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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 64)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(64) by Anne Bishop
  • “Lia,” he said urgently. “Lia, I’m in rut. Your fear is making it worse.” Pressing his lips against her temple, he licked the frantic pulse. “Please don’t be afraid of me, Lia. I won’t hurt you. I swear by the Jewels I won’t hurt you.”

    “Jared.” She sounded breathless. “Jared, I can’t—”

    “I know. I know. Could you . . .” He took a deep breath to steady himself. “Could you hold me? Please?”

    The shaking hands that had been pushing at his chest stilled.

    Jared waited, hardly daring to breathe.

    He stifled a groan as Lia’s hands slowly, hesitantly, slid down his chest and settled at his waist. He forced his hips to stay still. After a minute, she gained enough courage to slide her arms around him and stroke his back.

    It wasn’t enough, but as she relaxed against him, it soothed the hunger sufficiently that he didn’t feel so wildly out of control.

    After a while, she leaned back and looked at him.

    His hands slid up her back and over her shoulders, finally cupping her face. He traced her lips with the tip of his tongue. Since she didn’t protest that action, he kissed her again, this time letting his mouth softly melt into hers.

    When he raised his head, he saw confusion in her eyes— and maybe a little hunger.

    Looking flustered, Lia turned her head slightly, then frowned at his wrist. “You’re bleeding.”

    A different kind of tremor went through him. He wanted her to turn her head a little more, close her mouth over the wound, and lap the drops of blood welling up from his wrist. He wanted to make a small nick in the hollow of her throat and drink from it.

    Jared dropped his hands, shaken.

    A Queen didn’t accept blood from any but her First Circle.

    A male didn’t accept a Queen’s blood unless he was offering to surrender his life to her will. A court contract was a formal, written agreement weighted by honor and Protocol. A blood bond was a lifetime commitment.

    “Come inside,” Lia said. “Your wrist needs care and you need something to eat.”

    “Lia . . .”

    “Come inside.”

    She led him inside, walking slowly but more easily. When they reached the kitchen area, she created a small ball of witchlight, enough to see by but not enough to disturb the others.

    He stood passively while she used healing Craft on his wrist. He watched her dab an herb paste over the wound. All he could think of as she wrapped some gauze around his wrist to protect it was how good her hands felt and how much he wanted her to stroke him.

    “You’re using too much Craft,” he said as she warmed some of the meat left over from dinner and sliced the bread without using a knife.

    “Don’t fuss now, Jared,” Lia replied, keeping her voice low. “You can fuss tomorrow.”


    She looked startled for a moment and then sighed. “Promise.”

    Pleased by that, he managed to bite back another comment when she used Craft to heat a mug of water for an herbal brew.

    A soft stirring. A change in the feel of the room as someone rose and approached them.

    Snarling, Jared whirled around.

    Thera gasped and took a step back.

    The hunger inside him grew knife-edged teeth that savaged his self-control as he caught the slight muskiness in her psychic scent that signaled a sexually mature witch. Lia’s scent was a blend of muskiness and innocence that helped sedate the hunger. Thera’s scent enraged it.

    After glancing at Lia, Thera licked her lips. “Lord Jared, if you require—”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire