Home > Don't Rush Me (Nora Jacobs #1)(8)

Don't Rush Me (Nora Jacobs #1)(8)
Author: Jackie May

I know the moment he accesses my mind. I feel his presence slip inside my head. The invasion of privacy is unbearable, and I automatically try to kick him out. Pinching my eyes shut, I mentally push against the unwelcomed presence. He fights back, pushing hard against me. “Do not resist me.”

“Get out of my head!”

Pain pounds behind my eyes, crushing against my brain and my skull. It hurts so badly I have to fight the urge to vomit. My nose begins to bleed. A tortured scream rips from my lungs. Still, every instinct I have propels me to eject him from my mind.

I fight as hard as I can. I’m strong, but Henry’s stronger. He breaks through my mental barrier, shattering my will. I collapse in his arms.

Parker dashes toward me. “Nora!”

“She’s all right,” Henry reassures Parker as he lays me on the nearby sofa. “She will not resist me anymore.” He smiles at me, swiping my hair off my forehead. “Will you, love?”

I want to shout and curse and scream at him, but I don’t have the energy. My brain is mush, and I’m barely hanging on to consciousness.

Henry wipes the tears from my cheeks and places his hands on my head again. “No,” I croak.

“Forgive me. I must.”

He enters my head again. I try to fight it, but I can’t. My memories surface against my will. While Henry absorbs them, he’s still touching me, and so, gives me a running commentary of his own thoughts at the same time. He starts with my most recent memory, because he’s curious as to why I’d screamed. He sees me wake up, sees me touch his bedpost, and gasps when he watches me fall into my vision.

I’m stuck in the memory, but I can hear Parker close by our side. “Sire, what is it?”

Henry can see my vision. He watches the scene of him and his lover play out, standing, as I did, like an outsider. “My, my,” he rasps. As shocked as he is by my ability, he’s aroused by the vision. He likes watching himself. “So it’s not just mind reading that you are capable of. You are an extremely powerful human, aren’t you? How does it work, exactly? Have you always had this gift?”

“T-that’s n-none of y-your b-business.”

Henry chuckles. “Actually, this vision is very much my business, don’t you think?”

I refuse to answer that and pray he’s watching the vision and can’t see my blush.

“Sire, what’s happening? What do you see?”

Henry chuckles. “Would you like to describe it to him, Nora?”

The tone of his voice makes me wish I could punch him in his smug face. There’s nothing I can say right now that wouldn’t sound pathetic, encouraging, dirty, or like a denial of attraction, so I keep quiet.

Henry sighs, sad that I’ve not taken his bait. “Nora has been gifted with a form of psychometry,” he explains to Parker. “She can see visions of the past when she touches objects—such as my bed. Isn’t that right, Nora?”

Parker gasps. “With a gift like that, she could help us find Nadine. We could take her to—”

“All in good time, Parker. Allow me to concentrate, if you will.”

“Forgive me, Sire.”

Parker goes quiet, and Henry’s attention shifts back to the vision we’re both stuck in. His arousal increases. He sees me watching the scene and likes the thought that I saw him—as if I’d had a choice in the matter. But, whether I’d wanted to or not, I had been turned on by it when I saw it, and he can tell. He feels my attraction and groans. “Nora.” He sounds agonized. “Sweet Nora, you torture me. I can feel your desire.”

As the words escape his lips, he reaches the part of the vision where he’d bitten the woman and feasted on her blood. He watches me scream. Just as he’d felt my desire before, he feels my revulsion now. He feels my memories just as I’d felt them when I experienced them. My stark terror over what is the most intimate treasured act among his kind hurts him. It’s the closest that two vampires can get to one another, and he’s desperate to share that bond with me.

Henry lets go of me and pulls out of my head. The look in his fevered eyes screams of his hunger. His desire. “I could give you pleasure like you’ve never known,” he says.

I’m not sure if he means the sex or the biting, but either option terrifies and repulses me to a state of panic. I shake my head. “No thanks.”

He smiles, as if my declaration amuses him. “Don’t be so hasty, love. I felt your arousal as you watched us. You’re attracted to me.”

“My body responded instinctively. That’s all it was. You’re hot, but knowing what you are, you lost any attraction I might have felt.”

He gives me a knowing smile, as if he doesn’t believe me for a second, and places his hands back on my head.

“Not again.” I groan.

“I must. I don’t have the answers I need yet.”

I know there’s no point in arguing this time. Fighting him before did nothing but give me a horrid migraine and make me physically collapse. I really don’t want to lose consciousness, with Henry so close.

He dives once again into my memories. My attempts to fight him do nothing. I’m too weak, and he isn’t being gentle anymore. He works faster now, watching the night that Parker found me with shock and wonder. He’s amazed by how a human could know about the underworld, fear it as much as I do, and still face it head on.

He’s curious about Xavier and what kind of man he is that I would be desperate enough to face my greatest fear just to be rid of him. He skims over my memories of the months I lived next door to Xavier. As he swims through my past, I feel his anger. He works himself into a rage watching all of Xavier’s attempts to spy on me and drug me. He can barely control himself as he witnesses the visions I’d witnessed. Feels the things I’d felt. Hears the thoughts I’d heard. He wants to kill Xavier.

“You see?” I say, trying to change the direction of his thoughts. “I don’t know anything about your missing vampire.”

“No,” he agrees. “You are as innocent as you claim, though you are so much more than you pretend to be. Your gifts are remarkable.”

“Look, you got what you wanted. Stop invading my privacy now.”

“I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

I try to yank myself away from him, but I don’t have the strength left. My head is pounding. “Why the hell not?”

He doesn’t answer my question, but he can’t hide his thoughts from me. He could stop now, but he doesn’t want to. He wants to know everything about me. He thinks he’s been given a miraculous gift and that he would be a fool to not learn everything he can about me.

I try to push him from my head again, but the effort is almost nonexistent now, and my stomach rolls. I’m helpless to do anything but lie there while he delves, unwelcome, into my past.

At first, he analyzes everything. He tries to think of how he might be able to gain my trust, but soon his thoughts trail off, and he simply watches. He sees my lonely life and is starting to recognize a reoccurring theme—men.

All my life, I’ve been sought after. There’s something unnatural about me that puts men under a spell. I mean that literally, as in, magic is involved. I call it a curse. I’m cursed to attract men to unhealthy levels. I can’t explain why, but I know I’m not imagining it.

Henry watches me bounce from foster home to foster home, always having problems with my foster fathers or brothers. He sees school after school and all the boys that never leave me alone. His anger rises each time I am harassed or assaulted. He roars, furious with what he’s seeing. That he’s angry on my behalf doesn’t make me feel any better. “Please, stop!” I scream. “Once was bad enough. Stop making me remember! Please stop this!”

“I am so sorry, Nora,” he coos in my ear. His hand strokes my head over and over. “You’re safe now. You have my word. I will protect you.”

His promises bring me no comfort. Who will protect me from him?

My curse hits Henry hard. Seeing everything I’ve been through, he doesn’t just become drawn to me; he instantly becomes protective of me. And possessive. I’m his now, and he plans to take care of me. He vows to himself that I will never be put through that again. No one else will ever come near me. He’ll make sure of it. He thinks he understands why I hadn’t wanted him to touch me. He wants me to see him differently from all of the past men in my life. He wants me to long for his touch, not abhor it. Fat chance of that.

   
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