The cabin was in complete disarray. The fine hand carved desk was toppled on its side, the armchair before the window was upside down, paper acted as rugs on the floor, and deep claw marks marred the walls. Victoria traced the gouges with the tip of her finger.
“What are you doing here?”
Victoria reeled around to find her husband huddled in a corner, his knees to his chest with arms wrapped tightly about them. His eyes glowered up at her as his hair fell disheveled across his face.
She slowly crossed the floor to stand just out of his reach knowing that if he wanted to grab her he easily could. She had witnessed his speed before.
“I didn’t summon you,” he said, his voice gruff.
“Falcon saved you,” he snapped, his lips curling back over his teeth. “Why are you here?”
“I want to help you.”
“You want to help me?” He snorted. “Leave Victoria, I don’t want your help.”
“But you need it,” she countered.
He laughed, the sound was chilling, but she ignored it and began to unlace the ties of her robe.
“What are you doing?” he rasped, his eyes fixed on her hands at her breasts as she loosened her laces.
“Removing my robe.”
“Don't,” he begged on a whisper as the silk fell to a pile on the floor.
“It is stifling in here.”
Her lavender scent was overwhelming and the sound of her steady heartbeat was maddening. She had to go.
“No,” she protested.
“You don’t know what you are…” his words stopped as her thoughts drifted through his mind. “Or perhaps you know exactly with what you are dealing. But,” in a flash he stood behind her, “can you handle it?”
“Yes.” She would not let him scare her off.
“No,” he whispered, his breath tickling her ear. “You can’t possibly know. My dear friend, Falcon, even leaves the room every time I change.”
“I want to help you, Dorian. Let me,” she pleaded, “I need to help you.” She wanted to scream the words. She had felt so useless the past two weeks. He was her husband and he needed her even though he would not admit it. Knowing he was in pain and being unable to aid him had been insufferable.
“I will kill you. Leave!”
She did not move. He roared, snatching her by the shoulders, he spun her around and slammed her back against the wall, trapping her with his body. He held her arms over her head, his fingers like shackles about her wrists. His eyes burned black, his fangs stood long and prominent. His voice was low and hard. “Is this what you want to help?”
She could not speak. Her voice was gone, vanished. He shook her.
“Answer me!” His black eyes captured and held hers as his grip tightened.
“Yes,” she squeaked.
He snarled and spun away from her. She brought her hands down and began rubbing the pain away. Dorian sighed and ran his hands through his hair as desperate exasperation washed over him.
“What can I do to make you understand?” The question was directed to himself. In that brief moment, he was again the man she had married and not the vampire she’d just faced seconds before. But his eyes were still clouded black and those fangs still flashed. He looked so vulnerable and she wanted nothing more than to wrap her arms around him.
He must have heard her thoughts for he turned his deadly gaze back to her and snapped, “I don’t want your pity. If that is why you are here, I suggest you leave before I throw you out.”
His threat was empty she knew, his voice did not hold any menace and neither did his eyes. She shook her head stepping away from the wall.
“Then why do you insist on helping me?”
“Because I care for you,” she confessed. “And because it pains me to see you like this, suffering when there is no need.”
“No need?” he laughed. “I could kill you if I took your blood.”
Victoria shrugged. “You could, but I know you wouldn’t.”
He took a threatening step toward her. “How can you be so sure?” he challenged.
“The man I married would never allow it.”
“If you hadn’t noticed,” he advanced again, “he is not here.”
“Maybe not,” she conceded, closing the remainder of the space between them. She brushed her fingers along his knuckles. “I want you, Dorian.”
His eyes sparkled with devilish delight.
“Those are bold words, kitten,” Dorian warned.
Amanda J. Greene creates paranormal romance for ravenous readers. She lives in Southern California, where she enjoys escaping the rewarding but hectic world of writing by spending time in the sun and sand with her military husband and their two dogs.
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html
Barnes & Noble Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rulers-of-darkness-amanda-j-greene/1123186633?ean=2940158047848