Blood Of Fire (The Blood Burden Series) (7 page)

BOOK: Blood Of Fire (The Blood Burden Series)
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Without any warning Slade was standing
behind her, his breath warm on her neck as he placed his hand on her shoulder.
“It’s because of him isn’t it?  Luke is why you won’t give me a fair chance.” 
He leaned in close to whisper in her ear, “I think you’re using him as an
excuse to push me away.  Secretly, you want me as much as I want you.”

“Truthfully, you’re are drunk off of
your ass and don’t know what you're talking about,” shot back an irritated
Nicole as she tried to step back from him to only find herself pressed against
the glass doors.

A seductive smile curved Slade’s lips as
he placed his hands on the glass doors, one on each side of Nicole.  “I can
give you a world you never dreamed of Nicole.  Money is no object.  Anything
you could ever want would be laid at your feet like the queen you are.”  He
inched forward until his lips were just centimeters away from Nicole’s, “I am
the only one who can give you the one thing you have wanted since your powers
started to emerge.”

Nicole swallowed hard as she fought the
feelings his sultry look was stirring inside of her.  She knew he was being
this forward because of the alcohol

alcohol that he had consumed to help
her, but still she was mesmerized by his words.  Unable to look away or move
she whispered, “And what would that be?”

He slid one finger along her cheek and
down her neck, slowly tracing the outline of her bare collarbone before he
spoke, “A normal life.  No more blocking out the voices or struggling with the
power inside of you.  You wouldn’t have to pretend anymore.  I can keep all of
that locked away forever and you can live a carefree life for the rest of
eternity.”

“Eternity?”  Nicole’s brows knotted
together as she absorbed his words, “You’re saying I’m immortal?”

An amused glint filled his eyes as he
bit the edge of his bottom lip, “That warrior isn’t good for you Nicole and
that proves it.  He didn’t think you needed to know you are an immortal?” 
Slade laughed.  “He wanted you to feel like you needed his protection.  He
wanted you to feel like you needed him in your life forever.”

Slade lifted her chin up with one finger
as he closed the space between their bodies, pinning Nicole up against the
cold, glass doors and causing her to gasp in surprise, “I think you should be
able to choose who you spend forever with without blinders.  That’s the kind of
man I am Nicole,” he whispered.

Nicole held her breath as she digested
Slade’s words. 
Would Luke really betray me like that
? she wondered and
then asked herself, 
Why would he keep the fact that I’m immortal hidden
from me?

“That doesn’t add up,” she said weakly
as Slade brushed his lips across her cheek, then moved smoothly towards her
lips.  Her self-control was now gone and all she could think of was the heat of
his body pressed against her own.  The smell of his skin drew her in even
though her mind was struggling to break free of his….spell.

Snap out of it you idiot!
Sage’s voice shouted
inside of Nicole’s head.  Nicole’s eyes cleared as if a vail had been lifted. 
Sage’s energy was clear to Nicole and she had missed the strength of it almost
as much as she missed her friend and trainer.

She pressed hard against Slade’s chest,
shoving him back from her just as his lips grazed hers.  A bright red glow lit
the space between them as power seeped into her palms, waiting on her command
with the loyalty of a pit bull.  “I’m going to chalk your babbling up to you
being a drunken asshole but let this be your warning,” Nicole took one defiant
step towards him, looked firmly into his wide eyes.  “You will not lay another
hand on me.  I am grateful for your help but I will not be bullied into
anything…not by you or by Loch.”  Nicole let the power recede back inside of
her then strode over to the open doors of the room.  She grabbed onto the door
frame focusing on controlling her temper that was threatening to explode before
turning to face Slade’s hardened face, “You know… you shouldn’t be so hard on
Luke.  He’s a better man than you give him credit for,” she sighed deeply then
left the room, leaving him alone to recover from the alcohol and hopefully,
rethink his view.

Chapter 6

Nicole lay awake in her bed staring at
the ceiling as her mind raced.  She had tried desperately to reach out to Sage
over and over again but kept coming up empty.  She knew she hadn’t imagined
Sage’s voice in her head.  There was no doubting the distinctive, snippy tone
of the sharp-edged, Gothic fae that had truly set all of her powers free. 
Sure, she had almost killed Nicole in the process but in the end, it was worth
the risk.  Nicole remembered how different things were the second she woke
after Sage sent her to death’s door.  She wasn’t limited to hearing just the
evil thought of others any longer.  Now she could hear everything along with
commanding the power of wind, fire and water with remarkable ease.  If it
wasn’t for that hard-nosed fae, she was sure her best friend, Kat, would have
died that horrible night at the airfield.  There was no way she would have been
able to call upon the rare, white healing fire that only one other fae in
history had controlled: her grandmother, Queen
Titania.

She let out a long frustrated breath as
she flipped over to her side and hugged her pillow tight against her body. 
There hadn’t been a sound from Slade’s room since she left him alone.  She
hoped that he had passed out but thought it was more likely he was brewing over
the rejection.  Slade didn’t strike her as a man who heard the word “no”
often….actually from the way Morena was clinging to him she figured he had
never
heard the word.

“Oh God!  Did I really punch her in the
face?”  Nicole groaned as she rolled over onto her back again, covering her
face with her pillow.  “I don’t need more enemies in this place.  I’ve already
got enough haters lining up.”

“Do you always talk to yourself?”

Nicole flung the pillow from her face
and leaped from the bed.  Her hands were glowing with a faint light as she
searched the room for the intruder.

“Wait, wait,” The bedroom light came on
revealing Slade’s broad frame filling the doorway with his hands stretched wide
to show he wasn’t armed.

Nicole let the near absent power recede
back into her body as she took in Slade’s placid demeanor.  “I see you’re about
sober.  That would explain why my power is weakening,” she sighed.

“Yes, I’m feeling a lot better,” he
leaned up against the door frame crossing his arms over his bare chest. 
“I….well,” he stumbled over his words as a small grin lit up his eyes.

Nicole looked down at herself and
quickly realized what was causing his reaction.  She was standing in the open,
wearing a black lace camisole and panties.  She gasped pulling the sheet from
the bed and wrapping it around her.  Her face felt like it was on fire as her
cheeks heated.  “You know, most normal people knock before coming into
someone’s room,” she grumbled trying to cover her embarrassment with sarcasm.

“I didn’t think you would hear me as
loud as you were talking to yourself,” he chuckled then bit his lip as he tried
to slate his face.  “Please don’t be mad at me.  See that’s why I came in
here,” he said quickly.

Nicole stared at him with a crinkled
nose, “Was that some form of an apology?”

Slade shifted his weight from foot to
foot with his eyes on the floor then he settled his body back against the door
frame, returning his attention to her face.  “Yes…do you accept?”

“That was the worst damn apology I’ve
ever heard.” She poked fun at him, fighting hard not to let the giggle escape,
but honestly she was glad to see he wasn’t mad at her.  She didn’t want to lose
their friendship to some drunken mistake.

“I’ll make it up to you, I promise,”
Slade said.

He had the biggest puppy dog eyes she
had ever seen.  She smiled at him realizing he wasn’t catching on to her
playful mood.  “I’m not going to act like tonight didn’t happen but I’m not mad
at you anymore.  You did a hard thing for me tonight and I’m sure you will have
one hell of a hangover in the morning to show for it,” she winced as she
thought of her last hangover.  “So let’s just call it even, okay?”

He nodded, smiling as if a huge weight
had been lifted from him, “That’s not really fair.  I can get drunk off of wine
but I won’t have to deal with a hangover,” he shrugged his shoulders. “Just one
of the many perks of being a fairy,” he winked.  “So the way I see it, I still
owe you.  If you’ll let me, I’d like to show you a few places tomorrow.  I'll
give you the grand tour around some of my favorite sites of Ireland.”

“Slade, that is nice of you but I think
we are losing focus on why I’m here.  I need to get to Loch and soon.  God only
knows what he’s planning while I sit here, in the lap of luxury, with you,”
Nicole sat down on the edge of her bed being careful to keep the sheet pulled
tight around her.

“Nicole, we can’t do anything until he
calls me again and trust me, he will.  You are the one thing he wants more than
anything so he won’t keep you waiting long,” he sighed as he raked his hand
across his face in frustration.  “I can’t let you sit here and just wait for,
well….who knows what kind of situation.”

“He didn’t tell you what he was
planning?”  Nicole asked with curiosity written all over her face.  These were
the questions that she was dying to know the answers to but so far, no one had
been able to tell her what she needed to hear.  The only thing she knew was she
was unique, being as she was the only warrior/fairy mix.  A trait passed to her
when her grandmother, Queen Titania fell in love with her warrior, Alaois, and
conceived a child of mixed bloodlines.  Unknowingly, they created a powerful
being that had the best of both fae and warrior powers.  The queen was forced to
hide the child away in the human world and to cast a spell that locked the
power away so the child wouldn’t be found by the warriors who loathed the
product of the union.  The power would only be awakened when it was needed to
protect the bloodline and that was how it was found in Nicole.  First it was
subtle, simply hearing thoughts laced with malice and evil but the closer the
warriors came to capturing her, the more her power evolved to give her the
tools she needed to protect herself.  But none of what she knew told her why
Loch wanted her alive.

He had his chance to kill her years ago,
doing away with the tainted blood line once and for all but he didn’t. 
Instead, that night on a Florida beach, he set everything into motion.  He
wanted the power to surface in Nicole, he wanted her to discover what and who
she was but why?

Slade studied her face before answering,
which had given her the time to get lost in her thoughts.  She realized that he
was pondering his answer before speaking, “He has never told me but I would say
it’s to control your power.  I mean, you are the rightful heir to the throne
that was left empty when Queen
Titania died.  If he had you under his thumb then he
would control the kingdom,” he shrugged his shoulders.

She thought back to the sad story Sage
had told her of how Queen Titania had allowed herself to age, giving up her
immortality because she could not live her life without her love and their
child.  But even Sage didn’t say much when Nicole asked what it meant for her. 
“Does he really think I plan on ruling a kingdom?  I’m no queen.  I can barely
rule my own life,” she chuckled trying to lighten the mood but was only met by
Slade’s annoyed glare.

“It is your place to rule,” he said
firmly.

Nicole was startled to see the anger that
was radiating from Slade.  He had always seemed very well put together but
something in her words was touching a nerve with him and she didn’t want to
push the issue so she only nodded.

Slade took a deep breath then exhaled
slowly, “Nicole, there is so much you still don’t know about yourself and your
place in this world.  I would love to be the person to guide you and help you
learn everything but,” he rubbed his eyes then placed a finger over his temple,
“I don’t think I’m running on all cylinders yet.”  Slade smiled softly at her
then walked over to stand beside where she sat on the bed, “I couldn’t let
myself rest knowing that you were upset with me.  I’m so ashamed with how I
acted earlier,” he slid his hand down her bare arm before taking a step back. 
“I’m not going to deny that I’m jealous of the feelings you have for that
warrior,” he held up his hand stopping the protest he could see building in
Nicole.  He looked down at the floor before meeting her eyes again, “Just,
please, give me a chance to prove that I’m not the jerk I acted like tonight. 
I want to show you a bit of my world and I promise I will have my phone on me
so if Loch calls we will know.”

BOOK: Blood Of Fire (The Blood Burden Series)
7.42Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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