Home > The Dark Ones (The Dark Ones Saga #1)(14)

The Dark Ones (The Dark Ones Saga #1)(14)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken

"So…" His voice was hoarse. "Tell me about… school."

"What?" I gasped, my voice sounded like I'd spent the night screaming at a concert. "School?"

"Yeah, your studies… about immortals. Tell me about it."

"Immortals suck." I sighed. "If I disrespect you enough, will you kill me?"

His lips twitched as if he was fighting a smile. "Not now, no. It would be like killing myself."

"And that's supposed to deter me from wanting certain death?"

This time he did smile. "What did you learn about mating?"

"There was no mating chapter." My hand pressed against his chest. What was I doing? My fingers ducked into the V of his white shirt, pressing against his warm skin. I wanted to taste him. Why?

"Hmm…" His free hand moved to cover mine and slowly peel it from his body. "That's unfortunate."

"Yeah." I jerked my hand away from his and placed it against his skin again. It felt too good, and I was so sick and tired of feeling pain.

He hissed out a breath and closed his eyes, leaning his head back against the headboard. "You have one more transition before the bond is complete. Your body will crave mine… but it doesn't have to mean anything."

"Huh?" I was too distracted by the curve of his full mouth to hear all the words coming out of it. His lips were so full and inviting. I leaned forward.

Ethan kept my body pinned so I couldn't move. The more I squirmed against him the more irritated he looked. His eyes were so green and captivating it seemed like they were glowing.

"Not this way," he whispered. "When you come to me… fully as yourself. When your love for me and only me blots out any sort of physical need you have — that's when I'll give in."

"And if that never happens?" I fought against him; I just wanted a taste, and I didn't even like him. It made no sense.

He shrugged. "Wouldn't be the first time."

I closed my eyes and tried to focus on the pain rather than on him… because when I focused on him, I hated myself a little bit more.

"Questions—" he choked out. "I know you have questions… so ask."

"Can't…" I shook my head. His voice was so pretty, so deep. What would it feel like to be with him? Just once. He'd make the pain go away; he'd make everything better. If I could just touch him more, taste him. My body strained toward his. "I can't stop thinking about you."

"Flattered," he said dryly. "Try."

"But—"

"Favorite color."

"What?" My eyes jerked open. "Did you just ask me my favorite color?"

He smirked. "Tell me it's green."

I rolled my eyes, some of the need dying a bit at his arrogance. "White."

His nostrils flared. "Cassius would be pleased."

"Not because of Cassius," I said in a soft voice. "Because white's like a blank slate. It means starting over."

"You wish…" He swallowed, his head tilting to the side, pieces of dark hair falling across his sculpted face. "…to start over?"

"I wish I would have run…" My body trembled as more heat invaded my stomach. "…when they called my number."

His smile made my stomach clench. "You can't run from destiny."

"I could have tried."

"You would have failed," he said in an amused tone. "And you would have most likely died at Cassius's hand for trying."

"Why did he mark me? How did he mark me?"

Ethan sighed. "His touch… if he touches any part of you, it marks you. He has to will it to happen, so it's a switch he can turn on and off. All of the Dark Ones can. He touched your shoulder, infused your body. It never takes much from a Dark One. They're… powerful."

I nodded my head, remembering the sting of cold that hit me when Cassius had touched my shoulder. "And the only way to take the marking away?"

"Is to cover it up." Ethan clenched his teeth. "Or in this case… infuse you with my essence."

"Your essence is strong enough to do that?" My teeth clenched together in pain. The heat from my stomach had traveled to my mouth. I eyed the water greedily.

Ethan lifted it to my lips. "Only if I'm without a mate…"

I sipped the liquid and took a breath. "You had a mate."

"Had," Ethan repeated.

I didn't push him; if there was one thing I'd learned, it was that when his eyes glowed, it wasn't because he was in a particularly happy mood. Water dripped from my chin; he caught it with his fingertip and brought it to his lips.

"You taste…" He closed his eyes. "…heavenly."

"Did you bite me?" I blurted.

He dropped his finger from his mouth and smirked. "You'd know if I bit you."

"So what did you do?"

"Shared my blood with you… the old fashioned way. With a knife."

"But wouldn't it have been easier to—"

"Biting is too personal," he finished, "intimate… not something shared with strangers."

"Or humans?" I asked.

"Or that."

"But Mason bit me."

"Mason has a different way of doing things, and, not that it matters, but his bite wasn't one of mating. It was done to try to cover up Cassius's mark, nothing more."

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