Read Gladiator Online

Authors: Kate Lynd

Tags: #Post Apocalyptic Erotic Romance

Gladiator (10 page)

“I’ll get the room ready for tonight. Remember, no one can love anyone the way we love each other.”

He went to kiss but she pulled back. “My love—if I kiss you now I won’t be able to stop and do what it’s going to take to heal Lucilla.”

The winds began to swirl around them; her eyes were glowing embers of dark desire. She walked past him in a trance. He followed, but kept his distance as she helped Lucilla lie supine and placed gentle hands to her forehead and chest.

She spoke in a tongue he’d come to recognize but not always understand. They shared another language, but she had used this one on Damien—and it had almost killed her, sending her into premature labor.

Lucilla’s back arched and her eyes opened wide as her mouth formed a perfect ‘O’. As Alex chanted, her skin began to emit a bright orange glow. Lucilla burned cobalt blue. Tears rolled down Alex’s cheeks, and in his mind’s eye Tristan saw what Alex was seeing... the king’s frequent sexual degradation of Lucilla whenever he pleased, and especially after fights. He turned away, the intensity of it stirring up memories of his own loss. Tears began to stream down his own face as Alex continued to chant, all the while sobbing hysterically. When he could hold back no longer, he ran to Alex. She fell lifelessly to the ground as Lucilla came to.

Lucilla blinked a few times and then looked around her. Tristan looked to Isaiah and shouted, “Get her inside with the twins.”

The young guard helped Lucilla to her feet, dragging her to their shelter. “C’mon. Before he loses his mind.”

Isaiah was right. If Alex was dead, Tristan would go stark, raving mad. She had done so much to prove herself worthy of the mantle put on her shoulders by some cruel god. If he took her now, his soul’s purpose for this life would have been snuffed out. The magnitude of raising twins after watching their mother sacrifice herself would be more than he could handle. He crushed her body to his chest and looked up into the night sky and let out a scream so filled with anger, so filled with hurt, and loss and rage it turned into a grief-stricken roar.

Lightning snaked and streaked across the sky and hit the ground around them. Clouds darkened the night sky and thunder rumbled throughout the woods. As he continued to howl and scream and rage, rain began to pour.

“Send her back dammit! Send her back to me!” His body shuddered. He sobbed as he rocked her back and forth, crying for what seemed like hours on end. “Come back to me…come back to me…don’t leave me like this Alex. I need you, so help me God, I need you…”

His body turned neon blue and she began to luminesce pink. The rain beat upon his back as he bent over her. All of a sudden, she shifted slightly in his arms and pulled his head down into a tender kiss. And all of the rage and hurt and grief tearing him vanished as the winds began to whip around them, and everything turned to white-hot passion.

He kissed her long and deep. When her tongue tangled with his, the hot achy feeling burned a hole in his gut. The more savagely his kissed her the more she sprang to life. Her wet white dress clung to her body. The heat they were generating dissolved the fabric leaving her sensuously naked.

She ripped his shirt from his body as he hovered above her and licked him from his navel to his throat nipping at him and sucking at his neck and until they found way back to hard punishing kisses. He ran his hands down her burning skin. She ran her fingers along his waistband, yanking his jeans down and pushing them to his ankles with her foot. His cock was free for her to caress and stroke, slowly and gently. He gasped. The contrast with what had just gone on before titillated him further.

As the electrical currents crashed around them, they became a part of the maelstrom. Her eyes had an animalistic hunger in them. Her soul had been wrenched from her body and only he could put it back. He lay down on his back and reached for her.

“Sit on my face, love.”

She clambered up his body like a hunter stalks his prey and spread her legs to straddle his face. He grabbed her by the hips and squeezed her bum cheeks and urged her body to ride him. And when he flicked his tongue against her clit she undulated against him and started to chant to him—a language for his ears only.

And she sang it, making him harder than stone. And it made him crave her to come in his mouth all the more. He ran his tongue generously over her clit, sucking it, and then plunged it deep inside her.

He understood her words, though he had never heard them before.
I belong to you. My soul is forever entwined in yours. I come for you. Always you. Only you.

She arched backward and wrapped her hand around his cock and let it slide up and down in rhythm to her rocking against his face.

The more she stroked him, the more punishing he became. He sank his teeth into her, he sucked at her, and he devoured her. She shuddered and bucked uncontrollably, alternately calling his name and chanting. She came, and he tasted her essence.

He lifted her from his face and placed her on her back. A thunderclap went straight at them as he thrust hard into her pussy and sought his own release. He hooked her legs over his shoulder and drove into her repeatedly. Her soft, moist, dripping flesh clung to him. Her eyes spoke volumes as she chanted for him, only for him, so softly.
You are mine. You are for no one else. Your fate will forever be linked to mine.

He was hers for all time. He dropped his every guard; his every defense was shattered. Her eyes burned bright with life, and he was filled with her purpose for him, for their family, and whatever that might mean, the world.

He lowered her legs and rested on top of her. The rain was gentler now, the thunder more distant. The lightning was gone, but the current flowing between them now left no doubt in his mind his emotions for her were something he didn’t understand, and would never fully comprehend. He knew that together they held a power he would have never believed in, if he hadn’t just witnessed them.

He kissed her mouth tenderly and gazed down into her eyes. “I can’t lose you.”

“I will do everything in my power to make sure that never happens. At least not until we’re old and gray,” she said, brushing his temple with her lips.

“If I have to, I will die protecting you.”

“I know. It’s a package deal. If you go, I go.”

He kissed her, savoring her taste in his mouth. He smiled down at her and nuzzled her. “I wish we had met under different circumstances.”

“Any other way, we would have never met at all. And if I could change everything to the way it was before anarchy took over I would, if only so you would have your wife and your children back.”

“I do have my wife and children. And now we have Lucilla and Isaiah. I will always miss my former life, but I will never regret this one. Never doubt my love for you. Not now. Not ever. If I had lost you…” he began, holding her face between his palms.

“But you didn’t. When your hand touched my blood and you kissed me at the rebel base, something happened. Our connection was fused there, made permanent. I will always love you, body, mind, and soul, Tristan Shane.”

He showered her face with soft kisses and said, “We should get inside. The fire needs to be rekindled and I don’t want you to get sick.”

“Um… Look behind you, my sweet…”

He looked, and indeed incongruously the fire was burning brightly. He looked up to the sky. There was no rain. The clouds had parted. “I guess I don’t need to ask how or why, because something bigger is at work, right?”

“That about sums it up.” She giggled.

He stood up and helped her to her feet and chased her into the shelter. Lucilla and Isaiah had bedded it warmly, and even left their bags there. It was a good thing they’d had the foresight to take a change of clothes. His were ruined and hers were in tatters.

“Get under the blankets. You’re wet and shivering.”

She reached her arms up and said, “I’m not shivering from cold.”

He snatched her wrists, understanding immediately what she wanted, what she needed. “Have you been a bad girl?”

“I don’t know,” she said, biting at his nipples, “you tell me.”

“Well, let me see,” he said, guiding her to the floor and spreading her legs. He drew up alongside her and took her nipple in his mouth as he slid his finger inside her pussy. She writhed and moaned hoarsely.

“More,” she begged.

“Like this?” he asked, freeing her nipple and stroking her clit so slow and torturously she was panting. “Or like this?” He pinched her and stroked her alternately, and she began to quiver and pant so hard that it brought a smile to his face. She spread her legs wider.

“Oh you like that? What about this?” He slid two fingers inside her and began to stroke her clit in slow methodical circles with his thumb.

A broken cry escaped her and she said, “You. I need your cock inside of my hot pussy. Not just your fingers…”

“Talking dirty to have your way with me?” He pulled out his thumb, moved, and buried his cock inside her. Then tenderly, he moved in and out, murmuring, “I love you. That’s all I ever need to hear from you.”

She wrapped her legs around him and moved with him. He lost the bitterness. He lost the rage. He lived for her, now.

As she came he freed her hands and he gazed down at her. She had promised him the world. She had promised him his children. And in her eyes he knew that one day he would see Kevin and Elizabeth again. He prayed he would get to protect them all from more harm. He thrust hard into her and let go.

 

Chapter Ten

 

She was beautiful. He watched her sleep and he realized that their destinies were so entwined at this point he didn’t know where hers began and his ended.

He and Hope had been teenage sweethearts. They’d been to college together, and when she fell pregnant he loved her all the more. And even though things were rough after the war, their love was always strong. He’d had years to get to know Hope. But he’d only spent a year with Alexandra, and they had already been tested with the agonies and the ecstasies many fifty year marriages don’t begin to endure.

These were different times. Life expectancy was measured in how many fights one survived in an arena or how many night patrols you came home after. In this post-apocalyptic landscape, you had to pick a side. You were either a rebel on the side of democracy or a member of the mob who followed the Crown for leadership. He had refused to take a side for so long in hopes the world would right itself. It had cost him his first wife and possibly his eldest son and daughter.

Looking into the tranquil innocence of her features in sleep, he had fallen in love again. This woman had borne him children. He desperately wanted to protect them. He’d lived a slave’s life for so long he wasn’t sure how to do anything anymore, except make it to the next day. Now he wanted a lifetime with a Healer.
The
Healer. The one sent to save the world. The one sent to save his soul.

She looked up at him and touched his cheek. He gave her a lingering kiss. “Mmmm, what was that for?”

“For coming back to me when I thought you’d gone for good.”

“That day is in the future. Coming back to you, if I have a choice, is never really a choice. If I had to, I’d defy whatever my destiny was to come back to you. But my destiny is with you,” she said linking her fingers with his.

“I desperately want to find my children. But at what cost to you will this be? They will be damaged, no doubt. A Gladiator’s life is no life for a man, go figure a woman, but it can be endured. I’m afraid of what Elizabeth has been through, or even if she’s been able to survive.”

“Women have a lot going against them under my father and sister’s rule. But I made it… and I should have died a thousand times over.”

He pressed his lips to her temple. “You’re so young.”

“Sometimes I feel like I’m a hundred years old. Until they threw me in the cell with you, I was sure my fate was sealed…that my destiny would never be fulfilled, and that people I could have helped would all just passively wait for the end to come. But now…”

“But now what?” he asked.

“The only love I’d ever known before yours was my mother’s. Knowing yours…I know what I have to do but I don’t want to have to do it.”

“You have free will.”

“Destiny has a way of making you see things differently.”

“You have free will for certain—or you wouldn’t have reached out to me for help that first night in the cell. You don’t want to die and I don’t think you have to, even now. You just have to trust me.”

“How can I look at you and know you’ll never be taken from me or that I’ll never be taken from you? I think losing you would render me powerless.”

“I am forty years old. And if you were six when your brother was murdered, and five when your mother was taken from you, then you already know there are no guarantees in this life other than the inevitable one…that one day you will die. Years ago it was that you would pay taxes and die. Now if you don’t pick a side you have no shield other than a family that sticks together.”

“I never had that.”

“How old are you Alex?”

“Have you forgotten? I’m twenty-one.”

“Yes, yes. I used to give my father hell for his ‘trophy’ wife, in his later years.”

“I’m sure he loved her.”

“I don’t know whether he did or didn’t. I just know he left mom for her when he was fifty years old.”

“How old was she then?”

“Thirty-five.”

“Was she pretty?”

“I don’t remember. I just know that my mother was shattered. She didn’t always have the greatest grip on reality, and losing him was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

“Did you have any brothers or sisters?”

“A twin sister.”

“You never mentioned her.”

“Aidia is a rebel fighter on the other side of the ocean. I haven’t heard from her since just after the war.”

“You miss her,” she said, placing his hand to her heart.

“She was all that I had left. And now I don’t even know if she’s alive or dead.”

“I wish my brother were alive.”

“Why?”