Pretty When She Dies

Page 35

“I need to go then,” she said after a long moment.

“I know,” he answered. He lay down beside her and drew her close.

Her arms slid around him and they held each other as her body healed. His fingers slid through her hair and he sighed heavily. They lay there until she fell asleep.

Kissing her cheek, he felt a heavy pang of regret. But he had fought too long and too hard to have a normal life. A human life. His future lay on the other side of the wall.

* * *

“Let me open it,” Samantha hissed, and tried to get away from Roberto.

The lean Hispanic man had grabbed her just before she was able to enter the code to open up Cian's sleeping chamber.

“That would be an immensely bad idea,” Roberto said firmly.

“He needs me. There was so much blood!”

“It's not his. It's hers.”

Samantha hesitated in her struggles, contemplating this, then tried to wiggle away anyway. “I don't care. He needs me. Did you see his face? Something bad happened!”

“And because something bad happened, we need to let him take care of it,” Roberto said firmly.

“No, we need to help him!” Samantha squirmed even more and almost succeeded in twisting out of his grasp.

“She's lost blood and if she goes crazy she'll kill us if Cian can't stop her,” Roberto hissed in her ear.

Samantha frowned deeply, but stopped struggling. “What do you mean?”

“She's a new vampire. If she doesn't drink enough blood or gets badly wounded and loses too much blood, she'll go insane and kill everything in sight. That includes you.”

Roberto released her abruptly. She stumbled forward than whirled around. She felt helpless and frustrated. Clenching her hands at her side, she stomped her foot then said, “I don't like her! She's mucking things up.”

For once, Roberto didn't make a snarky comment and just sighed. Looking a bit nervous himself, he sat down in a chair and crossed his legs. “Just wait for Cian to handle it. He is an old and wise vampire.”

Tugging on her hair a little, Samantha stomped over to a chair near Roberto and sat down. “I know, but he looked so scared.”

“He's going through a difficult time.”

“I don't like her,” Samantha said again firmly.

“I noticed.”

“We were perfectly fine before she showed up. Yeah, I have to deal with you being a snarky bastard but she...she...” Samantha couldn't even put into words how Amaliya made her feel. And it wasn't just her tattoos, unique looks, or strange piercings. She lived in Austin. She was used to that. It was how Cian was acting since the new vampire had arrived.

The chamber opened and Cian slipped out before shutting it again. Samantha caught a glimpse of Amaliya curled up on her side, apparently asleep. Samantha slid to her feet and rushed over to Cian and threw her arms around him. He pushed her away before she could crush him close.

“I need to feed,” he rasped.

She drew back and realized he looked very pale and a bit gaunt. “Cian, ohmygawd!”

“I had to give her a lot of blood.”

Roberto grabbed her arm and drew her away from Cian. “Let him be.”

Cian nodded to his servant, then turned and disappeared into the shadows.

“I've never seen him look like that!”

“That is because he never allows himself to go that far into the hunger.” Roberto let go of her. “Perhaps you should go home now. It is very late.”

“You're trying to get rid of me,” Samantha said in an accusing tone.

Roberto whirled on her, and said in a fierce voice, “This is not about you!”

Samantha drew back, startled. “Yes. Yes, it is! I'm his fiancée, asshole!”

Roberto drew slowly near her, his manner more menacing than she had ever seen. “Do you not understand that he is truly a vampire? Not your romance novel vampire, but a real vampire who feeds on blood and is truly, terribly dangerous.”

Tears, hot and angry, sprang to her eyes and she leaned toward Roberto, and said, “He's a good man no matter what he is. And I'm not leaving.”

Flinging up his hands, Roberto stormed away, leaving her alone outside the chamber.

Feeling extremely grumpy, she walked over and sat down again. Unable to help herself, she glared at the closed off chamber. That girl had to leave and soon. That was all there was to it.

It was nearly an hour later when Cian came down the stairs from the second floor of his apartment. He looked yummy in a clean white t-shirt and black jeans. His hair was longer than usual and his face had the beginnings of a beard, but he looked much more like himself than he had.

“You're still here,” Cian said with surprise when he saw her.

“I couldn't just leave,” she answered and stood up. For once she wasn't sure if she should run and fling her arms around him.

Cian looked touched by this comment, but his hazel eyes seemed darker than normal. He walked past her to collapse into his leather chair at his computer desk. “It'll be all right. You should go home.”

“Is she going to go apeshit and kill everyone in the building?”

“No. No. She's fine now,” Cian said softly.

He wasn't looking at her and Samantha shifted awkwardly on her feet. “I want her gone.”

Looking up, he was clearly startled by her vehemence.

“I don't like what she's doing to you. To us.”

“She'll leave soon,” Cian assured her, but his gaze seemed distracted.

“What happened?” Roberto asked as he reappeared from the library. “Why was she in that condition?”

“The Summoner attacked us on our way back.”

“The guy who made you?” Samantha heard the shrill sound in her voice and made a face.

“Yeah. Him. He sent one of his minions. It was evidently the man she killed in Dallas,” Cian answered.

“She killed someone?”

“In self defense,” Cian assured her.

“Yeah, right. She's a vampire,” Samantha said sullenly and she crossed her arms and tapped her foot.

Cian slightly smiled at her, then continued, “Anyway, it was an animated corpse. It nearly wrenched Amaliya's head off and she somehow...” Cian rubbed his bottom lip looking confused and a little disturbed.

“And then,” Roberto prompted.

“She banished it.” Cian stood up and folded his arms over his chest. “She actually banished it back into the earth. And her eyes...they turned white like The Summoner's when he controls the dead.”

“Can you do that? Cause that's kinda icky,” Samantha said.

“No, I can't. Which is why I'm confused.” Cian shrugged.

“If she can do what this bad guy can do, then maybe she's on his side. Did you think of that?” Samantha could not believe how stupid men could be around a good pair of tits.

“I'm sure she's not. She's a fledgling. I believe her when she says she's a pawn in his game,” Cian said firmly.

“You have to consider that maybe he can control her from afar. She is very new. Closer to real death than you,” Roberto pointed out. “And he can control the true dead.”

Cian bristled at this suggestion and Samantha felt her fear elevate to a new level. She had never seen him this agitated before. If anything, she would have described Cian as sensible, easy going and calm by nature. But now he looked dark, a bit angry, and defensive.

“She's afraid of him. She nearly died tonight,” Cian retorted.

“It could have been a ruse to gain your sympathy,” Roberto suggested, calmly.

“Yeah, what he said,” Samantha cut in.

“I was there. I saw what happened. I know that what she is saying is the truth. I will help her again tomorrow night and maybe the night after. I don't know. I just need to make sure that when she leaves here she doesn't walk straight into his trap.”

“What if you are in his trap already?” Samantha asked in a low voice.

Cian shoved his chair out of his way and stalked past them, toward the sleeping chamber.

“Cian, she has a point,” Roberto called after him.

“I've made my decision,” Cian answered sharply, and opened the chamber and disappeared inside.

“Do you see what I mean?” Samantha stomped her foot at Roberto.

“What are you going to do about it?” Roberto asked, and arched an eyebrow. “You and I are his human servants and we do as he says.”

“I'm his fiancée! Not his servant.”

Roberto just shook his head wearily at her and walked away.

Realizing Cian hadn't even kissed her goodnight, she felt tears brimming in her eyes. Frustration eating at her, she grabbed her purse and headed for the door.

What was she going to do about it? Well, she wasn't sure. But she was going to do something.


Curled up on Cian's bed, Amaliya fell into a deep, yet restless sleep. Traumatized by the night's events, her dreams slowly turned to blood and violence.

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