Free DarkInnocence by Madeline Pryce

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Authors: Madeline Pryce
and urged me up his body. Legs
twined together, I rested my head on his chest, over the spot where his heart
pounded. He trailed his fingers over my back in slow, smooth strokes.
    “I wasn’t too rough, was I?” he asked.
    I buried my nose in the soft, springy hair on his chest. “I
liked it,” I admitted.
    After a few minutes of silence, I finally asked, “Did the
barbell hurt? I’ve always kind of wanted to get my nipples pierced but was too
    “That’d look hot on you and yeah, it hurt a bit.”
    I lifted my chest off his stomach so I could look at him.
“The metal stops your penis from expanding, huh?”
    His eyes narrowed and the hand on my back stilled. “How do
you know about notching?”
    I shrugged. “A couple of months ago when Ella and Micah
bonded, I did lots of research on demon mating rituals. I came across a few
texts on shape shifters, one text talked about the male’s ability to ‘notch’
inside a female without truly shifting forms. One source said the metal helps
prevent that happening. Have you ever tried it without the piercing?”
    He shook his head. “No. Not something you try for the first
time with a casual fuck.”
    I bit my lip and forced myself not to look away. I needed to
draw some boundaries between us, find out how far he was willing to take this.
I wanted him in a way I’d never wanted someone before. Eli, I realized was just
a crush.
    “Am I a casual fuck?” I asked.
    Before I knew it, I was on my back. Dante loomed over me.
“You couldn’t be causal even if you tried. I’ve got the taste of your pussy on
my tongue. I came in your mouth. That makes you mine, Hannah. Is that what you
    Was he asking me to be his…partner? Did I want that? “Yes,”
I answered and knew in my heart I wanted everything from him.
    “Good.” He rolled us over, his arms bracketing me so I
wasn’t crushed by the weight of his body. I laid my head on his chest and let
the drumming beat of his heart lull me.
    I yawned and cuddled in closer. “What does that make us?
Partners, lovers, boyfriend-girlfriend?”
    He chuckled, stroked my spine from neck to ass. “It means I
don’t share. Label it whatever you want, in my world you’d be my lover.”
    Lover. I liked that. My lids fluttered. Another yawn cracked
my jaw. “Just so you know, I don’t share either,” I murmured before I fell
    * * * * *
    The boom of loud, angry male voices jerked me awake. I shot
up to a sitting position and clutched the soft blanket to my breasts. It took
me several seconds to realize I was naked and in Dante’s bed. I looked to the
nightstand where a lamp still burned bright, and struggled to bring the glowing
numbers of the alarm clock into focus.
    “She isn’t thinking clearly, I’m not going to let you take
advantage of her,” someone who sounded remarkably like Eli shouted.
    “Keep your fucking voice down,” Dante said. “It’s nearly
four in the morning. You’re drunk, you smell like pussy and you’ve got blood
all over your shirt. Go home, Eli, and sleep it off.”
    Four in the morning? Shouldn’t Dante be at work?
    “I’m not drunk and Hannah’s coming with me,” Eli demanded.
    A growl sounded. “The fuck she is, boy.”
    I got out of bed on trembling legs and picked up Dante’s
green shirt from the floor. I slipped it over my head, my bare toes squishing
in the thick, soft carpet as I made my way into the living room.
    Chest to chest, nearly eye to eye, Eli and Dante faced off
in front of the open door. Cool night air streamed inside and helped ease the
testosterone strangling me. I shivered and crossed my arms over my chest.
    “Eli, what are you doing here?” I asked in a sleepy voice.
    Three beats passed before Eli looked away from Dante and met
my gaze. His eyes were glassy and his cheek was swollen with what promised to
be one hell of a shiner.
    “I’m making sure you’re okay.” Eli moved forward in my
    One step was all he got. Dante

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