Blood Moon Page 21

“Yeah, he’s fine. Except they broke up.”

“They broke up?” I reached for my phone. No voice mails except the one Nicholas had sent earlier and no texts. I switched it on. The dial tone chirped in my ear. “It’s not broken.” I scowled. “She didn’t even call me! Is she all right? Does she need ice cream?” Not that she really ate anymore, but some rituals were sacred.

“She used her pheromones,” he said, his fangs poking out. “She compelled me to back off and leave her alone. She’s getting stronger, Lucy.”

I stared at him. “Again? She did that to you again?” Just last week she’d forced him to kick me out of the farm house because I’d mouthed off about the annoyingly mysterious Constantine.

Nicholas just sat there looking shell-shocked and hurt. Fury sizzled inside me. It was bad enough she’d attacked me, but now she was messing with my boyfriend.

And that just would not do.

Fury turned to rage, burning like an ember inside my chest.

Nicholas winced. “You’re mad.”

“You think?”

“No, I mean you’re mad.” He licked his lips.

“Oh, right. Sorry.” I took a few deep breaths, and added a few Om Namah Shivayas for good measure. When Nicholas stopped looking like he was in pain, I let out one last long breath. It went to mist in the cold air, like dragon’s breath, which was apt as I felt angry enough to breathe fire.

Oops. Another deep breath.

“We have to tell your parents,” I said when I was calm enough to unclench my fists. “We can’t keep covering for her. Not now.” A part of me felt like a traitor. My job as best friend was to cover for Solange. But we were in way over our heads. We couldn’t save her from herself without help.

And fast.

“I know,” he said, sounding just as conflicted. “But she saved me tonight too.”

I went cold. “What?”

“London was attacked. I got caught by a Huntsman, and he would have had me too, if it weren’t for her. They’re worse than Helios-Ra hunters.”

“Are you okay?” I catalogued the mud and grass stains on his clothes, the tear in his shirt collar, the blood I hadn’t noticed on the cuff of his left sleeve.

“I’m fine,” he assured me.

“You and I know her better than anyone else. What do you think she’ll do?”

“I don’t know,” he admitted. “That’s what scares me.” He shook his head. “I don’t want to talk about it right now. We don’t have much time as it is.” He handed me a set of car keys.

I frowned at them. “Aren’t those mine?”

“Yeah. Duncan got your car from the garage and fixed it himself. It’s parked on the road outside your school.”

I smiled brightly. “I love your brother.”

“Hey, now.”

“It’s okay, I love you more.”

“Good, because he said not to drive it in the rain. Once he’s done with Aunt Ruby’s Mustang and the Blood Moon stuff, he’ll fix it up right.” His hands closed around my elbows and lifted me right off the ground.

I squeaked. Then flushed. “I never made that sound,” I informed him loftily, as he pulled me over to sit in his lap. “And hi.”

“Hi.” He grinned crookedly, brushing his hand along my jaw and into the hair at the nape of my neck. “I’m calling a time-out on all the worrying.”

I linked my hands together around his neck. “Okay.”

“The Blood Moon starts soon.”

I wrinkled my nose. “I know.” I didn’t want to admit how weird I felt about not being able to contact him or Solange or their brothers. Or any of the Drakes for that matter. I even missed their dogs.

He shrugged out of his jacket, pulling something out of the inside pocket. I was confused at first; it wasn’t a stake or a dagger or a weapon of any kind.

“It’s a CD,” he said, giving it to me. “I made you a mix. For when we’re apart.” I knew if he’d still been human he would have been blushing. Back then I would have teased him mercilessly about it. But now I just wanted the CD.

“You made me a mix?” I was dangerously close to simpering. I straightened my spine. “Thanks,” I added. “What’s on it?”

“Listen to it and find out.” His thumb brushed over my mouth. “I kind of miss you already,” he said softly, leaning in to nip at my lower lip.

I nipped back, and the kiss fell with dizzying speed into need and want until even the back of my knees tingled. He kissed me as if we had all the time in the world, as if it weren’t cold outside, as if winter weren’t coming, or the dawn, or any of the dangers that waited for us outside this field. I kissed him back as if he were right, as if there were only the two of us, as if the only worry we had were my curfew. He fell back, bringing me with him. We reclined in our own little world of grass and clover with only the stars to see us. Kissing him was addictive; it was breath and blood and chocolate.

And then reality came crashing down around us.

“Hey, vamp lover, we know you’re out there.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” I lifted my head, recognizing Ben’s voice. I was still sprawled on Nicholas. “They followed me?”

He shifted so I was sitting on the ground and he was in a crouch, balanced on the balls of his feet.

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