The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(30) by Lynsay Sands
“Very good deductive reasoning, Dr. Watson,” Basil teased lightly, and then admitted, “I have been meaning to fly up to meet Victor’s new life mate, but business or family always intervened.”
“Fly up?” Sherry asked.
“I live and work in New York.”
“Oh.” That surprised her. She’d just assumed he was from Toronto like her.
“Anyway, I should have met Elvi at the wedding, but I got detained in Europe,” he said wryly.
“Detained?” Sherry asked. “Like pulled over by airport security detained?”
“No,” he said on a chuckle. “I was supposed to fly back the night before the wedding, but a big storm hit. No one was flying. We left as soon as we could but still ended up hitting New York a good four hours after the wedding. By the time we got through traffic into the city, even the reception was over.”
“Elvi and Victor got married in New York?” she asked with surprise.
Basil nodded. “It was a big multi-wedding. Several couples married at the same time. Elvi and Victor were among them.”
“Ah,” she murmured, but then asked, “So what do you do in New York?”
“Ride herd on my children, harass my brother Lucian with long distance calls, and make money for both myself and the council,” he said with a shrug.
She grinned at the harassing his brother bit, but asked, “And working as a lawyer makes you that much money?”
“While I am presently a lawyer, I also run half a dozen companies under one large umbrella company, and manage several investments I have built up over the years.”
“Right,” she said slowly. “I forgot, you’re old so you’re stinking rich.”
“I have a lot of money, but have not noticed it giving off any kind of unpleasant odor,” he assured her.
If she hadn’t caught the twinkle in his eye, Sherry would have thought he’d taken her literally. However, she did see it, so merely smiled and asked, “What kind of lawyer?”
Basil hesitated and then turned and moved to sit on the couch before answering, “Business law mostly at the moment, although I am licensed in criminal, civil, and immigration law as well.”
“Of course, you are,” she said dryly, and shook her head as she moved to sit on the other end of the couch. “I suppose living so long allows you to diversify a bit.”
“Yes,” he agreed. “I have not always been a lawyer. I only took it up the last century or so.”
She peered at him curiously. “What were you before you were a lawyer?”
Basil grimaced and then smiled and admitted, “I have been many things over the centuries. I was a Rogue Hunter at one time, a warrior, a doctor, a sous chef, a musician, an artist, a—”
“Artist?” she asked with interest. “And a doctor?”
“I was a bad artist,” he admitted, “and just an okay musician, but I was a pretty good doctor.”
“Well, you definitely seem to like variety,” she said wryly.
“It helps relieve the boredom of living so long,” he said quietly.
She nodded and peered out at the passing cars on the street in front of the house for a moment before changing the subject, and asking curiously, “You said run herd on your children. How many children do you have?”
“Twenty-two,” he answered easily.
Sherry froze, and then turned to stare at him wide-eyed. “What?”
Basil glanced at her, noted her expression and said a little more warily, “Twenty-two.”
“You have twenty-two children?”
Basil nodded slowly, appearing perplexed by her dismay.
“Why?” Sherry asked.
His eyebrows rose with surprise. “Why what?”
“Why twenty-two children?” she clarified. “I mean, I can see three or four, but . . . twenty-two?”
“Actually, we had twenty-six altogether, but only twenty-two still live,” Basil said quietly. “And we had so many because . . . well, Mary and I both like children. We are allowed to have one every hundred years, and so we have. Our youngest is twenty-five and just got called to the bar. We are quite proud of him.”
“We are?” Sherry asked with dismay. “Your wife is still alive? I mean I knew you must have been married at one time to have Katricia, but she was born back in—well, ages ago, for heaven’s sake. I thought your wife must have died by now. But she’s still alive? You’re still married?” Sherry was shrieking by the end, she was so horrified at this news. Here everyone was squawking about her being his life mate, and shared pleasure and blah blah blah, and the man was married, for God’s sake.
“Breathe,” Basil said soothingly, reaching out to clasp her hand gently. He allowed her a moment to regain her calm and then said, “Mary and I are not now, and never have been, married or even involved. We are nothing more than friends.”
Sherry blinked repeatedly at that and then snapped, “Friends who have had twenty-six kids together, but you’re not involved? That sounds pretty damned involved to me.”
Basil winced and shook his head. “You have to understand—”
“Understand what?” she bit out, and then said sarcastically, “No, let me guess. She doesn’t understand you. Or she’s cold and won’t let you touch her, but you stay together for the kids. Or, oh, she’s having a relationship with the plumber but won’t agree to divorce because she’s Catholic. Puhleeze,” she growled. “You—”
“We are not married, by law or even common law. We do not now, and never have, lived together. We have only ever been friends and co-parents. The children were . . .” He seemed to struggle for the words to explain, and then sighed and tugged at her hand, urging her to sit beside him. Once she settled stiffly on the couch next to him, he said solemnly, “Sherry, living so long sounds grand and wonderful. No one thinks they want to die, but the truth is, it gets pretty damned repetitive. You get up, you feed, you work, you sleep, and then you get up and do it all over again.”
Mouth tight, he turned to peer out of the window and then said, “I have been alive 3,538 years. That means I have seen roughly 1,291,370 sunrises and sunsets. I have eaten and slept and worked and . . . Quite frankly, it’s boring as hell. That is why some of our kind go rogue and start misbehaving. They are exhausted and bored and need something to make them feel alive again. A life mate can ease that. But waiting to find that life mate is hell. I was in that place. I needed something to give me a reason to look forward, something to capture my interest and hold it.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online