Home > Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark #11)(4)

Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark #11)(4)
Author: Kresley Cole

He sagged against her in relief.

She added sarcastical y, "My virgin's blood is still yours to spill."

He took her words seriously. "'Tis mine by right. You belong to me! If there'd been another, I would make him eat his own entrails."

She blinked up at him. "And these are your words of sentiment?"

"There's no poetry in me, Reginleit. No fine words." He stared down at her, his gaze seeming to consume her. "I come to you as a man unfinished."

Raw, grim male.

He took her hands in his bloodied, cal used ones. "Accept me?" His eyes glowed, his lashes spiked from rain.

Lightning struck then and her breath caught-he had a face made even more beautiful in the blaze of lightning. "Warlord, you once told me I'd always know what you're thinking. What are your thoughts now?"

"Partly, I'm thinking that I might shame myself in my trews, just from the feel of you next to me." One of his hands snaked around to cover her backside, gripping her there.

"Oh!"

"And partly, I'm fearing I will frighten you away again."

"You did not frighten me away before. Nothing frightens me."

"Then why did you leave me?"

"Because you would not listen to me. You sought to take away my freedom."

"And give you mine in turn, woman! Then why've you come to me now?"

"Mostly because of ... the change. When beset by these needs, I came to you to have them eased."

Again, he went still . "You came to me," he repeated hoarsely. "To your man. Reginleit, you make my chest bow with pride." His lips curled. "And my shaft swel . I'm greedy to sample these generous new curves you've brought me."

"My looks please you?" She straightened her shoulders self-consciously. "I fear I did not grow tall."

"Please me?" He laughed from deep in his chest. "You stun me. Ah, little wife, if you did not grow up, you certainly grew out." One of his hands dropped to cover a breast, giving it a tender squeeze. When he shuddered with delight, she felt a thril down to her toes.

"And you came to me to ease you here?" His other hand trailed down between them to gently cup her sex.

She gasped. "Y-yes."

His eyes burned with excitement, with possession, with pride. "I'm going to make your lightning rain down." He pressed the heel of his palm harder, and her head fel back.

"Ah, yes! Make love to me, warlord."

"Words from fantasy. But I cannot. I need more time."

She lifted her head. "I do not understand."

"I want more of you. I want eternity."

"What are you speaking of?"

"If I deflower a Valkyrie before wedding her, I will never earn ohal a. Woden would never gift me with it."

"Wed?" She yanked his hand from her. "Immortals cannot wed mortals! It's unnatural." To watch him die a little each day, until he withered with age ...

"Precisely. So I must be of your kind. And even were it not forbidden, I still would not wed you without ohal a. I know of no warrior older than sixty winters. I've forty. Two decades should be but a taste of life with you."

In a crestfal en tone, she said, "You want me to ... wait?" Her plan was foiled, utterly. Not only would she not get what she came for, she'd be punished for trying.

"Only to be claimed. Rest assured, I'll sate you in other ways til then."

But she wanted to know everything, to experience it all . "How many battles do you have left?"

He lifted his chin. "A mere six dozen or so."

"Are there even that many wars?" she cried.

"Between the vampires and the unal ied demonarchies, a lifetime of war awaits."

"Seventy battles could take years! I came here because I wanted you to be my first lover."

"By all the gods, I will be, woman. But not yet. You wait for me, Reginleit. I will seize ohal a for you, for us."

"And what would you expect me to do while you are out fighting? My Valkyrie nature hungers for war as much as yours does. And I hold no love for vampires." Her mother's people, the Radiant Ones, had been exterminated by them.

"You will remain behind-"

Eyes widening, she opened her mouth to give him a blistering reply.

"-to train, as all my men do before they go to battle," he finished.

"Train?" she scoffed. "I've readied for war all my life."

"Using the wrong weapon. You still wield your long sword?"

"Yes."

"With your smallheight and Valkyrie speed, you should be fighting with two short swords. I could teach you how."

She pursed her lips, reluctantly intrigued by that idea. "And once I am trained ..." she prompted.

As if the words were pulled from him, he said, "You can join me at the front. But only after I deem you ready."

She dug one fang into her bottom lip, actual y considering his offer.

He must have taken her silence as acceptance, because he leaned down to kiss her neck, his mouth so hot in the rain. Against her skin, he rasped, "And, brightling, know this ..." His tongue flicked out to lick drops from her. "I vow to you now, I will be your last lover."

She couldn't think when he was doing that! "I-I haven't agreed to this. Am I to have no say? Again?"

He inhaled as if for control, then raised his head. "Give me a chance, and I will claim your heart. all I need is time."

She didn't believe that could happen. An immortal like her could never ful y love a mortal. Her instincts would rebel against tender feelings like that.

After all , she could never give her heart to a man who would take it to the grave with him, leaving her broken and yearning for eternity.

Stil , there was something captivating about Aidan's utter confidence. As if he knew something about her that she didn't even know herself. And her out-of-control desires were making it difficult to deny him. "I will give you three months, warlord. You have three months to win me."

"Ah, Valkyrie"-he curled his finger under her chin-"your heart will be mine in two."

-iii-

Seven months later

Where is he? I'm going mad without him here.

Regin paced their longhouse as a blizzard raged outside. Aidan was a week overdue from a campaign.

She'd ridden the countryside searching for him for days, but found no sign.

There was rumor of a capture.

Did he even live?

Aidan. The bear of a warrior she could never all ow herself to love, but the one she wanted above all others.

Even though she was a ful immortal now-her appetite for food had disappeared, her need for war burgeoning-she lingered with him here at his camp.

I am better for being here, for being with him. She was a better swordswoman-though he hadn't deemed her ready for war yet, and she secretly feared he never would.

She was a better lover. Though he hadn't coupled with her.

Seven months ago, she had tried repeatedly to seduce him, coaxing him to take her completely. Yet in time she'd come to want more of him, too. No, he couldn't win her heart, but he'd won her desires. He'd pleasured her relentlessly, teaching her to slake him as well.

Each time he set off to battle, she demanded, "Take me with you, warrior." His ploy to keep her in camp? He left her sexual y sated and sprawled on the furs, exhausted but glowing with bliss. Already pining for him to return.

As he'd done so long ago, Regin had begun to ask herself, why not him?

Because once she'd learned how to handle her stormy berserker-knowing when to tease him, when to claw him, when to draw him into her arms and murmur, "Shh, be at ease, warlord"- life with him had been surprisingly gratifying.

He treated her like a goddess, spoiling her with gifts and surprises. And they laughed constantly. She savored the sound of his laughter coming from his big barrel chest-as well as his gruff words of affection: "Remember those years ago when I vowed I would love you one day? I told you true."

Could any male make her feel as he had the night he'd lightly rasped his blond stubble over her stomach and murmured, "I want babes with you-berserker sons and Valkyrie daughters." He'd raised his head, gazing at her with clear gray eyes. "Give them to me one day?"

Having a Valkyrie for his mate had done nothing to curb his arrogance. He behaved like an immortal already-even more arrogant and lordly-thril ing her. "Woden will look upon me with favor," he'd told her.

"No male could treasure his daughter more than I do you."

'Twas simple enough. Regin desired him above all males and knew she always would, which meant two decades was far too short-

He stumbled through the door.

She gave a cry, leaping to her feet. "Thank gods, you've returned! Where have you ..." She trailed off at the wild look on his face. "Aidan?"

His eyes ablaze, he dropped his bloody ax, then ripped off his sword belt and crimson-stained tunic.

His tattooed chest heaved as he stalked toward her, his expression warning her to take a step back.

Then another.

"Aidan, say something."

"They tried to keep me from you." He backed her into the table, cornering her, predatory.

"Who? The vampires?"

"No one keeps me from you. Not immortals, not men, not a god. Nothing can keep me from you."

"Aidan, wh-what are you doing? You're on the very edge. You must calm yourself."

"My life passed before me, Reginleit. I'd rushed to battle because I want you forever-only to fall without a single night inside you? The idea sent me into a frenzy!"

She'd never seen him this far gone when not fighting. They both worked to keep him from reaching his berserkrage, knowing he'd lose control to the beast within.

The beast that roared inside him to claim its mate.

"I left a wake of death to return to you"-his hand shot out to cup her nape, yanking her close-"to make you mine in all ways." He dipped his head to nip her breast, making her gasp. "Tonight I'll ride your little body til you scream with pleasure."

"Have you fever? Are you maddened?" She shoved him away, but again, he stalked closer. "You know why we can't!"

"We can! You are mine to claim. Ohal a is mine to take! I demand it all -mine by right."

"This is the berserkrage speaking ... speaking nonsense. Think about what you are saying! We've set our course, and we will be steadfast."

Regin knew that the hotter his rage, the faster and stronger he'd be. If she didn't make it out of here with a burst of speed, all would be lost. She feinted left, then ducked to the right, sprinting past him-

He caught her dress, snatching her back.

"Aidan, nay!"

He seized her in the cage of his arms, carrying her to their bed, dragging her down with him. "'Tis unnatural to deny this fated need. You know this-you feel it too!"

Before she could escape, his hands fisted in the front of her dress. With a roar, he rent the material clean from her body, his smoldering gaze raking over her br**sts and lower to her sex.

He was going into that mindless state, his muscles bulging even more. "You wanted me to claim you before. Is that no longer true?"

"Of course I want you to, but not yet!"

He tore off his boots and breeches, rising up above her. His mighty shaft swel ed with lust, moisture beading the proud crown.

Raw male. Against her will, the flesh between her legs dampened, her br**sts growing heavy.

Whenever the spirit of the bear quickened inside him, she responded-as if he'd imparted some of his beast, imprinted it upon her.

Because once it rose, she grew desperate to answer its cal .

Now she fought the growing need. "Nay! Do not do this!" She pummeled his chest, but when he was like this, she was no match for his strength. He caught her wrists, easily pinning them over her head.

"Aidan, I-I am pleading, just wait-" The words caught in her throat when he dipped his head to one of her br**sts, his lips closing over her nipple.

As he sucked, his finger slid into her core. "Wet for me," he growled around the peak. A second finger delved as he moved his hot mouth to her other breast, suckling with greedy lips, his tongue swirling.

Her ni**les were damp and throbbing, her sex quivering to his touch. "Aidan!"

"You're ready, nigh coming." But he slipped his fingers from her. She whimpered, undulating for them. With her arms still captured over her head, he covered her body with his own. "You are mine, Reginleit!" He rocked his h*ps between her thighs.

She felt his thick manhood pulsing, seeking ...

And gods help her, she tilted her h*ps so it could surge home.

"Mine!" he roared.

"'Tis done now, brightling," Aidan said, his voice hoarse from his bel ows of pleasure, his body warm and relaxed over her. "No going back." He put his forehead to hers.

She could hardly stem her tears. Over the last few hours, she'd experienced more ecstasy than she'd ever imagined. But now sand in the hourglass had begun to flow. Only so much remained. "Do you have regrets, warlord?"

"That I was not doing this every hour for the last several months."

Somehow she forced herself to smile. "You had better make this the best twenty years of my life."

"You think I've given up on eternity with you?" He stood, rising before her, na**d, big and bold. So beautiful she wanted to weep. "If you knew my feats, the clashes I won to escape those vampires. Don't you understand? Nothing can keep me from you! Nothing could touch me. With you as my woman, I feel immortal already."

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