Home > Love Bleeds (Blood and Snow #9)

Love Bleeds (Blood and Snow #9)
Author: RaShelle Workman

Chapter 1

I believed everything happened for a reason. After my mother died, that belief gave me hope, a life raft in a sea of pain. I convinced myself that maybe she was needed in the after-life, or that she was happier there-wherever there was.

Of course doubts existed.

Whispers within, telling me life was random, and a mishmash of messy people trying to get through each day the best they could. But I fought those thoughts, determined to imagine a purpose grew from the ugliness.

When I saw Christopher standing in the doorway, my first thought was:

What the hell is he thinking?

My second: There's a purpose.

More than ever, I wanted to trust that principle.

Everything happens for a reason.

Gabe drew a sword from his back. "You're not welcome, vampire."

I flinched. He might just as easily be talking about me. I was a vampire too. Did Gabe no longer welcome me? Were we not at least friends anymore?

Christopher's eyes flicked from mine to Gabe's and then back again. "I had to make sure I sensed the change in Snow correctly. That she was, in fact, awake." He nodded, a smile lighting his beautiful eyes though it didn't reach his lips.

I smiled in response, flipping the covers off, sending my birthday cake to the floor. It splattered, icing going in all directions. The cake was red velvet. It would ruin the white carpet. But I couldn't worry about that at the moment. The furious energy sizzling and snapping through the room had to be calmed.

The last time I saw Christopher, he was in what looked like a white casket, covered by a glass lid. The Vampire Queen had him, and had sworn she wouldn't release him until I gave her the Seal of Gabriel.

While my mind was with Silindra, I heard Christopher tell me Sharra freed him. It was good to see him. He looked amazing.

"I'm so glad you're okay." I stepped over the fallen cake, realizing I wore nothing but the nightgown. Crossing my arms, I continued, "I thought Sharra, I mean the Vampire Queen intended to kill you." I hesitated, watching Professor Pops pick up the broken cake. "Sorry," I said.

"No worries." Bart came over with a trashcan and a towel. He and Sebastian helped Professor Pops toss pieces of the cake in the garbage.

It was instinct to want to help them clean, but I was desperate to get closer to Christopher. He told me I saved him. I glanced at his neck. The bear he carved before he was killed, and then turned into a vampire, hung at the V of his white, button-down shirt. Defined muscles shone through the light material.

"She should've killed him, done us all a favor," Gabe said, moving toward my Hunter.

"Gabe, stop," I cried, forgetting my state of undress and stepping between the guys and Christopher. "I-I want him here."

Chapter 2

Gabe snorted. "We wouldn't be having this conversation if he hadn't Marked you, bit you." I glanced into each of the brother's eyes, as well as Professor Pops. They all appeared to share Gabe's opinion. Except Pops. His expression was unreadable.

"Okay, I get that," I glanced at Christopher, trying to figure out his intentions. Did he have a death wish? He carried no weapon. He looked like a regular teenager coming home from school. Black, lace-up boots. Dark jeans. A black belt with a silver buckle. His white shirt tucked in. "He doesn't have a weapon. He didn't come for a fight." I turned and gave Gabe a hard look. "Do not hurt him." The Seal of Gabriel burned within. I recognized its power and shivered. I wasn't sure what it meant. But I realized with the power I possessed, I could hurt someone.

Or help, my inner voice said.

"He doesn't need one, Snow. He is weapon enough." Professor Pops rolled his shoulders, wiping his cake-covered hands on the towel. When he finished, he tossed it to Salvatore, who chucked the towel in a black hamper. It was inconspicuously placed near the bathroom door.

It was one of those surreal moments, like watching everything and everyone around me in slow motion. Professor Pops, though old, still moved with lithe precision. He was a Hunter. He'd worked for the Vampire Queen. Professor Pops probably knew better than anyone what Christopher had to be going through.

Christopher smirked. The Religions Professor and the Hunter were calling each other out.

"Unbelievable," I muttered, lifting one hand in the direction of Pops and the brothers, and the other at Christopher. "Stay where you are, all of you," I hollered, twisting my head back and forth, hoping my voice sounded firmer than I felt. My palms crackled, the Seal's power desperate to be released. "I mean it!"

Gabe, and Christopher must've noticed. Some of the fight left them, and Gabe put away his sword.

Professor Pops took a step back. "Calm down, Snow. Nothing is going to happen," he said softly.

Sighing, I said, "You're right, because we're going to settle a few things right this second."

Salvatore, Sebastian, Bart, and Dorian got off the bed, and stood next to Heathcliff, Daniel, and Professor Pops. Gabe was closest to me, and he nodded. I glanced at Christopher. He leaned against the door, glaring at Gabe. "Sheesh, there is way to much testosterone in this room."

Cindy brushed past Christopher and ran, slamming into me with a bear hug. "Snow. I'm so glad you're awake. Grandmother's spell worked."

I wrapped my arms around her, taking in the smell of her heady perfume. "What spell?" I asked quietly.

"The one Gram showed me how to place over you so I'd know when you woke." She stood back, placing her hands on my arms. Tears ran from her eyes. "You're back, and you look..." She examined me. When her eyes reached mine, they were filled with horror. "You realize I can see right through that gown, don't you?" She turned so her back was to me, trying to cover me. "Pervs," she shouted. "Get out. The girl needs some clothes."

I remembered my state of undress and covered myself with my arms. "Everyone sit and I'll be right back." I grabbed hold of Cindy's shoulders, and turned her like she was my shield, or the look scope on a submarine. "Any idea where my clothes are?" I whispered.

She shook her head. But I heard movement, and watched Dorian go to the dresser. He proceeded to pull out a pair of jeans, a black t-shirt, a pair of matching socks, and underwear... to which I blushed. He handed them to me.

"Your Converse are in the closet next to the bathroom, right over there." He cleared his throat, working to keep his eyes off my body. I followed the finger he'd pointed and noticed the closed door, and next to that a rounded archway, which I guessed was the closet.

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