"Why on earth? That doesn't sound like Cadeon, at all."

Holly glared at that. "He doesn't want to attempt me, to bring out the demon full force."

"Yes, but what do you want? Listen to your instinct. What is it telling you?"

Again, she gazed out the window at him. Want! "It's not telling me anything - it's screaming for me to be with him. But it's not like I'm on the pill. And he can't exactly run up to the gas station for condoms."

She was already late with her period, doubtless because of stress, so she wouldn't be ovulating. Right? She'd even double-checked online. She didn't think it possible she'd get pregnant, but if it happened...

"Would it be so bad to have a baby vamon?"

At first, the idea had struck Holly as out of left field, but the more she thought about it, the more comfortable she became.

Why should Holly possess all this strength and have no one to protect? Why control her family's fortune and have no one to share it with?

The idea of waiting until certain life events had transpired before having a child no longer applied. She was going to live potentially forever. If she wanted to undertake something exhaustive and demanding for herself, she could do it in eighteen or nineteen years as easily as she could now.

"It doesn't matter anyway," Holly said with a sigh. "He won't do it." He'd proved he could stop himself already, in each of their encounters.

"I'm confused. He's a demon with an instinctive need to sate his female. You're his female. He'll do anything you desire."

"What do you mean?"

"Dearling, it's time for you to take the demon by the horns."


We got up here just in time. Storms are blowing to the south..." He trailed off when he found Holly reclining in the tub, wearing nothing but her pearls.

She crooked her finger at him. "It's big enough for two in here." Steam was rising all around her and firelight flickered over her skin - just as he'd imagined earlier.

"You don't have to ask me twice." He dropped the firewood he'd been carrying and stripped off his clothes.

"Is that enough wood to keep us warm tonight?"

Easing into the water behind her, he drew her up between his legs, until the smooth curves of her ass cradled his stiffened shaft. "I'll keep you warm. Don't you worry about that," he said, brushing his lips against her neck until she shivered.

He leisurely skimmed a hand down her body to her sex, slowly stroking for long, long moments. When he slipped his finger inside her, he found her already nice and slick. With a moan, her legs fell open against his.

With his other hand, he pinched her ni**les, one then the other, rolling them between his thumb and forefinger. Her arms fell back, her fingers lacing together behind his neck.

When he pressed the heel of his palm against her clitoris, she started rocking on the finger inside her, so he gave her another.

She arched her back, her pert ass flexing against his cock. His hissed in a breath as the swollen crown rubbed over her curves. He could draw his fingers away and be inside her so easily, impaling her on his length. And he knew she would happily accept him....

As if she read his mind, she murmured, "Cadeon, I want you to take my virginity."

This was straight out of his fantasies - where it should remain. But how many more times could he resist before he lost control? "I can't. I never want to hurt you." He didn't only mean physically. Cade might not have had a way out of lying to her, but he had a choice about this.

Gently nudging his hand away, she rolled over between his legs, her slick br**sts rubbing over his chest. "Is that the only reason?"

"You're not on the pill, and you're the Vessel..."

Chapter 22

"It's not the right time of the month for me to conceive. But even if I did, it wouldn't be the end of the world."

"It might just be if I'm the father. Remember the ultimate evil part?"

"You're not evil."

She wouldn't feel that way for long. "Holly, you have no idea." He set her away, then got out of the tub, snatching a towel from a nearby chair.

"You can't convince me of that so don't even try. It's because of the pregnancy thing, isn't it? I know this is a lot to think about. But I wouldn't hold you responsible - "

His shoulders shot back, and he narrowed his eyes. "You think I can't take care of my female and my kid?"

As soon as he'd said those words he stilled - just as he had on the bridge talking to Tera. The sheer obviousness of it. Why did something feel as if it had just shifted into place?

"Of course, you can. I was just - "

"That has nothing to do with it. You haven't even seen me at my worst. Holly, I could kill you."

"No, Cadeon" - she reached from the tub, and plucked up a large splinter of wood - "you can't." She dragged it over her forearm.

"Holly! What are you..." He trailed off when the cut began healing instantly.

"You can't hurt me. I'm an immortal now."

"But the change - I thought you didn't want this."

She rose and sauntered up to him, water drops trickling over her sleek body. "I want to stay like this." Her eyes were silvery. He couldn't look away, couldn't pull back, even when she reached under the towel and started stroking his cock.

"What changed your mind?" Say I did. Say it was me!

"You. I want to be with you, completely. I want to make love with you."

Everything he'd dreamed of hearing from her. And still he forced himself to say, "It won't happen, Holly."

She'd tried reasoning with Cadeon, but he'd held firm. It was time to play dirty. "You win." She ran her fist up and down his length, stripping his towel. "Then let's just release some steam."

She kissed down his chest and torso, nuzzling the trail of hair below his navel before kneeling in front of him on the fur hearthrug. Hands flat against his chest, she took his shaft between her lips, licking the broad head.

"Ah, Holly, that's it..." Threading his fingers in her hair, he guided her head. "Gods, it's so good when you do that..."

Soon he was subtly thrusting as he did when on the verge. His body tensed, his erection pulsing.

Her hands eased down to his ankles. Grasping them tight, she wrenched upward with all her might.

Caught off guard, he dropped flat on his back. "Holly!" he roared. "What the f**k - "

But she was already straddling him.

He tossed her to her back on the fur. "Is that how we're to play this?" he grated. He didn't recognize his own voice.

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