fangs,” she told him. He smiled. “Yes. “I do.” He was beyond thinking. On the edge of control. Someone should have warned him of the power of the mating. The physical need. The amazing desire. This was his mate! Decreed by the fates! And joining with her was becoming as necessary as blood. Desire was fueling it. Emotion was the catalyst. Sebastian had his hands about her shoulders before he knew his intent and could rescind the motion. He lifted her. Brought her to his chest and then just held her for long moments, their bodies vibrating to an exchange of energy that sparked into being, and kept growing. Larger. Hotter. More dominant. His entire being experienced a series of lightning-charges far worse than heat. They were infused with passion. And angered, primal need. “You can’t... have fangs. It’s... beyond possible.” She panted through the words, but it was her tongue sliding along his jaw. Her lips seeking his. Her mouth reaching and then... Her lips touched his. And the world shifted. Her kiss was a weapon. A curse. A torment. And a supreme joy. A canine sliced through flesh, mingling their life blood. The taste sent Sebastian spiraling. Rising. Creating a vortex of wonder. A moan erupted. It throbbed through the room. It didn’t come from a single throat, but both. Sebastian’s head bumped the ceiling. He had to consciously drop back to the floor, when everything about him was soaring. Experiencing bliss without end. Wonder without bounds. He was lapping and sucking and groaning, and laughing. Akron hadn’t been succinct enough. Finding one’s mate was an experience beyond description. Without equal. Rapture beyond comprehension. Bliss that transcended boundaries. Erased memories. Even shattered ancient vows. Sebastian tensed for half an instant on the thought, honed by years of fealty and rote. This wasn’t possible. He’d loved Isabelle. He did. He had. He had ? “I didn’t know... a kiss... felt like this.” The words were spaced with snippets of her sweet breath as she writhed against him. Her contortions sent all sorts of sensory messages through him. They reached his lungs. His heart. “Nor I,” he replied. No . Wait. That couldn’t be true. Could it? He wrenched his lips free. Slid them down her chin. To her throat. Aimed for the throbbing vein just beneath the surface of her skin. And a moment later, he was there, poised atop it, feeling the thrum of her blood as it tapped the vein against his canines. And then he stabbed into it. Liquid ecstasy shattered through him, stalling his heart, weakening his limbs, staining his soul. He set her on the nearest counter before she slipped from his grasp. She responded by wrapping both legs about him, and then she clenched them, scooting closer. Nearer. And then she was rocking against his erection in a series of lunges that sent his passions to an even hotter pitch. Scorching hot. Incendiary. Sebastian grabbed for the chrome-edged, marble countertop, warping it as he fought the absolute need to continue. To take her fluid. Drain her. Change her. No. He couldn’t do it like this. It was too soon. He couldn’t take her mortality. Not like this. He had to stop. Pull back. Fight everything his body was demanding. And somehow he found the strength to do it. He yanked from her in a vicious gesture, spraying a mist of dark red droplets onto the scene. Dark red assailed his senses. Blood red. Everything ratcheted higher, shoving him into a realm that contained massive want, desire, and very little control. He tightened every muscle at his command, working to temper it. Harder. More. He shook until the room sounded like it rattled along with him. “Sebastian?” He glanced down. Jill’s lips were swollen. Covered with dark red. Moist. Kissable. Her eyes were narrowed, giving him just a glimpse of their ale-shaded beauty. She didn’t remotely resemble Isabelle. Isabelle had blue eyes. Or had they been greenish-blue? No.