The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(19) by Lynsay Sands
Sherry glanced at the man, grateful to find that he was at least alone, and then glanced to Basil as he said to Lucian with great aplomb, “It would seem so.”
Lucian nodded. “Good. It saves us some manpower, which we are sadly short on lately thanks to Marguerite and her matchmaking.” He scowled as he said that and then announced, “You will both stay here tonight and then accompany Stephanie and the girls back to Port Henry tomorrow. You’ll be staying with them at Casey Cottage.”
Sherry frowned. “I have a business to run. I can’t just—”
“You cannot return to your business,” Lucian interrupted firmly. “Leonius saw you with our Miss Stephanie. He knows where your business is, and is a crazy, vengeful bastard. When he cannot find Stephanie, he is likely to head back to your store to take it out on you and anyone else in the vicinity.”
Lucian walked to the refrigerator and opened the door to retrieve a bag of blood before continuing, “We will place a couple of hunters in your store for now, to run it for you in the hopes that he returns and we can capture him. But you are to go nowhere near the place. You would be a liability if he showed up, and I will not have one of my people hurt or killed trying to protect you.”
Sherry sighed and nodded reluctantly, understanding everything he’d said. Truthfully, she had no desire to return to the store right now if there was a chance that Leonius could return.
“Okay. I get that I can’t go back to the store for now, and am willing to go with Basil and the girls tomorrow,” she agreed, and then added, “But there’s no need for me to stay here tonight. I have to go home and pack clothes and a toothbrush and whatnot anyway, and my purse is still at the store. I—”
“Justin will pack you a bag,” Lucian announced. “And I shall have someone collect your purse from the store. But you are staying here tonight.”
On that note, Lucian took his bag of blood with him, turned, and strode out of the room.
Sherry stared after him until he moved out of sight and then turned to Basil and said, “He does know the days of feudal lords and slavery are over, right?”
Basil grinned. “He is a high-handed bastard and bossy as hell, isn’t he?”
“Definitely,” Sherry said irritably.
Basil’s expression grew serious. “But he means well, and he is right that it is safer for you to stay away from your store and home. If Leonius took it into his head to go after you, it would not take much effort for him to find out your name and where you live.”
“How?” Sherry asked with a frown.
“He and his men have been inside the heads of your employees. He will know all sorts of things about them, be able to track them down and find out from them who you are and where you live.” When he saw Sherry getting upset, he added soothingly, “Though, I am sure Lucian has people watching your employees. Still, it is better to stay here for now, rather than take risks.”
“Right,” Sherry said on a sigh, and thought that her eyes had been opened to a whole new world today, one that had more to do with Fright Night than Leave It to Beaver. The thought made her frown and mutter, “Today.”
“Today what?” Basileios asked.
“It was mid-afternoon when Stephanie came into my store . . . and we were running around in the sunlight afterward.” Turning to him she added, “And you and I walked to the outbuilding in sunlight too.”
“Ah.” Basileios nodded. “I gather Stephanie did not get the chance to explain our origins to you?”
“Your origins,” she murmured, and then shook her head. “She said you weren’t dead and soulless, but she didn’t explain exactly how you are the way you are.”
Basil nodded and then took her hand. As he turned toward the door to the hall, he said, “Well then let’s go find a quiet corner and I shall explain everything now.”
“Sherry? Are you all right?”
That question from Basil made her force a smile and nod. But Sherry wasn’t at all sure she was okay after hearing the explanations he’d just given her about his people and their abilities. They were seated in a small parlor on the main floor and Basil had spent the last half hour giving her the explanations he had promised. Now she was trying to absorb what she’d been told.
“You are not speaking,” Basil pointed out with a frown. “You have not spoken since I started explaining.”
There was no denying the concern in his voice and on his face, and she supposed she could understand that concern. He’d just given her a lot of information, telling her things that would make most people call in the guys with straitjackets. However, after what Stephanie had told her earlier and the crazy stuff she’d seen . . . And then there was all the blood in the refrigerator, bags of it stacked on top of each other and filling a good portion of the fridge.
“Sherry?” Basil repeated, definitely worried now.
“I’m just processing,” she assured him quietly, and then cleared her own throat and said, “So, let me be sure I have this all straight . . . Atlantis existed. It was technologically advanced, as the myths suggest. Scientists there developed a bio . . . er . . . something or other nano things that could be introduced to the body that were supposed to cure disease and heal wounds without the need for surgery or chemo and stuff.”
When she paused briefly, he nodded. “Right.”
“And these nanos run on blood.”
“And use blood to make their repairs,” he inserted.
“Right. But it means they need a lot of blood, more than your people can provide.”
“More than a human can provide. We are human too, Sherry,” he said quietly.
She thought that was debatable. Atlanteans may have started out human, but it seemed to her they were now a kind of cyber-vampire people.
“But no, the human body cannot produce enough blood to support the work the nanos need to do,” he added when she didn’t comment.
Sherry merely nodded and continued. “So, you’re saying that in Atlantis they handled that small glitch with blood transfusions. But then Atlantis fell and those of you who survived climbed over the mountains to join the rest of society and—” Pausing, she tilted her head and frowned. “What did you mean when you said Atlantis fell? And did you really have to leave? Couldn’t you have just stayed and rebuilt? Why did you have to join the rest of the world? How was the rest of the world separated from you? Surely it wasn’t just the mountains? And how could the rest of the world be so far behind technologically? Why didn’t your people share your technology with others? Heck, if the rest of the world had known about it they would have stolen it, but how could they not know? And—”
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