Marked by the Vampire Page 18

“Yeah…” Pate drawled out the word as he focused on Olivia. “How about you do us all a big favor and don’t make any wishes for a while? At least not until we can learn more about just what you can and can’t do.”

Her hands wrapped around her stomach. They’d just experimented on her. She’d thought—Olivia shook her head and focused on Shane. “Why did you let them do this to me?”

A muscle flexed along the hard line of his jaw.


He didn’t answer her. Rage pumped through Olivia. “Dammit, I wish—”

Shane was in front of her in an instant, and his hand was over her mouth. “No more wishes.” His voice was low, gruff. “No more.”

“Ah…I think we should give them some privacy,” Holly murmured.

Olivia didn’t look away from Shane.

“Don’t kill him,” Pate called as he turned to leave. “We need him alive.” Then the door closed behind him and Holly with a squeak.

Shane’s hand was still over her mouth. His eyes glinting at her. Betrayal burned within Olivia. She’d thought he was on her side, but—

She yanked away from him. “Don’t touch me.”

His hands fisted at his sides. “That’s not really an option for me.”

She noticed his pallor then. He was almost as pale as Holly had been moments before. And his eyes…dark shadows surrounded his eyes and the faint lines on his face seemed deeper.

“Just to warn you, my control is razor f**king thin.”

A shiver slid over her. Hell, was it any wonder she was shivering? She was dressed in a paper-thin hospital gown. Olivia saw a bag near the door. She opened it. Found jeans, a shirt, shoes—all the clothing she’d need inside. Turning her back on Shane, she changed as quickly as she could, but she felt his stare on her. Every second.

“I thought you died,” he said when she turned back to face him. “I thought I let you die. The flames were everywhere, and I couldn’t get to you.”

Her breath slid out in a fast rush. Some of her fury eased because she could feel his pain in the room around them.

“Something broke then.”

She didn’t understand.

“In me…” And he stalked toward her. “I think the darkness got out. Pate should have seen it, but he didn’t.” He caught her wrist. Lifted it to his mouth. Pressed a hot kiss to her racing pulse. “The darkness got out.”

His teeth sank into her wrist.

She tried to pull away from him, even as pleasure pulsed through her body. Pleasure that came in long, drugging waves.

He was drinking from her. Licking her skin with his tongue. Pulling her against the hot, hard cradle of his body.

Desire, lust, built within her. She should have shoved him away. Instead, Olivia rubbed against him as the pleasure surged and surged and her cl**ax—

“No!” Olivia ripped her wrist from him and stumbled away from Shane.

His lips were dark—her blood was on his lips. His fangs were out. His eyes blazed with a wild passion.

“You’re trying to control me.” Her heartbeat wouldn’t slow. “Another test, just like what they did.” She couldn’t trust him. Couldn’t trust anyone.

But Shane shook his head. “This is no test.” His eyes were filled with a dark tangle of emotions. Need. Anger. A hard edge of possession. “I need you…to survive.”

Okay, now that scared the crap out of her. “I want to leave this room. I want you to move out of my way.” Her wrist was throbbing, but it wasn’t a painful throb. Pleasure seemed to vibrate through her in time with each little pulse.

Shane inclined his head, and he backed away. She hurried past him and pulled open the door. Olivia wasn’t quite sure what she expected to find outside of that room—maybe another prison-like facility, but the bright lights and gleaming floor just appeared strangely…normal.

She hurried down the hallway, far too conscious of Shane’s footsteps behind her. She passed offices. Saw desks, phones. But no people.

She stilled in the middle of that hallway and turned to face Shane. “Where is everyone?”

His face was tense. “This facility hasn’t been used in a while. It’s a back-up location.” He hesitated, then said, “It’s a place that the senator doesn’t know about. It wasn’t officially on the Para Unit’s books.”

“Stop it,” she whispered as she stared into his eyes and took a step away from him.

He advanced toward her. “Stop what?”

“Staring at me as if—”

“As if I want to eat you alive?” Another slow, gliding step. “But that’s exactly what I want to do.”

Her wrist throbbed again, and the pleasure seemed to roll right through her whole body. It shouldn’t happen. She shouldn’t be so attuned to him.

He’d said they could be mates. She didn’t want his words to be true, did she?

“You realize that the senator was the one setting you up. Pulling the strings.”

She shook her head. “Donald has been my friend for years.” Her mother had worked as one of his aides. Donald’s daughter had been her best friend when she was a kid. But that had been before…

Before Chloe changed.

She cleared her throat and retreated another step. “Donald pulled some strings to get me clearance for projects like this one, yes, but he wasn’t using me. He was helping me.” Shane and the others had it all wrong.

Shane shook his head. “Pate has known for some time that a powerful werewolf was setting a plan like this in motion. A plan that would turn humans into prey.”

She turned away from him. Kept hurrying down that hallway. There had to be a way out of there. “You’re wrong,” she said again. “He’s no werewolf.” And this place was a maze. Her steps tapped faster against that gleaming tile.

In a blink, Shane was in front of her. She stopped, gasping. She hated that too-fast way he could move. Hated it.

“No, love, you’re wrong, but I guess you’ll have to figure that out for yourself, won’t you?” He seemed sad then, but he pointed to the left. “You can leave that way. You’ll even find a car waiting outside for you. Use the GPS navigation system, and you can be back home by nightfall.”

No way. He was just going to let her go? “Are you serious?”

He nodded. “But it’s a f**king ridiculous plan. The werewolves have your scent. You leave here, and they will find you.”

“And the alternative is…what? To stay hidden here, a prisoner?”

“You wouldn’t be a prisoner.”

She would be. “For how long?”

“Until the threat is over.”

That was pretty much not an answer. “And what happens if Pate gets the urge to bottle me up again?” She glanced to the right and saw the video camera perched on the wall there. No doubt, Pate was watching and listening to them at that very moment.

“I won’t let him.”

She wanted to trust him, but the door to the left was so close…Olivia slid away from him.

“Don’t do this.” His voice was flat. “It’s going to be the wrong choice.”

Her body felt cold. Her wrist—she pushed it against her side. “The werewolves won’t find me. I can disappear.” On her terms. Not Pate’s.

“You don’t want to stand with the Para Unit to face whatever the hell is coming?”

“I just want my life back.” That door was temptingly close. “That’s all.”

Her hand pushed against the door.

“And what about me?”

The question sank into her, and, without looking at him, she found she could be honest in these last moments. “You scare me, Shane. You make me want things that I shouldn’t. You make me…want you.” She shoved against the door. Sunlight spilled inside and on her. “And the way I feel when I want you—” Wild, desperate, on the edge of control. “That terrifies me most of all.”

She walked into the light and left him in the shadows.


The door clanged shut behind Olivia.

“You’re really going to let her walk away?” Connor asked.

Shane had known the damn werewolf was close by. “Her life. Her choice.”

You make me want things I shouldn’t. You make me…want you.

Her blood had given him a rush, one that still had him feeling drunk—and needing more. “She doesn’t want to be with the Para Unit.” Not that he blamed her. They’d nearly killed her. He glanced at Connor, gave him a faint nod. “I can count on you for back-up?”

“Yeah, but you and Pate really need to work on coming up with better plans in the future. This one is shit.” Connor leveled his stare at Shane. “You’re risking your life for her. A woman you just met days ago.”

The werewolf didn’t get it. “I’ve been on this earth for more than two thousand years.”

Faint surprise widened Connor’s eyes.

“I’ve seen countries rise and fall. Watched more death and pain than you can imagine.” Those memories would never fade. “I didn’t think there was any pleasure left for me here, then I looked up on a storm-tossed ferry, and I saw her.” In that moment, so much had changed for him.

“It’s…it’s the blood bond that I heard Pate talking about, isn’t it? I overheard him telling Holly that the blood was tying you to Olivia because the woman was some sort of genetic match for a vampire—”

“It’s not the blood. I was addicted to Olivia before my first taste.” He could hear the car cranking outside. Time to go. “Tell Pate that the debt is paid.”

Olivia didn’t want to stay with the Para Unit. She didn’t trust them. Fine.

He yanked open the door. Olivia was starting to pull away.

Did she really think he’d let her face the danger alone? He leapt forward and came down a few feet in front of her car. She slammed on the brakes and the scent of burning rubber filled the air.

Then she honked at him.

His lips twitched.

Olivia rolled down the window. “Vampire, are you crazy?”

He took his time walking to the passenger side of her vehicle. He climbed in. Stretched out.

“Uh…what are you doing?” Olivia demanded. She pointed to the nondescript building behind him. “Your team is in there.”

“And the woman I want is right here.” He caught her hand, lifted it to his mouth. Pressed a kiss to her wrist. “I’m not letting you go off alone, not with the werewolves out there.” And with the senator ready to close in…

Olivia might think the man was her friend, but Shane held no such illusions.

“Wait…are you saying…you’re…choosing me?”

She seemed stunned. Had she seriously thought he wouldn’t keep protecting her? Now that was rather insulting. “Maybe one day,” he told her quietly, “you’ll choose me, too.”

Olivia blinked those dark, gorgeous eyes of hers, eyes that could take a man to his knees.

“I’d advise against going to your place,” he said and pressed one more kiss to her wrist. She shivered. “They’ll be waiting there. After all, the senator knows where you live. The werewolves won’t even have to bother tracking you. They’ll just be staking out the place.”

She bit her lower lip. “Donald…has always been good to me.”

Donald is a dead man walking. “My place,” he told her. “We’ll be safer there.”

He could see the hesitation in her eyes, but after a few moments, she nodded and slowly pulled her hand from his grasp.

The car accelerated smoothly, and they left the Para Unit behind.


From his office, Eric Pate watched the black vehicle drive away. “The game is in motion.”

Behind him, Holly sighed. “People’s lives aren’t part of a game. How many times do I have to tell you that?”

He turned toward her and decided to ignore her question. “You’re dead certain about the results of Dr. Maddox’s DNA analysis and her blood work?”

“Yes. I don’t make mistakes.” Now she sounded a bit disgruntled because he’d questioned her, but Holly rallied quickly. “One of her parents was human, I’d bet my life on it.”

Olivia Maddox wasn’t the first hybrid he’d come across. She wouldn’t be the last, either. And with the others, their paranormal sides had often been dormant, needing a trigger to emerge.

Blood and fire.

“He triggered her,” Eric said, certain now of the senator’s intent. “If you want to wake a beast, what better place to do it than in Purgatory?”

“But what is he going to do with her now?”

His fingers tapped against his chin. “That’s what Shane will find out for us.”

Hiding Olivia within the Para Unit would have done no good. Other agents—humans—would have just gotten caught in the crossfire when the attack came. Senator Quick had too many powerful friends and far too much pull in the FBI.

Hiding her wasn’t an option, but using her as bait…that certainly was.

Holly raised her brows. “I get that Shane felt like he owed you…but why was that? I mean, if he’s some all-powerful vamp—”

“He’s the strongest vampire I’ve ever met.” And he’d come across more than his share.

“Then how did you convince Shane that the guy actually owed you?”

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies