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Chapter 20| Venom

His arm wrapped around my waist and I trembled as the frigid cold that accompanied him nestled itself into my frantically beating heart. With each forceful pump, I could feel my heart rate grow slower.

Hypothermia was setting in as the icy current that once ran warm flowed through me. A shuddering breath escaped my lips at last as he pulled me flush against his front.

"You know," he said as he dragged his nose up the path of my neck, inhaling my scent, "If you weren't so scared, it would feel good. The call is said to be quite...Intoxicating."

Still, I couldn't reply.

"So sweet," he whispered to himself as he splayed his hand over my abdomen possessively.

"Your suitcase is packed," he said taking stalk of the state of my bedroom, "Rather awfully might I add, where are you going?"

He didn't need to know where I was going, I wasn't going to put Linda in any danger. She knew nothing of this world, and if I have anything to say about it, she never will.

"How did you know I was here?"

"I knew the moment you left Shadowfang."

"So you're following me?" I asked incredulously.

"Where. Were. You. Going."

Shit. It wasn't a question, he knew I was stalling, and I could tell that his patience was wearing thin. I could hear it in his tone, feel it in the way his possessive grip tightened around my waist, locking me in place.

Think, Amina, think! I'd been praised in the past for being quick on my feet, but at present, my mind was racing to and fro, finding no plausible response.

"Little Rose. Don't tempt me."

I felt the warmth of his fangs glide along the base of my neck, leaving behind a moist path that made me shiver as cool air brushed against it.

"B-back to Sh-Shadowfang," I stuttered.

Slowly, he lowered his hand from my belly, "Tsk, tsk, tsk," he tutted as he played with the hem of my shirt.

"That's one."

"What?"

"Back to Shadowfang you say?"

I nodded.

He chuckled, and my eyes rolled to the back of my head in delight, what the hell?

"Two."

"Huh?" I asked deliriously.

"I find it hard to believe that Malachai would let you come here all alone."

You're absolutely right, his psychotic ass-although less so than the predator currently standing behind me-would never let me come here alone, and that's why escaped, but did Michael really need to know that? No.

"He trusts me." I sounded so confident, as if I knew this to be fact, so much so that even I almost believed myself. His hand slipped under my shirt and my flesh shuddered beneath his touch. What the hell was happening to me?

"Three."

"What are you counting?"

"You'll know soon enough," he said, dismissing my question, "Who were you talking to on your way up here?"

The ice that encased my heart thawed, giving way to erratic heartbeats that raged against the confines of my ribcage in an attempt to recover the heat I'd lost. Linda has nothing to do with this, ignorance is bliss, and for her sake, it would stay that way.

Why was it so important to know who I was speaking with? She was irrelevant unless-and then it dawned on me that he may have heard me ask her to stay at her place for a couple of days, which would mean that he knows I've been lying this entire time.

Sneaky bastard. Was this his way of informing me that he knows that I'm lying to him? Was this some form of a trap?

There was no telling how long he had been listening to my conversation, but he must have known I was speaking to a woman, he just had not known who that woman was, which meant that I could give him any name.

"You would think I'd mastered the art of patience in my 2000 years, Little Rose," he said, interrupting my thoughts, "But I assure you," he paused before continuing, "I have not. I won't ask again, Amina."

Fuck. Amina, not Little Rose.

"My friend. I spoke to my friend," the response flew from my lips.

"Her name?" He questioned as he drew tantalizing circles against my abdomen. My eyes fluttered closed as his fingers made their torturous ascent.

"Becca-Rebecca," I panted.

"Four."

Slowly, he turned me around so that I could face him.

"How Malachai could let you go is beyond me," his voice was enough to let me know that he was ravenous, but his contorted facial features confirmed it all the more.

He pressed his front against my pelvic bone, grinding into me, and I could feel his hardness straining against the confines of his pants.

His hand shot to my breasts kneading them through the thin fabric of my shirt. The sensation left me speechless, unable to push him away. Instead, I pushed my breast into his calloused palms so as to provide him more access.

I threw my head back in ecstasy and moaned. What was happening to me?

"In my world, lying is a great offense, Little Rose, but," whispered against the shell of my ear, "Given that you are newly inducted into this world, the punishment shall be less severe."

I felt his lips purse against my ear, "What shall your punishment be?" he asked as he feigned deep contemplation.

He moved with such speed and precision that my mind hadn't grasped what was happening until the bolt of pleasure shot through me. In half a second I was on the bed, in less time than that, my pants were literally torn from me. I laid on the bed with legs spread apart from each other, and a moment later his fingers impaled me.

The moan that tore past my lips was guttural, coming from deep within. I had lost control of every faculty, each and everyone surrendering to Michael Cirini's touch. My pussy seized uncontrollably as his nimble fingers worked me, my juices had long since overflowed, trickling down the inside of my trembling thighs.

I felt his tongue lap at me feverishly in an attempt to prevent the loss of my essence. A vicious snarl escaped his lips and I looked down to find completely blackened eyes.

The site of his hunger made my abdomen tighten in anticipation as more of my wetness gushed from me. This was wrong, so wrong, but I couldn't control it and God forgive me, I didn't want to.

I'd felt like shit these last three days, more than I wanted to admit, and certainly more than I was letting on. Michael was erasing that pain, even if I didn't want it to be him.

"Michael, what is happening to me?" I questioned between pants.

His only reply was a deep chuckle that elicited yet another cry of pleasure.

"What are you doing to me?"

"The venom," was his simple reply before his mouth latched onto my heat. I was sure to fracture my spine considering how hard I had arched my back.

Pleasure moved through me in a frenzy, searching for a release that I couldn't give it. Too good to moan, my mouth formed an 'O' but no sound could emerge from it.

With little effort, he pushed me back down on the bed as his other hand supported my trembling leg.

"Why did your mate let you come alone?"

I shook my head trying to fight against the venom, trying to push his voice out of my head.

His hand descended on the sensitive bud with a smack, and I moaned uncontrollably as I groped my breast, twisting my overly sensitive nipples in hopes of relief, it didn't come.

"You want to come?" he asked aloud as his two fingers slowly pumped in and out of me.

"Yes, Oh God, Michael please let me."

"Where were you going?"

"To my friend, for just a few days, no longer, I swear!" I screamed as I spasmed against his fingers.

"What friend?" He questioned as his fingers picked up speed. Why did he want to know who I was speaking with so badly? I would never give her up; I wouldn't do this if I had to you but I would never give him the name he sought.

"I admire your fire, Little Rose, it excites me more than you know, but let the goddess be my witness. I will draw the truth from you like poison from a wound."

"Fuck you," I moaned, I hadn't wanted to come out that way, it was supposed to be more assertive, insulting even, but so long as that venom circulated through me, my body was a traitorous bitch that sought one thing and one thing only, pleasure.

He laughed at my frustration, "I would, but only good girls get to come," he said as he sucked my clit back into the warmth of his mouth. I tried as hard as I could to move away from the unending source of pleasure, but I couldn't. Michael had me right where he wanted me, and the scary part was that I loved it.

"He can never make you feel this good," he said with a growl as he unbuckled his pants. My pussy throbbed at the sight of his hardness. Erect, angry, and red with throbbing veins, to say I didn't want it would be a lie, God what was I thinking?

He crawled over me, positioning himself at my entrance, "Tell me you want me."

I did, Goddess help me, I did, but it wasn't me. The venom made me want this man, I couldn't do this. If I said yes, I'd fall into another prison after I had just escaped one, and if I said no, I wasn't too sure what stood behind that door, conscience where the hell are you?

"Malachai is my mate."

"And yet he has not marked you."

"It doesn't matter."

"Tell me you want me," he said as he rubbed the head of his cock against my folds and I clenched and clenched again.

"I know you do, but I want to hear you say it."

"Michael I-"

The change in the air was violent and abrupt. In a flash Cirini no longer hovered over me. I watched him fly across my bedroom and through the wall.

Frantically, I searched for the culprit, knowing it could only be him.

My eyes locked onto his and what I saw wasn't the look of a man enraged. It was the look of a beast unhinged. Malachai looked like the harbinger of death himself. No words, not a growl, not a roar, and yet he stood before me vibrating with rage.

It was at that moment I felt his true power, understood the meaning of a true apex predator. He sat comfortably in his skin as it bristled with fury, as though this was where he was most balanced. This was his element.

Eyes as dark as an abyss, fangs descended, veins protruding, half shifted. The look was enough to terrify me, but his focus was on the vampire laying on my living room floor.

He darted into the living room, hardly giving Michael the chance to recover. With one swift kick, Michael skidded across the wooden floor, his head smacking against the stone centerpiece.

"I will kill you," Malachai said softly, and yet the edge of menace and promise still discernible. With one hand he picked the vampire up off the ground by the collar in with the other he pummeled his face.

The sound of flesh being repeatedly beaten was enough to make me vomit, but Malachai didn't let up. He threw him across the room and I watched as Michael's body collided with the marble slab that hung over the fireplace.

With calm precision, Malachai broke off a piece of wood from my furniture and stalked over to Michael in silence.

"Now, you die," Malachai said, his voice at a lower register than before. He raised the stake over the vampire and just before he could plunge it into Michael's chest, he caught Malachai's wrist.

"Enough!" His voice boomed throughout my apartment, but it had no effect on Malachai, who was surely but slowly overpowering Cirini's strength.

"My venom is in her."

Malachai paused assessing his features keenly, searching for a crack, anything to ensure this was a lie, another one of his tricks.

"No."

"You know what will happen," he said matter of factly.

I looked back and forth between the two of them as they exchanged looks, silently conversing with one another.

"No!" Malachi screamed.

"She will go mad with need. A need you cannot satisfy as it is not your venom that courses through her."

"It will leave her system in a few hours."

" A few hours is all the time needed to have the effect. You know what they say, Mal, the older the vampire the more potent the-"

He punched him in the face before he could finish his remark that was sure to be snide.

"Don't you ever call me that," he said, his voice distorted. Michael laughed before spitting out the blood that pooled in his mouth.

"Only I can give her the release she needs, you know it." Malachai wrapped his hand around the vampire's throat in warning, but Cirini continued, "Kill me, and she loses her mind. Are you that prideful that you would risk losing yet another mate?"

Slowly, his hand loosened, and Michael stood up dusting himself off as his injuries healed one by one.

"Go to the room, make it quick."

"Malachai what's going on?" I asked, confusion written all over my face.

"I'm going to take care of your problem, Little Rose."

"My problem?"

"The need that throbs between your legs," he whispered with excitement painted on his face.

Maverick growled as Malachai fought to maintain control.

"No," this time it came from me. I wouldn't do this, my mind was clear now I could resist.

"Yes," Michael said as a deranged smile took over his face.

"You must," Malachai said between gritted teeth.

"No," I said with less conviction than I did before. My knees buckled, sending me to the floor, the call, it was happening again. Malachai picked me up and brought me to my bedroom and Michael followed.

"I want you to, Malachai."

I could see the strain on his face, the tension in his jaw, the slight tick of his eye, this was killing him. "I cannot, it's not my venom. It may possibly worsen if I try. It must be him."

"Have I not been gentle, Little Rose?"

"Fuck you," Malachai replied, "Make it quick." He turned to me before leaving, "I'll be just outside," and he made for the door.

"No you won't," Michael interrupted, "You will watch. Every second."

"No, I will not, he said, his eyes aglow with anger. Maverick was out, and if Cirini kept pushing, blood would spill.

"You will watch as I give your mate pleasure like she's never known. If you refuse I will bind her to me as my pet.

Maverick growled a warning to the old vampire.

"Think I won't?" Cirini questioned, "Try me, Mal, you know I'm good for it."

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