Loving Instincts

an excerpt

Chapter One

The heat of Titus's body warmed Andreas's bare skin. Andreas leaned against him, whispering, "Do it again, Ty."

Low chuckles rumbled in Titus's throat. "Haven't I done it enough?"

Andreas shook his head. "I love watching you do it."

Titus exhaled a sigh, feigning exasperation. He lifted his hands for Andreas to see them. "I don't know why I find it impossible to say no to you."

Andreas watched as Titus's fingernails lengthened, the tips of them narrowing to sharp points. Being a zoologist, he'd studied and witnessed countless incredible adaptations in several species, but this was one of the most amazing. But then, he found everything about vampires to be amazing, and the one lying at his side was the most incredible of them all.

Andreas snuggled into him. "My guess is because you love me."

Titus rolled his head on his pillow, looking into Andreas's eyes. "I'll agree with that."

Andreas touched their lips together. Titus's lips-so soft, so warm-beneath his own. Even with the kiss being chaste, he could feel the passion and love Titus had for him.

Andreas slowly drew back, opening his eyes to meet Titus's gaze. He rested his hand on Titus's cheek. Six months had passed since he first looked into Titus's silver eyes. In that time he learned just how much he could love someone, and it was with every part of his mind, body, heart, and soul.

When they first met, he was focused only on revenge for his sister's death, wanting to become a vampire for no other reason other than to kill and destroy. Those feelings faded the more time he spent in Titus's arms. He gave Titus full credit for guiding him back to the man he'd always been, and even more, for showing him the man he wanted to be.

Andreas moved his gaze over Titus. The white gold of Titus's platinum blond hair contrasted against the black silk pillow case. Titus's chiseled features held a masculine beauty. Andreas looked lower, his gaze traveling over Titus's smooth chest, the pectorals thick with muscle, to the abdomen with deep grooves of definition.

The black silk sheet was pushed down to where the top edge of Titus's trimmed pubic hair showed, but Andreas could see the outline through the sheet of the most perfect cock he'd ever dreamed of-long, thick, uncut. And if he were to roll Titus over, he could gaze upon an ass just as perfect, the muscled cheeks beautifully rounded.

Andreas brought his gaze back to Titus's eyes. He felt he could never get enough of drinking in their silver hue. More than once he'd called Titus an evolutionary masterpiece. Nothing could be more true in his mind.

In the grand timeline of things, the time they'd spent together wasn't much, and yet when he looked into Titus's eyes, he saw his eternity. It was now for love, not revenge, that he wanted an immortal life. He'd never been one to fear death, until he fell in love with Titus. Now the thought of it terrified him because he didn't want to leave Titus for whatever existence was beyond life. That's why he was going to become a vampire. Very soon. He just needed to tell Titus when.

"You're staring at me again," Titus said.

"Because you're so beautiful. And I'd think you'd be used to it by now."

"I am and I like it. I'd be more concerned if you stopped doing it."

Andreas placed another tender kiss on Titus's lips. He shifted down, resting his head on Titus's chest. "I've been thinking."

Titus drifted his fingers up and down Andreas's back. "I wasn't aware you ever stop."

Andreas gave him a light slap on the chest for his sarcasm, causing Titus to laugh softly. "Let me rephrase that. I've been thinking about one thing in particular lately."

"And that would be?"

"When I want you to Turn me."

Titus paused in stroking Andreas's back.

Turning was something they hadn't talked much about for a long time. They both knew it would happen eventually, he'd just never given Titus an idea of when. He had to give it to Titus for not pressuring him, even though he knew Titus was eager to make him a vampire, and for more reasons than one.

Andreas knew the primary reason was Titus's love for him. Titus wanted him at his side forever, just as much as he wanted to be at Titus's.

The second reason; his safety. In the past few months, they'd seen their share of danger from enemy vampires, and though their greatest enemy was now dead, there was no way to tell if or when more adversaries would rise against them.

With both those factors combined, it made him anxious to be Turned. Love was certainly the strongest of them, but for the safety aspect, it was more he wanted to be able to stand at Titus's side, fighting for and protecting him with equal strength.

Well, almost equal strength. Andreas glanced toward the wall across from the foot of the bed, where a glass case held ancient Roman armor, a sword, and other weapons, all of them artifacts from Titus's human life when he'd been a Centurion.

Titus Antonius Calidus was his full name, though Calidus, the name he was called by during his human days, was now reserved only for those closest to him, and of that, most shortened it to "Cal". Born in 63 B.C., turned in 28 B.C., he was an Ancient vampire, one of the few who'd lived for a thousand years. He was revered among vampire society, respected for his strength. Since it was from blood that a vampire grew in power, he would gain a measure of Titus's power when he was Turned.

In the past months, with Titus's patient lessons, he'd learned much about vampires. He already felt he was closer to them than he was his own humankind. Probably because their relationship made him spin lies to his human friends to cover what Titus was. The existence of vampires wasn't known to human society, and vampires preferred to keep it that way. There was no way to tell what the mass public's reaction would be at discovering vampires were more than myth, but judging from history, chances were it wouldn't be good.

It was those few connections to human society that had held him up from being Turned. As head zookeeper for the big cats, he loved his job. But he loved Titus more, and he was willing to do whatever he needed to be with him forever. He also knew Titus's love for him was just as strong.

Andreas's gaze moved from the case to the painting hanging directly across from the foot of the bed. Done in oils by Titus's skilled hand, it featured him and his lion, Dakarai, in a natural setting, rather than the zoo where Dak now lived. It'd taken Titus months to complete, but when he did, nothing surprised Andreas more than coming home from work and finding it hanging in their bedroom in a spot once occupied by another painting; one Titus had done of his deceased lover, Quintus. The meaning behind Titus doing such a thing was more profound than what he could put words to and all he wanted was to devote everything he was to Titus and their love.

Titus cleared his throat, bringing Andreas back to the moment.

"And what are your thoughts on when you want to be Turned?"

Andreas sat up fully, shifting around on the bed to look directly at him. "I was originally thinking on my birthday, but it's only April and July feels too far away, so how about next month?"

"I don't think two months will make much of a difference."

Andreas waited for Titus to say more, but it seemed Titus's thoughts were occupying him. He sat quiet, giving Titus time to think, but his impatience won out after a few moments. "So, you don't want to do it next month?"

Titus brought his gaze back to Andreas. "I didn't say that. I've always told you when you're ready, I'll Turn you. I just want to be sure you're really ready."

"It's what I've wanted since before I met you. The only difference is my reasons for wanting it now." Andreas took Titus's hands in both of his. He looked down at them and the ring on his right index finger, Titus's signet ring, silver with a roaring male lion's head, blood red rubies sparkling for the eyes. "You gave me this ring as a mark to all vampires that I was yours, but I want more. Not for other vampires, but for me. I want to be as close to you as possible. I want to be your eternal partner in all ways."

Titus lifted his free hand to rest it on Andreas's cheek. "And you are. It doesn't matter when you become a vampire. I could never look at you as anything less."

Andreas closed his eyes and tipped his head to the side, pressing his cheek into Titus's hand. "I know. And I feel two months won't make a difference either. That's why I want to do it on May first."

Titus chuckled softly. "That's only two weeks away. Not a month."

"Well, just because I'm a scientist doesn't mean I'm good at math."

Still chuckling, Titus reached up with both arms and pulled Andreas down to him, wrapping him in a tight embrace. "May first it is, then."

Andreas raised his head. "Seriously?"

"If it's what you want, then yes. I'll stand by my word to Turn you when you feel you're ready, and if that's when you feel it'll be, then that's when it'll happen." A smirk curved Titus's lips. He touched his index finger to Andreas's cheek, his fingernails turning to claws once again. He drew the pointed tip down Andreas's cheek, so lightly not even the faintest mark showed. "Haven't I already proven I can't say no to you?"

His cock starting to fill, Andreas nodded.

"Then I'll start making the arrangements."

Andreas's eyebrows drew closer with confusion. "Arrangements?"

"I know when we talked about it before, we discussed it just being us, but I think it'd be pertinent to have a member of the Tribunal witness it to not leave any doubt among vampires that I am your master. I'll call Egill and see that he can come in."

Andreas pictured Titus's friend, the vampire, Egill, in his mind. The guy was massive, towering well over six feet. With unruly red hair and rugged features, he had an untamed handsomeness about him, which seemed fitting since Egill had been a Viking in his human life. Egill was also an Ancient, and as a member of the Tribunal, the governing body over vampire society, he was extremely powerful.

Andreas let his finger travel down the center of Titus's chest. "If any Tribunal member was going to witness it, he'd be the only one I'd want around."

"I agree. And along with him, I'm sure Daniel and Ryu will want to be here for you."

"I'd like to have them with us for it. Isn't it crazy how when I first met Daniel, I could hardly stand him, but now I can't think of anyone else who I'd want with me for this?"

"Well, he does have a way of growing on you."

Andreas smiled at Titus. Daniel Valente and Ryunosuke Kimura, two vampires who he now looked at as his dearest friends, and for as much as Titus griped about Daniel, he knew Titus loved him. It wasn't the all-encompassing love that Titus had for him. It was the love of a master and a protector, as Titus had been the one to Turn Daniel. They'd been lovers off and on over the centuries, but now Daniel had his eternal partner in Ryunosuke, the beautiful modern-day samurai.

"Yeah, he does," Andreas said. "But when I talked to him the other day, he was saying after spring, they might finally leave Japan and head over to England so he could get some of his things. He hasn't been back since he and Ryu got together."

"If he's waited this long for his things, he can wait a little longer."

Andreas took Titus's hand. His heart fluttered with nerves, but even more, excitement filled him. "This is really going to happen, isn't it?"

"If you want it to." Titus laid his other hand over Andreas's. "You look happy about it. I'm a little surprised. I know it's what you've wanted, but you've been quiet about it lately, so I wasn't sure what you were feeling."

"I am happy about it. I think I've been quiet about it because I've been trying to figure out when the right time would be. I realized I just had to set a date, to have that to look forward to and know that's when it'd happen. Without that, it was like it was just hanging in limbo, and I think that was causing me more stress than anything."

Titus pushed himself up, sitting before Andreas. He cupped Andreas's face in both hands, looking intently into his eyes, searching them. "This is really what you want?"

Andreas nodded. "Yeah, it is. Because I want you, forever. A single human lifetime isn't anywhere near enough for me to spend with you."

Titus dropped his hands from Andreas's face to pull him into his arms. He buried his nose in Andreas's curly black hair, closing his eyes tight. His voice hushed. "Thank you."

"You don't have to thank me."

"No, I do. What you're going to do for me, for us, there's no greater gift. I'll never be able to thank you enough."

Titus touched his fingertips to Andreas's jaw, guiding him to his lips. The instant their lips touched, warmth coursed through Titus, but it was more than the heat of arousal. It was love. In all his years, only once had he known true love, and that was before he became a vampire. It'd been for his very first lover, his first soul-mate, Quintus Aurelius Lepidus. They'd grown up together, fought side by side as soldiers in the Roman Army, and spent every night in each other's arms.

When Quintus was ripped away from him, he had wanted nothing more than to follow Quintus to the afterlife. But that wish was denied to him by the blood and fangs of a vampire.

Years, decades, centuries, passed. He found others he could care for, and even love, but it wasn't the same kind of love he had for Quintus, where it entwined with his soul, it lived in his thoughts, and no matter what he did, he could feel it inside him. He didn't think he'd ever experience that kind of love again.

Until he met Andreas.

In so short a time, Andreas had taken claim to his heart and soul. Now, he couldn't bear the thought of facing eternity without him.

Titus pressed against Andreas, coaxing him to lie back. As Andreas eased down, Titus slowly ended the kiss to settle on top of him. He brushed Andreas's cheek with the backs of his fingers, looking into Andreas's stormy blue-gray eyes. The color of them, the life and fire behind them, drew him to Andreas the very moment he looked into them all those months ago.

Titus moved his hand up, wrapping one of Andreas's ebony curls around his finger. But there was nothing about Andreas that wasn't perfect. Andreas's facial features were soft and beautiful, but also strong. He was finely formed, well-muscled and fit. They stood nearly the same height, with him only slightly taller than Andreas.

And Andreas's cock, now fully hard and pressing against his own, was so fine a piece of flesh it left him often torn between what he wanted more, to feel it buried inside him, to taste it deep into his mouth, or to watch it spilling cum on Andreas's abdomen as he thrust into him.

Titus slid a hand down between Andreas's legs, going under his sac. As he touched Andreas's hole, he found him sticky with drying lube and cum from their earlier lovemaking. "Do you feel ready for more?"

A teasing grin turned up the corners of Andreas's mouth. "You're usually so astute. I can't believe you missed my hard dick against you and had to ask."

Catching Andreas's sarcasm, Titus pushed his hand beneath Andreas's head, tightening his fingers into a fist around a handful of curls. He pulled, forcing Andreas to tip his head back and expose his throat. Titus touched his lips to it and licked a thick line up it. "I was more asking because I was rather assertive before."

"You usually are when you first wake up."

Andreas started to bring his head forward. Titus loosened his hold, allowing Andreas's hair to slide freely through his fingers.

Andreas lightly nipped Titus's bottom lip. "And I love it."

"And I'm glad for that. But if I'm assertive, it's probably because I don't get to wake up with you as often as I'd like, since usually by the time I get up, you're already at work."

Andreas rubbed one leg along Titus's. "Guess it's a good thing I have the day off."

Titus placed a kiss in the hollow of Andreas's throat. "So we should take advantage of it."

Titus drifted lower on Andreas's body. He dragged his lips across Andreas's chest, the hair dusting it tickling them. He went to one nipple, circled it with his tongue and caught it between his front teeth, giving it a pull. Andreas sucked in a sharp breath and arched off the bed, his body pressing up to him.

Titus smiled. His responsiveness was one of the things that made Andreas such a perfect lover. He moved further down Andreas, kissing across the ridges of his muscled abdomen. As he neared Andreas's groin, he breathed deep through his nose, taking in Andreas's naturally sweet scent mixed with his own, edged in sweat and sex.

Titus moaned low in his throat and kissed the tender spot where Andreas's leg met his body. "I love it when you're covered in my scent and cum." He touched his tongue to the base of Andreas's cock and licked up to the head. Opening wider, he took it into his mouth.

Andreas's breath rushed from him in a sigh of pleasure.

Titus worked just the head in his mouth, sucking demandingly on it for several seconds, then he pushed deeper to take in more of the shaft. He swallowed the head, filling his mouth with Andreas's cock until his nose was buried in the short pubic hair.

Titus lifted up from Andreas's cock. It slowly slipped from his mouth. His hands braced on the bed, he gazed down at Andreas, drinking in his expression of a man lost in pleasure. It raised his desire to sink his cock inside him, to deliver even greater pleasure to him.

He turned on the bed, finding the bottle of lube near the foot. He smoothed a palmful over his cock. He shifted closer to him, and Andreas pulled his legs up to make entrance into him easier.

Titus bent forward to kiss Andreas's inner thigh. Straightening again, he pressed the tip of his cock to Andreas's hole and eased past the rim. He pushed deeper into him, his eyes slowly closing. Even though they'd recently made love, the heat and softness of Andreas inside, his tightness, made Titus feel as he could erupt with just a few thrusts.

Andreas wrapped his arms around him, pulling him down closer. Both of them sought each other's lips at the same moment. As soon as his tongue entered Andreas's mouth, Andreas started sucking on it.

Andreas slowed the kiss, his attention focusing toward the pleasure he was receiving from Titus's cock sliding in and out of him. He brushed his fingertips down Titus's back, and feeling the firm muscles working with every thrust turned him on even more. Andreas reached lower and clamped onto the muscled mounds of Titus's ass, pulling to try and force Titus deeper into him.

Understanding what Andreas wanted, Titus drove his cock into him as far as he could with a hard thrust. Andreas gasped under him, but didn't loosen his hold. He tipped his head back on the bed, turning it slightly.

Titus gazed at the exposed flesh. How Andreas had positioned his head made a large vein running down the side of his neck stand out against his skin. Saliva flowed in his mouth. His fangs lengthened. When he and Andreas made love earlier, he hadn't thought of feeding from him. All he'd wanted was to get inside him. Now, his other hunger needed to be satisfied.

Titus touched his lips to the vein in a soft kiss. He could feel Andreas's pulse quicken and knew it was in anticipation. It brought him another smile. Andreas's love of surrendering his blood to him was yet one other thing that made him so perfect.

Titus flicked out his tongue, licking and laying thick saliva where he was going to bite.

"Ty…" Andreas whispered, his voice filled with need.

Andreas's soft plea pushed Titus desire over the edge. He opened his mouth wide, his lips drawing back from his fangs, and eased the tips of them into Andreas.

Ecstasy overwhelmed Andreas. So powerful, he felt lifted beyond the physical realm to one of pure pleasure. He clung to Titus's ass, his cock grinding between their bodies as Titus continued to thrust into him while taking his blood. For as consumed in pleasure as he was, he still heard the soft moans Titus made between swallows.

Knowing his blood gave Titus so much pleasure, and also the sustenance he needed to live, satisfied something inside him. To give his blood to him was so very intimate. Even more so than sex. It was a part of him becoming part of Titus. Could there be anything more beautiful or special to do for the one he loved? He couldn't imagine so.

Titus sucked more demandingly at his neck, thrust harder, and the ecstasy Andreas already felt hit a higher level. He felt his orgasm building until it reached its breaking point. Warm, electric pleasure took hold of him as he erupted, moaning and rocking against Titus.

Titus felt Andreas's fluid slicking both their abdomens, and that combined with the sweet taste of Andreas's blood finished him. His moans muffled against Andreas's neck, he spilled his cum into him for the second time that morning.

He stopped taking Andreas's blood, his breathing heavy, Andreas's the same beneath him. He licked at his bite marks to slow their bleeding and to help them begin to heal. When blood no long came from them, he shifted lower on Andreas's body, resting his head on Andreas's chest. "I think you need to have more days off from work."

Andreas laughed softly, slowly coming down from his pleasure high. "I'm starting to agree with you on that. I know we've talked about how I could continue to work for a few years after I'm Turned, but living to just do this kind of thing might not be so bad either."

Titus grinned at him as he brought his lips closer to Andreas's. "I should hope not."

Andreas kissed him with smiling lips, tasting his blood on Titus's tongue. With the fading of his physical pleasure, his joy from earlier returned. The decision was made. In two weeks, he and Titus would be eternally bound. This would be his life, forever. And he couldn't be happier.