Home > Sex and the Single Vamp(6)

Sex and the Single Vamp(6)
Author: Robin Covington

“Stop thinking so hard. I can’t hear what’s going on in the house,” Deacon mumbled beside her in his black Suburban. They were parked across the street from the second set of victim’s home in the affluent area of Mount Vernon waiting for the cops to leave the scene. The minute they’d pulled in, he’d eased his seat back, closed his eyes, and homed in on the activities in the building.

“I hate waiting.”

“No shit.” He shifted in his seat, his large body seeming to take up way more than his allotted space. Or maybe it was the fact that his spicy, winter-heat scent was all over the truck and surrounding her. She fought the urge to sink farther down in the seat and drink it in. “They’re wrapping up so we should be able to go inside soon.”

“Kiss my ass,” she grumbled. “You know I’ve never been good with this part.”

He chuckled; the deep sound made her clench her hands in tight fists to keep from reaching out to touch him. Her body, awakened by that earlier kiss, was screaming to pick up where they left off and succeed in losing the clothes this time. Vampire lust for sex was much like the lust for blood—controllable—but the blue balls syndrome sucked.

Deacon popped his eyes open and turned his head to look at her. His smile was slow, sexy, and very wicked. “Let’s do something to distract you.”

“Like what?” Oh, sweet baby Jesus, she knew how she wanted to be distracted and so did he if the tiny flare of bronze heat in his eyes was any indication.

He rose up, leaning over the console into her space and within kissing distance. Really close kissing distance. She swayed toward him like a magnet to its perfect match and dug her heels into the floorboard. Cici was not going to give it up to Deacon in his car like a horny teenager, no matter how big and inviting his backseat looked.

He leaned in closer, his eyes flickering down to watch her lick her lips and then slowly easing back up to her eyes. “So why the matchmaking business?

“Why not?” Her voice was barely above a whisper in the close confines of the truck. “I spent a lot of time fighting hate and making war—”

“We fought the good fight.” He paused, his thoughts curling his lower lip into a small, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it smile. “When we weren’t fighting each other.”

“Yes, we did. I wanted something else I could believe in. I believe in love for everyone. In my experience, true love has been the only thing that is universal. It doesn’t matter where or in what language, people fight to the death for love.”

“You don’t have someone in your life?”

“I did once, but he wanted me to change him.”

“And he wasn’t compatible?” Deacon jumped to the logical conclusion. Genetic research discovered that being an Other was genetic and that only some humans had the gene to be changed.

“Aaron was compatible. I just wasn’t sure. Being a Maker is a huge decision.” She swallowed down the painful memories of that time. “Since I don’t know my Maker, I’ve never been sure about whether I would be a good one or not.”

Long moments passed, Deacon finally sighing heavily when the silence stretched to its breaking point. “You would have been fine.”

“Maybe.”

“Is he still alive? Your human?”

“He passed away a few years ago at the age of ninety-two. I wept when I heard the news.”

“With regret?”

“No.” And that was the killer; she hadn’t regretted her decision, even at the end. “I wept for what I’d lost and because I’m afraid I might never get what I’m looking for.”

“What are you looking for exactly?”

“A soul mate.” She glared at him when a soft grunt of derision passed his lips. They were back to same old argument. “Laugh all you want. I want that real connection. Someone who would give it all for me and I would do the same for him.”

“Ah, Happy. My little romantic.”

She shut her eyes at the nickname he’d given years ago, during a time when such intimacy between an unmarried girl and a man was forbidden.

“Why do you call me that?”

“Well, your name, Felicity, means happiness. And you made everyone around you happy, from what I recall.”

“Even you?” It was a foolish, girlish thing to ask but she needed to know. Her memories of that time were tied up with her heartbreak and then her families’ death. She didn’t remember being the girl he described.

“For a time I was happy,” he said softly, his eyes softening with a tenderness she remembered from long ago. And just like that, her anger was dissolving, replaced by something just as hot but far less antagonistic. Deacon leaned closer, his lips grazing across her own. She pressed forward, exerting the slightest pressure against his flesh but enough to encourage him to take the kiss deeper. This wasn’t anything like earlier. This ached with longing so acute it felt like a physical cut. She ended the torture, unable to bear it right now.

“I was happy, too…” Cici faltered, breaking eye contact like a coward, knowing she couldn’t continue if she had to look at him. “But then you changed your mind.”

“I changed my mind?’ Deacon sat up, his voice sharp, cutting through the haze of seductive tenderness that had wrapped them into their own little cocoon of oblivion. He looked at her as if she’d lost her mind.

“Yes.” Her voice became stronger with her conviction as her old hurt and anger fueled her words with ire. “I heard you with my father. You talked about obligation and your regret at bringing me into all of it. News flash Deacon, nobody wants to be an obligation.”

“Jesus.” Deacon scrubbed a hand over his face, the scratch of two-day-old beard against his palm. “You can’t be serious.”

His tone was equal parts mad-as-hell and what-the-fuck, which only served to confuse her even more.

“Of course I’m serious.”

“You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.”

“I know what I heard.” The sound of a group of people exiting the house and securing the door with a cipher lock and crime scene tape ripped them both from 1775 and back into the present, a dangerous present with a killer taking out her clients and destroying her business. This was not the time for this discussion. Deacon agreed.

“We are talking about this later.” He emphasized his point by cupping her head with his hand and dragging her forward into a brutal kiss that ended with a gravelly “fuck” and the slam of his truck door as he exited the vehicle at vampire speed.

Cici shook her head, not really understanding what the hell had just happened, but pushing it to the back of her mind for now. If Deacon thought he was the only one who had questions, he was sadly mistaken. She got out of the car and followed him to the house.

They fell back into their old routine: Deacon taking the lead and Cici covering his six. Deacon was tactically trained, a soldier since his youth, so he was always in charge. Not that she hadn’t gained some serious skills over the years and saved his bacon a couple of times, but he was definitely the head of any op.

He handed her a set of latex gloves and she slipped them on as she looked around them. The street was quiet; a murder next door typically made people stay inside. So there weren’t any visible watchers to see Deacon break into the cipher lock.

“You’ve been here before?” Deacon asked, following up when she nodded a yes. “Can you take us to the bedroom?”

“This way.” She tried to ignore the pang that shot through her as she passed artwork, photographs, and furniture all lovingly placed by her client Maria, when she and Strauss had moved in. She’d glowed with happiness as she showed Cici around the house, so excited to build a home with her new husband. She forced down the lump in her throat, but couldn’t hold back the tear that slipped out and slid down her cheek.

“You okay?” Deacon asked as he climbed the staircase next to her. She nodded, but he saw her pitiful attempt to surreptitiously wipe the blood-tinged tears away. He grabbed her arm, stopping her on the landing. “Hey, let it out. They were your friends.”

“There’s no crying in baseball,” she said, attempting a joke with a line from one of her favorite movies.

“This isn’t a game and you get to mourn your loss.” Deacon leaned in and kissed her cheek, and when he pulled back she could see the faint stain of blood on his lips. In this place at this time it was completely inappropriate for her to want him, to need his arms around her, but she did. She let him pull her close, wrapping her arms around his waist and holding on tight.

“Deacon, you need to stop being sweet to me,” she mumbled against his shoulder.

“Why?”

“You just do.”

“Yeah, like I understood that.”

She smiled when his shoulder shook with muted laughter. His hand came up to stroke her hair and suddenly she knew she’d made the right call. Deacon would solve this problem and then…well, what more he could fix was wide open. “I know this is hard, but the best way to honor your friends is to catch who did this. You can do it.”

“Yeah. I can, with your help.” She nodded and wiped away the remnants of her emotion. It wouldn’t be the last time she grieved her friends, but it would have to be the last for a while. She had to get them justice first.

Chapter Five

Deacon watched Cici pull herself together, steely determination tightening every soft curve of her face. His goddess was back. Wounded. Beautiful. Fierce. Passionate. It pretty much summed up Felicity Trent for as long as he’d known her.

She pointed to a set of double doors to the right of the landing. “In there.”

Deacon turned, moving ahead, and she followed, careful to trail closely in his footsteps.

“Stay near me. Don’t touch anything. I don’t want them tipped off we were here.” He stepped across the threshold. Cici stopped dead in her tracks and he knew she was shocked. She wasn’t used to a crime scene after the forensic unit had been there—many years a spy, but never a cop. The lush coverlet and matching curtains were stripped from the bed and windows. Every personal item had been removed from every surface; it looked like a perverse dark-dust-covered shell of what it had been—the private hideaway of married lovers.

Deacon slipped his phone out of his pocket and thumbed the screen, tapping until he brought up an image on the display.

“Here’s a panoramic shot of the crime scene before they took all the stuff to the crime lab.” He tilted the screen toward her so she could see the room in detail, down to the grotesque coupling of Maria and Strauss on the bed. She flinched and he knew it wasn’t any easier to see it the second time.

“How did you get that?” she asked, sliding her finger across the screen to see the whole picture.

“I hacked into the police database. I have every file, photo, and note in real time as they add it to the system.” He couldn’t help the grin that took over his face. It was a really great hack. “Cool, huh?”

“Illegal is more like it.”

“Only if they catch me.”

“Nice.” She rolled her eyes. “I’ll slip a file into your cake when you get sent to the pokey.”

“What about a fruit and chocolate basket?

“What?” she asked, baffled by this turn in the conversation.

“I want a basket just like the one you sent to Maria and Strauss.” On the screen, he pointed to a large basket sitting on a side table in their room, next to the bed. It had fruit overflowing, a huge box of chocolates, and champagne. It was as clear as the stunned expression on her face—she’d never seen it before in her life.

“I didn’t send them a basket.”

“The cops say you did.”

“I didn’t.” She shook her head, backing away from him as if the phone were a ticking bomb. “I didn’t send them that basket.”

“Good, because it’s the murder weapon. Well, the chocolates are.”

She waved her hand in front of him, making the “keep going” motion when he paused. He scanned the incoming report from Andy, eyes tracking down the screen, his gut clenching as he processed the information. Finished, he raised his eyes to her, not wanting to share this brutal death with her. “The chocolates were injected with insulin. Your friends were poisoned.”

Cici’s mouth fell open, her lips trying to form words. He knew what she wanted to know, what she had to know.

“It was quick, but it wasn’t easy. They had each other to the end, though.”

He didn’t know why the f**k he said that last part, but the look of pain that flashed across her face when she heard about the way her friends had died had reached in, grabbed his balls, and twisted them around. It was the only words of comfort he could offer her. Deacon felt a little ill, and a lot of hatred for the sick f**k who brought this to her doorstep. It burned like a bonfire in his chest. When he killed him, he’d remember this moment and never hesitate.

“You’re going to catch them, right?” Cici’s eyes flashed with the anger that was quickly overcoming her pain. It worked for him—stay furious and you didn’t hurt. “You’ll make them pay, right, Deacon?”

He nodded.

She stepped forward, grasping his shirt with both hands, her long nails scraping his skin through the fabric. Her eyes were flashing a dark, ominous blue.

“I mean it. Don’t let the cops get them and let them off on some stupid plea.” She stood up on tiptoe, eyeball to eyeball with him. “Make them suffer. Promise me.”

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