Kira lay at Julian's side, her cheek pressed against his shoulder, her hand making trails over his broad chest as he rained kisses along her scalp. His fingers had made themselves a home in her locks of dark hair, absently twisting and twirling them around each long digit and letting them float back to the bed around her face, admiring Kira in all her beauty. Well over three centuries with the woman and yet every time seemed like a first. She had a fire, a spark, even if she seemed to lack it at times. While not one for expressing emotions, she made up for that and then some with a fierceness and resolve that vampires far older than she couldn't seem to grasp.
He eyed the rosy peak of one supple breast peeking out from beneath the sheets and his lip quirked. Though it hadn't been long since his lips had been around just that, licking and teasing and reducing her body to shivers, he edged his way downward and caught her nipple between his teeth.
"So soon?" she quipped, her voice monotone but lacking of any real fight. She wanted it, he could tell. She always did.
He rolled over until he was once again on top of her, edging his way between her thighs. They fell to the side and spread for him, her brown eyes hooded and playful. He smirked, the razor-sharp ends of his canines elongating into fangs. His eyes changed from a vibrant emerald hue to something dark and delicious, and because she loved it, she grinned beneath him and thrust her hips upwards, an invitation. "I don't see you complaining," he snarled, his fangs reaching past that full and grinning bottom lip and aching to bury themselves into any part of her that he could. His erection pressed against her opening and he groaned when he felt just how ready she was. When she writhed against him again, granting him entrance, he groaned but held back. The push and pull between them and the fury in her eyes upon not getting what she wanted was almost better than the fucking. Almost.
"Such a sadist," she growled, her own fangs coming out to play and damned near a sexy enough sight to make him want to burst. He was impossibly hard. She wouldn't be waiting long this time. "I never beg and yet you still try."
"Just once?" he said with a grin, beaming down at her and pushing forward just an inch. She clenched around him, but she made no move to push him against her, to fill the empty ache between her legs. Kira and her stubborn pride. "I could always settle for a rain check," he shrugged in mock disinterest. "I'm getting hungry."
Kira snorted. "Very well, Julian. So am I."
And, just like that, the switch was flipped. She pushed him off and got to her feet, not even bothering to dress herself before she reached the door. Julian sat up and groaned. The couple met each other's gazes, each daring the other to fold. Neither would. The sheet, impressively tented beneath his lap, almost beckoned to her. He slipped a hand beneath the silk to fist his length and gave it a slow tug, his eyes never once straying from hers. "Be a dear and get us a drink. I feel like making this interesting."
Kira rolled her eyes. "You and your blood whores."
Just as she moved to open the door, a knock caught her first. The voice of a fellow vampire floated through the door.
Julian stood, not shy about his body in the least, and picked at a fingernail as he answered. "Abel. Always delighted for your presence."
"May I come in?"
He directed a smirk toward Kira. "Come," he called back in his signature deep tone. "It's time someone
Abel pushed through the door, tentatively eying Kira, but not daring to let his gaze drift downward. He immediately bowed his head toward Julian out of respect for the leader of their coven.
"Speak," Julian commanded, finally taking his eyes off of Kira in time to see the turmoil behind Abel's eyes. Something was wrong.
Abel took a small step closer and locked eyes with Julian. "It's Maria," he rasped, the corded muscles of his arms flexing beneath his Henley, his fists tensed at his sides and his jaw clenched tight. "She went missing this morning. She told me she was going out to hunt. Morgan and I traced her back to the mortals' grounds. She's being kept."
"She was taken?" Julian responded, his demeanor changing from seductive and carefree to deadly and active. He reached for a shirt from the dresser beside the bed. "That's two in one week. We've not even compiled all of our information."
Kira reached for her own jeans and tank shirt as Julian dressed. Maria, a strong fighter and loyal friend, had been taken. And she was Abel's only love.
"I should have watched her," Abel bit out. "We knew that Ivan wouldn't be the only one. I should have gone. Protected her."
Kira crossed the room in one quick stride and placed a hand on his shoulder. "None of this will help find her. You know the weapons they can use against us. They've got an entire government on their side. Armies. We cannot go into this blind."
"We'll scope out the grounds again," Julian concluded, now fully dressed, his eyes narrowed in warning at Abel. "I'll not have you entering the premises. We must know what we're getting ourselves into. We will look, we'll return and we'll figure out a mode of attack."
Abel bristled. "And that's it? We simply wait?"
Kira understood his frustration, but no one spoke to their leader with such menace. Julian turned on him quickly. Faster than Kira could blink, Julian had his hand on Abel's throat, the younger vampire's body pressed into the wall. "Forgive me," Julian grated. "For a moment there, it seemed as though you were questioning me."
Abel writhed in Julian's grasp, but the elder was much stronger. He nodded as much as he could. "I'm sorry," he choked. "You're right."
Just as quickly as he had restrained him, Julian released his hold on Abel. Kira stepped forward. "We're wasting time. Lana has the blueprints from when the place was built. We've only to add more information to go on before we begin rescuing them for good." She set her gaze on Abel and his haunted eyes peered back at her, pleading for her to understand something she understood far more than she'd ever wanted to. Loss was nothing new to her. It was nothing new to any vampire. "We will find Maria and we will save her, Abel. We simply cannot act on emotions and risk getting killed."
It all sounded too sympathetic for her ears. Too unlike herself. Abel was Abel though, and he was one of their newest vampires. She turned on him and her tone turned from soothing to glacial. "And if you make a move to expose us before this mission is solid, I'll kill you myself."
Leaving the two men where they stood, she rushed through the bedroom doors to get to work.