Home > Sex and the Single Vamp(3)

Sex and the Single Vamp(3)
Author: Robin Covington

“You two worked together before?”

“Yeah, during the wars. Government spook stuff. They used us for deep cover. Can’t tell you most of it or I’d have to kill you.” He shrugged when Andy lifted an eyebrow at that last comment. “Cici and I have always had differences of opinion. She’d never put up with my bullshit if she didn’t want to.”

“And what would you have done if she’d walked out of here?”

“It went down just like it did and I’m fine with it.” It had gone a lot smoother than he thought it would. He figured she’d have slapped him and stormed out before agreeing to his terms. “Her easy agreement today told me how scared she really is about this murder business.”

It made him want to rip something apart with his bare hands.

Nobody f**ked with Cici. Ever.

“If you succeed then you’re only going to help her keep her business open.”

“It won’t be my concern. I wasn’t offering any kind of commitment to her. Just sex.”

“She wants more.”

“And she can find it with someone else when we’re done.”

“But—“

“I’ll be happy to discuss my commitment issues on another day. Right now, we need to make sure she stays alive long enough for me to sleep with her and then act like the a**hole you so clearly think I am.”

“Fine.” Andy moved beside him, his tone still tinged with anger but definitely down to business. “I’ll hack both the human and Other police files to find out what’s going on.”

“Done,” Deacon said, almost hearing the gears in Andy’s brain grinding into reverse.

“What?”

“It’s done.” Deacon lowered his legs and hit the controls on his desktop. He keyed in his password and pulled up the necessary file while he waited the few seconds for the wall to part and reveal the hidden screen. A couple of quick taps and what he wanted flashed up so that Andy could see what he already knew.

“Holy shit,” Andy murmured as he lowered himself into his chair and stared at the data and photographs displayed. “This wasn’t on the server.”

“No. It’s my personal file.” Truth be told, he had years of information on Cici Trent. A little stalker-ish, but necessary to protect her. “I’ve been keeping an eye on her since she opened the agency. I knew she’d run into some trouble and I wanted to be ready.”

Andy turned to look at him across the desk and he knew what was coming. Andy would want to share and while he’d rather have his fangs removed without novocaine, he knew he had to clue his friend in on what was going on. If this kept heading down the same path, it might get dangerous.

“Deac, you need to tell me what’s up with this woman.”

“We go way back.”

“And apparently she’s the one woman you’ve not had in your bed…which is…weird. I’ve never known you to wait for any woman or have to bargain for sex. It’s enough to make me fall for Cici Trent myself.”

“Don’t. Go. There.” Deacon stopped moving data around the screen, surprising himself at the vehemence in his voice. He usually controlled his emotions, but that had slipped out of a place buried way deep. This reaction was primal and he tamped it down before it got any ideas about coming out of hiding for good.

“So, that’s how it is.”

“I don’t know what amazing insight you think you have about Cici and me, but I suggest you forget it.” He returned his gaze to the screen. “And by suggest, I mean get the f**k out of my head.”

“Did she dump you or something?”

Deacon gave up, rising from his seat to grab a drink from the bar. This conversation called for whiskey. Luckily, being a vampire didn’t reduce the effect of alcohol on his system; he could still get shit-faced when he needed to. This wasn’t one of those times, but it would help to deal with Andy and his persistent demands for information.

“Cici and I were almost married once.” He took a gulp of the liquid, reveled in the fire that coated his insides, and poured another. “It didn’t work out.”

“And you never slept together?”

“It was the 1770s. She was the daughter of a respected man. I was still pretending to be a gentleman.”

“Why didn’t it work out?” Andy leaned forward in his chair, his curiosity creasing his forehead in concentration. “Was it the war? Did you go off to battle?”

“She chose someone else. End of story.” The lie slipped off his tongue so easily he could almost believe it was true. It had never been the end of the story, at least not for him.

“Was she turned off by your being a vampire?”

“She didn’t know.” He walked over to the screen, looking at the images projected on it but processing none of it.

His vision was filled with a young woman with red hair sitting behind the counter of her father’s store pretending she didn’t know he was there. He’d avoided speaking to her for a year, only going inside to conduct business when her father was up front or at night when she was asleep, her soft heartbeat and gentle breaths as clear to him as if he were lying beside her.

Finally speaking to her had been an act of desperation. He could no longer stay away and he’d known that it would end badly. Deacon had wanted her too much. He’d had no right to bring her into this life, this oddity of eternity. Even then she’d been a romantic. Wanted the ring, the commitment, a home, babies. Things he’d given up believing in many years prior. But he’d been unable to stop his pursuit of her and it had ended the way he’d predicted—very badly.

“It was her choice. We were done. Nothing more,” he said.

“It looked like more to me.”

“What the f**k, Andy? Let it go.”

“No, I won’t let it go.” He rose to his feet, slashing a hand angrily at the screen. “You have secret files on this woman. You started investigating this before she even came here. You hate her business and everything it represents, but you’re willing to go all in to help her keep it.” He jabbed a finger at the mug shot of a man with a scar across his face and a big black tattoo on his neck. “And this a**hole is seriously ugly. So start talking.”

“Damn it.” He didn’t try to curb the irritation in his voice because it had to get out somehow or it would rip him open from the inside out. He hated everything about this conversation. It made him think of things he wanted to forget and put behind him.

And that was what the sex was all about.

He would have helped Cici for nothing. He’d made a promise to her father that he would always keep her safe, and he always kept his word. But the wanting…that was impossible to explain. Fuck, it had been over two hundred years and he couldn’t abate the lust that coursed through him when he thought of her. It was always there, even when he f**ked other women and lost himself in their pleasure.

And since she’d moved here from Chicago two years ago, it had gotten worse. Cici’s proximity cranked the desire up to a high-pitch level. He needed to f**k her, to bury himself in her body and take care of this once and for all. She’d excited the vampire in him and nothing less than taking her would sate the beast. But he wasn’t alone in his desire—Cici wanted him, too—and that had almost made him lose his mind at times. Watching her with other men, seeing the desire flash in her eyes when she thought she was hiding, it was agony. He’d given her an easy out by playing the bastard in this case. It couldn’t be helped. Cici was stubborn and he was the only one who could break the stalemate.

He couldn’t tell all of that to Andy. He was closer to him than he’d been with anyone in over a century, but he couldn’t tell him this. It didn’t just sound crazy—it was crazy. But this was going to get dangerous and he deserved to know the score.

“I think the Fellowship of Adam’s Race has targeted Cici and her clients. I think they’re behind the murders. She’s been getting threats, weird e-mails, and phone calls for a while. I thought they were just a bunch of crackpots who opposed any relationships between humans and Others.”

“You think it’s FAR? Didn’t they go out of business except for a few picketers and die-hard members?”

“No. They just went underground and waited for the time to be ripe for a return. I’ve been following them for years.”

“Years?”

“Since I came to this country in the 1700s.”

“They’ve been around that long?”

“They’ve been around as long as Others have existed. The Salem witch trials weren’t a coincidence, and you’d be amazed at how many acts of genocide have covered up a mass slaughter of our kind.” Deacon walked to the screen, touching a few documents and photos and enlarging them for Andy’s review. “When Attorney General Rothman outed us at the signing of the Equal Rights Amendment, they began to regroup in secret. The general public was so shocked we existed and that the government had known all along, that FAR thought popular opinion would turn against us.”

Andy finished the thought. “And when it all came out how we’d served this country for years as spies, agents, law enforcement, and government officials it was one big lovefest for a while.”

“FAR waited until that tide changed. Now that we have the vocal minority who thinks we should be separate and not equal, they’re coming back in force.”

“Some people would count you in that vocal minority.”

“And they would be dumbass dickheads.” His opinion was nothing like the group of lunatics that campaigned for purity of the human race. “They want us all dead. I just want us to stop trying to be human.”

“And you think that’s what Cici is trying to do with her business?”

“Yes. Love. Marriage. That’s for people who only have one short life to live on this planet. We’ve got forever or close to it. That means we can take every ounce of pleasure with no consequences. No responsibilities.”

“That sounds like the motto for Sanctuary,” Andy said.

Sanctuary. The exclusive club in DC for humans and Others to mix in an environment solely designed for pleasure. It wasn’t a sex club in the sense that money exchanged hands, but it didn’t encourage connections of a permanent nature. One night. Hell, maybe just a couple of hours for consenting adults to indulge in whatever they wanted.

Cici hated Sanctuary.

His ownership of the club was the best-kept secret in DC and he liked it that way. His business partner, Antonio, was happy to be the beloved and reviled face for the club. Deacon preferred to stay out of that particular spotlight.

“Let’s get back to the murders.”

Deacon tapped two photos and let them pop up on screen. The first was Cici on the cover of the Washingtonian next to the headline “Love for Everyone.” She looked amazing in a low-cut red dress that hugged her curves, making her blue eyes shine like aquamarines. This was his favorite Cici—brash with confidence and fierce in her purpose. His father had a painting of the goddess Diana, the huntress, running into battle with fire in her eyes and fear a distant memory; she reminded him of that image.

The second picture was from the first double murder. Their na**d bodies locked in a grotesque, intimate embrace on their bed. They’d been making love and died in each other’s arms—a Were and a human—poisoned with an unknown substance. He’d bet his eternity that the second couple had died the same way.

“Where did you get that photo?” Andy asked.

“I stole it.” Deacon didn’t even have a twinge of guilt about hacking into the computer and taking what he needed. The human force hid things from the Others force—a ridiculous rivalry that had ultimately led to his leaving. He’d loved being a cop, but when the petty shit raging between the two groups and the red tape had become more important than protecting and serving, he knew it was time to leave. Men and women he’d worked alongside for years, officers he’d saved—even his own partner—had turned on him when they’d all been forced out into the light by the attorney general’s clever drafting of the law and subsequent reveal that he himself was a vampire. It had made great television, but lousy work conditions for the regular folk. Now with two forces, it was almost impossible to successfully work a case that involved both a human and an Other.

“Andy, my gut tells me that FAR is behind it and that means Cici is in danger.”

“Got it, but that doesn’t explain why you had this file before she even called for an appointment.”

“I promised her father I would keep her safe.” Deacon shut his eyes against the last memory of his friend. He’d liked Josiah Trent, a good man who’d known of and supported their kind. He fought hard to remember him alive and not lying in a pool of blood on the floor of his store. He had failed him before but he wouldn’t fail now. “It was his dying wish.”

“And you keep your word.”

“I do.”

“Even if you hate what she’s doing?”

“I don’t have to like her work to keep her alive.”

Andy walked to stand beside him, his gaze flickering from image to document to image on the screen. He was soaking it all in, and Deacon was grateful once more for the quiet support his friend gave. He needed him on this case—the stakes were too high not to have the best.

“Fine. If you’ll give me access to the file, I’ll study it and work out a plan of action.”

“Thank you.”

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