Dance of the Gods Page 19

“I didn’t lie. I omitted, and I’m sorry. God, I’m so sorry, but it wasn’t something I could tell you when we first…and then I didn’t know how to tell you what I was, what I do.”

“What you are is a freak.”

She jerked her head back as if he’d slapped her. “I’m not a freak. I know you’re upset, but—”

“Upset? I don’t know who you are, what you are. Christ, what I’ve been sleeping with all these months. But I know this. I want you to stay away from me, away from my family, my friends.”

“You need time. I get that, but—”

“I’ve given you all the time you’re going to get. It makes me sick to look at you.”

“That’s enough.”

“It’s past enough. Do you think I could be with you, that I could touch you again after this?”

“What’s wrong with you?” she demanded. “What I did saved lives. It would have killed people, Jeremy. It would have hunted and killed innocent people. I stopped it.”

“It doesn’t exist.” He dragged the duffle off the bed they’d shared for nearly six months. “When I walk out of here, it doesn’t exist, and neither do you.”

“I thought you loved me.”

“Looks like we were both wrong.”

“So you walk out,” she said quietly, “and I cease to be.”

“That’s right.”

Not the first time, she thought, no, not the first. The only other man she’d loved had done the same. Slowly, she drew the diamond from her finger. “You’d better have this back.”

“I don’t want it. I don’t want anything that’s touched you.” He strode to the door, glanced back once. “How do you live with yourself?”

“I’m all I’ve got,” she said to the empty room. Then she set the ring on the dresser, lowered to the floor and wept.

Men are vile creatures, really. Using women up, casting them aside. Leaving them alone and broken. Better to leave them first, isn’t it? Better yet to pay them back, and leave them bleeding.

Sick and tired of being the one left behind, aren’t you? And all the fighting, all the death. I can help you with that. I’d so like to help you.

Why don’t we talk about it, you and me? Just us girls. Let’s have a few drinks and trash men, why don’t we?

Aren’t you going to ask me in?

Blair stood at the window, and the face behind the dark glass smiled at her. Her hands went to the window, started to lift it.

Hurry now. Open up. Ask me in, Blair. That’s all you have to do.

She opened her mouth, the words already in her mind.

Then something flew at her from behind, sent her sprawling across the room.

Chapter 5

T here was a scream of rage from what floated outside the window. The glass seemed to vibrate from it, almost to bow in from the pressure.

Then it was gone, a blur of motion. Blair felt the room spin.

“Oh no, you don’t. There’ll be none of that.” Larkin took a firm grip on Blair’s shoulders, pulled her up to her knees. “What the bloody hell were you doing?”

His face shimmied in and out of focus. “I’m going out. Sorry.”

The next thing she knew she was coming to on her own bed, with Larkin tapping her cheeks. “Ah, there you are. Stay with us this time, will you, muirnin? I’m going to fetch Glenna.”

“No, wait. Give me a minute. I just feel a little sick.” She swallowed hard, pressed a hand to her shaky stomach. “Like I’ve had entirely too many margaritas. I must’ve been dreaming. I thought I…Was I dreaming?”

“You were standing at the window, about to open it. She was outside, somehow standing out there. The French one.”

“Lora. I was going to ask her in.” She turned horrified eyes to Larkin. “Oh my God, I was going to ask her in. How can that be?”

“You looked…wrong. I’d have said you were asleep, but your eyes were open.”

“Sleepwalking. A trance. They got into my head, and they did something. The others!”

He pressed her back down when she started to jump off the bed. “Downstairs, the lot of them. In the kitchen where Glenna’s put a meal together, God bless her. She asked if I’d fetch you. I knocked, but you didn’t answer.” He looked toward the window now, and his face went grim. “I nearly went away again, thinking you were sleeping and could probably use that as much as food. But I thought I heard…I heard her talking to you.”

“If I’d let her in…I’ve never heard of them being able to do mind control if you haven’t been bitten. Something new. We’d better get down, tell the others.”

He brushed lightly at her hair. “You’re shaky yet. I could carry you.”

“Bet you could.” It made her smile. “Maybe next time.” She sat up, leaned toward him, touched her lips to his. “Thanks for the save.”

“You’re very welcome.” He took her hand to help her off the bed, then wrapped his arms around her when she swayed.

“Whoa. Head rush. They worked something on me, Larkin. They used memories and emotions. Private stuff. That seriously pisses me off.”

“You’d be more so if she’d managed the invitation.”

“Good point. Okay, let’s go down and…” She wobbled again, cursed.

“My way then after all.” He scooped her off her feet.

“Just need another minute. Need to find my balance.”

“You feel balanced enough to me.” He looked down, smiled slowly. “You’ve a lovely shape to you. I like that the clothes you wear don’t hide it away. And just now you’ve got a pretty scent to go with it. A bit like green apples.”

“Are you distracting me from the fact I nearly invited a vampire in for dinner?”

“Is it working for you?”

“A little.”

“Let’s try for a little more then.” He stopped, lowered his head and covered her mouth with his.

A quick jolt. Not so playful as it had been before, and she realized there was a great deal of anger and fear in him for her. She didn’t know the last time anyone had been afraid for her. She responded to it before she could stop herself, turning into him, tangling her fingers in his hair. Filling up with him that aching loneliness that had followed her out of the dream.

Prev Next