Bane (Page 14)
When he felt her warm breath slide across his lips he wanted to kiss her. It was impossible to not picture her in his arms, her body pressed tightly against his. Instead of doing the things he wanted, he blinked slowly and slid his tongue over the cut. Kahli’s blood filled him, warming him. It was only a drop, but it burned through him, consuming him like a raging fire. Blood normally didn’t do that to him. He’d sealed many wounds, tasted many humans, but this—this was different. It was the kind of thing that only existed in fairytales. Her blood was as vibrant and sensual as she was. How could she not know? She sat there watching him like it pained her to be touched, but that was all he wanted to do. The moment her blood touched his tongue, Will wanted to taste her kiss, not just her blood. It was the slow agony of realizing that he could never get enough of her.
Gently, he pulled away, pressing his lips together. Will placed a hand on her shoulder. Kahli’s body was taut, bursting with confusion. She was stiff and giddy and repulsed. The emotions warred within her so fiercely that she didn’t know which one to react to first. When he put her finger in his mouth, she nearly climbed out of her skin. It was beyond her compression, but it made him seem appealing. It should have disgusted her. Drinking blood was the act of monsters and animals. He was both.
Will was both.
God she felt confused. Then when he licked her lower lip, she was lost. It felt like time stopped. It felt like he was everything she wanted and nothing she needed. Kahli didn’t know if these feelings were normal. She didn’t understand Will’s reaction, or lack thereof. After he nearly kissed her, he pulled away and prepared the trays. He didn’t even look back at her until the Queen’s servant arrived and took the tray. Only then did Will turn back and offer his arm. She stood, feeling like she was blindsided, and they walked back to her room in silence.
“Pssst,” Cassie’s voice was low.
Kahli had been staring at the ceiling for over an hour. Her heart was still pounding from what Will had done to her. She was so messed up. Her family was slaughtered by vampires, and she was turned on by one. What the hell was wrong with her?
“Pssst! Kahli, I know you’re awake.” A pillow launched at her head. Instinctively, Kahli reached out and grabbed it before it landed. “Are you okay? Was it a feeding?”
“No,” Kahli whispered, “a tasting. That’s it.”
“Oh,” her voice lost some of its curiosity. “Then what’s wrong? The other two aren’t here yet. It’s just us. You can tell me if you want. Or we can talk about something else. You seem freaked. I just wanted to make sure you were okay.” She was twisting her blankets and looking at Kahli in the dark.
The other two were never there this early, and it was after two in the morning. She wondered where they were but didn’t want to know. The less she knew, the better. It was hard enough staying here, as it was. “I’m okay. It just surprised me. That’s all.”
“What surprised you? I told you everything. And it wasn’t like it was a feeding, so they used your finger, not your neck, right?”
She nodded, staring at the ceiling, twisting her blanket between her fingers, “Yeah. I just didn’t expect to feel anything but rage. You know? When Will sealed the wound… I just—” the sensations she’d been fighting fluttered through her again.
Cassie’s voice was serious, much more so than usual, “What are you talking about? What feelings? He didn’t have sex with you, did he? Will wouldn’t do that, right?” She sounded like she wasn’t certain any more.
Kahli wasn’t really listening. She was thinking about Will’s lips so close to hers. She could still feel his breath slipping across her mouth. She flinched when Cassie’s question sunk in. She propped herself up and stared at the other girl, “No! He didn’t do anything like that.”
“Then what’d he do?”
“He licked the wound shut. He did what you said, but it felt like a million butterflies exploded inside of me, all bustling to break free. It made me shiver so hard that I bit my lip, and when he closed that cut, it was worse. Oh my god, it was worse. I’ve never felt like that. Ever.” Her green eyes were wide, pleading, “Tell me that’s some vamp voodoo. Tell me it wasn’t something else.”
Cassie’s expression faltered while Kahli spoke. The sad smile on her face said everything, “It happens, Kahli. It’s not a big deal. You have a little crush on your Handler, that’s all. It makes sense. A girl gets filled with fear and the nearest guy is the one who reaps the rewards. That was Will. It’s nothing,” she assured her, “It’ll pass. Everyone gets something like that.”
Kahli laid back down on her pillow. Her eyes stared at the ceiling, unblinking, “Did you? Did you feel that intensely about your Handler the first time they took your blood?”
Cassie was quiet for a moment, remembering. It was a long time ago. She was nervous, but the emotions that Kahli was describing weren’t nerves. They were lust. “No, I didn’t feel like that. Not really.”
Kahli pressed her eyes closed and tried to block out Will’s face—his eyes. They were so blue, like twin gems. She couldn’t stop picturing his lips on her finger, his tongue brushing her mouth. With a strained voice she asked, “And it was Will?”
“Yes, but Kahli… ” Cassie glanced over at her, but Kahli cut her off.
“It’s fine.” Nothing happened. There was no reason to freak out. There was a logical explanation for all this. There was no way Kahli went from hating vampires to being infatuated with one. She wasn’t that stupid. “It’s not a big deal, right? Some people have different reactions to things. It would make sense that I’d react differently. I just had an adverse reaction to Will. That’s all.” Wide-eyed she stared at the ceiling, her heart still pounding.
Cassie replied softly, “Sounds like the exact opposite to me.”
Kahli was restless all night. The thoughts and images that passed through her mind were forbidden, but that didn’t keep them away. She tossed and turned, taking notice that Gene and Missy were returning just before dawn. The two girls slipped into bed more quietly than usual. Their movements were slow and tense, their eyes vacant like they were shell-shocked. Kahli wondered why. The two usually came back half drunk, arm in arm like they’d been partying all night. Cassie became anxious whenever she brought it up, so Kahli stopped asking. Rolling over onto her side, she faced the wall. Specs of gold glinted in the paint. She pressed her fingers to the wall and Will’s lips filled her mind. What was wrong with her? Exasperated, Kahli rolled onto her back and pulled the blanket over her head.
Dreams invaded her rest. Disturbing sensual thoughts filled her body and she felt everything. Just as her heart was ready to explode, just as her dreams were heating up far beyond the flirtatious visions from earlier that night, she felt a hand on her shoulder. Kahli startled. Not fully awake, she jumped from her bed, grabbing her attacker by the neck.
Blinking, she stared at Will, his dark brow raised slightly. “Seriously?” he just stood there, those blue eyes lingered on her face. A soft smile twisted his lips. Kahli was shaking. She dropped her arms and a shiver raked her body. She shook it out. Will was watching her, his gaze lingering on her sheer gown. “What’s up with you?” he asked.
Kahli couldn’t tell him. She couldn’t say the things that had happened in her mind. She wanted to scrub the thoughts away with a metal brush. She tugged her hair, and turned toward him. A plastic smile spread across her face.
“Nothing. Nothing at all. You just startled me.” Will didn’t look convinced. She wondered if he could hear the rush of blood flowing through her frantically beating heart. “I’ve been alone for most of my life. Someone waking me up is usually bad.”
Will nodded, his expression completely serious, “I would suppose so. I hear bear attacks are on the rise.”
Kahli’s tremors subsided slightly. She grinned at him, pushing him in the arm, “Bears. I’ve never woken once and been afraid that a bear was trying to eat me.”
“Then what were you dreaming about? Because it seemed to make you really jumpy. And sweaty.” Will’s eyes slid over her face.
Kahli’s hair was damp at the roots, sticking to her cheek. She pulled it back and didn’t look at him. “Vampires,” she said. Sometimes telling the truth was the easiest lie. She was able to look him in the face and say it, but her voice was off—too steady and deep.
He brushed his foot against the floor before looking back up at her. Sunlight was spilling through the window. “Anyone I know?” Will paused, glancing up at her with an odd expression on his face.
You. I was dreaming about you doing things to me that were completely forbidden—and completely wonderful, she thought. Kahli wanted to ask him, she wanted to know if last night messed with him, too. From the look on his face, he seemed to be in a different mood that morning. He wasn’t closed down like he usually was. Kahli thought she could sense things in him, things that were normally impossible to detect.
Parting her lips, she began to ask, “Will, what does it mean when… ” but she was interrupted.
The door flew opened and Cassie bounded into the room. Her dark hair hung in long curls, her dark eyes glittering. There was a huge smile on her face. Cassie was a morning person. “Finally! You’ve been asleep forever!”
Kahli glanced at Will, then back at Cassie. His gaze told her that he wanted to know what she was going to ask, but she couldn’t say it now. Not in front of Cassie. The idea of having a crush on Will made her stomach twist. It was wrong, she should hate him. God, they needed to talk. There was so much he hadn’t had a chance to say. What did he mean the other night? What trouble did he get into? And why was he caught between the Queen and her plotting brother? It was a bad place to be, yet Will seemed to take it in stride. Maybe he had to. Maybe he was trapped.
A voice inside her head answered, Maybe he likes it there. Maybe he wants it that way. The flicker of distrust ignited within her again. It didn’t matter how soft his lips felt, or how perfect his body was—he was still a vampire. He’d still kill her like a lone wolf lost in the snow. Their eyes even held the same haunted expression—like there should be something more than hunting and killing—but there wasn’t.
She tore her gaze away from the boy and answered her friend, “It’s only nine o’clock,” Kahli mumbled, grabbing her robe and wrapping it around her. She shivered, rubbing her arms vigorously trying to shake off the cold. “You make it sound like it’s after noon.”
Cassie replied, “Hey, you know it’s late by looking around. See anyone else in here? No. Even Missy and her clone were up before you. Have trouble sleeping?” Her lips pulled into a wicked grin as she shot a look at Will.
Kahli wrapped her arm around Cassie’s shoulders, and yanked her close, nervously laughing, “Of course not.” Her fingers pressed into Cassie’s arm hard.