fangs descended, and his eyes built with slight pressure as they shifted. Then he pulled away slowly, parted his lips, and waited for Nicole’s reaction.
© Lorraine Pearl
Oooh, don’t you want to know what happens next? If you would like more information and the purchase links to this and the other books in the series, please visit The Nocturnal Surrender Series website.