Blood Love (God Wars Book 4) (5 page)

BOOK: Blood Love (God Wars Book 4)
4.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

"Wow, that must have hurt," Trace walked in, grinning.

"What?" Ashe asked.

"Bring your cake—we'll go out to the groves," Trajan lifted his plate and fork.

"Lead on," Ashe nodded. He and Trajan disappeared.

* * *

Ashe's Journal

"You're not joking, are you?" I shook my head at Trajan.

"Look, you're Strength, right? Isn't that what Bree needs? Strength?"

"But how," I almost stuttered the words as it hit me. Breanne—physically, anyway—was vampire. If she took my blood—was it worth the effort?

"What will it hurt? She'll only take a little—she gags otherwise," Trajan pointed out. "Last I heard from Charles and Jayson, you'll never know she's there. Until, well," Trajan didn't finish.

"The climax, you mean?"

"Yeah. Look, boss, you haven't had, uh," he floundered for a moment before giving up.

"Not in a while," I agreed grimly. For me, sex didn't mean much unless I cared about the woman, and there'd been few of those through the years. Yes, I knew how. I'd studied it quite intensely between my seventeenth and thirty-fifth years. Practiced it too—after my twentieth birthday, Trajan and I had been in plenty of bars, from one end of the Alliances to the other. Women always approached us.

Both of us, however, had tired of casual sex. We'd begun waiting—hoping—for the one for us to come along. Kalia's face kept appearing in my mind throughout the years. I measured any woman I met against her and found them wanting.

"Look, it won't be a big deal. What if you do need to uh, change your shorts? So what?"

I'll admit, that made me laugh. Trajan was doing it on purpose, too. I felt as if I were sixteen again, and as inexperienced as I'd been back then.

"You mean I'll drop my wad in my pants? Is that what you're saying?" I asked.

Trajan bent over, and it took me a moment to realize he was holding back laughter. Finally, a loud guffaw escaped and he fell to his knees while laughter poured out of him.

Yes, he'd been incredibly stressed when he had no idea whether Breanne would survive. Now that she was back and things were looking up, he was releasing all the tension in booming laughter.

"Bro, I could hear you from two miles away," Trace folded in to stare at his older brother.

"He's releasing some steam," I shrugged at Trace. "Look, we may have an option to help Kay and Breanne. At least I hope it'll work. We just have to convince Breanne when she wakes," I said.

"What's that?" Trace was interested immediately. "Chessman asked about her when I took Frank home."

"Ashe is gonna give Bree some blood." Trajan stood and grinned at his brother.

"Seriously? Sounds like a cool idea. Hope it works," Trace lifted a speculative eyebrow at Ashe. "How long has it been since?"

"We were just discussing that, and the inevitable necessity of changing my underwear," I replied, feigning indifference.

"You could always talk to Aedan, too," Trajan pointed out.

"Yeah. I guess I could talk to Dad," I agreed. "See ya." I folded away.

* * *

"Son?" He looked up as I approached. Aedan Evans, the only father I would ever know, looked up from the seedling gishi tree he was planting.

"Dad, I need some advice," I said.

"What kind of advice?" He was surprised—I hadn't come to him for advice in two hundred years.

"About the bite."

"Ah. How is she?" he asked, going back to his task and settling dirt around the fragile stem. "Breanne," he added. Everybody at SouthStar knew. It didn't matter—they couldn't pass the barrier anyway. Not without permission and somebody powerful enough to ferry them through. Only three people could do that, and the other two wouldn't do it without my knowledge or consent.

"Better, but really, really weak," I replied.

"So you think to allow her to take from you."

"Yeah. It was a thought and worth a try, since Kay may benefit in the long run."

"Breanne can help Kay?" Dad turned his full attention to me, then.

"Yeah. She says she can, anyway, and there's no reason not to believe her."

"Is there any way?" he began. I knew what he wanted—he wanted to have things as they were before with my mother.

"Dad, I don't know." What I did know—and had never told him (or my mother) was that Breanne had already helped them a great deal. The fact that they hadn't been honest with each other was what eventually drove them apart. I still had hope that they'd set that aside someday.

I felt guilt, too, that Breanne had come to my defense in the past. I felt more than guilt, actually, and wished for perhaps the thousandth time that I'd recognized her when Trajan first brought her to SouthStar. Those things she'd done for me—and my parents—would come about in her future, but I still held hope that she wouldn't be so upset with me that she'd withhold the help she'd given.

That didn't even touch on the fact that she could have helped Kay immediately—if I'd only allowed Trajan to keep her here. So many things had gone awry and I had little reason or explanation for it, other than blaming my own fucking temper.

"Dude?" Sali appeared at my side and watched as my father planted another seedling.

"Sal?" I turned to him.

"How's everything up at the big house?"

"Some things better, some things the same," I shrugged.

"Nothing new with Kay?"

"Not yet, but we may be able to fix that soon. Actually, Breanne may be able to fix that soon. When she gets her strength back."

"I'd like to meet her."

"Come up to the house for dinner. Graegar said she'd be awake by then."

* * *

Breanne’s Journal

I woke next to Bill, who was sitting up and reading on a comp-vid, his feet, covered in socks, stretched out on the bed beside me.

"Feel better?" he asked, setting the comp-vid aside.

"Road kill probably feels better than I do," I wrinkled my nose at him, so he’d know I was teasing.

"At least you look better than road kill," he grinned.

"Reading a book?" I asked.

"Nah. Just keeping up on reports of criminal activity across the Alliances; nothing for you to worry about," he leaned over and kissed me, his mouth lingering on mine for a few seconds before pulling away.

"You can take the man away from the department, but you can’t take the department away from the man?" I teased. "Wanting to get back in the thick of it?" I asked, more seriously.

"Bree, Ashe is keeping my body young. SouthStar has that effect on everybody who comes here. If I leave, that goes away and I start aging again, unless I'm with Ashe and he's shielding me."

He was right—Bill looked to be in his early thirties, when he was actually much older. "There’s a way to change that," I pointed out.

"I don’t want to be vampire," he said.

"That’s not the only way," I huffed. "The Saa Thalarr do it all the time. Whoever gets their blood gains immortality."

"Is that how it works?"

"Yeah. Adam Chessman gave me blood, which not only healed me, but gave me the ability to walk in daylight and eat normal food. It’s the way that race was created."

"Why did he have to heal you?"

"Well, uh, let’s say that my first few weeks as vampire weren’t the best," I hedged.

"You walked into the sun?" Bill stared at me in shock. "You attempted suicide?"

"Bill, I thought everybody knew about that. I see that’s not the case."

"I knew," Kevis walked into my suite without knocking.

"I think a sharing of information might be in order," Bill growled.

"Bill, I think I know better now," I slapped a hand over my eyes.

"You think so? What was that stunt then, at that stupid church? Tell me that wasn’t suicide. And for what?"

I should have known that I’d hurt him—and the others too, by doing what I did. Yes, he’d suffered afterward, when he had no idea whether I’d survived.

"I’m sorry, honey. It was stupid, but I didn’t know what else to do."

"Bree, I don’t want to yell at you, but, actually, I do want to yell. I don’t want to upset you, but I want to yell at somebody or something. I watched you for nine fucking days, with my heart squeezing in my chest because I didn’t know if you were still in there." He tapped the top of my head with a finger. "I don’t even want to talk about the time I spent on Earth when I thought you were dead."

"Bill." I took his face in my hands. "I’m sorry for putting you through that. If I could make any part of that easier for you, I would."

"I know, sweetheart. I just," He shook his head, as if that might dispel his anger.

"I’ll do what I can, as soon as I get my strength back," I ran fingers through his short, dark-brown hair.

"What will you do?" he asked.

"What I’ll do for Kay, only on a lesser scale. I don’t think you need as much as she does."

"As much what?"

"Love," I said. "I love you, Bill Jennings, no matter what you might think, or how mad you might get."

"Thank goodness for that," he pulled me into a tight hug.

"Are we better now?" Kevis said brightly. I’d forgotten he was there while Bill and I had our small meltdown. There was nothing like having a shared breakdown in front of a psychiatrist, I suppose.

"We’re better now," Bill mumbled into my hair. He didn’t want to let me go, it seemed, as his arms remained tightly wound around me.

"Good. Less for me to sort out later," Kevis grinned.

"What are you not sorting out?" Trajan walked in, followed by Ashe and another werewolf—Salidar DeLuca. Lowering my shields, I read Sali. He'd once been best friends with Ashe, but things had separated them somewhat.

Ashe was what he was, after all, and Sali had no idea how to deal with much of that. He felt inferior and had spent years studying and learning how to fight in a constant effort to improve himself. It was an attempt to level the playing field and close the distance between himself and Ashe. They remained friends, but might never be as close as they once were.

"A bit of anger from understandable stress and a temporary loss of control," Kevis said. "Nothing world-shattering."

"Bill, I blasted piles of brush to bits," Trajan said. "Worked out some kinks, that way."

"Next time you go, take me with you," Bill sighed. "I tried to take it out on my girl."

"Bill, stop." I leaned away and placed a hand over his mouth. "Let’s face it, if Hank were here, he’d have done a whole lot worse."

"We would have to clear smoke for days," Trajan agreed solemnly.

I sagged against Bill. Whether I liked it or not, I had to get back to Earth in the past to do what I could, and that, by default, meant catching up with Hank again. I wasn’t looking forward to that.

"What’s this about?" Bill noticed the difference immediately.

"Hank’s gonna yell," I muttered. Jayson would be right behind him, and likely so would Bill and Trajan—their past selves, anyway.

"It upsets you when that happens, doesn’t it? It terrifies you, in fact. Doesn’t it?" Kevis the shrink was back.

"I don’t want to talk about it." I huddled against Bill again.

"We messed up the last time," Bill whispered.

"How bad was the beating this time?" Kevis asked.

"Kevis, I died. I stood outside my body and knew it was dead. That’s how bad it was. Are you gonna talk about my PTSD now?" I turned my eyes on him and blinked.

"Bree, I can’t talk about your PTSD. Only you can do that." Kevis sat on the edge of my bed and studied me. Was there concern in his eyes? Yes. Overwhelming concern. I didn’t know what to do with that. "It might help if you did talk about it," he added.

"I’m not comfortable with that." I buried my face against Bill’s shoulder.

"I know," Kevis soothed. "Maybe someday you’ll feel comfortable enough with me to tell me those things. This isn’t a job to me, Breanne. Dad and I—we both care about you. We want you happy. If it takes one of these guys to be with you, to hold you while you let this go by talking about it, then so be it. I’ll go with whatever works."

"Kevis, that may be a long time in coming," I mumbled.

"Take your time—there’s no hurry," he patted my shoulder and stood to stretch. "I believe Ashe has something to say before we go to dinner."

I turned my head and watched as Kevis walked out of my suite. Ashe took Kevis’ place on the side of my bed. "Look," he began, "this feels as awkward to me as it will to you," he continued. "But Traje pointed it out to me earlier, and it may be worth a try."

"What?" I asked.

"Well, I’m Strength, so, maybe it would do you some good to get my blood. All I’d ask in return, if the experiment is successful, is for you to help Kay."

"You want me to bite you?" I stared in disbelief. "You know what happens when," I didn’t finish.

BOOK: Blood Love (God Wars Book 4)
4.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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