“Maybe nothing. Dani, hon, you don’t get it.” His shoulders sank as Malachi turned away from her. “I don’t know a whole hell of a lot about this whole blood thing.”
“You know lots of things. Now, what about being a vampire? Are there any loopholes?” There had to be something. Anything to help him. “Come on. This is something you had better know a lot about.”
“Don’t you think I’ve tried to come up with something?” He threw his hands in the air and turned to face her. “I don’t do well under stress.”
“Liar.” She smoothed her hands over his shoulders. Man, he was tense. She massaged the tight muscles and breathed him in. Dani loved the smell of Mal—spicy man and the hint of a tangy cologne. “Calm down and think.”
“I’ve heard of sharing blood with a partner – the whole neck biting thing,” he said drolly, but didn’t move away from her massage. “There’s a sexual high, but it’s only between mates. Once the mate is found, he or she is the only one who experiences the high. To everyone else, it would be worthless.”
That she could use. Dani stopped rubbing his shoulders and tapped the tip of his nose. “Okay, so we find you a mate.”
“It’s not that simple.” He rolled his eyes and shrugged from her grasp. “Love and sex aren’t in the cards for me. I’m a monster in blue jeans. You’ve said so plenty of times.”
“Just when I got mad at you and it wasn’t cool to say that.” She gritted her teeth. Screaming at him hadn’t been her best move, but the jealousy had been way too much to handle. She swallowed the rush of fear and pressed forward with what she needed to say. “I know who your mate might be.”
His eyes widened. “Do I really want to know?”
No time like the present. “You might.” She took a breath to fortify her nerves and let it out slowly. “Look, he can’t trespass on my property and if you’re engaged in other activities...”
“Are you—” Mal backed up and plopped onto the couch. He stared at her with his jaw agape.
“Saying we should have sex? Yes, yes I am.” Her heart thundered in her chest and arousal pounded through her veins. Admitting the truth was both empowering and scary as fuck.
Was he upset or turned off? She couldn’t tell. She held her head high. “Come on. I want to jump your bones. I have since I met you and you knew, so don’t act shocked. Remember when I just about tore Ashleigh Hartwell a new asshole for cutting in on our dance.”
Mal chuckled and a smile started at the corner of his mouth. “But other than the first night, you’ve never made a pass. How was I supposed to know? I hate looking stupid—all the time.”
“Are you turning me down?”
“Hell no.” He stood and stroked his palms down her arms. “Not at all.”
“Perfect.” She allowed herself to breathe. “Now drop your pants.”
His mirth-filled expression fell. The look in his eyes turned serious. “Dani.”
This, this was what she was afraid of. The man who made her heart beat didn’t want her. Fine. Still didn’t make it hurt less. “You’re turning me down. I finally get up the nerve without alcohol to boost my pride and you’re turning me down. I should’ve known. Damn.” She scrubbed her hand across her forehead and turned away so he wouldn’t see her cry. Maybe it was the time of the morning, but she hated to come apart in front of people.
Mal eased up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. He rested his chin on her shoulder and held her tight. “I never said no.” His voice rumbled in her ear and along her nerve endings.
“Then what?” she whispered. “What’s making this so hard? I like you. You need someone.” She blinked back tears. “What am I doing wrong?”
“Besides being blunt? Nothing.” He turned her in his embrace and leaned down until his lips hovered a whisper from hers. “You haunt my dreams and fill my deepest desires. Hearing that you like me does things to me that you can barely imagine. I want to fuck you until we both drop, but I’d rather do this right.”
“Yeah?” She buried her face against his shoulder, reveling in his strength and sheer size. “I’m embarrassed and speechless.”
“You’ve never been speechless in all the nights I’ve known you, but I like it.” He scooped her up into his arms and started towards the bedroom. “Now let’s go to the bedroom and do this right.”