The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(14) by Lynsay Sands
A snort from the end of the room drew Sherry’s attention to the fact that Justin Bricker had his head in the refrigerator as he rummaged around for something.
“Not bloody likely,” the man announced as he straightened with a bag of blood in hand. “Leo’s a slippery bastard. He pops up in one place just long enough to get everyone rushing there, then disappears and pops up somewhere hundreds of miles away. Hell, the day before yesterday he was supposedly spotted in Florida. Today he’s here. Tomorrow he’ll be in Mexico.”
“Is that true?” Sherry asked with a frown, watching Justin wave the bag of blood around as he spoke.
“I’m afraid so,” Leigh admitted quietly.
“Yeah.” Sam sighed. “Leo’s crazy but smart. He never stays anywhere long. Sometimes he isn’t even spotted, just his handiwork tells us he’s been somewhere.”
“If it’s his handiwork,” Justin said heavily. “He has a lot of sons, remember. And they aren’t always with him. I’m guessing they cause some grief on their own and add to the myth that is Leonius Livius.”
“Yeah,” Sam said again, then shook her head and turned to hang the dish towel over the stove handle, saying, “But enough of this depressing talk. Sherry doesn’t need to hear it. Her day has been rough enough. It’s change-of-topic time.” Turning back, she asked brightly, “So you’re Basil’s life mate?”
“Oh, I don’t—” Sherry began weakly, relieved when Leigh patted her arm reassuringly and spoke up.
“She hasn’t quite accepted that yet, Sam. You recall how hard it is at the start.”
“Oh yeah,” Sam said wryly and shook her head as she admitted, “I resisted like crazy, made Mortimer’s life a living hell without intending to. Made my own life hell too, actually. It only got better when I gave in and went with it, but it took a bit to get me to that point.”
“You were more than worth the wait.”
Sherry blinked and glanced to the man who had entered the kitchen. Tall, with blond hair that had dark tips suggesting it had once been dyed brown, the man walked to Sam and slid his arms around her, and then pressed a kiss to her lips. Sherry supposed he must be Mortimer.
Straightening, Mortimer then glanced to Justin to say, “The dogs need to be fed before they’re let out. Can you see to that for me?”
When the other man nodded and left the room, Mortimer glanced back to Sam and said, “Something smells good.”
“I found a recipe online for that cheese and beer soup you liked so much when we went out to dinner last week. I’m making up a batch,” Sam said with a grin.
“Really?” Mortimer asked with pleasant surprise.
“Yeah,” Sam grinned.
“God I love you,” he breathed and kissed her again, this time with enough passion that Sherry would have looked away if she’d been able. But her eyes seemed locked on the couple. At least they were until the sound of footsteps drew her attention to the door as Basil led Lucian into the room.
“You’re with Basil,” Lucian announced, spearing Sherry with his eyes. “The two of you have issues to sort, and the rest of us have some business to discuss, so go.”
The man was definitely lacking in the communication department, Sherry decided, but then Basil held out his hand, and she forgot all about his brother as she moved to him like a moth drawn to flame.
Seriously, all he had to do was hold out his hand and she went like a whipped dog? Sherry would have been annoyed with herself except that Basil’s warm clasp distracted her.
“Would you like to go to the living room and talk? Or shall we walk around outside?” Basil asked as he led her from the kitchen.
“Outside,” Sherry decided, not sure what he wanted to talk about, but suspecting it was this life mate business. If so, she really didn’t want this discussion to take place where someone could overhear.
Basileios nodded and led her along the hall to a back door and then ushered her outside.
Sherry glanced around curiously as he pulled the door closed behind them. The long driveway had told her it was a large property, but she was still surprised to see that it appeared to extend behind the house for quite a distance. The backyard was large and well treed. It was bordered on one side by woods and on the other by the driveway, and then she saw more yard followed by more woods.
Sherry eyed the driveway curiously, following it to a large outbuilding a good distance behind the house. The building appeared only to be one floor, but it was wider than the house itself, with several garage doors taking up more than half of it.
Basileios took her arm and urged her in the direction of the outbuilding.
Sherry, sure he’d brought her out here to discuss this life mate nonsense, waited patiently for him to begin. Unfortunately, he didn’t appear eager to touch on the subject, or any subject for that matter. He didn’t say anything at all as they walked, and before she could dredge up the courage to say something herself, they’d reached the outbuilding.
“I thought it might be best to introduce you to the dogs,” Basileios explained, opening the door for her. “That way they will recognize you as a welcome guest when they are patrolling the yard.”
Sherry’s eyes widened at the suggestion, thinking it a good one. The last thing she wanted was a bunch of guard dogs to think she was an interloper and attack her.
He led her past an empty office, and then urged her down a hallway to the left. They passed through another door into a hall with what appeared to be jail cells running up either side.
“Rogues are held here until they are judged by the council,” Basileios explained quietly as they passed the cells.
Sherry nodded, but wondered what council he was talking about. She didn’t ask, however. Her curiosity had been caught by the murmur of a male voice from up ahead. It was accompanied by a sound she didn’t recognize until Basileios commented, “It must be feeding time.”
She realized then that it was the sound of dry dog food being poured into metal dishes and smiled faintly. “Yes. Mortimer sent Justin out to feed the dogs just before you and Lucian came into the kitchen.”
Basileios nodded, and a moment later they reached the door of a small room where a man had lined up four metal dog dishes on a counter and was just finishing filling the last one. It wasn’t Justin, however, Sherry saw with surprise as the dark-haired man glanced their way and offered a smile of greeting and a friendly “Hi.”
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