Paige tilted her head. “You can talk to her through your bond?”

“I’m telepathic.” Panic flashed across her face. I quickly added, “But I can only read thoughts that are directed at me.” She seemed relieved by that, which made me wonder what she was hiding. “Would you rather Sam was held still?”

Paige bit her lip and glimpsed briefly at her friend. I sensed that she was more worried about Imani’s safety than her own. There was clearly a story behind that, but it simply wasn’t important to me right then. All that mattered was getting Sam healed.

“If it’s all the same to you,” began Paige, “I’d rather Harvey did his thing.”

Hesitantly, Harvey came forward, looking awkward. “You sure you’re okay with this, Coach?” It was actually kind of nice that he didn’t want to use his gift on her. She nodded and smiled encouragingly at him. As soon as Antonio opened the door, Harvey used his gift to keep her pinned to the wall.

I then entered the cell. “Hey, baby.” I wanted nothing more than to drag her to me, but that would have to wait a minute.

“They’re all okay? Evan, Max, and Stuart?”

I smiled. “All three of them are now healed and in the infirmary, where they’ll stay until they wake up.” I moved aside to allow the guards to drop an unconscious prisoner at her feet. “Now it’s your turn.”

Sam switched her attention to Paige, who was gaping at her bite mark.

“It healed.” Yep, Paige was totally freaked out.

“The skin healed, but I’m still tainted,” said Sam.

“But…how?” Finally Paige met her eyes.

Sam shrugged. “How can a Sventé vampire be a Feeder? How can a gift as offensive as yours actually do something as amazing as save a person from something that nothing and no one has ever been able to fight? Some things just are.”

After an encouraging nudge from Imani, Paige stepped forward and went to place her hand on the wound. But then she was gaping again. “Um…you have a snake tattoo wriggling toward the bite mark.” No doubt Dexter was downright pissed to know that Sam was tainted by The Call. It wasn’t something that he could protect her from.

“Long story cut short,” began Sam, “Dexter is my…protector. He can become a live snake at my command. He can’t hurt you as a tattoo, so don’t worry.”

Nodding at that, Paige finally touched the wound. The same thing happened as before…apart from one thing. At the same time as the rippling started to travel up Paige’s lower arm, energy began to cling to the surface of Sam’s entire body – it was almost like a protective blanket. Then those silvery-blue trickles all shot to the bite wound, and a light flashed beneath Paige’s hand just as there was a loud crackle.

Paige stumbled backwards, shaking her hand. Not taking her eyes from Sam, she transferred the taint to the unconscious vampire. Only when I’d destroyed the now tainted captive did she speak. “What was that about?” Again she shook her hand. She didn’t seem worried or afraid, just fascinated. “It was like getting a minor electric shock.”

Genuinely baffled, Sam replied vaguely, “Working with energy always brings surprises. Harvey, can you release me now?”

“Oh, sure. Sorry, Coach.”

As she sagged, I pulled Sam to me and held her tight. People piled in the room, surrounding her, telling her that they were glad she was fine and even making jokes – jokes, really? Despite that she was healed, I couldn’t find any humour whatsoever in this situation. I didn’t pay any attention to them; I only had eyes for Sam. “Thank f**k you’re okay.”

She looked at Paige, who was regarding everyone warily. “Paige…Thanks. You don’t need to worry. No one here will hurt you. After what you’ve done for us, I’ll never let them.”

Chico turned to Paige. “You healed four people who are important to me. I owe you for that. The last thing you have to worry about is being harmed here. You and your friend have our protection.”

Paige swallowed hard, looking on the verge of tears. It had clearly been a long time since she had felt safe. “Thanks.”

I pressed my forehead to Sam’s. “I need to be alone with you.” Ignoring the questions coming from the others, I took us to our apartment. Okay, that was kind of selfish but I’d always be that way where Sam was concerned. I brushed her hair aside to frame her face with my hands. “I don’t know what will happen now that Paige is here, but I don’t want to think about it yet.”

“Me neither. I need to shower. I can still smell rotten fish on my skin from when that vampire dived on me.” If the taint had progressed, the same stench would have been wafting from her.

Cupping her ass, I lifted her, and she wrapped her legs around me. Licking and nibbling on her mouth, I carried her to the bathroom. When she went to undress herself, I shook my head. “Let me take care of you.”

What I wanted most was to be buried inside her, wanted to f**k her hard and release all that fear and anger. But she came first, and the last thing she needed was that. So instead, I slowly stripped her naked, placed her under the spray, and gently soaped her body. I had to bite back a groan when she started to return the favour, sliding her soft hands everywhere she could reach. When she went to touch my cock, I gripped her wrist. “Baby, you may have noticed I’m hard as a f**king rock right now. It’s already hard enough to hold back. I can’t have you touching me.”

“Why, exactly, are you holding back?”

“I don’t have the control to go slow, to be careful with you.”

She kissed my chest. “Where did you get the strange idea that I need you to be slow and careful?” Her free hand shot out and curled around my c**k – sneaky bitch. Her strokes were firm, sure, and bold. When I wrapped my hand around hers, halting her movements, she sank her teeth hard into my pectoral.

Groaning, I knotted my hand in her hair, intending to yank her away and stop her feeding. Instead, I found myself pressing her closer to me, encouraging her to take more. I was on the verge of coming, thanks to her Sventé saliva, when she suddenly stopped. There was no f**king way I could resist her then. I took her mouth, dominated it, plundered it, loving that it was mine.

I tugged her hand off my cock, backed her against the tiled wall, kicked her legs open wider, and then dropped to my knees. Her whole body jerked as I parted her folds with my thumbs and blew on her clit. “I love how responsive you are.” I began toying with her clit, alternating between suckling on it, flicking it with my tongue, and lightly nibbling on it. Then I tilted my head and slid my tongue between her folds. “Let me hear you, Sam.” The entire time I ate her out, she groaned and moaned and whimpered. Of course she also cursed me to hell and back for keeping her hanging on the edge.

Tags: Suzanne Wright Deep In Your Veins Vampires