She’s blushing and we both know why. We’re staying in her bedroom for the first time instead of going to my office. “It’s been the only thing on my mind all night as well.”

She scoots toward the center of the bed and tosses the comforter back before she pats the mattress.

Our meetings had become longer and more frequent but they’d never taken place in a bed. Those kinds of encounters only happen in my imagination and right now I want nothing more than to lie next to her. “You’re sure?”

Her heart is hammering inside her chest as she smiles sheepishly and nods. There’s no way I could resist an invitation like that from her.

I slide into bed next to her and she snuggles against me firmly as I use my arm to pull her closer. Being in bed with a woman is new to me. I have no idea if Avery has ever shared a bed with a man but the thought of her doing so ignites a pang of jealousy. “Have you done this before?” Wow. That sort of sounded like I was climbing into bed with her so we could have sex.

She snuggles closer. “You mean lie in bed with a man?”

“Yeah.” It comes out as a whisper.

She giggles. “No. I realize how unbelievable that sounds in this day and time. I’ve never been in love so I wouldn’t have a reason to be in bed with a man if I didn’t love him.”

Thank the gods. “I wasn’t raised during these times so it isn’t unbelievable to me.”

She lifts her head from my chest. “Have you ever shared a bed with a woman?”

She’s watching my eyes. I think she’s doing it because she wants to make sure I’m being truthful but she’d realize it was unnecessary if she thought about it. I can’t lie to her. She’d feel it through our bond. “When I was human, a man didn’t share a bed with a woman unless she was his wife or a whore–neither of which I’ve ever had.”

My virginal status makes her grin. “I was going to ask if you had ever been married but I guess the virgin thing rules that out.”

“I was betrothed to a woman when I was turned by Thatcher. Her name was Lisette.” I can’t believe I’m going to tell her what happened. I’ve shared the story with so few people but I want to tell her for some reason. “I didn’t understand what was happening to me during the change and I revealed myself as a vampire to her. She begged me to change her after the shock wore off–so I tried– but it didn’t end well for her. I still don’t understand what went wrong. I drained her and she drank my blood. It should have worked but instead of giving her immortality, I killed her.”

“Did you love her?” Her voice is sad.

Here I go. I’m going to tell her how I feel although I suspect she already knows. It could be the best thing I’ve ever done. Or the worst. “I thought I did … until I met you.”

Her expression becomes very serious as her heart speeds. “What does that mean?”

I rise from lying on my back and roll so Avery is pinned beneath me. I prop my elbows on each side of her head and cradle her face in my hands. “Dammit! I know I’m not supposed to but I can’t help myself. I love you, Avery. With all my heart and soul, I love you.”

She isn’t shocked so I was right. She knew all along. “I love you too.” Her hands slide through the back of my hair and she pulls my mouth down to hers so she can plant soft kisses but they quickly become fast and urgent, causing my head to spin.

My mouth leaves hers and I start a path of kisses down her neck. Her hands move from my hair to my shoulders and then down my back. Her breathing turns to panting–much like my own–and I feel her tugging upward on my shirt. I reach over my head with one hand and grab it by the neck. One smooth pull is all it takes to get it off and I toss it out of the way onto the floor.

She places her palms on my bare chest and rubs her thumbs in circular motions over my nipples. Her touch causes them to become hard and I can’t resist the urge to look down at them. Whoa … that’s never happened–at least not while I’ve been a vampire.

I lower myself and return to kissing Avery’s neck when her sweet intoxicating scent floods my senses. “You smell so good.” I move my mouth lower and push the top of her nightgown down so I can kiss her breasts.

I hear Avery moan when she arches her back from the bed and she brings her legs up to wrap around my waist. “Mmm … ohh. Don’t stop.”

Not a chance of that happening.

I migrate further south and this time I push the bottom of her gown above her hips so I can place kisses against her flat stomach. She’s squirming hard beneath me so I grasp her hips and dip my tongue into her bellybutton. “Oh … oh … oh.”

I’m right there hovering above what seems to be the source of her intoxicating scent. I press my nose to the waistband of her panties and draw a deep breath before I lift my face to look at Avery. She knows this is me asking permission without uttering a word so she lifts her bottom from the bed. “Take ‘em off.”

I slide my fingers into the skinny bands on each of her hips and pull the two tiny triangles down her legs so they can be added to my shirt on the floor. She sits up and wiggles until she has her gown up and over her head before she reaches for the tie of my linen sleep pants. Once they’re gone, I lower my naked body against hers and I covet the feel of her warmth against me.

She parts her legs again, this time without a barrier between our bodies. It’s simultaneously the most amazing feeling I’ve ever experienced while being the scariest and most confusing moment of my existence. I remember the mechanics of what happens when a man desires a woman but I’m puzzled by the whys. This hasn’t happened since I was human. And it shouldn’t be happening now.

She wiggles beneath me until my erection is positioned at her entrance. “Do it. I want you to.”

This is something I never thought I’d hear a woman say to me. I feel like I have the physical ability but what if I’m wrong? “I’m not sure I can. Vampires aren’t supposed to be able to do this.”

She rocks her body against mine, testing the water. “I believe you can. Unless you don’t want to.”

How can she think I don’t want this with her? “It’s definitely not that. I want to. Bad. Don’t think for one second I don’t. And I feel like I can but I’m afraid I’m wrong and I don’t want to disappoint you.”

She lifts her hips to coax me. “Don’t be scared. We were made for this. I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”

There’s no way I’m taking the time to ponder why I suddenly have the ability to do something vampires aren’t supposed to be capable of doing. I’m not ruining this moment with her.

I push against her body and enter slowly. Her eyes are squeezed tightly and her hands are clenched around my biceps as I go deeper. She gasps against my ear and her entire body tenses–a clear indicator of the pain I’m causing–so I become motionless. She kisses the space below my ear before she whispers, “Don’t stop.”

“But I’m hurting you,” I whisper. “I don’t want to do that.”

She brings her legs up around my waist. “You’re not. And you never would.” She tightens the grip of her legs and squeezes until I’m fully inside her. “I want you. And I want this.”

I couldn’t deny her if I tried. I’m powerless to stop what is happening between us. It feels as though something else is in control of my body–and while it’s utterly amazing–what’s happening in my head isn’t any less astonishing. “I love you so much, Avery.”

I’m moving above her and she reaches up to touch my face with her fingertips. “I love you too, Sol.”

I lower myself to kiss this woman but her lips aren’t enough. I want my mouth all over her. I want to taste her skin. And her blood.

Although I’ve drunk from her regularly the past few weeks, I’ve never wanted her blood before this moment. It was the experience that accompanied drinking from her. But the desire building within me is different.

I fight the desire I feel to lower my mouth to the throbbing pulsation in her neck. I don’t want to ruin this beautiful thing happening but the hunger for her blood is overpowering. As hard as I try, I can’t ignore the craving.

I turn and press my face into my inner arm to keep from biting her neck. “Something is happening to me.”

“I know. I feel it too.” She hooks her hands around my neck and pulls me closer. She locks her ankles behind my waist while arching her back from the bed and her neck is completely exposed as she turns her head. “I want to feed both of your hungers.”

Is she telling me to bite her? “What are you saying?”

“I want you to drink my blood while you make love to me.”

Another wave of her scent floods me and all self-control is lost as I put my mouth over the pulsation of her jugular. Her lush vein thumps against my lip as my incisors lengthen and then it’s done. I taste her blood in my mouth.

I greedily drink from this woman I adore. Nothing is comparable to this–what I’m sharing with Avery right now. I’ve never experienced anything so intense. Or loving. Ever.

I’m experiencing the best of both worlds. My body is in full-blown ecstasy and it’s far better than anything I experienced as a vampire–even my first taste of blood. I thought nothing could top that. But it has. Making love to Avery tops any and everything.

I have a fast track directly linked to her emotions. I have no doubt about the depth of her feelings for me as we make love. Her affection feels much like a bubble growing until I think it’ll burst. The purity of her love is so unexpected.

I take a part of her body into my own as I drink from her but I give her a part of mine as well when I empty myself inside her for the first time. She relaxes her legs around my waist and I seal the wound on her neck. I’m too stunned to move so I’m still hovering above her but I can see the astonishment in her eyes. “Wowww.”

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