15 A long night... day! (Julia)

I was joking! I didn't mean it for real... Also, Leo looked at me with such a cold face that I felt awful and wanted to get back at him.

Should I apologise for teasing him and try a run to the bathroom?

«You can't imagine how I feel,» he murmurs. «You just have a couple of attacks a day. But I'm like this almost all the time. And sometimes, I even feel the thirst getting worse.»

Oh, jeez.

«But I won't force you,» he finishes with a grin that's not less devilish than the one from before. «I must have scared you...»

«It's okay,» I mutter and move my arms away from my body. My reaction isn't that different from the one Leo had a few hours ago. I must have offended him so much.

«Okay?» he repeats. Is it hope what I see in his eyes? What is he aiming at, exactly?

«I'm sorry for reacting this way. You surprised me: I didn't expect this.»

I take off the cardigan and lean it on an armchair. It would be a pity to stain my new clothes with blood. Still, staying naked in front of a stranger is a bit too much. I spot the t-shirt I used last night, and I decide to wear it.

I try to ignore Leo's stare while I change clothes. It's not easy, and I can sense his feelings in waves. This soulmate connection is so bothersome.

He's uneasy. On one side, he wants to put his hands all over me again. On the other side, he's afraid of something. It's like he doesn't want to break me.

All of a sudden, I sense my own scent, probably from his point of view. It really reminds me of winter, but it's entangled with another one, more familiar.

I glance at him, and I realise that he's looking at me curiously.

«You aren't scared of me,» he whispers.

«And you're not disgusted by me.»

«You're wearing my t-shirt. It has my scent on, even if it has been washed. Maybe, it's because you're sleeping in my bed. It's difficult to resist such an appeal. I don't know how to explain it.»

I nod and sit on the bed. I know that he's staring at my neck and then at my legs exposed by the cloth. My stomach starts to tingle once more, announcing a feeling I have forgotten for a couple of hours.

It looks like it will be a long night... I mean, day.

I gulp when I eye Leo licking his lower lip.

«What are you waiting for?» I say.

«It's no fun without some waiting,» he answers and walks to me, too slowly. «I want to see again that expression you make when you reach your limit.»

I lift my face when he's in front of me, and I close my eyes when his fingers caress my forehead. The skin contact relieves my urge for a moment, but I know that it'll be back soon. Till now, only kisses helped me resist.

Unfortunately, this cruel vampire won't help me until I beg him.

He leans his hand on my knee, and he splits my legs abruptly. He positions his knee in between and moves his hand up, caressing my inner thigh.

I bit my cheeks and held my breath, not to let him notice how much his presence influences me. Can I already blame the bound for my reactions?

No, unfortunately, this is still me.

«Lie down,» he whispers, and I move back on the mattress.

When my back is pressed against the soft sheets, Leo caresses my lips with his, light like a breath of wind.

He doesn't move his eyes away from mine while he brings my hand to his mouth. He kisses my palm and wrist, his eyes shining in the dark.

When his teeth pierce my skin, I inhale abruptly.

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The pain disappears immediately, and I start to feel the dizziness typical of these situations.

When Leo lets go of my wrist and licks the wound to heal it, I sigh and try to move back.

«Where are you going?»

What now?

«I haven't finished.»

Ah no?

«What do you mean?»

«My thirst is not as easy to be satisfied as yours,» he whispers.

He lifts my t-shirt and pecks my belly. He moves up slowly, nibbling my skin playfully from time to time.

«Don't panic.»

«I'm not panicking,» I reply, but my heart is pounding without rest. Who knows if it's annoying to Leo's sensible ears.

I gasp when he bites me for the first time. It's not painful, and the teeth don't go deep. He just licks the blood away and continues to play with me.

His hand, in the meantime, reaches my underwear. He moves a finger under the elastic.

I wince when he touches me between my legs. I try to lock them but his knee between mine prevents me.

Leo moves his head up and looks at me. He observes my face curiously and smiles content.

«Why are you so shy?» he inquires.

«I'm just surprised,» I say and try to look away.

Unfortunately, Leo grabs my chin to prevent me from turning my head.

«Why?»

He's looking me directly in the eyes, but I don't think he's trying to influence me. Why wasting energy on hypnosis for something so unimportant? Still, it's better to answer before he considers interrogation as an option.

«I've never been touched like this,» I confess. «It's a first for me, so I don't know how to act.»

His grin grows even wider.

«For real?»

I nod and try again to flee, but he surrounds my head with his arms and stops me with his weight.

«Don't worry, I'll be gentle,» he continues, and I can't help but sigh.

I'm not worried; I'm not scared. I just feel embarrassed after revealing something so personal.

When I turn to him, his face is so close to mine. His eyes are unexpectedly warm. He caresses my cheek with the back of his fingers.

Even though I haven't stopped feeling weird, I'm not in a hurry as I've been before. Somehow, taking it slow doesn't look that bad.

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