Home > Sex and the Single Vamp(15)

Sex and the Single Vamp(15)
Author: Robin Covington

“I’ve been called worse.” Deacon stomped down the hallway of the station, pushing past wide-eyed officers and slack-jawed prisoners to get the hell out of the place. It stank of piss, body odor, reams of moldy paper, and fear.

Andy was close on his heels, phone to his ear as he talked to someone with his usual economy of words. As he took the stairs to the main floor two at a time, Deacon ran over the events of the evening, wondering where he’d gone wrong, what he’d missed.

They’d had the party sealed up like a supermax prison and had triple-checked every guest on the list. But it hadn’t mattered. Cici had been hurt while he’d stood by in a goddamn monkey suit. He’d failed her. For the second time. And once again he’d cradled her in his arms, helplessly watching her life drain away.

Deacon burst through the front doors, ripping his jacket off as he approached his Suburban in the parking lot. He fished his keys out of his pocket, palming the remote entry fob, fingers fumbling as he attempted several times to unlock the doors. Once. Twice. Three times.

“Goddamn it!” He kicked the side of the truck, the sound of metal crunching and glass shattering echoing throughout the mostly empty parking lot. The alarm went off, the shrill sound adding to the cacophony of thoughts already clanging around in his skull.

“Deacon.” Andy grabbed his arm and Deacon turned to swing at him, his frustration needing an outlet. His friend ducked and swerved, avoiding most of Deacon’s blows and delivering a few of his own. The growl that rose from Andy’s chest was all Were, and Deacon knew he’d pissed him off.

The sound of cops coming out the front of the building, yelling for them to “break it up,” distracted him enough for Andy to get the upper hand with an uppercut to the jaw that brought him back to the current time and place with an agonizing sting.

Andy slammed him against the truck, pinning him with an arm across the throat. “Did you get that shit out of your system? Can we move on now, because I’m gonna need you to be on this with me. One hundred percent.”

Deacon nodded, all his useless excess energy spent like a match—quickly lit, blazing hot, and then guttering out. He shoved at Andy’s chest and slid down the car until his ass hit the filthy, damp asphalt. His friend joined him, his heavy breathing loud in the air of the early morning, but it wasn’t enough to drown out the thoughts yelling like banshees in his head.

“I failed her again,” he spat out. “First I let her almost get murdered when she was human and then I sucked at preventing her from becoming human again tonight.”

“Don’t listen to what that bitch said. Don’t let her get in your head.” Andy nudged him with an elbow in the ribs, hard and painful in order to make his point.

“How do I ignore my part in this?” he asked, his anger rising again. He was mad at himself and it spilled out in a torrent. “Somewhere in all of this I missed the whole point of this attacker and that left me with a huge blind spot. And now Cici is paying the price.”

Andy sighed. “Fine, wallow. Beat yourself up. Just show up with your game face and make it right.”

“I have to make it right.”

“Good. I like the attitude. We find a cure, and you and Cici get to keep doing the horizontal mambo until you’ve tried every position in the Modern Guide to the Kama Sutra I gave you for Christmas last year.”

“Stay out of my love life.”

“I didn’t say anything about love.”

“Fuck off.” Deacon clamped his mouth shut, realizing that his rapid response and his tone gave away more than he even realized or wanted to think about.

“I’m not the one who used the L-word, my friend,” Andy said even when a man with half a brain would know not to f**k with him when he was on the edge like this. His friend knew how far he could push Deacon’s buttons and he loved to play that game, but when he spoke his voice was somber. “Do you love her, Deacon?”

“Damn it, Andy.” He clunked his head back on the truck, feeling the door give a little more under his force. Another dent to add to the rest.

“It’s a fair question. You two have a history and only a blind man could miss what’s been going on the last few days.”

“Love is…Jesus, I don’t know what it is. Never had it. Never wanted it.”

“Okay, then, is what you feel for her what a normal, non-a**hole would call love? Because if it isn’t, you’ve got to consider how you’re treating this woman. She’s pretty damn awesome and for now she’s only got one more life to live. Most normal people want to have someone to love. So if you don’t, let her go.”

Deacon closed his eyes as an image of Cici with another man flashed through his mind. Marrying that random guy, having his kids—she could do that if she stayed human—growing old together. Losing each other to death. This was what other people wanted, and Deacon had only ever wanted that with one woman—Cici.

But even then he’d planned for them to be together for centuries, as long as immortals existed. He couldn’t face the idea of losing her after one measly lifetime. Deacon wasn’t a coward, but the thought of her fading away, returning to the earth with nothing to mark her existence, made him want to tear things apart with his bare hands.

It all came down to one thing: he couldn’t love her because then he might have to lose her, and that was unbearable. The sucking hollow in his chest was clawing at his insides and he rubbed a hand over the area until the sensation passed.

“I’ve never felt for anyone what I feel for Cici,” he said quietly, unable to utter more, to explain further. He needed time to figure out what he was going to do if he couldn’t find a cure.

“So…is that a yes?” Andy asked.

Deacon rose to his feet, ending the conversation with his change in location. Andy followed his lead, standing up and circling the abused and seriously damaged truck to slide into the passenger seat.

Deacon started the engine, leaving the parking lot in silence as he made his way back to his office and apartment. He needed to get on his computer, reach out to some contacts, and find a cure for Cici. He’d tap into the old country people, the ancients who knew the most about this kind of stuff. And he still needed to find the a**hole who’d ordered this hit on Cici. He was roadkill, a walking dead man, and Deacon was going to deliver the final blow. Work would help him center, focus his energies into a solution and give him clarity.

“I should call and see how Cici is doing,” he said as he started to press the telephone icon on his touch screen.

“I already did. That was Mya on the phone as we left.” Andy had his phone out again, scanning information and messages as they scrolled across his screen. “The doc says she’s healthy with the body of a normal twenty-year-old woman. All the curse did was un-vamp her. Crazy.”

“Twenty? That’s how old she was when I turned her.”

“Well, Mya said it’s like she’s gone back to that time, no evidence of ever being a vampire. She even had Marguerite go out and buy Cici human food since all you have in the fridge are bags of blood.”

“I want a second opinion. Get the best human and Others doctors from Johns Hopkins to examine her. She probably needs vaccinations or something.” His mind reeled with just how vulnerable she was in this state. The thought of all the stuff that could kill her—disease, famine, zombies—was terrifying. “And I want two of the crew outside the apartment and down in the lobby at all times. Nobody gets in to see her without my okay, and she doesn’t go out. Got me?”

“Cici is not going to like this.”

Deacon hit the button for his underground garage entrance and submerged the truck in the gloom of the semi-dark basement. He drove too fast in the confined space and shoved his truck into a spot close to the elevator, bringing it all to a shuddering halt.

Nope, she wasn’t going to like this but he wasn’t caving.

“You find the cure and I’ll handle Cici.”

Chapter Fourteen

Deacon was avoiding her.

Cici stepped out of the ginormous shower in his bathroom and grabbed a fluffy towel from the rack. The fabric was so soft, but she still winced with pain as she wiped the water droplets off her skin. Bruised, sore, and tender, she had forgotten what lingering pain felt like. The ache of bones rattled and flesh abused was something she’d cured with a pint of blood and a brief rest for over two centuries. Waiting for her body to heal itself sucked. Being human sucked.

She was weak, slow, clumsy in this body that was the same and yet so different. She needed sleep and food three times a day. Keeping herself alive and well was one big pain in the ass.

Cici ran a finger along the line of reddened puncture marks on her biceps—vaccinations. They’d hurt like a bitch and given her a slight fever the first night. But the doctors from Johns Hopkins insisted she needed to be protected from anything that could make her sick, modern-day diseases that her body had not been subjected to by being a vampire. They also delivered the news that she could not be remade the old-fashioned way. They rattled on with big medicinal words that would have racked a gazillion points at Scrabble, but all she cared about was the end result—she was human unless they could reverse the black magic. No biting would work.

The doctors had no solution for that problem, and when they left with looks of pity on their faces she’d thanked them and ushered them out the door. Fast. She didn’t need pity. She needed a cure. She needed to talk to Deacon.

Deacon had sent them. He had ordered the second set of tests, reports, and shots. Deacon had cared enough to bring by the best of the best. But she hadn’t seen him in four days. He was here in his apartment. Dirty clothes materialized in the hamper in the bathroom. Damp towels were draped over the rods adjacent to her own. The bed was warm next to her body when she dragged herself out of the depth of coma-like sleep, the imprint of his arm draped across her body like a brand. Deacon was a ghost in his own home while she ached to have him hold her when the nightmares came.

“Knock knock.” Mya’s face popped around the doorjamb, her smile faltering when she looked at Cici’s body. “Ouch. I know this is better than yesterday, but those bruises are brutally ugly.”

“They look worse than they feel.” Cici grabbed the fluffy white spa-quality robe that Deacon had told Marguerite to get for her and slipped it on. She turned to the mirror, grabbing a hairbrush to comb the tangles out of her hair. One task at a time. One hour at a time. Breathe in. Breathe out. That’s all she could handle.

“Here, let me,” Mya said as she came up behind her and took the brush from her hand. Cici didn’t resist, allowing herself the comfort of her friend with this simple gesture. It brought tears to her eyes that she didn’t hold back, letting them streak down her cheeks and wash away some of the stress she’d carried around since the party at the embassy.

“You’ve been my rock, Mya. I don’t know…don’t…”

Mya leaned forward and kissed her wet cheek before she resumed her task. “Hey, it’s okay. Just cry it out. If anyone deserves a good bout of weeping and wailing, it’s you.”

“I don’t want to cry. I want to see Deacon.”

“He still hasn’t come by?”

“No. Not really.” Cici wiped at her eyes with the sleeve of the robe, sniffling loudly before reaching for a tissue. “Andy comes by and gives me progress reports on the search for a cure and finding my attacker. But Deacon? Nothing. He sneaks in and out of here when I’m asleep and always puts me off when I ask for him from one of his crew.”

“Stupid man,” Mya muttered as she tossed the brush on the counter. She grabbed Cici’s shoulders and turned her around to face her. She was back in the form of the blond-haired pretty woman David liked so much, and Cici was beginning to get used to it. It was a little sedate for Mya, but Cici really needed the comfort of someone who looked the part of a big sister right now. “He’s scared.”

Cici scoffed. She’d never seen Deacon scared in all the decades she’d known him.

“Whatever. That man is too arrogant and pigheaded to be scared.”

“No. He’s scared shitless and he’s avoiding you so he doesn’t have to deal with it.” Mya shook her head. “Vampire. Human. Fey. A man distracts himself with work and he’s thrown everything into finding the answers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting you back into your vampire state before we have to discuss wrinkle creams, but he needs to focus on the whole picture.”

“And what is the whole picture?”

“I don’t know, but it’s incomplete if you’re not part of it.” Mya gave her a shake and smiled. “You’re going to have to be the one to break the stalemate because I don’t think he’s got the strength to do it right now.”

Cici considered her words. She didn’t want to be the one to go to him. She was the victim here and she deserved to be fussed over, comforted by the man she’d been sleeping with. Deacon should have rushed to her the night of the incident and spent those first terrifying hours holding her, making the nightmares go away. But he hadn’t been there or since then, and that wasn’t like Deacon at all. He didn’t run from trouble.

Mya was right. He wasn’t himself. She needed to go to him so they could get past this and work through it together. She needed him, and if the way they’d felt about each other a few nights ago was any indication, he needed her, too. They’d wasted over two hundred years already. Now they were wasting more precious time. Unless she’d read too much into it. Deacon ruled out any kind of long-term commitment between members of their kind, but he was adamant about no relationship at all with a human. And now she was fully human.

Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Drawn into Love (Fluke My Life #4)
» Nightchaser (Endeavor #1)
» Right Where I Want You
» Tangled Like Us (Like Us #4)
» Be the Girl
» Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7)
» If I Only Knew
» Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2)
» 99 Percent Mine
» Free (Chaos #6)
» Work in Progress (Red Lipstick Coalition #3
» Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3)