I grunted. I take it this isn’t a coincidence. You’re here to help hunt down the missing vamps. Brute just stared at me, though I knew he understood every word. I sighed and snapped my fingers, pointed at the floor. Get off my new bed. Those sheets were clean. When neither moved, I raised my voice. Now.
Kitssss, Beast whispered before falling silent again. All Beast’s kitssss. She had been oddly uncommunicative since I returned to my human form. I didn’t know what her relative silence meant, but she wasn’t missing; she was still there inside with me, so I was okay with her silence.Rereading the will I had signed months ago, a will that left trusts for my godchildren, for Molly and Evan, for the Youngers. Leaving everything else to the heirs of Clan Yellowrock. I wasn’t sure the office of Dark Queen could be passed on, but if it could, it would go to the entire NOLA witch coven. I left Bruiser all my magical items and Bitsa—the things that held me here and gave me power, and the one thing that spoke to me of freedom, my panhead bastard Harley.
I sent a letter of intent to the B-twins, the Robere brothers, who were the lawyers of the NOLA vamps, to sue Raymond Micheika, the leader of all the weres on earth (and especially the leader of the African weres, the most politically powerful group). In the letter I accused Raymond of treachery against Americans, on American soil. I told the Roberes to proceed with legal papers in my name, with any charges and grievances they could think of, and asked them to send a copy of the paperwork to whatever legal department in the U.S. government would be most effective at keeping Raymond off U.S. soil. I signed it, the Dark Queen of the Mithrans and the Blood Master of Clan Yellowrock of New Orleans. I even signed papers for the house that had once been Rousseau Clan Home. It was big enough to be the Clan Home of Clan Yellowrock, the official clan residence, and it was actually two full-sized homes in one, perfect for clan business. And it had a pool. I toured a few more houses online while I was at it, and bought two more. Money wasn’t a problem. Not now. Not ever again. I talked to Bruiser on the phone, loving the sound of his voice, loving the fact that he loved me. His last words were, Ed took the Learjet, so I’m flying commercial. I’ll be back from New York on the red-eye. Don’t wait up. I’ll crawl in beside you.I won’t wait up, I promised.I checked the news for the last weeks to discover that there had been a number of grisly deaths on the full moon—homeless men slashed to death with knives, throats slit. The grindys had been at work, killing people bitten by the rogue wolves, the new, fledgling werewolves the rogue pack had created. The news of the insane serial killer had hit the airwaves like a tsunami and then disappeared when the killings stopped. If the dead had been wealthy, the press would still be going nuts over it, but since they were poor and largely unidentified, the press had drifted quickly to other stories. Typical, I thought cynically. As well as I could tell, the rogue pack were all dead too. I wasn’t sure why the grindys didn’t kill all the werewolves and be done with it rather than letting the Bighorn pack survive and thrive. Maybe it was the fact that they had a leader and they didn’t spread the were-taint. Maybe something else.
While I worked I packed. Quietly. Surreptitiously. Weeding through the things I now owned. Finding that I ended up with just enough to fit in Bitsa’s saddlebags, which, oddly enough, was mostly just the clothes, boots, and weapons I used to travel with and a few of the smaller magical trinkets I wanted to keep.An hour before dusk, I walked out of my room and through the house, hearing Alex in the shower, smelling roast in the oven. I eased outside. I was weaponed up. Dressed for the road and the cold weather. Riding leathers. Boots. I walked across the side porch.
Ed’s fancy car was gone, just like so many things. I loaded Bitsa’s saddlebags. Opened the wrought-iron side gate with its fleur-de-lis scrollwork at the top. Straddled my bike. Sat there, staring out through the gate.
You not gonna say anything? I asked.Goodness, she could feel him, hard and thick under his jeans. There was no faking that kind of response he was having. Maybe she wasn’t normally the type of woman he went for, but he was into this.
He drew back. Do you feel that?So you get how we got here now? Why I’m here? he asked. My dick is hard for you. Not anyone else back at the bar. He pressed her hand against him, folding her fingers around the length. That’s all for you.
Taylor stilled, looking down at her. Surprise flickered across his face, followed by understanding. You really haven’t done this before, have you? He drew her hand away from his cock, bringing her palm back to his chest. The whole hookup thing?Shaking her head, she wondered if her face was going to burn right off. I really haven’t.