The Shadows(Black Dagger Brotherhood, book 13)(87) by J.R.Ward
Dearest Abalone, son of Abalone,
Forgive me for not relating my thanks to you in person. Your hospitality has been much appreciated and very generous. In recognition of the difficult position my presence must undoubtedly place upon you, I am going to seek refuge with another.
I very much anticipate our paths crossing once again, cousin mine.
Until then, thank you once more for opening your home to me, and until then, I remain,
Your Blooded Relation,
“What does it say?” Phury asked.
As the automatic shutters began to come down for the day, Abalone handed the letter over. “Nothing of consequence. I agree. I need to search the house, but I fear that shall take too long for you to safely return to your compound.”
“Then we’ll stay the day with you,” Phury said as his eyes traveled over the script. “But until we know you and your staff are all right? We’re going nowhere.”
Abalone exhaled. “Blessed am I for your presence.”
Z laughed tightly. “You think we want to go back and tell Wrath you got your throat slit because we didn’t do our job? Not the kind of report I want to make to the King.”
Phury gave the letter back and put his hand on Abalone’s shoulder once again. “And let us do the dirty work—it’s safer for everyone that way. Where’s your bedroom?”
“Down that way.”
“Come on, we’ll take you there and then get your staff secured. After that, we’re going to fine-tooth-comb this house until we know there’s nothing but that letter left behind.”
Abalone found himself nodding. “Thank you, sires. Thank you so very much.”
“I am most pleased that you called upon me. And I am sorry that I kept you waiting.”
Throe smiled at the female addressing him and indicated the comfortable sofa he’d been sitting on since he arrived on her property. “It has been no hardship. I’ve been warm and dry. Already, you have been as gracious as any hostess could possibly be.”
The aristocratic female smiled, flashing teeth that were as white as the diamonds at her throat. Her wrists. Upon her fingers and earlobes. Standing just inside the modest caretaker’s residence on her huge estate, she looked like a model who’d walked into the wrong photoshoot.
“My mate is unwell,” she said gravely. “I had to attend to him.”
Dressed as she was in a skintight leopard-print cocktail dress, one had to wonder exactly what kind of needs her elderly hellren had.
Hardly the sort of thing a shellan would wear to tuck an older gentlemale into bed.
More likely, Throe thought, she had dressed to meet him.
“Yes, I recall he was ailing,” he said smoothly. “I’m very sorry.”
“It grieves me so.”
“How could it not.”
“I shall be a widow soon.”
As he nodded in solemn sympathy, he deliberately allowed his eyes to drift down from her black straight hair to her dainty feet.
The last time he’d seen her, it had been here, but there had been far fewer clothes involved—for both of them, as well as his fellow Bastards. She had been lying before the hearth, and he and the soldiers had swarmed over her naked flesh, feeding, fucking. That had been about a month ago, only the most recent of the sessions that had been ongoing for the previous year at regular intervals.
“Is it only you then tonight?” she asked in a husky way.
“Yes, and I must have you know that I am afraid we have parted ways, Xcor and myself. I’m getting out of the fighting.”
“Are you,” she purred. “And where are you staying?”
“I am between residences at this moment.”
She came forward, crossing the shallow room to stand within arm’s reach of him. “Dawn is coming soon.”
He sent his stare down her body again. “Is it. Well, then I shall have to go.”
“So soon,” she pouted.
“’Tis only safe.” Idly, he trailed his fingertips up her hip, across her lower belly … down to the juncture of her thighs. Pressing in through the dress, he gave her cleft a little stroke. “So I’m afraid I must end things here—”
“Perhaps you and I may come to an arrangement,” she said.
“Oh?” he said.
“My hellren is far older than I. He is my true love, of course.”
“But because of his advancing age, there are certain needs of mine that he is not capable of fulfilling regularly.”
“I believe you are familiar with my abilities in that regard.”
The female smiled in a feral fashion. “Yes. I am.”
“And it would seem only fair that, were you to offer me room and board, you be compensated in a manner which you deem appropriate.”
The female put one of her stiletto-clad feet on the arm of the sofa and lifted the hem of her dress up to her waist, exposing her bare sex to him. “Perhaps you shall refresh my memory as to your talents first.”
Throe purred in the back of his throat and leaned into her, extending his tongue, licking his way into her slit. As her hips tilted toward him, and her head fell back, he sucked at her clit—
And then stopped. Sat back. “I have one problem.”
“Yes?” she grunted, pulling her head back to level.
“I cannae stay here at this cottage. Not if the Band of Bastards are going to pay you … homage. Surely, on an estate as large as this, there must be other accommodations available?”
She frowned. “You are of the Bluerme bloodline, are you not?”
“I am. Through my mahmen’s people.”
“You are a distant relation of my hellren’s, then, and it would therefore be rude of us not to offer you shelter. Of course, if you are going to be in the main house, we shall have to purchase you clothing.”
Throe smiled at her. It was just so perfect.
After all, she and her mate had supported the political coup against Wrath—and there was no way they were rejoicing the King’s subsequent disbanding of The Council.
He had his in, as well as his base of operations.
“That would be most acceptable,” he said, slipping his hands around her hips and drawing her back to his mouth.
Against her sex, he murmured, “Now, allow me to demonstrate my affection for your generous nature.”
“I work alone,” the whore was saying as she went over to her clothes. “I don’t have a pimp. If you want me again, you know where to find me.”
Xcor stared across the cottage’s living area, watching the female dress with an efficiency that was only a second slower than the speed of sound.
The blonde departed without any good-bye, her duty having been discharged, his payment of two thousand dollars having been accepted. As the door shut behind her, he shifted his eyes to the dying fire. He had paid to fuck her any way and anywhere he wanted and he had done so. Repeatedly. He had also taken from her vein.
For which the second thousand had been recompense.
Thanks to his keen hearing, he heard her outside, walking through the leaves. And then her voice drifted through the thin walls of the structure that he had bought for another.
“Yeah, I’m leaving now. Yeah. He was ugly, but he fucks like an animal—”
That was the last he heard, so she must have dematerialized.
His body was naked as he sat on the floor before the hearth, knees up, elbows plugged in, arms dangling. The sweat was cooling on his skin, his fangs still descended from the feeding, his sex flaccid and shrunken and red from the beating it had taken.
The scent of everything he had done lingered in the air, every draw in through his nose a reminder of what his body had wrought.
And with whom.
Hanging his head, he rubbed at his too-long hair, numbly thinking that he should get it cut.
Images played through his mind of him getting that female on all fours and mounting her like a dog. His balls had slapped against her sex as he took her in the ass and he had come so many times, he had left her dripping.
He had tried to make it as dirty as possible—and he had even kissed the female. Everywhere.
He had wanted to stain his very skin with the experience. Change his body. Alter his mind.
Wipe the slate clean.
Instead, as he sat on the hard floor by himself, he found that he had done the opposite. Layla was the only thing he thought of now: her lovely, shy face, those pale green eyes so smart and kind, that body of which he had had only hints. The session with the whore had merely served to dim him down, such that the illumination offered by the one he loved burned all the brighter for the contrast.
As a strategy, this had been a total failure.
So he would have to find another. Or try this again—yes, he would try again with another or the same or three or four. Money was scarce, but Balthazar and Zypher were so seductive, Xcor was quite sure they could successfully advocate on his behalf.
And then there was always alcohol to help him.
And fighting, which could be an excellent energy drain.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online