Home > Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6)(17)

Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6)(17)
Author: Nalini Singh

Blinking at the cold-blooded response, she stared. “You really think I’m capable of that?”

“If Hannah should prove a threat to me or the others you love, yes.” A faint smile, his kiss a flagrantly sexual branding, his fingers thrusting into her hair to send pins scattering to the grass, his body all hard ridges and heat against her own. “Your love is a fierce thing, Elena, a thing with claws and teeth when it comes to protecting those you claim.”

He was right; she’d take on that batshit crazy Lijuan herself if it meant saving the lives of the people she loved. “Does that bother you? That I’m so bloodthirsty?”

Laughing, he reached down and swung her into his arms with an easy strength that made her feel like a gently reared Southern belle out of a period drama. “I’ll answer that upstairs. After I see your knife sheath.”

Oh, God, he sounded like he was purring. “Sleep is overrated,” she whispered, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing the delicious slope of it. “I’d much rather get na**d with my man.”

The instant they were behind the closed doors of their bedroom, he threw her on the bed and divested her of her dress and shoes, leaving her wearing only the slim knife strapped to her thigh. When she reached down to get rid of it, he shook his head and, holding her gaze, stripped off his own formal clothes to reveal a body that made her whimper before he got on top of her.

A kiss to her hip, his tongue flicking out to taste her skin; his fingers tracing the strap of the sheath; his wings spreading; the exotic, erotic taste of angel dust on her lips; her breath locked in her throat.

Then his mouth was a heated dampness on her navel.

“Raphael.” His name came out a caress as she tangled her hands in the midnight silk of his hair to hold him to her, her love for him a huge thing inside her.

He kissed her hip again, licking out at the bone in a light flick that made her tremble. A very male, very Raphael smile against her skin. When he shifted up over her, she was ready for his kiss . . . but she was never truly ready for Raphael’s kiss. He made her burn, the pleasure a hot, liquid burst that shimmered over her skin in rolling waves. “I could kiss you forever,” she murmured against his lips, sucking at the lower one, playing with the upper, his body weight a luscious pressure. “I love feeling you against me.”

“You say such things, Elena. You will make me your slave.” Wings spreading wider above her, he cupped the side of her face and leaned into the kiss, deepening it until their tongues tangled in sweet, hot battle, Elena’s breath lost. Gasping in just enough air to continue, she stroked her hands against the taut muscle of him, and returned to the kiss.

More? It was an intimate question between lovers.

“Yes,” she whispered. “More.”

One arm braced above her head, he gave her what she wanted, continuing to kiss her while caressing the highly sensitive upper arch of her wing with his free hand. She shivered, sliding her own hands to his nape, then down, her fingers brushing his wings. He loved it when she kissed her way down the inner arches where his wings grew out of his back, and she loved that she knew that about him, about her lover.

“Stop that, hbeebti,” he said, their lips parting on a wet kiss of sound.

She smiled, her ni**les flush against the hard wall of his chest. “You like it.”

“Too much. And today, I wish to pleasure my consort.” Pressing his thumb down on her jaw to part her lips, he kissed her again, angel dust glittering in the air.

“Mmm.” She rubbed against him. “Did you make a change to your special blend?” Angel dust, he’d told her, was normally rich and exquisite, but not sexual. Elena had only ever tasted Raphael’s blend, and it was always oh-so-sexual—today, it also held a dangerous bite.

Kisses down her throat. “I wouldn’t wish my consort to suffer ennui.”

“Oh!” It took some time for her brain cells to unscramble after he took one of her ni**les into his mouth, rolling it over on his tongue like it was a plump berry, then turning his attention to the other. Chest heaving when he lifted his head to lave a kiss just below her br**sts, she managed to say, “Ennui, yes, that’s exactly what I feel right now.”

His eyes glinted. “So, my consort challenges me. Very well.”

Shivering, because his voice . . . it was fur over her senses, across her tight, damp ni**les, along her lips, she watched him dip his head, place a wet kiss on her navel. He blew a breath over the wet, kept going past her renewed shiver. “Now,” he purred, “it is my turn to be intoxicated.”

Her spine curved off the bed at the first touch of his mouth on her most private flesh. As she knew her lover, he knew her. Every tiny, nerve-laden curve. Now, lifting her thighs up over the wide breadth of his shoulders, he cupped her bu**ocks in his hands and kissed her with an intimacy that stole her senses, making her feel delicious, decadent, beautiful.

Hands buried in his hair, she held on to him as her body shuddered again and again, the orgasm a slow, exquisite ride. He licked her to the end, stroking his hands over her thighs to shift her legs to either side of his body, his fingers lingering on the strap that held the knife to her thigh. “My warrior.” Another kiss to her navel before he rose up over her again, his arousal nudging at her pleasure-swollen dampness.

She gripped at his upper arms, muscle and tendon flexing under her touch as he clamped one hand over her hip, the other braced on her wing—an added pleasure—and thrust his c**k inside her. Moaning at the erotic storm of sensation and needing him even closer, she drew him down to her mouth. He came, his hand sliding up her body to mold her breast as he stroked in and out of her in a deep, lazy rhythm that said he had nowhere else to be, his attention only and absolutely on her.

Her body sparked to new life under the relentless focus of her archangel to clasp him in sensual pulses. Breaking the kiss so she could watch him find his own pleasure, she caressed her fingers down the line of his throat, over his shoulders, and to the rising arch of his left wing. He shuddered and thrust home when her fingers closed over that arch. “Elena.”

Raphael’s pleasure, his kiss, sent her over a second time . . . and it wasn’t until they both stirred again that Raphael reached down and undid the strap of her knife sheath, putting it and the knife on the bedside table. “Beautiful as this sheath is,” he said, touching the leather, “I much prefer the one which holds my blade.”

Elena thumped a fisted hand on his shoulder, laughter bubbling in her veins and her body boneless. “I’m happy to know I beat leather that finely worked.”

“Always.” Lips curving in a smile that made her body tighten on the “blade” still inside her body, he bent his head to her lips.

And a certain blade and sheath once more proved their perfect fit.

• • •

Leaving Elena happily exhausted and asleep in their bed, Raphael flew not to the Tower but toward the house that belonged to Jeffrey Deveraux and his family. A single expertly timed burst of angelfire and he could eliminate the mortal male from the face of the planet, while leaving his wife and children unharmed.

Or he could simply fly down and thrust his hand through Jeffrey’s rib cage to tear out his shriveled, useless heart. It would be intensely more satisfying than spilling the other man’s blood from a distance.

Except taking either action would break Elena’s faith in him, while doing nothing to seal the gash Jeffrey had torn in her psyche. It’d continue to rip open at unexpected moments, as it had this morning. It had taken every ounce of his considerable control not to respond in anger when he’d realized the import of Elena’s question—and that it was the same thing she’d asked him in more subtle ways in the past months.

Anger would’ve bruised and confused her, for his consort didn’t recognize the fear that drove her to ask such questions, a fear that could be encapsulated in seven simple words that formed a vicious sentence: Will this flaw make you reject me?

What Jeffrey had done, it had scarred Elena on a level beyond the conscious. She knew she held Raphael’s heart, she knew, and yet a wary, wounded part of her worried he’d change his mind one day, find her no longer worthy of loving.

Raphael. It was a murmur half drugged with sleep. Why are you growling in my head?

Teeth gritted, he made the deliberate decision to turn away from the Deveraux house and toward the Tower, not confident he could hold to his resolve not to murder Jeffrey if he saw Elena’s father. My apologies, hbeebti. I didn’t realize you could sense it.

’S okay.

Sleep, he said, and because he couldn’t bear to think of her in pain: As you dream, know that you are loved.

’Course I am. I’m yours.

The sleepy mumble was enough to soothe his rage, telling him that despite the fears that haunted her, Elena understood the truth of who she was to him so deep within her, she remembered it even heavy with sleep. No more growling in your head, he promised, but she was already gone, lost in slumber.

Sire, said another voice an instant later.

Yes, Aodhan?

Augustus will reach the meeting point in an hour.

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