Midnight Rising (Chapter Twenty-nine)

Rio's quarters were quiet when he returned to them a short while later. He could smell the trace scents of the other Breedmates who'd been there not long ago to bring her food and keep her company, but it was Dylan's juniper and honey essence that drew him through the empty rooms toward the bedroom suite. The shower was running in the adjacent bathroom, and it didn't take much for him to imagine a lot of rolling steam and sudsy hot water licking her beautiful body.

He approached the partially open door and discovered that the reality was even better than his imagination.

Dylan stood beneath the double heads of the huge walk-in shower, her hands braced on the tiles, spine arched in a graceful curve that caught the drenching blasts of the sprays. Her chin was tilted back, eyes closed. Her fiery hair was soaked to a dark copper shot with gold, clinging to her like wet silk as she rinsed the shampoo from its length.

Frothy white suds ran over the round cheeks of her backside…Cristo, down between them too, into the tight cleft of her ass and onto her long, slender thighs.

Rio licked his lips, his mouth gone suddenly dry. He felt the ache of his emerging fangs, and the answering throb of his cock as hunger rose within him for this female.

His female, answered an impulse that was purely male, purely Breed.

He wanted her. Wanted her wet and warm beneath him, and he didn't think he could wait too long to have her.

He must have made some kind of noise because Dylan's head came down sharply and turned toward him. Her eyes snapped open, then she smiled at him through the glass…a slow, seductive smile that made him wish he was naked right now, climbing under the water with her.

But making love in the darkness of a small church alcove was a far different thing than doing it face-to-face, body to body, in the bright yellow light and mirrored expanse of where they were now. In here, he had nowhere to hide. Dylan would see him – all of him, all of the scars she may not have noticed when they were making love in the dark several hours ago.

Shame made him want to douse the dozen recessed lights overhead. He flicked an irritated glance upward, but Dylan's voice distracted him from the thought.

"Rio…join me."

Madre de Dios, but the sound of that husky invitation was almost enough to distract him from all thought completely…except for the one that urged him to take his clothes off and do as she was asking him to.

He met her eyes through the glass of the shower door, his own heavy-lidded and sharp with the flood of swamping amber that was surely turning his pupils into thinnest slivers of black.

"I want you in here with me," Dylan said. She held his stare as she ran her palms up her flat belly and over the buoyant swells of her breasts. "Come in here with me…I want to feel your hands on me. All over me."


Rio's jaw was clamped so tightly his molars should have shattered. It was damn hard to wallow in self-doubt or shame when the only woman he wanted – a woman he wanted more than anything ever before in his entire existence – was looking at him like she intended to devour him whole.

He got rid of his boots and socks, then stripped out of his shirt and pants and boxers. He stood there, naked, fully erect, his dermaglyphs pulsing with all the colors of his desire. Hands fisted at his sides, he let Dylan take a good long look at him. It was excruciating – those first few seconds as her darkening eyes lowered and her gaze swept slowly over him.

He knew what she was seeing. Hell, he could see it well enough for himself: his battered torso, the skin of which was glossy and tight in some places, rough in others, where he still carried tiny pieces of shrapnel embedded several layers down into his flesh. And farther down was the thick red scar that ran down the length of his left thigh, the gash that had almost cost him the limb entirely.

Dylan was seeing all of that ugliness now.

He waited for her eyes to lift.

He waited to see pity in her face, dreaded that he might see revulsion.

"Rio," she murmured thickly.

Her head came up slowly and her eyes met his. Her peridot gaze was the color of a night-dark forest now, her pupils large beneath the heavy fall of her lashes. There was no pity there, nothing but dusky, feminine desire.

Rio wanted to throw his head back and shout his relief, but the sight of Dylan's parted lips, her hungry eyes drinking him in so wantonly, robbed him of his voice.

She opened the glass door of the shower. "Get in here," she demanded, her mouth curling into the most incredibly sexy smile. "Get in here…right now."

He grinned and stepped inside, joining her under the warm spray.

"That's better," Dylan purred as she wrapped her arms around him and pulled him down into a deep, wet kiss.

She felt so good against him, all that slick, hot skin, all those exquisite curves. Rio held her close, burrowing his fingers into her wet hair, feeling the warm beat of her pulse against his wrist where it rested at the side of her neck.

"I want to taste you," she said, already breaking away from his mouth to kiss a slow trail down his throat, to the hollow at its base, then along the line of his shoulder. She sank lower still, playing her tongue over the muscled slabs of his chest, teasing his male nipples into tight little buds. "You taste good, Rio. I could eat you up."

He groaned as she let her mouth travel down his sternum, nipping at him as she went along. Her kiss got less playful as she moved toward his scarred left side.

Rio sucked in his breath. "Don't," he rasped, awkward panic seizing him when he thought of her getting anywhere near those hideous marks. She glanced up at him in question and he wanted to die from shame. "It's all right. You don't have to…"

"Will it hurt you if I touch you there?" she asked gently, her fingers skating so carefully over the ruined skin. "Does that hurt at all, Rio?"

He managed a weak shake of his head.

It didn't hurt. What little he could feel through the damaged nerve endings and scars felt good.

Cristo en cielo, it felt so very good to be touched by her.

"Does this hurt?" she asked, pressing the lightest, most caring kiss to the ugliest part of him. "How does that feel, Rio?"

"Good," he rasped, his throat going thick, and not just from the sheer pleasure of Dylan's mouth on his body. Her tender gift just now – that sweet, accepting kiss – touched a place in him so deep and forgotten he thought it had been long dead. "Dylan…you are…Jesus, but you are the most incredible woman I have ever known. I truly mean that."

She smiled up at him, beaming now. "Well, brace yourself, because I'm only getting started."

Going down on her knees on the tiles before him, Dylan kissed his pelvis and thighs, lapping at the thin rivulets of water that sluiced down from over his shoulders. Each brush of her mouth near his cock made his erection ratchet tighter, harder. When she reached up and took him in her small wet hands, he thought he was going to lose it.

"How does this feel?" she asked as she stroked him from balls to head and back again, the wicked look in her eyes telling him she knew precisely how it must feel.

Good thing, because he was incapable of talk so long as she was lavishing such slow, rhythmic attention on him.

And as if that weren't glorious enough, Dylan's tongue joined the party too. She slid along the length of his shaft, then wrapped her lips around the head of his cock and sucked him deep into her mouth.

Rio let out a hoarse moan, and it was all he could do to hold his balance as she swallowed even more of him. He shuddered as she tongued the underside of his penis, her mouth moving up and down on him, tightening the pressure that was already building at the base of his spine. A fierce orgasm was roaring up on him like a freight train.

Ah, fuck, if he didn't stop her soon he was going to –

With an animal snarl, he lifted Dylan off his throbbing sex. "My turn now," he said, his voice deep and otherworldly.

She gasped as he pushed her back against the tiles and kissed her with the same slow torment she'd dealt to him. He played his mouth along her throat and down between her breasts, where the fluttering drum of her heartbeat danced against his tongue. He kissed her perfect rosy nipples, using only the slightest tips of his fangs to graze her as he moved lower, to the dip of her navel and then the pleasing curve of her hip.

"You taste very good too," he told her thickly, giving her a glimpse of his fully extended fangs. Her eyes widened, but not in fear. He heard her sharp intake of breath as he bent his head and sucked gently at the sweet little vee of red curls between her thighs. "Mmm," he moaned against her creamy flesh. "You taste very, very good."

She cried out at the first press of his mouth on her sex, then melted into a slow, sultry moan as his tongue cleaved into the tender folds of her core. He was merciless, wanting to hear her scream from the pleasure he was giving her. He burrowed deeper between her soft thighs, reveling in the sharp twist of his hair as she grabbed his head and held him to her, trembling as he stoked her toward release.

"Oh, my God," she whispered tightly, her breath panting. "Oh, Rio…yes…"

She said his name again, not just the nickname everyone knew him by, but his true name. The one that sounded so right on her lips. She screamed his name as her orgasm overtook her, and it was the most beautiful thing he'd ever known.

Rio wanted to hold her, but his need was too great now. His cock was ready to explode, and he wanted to be inside her – needed to be – the same way he needed breath and blood to survive.

He stood up and smoothed the wet hair from her face. "Turn around," he rasped. "Put your hands against the tiles and arch your back, like you were when I first came in here."

With a pleasured smile, she obliged him, planting her palms wide and putting that beautiful backside right in front of him. Rio caressed her flawless skin, letting his fingers trail into the cleft between the round cheeks, and into the slick mouth of her sex. She drew in her breath as he spread her open and played the tip of his cock against the swollen, dark pink folds.

"This is what I wanted to do to you when I saw you in here, Dylan."

"Yes," she whispered, trembling as he stroked her so intimately.

He pushed inside and felt the hot walls of her womb grip his hard flesh. He withdrew, shuddering all the way from the sheer bliss of it. Holy hell, but he wasn't going to last long like this. Nor did he care if he did. He needed to lose himself inside Dylan's warmth, surrender all he had to her, because he knew in his heart that their time together was fleeting.

She would be going back to her world before long, while he remained in his.

Rio wrapped his arms around Dylan's body, holding her as close as he could bring her as his climax started to break over him. He shouted with the sudden blast of his release.

And even after it was over, his arms remained tightly wrapped around the woman he knew he couldn't keep.