His lips were soft against mine, the kiss tentative. For all of thirty seconds. Then it was as if a dam had broken, and he was everywhere. His mouth, his tongue, his hands were all over me, forcing me to back away because I just could not keep up. I managed to mutter, “Slow down,” but he didn’t hear, or maybe he chose not to. In any case, he didn’t stop, leaving me panting as his lips slid down my neck. Then his teeth were there. Fangs pierced my skin. Pain hit, and I screamed.
He jerked back and stared down at me with wild eyes. “Jade?”
I slapped a hand over my aching flesh then looked at it, another small scream escaping my parted lips when I saw blood smearing my palm. “Blood,” I whispered. “Blood,” I repeated, this time louder. “You bit me!” I accused him, my dirtied fingers pointing to him.
“I’m sorry. Baby, you’ve gotta believe me. I wasn’t thinking… I didn’t mean… Jade, please.”
“You bit me. After telling me you’d never hurt me, you bit me!”
“Please, Jade,” he repeated. “I wasn’t in control of myself. I apologize. You know I’d never hurt you.”
“You just did!”
“It was an accident!” He drew back a few steps and stared at me, his eyes unblinking. There was something strange in them. I leaned forward for a better look when a roar scattered my thoughts.
“What the fuck happened here?”
We both whirled toward Leo, speaking over one another in our rush to explain the situation. He wasn’t listening however. His gaze focused on my neck, and the ensuing growl made all the hairs on my body lift. “You bloodied her?” He turned to Samuel and grabbed him by the shoulder, slamming him against the kitchen cabinets. “She’s just come back, and you’ve already bitten her?”
“It was an accident,” I said, my eyes wide as I watched them stare at each other. Their faces looked odd, almost as if they were on the verge of shifting, their lion halves apparent in their hardened gazes. “Guys, please.”
“He was so fucking focused on having sex with you, he forgot all about control and hurt you, didn’t he?”
“It was an accident. I… Don’t hurt him, Leo. Please.” I put a tentative hand on his back and felt his breathing slow down. He finally let Sam go, but the other man didn’t move or spring away. Instead, he remained immobile, their lions still assessing each other.
“You can’t beat me, Samuel. You know it, and so does your lion.”
“Try me,” the younger man snapped back, his voice not more than a low growl.
“Don’t give me an excuse. Not now. Not when you bit our mate and I can still smell her blood. Her blood, Sam!”
At that, Samuel seemed to deflate. He rubbed his eyes, and when I tried to go to him, he simply shook his head. “I’m sorry, Jade,” he said before hurrying to the front door.
Leo didn’t wait for him to leave. He grabbed my hand and pulled me to the sink. “Come here.” Two seconds later, I was sitting on the counter. “Sit still,” he ordered as he turned the faucet on and wet a dishtowel. “It’s gonna be cold.”
I hissed when the thick cotton hit my skin. “Ouch!”
“Don’t be a baby,” he said almost absent-mindedly.
I realized he was staring at the mark his cousin had left on me, his face dark, his eyes hot with emotions I dared not discern. “How does it look?” I found myself asking.
He caught my gaze and forced his mouth into a semblance of a smile. “It’s not too bad. Like a very bad hickey.”