Out for Blood Page 38

His eyebrows rose. “Steroids?”

“Maybe. She’s obsessed with taking them and working out and getting strong, so it’s possible. And that guy Will? The one we took to the infirmary? He said something about vitamins too, remember?”

“Huh. How is he anyway?”

“Nothing definitive yet. And no one will tell us anything about that Hel-Blar woman who disintegrated. There’s definitely some weird shit going on.”

“Yeah, that wasn’t normal,” Quinn agreed. “I’ll see if my brother Marcus can analyze this. He’s good with that sort of thing. I’d ask my uncle, the biology teacher, but he’d have way too many questions.” He slipped my only piece of evidence into his pocket.

“Can you analyze this too?” I asked, pulling the blood samples out of my purse. I was the kind of girl who carried blood in her purse and daggers in her boots.

Maybe I should see the school counselor.

I felt nervous but relieved at the same time as he pocketed the samples. A totally uncharacteristic giggle stuck in my throat. I might finally get some answers after all. I touched his wrist and it was cool under my fingertips. “Thank you.”

He paused, eyes narrowing. “You’re not taking this stuff too, are you?” he asked sharply.

“No way.” He leaned closer, sniffing along my collarbone and under my jaw. “What are you doing?” I whispered.

“Just checking,” he answered, somewhat hoarsely.

“Checking what?” My pulse fluttered.

“We can usually smell drugs in a human’s bloodstream. We can definitely taste it.”

“I told you I’m not on anything.”

“I know. You smell like … raspberries … and limes.”

“Is that … good?”

I felt him smile against my skin. “Yes.”

“Oh.” I swallowed. It was getting difficult to form a coherent sentence. “So, you could sniff Chloe? Or Will? And know if something was wrong.”

“Maybe. I’d rather breathe you in, though.”

Yup, he was really, really good at this.

I actually felt like I was melting, like I was on fire, like I’d swallowed those fireflies.

He pulled back just enough to look at me, as if I was a puzzle that needed solving, or a candy he wasn’t sure he was allowed to eat.

Bad analogy.

His fangs lengthened, but only a little. I wouldn’t even have noticed if I wasn’t used to watching for things like that. And it didn’t make me nervous for some reason. I wasn’t scared, and not just because I had a purse full of small sharp weapons. There was something between us suddenly, and it wasn’t merely a secret unraveling.

It was something else, something more forbidden, more mysterious, more delicious.

I closed the tiny gap between us, swaying toward him as if he was a magnet. Our eyes connected, held. His pupils dilated, irises lightened. I smiled.

“You’re not the only one who wants a taste,” I said.

And then he was kissing me, or I was kissing him. We were just suddenly in each other’s arms, like lightning—not there, then just suddenly there. Everywhere. His mouth was wicked, his tongue bold. I couldn’t get enough. I tingled all over. His hand dug into my hair, cradled the back of my neck. He pulled me closer. The muscles of his arms were sinewy under my palms.

I’d never felt like this before.

He was a vampire and I didn’t care.

I was a hunter and I didn’t care.

I could barely catch my breath and I didn’t care.

I just wanted more.

And then the car could barely contain us and his elbow accidentally hit the horn. The sudden noise cut through the warm summer night and we jumped, pulling apart. I was light-headed, disoriented. My lips felt warm, swollen.

He smiled ruefully, forcing himself to release me. “Guess that’s my cue to take you home.”

“I’d better walk from here,” I murmured. “Surveillance cameras.”

“Text me when you get in,” he said. “I’ll wait right here until you do.”

“Okay.” I was pretty dazed, surprised that I could stand up properly. I was really glad he looked just as bewildered.

“Good night, Hunter.”

Chapter 15


I grinned all the way home.

I’d bailed on two hot girls, nearly been staked, and had to hide from a car full of vampire hunters in full battle gear.

Totally worth it.

Nicholas was on the front porch when I pulled the car up the driveway. He shielded his eyes from the glare of the headlights, fangs gleaming.

“How was your date?” he asked as I slammed the car door shut.

“Which one?”


“With great hotness comes great responsibility,” I answered. I was still grinning.

“Up for patrol, pretty boy?”

“Always.” I was still wired from the fight and the kiss. Kicking Hel-Blar ass sounded like the perfect way to end the evening.

“There’s a pack in the hall closet,” Nicholas told me. I went in and grabbed it along with a handheld crossbow, stuffed into the sleeve of an old coat no one ever wore. It was my favorite, and I had the worst time hiding it from Lucy. I slung the pack over my shoulder and went back outside.

There were still some scorch marks at the end of the porch and a soggy plank that would rot through if we didn’t replace it soon. Hope’s rogue Helios-Ra unit had done some serious damage when they’d tried to blast their way through the house. We hadn’t finished all the repairs yet but at least we’d patched up the big gaping hole in the wall.

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