Home > Fashionably Hotter Than Hell (Hot Damned #6)(13)

Fashionably Hotter Than Hell (Hot Damned #6)(13)
Author: Robyn Peterman

“Fine,” Astrid huffed, put out that her bloody horrid idea had been shot down. “How can he convince her?”

"It won't be easy," Ethan muttered. "She has…"

"What?" I demanded. "She has what?"

"Issues," Ethan replied cryptically. "Issues I'm not at liberty to talk about."

"Wait one fucking minute," Astrid griped. "Why don't I know about Raquel’s issues?"

"Because it's truly not my tale to tell. It's hers and it's not a pretty one," Ethan said as he put Astrid on the couch and began to pace the room again. "Here's what I will say… Raquel has given up her Monarchy of Europe. She has turned her rule over to our brother Gareth."

"But he rules the largest section of Asia.” I was completely shocked by the news. "When did this happen?"

"Right before she came here. My father’s fine with this. He has given his blessing. Gareth is a solid and honest leader, even if he can't seem to keep it in his pants," Ethan said with shrug.

"Will he be at the wedding?" Astrid asked.

“My father?” Ethan asked confused.

Astrid smiled. “No. Your manwhore brother.”

"He wouldn't miss it," Ethan replied. "He adores American Vampyres."

We were getting off track. "I’m a little lost here. Why would Raquel do that? She's one of the finest and deadliest leaders in the world. She's beloved by her people and completely insane. They would die for her," I said as I tried to figure out what would make her give up her birthright.

"That was all really good except for the insane part," Astrid coached.

"Did I say insane?"

"Yep." She nodded.

"Interesting. Well, I meant that, but I didn't mean to say it," I told her.

"I'll let it go this time, but if you say something stupid again, I'll have to zap you. The pain will train you to be more of a gentleman where Raquel is concerned. I'm doing this because I love you, Heathcliff—not because it will be fun to electrocute your ass."

I nodded warily. It was surely a very bad idea. However, I did need to rebuild a filter when I spoke to Raquel.

"This is all well and good," I said as I ran my hand tiredly through my hair. "Everyone in the world can believe we are destined to be together, but if Raquel doesn't—it's not happening."

"I agree. You certainly have your work cut out for you." Ethan shuddered and grimaced. "Good luck."

"Anything else you can tell me?" I asked hopefully.

"Nope, hers to tell."

"That's bullshit," I snapped.

"As is much in life," he replied.

I nodded curtly in frustration and stood to leave.

"Heathcliff, don't worry. I know she wants you too, but something’s holding her back. I'm going to help you get her," Astrid promised.

"I really don't think that I…" I stuttered.

"No, don't thank me," Astrid said as she gave me a hug. "It's my duty as your cousin. I will help you kick ass and get the girl."

I hugged her back and was able to hide my look of sheer horror over her shoulder. Of course Ethan saw it and just grinned. I flipped him off and his grin became a laugh. It wasn't funny. It was my life.

But since I obviously hadn't done too well on my own with it… Hell. Maybe Astrid could help me.

***

"God damn it," I bellowed as my cousin flicked her fingers and almost set my ass on fire. "I didn't say anything bad. Why in the Hell are you zapping me?"

"I'm practicing. It would be a fucking shit show if I zapped your nuts, now wouldn't it?" she snapped.

That shut me up.

I was early to the fight training center. Jean Paul was supposed to meet me at eleven and Astrid had sent word for Raquel to bring Samuel at eleven as well. I had no clue what her plan was, but I didn't care. I wanted to see Raquel. I wanted to know the mystery… and I just plain wanted her.

"Take off your shirt," Astrid instructed.

"What?"

"Your shirt. Take it off. Now."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because Raquel will be here in a few and we need to show off your assets," Astrid explained as if she'd just made a perfectly reasonable request.

"I will not take off my shirt. I'm going to charm her with my wit," I said, right before an electrical volt hit my backside. "Son of a bitch," I shouted as I hopped around in pain.

Grabbing my ass, I shot my cousin a look that had brought armies to their knees. Astrid simply narrowed her eyes.

"Retaliate and your balls are next," she threatened.

"Fine," I grumbled as I removed my shirt, leaving me barefoot and in my low riding sweat pants. "Should I oil my pecs?" I asked sarcastically.

"Oh my Cousin Jesus," she squealed. "That's an awesome idea."

"I was joking."

"Well, I'm not. Do you want me to magic up some oil?"

"Absolutely not," I said.

"You are being an asshat," she muttered. "I'm here to help you."

She punctuated her remark with another zap to my backside.

This brand of help was not working for me.

"They're coming," she whispered with manic excitement. "Act normal."

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