The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(22) by Lynsay Sands
“But he feared you are not strong enough yet to bend the metal and get the woman out,” Lucian informed her. “So he reluctantly stopped to help because he feared your soft heart, combined with your stubbornness, would keep you trying right up until the car exploded and took the lives of both the woman and yourself.”
“No,” Jo protested, and then turned to peer at the man whose lap she sat in. “That’s not why you stopped, is it?”
“It is,” Lucian assured her when Nicholas merely avoided her gaze. “And that is why I do not think life mates should work together anymore.”
“Well then, you will lose a hunter,” Nicholas said grimly. “Because Jo is not working without me to watch her back.”
“You’ll lose two hunters,” Jo corrected firmly. “Because I don’t want Nicholas hunting without me there to watch his back.”
“Honey,” Nicholas said gently, caressing her cheek. “I have been a hunter for a long time, I would be fine.”
Jo didn’t soften. “If you go out hunting without me there to watch your back, then I will work with someone else.”
“She can work with me!” Leigh said cheerfully. “I’ve been practicing my marksmanship and fighting. I’m ready to be a hunter.”
“No!” Nicholas and Lucian barked together, the sound a small explosion in the room.
“No offense, Leigh,” Nicholas said into the silence that followed. “It is not you. I simply will not have Jo work without me.”
“Then either we work together or we don’t work at all,” Jo insisted, and when he scowled, added, “Otherwise, I guess Leigh and I will be teaming up.”
“Over my dead body,” Lucian growled.
“That could be arranged if you like,” Jo said sweetly.
Much to Sherry’s amazement, Lucian’s lips twitched with amusement at the words, but he said, “Leigh is not going to be a hunter.”
“I’m not?” Leigh asked gently. “And who says so?”
Lucian opened his mouth, closed it, and then reasoned, “You are far too busy to take on any kind of job right now, my love. You have two babies to look after.”
“We have two babies to look after,” Leigh pointed out firmly, and then smiled and added, “And we could manage. You could take them during the day while Jo and I work, and then I can watch them at night while you work.”
Sherry wasn’t sure which horrified the man more. He turned green at the mention of him looking after the babies, but then paled terribly at the part about Leigh working with Jo. The women had obviously chosen their threat well. Neither man would want their wives—two newly turned immortals and relatively inexperienced hunters—working together without more experienced backup.
“Or,” Leigh said now, “you could just let Nicholas and Jo continue to work together, and I can get in a little more practice and wait for the babies to start walking and talking before I consider day care.” She frowned now and asked, “Is there such a thing as day care for immortal babies?”
Rather than answer his wife’s question, Lucian turned a fierce scowl on Nicholas and Jo. “You can continue to work together.” Shifting his focus onto Jo completely then, he added, “But you are completely responsible for every- and anyone Leo kills from here on out.”
“Lucian,” Leigh said with a frown when Jo paled. “That’s harsh.”
“Perhaps,” he agreed wearily. “But it is also true. And perhaps next time, knowing that will help Jo ignore what her soft heart wants her to do, and do the right thing instead.” He turned back to Jo and added quietly, “If given the choice between one life or capturing Leo, you have to remember that you cannot save everyone, and that letting Leo go means many more deaths. Deaths that are on your head.”
All the fight seemed to go out of Jo then. Nodding, she sank against Nicholas’s chest and buried her face in his neck. Nicholas promptly stood and carried her out of the room.
“Well,” Sam said dryly. “Anyone still hungry? Or shall I put the pizza in the refrigerator until later?”
Bricker snorted at the suggestion and grabbed one of the six pizza boxes. “Screw that. I’m starved.”
“So am I,” Stephanie announced, grabbing a second box and carrying it to the table. “Come on, Sherry, Basil. Grab some before Bricker eats it all.”
Sherry smiled faintly, the tension that had claimed her during the previous exchange easing, and then she turned to Basil questioningly. Did he have an appetite for food again? It was apparently one of the signs of having met a life mate, along with shared passion. But while she’d certainly experienced a great deal of passion earlier with Basil, Sherry wasn’t sure if she’d actually experienced the shared pleasure he’d mentioned. She’d just sort of exploded with desire when he kissed her. His suddenly having an appetite would be more of an indicator to her than what had passed between them earlier.
He smiled and opened his mouth to say something, but before he could, Lucian barked, “Basil. The council meeting is in fifteen minutes. We have to go.”
“Oh. Right.” Basil glanced at his watch. Sighing, he turned to Sherry and said apologetically, “I have to go. Will you be all right?”
“Of course she will,” Stephanie said cheerfully, catching her hand and pulling her toward an empty chair at the table. “I’ll look after her. You go ahead. She’ll be here when you get back.”
“Right.” Basil hesitated, and for one minute Sherry suspected he was going to kiss her good-bye, but in the end he merely nodded and turned to follow Lucian out of the room. She watched him go, surprised at how disappointed she was that he had to leave her.
“Don’t worry. He’ll be back,” Stephanie said cheerfully. “He won’t be able to stay away from you for long from now on. In the meantime, have some pizza. It’s really good.”
“I am amazed at how well you seem to be accepting all of this.”
Sherry glanced up from washing her hands to meet Drina’s gaze in the bathroom mirror. They were in the women’s washroom of a service center about forty-five minutes from their destination of Port Henry. On spotting the sign that they were approaching the rest stop, Stephanie had announced a need to use the bathroom, so Drina had taken the off ramp when they reached it. Once they got here, however, everyone had decided that using the bathroom was a good idea.
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