Needing His Demon is the conclusion to the Year of Hearts trilogy. But as a new year begins in Valladora--the Year of Stars--many of these characters will be returning in a new trilogy this fall.
Fredric has found his mate, but he’s completely perplexed. His mate is not only a man, but also a half-demon. Fredric cannot believe the gods have done this to him. On top of this odd turn of events, Fredric is suffering from the Dissolution, a vampire disease with no cure. He knows accepting Satoru as his mate and taking his blood increases his chances of survival, yet he keeps fighting his fate, even as Satoru becomes more appealing with each encounter.
Satoru refuses to give up, and with each passing day, Fredric becomes less resistant. Fredric first agrees to drink Satoru’s blood, and then he accepts Satoru as a lover. But as time runs out and other troubles come, will Satoru be able to save his lover’s life and truly win his heart?
As he cleaned himself up, Satoru searched his own face in the small mirror on the wall. He didn’t know how long he could control himself around Fredric. Satoru did not like to appear weak, but that was exactly how he felt around Fredric. Sensual longing filled his mind every moment, and he had to force himself to keep quiet as his heart wanted nothing more than to let all of his desires spill forth in desperate pleas. More than anything Satoru wished Mikimo was with him. His mentor always had the right words for him, and even in this kind of situation, Satoru knew Mikimo’s kindness and wisdom would comfort him.
I’m falling in love. I never imagined it could be like this. The one I want can’t even admit he has feelings for me—he claims to hate me! And yet … I love him more with each breath.
Satoru sighed and got dressed again. It was almost dawn now, and he wanted to check on Fredric. He’d been unable to sleep, but he hoped Fredric had been able to. Slipping out into the hall, he shut his door quietly and then listened. He heard a faint sound, like something being set down, and he knocked.
“I came to check on you.” Satoru opened the door without waiting for an invitation.
Fredric sat on the edge of the bed and stared at him with a very thoughtful expression on his face. The look in his eyes didn’t seem as guarded, which made Satoru very happy. As he moved into the room and closed the door, Satoru had to struggle very consciously to keep a smile off his face.
“I feel better.” He patted the mattress beside him. “Come here.”
Satoru continued to struggle with keeping his expression neutral. Had his blood affected Fredric this much? As soon as he sat down, Fredric pulled him closer, wrapping an arm around his waist.
“You’re stronger than other humans, aren’t you?” Fredric asked, his face very close to Satoru’s.
“Yes.” Why did he want to know that? The heat from Fredric’s body felt so good, and he loved being held so close by Fredric. Kiss me. Please. Just let go and touch me more.
“Your blood regenerates quickly?”
“Yes. Very quickly.” He swallowed, very aware of how hard his cock was getting even though he’d just made himself come minutes earlier. “As long as I don’t need to do anything too strenuous, I could supply all of your blood needs now, even before you’ve turned me.”
“Good. I needed to be sure.” Fredric pulled Satoru’s collar down and sank his fangs into him.
Satoru cried out and wrapped his arms around Fredric. His hands couldn’t move quickly enough, as he wanted to touch every inch of Fredric. “Yes, Fredric, oh yes. Take as much as you need.”
When Satoru tried to touch Fredric’s cock, Fredric grabbed both of his hands and held them. Satoru mentally chastened himself. Though he had committed himself to resigning, he was still a priest. Fredric was right to make him stop. Feeding his lover was the most he could allow himself until he had formally renounced his vows.
Lover. He’s my lover now. Satoru moaned, and then a surge of pleasure burst through him. He gave little thought to the pressure building in his groin as he clung to Fredric’s wrists and tried to press closer to him. Fredric bit even deeper, enhancing Satoru’s pleasure, and they both trembled. Satoru was completely lost to bliss as Fredric healed his wound. When they parted and Satoru’s vision had cleared, he saw from the corresponding dampness on Fredric’s robes that they had both come during the embrace. The euphoria had been so great he hadn’t minded the heat and wetness of his own seed spilling forth, and now the pleasure sitting low in his belly was unmistakable. It was a spiritual consummation, if not a true physical one. Simply being in Fredric’s favor was enough for now.
Fredric tilted Satoru’s head and examined his neck.
“I’m fine,” Satoru said, taking Fredric’s hand and kissing it ardently. “I’ve never been so happy in my whole life.”
Fredric looked deep into his eyes. In a stern, low voice, Fredric said, “Get out of here. I want you to leave. Get on your horse and don’t stop until you are far away from here.”
Satoru had to fight to stay where he was. “Fredric?” his voice trembled, but he didn’t care. “You tricked me so you could force me to leave?”
“I had no other choice, given how stubborn you are.”
“You’re calling me the stubborn one?”
“You can’t disobey me. You’re shaking already simply trying to stay in this room.”
Satoru stood up, well aware of how badly he was shaking, but he mustered enough control to remain in place long enough to slap Fredric hard across the face. “It infuriates me that even in this moment, I can’t feel anything but love for you. You’re causing yourself pain, too, and that makes me even angrier.”
Fredric didn’t look at him. He rose and turned away from Satoru. “I told you to leave. I don’t want you here.”
Satoru turned and fled, hot tears stinging his eyes. Black spots blurred his vision as he hastily cleaned himself up and then packed. He paused long enough to pay the innkeeper, who looked at him with great concern.
“What am I to do, Your Holiness? How does your lord fare?”
“He has fed, and he’s better now. Has a message been sent to his steward?”
“Yes. The lad left moments ago.”
“Good.” Satoru tried to steady his breathing. “Take care of him until his servants come. He does not know what is best for him.”
Satoru turned and ran to his horse. The pressure in his head and chest did not abate until he was half a mile down the road. He let the tears fall. He had not cried since the day his mother had told him the truth about his father. That day had been filled with both sadness and anger. His mother had vanquished his sadness, telling him repeatedly how much she loved him and how happy she was to have him in her life. His anger had been far more difficult to get rid of. His mentor, Mikimo, had been the one to finally help him conquer it.
Soon the tears dried, but a dull ache filled his entire being. He pushed forward, pained more than anything by the knowledge that Fredric was feeling the same ache in his heart.