The Dark's Mistress (The Saint-Pierres) (11 page)

BOOK: The Dark's Mistress (The Saint-Pierres)
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“That’s all I want, to be worthy of her admiration.”

“Spoken like a true romantic.  I’ll have you in velvets and lace in no time, my friend.”

“Velvet, I can do.  But the lace?  I prefer studs and shit-kickers.”

Dante sighed, and Johnny laughed because he’d found a means to release the anxiety and now he knew what he had to do.  It wouldn’t be easy, but every step would be worth the trial that would lead him closer to Kam’s heart.

 

Chapter Nine

Kam pushed away the fang junkie who had been delivered to the courtyard below her penthouse.  He dropped to the grass, a smile on his face, blood purling around his neck.  In minutes he would be gone from where he lay.  They had a way of disappearing after she ceased considering them.  Himself’s work.

Savoring the lingering warmth of blood on her tongue, she stood and clutched the arabesqued ironwork gate linking her building’s courtyard to another.  Closing her eyes, tears spilled freely.

She’d needed blood, yet the taste of it did not satisfy.  She wanted more.  She wanted different.  She wanted sex and blood and rock n’ roll spilling down her throat. 

She wanted safety.

“I shouldn’t have said I hated him.  He’ll never return now.”

But his words had cut into her heart.  She’d reacted by slapping him.  Had she spoiled any chance of escape from Himself? 

She was trapped in a loveless relationship with a creature that controlled her soul.  He would never command her completely.  She would be sure of that.  She yet maintained some strength, some inner power over her body.  And when she knew he took things from her memory, and gave her compulsions and desires for things she could never need, she clung to the one piece of herself that was hers to give to another.

Yet, if she gave herself—in body and blood—to another man, would that then make her like all the others, another woman lacking purity, no longer a golden prize to dangle before the devil Himself?


Kam sniffed away tears.  Something in her chest opened, and a lightness within blossomed.  Why hadn’t she considered this before?  If she seduced Johnny and made love with him, then she would cease to be that golden prize.  There would be nothing about her the dark prince could then desire. 

It was so simple.

Yet to perform such a seduction under the watchful eye of Himself was another consideration.  For she knew, even when she was alone, he watched.  It had something to do with the tattoos that she knew were never in the same place in the mornings when she glanced to her shoulder.

Himself had appeared at Nôtre Dame to show Johnny he was out of his league.  She belonged to Himself.  Let no man dally with the epitome of evil and expect to live.

Perhaps she should let Johnny go?  Release him from the expectations she’d alluded to regarding him helping her find freedom?  It would be the kindest thing to do.

Desperation pounded in her shivering heart.  Or was that the fluttering from the multitude souls she stole with each bite? 

Kam pressed a palm over her chest.  “I’m sorry.  I need to find freedom, if only to free the souls.  I’ve been selfish.  And I must be even more selfish and lure Johnny into helping me.”

It would kill him, surely.  But in order to release the souls and win her freedom it must be done.

* * *

Kambriel strolled through her closet, stroking the fine fabrics and shaking her head as one after the other didn’t feel right.  The black chiffon was
meh
, and satin felt too dire and moody.  A few colors existed within: red, pink, purple.  She loved purple, but the slinky purple lace negligee felt too needy.

Too serious, too stuffy, too goth, too bondage, too…all not right for the mood she wanted to set with Johnny tonight.  Everything must be perfect.  She didn’t want to give him a single reason to refuse what she wanted to offer him.

Although she suspected he’d accept what she had to offer no matter what she wore.  Any man would.  Because wasn’t that what they all wanted was to get into a girl’s panties?  To claim mastery over her?  To take the one thing she could only give away once?

“I am desperate,” she whispered, and shuddered.

Desperation was not the most promising means for offering a man one’s virginity.  Hell, it sounded absolutely, well, desperate.  And stupid.  But she didn’t know what else to do.  Her pesky virginity had to be done away with because it was the one thing that secured her appeal to Himself.

Her fingers slid over a violet silk dress she’d never worn.  It was simple, dark, yet had a frill of soft ruffles at the hem, which would land mid-thigh.  She pulled it on and it swept over her body and hugged her in all the right places.  The neckline dipped into a low square, framing her breasts.  She wanted to admire how it looked on her but the one thing vampires could never do was see their reflection.  Even Himself had not been able to grant her that request.

The dress fit perfectly, so she would go with it.  Some Louboutins with the fun silver spikes all over added a dangerous touch.  Wandering into the bathroom, she found the perfume oil she loved and touched it behind her ears and at her elbows.  It was a dark cherry chocolate blend called Bloody Mary.  Again, appropriate.

“Now, I’ll wait and see if he comes to me.”

Closing her eyes, Kam thought of Johnny Angel holding her in his arms and kissing her.  If wishes could become reality then tonight she needed such hopeful magic.

* * *

Johnny dropped the older man onto the ground.  He slumped into a heap near Johnny’s boots.  He rarely drank from the homeless.  They were smelly and usually ill and their blood was sluggish and tainted.  Yet this one must have been recently homeless for he was relatively clean and his blood tasted like wine.  Which could be because he sat behind a wine shop.  The proprietor must slip him the occasional bottle.

Wiping his mouth, and striding away without a look back to the man who groaned in orgasmic pleasure, Johnny smirked.  It was the least he could do for the guy. 

When he thought about heading to Club l’Enfer, he remembered it was Sunday.  Clubs were closed.  Though he had to wonder why l’Enfer didn’t stay open in bold defiance of the mortal religions. 

He didn’t want to see her anyway.

Right?

“Wrong,” he muttered as his boots clicked down the cobblestones toward the right bank, west of the Louvre.  He wasn’t headed home.  He wasn’t sure where he was headed.

He knew where he was headed.

“She hates me.”

How could Dante possibly be right about the throwing down the gauntlet thing?  Didn’t make sense.  Unless of course, she was controlled by Himself and by saying she hated him that had lured the dark boyfriend off Johnny’s scent?

A sweet move, if that was the case.  He owed her for that one.

“Need to thank her.  In person.  Just…see her.  One last time.”

He’d verify she was lost, stolen by the darkest evil of them all, and, knowing he could do nothing to save her, he would then walk away.

But not without one last kiss.

* * *

The buzzer rang and Kam sat up from the black velvet chaise where she’d dozed off.  She glanced out the window.  The moon was high in the sky.  Full?  No.  One more day to achieve fullness.

The buzzer rang again.

It was the man who, even as he vexed her, attracted her in more ways than she’d thought possible.  It had to be.

She rushed to the door and buzzed him in, not bothering to ask who it was.  Because she could hear the click of his scuffed heels as they circled the medieval stairs up four stories to her floor.  Despite her cruel words, he’d returned to her.

Kam’s heartbeats pattered a drum solo against her rib cage.  She didn’t deserve him.  She clasped her hands in anticipation as she waited for a rap on her front door.  Her body shivered subtly so she inhaled and exhaled to calm herself.

She opened the door to a bouquet of white roses.  Johnny pulled them down to reveal his black-shadowed eyes and switchblade smile.

She wasn’t going to ask where he’d managed to find such gorgeous blooms at this time of night.  Instead she took them and buried her nose in the soft petals, inhaling deeply as if drawing in an intoxicant.

“I bet you’ve only ever had black roses, eh?”

“How did you guess?”  She gestured he enter, making the invitation obvious.

Johnny strolled inside.  A vampire could not enter a private residence without an invitation. 

“Thought I’d like to see you adorned with something pure.”  He stroked her cheek and trailed his fingertips over the tops of the roses.  “Your skin is like these flowers.”

“But you think my heart black?” 

Miffed he’d pronounced the flowers pure, because they were white? Kam strolled into the kitchen where she set the flowers on the countertop (a little less than gently).  She was pure.  He just didn’t know that yet.

You’re tainted, and you know it.  Your heart
is
black
.

“Is it black?” he called as he slowly followed, taking in the elaborate décor of a place she could change with but a thought.

“It’s not,” she said quietly.  “At least, I wish it was not.”  She glanced aside, ashamed.  Lying to herself would never advance her hopes.

She assumed Johnny took in the black marble floors and walls and guessed the Dark’s mistress lived up to her name.  Pouting, she had never thought about it like that before.  Why was everything around her black?  She wasn’t that person.  Inside she was brighter, had once been confident and…  And…what was she now?

With a thought, she imagined the floors an icy white marble flecked with glints of crystal mica.  Down the walls rolled a soft gray paper, flocked with white velvet.  The chandelier above the countertop transformed from black crystals to clear, and all around her furniture and decorations bleached white.

“Impressive.  Did your boyfriend give you such skills?”

“He did.”  But Kam wasn’t about to boast.  She didn’t want the night to go like this.  Johnny’s cool demeanor challenged her to put up her best front, when all she wanted to do was relax and enjoy his company.

And seduce him.

Running her palms over the purple silk at her hips she lifted her chin and swiped her long, loose hair over a shoulder, but tugged a strand around her forefinger.

“I’m sorry for what I said to you at Nôtre Dame,” she said.

“It was deserved.  I shouldn’t have made the awful accusation.  Please accept my apology?”

She nodded, bounced on her heels once as her mood lightened.  “We’re good.”

He stopped on the opposite side of the counter and leaned onto the white marble.  He was dressed in black leathers and a soft blue tee-shirt screen-printed with a gray skull; it imbued the only trace of color into the room.  “Listen, I’m here because I can’t
not
be here.  You compel me, Kam.  But it’s not like a compulsion orchestrated by…something evil.”  He winced. 

Getting him beyond the fact her boyfriend was the devil would prove a tough challenge.

“I am attracted to you,” he continued.  “I want to be around you.  Hell, I’m still trying to prove myself worthy of you.  But…”

She knew what the big black elephant in the room was, and she hoped the horned one didn’t show up tonight.  He couldn’t know Johnny was here.

Hell, who was she fooling?  He knew.  And if he did not yet, he would soon enough.

Johnny tilted up her chin with his finger and asked softly, “Kam, do you need someone to love you or rescue you?”

Her lips parted and out hushed a breath.  Heartbeats thundered, racing toward what she most desired, and then stopped because—why
did
she desire him?

“Both,” she finally said.  “Oh, Johnny.”  She walked around the counter.  He straightened, not succumbing to the closeness she desired, but not stepping back when she stepped right up to him.  “You sing to my black heart.  I think about you all the time.”

“It’s an image,” he said.  “Girls always swoon over rock stars.  We sing vague lyrics about love and surrender and they think we’re singing directly to them.”


That flutter in her heart slammed against her ribcage in annoyance.  “You weren’t singing to me the other night?”

“Then?  Hell, yes, I was singing to you.  Kam.”  He bowed his forehead to hers and slid a hand along her waist, coaxing her toward him.  “I’ve done nothing worthy of your constant thoughts.  No sonnets or fearless rescues yet.  So that makes me believe you need me more than want me.”

“What’s wrong with needing someone?”  Their mouths were so close.  She wanted to stop talking and speak with her kisses. 

“Do you need me to be your lover or your hero?”


Again, the same question.  And still the answer was both.  But he must only want to take on one task at a time.  He shouldn’t think of tonight as a task…

“Be my lover,” she whispered.

His smirk was so sexy.  Kam tapped the corner of his mouth then danced her finger over his bottom lip.  If her never kissed another woman—save her—she would be gleefully pleased.

BOOK: The Dark's Mistress (The Saint-Pierres)
7.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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