Read Til Death (Jane #5) Online

Authors: Samantha Warren

Tags: #vampire, #blood, #urban fantasy, #fantasy, #contemporary, #jane

Til Death (Jane #5)

BOOK: Til Death (Jane #5)
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Til Death

(Jane #5)

 

By

Samantha Warren

 

Copyright © 2011 Samantha Warren

The following story is a work of fiction and
all names and characters are strictly the creation of the
author.

All rights reserved.

Smashwords Edition

 

This publication may not be reproduced or
transmitted in any manner without expressed written consent from
Samantha Warren.

 

Cover Art Copyright © 2011 Kalen
O'Donnell

 

Chapter 1

 

Have I ever told you I hate weddings? Well, I
do. I hate them with a passion. There’s a reason Steven and I
headed off to Vegas the first time I got married. I’ve never been
one of those girls who sat and pondered my wedding for hours on end
when I was still in ribbons and curls. There is too much drama, too
much money, too much concern over everything being just perfect.
But at least Donna was going to get her perfect wedding.

“Come on, Jane. Stop being a baby and try on
the dress.”

Groaning, I slouched deeper into the plush
chair at the back of the room. Donna rented out the entire bridal
store for two whole nights, determined to stuff me into something
white, poofy, shimmery, and long. I looked pleadingly at Mindy, the
attendant who had been coerced into helping us. Her young face was
drawn and her eyes had deep bags under them.

She held up her hands and shook her head,
offering me no escape. I didn’t really blame her. The previous
evening, she had attempted to suggest something to Donna that Donna
didn’t really like. My vampire friend still hadn't fully recovered
from the loss of her sister and her foray into the dark side and
the poor girl was lucky to make it out of the confrontation with
all her limbs. Since then, she kept her lips pressed tightly
together and played the part of errand girl instead of bridal
consultant.

I’d lost count of how many dresses I’d tried
on and yet another monstrosity was being shoved in my face.
Sighing, I grabbed it from Donna’s outstretched hand with more
force than necessary and stalked to the fitting room. Sure, I
could’ve just stripped out of the one I was in right there. The
blinds were drawn and no one without x-ray vision could see inside,
but I got a small pleasure from hearing Donna huff outside the door
as I dawdled inside.

There was a big mirror on the wall of the
dressing room and I examined myself while Donna grumbled. It was
strapless with a bustier that felt like armor from the Middle Ages.
It stood stiff and stark against my tanned chest and if I looked
down, I could see all the way to my waist. Felipe would like it,
but I didn’t particularly want anyone else to get that view. It
clamped uncomfortably tight around my hips before ballooning out
into a marshmallow-esque explosion of fabric. Behind me, the train
bunched up against the wall in a puddle of white.

“What is going on in there, Jane?” Donna’s
fist thumped heavily against the wood, making it vibrate on its
hinges.

Stifling another sigh, I opened the door and
looked into her hopeful eyes. “No.”

“Yes! It’s beautiful! It’s perfect! It’s so
you!”

She reached out to hug me and I returned her
embrace momentarily before pulling back. “I hate it.”

Donna’s eyes narrowed. “You hate
everything.”

“No, but I hate this.”

Our relationship had been tense for the past
several months, but we were working on it. The last two days had
put a damper on that progress.

Donna opened her mouth to say something, then
closed it tight. She nodded once, then held up a finger. “Stay
here.”

As she disappeared into the sea of white,
Mindy smiled at me and shrugged. I waited, leaning against the door
jamb in despair.

Donna was gone a lot longer than I expected
and I was contemplating going in search of her when she emerged
from the last row of dresses. In her hands she held a simple,
off-white dress. It had the faintest of shimmers and a halter-top
neckline. The back was longer than the front with a very small
train. She held it out to me, a small smile on her face.

“This is the one.”

I took it hesitantly. She had made that claim
for the last two dozen dresses, but this time, her voice held a
quiet confidence. Eyeing her suspiciously, I turned and went back
into the dressing room. It took me a long time to shrug out of the
straight-jacket I was wearing and I breathed a sigh of relief when
it was finally off.

The new dress hung beside the mirror and as I
looked at it, I couldn’t help but smile. It slipped on easily and
wrapped around my body like a well-worn pair of jeans. It was tight
enough to show off my curves, but not so tight that it felt
constricting. The front was cut just above the knee and draped
around to trail behind me. I did a couple turns in the mirror and
felt the corners of my lips pull up involuntarily.

“This is the one,” I said as I opened the
door.

Donna’s dull eyes brightened noticeably when
she saw me and she nodded emphatically. “That’s the one.”

A sigh echoed from behind us and I grinned at
Mindy. For the first time since the whole wedding process started,
I was actually a bit excited instead of dreading it.

The sun was coming up when Donna and I
finally ducked into the blacked-out SUV. Jax snoozed in the
driver’s seat until Donna slammed the door, startling him awake. He
rubbed his eyes and looked at me. “Any luck?”

I nodded and smiled. “Yep. We found it.”

“Oh, thank God. I can’t do this another
night. I killed the battery on my PSP this time.” A wicked grin
broke across his face at Donna’s disgusted snort and I fought hard
to suppress my own.

Back at the hotel, my elation at finally
finding the right dress disappeared when we walked through the door
to my suite. It had been transformed into a garden. There were
flowers of every shape, size, and color in vases and arrangements
of all sorts. Annie stepped out from behind a Felipe-sized display
of red roses and white orchids with a small Asian man in tow.

The next six hours were spent going over
every imaginable combination of floral decorations. I was hanging
onto my patience by a thread by the time Donna escorted the florist
to the lobby. I collapsed onto the sofa and growled. Annie plopped
down beside me, holding out a glass filled with thick red liquid. I
sipped it in between deep breaths until a knock sounded at the
door. She got up to answer it and returned moments later with a
sexy Italian behind her.

A grin broke unbidden across my face and I
set my glass down on the side table as I bounded to my feet. Felipe
wrapped his arms around me and I sank into him, inhaling his scent
and resting my head against his chest. We stood there for what felt
like an eternity until Jax cleared his throat.

“Listen, lovebirds, Felipe has to be back at
headquarters when the sun goes down, and Jane hasn’t slept in three
days. I’m going to take Annie and scoot for a few hours.”

Felipe nodded at Jax. “Good plan. See you
later.”

We waited until the door shut, then Felipe
scooped me up into his arms and sat in a big, overstuffed chair in
the corner. He looked into my eyes and ran a finger along my
cheek.

“I feel like I haven’t seen you in days, my
darling Jane. Between the wedding and the vampires, it’s been
crazy. I think you may have been right about Vegas.”

I gave Felipe a smirk, his classic look that
I’d been working on for the past few months. “Felipe, my dear,
there is one thing you should have learned long ago. Women are
always right. It’s inherent in our genes.”

His deep laugh echoed through the room and
his eyes sparkled. “That may be true. You are marrying me, after
all.”

“Vampires. Their egos grow with age,” I
quipped before pressing my lips to his.

“Mmm. I’ve missed that,” he said when we
finally pulled ourselves apart. “So how was your day? Has Donna
finished planning your dream wedding yet?”

I sighed for the umpteenth time that day and
rested my cheek on his shoulder. “We found the dress. It’s
absolutely beautiful, and there’s no frilly junk anywhere on it. I
think we might have the flower arrangements done, too, but she was
waffling right before the florist left, so I guess I’ll find out
tomorrow. How was the meeting?”

Felipe puffed his cheeks and blew the air out
as he leaned his head against the back of the chair. “Tiring. Some
of the teams are making good progress. One of the teams in DC has
developed a weapon that emits a blast that’s like a star exploding
and can be contained to the walls of a house. It will make taking
covens out a bit easier, but it also poses a greater danger to the
teams using it. And there is a question as to whether it is
ethical.”

I shuddered at the thought of the vampires
who would be caught in the blast. My previous husband had met a
similar fate and it was not the least bit pleasant.

“And there’s a new kid from Seattle who has a
chip on his shoulder, and really bad hair.”

“When are we heading to Columbus?”

“The day after the wedding. Good thing we
celebrated our honeymoon already.” Felipe’s lips pressed against my
forehead and I snuggled closer to him. “Oh, Jane. Before I met you,
I thought I had my life sorted out. Now, I just want to escape with
you to some remote corner of the world and never worry about any of
this again.”

Smiling, I lifted my head and kissed him
softly. “I know how you feel. But if we were to leave now, a lot of
people would suffer. The world is counting on you to be their
Superman.”

“I am definitely no Superman. First off, he
didn’t drink blood. Second, he was allergic to kryptonite. I’m not
that big of a pansy.” He leaned over and kissed my nose. “And
third, I would never abandon the woman I love.”

“Very valid points. I guess you’ll just have
to settle for being my hero, then.”

Wrapping his arms tightly around me, he
pressed his lips to my neck. “I think I could deal with that. When
this is all over, I think we should resign and move to Alaska.”

“What would we do in Alaska?”

He shrugged. “Raise mooses?”

“Mooses isn’t a word. It’s meese.”

“It’s not meese. It’s mooses.”

“No, it’s meese. The plural of goose is
geese, so the plural of moose is meese.”

Felipe stared at me for several minutes after
that and I had a very hard time keeping my grin under wraps. “I
think you’re full of bologna.”

“Hey, who’s the one with English as a first
language, huh?”

He snorted. “And who’s been speaking English
longer than you, huh?”

I opened my mouth to retaliate, but his lips
stopped me before I could get a word out. They tasted delicious and
I lost myself in them. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I tangled
my fingers in his luscious black hair. Without breaking the kiss,
he tucked an arm under my knees and stood up, taking me with him.
The trip to the bedroom was a little dangerous with all the flowers
throughout the room and I heard glass breaking and water splashing
more than once.

As Felipe opened the door, I saw flowers and
glass strewn across our path and pitied the poor housekeeper who
would be tasked with cleaning up the mess. I’d gotten to know her
over the previous weeks and did not envy her in her job. But as the
door closed behind us, my concern for the maid and the wedding and
even the world disappeared. Felipe was all that mattered right
then, and we made the most of every moment.

 

Chapter 2

 

The day snuck up on me, despite Donna’s
constant reminders and fussing. Twenty-two hours before the
wedding, she kicked Felipe out of the suite and took over. Her
nervous energy permeated the room and had Annie and I on pins and
needles.

At eight o’clock in the evening, four hours
before I was to walk down the aisle, we finally headed to the
church. It was small compared to the churches I was used to, but I
didn’t mind. Donna had tried to get us to rent out the largest in
the area, but I didn’t want that many people at my wedding. As it
was, I would probably really only know about a third of the guests,
the rest being picked by Felipe, Donna, and Father Bellini.

The room that had been reserved for us to get
ready in was almost the size of the hotel suite. My dress was
hanging from a rack in the corner, alongside those for Donna and
Annie. Theirs were almost as beautiful as mine. I had insisted on
picking the dresses for the bridesmaids. Hey, it was my wedding. I
needed to have at least a little say in it. They were black and cut
in a similar style to mine. The back was shorter, ending just below
the knee instead of trailing out along the floor, and the halter
tops were studded with diamonds.

In a box on the floor sat three bouquets. Two
were smaller, merely a dozen each, black and white roses arranged
in a flattering pattern and sprinkled with tiny red flowers. The
other bouquet was twice the size and had black, red, and white
roses, along with the little red flowers. I had to admit, Donna had
taste.

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