Born to Bite
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Armand put away the steaks he'd bought at the market in town, and then moved to the kitchen door and peered up the hall and out the front screen door at the yard. Still no sign of Eshe and Bricker. Scowling, he moved back to the bags of groceries he'd set on the island and took out potatoes and onions next. Once those too were stored away, he again returned to the kitchen door to peer up the hall toward the front yard. Nope. Still no Eshe and Bricker. Armand moved back to the groceries again.
It had been past dawn when he'd finally finished all the chores and retired to his bed that morning. By that time Armand had been exhausted enough that he'd dropped right off to sleep rather than lie there lusting after Eshe...which was exactly what he'd hoped for. However, his exhaustion hadn't stopped him from having the erotic shared dreams immortals tended to enjoy.
Armand sighed at the memory of some of those dreams. If Eshe was half as hot in reality as she'd been in the dreams, he didn't think he'd ever be able to send her away. What's more, between those and his complete lack of sleep the day before, as well as the busy day and evening he'd had, Armand had slept through this day and into the evening. It had been after five o'clock when he'd finally woken up. He'd come below, fretting over how he would handle Eshe today, only to find it wasn't a concern. Neither she nor Bricker was there.
A quick check around had shown that while their bikes were gone, their rooms still held their possessions, so it had appeared they'd return eventually. That knowledge had left Armand rather relieved, which was odd, since he'd been ready to send Eshe away the night before.
Too hungry to worry about his own confused feelings then, Armand had poked his head in the refrigerator and then searched the cupboards in a hunt for food. The problem with eating again was that once you started, your stomach tended to demand you continue. However, he'd gone so long not eating that there hadn't been much to choose from in his kitchen. It seemed Mrs. Ramsey had used up the bacon feeding them the day before, and while there were still eggs and toast, he hadn't a clue how to cook them. After a brief debate, Armand had taken himself off to the diner for a meal.
As it turned out, that had been a most fortuitous event. Armand had found himself a replacement for Paul while at the diner. It had happened almost without his input. The towns people were a pretty tight group, it seemed, and news had apparently spread quickly that his previous manager had been forced to leave by supposed family matters, the excuse he'd given Mrs. Ramsey. Armand had barely seated himself in a booth when a couple of men from other tables had come to introduce themselves and tell him they had heard about his problem and had a perfect solution. It seemed one of his neighbors had a grown son who had studied agriculture at the university and planned to someday take over the family farm or start his own concern. His father was still in his early forties, however, and young enough to run the farm without his son's aid, and-no doubt-still thought of the young man as a boy and treated him as such. It was thought all around that what would be best for the boy was if he helped out Armand, managing his farm for him. It would put some more experience under the boy's belt, and prepare him for when he was ready to either take over the family farm, or stake a claim on another one for himself.
Eager to have a manager so that he could spend time with Eshe, Armand had agreed to talk to the young man. He'd barely said as much when said young man had come walking into the diner. It seemed someone had helpfully called the fellow and told him to get his butt to the diner before the men had even joined Armand at his table. After ten minutes of talking to, and reading, young Jim Spencer, Armand had hired the fellow. His problem was solved; Jim Spencer was beaming with pride and eager to start, especially once he learned he'd get to stay in the manager's house, his first home away from home; and Armand finished his meal quite pleased with himself.
He'd been so pleased with himself that when he'd spotted the market's sign, he'd decided to pull in and pick up some food for his woman and Bricker, and that had been one hell of an experience. Food had been nothing like it was now when last he'd eaten. Armand had wandered down the aisles throwing one of everything that caught his eye into the cart, and a hell of a lot of things had caught his eye. The packaging nowadays made absolutely everything look delicious. He wasn't even sure what half of what he'd picked up was. Or how to cook it, and he'd left with the back of his pickup piled with groceries-and still pleased with himself-right up until he'd arrived home to find that Bricker and Eshe still weren't there.
It was then he'd started to worry. Armand supposed he should have worried when he'd first realized they were away from the house, but perhaps his hunger and still being sleepy had affected his thinking. However, he'd been fed and was wide awake by the time he'd returned home, and it had then occurred to him that Eshe was a hunted woman and their absence might mean they were in trouble. Armand had begun to worry so much then that he'd actually called Lucian. However, Lucian hadn't been concerned at all. He'd told him that since they were in the area, he'd sent them to ask questions of someone who lived in the general vicinity regarding a case some of his enforcers were working on.
Armand had stopped worrying then, but he was still upset. They could have at least left a bloody letter so he wouldn't have worried about them, he thought irritably as he pulled a canister of whipped cream out of the bag and peered at it curiously. He knew what cream was; he had some dairy cows. Armand had even consumed cream back in England when Susanna had been alive, but that had been clotted cream on warm, soft scones with preserves. He'd never heard of whipping it, and despite his annoyance, he found himself curious. He'd always enjoyed clotted cream.
Leaning against the counter, he popped the lid off and peered at what remained; some sort of white tube with a jagged tip like fangs curving in toward the center. Quite strange. He'd never seen anything like it. Armand held out his hand, palm up, and tipped the canister over it, but nothing came out. Frowning, he peered at the strange tube again, wondering if he wasn't supposed to remove it too to get to the cream.
Shrugging, he grabbed the plastic tube, intending to try to twist it off, but dropped the canister with a start as it began to hiss and something wet hit his hand.
Armand stared down at the now-silent canister on the floor, then at his hand, eyebrows rising when he saw the white substance there. He raised his hand to his nose and sniffed at it. Noting the delicate scent, he then licked at the foamy substance, smiling as the familiar taste of cream filled his senses. It was a little different from the clotted cream he recalled. This was sweet and light rather than thick, but it was good. Licking the rest of it off his palm, he picked up the canister again and fiddled with it, pressing at the tip until he figured out how to work it. Armand then sprayed some more onto his hand and licked that off as well. He was about to repeat the action when he decided to bypass his hand, simply opened his lips, tipped his head back, and sprayed the whipped cream straight into his mouth.
It was good. Delicious. Damn, he hadn't realized he was missing such yummy-
"Oh man, I thought I was the only one who did that."
Armand straightened and turned guiltily to the door to see Bricker framed there. A heartbeat later the other immortal stumbled into the room, pushed out of the way by Eshe, who was waiting to enter. Relief ran through Armand the moment he saw her safe and sound. It was followed sharply by anger. He swallowed the whipped cream in his mouth and scowled at the pair of them. "Where the hell have you two been? I was worried sick that Leonius had got you or something. I even called Lucian. You could have left me a damned letter so I wouldn't worry."
Eshe and Bricker exchanged glances and then Eshe moved toward him. "I'm sorry if we worried you. We should have left a note."
"Yes, you should have," he agreed grimly, glaring at her as she paused before him. "And you still haven't told me where you were."
Instead of answering, she leaned up toward him. Armand froze as she licked a bit of whipped cream off his bottom lip.
"Mmmm," she murmured with pleasure and then sucked his lower lip into her mouth, cleaning it thoroughly of the sweet substance before urging her tongue between his lips to kiss him properly.
Armand was still standing there stunned when she broke the kiss and moved her lips to his ear to whisper, "That's lovely. Sweet and creamy, mixed with the taste of you. Makes me want to spread it all over your body and lick it off."
Armand forgot the question of where they'd been, swallowed, and then growled, "When?"
Eshe chuckled huskily and nipped at his ear. "Now."
Stepping back then, she gave him what they used to call a come-hither look and turned to walk out of the room.
"Right," Bricker said lightly as Eshe disappeared from view. "I'll make supper while you two are otherwise occupied, shall I?"
Armand glanced to the man with surprise when the whipped cream was suddenly removed from his hand, and muttered, "Eshe wants that."
Visions in his mind of her spraying the foamy delight all over his body and licking and nibbling it away, he tried to snatch the whipped cream back.
"Armand, buddy," Bricker said, holding the whipped cream out of his reach. "Eshe wants you, the whipped cream is just dressing. And judging from my experience with Decker and Mortimer when they found their life mates, you two won't have the restraint to even spray this anywhere, let alone lick it up the first time. It will just sit there on the bedside table spoiling while you two get busy. Why waste a good can of whipped cream?" he added dryly. "Now go on, hurry after her. If there's one thing I know about Eshe d'Aureus, it's that she's not a very patient woman and she's waiting...probably naked by now."
Armand peered at the whipped cream for a moment, Bricker's sensible words slow to pierce his lust-fogged brain. But then a couple of synapses fired and he turned and headed out of the kitchen.
He found Eshe's leather jacket on the hall floor at the base of the stairs and snatched it up on his way past. Her leather pants were on the top step and he grabbed those as well before moving on to collect her leather top where it lay in the open door to her room.
Armand straightened from picking that up and paused in the doorway at the sight of Eshe leaning against the nearest post of her four-poster bed. She wore nothing but a pair of white silk panties and a strapless white bra. Both of which he recalled her purchasing the night before in town. His gaze slid over her body, noting her long beautiful legs, her luscious hips, the curve of her waist, and then the curves of her perfect breasts rising out of the bra, before reaching her face. Her eyes were on fire, golden flames overpowering the black flecks usually there.
"I thought I'd let you finish undressing me," she said huskily.
Armand kicked the bedroom door closed, let the clothes drop to the floor, and had crossed the space separating them in a heartbeat.
Eshe gasped and shivered with excitement as Armand bored down on her, then he was suddenly there, his body plastered to hers, pressing her back against the bedpost almost painfully as he ground himself against her. She'd hoped to distract him from his questions about where they'd been, and she'd apparently succeeded beautifully. The question had obviously been forgotten by him, and she forgot that worry too as his mouth descended on hers.
Armand Argeneau was one hell of a kisser. Eshe found her toes curling into the carpet she stood on as his mouth slanted over hers, nipping and sucking at first her upper lip and then her lower. When his tongue finally slid out to join the play, she moaned with pleasure and opened to him, her hands clutching briefly at the front of his shirt, before she gave that up to slide her arms around his shoulders and delve her fingers into his hair.
He had nice, silky hair, and Eshe toyed with and tugged at it as his hands began to move over her body. They followed the curve of her back, pressing her more firmly against him before sliding down to clasp her bottom through the silk panties and urge her against the burgeoning erection pressing against his jeans.
Eshe groaned at the hardness grinding against her, and then sucked in a quick breath as his hands abandoned her bottom to slide up to the back of her bra. A moment later the scrap of cloth dropped away, slipping to the floor as he stepped back to put space between them. His hands were immediately replacing the silk, cupping her naked breasts and alternately kneading the round globes and plucking eagerly at her erect nipples.
Eshe shuddered at the warm feel of his skin on hers, her body instinctively pressing into the caress even as her hands moved to begin tugging at his T-shirt, pulling it free of his pants so that she could drag it upward, baring his chest. Armand stopped kissing and caressing her to raise his arms so she could remove it, but then rather than kiss her again, ducked his head to claim one of her eager nipples between his lips. His teeth scraped over the tip before his tongue lavished it with attention.
"Yes," Eshe breathed, running her hands over the expanse of back available to her as he bent to her breast, and then digging her claws in and scraping them across his perfect skin as he slid one hand down to cup her between her legs. She immediately shifted her legs a little farther apart, pressing into the touch eagerly as pleasure began to grow in mounting ripples within her. She knew it was the shared pleasure immortals experienced, and thanked God for it as the waves rolled over her, stronger with each pass.
"Armand," Eshe cried, throwing her head back when he nudged her panties to the side to slip a finger over the core of her. Panting for air now, she gasped, "I can't-I need-"
"Me too," Armand growled, rising up to claim her mouth as his finger continued its magic.
Desperate to feel him inside her, Eshe reached between them to work blindly at his belt and the buttons of his jeans. Getting them undone, she pushed the pants impatiently down his hips until his erection escaped, then clasped it in hand and froze as an incredible rush of excitement coursed through her, bouncing wildly around inside her and almost pushing her over the edge to orgasm.
"Christ," Armand said through his teeth as he broke their kiss. He peered into her face briefly and shook his head. "I can't wait."
"Don't," Eshe said simply, knowing exactly how he felt.
It was all she had to say. Armand immediately shifted her around the bedpost and urged her backward onto the bed, his body following. He came down on top of her, his mouth claiming hers again, and then he shifted his hips and buried himself inside her. Her panties were still on, just the strip of cloth between her thighs pushed to the side, and his pants were around his hips, but neither of them was willing to take the time to remove the items. Next time they could try it completely naked; this first time they needed to quench the fire burning inside them both, and they did so with almost stunning speed. It didn't seem to Eshe that he'd pressed into her, withdrawn, and pressed into her again more than three or four times before they both cried out with the passion burning inside them and passed out.
Eshe woke slowly sometime later to find herself alone in bed. Immediately wide awake and annoyed, she sat up at once and glanced around for her clothes. She had every intention of dressing, hunting down Armand Argeneau, and giving him a piece of her mind. A wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am was not acceptable to her mind. While the urgency and speed of the first time had been unavoidable, sneaking out directly afterward just wasn't-
"You look annoyed."
Eshe blinked and glanced around, her anger deflating as she spotted Armand coming out of the bathroom, hair still wet from a shower and wearing nothing but a towel wrapped loosely around his waist. A slow smile coming to her lips, Eshe slid her feet to the floor and sat up on the side of the bed as he approached.
"You showered," she said huskily as he paused in front of her.
"Hmm." Armand smiled. "I tried waking you when I woke but you were still dead to the world, so I took a shower rather than ravish you."
"Next time, ravish me," Eshe whispered softly, her hands reaching instinctively for the towel around his waist. She slid her fingers between the towel and his skin and used her hold to draw him closer, her eyes caught by a drop of water slipping down his chest as she spread her legs and pulled him between them.
"I-" Whatever he was going to say ended on a gasp as Eshe leaned forward and caught the rolling drop of water with her tongue. She closed her eyes as a shaft of pleasure shivered through her, the pleasure he'd experienced, and then she opened her eyes to survey his chest hungrily. He apparently hadn't dried himself off, but had simply stepped out of the shower and wrapped the towel around his hips. It left an entire field of water droplets for her to choose from. Who needed whipped cream?
"Eshe," he breathed as she began to lick and nibble the droplets away. Groaning, he slid his fingers into her hair, cupping the back of her head as her mouth traveled up his chest. When she reached and paused at his nipples to pay them special attention, his fingers clenched in her hair and he forced her head away and up so that he could kiss her.
Eshe allowed it, but then pulled away slightly and ran one finger lightly over his swollen lips as she said, "You should have tried a little harder to wake me. I could have soaped you up."
Armand grunted and tried to kiss her again, but she held him away, turning her face to avoid his lips as she added, "Now I guess I'll have to just soap myself."
Laughing at his blank expression, she then slid from his hold and hurried away across the room, aware that his startled eyes were focused on her behind. She could feel them burning through the white panties and scorching her flesh as she walked. Pausing in the door to the bathroom, she glanced over her shoulder and grinned. "Unless you want to do the soaping?"
The moment he started forward, she laughed and slipped into the bathroom. Eshe managed to shimmy out of her panties and get the shower started before he caught up. When she then stepped quickly under the spray to prevent his stopping her, she heard his towel hit the floor and then he was joining her. She managed to grab the soap from the soap dish, but then he caught her arms and turned her in the water to face him.
Eshe held the soap out, half expecting him to toss it aside, but instead, he released her and took it to begin working up a foam. Only then did Armand set it aside. When he turned back to her his soapy hands went straight for her breasts and Eshe half laughed and half groaned as he began to soap her up, kneading and plucking at the tender orbs as he pressed her back against the cold tiles of the large shower.
Eshe closed her eyes and sighed, enjoying the contrast of the cold at her back and his body heat along her front, and then his hands suddenly left her breasts. She opened her eyes with surprise to find he'd picked up the soap again for more lather. This time when he set it back, his hands went to her sides, sliding up and down and then around to move over her stomach before dropping to find her hips.
When one hand slid between her legs to urge them apart, she bit her lip and shifted her stance for him, and then gasped as that hand rose to find the center of her. Eshe clutched at his shoulders, her nails digging in for purchase as he caressed her. The excitement came on almost as fast this time as it had the first, bouncing between them strong and hard, and Eshe was resigning herself to the fact that they probably wouldn't manage to go slow for a while when Armand suddenly withdrew his hand.
She blinked her eyes open, noting that he was breathing just as heavily as she was, and then gave a surprised squawk of surprise when he suddenly turned her into the spray, allowing it to wash away the soap he'd just spread over her. She had closed her eyes the moment he'd turned her into the spray, but felt his arm brush her shoulder as he reached behind her. When the spray suddenly moved off her, she opened her eyes to look around and saw that he'd removed the showerhead from its holster and was drawing it down on its long hose.
"I have to rinse away all the soap," he growled for explanation, but the silver glint in his eyes warned her he was up to something. Still, she wasn't prepared when he suddenly dipped the showerhead down between her legs to rinse away the soap there. Neither was she prepared for her body's response to the sharp spray pounding against her excited center. Eshe cried out and clutched at his arms to stay on her feet as her body responded to this new caress. She wasn't the only one affected. Armand had squeezed his eyes closed and was grinding his teeth together as he experienced her unexpected pleasure.
They stood completely still for a moment as the water played over her body, and just when Eshe didn't think she could stand it another moment, he cursed and dropped the showerhead, letting it spray wildly around the shower's interior as he caught her by the arms, kicked the shower door open, and lifted her out.
Eshe grabbed up a towel as he turned back to shut the water off. She marveled at the way her hands shook as she lifted the heavy cloth, but never got the chance to dry herself. The towel slipped away as Armand turned to scoop her up and carry her out of the room. They left a trail of water in their wake as he carried her to the bed.
Armand set her on the mattress, but when he started to come down on top of her, she managed to catch him by surprise and wrestle him onto his back. Eshe then sat up. She grinned at his startled expression, but when he reached out to pull her down, she reached between them and caught his erection firmly in hand. He froze at once, his eyes squeezing briefly closed. Eshe ground her teeth against the pleasure assaulting her as she touched him and quickly shifted to sit beside him so that she could turn her attention fully to his erection. She started out merely touching him, running her closed hand the length of his shaft, but then bent to take him in her mouth, little moans issuing from her throat and vibrating around his shaft as she experienced the pleasure she was giving him.
Eshe then gasped and nearly bit him with surprise when Armand suddenly caught her by one thigh and drew her body around so that he could pleasure her as she was him. The combination was too much for either of them to bear for long and then they were both crying out and clutching at each other as their mutual excitement again overwhelmed them, pushing them into the darkness that usually claimed new life mates when they made love.