Chapter Ten

Hermes

 

My heart threatens to burst from my ribcage. I ache to keep tasting Joy, to lose myself in the flavor of her juices, but I need to watch her as she comes apart. Need to see her overtaken by the pleasure only I can offer her. She’s even more beautiful when she’s not trying to be composed.

What she said before—that we’re here because she’s convenient and I’m hot—stung. Not because she seemed not to see beyond my admittedly breathtaking exterior, but because she’s doubting this. Me. My desire for her.

Her very worth.

How? How can she not know she’s amazing? Doesn’t she feel how I respond to her?

She’s still squeezing my fingers, eyelids fluttering.

Did she realize she shoved her laptop off the desk? Should I tell her? Nah. I’ll have Prometheus look it over. He’s a wiz with electronics—and cars and dishwashers, and just about anything he can get his hands on. I’d hate for anything to mar this expression of perfect contentment on her face. Long eyelashes rest on flushed cheeks stretched by a lovely, yet wicked, smile.

And she hasn’t seen the best of me yet.

I slip my fingers out of her and lick them clean, feeling her essence burst like ambrosia on my taste buds. “Ready for Round Two?”

I must have asked the wrong question, because her eyes widen in shock.

She shakes her head—more like rolls it, from side to side. “Need a break. Exhausted.” And achy.

But the last words don’t reach my ears; they bounce around in my head. In her voice. Poseidon said this happened sometimes with Irene before they were bonded.

I’m not my brother. I can’t pretend this isn’t happening until we’re too far gone and I am forced to explain our situation. Joy deserves the truth up front. She deserves the choice. But it can wait until morning.

I gather her to me, and she loops her arms around my neck to nuzzle my throat while I carry her across the room, to the double bed.

“That was incredible,” she whispers. “Thank you.”

I find her earlobe and worry it with my teeth. “My pleasure. You can return the favor after you’ve rested.” I hasten to add, “If you feel so inclined.”

She laughs and rolls off my arms and onto the mattress. “Nice save.” Her eyes are huge when she looks up at me, red hair fanning around her heart-shaped face. “Do you mind if we sleep first? I mean it that I need a break.” She sounds so vulnerable. As if any male, human or immortal, could say no to lying beside her.

“Do I need to keep this on?” I swipe my hand down my front, to indicate my chlamys.

She chews on her bottom lip, and I dig my nails in my palm to keep from jumping on the bed to claim first her mouth and then her body.

“You can take it off,” she says, “but I don’t want to have sex now.”

In her head, she’s screaming for me not to be an asshole. Not to take advantage of the situation. Not to push her to do something she’s said she doesn’t feel like.

Even if I couldn’t hear her thoughts, I’d never do that. In Greece, we say begged-for pussy makes for a sour lay. Plus I’m not a fucking rapist. I want to tell her so, but A) I’m already invading her mind, even inadvertently, and B) this isn’t a slight at me. She doesn’t know me. She knows men can be beasts, and she’s already going out on a limb by allowing me in her room, let alone in her bed.

“I won’t do anything you don’t want me to.” I untie my makeshift belt, and unclasp the pin holding together the edges on my shoulder. My chest puffs with pride at her mesmerized gaze on my cock when the white sheet falls below my hips.

Her throat works with a hard swallow, and her teeth dig on the plump flesh of her lip again, but with hunger instead of worry.

Naked, I step out of the pooled fabric and crawl into bed. Stretch out on my side beside her, careful not to make any aggressive moves. I don’t want to spook her. She’ll be mine when she’s ready. But she will be mine.

Joy studies my face intently, and then rolls away, pushing her back into my chest and stomach. I drape an arm across her waist and pull her closer, the length of my body touching hers. She can no doubt feel my shaft digging at the small of her back, but I’m careful to keep my hips still.

“Tell me about you,” I whisper against her hair. “The family that adopted you. How long did you stay with the Papadimases after I was gone?”

She stiffens. Did I ask the wrong thing?

Her fingers play with the hairs on my arm. “It was only a couple months before my birthmother signed off her parental rights and disappeared. A few more weeks until my parents found me. They were looking for a boy, but Mom says I was so charming, they couldn’t resist.”

Yeah, I don’t blame them.

“They’re good people, and they love me. Insisted I stay in touch with my Greek heritage. Sent me to a Greek school and all—though I bet they’re regretting it now.” Her laugh sounds forced.

I rub my nose up the back of her neck, inhaling her scent. “They didn’t want you to come to Greece?”

She shakes her head, her hair tickling me. “They don’t like the idea of me dropping everything to become a writer. I know it comes from a good place, that they’re worried and want me to be financially secure, but I wish they’d understand I need to do this. Need to follow my dreams.”

“I get it.” And I do. “There are things my family expects of me too.”

Joy nudges me backward as she rolls onto her back. “Yeah? Modeling doesn’t cut it for them?” she asks the ceiling.

I caress her belly. Love its softness. Want to stroke higher or lower, but that’s not what we’re doing now. “I’m not a professional model. It’s just a gig that came up. Sorry.”

“For what?” She glances at me.

“We have the shoot tomorrow, and I just confessed I’ve never done this before.”

Joy lays a kiss on my shoulder and turns her gaze to the ceiling again. “Doesn’t make you less perfect. For the part of Periandros, I mean.” It’s dark, but there may be a blush, darkening her cheeks.

“Good.”

“If you’re not a model, what do you do?” she asks after a heartbeat. Her voice is softer, the question followed by a yawn.

I shrug, and her head bobs on my arm. “I’ll try everything once. C—my adoptive father—insisted I go to college, so I got an MBA, but I haven’t found my calling yet.”

“And what do you do for money?”

This is the hard part. “I kind of don’t need to do anything. I have a trust fund.”

She lets out a sound between a snort and a giggle and pushes up, so she can glare down at me. “You’re a trust-fund baby?”

I roll my eyes, mostly to stop staring at her bare breasts. “I like to think of myself as independently wealthy. It’s not like I’m a bum. I work. I just haven’t decided on a career yet.”

“How wealthy are we talking about?”

I shrug again, my skin tingling where she’s no longer touching me. “I don’t know. I’ve made some investments. Guess a few million? Mid-double-digits.”

She looks at her hands. Works her jaw. “A millionaire. Who models on the side. And eats pussy like his life depends on it. Am I in a romance novel?”

I grab her wrist and pull her on top of me, so she straddles one of my legs. “If you were, this would be when I proved my tongue isn’t the only part of me that can make you scream.” I buck my hips, and my cock nudges her thigh.

The slap she lands on my arm is playful. Her fingers linger, searing my skin. “Thought we were getting some rest.”

I study her face. Her pupils are dilated, and the air around us is scented with her arousal. I wedge my hand between us and glide a finger along her cleft. She soaking wet again. If I tilt my hips and push her backward, I can slip inside her body. Sheathe my cock inside her. Claim her now.

She flares her nostrils, and I see the moment she makes up her mind even before she leans down to kiss me.

No rest, then.

“No.” Joy sits back, but she’s smiling.

“No?” This wasn’t the go-ahead?

She swishes her hips, her sleekness rubbing into my stomach. “No rest.”

Fuck. She heard my thought. She was in my head. I raise my mental wall, like I’ve done when I wanted to safeguard my mind since C taught me how.

Joy scrunches her face. Can she still hear me?

Guess I’m gonna have to distract her.

I fist one hand in her hair and bring her to me for another kiss. As she melts into me, I clasp her hip and flip us so she’s beneath me.

“Woah, that was fast,” she says. But her lips are still on mine, and she’s sucking my tongue like a vacuum cleaner.

I’m tempted to reply that it’ll be the only thing I’ll rush tonight, but better if I show her. I nip her bottom lip and break our kiss to trace her jawline with my mouth. My target is the spot beneath her ear that made her moan earlier, when I nibbled on it.

Part of me is tempted to reach for the rope I discarded before and tie her wrists to the rails of the headboard, but I don’t want to scare her away. Though having her bound and at my mercy when I tell her the truth about me and our shared destiny may be handy, other than super-hot.

As if she read my mind again, which she very well may have, she curls her hands around the rail above her head.  She looks so hot, arms stretched and breasts pushed out, on display for me.

Remember how I said I’m an ass-man? Well, turns out I’m a breast-man too. Or rather, a Joy-man, because it’s the sight of her breasts that makes my dick painfully hard. Harder. I’ve more or less been constantly hard since I met her.

“Hold on tight.” My voice and expression make it clear it’s an order.

Her pupils dilate further, and she swivels her hips. I can hear her heartbeat pick up. My little Joy may like being dominated.

I pinch a nipple and twist, watching her face for signs of discomfort. Does she enjoy a little pain mixed in with her pleasure?

Her mewl says she does. I lower my head to close my teeth over her other nipple, just enough for her to feel the sting, before I soothe it with my tongue.

She moans and arches her back, pushing her breast to my face while she rubs her core against my thigh.

I slap her other breast. When she gasps, I squeeze it. “Let me know if anything I do is not okay,” I think at her before I realize I’m doing it.

She stills beneath me, and I begrudgingly let her nipple slip out from between my lips, so I meet her questioning gaze. Should I tell her now? My cock protests the mere thought.

“I promise to stop at any point,” I enunciate clearly, as if I didn’t just project a thought into her mind. “Do you want me to?”

She shakes her head.

“I need to hear you say it, Joy.” I flick her nipple, and my cock stirs when she hisses.

“If you stop, I’ll make it my life’s mission to end you,” she says flatly.

I bury my laugh into her stomach and cover her belly with open-mouthed kisses.

“Where are you going?” she snaps and buries the fingers of one hand in my hair with a speed even I envy.

Not that it deters me from swiping my tongue up her slit. “My new favorite place.” I gently remove her hand from my curls and watch her clasp the rail again.

Her eyes blaze, and in the low glow from the bedside lamp, I see a flash of silver. Is this possible?

“No no. No. Enough teasing. I want you,” she says.

I’m not used to doing what I’m told. When it comes to sex in particular, I’m the one who issues orders. But I’m not an idiot, to debate this. I crawl back up her body and position myself between her legs. I pump my hips so my cock glides between her labia. Again, so it bumps her clit. She’s wet, but I’m big, and I don’t want to hurt her.

I fist my cock and guide the tip to her entrance. And freeze. “I don’t have a condom.” How how how can I have forgotten that?

She shakes her head. “I don’t either. But then again, I don’t do this often.”

Now, I’m not expert, but I’d say that was a jibe at me. “I’m sorry I didn’t think of it. Not enough blood flowing to my upper head. But I’m clean. I swear.” It’s true. I don’t get sick. Can’t transmit disease. Pre-ascension bonus. Like, really pre. Kicked in at birth. “I can provide a doctor’s note and all.”

Still I can get her pregnant. Olympian sperm was ultra-potent the first time around, so I’ve always been careful. Why the fuck didn’t I take a condom with?

“Is there somewhere around here I can buy condoms at this hour?” Oh! Maybe Sei can blink me one? Or a dozen?

Just a thought—I could tell her I want to have babies with her. We’re gonna eventually. But that can’t come before the, By the way, I’m the reincarnation of my Olympian-god namesake, and you’re to become immortal and spend eternity at my side.

Joy narrows her eyes, then shakes her head, brow relaxing. “I’m going to hold you to that doctor’s note. I’m on the pill, so I guess we can…” She spreads her legs wider. Tilts her hips. She wants me as bad as I want her. And God, do I want her. Enough that—for the first time—facing a woman’s darkness scares me. What if what I see when I enter her breaks us?

Whatever it is, I’ll face it head on, because there’s no way I’m delaying this any longer.

It takes all I have, not to bury my length in her in a single thrust, but instead I sink into her heat one blazing-hot centimeter at a time. I squeeze my eyes shut against the onslaught of images I know to expect. Warped desires, fears, traumatized pasts—I’ve faced it all.

Only there’s no darkness, wrapping it’s tendrils around me. I hear Joy mentally begging me to take her. Each of her silent pleas for more licks flames of desire along my skin. But I don’t read her like I do others. When we’re so intimately linked, I should be able to see the worst of her.

Is it not there, or is the bond blocking me from seeing it?

Who the fuck cares? I’m lucky either way. And for the love of Chaos, I need to move.

Joy gasps when I’m seated inside her. Moans when I start rocking my hips slowly. The little sounds she makes rise in volume, as I pick up my rhythm, gliding in and out of her in long, deep strokes. I palm one of her legs right beneath the knee, and lift it over my shoulder, spreading her further.

She surprises me, by raising her second leg too and draping it over my arm. “Yes. God, yes.”

No clue if she says it aloud or in my head, but I take the urging and thrust harder. She lets go of the rails, to dig her nails in my upper arms. It stings and adds a new layer of pleasure, making my cock throb and my balls heavy with the need for release.

I pound her into the mattress, my mouth forming words—promises—my throat is wise enough not to give voice to. I can’t be in love with a woman I barely know, even if she’s my soulmate. And if I am, I certainly can’t tell her, unless I want to scare her the fuck off.

I look down, to see my dick disappearing in her tight, wet pussy. Her slickness glistens on her bare pussy lips. I want to lick it clean. Taste her. My hunger grows so potent, I can imagine myself doing just that.

Joy bucks, and her eyes grow impossibly wide. “How…? What…?”

Can she feel it?

I think of closing my mouth on her clit and swirling my tongue around it.

She mewls. Pants. Meets me move for move.

Her pussy clenches around my shaft like a steel grip, coaxing me closer to the edge, but I’m a fucking Olympian. I don’t come before my woman does—twice. I think of eating her pussy like a fresh, plump, juicy fig, and she trembles. Thrashes. Lets out a keening wail that has me mentally patting myself on the back.

I let go of her legs that flop to my sides, and wedge an arm under her back. Rise to my knees and pull her to me with a palm splayed between her shoulder blades. I aim for her mouth, but she arches her neck and throws her head back. I’m too old to be leaving hickies, but fuck it. She’s my woman, and the world should know. I close my mouth on the smooth flesh and suck it between my teeth, hard enough to leave a mark.

Fuck yes,” she hisses. Her nails slice into my arms and shoulders.

I piston my hips into her, hard enough to bruise, and she rides me like her life depends on it. Her breasts press against my chest, nipples rubbing my skin.

“Come,” I bark in my head and aloud. “Come for me now, Joy.”

Like she was waiting for my order, she shudders on top of me, fresh liquid pooling where we’re joined. Her pussy flutters around my length, squeezing my own release out of me. My balls are painfully tight, and my cock will chafe if I keep this on, but I never want it to end. I keep thrusting until I can hold back no longer, and then I let it all go, spurting my seed inside her until I’m spent.

Joy is worrying her lip with her teeth when she turns her face to me. She climbs down from my lap and slides to the edge of the bed, to throw her legs over the edge.

This isn’t the reaction of a woman who just had a life-altering orgasm or two. Also, I should tell her how altered her life is about to be. I didn’t do the official claiming—didn’t pledge her my heart while taking her body, and I wouldn’t without her consent—but our mental link means the bond is forming anyway.

“What’s wrong?” I move behind her on my knees and clear her hair from her neck, to kiss the spot I marked.

“I… don’t know what’s next. The etiquette? Do we make small talk? Do you just go?” Her tone is uninflected, but I sense an ache beneath her words. She doesn’t want me to leave but is worried I’ll think she’s clingy if she asks me to stay.

“I vote we get some sleep.” I fold an arm around her chest and pull her into me.

She drops her head back and relaxes against me. “Shower first.”

I could go for some shower fun.

And I do.

By the time we return to bed, we’re utterly exhausted—well, Joy more than me; I’m a god—and she may be a little bowlegged. She burrows in my arms, throws a leg across mine, and sighs contentedly. “This is nice.”

I kiss her temple. “Understatement of the century.”

“I’m glad I found you. Or that you found me.” Her voice is sleepy. “Don’t disappear on me in the middle of the night again, mm-hmm?

 

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