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Inside the Mind of a Vampire
the Mind of a Vampire: Volume Six
Tara glanced around the new lair gaping with quiet appreciation, her gaze soaking in the splendor Yonnie had created just for her. Everything was made of clear, crystalline ice. the bed, the sofa, the chairs, the long dining table, and he'd skillfully made a fire burn beneath a high frozen mantle. Tall vases made of ice captured budding pussy willow branches, white orchids, and white roses that were held in state within their chrysalis-like frost encasement.
Firelight dappled the shining surfaces making golden-orange and red hues glitter as though amber and ruby jewels. Thick, polar white pelts were strewn over the bed, sofa, and chairs, just as a massive bear pelt covered the snow-dusted floor before the inferno. Within her keen vision, the fine, powdery flakes seemed like crystal lace flecks that also caught the firelight, but didn't melt. Compelled by sheer awe, Tara allowed her hand to gently touch the bizarrely beautiful bedpost, which appeared to be a massive, twist of frozen, braided, stalagmites that had simply grown up from the floor toward the ceiling.
"I can see my breath but it's not cold," she murmured, allowing awe to paint her words.
Yonnie smiled, quietly pleased, and then gave a brief nod toward the ceiling and ice-crystal wall across the room. "Up this high in the mountains, the hawk cuts like a razor, the wind is rough, and the air is too thin-but I tried to make it comfortable so you'd like it inside. might even stay with me here a while. Despite the cold, the Northern Lights are beautiful, though. just like you."
Tara shyly looked away toward the roiling colors displayed in the night sky, becoming rapt as she stared at the throbbing magentas, swirls of pinkish-blues, and endless array of gold tones. It was nice of him to ask, even though by rights he could have commanded her to stay. That made all the difference in the world, just like the hopefulness in his voice did.
"You didn't have to do this just for me."
"Yes, I did," he said, materializing a black bottle for her and calmly opening it.
For a moment, neither of them spoke as he poured the ruby substance into long-stemmed, ice flutes. The issue was implicit-yes he did need to do this-or he'd wind up in a death match with his boy, Carlos. Yes, he did need to bring his woman high up in the mountains, thousands of miles away from his blood brother, who was in the midst of a hard Neteru apex. His boy didn't have to worry about lower level gens messing with him, especially with Damali as his woman, and they definitely had a whole squad of Guardians who could throw down.
No. This was best. A little space and distance. Plus, he and Tara both needed to get the image of Carlos as a new Chairman, who'd done some foul shit, out of their heads. They had to remember that that was the evil version of their boy-not the real deal. But sometimes illusions were hard to shake. That was why the dark side excelled in the use of them to bend the mind.
Yonnie studied the black bottle as he poured, inhaling the sweet aroma of life that wafted up from it. He'd almost battle-bulked on Carlos the moment his apex scent had filtered into his lair from Malibu, and were it not for the fact that they were family, he might have snapped. Nightfall demanded that he and Tara needed to be where they couldn't smell it. Yeah, some things in his world were basic and didn't require lengthy discussion.
Yonnie unbuttoned his full-length black mink coat and slowly approached Tara, two flutes casually held in one hand in a loose grip between his fingers. But he watched her eyes, intensely aware of the slow smolder behind her dark, smoky irises and then he stepped behind her, handing her a blood flute as he enfolded her in his arms. She yielded to his embrace without tension, and just that subtle thing caused anticipation to rush through him, giving him wood so hard so fast that he winced against her hair. He caressed her ear with his nose; theirs had been a very delicate dance over time. Never sure. Her black mink coat drew him to briefly rub his cheek against her collar, remembering how silky her real coat felt when she shape-shifted into wolfen form. He was rewarded by her touch, her free hand capturing his in a gentle squeeze that transmitted pure appreciation.
"You know, in the dead of winter," he murmured near her ear, "it stays dark twenty-four seven."
He could feel her smile as she brought the flute to her mouth.
"I could get used to that," she said in a low, sensual tone, and then took a sip. She craned her neck to turn and directly stare at him. "It's warm!"
He chuckled. "Yeah. it is, isn't it? Caribou-the herd just flushed for a hunt and pumping adrenaline."
She fully turned and hugged him, and laid her head on his shoulder. "Thank you for everything, Yonnie," she said on a breathy whisper. "I know I haven't exactly been-"
"Don't go there," he said quietly, pulling back to look into her now flickering eyes while slowly shaking his head no. The soft red glow deep within them had lit like a tiny ember and was now beginning to consume the larger frame of brown in a slow blaze. When she was like this, she was so beautiful. Hell, even when she wasn't gently yielding, she was still gorgeous and she still messed him up.
"I'm sorry that I hurt you before."
"Shush," he murmured, tracing her cheek with his thumb. "The past is the past. We've both done crazy shit. All I know is you had my back when the new Chairman was yanking vertebrae out of it. Feel me?"
Tara nodded and captured his hand to stop him from tracing her cheek just so she could kiss the center of his palm. She had done it so slowly, so sensually, then licked it while gazing at him with such open devotion that, it caused his eyes to briefly slide shut. In reflex he let his head drop back for a moment, took a deep breath, and then lifted his head to stare at her. Whew. Tara?
"You were ready to do daylight for me." Yonnie carefully brought the ice flute to his lips, attempting to suppress the tremor Tara had sent through him. He took a long, slow swallow, polishing off the contents of his flute, then flung it across the room and watched it shatter against the fireplace. "Then you bled out Gabby's house, but spared my old friend. and brought me back from the edge of extinction with the blood in your veins. That was the second time you saved my life-do you realize that? The first time you found me a safe lair. now this."
When tears glistened in her eyes, he lowered his mouth to hers, kissed her tenderly, and then pulled back again, stroking her dark, velvety hair. "So, this winter wonderland ain't nuthin'. It's the very least I owe you. a private art gallery opening, featuring little bit of Heaven's best watercolors presented at night, framed by midnight. the Aurora Borealis in your eyes. that's what you give me, Tara-a little bit of daylight to hold inside."
She brought the goblet to her lips and quickly drank down the warm, sticky crimson it held, then flung the flute away to splinter with a crash. Yonnie's irises went from warm brown to solid red the moment the ice shards exploded against the mantle. Witnessing what he could no longer hold in check simply let her know the calm brown in his eyes had been illusion from the door. She was deeply flattered, profoundly touched, and thoroughly turned on.
Stepping back she dropped her coat to the floor, revealing her unclothed body. All she had on now were her black stiletto heels. The look in his eyes told her that he was moved beyond words. To pay homage to his theme, she allowed her shoes to slowly frost over and turn into clear ice as she walked out of the pool of mink at her feet to stand before him. That was the least she could do, after he'd gone to such lengths to impress her. Fair exchange was no robbery. Yonnie had defended her against an insane new Chairman that had temporarily stolen Carlos's form.
Men didn't understand that for women the past and the present and the future were one. It was all a part of the whole, until infinity. She watched Yonnie dissolve his coat and clothes with a slow blink. Yes, he was a wise Master, indeed, to bring them here. There was a distant scent locked in her sinuses that had the potential to make her crazy, but it wasn't the one that Yonnie most worried about.
Tara allowed her gaze to rove Yonnie's handsome, pecan-hued face, and the thicket of natural, kinky hair that framed his head like a soft crown. "Let's start at the beginning, as though tonight is our first night. No history," she murmured, struggling within to keep her fangs from cresting. Her line of vision slowly descended his throat, making him swallow hard as she fused a caress into each glance, her eyes taking in his well-defined chest, tight brown nipples, and sculpted abdomen, until her hot gaze caused him to quietly shudder as it dropped lower.
From her peripheral vision she saw that fangs now filled his mouth. She briefly closed her eyes and took in a deep stabilizing breath through her nose. What males of their species would never understand was the connection familiar. Carlos was family, like a little brother, not a competitor. All Carlos's apex could do for her was ensure that the nearest vamp male would benefit from his condition. She stared at Yonnie-he was the nearest male vampire, and a Master, too, and also so much more than just that to her now. But Rider's scent trapped in cellular memory, and unlocked by a Neteru apex, was definitely a dangerous thing. This alternative was best. Alaska and its gorgeous Northern Lights display was a haven.
She could feel Yonnie waiting for her to set the pace this time; his Master's patience wearing her will thin. But she respected his discipline and the fact that he was honoring her request to make this their first night. So, in fair trade, she gave him the truth of the recent past.
"I owe you," she finally said, closing the gap between them. Her skin was on fire within the ice palace he'd created. She slid against him, forcing him to grasp her by her upper arms and briefly close his eyes again. "Remember. I was the one who was insubordinate, because I thought that monster was our Carlos." She nipped Yonnie's jugular and drew a tight gasp from him. "Had I only listened to you."
She kissed him hard and climbed up his body, her arms about his neck, her legs locked around his waist, as he staggered backward toward the bed. "You could have saved yourself," she said, her words fusing in a soft moan. "You could have turned me over to him and sacrificed me to his insanity-but you didn't. You almost bled out for me."
Animal pelts cushioned their fall. The velvety textures of warmth surrounded them. Yonnie dragged a fang along the path of her jugular as she arched beneath him, the crown of her head digging into the furs.
"For two hundred years I was by myself, never feeling like this, Tara. don't you know by now that if anything happened to you that would bleed me out?"
Yonnie's tender words followed by his punishing kiss scored her conscience. Fate had been cruel to all three of them. Rider had released her in Tibet-she'd felt it. Tonight she had to let Jack Rider go, had to banish his scent, overwrite the memories with her new reality, her new lover. her new husband. But how did one blot out thirty some years in a single night? She dredged her mind as Yonnie's touch stung her skin with ecstasy, desperately trying to remember all of Jack Rider's faults, every one of his affairs, anything that would release her from the bondage of that soon to be retired love.
"That's not how you imprint over the past," Yonnie whispered into her ear, his hand gliding across her naked hip. "Dwelling on his faults will just make you remember all of him, the good with the bad, then eventually you'll justify his flaws as you remember your own." He kissed her neck. "Don't work your mind so hard, baby. Let it flow tonight. I got what you need."
Stunned, Tara opened her eyes, her breathing shallow.
Yonnie kissed her softly. "I'm a Master, remember? I can sense these things."
"I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to-"
He smiled and took her mouth and then placed a delicate kiss between her ample breasts. "You let him live there in peace," he murmured over her heart. "Don't blot him out-that was a life experience that you own."
"Shush." Yonnie crooned, capturing one of her nipples between his lips and gently suckling it. When she arched and moaned, cupping the unattended breast in her palm, he intensified the sensation. Every touch sent small pleasure spasms through her until her pores leaked liquid want.
"You imprint stronger, more recent, vivid memories right next to the weaker image," he murmured against her skin, sending hot shards of pleasure through her to evaporate any trace of perspiration that had claimed her. "Let's make some new memories tonight."
Before Tara could draw a breath, he quickly captured her mouth, then broke away slightly winded, and watched the pleasure that he'd sent across her tongue implode in her belly and ooze out from her fingertips in heat waves as she wailed.
"You cause a Master eclipse to blot out the haunting shadows of past," he said in a low, sensual rumble as his body slid down hers. "Your problem is you're too repressed, baby. Let go. let it all go, and give in to just how jacked up you are behind getting apex in your sinuses."
She was trembling, on the verge of seizure, trying her best not to loose the part of her that she swore she'd never give into-being a female vampire severely affected by Neteru male apex scent. It was humiliating to be so out of control. Her kind prided themselves on the mastery of the mind. And that she'd been so transparent, so unable to focus her own illusion patterns that, Yonnie had read her like an opened book. The lights in the sky made her feel like she was hallucinating.
"I didn't want to make you angry," she sputtered as Yonnie rimmed her navel with his tongue. "You deserved better. it's not just the apex, it's. you!"
Her words trailed off with a knifing gasp as he opened her with his tongue and sent that sensation throughout her limbs.
"Why would I be mad when I'm benefiting like this?" he said in a low chuckle against her wet slit, finding her bud with the tip of his tongue. "The apex is just adding a little positive topspin to our relationship." He suckled her, his hands caressing her thighs while his tongue drew a panting whimper. "And I am soooo happy that you were finally trying to imprint me over everything that came before me," he murmured into her soft folds, the low resonance of his voice sending depth charges of pleasure within her. "Tell the truth-you've been suffering like this half the night, ever since the scent t hit the air?"
"Yes," she moaned, tears slipping from the corners of her eyes as she writhed beneath him. "I'm so ashamed."
"Don't be," he said with a half smile, blanketing her. "An opportunity like this happens once in how many hundred years when they make a male Neteru?" Yonnie's half smile became a full grin as he stared down at Tara. "And this one is my boy-won't come hunting us. and you're in my bed. granite gates timed to shut down an hour before dawn. Where's the shame? Technically, vamps ain't even supposed to know the definition of the word."
His eyes searched hers, hunting for the truth in them behind her glistening tears. The smile left his face as the gravity of the heat between them began to consume him. She licked her lips, and by instinct he pulled a manicured nail down his jugular, opening a vein as he entered her hard. The strike she delivered was brutal and immediate, causing him to arch as she became moiré aggressive. His hair was suddenly in her fist, just as the pelts beneath them were in his. She'd sent so much pleasure into the bite that he almost ejaculated when she pulled out of it to breathe.
Moonlight washed her body in Northern Lights, her mouth stained crimson, her luscious hips moving, frenzied, firm breasts bouncing, nipples taut, aching, sending that acute throb down his shaft, clenching his ass, his thighs, his sac on fire, her _expression pained, crying out in ecstasy, her voice broken pants keeping time with his thrusting. Oh, shit, this was the kinda night that made legends live, eclipsed pasts, and turned wet dreams real. Her next bite sent him into pleasure seizure. He could feel himself beginning to deconstruct, destination V-Point.
"Be my avalanche and completely let go," he begged against her throat in a hissing whisper through his teeth. "Sweep me away in a million ice crystals-blue-white powder. falling, thundering, unstoppable hunks of me and you. Just us frozen in the present. no past, no projecting into the future, just right now."
He bit her with such intensity that her womb contracted on every siphon pull, her eyes wide and glassy, _expression frozen in a silent wail of unspent ecstasy trapped in her throat-then she shattered into a million pieces of crystalline vapor only to find herself at the top of a precipice hurtling down, free falling, every cell spitting open and freezing in pleasure shock. a powerful force thundering between her legs, within her lungs, smothering her in gratification, leaving her gasping, sputtering, bowled over, blown away, quick sliding, open-mouth hollering, nails dragging down nothingness to stop it, but not wanting it to ever end. The sonic boom implosion at the bottom of the summit made her pass out from pleasure shock. She didn't even feel her cells knit back together. But the moment she came to, she held Yonnie tightly and sobbed against his chest.
He could barely catch his breath as he nestled them both deep against the fur pelts. He kissed her face and the crown of her head as he held her close and tried to stabilize his breathing. She had never before really allowed him to take her all the way out on a thunder run like that-never just closed her eyes and fully trusted where he'd lead her. If an apex in the distant air would open her up like that, then fine. By any means necessary.
Profoundly moved, he gently rocked her as she wept through heavy gulps of air. He made quiet shushing sounds to calm her while she got it all out of her system. all the pain, all the disappointment and loneliness of being what they both were-vampiri. Cheated out of life and trapped in death. But in his mind, at least he'd shown her how to work with the hand she'd been dealt to the bone.
"Now do you see why I wasn't angry?" he finally said, smiling into her hair as her tears abated. "Remorse and guilt are a waste of energy-which could be better spent like this." He pursed his lips against her tousled, velvet black tresses and pulled her in closer. He was no fool; this rare opportunity had been a gift and he'd damn sure use it to permanently blot Jack Rider out of her mind. "Let me know when you wanna make another run down the slopes," Yonnie murmured, flopping back with Tara against his chest and closing his eyes.
She nodded, and began to gently rub his muscular abdomen. "If I had only known."