There was something unnatural about Nicolo’s ability to keep me both half-hard and pissed off beyond all reason, even for a vampire. In any event, I hadn’t had fresh, clean blood in weeks, and the smell of Nicolo’s recent meal had awakened yet another primal urge. My body had made up my mind for me. It had probably been Nicolo’s plan all along.
Hesitantly, I moved closer to Nicolo, sliding my arm around his waist. Up close he was just as gorgeous as ever, especially with that almost-human flush over his face and neck. Evidently he really had fed not too long ago. I pressed my face against his throat, inhaling deeply. The scent was intoxicating, even purer and richer than it had been from a distance. “Who was it?”
“Someone I used to know.” I could hear the smirk in his voice. “Good, isn’t it?”
A twinge of jealousy made its way into the confused ball of emotions resting in the pit of my stomach. Even after this long, it stung to be reminded that he had likely replaced me with a string of other lovers, as had been his nature before he met me. “Someone you used to fuck, more like,” I muttered, still nosing at his neck, searching for the perfect place to bite.
Nicolo chuckled, the sound vibrating through his throat. “Maybe. Were you just planning to get high off my neck and bicker with me?”
I was stalling, and Nicolo knew it. Once I tasted fresh blood, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep control. The difference between bagged and fresh blood is like the difference between a store-brand cigarette and a Djarum Black–the first just sates the urge for nicotine, the second is an experience unique to itself. I closed my eyes, steeled myself, and bit down.
God, but it was good. Nicolo’s friend was a fine vintage. It was still barely warm, probably not more than an hour or two old, and the taste was leagues above some two-dollar Bloody Mary from the Mad Dog. Already I felt almost dizzy, intoxicated with the rush of drinking something warm and living. My arm tightened on Nicolo’s waist, mostly to prevent myself from falling flat on my ass. I hadn’t taken more than a few swallows, but I was gone.
Nicolo held me steady, letting me lick the wound closed before tucking my head over his shoulder. Some distant part of me was annoyed at having him hold me like this, but I was far too ecstatic to give that part any mind. I felt Nicolo’s fingers curl into my hair, his body leaning heavily against the wall, and realized that he was dizzy from the experience as well. Drinking fresh blood is the pinnacle of vampire existence, but being bitten is almost as good.
“I didn’t mean to hurt you, Nadi.” Nicolo’s voice sounded at once very far away and incredibly clear. “I was afraid. Afraid of committing to someone for once. Afraid of Anton coming after me.”
“I know,” I murmured without thinking. Perhaps I’d always known, but it had been easier to hate him.