Read Wicked Sunset (Sunset Vampire Series, Book 4) Online

Authors: Jaz Primo

Tags: #Vampire Paranormal Romance Urban Fantasy

Wicked Sunset (Sunset Vampire Series, Book 4) (5 page)

BOOK: Wicked Sunset (Sunset Vampire Series, Book 4)
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Caleb

 

 

I jolted awake to the sound of my cell phone ringing. I fumbled around for it on the end table and glanced at the display. I tried to gather my wits about me as I wondered why Katrina was calling.

Hadn’t she just been next to me on the couch mere minutes ago?

“Kat? Where are you?” I asked.

“Sorry to wake you,” she said. “But could you please come help me with something in the garage, my love?”

“Uh, okay,” I said, glancing at my watch.

It was evening already.

I’ve been asleep for nearly five hours.

Fortunately, my headache had subsided and I felt decidedly better.

I walked into the dark garage, the only light coming from the dull illumination emanating from the security lights outside.

“Kat?”

I noticed a sport utility vehicle parked just outside the garage in the driveway.

I slapped at the nearest light switch on the wall.

The garage lights snapped on, casting a glow across the shiny new midnight blue surface of a Chevrolet SUV. It was rugged looking, and yet had smooth edges, giving it a sleek appearance.

“Happy early birthday, my love.”

Katrina stood outside the vehicle with her arms neatly folded before her, intently observing me.

“No, way. You—you can’t—” I stammered.

She frowned at me.

“Don’t you like it? You need a new vehicle, after all.”

“Like it? It’s amazing,” I said. “But that’s not the point.”

It was probably the best gift that anyone had ever tried to give me.

It just seemed like too much; way over the top, in fact.

Besides, now that I’m jobless, the insurance premiums are going to be a killer.

I sighed with resignation and threw up my hands.

How could I make her understand?

“Look, I’m sorry, Kat. It’s such a wonderful gift. This SUV’s like something out of a dream. It’s just that I can’t accept it. Heck, I probably can’t even afford the insurance on it.”

Her look of concern transformed into amusement as she regarded me. “Caleb, my love,” she began in a soft, patient voice. “It makes me happy to do this. And I don’t expect anything from you, except to see you happy. And the SUV has been added to my Audi’s policy, so don’t worry about the insurance.”

“But---”

“No,” she interrupted me. “Just say ‘thank you,’ you maddeningly prideful man.”

I sighed, appreciating my shiny new gift.

I should have the grace to be appreciative, I suppose. She means well, after all.

“You know, a lesser woman might feel greatly insulted right now,” she said quietly.

I looked up at her with surprise. I certainly wasn’t trying to be rude. “Oh, please, you’re hardly a lesser woman, by anyone’s measure.”

Face it, other women pale by comparison.

“Perhaps,” she said. “Just the same…”

“Kat, I’m not trying to insult
you
, of all people,” I said. “This is all on me; I’m broken inside or something. I don’t know…I don’t fully understand it. I just don’t feel deserving of such a wonderful gift.”

She regarded me with a sad expression. “Caleb, my love,” she said, holding her arms open. “Come here.”

I slowly approached her, walking into her open arms and letting her enfold me in them. She rested her chin atop my head.

“You dear, sweet man,” she whispered. “You deserve this and so much more. If only I could make you understand that.

“You were made to feel so worthless and undeserving during your childhood by a drunken reprobate of a father,” she said. “If it hadn’t stopped when you were eight, I don’t know where you’d be now.”

Eight…when you killed that son-of-a-bitch father of mine. How can I ever repay her for that?

“Yeah,” I said. “But some of the damage was done by then; you merely kept it from worsening. I’m still a pretty screwed up guy, Kat.”

“Don’t say that, my love,” she said, holding me tightly in her arms. “Don’t berate and belittle yourself like that. Listen to me, if there’s one thing I’ve learned during over five hundred years on this Earth, it’s that we’re all a little screwed up inside. It’s really only a matter of degree.”

I hugged her close; forever grateful for everything she’d done for me in my life, especially those things that I wasn’t even aware of until just recently when my memories were freed.

Despite what she said, I realize I’m still damaged; that much is true.

I gave her a final big squeeze in my arms, determined not to ruin the happiness of this moment any further.

“Thank you for my birthday gift, Kat,” I said. “You’re unbelievably kind and generous. In fact, you’re the best. And I love you so much for that and more.”

“You’re absolutely welcome. And I love you, too,” she said.

She pulled from our embrace slightly and craned her neck to affectionately kiss my lips.

I cherished her kisses, so sweet, and yet, practically charged with emotional electricity.

She disengaged from our mutual embrace and held my hand. “So, you won’t mind driving this around town then?”

“As if,” I said.

Driving an impressive piece of automotive machinery like that was going to be a dream. And it was definitely the vehicle of choice for when we went camping.

Camping in style!

“Oh, it’s definitely over-the-top amazing,” I said. “I better call Jeff at the shop and arrange to dispose of my old car.”

“Oh that,” she said. “Well, one of the documents you previously signed for me was a durable power of attorney, you see. So, I already signed the title over to a salvage yard on your behalf this evening while you were sleeping.”

In a simple stroke of a pen, my old car had been relegated to a mere junk heap in its damaged state. I’d spent a lot of years driving it. In fact, I’d driven it from Ohio to Atlanta when I moved away from home to go to college.

My car is as broken as I probably am inside. Although, hopefully in my case, Kat will keep me.

Then something else she had said finally registered in my mind. “Power of attorney?”

“Mm-hm. Naturally, I’m able to help you with your personal affairs much easier that way,” she said.

“When exactly did I sign that?” I asked.

Why was her revelation news to me?

She frowned. “Don’t you remember? It was one of the papers that you signed along with the request to add you to my credit cards before our trip to Slovenia.”

“Huh.”

I’ll be damned.

“You know, you really should read paperwork more closely before you sign it,” she said dryly.

My mouth gaped open.

“Wait a minute. With durable power of attorney, you practically own me!”

Her eyes narrowed. “Nonsense. Your best interests are imperative to me, my love. You shouldn’t question that.”

I scoffed. “You’ve got to be the boldest, most unbelievably alpha-controlling vampire I’ve ever known.”

She drew her body up to full height and towered over me somewhat menacingly, adopting a predatory expression as she gazed into my eyes.

She’s ferocious.

She stepped toward me, her green eyes blazing with a feral glow, emanating her vampire nature in veritable, powerful waves.

Momentarily caught off guard, I stepped backward until my back pressed against the SUV’s cool exterior.

Undeterred by my reaction, she slowly bent her head down to firmly kiss me on the lips.

“Face it. You
love
me like this,” she whispered.

My arms encircled her slim waist and I smiled into her kiss.

True.

I pulled her against me and initiated a series of lengthy, passionate kisses.

God, she’s a great kisser.

I could’ve stood there all night, in fact.

“So, how about taking me out for a spin in your new SUV?” she suggested.

I chuckled, and she sped around to the passenger side as I eagerly climbed into the driver’s seat, which felt like it had been made just for me.

“This is so awesome,” I said as I started the engine.

My fingers played across the dash to tweak the stereo and air conditioning controls like a pilot prepping an aircraft for flight.

“You can upload the music from your iPod into the entertainment console, as well,” she said.

Oh, yes, gotta’ have my driving tunes.

As we pulled out of the driveway, she reached out and lightly caressed the back of my neck with her fingernails, eliciting a shiver that ran all the way down my spine.

 

* * *

 

Less than an hour after returning from my maiden test drive and parking
my
SUV in the garage, Paige stopped by for an impromptu visit. I quickly took her by the arm and half-dragged her into the garage to see my kick-ass, though way over the top, birthday gift.

Kat watched with an amused expression as I pointed out the host of cool features to Paige.

She kept swatting at my hand. “Stop pointing at everything so fast, you country bumpkin.”

I folded my arms before my chest. As I watched her I could tell she was at least mildly impressed.

“Are you crazy, Red?” Paige finally asked. “You don’t give a man an SUV for his twenty-seventh birthday. That’s more of a thirtieth birthday gift, at best.”

Kat gave her a bland look. “And just what, precisely, should I have given him, then?”

“You give him what any twenty-something-year-old guy wants,” she said, pausing for dramatic affect. “The latest game console and a renewal to his favorite porn subscription.”

She gazed at me sidelong and offered an exaggerated wink. “
Dominatrix Monthly
, right?”

I glanced at Kat, noticing that her eyes nearly bulged from her head in surprise.

Then her intent gaze fell upon me.

Ooh, that’s not good.

“What?” I asked. “Your gift is the best, Kat. And besides, we’ve already got of the newest game consoles and—”

My head swiveled to stare at Paige. “Wait, they actually publish that?”

Kat groaned.

“Oops, making your Dom jealous,” Paige remarked.

My Dom?

I regarded Kat with a wide-eyed expression.

“Why are you staring at
me
like that?” she demanded. “
I’m
the one who’s wondering what kind of porn you’re into.”

“Wha—” I gaped.

“Oh, so our boy likes a little leather and riding crop action, eh?” Paige grinned. “I don’t mind saying, I’m a real kitten with a whip myself.”

My head pivoted to glare at her incredulously.

Kitten with a whip?

Whoa.

My imagination quickly generated a vision of that, and I felt immediate arousal. Fortunately, I caught myself mid-thought and raced to push that aside.

Major warning bells! La, la, la…don’t go there.

“I don’t think so, missy,” Kat said. “Just go practice your skills on Ethan, thank you very much.”

Paige shrugged innocently. “Hey, I’m just sayin’.”

Kat growled. “Well, stop sayin’.”

I threw my hands up in frustration. “Okay, okay, everybody stop!”

Both women stared at me curiously, though Kat appeared a little too exasperated for my taste. In fact, she appeared quite put out.

The vision of a perfect Dominatrix, in fact.

I shook my head.

Don’t go there!

I stared directly into Kat’s still-animated-looking emerald eyes. “Just to be clear, I don’t have a porn magazine collection.”

“They come in online subscriptions, too,” Paige said.

My attention darted to her. “Zip it! You’re not helping right now.”

I returned my focus back to Kat. “I don’t need any porn, Kat. I have
you
.”

Wait, that sounded better in my head.

“That’s oddly romantic,” Paige said with an arched brow. “Quirky, maybe even a bit twisted, actually. But romantic, nonetheless.”

My shoulders slumped. “Okay, I give up.”

Kat, ever the alpha, yet still sensitive, took control of the situation by wrapping her arm around my shoulders.

“I don’t have any concerns about porn, my love,” she said. “Your eyes told me everything I need to know.”

“And everyone in Pleasantville lived happily ever after,” Paige squeaked. “I think I need a tissue.”

I looked at Paige with narrowed eyes, silently mouthing, ‘shut up.’

She winked back at me and grinned.

“So, you bought him an SUV for his birthday, but where in the hell’s his birthday cake?” Paige asked.

“You know, you’re an absolute menace, shorty,” Kat said.

“I do my best,” Paige said.

Although, I had to admit that a cake sounded pretty good at the moment.

“Do I get a cake, too?” I asked.

Kat looked at me with a wry expression. “Your birthday’s not actually until July 17, you know. I still have time. Your gift was merely needed a little earlier than planned, that’s all.”

I shrugged. “Cool. Just askin’.”

Paige folded her arms before her and regarded Kat with raised eyebrows. “So, maybe a porn-looking cake then?”

“Oh,
shut up
, porn queen,” Kat said.

 

* * *

 

I was on my second hour of playing the latest version of Halo on the game console in the theater room when Paige suddenly appeared by my side, plopping down upon the floor Indian-style next to me.

“Hey, tiger,” she said. “Got another controller?”

I paused the game and fished another controller out of the storage cabinet.

“Damn, this is a huge screen for a video game,” she said, taking in the projection screen mounted on the wall.

“Bigger is better,” I said. “Hey, I thought you were chatting it up with Kat.”

“Yeah, well, Alton called and the chit-chat shifted to him,” she replied. “She motioned to me that it was a private call, so I hunted you down.”

I handed her the spare controller and reset the game configuration for an additional player.

BOOK: Wicked Sunset (Sunset Vampire Series, Book 4)
9.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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