It was all she knew in that moment, the only thing that mattered.

More of the quenching fluid that cooled the desert that was her throat. More of the power that was surging into every particle of her being, soothing the ache of her racked bones and muscles, calming the fury - the violent tempest of animal rage - that had first awakened her from her sleep overnight and left her shivering and confused, huddled on the floor of the room.

She wanted more of the pleasure that had started with her first taste of the spicy dark elixir that flowed over her tongue like liquid velvet from some exotic other world. It was blood. She knew this in the part of her mind that was still tethered to reality.

It was his blood. Sterling Chase. The man she should fear and probably despise. The man who was no man at all, but something dangerous and wild.

She wanted more of him.

Her pulse spiked at the thought, drumming harder in her veins. She felt her blood pumping, hot and alive, into every organ and muscle. Could practically hear the suck of her body's cells, drinking in his dark strength, claiming it as their own.

And oh, he felt good.

Everywhere they made contact, her skin buzzed with arousal. She couldn't deny the pleasure, any more than she could deny the need to slake the thirst that felt as though it had been building inside her all her life.

She'd felt so ill before - dying, she was sure. But now she felt no sickness. No quivering weakness, or the anxiety that so often had her scrambling for medicinal relief. She felt alive now. Infinitely, powerfully alive.

She drank urgently at his open vein, unable to be gentle. Nor could she curb the other craving that was lashing itself around her, a smoldering need that licked across her skin and into her heightened senses.

Everything seemed more vivid now. Her head filled with the dark scent of his skin and the blood that pulsed so forcefully against her tongue. She breathed him in, savored the wild taste of him. Indulged in the hard power of his body beneath her, the muscled planes of his bare chest warm and satin smooth under her fingertips.

His heart was hammering as hard as hers, a beat she could feel, somehow, throbbing in her own veins too. She could feel the power of his desire, a need that made the molten pool in the core of her burn even more intensely.

Tavia moaned, losing her hold on what little control she had left.

"More," she murmured against his skin. Her hips were moving of their own accord, wanton despite her inexperience. All she knew was the yearning, the ache that swelled to consume her as she moved her virgin body against the large, unyielding bulge that nestled between her spread thighs. Pleasure burst inside her with the delicious friction, but it wasn't enough to sate her. Not nearly enough.

She was panting as she finally tore her mouth away from the twin punctures she'd made in his throat. She rose up on top of him and stared down into his tormented face. His eyes glowed like hot coals. Behind his parted lips, his fangs gleamed snowy white and sharp as daggers.

"Please," she whispered, lost to everything but the demands of her new consciousness. To make her point clear, she rocked her pelvis over him, hissing with the hungered need that yearned to be filled. "Please ... make this ache go away."

His answering groan sounded raw in his throat, on the verge of refusal.

But then he reached up and cupped his big hand around her nape. With a feral-sounding growl, he pulled her down to his mouth and claimed her in a ferocious kiss.

TAVIA'S MOUTH was hot on his, responsive and eager as he pushed his tongue past her parted lips in a deep, unforgiving kiss. She took him in, kissing him back with equal ferocity, even though her mouth was a little clumsy, her tongue a little untrained, clashing against the long points of his fangs. But she was a damn quick learner; he had to give her that.

Still seated on top of him, she moved her hips in time with the aggressive thrusts of his tongue, then soon she was matching the boldness of his mouth, grinding her body against him in a demanding rhythm. Her feminine fangs grazing his larger ones was an erotic sensation unlike anything he'd ever known. The sharp points abraded his lips as she pressed deeper into his kiss, nipping and prodding, driving him wild.

He broke contact on a growl, his lungs sawing, breath rushing as fast as his heart rate. He released his hold on her nape only to reach for the zippered front of her top. Tugged it open to bare her skin to his appreciative gaze.

Her glyphs were livid with dark colors. Beautiful swirls and arcs played across her clavicle and down onto her chest, disappearing under the modest black bra he'd bought with her clothes. He'd chosen the thing in haste, grabbing a simple cotton one that looked like it would fit her. The bra couldn't have been sexier on her if it was made out of lace and satin. Her pert, buoyant little breasts filled it out perfectly.

Chase flicked open the front clasp with his finger and thumb, then peeled away the fabric. Pretty flourishes pulsing with deep wine and indigo hues tracked around her dark, rosy nipples. The colors of desire, written all over her creamy skin as if rendered by an artist's hand. He drank in the sight of her, and the breath that had been racing in and out of him now left on a ragged sigh.

"So lovely," he whispered, the words gruff, his voice thick and parched. Then he raised his shoulders up off the floor so he could take one of those exquisite buds into his mouth. He suckled her with as much care as he could manage, loath to graze the delicate skin with his fangs. He didn't want to hurt her, nor did he want to accidentally nick her and make her bleed. He was already too far gone with this erotic hunger to deal with even the slightest drop of her spilled blood.

Even if the mere idea made his hard-on kick with avid interest.

Tavia made a sound of torment as he swirled his tongue around the pebbled knot of her nipple. He could feel her need vibrating through her. The heat swamped him through their clothing, and every slow grind of her hips sent his dubious self-control hurtling further out of reach.

Eyes closed, she threw her head back on a low moan as he suckled her some more, trading one sweet nipple for the other. He watched the passion play over her skin, the jewel-dark shades of her glyphs muting and flooding, a living dance of color that spread across her breasts and down onto her flat belly. Her waist tapered so perfectly, he could probably span its circumference with his hands.

He did just that a moment later, using the leverage to roll her off him as he followed, moving with her until he was the one on top, his pelvis wedged just right between her thighs. He gave an ungentle thrust, a taste of what was soon to come. She groaned as he made a slow retreat. When her eyelids lifted, her gaze blasted him with amber fire. She grabbed his head in her hands and hauled him down to her in a kiss that was ripe with primal demand.

"More," she rasped into his open mouth. And then she bit him again, a hard, prodding nip that sent a delicious sting straight down to his cock.

With a growl, he broke away and reared up onto his knees above her. His hands shook as he grabbed the waistband of her track pants and yanked them down her thighs, underwear too, in one fierce tug.

And, ah, Christ. There were more artful glyphs here, caressing the curves of her hips and accentuating the delicate nest of dark curls on the mound of her sex. He slipped his fingers between her legs and found her wet and hot and tight. So damn tight.

He groaned, breathing in the fragrance of her, a scent that was both earthy and exotic, innocent and wild. He couldn't resist a taste. With his eyes locked on hers, he drew his fingers up to his mouth and licked her sweetness into his mouth.

She was writhing beneath him, panting and grabbing for him, her gaze smoldering. Face twisted in anguish. Her scent intensified, spurring his own need to a fever pitch.

He undid his pants and shoved them down off his hips, hissing as the first rush of cool air hit his naked cock. He couldn't get it inside her fast enough. No time to undress properly, his need was rampant.

Tavia grabbed on to his shoulders as he slid the head of his sex along the slick cleft of her body. Her blunt fingernails scored his flesh as he nudged into position, then sank inside her in one deep thrust. She cried out then, her grip on his shoulders clenching harder.

Dimly he registered just how tight she truly was. An alarming thought flickered in his desire- drenched brain: She couldn't possibly be a virgin, could she?

But then her scream quieted into a low moan, a sound of mingled pleasure and pain. And now that he was inside her, he couldn't keep from moving, driving in and out of the warm, wet fist of her core.

Her lids dragged open slowly as he thrust deeper with every stroke. Her amber eyes fixed on him, piercing and feverish, as he increased his tempo to meet the racing beat of her heart. Her lips parted on a shivery sigh, her fangs gleaming.

He felt her climax rising. The soft undulations of the fine muscles along her sheath clutched at him as the first tiny spasm raced through her. She gasped sharply, tensing beneath him while he drove deeper, pushing her harder. "That's it," he muttered hoarsely. "You wanted it. Now take it."

She let loose a strangled cry as her body shuddered, her hands still clenched like twin vises on his shoulders. Her throat went taut with the eruption of her scream, a savage shout of release. He kept moving within her, lost to the erotic tension of her core wrapped so tightly around him, the tiny spasms of her orgasm milking him, dragging a raw curse from between his teeth and fangs.

His own need had no mercy either. He drove himself deeper and harder into her heat, lost to a primal, urgent drive. Intense sensation slammed over him, and smoldering beneath the surface of his pleasure, he felt the rousing of that darker yearning he'd been slowly failing to outrun. The hunger reached for him now, a predator sensing him at his weakest. His most distracted.

Against his will, Chase's eyes rooted on the vulnerable length of Tavia's throat. He wrenched his face away, an effort that took such force his whole body shook with it.

Or maybe it was the sex that had him trembling.

It hadn't been that long since he'd fucked someone, but the human females he'd banged when it suited him had never given him pleasure. Release, sure. But he got the same decompression out of a good fight. The pain he could handle. He courted it, in fact, the more brutal the better. That's how he'd coped these past few months that his addiction had been its worst. He'd held off Bloodlust through aggression and combat, hoping to trade one wicked high for another. A dangerous dance, but the only one he knew.

Pleasure wasn't something he'd indulged in for a long time. Pain and brutality was a much safer option for him. Kept him clear and grounded. Not like now.

Now he could hardly think straight as the pleasure of Tavia's body and the daggers of his blood thirst did battle for his soul.

He risked another look at her and found her watching him intently. Her climax had ebbed, but he could feel her balanced on the edge of another. He knew he should end this - before the punishing lash of his rising blood thirst proved too much for him to bear. But his libido had other ideas. His hips rocked forward, a powerful thrust that seated him to the hilt.

He pressed deeper, staring down at her, his voice little better than ash in the back of his throat. "More?"

Tavia's reply was a rapt hiss through bared teeth and gleaming fangs. "Yes."

Her permission was its own kind of torment. Because Chase didn't think he had control enough to stop now. Not even if she begged him to.

TAVIA CLUNG to his thick shoulders as a tide of bright ecstasy crashed over her once again. Wave after wave, flooding all her senses, whisking her out of her own skin with the intensity of all she was feeling. She couldn't speak. Couldn't breathe, except to close her eyes and let go of the pleasured sigh that seemed to originate from the very core of her being.

She felt electrified, every nerve ending exploded and ragged, tingling with sensation.

There was a dull pain between her legs, but she was only dimly aware of it, too swept up in the overwhelming transformation of her entire person. Her whole existence was tangled up in a vortex of pain and pleasure, clarity and confusion.

She opened her eyes and saw the source of it all.

Chase. Unearthly, demonically handsome, he hovered above her as her body absorbed the battering impact of his thrusts. She couldn't tear her gaze away from him, the slender thread of her conscious mind mesmerized by the unholy beauty of his fiery eyes and the skin markings that fanned over his pecs and onto his thick arms braced on either side of her.

Skin markings that were surging with dark colors, just like her own.

It all seemed like some kind of dark dream, yet she was living it. Feeling it, in every awakened cell and fiber of her body. She rocked beneath him, helpless to his urgent rhythm. The tension spread from his wild features, into the hard bulk of his shoulders and down along the rigid line of his big body.

With a low growl, his tempo intensified, and the daggerlike lengths of his fangs stretched even longer behind his parted lips. His cat's-eye pupils thinned to barest slits as his gaze drifted lower, settling on her throat. Heat radiated from that feral gaze, like a hot blade pressed against her neck. His mouth grew taut, full lips peeling back as he drove into her with relentless, mounting aggression.

She knew she should be afraid. She knew that none of this should be happening - not in any kind of reality she could comprehend.

But she knew no fear now. Only an instinctual anticipation as her body cushioned his, her head tilting to the side as though drawn on unseen strings, giving him full access to her neck. "Yes," she heard herself whisper as his strokes became more frenzied. His eyes were fixed on her throat, unblinking, ravenous. Tavia swallowed, feeling an overwhelming need for his fangs to penetrate the tender flesh. She licked her parched lips, hungry for him again too. When she reached up and took hold of the back of his head, he went rigid, hissing as if she'd burned him. He grunted an angered sound, his face contorting in a pained grimace as his pace quickened even more. His gaze grew hotter, searing her exposed throat with a heat she felt running all through her now.