“Come home with me.”
The question pulled me from my thoughts. The question and the oh so familiar voice delivering it a breath away from my ear. I looked back.
“No.” How much time had passed since I would have gladly accepted that invite? A tiny part of my brain started ticking away days, weeks, months, on a mental abacus. Click. Click. Click. Click.
An eyebrow arched and another part of my mind noted my body’s lack of reaction. ”Once…” Her lips pursed, delivering that word, and I shook my head as she echoed my thoughts.
“Once, yes…not anymore.” Once, twice, and then some. How many times did I make that same mistake, over and over?
I delivered my heart to her on a platter more times than I could count. Let her slice it thin and savor it, watched her eat it raw, my own blood and tears streaming down her chin. Again and again, I fed her my own bloody love, hoping it would be enough.
“Oh?” That voice, the one that slithered between my bones and severed sinew and vein to leave me boneless and limp no longer held such power. Her finger tugged my hair from my nape. The fine hairs there stood, warning me of her proximity.
As if I didn’t know.
My heart beat; slow, steady, a metronome of life and death and rebirth. Once it would have raced, pounding frantic and desperate against my rib cage, a trapped rabbit with a fox, nah, a jackal strolling, toying, just a jaw-snap away.
Across the room my lover watched. Our eyes slid together, held, gently. Her smile, sharp and dangerous, offered rescue. The calm inside me owed itself to the barely restrained chaos in her gaze. I knew her hands clenched, her body tensed. Her legs would be knotted, ready to leap and rend and tear. The scared echoes of my rent heart wanted to set her loose on the woman at my shoulder. To see her reduced to the shreds she left me in over and over.
Something inside me clicked. Broken bone grinding into place, joints realigning, the scar finally loosing its knotted grip on my flesh. My lashes dipped, head tipped, and I turned towards the woman I no longer needed. My lover approached. I could feel it, the swirl of energy, in the inches before her hand settled on my hip. She fit me to her; my body went liquid. I watched my jackal size up my lover as I introduced them, my words unnecessary in the possessive grip on my body and her stiffening posture.
Beneath the idle pleasantries she saw and heard my words. I won’t throw my heart to the carrion eaters anymore. Her smile bared teeth in little more than a grimace. The grip on my body tightened and I felt a growl than never emerged. My cunt plumped. In the darkness of the club no one else would see the hand that slipped beneath my waistband.
“You will only see this once.” The words teased against my ear weren’t for me, but for the woman watching, her gaze the starved hungry thing of the very creature I’d always thought her to be. Fingers pushed past the thin cotton of my underwear and through the slick evidence of my need.
Once I might have resisted.
Once I might have blushed.
Once. But not now. Her arm curled around me, supporting me. ”Good girl,” she murmured against my neck when my head dropped back on her shoulder. We needed this. Both of us.
She swirled one finger around my clit, drawing it harder, chasing gasps from my throat. The low sound in her throat twisted with the audible one from my Jackal and I moaned aloud. Through the walls the deep bass of loud music added a dark heartbeat. The circles around that needing bundle of nerves matched it. I lost track of time and place. Lips pressed to my neck, teeth following, driving sharp spikes of pain in the pleasure climbing my spine. My orgasm surged closer, hovering just beneath my skin.
“She offered this to you over and over,” my lover said, her voice strong, steady, husky. Her heat radiated into me. ”Not once did she offer it to me,” she continued, her circuits around my clit tightening. My muscles began to tremble. ”I hunted her, courted her, loved her.” That last came out in a whisper against my temple as she curled her fingers into my cunt. I cried out, convulsing around her, my orgasm crashing and surging, her grip hard and grounding. ”And now she’s mine.”
My knees buckled when she dragged her fingers free. I opened my eyes to find my old nemesis watching with something akin to stricken awe.
“Once,” I rasped, “Never again.”