Deidre's Death (Chapter Eight, page 1 of 5)

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If Deidre found pleasure in funnel cakes and warm socks, she found utter ecstasy in Gabriel's arms. She didn't remember his passion, the way he tasted and smelled and felt, or the movement of his muscles beneath taut, smooth skin. His velvety tongue was hot against her neck and her lips and as he pleasured her in ways she never experienced before. He wanted her, and nothing had ever made her happier in her life than when she saw the depth of his emotion in his eyes and lived through the consuming intensity with which he made love to her. Over and over, like it was their first time. Or maybe, like he really had loved her through the millennia they were together.

Their first afternoon of love was more than she ever thought possible. He wore her - a goddess! - out with his lovemaking and passion. Her own body burned with emotions she couldn't control: love, happiness, and a hunger so deep, she thought she'd die before he sated her. Everything from the texture of his skin to the heat of his hands branding her was heaven to one unaccustomed to the sensuality of her world.

Deidre loved it. She reveled in every inch of his skin. She wasn't expecting his gentleness or the level of his interest in exploring her body, a combination that rendered her breathless before her clothes were off. He was certain to take her to climax each time before seeking his own release, a practice she'd never participated, when she was a goddess who felt nothing.

Being with him, naked in bed, was the most natural, right and incredible experience. It reinforced what she had begun to doubt: This was where she belonged. Beside him, in bed and out, working together to run the underworld.

Dozing after his insatiable passion, she roused herself when one of Gabriel's hands moved down her body. She rested on top of him, listening to his heartbeat. His chest was warm against her ear, and she drew loose shapes against his skin, beyond intrigued by the smoothness.

It was past midnight. The room was dark, aside from the glowing souls visible through the balcony doors. Gabriel had stayed with her for hours without showing any sign he was ready to leave.

"Happy?" His voice was soft and low.

"Very," she replied. "This was the best day of my life, Gabriel."

He laughed, the rumble of his chest causing her to raise her head.

"Why are you laughing?" she asked curiously.

"I guess our first night together was subpar, if today was so much better," he replied.

A trickle of jealousy moved through her, but she dismissed it, unwilling to think about the woman he'd slept with less than two weeks before. He thought it was her, and she couldn't tell him differently.

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