Authors: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Tags: #Paranormal Romance
Niccolo nudged Helena back a few more inches with his hand.
Was he going to fight Rodrigo? What if Niccolo lost? What would happen to her? And wasn’t fighting naked sort of dangerous? Not to mention inappropriate? The whole situation was scary. And wrong. What should she do?
“Am I supposed to run?” she whispered to Niccolo.
Niccolo snickered. “Trust me, you are in no danger.”
Sure the hell feels like it.
Suddenly, a whoosh of air whipped in front of her. There were grunts and growls and the sounds of tearing flesh and crunching bones.
“Oh, crap!” Helena turned away, unsure who was winning or why she was suddenly asking God to make sure Niccolo, the man she’d been running from only moments earlier, proved victorious. Maybe because the other man wanted to snack on her?
Helena once again found herself charging into the black night, tears of horror streaming down her face. Where was she even going? Helena abruptly stopped, cursing herself for deciding to go on this stupid trip to the ruins. If only she’d stayed at the hotel with her friends, none of this would’ve happened. Now her life was basically over; she’d end up dinner or a prisoner of some deranged nudist vampire.
Holy hounds of hell! Vampires are real? Impossible! Why haven't any scientists discovered evidence?
Maybe the vampires ate them
The air kicked up around her. Her heart paused and then slammed into overdrive.
“It is done, my Helena. You are secure now,” Niccolo said in a stark voice, then pulled her into his body.
Oh, lucky day. Prisoner of mad nudist vampire it is!
you people?” she asked.
“We do not have time to discuss this now,
. More are probably coming.” He grabbed her hand and then yanked her along.
Fab. U. Lous. Can this day possibly get any—
A melody rang out through the darkness, and she felt Niccolo jump. A bright light illuminated the palm of his hand. It was a cell phone playing the Mexican Hat Dance. In any other situation, that might be funny.
“Tell me, what is this device?” he demanded, shoving the phone at her.
The glow of the tiny screen sliced through the night, allowing Helena to see him once again. His handsome face was dirty, and he bore a deep scratch down his rock-hard chest. He was now wearing a pair of low-slung jeans. He must have borrowed them from the lovely psycho he’d just offed. Dammit. Despite the pilfered pants and bleeding wounds, he still looked scrumptious.
“Helena, please! We do not have much time,” he urged impatiently. “Is it a weapon? What is the meaning of the song?”
Got a sombrero?
“Tell me where you’re taking me, and then I’ll show you,” she replied.
She then noticed another deep slice through his side. Blood was running freely. “You’re hurt,” she commented.
And I care? Okay. It’s official. I’m my own species now: pathetic-deathwish-osaurus…I sooo hear extinction calling me.
He made a deliberate motion across the back of his head to remind her that only five minutes earlier she’d hit him. Hard. “Kind of you to suddenly concern yourself,” he said.
“I know. Weird. Right?”
He growled with pain. “I will be fine once I feed. Been,” he ground out the words, “far too long.”
Helena stepped back and covered her neck.
“Not you.” He frowned.
“What? Wrong flavor?” She mentally slapped herself. Why was her first reaction to feel rejected? Silly. Although, now that she happened to be on the topic, why didn’t he want to kill her? The other crazy vampire had called her “Forbidden.” Could be something to do with that. Or, maybe, he was one of those vegetarian vampires like she’d seen in the movies?
With cell phone still illuminating his face, she could make out his hungry gaze fixed on her neck.
No. Not a vegetarian.
Helena’s enticing scent was driving him toward madness. It was the most heavenly thing he had ever smelled, and he wasn’t certain how much longer he could hold out. He needed to hunt. Unfortunately, leaving her alone in the jungle was not an option. More vampires could be en route, and he knew not if they would be law abiding.
He looked at Helena and wondered what to do with her. He needed to put her somewhere safe; however, sifting was out of the question. Not only was he too weak, but mortals were not permitted to know their secrets. It was against the Pact. Yes, she now knew he was a vampire, thanks to Rodrigo, but he would have to transport her somewhere safe by whatever means were used in these times.
He would reunite with her once he had gathered the necessary means to ensure her safety. And comfort.
Right. First things first.
He needed to find a weapon. He shoved the phone at her again. “What does this do?”
Hand shaking, she took it from him. “Um. It’s called a Smartphone. You can talk to people or send messages. It’s got Internet too.” She pointed to a collection of funny looking symbols on the glossy surface.
Inter-net. Is that used for some sort of fishing? And why is the phone called smart? Were prior ones stupid?
“Tell me why this communication device is playing that melody,” he commanded.
She looked at the phone. “There's a message.” She held it up. It read,
Confirm u have him. Then bring him 2 me ASAP. Hz army waits.
The phone made another beep. A new message rolled across the device’s surface.
If he resists, kill him. Back up is on the way.
Niccolo felt his stomach knot.
More were indeed coming. He was in no shape to fight. On the other hand, the message said he still had an army. Very confusing. “
. Tell me, who sent this?"
She slid her index finger vertically across the screen to show him the name of the sender. “It says ‘Reyna.’”
He was not ready to deal with this predicament just yet. But he
And oddly enough, the queen’s message did not sound as though she was committed to his demise. Why not?
He shoved the phone at Helena. “Operate the device. I must converse with her immediately.”
“If I do, you have to let me go,” Helena said flatly.
She was making demands of him? No one did such a ridiculous thing without experiencing the severest of consequences.
decided the terms of every action. Yet, somehow, her fearlessness made him proud.
Sì, my mate should be brave. Anything else would bring me dishonor. Nonetheless, she is demanding her liberty. Why?
Niccolo scolded her with his eyes. “Do you believe I wish to hurt you? After I saved you?”
“Are you really a vampire? Was that—that
back there really going to eat me?”
Since he hadn’t spilled the beans personally, there was no Pact-violation on his part. Niccolo nodded. “
will not hurt you. My only wish is to protect you—to see you safe,
Helena cocked her head.
She did not believe him? No one ever questioned his honor! And lived. His pride quickly dissolved into admiration once again.
Yes, of course, my bride should be the cautious type. This will ensure her survival.
He smiled inwardly. Perhaps, the universe was smarter than he thought. It was beginning to appear that his mate had all the right traits. Physical and mental. He was going to enjoy learning her. Thoroughly.
His cock began to swell once again.
Contain your passion, man. Remember, you cannot join with her until she has been transformed.
His mood instantly soured.
The device made another odd sound. “Here. Push this,” Helena demonstrated how to engage the device.
His mood modestly improved; she trusted him enough to help. Very encouraging. Niccolo’s attention moved to the phone. “Speak,” he commanded it.
A voice came out over the speaker. “Rodrigo! You useless
You’d better have Niccolo on his way to Sao Paolo!”
Niccolo was amazed by how the small device transported the wretched woman’s voice. “I am not on my way anywhere,” he answered.
There was a long pause. “Niccolo?”
Niccolo held his index finger to Helena’s mouth. He did not want the queen finding out about his new human.
“Where the hell have you been?” Reyna barked.
Niccolo shrugged. “Long story. One I do not care to share.” Especially not now. His bride was listening and he did not want to scare her away.
“You refuse to answer?”
“I have not had a meal in three-hundred years and must feed. What do you want of me, Reyna?” He knew his attitude might anger her further, but there was only one thing she hated more than impertinence: cowardice.
“Insolent fool! Tell me where you’ve been,” Reyna demanded.
. I’m here now and have taken care of the issue which detained me. That is all you need to know.”
She growled. “Fine. Get your sweet ass down to Sao Paolo. There’s a pack of Obscuros eating tourists—reds and oranges by the handful like fucking M&M’s!”
Niccolo did not want Helena to hear this. It might shock her to know that Vampires hunted humans according to the color of their auras. Good vampires preyed only on those with gray or black auras—humans who were beyond redemption. Of course, the sweetest treats were the good apples with red, yellow, and orange auras—Forbiddens like Helena. The only exception was for the queen who had a pool of willing blood slaves with auras somewhere in the middle of the rainbow.
“Sao Paolo. As you command,” Niccolo responded casually to mask his concern. The queen’s reaction was far too…gracious.
In fact, I sense a twinge of…relief?
Yes. That is what he felt radiating distantly through their blood bond. What had happened in the world?
Must be bad if she’s so willing to take me back.
He then thought about what it meant to return to her service, a scenario he had not anticipated.
It is merely for three more months, man. You can manage.
“Go find something to eat,” the queen barked. “Sentin and Rodrigo will be watching your every move. If you even
of running again, they will call me, and I will personally deal with you. Understand? Now, hurry the fuck up and get your ass on that plane!”
A plain what?
“And Niccolo…after your job is complete, you come straight to me; I’m not done with you yet.”
Niccolo looked at Helena. He could sense the turbulent current of fear and confusion coursing through her. He could not help but want to comfort her.
Just as soon as I am certain the situation is safe, I will be comforting you in many, many ways, mio cuore.
But for the time being, he could not risk Helena’s life; she was his ticket to freedom, though he did not know how this freedom would come about.
“Sentin. Just Sentin will be escorting me. I intercepted Rodrigo in the jungle attempting to dine on a Forbidden.”
There was a long silence, then, “I guess that explains why you have his phone.” Reyna sighed. “Dammit. I had plans this weekend. He was going to cat sit. Well, I guess you’ve returned just in time. I imagine many of the less honorable men have been bending the rules since you…” She screamed loudly, “Took your fucking vacation! Get to work! And clean it up before I change my mind about taking you back!”
, flashed across the tiny screen.
Niccolo let out a long, slow breath and then turned to Helena. She was still trembling.
“Please, just let me go back to my friends.”
Niccolo grabbed her hand and planted a lingering kiss on her palm. “That is exactly what I plan to do.” He held up the phone. “Give me your coordinates so I may converse with you on this device when the time comes to send for you.”
He could sense her emotions.
She did not want to return to him. She was afraid. She was also intrigued.
He added, “And do not think of hiding from me, Helena. I am thirteen hundred years old now, and you are my mate. I will hunt you. I will find you.”