Until the Sun Falls from the Sky(10)

By: Kristen Ashley

Silence, he demanded and her mouth clamped shut. Better, he told her. She glared at him, her hands again fists at her sides but she didn’t move away from him. She was straining to do it but she couldn’t. He wasn’t allowing it.

It didn’t matter, she fought it. He liked that.

Give me your hand.

She lifted her hand to his and watched it move, horror and anger in her eyes.

He turned, his fingers curling around the sharp dagger which was one of four things on the shining, oval table next to him.

There was also their contract, as big as a poster board, ivory parchment, tiny calligraphied words from the very top to near the bottom. There was only an inch of space for their signatures. All if it were words declaring her blood his, giving him feeding rights and in return he’d take care of her, not through the length of The Arrangement but until she took her last breath on this earth.

What she did not know, Cosmo did not know, her mother did not know but Avery did know was that Lucien had the five hundred year old agreement altered.

Upon entry to the room, she’d sat and read every word, something not one single concubine he’d selected in five hundred years had done. She had no way of knowing the changes he’d ordered Avery to make or she wouldn’t until she attended her studies. He’d planned for that and was prepared for the consequences.

Nevertheless, or likely because, after she finished reading it, her face pale, her eyes seething, she tossed it on the table, caught Lucien’s gaze and announced, “Not on your life.”

Thus had started Lucien’s demands, her mother’s pleading, Cosmo’s chuckles and Avery’s grins.

Not to mention Lucien’s irritation.

Also on the table were the quill and the Joining Bowl, a small, oval, crystal plate that sat on four tiny crystal feet by the quill.

Both of which, Lucien decided, they would be using now.

Lucien’s hand lifted to hers and his fingers wrapped around it. He forced her index finger straight and she fought that too. She knew she’d never win but she did it anyway.

He was, he found, finally enjoying this. “Keep fighting, my pet, I like it.”

She stopped struggling immediately.

He grinned at her. She scowled at him.

He lifted the dagger to pierce her finger but stopped and looked at her. Her eyes flew from her finger to his.

He could see the pleading.

Yes, he was enjoying this.

He dropped the dagger on the table.

He felt her relief hit the room. Her heart had started beating wildly, tripping over itself. Now it began to slow.

His eyes moved to hers as he lifted her hand toward his mouth, finger still forced to extended by his thumb.

He felt her body tense, the fear invade, her heart picking up the pace as her hand resisted its ascent.

She was magnificent.

No! She cried in her brain.

He opened his mouth, put her finger to his lips and sucked it inside. She went completely still and her eyes dropped to his mouth.

With effort he fought back the arousal he felt at his first taste of her and the direction of her gaze.

Christ, she tasted fucking good.

He used a single tooth to tear open the pad of her finger.

Oh my God! She breathed in her mind as he sensed her registering the brief pain.

He’d been wrong, her skin tasted lovely but her blood was glorious.

With regret he extracted her finger from his mouth, pushed her hand to one end of the Joining Bowl and pressed several drops of blood from the wound into the bowl.

She resisted this too and Lucien found this vaguely surprising. She knew she couldn’t win. He had her trapped with his mind and even if he didn’t, she could never overpower him physically.

He found he liked her stubbornness when he had her at his command.

It was when he didn’t he found it annoying.

When he was done, he returned her finger to his lips and his tongue darted out, lashing the cut. The bleeding stopped instantly. Through his saliva the wound would be healed within the hour.

He released her hand but demanded, Dip the quill in your blood and sign the contract.

Her body jerked, strained and, he was intrigued to see, she hesitated a second before she did as she was told. He watched as she did this, her face pale, her body trembling.

Could she possibly fight mesmerization?

It was, he knew, impossible. However, if she could, she’d be even more fun.

She put the quill down and turned to him.

I hate you.

He put a hand to her neck, his thumb resting along her jugular, her heart beating heavily against his skin and in his ears.

“That won’t last long, my pet,” he assured her.

Don’t call me your pet.

“You are my pet.”

She wrinkled her nose at him, it was meant to communicate her irritation and disgust. However, he found it adorable.

He had not, until she’d done it in The Selection, had anyone backtalk him while he was communicating nonverbally. He’d been surprised and pleased she had this heretofore unknown ability.

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