Marked by the Vampire Page 14

Holly. Shane knew the guy was talking about Dr. Holly Young, a physician and vampire who treated the members of Pate’s Para Unit. Holly was also Pate’s step-sister.

“You trust Holly. You know she won’t hurt Dr. Maddox.”

No, Holly wouldn’t. Because Holly had been through her own hell and survived.

Pate slanted a glance toward Connor. “Your brother will be coming with her.”

Connor’s expression hardened. “Wherever she goes, he’s never far behind.”

Damn straight, Duncan McGuire wasn’t. The guy was mated to Holly. Once a werewolf, Duncan had become something a whole lot more dangerous thanks to his connection with Holly.

“We’ve got this,” Pate assured Shane. “Now go and try to dilute the blood you took—get her out of your system.”

He turned away. Took one step. Another.

“Out of curiosity…” Pate’s voice was halting. “What happened when you bit Dr. Maddox?”

She came for me. I got addicted to her.

Instead of answering, Shane amped up his speed and left that cabin in his dust.


She was on her knees when the door opened. Olivia’s hair had fallen over her face and she tilted her head back so that she could see who’d come to torment her now.

It was the dark-haired man who’d piloted the seaplane. Connor. He shut the door then leaned back against it, staring at her with a hooded gaze. The gold of his stare seemed far too deep, too dark.

“You know…” Olivia had to clear her throat. “I was actually glad to see you back at Purgatory.” She rose to her feet. Her knees only trembled a little. “Now…not so much.”

His lips quirked a bit. Then he glanced around the area. Her little prison. My bottle? She’d grabbed the broken chair with her cuffed hands and smashed it against her invisible walls. The chair had gone straight through.

Olivia hadn’t.

“You don’t look so dangerous,” Connor told her.

“Neither do you,” Olivia threw right back. Obviously that was the wrong thing to say because in the next instant, claws burst from his fingertips.


“Don’t underestimate me,” he warned her.

So he was far more dangerous than he’d appeared at first glance.

She jumped back a few feet. “Why is the FBI hiring werewolves?”

“Because we can get the job done for Uncle Sam. We can track the killers.” His too-sharp teeth snapped together. “And we can stop them.” He took a step forward and she automatically retreated. Connor shook his head. “What’s wrong, doctor? I thought you liked interviewing your monsters.”

But she hadn’t been the prisoner during those interviews. She was now. “A week ago, I was teaching a criminal psychology class to freshmen at Wellswright University. Now I’m…here.” She looked down at the markings on the floor. Markings that held her prisoner. Markings that assured her this was no nightmare. This was real.

“Someone’s coming to study you.”

Her head whipped up at that bit of news.

“A physician will be here soon. She’s going to take your blood. Analyze your DNA. Then we’ll have conclusive proof about what you are and what you’re not.”


Her skin seemed to itch then, as if—as if something were moving within her. She’d felt too hot for the last few moments. Too scared. “You all think I’m being used, don’t you? That I was sent to Purgatory as some kind of power play?”

He advanced toward her, but didn’t cross the markings. “I think you’re a pawn.” There was pity in his golden eyes. “I think you had no clue what the hell you were, last week, when you were teaching those freshmen. And I think your world has been wrecked around you.”

He felt sorry for her. Maybe she could use that. Maybe she could use him. “I didn’t ask for any of this.”

“We never do.” Pain flashed, swallowing the pity in his gaze. “But we still have to live with what happens to us.”

Her eyes swept over him. This man—this werewolf—was close to Shane’s size. His shoulders were broad, his arms muscled. Where Shane was classically handsome, Connor’s face was harder. Rougher. Stubble lined his jaw and his eyes blazed with emotion.

“They’re going to dig into your life,” Connor told her. “Learn every secret that you ever kept. They won’t stop until they discover everything, and then, they’re going to give you a choice. Except it won’t be a choice, not really. You’ll either work with Pate or…”

And he didn’t finish.

She swallowed the lump that wanted to choke her. “How do you know?”

“Because that’s what they did to me.”

There was a ring of truth to his words that she couldn’t deny.

“I’ve been in Purgatory, as a prisoner.” His jaw locked. “And let’s just say I would have done anything to make sure I didn’t get caged again.”

Her shoulders were aching. The cuffs were still behind her back and she hurt. “Will you uncuff me?”

“The Para Unit uses those specifically to restrain the stronger paranormals.”

The stronger paranormals.

“The more you struggle against them, the tighter they’ll become.”

“That tidbit would have been helpful sooner,” she muttered as Olivia tried to relax and not struggle any more. That was a whole lot of too little, too late, and her aching muscles needed relief.

Her gaze slid behind Connor. “Is…is Shane outside?”

“No.” Clipped.

Did his short response mean that sharing time was over?

“Where is he?”

“He left.”

That answer shouldn’t have hurt. It did. “He…left me?”

Connor stared back at her. “He was shot several times back at Purgatory. He healed, but he needed blood to get his strength back up.”

Oh. So he’d gone to feed on someone.

Her cheeks flamed as she remembered what had occurred when he bit her. Then her stomach knotted as she realized that he was out there, and probably getting ready to sink his teeth into some other woman.

She spun on her heel, giving the wolf her back.

Olivia tried to take in deep, even breaths but her fear and fury were pumping together within her. “I guess he’s not drinking from a blood bag.” Really, would that have been too much to ask?

“No, he’s not.”

She flexed her fingers. “I can’t feel them, you know.”


Olivia looked back at Connor. “I’ve lost all sensation in my fingers. I get that these cuffs are used on the paranormals. On the vampires. On the werewolves.” She paused a beat. That flash of pity had been real in his eyes before. Maybe she could use it. “But I’m not a werewolf. Or a vampire. These cuffs are hurting me, and I-I’m afraid…” The tremble in her voice wasn’t faked. “It’s too tight. I can’t see my fingers, but are they…are they starting to discolor?”

He inched closer.

“They are, aren’t they? Please, just loosen them for me. I don’t want to lose my hands.”

Slowly, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small set of keys.

Her breath rushed out. “Thank you.”


Her blood, her skin, her taste…

“Uh, is something wrong?” The woman before Shane asked, frowning up at him. She was a pretty blonde. A pretty blonde who’d been flirting with him from the moment he entered the diner. She leaned toward him, showing off a very ample bosom. “Is there something I can do for you?”

He’d taken blood too many times to count. He knew how to seduce in order to get exactly what he wanted.

He should smile at the woman. Feed her a line. Get her to walk outside with him. Then he’d find a secluded spot and feed on her.


Her scent was wrong.

Her voice was wrong.

Her hair was wrong.

She was wrong.

Shane wanted blood, all right, but not that woman’s. He hungered, he needed, but he didn’t need her.

Oh, hell, I am so screwed. Because he realized what was happening. He’d seen this same twisted shit go down before.

Growling, he spun away from the blonde. Marched back outside. The sun was still shining. Most vamps would have been hiding in the shadows right then. He wasn’t most vamps. He glared up at the sun.

And went back—almost helplessly—to her.


His fingers slid over her wrists. “Dammit, you did a number on yourself,” Connor muttered.

Olivia rolled her eyes. Right. Because she’d cuffed herself. The injury was totally her fault—not. “You guys should have told me that the cuffs tightened automatically. At first, I thought I was just dreaming that crap.” There was a soft snick behind her. Then finally, finally, the cuffs were falling away. Wonderful. Fantastic—


She moaned as the feeling came back to her fingertips and that feeling was burning pain.

“Easy.” His slightly rough fingers began to stroke her hands. “I’ll help you.”

She looked down at the floor. He’d crossed the red markings on the floor in order to reach her, but he’d been careful not to smudge those strange lines. If she could catch him off-guard, maybe Olivia could shove him back and make him fall onto the marks—perhaps she could get out then.

I’ve been trapped like this before.

The knowledge was there, but she couldn’t pull it out from the depths of her mind. No matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t remember when she’d been held prisoner like this.

Blood and fire.

“Genies grant wishes, don’t they?” Connor asked. His fingers were still rubbing her wrists, her hands.

She didn’t reply. She had no clue what genies were supposed to do. Olivia was too busy trying to figure out how to get away from him.

“I have a wish.” His head was bent toward her. He seemed to surround her, and a shiver slid over Olivia.

The werewolf is dangerous.

“I wish that I weren’t so f**king twisted on the inside.”

His gruff words catapulted her into action. She whirled around, and even though he was bigger and stronger, she was the desperate one. Olivia heaved against him. Sure enough, he stumbled back, and his booted feet slipped over the markings, smudging them.

Work, work, work—

She leapt forward, lunging across those smudged markings, and the invisible wall didn’t slap her back down. Euphoria burst through her as Olivia rushed for the door.

But a hard hand grabbed her ankle and yanked her back. She hit the floor and then he was on her. Connor grabbed her hands. Pinned them above her. His eyes were blazing—glowing with the familiar stare of a werewolf and then darkening with—with the power of a vampire?



His fangs were out.

The door flew open behind them and thudded into the wall. Then Connor was ripped off her. Tossed across the room by an enraged Shane. And Shane didn’t stop there. He flew after Connor, heading in with powerful fists and bared fangs.

Olivia staggered to her feet, then she ran out of that door. She didn’t see Pate, didn’t see anyone, and her gaze flew around frantically as she tried to find some way to escape from that area.

Light glinted off something to the right—something…she rushed forward. Yanked back a tarp and saw that the light had been shining off a motorcycle’s handlebars. Her hands searched all over the motorcycle as she chanted, “Key, key, key—”


Uh, oh. That bellow had to be Shane’s.

But even as that bellow echoed around her, Olivia’s fingers curled around the key. She had that motorcycle roaring to life two seconds later and she wobbled on the thing as she tried to steady it and get away.

“Olivia, no!”

She’d never ridden a motorcycle in her life, and the one she was on seemed freaking huge as she tried to steady it. She was struggling with the clutch and what she thought was the throttle, or maybe it was the gear shifter and—

Pate appeared in front of her. About twenty feet away. He had his gun up and aimed at her.

She was heading right for him. Olivia jerked the handlebars to the right, and that was when she lost her barely-there control on the motorcycle. The wheels spun. Gravel flew, and the motorcycle careened toward a tree.

Before the impact, the last thing she heard was Shane shouting her name.

Chapter Eight

“Come on, Olivia, open your eyes for me.”

The voice was familiar, tempting. Her eyelashes lifted, slowly, and the room around her came into focus.

“That’s better.” Shane leaned over her. Worry had etched a faint line between his brows. “How do you feel?”

“Like I hit a tree.”

A faint laugh came from the corner of the room. Her gaze slid over there, and a rough pounding shot through her temples.

A man stood in the shadows, a guy Olivia was pretty sure she hadn’t seen before. His blue eyes swept over her. “I think that’s because you did hit a tree, Dr. Maddox.”

With his words, her failed escape attempt came rushing back to her. Olivia tried to sit up in bed, but Shane’s hands came down, and he held her in place. “Easy. You’ve been out for hours.”

Out? That would explain the throbbing head.

“Do you always heal so quickly, Dr. Maddox?” The man in the corner asked her.

She didn’t feel like she’d healed. She felt like she had a concussion. “I don’t exactly crash into trees a lot, so I’m not real sure about that.” Her speech wasn’t slurred. That had to be a plus.

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