Home > Tegan's Return (The Ultimate Power #2)(13)

Tegan's Return (The Ultimate Power #2)(13)
Author: L.H. Cosway

I push through the fire exit and shiver as the cold night air hits me. Then I’m stopped in my stride and my feet are suddenly airborne. I hear a car door open just as I realise that Ethan has slung me over his shoulder. I know it’s him because his shirt smells familiar, fresh and clean but with the faintest metallic hint of blood. He throws me into the back seat and climbs in with me, slamming the door shut behind him.

I jam my fist into his stomach, but he hardly even winces. “Let me the f**k out of here, Ethan.”

He straddles me and takes hold of both my wrists in an iron grip. My legs are captured between his thighs and I wriggle in an effort to free myself, but it’s no use.

“Will you try to calm down?” he breathes just below my ear. Then he adjusts himself and laughs. “Actually no, keeping doing that, it feels good.”

I scowl and stare into his eyes, but they aren’t red any more. Still, I don’t feel safe being around him after he’s just fed. He might still feel the urge to drink, and I don’t know what would happen if he ever drank from me.

“Sorry if I’m a little panicked, but it’s only to be expected after what I just saw, don’t you think?”

Ethan’s smile is ambiguous. “You know that I must drink blood to stay alive, yet you still scare at the sight of the act. You need to get used to this Tegan, it is a big part of my existence, an existence I would like you to be a part of.”

His words hit me somewhere near my heart, but I try my best to ignore them. “Is that woman in your office even alive? She looked terrible.” The image of her bloody neck and grey complexion won’t leave my brain.

“She’ll be fine in an hour or two, she just needs to sleep it off,” Ethan answers flippantly.

“Right, that makes me feel so much better,” I snap.

Ethan’s dark eyes assess me and I’m suddenly aware that we are all too close to one another, in the back seat of his car no less. “Are you jealous?” he purrs, letting go of one of my wrists to brush his fingers along my neck. “Because I would be only too happy to feed from you, if that’s what you want.” His fangs are now peeking out from beneath his lips, and he grazes my neck with them, just like he’d done the other night on the boat. I shudder underneath him, and curse myself for liking it. What is wrong with me? Do I need to be afraid of a man in order to be attracted to him?

“You know as well as I do that that’s not an option,” I whisper.

“I don’t know,” says Ethan, still breathing against my neck. “Why don’t we try it?”

I push away from him as much as I can. “I thought you weren’t interested in me for my blood?” I say to him, my voice indignant.

“I’m not, but it would be a pleasant experience. For both of us.”

“No, that’s not happening.” I try to get out from under him again to no avail.

Ethan laughs loudly and pulls me back, securing me underneath him. This time he lifts each one of my legs at the knee and positions me so that my thighs are around him. I find it difficult to think straight when he grinds into me.

“I’m going to kiss you now,” he tells me.

“Not unless you use some mouth wash you’re not,” I protest weakly.

“Suck it up,” is all he says before his lips meet mine in a hard, desperate kiss. Surprisingly, I taste no blood at all, and it doesn’t take long for me to melt as his arms fold around me. The moment is broken all too quickly when his phone begins to ring, it’s in his jeans pocket and it vibrates against me, not unpleasantly. Ethan grins before slipping it out and answering it, first in English but quickly he switches over to Romanian. Bastard. I want to know what he’s talking about.

Soon the conversation turns serious and Ethan slides out of the car, pacing back and forth just outside. I continue to eavesdrop, even though I have no idea what’s being said. Although I will admit that I did do a bit of reading on Romanian history while I’d been finishing my degree in Manchester, and I managed to pick up a few words here and there. I think I did it so that I could find out more about Ethan, about the cultures he’s lived through over the course of his long life.

Mostly I’d been transfixed by the story of Vlad the Impaler, and couldn’t help wondering if he was a relation of Ethan’s. I concentrate on his voice and one word stands out. One word that I recall from my studies. Fat°. It means girl. Is Ethan talking about Rebecca? Oh good Christ, I hate that my heart still deflates every time I think that Ethan might have been involved in her kidnapping.

Ethan seems to be arguing now with whoever is on the other end of the line. He can be terribly romantic at times, but that doesn’t mean he’s not scary as hell when the occasion calls for it. I wouldn’t like to be the person he’s talking to. The conversation continues for another minute or so and then he hangs up.

He takes a deep breath and begins talking to me before his eyes reach mine. “There is a situation that I need to attend to…” he says and then trails off, his eyes now glued to me. His head tilts to the side ever so slightly, as if he’s using some unknown sense to feel me out.

“What the hell Tegan?” he demands, and comes stomping toward me. My throat goes dry with nerves and he grabs me by the arm. “Who fed from you?” he asks, his voice harsh and jagged like broken glass.

“Nobody, I was attacked yesterday. Somebody stole my blood,” my words tumble out.

“And you didn’t think to tell me this?” His hand is tight around my upper arm, which is definitely going to leave a bruise.

“I was going to,” I reply, “but you kind of side tracked me by trying to get into my pants in the back seat of your car.” Well, I hadn’t actually planned on telling Ethan. I figured Finn would be able to help me find out who did it, without the need to bring anyone else into the situation.

“Trying and almost succeeding,” says Ethan wistfully, before glaring at the phone clutched in his hand, the source of our interruption. Then he snaps back to the present. “This is bad Tegan, very, very bad. You need to be more careful with your personal security.”

“Well I’d thought the secret of my blood was safe, obviously somebody found out who wasn’t supposed to.”

“Are you accusing me?” Ethan questions.

“No of course not, I’m just completely lost. I’m not seeing the full picture right now. I need to think about it and figure out who knows.”

“And I will help you, but right now I have to be somewhere. Go back into the club and tell Lucas I said to escort you home.”

I glance back at the night club building. “No way am I going back in there. Eliza just about tried to punch my lights out earlier.”

Tension and anger fill Ethan’s eyes. “What?” The word comes out low and whispery, like he’s so pissed off he can’t even make a proper sound. I gulp.

“Yeah, I kind of referred to her dad as a creepy bastard. She didn’t like that.”

Some of the tension leaves Ethan’s face. “You can’t say things like that about Jeremy Whitfield, he’s the Governor of South Tribane, Tegan.”

“I’m shaking in my f**king boots,” I mumble sarcastically in a low voice.

“He’s a dangerous man, but he is also a close ally of mine. In fact, I am directly below him in rank. That means we rely on each other in many respects. You will not speak badly of him again.”

At the moment I’m standing directly in front of Ethan. I slowly fold my arms across my chest and raise a cynical eyebrow. “I don’t think I like this side of you Ethan. And come to think of it, I don’t want anything to do with a man who associates with people like Whitfield.” I turn and begin to walk away from him.

“Get back here, Tegan. You are not leaving.”

I don’t know where it springs from, but suddenly I’m completely pissed off with Ethan. Perhaps it’s because I really wish he was nobler than he actually is. If he and Whitfield are as thick as thieves the way I think they are, then Ethan is definitely not the man/vampire I’d hoped he was.

I turn around then, facing him but walking backwards and say, “Watch me,” before giving him the finger and disappearing out of the car park.

Chapter Nine

Burn Your Life Down

Inside my head there is a voice of sanity, telling me that I’m making a big mistake walking away from Ethan so rudely, but I ignore it as best I can. I’m too angry to act rationally. I stand across the road from the club and dig my phone out of my pocket, surprised that Ethan didn’t come after me. Then again, he did have somewhere important he needed to be, he made that point very clear.

I scroll to Finn’s number on my speed dial and it rings three times before he picks up.

“What’s the story?” Finn asks.

“Where are you?”

“Look right behind you, the black van.” He answers laughing.

I roll my eyes and hang up, making my way to the van. The door slides open when I get to it and I hop inside where I find only Finn and Wolf. I’d expected there to be a bunch of slayers in here.

“It’s just you out tonight then?” I ask.

Finn frowns. “If you hadn’t noticed, we’ve had an awful lot of casualties lately. Most of our best men have either been killed or dangerously injured.”

“Right, well keep an eye on Crimson’s car park,” I say, climbing into the front seat beside Finn. “Ethan should be leaving any minute now.”

Finn’s expression is questioning. “You got a lead on Pamphrock’s kid?”

“Just follow his car, I think that wherever he’s going it’s where they’re keeping Rebecca. I overheard one of Ethan’s phone conversations, he hadn’t been speaking English, but I managed to glean enough to know he was referring to a little girl.”

Finn’s gaze suddenly fills with determination, and a minute later Ethan’s Cadillac pulls out of the night club. We follow a few cars behind him as he drives through some of the more upper class residential areas of the city, a little close to where Ethan himself resides.

Finn curses under his breath. “Fucking leeches always like to live in luxury.” He’s glancing out the window at the fancy houses we pass by. Houses that probably cost several million to buy. Wolf rests his head on my shoulder and I rub him on the nose.

“Where do you think he’s headed?”

“I’ll give you three guesses,” says Finn, just as Ethan’s car stops at a pair of big black gates that lead into a huge mansion. He rolls down his window to talk into the speaker, and a minute later the gates slowly open and close once Ethan’s car has gone inside.

“Whose house is it?” I ask, glancing at Finn.

“Whitfield’s, did you even have to ask?”

“Fuck.”

“Yeah, so now we know where Rebecca is, cocky pricks didn’t even bother keeping her some place more discreet. The problem is getting to her, do you think you might be able to work your way into Whitfield’s house?”

I slump back in the seat, letting out a heavy sigh. “I kind of had a fight with Ethan tonight and I’m really not in the mood to crawl back with my tail between my legs. He knows I don’t like Whitfield, so I have no clue how I might convince him to bring me into his house.”

Finn’s smile is intolerable. “Trouble in paradise, eh?”

“Shut up Finn. This is horrible for me, I’m going to have to put on a huge act just to convince Ethan I’ve changed my opinion of Whitfield. I really dislike the man, and I hate pretending to like people that I hate.”

Finn starts driving away from the mansion now, but he’s still laughing silently. I’m glad my discomfort causes him such amusement. I continue petting Wolf as we head back over to the North side. Finn’s phone is sitting on the dashboard and it begins to vibrate, I glance at the screen and see Gabriel’s name. I wonder what he’s calling about. Finn pulls over and picks up the phone, clearly he adheres to the rules that you’re not allowed to talk on the phone while driving. Perhaps he and the law are not so much at odds as he likes to imagine.

“Gabe, what’s up?” He answers and immediately his brow begins to furrow. I lean closer to listen in, and get a surprise at the amount of noise travelling from the other end of the line. I can hear shouting and crashing, and strange whooping sounds in the background.

“Hey, just calm down all right, I’m on my way. Do you think you can hold them off until I get there?”

Finn hangs up then and I raise my eyebrows questioningly, wondering what on earth is going on with Gabriel. Finn starts up the car again, one hand on the steering wheel, the other rubbing his forehead.

“Where are we going?” I ask.

“Rita’s house. Apparently the magical families discovered that she and Gabriel had been setting up their own little revolutionary magic school.”

“You knew about that?”

Finn nods. “Of course I did, Gabriel is one of my closest friends Tegan.”

I’d thought Finn and Gabriel were buddies, but I hadn’t realised they knew each other that well. “So what’s going on then?”

“They set fire to Rita’s house, they’re currently at a stand-off out on the street. You up for taking part in a fight the likes of which you’ve never seen before?”

My jaw hangs open in shock. Rita’s wonderful house full of trinkets and magic has been set on fire. Anger bubbles in the pit of my stomach. What right do these families think they have to destroy a person’s home just like that? I quietly scowl and nod as we continue the rest of the drive in silence.

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