Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Half-Blood Chapter 16 Aiden's POV Extra! By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-Blood Extra from Jennifer L. Armuntrout (click below to go to original source)

 Chapter 16 from Aiden's POV

“I’m not saying that.” Against common sense, I closed the distance between us and placed my hands on her shoulders. Her bare skin was warm, smooth, and so damn soft.
            Alex shivered, and I knew I should’ve pulled my hands back then, butinstead I allowed my fingers to curve over the delicate bones.  Focus—I needed to focus. I was only trying to comfort her. And she needed comfort right now, reassurance that everything was the same as it was the day before. The last thing she needed was me feeling her up. Not that I was doing that.
            “Do you remember what I said about fate?” When she shook her head, an odd expression crossed her face and I wondered what she was remembering. “Only you have control over your future, Alex. Only you have control over what you want.”
            “You really think so?”
            I nodded. Nothing could force Alex into something she didn’t want. She was so incredibly strong and I couldn’t fathom how she didn’t know that. “Yes.”
            Alex shook her head again, as if the simple gesture could fool me.  Her eyes flicked up, a warm whiskey brown, before darting over my shoulder. The pain and confusion in her gaze was a sucker-punch to the gut. I couldn’t stand it, knowing what she’d been through already.  My hands tightened on her shoulders. And a part of me— all of me—wanted to take her away, from all of this.
            Without really thinking, I pulled her against me and tried to come up with something to prove to her that she was going to be okay. But then she placed her head against my chest and I stopped breathing.
            Oh, gods, what in the hell was I doing?
            Being this close to her, holding her was wrong on so many levels. Alex’s entire future was in my hands right now. What I needed to do was pat her on the back, tell her everything would be fine, and send her on her way.
            “I don’t want to be this Apollyon thing.” Her eyes closed. “I don’t even like to be in the same country as Seth. I don’t want any of this.”

 But like a true SOB, instead of pushing her away, my hand smoothed down her back. The thin cotton of her dress was a pitiful barrier. 
            “I know,” I said, struggling to remember what was going on here. This wasn’t about me or my out of control desire for something I could never have. “It’s overwhelming and scary, but you’re not alone. We’ll figure this out. Everything is going to be okay.”
            And now I needed to gently push her away, but Alex pressed closer. Lightning jolted my body. And gods, everything changed in this instant. Intentions of comfort, no matter how true they were in the beginning were gone. Right out the window, along with my self-restraint and common sense.
            Alex felt right in my arms.
            I ran my hand through her silky hair, tilting her head back. Her eyes were so wide, mirroring a dangerous mixture of innocence and temptation. “You don’t have anything to worry about, Alex. I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”
            The moments those words left my mouth, I knew I’d crossed some invisible line that I could never, ever go back from. They weren’t just words. They were an oath that I’d keep true to the end of my days.
            Our eyes locked. Her chest rose unsteadily against mine as she sucked in a breath I wanted to share. An unfamiliar thing happened. My heart stuttered and then skipped a beat. The room seemed to shift, and I pulled her closer, because she wasn’t close enough. Could never be close enough.
            My hand drifted from her hair, across the curve of her cheekbone. Gods, she was so beautiful. Pure temptation. My thumb smoothed over her lower lip, and I felt her answering shudder under my skin.
            Too caught up, I leaned in, pressing my cheek against hers. “You should tell me to stop.”
            Alex said nothing.
            And I stopped thinking. With a growl more animal than civilized, I moved toward her mouth with only one thing in mind.  
            I kissed her. Savoring her mouth, soaking up her response, I was fueled by her desire for more. And though I needed morein the back of my mind, I already knew that more could never be enough. That if I didn’t stop, I’d never be satisfied. Like a daimon after its first taste of aether, I’d just keep coming back and back.
            As I fitted her body to mine, the kiss deepened, shocked me to the core. Gods, I wanted this, as bad as that was, I wanted this.
            Sliding my hands down her shoulders, I followed the curve of her stomach, the subtle flare of hips. Before I knew it, I was taking her to the bedroom. Never breaking contact with her mouth… her body. 
            And brave, beautiful Alex threw herself into this madness like she always did. Head first, questions and concerns later.  Reckless, but admirable. Dangerous, but so tempting. She slid her hands under my shirt and I jerked at the touch of her fingers.  Pulling back, I let her strip me of my shirt. I smiled at Alex’s sudden inhale.
Then I was on her, easing her down. And as I loomed over her, I don’t know what got to me more—that she wanted this so badly or how much she trusted me.
Trust? I stilled. Alex trusted me and I was seconds away—
            Alex’s hand glided down my chest, further south, and dammit, if I wasn’t lost. Found. Whatever. She was wearing too much clothes. I kissed her again, dragging her breath into me, sliding the top of her dress down and then off.  And I took my time finding her lips again, committing each dip and curve to memory. My lower body sank into hers, and little, surprisingly sharp nails dug into my arms.
            She kept whispering my name, over and over again as I explored her, relished in her. She was breathing in short gasps when I rolled her on top of me.
            “You’re so beautiful. So brave, so full of life.” I sounded—felt drunk as I guided her head down so I could kiss the scar on her neck.  “You have no idea, do you? You have so much life in you, so much.”
            Alex dipped her head and she grinned when I kissed the tip of her nose. “Really?”
            “Yes.” I brushed her hair back from her face. “Since the night I saw you in Georgia, you’ve been under my skin. You got inside me, became a part of me. I can’t shake it. It’s wrong.” I shifted us, rolling Alex across the bed until I towered over her. Damn, she was one hell of a fighter, would one day become something that would crush her enemies, but she felt so small under me. So perfect.
            “Agapi mou, I can’t…” There were no more words. I brought my lips to hers, leaning my full weight onto her. Everything took on a near frantic edge. Our kisses. The touching. The way our bodies moved against each other.
            I lifted my head, unable to wait any longer. “Do you trust me?”
            Alex ran her fingers over my cheeks, then my lips. “Yes.”
            There had been no hesitation. I brought her hand to my lips, kissing the tips of each of her fingers. Then I looked at her, taking in her flushed cheeks, fevered eyes. Time stopped. I wanted—needed this to be perfect for her, to be—
            Someone knocked on the door.

 I froze.
No. No freaking way. We stared each other, possibly both of us praying for the same thing. That someone wasn’t at that door.
But the sound came again, along with Leon’s booming voice. “Aiden, open this door. Now.”
Son of a bitch.
Never in my life did I hate someone as much as I hated Leon at that very moment. And there was no ignoring him. He’d break down that damn door and Alex…
My gaze swept over her as I lifted myself off the bed and grabbed a pair of pants and the shirt she’d tossed clear across the room. The girl had an arm on her. She’d probably throw a dagger like a—
It struck me then. And I could barely breathe.
Spinning around, I left the room and shut the door behind me. Holy crap, I’d… I’d been so, so close to taking everything from her. Most importantly, her freedom…
“Shit,” I muttered, stalking toward the door. What the hell had I been thinking? She didn’t deserve this—because this was nothing. It couldn’t ever be anything.
Halfs and pures did not mix.
But she was in my bedroom, on my bed, glorious…
Leon’s impatient sigh penetrated wood. I briefly entertained the idea of grabbing a dagger and throwing it through the door.
I yanked the door open, running a hand through my hair. “What?”
He cocked his head to the side, but his gaze went over my shoulder, to my bedroom. My stomach dropped. Leon was a cool guy, but if he knew Alex was here—in there—he’d been required to report her.
Her. In the end, Alex would be the only one who’d suffer for this. The good ole’ boys would probably applaud me. Gods, I hated my own race sometimes.
Leon’s expression remained impressively blank. “I didn’t mean to wake you, but I figured you’d want to know this immediately. They’ve found Kain. He’s alive.”
I blinked, unsure I heard him right. But I had. Kain was alive. I rubbed my jaw. Crap. This could be good. Or this could be real, real bad for Alex.
Somehow I managed to convince Leon that I’d meet him over in the med center and went back to Alex.
She was waiting by the bed. Dressed. Part of me was relieved. Another part of me wanted to take the dress off. Again.
“I heard,” she said, eyes wide.
            I nodded. “I’ll let you know what he says.”
            She stepped forward. “I want to come. I have to hear what he says.”
            Oh, yeah, that’s not going to work. “Alex, it’s past your curfew, and how would you know to be in the infirmary?”
            Her eyes narrowed. “But I can sneak in there. The rooms are just separated with partition walls. I could stay behind them—”
            “Alex. You need to go back to your dorm. Now. I promise I’ll tell you everything he says, okay?”
            For a moment I thought she was going to argue, but she nodded. We waited a couple more minutes. At the front door, I closed my eyes and drew in a deep breath.
            When she stepped out of this door… that was it—this could never happen again. We’d come within inches of being caught, within seconds of her losing everything and because of what?
             “What?” Alex said.
            Because I was lost in her.
            I faced her, and she suddenly looked a little scared. And she wasn’t the only one. What I was feeling at that moment disturbed the hell out of me. Without saying a word, I cupped her face and kissed her.
            I kissed her like I was never going to see her again, because in a way, I wasn’t. Not this way, and as much as that killed me, I knew the difference between what felt right.
            And what was actually right.
            “Don’t do anything stupid,” I warned her, voice hoarse. Then I left her, disappearing into the darkness. 


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