Magic grave, p.2
Magic Grave, page 2
"Shouldn't I sleep with him instead?" Tammy's gaze swept over Bones with unmistakable lust. "After all, since I'm the one paying, I should choose who I bunk with."
My mother gasped. I opened my mouth to deliver a scathing retort, but Bones laughed. "I'm a married man, but even if I weren't, you wouldn't stand a chance. Rotten manners you have."
"Your loss," Tammy said, with another toss of her hair. Then she looked around in frustration. "You can't expect me to stay here more than a couple days. I'll go crazy."
"But you'll be alive," I pointed out, which should have been her top priority, in my opinion.
"You killed that thing, didn't you?" Tammy asked. "Doesn't that mean the danger's over?"
Bones shrugged. "I doubt the ghoul was the person contracted to kill you. Sounds like outsourced, cheap local talent to me."
Tammy gaped at him. "She had to cut his head off before he stayed down. That's what you consider cheap local talent?"
"No self-respecting undead hitman would take a contract on a human," Bones said dismissively. "Humans are too easy. Like getting paid to stomp on a goldfish. But in your case, probably a human hitman who knows about the undead got frustrated that his last two attempts didn't work, and gave some quid to a young ghoul to finish you. It's a practical solution; the ghoul gets money and a meal, the hitter still keeps the bulk of the contract payment, and the client's happy that you're dead."
"You would know, wouldn't you?" my mother muttered.
"How's that?" Tammy asked.
Bones smiled at her, beautiful and cold at the same time. "Because I was a hitman for over two hundred years."
Tammy gulped. I didn't add what I knew; that Bones had been very particular about his contracts. He killed other killers, not innocent people, and most of those people were his own kind. That hadn't won Bones any popularity contests in undead circles, but if Bones thought someone deserved to die, he took the contract, no matter the danger.
"In a few days, Don should have your greedy toad of a cousin arrested and then it will be safe for you to go home," Bones went on.
"If you're a hitman, why can't I just pay you to kill Gables?" she asked, recovering. "My birthday isn't for another two months. Who knows if my cousin might try to kill me again, even if he is in jail?"
My eyes widened at how causally Tammy broached the subject. Pass the salt. Kill my cousin.
Bones shrugged. "He might, but you'll have to look elsewhere for a hitter. I'm too busy for that now."
Tammy glanced at my mother, me, and then Bones before her face tightened up. "This sucks," she said, and ran up the stairs.
Considering I could have been spending the next two weeks on vacation with my husband instead of looking after a spoiled rich girl who was being targeted by killers, I agreed.
"It'll be all right, Tammy," I called out.
An expletive was her response. Bones arched a brow and tapped the side of his eye.
"Say the word, luv. I'll glare a whole new attitude into her."
Vampire mind control would be the easy way out, but when did I ever take the easy way?
"She'll come around," I muttered. Hurry up, Don.
"I'll go talk to her," my mother said.
Both my brows went up. "You think you can make her see reason?"
My mother gave me a jaded look as she ascended the stairs. "You forget, Catherine – I've had a lot of experience dealing with a difficult child."
Bones laughed, with a knowing glance at me that made my mouth twitch despite myself. Okay. My mother had a point.
I'd been in life and death situations since I was a sixteen, but those could be handled with some bravery – or recklessness, depending on who you asked – and my knives. A cranky, demanding heiress required a different set of skills. Ones I didn't seem to have.
Day two during a conversation with Tammy: "So you're married to Bones, huh? How'd you manage to snag him? You know, with your red hair and white skin, you look like a big candy cane."
Day three: "Boy, is Bones hot. If I were you, I'd be on him five times a day. If you two break up, send him my way, huh?"
Day four: "Let me out of this room! I'll call the police, the FBI. Let me out!"
By day five, when Don still hadn't located Gables, Bones and I were ready to take matters in our own hands. If my uncle, with all the resources of the military and the government behind him, couldn't find Gables, then he wasn't going to be found any time soon. Putting our lives on hold for a few days was one thing, but Bones was Master of a large vampire line. We couldn't hide with Tammy for much longer. Soon we'd have to get back to our usual routine; dealing with the intricacies and dangers of life in undead society.
Not to mention, staying in a tiny house with my mother had ground my sex life to a halt. These walls were paper thin anyway, and with my mother being a vampire, anything we did would be as clear to her as if she were in the same room. The idea of her overhearing every last detail of me getting it on with Bones wasn't romantic, to say the least. Yeah, it was past time to be proactive about finding Gables.
We drove down a barely used road that dead ended at a large, industrial warehouse. Judging from its exterior, you'd never guess this was a night club filled with creatures the average person didn't believe existed. It was called Bite. Bones had taken me here on our first date, but we weren't taking a trip down memory lane. We were here for information.
Parking was around the back, surrounded by a thick line of trees that concealed the number of cars from anyone who happened to stumble across the lonely single road. For a secluded spot where immortals could let their hair down, Bite was perfect.
Of course, the heartbeats coming from many of the people waiting to get in proved that Bite didn't only cater to undead partiers. They're the menu, with legs, Bones had said of the humans the first time he brought me here. It was a willing arrangement. A skillfully executed vampire bite could feel better than foreplay. Plus, some humans hung around vampires hoping to be promoted to the next level in the food chain. Even the undead had groupies.
My mother declined to come with us, stating that she didn't want to be around more vampires than necessary. Fabian stayed to keep her company, which seemed to make her happy. How far she'd come. I remembered when my mother would have run screaming away from a ghost, not looked forward to spending an evening with one.
So it was just Bones, Tammy and I who walked past the people in line. Humans and new vampires might have to wait their turn, but a Master vampire – and anyone with him – could go straight to the door. As we approached, I felt Bones draw in his aura of power, suppressing it to a level far below the mega-Master that he was. It was a trick Bones had gotten better at during the past several months. Immediately, the connection I had with him was barely discernible. The last time he'd closed himself off like this, it was right before he'd almost died. Feeling that blank wall when I was used to tapping into his mood brought back bad memories.
"I hate it when you do that," I whispered.
He squeezed my hand. "Sorry, luv. I don't want to announce myself to anyone who doesn't already know me."
I understood. Muting his power level was a better disguise for Bones than dying his hair or other changes to his appearance.
The entrance was guarded by a brawny, blond vampire who had to be six feet tall. She barely looked at Tammy, smiled when she saw Bones, and then laughed when her gaze flicked to me.
"I knew it. Wait until I see Logan. I told him Bones brought the Red Reaper with him years ago, but Logan didn't believe me."
I'd recognized the bouncer from that night, but I was surprised she remembered me.
"Trixie, luv, been a long time," Bones said, giving her a kiss on the cheek. She returned it before shaking my hand.
"Reaper. A pleasure."
"Call me Cat." The Red Reaper might be my nickname among the undead, but I preferred to be called by the abbreviation of my real name.
Tammy gave Trixie a frank stare. "Is she dead,
Trixie grinned, showing off the gold plating on her fangs. "Does that answer your question?"
"Ew," Tammy said.
I rolled my eyes and mouthed "sorry" to Trixie, but she didn't seem to care about Tammy's comment.
"No fireworks inside," Trixie said, giving my hand a last, friendly squeeze.
I glanced at my hands and suppressed a shudder. One of my new tricks as a vampire was that when I got really pissed, flames shot from my hands. Guess word of that had spread. It shouldn't surprise me. Nobody loved gossip as much as people who'd had centuries of experience spreading it.
"We're not here for trouble," Bones said.
Trixie laughed. "That'll be the day when you don't leave trouble in your wake, Bones. Just keep it away from here."
"She knows you pretty well, huh?" I asked once we came inside.
Bones's mouth quirked. "Not as well as you're implying, Kitten."
It was a valid guess. Bones looked like temptation incarnate, and he'd been around the block for hundreds of years before he met me. If I assumed he slept with every female vampire he introduced me to, I'd be right more than I was wrong.
I pushed that thought away with all the other things I didn't like to dwell on. "Come on. I can smell the gin and tonic up ahead."
It was true. I smelled the different alcohols as the bartenders poured them, the myriad of other people's scents mixed with different perfumes, after shaves, and the tang of blood. Add that to the pulsating music, muted strobe lights, crush of people, and the energy wafting from everyone without a heartbeat, and I felt almost drunk from sensory overload.
"You couldn't feel it the last time, but you can now, can't you?" Bones whispered. "How thin the line is here between the normal and the paranormal. I told you Ohio was a supernatural hotspot. This club was built on an even bigger one. Feels like a charge in your blood, doesn't it?"
It did. No wonder the undead flocked to hotspots. Alcohol and drugs couldn't affect me anymore, but surrounded by all the inhuman occupants, where magic seemed to throb just below the surface, was sensual and exhilarating.
"Forget the drink. Let's dance."
My voice came out lower than I intended. Green appeared in the dark depths of Bones's eyes.
"Are you guys going to let me dance and have a little fun for once?" Tammy grumbled.
Bones swept out his hand. "By all means. Only don't leave the dance floor for any reason, or I'll lock you in your closet for a week."
Even if Tammy didn't know from experience that Bones never bluffed, his expression must have convinced her, because she gulped.
"Stay on the dance floor. Got it."
"Right, then. Off you go."
Bones was pressed to my back, his hips swaying against mine while his hands slid down my sides with a slow caress. Our recent celibacy combined with the brush of his lips on my neck, the coiled power pushing at his aura, plus all the mystic energy swirling around us, made me want to find the nearest corner and commit unspeakable acts on him.
But even the headiness of the atmosphere or the sensuality of dancing with Bones couldn't make me endanger Tammy – or have sex in public, like some people did at these clubs.
"After this is over with Tammy, we're coming back here," I murmured. "I bet you know where the private spots are in this place, and I intend to molest you in every one of them."
He laughed, sending tingles down my neck where his breath landed. "What a scandalous notion. I vow I'm blushing."
I doubted Bones had blushed since the Declaration of Independence was signed. 1776, Bones would have been ten, I thought hazily, shuddering as his fangs grazed my pulse in a tantalizing way. Close. At seventeen, he was prostituting himself to the women of the English ton in order to survive.
"Ready for that drink, luv?" Bones asked, turning me around to face him.
Yeah, I was ready for a drink, but not gin and tonic. I wanted to bury my fangs in Bones's throat and drain him until there was only enough blood left in him to keep him hard.
Hunger swelled in me at the thought. Changing from a half breed into a vampire had had unexpected side effects. I was only mostly dead, as my occasional heartbeat evidenced, and I drank vampire blood instead of human blood. Problem was, I absorbed more than nourishment from the blood I drank. I also absorbed power. Found that out after I fed from a pyrokinetic vampire and then my hands sprouted flames. I didn't want to absorb more freaky abilities by feeding from vampires with unusual powers, so I stuck with drinking from Bones. So far, that had only made me stronger, not stranger.
Of course, Bones always looked good enough to eat. Whoever said Don't play with your food sure hadn't been a vampire.
Bones inhaled, his eyes changing to emerald green. I knew mine would have changed also, and I felt my fangs push at my lips. Give us flesh, they urged. His flesh. Now.
"Stay here. Keep an eye on Tammy," Bones growled, surprising me by shouldering his way through the other dancers. Had he spotted a threat? I glanced around, looking for Tammy's familiar blond head amongst the mass of living and undead gyrators. There. Dancing with two men, no less.
I made my way through until I reached Tammy, getting between her and one of the dancers. His scowl turned into a smile as his gaze swept over me.
"Hello, redhead," he drawled.
"I'm just getting my friend," I said.
Tammy didn't budge. "Hell no. I'm just starting to have fun!"
"Tammy," I gritted out, "don't make me carry you." If there was danger, I wanted our backs to a wall with me in front of her. Not where trouble could come from any angle.
Tammy glared at me, but didn't object again. I led her to the closest corner, as if we were having an intimate conversation, but I was braced for action. No one looked as if they were stalking us. Still, appearances were deceiving.
I felt a stab of relief when I saw Bones striding toward us. A large ghoul with black bushy hair and a blindingly white smile followed him.
"Verses, this is my wife, Cat," Bones introduced me.
"Nice to meet you," I said, shaking his hand. I was surprised when Bones tugged me away a moment later.
"Follow me," he said, leading me past the D.J.'s booth and to a door behind it. It opened to reveal a staircase, and it was a good thing I could see in the dark, because there were no lights once Bones shut the door.
I expected to see a weapons cache, but we were in a room cluttered with old speakers, musical equipment, boxes, and tables. I was about to ask what we were supposed to do with this stuff when Bones yanked me to him. He kissed me, pushing me back against the table and reaching under my dress.
Clearly we weren't here to armor up against danger. "Bones," I managed, pushing him back. "Tammy -"
"Is fine with Verses," he cut me off. "Don't fret about her. Think about me."
He propped me up on the table as he spoke, pulling my underwear down past my knees. I gasped when he kissed me again, because he unleashed his aura at the same time. The waves of power suddenly flooding over me, combined with the rub of his desire on my subconscious, felt just as tangible as his tongue raking inside my mouth.
My objection vanished. Music boomed all around us, its throbbing beat mimicking the pulse I no longer had. I kissed him back, pulling him closer. A last tug on my underwear had them off, and Bones spread my legs, positioning himself to stand between them. I opened his shirt, tonguing his flesh from his neck to his chest, awash in the heightened sensations of supernatural energy, lust, and power that came from Bones and the club above us.
He squeezed my breasts, his fingers teasing my nipples rigid even through my bra and dress. Hard, bare skin rubbed me below as he tugged down his pants. I arched against him, moaning into his mouth. Need throbbed within me. The table and walls vibrated from music pumping above us. To me, it seemed like everything was shuddering with passion.
"Now," I gasped.
He pushed deeply into me, the merging of our flesh sending waves of pleasure
I sank my fangs into his neck, feeling him shudder with a different kind of enjoyment. Blood filled my mouth, bringing a rush of ecstasy that his strong, smooth thrusts only heightened. I sucked harder, feeling his pace increase as the tension inside me built. I bit him again, crying out when his grasp tightened and he ground himself against me.
A flood of emotions seared my subconscious. I could feel Bones's control crumbling under the jagged slices of pleasure assaulting it. Felt the rapture shooting up his body when he abandoned that control and let lust have reign. Felt passion blasting through me as he yanked me even closer, thrusting with a sensual frenzy that would have hurt me if I was human, but only felt incredible now. Then I felt his fangs pierce my neck and my blood being pulled out. The music swallowed up our cries as we rocked together, faster and harder, drinking each other's blood, until both of us trembled from orgasm.
"That was really inappropriate," I said several minutes later while I straightened my clothes.
Bones laughed, low and sinful. "After being denied a week, I haven't begun to get inappropriate with you, Kitten, but I will."
"I'm serious." I might have an excuse, since decreased control over urges, food or otherwise, was a side effect of being a new vampire, but Bones had been dead a long time. "We're supposed to be guarding Tammy, not sneaking off for a quickie."
"Who knows how many more days we'll be holed up with your mum and Tammy? I wasn't wasting this opportunity. Besides, Verses is the owner of this club and he's a friend. Tammy's safe. He's probably twirling her around the dance floor as we speak."
That made me feel less guilty. We were supposed to be on vacation, after all, and the past week of sleeping together without anything else happening had been taking its toll on me, too.
I brought my attention back to business. "Time to mingle with the local lowlifes and see if anyone's heard about a hitter after a human?"
Bones grinned. "People do talk about all sorts of things when they're out having a bit of fun. Let's see if we can find out anything useful."
by Ilona Andrews / Science Fiction & Fantasy / Romance have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes