Blood Feud Page 11

“Are you sure?” Solange asked.

“I don’t think she’l be too happy when she comes out of it,” Kieran added doubtful y.

“Just go on,” Logan nearly sighed.

When they left it was marginal y less awful. I would have preferred to be completely alone. The thought of Logan seeing me at my weakest didn’t thril me. But stil , there was a certain kind of comfort to his presence, which made no sense since we’d just met. Must be another effect of the Hypnos.

I tried to move again, but couldn’t. I was able to speak though, which was a relief. It must be starting to fade. “Charlemagne,” I croaked. “Ça va.”

He sat on my foot, unconvinced but obedient. Logan stayed where he was.

“Do you want me to carry you upstairs to your room?” he asked.

“No,” I said witheringly. I wasn’t a delicate flower, I’d survived the Revolution and being buried for over two hundred years. I could handle ten more minutes lying on the floor. It had better not take longer than ten minutes. Though I couldn’t remember exactly what it was like to lie in a coffin, I imagined it felt a little like this. I was glad I’d blocked it out, or lain comatose for centuries. Sweat gathered under my hair, cold on the back of my neck. It took a lot to make a vampire sweat. My expression must have been wild, because Logan cursed.

“This isn’t how we meant to introduce you to our family. I hope you won’t hold it against us for too long. The hunter is a little exuberant. He’s not used to us yet either.” I snorted as control over my voice final y returned. “I can’t believe a Helios-Ra hunter feels he can just walk through the front door.”

“He and Solange have gotten … close.”

“Does she have a death wish? We didn’t save her to hand her over to the likes of them.”

He shook his head, his tousled hair fal ing over his pale forehead. “He … loves her. Wel , he’s crushing on her anyway.” I didn’t know the term but I understood its meaning wel enough. I sighed. “I thought she’d be smarter.” He raised his eyebrows. “She’s plenty smart.” He looked thoughtful. “You don’t believe in love then?”

“No.” I wanted to look away, couldn’t. “I don’t know.” His smile was decidedly rakish. I’d seen its like on young aristocrats at my uncle’s house. I tried to ignore it. I flexed my toes but wasn’t able to do much more.

When the front door opened both Charlemagne and I tensed.

I struggled to sit up, to reach for a weapon, any weapon. Logan rose and stood between me and the new arrivals. The four who burst in had to be his brothers, the physical similarities were too pronounced. Charlemagne growled, standing up again. They pronounced. Charlemagne growled, standing up again. They stopped mid-conversation, stared at the wild girl prostrate on the marbles.

I ground my teeth. This was hardly the way to foster respect for my tribe.

“Logan,” one of them drawled. “Your technique’s slipping if you need dogs to keep them from running away.”

“Very funny, Quinn,” Logan muttered. “This is Isabeau.” They froze each to a one, staring.

“Isabeau, my brothers: Quinn, Marcus, Connor, and Duncan.

Sebastian’s stil at the caves.”

“Un plaisir,” I said dryly. My Hounds training might not have prepared me to be gracious under any circumstance, but my aristocratic upbringing had.

“Nice to meet you.” Connor blinked. “Why are you on the floor?”

“Hypnos,” I said.

Quinn snorted. “Dude, Hypnos and dogs? I thought you were the one who was supposed to be good with the girls, Darcy?” I recognized the nickname; I’d read voraciously once I’d grown accustomed to my new body and appetites. I’d needed to grow accustomed to hundreds of years of history as wel .

“Shut up,” Logan said. “Kieran blew Hypnos on her.” Quinn bared his fangs. “Why the hel did he do that?”

“Wel , to be fair, she did try to kick him in the head.” Quinn grinned at me. “I like you already.” I tried to push myself up again. I couldn’t lie there for another second while they stared at me curiously. I was too anxious to be able to retract my double fangs. If I’d been human, I would have been hyperventilating by now. Logan glanced at me, cursed.

“I’m taking you upstairs,” he muttered. “Cal off your dog,” he added, scooping me up into his arms. Charlemagne was right there, pressed at Logan’s knee.

“Ça va,” I whispered, even if I wasn’t sure I entirely believed it.

Charlemagne trotted by our side as Logan climbed the stairs, carrying me lightly and easily. I was mortified and grateful. The conflicting emotions didn’t make the present situation any easier to handle.

“I know you said you didn’t want me to do this,” he whispered.

“But it’s better than al my brothers cracking jokes over your head, right?”

I nodded because I didn’t trust my voice. The fact that I could move my head enough to agree with him was heartening. He noticed the smal movement.

“Any minute now,” he promised.

The second floor of the house smel ed even more like smoke and water. The far wal was faintly scorched. He fol owed my gaze.

“Hope,” he said succinctly.

Hope had led a rogue unit of the Helios-Ra who’d kidnapped Solange and tried to burn down her parents’ farm. It had only been a week ago at most and the damage was stil visible.

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