Saphira doesn’t fully trust the Marquis, yet she can’t resist his pull. She finds herself giving in to his advances, but this is no ordinary night in which they can just be together. Full moon sheds light on another one of the Marquis’ secrets, which proves perilous for the young woman.
The Marquis’ mouth closes on mine, soft and warm, while his arm curls around my waist, pressing me gently to him. His body feels stone hard under his shirt, and he smells young and manly and alluring. I turn to jelly in his arms, allowing him to stretch me on the bed under him with no resistance. His kiss makes me dizzy, and small stars seem to circle my head.
This feels very different from what happened last night, even though his passion grows in the same possessive way. His hands explore my body greedily as his tongue consumes me in deep kisses. My mind empties and I part my legs, ready to accept him, but he breaks the intimacy, bridging to distance with thirsty pecks on my lips.
He pulls away and stands, yet the expression in his face shows it’s not easy. His neckline is open, his hair a bit ruffled and his face so youthful and handsome that it hurts. He retreats as I scramble out of bed and advance toward him, wanting him so badly that I lose control and all sense of shame.
“Please,” I beg, losing my bra and letting my panties fall to the floor. I now stand completely naked before him, smeared with soot, my hair a messy blonde broom, hoping that I look depraved enough to stir the animal in him. I want him inside of me so much I barely refrain from touching myself.
His dark, hypnotic eyes wander all over me with a hunger that makes me moisten and lose a sigh.
“Please,” I repeat, but manage to keep in place.
“It can’t be, Saphira, not now,” he says, his voice low and husky. “Not tonight.”
“I can’t explain.” He retreats further, his white hand now on the doorknob. I see the skin patching into alligator leather, then fading into white human flesh, then pulsing into faint spots of leather again, and I realize he’s fighting to keep back the serpent.
My eyes find his just in time to see them narrowing, his black irises turning to slits. He makes a pained grimace and pulls the door open. The fight between human and serpent makes him bare his teeth, a pointy tongue slithering out and licking his upper lip. When he speaks, his slivery voice makes my hair stand on end.
“Trust me, Saphira. Please, trust me,” he hisses and throws the door open, lunging into the obscurity.
For moments I stand there, naked, stunned and with my heart pounding until Zed appears in the doorframe. His stony features are locked in urgency. He can’t help looking me up and down –I’m a naked person dirty with soot. I snatch the duvet from the bed and wrap it fast around me.
“What’s with the Marquis?” I inquire.
“It’s a bad night,” Zed says and throws a glance out the window. I do the same.
“Full moon? But, is that –”
“It has nothing to do with the occult or cheesy magic,” Zed explains in an even tone. “The moon has power on the inner workings of the Serpent as it does over the tide.”
He turns to leave, but then turns to me again on a second thought. “We have strong reason to believe your friend Vivien Grant is alive. The Marquis ordered us to find her and protect her. For your sake. Believe it or not, you’re high up on his list of priorities, and in a good way. You have every reason to trust him.”
“Have you been eavesdropping?” I breathe, getting the goosebumps at his words.
He looks me up and down coldly, but not without interest – more like curiosity – and he leaves without replying.
Enjoyed this? Stay tuned for a new episode on Tuesday and check out the prequel, Saphira, in the Christmas Story Book for Adults, available here.
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