They might be the undead, zombies, but they weren’t the stereotypical walking dead from the average horror movie. They didn’t shuffle or moan, and to date none of them had any body parts drop off. All in all, as long as they made sure to eat, and were careful about the freaky head twitching, Brett and his brothers could blend in rather well.
Certainly enough for Fredericks to lift an unsuspecting diner’s wallet at a little place an hour down the road, a skill Brett was dying to ask him about. It was so out of character for their by-the-book, straight-as-an-arrow leader. Brett wasn’t complaining though. The wallet had contained enough ready cash to snag them a couple of rooms at a cheap roadside motel, and the day’s rest he’d argued Julia needed.
He sat by the window, watching the parking lot and the road beyond idly. Julia was behind him, lying on the bed while locked in the day-lethargy most Bloods were prone to. He flicked a concerned glance back at her. She’d crashed and burned quicker than he’d expected, especially after she didn’t seem to be having problems with the conversion. Which in itself was odd. Not that he wanted hysterics and drama, but he’d expected some kind of freaking out at the fact she had been human and now she wasn’t.
But nothing. Zip. Nada. Nothingdoingsville. What was with that?
He sat back in the lounge chair and studied the gentle curves of her figure under the light blanket. Either she was the most psychologically put together and laid back person he’d ever encountered or she hadn’t fully processed what had happened to her yet. He was betting on the latter.
He ran a hand over his head, ruffling the short fuzz. Fuck. She was in for a hell of a crash when it did. He’d seen it. Seen the denial, the belief this was all a dream…then the crash as the realization that this was it, that life had been irrecoverably changed, sank in. ‘Sank’ was the wrong word. ‘Plummeted like a lead balloon’ would be nearer the mark.
Tenderness swept through him, and before he processed the need to move he found himself standing by the bed. Crap. That shit freaked even him out sometimes. Despite it, he stayed where he was, looking down at her. Here he was, a dead thing, craving the touch of the living. Well, one living thing anyway. No matter that they called those infected with the BD strain vampires. They were not the undead.
They skirted the line, yes. Some of them, like Major Fielding, could stand on the very edge, shutting everything down so that nothing about them gave off a vibration that his kind could track. Not for long though. Intrinsically, they were alive, and everything that lived had a vibration.
Everything that lived could be tracked.
Everything that lived could be killed.
But he didn’t want to eat Julia. Not in that way. The desire to sink his teeth into her flesh, to tear through the delicate skin and feel her hot blood flowing down his throat was absent.
Shaking his head, he yanked his gaze away from the slow pulse at her throat. He couldn’t see it, but he could feel her heartbeat. It was different from any he’d heard before, with a tiny kick on the fourth beat. A variance, perhaps a defect, but one that was purely and uniquely hers. He’d know her anywhere because of it.
Gently, to avoid waking her, he sat on the edge of the bed and reached out to tuck a lock of hair that had fallen over her face behind her ear. Her eyes flickered, then opened. She smiled.
“Hey.” Her voice was soft and sleepy. She looked comfortable and warm, and for a second he had to fight the temptation to crawl in with her. Trouble was, if he did, he’d want to do more than sleep. Way more than sleep.
“Hey yourself, sweetpea. How you feeling?”
She swallowed and shifted to get more comfortable. The sight of her nestling closer in the covers almost did him in. She should be nestling against him. Hell, he’d even go out and find something to eat so he could get his blood circulating and raise his body heat to keep her warm.
“A little tired. Like the whole world is pressing down on me.”
He nodded. Stroked his thumb down her cheek because he couldn’t resist. “Dom said that’s common. Even older….” he paused to reassess his description. “Even those who have been infected a while, that are used to it, feel tired in the day. Sluggish. You hungry?”
She wrinkled her nose in disgust. “No, I don’t think I could eat a thing.”
Odd. Dom said she should be ready to feed soon, should have been ravenous already, in fact. Brett hid his concern with a smile. “Perhaps we’ll get something later tonight.”
He paused at her soft question. “Me what?”
“Are you hungry?” Her gaze held his levelly. Not wary. Not anything. Just watching him. “You’ve already admitted you guys are zombies. Don’t you crave brains or something? Am I likely to wake up and find you gnawing on my skull?”
He suppressed a snort. “No, we don’t crave brains. Although please don’t mention that to Dom. I can just imagine him shuffling around going ‘Brrraaaaaaiiiins’ and trying to chew Evan’s ear or something. Guy’s a freak at times.”
She chuckled, the sound trailing off as she closed her eyes for a second. “Yeah, I’ve known him…what, all of a day? And I can totally see him doing that. So….” She focused on him again. “What does today’s discerning zombie prefer to eat?”
“Shit, sweetpea. Don’t ask me that.” He turned away, dropping his head into his hands. He could feel them shaking, told them to stop. Fuckers totally ignored him.
“Well, it can’t be any worse than me, surely? I was bitten by a vampire. I seem to be allergic to daylight. Stands to reason that some point soon I’m going to start craving blood.” She touched his back, the contact fleeting and light, but one he felt all the way down to his soul. “You never know. Might be you waking up with me snacking on your neck.”
He turned in an instant, whipping around and looming over her, hands either side of her head. “Promise me you’ll never drink from any of us,” he demanded, his voice harder than he’d ever heard it. “I’m serious, sweetpea. You do not want the shit we got in our veins. No way, no how. Never.”
She was pressed back into the bed, her hair like a halo of curls around her head. “Okay….”
“Shit.” He was an ass. If he wasn’t careful, he’d scare her and ruin the one good thing he’d found since his life had ended up down the crapper. He started to pull back but the quick flicker of her tongue over her lips, wetting them, stopped him in his tracks.
He flicked a look up and was caught by her dark gaze. Her eyes were blood-black, all the color swallowed up, but they weren’t the cold, dead black he’d seen on the others. Heat blazed there, along with a carnal need his body responded to immediately.
His heart sang, surging to life and beating again. This time he didn’t stop it. The abrupt rush of blood around his veins took his breath away. His cock punched to full mast, pressed against the inside of his zipper so hard he was bound to be left with marks. It jerked, desperate for release.
She smiled, every inch the temptress, and lifted on one elbow to bring her lips within brushing distance of his.
“So,” she whispered. “Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?”
He couldn’t help the smile that curved his lips. “That’s a terrible pickup line.”
“Is it?” She pressed a gentle kiss at the corner of his lips. He liked that, liked her being the aggressor. Blood or not, he knew he was stronger than she was. If he lost his control, snapped, she wouldn’t stand a chance. But he didn’t move. He held still, braced over her. Protective. Possessive.
She wasn’t scared of him, and that blew his mind. Back at the Project everyone, from the scientists who’d created them to the Project’s other creations, had been terrified of them. The women the guards had thrown in with them, to see if they’d fuck or kill, had often been frozen in terror. Two Blood females had even killed themselves, tearing open their throats with their own claws, right there in front of him. Like he was a fate worse than death.
Perhaps he was. Because none of the women the guards had shoved into his cage had aroused his interest. Just his hunger. Not one of them had restarted his heart or aroused him. None had drawn forth this all-consuming need to claim them from the pit where his soul should be. Had been.
His mouth opened and words poured out of their own accord. “Yeah. If I tried that line, you’d kick my ass.” He was too busy focusing on her and what she’d do next.
“Yeah. Maybe.” She grew bolder, her kiss this time further in from the corner of his lips. Her small hand slid over his shoulder to cup the nape of his neck.
He liked her touch. It was warm, gentle, and reminded him of everything that he’d lost. He hadn’t had sex since before he’d died. He missed it. Missed the feeling of a warm, curvy female body under him. Missed the feel of a slick, wet pussy wrapped tightly around his cock as he thrust in and out.
But this was different. The same sensations. The same need for touch, but deeper. He and the others hunted by sensing the tiniest of vibrations around them, in the air, through things they touched. Now, that sense turned inward, following the trail of vibration as her fingertips skated over his skin. He shivered as his predatory instincts turned to a different, and entirely pleasurable, scenario.
“But whatcha gonna do about it?” She moved closer and nipped his lip, catching the bottom one with a fully extended fang. The tiny pain was nothing, but lust exploded through him at the scratch. His cock pulsed with need and pure, feral want. Fuck the risks. Fuck that he was a SARA and she was a Blood. They shouldn’t be touching, never mind exchanging bodily fluids, but he didn’t care. He had to have her.
“This.” His voice had turned to gravel, his reply coming a mere second before he crushed her mouth beneath his. He didn’t have time to be gentle or the ability if he’d wanted to. Not with this heat blazing through his almost-dead body.
Shoving a hand in her hair, he held her still so that he could part her lips with a hard sweep of his tongue. She tried to evade him, a playful murmur in the back of her throat. He growled in warning and thrust this tongue deep to claim her mouth.
They were way past playing now.
She was his, all his, and now he was about to prove it.
Julia murmured a soft sound of pleasure at the back of her throat as she was pressed to the bed by a lean, hard male body. A fully aroused, very hard male body. Instinctively she softened, parting her legs to cradle him against her hips. The hard bar of his cock pressed against the softness of her stomach at the same instant his tongue found its way into her mouth.
He kissed like a man possessed. As though he couldn’t get enough of her. They weren’t soft, exploratory kisses, and she wouldn’t want them to be. They were hard, claiming kisses that reached in and branded her very soul.
He moved, sliding his arms under and around her so that she was caged in his embrace. A gasp escaped her, but it was lost under the onslaught of his kisses. His tongue, hot and slick, wound around hers and demanded a response. She wouldn’t have been able to deny him even if she’d wanted to. As soon as he’d touched her, she’d gone up in flames. All she could think about was him. Touching him. Having him inside her.
He rocked his hips and she whimpered, her pussy clenching as his hard cock prodded her belly again. He was pressed against her so tightly that it hurt a little, but she didn’t care. She wanted him closer. As close as they could get, until they didn’t know where one of them ended and the other began.
Lifting her leg, she wrapped it around the back of his and ran her bare foot along his thigh. The move altered their body position and brought his straining erection, still caught in his pants, up flush against the juncture of her thighs. Her pants were thin. She felt everything.
She pulled at the bottom of his shirt, and he broke the kiss long enough for her to mutter, “Too many clothes. Off.”
He nodded, resting his forehead against hers while she worked his shirt up. The backs of her fingers grazed his nipples, drawing a gasp from him and another roll of his hips. She grinned, and did it again.
“Dangerous,” he growled, lifting up to grab his shirt in the center of his shoulders and haul it over his head. It hit the floor somewhere by the side of the bed, instantly forgotten as she gazed at his toned, muscular torso. She’d seen him sans-shirt before, but this was different. Before she’d only been able to steal sly looks. Now, she could touch. Explore. Kiss. Lick.
“You’re so damned ripped.” Her voice was a bare whisper in the silence of the room. It was easy to forget the world beyond the four walls. “You must work out a lot.”
He smiled an enigmatic, very male smile, and slid his hand under her top. The stroke of his fingers across the soft skin of her stomach almost stole her ability to think. “Maybe. Why? You like it?”
“Yeah….” She managed, but then his hand slid higher under her top to cup her breast, and her thought processes scattered. Slender and lean for her height, with not much to talk about in the cleavage department, she’d never needed to wear a bra much and hadn’t bothered to ask for one when Dom headed out to snag new clothes for them all. Now she was glad. No bra meant fewer layers between her and Brett’s touch.
He rubbed his thumb over her nipple and she cried out, arching her back. A shiver rolled through her, from the top of her head right down to her toes, and she had to stop herself reaching for the fly on his pants.
He did it again, then shoved her top up higher, exposing her to his keen gaze. Heat washed over her cheeks, but the tight expression on his face and the warmth in his eyes when he looked down at her kept her right where she was.
He bent his head and flicked his tongue over her nipple. Her hands moved of their own accord, reaching out to cup his head and hold him to her as he licked and kissed the hard buds of her nipples. He moved from one to the other, lavishing equal attention on each, and she bit her lip to stop the moans that wanted to spill forth. Then he opened his mouth around her, pulled her nipple past his lips and sucked. The pleasure arrowed from her nipple right down to her clit, a dual pulse that broke her restraint, and she moaned.
He didn’t let up, moving to the other breast to carry on the exquisite torture. Her nipple ached, the wet flesh beading in the cool air. His hand smoothed down, over her soft belly and under the waistband of her pants. She sucked a breath in, torn between the delicious sensation of his lips and tongue against her, and the path his hand took.
Abandoning her nipple, he surged into movement, reaching up to claim her lips again at the same moment he slid his hand between her legs. His callused fingertips brushed against her lower lips, stirring the close-clipped curls before he parted them and stroked along the wet cleft. Her pussy clenched, liquid heat escaping her in a scalding rush. He swallowed her gasp, a rumble of approval in the back of his throat as he collected the slick evidence of her arousal and rubbed it over her clit.
“Hot.” He broke away to gasp, tracing along her jaw with hard, almost bite-like kisses. “God, sweetpea, you got no idea what you do to me.”
She had no clue either. Whatever it was, she hoped she didn’t stop. His fingers circled around then rubbed over her clit in a complicated dance that drove the heat in her body tighter, but did nothing to ease the tension within. He reached her neck, his lips warm against the soft spot under her ear, and she was forced to clutch at his broad shoulders to ground herself.
An effort that was wasted when he pushed two fingers deep inside her. The moan that ripped from her lips was soft and needy, deepening as he pulled back and thrust again, twisting his hand to scissor his fingers. Stretching her, preparing her. She’d felt the size of his cock pressed against her, and the little consideration melted her heart.
“You’re so tight. Can’t wait, gotta get inside you,” he grunted, pulling his hand free and sitting back to haul her leggings and panties down her hips. His hands shook, just a little, but enough to betray how keyed up he was. She bit her lower lip, lifting her ass clear of the bed to help him. As he pulled the fabric free of her feet, she arched her back and stripped off her top, leaving her naked to his gaze.
He sat back on his haunches, eyes glittering as he swept a hot gaze over her. His combat pants were tented at his groin, the thick length of his cock clearly visible. Then he moved, over her in a heartbeat. She gasped as he reached down, ripping his fly open at the same moment his knee shoved her legs wider apart. He wasn’t gentle, but she didn’t care. She needed him too much. Needed to feel him over her, inside her, filling her completely.
“Now. Faster,” she urged, parting her thighs wider, her hands on his waist as he dipped down to fit the broad head of his cock against her. “No…wait. Protection?”
He paused for a moment, his eyes glittering with amusement in the semi-darkness. “You’re half-dead, sweetpea, and I’m fully dead. No way that you’re getting pregnant. Fate ain’t that cruel.”
Then, arms braced either side of her on the bed, he pushed into her.
He was bigger, way bigger, than she’d thought. Way bigger than he’d felt when he pressed against her, confined by his pants. The stretch as her body accepted him stole her breath and almost bordered on pain. She didn’t care. It felt too good. Way too good.
Inch after thick inch penetrated her, his big body overhead, until their hips met and he was in her fully. His eyes searched hers, concern over-ruling the heat for a moment. His expression was set, tightly controlled, but the fine tremor in his arms gave him away. As did the heavy pulse where they were joined. He held perfectly still. Too still. Even though her pussy throbbed, stretched to the limit around him, the urge to move grew.
She closed her eyes for a second to catch her breath. Then she laughed, “Fuck.… Forget your body; you must’ve been lifting weights with your cock. No way is any human built like that.”
His lips quirked, then he laughed and the spell was broken. “Well, as long as you like it, score one for the zombies then, huh?”
“Ugh….” Did she like it? Dumb question. She curled her hands around his solid upper arms. “Of course I like it, as long as you move. Now.”
His answer was to roll his hips, and sensation exploded through her. His thick cock stroked nerve-endings she didn’t know she had, sending a host of fireworks sparking through her blood. She gripped his arms harder and rocked her hips, her greedy pussy clasping around him as though trying to hold him inside when he pulled back. He didn’t get all the way out before surging forward again, filling her to the brim.
“Oh, yes…that’s it. Harder.”
He bent his head, stealing a quick, hard kiss before giving her what she wanted. Needed. Shifting his position to get better leverage, he hooked one of her legs behind the knee, holding it up with his arm. His thick cock powered into her over and over, speared her, filled her. Fast, hard strokes of pleasure. Slick and wet, but tight.
It. Was. Amazing.
Her breath came in hard pants, the tension in her body threatening to spiral out of control. She moaned and arched back, her nails digging into his arms as he added an extra roll to his hips at the end of each stroke. A roll that hit a spot inside her that made her go weak with need.
He slammed into her and did it again. She cried out with pleasure, a sound echoed by a deep groan as her claws slipped her control and caught his skin. She let go instantly, scared of hurting him. “Sorry—”
“No,” he cut her off with a snarl, his thrust into her so powerful the headboard slammed into the wall with a sharp crack. “Let them. Cut me, I like it.…” He caught her gaze, his eyes fading out to white. “It…fuck, it turns me on. Do it again. Please.”
She didn’t say anything. She just grabbed his arms as he fucked her, and dug her nails in. He shuddered as she scratched him, and picked up the pace. The scent of blood on the air fed the heat and darkness within her. Her pussy tightened around his thick cock until each thrust slammed the bed into the wall. Each roll tightened the screws inside her until she could take no more.
Between one thrust and the next, she reached the peak. Time paused, the world in all its infinite varieties of pleasure laid out before her. The brush of his lips on her neck, his cock as it slid out of her body until only the tip remained, her nails across his back.
He must have felt it, turning his head to whisper against her neck. “Come for me, sweetpea. Let me feel it all over my cock.”
He thrust back in with a roar, so deep inside her that the dam broke, and she tumbled into the abyss. Pleasure took over until there was nothing else. Nothing but the feel of him as he surged into her again and again. Through it she felt his body stiffen and his cock jerk where it was buried. He came with a deep groan, gathering her close as his cock pulsed deep within her.
She buried her face against the side of his neck and sighed as the waves of pleasure died down to soft ebbs. The tiredness rose again, clinging to her and trying to pull her under.
This time she didn't fight it, letting the warmth of his embrace and his slowing heartbeat take her gently toward sleep. Whatever happened now, no matter what a nightmare her life had become, she had this. One perfect moment of peace and contentment. So perfect she wanted it to last forever, holding it close as she slid into sleep.