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Authors: Billi Jean

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BOOK: Eternal Embrace
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And why aren’t you freaking out more about being a vampire?

There was only one source for answers. And he looked to be pouting. She’d never gained anything with Jaxon by being timid. She swallowed and examined her feelings for him. She was in deep. More now than before. Could a man get so freaked out over a woman in pain and not care?

Their night, the one she’d shoved into box labelled
‘tool, don’t think on him ever again!
’ suddenly didn’t fit. He’d treated her as if she might break, as if their time was limited and he wanted to savour every second. Was that because he did care and he knew, as a vampire, he shouldn’t? He could have done anything to her. Anything at all, and what had he done? He’d made love to her like a god—left her right after, sure, but he’d also saved her life. Maybe tweaked it and made her one of the damned so she’d never go to heaven, but…still, he’d saved her. Twice, now.

She had to give him a chance. Them, she realised. Give
them
this chance. If she was going to go to live for an eternity, the least he could do was join her.

She walked over and gently rested a hand on the back of his chair.

“I’m sorry, I do sound ungrateful. I guess I’m still coming to terms with this.”

When he didn’t speak, she sank down into a chair near him, drew her knees to her chin and hugged them close to her body. “Can we talk now?”

Chapter Three

Jaxon had been through more battles than he could remember. He’d never experienced fear, or trembled in fear as some authors wrote, or lost his nerve, he simply never worried over death, just as he never worried over life.

Until now. Joey freaked him the hell out. She twisted him inside out so much he couldn’t see straight. Now, with her sitting next to him, after apologising for something she had every right to be upset over—he couldn’t bear to look at her. He wanted to pull her close and let her goodness rub off the darkness filling his core.

“Jax? Would you rather I go shower?”

He shook his head at her tentative question, and grabbed her small hand when she would have risen. “No, we should talk now. There’s much you need to learn, too much for me to explain in one sitting, but I’m sure you have questions.”

She nodded silently, nibbling on her full lower lip. Did she realise how hot that made him? Obviously not, because she tipped her head to the side and examined him as if she could find the answers she sought in his face. He hoped the hell not.

“Will I sleep during the day?”

“Yes, you should never go out during the day and if not with me, you should always, always find a safe place to sleep where no one can find you.”

“If I’m not with you?” She frowned at that and he watched her spear him with a suspicious look. “What does that mean?”

He took a deep breath and said, “It means, until you’re able to take care of yourself, you’re with me.” And maybe if he could convince her, she would take the vows with him.

“Whoa!” She pulled her hand from his and huddled deeper in her chair. “What does
that
mean? I don’t want you babysitting me, I can…well…I have to get back home, you know? I have a life to get back to—”

He broke in before she truly built up steam. “That’s behind you now. You have to stay with me. It’s not safe for you—you’re weak and you have no idea how to survive. And believe me,” he said, catching her brilliant hazel eyes, “I won’t be babysitting you.”

She swallowed at that, but for some reason, looked pleased. Her expression gave him hope. Maybe she would forgive him.

“Why do I have to sleep during the day?”

This he could talk to her about. “The rumours you’ve heard are all wrong. We require more energy—more water, for one—to survive during the day and make it worth it. At night, our bodies work better, use less energy. At night, our powers grow, and with the rise of the full moon, our strength increases. We are true night people, built to survive in ways humans are not.”

“Night vision?”

He grinned, rubbing her knuckles with his thumb at how smart she was. “Yes, we can see in pitch darkness, outside, inside. We can also change forms.”

“Oh… Like the movies? To fog, or smoke? Wolves?”

He laughed at her enthusiasm. She smiled and swatted his arm. “What? It’s cool, sorta.” She broke off and frowned, nibbling her lip again. “Why am I not freaked more by this?” The way she asked that, he knew she was talking to herself, but he heard her whisper.

“We also have very good hearing,” he told her quietly.

She blushed and rolled her eyes when he laughed. “Well, why am I not freaked out, then?”

He considered her, unsure how to respond. Finally, he brought her hand to his lips and kissed her fingers. “I don’t think the truth has settled in yet.”

“Yeah, maybe, maybe,” she said. “What about blood? Do you mean—well, I can’t bite anyone, Jaxon, I hope you know that.” She frowned adorably and snorted. “But I’ll have to?” She put one hell of a lot of worry into that question. And as expected, disgust. He hoped to change that around real soon, but he judged now he’d have to take some baby steps with her, rather than a full-out attack on her obvious squeamishness.

“You will in time, maybe,” he hedged wanting her to drink from him and only him. Just thinking it had his cock twitching. He’d never done such a thing. Sex and blood sharing was reserved for mates, bondings. He’d never dreamed he’d have that. Now, all those lewd stories he’d heard about how freaking amazing sex was with your bonded hit him with full force. “Until then, I got you bagged blood.”
Until she chooses me.

She blinked and frowned at that, mulling it over, he could tell. “So I can just drink bagged…stuff?”

“Baby, you can’t survive on blood like that,” he cautioned her. She might, but he wanted to show her a different way—with his blood. If she exchanged blood with him, he’d always know where she was and more, she’d always be able to find him. With the blood exchange, then the vows, if she were his bonded, they’d share their time on this earth, unable to be apart. Just the thought of never having this woman leave his side made his chest ache oddly. He’d never tire of her, he knew that. Not just how sexy she was, but her, Joey, the woman who sat with him now and calmly interrogated him on her new life.

“Why not? You don’t expect me to drink like live blood, from a person, do you?”

He laughed and rolled his head on the back of the chair. She made that sound so dirty, as if he’d asked her to bend over and wrap her lips around his aching cock at a church. The thought brought his body to an even harder degree of readiness for her. He shot that idea down and tried not to focus on her lips. The trouble with that, though, was she had the kind of mouth a man couldn’t take his eyes off—full, naturally a beautiful pink against her pale, perfect complexion.

“Jaxon, you’re laughing at me,” she ground out. She really could get worked up for such a small person. He’d once been in China and a kid had thrown this tiny little firecracker out in front of his sister. The thing had popped then let out such a display of light and sparks even he’d been shocked. Joey was like that firecracker—deceptively small and delicate—but with such fire, she threw him. And she had a short fuse, it seemed. For some insane reason that made his chest grow all warm and shit.

“Look, we’ll go slowly, first the bagged blood, then the rest. But you have to be strong, and the more you drink, the stronger you’ll get.”

“Blood.” She muttered the word, as if sounding it out then pouted. After a few seconds, she arched a delicate eyebrow. “What do you drink? I mean, from women? Men? What?”

He frowned at her, guessing what she thought. “I drink when I need to—nothing more than drinking, if that’s what you’re asking. Sex and sharing blood is saved for a permanent relationship.”
A bonding
. To get her mind off that though, he said, “You can eat food too. Anything. Blood is needed because we burn more energy. That’s what gives us the powers so many rumours and movies try to portray, but in exchange for our power, we need more blood.”

“So we can…eat food?”

“Yep, even garlic. Holy water doesn’t affect you, crosses are cool and as far as I know, you can walk into any church you want. Silver does bother us, but not to the same extent it harms the Lykae. A stake in the heart will kill you, but who wouldn’t die from that? But so will the sun at your age. When you’re older, you can go out at dawn and dusk when the winter weakens the sun.”

She blinked rapidly, most likely from the barrage of information, but quickly asked, “What do you mean, when I’m older? And what is a Lykae?”

“You’re new to this world, Joey, but you should live for centuries, if you are careful.” And with him to guide her.

“Centuries,” she breathed, and now, finally, she looked freaked.

“This bothers you?” he demanded. It pleased the shit out of him. He’d need centuries just to learn everything he could about her.

“Well, yeah,” she murmured thoughtfully. She appeared to think on that for a bit, then realigned her thoughts to hit him with more questions. “What is a Lykae?”

“A Lykae is what you’ve heard of as a werewolf.”

“Oh!” She covered her mouth with both hands, but above her slim fingers, he watched her eyes crinkle in a smile.
Now why does that please her? Does she have a thing for werewolves?

“Really? Does that mean there are other creatures like fairies and pixies and—”

His phone interrupted her flow of questions. She sat straighter, watching him now as if he might call one of the creatures from myth that impressed her. Not the vampire, though, he noted.

“Look, there’s a great deal happening right now. The club I found you at hid a shitload of evil and it’s spreading.”

“And you’re helping stop it.”

She sounded so sure of that—that he was on the right side of the fight—his neck heated with sudden, hot embarrassment.

“I’m aiding in the battle. It’s a long story, but right now, it’s moving fast. I’m not going anywhere though,” he added when she looked worried.

She nodded hesitantly, nibbling at her thumbnail.

“I have to get this, but I’ll be here when you get out of that shower.”

She laughed quietly at the reminder, but stood, flashing him a glimpse of her long slim legs and the curves of her rounded butt. She had an ass to die for—and he was a breast man. He watched her turn once to glance back at him, and the bathroom light made his white T-shirt practically invisible. She had the breasts to go with that ass, too.

A growl of need rose in his throat, but he cut it short. She’d just survived something traumatic. She didn’t need him lusting after her. He needed to train her to protect herself, give her time to readjust to this new life, then he could hit her with the hard-on he had going on. She disappeared in the bathroom, and he reached down to massage his cramped cock.

His phone buzzed again and he shifted in the seat to glare at the ID.
Torque
. Of all the immortals, this one would be the hardest to blow off.

He slipped his phone open and said, “Yeah, I thought you were taking some time off—you know? After finding out who Beauty was and all?” He tried to sound normal, whatever the fuck normal was, he thought, with another glance at the closed bathroom door.

Torque grumbled something, but low enough that Jaxon couldn’t make it out, not that he wanted to. “I am, or will be. We’ve found another cell—outside of an abandoned section of a salt mine in the US.”

“Shit, just how many of these damn things are there?” It was a rhetorical question, but Torque muttered another curse.

“As many as they can make, I imagine. Hunter is in the States already. Ranger is heading up a few of the Lykae, and Star is on board. Look, I didn’t call about that shit—well, not really. We need you, if you can make it, but I called you because Aidan was asking questions. About you.”

“He was, huh?” Jax fisted his free hand. If Adian, the king of vampires, discovered Jaxon had kept a human alive, let alone aided her in the transformation, there’d be a fight—and the outcome would be not good either way. Jax respected very few people as highly as he did Aidan, but if his king crossed him in this, he knew he’d side with Joey.

Startled by his own thoughts, he cleared his throat.

“Jax, man, are you listening to me?”

“I heard you. Is he going on this mission?” Jaxon demanded. If so, he wasn’t going. He was no coward—no matter how much he was with one particular little woman—but he didn’t look for a fight either.

“No, he’s not, but—”

“Is he looking for me?” Jax asked.

“No, not that I know of at least.”

“Then there’s no problem.” He’d deal with his king later, after he claimed Joey.

“No problem? How can you say that shit? There is a problem—”

“Look, I get that you’re trying to help out, Torque, I get that and thank you, but don’t push this shit. Aidan and his opinion on my life don’t concern me. I wish I could help out, but I can’t make this one.”

A pause, then Torque cleared his throat.

Jax bet his left nut Torque was trying like hell not to grill him over Aidan. Torque knew him well enough to know he’d not say more, though, so when he cleared his throat again, Jax wasn’t surprised when he asked, “Sure, sure, you’re busy, huh?”

“I just need to settle things, you know? But I’ll be up for the next,” Jax offered, knowing he was lying. Joey was at her weakest. He had to protect her. Train her. That would take weeks, possibly years.

“Is she okay?”

Was she?
He thought so. For once, he felt almost positive about the outcome of this particular nightmare.
Could it be so easy? Find her, suffer for a bit with longing then have her? And not have to take the blame for her shift to vampire?

“Dude, Beauty is standing next to me, do you really want to talk to her?”

Jaxon grinned. “Fuck yeah, she’s better-looking and nicer.”

“Like hell she is. Look, is she—”

“Joey is fine. Tell Beauty thank you and that the salve healed her bites.” He’d do the rest with the marks on his own. Like bite right over the same damn spots. From the bathroom, he heard Joey humming a song in the shower. She sounded right, a normal part of his life, as if he’d always heard such a happy sound.

BOOK: Eternal Embrace
13.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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