Home > Fused in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy #3)(15)

Fused in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy #3)(15)
Author: K.F. Breene

A tear overflowed from my eye. I blinked the others away.

“I told myself I absolutely would not do this,” I reminded myself. The last holdout before letting this surging emotion consume me. “I would not.”

“And if it weren’t to help you in the most dangerous endeavor of your life, I would not push as I am now. This past month I have been content to keep things as they were. As you wanted them. Love is extremely powerful. I had no idea. It is unlike anything I have ever felt. I would bend the worlds to make you happy, mon ange, and my not mentioning my desire to take our connection one step farther was a small price to pay for your smiles.

“But things have changed. You cannot go into the Dark Kingdom alone, Reagan. You will be putting yourself into the hands of those who wish to use you. And if by some miracle you happen upon a sect of demons that only wishes to turn you over to Lucifer, you will still be trapped down there for as long as your father chooses. You need help, and though I will not be nearly enough, I am the only one in a position to provide it.”

I cleared my throat and wiped away another tear. The man was smooth, sexy, and deep. I’d never stood a chance where it concerned him. I doubted there was anyone who could resist him. “I can’t believe I am actually asking this, but what is involved in bonding?”

“It takes six days. Five days of feeding from each other, and the last for the connection to finish taking root.”

Damn the tears! Why wouldn’t they stop? And why did I have a sudden, devastating need for my mother to know this man, followed by the soul-crushing realization that she never would…

“That’s it?” I asked weakly. “Feeding from each other?”

His eyes stayed rooted to mine. It was the most intimate moment I’d ever experienced. “Each night, I will deplete you nearly to your threshold, past your tolerance.”

I struggled to get myself under control. “What do you mean, my tolerance?”

“When a vampire takes enough blood to deplete a person to the brink of death, what we call the threshold, the person will do one of two things. They will either succumb and die, or—if their survival instinct is at all reasonable—they will try to fight off the predator. This is why vampires have heightened strength. If our prey fights, we can easily overpower them. You, however, are not prey. And you are extremely dangerous, even to me. When your survival instinct kicks in, you will want to kill me. And you will most likely be able to.”

“And yet you still want to bond me,” I whispered.

“With great risk comes great reward.” He threw me that mouthwatering smile. Foul play. “You have nearly killed me before, most recently in the warehouse the other day, and yet you always pull back at the last moment. Your compassion will overcome your rage.”

“You’ve admitting to taking too much of my blood a couple of times,” I said. “But I didn’t flip out. Or even notice.”

“Even at those times, and there were three, I was nowhere near your threshold. And no, before you ask, I don’t know what your threshold is. I don’t know when the pleasure will cease and the fear turned aggression will start. We’ll find that out together.”

I traced the base of my wine glass, breaking eye contact. “After I am nearly drained dry, and obviously weak, then what?”

“You feed from me to revive yourself. After that, we make love or sleep, depending on how we feel, and wake up to do it all over again.”

“That’s it? Swap blood, sex, sleep, and lie in bed? Do people bring cards or something? Surely that has to get boring after a while.”

He gave me a small smile, but didn’t comment.

I shook my head and had a sudden urge to shove my plate away. Maybe even surge to my feet, knocking over my chair. Turn over the table. Kick down the door. Stain the cream rug.

“I can’t.” I was back to that again. That was all I had. My very last holdout, other than hiding in a closet under a blanket while rocking back and forth. “I can’t. My mother would be so disappointed in me.”

“I imagine she would rather you bond me and have someone to protect you in the underworld than for you to go down there alone.”

“She would rather I didn’t go at all.”

“Precisely, but you will go anyway.”

Yes, I would.

The need for my mom to know Darius surged again, drowning me. It wasn’t the reaction I’d expected to have when faced with this situation.

“Okay,” I said, turning my face away. I couldn’t believe I was agreeing to it, and knew absolutely it wasn’t because of the desire for someone to go with me. It was because of him. “Okay. Please don’t make me regret it.”

“I would never. You are the most precious thing in the world to me. I would never tarnish that. Not for anything.”

We would see, but the decision was made.

I was a fool.

“When?” I asked so quietly that the word barely left my mouth.

“Tonight. Now. We have little time to lose. I suspect only this sect’s commanders or leaders know the sensitive information about you, but as they develop plans to go to the surface and capture you, they will need to share the information. We need to get in there before that happens. You should know that I also spoke with Ja at length about the nature of the underworld. And while many things could have changed, the magic probably won’t have. I am as prepared as I can be.”

I nodded with my heart in my throat. That would be very comforting information later, I was sure, but right now, I couldn’t think about anything other than what I was about to do. It had happened so suddenly. Given how opposed I’d been to the very notion, I’d agreed so easily.

Are you sure, Reagan?

I wanted to say no to myself. To change my mind. But I knew the answer was yes. I wanted him every bit as much as he wanted me. I felt as deeply as he did.

He stood, extending his hand. “Come.”

“I’d be careful with the commands, if I were you. I’m not one of those docile bond-mates you’ve probably heard about.”

His laugh eased my nerves. “I am well aware. I would not be pleased if you were.”

“What about formal approval?” I asked as he led me to the door. “Don’t you have to get a green light from someone?”

“The paperwork has been submitted, but there is no time to wait for a decision. Besides, you will easily be approved. It is just a formality at this point.”

He opened the door and stepped out. “Mr. LaRay,” he called.

“Yes, sir,” came Moss’s voice.

“Is the country estate ready?”

“Of course, sir.”

“Good. We will head there now.”

“Which car would you like?”

“The Hennessey.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And Mr. LaRay?” Darius said.

“Yes, sir?”

“I do not want us disturbed. Post sentries. No one goes into that house while we are there.”

“You will remain in the Brink for this, sir?” Moss asked in a low tone.

“Yes. There is nowhere else. We cannot go to the lair and risk someone finding out.”

“That doesn’t sound like just a formality to me,” I mumbled.

“I will see it done. Good luck, sir,” Moss said, his voice moving away.

“Neither does that…” I frowned hard at Darius when he turned toward me. “It sounds an awful lot like you are going rogue, Darius.”

“It does, doesn’t it? Have no fear. This is all just a precaution.” He held out his hand to me. “Let’s get moving. We are running out of night.”

I found myself jogging toward him, the worry at what I was walking into overshadowed by his anxiety to get moving. He was acting like we were criminals with cops on our heels.

The car out front took my breath away. Sleek, gray, and squashed like a giant had stepped on a normal car, flattening it. The thing screamed fast.

“Wow,” I said, pausing on the sidewalk. “Can I drive?”

“Not on your life. Please hurry, my love.”

The urgency in Darius’s voice started me forward. Moss climbed out of the driver’s side and left the door open.

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