Home > Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood #5)(4)

Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood #5)(4)
Author: J.R. Ward

"Holy Mary, Mother of God... They're beautiful."

"Thanks," V said on an exhale. "I make good bread, too."

The cop's hazel eyes shot across the room. "You did these for me?"

"Yeah, but it's no big thing. I do them for all of us." V lifted up his gloved right hand. "I'm good with heat, as you know."

"V... thank you."

"Whatever. Like I said, I'm the blade man. Do it all the time."

Yeah... just maybe not with quite as much focus. For Butch, he'd spent the past four days straight on them. The sixteen-hour marathons working his cursed glowing hand over the composite steel had made his back burn and his eyes strain, but goddamn it, he'd been determined to get each one worthy of the male who would wield them.

They still weren't good enough.

The cop took one of the daggers out, and as he palmed it his eyes flared. "Jesus... feel this thing." He began working the weapon back and forth in front of his chest. "Never held anything so well weighted. And the grip. God... perfect."

The praise pleased V more than any he'd ever received.

So it irritated the shit out of him.

"Yeah, well, they're supposed to be like that, true?" He stabbed the hand-rolled out in an ashtray, crushing the fragile glow at its tip. "No sense you going out in the field with a set of Ginsus."

"Thank you."


"V, seriously - "

"Make that f**k you." When there was no slappy comeback, he looked up.

Shit. Butch was standing right in front of him, the cop's hazel eyes dark with a knowledge V wished the guy didn't have.

V dropped his stare to his lighter. "Whatever, cop, they're just knives."

The black tip of the dagger slid under V's chin and angled his head up. As he was forced to meet Butch's stare, V's body tensed. Then trembled.

With the weapon linking them, Butch said, "They're beautiful."

V closed his eyes, despising himself. Then he deliberately leaned into the blade so that it bit into his throat. Swallowing the flare of pain, he held it in his gut, using it as a reminder that he was a f**ked-up freak, and freaks deserved to get hurt.

"Vishous, look at me."

"Leave me alone."

"Make me."

For a split second V almost launched himself at the guy, prepared to punch the bastard out cold. But then Butch said, "I'm just thanking you for doing something cool. No BFD."

No big f**king deal? V's eyes flipped open and he felt his stare glow. "That's bullshit. For reasons you are very f**king aware of."

Butch removed the blade, and as the male's arm dropped, V felt a trickle of blood ease down his neck. It was warm... and soft as a kiss.

"Don't say you're sorry," V muttered into the silence. "I'm liable to get violent."

"But I am."

"Nothing to be sorry for." Man, he couldn't take living here with Butch anymore. Make that Butch and Marissa. The constant reminder of what he couldn't have and shouldn't want was killing him. And Christ knew he was already in bad shape. When was the last time he'd slept through the day? Weeks and weeks.

Butch sheathed the blade in the chest holster, handle down. "I don't want you to hurt - "

"We are so not discussing this further." Putting his forefinger to his throat, V caught the blood he'd drawn with the blade he'd made. As he licked it off, the hidden door to the underground tunnel opened and the scent of the ocean filled the Pit.

Marissa came around the corner, looking Grace Kelly-fine as usual. With her long blond hair and her precision-molded face, she was known as the great beauty of the species, and even V, who didn't go for her type, had to show love.

"Hello, boys - " Marissa stopped and stared at Butch. "Good... Lord... look at those pants."

Butch winced. "Yeah, I know. They're - "

"Could you come over here?" She started backing down the hall to their bedroom. "I need you to come back here for a minute. Or ten."

Butch's bonding scent flared to a dull roar, and V knew damn well the guy's body was hardening for sex. "Baby, you can have me for as long as you want me."

Just as the cop left the living room, he shot a look over his shoulder. "I'm so feeling these leathers. Tell Fritz I want fifty pairs of them. Stat."

Left by himself, Vishous leaned over to the Alpine and cranked up MIMS's Music Is My Savior. As the rap pounded, he thought about how before, he'd used the shit to drown out the thoughts of others. Now that his visions had dried up and that whole mind-reading thing had gone poof!? He used the bass beats to keep him from hearing his roommate making love.

V rubbed his face. He really had to get out of here. For a while he'd tried to get them to move out, but Marissa maintained that the Pit was "cozy" and that she liked living in it. Which had to be a lie. Half the living room was eaten up by the foosball table, ESPN was on mute twenty-four/seven, and hard-core rap was always playing. The refrigerator was a demilitarized zone marked with decaying casualties from Taco Hell and Arby's. Grey Goose and Lagavulin were the only drinks in the house. Reading material was limited to Sports Illustrated and... well, back issues of Sports Illustrated.

So, yeah, not a whole lot of duck-and-bunny-adorable going down. The place was part frat house, part locker room. With decor by Derek Jeter.

As for Butch? When V had suggested a little U-Haul action to the guy, the cop had shot a level stare across the couch, shook his head once, and gone into kitchen for more Lagavulin.

V refused to think they stayed because they were worried about him or some shit. The very idea made him mental.

He got to his feet. If there was going to be a separation, he was going to have to be the one who initiated it. The trouble was, not having Butch around all the time was... unthinkable. Better the torture he had now than an exile.

He checked his watch and figured he might as well hit the underground tunnel and head over to the big house. Even though the rest of the Black Dagger Brotherhood lived in that rock-faced monster of a mansion next door, there were plenty of extra rooms. Maybe he should just try one on for size. For a couple of days.

The thought made his stomach churn.

On his way to the door, he caught the bonding scent wafting from Butch and Marissa's bedroom. As he thought about what was happening, his blood heated even as shame made his skin go Popsicle.

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