Sunday, February 13, 2011
Angel thought she heard the words as she roused out of sleep in her New York City penthouse. But it was the long groan of the big man lying next to her in bed that really woke her.
"Demon?" She raised herself on her elbow to peer down at the unexpected sight. "What are you doing here?"
"It's a holiday, isn't it?" Demon's dark gaze moved from her face to her breasts. "Happy Valentine's Day."
She laughed. "This is not your kind of holiday."
He groaned again. "No kidding. But Cupid ambushed me."
He reached a hand toward her breast, then dropped it like she was on fire. "No," he said, "I have to be on my best behavior."
"Your best behavior is not very good." She smiled. "With one exception."
"Damn. Don't look at me like that."
"Why not?" From long experience, she knew he loved the tilted head, look-up-through-the-eyelashes-glance.
"Like I told you, Cupid ambushed me. She dropped me here with instructions to treat you right."
"Treat me right?"
"She said there's more to pleasing an angel than giving her great sex."
"Hmmm. Cupid did not ask for my opinion on this theory." Angel pushed back the sheet. Yup. He was naked. Gloriously naked. His broad shoulders tapered down to hips that performed with all the strength and stamina an angel could want. And she could plainly see that Demon was ready to perform.
She reached out a hand.
He caught it just before she touched his pride and joy.
"Demon?" Her gaze flew to his face. Never, in all the years of their sporadic relationship, had he halted her.
He inched away from her. "I'm not kidding, Angel. Look." He turned on his side so she could see his arm. A golden arrow glowed just under the skin in the center of his bicep. She stroked the arrow, feeling nothing but hard muscle. "That's sexy, Demon. Kind of like a submerged tattoo."
"It hurts like a bitch," he muttered. "Damn Cupid and her tricks."
"What does it mean?"
"She wouldn't tell me, the red-haired witch. She said I could figure it out."
Angel tossed back her long hair, knowing her breasts were barely confined by the white lace of her nightgown. Mentally, she wrote off the expensive garment. Demon was not noted for his patience. "While you figure it out," she said, "let me make you feel better."
"Angel." He flung himself on his back. "You don't know the worst part."
She leaned over to inhale his hot scent of burning leaves. "Tell me, Demon." She licked the side of his neck, loving the raspy feel of his morning shadow.
He arched his neck in a way that told her he was aching for more. "Ahhhh, Angel, stop that."
"Why?" She smoothed one hand down his hair-covered chest. Just as she reached the bottom of his hard abdomen, he grabbed her hand. Stopping her again?
She lifted her head to look at him. "What is going on?"
His dark gaze dipped to her breasts again and he groaned. "Cupid said I can't have sex with you until I do the right thing by you."
"The right thing?" She blew him a kiss. "That would involve you and me in a lip and body lock."
"I don't think that's what she meant. She said we demons get away with too much when it comes to females."
"Of course you do." She bent over him again, her head level with his abdomen. "A demon is the ultimate bad boy. And I want to lick my own personal bad boy right now."
"Stop that." He grabbed her hair.
"Ummm. That feels good," she murmured.
"Come on, Angel." He pulled her hair. "Help me figure this out so we can have some fun."
"Fine." She straightened to a kneeling position. "What do you want me to do?"
"Cupid said Valentine's Day is something special." He frowned up at her. "What the hell did she mean? I remember the day when it was a pagan fertility rite and I got to chase naked women over hill and dale. I'm not so familiar with current practices."
Angel pressed her silk clad knee against his hip. "She must have been talking about romance."
"You mean flowers and jewelry and shit like that?" His frown deepened.
"Those are symbols of romance," Angel agreed. "But not the essence of it."
"Forget essence. I don't know what the hell that means. I'm going for the symbols." He sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed.
"Why don't you forget about Cupid?" Angel slid across the bed and pressed her breasts against his warm back.
"I can't do that." He looked back over his shoulder at her. "She said she'll leave this stupid arrow in for the next year."
"I guess you wouldn't like that." Angel pressed a kiss to the back of his nape and bit him lightly. She inhaled his hot demon scent.
Demon pulled away from her. "Stop that, Angel. No fair."
"It's not fair to me that I can't touch you when you're sitting here naked."
"You're right." He stood. "We'd better get up."
"Demon." She caught her breath at the sight of him standing there, tall and broad shouldered, his lean body all hard planes and long muscles.
"Don't look at me like that," he warned.
"Just one lick?" She leaned forward, her head even with his erection. She didn't give a hoot about romance when faced with the equipment he had.
He turned away. "I'm getting in the shower," he growled. "And I don't want company."
They exited her apartment building into a cold, blustery New York day. But as soon as Demon grabbed her hand, Angel warmed up and relaxed. The blaring horns, squealing tires, and people hurrying by were no more than background noise. She didn't see Demon all that often. When she did, her focus was on him.
"Where are we off to?"
"We're gonna find romance," he said, still with a growl in his voice. "And then we're coming back here to do what we should have been doing since I arrived."
She widened her eyes to tease him. "And what is that?"
"I used the word in my last sentence," he said, "and you damn well took note of it."
She laughed. "You know me too well, dear Demon."
His eyes heated as they looked down on her. "I know damn well what you like, Angel."
She slid her hand inside his open coat. "Can't we go do it right now, and then look for romance?"
"Nope." He raised a hand and a cab slid to an immediate stop.
She dropped her hand lower to cup his butt. "Please?"
"Get in." He held open the cab door.
He followed her in, filling the back of the cab. She waited until he was settled, his big legs sprawled widely. Then she moved closer, placing one hand on his thigh.
"Are you determined to torture me?" he demanded.
She inched her hand higher. "How'd you guess?"
He sucked in a sharp breath as she reached the crease at the top of his thigh. "Stop it."
"I haven't seen you since New Year's."
"Which is exactly why I can't take this torment." He grabbed her hand and folded his fingers around hers.
She could feel the tension in him. "Demon, I'm sure you've had women since New Year's."
"I'm not a monk," he snapped. "But you, Angel—" He stopped to smile down at her. "You are special."
Her lips curved with pleasure. She couldn't wait to get him alone. She raised her hand to reach for the back of his head. She had to pull those chiseled lips down onto hers. She wanted him rough and hungry. She wanted his tongue filling her mouth.
"We're here," Demon announced.
She glanced out the window. Tiffany's. The imposing structure on the corner of 57th and Fifth held a king's ransom of jewels inside its stone walls.
"I have enough jewelry, Demon."
"You're getting more."
He hauled her into the store. "The manager," he barked.
Everyone in the large showroom snapped to attention and, within seconds, the elevator door at the back of the store whispered open. A tall woman, exquisitely dressed in a coral de la Renta dress stepped out and surveyed the room with a gimlet eye. Until her eyes landed on Demon. She knew instantly he was the customer, and her entire body language shifted. Her hips developed a sway, her back arched a bit, and her face broke into a smile.
When she got close enough, she held out her hand. "M'sieur."
"Cherie." Demon raised her hand to his lips. "A pleasure," he murmured.
"Please." The manager touched his arm. "My office."
She led them to the elevators, which whooshed them up to a quiet sanctum. Angel followed like a forgotten child.
"I need something exquisite," Demon announced, "to celebrate this day for lovers."
"Certainly." The manager finally turned her regal head to survey Angel. "It is the rose gold you want. With that hair so…so.." She lifted her hands and let them fall, as if unable to find the words. "Insipid." She gave a small smile, as if pleased with her choice.
"Yes." Demon folded his hands on her desk, taking up a good deal of space. "Angel has the most beautiful hair. Richer than gold, no?"
"But of course." Her tone was bored as she clapped her hands and a young man dressed in a narrow black suit appeared instantly. "Bring me a selection of necklaces and bracelets. Particularly the filigree with the pink diamonds," she snapped.
When the black velvet tray was laid in front of them, Demon pointed to a platinum necklace dripping with diamonds and black pearls.
"I like this," he said.
"Very chic," the manager agreed, approval sugaring her voice. "But perhaps for someone with a more striking color scheme?"
Someone like herself, Angel noted sourly.
"You're right." Demon smiled, managing to convey approval just as if the manager hadn't just dissed Angel's color profile. "Someone such as yourself, for example."
A slight flush colored the manager's cheeks as she realized she'd been too heavy-handed. "But the pink gold filigree is perfect for your friend." She managed to make 'friend' sound like the unsexiest word in the English language
Demon nodded, clipping the necklace around Angel's neck. And, she had to admit, the necklace looked wonderful on her.
"I'll take it," Demon said, "and also the platinum."
And it wasn't until they were ready to leave that Demon handed the manager the narrow blue box holding the platinum necklace. "A token of our appreciation," he said smoothly.
"Sir." She actually looked surprised. "I couldn't accept it."
"Of course you can." He winked at her. "You may have saved my day."
Outside once more, they stood on the busy sidewalk, in the cold wind tunnel of a Manhattan street.
"What now?" Angel asked.
"That damn arrow is still burning me," Demon said. "Looks like the jewelry was not a good enough offering."
"I love the necklace, Demon. But is it a romantic gesture to give me a gift with one hand and give a gift to a stranger with the other?"
He scowled down at her. "You're not jealous are you?"
She laughed. "You know better."
"Damn it, Angel." He plowed both hands through his hair. "Help me here."
"Let's go back to my place and I'll make you forget all about that arrow." Angel stepped closer to him so she was one millimeter away from plastering her body to his. His heat burned her.
"I've got it." He snapped his fingers. "Flowers."
"Sir." The manager of Pierre's Flowers was busy, her hands flashing as she flipped through orders. But she couldn't help making a slow sweep of Demon's body. "I'm sure you realize this is Valentine's Day. Our stock has been sold out for weeks."
"Sharon." He wouldn't have missed her name badge. "You look like just the kind of woman I need." He picked up her hand, pressed a kiss to the back of it, then turned it over. Angel was sure he licked her palm.
"To perform a miracle for me," Demon continued smoothly, clasping her hand lightly in his. Angel knew exactly how the warm clasp of his fingers would send shivers of desire up the poor woman's arm and throughout her body. Sure enough, Sharon began to blush.
"I—I—" She couldn't speak.
"Nothing extraordinary," Demon said, his soothing tone like warm honey laced with rough, raw sugar. "I know you can find enough stray blooms to make a spectacular bouquet."
Demon held up a hand, halting her. "No need to worry about delivery. We'll take it right now." He leaned closer. "I can't tell you how much I appreciate your understanding." He smiled and the dazzled woman was left with nothing to do but stumble through the doorway behind her.
"Demon." Angel tried to look severe. "You know she'll take someone else's bouquet."
He waved his hand. "No worries. They always have extra flowers around."
"My happiness is at stake, Angel. Don't you care?"
"I only care about one thing when you're around, Demon." She pressed against him. "And it's not dead flowers."
"But flowers are living," he argued. "Maybe that will please Cupid. The jewelry is nothing more than metal and stones."
"You're being silly, Demon." Angel snuck her hand inside his open jacket and then slid between the buttons of his shirt right by his belly button. His warm skin burned her.
"So sexy, Angel," he murmured. He stroked the nape of her neck. "I'm going to bite you right here when we're finally alone." His long, callused fingers moved to the side of her neck. "And here…and here…until you arch your back and moan." He leaned down and spoke into her ear. "Don't you want to help me make that happen?"
So that when Sharon returned with a massive bouquet wrapped in silver paper, Angel couldn't do anything but silently urge the woman to move more quickly as she rang up the order.
But when they made it back to Angel's apartment, it was clear the flowers hadn't done the trick. They were beautiful, and it took her the better part of an hour to arrange them all in vases. But Demon was rubbing his arm when she finally finished.
"I made dinner reservations," he announced. "Maybe food is the answer, or a romantic atmosphere."
"Demon. Enough of this mad chase after the trappings of romance. Cupid is just messing with you."
"Yeah, that may be. But I don’t want to take the chance of having this fire stuck in my arm for the next year."
"I've got my flowers, and my jewels. I'm done."
"You don't have your orgasm."
"There is that," she admitted. "I suppose we have time for a quickie."
"First we're going out to dinner."
"Sorry, Demon, I have plans."
"Plans?" He frowned. "Who've you got plans with?"
"A whole group of males." She smiled wickedly.
"Getting kinky, huh?" He raised his brows. "Not too angelic of you."
"They're about six years old," she admitted.
"One of your charitable causes."
"Yes. A homeless shelter. I always go on Monday night to read to them so, even though it's Valentine's Day, I can't disappoint them."
He sighed. "Sometimes your better nature is very irritating, you know."
"Ditto on your lack of compassion."
"I suppose I'll have to go with you."
"That's not necessary. I'm used to going alone."
He grinned at her. "I'm not doing it for you."
"Not for the kids, either," she grumbled. "I know you, Demon."
"Aw, you're a good angel." He pulled her to his side and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "You know, in my own demonic way, I love you."
Electricity arced between them, crackly and bright and sizzling.
"Demon!" Angel grabbed his arm as a puff of warm air blew over them, and golden sparkles whooshed upward.
"Angel!" Demon grabbed her in a big hug, lifted her off the floor and swung her around. "That did it! I'm free."
A frown pulled between her brows. "Cupid wanted you to say you loved me?"
He laughed. "So simple."
She found her footing. "I like our holiday trysts, Demon. But I'm not doing happily ever after with you."
"Of course n—" He stopped, closing his lips together firmly, and glanced around, as if he expected Cupid to appear in front of them. "Let's just leave the words as they are, Angel." He pulled her closer. "We have more important things to do anyway." He reached for her breasts.
"I need to go to the shelter." She stepped back.
"But I can have sex now." He tweaked her nipples.
He pinched harder.
"Come on." He yanked her up against his body. "I've been hard all day."
"I know, but I have to do the right thing." She tilted her head back to look into his face.
He moved his hands to her butt and rubbed her entire body against his. "Why does that turn me on?"
"Because everything turns you on?"
"Everything about you."
But he let her go.
When they got to the shelter way up on the West Side, Demon surprised her. He strode across the cracked linoleum floor, his electric presence dressing the place up to at least the basic level of an elementary school classroom.
"Who's here for fun?" he called out. Every person in the room, male, female, young and old stared at him. Clearly, he was where the fun was.
He squatted down to near eye-level with a young boy. "You here to listen to Angel read?"
The boy stared, apparently dumbstruck.
"Nothing better," Demon declared. "Words are gold, you know."
"No, they're not," a young girl with torn jeans and a stubborn mouth argued. "You can't buy nuthin' with words."
"But you can," Demon said gently. "You can buy dreams and fantasies and hope." He gestured toward Angel. "Just listen."
Angel sat cross-legged on the floor as he hustled all the children into a large circle. She held up the cover of her first book as she told them the title and the author.
Demon folded himself down beside her. He pressed his knee against hers.
"Once upon a time…" Angel began.
"A demon had the hots for an angel," he whispered into her ear.
She shot him a glare.
"…a big, brave boy went for a walk in the woods…" Angel continued.
"He wanted to toss her down in her bed and have his wicked way with her," Demon murmured.
"…the dew on the green grass of a new day tickled his toes…"
Demon grinned as he lowered his voice. "He wanted to lick the dew."
"Demon." She snapped the book closed. "Would you please excuse us?"
"Who wants me to leave?" His cocky grin said he'd get the answer he wanted.
"No! No! Stay with us!" The answers rang out around the circle.
"Fine." He settled back. "We'll let Angel read one story. And then we have to go. You want us to be able to celebrate Valentine's Day together, don't you?"
"Yeah." A few affirmatives.
"Gross." A few grunts from some of the boys.
"When she's done reading, I have a treat for everyone," Demon announced. "So listen up and pay attention."
Having achieved their rapt attention, he had one more whisper for Angel. "Hurry up. I'm hungry."
She took her sweet time reading the story.
When she was done, Demon produced a large bag of candy hearts from somewhere and waved them at the kids. "Line up by size," he called out, "and I'll give you each a handful."
When he was done passing them out, he opened his hand one more time. Two tiny hearts rested there. A pale blue one had 'Red Hot Lover' printed in crooked red ink.
Demon pointed. "That's me."
The pink heart had 'Be Mine' in tiny gold script. "That's for you," he said.
"Time to go." Angel grabbed his hand and hustled him out.
"Where's your car, Demon." Angel gasped for breath.
"My driver has a new sweetheart. I had to give him the day off."
"What, you had to turn nice all of a sudden? I have some fond memories of that car."
"Yeah." Demon raised his arm. "Dumb move. He's having a better time than I am."
A cab jerked to a stop. They hurried into the back seat and Angel gave him the address.
Demon wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close. His hand moved to her leg and began sweeping up the inside of her thigh.
"Stop that," she whispered, her giggle reducing the assertiveness of her demand.
He kept moving til he reached the band of her panties, and inserted one finger under the elastic.
A loud ripping sound tore apart the interior of the cab.
Angel saw the cabbie's eyes jerk to the rear view mirror. "No hijinks back there," he called out. "I got the good book here." He lifted a black leather book.
"Jesus," Demon groused.
"Yeah." Angel giggled again. "Literally."
With a small chuckle, Demon pulled her ruined panties from her legs and stuffed them in the pocket of his jacket. "You're gonna have to be quiet."
"Me?" She squealed in clamped down outrage. "Stop manhandling me."
"It's demon handling, if you don't mind. And I'll make sure you enjoy it." His hand was back between her legs again, and he pushed her thighs wider apart.
She tried to clamp them together.
"That's so cute," Demon growled. He hooked her right foot with his left, grabbed her left leg with his left hand, and pulled.
Cool air rushed between her thighs. Demon's hot hand followed.
"Stop," she hissed.
"Can't." He probed with his fingers. "There's the dew I wanted." His teeth grazed her neck, then sharpened as his fingers explored her softness.
"Demon." His name moaned out of her.
"Shhhh…" He eased a bit out of her. "Don't want to see the good book again."
Her giggle wrapped around another moan as he dragged a finger over her clit. She tried once more to force her legs together, but the vice holding them apart didn't move.
A frenzy of pleasure began to spiral with her.
"We're here," the cabbie snapped. "And not a moment too soon," he muttered, clicking the meter off.
Demon flung some bills at him, dragged Angel out of the car, and hurried them into the building. They never saw the doorman. Angel had a glimpse of mirrors and gleaming lights, but her attention was focused on the effort to hold her body together.
They stumbled into her apartment, but made it no farther than the white silk sofa in the living room. Demon pushed her down, and followed with his big body.
"Hurry, Angel." His hands were moving in a blur at his waist. She heard the zipper, and a grunt as Demon released himself.
She could do nothing more than spread her legs.
Demon froze, staring at her. "Damn," he said. He dropped to his knees, bent over her and pressed his mouth to the juncture of her thighs. His clever tongue began licking as he shoved two fingers inside her, curved them up to stroke her. With a cry, she arched against him and he slapped a hand on her hips, holding her down.
He lifted his mouth, said, "Come now, Angel," and bent to her again, all hard fingers and hot mouth. She spiraled into ecstasy.
The second she finished, she heard his dark voice and opened her eyes to see his glittering as he yanked up her shirt and tore open her bra.
"Brace yourself, Angel. I'm not gonna last." He surged into her, hard, and she bucked against him as another orgasm sparked within her.
"Damn, Angel, that feels good," he said, pumping slowly. He placed his hands on either side of her face to hold her, bent his head to kiss her, and abruptly switched into high gear.
Boom. Boom. Boom. He pounded her mercilessly, holding her with his hands and his legs, forcing her into another hard orgasm before he let go.
He slumped onto her and she snuggled her face into his neck, inhaling his hot demon scent as she tried to catch her breath.
"Can we make it to the bedroom?" Demon's deep voice vibrated against her cheek.
"I can't." She sighed, never wanting to move.
"Only one solution for that." He surged to his feet, hiked up his pants and snapped them, then leaned over to lift her. He carried her into her bedroom.
He laid her back on her wide, soft bed and slowly licked her into a third orgasm, not letting her take it 'til she was pulling on his hair and begging.
She licked him back to hardness. Then she tormented him. She loved to hear him beg in his deep, growly voice. She loved to lock gazes with him while he watched her mouth on him.
She knew exactly when he reached the point of no return, when he was so hard she thought he might break, when his thighs were tight with need and his balls rode up to touch her face.
She stopped. Pulled herself right off him while listening to him plead.
"Angel, baby, you're killing me." He grabbed her shoulders to urge her back onto his cock. It was a game they both loved.
Until he reached the point where he couldn't take any more. Then, when she slid her mouth back over him, he clamped his hands on the back of her head and held her there until he exploded in her mouth.
They lay entwined together on the bed for hours.
Until both of them suddenly knew it was midnight.
Demon raised himself so he could look at her in the brightness of the moonlight streaming through her uncurtained window. "Time to go," he murmured. He curved his hand down the side of her face. "But remember. I meant every word I said."