20 The one in control (Leo)

I'd rather die than bear this a minute longer.

All my body is in flames, and every kiss is like a drop of water on a burning scar. It relieves the pain for an instant, but it soon stops being effective.

Julia had unfastened the buttons of my shirt and is now trying to take the clothing off. After her second clumsy attempt, I help her and move back on the mattress.

She follows me and sits back on my lap, circling my neck with her tiny arms. She said she would do what I tell her, but was she serious?

The idea of teasing her crosses my mind, and I reach her ear with my mouth.

«Undress,» I whisper.

To my utter surprise, she takes the shirt off and looks at me with those shy, hazel eyes of hers. She's just wearing her underpants, and I can't help but wonder whether she'd take those off as well if I asked.

She presses her lips against mine, and I feel her hot body on my naked chest.

I caress her back and then her thighs. She doesn't look bothered by my actions, so I risk and move a hand on her belly.

That burning pain starts to mitigate, so I sigh, relieved. I continue to explore this girl's body; now that's she letting me do it.

When I'm back in control of my actions, Julia is still miles away. She's kissing me desperately, clinging to my neck.

I split from her and observe her expression.

«Hey, stop,» I whisper, and she moves back with a quick movement.

She's clenching her fists and looking at me with desire. I didn't know a human could be this sensitive. Yet, she parted the moment she thought I was complaining.

I surround her waist with an arm, and I push her down on the mattress. I start kissing her neck, and she moves her head to the side, panting lightly.

I move my mouth lower, reaching her breasts. I kiss her skin and feel her heart bumping against my lips. She's so silent, yet I'm sure she's suffering right now.

I press her nipple between two fingers, and her moan reaches my ears. I can now spend all the attention I want on this part of her while she clenches the sheets and bites her lips to silence her voice.

When I nibble her left breast, soft like a cloud, she moans and arches her back. I move my mouth away from her skin when the fangs extend. I don't want to hurt her right now, but my teeth tickle, and the sound of her blood rushing in the veins is driving me crazy.

«Julia,» I call her, and the girl opens her eyes. She looks at me, calm, and smiles reassuringly.

«It's all right,» she whispers, exposing the side of her neck.

«This is not what you're supposed to do,» I utter and move to the side.

I wrap her body in a sheet and sit down, trying to collect my thoughts.

Julia observes my actions with more curiosity than worry. Her arms clench the sheet so that it doesn't slip down, and her teeth bite the lip I kissed a few minutes ago.

«Let's set some rules,» I try, seeing her carefree expression.

«It sounds like the beginning of...» she starts, but I snort noisily.

«I don't care how it sounds.»

«Okay,» she shrugs.

She lies down, leaning her head on my pillow.

«I'm listening,» she points out when I don't utter a word.

«How are you feeling now?»

«I'm fine.»

«How much fine, exactly?»

«I could be better, but I wouldn't complain. Especially after how I felt before... It was worse than usual.»

«There is no usual, Julia. We met three days ago.»

«Five,» she specifies. «You kept me in a dark cell for two days, remember?»

«Are you reproaching me for that?»

«No, I'm just reminding you that we met earlier than you think. Well, how many days should pass before I can consider something as usual?»

«I don't know, Julia.»

«We humans live shorter, so our usual is a bit shorter than yours.»

«Okay,» I sigh.

What is happening to her? Is she being mean because I stopped kissing her?

«I can survive like this,» she mumbles, looking at me with a complicated expression. «It really is better than before, thank you.»

«You're welcome,» I reply, still confused about the change in her mood. «Are you perhaps feeling embarrassed?»

She looks at me, questioning me with her eyes.

«No, are you?»

«No.»

«Your rules,» she reminds me.

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Ah, right. That was my initial purpose.

«First: don't let me drink your blood twice in two days. Period.»

She nods, even though I'm sure she wants to say something. Still, there is no place for arguments here.

«No matter how much I drink, only once in two days. Do we have a deal?»

«Okay,» she breathes, visibly displeased.

«Second: if you're uncomfortable with anything I do, you have to say it without delay. I'm not sure I'll listen to reason after a certain point.»

«I don't feel uncomfortable,» she says, and I can't help but chuckle.

«Then can we continue what we were doing?» I tease her, crossing my arms and gazing at her.

«Sure,» she shrugs and starts to get free from the sheets.

«Wait, I'll finish with the rules.»

«You have other rules?» she utters, confused. «You really like them.»

«If you suspect that I'm losing control, you have to run away. Okay?»

«I can't think when the bound is activated, Leo. How am I supposed to suspect anything?»

«Just pay attention to my eyes' colour. It becomes darker when thirst or lust take over.»

«What will you do if I don't follow your rules?» she mutters, gazing at me suspiciously. «Will you punish me?»

«No.»

Is she assuming that I'm stating rules because I want her to break them? That would be sick, right?

I don't need any stratagem for that. If I wanted to take advantage of her, I would just do it.

«Then what happens if I break them?» she continues.

«You'll probably get hurt, Julia. I'm a beast, I drink blood for my survival, and I can't help but fall prey to my desires. It's my nature, and I can't change that.»

«So what? You don't want to hurt me.»

«Weren't you set on surviving no matter what?»

«I still am.»

«Then just be a little more careful, will you? Do it for me...»

Her eyes are still full of doubts, but at least she seems to have understood.

«Okay,» she whispers, «I'll do it for you.»

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