Home > Real Vampires Have Curves (Glory St. Clair #1)(8)

Real Vampires Have Curves (Glory St. Clair #1)(8)
Author: Gerry Bartlett

" Ach, lass, I canna fight ye. Do as ye will." His voice inside my head probably meant I'd won this skirmish. Do as I will? I kissed Jerry, our tongues tangling, his fangs dragging across my swollen lips until I pulled back. My mouth wandered over his battle-scarred terrain, every nook and cranny so achingly familiar. I licked away the salt from his sweatslicked body and watched him shudder. Oh, yes, I knew what drove him over the edge. When I finally sat astride my conquest, I felt bloody amazing. Vamp power. Got to love it. But I couldn't stop thinking. This had to end. If only—He jerked me to him and kissed away my thoughts until there was only taste, touch and the need to push toward satisfaction. I sat up and tossed my hair back. I rode him until we both collapsed, gasping, too replete to do more than lie in each other's arms, breathing in the sharp, sweet essence we had created between us.

Jerry whispered inside my head all the sweet things a man won't actually say to a woman. That he needed me, that I pleased him as no other woman could, that… wait a minute. Other woman? The hell with it. I'd had other men too, it was inevitable when we'd been apart so long. And I sure wasn't going to let a little, okay, a lot of jealousy spoil some of the best sex of my lifetime. So I whispered back, assuring him that he would always have a special place in my heart and, call me a slut, in my bed. We lay for a long time, just holding each other, until the vamp awareness that dawn wasn't that far away made me move off of him. I kissed his lips, firm now with the displeasure he didn't bother to hide. Yep, I was disobeying my lord and master yet again. I hated that and the fact that he never seemed to learn how to handle me. Jerry was anything but a slow learner in all other aspects of his life. But with me…

I sniffled a little as I got dressed, but Jerry didn't try to stop me or offer false words of comfort. I'd insisted on this parting. So I could just deal with it. We were both quiet and I, for one, was sad that separation seemed to be our destiny. We were heading down the stairs when the front door opened. Vampire. I glanced at Blade who still looked grim. He hates rejection. Not that I'd rejected him, just his plans for how I should live my life.

"Blade! Is this your Gloriana?" A smiling man strode up to us. A smiling, happy vampire. Handsome as the devil too, dressed in a black silk shirt open to the waist and slim black pants.

I glanced at Blade. He nodded, not bothering to smile. "Gloriana, this is Damian Sabatini. The owner of this castle." Damian took my hand and pulled it to his lips. He actually brushed it with a fang and I shivered. Whoa. In the vampire world this was considered a major pass. Did Damian have a death wish? But Blade was stone-faced. Of course he hadn't missed the intimacy or my reaction to it. Did I expect him to morph into a snarling jealous beast? He wouldn't. Not after I'd just declared my independence. Again.

I smiled at Damian. "Please, call me Glory. I love your house."

"Thank you. You must come back for my Halloween costume party."

"Sounds like fun." Blade wasn't saying anything. Pouting? Seething? I couldn't complain. I'd made my choice. So it had left my stomach in knots and a hole in my heart. I'd learn to live with it.

"Are you sure you won't keep the car?"

Ah, Jerry the vampire speaks. In a cold, clipped voice that masked what I sensed was his hurt. Yes, I do know him well after four centuries. Well enough to know that this too, would pass. I couldn't imagine he'd ever walk away from me completely. That responsibility gene of his.

"I love it, but no, thank you." I touched Jerry's arm. Solid and as unresisting as his will.

"And you won't come with me."

"I can't. I have plans here."

"Very well." Blade exchanged a look with Damian. "You'll take her back to Frederick's?"

"Of course." Damian actually bowed and clicked his heels. But the effect was ruined by the twinkle in his eyes. Green eyes if you can believe it. Startling with his dark hair.

Wait a minute. Forget Damian. Blade brushed my cheek with his thumb. "Goodbye, Gloriana."

"You're leaving?" I'd been dismissed, that was clear from the look on Blade's face. "What is this? My way or the highway?" Blade dropped his hand. "Your choice, not mine. Take care, lass."

"But it's late." On cue, a clock somewhere in the house chimed four. "It'll be daylight—"

"I'll manage. Thank you, Damian. I'll be in touch."

I thought for a moment that Blade was going to just walk out the door. I really think he planned to. But he looked hard at Damian then grabbed me and kissed me. Not a "See you around, babe" kiss, but a "You're mine and I'll be back to claim you" kiss. Wow. I leaned into him, nipped his lower lip and kissed him. A "Right back at you, Jerry" kiss. And "See if Mara can top this" kiss. He wasn't the only one who could stake a claim. Yep, we're both twisted.

"You sure you want to leave, Blade?" Damian sounded amused and that was definitely a mood killer for Jerry. He jerked back, gave me a long look, then turned on his heel and left.

"You can still go with him." Damian must have seen my woebegone look.

"No." Damian had a gleam in his eyes. Of course, he'd smelled sex on Blade and me. And he could probably tell from various jiggles that I'd lost my underwear somewhere. Did he think I was a slut? I smiled. Let him. He was reading my mind so I sent him a little message. His eyes widened then he laughed.

"I'll be careful, Glory. Shall we go?"

"Why not?" I stepped outside and saw red taillights disappearing down the hill. I refused to give in to the urge to cry or throw something. Instead, I checked out the long, low and very vintage black Cadillac convertible at the curb.

"Cool car."

"Thanks." Damian opened the passenger door and I slid onto a soft, black, leather seat.

"Gothic castle. Halloween parties. Vamp-mobile. Aren't you afraid you'll be outted by some overzealous groupie?" Yeah, if word gets out you're vamp, the kinky, weird and genuinely awestruck fans won't leave you alone. Some vamps go for that sort of thing, but the downside is that with notoriety you get hunters eager to put another notch in their stakes.

"It's called 'hide in plain sight,' Glory. You should see me in my Dracula costume at Halloween." Damian drove like he'd moved, assured, easy. He glanced at me and grinned. "Thanks." Here we go. Maybe I could nip this in the bud. I can read minds, but I don't because it's usually too much information, if you know what I mean. And it really irritates me when other vamps poke into my mind uninvited.

"Message received, Glory." He reached over and patted my hand. "It's a bad habit so I may slip once in a while, but I'd like to be your friend."

Friend. I didn't have to be a mind reader to see that Damian was interested in more than friendship. Hey, I was flattered. Damian was hot. Of course he was probably only intrigued because Blade had had me. So what?

After I'd mourned Blade for the thousandth time, I'd be ready for someone in my life. Damian wasn't a cowboy, but the whole man in black, vamp thing was working for me. And he was an old vampire. He reeked of power behind his careless attitude. When we pulled up in front of Freddy's, the front door flew open.

"Glory! Come inside. You, too, Damian." Freddy was paler than usual and his hair was on end.

"What is it?" We both hurried up the walk. Derek, CiCi and Freddy were gathered around Flo who sat slumped on the couch, sobbing like her heart was breaking and babbling in Italian. Valdez stood guard by the door. Damian knelt in front of Flo and spoke to her in soothing tones in her native language. " Dios mio!" He pulled her up and wrapped his arms around her.

Freddy pulled me aside. "He'll calm her down. They've known each other forever."

"But what happened?"

Flo turned and looked at me, her cheeks wet with tears. "Trevor. I found him. He's morto. Dead."

"My God!" I sank onto the nearest chair, my knees weak. "What happened?" Trevor. I hadn't exactly fallen in love with the vampire, but he'd seemed harmless enough.

"My fault. I should have felt the hate. Warned him." Flo shuddered and pressed her face against Damian's chest. She wailed something in Italian.

"What did she say? Was it Westwood?" I couldn't breathe. Vampire hunters. Here in Austin. Damian patted Flo's back and swallowed. "Westwood? Not unless he stakes with a wooden cross."

" I smell cat. If that Sheba followed me here …" Valdez's nose twitched and his tail quivered on point.

"Will you quit obsessing about Sheba? CiCi wouldn't let her follow you." Poor Valdez. He'd been beyond patient, but Sheba had stuck to him like a burr the whole time we'd been at CiCi's. It was as if the cat had sensed the one entity that didn't want her and decided to torment him. Or was it love?

"Love? Gag me. I'm just making sure you're not in danger."

"This building allows pets. Someone's sure to have a cat. Get over it. A cat isn't a danger to me."

" I ain't afraid of no cat." Valdez plopped on the loveseat Freddy and Derek had just dragged in from the U-Haul.

"Maybe you should be." Derek grinned and nodded to the closed door across the hall. "Werecat. Good looking redhead during the day, but by night… hello, kitty."

Shape-shifters. Why was I not surprised? But I was cool with it, just happy to be moving. After Trevor's death, I'd had three choices. Hustle my butt to Blade. Too wimpy. Barricade myself in Freddy's house with his mother. Way too wimpy. Or carry on with my plan while staying alert. I picked door number three. No way was I letting some vamp-hungry religious nut dictate my moves.

And who should come riding to my rescue but Damian. Who happened to own a building in the trendy warehouse district. With, surprise, surprise, an empty shop on the ground floor and apartments on the top three. With excellent security, of course. Was this all just a little too convenient? If Blade had his hand in this, I'd kill, well, at least try to kill him. But you know what they say about gift horses. So I'm moving into 2C.

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