Blood Moon Page 57

“At least three different girls on you,” I said, lips lifting off my teeth while I sorted through the scents. Kieran’s hand hovered over the stake in his belt. I grabbed the lapel of his jacket, keeping him still. “Didn’t waste any time, did you?”

I was close enough now that the perfume of my enraged pheromones made his jaw clench. His fingertips grazed the top of his stake, but he didn’t pull it loose. His other hand shot to my hip, fighting the pull of my grip on his coat. We were frozen in a feral dance, with only the music of the blood pumping viciously in my veins. His breath was warm on my cheek.

“Who are they?” I demanded.

Lucy rolled her eyes. “Me, Hunter, and Chloe. We were fighting off vampires sent to kill him, remember? Get a grip already.”

We both ignored her.

He eased closer, the lines of his face harsh. “What about Constantine?”

“This isn’t about him.”

“Then what’s it about?”

We were so close and he felt so right, as if it were just the two of us in the safe house under the ground where we’d first really talked as a girl and a boy, not a vampire and a hunter, that I nearly kissed him. Or he nearly kissed me. I couldn’t be sure. I was all fire and sharp edges. I was still angry, and the bloodlust snaked through me like a drop of fiery poison in a glass of water.

He’s not worthy of us.

I leaned closer. For what, I wasn’t sure.

“Uh, guys?”

We were still locked together. The intensity of Kieran’s eyes went soft. I was leaning in toward his neck, which was still healing from our last encounter in the woods, when Lucy made a strange “eep” sound.

“Solange!” she added, trying to shove between us. “Don’t!”

I saw through a red veil, as if it were raining blood. I could already feel the give of Kieran’s skin under my bite, taste his blood in my mouth. Lucy’s elbow dug into my sternum, but it didn’t stop me. She was like a tiny firefly trying to move a boulder. Her feet dragged on the ground as she tried to find purchase. “Stop, stop, stop!”

“Yes, do.” Constantine was suddenly there as well, his voice gentle and dark in my ear.

I didn’t let go, but I didn’t press forward either. He slipped a goblet of blood between us, waited until the scent had distracted me enough to break eye contact. Without the full force of my pheromones, Kieran pulled free so abruptly that Lucy stumbled back a step.

Kieran shook his head like a wet dog. Lucy had no idea what to do, and that never happened. I drained the cup with trembling hands.

And then the walkie-talkie in my pocket warbled, changing everything. Mom’s voice was sharp as nails in the soft bower.

“Nicholas is missing.”

Chapter 23


Tuesday morning, before dawn

For a long frozen, broken moment, everything stopped.

The blood in my veins, my heart in my chest, my breath in my lungs. There was no space for anything inside me but shock and fear. I was watching myself from far away, standing in the woods by candlelight in torn jeans and a sweater my mom crocheted for me out of hand-dyed, multicolored wool. The smallest details stuck: the glint of tin lanterns, the frayed edge of the rug under a single chair under the tree, gilt paint peeling. The arms were carved to look like dragons. I was cold, too cold to move.

Solange was the first to break the tableau of shock. She grabbed for the walkie-talkie so fast it whipped out of her hand and crashed into the trunk of a black maple and broke. Bats formed a cloud over our heads. Kieran stepped closer to her, and she looked up at him, eyes wide and impossibly blue.

I shook my head violently. “Let’s go,” I said finally, my voice grim as a rusted lock clicking shut.


I bared my teeth like a wounded badger. “To find Nicholas. To talk to your parents.”

“I could—”

“Now, Solange.”

She flinched at my tone, but I was already stalking away, systematically checking my weapons, Kieran at my heels. He bent to pick up a fallen branch as we walked. It was long enough to be used as a staff. He was sharpening one end of it with a hunting knife when I shoved past Constantine’s guard. I nearly burst into tears when I saw Bruno’s familiar face waiting on the other side of them.

“Come on, lass,” he said gruffly, his Scottish accent suddenly thick as mist on the heath. The lines at his eyes were pronounced. Even his tattoos looked stark. “Where’s herself?”

“I’m here,” Solange answered quietly, suddenly standing beside me. Even Bruno hadn’t seen her move, and he was as used to vampires as he was to his morning coffee. Constantine was there too, but I ignored him. I didn’t have time for anyone but Nicholas.

Bruno patted her shoulder gingerly, as if he wanted to offer comfort to the little girl he’d been protecting her entire life but wasn’t sure if his hand might get broken for his trouble. Solange smiled at him wobbily.

We followed him quickly. Constantine was on Solange’s right, his hand on the back of her neck. Kieran was on her left, and she was holding his hand in the shadows, gripping so tightly I saw the muscles in his forearms twitch. But he didn’t let go. And he didn’t say a word to me, just passed the staff over with his free hand. It was whittled to a killing point, like the staves I was learning to use with Hunter. I felt better with the weight of it in my hand.

The Drakes waited in a concerned huddle over a map laid out on a tree stump. A thin creek meandered beside them, glittering like a broken mirror. I couldn’t help but think of Lady Natasha’s mirrors in the royal courts. Nicholas had survived her; he could survive this too. Whatever this was.

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