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The War of Two Queens: Chapter 31

Clariza grasped her husband’s arm and had already begun backing toward the door. “I’ll get some food ready and heat up some fresh water. He’ll need both.”

“Thank you.” I forced a smile, flicking a glance at Reaver.

The draken sensed my will. He turned to the mortals. “I’ll help.”

In other words, he would keep an eye on them. They may be Descenters and currently planning to launch some sort of attack on Wayfair, but that didn’t mean I trusted them with Casteel’s life.

“Sure. You can tell us where you’re from while helping,” I heard Clariza say as she stepped into the hall. “Like exactly how far east you come from.”

That would’ve normally been an odd thing to say, except for the fact that Reaver hailed from the farthest-east place one could get.

“You’ve got a lot of things you need to be sharing after you’re done in here.” Blaz pointed at Malik as he paused at the doorway. “A lot of things.”

The door closed on that. I looked over at Malik. “Do they know who you are?”

“No,” he said. “They don’t.”

Casteel’s eyes opened then, the irises pitch-black. I wasn’t prepared to see that again. My heart splintered even more, but there was no time to dwell on it.

He came off the bed, lashing out like a cornered pit viper. I jumped back, hitting the wall. His fingers grazed the front of my shirt as Malik curled the chains around his forearm, grunting as he hauled Casteel back. Cursing, Malik tried to get his brother back onto the bed, but Casteel was incredibly strong in this state.

“Malik can feed him,” Kieran bit out as Casteel let out a low howl. “I’ll take the chains.”

“No.” I pushed off the wall. Kieran’s gaze shot to me. “I have a whole lot more eather in me. Wouldn’t my blood bring him out of bloodlust much faster?”

Kieran didn’t answer.

Malik did. “It’s unlikely that my blood will do much for him at this point,” he said, his jaw clenching as he dug in his heels. “We both know that. She’s a god. Her blood is the best choice.”

Kieran’s worry filled my throat like too-thick cream—his concern for me and for Casteel. “I can heal him first. I just need to touch him. That should calm him.”

Malik’s eyebrows rose in doubt as Casteel turned on him, forcing Malik to jump onto the bed and move to the other side.

“I just need one of you to distract him.” I clasped Kieran’s cheeks. “I’ll calm him first. Okay? I won’t let him hurt me. None of us will.”

A muscle thrummed against my palm as Kieran’s eyes glowed a luminous blue. “Fuck. I hate this.”

“Me, too.” Stretching up, I pressed my lips against his forehead.

A fine tremor ran through him, and then he released me. “Please…”

Kieran didn’t finish. He didn’t need to as I faced Casteel. He was only a few feet from me now, snarling and snapping.

“I’ll get behind him this time.” Kieran looked at Malik. “I need you to get him close to you.”

Malik nodded.

Kieran took a deep breath. “Once I get a good hold on him, you’ve got to do your thing. Understood?”

Casteel howled, the sound so eerily similar to that of a Craven that my insides turned cold.

But I wasn’t afraid.

I was never scared of Casteel. Not even in this state.

“Ready?” Kieran said.


Malik yanked the chains toward him, attempting to wrap them around one of the bedposts. Casteel twisted toward his brother, taking his eyes off Kieran. The wolven darted behind Casteel, clamping one arm around Casteel’s chest, pinning his arms to his side as he managed to get his hand under Casteel’s jaw.

Casteel went wild, thrashing, growling, and spitting. He threw his weight back, slamming Kieran into the wall. Plaster cracked. The chain slipped away from the bedpost.

Now,” Kieran grunted.

Tapping into the eather, I began to conjure up happy thoughts—memories of him and me under the willow tree in Masadonia. Memories of him playing with my hair and teaching me how to control a horse. All of those and more filled my thoughts as my hand closed around his skin—his cold, cold skin. Silvery-white light sparked from my fingertips.

“Don’t do this,” Kieran rasped as Casteel bucked against him, straining toward me. The sheer intensity of Casteel’s bloodlust pulled Kieran away from the wall. “Come on, man.”

Casteel broke Kieran’s hold around his neck.

“Shit,” Kieran groaned, his boots skidding across the wood floor.

Malik was there, having dropped the chains to grab his brother by the chin. “I got him.”

“Please, Cas,” Kieran said—begged really. “You’ve got to let her help you find calm.”

Casteel’s answering growl raised the hairs all over my body as warmth rushed from me. I knew the moment the healing energy hit him because Casteel went rigid. The shimmering web swept over him, filling the chamber for the briefest second before fading into his skin. The ragged wound in his chest was awash with eather as Casteel staggered back, falling into Kieran. They both went down to the floor, and Malik and I followed.

“Gods,” Malik uttered as he stared at his brother’s rapidly healing chest. The glow had faded, revealing a bright pink patch of newly formed skin. His eyes shot to Casteel’s face. “Cas?”

His lids were lowered, lips parted as he panted for breath. He trembled so badly he shook Kieran.

I slid my hand up his arm. His skin was still far too cold. “Casteel?” I whispered.

His eyes opened wide, and a thin strip of gold was visible as they locked with mine. He was there—a piece of him recovered, at least.

I lifted my wrist to his mouth. “You need to feed.”

“I…I can’t,” Casteel forced out, words guttural as he twisted his head to the side.

“You have to.” I cupped his cheek with my other hand.

“I’m…I’m barely here…right now.” His gaze flew back to mine, and I saw it then, the red glint in the darkness there. “You need to get away from me.”


“Get away from me.” The red glint brightened.

“You fucking idiot,” his brother growled, grip tightening on Casteel’s chin. “We don’t have time for you to be all heroic and worry about taking too much blood from a godsdamn god.”

Casteel’s head jerked back, cracking into the side of Kieran’s. Tendons stood out starkly in his throat as his lips peeled back over his fangs. “Get her away from me!”

The force of his words knocked me back.

Malik twisted toward me. “He’s not going to do it without some real strong motivation. Like, for example, the scent of your blood.”

“No,” Casteel roared, his feet kicking against the floor as he pushed himself and Kieran back. Malik lost his grip on his brother’s chin.

“Do it.” The muscles of Kieran’s arms bulged as he fought to hold Casteel in place. “Do it before the entire neighborhood hears him.”

I moved quickly, unsheathing my wolven dagger. I pressed my lips together to silence the hiss of pain as I dragged the edge of the blade across my wrist.

The moment the scent of my blood hit the air, Casteel’s head swung around. No longer fighting to pull away, his entire being appeared fixated on the blood welling up on my skin.

“Feed,” I begged. “Please.”

And then his head snapped down.

His fangs grazed my skin as his mouth closed over the wound. I could’ve shouted with joy as I felt his mouth pulling at my skin. He drank deeply.

“That’s it,” Kieran said, his voice low as he smoothed limp strands of hair back from Casteel’s face. “That’s good.”

I scuttled closer, my leg tangling with his as I carefully touched his cheek. My senses brushed against the whirling, crimson-tainted darkness that seemed to fill every part of him. I searched the stark hunger there, finding wisps of tangy anguish as I smoothed my fingers over the rough bristle on his cheeks. I tasted the pain—icy and bone-deep as I kept touching his cheek. His jaw. The kind of mental hurt that cut so much deeper than any physical pain. I closed my eyes, channeling some relief into him as I’d done before—

Casteel moved without warning, tearing his mouth from my arm, faster than any of us thought him capable of. None of us had a chance to react. The chains clattered across the floor as he came at me. Grabbing hold of my hip, he dragged me under him as his body came over mine.

Kieran shouted. “Cas—”

The cold, uneven surface of the wood floor dug into my back. My heart gave a startled lurch as he gripped where the cloak was clasped. Buttons flew, pinging off the floor. His head streaked down. The fiery pain of his fangs piercing the skin of my throat was sharp and sudden, briefly robbing me of breath. I bit down on my lip as he fed hard and deep, his mouth moving fiercely against my throat.

“Nope.” Kieran loomed over us, forcing his forearm under Casteel’s chin. “That’s a nope.”

A violent growl rumbled through Casteel. His right hand sank into my hair, jerking my head back as he worked an arm under me. Trapping my arms between us, he pulled me as close to him as he could.

“I know you don’t like it, but you’re going to like it a lot less if you hurt her,” Kieran warned, grasping a fistful of Casteel’s hair.

The rippling snarl from Casteel came from the very depths of his being. I could taste the keening sense of rising desperation. It was so potent, I almost heard his words. Not enough, not enough. If we stopped him now…

We’d lose him again.

Searching for Kieran’s eyes, I found them and forced a smile. “It’s okay.”

“Bullshit,” Kieran growled.

“It is,” I insisted. And it was. The sting of pain was more of a burn now, but it was fading. This wasn’t a clean strike like the times before, but it was nothing like when an Ascended fed. I didn’t feel as if I were being ripped apart from the inside, and that could only mean that more than just a fragmented piece of Casteel remained. There were several more. We just needed to give him time to piece them together. “He needs more. I can feel that.”

I managed to work one of my arms free, and Casteel made a desperate sort of sound as the faint, bitter taste of fear reached me. Did he think I was going to push him away? Stop him?


Smoothing my hand across his bristly cheek, I felt the muscles in his jaw working as he swallowed. I threaded my fingers through his hair, curling them around the back of his head, holding him there.

“I don’t like this,” Kieran said.

“If Cas stops before he gets enough, it’ll be worse,” Malik warned from somewhere in the chamber. “You know that.”

Kieran held my gaze and then cursed, his head bowing. He slid his arm out from under Casteel’s neck, but he didn’t go far. He crouched close.

Casteel didn’t like any of that. His body twisted away from Kieran, tucking me almost completely under him and against the solid wood at the foot of the bed.

His mouth didn’t leave my throat, didn’t stop sucking, and I felt each dragging pull. Every swallow. The staggering tugs against my skin were almost too intense, causing my breath to catch repeatedly.

But the red haze of clouds inside him wasn’t nearly as thick. It was scattering. The anguish and sense of desperation still whirled through him, but there was more now. He took harder pulls, deeper, wringing a gasp from my tightly pressed lips.

Kieran shifted closer, but Casteel’s bite no longer hurt. It simply burned with a different kind of heat, one that was wholly inappropriate given the situation.

I squeezed my eyes shut, focusing on his emotions and what I tasted from him. There was a tang of sorrow, but the icy pain was fading. And under all of it, beneath the storm, was something sweet and warm…




The rumble Casteel made was softer, rougher. His mouth slowed, and the draws became languid but still deep. The hand in my hair loosened enough that the tension went out of my neck, but I didn’t move. The smoky, spicy flavor filling my throat invaded my blood. He made that sound again, the thick, humming rumble, and my entire body shuddered. He twisted over me, his body heating against mine. I tried to ignore the storm building inside me, but those lips at my throat, the steady and deep pull of my blood flowing from me and into him, made it hard to focus on anything but how his body felt against mine. An aching pressure settled in my breasts and lower, between my thighs, where I felt him thickening and hardening.

“Well, fuck…” I heard Kieran mutter a moment before the hot, wet slide of Casteel’s tongue against the side of my throat sent a tight, pulsing shudder through me.

My eyes flew open.

“Not sure if this is the right time for any of that.” Kieran threaded his arm around Casteel’s shoulders, pulling him back an inch.

A throaty growl came from Casteel, but it was nothing like the wild, primitive sounds he’d made before. This was from a different kind of hunger. One that my body responded to, answering with a wet rush of heat. But the relief…gods, the relief swirling through me, was just as powerful as the arousal.

I was able to free my other arm. Clasping his cheeks, I lifted Casteel’s head. Gold. Brilliant, burnished gold eyes locked onto mine.

“Cas,” I whispered.

Those beautiful eyes glimmered with dampness. Tears. “My Queen,” he said in a voice thick and raw.

A shudder took me as I gripped the sides of his face, finally seeing that the rich, golden-bronze hue had begun to return to his skin. I lifted my lips to his—

Casteel turned his head, pressing his cheek to mine. “I can’t feel your mouth on mine.” His words were a raw whisper in my ear. “If I do, I’m going to fuck you. I’m going to get so deep inside you that there will be no part of you I don’t reach. Right here. Right now. It doesn’t matter who is in this chamber. It’s already taking everything in me not to be inside you.”


Oh, goodness.

Someone cleared their throat. It could’ve been his brother, and…well, I didn’t really want to think about that.

Pulse thudding at the rich, smoky flavor swamping me, I parted suddenly dry lips as he lifted his head. “Okay. So, how are you feeling? Other than that?”

Thick lashes swept down, halfway shielding his eyes. “I’m…here.” His throat worked on a swallow. “Together.”

I shook again. That wasn’t a lot of words, but I knew what he meant. So did Kieran. His relief was potent, rolling off him in refreshing, earthy waves.

Casteel eased his fingers from my hair, dragging the tips of them down my cheek. Somewhere on the floor, a chain clattered. He stilled, his attention shooting to them. “I need these off me. Now.”

My eyes found Kieran. “Get Reaver.”

Malik didn’t hesitate, leaving the chamber. Slowly, Casteel’s gaze left those chains, returning to mine.

“It’s okay,” I told him, brushing my fingers through his hair over and over. “We’ll get them off.”

Casteel said nothing, those diamond-bright eyes fixed on mine, his stare intense and all-consuming. The hollowness of his features was filling out, but I still saw stark shadows of need there.

Reaver skidded into the chamber, followed by Malik. A door clicked shut.

“The chains,” I said. “Can you break them around his wrists?”

“I can do that.” Reaver started forward.

“Thank the gods,” Kieran muttered. “But I would take it—”

Casteel’s head twisted in my grasp, his body vibrating as he growled deep and low at Reaver.

“Slowly,” Kieran finished.

The draken turned his gaze on Casteel, the skin of his features thinning. Ridges appeared along his cheek, his neck. “Really?”

“Hey. Hey.” I struggled to pull Casteel’s attention back to me. “That’s Reaver,” I told him, and his nostrils flared. “Remember? I told you about him. He’s a friend. He’s also a draken. You’re not going to win that battle.”

“I think he wants to give it a go,” Malik remarked.

The way Casteel tracked Reaver’s movements told me that Malik wasn’t far off the mark.

Reaver knelt by us. “I’m going to need you to lift one arm at a time,” he instructed. “And I’m going to need you to do that without trying to bite me because I bite back.”

Casteel was silent, but he lifted his hand from my cheek. He watched Reaver lower his head, eyeing how closely the draken got to me. His upper lip began to curl.

I turned his head to me, and the chill immediately went out of his golden eyes. There was nothing but heat when he looked at me. And hadn’t it always been like that? From the first moment in the Red Pearl to now? It had. There was so much I wanted to say. So many things. But all that came out was, “I’ve missed you.”

A flare of silvery-white washed over Casteel’s profile. He didn’t even flinch, but his jaw flexed when the shadowstone shackle hit the floor. “I never left you.”

“I know.” Tears crowded my throat.

“Other hand,” Reaver ordered.

Casteel shifted his weight onto his left arm, and his lower body settled more fully against mine. There was no mistaking the thick, rigid length of him. Flecks of brighter gold churned in his eyes. “Are you safe here?”

We are safe here.” I kept combing back his hair as that stream of silvery fire lit the space between our bodies and the bed. “For now.”

His gaze lowered to my mouth. There was wanton intent in his stare, sending a shivery wave of awareness through me. “Poppy,” he whispered.

The shadowstone shackles hit the floor, and Kieran quickly grabbed them as Casteel’s head lowered to mine. His breath danced over my lips. “I need all of you to leave. Now.”

Footsteps moved away from us, but Kieran hesitated, remaining where he was on the floor beside us. Twinges of concern broke through his relief. “Cas…”

Only then did Casteel look away from me. He turned his head toward Kieran. He lifted his bandaged hand, clasping the wolven behind the neck. They leaned in, pressing their foreheads together. The rise of a sugary, sweet emotion crowded out the concern and even relief.

“Thank you,” Casteel rasped, the two words choked.

“What the hell are you thanking me for?”


Kieran shuddered, and they stayed that way for a long moment before Kieran shifted away from Casteel. Unlike with Reaver, Casteel made no move to stop the wolven as he reached for me. Kieran’s hand brushed strands of hair back from my face, and then he bent over, pressing his lips to my brow. Emotion clogged my throat, and I didn’t know if it belonged to them, me, or if it was a combination of all of us.

Kieran said nothing as he pulled away, and the strangest urge to reach out and stop him swept through me. I didn’t understand where that want had come from. Or if it was mine or Casteel’s. And I didn’t know why it felt wrong not to act on it.

But then Casteel and I were alone, and those beautiful, golden eyes, so full of fire and love, were locked onto mine. It was just us, and nothing elseabsolutely nothing—mattered. Not the patches of dried dirt and blood that covered nearly every inch of his skin. Not the mist outside or the Craven I’d unintentionally called forth. Not what came after this—the Blood Queen or the war.

Nothing but us and our love and need for each other.

“Cas,” I whispered.

He became so still, I didn’t think he even breathed as he looked down at me. But what roared through him was a madness of movement. I felt him inside me—his desire and need churning with mine. The ache blossomed anew, throbbing and pulsing and heating my blood and skin.

His nostrils flared, and the gold of his eyes burned even brighter. Not a single part of me felt any shame over how acutely he sensed my arousal.

Poppy,” he repeated, and then his mouth was on mine.

The kiss…

There was nothing soft about it. We came together in a clash of teeth and lips and raw, overwhelming emotions. His hand dug into my hip as mine fisted his hair. The kiss was maddening. Feral. Possessive. It was the kind that one drowned in, and I’d never been happier to do so. His tongue swept inside my mouth, against mine, and I tasted my blood, rich and warm. There was something wild about that. Something uncharted.

His mouth moved over mine, his fangs nicking my lower lip. I started to curl my legs around his waist, but the hand at my hip stilled me. He lifted his head, his chest rising and falling raggedly. A bit of blood glistened on his lip.

I stretched my head up, catching that drop of blood and his lip between mine. He groaned, eyes closing briefly. When they reopened, they were twin fires of molten gold.

Casteel shifted onto his knees, lifting his body from mine. Before I could even guess what he was about, he gripped my hip once more. He flipped me onto my belly and then hauled me onto my knees.

“I need to feel your skin against mine,” he bit out in a voice that was barely recognizable.

My loose braid fell forward as one hand went to the hem of my tunic, shoving the shirt up over my head. He tugged it down so it pooled at my wrists.

The roughness in the way he tugged the gauzy cloth down, where it caught beneath my breasts, sent a wicked thrill through my blood. His hand, though… The gentleness in how he trailed his palm down the center of my back, caused my heart to swell.

Sliding his hand down my ass and then between my thighs, he curled his finger there, brushing against that heated part of me. I shuddered—

My entire body jerked as he tore through the breeches, bearing my ass and the most sensitive parts of me to him. My head swung to the side in surprise. I started to turn—

A rumbling sound of warning filled the chamber. Instinct stilled me—all my senses heightened. My eyes flew to his, but his were fixed on the tear he’d created in the breeches. He looked as hungry as he had before, but I knew it wasn’t blood that he was starved for now.

He lifted my hips, and I barely saw him move. All I knew was that his mouth was on me. Air fled my lungs. His tongue delved inside my slick heat as his head twisted, dragging a cry of pleasure from me as one fang grazed my sensitive nub of flesh. The strokes of his tongue were firm and determined. He licked and sucked. He feasted, feeding from me as desperately as he had at my throat. I was lost. My body tried to follow, but the hands at my hips held me in place.

Casteel devoured.

I shook and trembled, the heat building in me fierce and intense—almost too intense. My fingers curled, pressing into the floor as he dragged a fang over the bundle of nerves once more. I jerked, crying out at a sharp prick of pain. His mouth closed around the throbbing flesh, and that sensation echoed in the bite mark on my throat. And that—that—was too much.

I choked on a scream as I shattered into thousands of silk-draped shards, barely able to hold myself up as tight spasms wracked me. I was still trembling when his mouth left me. I felt the press of his glossy lips against the center of my back.

“Honeydew,” he growled. “You taste of honeydew, and your skin smells of jasmine. Fuck.”

Head limp, I looked back at him. I watched his hand go to the flap of his breeches. He tore at them, sending little discs of metal scattering across the floor. My body flushed as he shoved the ruined, dirtied breeches down his lean hips, freeing the thick, hard length of his erection.

He stretched over me, his mouth grazing my jaw and then the line of my neck, sending a hot, tight shiver down my spine. The feel of his skin, now blazing hot against my back, shook me.

He brushed his lips over my skin, and then I felt his fangs on those ultra-sensitive bite marks as the head of his cock nudged my slick core. He didn’t pierce the skin. His fangs were just there, holding me in place as one hand folded around my hip again and the other curled around my chin. He tilted my head farther back and to the side. Another illicit thrill rocked me, pushing all the air from my lungs. All those briefly relaxed muscles went taut once more. I panted as a sharp swirl of anticipation sliced its way through me.

“I’m not…” His body shook against mine, his fingers trembling against my cheeks, my throat and arms, as he dragged them down, following the curve of my waist. He gripped my hips, his fingers pressing into the flesh there, and when he spoke, his voice was thick and needy, a coarse and ragged whisper. “I’m not…I’m not in control.”

A pounding pulse of desire followed those words, becoming a roar in my blood. It was such an intense wave of sensation, leaving the tips of my breasts tight, and the very core of me throbbing all over again. “Neither am I.”

“Thank fuck,” he grunted, and then his mouth closed over mine.

After ending the kiss, Casteel struck, sinking his fangs into my throat as he thrust deeply, all the way to the hilt. I cried out, my back arching. The twisting ache of pain-tinged pleasure tore its way through my body, sparking every nerve and igniting into a blaze of wild, raw sensation that became pure ecstasy. The feel of him filling me, stretching me, left no room for anything else. His presence dominated.

Casteel held me there, on my hands and knees, back arched with his fangs still deep in the side of my throat. There was no hesitation, no moment of reprieve. He moved behind me, fast and hard, and drank from me, deep and long. I felt each pull against my throat and every tug and push of his throbbing length throughout the entirety of my body. His weight—the force of how he lunged in and out—took me to the floor, trapping me there. The cold press of the wood against my breasts, and the heat of his body on my back as he kept my head lifted, neck exposed, was a sinful shock.

Suddenly, he lifted me onto my knees again, drawing me back so I was flush with his chest. The tunic finally slipped free of my wrists, but his arm snagged mine, pinning them below my breasts. His thrusts were a raging storm, and the sounds he made as he fed—the sounds I made as he took me—were scandalous. And I reveled in it.

He rose without warning, standing with one powerful surge. A ragged gasp of surprise parted my lips as my feet left the floor. Good gods, his strength…

Casteel turned sharply, pressing me against the bedpost. “Brace yourself, my Queen.”

I almost came again, right there, at the sound of his raw demand. Gripping the beam, I had no way of preparing myself. Not as he drew me to the tips of my toes, his hips churning against my ass. His hand fisted in my hair as he tugged my head back.

The feel of his mouth closing over his bite mark sent a flood of pounding desire through me. He shifted, pulling me away from the beam and then pressing me down so my hips were against the hard board at the foot of the bed. His mouth was still fused to my neck, and he was still so deep, driving into me, over and over. My fingers dug into the blanket as I panted for breath. One of his arms hooked under my knee. He lifted my leg, changing the angle, deepening his thrusts, and intensifying the feel of him. And then he went wild.

There was nowhere to go, no escaping the fire the hard pound of his hips fanned, or the wild, rawness of how his mouth moved at my throat. And I didn’t want to flee. I didn’t know what that said about me, to know there was no control, no restraint. That this was a claiming, and I willingly went into those flames as the headboard banged against the wall in a fast, almost erratic thump. The sounds. The slick feel of him. The utter dominance—

My body stiffened, tightened. The release was sudden and sharp, exploding through me in pulsing waves. And still, he didn’t stop. He plunged in and out, his hips rolling and grinding until I was spinning and falling—

Casteel tore his mouth from my neck and pulled out. He turned me onto my back and grabbed my hips, pulling me to the edge of the bed. And then he was thrusting into me again. My head kicked back as I gasped—

He froze, staring down at me…

I followed his gaze, trailing down the delicate golden chain to where his ring rested between my breasts. “I’ve worn it close to my heart ever since I received it.”

Casteel shuddered, and his mouth came down over mine, silencing a shout as he ground his hips against me. He kissed and kissed, and then his mouth left mine, his head lifting. Those ruby-red lips parted.

“Never again,” he snarled, his word punctuated by deep, stunning thrusts. “Never again are we taken from one another.”

“Never,” I whispered, shuddering at the taste of him—my blood and me—now lingering on my lips.

His head dipped, this time to my breast. The edges of his fangs drew across a peak and then sank into the skin. My entire body bowed as his mouth closed over the turgid flesh.

I swept my arms around him, cradling his head to me as I wrapped my legs around his plunging hips. He stoked the fire once more, enflamed me until muscles low and deep inside me clenched—tightening and coiling. Casteel grunted, groaned, his movements becoming jerky and frenzied. My senses snapped open wide, connecting me to him, and all I felt and tasted was his lust, his love. It matched mine, surrounding both me and him. Never had I felt anything like this—like him.

“I love you,” I gasped as all that coiling tension started to unfurl.

His mouth left my breast and found mine. “Always,” he breathed and thrust in deep and hard, stiffening. There was no stopping us from tumbling over the edge, shuddering, shaking, and falling into bliss.



And forever.


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