Burning Skies Page 39

For a minute, he could hardly breathe.


The women’s laughter struck his extended hearing. He drew it in then cast his hearing in a southerly direction. Medichi should be home by now. What he heard there surprised him, since he detected a faint, guttural moaning followed by a very precise, “What the fuck is that?”

Yeah, Medichi was home and apparently agitated about something. Maybe all the laughter was keeping him awake when he was trying to fall asleep for the day.

* * *

Havily hadn’t enjoyed herself this much in a long time. Parisa had a sharp wit and strong intelligence. She stood at one end of the dark soapstone island in the kitchen and Parisa at the other. They were talking like college roommates, sipping coffee and comparing the warriors.

“Santiago has the most interesting nose,” Parisa said. “It’s curved and very sexy.”

“You should see Luken with his hair down,” Havily said.

“I have, remember? His hair was over his bare chest in the hospital.”

“That’s right. You saw us there in one of your visions.”

“Yes, I did.” Parisa shook her head. “You know, there’s almost too much raw muscle among these men. I swear I’m ovulating even as we speak.” Then she laughed.

Havily, having been trapped by the sensual delights of the breh-hedden for the last several days, giggled along with her.

Parisa wore a pair of Havily’s jeans again but instead of the purple sequin tank she had donned a red silk blouse, which was, of course, a little too snug across the chest, but that couldn’t be helped. If Parisa stuck around on Second, Havily would definitely need to take her shopping unless they could find some way to sneak back into Parisa’s home without getting attacked by death vampires.

Hmmm. Shopping or death vampires. Now, there was a tough choice.

Parisa was something of a mystery in many respects: her royle wings, her visions, which seemed oddly focused on Medichi, and her ability to handle being on Second Earth. All these things indicated strong preternatural powers. Yet she couldn’t fold, nor did she seem to have telepathic abilities. So she had phenomenal powers in some respects, yet in others she was totally lacking. Which made Havily like her very much.

“You’re sure you’re all right?” Havily asked.

Parisa shrugged. “You’ve asked me three times this morning and I’m fine.” She tilted her nose off to the side and sniffed. “You know, that sage smell is getting even stronger. In fact, it seems to be coming from the direction of the foyer.”

Havily turned and took a deep breath. “Actually, I do smell something but it’s more along the lines of licorice.”


Havily felt a blush creep up her cheeks. She then spent the next few minutes explaining about the breh-hedden and the warriors, about specific scents that indicated the ritual had been triggered between a warrior and his breh, and how the same experience had struck down Warrior Kerrick and Alison four months ago.

Parisa frowned. “What are you saying? Do you think I’m Warrior Medichi’s bray or whatever it is you said? Do you think this sage I’m smelling belongs to him?”

“Of course not … that is … oh, my God.” The owner of the villa suddenly appeared in the doorway, his long, thick black hair, still damp from a shower, draped over his heavy pecs and down his back. The man wore nothing but a towel, a black terry-cloth towel wrapped around his waist that was tented ominously. “Medichi? What’s … going on?” Havily was shocked. Of all the warriors, Medichi was the most … gentlemanly.

But, damn, he was one gorgeous man. He was also in a profound state of arousal, and it was as though he didn’t even see her. His gaze was fixed on Parisa, his chin dipped low, his dark eyes glittering. His pecs flexed, relaxed, flexed, relaxed. A low growl reverberated through the room. She realized she had never seen him without a shirt on, but wow was he built … and aroused … and acting like a beast.

Which reminded her of Marcus on more than one occasion … and that’s when all the puzzle pieces fell into place: that Parisa could smell sage, that her visions had focused on him, that he was now behaving in a completely uncharacteristic manner.

Oh, dear God.

Trouble was, she didn’t exactly know what to do.

But as bad as it was that Medichi stood in the doorway, obviously aroused and looking like something from the Roman pantheon of gods, the warrior then did the unthinkable. He unhooked his black towel and let it fall to the floor almost as though he wanted Parisa to see … oh-my-ever-loving-God.

Havily whirled around, turning her back on Medichi. She had no right to see what he’d come to show … Parisa.

But how was the woman taking the situation? She was probably embarrassed, maybe ready to faint.

From her peripheral vision, she could see that Parisa hadn’t moved. Instead, her gaze was fixed low on Medichi, her lips parted, and she was stroking her neck with her fingers. Her cheeks were pink. Her breathing shallow.

Well … she certainly wasn’t embarrassed.

Holy shit! The breh-hedden had struck again!

Havily couldn’t bear looking at her because she knew exactly what Parisa was feeling, the depth of the sexual desire and attraction, the flood of scent that was right now passing only between the two of them, specific scents meant only for each other.

“Warrior Medichi,” Parisa whispered, her voice a soft erotic caress.

She started moving down the length of the dark soapstone island, clearly intent on going to him. Havily didn’t know what to do, a confusion that intensified when Parisa’s eyes went wide with horror and she cried out in a loud voice, “Warrior Marcus! No! Don’t hurt him!”

At that, Havily whirled back around. All she saw was Medichi flat on his back and the towel he’d dropped bunched over his hips and covering his arousal. Marcus stood next to him, his fists bunched.

Thank God! Marcus had arrived and immediately assessed the exact nature of the situation and intervened.

She glanced at Parisa and said, “How about we go for a walk?”

Parisa turned to her and murmured, “He’s … so big.”

Havily thought of Marcus and a little shiver traveled down her spine and teased her wing-locks, every damn one of them. “I think it’s a warrior thing.”

She didn’t say anything more, but Havily knew Medichi. He defined the word gentleman, and this whole situation would mortify him once he came to his senses. She hooked Parisa’s arm and guided her in a northerly direction toward the pool and the formal gardens.

* * *

Medichi stared up at the ceiling. He wasn’t sure what had just happened but his jaw hurt. He pressed it with his hand and moved the hinge around. At least nothing was broken. He blinked.

“I see stars.” Someone was bending over him. Oh. Marcus. “What the fuck did you just do to me?”

Marcus sat back on his heels but he was grinning, the bastard. “Saved you from a rape charge. Or don’t you remember dropping the towel in front of the ascendiate for her viewing pleasure?”

Oh, dear Creator, what had he done? He crossed his hands over his stomach, but he didn’t want to look. He whispered, “Are Havily and the ascendiate still standing on the other side of the island?”

“No. Havily took her outside. Dragged her, actually.” Then he smiled. “Well, dumbfuck, how do you like the breh-hedden now? Isn’t it just the bomb?”

Medichi flipped him off. “So, shit. She’s here.”

“Looks like it.”

“What the hell is going on? First Kerrick, then you, now me? Don’t you think this is a little bizarre?”

“At the very least. So, did I break your jaw or what?”

He rubbed it again and once more worked the hinge. “No, but I could use some ice. I’d call Horace but this is just too goddamn embarrassing. Shit.” When Marcus rose up then headed toward the fridge, he called out, “So did the ascendiate just arrive or what?”

“She’s been here all night.”

At that, Medichi leaped to his feet and shot in the direction of the pool, the towel once more forgotten. “It’s not safe,” he cried. “She’ll die!”

* * *

Marcus watched Medichi blur past him and move swiftly into the hall that led to the patio. He was about to call out for the warrior to stop, but his gaze fell on Medichi’s back.

Holy shit. Scars crisscrossed the broad muscled expanse in a multitude of flat silver lines. All the decades of wondering why the hell Medichi never mounted his wings suddenly came home to him loud and clear. But the vampire was moving fast, intent all over again, apparently, on getting to Parisa. He didn’t really have time to wonder what had created the scars.

Marcus knew Medichi wasn’t thinking. He’d been there, done that. He knew the powerful instincts boiling in his chest.

He swiped the towel off the floor … again … then folded straight to the doors leading to the pool area and met a blazing-eyed warrior who had drawn his sword. Marcus lifted his brows, cocked his head, and wagged the black terry cloth in front of him.

Medichi stared at the towel but merely scowled hard, dipped his chin, and for a moment looked like a bull before a red flag. Clearly, he had one goal and that was to bust past Marcus no matter what.

“Medichi!” he shouted. “Where the hell do you think you’re going?”

“Outside!” the warrior bellowed in return.

“You want to put on some clothes first?” He held the towel even higher.

Then Medichi blinked and blinked again. Finally, a long string of obscenities flowed from his mouth, a sure sign his rational brain had started to kick in. Marcus could only grin at him. “I feel you, brother. I really do.”

“Fuck,” Medichi spit. He folded his sword away, took the towel, then wrapped it once more around his waist. “This is hell. My brain isn’t functioning.”

“Preaching to the choir. So what went through your head right now? Why did you suddenly decide you had to go after her?”

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