Home > Twice Bitten (Argeneau #27)(12)

Twice Bitten (Argeneau #27)(12)
Author: Lynsay Sands

When he urged her upper body back and tugged her jacket open so that he could cup her breasts through the cloth of her shirt, Elspeth broke their kiss on a gasp and let her head fall back. He pushed her jacket and shirt off her shoulder and began to nibble his way down her throat to press kisses along her collarbone while he continued to caress her breasts, and Elspeth murmured excitedly and lifted her head. She then opened her eyes to find the position left the side of his neck exposed, the vein visible and throbbing with the blood rushing through it.

Elspeth felt her fangs drop down and ran her tongue over them, her gaze shifting to the living room again. Her mother was still there, her expression concentrated again, but Meredith was still there too . . . only now her expression was blank. Martine was controlling her as well now. She was controlling all of them, Elspeth thought with a frown. Playing them like puppets, making her and Wyatt do this, no doubt infusing their minds with this incredible passion. It wasn’t real, none of it, except her hunger for blood.

That thought infuriated her. Elspeth snapped her mouth closed and pushed herself backward out of Wyatt’s arms. She bumped up against the porch railing.

“El?” he asked softly when she began to slide to the side along the rail.

Unable to open her mouth for fear of revealing the fangs she hadn’t yet managed to force back up, Elspeth just shook her head and turned away to walk quickly to the end of the porch.

“Elspeth? Just tell me . . .” Wyatt’s words died abruptly when she hopped over the porch rail to the muddy ground below and moved quickly to the gate that opened to the side yard.

Wyatt stared after Elspeth with amazement until she slipped through the gate and disappeared, and then he hopped the rail and hurried after her. He was terribly confused. He hadn’t planned on kissing her when he’d come outside. In fact, he didn’t really recall deciding to even come out and bring her the jacket. He remembered Martine Pimms saying Elspeth had stepped out for some air, and had some vague recollection of her suggesting he should take the jacket out to her. And then he’d found himself taking the jacket off the chair and heading out to the porch without consciously deciding he would.

The weirdness didn’t stop there. When Elspeth had held her hand out to take the coat, he’d started to hand it over and then instead was suddenly helping her into it, and moving up close behind her to lift her hair out from beneath the collar. He remembered tugging her around, and pressing her against his chest, urging her face into the curve of his throat, but had no idea why he’d done it. It had felt like he was just a passenger in his body, watching it do things he hadn’t decided on doing.

Kissing her, though, that had been him, Wyatt acknowledged to himself as he reached the gate. She’d been in his arms, her scent filling his nostrils, her body warm against his. He’d looked down into her beautiful eyes and his mind had filled with the memory of other times he’d held her in his arms. He hadn’t been able to resist kissing her. He should have, Wyatt supposed. He had all sorts of questions when it came to this woman. How she could have forgotten him, if she really had? Why she was pretending to have forgotten if she hadn’t? What her game was, and why she was insinuating herself so deeply in his grandmother’s life? But none of that had seemed to matter in that moment, and then their mouths had met and . . . dear God, he’d managed to convince himself over the years that he’d imagined the depth of their passion, just as he’d been sure he’d imagined the silver tint to her eyes. But he hadn’t imagined anything. Like he remembered, passion had exploded between them as hard and fast as an IED. Or maybe a firebomb was a better description, because he’d immediately been on fire for her.

Wyatt had pulled her closer, eager to fully explore that passion. But instead, he’d found himself breaking the kiss he was so enjoying and turning to nibble at her collarbone. That had not been what he’d wanted to do. What he’d wanted was to press her against the wooden rail, and grind himself up against her as he thrust his tongue into her mouth. If he’d broken the kiss at all, it would have been to work her shirt open and claim those full, soft breasts that had been pressing against him, nudging his memories of other times he’d enjoyed them, not to nibble at her collarbone like some weirdo. Where the hell had that come from?

Bewildered at his own incomprehensible behavior, Wyatt pushed through the gate into the side yard just in time to see Elspeth disappear around the front of the house. Mouth tightening, he picked up his pace, determined to reach her and . . .

Well, frankly, Wyatt didn’t know what he wanted. He knew he wanted to kiss her again. He’d kissed and bedded a lot of women in his life but not one had affected him like Elspeth Pimms had with just a kiss. That was something special, something crazy hot. How the hell had she found it within herself to break the kiss and walk away? And not just this time. What about the first time they met? Did she really not remember? Had he been that forgettable to her? Did she not experience the same need and passion he did?

“Don’t come near me.”

Those sharp words from Elspeth made Wyatt slow and glance around as he reached the corner of the house. He thought they were meant for him, until he saw that Elspeth was rushing down the steps of the front porch with her mother on her heels.

Wyatt narrowed his eyes on the pair. Neither of them even seemed to realize he was there, and the way Elspeth scowled over her shoulder at her mother told him that Martine was the one she was warning off. That was interesting.

Damn, the woman was fast if she’d rushed inside and upstairs to get her purse and got back down before he’d caught up to her, Wyatt thought with amazement as he noted that she was now carrying one. And then Martine stopped on the stairs and growled, “Just stop and listen to me, Elspeth.”

When Elspeth halted at the sidewalk and turned to glare at her mother, curiosity made Wyatt stop walking to watch the pair. This was looking almost like a standoff, or pistols at dawn. Martine appeared determined, and Elspeth seemed ready to run.

“You are being ridiculous,” Martine said after a pause. “You should have used him while you had the chance. Your pain would be considerably eased now and you could wait on the delivery from Bastien rather than rush out to get—”

“I am not breaking the Council’s laws and I don’t know why you’re trying to make me. If I used him like that, it would be—”

“This is an emergency,” Martine interrupted firmly.

“No, it’s not. Not really,” Elspeth argued. “It might be close enough to one that the Council might not execute me. But they’d probably at least ban me from ever living here or—Oh,” she said with sudden understanding. “That’s what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to get me to bite Wyatt so that Uncle Lucian would be forced to ban me from North America.”

Wyatt’s eyes widened incredulously. He was having a little difficulty following this conversation. What had Martine meant when she’d said Elspeth should have “used him” while she had the chance? Used who? Him? As far as he knew he was the only “him” around. But used him how? And how would it ease pain? And what delivery? None of this was making any sense to him.

“So, you’d rather see me executed than out from under your control?” Elspeth sounded bitter.

“Stop being melodramatic. Lucian wouldn’t execute you,” Martine said, her expression tight. “You are his niece and this is close enough to an emergency that he’d choose the lesser punishment and ban you.”

“Probably,” Elspeth agreed gloomily. “Unless enough people raised a fuss and suggested he was playing favorites. They might point to what happened with Uncle Jean Claude, and suggest Uncle Lucian shouldn’t be allowed to decide my case, and then whoever was given the decision might have me executed to prevent anyone thinking they play favorites with Argeneaus too,” she pointed out. “But you’re willing to risk that just to keep control of me, aren’t you?”

“That will not happen,” Martine insisted, looking angry.

“No, it won’t. Because I don’t intend to break any Council laws,” Elspeth said in a cold voice and turned to hurry toward the driveway, widening the distance between her and her mother.

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