Marked by the Vampire Page 15

“If you’d watched those deep wounds heal, the way we did, you would be sure.”

What was that guy talking about?

Shane’s fingers stroked over her shoulders. At the unexpected caress, her attention slid right back to him. He didn’t look like a wild, out of control vampire as he leaned over her. He looked…

Worried. Protective.

How very human of him.

“No more handcuffs?” she whispered to Shane.

He shook his head.

“And I guess you had a nice, big meal before coming back, huh?” Wait, Olivia hadn’t meant to say that and she definitely hadn’t meant for the words to come out with a jealous edge.

Shane frowned down at her. “I haven’t fed yet.” He paused. His gaze heated. “Are you offering?”

“I—no.” Yes.

The door opened then, and a woman with dark hair bustled inside. The woman was looking down at a chart as she entered the room. “I’m running her blood work now. Man, it’s amazing the way Pate had that remote lab set up here. I bet I could even do a bone marrow analysis—”

“No, you couldn’t,” Olivia said flatly.

The woman jerked to a stop. Her brown eyes were wide with surprise as she said, “You’re awake.”

Yes, she was, obviously, and since the woman was talking about bone marrow work, Olivia knew she had to be staring at the doctor Connor had mentioned to her before.

Olivia’s gaze slid to her arm. A small bandage covered a patch of skin on her inner wrist. But that was the only bandage she saw. That other guy must have been bullshitting about her “deep wounds” healing. She didn’t have other injuries. That was all.

Am I lying to myself?

She…was. But others had lied to her, too.

Her stare rose. Fixed on Shane. “You gave them my blood.” And it felt like a betrayal.

He flushed. “We’re trying to understand you.”

“And I’m trying to understand how my life has turned into such a nightmare!”

Pate joined their little party. Perfect. He strode in as if he owned the place. Oh, wait…he does.

“I told you,” Pate said, his voice low and rumbling, “I didn’t think you were prepared for Purgatory.”

Shane’s fingers stroked over her arm once more.

Olivia took a good look around then. She was back in the cabin. Unfortunately. They’d pulled a bed into the center of those red markings—markings that were fully intact once again. Her bottle.

“If I were a genie,” she said—genie, djinn—whatever, “don’t you think I would have realized that fact by this point in my life?”

“I don’t know.” It was the other woman who answered. Olivia couldn’t remember the chick’s name. “Have you ever made things happen? Wished for something then…boom, it was there?”

“No!” she denied.

“Yes,” Shane replied in the same instant.

She shot him a glare. “I think I’d know—”

“You did it at Purgatory. You didn’t even realize it.”

“No.” He was wrong. Had to be.

But he nodded and said, “When we were together in that cave, you wished that I’d tell you what was going on. I did.”


“And you wished that we could make it out and that the seaplane would be there to take us to safety. It was.”

She pointed at Pate. “Because he sent it there! Not because I did some mojo magic wishing!”

Pate cleared his throat. “I felt like something bad was happening. I went with my gut, against every protocol I’ve ever followed. It was almost as if I were…compelled to send Connor to Purgatory on that plane.”

Her heart was beating too fast. Her palms were sweating, and her knees felt like jelly. Yet she still said, “You know what that is called? Coincidence! Not magic!”

“The blood work will be done soon,” the woman murmured. “We’ll have more than magic then.”

She didn’t want them analyzing her blood. I don’t want them to see…

A voice seemed to whisper in her head. Hide. Protect yourself. I won’t let them destroy you…I’ll stop them all.

Goosebumps rose on her arms.

Shane was still holding her and the only warmth she felt came from the connection with his hands.

“I want to help you,” the woman said as she came closer. The woman even offered Olivia a faint smile. “My name is Holly, and, believe it or not, I even can understand what you’re going through right now.”

“Really? You’ve been held prisoner by the people you thought were going to help you?” Her head inclined toward a watchful Pate. “That guy over there betrayed you?”

Pate’s gaze dipped to Holly. Torment flashed across his face. His expression stunned her. So maybe her comment about betrayal hadn’t been so far off the mark. Wow. Interesting.

Olivia’s head had stopped throbbing. That was a good sign. Maybe her next escape attempt would go better.

“We want to protect you,” Holly told her. “That’s why Pate is keeping you in custody.”

Olivia’s laugh mocked that idea.

Shane cleared his throat. “Olivia, you need to know that after we left, there were some…incidents at Purgatory.”

She didn’t like that guarded note in Shane’s voice. “You mean more than the hell that went down before we got out of there?” Things had gotten worse?

“Pate’s men made it to the island. The prisoners…most of them are still secure.”

She wet her too dry lips. “Most?”

Pate and Shane shared a hard look. Definitely not good. Shane released Olivia and eased back. She missed his touch because he’d taken that precious warmth away with him.

“The FBI agents can’t find David Vincent.”

Horror flooded through her, but Olivia managed to say, “He’s hiding somewhere on the island. Probably—probably in some of the same places we used.”

“They also can’t find Case Killian.” Pate’s expression was grim as he delivered this news. “His guards reported that the warden was attacked by David, bitten—”

“So he’s dead?” Olivia whispered.

“Dead…or he transformed. But either way, we don’t know where he is.” Pate’s lips thinned. “And if anyone else at Purgatory knew a way off the island, it would be him. The warden had an all-access pass to the place.”

Okay, now she was scared. Terrified. “I-it’s not like Case would come after me.”

They all stared at her.

“There’s a bigger picture at play here,” Pate explained quietly. “You’re part of that picture. Maybe you didn’t know what you were before you went into that prison, but someone else did. That someone sent you to Purgatory so that you could be used. Used by David…because he was one of the prisoners I was told you must see…or used by Case because he was the warden running the show there. Either way, someone wanted your power.”

Shane thrust back his shoulders. “They aren’t getting her.”

Her gaze darted from face to face. Holly had edged closer to the silent, blue-eyed man. A man who watched the byplay with a dangerous intensity. Pate had closed in on Olivia, and Shane—Shane was watching her with a tight, worried expression.

Oh, hell. They were all dead serious. They thought that Case and David might actually come after her. “What happens if Case gets me? If David does?” She’d been so furious to find herself Shane’s prisoner that she hadn’t realized…something much worse could be waiting out there for me.

“They use you,” Pate said flatly. “Just like I know how to cage you, there are others out there who know exactly how to set your power free.”

“I have no power!”

Pate glanced at Holly. “How much longer until that blood analysis is done?”

“Just a few hours.”

He nodded. Pointed toward Olivia. “You stay here until that analysis is back.” His gaze slid to Shane. “I’m guessing you’re playing guard now?”

A slight inclination of Shane’s head was his only response.

“Seeing as how you attacked her last guard,” Pate murmured, “I thought that might be the case.” He gave a little salute toward Shane. “Make sure she doesn’t leave.”

“She won’t go anyplace without me.”

Holly cast Olivia an apologetic glance, then she slipped from the room. Whoever the guy standing in the shadows had been—well, he hurried right after that woman.

Pate hesitated near the door. “I didn’t…I didn’t want you to be hurt, Dr. Maddox.”

Join the club.

“You’ll have to make a choice soon,” he continued as he glanced back at her. “You can keep trying to deny the truth, denying what you are, or you can use your powers. You can help us in the war that’s coming.”

She hadn’t signed up for a war.

“Others know about you. They won’t let you just vanish. They won’t let you go back to the normal life that you had.”

Her old life seemed so very far away.

“You wanted to know about the monsters, well, guess what? Now you’re one of us.”

The door closed softly behind him.

Olivia stared at that closed door for a few lost seconds, then she turned her gaze toward Shane. He was watching her, his stare so deep and consuming.

And angry. So very angry.

When he stepped toward her, Olivia tensed.

That stiffness just seemed to make him even angrier.


He was at her side. Just like that. “Don’t ever do it again.”


He sat on the bed. Pulled her toward him. “Don’t ever make me feel fear like that again.”

He’d been afraid?

His fingers curled around her chin. Held her so carefully. “The motorcycle is totaled. You went flying. When I got to you…” He gave a grim shake of his head. “You weren’t moving. I thought you were dead.”

She hadn’t realized that the wreck had been so bad. No wonder people kept asking about her healing ability.

Her lashes lowered. She couldn’t keep looking him in the eyes then. There was no more room for denial, not when it was just the two of them. “The markings hold me in.” If Pate had been telling the truth, then there was only one reason those red markings would hold her captive.


“You think…you think I’m a djinn?”

He used his light hold on her chin to tip her head up so that she had to look into his eyes. “I know you’re not human. I know you taste like no one else, and when I have your blood…” He was so close to her. “There’s power in it. Power greater than a werewolf’s, and I’ve known vamps who grew addicted to the rush from a shifter’s blood…because their blood is supposed to be that damn good.” His fingers tightened a bit around her chin. “But yours is better. A hundred f**king times better. You aren’t human, love, I knew that from the first taste.”

He was telling her the truth. The terrifying truth. “You’re keeping me here…to protect me?”

“There are people out there who will use you. I don’t know what kind of powers you possess, but you were sent to Purgatory for a reason.”

Pate had implied—no, basically said—that a war was coming. And she’d be an instrument in that war. “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

His lips brushed against hers. A hot surge seemed to roll through her whole body at that sensual caress. “You won’t.”

Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. Or that I can’t.

Her fingers lifted and curled around his shoulders.

“Don’t make me fear again,” he whispered those words against her lips. “When you do, I lose control.”

He kissed her again. This time, his tongue slid past her lips. Swept inside. She kissed him back, her heart beating faster and faster as she savored him.

Desire rose within her. Wrong time, wrong place but… “Why didn’t you feed?”

His muscles hardened beneath her touch.

“You could have taken from someone else, but you didn’t.” Very unvampire like. “Why?”

He kissed her again. “Something has changed.” He pulled back a bit, stared into her eyes. “You changed me.”

The words sounded like a warning. “I didn’t mean to.”

“No other will do for me.”

She could only shake her head—and still taste him on her lips.

“I wasn’t bitten, Olivia. I was never a human who was transformed into a vampire. I was never a human at all.”

His fingers slid down her throat. Rested right over her racing pulse point. “You healed from the crash, but my bite still marks you.” His eyes narrowed on her face. “Because you’re mine. The mark is proof of that.”

She was in so far over her head. Olivia fought to make sense of the madness and the magic. “Vampires are created from a virus.” There was a big, scientific explanation for them. At least, that was what her research had shown her. The files that the Para Unit had allowed her to see. The bite spread the virus, and it mutated in its host and—

“I told you, love, I was never human.”

She could see the edge of his fangs.

“My lineage is ancient. Unending. We don’t follow the rules that constrain other vampires.”

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