Runestone - Immortal Series 3
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by Em Petrova
Description: When Sean Livingston asks his immortal beloved, Evangeline to elope with him, not only does it alienate her from her immortal mate Will, but sets off a series of life-altering events, tearing her from her from the man she needs more than air. With the impending madness of separation bearing down on her, she discovers her tattoo contains a map leading her to Will?but also to an army hell-bent to annihilate the ancient immortals. To My Readers: After Runes was released, I realized these characters, Will, Evangeline and Sean, had more to lose and discover. I've laughed with them, shed tears for them, and even gotten pretty damn hot and bothered with them. In Runestone, the true mystery of Evangeline's immortal tattoo is revealed, along with new passions and emotions between the two hunks she loves. About the Author: Em Petrova's unique characters love to push her buttons. When they demand to be tied up, spanked, or want to add another partner to their lives, she always listens to them. But when they start conversations during make-out sessions, she puts the brakes on and makes them toe the line. While penning her sexy stories she chews her nails, guzzles coffee, and listens to Tori Amos and Bush on her iPod.
eBook Publisher: Red Sage Publishing/Red Sage Presents, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: February 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [272 KB]
Reading time: 171-239 min.
"When are you going to tell her?" Will Cochran leaned against the granite kitchen countertop, ankles crossed, muscular thighs straining against his jeans, and his arms folded so his biceps flexed beneath his fitted shirt. His stance appeared casual, but Sean knew better.
Across the room, he met Will's level gaze. "Soon. She's not going to be happy." He jammed a hand through his hair. Keeping his and Will's mutual lover, Evangeline, from knowing that he'd been summoned to America by his art dealer was misery. Being immortal, she was fiercely protective of his mortal flesh, and had confessed her terror that tragedy would befall him, and neither she nor Will, her immortal mate, would be around to Make him immortal too.
Yet, they refused to change him.
Sean opened his mouth to argue this point, but Will guessed what he was about to say. He held up a broad palm to silence Sean. "You know it's out of the question, man."
After throwing a glance at the kitchen doorway to ensure Evangeline wasn't standing there to overhear, Sean dug in for battle. "My mortality is like quicksand, ready to pull me under any moment. She's afraid of losing me. This is the only answer."
Will shook his head. Auburn hair tumbled onto one smoldering brown eye and he knuckled it away. "We've discussed this. We can't do it. Why do you want to upset a perfect situation?"
Sean slashed the air with a hand. Irritation burned in his chest, but so did fear. Fear that he'd be involved in a fatal accident on the twisting Argentinean roads, or be bitten by a poisonous snake while trekking through the wilds, and leave Evangeline truly devastated. They had a special connection--a connection akin to the immortal Calling. Her soul had chosen Will as immortal mate, but her heart and head had refused to let Sean go.
"I could go to Los Angeles for this trip and be a drive-by shooting victim. How would Evangeline handle that?"
A sharp puff of breath burst from Will as if Sean had struck him in the gut. His mouth twisted in pain, and he pulled away from the counter and crossed the room to Sean. Honestly, Sean lived for this man as much as he lived for Evangeline. Both of them would be stricken by his loss.
All the more reason to share their immortal blood.
Will stopped inches away, and his masculine scent filled Sean's head. "Nothing's going to happen to you, Livingston. Got that? Because Evangeline needs you. I need you. Now let's deal with the real question here, and that is when are you going to tell her about your trip?"
"I said soon, dammit," he snapped. He swung away and strode for the brand new industrial coffee maker. Their villa was still in construction phase, but the kitchen had been one of the first rooms to be completed. It was tricked out in top-of-the-line appliances and the latest gadgets. Since Evangeline was a coffee connoisseur, they'd spared no expense on this contraption.
But only Sean knew how to brew her favorite drink. He measured a precise amount of coffee beans, put them through the grinder, and then dumped them into the machine and added purified water. He could hear Will's noisy, irritated breathing, but ignored it. Let him churn a little at the thought of Sean leaving, of dealing with Evangeline's hysterics. For the past six months they'd cohabitated, she had grown increasingly more nervous about Sean being parted from her, and now wouldn't let him leave the house without her or Will.
Down the hall, a door shut, and he knew his beautiful lover had finally awakened. While the upper floor of the villa was being finished, the three of them were sharing a smaller guest room downstairs.
"Either tell her or lose the attitude until you're ready, Sean."
He fixed Will in his stare. "I will," he said through his clenched jaw. In minutes, she would walk into the kitchen, following the smell of fresh coffee, her hair mussed, and a sleepy smile on her face. Would she sense the tension humming between him and Will?
As he stared at the rich dark brew filling the glass pot, he struggled to think of a way to break it to her. His agent needed him. A big show. Better for him to appear in person. Huge group of collectors present. A lot of money on the line.
After he'd chased Evangeline to South America to save her from that sick fuck Marcus, he'd abandoned his career as a deejay and taken up his art full time. A few months before, the three of them had returned to America to close up his apartment and sell a few pieces of art to an important Chicago gallery owner, who had immediately contacted his colleague, an influential L.A. dealer.
"Got a grip, Sean? 'Cause she's coming."
"Yeah, yeah." He reached into an upper cupboard and withdrew Evangeline's favorite mug.
"Let's talk about the construction crew." Will's voice was pitched low, and a shiver of need ran through Sean. His dusky tone drew Sean into the memories of their encounters in bed.
Hardly a day passed that the three of them didn't make love. With the extra person in their lives, they continually came up with new configurations. He didn't think they'd ever recreated the same session.
"Looks like the crew will finish up the villa before the new year. We can have that rocking party," Sean said, going along with the guise that he and Will weren't bottling enough tension to dynamite a portion of the Andean Mountains away.
"Only if you deejay it, man."
Sean spun at the sound of Evangeline's light step, and was rewarded with her sweet smile. He returned it, unable to hold onto his worry when she was in the room. She was a sun, and he and Will were locked in her orbit.
Will reached her first, and she turned into his arms, face upturned for his kiss. Sean knew her mouth would be minty from toothpaste, and her flesh still heated from the layers of blankets they needed here in the mountains.
Abandoning the coffee, he went to them, lured by the sight of their entangled bodies and soft brushing of their mouths. Their arms unfolded simultaneously to draw him into their embrace. He hugged them tight, and dropped a kiss to Evangeline's lips. They gave way beneath his, and with a growl, he pressed harder, demanding more.
Will's hand snaked around his nape and added his dark, musky flavor to their kiss. She opened her mouth wide to admit both of their tongues, and they shared a moan.
A flame of desire kindled low in Sean's core, and his cock hardened. The mere thought of boarding a jet and leaving the two people he loved most in this world terrified him too. Because last time Evangeline had been pulled from him, she had soul-bonded with Will, leaving Sean crazed with hurt. And the last time, she'd been kidnapped.
They'll be here when you come back. It's only a week.
He withdrew from the kiss and looked directly into Will's eyes. The golden brown depths urged him to tell her. That now was a good time. That the clock was ticking, and in less than two days, he'd be on a flight to L.A.
But she wasn't going to like it. And Sean just couldn't bear to see the tears and worry on her gorgeous face.
He cradled her delicate jaw, thumbs probing the tender flesh behind her ears. Will squeezed his bicep as if to say, "Go on."
"Evangeline. . . . "
She gave him the full force of her gaze, and his heart stuttered. She was everything he wanted in a woman--soft and feminine and witty and giving and absolutely glowing.
Glowing with immortal life.
"Yes?" Her hair had grown over the past months, and was no longer pixie-short, but curled around her ears in a dark halo. The violet streak she dyed at the front fell over her forehead, and he brushed it away.
He brushed the immortal tattoo at the corner of her eye. Inky blue runes and stars wove out of the neckline of her tiny T-shirt, trailed up her throat, curled around the front of her ear, and ended in a spattering at the corner of her eye. If another immortal touched it, she would receive a sort of electric shock. If her immortal mate Will touched it, she'd experience erotic sensations. But she and Sean were so attuned to one another; his touch could calm her or excite her too. Sean wore a more masculine version of her tattoo on his forearm with the phrase 'a love like ours never dies' intermingled with the runes and stars.
But if they made him immortal, an immortal tattoo exclusive to him would appear somewhere on his body.
He lowered his mouth until he could taste her breath. Again, need raged through his veins. Possess her. And Will. Let them know how much you love them. Prove your importance in their lives.
And maybe they'll Make you immortal before you go.
He pressed her lower back until their hips collided. "I want you," he growled, and then claimed her lips. He swept her off her feet, and Will stepped aside to allow them to pass. Evangeline's curves molded to him as they all made their way to the bedroom.
The cool tile transitioned to plush carpet beneath Sean's bare feet. The weight of his lover in his arms, and the touch of her lips on his throat brought him to a boil. When he laid her tenderly on the king-sized bed with Will pressed close, he didn't know how he'd ever climb out and board a flight.
He hovered over her, supported on his elbows, as he gazed into her eyes. Brilliant blue. Will called them hyacinth blue and he was absolutely correct.
Will ran a hand down Sean's spine to rest at the top of his ass. A shiver ran through him, and his balls clenched tight. His cock ached, demanding to be touched. Will drew him close and kissed him. The rough feel of his unshaven jaw and the hard demand of his mouth filled Sean's head with visions of Will's beard on his abs, scraping a path to his cock.
Evangeline moaned as their kiss deepened, and they broke away to include her, taking turns nibbling her lush lips. As Sean worked his tongue against hers, he skimmed her breast with his palm, cupping the full mound, his thumb circling the tip. Her nipple swelled at his touch, making her nipple ring evident beneath the fabric of her T-shirt. Will dipped his head and captured the other nub, suckling her through the cloth. She arched, her sigh ragged against Sean's mouth.
"How's it feel to have two men pleasure you?" he whispered, leaning back to look at her.
Her dark lashes fluttered against her cheeks, and her hips lifted to grind against his. "Love it. Love you."
Will's warm gaze penetrated his, sending a spark of need through him. He focused on his tongue against her white T-shirt, how it grew wetter until her pale pink nipple was visible. Sean edged the hem of her shirt up over her taut belly. Her navel ring gleamed in the morning sun slanting through the windows, and her skin was rendered golden. He let his fingers creep up her torso, baring her to Will's kisses.
Sean drew the shirt over her head and it fell to the floor with a whisper. He cupped her breasts, holding them together so Will could lave each. The tip of his tongue skimmed Sean's thumb, and he shuddered as a spike of heat hit his core.
"More," Evangeline gasped, writhing from Sean's hands and Will's mouth.
Without a word, they began to strip each other. As Sean pulled off Will's shirt, his hair flopped into his eyes. He tossed his head with a grin, and reached for Sean. His shirt was discarded, and Evangeline's delicate hands played over his chest, making him throb. When their jeans were abandoned, Evangeline spread her palm over Will's lower abs where his immortal tattoo lived--rows of numbers so crowded, they looked like graphic art.
He sucked in a breath at her touch, and his eyes hooded with desire. What would it feel like to share a bond with Evangeline like that?
He and Will each hooked a finger in the elastic of her lavender lace panties, and slowly twitched them down her narrow hips.
The sight of her bare, juicy sex made Sean groan. "I've gotta taste her."
"No," Will said, eyes dark with emotion and lust. "You hold her while I fuck her first."
"Yes," Evangeline moaned.
Sean's fingertips tingled in anticipation. Her face was alight with eagerness, her eyes wide and soft. He kissed her long and deep, angling his head to drink from her delicious mouth. The scents of sandalwood and vanilla filled his nose, coated his brain with a blanket of desire.
Will prodded his shoulder, and Sean lifted his head to give Will his fair due. Their mouths collided. Hard. Demanding. Will's flavor excited him as much as Evangeline's. Sean's cock bobbed on his abdomen and his two lovers reached for it simultaneously.
With a groan, Sean's world narrowed to the warm feel of her fingers at the base of his shaft, and Will's rougher touch on the head. Rolling it between his fingers. Driving him mad.
Will's tongue flipped against his, and he snaked an arm around him, yanking him closer.
Abruptly, Will backed off and pressed him down with a palm on the chest. His expression was fiery and full of intent. He might want to bury his cock in Evangeline first, but Sean knew he wouldn't be left wanting.
He sank back on a bed of pillows, arms open to receive her. She positioned her ass against his groin and he shifted until his rod lay against the seam. Using one arm under her breasts, he brought her to rest against him as she spread her thighs for Will. Sean held Will's eyes for a long minute as he rubbed the tip of his erection over her juicy slit.
Sean's cock stiffened against her ass. Watching them make love was a huge turn-on for him. To hold her and feel her splinter from Will's thrusts would threaten to send him over the edge.
"Watch me slide into her, Sean." With a jerk, he joined them, burying himself balls deep. Evangeline cried out with pleasure and she lifted her legs higher. Sean gently gripped her outer thighs and pulled her legs back. Will's moan made his heart hammer. And the scents of their bodies mixed in his brain--a love cocktail.
He trailed his mouth over her tattoo, and she tipped her head to allow him better access. Emotion welled inside him. This was where he belonged--here with Evangeline and Will. His universe was complete in their arms, and his new career in art was an added bonus to his life.
A bonus which would take him away from them soon.
He looked into Will's eyes, seeing passion blurring the depths. As Will rocked against Evangeline, she rubbed against Sean. White heat spread through his groin. If they kept this up for long, he'd come. The taste of her flesh, the feel of her in his arms, and Will's steady gaze ignited him.
Evangeline tensed, breath rasping, and she gripped Will's bicep even as she curled her fingers around the back of Sean's neck. "Harder. More. God, Sean, your mouth is good."
He swirled his tongue over her tattoo, familiar with every rune and star as if he'd drawn them himself. But they'd been drawn by Will's immortal blood. Blood he could share with them too, if only. . .
She shattered in his hold. Hips bucking to meet Will's thrusts, crying out as her release pounded her. She ground against Sean's cock, and he groaned, struggling to keep from blowing.
He focused on Will's expression. His mouth was twisted in ecstasy, his pupils blown wide. He was close. So close.
"Come on, baby," Evangeline chanted, still vibrating from her orgasm. "Pour your hot come into me."
With a groan, he exploded. Jerking, driving his erection deep into her pussy as he spilled his love fluids. Sean clamped a hand on Will's shoulder, stroking his quivering muscle. Will dipped his head and claimed Evangeline's mouth. Their kiss slowed in time to their movements. And then Will broke away and turned to Sean. He ran his tongue along Sean's lower lip, and then said, "Your turn."
He withdrew from Evangeline's body, and his cock hung free, still glistening with their combined juices. Evangeline started to roll off, but Sean gripped her hips. He put his lips to her ear and rumbled, "Straddle my face. I want to eat you."
A shiver coursed through her, and as Sean scooted down on the bed so he was lying flat, she climbed atop him. Their gazes met, and he smiled at the soft look in her eyes. A pink stain mottled her breasts and throat, and made her cheeks glow. Will called it her "sex flush." And both men lived to see it.
He sank his fingers into the tender flesh of her upper thighs. "Sit on my face. I want to taste you and Will."
Will caressed her spine as she lowered herself over Sean's mouth. Her soaking pussy hovered inches from his tongue. He spent a moment breathing in her sweet scents and reveling in the heat emanating from her bare skin. Then flicked his tongue over her tight slit.
She gasped. Love cream flooded his mouth. Gently, he lapped at her outer labia, and worked his way toward her honey hole.
At that moment, Will lay across his lower body. His rod stiffened in anticipation, and his breath came faster, knowing he was about to experience one of his lover's mind-numbing blow jobs.
Will toyed with him, nipping a path up his inner thighs. Sliding a forefinger down the underside of his shaft. His heated breath sent crazed lust pounding through Sean's veins. Burning to participate, he opened his mouth, and drew Evangeline's clit onto his tongue.
Her taste electrified him. Heady musk mixed with Will's stronger male flavor. He sucked her nubbin gently, swirling his tongue over the stiff peak as Will's mouth enveloped his cock.
He stopped breathing. White heat swallowed his shaft and the swollen head nudged the back of Will's throat. A drop of pre-come oozed from the tip, and Will moaned as he tasted it. "Oh, my God," Sean rumbled against Evangeline's pussy. She sank her hands into his hair and ground against him.
"That's it. Eat up all that cream. Make me come. Your tongue is so fucking hot. Right there!"
Will's tongue flickered over the head of his cock. Every muscle in Sean's body locked, prepared to blow, trying to stave it off. The waves of pleasure built in him, cresting and rolling. He felt Evangeline's first pulsations on his tongue, and he deliberately slowed, finding her hard core and wiggling it tenderly.
Will reached under him and pulled him deeper into his mouth, sending Sean over the edge. He lifted his hips, fucking Will's face as Evangeline fucked his. Their bodies undulated in one gasping, shuddering mass. He was on the edge of the precipice of bliss, ready to tip over. But he had to take her with him.
As he licked her hardened pearl, he plunged two fingers into her love cavern and located the soft G-spot on her inner wall. Stroked it once. Twice.
She came apart. Pussy contracting, hands twisting in his hair. Juices flooding his mouth. With a growl, Sean ruptured. Spilling his seed into Will's mouth. He gulped it as Sean unloaded spurt after spurt.
Sean and Will slowed their actions, and then the three of them disengaged, tumbling into a mass of limbs and lips. Swapping kisses. Sharing heat. And love.
This was the perfect opportunity to tell Evangeline that he was going away, but that he'd spend the entire week away from them wanting this--the holding and touching.
Evangeline snuggled into the crook of his arm and Will plastered himself to her other side. Over her flushed form, Will met his eyes.
Damn. I know, I know. Give me a minute to recover.
He stared at the ceiling for a long minute, allowing his eyes to un-focus. The colors of the room blurred into muted tones of gray and blue and violet--hues they'd purposely chosen to compliment Evangeline.
"I love you both so much. My world couldn't be any more perfect," she sighed.
Sean's heart lurched. It's only a business trip. Nothing more. But the feeling of foreboding weighed on him so heavily, his gut instincts told him otherwise.
"I'm glad you have Will to take care of you, baby," Sean blurted.
Her eyes flashed to his. Will's slid away, and he shook his head a little.
Sean cleared his throat, arms flexing around her. This wasn't the way he'd meant to tell her, and yet, his feet were wet. He might as well wade into the waters.
"Evangeline, I have to make a trip to L.A."
Her lips fell open and a soft sigh emitted. "When?"
He hated the tremulous sound of that word. He folded his lips into a line. "Two days. My dealer made the arrangements."
She stirred, and then pulled from his arms to sit up. Behind her back, he and Will exchanged a look. Will sat up too, and drew her against his side. Sean climbed around the mattress so he could see her expression.
The sex flush had dissipated and her skin paled considerably. She refused to meet his gaze.
"Evangeline." He cradled her face in his hands and ducked his head to make her see him. "Tell me what you're thinking."
A quiet noise broke from her chest--a noise that broke his heart.
Will gripped her tighter. "Sweetheart, it's a week. We all know you worry about Sean, but nothing is going to happen to him. He's going to sell a few works, schmooze some buyers and the press, and then fly home. That's it."
A crease appeared between her long dark brows, and Sean leaned in to kiss it hard. "It's true. But I worried about telling you. I don't like to see you upset."
"Why don't we all go?"
Once again, Sean and Will looked at each other. Will shook his head. "I can't leave the construction crew to their devices. They'd end up having a week-long party in the downstairs while the upstairs went untouched."
Unfortunately, he was right. The best answer was for the three of them to take off to L.A, but it wasn't really feasible at the moment.
A look of resolution settled over her face. "I can go and see my agent, too. Hand-deliver the recordings he's looking for." Before either she or Sean knew she was immortal, and had been linked to Will through The Calling, she had been picked up by an agent in the nightclub after Sean played her recording. Since then, she had been writing and recording, sending out the songs which her agent would then sell.
She looked Sean fully in the eyes, and it was like a punch to the stomach. The tears dangling from the lower rims deflated him. "Please, Sean. One of us needs to be with you."
"Nothing will happen to me."
"You don't know that!"
"Baby, the chances are slim that I'd face any danger other than a hangover."
Her fingers dug into his biceps. "Take me with you." Her hot plea made his throat close up.
"Evangeline, you know you can't leave Will. The separation will be too much for both of you." Their bond demanded they remain with one another. If they didn't, they'd suffer from symptoms similar to withdrawal--tremors and a feeling of madness. Sean couldn't submit them to this torment.
"Maybe she's right." Will's voice was strained. Lines were etched around his mouth. His deep distress was evident in the forced fluidity of his voice and the set of his broad shoulders. No, he didn't want this. But he was willing to give Evangeline what she wanted--needed--to be happy.
"No. Will, she can't leave you. Remember how it was when Marcus took her? The violent trembling? I can't do that to her. She has to stay with you."
Suddenly, Will looked at her hard, and Sean's heart flipped, knowing they were communicating silently, as bonded immortals could. No matter what, he'd never have that with her. At least not as a mortal.
Will turned her to face him. "Baby, is this what you want?"
"No, she can't--"
"Yes," she whispered. One slender hand lifted to Will's jaw, and she rasped the hair there with a thumb. "I love you, Will, but you know what's in my head, and I can't bear to live with Sean being parted from one of us. It might be irrational, but it's my fear. It won't hurt me much to be away from you for a week. We'll survive it. And you know that Sean was able to ease me when. . . when Marcus separated us."
The memories rose up in Sean's mind, sharp and bright. The acute pain of that time returned, swelling into a cloud of despair that hovered over him. Finding Evangeline had been kidnapped and tortured, Sean had fought to keep her safe. And that meant soothing her, even after he discovered she was irrevocably connected to another man. His touch on her immortal tattoo could lessen the shakes, but he couldn't stop her marrow-deep need for Will's presence.
"A week is too long. I won't allow it."
Something passed between Will's and Evangeline's gazes, and Sean ground his molars against the need to growl out his frustration. They tried to refrain from communicating telepathically when he was around, but times like this especially wore on his nerves. He felt disconnected--alone. And suddenly angry.
He made a slashing motion with his hand. "Whatever you two are saying, stop. I'm going alone, and that's it."
Simultaneously, they reached for him. Will's arm slid around his waist as Evangeline's encircled his neck. "We're sorry, Sean. Don't be angry with us. But we know that we'll be all right if separated."
He wanted so badly to believe that, to think of boarding that jet with Evangeline's hand in his. And as much as he loved Will and appreciated him in every way, it would be nice to have her to himself. Alone.
Will squeezed him. "We'll be all right. You take Evangeline and go to L.A. I'll stay and oversee the construction. I have so many papers to grade, I won't see the light of day anyhow." Will had taken a position as a professor at a nearby university, and his online classes often swamped him.
Sean stared into Evangeline's eyes for a long moment. He felt a slight vibration coming from her, running under her skin. Could she be afraid he'd turn her away? If he outright refused to let her travel with him, could he withstand her tears? He already knew her argument--that he'd lose his life in some freak accident, leaving her and Will with an eternity of broken hearts.
He wanted to say none of this would matter if he was immortal too. But he was too drained to take up that argument again.
"You have less than two days to change your minds," he said.
With a squeal of delight, she hurled her arms around his neck, causing them to topple back on the bed. Her lips opened under his, tongue sinking deep into his mouth. He could taste her joy and allowed the smile in his heart to spread to his face. Then he broke away and passed it on to Will.