Blood Love (God Wars Book 4) (6 page)

BOOK: Blood Love (God Wars Book 4)
3.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

"I’ve been advised," Ashe replied dryly. "I’m willing to overlook, well, that’s not coming out right."

"You’re saying it won’t mean anything." What was I supposed to do? Once, I might have been a willing participant, so I could give him pleasure. He wanted nothing of the kind from me. I was merely a means to an end for him, and we were right back where we’d been before—when he’d yelled at Trajan to get me out of the house.

Kay, on the other hand, desperately needed my help. She needed to be in charge, instead of Kalia’s fears. I released a weary sigh. "I’ll do it," I said. "For Kay."

"That’s all I ask." Ashe rose. "Thank you." He walked out without another word.

"When?" I turned to Trajan.

"He says tomorrow morning, after you’ve rested again. Then we’ll see how much good it did."

"Yeah." At that moment, I wanted to mist away. Lick my wounds. Wallow in misery for a while. I didn’t have the strength to do it, and therein lay the problem.

* * *

"I said everything wrong." Ashe flopped onto the chair behind his desk.

"That seems to be a regular occurrence," Kevis pointed out. He’d waited in the hall outside Breanne’s bedroom while Ashe spoke with her. He’d then followed Ashe to his office. "Why do you think Breanne might see this as anything other than a snub, or an effort to use her to get what you want? You may as well have told her she doesn’t mean a damn thing to you and get it over with."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Ashe frowned at Kevis. "You appear to have more of your father in you than I originally thought," he added.

"You’re not seeing what I’m seeing," Kevis tossed up a hand. "Every time she looks at you, there is fear in her eyes that you’ll hurt her. Tell me, Mighty Hand, who can hurt you the worst? Is it the person you don’t care about, or the one you do?"

"What the hell are you talking about?" Ashe exploded. "I worry about Kay. That’s all I’ve focused on for months!"

"I know that," Kevis held up a hand. "But you keep beating up Breanne over it, when she likely saw you as something different in the beginning—before you opened your Mighty mouth."

"You’re saying she was attracted to me?" Ashe couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

"It’s likely, and you shredded her. Then, all she kept hearing was that you wanted her back here—to help you. Not the most ideal situation, huh?"

"I suppose not. This complicates everything, doesn't it?" Ashe raked fingers through his hair in frustration.

"Yes, but it was complicated from the beginning."

"True. I don't know how to fix this, Kevis. Or even where to start trying."

"Start by keeping your mouth shut and being respectful. Dad and I have discussed this, and let's face it—so far, the Mighty Heart has done all the heavy lifting. Hasn't she?"

"Yeah. I see your point."

* * *

Lissa's Journal

"Amara, I never expected to see you here," I began awkwardly. She'd come to my palace—with Edan Desh. I'd invited her into my study the moment I could—they'd shown up for the morning's session with the Council and sat in the public seating area. I was more than grateful there were no executions or sentencing going on.

"Lissa, my feelings toward you have never changed," she said, taking the seat I offered. Edan took the one next to her and sat quietly by her side.

"I'm grateful," I nodded to her.

"I heard something from Kyler," Amara added.

"That Griffin was saved by," I didn't finish.

"Yes. That's what I heard. How is she?"

"Better. Very weak."


"Yes." I nodded—Amara was a healer, after all.

"Is there a chance I might meet her, sometime?"

"I'll ask," I offered. I had no idea how Breanne might respond, however.

"I don't hate him—your father," Amara sighed. "But."

"Yes," I nodded. "But. Are you happy?" I glanced toward Edan.

"Yes. We have so much in common," Amara smiled at Edan. "Even at the end of the day, when we're both tired, we still talk about work and things we'd like to do."

I understood that perfectly. So many times, I discussed the day's business with whoever ended up in bed with me—before or after sex. It was nice to bounce ideas around—along with bouncing the bed.

"Do you want me to take a message to her?" I asked, meaning Breanne.

"Yes. Tell her that her stepmother will be happy to see her anytime."

"I will," I nodded.

Chapter 4


"Our General was not beaten—merely surprised," Acrimus hissed at Calhoun. "We are still awaiting news whether he killed one of the Mighty. It certainly seemed that way before he and I left."

"I sincerely hope she was killed," Calhoun breathed. "Any idea which one she might have been?"

"Not completely, although I have a guess. I'll wait for more information before I reveal my suspicions, however."

"At least we know who she is and what she looks like," Calhoun chuckled. "There's no way for her to hide from us now."

"You are so short-sighted," Acrimus grimaced and shook his head.

* * *

Breanne's Journal

The pool really was warm. I was content, allowing Fes to hold me up while four lion snake shapeshifters swam around us—as snakes. Bill thought it was funny—watching Kooper, all twenty feet of him, followed by Chazi, Bekzi and Perzi, who were smaller in length—perhaps thirteen or fourteen feet long. Kooper didn't seem to mind that he had an adoring public swimming in his wake. I wasn't sure what to think, either—that he was the snake who'd been in my bed on several occasions.

That's how he'd gotten information from me—on criminal activity. I'd innocently spilled it to my snaky bed companion, and Kooper wasted no time cashing in on valid information. Briefly, I wondered where you'd have to kick to boot a snake's ass.

Trevor and Trajan were content to lie on lounges alongside the pool, closing their eyes and resting in the shade provided by exotic trees.

"Want to try swimming with me?" Fes breathed against my ear.

"I can barely walk through the water," I leaned back to peer into his eyes.

"Then let's walk. I won't let you drown," he grinned.

"Good," I smiled at him. He leaned in for a kiss before pushing me toward the opposite side of the pool. At least the water buoyed me up while I struggled against liquid resistance.

Eventually I had an audience—I was determined to make my way across the pool and back—more than once. I made three trips before almost sinking below the water. Bill and Fes caught me before my nose hit the surface.

"Better," Trajan said from the side. He'd perked up halfway through my exercises. Trevor, too, had sat up to watch.

"We might even let you have fruit with dinner," Kevis folded in from somewhere and stood at the edge of the pool, his fists on his hips.

"Tease," I mumbled as Bill and Fes lifted my arms so Trevor and Trajan could pull me from the pool.

"Not teasing," Kevis grinned,
a cup of tea into his hands. "Sissy," he added.

"What?" I blinked as I was lowered to the tiled patio, almost beside Kevis. I wasn't expecting an insult from Doctor Kevis Halivar, after all.

"Graegar is my half-brother," Kevin chuckled.

I wanted to slap a hand to my forehead. I didn't—mostly because it would take energy I didn't have at the moment. No wonder Kevis knew so much about Larentii lineage. His mother was mated to Renegar, and they were Graegar's parents.

"Graegar has the hots for you," Kevis went on. "So does Barrigar."

"Oh, for crying out loud," I muttered. "What does Conner say?"

"Conner is more than happy. She's known for a while that they'd have another mate, she just didn't know who it was. You're like a celebrity in that household, now."

"That's not embarrassing or anything," I sighed. "Can I sit down, now?" Trajan and Trevor bore most of my weight as it was, and they were just about to get all of it—I was too tired to stand any longer.

"What does your mother say? And Renegar?"

"Bree, stop worrying about that. Dad says he wants to invite you for dinner as soon as you can sit up without assistance," Kevis grinned. "Mom and Ren are more than happy, trust me."

"So everybody knows except me, is that it?"

"Hey, I think they love you already. They just want to see you. Talk to you," Kevis' voice softened. "Nobody wants to scare you or take advantage. This is the Saa Thalarr and the Larentii we're talking about."

"Yeah." Trajan lifted me into his arms, preventing me from hunching my shoulders. There was at least one Larentii who owed me an apology. He wasn't on the guest list.

* * *


"I hate the desert." Jayson flopped onto a sofa inside the spacious adobe home Bill had managed to acquire in Albuquerque. It would serve as their base of operations while they searched for Vernon Clark. His last verified location had been in Valencia, a small town south of Albuquerque.

"Why?" Opal checked the clip on her gun before slipping it into her waistband.

"Dad used to take us to Palm Springs on vacation, so he could play golf in a celebrity tournament with Ross Gideon. I hate golf."

"So you hate golf and the desert?" Opal lifted a dark eyebrow at Jayson. "And the fact that your dad forced you to go to the same place every year?"

"Sounds whiny, doesn't it?" Jayson turned hazel eyes on Opal. "Even when I was old enough to stay home with Mom and Jamie, because they didn't want to go either, he made us go. To this day, Jamie won't come within miles of Palm Springs."

"So your dad was a little controlling?"

"Yeah. Don't say it," Jayson held up a hand. "I'm well aware of why I like to be in charge."

"Not going down that road," Opal tossed up a hand. "Is there a grocery store nearby? There's nothing in the fridge."

"You want to go?" Hank stalked into the room like a caged panther. "Bill is in his bedroom, answering calls. I think I can get us to the store and back in one piece."

"Let's make a list," Opal nodded. "Damn, I wish Bree was here." Opal pulled out her cell, preparing to tap out items to buy. "Any news?" She tapped a few things into her phone without looking up at Hank.

"Still nothing." Hank blew a curl of smoke.

"I don't know whether to cry or hope," Opal muttered, adding bread and butter to her list.

"Same here, Opal. Same here," Hank agreed. "Bill has just about given up, I think."

"Yeah. He was talking about buying a space in an Oklahoma cemetery. Any idea what that's about?"

"Breanne's sister's grave is there," Hank sighed.

"For real?" Opal looked up and blinked once at Hank.

"Yes. Not many know that."

"I'll keep it to myself, then."

"Where do you think Vernon Clark is?" Jayson asked as he rose to check Opal's growing list. "Add cookies," he pointed at Opal's phone.

"I hope he's still in New Mexico," Hank rumbled. "I really want my hands on him."

"I want to see your hands on him," Opal agreed. "What kind of cookies?"

"Oatmeal and white chocolate chunk," Jayson grinned. "I hope the store has a bakery and a deli," he added. "I like the ones baked at the store."

"Rome, until now, I had my doubts you'd recognize the inside of a grocery store."

"Hey, I used to go with Mom's housekeeper," he grinned. "I love grocery stores. I just don't get a chance to go anymore. Too busy with work."

"And Trina did it for you," Opal sighed. "Fuck."

"Yeah, we miss her," Hank agreed. "But she really is in a better place. We saw that."

"I'm glad we got to see it," Jayson muttered, flopping on the sofa again. "Mom's back in Tahoe and Dan's with her, but I worry that she's still not safe."

"I have my concerns about that as well," Hank agreed. "Not that we can do much about it at the moment."


"Hey," Trajan wandered in—he'd taken a shower after unloading bags in the New Mexico heat and his black hair was still damp.

"You think Vernon Clark is still in New Mexico?" Opal asked. "And what do you want to add to the grocery list?"

"I think it's possible he's still in the state," Trajan replied. "Winkler seems to think so, too. It's almost a straight shot from Valencia to Juarez on I-25, and if he gets to Juarez, we might as well kiss him goodbye. When are the vamps scheduled to arrive?"

"Tonight, according to Bill," Hank said. "I'm just glad we were able to get this house. You don't find too many around with eight bedrooms plus a guest house."

"Winkler," Trajan coughed into his hand before flashing a grin.

"He knew somebody, didn't he?" Opal turned to the tall werewolf.

"Yeah. This belongs to a werewolf who lives in Chicago. Comes down here for the winter months with his family. He has a large family. He's also related by marriage to the local Packmaster, so there's no problem with the extended visit."

"You guys have to check in?" Jayson asked.

"Usually. Winkler has the Grand Master's permission to park anywhere, though, since we do a lot of investigative work for the werewolf community."

"You do, too—as Winkler's representative?" Jayson asked.

"You catch on quick," Trajan slapped Jayson on the shoulder. "Winkler notified the local Pack—they know I'm here, but they can't disallow the visit."

"Want to go to the store?" Opal asked.

"Yeah. Wolves eat a lot, you know."

* * *


Breanne's Journal

"How are you feeling?"

Adam and Franklin, Merrill's son, had come for dinner. Adam and I hadn't had a chance to talk the night before. I didn't mind—I felt slightly embarrassed that my surrogate sire likely knew of my refusal to allow him to teach me anything else.

"I feel okay—if feeling weaker than a kitten is okay," I sighed. "I barely made it, walking three times across the pool this afternoon."

"You'll come back fast," Adam said. "Faster than a normal person might, anyway." He smiled gently at me. "I hear that Karzac wants to invite you to dinner. We've decided that NorthStar would be the ideal location—Ashe has extended his shield to cover it and EastStar."

"Kevis said that," I nodded, picking at my food.

"Eat, sweetheart. Nobody is here to pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable."

"That still doesn't mean I won't feel that way," I said.

"I understand that," he nodded. "I wanted to see you—tell you that I'm available if you need anything, or to run interference if somebody upsets you." He smiled at that—he was offering to act as a father figure if I needed it, to intercede on my behalf with what looked to be a gathering herd of potential mates.

"That may be the nicest thing anybody has offered to do for me, ever." I smiled at him, but my lower lip trembled slightly. Nobody had ever asked to be my parent before. I had someone stepping up now.

"I contacted Gavin earlier, and we set up an account for you on Le-Ath Veronis. It'll be there, if you need to access it. Trajan has the information, whenever you want something," Adam continued. "Kiarra, Lissa, Kyler and Cleo bought the clothes in your closet. If you don't like any of it, let Lissa know. It was purchased in Casino City."

"How is Teeg doing?" I asked.

"Ah. He's doing well. There was a meeting yesterday, with the renewable energy commission. Things went smoothly." Adam smiled.

"Good. I was a little worried after the stabbing." Adam knew. I knew he knew, and he gave me a slight nod. Tybus was fitting into his new role easier than anyone might have expected.

"I can arrange to invite him to dinner, when you come to NorthStar," Adam offered.

"Would you? I think I'd like to talk with him," I said. "How soon?"

"I think you can go in two days," Kevis spoke up. "Provided everything else proceeds as planned."

"We can make arrangements for that," Adam agreed.

* * *

"We have two days to plan," Kiarra smiled at Kyler. "Think we can pull this off?"

"Yeah. No problem," Kyler nodded. "Cleo wants in, too. Daddy wants to bring a contingent from Grey House—they owe Breanne a lot."

"Conner says no way we're leaving her out of this," Kiarra said. "That means Shane will be helping us with the food."

"Will this place hold everybody?" Kyler asked, grinning impishly.

"We'll make sure it holds everybody," Kiarra replied.

* * *

Breanne's Journal

"Kevis, why are you here?" I wanted to moan, but he'd just tease me about it. I was already in bed reading, with four lion snake shapeshifters for company. All four were coiled or draped around me, waiting for me to turn out the light.

"I'm here with the finger," he held up an index finger. I blinked at him.

"Huh?" I wasn't getting it.

"It goes like this," Kevis took a step toward my bed. "I hold up my finger like this," he illustrated by holding his hand high, the finger pointed toward the ceiling. "And then let it descend, until it touches your forehead, like this." He poked me in the middle of my forehead. Darkness came immediately.

* * *

"I can't believe you pulled that off," Ashe shook his head at Kevis. He'd misted in beside the healer and watched as Kevis placed Breanne in a healing sleep. Both worried she'd get no rest with the bite scheduled in the morning after breakfast.

BOOK: Blood Love (God Wars Book 4)
3.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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