Chapter 15 - Painful Revelation
Dillon felt her cool lips against his heated skin. He heard Catherine suck. He felt the odd pull as his blood was taken and then the pain stopped.
His body was in shock. His mind reeled, and he could not move. His horse shifted restlessly, as did hers, but she kept them both in check.
It felt as if time sped up and slowed down. Dillon had no idea of the exact passage of time as she drank from him. He was aware of her skin, her smell, the smell of his blood, the feel of her, soft and hard all at once.
Catherine could kill him at a whim, and even so, he could not bring himself to fear her. His strength and his trust in her would not allow it.
He had no idea of how vulnerable he felt to her. He could not know that she rarely ever tasted human blood before and of how different it was. How much more potent than she was used to.
Catherine was aware of him in ways he would never understand, and he would never know. She instantly grasped the fact that in biting him she made a fundamental mistake.
Everything changed for her. Against all logic and common myth, her body reacted to Dillon on a level he would not get. Catherine finally found her mate, and he wasn’t a vampire. He was the one man she could never have.
Her fangs retracted, and with her lips still sealed to his neck, she licked his skin. It shot through him like lightning, once, twice and the blood stopped.
Catherine licked the wound clean like a cat, except her tongue was very human, and if he wasn’t still in shock, he might have embarrassed himself.
It disturbed him to realize how much he liked her touch and how strongly his body reacted to her. No vampire female ever stirred anything other than revulsion in him. They were not his kind, and in the past, his body had the sense to recognize this essential difference.
“Congratulations, you’re still human. You are very healthy, and unless you manage to get yourself killed, you’ll live to be ninety, my lord,” Catherine’s voice was a tad more whiskey sounding.
When she leaned away from Dillon, and he finally gathered himself, she looked exactly the way she looked the day with the deer.
Her eyes held a hint of passion which Catherine could not conceal well enough from him. He felt a surge of longing rip through him and grip his insides.
“I promise it will never happen again,” Catherine looked as vulnerable as he felt. It took him less than a moment to digest how she ultimately revealed herself to him, more than she realized.
This was her way of saying... accept me as I am. See me for who and what I am, then you can you judge me along with my kind.
Dillon’s eyes kept wandering to her blood stained lips. Would he taste his own blood if he... He ruthlessly quelled the thought.
Watching her as she was being tortured and punished, he saw her pride. He observed how she fought not to show how much the whip hurt and how angry she was at being naked and humiliated.
Catherine had hated being brought to shame. She resented being afraid to die. She cursed them for seeing her weakness, and Dillon was drawn to her. If he was honest with himself, he was in awe of her.
Dillon witnessed her strength. He heeded the righteous anger in her eyes, and although it was what drove him to speak, it was not the only reason he had for trying to save her.
Seeing her burn and hearing her scream was a shock to him. He would never hurt a child of his, no matter what. He despised Eduardo for allowing her to be hurt and making her suffer.
Dillon damned them all for doing nothing and for enjoying her downfall. It was tough not to show his feelings. He looked into her blazing eyes, a lifetime removed from her past and he still could not hate her. He could not condemn her either.
These last few weeks he got to know her better, but there were so many sides to her. She had lived so much life, and she was so much more rounded than any person he knew.
Catherine was old and young at the same time. Sometimes it was hard not to see how much more she was. On other occasions, it was hard to remember that she was, if not just immortal, almost indestructible.
Catherine fastidiously cleaned her mouth with a white square of linen he thoughtfully handed her. Dillon took a deep breath, reigning in his thoughts and his body.
She would probably know of his reaction to her, just from the change in his scent. It was unfair that they were so much more than human, Dillon felt, but then again it did most of them no good. It did not make them better people.
“Never make promises unless you’re damn certain you can keep them and if you can’t, at least ask permission first,” their eyes measured and weighed each other.
Catherine lowered her gaze first. Incredulously he almost felt himself smile. She would not easily fit the part of a servant. She looked like a princess in rags.
The latent power of her personality would send any servant skittering to do her bidding, actually, just about anything with a pulse.
Dillon would miss her company at home. There he could not allow her this near him too often. It would stir the servants against her and make it even more impossible for her to fit in.
“Yes, master,” she conceded, and he would never guess how much it took out of her to hide her emotions from him. To suppress the knowledge she stumbled upon and her utter confusion.
Dillon would not allow her to guess how hard he fought the urge to taste her mouth.