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His Drakon Runaway Bride(27)

By:Tara Pammi

Like they’d never been apart. As if in this moment, in this place, they were not two but one.

Anchoring her with one arm, he palmed her breast with another. The tip was an erotic contrast surrounded by the lush softness. Pleasure coiled and corkscrewed in his groin, and shivered down his spine. Lost to the demands of his own body, he pulled out and thrust back in slow, hard thrusts that had her silky body sliding up against the sheets.

Sensation spiraled through him, erasing the grief and guilt and betrayal, the only thing that could wash away the powerlessness he felt.

Mouth buried in her neck, he slammed in and out, branding her, making her his in every way. She was perfect under him, around him, the one woman who had always made him feel that he was not alone. That made him dream that he did not have to be alone.

S’agapo, Andreas. So much. Always.

The words mocked him, taunted him. Charged the moment with so much more than the pure carnality of it all.

He wrapped his hand around her neck, and pulled her up, until on each thrust in, her sex felt him. All of him. He increased the pace just as her body was tensing up around him. Her muscles clenched and released around his hardness, her body bucking and throwing. She orgasmed with a soft moan, her eyes open and holding his, daring him—oh, how they dared him—always to make nothing of this moment.

It was the fire in her eyes that pushed Andreas over the edge. Lost to desire, he plunged into her with hard, rough, desperate strokes.

His climax was violent, explosive, moving through him like a storm he would never survive. This connection between them had always made everything worth it. Had somehow made sense of everything else.

Heart pounding inside his chest, he stilled. Loath to give up her warmth, he stayed inside, swallowing away the aftershocks of her orgasm still rocking through her.

Sweat-dampened, her skin glistened and invited. Her mouth looked like it had been stung by bees. Faint bruises on her hips showed where he had held her down while he had thrust into her.

Long lashes flickered up slowly. The musky scent of their sweat and sex filled his nostrils.

He couldn’t walk away, even though it was exactly what he’d intended to do. Still intended to do.


WHEN ARIANA WOKE up the first time, morning had come. Even through the light-blocking blinds, she could see the world outside had started on its day. Every inch of her body was sore in the most glorious way. A muscular, hair-dusted leg lay possessively over hers, hindering her movement. The oversize T-shirt she wore bunched up to her midriff thanks to the arm curled around her waist holding her caged against the hard muscles behind.

She tried to shift to a more comfortable position and gasped at the unfamiliar sting between her thighs.

The night before came back in a rush. Instinctively, her gaze fell on the darkly handsome face sharing the pillow. His other arm was under her head, his biceps muscles curling tight. Faint shadows under his eyes, even in sleep, Andreas looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Or was it the weight of her lies?

Had she lost him forever this time?

Only now, when it was too late, did she realize the destruction she had caused with her secrets and her cowardice.

But the stinging throb between her legs, the faint bruises on her body said something else. She had been terrified that he would throw her out. Or walk away.

Last night, she knew, was the first time Andreas Drakos had ever lost complete control of himself. There had been no finesse to his lovemaking. Thee mou, it hadn’t even been lovemaking. It had been sex in its most primitive form. It had been pure possession, as if he meant to steal something away from her.

It had been his incapability to walk away from her even at the worst moment of their lives.

The rough graze of his teeth over the most tender spots of her body, the flash of emotions, too fast for her to even notice, in his eyes. The frantic, animalistic thrusts, uncaring of whether he hurt her. Ariana reveled in every ache and pain that her body sang this morning.

She had wanted, desperately needed, every sensation he’d evoked in her.

She had loved every minute of it.

For it meant that she could still hold on to a thread of hope. That meant that despite what he thought was the biggest betrayal, Andreas still couldn’t help himself.

He had carried her to the shower, she remembered faintly. While she had stood there numb, her body sore, he had washed her, wrapped her in a towel and brought her back to bed. Dressed her in his T-shirt.

When she had thought he would leave her, she had clung to him, she remembered now, even her subconscious mind knowing that to let him walk away then was to lose him. She had begged him to stay with her, at least until she had fallen asleep. She had begged him to give her one night.

His dark hair fell onto his forehead. He needed a shave and sleep and rest in that order. God, Andreas needed to be loved. Needed to be showed that he could love, too.

She ran her fingers over the defined line of his jaw, the sharp bridge of his nose. Her fingers shook at the soft give of his mouth. The scent of sex and him lingered in the air, an anchor Ariana needed in the chaos she had created.

Anxiety curling through her, she ran her hands over warm, olive skin stretched taut over lean muscles. Every inch of him was precious to her. Every inch of him was a map to her own happiness, to her joy.

She pressed her mouth to his chest, listening to the quiet thunder of his heart. She began to whisper words and phrases that made no sense yet meant everything to her. Things she should have told him before about her life in Colorado. Times when she had missed him so terribly that it had been a physical ache.

Nights when she’d craved his arms, even in the last few weeks.

Moments during the past week when all she’d wanted was to walk into his bedroom and climb into his bed. When all she’d needed was to be held in his arms.

At some point, the words had begun to tumble out without any conscious plan. His body lost that languid sleepy warmth. Tension filled the very air, the quiet hitch in his breath the only sign that her words had begun to register. Without meeting his eyes, for Ari was terrified he would walk away the moment she acknowledged him, she kept talking. The dark helped. The physical intimacy aided. Running her hands again and again over him kept her sane, as if touch were her only tether to keep him there.

She was on her side, and he on his, facing her. She spoke the words into his chest, words she should have uttered the moment she’d seen him standing in front of the church.

The moment she’d realized that without Andreas, she would always be incomplete.

She didn’t know if he was listening. She just kept talking, her throat hoarse, her body sore. “By the time I realized my period was far too late, even worse than usual, I was three months pregnant. I... I took four different tests, and they all came back positive.” He was so tense around her, suddenly so cold. As if someone had injected him with ice. She rubbed his arms and his chest with her palms, her tummy a tight knot. Expecting him to any moment push her away. “I...should have been terrified and yet I was not. I know you will call it another sign that I was immature and juvenile, but I wasn’t. I felt an instant connection to the baby. I...felt like finally I had a part of you with me. Just for me. Something no one could take away from me. Not even you.

“I...had already found an apartment. Until then, I’d proudly refused to use the money Theos gave me. But that night, I went into the bank, checked my account.

“For months all I did was eat, sleep, wait. I was determined to take good care of myself. I...put on so much weight,” she said, her throat catching at the memory.

“Everything was perfect until one afternoon it wasn’t.

“Rhonda drove me to the hospital because pains had started and showed no signs of relenting.

“I was knocked out by the drugs and when I finally woke up...” her tears soaked Andreas’s chest. Her throat burned. Her lungs felt as if they were being crushed. “I screamed at the doctor, demanding to know who had decided that my life was more precious than his.

“I was hysterical.

“They told me he’d never had a chance. I insisted on seeing him and fell apart at the sight of that tiny bundle.”

Soft sobs began to shake through her body and Ariana could no more stop them than she could stop breathing. Andreas’s arm came over her and crushed her to his chest. He held her hard and tight, in an almost bruising grip. The heat from his body was a blanket over her, warm and comforting.

It was exactly what she’d needed for so long. This grief, it was his, too. And she had cheated him out of it, because she had been so...afraid of never being loved in return.

“Shh...agapi mou,” he finally said. Shaken and hoarse, as if he had damaged his throat, too. She felt his fingers move through her hair, his mouth breathing the words into her temple. “I would have made the same choice if it had come to that, Ari. I would have chosen your life...”

“I did everything right, Andreas,” she said, needing to tell him this. Needing his forgiveness in this above everything else. “I was careful. I ate well. I took walks. I slept well. I went in to see the doctor for every twinge and ache. I... But I still failed at protecting him. I...never wanted to—”

His fingers were now digging into her arms, but holding her together, too. “Ariana, listen to me. He was...he was not meant to be. But it is not your fault, do you understand? All the things I said about you being reckless... I can comprehend how much you must have loved...that baby. I know how you love, agapi mou.”