Night Huntress

Page 10

"Exam Room One," Sharah said, dashing ahead of us. We followed her into the sterile room. It was painted a pale green, which was supposed to be soothing but just made me depressed.

Smoky laid Camille on the table while Sharah washed her hands and slipped on a pair of nonlatex gloves. Latex bothered her skin, as it did many of the elves. "What happened?"

"She was attacking a hellhound when some of his blood got on her. Her hand's been burned through to the bone on the side." I hovered, worried. "She wouldn't leave until we finished mopping up the joint, even though I tried to get her to back off."

Sharah glanced up at me. "That sounds about right," she said as she unwrapped the bandage. The wound was really festering now, and pus oozed out of the deep hole. "Mother Arachne, look at that."

"Will she be okay?" Smoky asked from the foot of the table, arms crossed, a pensive look on his face. Morio stood beside him.

"She probably fainted from the pain. I imagine it must be incredibly bad, considering the look of this wound. Did you know that the acid in the hellhound's blood is used by the dwarves up in the Nebelvuori Mountains to etch designs on their magical swords?" She glanced up at us. "It's a prized commodity there. You could have made a small fortune if you'd managed to gather the creature's blood before it vanished."

"We weren't exactly thinking along monetary lines," I said.

Camille began to stir as Sharah cleansed the wound, lowering the injured hand into a basin that contained some sort of foaming solution. Wisps of white smoke curled up as it bubbled around the wound. "I hear you," she said. "The infection is topical-on the surface. I don't think it's had time to work its way into her bloodstream. She's a lucky woman," she added, glancing up at me. "Another half hour, and she'd be on her way to dead. And a very painful death it would be."

Suddenly feeling faint, I leaned back against the wall. It hadn't occurred to me that the wound could be fatal. Painful, yes. Disfiguring perhaps. Fatal had never entered my mind. Smoky blanched, turning pasty white, and Morio caught his breath with a sharp hiss.

As Sharah inspected the deep hole in Camille's hand, my sister stirred and moaned. Her eyes fluttered open, and she blinked, looking confused.

"Hush," Sharah said. "You fainted from the pain, but you're going to be okay. Now, if you'd just tell your doting husbands and sister to get the hell out of here, I can take care of this a lot better without them hovering over my shoulder." She flashed us a grin but nodded toward the door. "Get moving. She's going to be okay, though she'll have to wear a dressing for a while. She may end up with a nasty scar, but she'll be all right."

Before I could get to her, Smoky brushed past the elf and leaned over, planting a long, gentle kiss on Camille's lips. "I'll be right outside," he murmured. Not to be outdone, Morio followed suit.

As they reluctantly left, I brushed Camille's hair away from her head and kissed her forehead. "Get better. I'm going to go find Chase. I'll be back in a little while." I headed for the door, adding, "If she gives you any guff, Sharah, just let me know."

Sharah laughed. "No problem. Go on now. I think Chase is in his office."

With a last look at Camille, who looked totally out of it, I swung out the door and headed back to the waiting room. Smoky and Morio were sitting on one of those uncomfortable, too-low sofas you always find in hospitals. They were talking in hushed whispers. I gave them the thumbs-up and headed through the labyrinth of hallways to Chase's office.

The knowledge that Camille was going to be okay lightened my mood. I felt ready to have a long talk with Chase. We would work through whatever was bothering him. I'd never been in a relationship before, except with other cats when I was in cat form. Cat connections are of an altogether different nature. Considering that I was involved with an FBH, I thought I was handling things pretty well, though I knew Menolly didn't think we had a chance. Camille kept whatever she felt to herself.

Chase's door was closed, and I barged in without knocking, like I'd done so many times before. "Hey love, surprise!"

What I saw stopped me cold. I started to sweat, my hand still on the doorknob. A lovely brunette, petite with big boobs and dressed to kill in what was probably some designer getup, was sitting on his desk, her legs spread wide, with Chase standing between them. His left arm encircled her waist, while his right hand stroked her clit. His pants were down around his feet, and he was sliding his cock into her pussy. At the sound of my entrance, he thrust so hard she let out a little shriek.

"What the fuck is going on?" I heard the sound of my voice before I realized I'd said anything.

"Oh God, I'm coming!" The woman dropped her head back and let out a long moan as Chase jerked around, his eyes wide and frightened. The woman pulled him tighter, writhing against him.

Chase quickly disentangled himself, trying to straighten his jacket. His penis poked through. He obviously still had the boner from hell.

"Who is she? Tell me!" As I swung toward her, the woman scrambled off the desk, tugging at her skirt hem. She smoothed it out, but not before I'd had a chance to catch a glimpse of bare butt, a sight I really didn't need at the moment. She gave me a satisfied smirk.

"This isn't . . ." Chase started to say, then stopped. He hung his head. "I'm not going to lie to you. This is exactly what it looks like. This is Erika. She's . . . we were engaged five years ago."

Chase had told me he'd never had a serious relationship. Apparently he'd forgotten that little fact. So, lie number one.

Furious, unsure what to say, I just stared at the two of them. Erika patted her hair back into place, now looking bored and vaguely annoyed. Chase was staring at me, his dark eyes haunted and luminous.

I wanted to run over and throw my arms around him, to beat the crap out of Erika, to stake my claim. But the truth was, I didn't have any right to do that. I'd slept with Zachary, the werepuma. But Chase had said I was enough for him. He'd never mentioned wanting somebody else. He'd lied to me. And I hated liars.

After a moment, I found my voice. "How long has this been going on?"

Chase dropped into the chair next to his desk. He looked over at Erika. "Maybe you'd better leave. I need to talk to Delilah."

She gave me a snotty look, then picked up her handbag and swished out the door. "Call me when you're ready for dinner," she said over her shoulder, and I knew she wasn't talking to me.

I waited till she'd closed the door behind her and then turned back to Chase. "When were you going to tell me about her?"

He squirmed. "I don't know. Maybe never. She's leaving at the end of the month. I'm sorry you had to find out this way, honey ."

"Don't you honey me," I whispered, wondering if Mother had ever gone through this with Father. We girls had always assumed he'd been faithful, and Mother had never given us reason to doubt him. But I'd just learned a painful lesson about assumptions, and it made me question a lot of things I'd believed.

Father was full-blooded Fae, and the Fae were seldom monogamous. Had our parents had their bouts of jealousy and temptation? Father was a handsome man, it was hard to believe no woman had ever tried to entice him away.

Chase gulped. "Erika came into town a few weeks ago. She called me. I haven't seen her in years, and I thought we'd just have dinner and let it go at that. But she said she was sorry she'd let me go. She missed me. I told her I was involved with you, but she didn't care. She came here for lunch the next day . . . and . . . things . . . just escalated."

I tried to control my voice, to remain calm. "Do you love her?"

He jerked his head up. "Love her? No . . . no. Whatever love I felt for Erika vanished a long time ago. She's just . . . I was so horny, and you were . . ."

"And I was what? Conveniently not around? Did it ever occur to you that you could call me to come over here for a quickie at lunch? You know I would have." Now I was mad. He couldn't even come up with a good excuse.

When he didn't answer, I slammed my hand into the wall, taking care not to leave a dent. "So you're telling me you've been fucking her because it's too much trouble to call me? That you're just too horny to wait for me to drive over? Spare me!" I shook my head as the tears threatened to well up. Angry at myself for caring, I dashed them away. "At least I had the guts to tell you about Zachary right after it happened. And I didn't keep on fucking him."

Chase jumped up, eyes blazing. "You never promised it wouldn't happen again-"

"I told you that if it ever happened again, I'd tell you first. I'd give you the chance to decide whether you could handle it or not. I've never gone behind your back on anything-"


"What?" I strode over to the desk until we were inches apart. "What the hell are you saying? Are you calling me a liar?"

"Get real, Delilah. You and your sisters are always hiding information from me. Or you just conveniently forget to tell me things I should know. How do you think I feel around you and your little band of superheroes? Camille and her hot studs, Menolly and her blood-crazed friends. All of you make your own rules, and every time I protest, all I hear is 'Maybe we should go home and leave the demons to you, Chase' or 'Oh, grow up and deal with it, Chase.' Do you ever really consult me? Do you even give a fuck about this world? Or are you just hiding out here because of the death threat your psycho queen slapped on your heads?"

I couldn't believe my ears. Did he really believe what he was saying? How could I have spent the past six months with the man and never tripped over the resentment he was spouting? Because that's what was coming to the surface. His words were tainted with it, full of anger and envy. Unable to respond, I simply stared at him. For a moment, I thought I was going to shift, and I almost welcomed the transformation, but as I stood there, I realized that nothing was going to happen.

He closed his eyes and leaned against his desk, deflating slowly. "I'm sorry. I went too far. I know you care, I know you girls have a rough time . . . I'm just . . ." Letting out a long sigh, he said, "I don't have an excuse, Delilah. I was frustrated about the way things have been going. Everything's crazy, and it all seems linked to you girls. I guess Erika . . . she reminded me of a simpler time. She was here, willing, and I wanted her. So . . . I fucked her."

Numb, unable to feel anything but a searing shame that I couldn't even understand, I sought for words, but they were scattered and would not come. Finally, I turned away.

"I've got to get out of here," I said. "Menolly will call you if something comes up. You can always call Iris or Camille. I've got to . . . I just . . . I'm going to leave, and I don't want to talk to you for a while."

"Delilah, you can't go. We have to talk about this." He ran to my side and reached out to grab my hand, but I jerked away, standing frozen. I didn't want him to touch me, didn't want to feel his hands on my skin. "Don't go. Please stay. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I didn't tell you."

I shook my head. Maybe he was, or maybe he was just sorry I'd caught him. Either way, I didn't want to know. Not now. Maybe not ever. "I'm going to walk out this door and down the hall. Please don't follow me."


As I stepped through the door, I paused, avoiding his gaze. "By the way, you should know that Camille's in the infirmary. She almost died today fighting a hellhound. And just FYI, if we didn't love our mother's world and the people in it, we would have left it long ago. We've all paid the price in pain and injuries. We face death every time we go out there."

"Delilah . . ."

His whisper broke through my anger. I whirled around, glaring at him.

"If we didn't love it here, we would have left it to the hellhounds and the demons and the wackos that walk the streets. The perverts Menolly takes out so they never hurt anybody again. The same ones you and your men can't catch or can't put away. So fuck you, Chase Johnson. Fuck you and your insecurities and your lies. You want an open relationship? Fine! You knew I wouldn't object. But I want it aboveboard and honest. At least my father's people have enough honor to tell their lovers when they take someone new. Can you say the same?"

He held out his hand. "Delilah, please . . . can't we just talk?"

I'd had enough. I wasn't sure whether it was Erika herself or the lies that bothered me more. And I knew it would take a while before I could sort everything out in my mind. If we were to have a chance, Chase and I needed a break. I shook my head.

"Maybe in a week or two. But for now, let's just call a truce. A break. As I said, phone Iris or one of the others if you need to talk to us about official business, but don't contact me. I need to think. And so do you." With that, I shut the door behind me. I cried all the way down the hall.


Camille was sitting in the waiting room with Smoky and Morio by the time I'd washed my face and composed myself. Chase hadn't come after me, and while I didn't expect him to, I halfway wished he would have.

"You guys ready? We need to get out of here." Other than my voice sounding throaty-like I'd been around too much smoke or had spent all night yowling with the neighbor cats-I didn't look any different, and I wanted it that way. I'd tell Camille everything when she felt better, but I didn't feel like exposing the situation with Chase to Smoky or Morio.

Back to Table of content

Copyright © novelfull All Rights Reserved.