Savage Seduction(6)

By: Sharon Kendrick


‘Then you must sit down and have a drink.’

‘Thank you.’ In response, he deepened his accent, his eyes sparking with mischief, and Jade found herself wanting to giggle. So much for icy polite- ness!

‘I’ll fill the jug and fetch another glass,’ she said hastily.

And she scrambled inside as he pulled out one of the wooden chairs, which now looked hopelessly insubstantial if expected to accommodate that large, muscular frame.

Jade filled the jug with water and ice and found the glass with fingers which were still trembling, her eyes lifting reluctantly to the small spotted mirror which hung on the whitewashed walls. A wild-eyed, fey stranger stared back at her. Her pale green eyes were almost unrecognisable as her own, the colour almost completely obscured by the deep ebony of two dilated and glittering pupils. Her mouth looked swollen and throbbing and redder than usual—had she been chewing it while talking to him? she wondered. Even her hair—baby-fine but masses of it—which she hadn’t had a chance to brush since he’d disturbed her; it had dried into a thick, pale cloud—shimmered like an uncontrol- lable halo around her head. The sun had bleached it almost blonde. Did Constantine, she thought suddenly, like women with blonde hair?

She took the jug and glass back outside, half afraid that he might have disappeared, but he hadn’t. He had spread those long olive legs beneath the table and was watching her return.

Walking suddenly seemed a skill she hadn’t yet acquired, and she would have stumbled if a strong hand hadn’t shot out and caught her. She managed to get the jug down on the table, but the tumbler slipped from her grasp; the sound of the glass shat- tering on the grey stone of the courtyard sounding piercingly loud to her ears.

‘Oh, hell! Now look what you’ve made me do,’ said Jade unreasonably, and, crouching down, she began gingerly to pick up the larger fragments.

He was beside her in an instant. ‘Be careful,’ he told her, but it was too late, a shard had pierced her forefinger, and crimson blood began to well and to drop in dark starry splashes on to the grey stone.

Her finger went up to her mouth, but he deliber- ately took it before it reached its destination, the black eyes fixed on hers as he put it into his mouth and sucked the blood away.

If there hadn’t been glass all around them, Jade thought that she would have keeled over. She felt the blood drain from her face as she stared into the night-dark eyes.

‘You—shouldn’t have done that,’ she said shakily.

He relieved the pressure, but her finger stayed firmly in the hot, moist cavern of his mouth. ‘Why not?’

‘It’s dangerous,’ she managed. ‘Blood…’

He shook his head, as if he understood her meaning perfectly. ‘I think not.’

‘How can you know?’ she demanded breath- lessly. ‘We’ve only just met.’

His eyes met hers. ‘I know,’ he said softly.

Another slow and deliberate suck; it was the most erotic thing that had ever happened to her in her life—and then he took the finger from his mouth, examined it and held it up for her inspection. ‘The flow is stemmed,’ he pronounced, and something in the formality of this statement, spoken with all the solemnity of a Victorian surgeon, instead of the more modern ‘it’s stopped bleeding’, made Jade’s lips twitch in amusement.

He saw the movement, and raised his eyebrows. ’What?’

‘You have a very formal way of speaking,’ she said honestly. ‘But your English is absolutely superb.’

He inclined his head. ‘And so it should be. I grew up with it as my second language.’

She shook her head, as if bemused by what was happening. ‘Are you always like this— Constantine?’ She said his name experimentally for the first time. Her tongue had to protrude a little in order to pronounce it properly, in the slightly lisping Greek manner. She liked saying it, liked the way his eyes flared as he watched her tongue snake out and then back in again.

‘Like-what?’

Jade stared back into the glittering black eyes, realising that she actually felt as though she were high on something—if this feeling was ever mar- keted, the world would go into total chaos! ‘So darned assertive!’ she answered crisply.

He looked surprised. ‘But naturally. Are not all men supposed to be assertive? The dominant ones?’

She smiled. ‘That’s not what the feminists would say.’

‘Ah! The feminists! You are one of these?’ He ran his eyes lazily over the bright and filmy covering of her sarong, at the cloud of blonde hair. ‘I don’t think so,’ he observed.

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