Ice Warrior: (Dark Warrior Alliance Book 13), page 7
Alex turned her head away, and he froze when he saw an iridescent yin-yang symbol of fire and ice. He hadn’t noticed it before, which was strange because it glowed softly behind her left ear. The sight made his chest constrict, and emotion clog his throat. Another pang shot through his side as he stared at the design. There was significant meaning behind the mark and its appearance, but he couldn’t place it. He was convinced it was connected to him, given ice made up half of the marking.
“Honestly, I’m not sure. I couldn’t allow anyone to use you as a test subject and torture you. Trust me, medical tests aren’t fun, and the government would be ruthless in their pursuit to clone you, if possible,” Alex admitted and turned back to him.
“Och, you’re probably right aboot that. I owe you more than I can ever repay. You’re a verra special female,” he murmured as he reached out and ran his hand over her cheek.
He scooted closer to Alex, needing more contact. There was an inescapable draw toward her, and it took a great deal of effort to keep from ravishing her body.
“Aren’t you the ladies man?” she teased. “Is that how you entice women to give you their blood?”
“Nay,” he chuckled. “Seems I take that when I want, withoot permission,” he said, shaking his head. He still couldn’t believe he attacked her. “I’m a vampire,” he said, testing the term and nodded.
It felt right. And he was grateful that this doctor took it so well. He may not remember his past, or what it meant to be a vampire, but he guessed it wasn’t common.
“What is the significance of your tattoo?” he asked as he sat back on the couch and crossed his ankle over his knee.
She looked down at her arm then held it out toward him. He saw a simple line tattoo that said hope with the h representing a pink ribbon. “This is my inspiration. When I have a tough day, I look at this and remember what I’ve been through and survived.”
He wrapped his arm around her shoulder, guessing she’d been through far more than he could imagine, and not only survived, but thrived. She wasn’t an average female, and he saw her as more than just a doctor nursing him back to health. He wanted to know more. Everything about her fascinated him.
“Not that one,” he corrected, putting his desire aside. “This one.”
She shuddered, and her floral scent intensified when he touched the glowing symbol. “I don’t,” she choked out then cleared her throat, “I don’t have any other tattoos,” she denied.
“Umm, yes you do. ‘Tis right here,” he insisted.
She got up, and he followed her to a nearby mirror that hung on the wall near her front door. “What are you talking about? I don’t see anything,” Alex muttered as she twisted her head, looking at her reflection.
A memory niggled at the back of his mind, but no matter how hard he tried to grasp the details, they slipped through his fingers. “There is a yin-yang symbol of fire and ice right here,” he replied as he laid a finger on the mark.
Goosebumps rose on her neck and arms, and she shivered. Her pupils dilated and he heard her racing heart. Touching the mark aroused her, and had him hard as stone in his leather pants. He leaned toward her ear and placed a kiss on the area.
His hands gripped her waist when she tried to step away. He didn’t want distance between them, and he couldn’t keep his lips off her. He kissed a path down her neck to her collarbone. As his cock hardened further, the pain in his right side reared its ugly head and became worse.
“There is no mark, Ice-Man,” Alex whispered. “And, you shouldn’t do that.”
The pain was so intense he finally lifted his shirt, thinking she had missed an injury. His jaw dropped. How was this possible? And, more importantly, what did it mean?
“What the hell? Where did that come from?” she shrieked. “It wasn’t there before...”
“Before what?” he asked, knowing her reply before she said it.
“Before you bit me. I would know because I stitched the other side where you were stabbed. And you see the same mark on me? Why can’t I see it, and why don’t I feel any pain?” Alex asked incredulously.
“Your mark isna a brand like mine. ‘Tis the same design, but yours is iridescent,” he corrected and struggled to locate the memories to explain the situation.
He reached out and grabbed her hands and brought them to his lips, kissing the back of them. The contact both soothed and inflamed his mark. Regardless of the discomfort, his arousal was off the charts.
“Is this like a vampire mark or something? Because you fed from me?” Alex replied, chest heaving. She was equally aroused, and he fought the urge to take advantage.
“I doona know. I wish I had all the answers. I can hear the beat of your heart and smell your desire for me, and that’s because I’m a vampire. But these marks? I canna explain them. The memory is oot of my reach,” he explained and looked back to the brand on his lower abdomen.
“That looks painful. Let me grab some antibacterial gel for it and I will get a lidocaine cream from the hospital when I go in tonight,” she offered.
He didn’t miss that Alex ignored his comments about her desire for him. There was too much he didn’t understand and wouldn’t push her for more. If he demanded more, she could shut him out completely.
His eyes were glued to the sway of her hips as she walked away from him. It seemed the brand had super-charged his libido.
“You’re going to the hospital?” he asked.
That was probably best. If she didn’t get out of his sight, he might pounce on her sexy ass and take more than her blood.
“Yes,” she said as she turned from the cabinet after grabbing a yellow tube. “I am on shift from five to five, but after tonight, I have four days off.”
She returned to his side and twisted the cap off the tube. After squeezing a generous amount of gel on her fingers, she lifted his shirt and rubbed it over the angry red brand. The simple caress had him close to climax.
He grabbed ahold of her hand and placed it over his straining erection. Alex gasped, and her eyes lowered to where her hand rested. Her chest heaved, and she met his gaze. Hooded eyes spoke of unfilled passion. Their desire was mutual. She wanted him as much as he wanted her.
“How about breakfast,” she said and slowly removed her hand, holding his gaze. “Bacon and eggs are all I can give you right now.”
Nodding, he understood her hesitance. They didn’t know each other very well, and yet things were evolving rapidly between them. He had to respect that it was unsettling and unnerving for her, and shove his needs aside.
“I would help, but the sun. Plus, I doona know the first thing about cooking,” he murmured as a vision of a dark-haired male with pale green eyes hit him.
The male was handing him a platter of sandwiches. He tried to recall more, but the image vanished as fast as it appeared.
“Yes, you need to stay out of the kitchen, and the sun. In fact, I’ll call and have someone come by and cover the skylights with a tarp,” Alex offered.
He took that as a good sign. If she was willing to go to that kind of trouble, she wanted him there, and he was more than okay with that.
He went to the sofa as Alex pulled items from the fridge. “Alexa, play Bob Segar’s Old Time Rock-n-Roll,” she chimed.
Playing Bob Segar’s Old Time Rock-n-Roll repeated a soft female voice then music blared through a nearby speaker. Alex sang along, and her body moved sensually as she grabbed pans from the cabinets.
“Yes, I’ll stay right here. I have the best seat in the house. Perfect view,” he purred, eyes locked on her ass again.
Alex tightened the ponytail at the back of her head and looked at her neck in the mirror. Her scrubs had a low collar and she felt like the Band-Aid on her neck was a bright neon sign shouting that she’d been bitten by a vampire. It was absurd to think that way. No one would know what happened, but she couldn’t help but be worried.
When her Ice-Man sank his fangs in her flesh, the only thought that crossed her mind wa
Since meeting the man, it was one shock followed by another. First, the stab wound and his healing, then the fangs, and sun sensitivity. And, she couldn’t forget his speed and how gracefully he moved. He’d been a blur when he rushed to the bathroom. If the guy wanted to hurt her, she’d never see it coming.
Danger was the last thing she felt in his presence. In fact, the desire she felt toward him was something she hadn’t felt for years. After her double mastectomy, Vincent wouldn’t touch her. At first, he used the excuse that he didn’t want to hurt her after her surgeries, but even after the incisions healed, he remained distant.
Alex recalled buying sexy lingerie, trying to rekindle the fire, but he rolled over and went to sleep. That was a bucket of ice water to any remaining passion between them, as well as, her self-confidence. Afterwards, she wore flannel pajamas, even if it wasn’t the season for them.
She wasn’t a promiscuous woman, but around the vampire, all Alex thought about was stripping him bare and tying him to her bed. She wanted him in the worst way.
That was the last thought she should have given his current condition. He was healing from a stab wound that left his memory impaired, and he was ill. Initially, she thought it was an infection, but now she believed it was something else altogether.
The way he ran a low-grade fever, was agitated, and nauseous made her suspect it was withdrawal. As a doctor, she’d witnessed just about everything imaginable, but seeing him as he threw up the breakfast she cooked was difficult. Pride had him shutting her out of the bathroom, trying to hide his symptoms.
Concerned that vampires couldn’t eat food, she asked if that was the problem. He immediately answered he loved lasagna, even though he couldn’t recall eating it. She amended that couldn’t be the issue because he’d been having bouts of nausea since he regained consciousness.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t who or what he was that concerned Alex, but whether there was addiction involved. That was far more complicated than being a vampire, in her opinion. A drug addict or alcoholic did any number of heinous acts to get their next fix. That drink or smoke was more important than anything else, and it was incredibly difficult to overcome. She suspected he was having alcohol withdrawal, given that he smelled like a tavern when he was admitted to the ER.
Regardless, she wouldn’t kick him out onto the streets. It might prove to be the biggest mistake of her life, but she couldn’t abandon him. For better or worse, she was going to help him until he could go home.
Thoughts swirled through her mind as she pushed out of the doctor’s lounge, and ran into a wall of muscle.
“Oh, sorry, Dr. Miakoda,” Alex murmured as she glanced up and met somber amethyst eyes.
“It’s my fault. I’m distracted this evening,” Jace admitted as he twisted a silver cuff on his wrist. She noticed that he worried it when he seemed stressed or agitated. Alex had always been wildly attracted to Dr. Miakoda, but never knew what to say in his presence. Her tongue invariably tied in knots around hot guys.
“What’s going on? Is it about a patient? Maybe I can help,” she offered and started walking with him. Intimidated, or not, when it came to hospital matters, she was an endless source of information.
A half smile played on his lips as he looked down at her before his mouth went slack and he stopped walking. Wide-eyed, he opened his mouth as if to say something, but then quickly closed it. Her hand immediately went to the left side of her neck. The Band-Aid was still in place, so she wasn’t sure why he was gawking.
Could he tell what had happened to her? He wouldn’t stop staring at the side of her neck. She shuffled from foot to foot and crossed her arms over her chest before biting her lip.
There was no way Alex could question why he was ogling her Band-Aid without sounding like a lunatic. Jace was a brilliant doctor and didn’t miss a thing.
“It’s not a work issue,” he replied. “A very dear friend died recently, and it’s been hard on the family.”
“Oh, no,” she gasped, and her hand flew to her mouth, “What happened?”
He eyed her bandage again and nervously rubbed the back of his neck. “Bhric was killed in a motorcycle accident.”
“That’s horrible,” she shared. “Is there anything I can do?”
“No, but thank you…” he said and looked down at her nameplate, “Dr. Layne.”
A blush stained Alex’s cheeks. It didn’t surprise her that Jace didn’t know her name. She wasn’t the type of woman he would notice.
“How are you doing?” he asked curiously and looked to her neck again. What the hell was his problem?
“Busy with work and an unexpected house guest,” Alex replied before clamping her mouth shut.
Why had she said that? Oddly, she felt compelled to unload her story on the man, and had to bite her tongue to keep from spilling about her vampire.
“A house guest? Sounds intriguing. Hopefully, you’ve had some excitement,” Jace offered as he continued to stare at her neck.
They had never exchanged more than professional conversations until now. Jace hadn’t even remembered her name and here he was probing her personal life like they were besties. Was she stuck in the twilight zone?
“Yeah, you have no idea,” she chuckled. “Beats wine and a bubble bath.”
“Well, that depends on who’s in the tub with you. I love it when Cailyn has a bath waiting for me after a long shift,” he shared.
Alex recalled meeting his wife at the hospital. She was beautiful and had a perfect body, with curves that men drooled over.
“I don’t see me being so lucky. I’m afraid it will be along the lines of fever and vomiting,” she confessed.
His eyebrows drew together and his lips pursed. “That doesn’t seem fun at all,” he stated with a forced chuckle.
“Let’s hope for the best. Anyway, I better get to my patient in Two. An impacted bowel won’t correct itself,” she added with a scrunched face.
“Hey, Dr. Layne. If there’s ever anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask. Us physicians need to stick together,” Jace offered.
“Thanks. I appreciate that.”
“Seriously. Anything,” he continued as he held her gaze. “No matter how outrageous it may seem, I am here for you and will believe you,” he promised and grabbed her hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze.
She watched him walk away, thinking his statement odd. The man had no idea how shocking her story would be if she confided in him. He seemed sincere, but there wasn’t a soul alive she could trust with information about her vampire.
Alex parked her car in the driveway and sighed. It was pouring, which meant it was going to be a race to the front door with arms loaded down. Work was long and exhausting, and the last thing she wanted was an aerobic workout after a twelve-hour shift, but she hated wet groceries. A glass of wine followed by eight hours of sleep sounded much better.
When she glanced up, she saw her vampire standing under the covered porch, and it brought a smile to her face. She glanced at the overcast sky and hoped it was safe for him to stand outside. Fatigue was forgotten and replaced by excitement racing through her veins. The man had a way of igniting her desire like no other.
He rushed out with a golf umbrella over his head, and Alex gasped and jumped from the car.
“What are you doing? Get back in the house. You’ll burn,” she chided as she waved her arms in the direction of her house.
“Och, ‘tis nothing to worry aboot. The umbrella protects me. Besides, it’s cloudy. I heard you thinking aboot the groceries, and I’m here to help,” he replied as he opened the back door to her Cruze.
Her jaw dropped open. “You can read my thoughts?” she asked, incredulously. “What exactly did you hear?”
The idea that he was aware of how much she want
“Aye,” he said as he cocked his head and grabbed several bags of groceries.
Having someone offer to help was refreshing. Vincent never lifted a finger around the house. He sat on the couch with a beer in hand, watching a game, while she would struggle through the doorway with an armload of whatever. Half the time, he wouldn’t even look her way. Here, this vampire was not only helping, but putting himself at risk in the process.
“I can hear your thoughts. Shite, I had no idea I could before now. The pain in my head was all I could focus on, but that got better overnight. Doona worry. I willna pry. I have to concentrate on it, and I respect your privacy, so unless there is an emergency, your secrets are yours,” he said with a wink as he headed in the door.
“That’s very gentlemanly of you. I appreciate that. Trust me. There isn’t anything interesting going on in my head. So how was your day?”
As she entered the kitchen, she noticed a second surprise. Her Ice-Man had found one of the blue tarps in her garage and secured it over the skylight. For a brief second, she missed the sunlight brightening her kitchen, but it was a small price to pay to keep him sheltered. She was beyond grateful that the sexy vampire had taken the initiative, and done this for her.
The task escaped her mind while at work and Alex would’ve been forced to deal with the situation before she went to bed. It had been difficult for him to maneuver about her kitchen with the sunlight filtering in, so she was happy to accommodate.
“I missed you. All I did was sit around thinking about your sexy smile. I still doona feel well, although the pain in my head is much better,” he shared as he pulled groceries from the bags and set them on her stainless-steel island.
Her cheeks burned with heat. That was the sweetest thing for him to say. His tone and mannerisms told her he was being honest. He wasn’t saying it to impress her or gain brownie points, but she had to admit that he earned them anyway. They’d gotten to know each other a little bit, but they were far from couple status. She imagined it would be incredible to be in a relationship with him. She bet he was the type of man to dote on his women.
BRENDA TRIM SERIES:
Other author's books:
- RamielGuild MasterShattered Warrior: (Dark Warrior Alliance Book 8)Rowan Sisters' TrilogyRavinMaven Warrior: Dark Warrior Alliance Book 20Rivaled WarriorCaptivity
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