“So tell me who you’re hiding from,” he ordered me calmly.
“My family,” I answered.
“Well, primarily, because if they find us, Lynn will be executed. And me, well, I suspect they’ll rape me until I’m either pregnant, dead, insane, or maybe two out of the three,” I answered. It was an almost sugar-coated version of the truth.
His gaze was shuttered, but the tick had started up under his glowing yellow eye again. “Your family would do this?”
“Yes. That and worse.”
“They’re the ones you’ve been running from all this time?”
“Why didn’t you just tell me this seven years ago?” A pleading note had entered his voice. I knew he was unaware of it. “There is no force stronger than the druids. I could have protected you.”
I shook my head at him sadly. “Not every race is in your registry. And they certainly don’t follow any of your laws. Our kind could raze this city to the ground. Too many of your people would have died for me to start a war just for myself.”
“What are you?”
“I can’t say.”
“You said you’d tell me any-”
“I said I’d tell you what I could. I can’t tell you this because I know you. You’ll rip the world apart looking for answers to questions too dangerous to ask. You’re kind isn’t mortal, it’s true. You’ll never die of old age. But a clean beheading will kill you. I don’t know how to kill the things that hunt us. Even a clean beheading won’t do the trick, just on it’s own.” His phone rang and he answered it, never taking his eyes off of me. “Yes, Amy,” he said into the phone. “Cancel everything scheduled tonight. Yes, everything is fine.” He hung up.
“She wasn’t too pleased to meet me. She seems possessive of you,” I said. “Are you seeing her?” I could have sworn that my mouth formed the words completely independently from my brain. I didn’t want to speak of this, didn’t want to know anything about his love life, really. I told this to myself firmly, over and over again.
He just stared at me malevolently, his jaw clenching and unclenching. “You lost the right to ask me that question a very long time ago. Don’t you think it’s a little hypocritical of you to be keeping tabs on me, all things considered?”
I nodded, making my face into a careful mask. He was right, and I had nothing to say for myself.
“And how many conquests can you account for since we parted?” he asked, surprising me.
“Do you really want to know?” I asked softly, fully prepared to tell him the truth, no matter how stupid that would be. And it would be oh so stupid.
He shut his eyes tightly, and it was like the sun setting. I wanted to look at his perfect eyes forever, I always had, and all of the years apart had only made that craving worse. “No, I suppose I don’t.” He stood like that for awhile, eyes closed, and I knew that he was battling for control. “Please get dressed,” he told me.
I disobeyed the order completely, instead stepping close to him again. “I don’t want to,” I whispered in his ear.
“Vixen,” he growled at me, when we finished this time. It wasn’t an endearment. He hadn’t looked at me once that time, keeping his eyes shut tight. It hurt worse than I wanted to admit to myself. But he didn’t budge, just lay against me, as if it were old times.
A moment later my skin began to burn, and I knew the attacks were starting again. “Get off me,” I grunted at him. He misunderstood me, and jerked off of me in a flash, eyes sparkling in anger.
The anger faded when he saw that I was panting uncontrollably. The strangest sensation had begun in my stomach and chest, not pain really, but alarming all the same. It felt as though my insides were shifting around.
“What’s happening to you?” he asked, brows drawn together in concern.
“I don’t know, but it seems to be happening more and more.”
He knelt down to touch me, but I stopped him. “Don’t. My skin will burn you.” As though to prove my words, everything touching me began to sizzle. I clutched my stomach as the feelings intensified. Something big knocked against my mind, but I beat it back. Now was NOT the time for that. To my dismay, I fainted dead away.
I awoke in an unfamiliar bed that carried a very familiar scent. I breathed it in, closing my eyes. I was not so subtly sniffing a pillow when Dom walked into the room. I set it down nonchalantly. I would deny to my deathbed what I’d been doing.
Dom stopped in his tracks. He was dressed down now, in a simple black V-neck T-shirt and dark gray slacks. The effect was just as devastating as the three-piece suit look that he usually sported. His short hair caught me off-guard all over again.
He was staring at me strangely. “What?” I asked.
“What’s up with your hair?” he asked. He was almost smiling.
I felt it and started swearing. The curls were back “It’s just been doing this.” I cursed some more. ”Don’t ask.”
I looked around the huge bedroom. “Do you live in this casino?” I asked him
He shrugged. “More or less. I travel between here and Denver quite a bit.” He moved and sat in a dark-brown leather armchair. It was set a good distance away from the bed, pretty much as far away from me as he could get while still in the same room. “So have you been in Vegas this whole time?” he asked abruptly.
I so did not want to go here, but I had promised him answers. “We’ve moved around a lot, but mostly, yes,” I said. I could have given an explanation, something, but nothing would make it less hurtful, so I didn’t bother.
“And all of the fake leads we had of you going halfway around the world? Were those meant for your family, or for me?”
“Both,” I answered brutally. I could tell by his grip on the chair arms that he was getting angry again. “They had discovered us in Colorado. We made some fake trails, and cut all of our ties there. Then we relocated in Vegas.”
His eyes were glowing in the room’s dim lighting. I didn’t think it was a good sign. “So all I needed to do to find you was follow the f**king dragonslayer? He followed you here, didn’t he?”
I sighed. He’d latched onto that rather quickly. It was unfortunate. “Eventually, yes.”
He cursed. “Right under my f**king nose this entire time.” His agonized voice hurt my ears. Hell, it hurt my chest.