Home > The Bitten (Vampire Huntress Legend #4)(3)

The Bitten (Vampire Huntress Legend #4)(3)
Author: L.A. Banks

"No... Oh... shit..."

He grabbed her by her hips, and extricated himself from her to stand, stumbling a bit, but he needed motion - fatigue and the siphon notwithstanding. He had to break the physical contact with her. The pleasure wave of aftershocks were impairing his judgment, and if he bit her in this condition, he'd flat-line her for sure. Even standing away from her, he could still feel her hot seal. "No, no, no, no, no - this cannot be happening."

"That's not what you said a minute ago, baby. Last I heard you were hollering, 'Don't stop,' and some por favor mess before you went over the edge. Men." She laughed and flopped back on the bed, lazy and sated, twirling one of her locks around a finger, then closed her eyes. "Damn, that was awesome. We should get you something to feed on, soon, though. I'm two quarts to the good, myself."

He could feel panic bubbling within him, and he had never been the kind of man to outright freak about anything. But this, of all the things he'd seen and been through so far, was scaring the hell out of him.

"No!" he said fast, walking in a circle, then going from the deck back to the side of the bed, gesturing with his hands in a na**d frenzy. "Something went wrong. I have to get you back to the guardians - to Marlene, your mom... baby, you're turning - "

"Turned," she sighed with a smile, "and I love it. Relax. What's done is done."

"You're supposed to be immune to my bites! What the f**k? No. I'm not having my woman go out like that - oh shit, baby - "

"You're panicking because you need to eat." She ran her finger down the side of her throat, summoning him with a lopsided grin. "You didn't finish... or did you want to save it for when we wake up?"

He shook his head no, and backed away from the glorious temptation.

Damali yawned and nodded toward the opened deck doors. "Suit yourself, but it's late, it's almost dawn, and it's time to go to bed, honey. Just - "

"Oh, my God, D - "

When she hissed and held both sides of her head and glared at him, he could feel hot tears begin to form in his eyes. He could call on the Almighty, but the Neteru couldn't? What the hell had he done?

She was sitting up now, seeming thoroughly annoyed. When she stood to fetch her white silk nightgown, she almost glided; her stride was so smooth, supernatural. Horrified, he watched her sashay out to the deck and turn her face up toward the moon, as though to bay at it.

"I'm going to get us something before the sun fries us both," she muttered, and then was gone.

It took him a moment to process what he'd just witnessed. The edge of his lair was built into a cliff with no passable roads leading to it. But she'd walked down the stairs to the mountainside and was nowhere to be found in the dense, tropical foliage. However, he was painfully aware that the sounds of the night had gone still. She'd turned. Even the creatures knew it.

Instantly, he sheathed himself with a pair of pants and his boots. Near dawn, his woman newly turned, and he was running around two quarts low on blood.

Carlos rounded the deck, stood out on the cliffs, and willed Damali's return. If he'd made her, then she had to come when he called... Then again, she still had a lot of Neteru running through her, not to mention general-purpose stubbornness that not even the underworld could probably sway. But what had gone wrong? Marlene had told them both that Damali was immune. All Neterus were supposed to be able to take a bite and survive it, unturned. He'd held off until she'd crossed over to full huntress... and when did she die? In his arms?

Memories bound him as he thought back on night after night of sweet indulgence with her, no will as her barrier, no prayers to protect her from him; he was welcomed, wanted, considered a Dark Guardian, but approved by the team, nonetheless... and deep down, she'd found his Achilles' heel, the one thing that he knew he could never have with her. A true vampiric bite, in the throes, at the moment of truth - something he had not allowed any female vamp in his territory to do to him, yet... Something that, until now, Damali would never be able to do... or so he thought. Guilt stabbed at him. If he'd done this to her, God help him.

Yet, at the same time, what she'd done to him had been so powerful, totally unforgettable. So where did that leave them? Between another rock and a damned hard place. One taste of that was not going to be enough. That was raw truth. Lying to himself about it wasn't a viable option. He had to take her home, before she came to him like this again.

He had to get Marlene to give her something to turn her back, if there was such a potion or spell - which meant confessing how and when he'd seen her first crest of fangs. Yeah, right... explain to this girl's mother-seer that he'd been hard-rocking her Neteru's world every night for almost a month, siphoning a pint from her until one night she had bitten him? Marlene was gonna have a cow and Shabazz would rightfully mount a posse of Damali's big brothers with stakes in their hands. He couldn't blame them.

But they were the least of his worries. Father Patrick and the Covenant would go nuts and the Vampire Council... there were no words. He was supposed to be protecting their vessel until her next cycle, a ruse to buy him, Damali, and her crew some time. This was not supposed to happen.

But he could have sworn that he felt her ripening right underneath him. The scent of her was undeniable, and the sweet essence of her still lingered in the back of his throat. If her body changed while they were together - it was over. She would be his, pregnant, and there'd be no going back. Yet, how was that even possible, especially if she were already turned? It was like her system was going haywire... Marlene had to fix this, because he sure as hell couldn't, had no frame of reference, nor a big black book of ancient text for answers. This was definitely some new whack shit. Still, the worst part of it was, his woman could be among the undead - the one person on the planet that he never ever wanted to see that way.

Marlene had to bring her back.

Chapter Two

Yonnie stood on the roof of Club Vengeance and breathed in the night air. For he'd gambled right, had chosen to ally with Carlos Rivera, and had been handsomely rewarded. He'd been given management of the club with nearly free rein. Rivera was cool like that, it seemed.

A blue haze filtered across the moon and he smiled. It was in the air, a surge of power that all vampires had to acknowledge. The blood in the territories had more adrenaline kick to it, the kills were more satisfying... existence was good. To be a third-level vamp and take a club from a second-level just by strategically aligning with the right man, was unprecedented. All of a sudden he cocked his head to the side, briefly shut his eyes, and felt the powerful surge of sex in the air. Damn! Even the sex in the territory was sweeter under Rivera's rule. He just wished he knew who the vamp female was that Rivera had just turned. It was a fresh turn. Her vibe set his teeth on edge. But she felt stronger than a second...

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