Chapter Thirty-one


Butch was a wired-out mess as he peeled off his coat and took a seat in the doctor's waiting room.

Good thing night had just fallen and any vampire clientele had yet to show up. Some alone time was what he needed. At least until he pulled himself together.

Thing was, this happy little clinic was located in the basement of Havers's mansion. Which meant Butch was now, at this very moment, in the same house as the guy's sister. Yup... Marissa, the female vampire he wanted like no one else on the planet, was under the same roof he was.

Man, this obsession with her was a new and different nightmare. He'd never had a case of the sweats like this for a woman before, and he couldn't say he recommended it. Nothing but a pain in the ass. And the chest.

Back in September, when he'd come to see her and she'd shut him down without even doing a face-to-face, he'd sworn he'd never bother her again. And he hadn't. Technically. Those drive-bys he'd done since, those pathetic, sissy drive-bys where the Escalade somehow found itself going by this very house, those weren't really bothering her. Because she didn't know about them.

He was so pathetic. But as long as she had no idea how whipped he was, he could almost handle it. Which was why he was on edge tonight. He didn't want to be caught hanging out in the clinic in case she thought he was after her. After all, a man had to have his pride. At least, as far as the outside world could see.

He checked his watch. A whopping thirteen minutes had passed. He figured this session with the shrink was an hour, so his Patek Philippe's long hand had to take forty-seven more trips around before he could stuff the kid back in the car and bust on out of here.

"Would you like some coffee?" a female voice said.

He looked up. A nurse dressed in a white uniform was standing in front of him. She looked young, especially as she fiddled with one of her sleeves. She also seemed desperate to do something.

"Yeah, sure. Coffee'd be good."

She smiled broadly, her fangs showing. "How do you like it?"

"Black. Black's fine. Thanks."

The whisper of her soft-soled shoes faded while she went down the corridor.

Butch unbuttoned his double-breasted jacket and leaned forward, putting his elbows on his knees. The Valentino suit he'd put on before coming was one of his favorites. So was the Hermes tie around his neck. And the Gucci loafers on his feet.

If he got busted by Marissa, he'd figured he might as well look as good as he ever did.

"Do you want me to drug you?"

Bella focused on Zsadist's face as he loomed above her. His black eyes were mere slits, and he had that beautiful flush of arousal on his stark cheekbones. He was heavy on top of her, and as the needing rose again she thought of him releasing inside of her. She'd felt a wondrous, cooling ease as soon as he'd started to come, the first relief she'd had since the symptoms of the needing had started a couple of hours ago.

But the drive was back now.

"Would you like me to put you out, Bella?"

Maybe it would be better if he drugged her. This was going to be a long night, and from what she understood, it would only get harder and more intense as the hours churned. Was it really fair of her to ask that he stay?

Something soft stroked her cheek. His thumb, brushing over her skin.

"I won't leave you," he said. "No matter how long, no matter how many times. I'll serve you and let you take my vein until it's over. I will not abandon you."

Staring up into his face, she knew without asking that this would be their only time together. The resolve was in his eyes. She could see it clearly.

One night and no other.

Abruptly he lifted his body from hers and reached for the bedside table. His tremendous erection stood out straight from his hips, and just as he came back with a syringe, she grasped his hard flesh.

He hissed and swayed before catching himself by throwing a hand down to the mattress.

"You," she whispered. "Not the drug. I want you."

He dropped the needle on the floor and kissed her, spreading her thighs with his knees. She guided him into her body and felt a glorious rush as he filled her. With a mighty swell her pleasure rose and then broke into two separate needs, one for his sex, one for his blood. Her fangs elongated as she eyed the thick vein at the side of his neck.

As if he sensed what she needed, he twisted his body around so he could stay inside of her while giving her access to his throat.

"Feed," he said hoarsely, his body moving into her and pulling back. "Take what you need."

She bit him without hesitation, piercing right through the slave band, going deep into his skin. As his taste hit her tongue, she heard a roar leave him. And then the strength and the power of him washed over her, through her.

O fell still over his captive, unsure he'd heard right. The vampire he'd caught downtown and brought to the shed behind the cabin was strapped to the table, a butterfly mounted.

He'd captured the male only with plans to work out his frustration. He'd never imagined he'd learn anything useful.

"What was that?" O put his ear down closer to the civilian's mouth.

"She is called... Bella. The one... the female who was taken... her name...Bella."

O straightened, a heady, balmy bloom flowing across his skin. "Do you know if she's alive?"

"I thought she was dead." The civilian coughed weakly. "She's been gone so long."

"Where does her family live?" When there was no immediate answer, O did something guaranteed to open the male's mouth. After the scream faded, O said, "Where is her family?"

"I don't know. I... don't honestly know. Her family... I don't know... I don't know... "

Babble, babble, babble. The civilian slid into the diarrhea-of-the-mouth stage of interrogation, becoming all but useless.

O slapped the thing into silence. "Address. I want an address."

When there was no reply, he provided another source of encouragement. The male gasped under the fresh onslaught, and then blurted, "Twenty-seven Formann Lane."

O's heart started pumping, but he leaned over the vampire casually. "I'm going to go there right now. If you've told the truth I'll set you free. If you haven't I'll kill you slowly as soon as I get back. Now, do you want to change anything?"

The civilian's eyes darted away. Came back.

"Hello?" O said. "You hear me?"

To hurry the civilian up, he applied pressure to a sensitive area. The thing yelped like a dog.

"Tell me," O said softly. "And I'll let you go. This will all stop."

The male's face squeezed into itself, his mouth peeling up and revealing gritted teeth. A tear snaked down his bruised cheek. Though there was the temptation to add another shot of agony as inducement, O decided not to upset the battle between conscience and self-preservation.

"Twenty-seven Thorne."

"Avenue, right?"

"Yes."

O wiped off the tear. Then slit the civilian's throat wide-open.

"You are such a liar," he said as the vampire bled out.

O didn't hang around, just grabbed his jacket full of weapons and left. He was damn sure the addresses were nothing. That was the problem with persuasion. You really couldn't trust the information you got.

He'd check out whatever was there on both streets, but he was clearly being jerked around.

Waste of fucking time.

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