Home > Tracking the Tempest (Jane True #2)(7)

Tracking the Tempest (Jane True #2)(7)
Author: Nicole Peeler

When I came back to Earth, Ryu's fingers were still inside of me, enjoying the feel of the aftershocks racking my muscles as his tongue healed the wounds at my neck.

“You?” I mumbled, barely coherent. But Ryu understood.

“Later,” he answered. “This was more than enough for now.”

He kissed me gently, and I tasted the coppery sheen of my blood on his lips.

“Go shower; I'll get your suitcase,” he said, finally withdrawing his hand.

“You don't want to come, too?” I asked, enjoying my pun.

He frowned. “Quit it, Jane. Seriously. She's a gorgon. She refused a state senator and pushed back the reservation of a pregnant teenaged starlet to give me this table. If we're not exactly on time, she will destroy me.”

I sighed.

“Please, if you sigh like that, I'll f**k you. And if I f**k you, I won't stop, and then we will be late, and then the gorgon will destroy me. Did I mention the part where she destroys me? And then we won't ever f**k again, and then you'll have something to sigh about.”

Ryu knew damned well that humor could overcome any emotion in my world, even lust. I couldn't help but laugh as he helped me to my feet and pushed me toward the wet room.

Meanwhile, I began strategizing all the various ways in which I would destroy him, later. And he's afraid of a little gorgon, I thought as I wondered what, exactly, Iris had packed from my dirty drawer. Game on, Vlad, I thought, waggling my own eyebrows at my vampire's back as he went to get my suitcase.

I'll show you an “Impaler”…

CHAPTER FOUR

I breathed out a sigh of pure pleasure as we gazed off over Boston's city lights. Ryu's arms were tight around me, and he whispered in my ear as he pointed out various points of interest. After my eyes had had their fill, we returned to our little table by the window to enjoy our cocktails.

We were at the Top of the Hub, a restaurant and bar perched high atop Boston's Prudential Tower. We'd had dinner earlier, at a different restaurant, and I got the feeling that Ryu considered the Top of the Hub a little too touristy to be cool. He'd brought me anyway, however, because he knew I'd love the views.

We'd had dinner at a place so chic its name was simply its address. It was an extremely small and intimate restaurant, where we were treated like royalty. And apparently the table next to us, all men dressed like sheiks, really were Saudi royalty, so I had a direct comparison. We'd ordered the chef's seven-course tasting menu, paired with seven different wines, and Ryu had worked some metabolic mojo on me to keep me from being completely schlitzed. I found myself, once again, in that physical state I'd come to associate with my time with Ryu: stuffed to the gills, slightly drunk on both wine and barely sated lust, and feeling utterly, totally pampered. A girl could do worse.

“Nell said you're having no trouble erecting your shields, although you're still not erecting them quite as reflexively as you should be.”

“Exactly,” I said, honing back in on Ryu and resisting the temptation to point out that he'd said “erect.” Twice.

“Well, your reflexes will develop with time and experience. You need to be around your own kind more, besides Nell and that lot. You're living in a bubble out in Rockabill.” I frowned, and he rolled his eyes. “I'm just saying, Rockabill isn't the real world. But, in the meantime, I can show you a few things while you're here. Nell said you were ready for glamours, so we can go ahead and start working on them if you'd like.”

I grinned. “Excellent.”

“I think you'll be good at it. You're creative, and when you focus, you have a tremendous amount of concentration behind your power. It's just getting you to focus.”

“Hmm?” I asked, too busy attempting to engage him in a round of footsie to hear what he was saying.

“Exactly,” Ryu laughed smugly. “Although I do appreciate your choice of distractions.”

Ryu stood up and moved his chair next to mine, pulling me to him. He kissed the tip of my nose and then found my mouth, sucking gently on my bottom lip.

“You have no idea how good it is to have you here, baby,” he murmured between kisses.

“I like being here, too. I like seeing how you live.”

“In most ways, I live really well,” he acceded, smiling. Humility wasn't Ryu's strong point. “But having you here makes it even sweeter.”

His tongue swept over the pulse throbbing in my throat and I shivered. I wanted to say something sexually empowered that would curl his toes with lust. Instead, to my horror, I blurted out, “I saw the book under your phone.”

Ryu withdrew, his eyes narrowed.

“Sorry?”

“I was trying to see what time it was and I bumped your phone. And I saw your address book.”

“And you looked inside.”

I nodded, glumly, although I didn't really feel all that apologetic. After all, Ryu's life here was something we needed to discuss, eventually. But I was also well aware I wasn't going to win any houseguest awards.

“Well, Suzy Snoopsalot, we obviously have to talk.” Ryu scrubbed a strong hand over his face, his typical gesture of worry. “I'm sorry you saw that, but it's the truth. And I know you know that. Are you okay, first of all?”

“Of course,” I said, my voice surprisingly firm. “I think I understand, as much as I can. And I think I'm okay with everything. Sort of. But it is strange. And I think I feel like I shouldn't be okay with everything, even though I do feel okay…” I trailed off, losing momentum. “It's complicated” was my lame conclusion.

Ryu looked grim. “It is complicated. And, to be honest, I hate it; hate the whole thing. I'm so tired of… Shit, Jane,I'm just tired. Can we get out of here? And really talk?”

That drained voice, coming from the man I associated only with vitality, cut to my core, and I folded like a glove. I reached over and took his hand, raising his palm to my lips. I kissed him gently and closed my eyes as he moved his fingers to cup my jaw.

I let the heat of his hand sink into my skin, finally meeting his eyes with my own.

“Please?” he asked.

“Anything you want, Ryu.” And I meant it.

“C'mon, baby. I have one last surprise for you.”

Ryu paid for our drinks and we left. He wouldn't give me any indication of his plans, so we strolled, arm in arm, down Boylston Street until we got to the Boston Public Gardens, all shut up and dark for the evening. Stopping at the locked gate, Ryu stooped down, making a stirrup with his two hands.

“Alley-oop, my darling,” Ryu said, grinning.

“Um, really?” I asked. “You're the master of ‘opening things,’ ” I reminded him. “Can't you just unlock the gate?”

“I could. But this is much more fun.”

Sighing, I placed my foot in his cupped hands and he lofted me like a cheerleader. I squeaked a protest, fumbling for the heavy iron gates to steady myself. I carefully maneuvered my feet into the most secure-looking crevices I could spot, which were part of the fancifully curlicued top of the gate, and then shifted my weight from Ryu's hands onto my chosen footholds. Ryu waited until I was clinging to the fence before he grabbed a hold of the iron bars and launched himself smoothly up and over in a single burst of strength. I grumbled something unforgivably rude about his family heritage and began arduously stepping over the very top of the ornamental gate, setting my feet back into their little crevices on the opposite side so I was facing back out toward Boylston.

“Go ahead and drop, Jane. I'll catch you.”

I looked at the vampire beneath me. If I hadn't damn well known I'd be stuck clinging to the fence, I would have attempted to beam death rays at him through my eyes.

“C'mon, baby. You can trust me.”

I didn't remind him that the last time he'd said those words to me, I walked funny for two days. I just gathered courage, took a deep breath, and pushed myself away from the fence.

Ryu caught me effortlessly, laughing.

“I said drop down, Jane, not launch yourself like a rocket.”

“I'll give you a rocket,” I mumbled.

“Sorry?”

“Nothing. Just put me down.”

“No,” he murmured, cuddling me closer to his chest.

I considered protesting but being in his arms felt good. So I let him carry me. When we got to the bridge that crossed the little lake where the swan boats were, he set me down on my feet.

He waved a hand and the lights came on, illuminating the river and the boats and the bridge. Well, he didn't actually light the lights, he just made his own.

I looked out over the dark water, feeling it murmur to me. Where my ocean roared, this man-made reservoir whispered. The lights of the city glittered off its surface, helping Ryu's own lights illuminate the graceful lines of the swan boats floating at their moorings, each tucked into its place like horses in a stable.

“It's lovely, Ryu.”

“I thought you'd like it,” he replied, resting back against the bridge's balustrade. “You said you remember it from your childhood?”

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