Home > Dark Ghost (Drak #28)(9)

Dark Ghost (Drak #28)(9)
Author: Christine Feehan


“Te élidet ainaak pide minan. Your life will be placed above my own for all time.” And that meant any enemy of hers was his enemy. Any enemy of his could never touch her. His enemies did not last very long.


He gently inserted his fingers between her mouth and the wound in his chest. Her tongue instinctively followed the little trickle of ruby beads away from the slash. The movement was naturally sensual, and his breath hissed out of his lungs as he closed the wound and tipped her face up to his, using two fingers, forcing her eyes to meet his.


“Te avio päläfertiilam. You are my lifemate. Ainaak sívamet jutta oleny. You are bound to me for all eternity. Ainaak terád vigyázak. You are always in my care.”


He took her mouth. Gentle. Reverent even. Tasting the mixture of their blood now flowing together to form a mutual path. He closed his eyes, savoring her. Savoring the moment. She wouldn’t remember other than in a dream. He wanted that for her. He wanted her to get used to his world slowly, taking it in a little at a time so she wouldn’t be too frightened and she would be able to accept her fate over time.


He used his tongue rather than his mind to remove all evidence of his blood from her lips and mouth. He loved touching her. Loved having her next to his skin. He especially loved the silk of her hair against him. Sensations were sensual. He craved them now that he could feel. Every sensation she could give him. How could he possibly let her go, even for a moment, after waiting so long for her?


Still, he set her to one side, his hands reluctantly leaving the warmth of her body. He took a breath and gave the command for her to awaken fully. Her lashes fluttered. Lifted. He found himself looking straight into her dark melted chocolate eyes. So dark a man might get lost there.


She brought up a trembling hand and touched her lips, her gaze moving over his chest – a chest that had no shirt but revealed heavy muscles, four circular older scars and wounds that were healed. Completely. Absolutely healed. Gone.


She swallowed and glanced down at her watch. “I feel like I missed something important.” The moment she spoke, she touched her lip where it had stung, especially when she talked. Her hand moved from her lip to her face where it had been swollen.


He smiled to reassure her. “I, too, am a healer. The sight of you bruised and battered was abhorrent to me. No man should put his hands on a woman like that. Especially you. I felt compelled to heal you,” he added honestly. “Are you in any pain at all?” Because he would start all over if she was.


She shook her head. “I was supposed to heal you.”


She sounded a little disappointed and he hid a smile. He had forgotten smiles. He doubted if he’d ever smiled much. The sensation was wonderful and a little shocking. “Next time. I seriously couldn’t allow you to be in pain.”


“Are you an empath?” Her eyes were on his chest.


She had a difficult time pulling her gaze away, and he was suddenly grateful he hadn’t donned a clean shirt. That meant he would have to manufacture a stash of clothes for the time being, enough that she would be eased into his world as gently as possible. She liked his chest and the muscles there. He had plenty from so many centuries of battling the undead.


He also had a few scars, including the four circular ones that would never leave his body. Carpathians rarely scarred. The wound had to be mortal – one that was deadly. He’d taken a few very nasty jabs to his heart when a master vampire had nearly managed to rip the organ from his body. He’d been lucky that time. Skill had little to do with saving his life, although his vast experience had definitely aided him. The worst scar was there, and he saw her gaze fall to it several times, no doubt wondering why the scar was the size of a fist and looked as if an animal had tried to rip him open.


“I’m Andre. Andre Boroi.” His heart leapt when he gave himself that precious last name – the surname that actually meant something to him. The one he had vowed he would never use unless he used it with his lifemate out of honor. Out of respect. “It is my pleasure to meet you, Teagan Joanes.” Which didn’t tell her anything. Her eyes told him she was afraid and he didn’t blame her.


He was a Carpathian and that meant he was a predator. There was no doubt that showed in his features, in his eyes, probably even in his carriage. He didn’t want his lifemate frightened, but there was no softening of what or who he was.


“What happened to you?”


Her voice was very soft, trembling even. Her hands dropped to her lap, fingers twisting together. She’d been attacked by a friend. He was a total stranger and they were alone in a cave. Her fear beat at him, making his belly knot up. He found having a violent and unexpected physical reaction to her fear interesting and yet disturbing.


“Be still, Teagan.” He dropped his voice low, using a hypnotic tone. A soothing one. “You are safe with me. I would never harm you.”


Her lashes fluttered. He couldn’t help staring at them. She had long, thick lashes that curled just a little on the ends. They were midnight black, just like her hair. Black – not gray. He liked that.


She moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue and instantly his attention was on her lips, that soft perfect little bow of a mouth. He found himself fascinated with her mouth. Her skin was beautiful, flawless, and as soft as it looked. He knew because the feel of her was already imprinted in his mind.


“You’re staring at me,” she said in a small voice.


“You are quite beautiful. I have never seen a woman as remarkable as you are.”


She frowned at him. “I’m not, you know. Beautiful. I’m just me. I like being me, and I don’t need compliments and lies to make myself feel good.”


He touched her mind at the suddenly fierce flash of pride in her eyes. He saw her sisters, the women she viewed as beautiful. They were all tall with lots of curves. Her half sisters. She loved them and thought they were the most beautiful women on the face of the earth. He pulled her recent encounter with Armend Jashari out of her brain, hearing the ugly things he’d said to her.


He frowned. “Ainaak enyém, to me, there is no one more beautiful for a variety of reasons. I love the look of you. Your eyes and skin, the shape of you, but more, the way you make me feel. We are sitting in a cave, both injured, both healers, and I can feel your fear, yet you have not abandoned me. You did not abandon me when you found me and that took courage. I find that – and you – quite beautiful.”


The hint of defiant pride faded to be replaced by a small smile. “I’m not all that brave, Andre. I’m afraid of everything, I just refuse to give into it.”


“Do not be afraid of me, csitri. I can tell you this. There are few men walking this earth more dangerous than the one in this cave with you. I will not allow any harm to come to you. Not now. Not ever. That simply is.”


His voice rang with sincerity. He looked her in the eye, hoping she would believe him. He wasn’t a man who talked much. In fact, probably, this was the most he’d spoken at any one time to any human being. But he didn’t want her to fear him. He didn’t like the way her fingers twisted in her lap and the slight tremor he could see in her hands, although she tried to hide it from him.

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