Home > Tegan's Return (The Ultimate Power #2)(3)

Tegan's Return (The Ultimate Power #2)(3)
Author: L.H. Cosway

“Well I spoke to Governor Pamphrock before coming here, he said you’ll be generously compensated if you can help get his daughter out of there safely. He’ll pay you three grand up front, and another ten if you manage to get to Rebecca.”

“Wait a second, Pamphrock knows about me? You said you hadn’t told anyone, Finn.”

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist, he doesn’t know about your blood. I just told him I knew a human girl who’s friendly with Cristescu, and who might be interested in helping us.”

“You should have said that in the first place. Jesus, I’m jumpy enough as it is.” I tell him, rubbing away the goose flesh on my arms.

Finn raises an eyebrow, watching as I rub my arms. “Will you quit being so tense?” he asks, and then a slow grin forms on his lips. “You should really think about getting off with someone, it will help you to relax.”

I stare at him for a moment before replying sarcastically, “Oh yeah, what are you volunteering your services or something?”

“Just say the word,” says Finn. “You’re looking a lot hotter these days since you put some weight on.”

“Are you calling me fat?” I ask, amused, before standing up and bringing my plate and cup over to the sink.

Finn’s eyes practically consume me. “You were too thin before, now you’ve got curves in all the right places.”

It’s true, I’d lost a lot of weight after Matthew died, now my body’s back to its full health again. I turn on the tap and begin rinsing the dishes, and try to change the subject by saying, “Tell Pamphrock I want five grand up front and twelve after Rebecca is home and safe, then it’s a deal.”

“Done,” Finn replies, suddenly right behind me. I finish rinsing and turn off the tap. He places his hands against counter on either side of me and I suck in a breath.

“Get out of my way,” I say in a quiet voice. I can feel his chest pressed against my back, his bare legs touch on mine since he’s still in his boxer shorts.

“I don’t want to,” he whispers, hand sliding under my t-shirt, and I become hyper aware of the fact that I’m not wearing a bra. His hand brushes over my stomach, lingers just beneath my chest. “I booked a flight for us back to Tribane for this evening, that gives us a couple of hours to spare,” he says, voice just above a whisper now.

“No it doesn’t,” I tell him. “If I’m leaving then I need to let my boss know I’ll be gone for a week or two, and I need to pack.” Then I sigh when his other hand slides over my lower back and wraps the whole way around me, pulling me into him.

“You are so f**king hot,” he breathes. His hand dips down and strokes my inner thigh and I let out a small moan. “You like that?” he asks, as he allows his hand to inch up and trace over my underwear. I’m acting like a complete slut, but I’m so easily seduced. I haven’t been with a single man since Matthew. Of course, there was Ethan, but we were never together properly. Abruptly, I gain some self-control and push Finn away.

“Okay,” I say on a raspy breath, still feeling the effects of him touching me. “We need to set up some ground rules.”

Finn’s eyes sparkle with amusement. “Go ahead.”

“I’m agreeing to help you, but there are conditions,” I say, “the first is, you need to stop coming onto me.”

Finn’s gaze burns into me. “You seemed to be enjoying yourself just now.”

“That’s not the point, the point is, I can’t focus on how I’m going to get to Rebecca if you’re constantly trying to get me into bed.”

“All right then, Tegan, no more trying to seduce you,” says Finn, laughing. “What are the other conditions?”

“When we get back to Tribane you need to take me to Chesterport to see my dad first before we go to get Rebecca.”

Finn runs a hand over his jaw. “It will have to be a very quick visit.”

“Two hours with my dad,” I say, “that’s all I need.”

“Deal,” says Finn.

“The last condition is, that if after two weeks I haven’t managed to rescue Rebecca then you’ll let me come back to Manchester. I’ve got a job here now, and this apartment, and there are far too many vampires in Tribane. I can’t stay there for long, it’s dangerous.”

“Two weeks it is then,” says Finn, turning in the direction of my bathroom. “Now, do you mind if I use your shower?”

I shake my head. “No that’s fine.” Finn closes the bathroom door behind him and I go to my bedroom to begin packing. I grab my suitcase and get my passport out from underneath the mattress. I throw in a couple of pairs of jeans and t-shirts and a few dresses and skirts, as well as all the clean underwear I’ll need. By the time I’m finished packing Finn has emerged from the shower, shirtless and with only my white towel wrapped around his waist. I do my best to avert my gaze, but I do notice that he’s got a lot of scars, a hazard of the job I presume. He grins knowingly while I pick up my toiletries and disappear into the bathroom to take a shower myself.

I hear Finn laugh and ask, “You want some company in there Tegan?” just as I’m slamming the door shut. That slayer is going to be the death of my nerves.

I let the hot water wash over me as I think about how foolish I’m being going back to Tribane. The truth is, I want to see my dad and Nicky, for all I know they could have died in the past two years since I’ve been in hiding. I haven’t spoken to them once since the night I left. I shudder to think of how worried they must have been all this time, thinking I was kidnapped or murdered. What I had hoped was that Nicky would go to see Ethan at Crimson, and he would have made up some story about how I moved away.

The idea of seeing Ethan again after so long has my stomach turning over in knots. He’d told me he was falling in love with me, and I had just gotten out of his car and left his life for good. How callous had I been? But I’d also been so heart wrenchingly afraid of the world I had discovered. I’d wanted to get as far away from it as I possibly could. I also wanted to get away from the city where I’d lost the first man I’d fallen in love with, and it was all because a vampire had been preying on him, causing him to slowly lose his mind.

Speaking of vampires, I wonder how Ethan, Lucas and Dru are going to react to my return, and of course there’s Delilah, but since she’s a dhamphir I probably don’t have to worry about her as much as the others. If Finn is to be believed, then none of them have spread the word about my blood. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t want to feed on me should I unexpectedly decide to show up again. Finn had said he would protect me, can I trust him to keep his word on that? Two weeks, just two weeks and then I’ll be gone again. All I need to do is find this little girl, return her to her father, and then disappear just like before.

Not to mention I’ll be getting paid a tidy sum of money for my troubles. The gallery pays me reasonably well, but I could always do with a nest egg. I dry off and slip into some pale blue jeans and a white t-shirt, before scruffing dry my short hair.

As I leave the bathroom and walk through the living room to my bedroom, I listen in while Finn speaks with someone over the phone.

“Yes, she’s said she’ll help us, we’re catching a flight home this evening,” he says, and I presume he’s talking to Pamphrock. At least I hope he is. For all I know this could be some elaborate plot to capture me and turn me into a science experiment. Or just to kill me. I remember Rita telling me about how women of my bloodline had been murdered by the slayers in the past, so that the vampires couldn’t their hands on the power we can give them.

Goosebumps rise on my skin, but I push the thought away. Besides, I might be mistaken, but it seems that Finn has something of a thing for me. Perhaps he has a secret penchant for arty Goth chicks. Or maybe it’s just that he likes my skin. Either way, I’m going to take my chances. I’m so lonely that I’m actually prepared to risk death just for a bit of human interaction. Misadventurous indeed. I grimace as I shut over my bedroom door.

I make my final preparations and about fifteen minutes later Finn knocks on the door before coming inside. He plonks himself onto the bed, shoving his mobile phone into his pocket. I zip up my suitcase and put it down on the floor.

“So, you’re all packed and ready to go then?” he asks. I nod. “Come on, we’d better go pay your boss a visit and see if he’ll give you the time off.”

I lock up my apartment, while Finn carries my suitcase down the stairs. Out on the street I follow him for about five minutes before we get to his rental car. He puts the suitcase in the back and I hop into the passenger seat beside him. As it happens, Jeff doesn’t seem too bothered about giving me the time off. Perhaps because business hasn’t exactly been booming in the world of independent art galleries recently.

I tell him I need to go home to see my dad because he’s ill. He tells me to take all the time I need. I tell him I’ll be back in two weeks. He agrees. I need to have something to come back to, otherwise I’ll get complacent and become all entangled with the vampires again.

I make one final stop off at the bank to make sure I’m up to date on my rent and then we set off for Manchester Airport. After we’ve checked our bags and gone through security I go to buy a coffee, while Finn makes his way to the bathroom. I watch him walk away as I stand in the queue at the café, trying not to admire his bottom. I smirk to myself, but as I do I notice a tall, dark haired fellow trailing behind Finn, with some kind of determination in his gait. Uh oh.

Suspicion propels me to leave the queue and see if this character really is following Finn. It couldn’t be a vampire, could it? I look outside, it’s a dull December day and the sky is getting dark. It’s only four o’clock, but it tends to get dark more quickly at this time of year. Maybe it is a vampire.

The tall man slips into the bathroom just a few seconds after Finn. I know that as a woman I shouldn’t be setting foot in the men’s, but I have to make sure that Finn isn’t in any trouble. He might be a sarcastic bastard at times, but he’s a good person deep down. I think.

I peek my head in the door, and lo and behold, Finn and the man are at a stand-off in the empty bathroom.

“Well, well, well, Finn Roe, I never thought I’d see you over on this side of the pond again. A friend of mine called the other night, said a fella fitting your description had been spotted up north. I couldn’t believe my luck after all these years, my brother’s murderer finally back on these shores.” The tall man has a London accent, and his skin is sort of pale and marble-like, so I assume he’s an old vampire enemy of Finn’s.

“Very nice to see you again, Travis,” says Finn, his words laced with hatred. “I’d probably feel bad for what I did to your dear brother Thomas, if it weren’t for the fact that he slaughtered my mother and sister. He was a nothing but a parasite,” Finn stops and looks Travis up and down, “just like yourself I suppose.”

Oh. My. God. This Travis person is the brother of the vampire who killed Finn’s family. I feel like I’m watching some sort of f**ked-up version of a soap opera.

“You’ll regret that,” says Travis, in a low, threat-filled voice. Then he lunges for Finn who swiftly dodges him and grabs a hold of the door of one of the toilet cubicles, before swinging his legs forward and kicking into Travis’ chest. Travis falls back against the sink and I frantically try to think of a way to help Finn. This vampire is huge, I can’t see it being easy for Finn to kill him, especially since we’re in a public airport bathroom and somebody could walk in any minute now.

I have absolutely nothing on me that even resembles a weapon, the two men continue their fight, knocking a sink off the wall while I fumble in my handbag for something. All I’ve got is a hairbrush, make-up, tissues, and a tiny bottle of perfume. Aha. The perfume might be useful, I pull it out and try to approach the scuffle. Travis has both of his hands around Finn’s neck, he’s so concentrated on suffocating the slayer that he doesn’t see me approach and spray him right in the eyes.

He grunts and releases his hold on Finn, who takes the opportunity to grab a very sharp pointed stick from the inside pocket of his jacket. It takes a moment for me to realise that it’s a stake. How the hell did he get that one through customs? I’m impressed. Travis seems to be gaining his composure as he rubs the spray from his eyes. I step close to him again and spray him a second time for good measure. He calls me a bitch and grabs me by the arm, scary fast, his grip is like steel and I yelp in pain.

It only takes a split second, while Travis is focused on me, for Finn to lunge forward and plunge the stake directly into his chest. The burly vampire’s eyes widen in shock just before he falls crashing to the floor. A floor that is now becoming increasingly flooded with dark, almost black coloured blood. Finn and I stare at him as the life leaves his features, then we make eye contact.

How on earth are we going to get rid of the body, especially in such a public place where there are security cameras everywhere? Thinking about it, an airport is perhaps one of the worst places to decide to murder someone, even if it is in self-defence.

Finn steps back and leans against the wall, while my heart is beating like a rabbit’s and I keep glancing at the door and praying that no one comes inside. Finn pulls his phone from his pocket and dials a number.

“Who the hell are you calling?” I ask in panic.

“The local DOH branch,” he answers, “they’ll be able to clean up this mess. Get out of here and wait for me by our flight gate, I’ll meet you there once this has all been taken care of.”

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