Read The Blood Bargain Online

Authors: Macaela Reeves

The Blood Bargain (10 page)

had the twins she seemed to have had the baby itch. I was surprised honestly that she was still single; she was the prettier of the two. Classic blue eyes, perfectly spaced features. However, she
had a bit more of a sarcastic mouth than her docile sister. She was about as well known for speaking her mind as I was. Thus, we got along swimmingly.

“Yeah so did I. You caught all that?”

“Yep, think the whole colony did.”  She smirked. “
Since when did you go soft on me?” She ordered another round and managed to elbow me all at the same time.

“No, it

s not that...I guess he likes me or something.”

She laughed, a perfectly feminine set of bells.
“You didn’
t know that?”

“Really? You too?” I put my face in my hands. “Am I the only one with a gigantic clueless sticker pasted to my forehead?”

“No
,
it

s on your ass.” Not funny. “Oh come on
Liv
,
gotta
pay attention to your surroundings. It

s not like he was quiet about it.” I frowned, staring at the bar counter I did a mental rehash of our interactions over the last few years.

“I just never really noticed I guess. Boy fail.”

“Up for some pool?” Candice offered. Looking over toward the pool tables I caught a glimmer of a familiar face at the far end of the bar.

“Hey in a minute...I

m
gonna
go say hi to someone.” Candice nodded, then threw a few challenges my way as far as who was taking who down. It was all just fluff, she never beat me.

While she prepared the table, I made my way over to my target. Playing darts in the corner was the farm girl from the night before. I was dying to see how her evening went compared to mine.

“Anna, hey.”

“Hi” She gave me a friendly smile.

“How are you doing today? I slept half the day
away, didn’
t think we
’d be that out of it but I’
m not surprised.”


I’
m sorry? Do I know you?” Her face legitimately showed no signs of recognition.

“We met last night. You know” I lowered my voice. “at Caius
’s
place.”

“You must have me confused, tomorrow night is my first night of service. Actually I

m pretty nervous. You

ve done it before?” I opened my mouth to respond but she cut me off. “Sorry I know I shouldn
’t ask, we’
re
not supposed to talk about it.”

Not wanting to press her memory loss I said my goodbyes. “It

s okay, I guess I confused you with someone else. I

ll see you tomorrow night okay?” Seriously, what kind of deal had I signed myself up for? I remembered everything from the night before. Every look, every

sound. So why was she struck with a case of amnesia?

I admit I have a history with sitting around stewing about things, even prior to the outbreak I was known for this trait. Grades, dates, organization, you name it. I

d seen my fair share of horror movies, in those the mind wipe was a recurring theme. I wondered what else was true to their nature. I read Bram Stokers Dracula when I was twelve. Now that I knew what was real, was it

possible that was a non-fiction story? If that one, then what about the others? Did the snow contain Yeti

s doing a kick line? Werewolves run through the Dakotas? Mermaids take over Carnival Cruise? Sick of the theories and unknowns that spun in my head, there was only one current place I could vent my troubles. That poor number eight ball didn

t know what

was coming.

Needless to say my winning streak against poor Candice continued. It wasn.t a total loss though, before I headed home for the night she had gained the attention of an incredibly cute older guy who had pledged to take her under his tutelage in the arts of all things pool.

No one was awake when I got home. I slipped in as quietly as possible and meandered up to my room.

What I did not expect was what was waiting for me.

On my bed was the little stuffed polar bear from my old home, with his little smile he welcomed me like he always had.
I stumbled over to him.
Beneath his feet was a little card, one of those ones you get with the flowers at the supermarket. It had been signed with a single letter.

D.

 

 

Chapter 6

 

 

The next morning I went through a barrage of emotions. I was pissed. I was touched. I was
creeped
out. I was confused. Then I went through them all again in multiple combinations like a set of accessories. No matter how I tried, I couldn.t find just the right ones to go with my outfit. The gesture itself was sweet, if I ignored the fact that he was in two of the rooms I claimed as my

bedroom. A complete violation of my privacy.

The day went by in a mundane whirlwind of housekeeping, giving me more than enough time to dwell on this little gesture.

When I got to their house that night I didn.t wait for the door to magically swing open with the now mind broken Anna
and the creepy blood addict who’
s name I couldn

t remember.

I stormed up the stairs and turned the knob.

Unlocked. Of course it would be unlocked, what would they hide from?

I barreled inside like a bull looking for china slamming the door behind me, right in the face of the blond guy who was screaming at me like I set him on fire.

Screw him. Screw all of this.

This guy was going to start explaining pretty damn fast. Not a guy, a vampire.

I had just barged into a house full of vampires.

I was unarmed and I was food.

Shit.

Well, all things considered it was only the second worst decision I

ve made in the last month.

I turned around and took a deep breath. Lemony air, like pre-outbreak pledge. There was no one in the entryway. Nor anyone seated in the living room to the right. I walked down the floral papered hall to the kitchen, the only room I

d seen in my previous visit. My flip flops made too much sound, giving homage to their namesake.

Not that I should worry about sound after my door slamming routine. Kitchen was empty. Maybe I

d try upstairs there had to be...

Cold hands grabbed me from behind and spun me around, slamming me back first into the wall. I hit my head hard enough to get stars in my vision.

“Just what the hell do we have here?” That was not a male voice. I blinked fast waiting for the blur in front of me to reshape into someone.

“I...” I couldn.t think. The ringing in my ears replacing all logic.

“Sorry, I don’
t do excuses.” My vision cleared just in time to get a full look at the blond vixen I had seen years before. Her beauty turning demonic as she opened her mouth and her fangs elongated. Grabbing me by my hair she turned my head sideways.

Her head bent. No
no
no
no
. A sharp point on my skin...

“Antonia!” A baritone voice boomed in the hallway. A voice that belonged to Dimitri. Her slick pale hair spun left. “You are being rude to my guest.”

She responded in a long diatribe in a language I didn

t know, pulling on my hair as she trilled. Sounded almost Italian.

Then he growled. A sound that should have come from a lion, not a five eight once-man in jeans. Stalking up to her his eyes were narrow, hands curled into fists, he even seemed to exude an aura of don

t screw with me.

With a laugh like an drunk sorority girl she let me go, giving me a once over that made me not only feel the
f
ull difference in our height, but made me also question my choice in clothing. My jeans and ratty tee shirt didn

t hold a candle to the little black dress and stiletto combo.

Not to mention she still seemed to have an endless supply of high end cosmetics and perfumes. She smirked, like I had
acknowledged my inferiority non-
verbally.

Then was gone in a blur.

He spoke first. “You should have waited outside.” Statement of fact, not a complaint. I wasn.t surprised he forgot to lead with the
‘are you alright? I’
m sorry this crazy blond tried to eat you

. He was completely casual despite what had just happened, lounging in the kitchen in grey

camo
pants and a white tank. I noticed he was paler than when I had left him, but not as near as bad as the first time I

d been over.

I didn

t waste any pleasantries either. I don

t know
what kind of game he thought he was playing with me, but it was ending. I

m not a toy. Time to get this out in the open right here, right now.

“You barge
d into my house uninvited, what’
s the difference?” I stared at him, arms crossed.

Dimitri shrugged, walking over to the counter he plucked a granny smith out of the basket. The muscles thick on his arms curled as he brought it to his lips. “I felt like we got off on the wrong foot.” He took a bite. Funny I didn.t know they could eat. I waited for him to elaborate.

Behind us the front door opened and the loony ran in and up the stairs, followed by a sober looking Anna. When the theatrics had concluded I returned my gaze to Dimitri, who was still waiting for me to respond. When the stony look on my face didn.t change he kept talking.

“I
a
m sorry my actions offended you, that was not my intent. I merely wished to bestow upon you a token of introduction as was once custom.”

“How did you know about my bear?”

“It was strong with your scent. Obviously the item was of value to you.” Damn it. I wanted to yell at him. I wanted to kick and scream and punch him in the face. Instead I wrapped my arms around myself and offered up some honesty.

“My mother got it for me when I was a kid.” Nice over share
Liv
, now I wanted to punch myself in the face.

“She met her end in the plague?”

I shook my head. “No, years before. In a way, I

m glad she didn.t live through all this. She passed knowing there was still hope for the world.”

“I know what that is like, losing someone you care for.” He was silent for a moment, staring at the chuck
taylor

s
on his feet. “The loss never passes, but your love for them plants a seed in your heart. Love will bloom anew as though they never left you, blossom at sights

never seen and share in the joy of future generations that take root.”

Now didn

t that just make me feel like the worst person on the planet. For the first time I thought of him as more than a monster. He had saved my life. Twice now. He had not harmed me when he could easily do so. He had not been aggr
essive at all really. And me? I’
d trespassed into some one's home, obviously caused some family drama with
blondiebitch
and have succeeded in

being generally belligerent in all aspects of our interaction.

It was I who had really been the monster between the two of us.

I sat down in the chair next to him. “Thank you. For my bear, thank you.”

He smiled; he looked almost human when he smiled. For some reason, when he looked at me like that what I was doing here didn.t seem
so bad. I hadn’
t realized before how close to ice his blue irises were. The shade celebrities would have paid hundreds for in contacts. I

m not sure if my thoughts were being manipulated by his beautiful eyes or if I had sorted out my feelings in my

head.

Either way, here we were.

“And now I guess I have one for you.” I set my arm up on the table. He face seemed to turn although his smile persisted. There was no joy in his eyes, instead they were filled with something primal.

Hunger, pure and simple.

Any trace of humanity I had thought I saw just moments before was long gone. I fought the fear that rose in my chest with logic; he had brought me no harm. That became my mantra as he reached for my extended limb.

I didn

t flinch this time when he touched my arm.

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