Blood Love (God Wars Book 4) (7 page)

BOOK: Blood Love (God Wars Book 4)
12.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

"I don't believe you'll manage that a second time," Kooper changed to humanoid long enough to blink at Ashe and Kevis. "So savor it while you can." He changed back to lion snake and blinked again at both before lowering his head to rest on Breanne's shoulder.

"Dad always says not to argue with those guys," Kevis stated sagely.

Four lion snakes sniffed in unison.

* * *

Breanne's Journal

I didn't wake until after sunrise. Hell, I didn't even wake when Kooper, Chazi, Bekzi and Perzi got out of bed and prepared a bath for me. That meant Kevis had somehow managed to place me in a healing sleep, just as his father could. I was glad to have four lion snakes as guards the night before, or I'd have felt completely vulnerable.

"Get clean," Chazi grinned when he lifted me off the bed.

"You like this, don't you?" My question sounded slightly tart as Chazi carried me into the bathroom. Kooper, Bekzi and Perzi waited inside. I would have help—and an audience—while getting clean.

"We like. Yes."

It's a good thing the bathtub was quite large—I had three reptanoids in it with me within seconds. Kooper just grinned and washed my skin and hair while the others ducked and rolled around me. They were having a good time while I did my best to wash their scales. I swear, if lion snakes can grin, they were grinning.

"Feel better this morning?" Kooper leaned in to kiss me after rinsing my hair.

"Honey, I feel better. Kevis and I may have a discussion, though."

"You got the sleep you needed," Kooper tapped my nose gently.

"Yeah. But he didn't ask first."

"We took care of our girl," Kooper soothed. "Nobody was going to get past us. Trajan's wolf slept outside your door, too."

"Oh, for heaven's sake. On the hard floor?" I stared in disbelief at Kooper.

"Nah, he had a mattress," Kooper grinned. "I heard something and crawled out of bed to check out the noise. Turns out, it was just Traje, flopping the mattress on the floor before turning to wolf. Damn, he's huge."

"Really? I'm looking at somebody who turns into a twenty-foot snake," I pointed out.

"I was trying to be modest," he chuckled.

"Uh-huh. And how about all those times you climbed right into bed with me, letting me think you were just a friendly snake?"

"Oh, baby, those were the best times," Kooper sighed. "You'd be asleep, and I'd wake up and hold you for a few minutes like this before you stirred."

"You, well,
you snake
sounds like a compliment, doesn't it?" I blinked up at him.

"For me it is. Come on, you're clean. Let's get you dry and dressed."

* * *

Ashe didn't look up from his plate at breakfast, making me sigh. I was already nervous and he wasn't helping any. If it weren't for the images of Kalia's past invading my mind in unguarded moments, I'd have refused to have contact with Ashe Aedan Evans.

"I feel queasy," I muttered, staring at scrambled eggs and fruit.

"Sweetheart, you don't need to be sick," Bill murmured. "If you can't hold onto, well, it won't do you any good. Eat a little, at least, and Kevis will do what he can to help."

One scrambled egg was all I managed, and Kevis had to put his hands on my belly to keep it down. I wanted to retch and had to put it out of my mind. Trajan carried me to Ashe's suite, which was at the top level of the behemoth he called home, and took up the entire floor.

At any other time, I might have wandered through it and studied the paintings, sculptures and furniture scattered throughout the space. His bedroom was walled off with a door, as was his study, but the rest housed a massive library, with seating areas and artwork scattered throughout. Kings and presidents didn't often have that kind of luxury, I imagined. It certainly competed (nicely) with what Lissa had on Le-Ath Veronis.

"In here." Trajan carried me through the door into Ashe's bedroom, and I gaped at the luxury of it. A massive bed was placed against the inside wall, and opposite that was a wall of windows, overlooking miles of gishi trees. Ashe could see half the grove from his bedroom.

Ashe was already waiting inside—with his father, Aedan Evans. Nervously lowering my shield, I read Aedan. My to-do list got longer in the few seconds it took to learn all about him. Aedan was vampire, and more than a thousand years old. He'd come to make sure I didn't damage his son. Did that rankle and make my stomach rebel? The short answer is yes.

Trajan set me down and helped straighten my clothes while I studied Ashe and Aedan.
Think of Kay
, Trajan told me in mindspeech.

Or close my eyes and think of England?
I paraphrased.

"Yeah. Think of England," Trajan said aloud and grinned. "Come on, let's do this." He propelled me gently toward Ashe.

* * *

Ashe's Journal

She was shivering. I didn't expect that. With my enhanced hearing, I could hear her breaths tremble. Breanne was terrified of me.

"There's no need to be frightened," I said, discovering that my voice wasn't exactly even.

"I'm supposed to say that to you," she told me, lowering her eyes. "I can't reach properly if you're standing," she added, gesturing with an unsteady hand for me to sit on the side of the bed.

"Better?" I stepped back and sat on the edge of my bed.

"Yeah. Now," she breathed, doing her best to ignore my father, who stood closer than either of us wanted, "I grip the back of your neck firmly, so you can't move. You'll have to help with this, because I'm too weak right now to prevent movement."

"I won't move," I promised. I hadn't noticed before that her eyes were a deep, cobalt-blue.

"Please don't," she said, gripping her lower lip in her teeth to keep it from trembling like the rest of her. "I could tear your skin, and I really don't want that."

"I don't want that either," I said. "Kevis is here, now, just in case."

"Yeah, I got his scent a second ago," Breanne murmured. "Now, I look into your eyes and tell you I won't hurt you," she went on. "And I won't. If it hurts, it'll be unintentional, I assure you."

"You won't hurt me," I insisted.

"Don't be all macho," she quavered. "That's pure stupidity. If it hurts, it hurts. End of story."

I wanted to tell her I understood. I didn't. I had no idea what depths of pain she'd endured in the past. Actually, some of it was quite recent. I hadn't stood my ground and taken a beating from that evil masquerading as a god. Breanne had. Was it to give us time to gather—Wisdom and me? Was it to allow Griffin and Thurlow time to escape without threat of pursuit? I still hadn't determined the answer and frankly, I was afraid to ask what her reasoning was.

"I won't be macho," I answered instead, making my voice as gentle as I could.

"Good. I won't hurt you," she repeated, massaging the back of my neck gently. "Hold still, now," she breathed against my neck before placing a kiss over my artery. That sent an unexpected shiver through me. Dad told me a kiss was expected, but my reaction was unanticipated.

The moment her fangs were in my throat, my body stiffened in the most intense climax I'd ever experienced. She pulled away too soon. Much, much too soon. I wanted it to last. I wanted to savor it. When I came back to myself at her whimper, I discovered my arms were wrapped around her—so tightly I was likely squeezing the breath from her body.

"Shhh," I loosened my grip slightly.

"Bro, I'll take her," Trajan said.

"No. Let me have this moment," I mumbled my reply.

* * *

Breanne's Journal

I almost fainted from the intensity of the climax that bled from him back to me, and the energy that came with it. When I came back to myself, his arms were wrapped so tightly around me I couldn't breathe.

"Shhh," he soothed, loosening his arms slightly. Had I made a noise? Obviously I had.

"Bro, I'll take her," Trajan said.

"No, let me have this moment," Ashe's chest rumbled with his reply. I whimpered—I couldn't help it. He didn't get to do this to me—he couldn't cast me away with one hand and hold onto me now with the other. I couldn't handle that and suddenly I wanted to cry.

"Hey," fingers stroked my face. I shivered.

"Ashe, she's going into shock," Kevis said softly.

"No, no, no," his arms tightened around me again. Kevis' fingers touched my forehead and I was out.

* * *

Ashe's Journal

"What happened?" Trajan glared accusingly at me.

"Traje, I can't explain how intense," I raked fingers through my hair. For those moments I'd spent with Breanne, all thoughts of Kay fled my mind and it had been the two of us, connected in an intimate way. I couldn't tell him that—he was in love with her. Hadn't ever had what I'd just experienced, either.

"I've never been bitten by a female vampire," Dad spoke up. We were still inside my bedroom—Kevis and Bill had taken Breanne back to hers. "I can't say how intense that experience might be. I recall the climax I received with the bite lesson very well, but as it was delivered by a male, there was some guilt and shame attached to it."

"You were worried she'd hurt me. I think the opposite just happened," I rubbed the back of my neck in embarrassment.

"Son, she's relatively inexperienced. I just wanted to be present, in case there was additional instruction needed."

"I understand that," I nodded. "But I think we upset her."

"And I understand that," Dad agreed. "Is she all right?"

"Kevis says she's still out but her breathing is normal and her vitals are good," Trajan broke in. He'd had a mental conversation with the healer, apparently.

"Traje, look, we'll sort this out, I promise. I'm just worried how this is going to affect her, going forward."

"Yeah. Me, too, since this was my idea." Trajan stalked out of my bedroom. I watched him go with a sigh.

* * *


"Hey, bro," Trajan offered Charles a grin as he and Gavin dumped bags in the foyer.

"Good to see you again," Charles smiled back. "Anything new?"

"Nothing yet. We're waiting on you to help us hunt down Vernon Clark. Last known location was in Valencia, just south of here," Bill said. He, Opal and the others had gathered to greet the vampires when they arrived shortly after midnight, local time.

"I read up on Valencia—has a scattered population of less than three thousand," Charles let the strap of his laptop bag fall from his shoulder as he set the bag down carefully.

"Charles, I'd hire you in a minute if you weren't otherwise employed," Bill grinned. "Are you tired or do you want to get started tonight? I have a couple of addresses to check out."

"We can go, I just want to change and brush my teeth," Charles said.

"I agree. I despise this man, and worry that he may get away from us," Gavin growled.

"Same here, man," Jayson sighed.

"We're rested and ready, so whenever you say, we'll hit the road," Opal nodded.

"Give me five minutes," Charles said.

"I'll take you to your room," Hank offered.


* * *

"I don't like this—it's kinda creepy," Opal shone her flashlight in the bedroom of the empty house. "Power off, cleared out, carpet stinks of blood," she added.

"We need some light in here," Bill agreed, stepping up behind her. "Is there any way to determine whether this is human blood?"

"Most of it is," Gavin growled. "And there is quite a bit of it," he added.

"I keep forgetting you can see a lot better than we can," Bill sighed. "Tell me what you're seeing, here."

The abandoned house was on a dirt road south of Valencia, and barely within the city limits. Bill couldn't tell how long it had been empty, but the air smelled stale and there was a stink of spoiled meat and rot about it.

"I think this floor is," Hank wandered in and bounced cautiously on the carpet. "Yeah. There's something beneath this floor. It's not slab, like the rest of the house."

"I hate to disturb evidence, but let's pull back the carpet," Bill handed his flashlight to Jayson, who'd followed Hank inside the bedroom. "Just be careful doing it. Anybody bring gloves?"

"Is this an investigation or what?" Opal pulled gloves from a pocket.

"We have some," Charles and Gavin both produced gloves from pockets.

Bill, Hank and Jayson stepped back while Gavin and Charles formed claws and carefully cut carpet away from the baseboards. Then, pulling on gloves, they ripped it back, revealing a trap door.

Blood had soaked through the carpet, staining the wooden slats of the door and the boards surrounding it.

"This doesn't look good," Opal muttered, pulling her shirt over her mouth. The stench rising from beneath the trap door was overwhelming.

"Doesn't smell good, either." Hank pulled on a pair of gloves and reached for the metal ring recessed in the wood. "Stand back," he ordered. The others were happy to comply.

BOOK: Blood Love (God Wars Book 4)
12.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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