“Hi.” She said softly while lowering herself to sit beside him.
“Thought you were gonna take a nap.” He said allowing his gaze to once more to take in the crystal blue water.
“Am I bothering you?” The question was asked to gauge his mood.
“No, I was just sitting here enjoying the sunshine but…” He nodded towards the bank of dark clouds moving in quickly. “Soon it will rain. It does that a lot here.”
“Who actually owns this island?”
“I do.” He answered staring straight ahead.
“It was nice of you to let Anna and Gerard stay here. It’s a beautiful place.”
“Nice?” He laughed. “Little One, I’m not nice. Don’t know where you got that idea. Anna and Gerard are bonded to me. They belong to me. I like having them where I can enjoy their company when ever I want.”
Casey stared at him then boldly said, “So do you ever get tried of playing the arrogant Pure?”
This caused him to whip his head around to glare at her. “Play the part? I’m not playing any part. This is what I am. Sorry if you thought differently. You don’t know me. I’m…” He searched his mind for the right word. “I’m a scoundrel.”
Must to his annoyance Casey threw her head back and laughed. As angry as he was he loved the sound. “Scoundrel? Oh good Lord Marcus. A scoundrel? Really? That words sounds like it’s right off a bodice ripper novel.” She continued to grin. “Oh I know. I can just see you in a white satin shirt, opened to reveal your chest. The wind blowing back your hair. In bold letters the title would be ‘Pure Scoundrel’.
He glared at her. “I’m not finding this funny.”
“I am.” Casey said staring into his eyes. “Don’t think for a minute I don’t know what you’re doing. Anna’s concerns are weighing on your mind. She’s sure you will break my heart so you are trying to make me rethink my decision to be with you.” She sat up straighter. “But it won’t work. You are not a scoundrel.”
He sighed because what she said was true. “Look Casey, Anna and Gerard both want what’s best for you. I understand that.”
“But what they are overlooking is the fact that I’m a grown woman who can make her own choices. I know what’s right for me. I understand you are a Pure.”
He interrupted her, “But do you truly understand what that means? Do you know how we act, how we live?”
She shrugged. “I believe I do.”
A suddenly rumble of thunder accompanied by the first few raindrops halted that discussion.
“Come on.” Marcus said standing up. He held out his hand to help her up.
Neither spoke as they walked back to the house. Casey tried to hide her disappointment when he’d quickly dropped her hand.
As the entered the front door Marcus looked around. He needed a private place to talk to her where none of the blood bounds would overhear the conversation.
“Let’s go up to my room.” He said moving towards the steps. “I’ve got a balcony that overlooks the ocean. We can sit there and talk.”
Casey nodded. “And enjoy the sound and smell of the rain.”
Marcus was pleased they did not run into Gerard or Anna as he led Casey into his room. He closed the door behind them then moved to the large French doors. Throwing them open he stood back to allow her to walk out first.
"This is lovely.” Casey said. The rain had begun to come down harder and the gently sound was soothing. She chose a wicker chair by the railing.
Marcus sat down beside her in a matching chair.
“So.” Casey said looking over at him.
He sighed, “So back to our discussion.”
Casey grinned, “The scoundrel discussion.”
Marcus was finding it more and more difficult to look at her. She was so beautiful, so desirable. His fingers longed to reach out and release her long, curly auburn hair she’d caught up into a ponytail. “Yes, that discussion.” He said glancing away. “I don’t think you really have any idea about my true nature.”
“Mom told me about you.”
“I’m sure she told you some things but not everything.” He had to make her understand. “You were only fourteen. I’m positive she wouldn’t have told you every detail about when she and I bonded.”
Casey frowned, “Okay, so you tell me.”
He thought a moment. “Back in your apartment you saw first hand how I change at just the thought of bonding. You have no idea. When we bond there is an incredible amount of lust involved.”
“Lust.” Casey whispered softly.
“Yeah, lust. Healers aren’t like mortals. We don’t deal with complicated emotions like modesty. Shit, we look at sex as just a normal pleasurable act. Since we don’t feel human love we don’t equate the two.”
“Sex and love.” Casey said trying to understand.
He nodded. “Right. We enjoy sex. There is no shame in enjoying the act to us.” He sighed. “You need to understand this. When I bonded with your mother the lust was overwhelming for me.”
Casey interrupted him. “Mom didn’t have sex with you.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Are you sure of that?”
She nodded, “Yeah I’m sure. Mom loved dad. She’d never have cheated on him.”
“Casey you have no idea what people will do. Especially when the act of bonding is involved.”
This time it was her eyes that narrowed. She was sure he was once again trying to discourage her belief they should bond. “Marcus, I’m asking you straight out. Did you have sex with my mother?”
As much as he wanted to lie he couldn’t. “No.”
She smiled again. “But you wanted to, right?”
He drummed his fingers on the railing. “Yes, of course.”
Casey nodded, “But you didn’t because you knew she loved her husband. That, Marcus, is not the act of a scoundrel.”
“Damn it, you’re doing it again.” He ground out. “Trying to make me into some nice guy.”
“Because you are.” Casey said softly.
He forced himself to look at her. “You don’t know that for a fact.”
She looked deeply into his eyes. “Yeah, I do. I can feel it.”
He had to glance away in order not to become lost in her eyes. “Okay, I’m just gonna be blunt. The world of a Healer is nothing like you’ve ever encountered. When I said we have no shame I meant it. How would you feel being at a Healer party where Healers share their blood bonds? We don’t just share their blood, we share their bodies.” Needing to see her true reaction he went on watching her closely. “We have sex openly. There is no shame in the act for us. Is that really a world you want to be a part of?”
Casey leaned foreword putting her arms on the railing so she could place her head on her hands. For several moments the only sound was the rain gently beating on the roof. Finally she spoke. “Would you share me with others?"
“I could if I wanted.”
She rolled her head on her arms so she could look into his face. “That’s not what I asked. I know you could. I asked if you would.”
Once again he couldn’t lie. “No, you are Ingredior Utriusque. I would never share you with a Healer.”
Casey lifted her head. “What about another Pure?”
He sighed, “What answer are you looking for?”
“I’m looking for the truth. Marcus would you share me with anyone?”
He stared at her a moment then looked away. “No.”
Still he could not let it go. The choice she would make would change her life and he had to make sure she understood. “However the fact remains that if you became bound to me you I would expect you to be at my side whenever I wanted you there. You would be expected to act like a blood bound. That means if we are at a party and I chose to feed and have sex you will stand by and watch.”
“Because as a blood bound I am expected to serve you. Master and slave.”
He frowned. “I didn’t say that.”
“Of course you did.” She shot back. “That’s what you are describing. You are doing your best to make me see the ugly side of this.”
“It isn’t the ugly side to me.” He answered angrily.
“Well yeah, because you are the guy in charge. You are the Pure.”
“True.” For a moment he was afraid he’d done his job, he’d discouraged her.
“But you’re not talking about the other side to this. The closeness.” She said softly. “The beauty.”
He sat back and closed his eyes.
Casey turned to look back out at the ocean now shrouded in mist.
“I just want you to understand everything.” He said without opening his eyes. “Maybe you should talk to Anna and Gerard.”
“So they can tell me about being Healers?”
“So they can tell you what it’s really like. I’ve enjoyed both of them. They are mine. They know what it is like to be taken at a party in front of a room full of Healers and blood bounds.”
“You’ve done that?”
He opened his eyes then nodded.
“Because to the Healer world that is normal.”
Again he nodded.
What she said next shocked him to the core. “I promise you I would be a good blood bound. I know in my heart it is what is right. But only for a time. I also know in my heart I am meant to be a Healer.”
“You can’t know that.” He said shaking his head.
She smiled, “Yeah, I can and I do. I already told you.”
“Casey I don’t know what your mom and His Excellence discussed but we have very rigid rules about turning a mortal.”
“I know that. But unlike you I do know what they discussed. I know that if I chose to become a Healer it will be allowed.” She reached out to touch his arm. “I also know that you are the one meant to turn me.”
Marcus’s eyes flashed.
Casey gently caressed his arm. “But first I want to become blood bound to you. It will give me time to learn everything there is to know about the Healer world.”
His topaz eyes bored into hers. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” She answered without hesitation. “And today is the day.”
He titled his head. “Why?”
Casey grinned mischievously. “What is today?”
Marcus was confused. “Tuesday.”
She rolled her eyes. “Not the day, the date.”
He thought a moment. “The fourteenth of June.”
She saw the moment he realized what she was saying. “That’s right. The fourteenth. Mom was right it is an important number.”
Marcus sighed, “I have no idea if that’s true or not. The only thing I am concerned about is you being absolutely sure this is what you want.”
She nodded. “I am sure.” He leaned forward slightly but once again her words shocked him. “But I do have to tell you something first.” She glanced down.
“What?” He couldn’t read the look on her face.
“It’s kinda embarrassing.” She whispered.
He gently reached out using the tip of his finger to uplift her chin. “Little One, don’t be embarrassed by anything.”
Casey sighed, “I’m a virgin.”
Marcus dropped his hand and sat back.
“Shit.” Casey muttered. “I was afraid you’d react like that. I’m sorry.”
“Sorry.” He shook his head. “That’s the wrong thing to say. You have nothing to be sorry for. I’m just finding it hard to believe a beautiful woman like you has never had a man in her life.”
“I’m not beautiful.” Casey whispered.
He laughed, “Oh Little One you are beautiful. Very beautiful.” He stood. “If you are sure you are ready to bond I’ll go get one of the blood bounds.”
Casey was obviously confused. “What? Why?”
He wanted her to understand the truth. “Because bonding with you will be very intense. The lust I will feel will be overwhelming. I don’t want your first time to be….” His voice trailed off.
“Oh.” Casey said suddenly understanding. “You think that you would be too rough?”
He grinned. “Okay that’s one way of putting it. When I bond I become completely Pure. There are no thoughts in my head, just animalistic feelings.”
“How did you handle that with mom?”
At times it was still painful for him to remember Christa. His feeling for her had been so deep. “Another Pure was there.”
Casey’s remembered what her mother had told her. “Oh, Katherine, right?”
“Yes, Katherine was there. We coupled.”
Slowly Casey stood. “So you want to go get another blood bound woman to have sex with after we bond?”
The woman was driving him insane. “Yes. So I do not hurt you.”
Casey stood taller. “Nope. That’s not what I want.”
Marcus sighed, “You are so frustrating. I’m trying to protect you. Can’t you get that through your head?” Again his eyes flashed. Just the knowledge that they were to bond was causing desire to take over. “Later if you want we can couple when the blood lust has abated. I will be gentle.”
“You know you are pretty frustrating too.” She said folding her arms in front of her. “I’ve been telling you I believe I am meant to be part of the Healer world and you’re still trying to protect me from it.” She tapped her foot in anger and nervousness. “I want to feel every part of the bonding. I want to feel the desire.” Her voice became a husky whisper. “I want to be blood bond to you Marcus. I want to be your woman.”
Marcus groaned. “Oh hell.” The lust was building. “Come.” He ground out moving towards the French doors. He went in first then turned to Casey who had just crossed the threshold. “Stop.”
Marcus sat down on the bed facing her. “Remove your clothes.”
She understood he was testing her to see if she would obey him. Slowly she reached up to unbutton her blouse. When she pulled it off and let it slip to the floor she reached down and removed her jeans. Now she stood facing him in only her bra and panties. She smiled seeing his eyes were topaz, his fangs showing. “Victoria Secrets.”.
“Loose them.” He said roughly.
Casey unhooked the bra and let it fall to the floor. Then she slid the panties down her legs.
“Let your hair down.”
She reached up and slid the coated rubber band from her hear. She shook her head as the strands fell to her shoulders.
“Come to me.” He commanded.
She crossed the room slowly. When she stood in front of him he got off the bed. Without being told she helped him remove his clothing.
Marcus’s hands reached out to cup her breasts. “Perfect.” He whispered.
Casey’s breathing quickened.
He dropped his hands. Backing up he sat down on the bed again. “Casey, I will try to control the lust.” He said raggedly. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“You won’t.” She smiled.
He groaned feeling desire coursing through his body. “We will bond at the same time.”
He took her hand to pull her down beside him. Using his thumb nail he cut a deep line into his skin on the side of his neck. When the blood beaded to the surface he heard her sharp intake of breath. Almost in slow motion she moved towards the wound. When she gently pressed her lips to his skin he moaned loudly.
Casey’s whole body was suddenly on fire as she sucked the blood. Unknown feelings, so intense she couldn’t think filled her. The blood called to her.
Marcus stroked her hair as she drank. He waited a few moments longer than leaned down. It was killing him to hold back. His tongue darted out to lick the delicate skin of her arm just above the wrist. As much as he’d loved to sink his fangs into her neck he wanted to feel her feeding from him as he feasted on her blood. The moment he broke the skin and her blood touched his tongue he went wild. He put his arm around her then fell back on the bed making sure the bonding continued as she fell beside him.
Casey had believed she’d know what was going to happen but nothing could have prepared her for this. Her mind was filled with thoughts and words that were not her own. Her body ached with desire. Without thought she slid her hand up Marcus’s leg slowly. She heard him moan. She continued to inch her fingers higher until they collided with his throbbing manhood. Lovingly she took it in her hand.
Marcus’s fingers trailed down her flat stomach until they reached the soft curls. As badly as he wanted to simply thrust into her the small voice in his head kept reminding him she had to be ready, he didn’t want to hurt her. His fingers began to rub her throbbing nub causing her whole body to shake.
Casey moaned needing more. Without lifting her head she spoke with her lips still against his neck. “Marcus, please.”
Never before had he denied a woman begging for him yet he resisted. He didn’t believe she was ready.
“Don’t worry about hurting me.” Casey whispered.
Marcus knew in that moment she was inside his head, hearing his thoughts. She was feeling his emotions. He tore his lips away knowing he had to stop.
Casey cried out as he pulled his body up.
“Little One you will weaken me if you take any more.” His voice was raw with emotion.
Casey looked into his beautiful topaz eyes.
Marcus rolled over her body positioning himself at her hot, wet entrance. “The pain will pass quickly.”
With one quick thrust he entered her. Her cry of pain was caught by his lips. A moment later the pain suddenly turned into pleasure. Still Marcus was trying to be gentle. Casey wrapped her legs around him pushing him inside her more deeply. He was losing control.
He lifted his head and looked into her eyes. “You are mine.”
“Yes.” She cried out as the first wave of passion washed over her. Without thought she turned her had baring her neck to him. “Please.”
Her plea pushed him over the edge. He thrust once more deeply as his fangs sank into her neck. Her blood, so sweet, filled his soul.
Casey clung to him until only moments later he forced himself to pull his mouth away from her neck.
“Marcus.” A man’s deep voice startled them. “Sorry to interrupt while you are enjoying your blood bound but I must speak to you.”
Casey’s whole body tensed in shock. Marcus held her tight as his words played in her head.
'Do not show surprise'
She forced herself to relax.
Marcus rolled off her. “Jonathan to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”
Casey resisted the urge to cover her naked body. She forced herself to remain still.
“I’ve come to tell Annabelle and Gerard that His Excellence will arrive tomorrow.”
“His Excellence is coming here?” Marcus sat up ignoring Casey as if she wasn’t there. “That is a surprise.”
The dark haired man smiled. “He sent me ahead knowing you were here. He wishes to speak to you also.”
“It will be good to see him.” Marcus said standing. He crossed the room to grab a robe off the chair. “Have you spoken to Gerard and Annabelle yet?”
Jonathan shook his head. “I found you first.” His eyes were on Casey as he spoke. “Lovely.”
Marcus’s voice was flat. “Yes.”
“Perhaps I could use her later?”
Casey held her breath.
“No.” Marcus said after a moment. “I enjoy this one.”
Jonathan shrugged, “I’ll find another.” He moved towards the door he’d left open. “Now to find Annabelle.”
Marcus nodded. “They may be in the art studio.”
Once Jonathan’s footsteps could be heard moving down the hallway Marcus walked over and closed the door. When he turned he was surprised to see a beautiful smile on Casey’s face.
“So I did well?”
He crossed over to the bed quickly. Pulling her up he settled her body in his lap. “You did wonderful. I’m….”
She placed her finger over his lips to silence him. “I know you are sorry he interrupted us. I heard the name you called him in your head.”
Marcus laughed then hugged her tightly. “Sorry about that.”
“It’s okay, I agree.” Casey said lightly kissing his cheek. “But you are worried about His Excellence's visit.” She said becoming serious.
Marcus sighed, “Yeah, because it’s so rare for His Excellence to make an appearance.”
Casey leaned her head on his chest. “The last time was when my mom met him.” She added softly. “You are remembering mom.”
“Yeah.” Marcus said knowing there was no point in denying it. Casey could hear his thoughts. Again he hugged her tightly. Now it was not only Gerard and Anna he had to protect it was also this woman in his arms.