Read Hold Their Peace (Vampire Assassin League) Online

Authors: Jackie Ivie

Tags: #vampire short story, #vampire series, #vampire romance, #vampire assassin league

Hold Their Peace (Vampire Assassin League) (7 page)

BOOK: Hold Their Peace (Vampire Assassin League)
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She decided to go with the stopped theory.

Darcy unclasped the wristband and rolled to her side to set her timepiece on what could be a nightstand. She sent a glance out into the area. She could be in what passed for a bedroom – if it had been hewn from rock walls because it was in a cavern of an underground labyrinth. She could even be atop a four-post, king-sized bed, set high off the floor. A bed, furthermore, that had a really intricate framework made of wrought filigree formed into all kinds of woodland symbols. All worked in some kind of reflective metal.

Her imagination was awesome, as always. But it usually wasn’t this succinct and visceral. The bed shifted slightly. Darcy rolled the other direction and collided with a large male. There went her imagination again. Still. The Greek archangel/god Thanos was here. And wow. He was naked. Lying on his belly. And he had a fine ass.

His shoulders shifted as he lifted his head and grinned at her. Darcy’s heart swooped with a really strange sensation as their glances touched. She managed an answering smile, but it probably looked as unsure as she felt.

“You rested?”

All kinds of muscles moved as he put a finger to her arm and trailed it from her elbow to her shoulder.
Damn!
He had the best body she’d ever seen or imagined. And he really knew how to use it! Just his touch sent shivers.

“Uh...” What kind of answer was she supposed to make?

He moved his gaze to where he was now drawing circles about her upper arm.

“Thanos?”

“Yes, love?”

“Why do you call me that?”

“What?”

“Love.”

His grin widened. He truly had a very nice smile. White teeth. Not one fang in sight. Anywhere.

“I say it because it is true.”

“You love me?”

“Oh yes. Positively. Totally. For all eternity. Forevermore. I swear it.”

“You...actually sound serious, Thanos.”

He sobered. “I am serious.”

“You know it isn’t possible. We just met. And nobody believes in love at first sight anymore.”

“Have I said something to make you disbelieve me?”

“Uh. Yeah,” she answered.

“When?”

He frowned slightly as he puzzled it. Dang! He was showing off those cute frown lines across his forehead. Her tongue was giving her trouble. But it was time to point out the obvious. He was delusional or insane. Hopefully he wasn’t also homicidal, schizophrenic, or psychotic. Even if he was any of those things, she’d just have to face it and work from there. Wasn’t that in her resume when she’d applied for her job? She worked well under pressure. Came up with options. Worked her way out of a tangle. Punted. She drew a breath.

“Every time you claim to be a vampire, Thanos.”

“But I am a vampire.”

“Oh, come on already. Enough is enough. Vampires don’t exist. I was not born yesterday, okay? And I am not going insane. I really should get dressed now. And find a way out of this maze. Contact Lizbeth. She’s probably frantic with worry at my disappearance. People might even be looking for me. Where are my clothes? I mean...drapes?”

She sat up without one bit of effort and started looking, but everywhere seemed to contain naked guy. Really nice naked guy. Prime. Muscled. She’d been right, too. He had a
very
nice ass.

“You doubt me?”

His words were low-voiced, sending a tremor of something along her spine. What lights the room contained flared and then dimmed. Thanos added unnecessary atmosphere to everything by growling at the end of that. Or something that sounded just as threatening.

“Uh...yeah.”

It was better to keep searching. Somehow find the material she’d been wearing. Or maybe pull some more of the bedding off this mattress and fashion another toga. That might work.

“Why?”

The lights flared again, as if driven by his voice. Darcy swallowed.

“Why? Oh...lots of reasons. We can start with the major ones and move on from there, if you want. Screw it. Let’s just start with the main one. Vampires do not exist.”

“They do. They have for millennia.”

“Right. And everyone knows this but me,” she replied.

“Very few know, because we want it that way. We’re hidden. It’s best.”

“The only place you’ll find a vampire is in folktales written to scare readers. Lascivious stories meant to terrify. Fiction designed to titillate and entertain.” And when the hell did she pick up such a vocabulary? She was starting to sound like one of her professors. Or Lizbeth.

“All of it based on sightings, I wager.”

“Right. There you go, adding ballast to the delusional diagnosis. And here I was having such a nice time.”
Ugh
. She was spouting more big words. What the hell was wrong with her?

“Oh. The nice time’s just starting love.”

Oh, hell. Her hands were trembling now. Good thing she had them hidden in folds of bedding. “Give it a rest, already, Thanos. You are not a vampire. You don’t even have fangs.”

The lights went really bright before shuttering. The resultant dimness should be even more difficult to pierce. It wasn’t. She could see everything almost like she had night vision or something.

“Darcy.”

He drew out her name in bass tones that reverberated around the room. Then it surrendered to an echo that lingered on the air. Vibrating almost through her. In waves.

“Yes?” The word was whispered through a dry throat.

“Look at me.”

Oh, no way. He was starting to scare the hell out of her. She shook her head.

“How can I prove it if you won’t look for yourself?”

“You won’t...force me?”

Darcy’s voice squeaked. More embarrassment. When had she picked up such a little girl voice, anyway? She was a confident sort. Fit. Smart. Able to take on truckers’ comments all day with a bite of sarcasm and a huge dose of wit. And right now, she sounded lost and excruciatingly young. About six. Maybe seven.

“I will never force you. Or harm you. Or do anything other than serve. Protect. Love. I vow it. You are my mate. And I am yours. I have been waiting for you for centuries. Just you. Don’t you understand yet?”

Every word hit her heart, making it thump in a beat that hadn’t much rhythm to it. Dare she turn? Because if he really had fangs, she’d have to face it. She was dealing with a real vampire. They existed. No more dream sequence nonsense.

Well. Somebody had to break this impasse.

Darcy straightened her back, looked toward the ceiling for no particular reason except to stall, and finally swiveled. Thanos was propped on an arm, twisting to display massive pecs and perfect frame. She moved her gaze higher. His upper lip was lifted in a snarl in order to show off impressive, white, sharp-looking fangs.

“You have fangs,” she told him.

His mouth changed to a wide grin, keeping his canines on display. Despite everything, Darcy leaned forward, reaching to touch and then trail a finger along one of his spikes. A slight cut opened in her finger, and she eyed it with something akin to interest and nothing of what should be happening...like horror. She eased her body lower, going alongside him in order to do the same thing to his other fang with her other hand. Her own teeth started tingling. She moved her gaze to his.

“Oh. Wow. Thanos. You’re a vampire. You are.”

“Yes,” he replied, moving his lips across her fingers.

“No. I mean...you’re a
real
vampire.”

He chuckled. That raised goose bumps. And other things. Like nipples. Senses. Passions. Desires.
Wow.
The guy exuded pure sex. It needed leashing. Her hands cupped his chin, slid to his throat...

“I told you as much,” he finally responded.

Something beyond weird was happening to her mouth. Darcy ran her tongue along her upper tooth line. Her tongue found obstructions where her canine teeth should be; long, sharp, extensions that pricked her tongue. And it got worse. The taste should be making her cringe, not starting a hunger from somewhere deep within her. This wasn’t happening. She was not craving blood. She refused. Darcy locked every muscle in an effort to tamp unreasoning yearning. Immense desire. Incredible longing. Everything on her shook with the effort. The bed frame rattled.

Thanos moved, ducking his nose beneath her jaw line to tip her head up. His tongue laved along her neck, running from the sensitive spot beneath an ear to her shoulder and back. Oh...hell. She couldn’t fight her entire body a moment longer. This might be totally wrong, but it sure didn’t feel like it.

They matched perfectly. Fused as one. Their bodies. Their bites. Their heart rate. Their desire. Their mating. Everything.

Everywhere.

CHAPTER EIGHT

Thwack! Thwack! Thud. Clank. Thwack! Clank. Clank
.
Thud
.

“Damn it!”

Darcy lowered her sword in disgust. No matter what she tried, Thanos met every thrust. Every swing. Every single maneuver. As if he knew where her sword was heading before she even made the move. He had an amazing ability to sense and see and be in place to deflect. He was lightning fast at times. And for some reason, she had no trouble following him.

“You wish to try again?” He asked it while holding his sword horizontally at his chin level; one hand on the hilt, the other on the blade.

“This is stupid.”

“No. It is necessary.”

“Well, how necessary is this breastplate armor thing? Because I’m telling you yet again, I don’t like it.” She knocked on the metal plate covering her from neck to just below her belly button.

“I will readjust it later, although it should be perfect. I fashioned it to your exact measurements.”

“I’m not even going to ask how you got them but I got news for you. You’re off. It’s tight, uncomfortable, and restrictive.”

“It will keep you protected.”

“Why don’t you wear one, then?”

“You haven’t landed a blow yet.”

“No lie. You’re a vampire. And I can’t get through your defenses.”

“Ah. You are learning.”

“What? Frustration?”

This was her fault. Thanos had decided they could spend time practicing with the blade he’d fashioned for her. Darcy had responded with something flippant as to how hard could it be? It’s a sword. You swing it and hack away with it. He’d given her a look that spoke volumes before challenging her to show him. He wouldn’t attack. He’d only defend. He’d prove the value of training.

And what felt like hours later, he was still proving it.

“Have you altered your perception yet? That handling a sword is more than slashing and cutting and thrusting? And about how difficult it would prove to be?”

“Oh, shut up.”

Thanos grinned and lowered his blade. The man was unbelievable. He used every surface of his weapon, too. Even the hilt stopped more than one of her blows.

“It is defense that will save you in any battle, Darcy. That is why I fashioned your breastplate and why you wear it now. Defense. No arrow can pierce it. Nor any wooden spikes aimed at your heart.”

“Where am I going to run across arrows and wooden spikes?”

“You would be surprised,” Thanos replied.

“I feel like I’m wearing a small car. And it’s stifling.”

“Forgive me, love. But I insist.”

“And I can still complain. I’m not used to having an extra two inches around my body. It’s affecting my aim.”

“The thickness is necessary, love. That particular breastplate was forged of three layers of the lightest steel alloys with gaps of air between.”

“Three? No wonder it’s stifling. But you forgot to factor in the two layers of dresses you gave me. And are making me wear, too.”

“I allowed room for that.”

“Really? Well, maybe you should’ve allowed for things like...you know...breasts.”

“Ah. You are still annoyed at the design. Forgive me, love, but a bosom is a handicap in battle. Women of my time bound their breasts for that reason.”

“Maybe they liked looking as flat as a pancake. I’m from a different generation, Thanos. I wear push-up bras that lift and enhance for a reason.”

“Truly? What is it?”

Darcy raised an eyebrow as she regarded him. He was giving her a blank look, as if what he said wasn’t remotely sarcastic.

“To attract the opposite sex,” she informed him.

“Precisely. That is why you wear the long dress. A woman does not show her legs on a field of battle. It would create all kinds of havoc.”

“No lie. What’s your excuse then?”

“Mine?” His head went back a bit and his eyebrows rose.

“How am I supposed to keep my attention on my sword work with you running around almost naked?”

She should’ve required him to find a pair of trousers. And he had to own a shirt. Getting fully dressed first should have been in the rules because his little leather skirt thing kept gapping, flashing side butt-cheek that hadn’t seen as much sun as the rest of him, as well as a lot of leg. The only other thing he wore was his sword band across his chest, and all that did was highlight all kinds of muscle in his abs and chest. The view was extraordinary. And he acted innocent.

“My attire...bothers you?”

He lowered his chin and looked at her with a bit of line across his forehead, as if he puzzled it.

“Yes. And then some,” she answered.

“Truly?”

“Oh, come on, Thanos. You’re babe gorgeous and packing major muscle. And you’re amazing in the sex department. And then you add to that by wearing little teeny skirts to show it all off. Why on earth do you even ask?”

He could manage to look stunned. His eyes were wide as he met her gaze, enhancing their brown color.

“You think those things...of me?”

“Oh. I’m fairly certain I’m not the only woman who would.”

“But you are the only one that matters.”

“Do we really have to go into that again?”

“What?”

“The mate thing. Look. Thanos. Don’t get me wrong. I like you. I do. But I don’t happen to believe in love at first sight, okay? And why does this feel like a blog on gender reversal?”

“Darcy.”

His voice raised shivers. Hair. He had an incredible voice and could wield it so easily! The tones sought out and conquered the cavern they fought in before sneaking around the corner where it dissipated somewhere out in the corridor. They were in yet another cave room, this one lined with all kinds of weapons displays, mostly shields.

BOOK: Hold Their Peace (Vampire Assassin League)
4.1Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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