The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(39) by Lynsay Sands
“Neither,” Basil announced. “Both were born immortal.”
“Oh,” she said with surprise. “So a life mate can be an immortal too?”
“Yes,” Basil assured her. “Though it is more often a mortal, but that’s probably a function of population ratios. There are a lot more mortals than immortals.”
“Right,” Sherry murmured. “But mortal life mates are expected to become . . .” She just couldn’t say it, and didn’t have to. Elvi smiled sympathetically and nodded.
“Yes, an immortal’s life mate usually becomes immortal too.”
“Of course,” Sherry murmured, and sat back. She’d known that, of course. In some part of her mind she’d realized that would probably be the case. All the people she’d met at the Rogue Hunters’ house were immortals and most had been couples. Besides, it just made sense. She peered at the people at the table with her. Every one of them looked to be in their early twenties. Anyone looking at them would think she was the oldest one here at thirty-two, but not one of her companions was actually younger than her. Elvi was in her sixties, and she had no idea how old Basil and Victor were, but Basil’s daughter had been born in 411 AD so he had to be older than that.
And that was just madness, no one lived that long, she thought faintly. But then it was all madness. Vampires, drinking blood, reading minds, controlling mortals . . .
But the maddest thing of all was that she believed it all. She’d obviously lost her mind . . . or maybe she was dreaming, or they’d dosed her with LSD or something and she was hallucinating the entire thing.
That had to be the answer, she thought now, because . . . well, frankly, it was all kind of hard to swallow. It was like suddenly being told that Santa really did exist . . . or the tooth fairy. Even the extreme passion, or perhaps especially the extreme passion she’d experienced with Basil, was hard to accept as a reality. She was not a virgin, she’d had sex, good sex, great sex, even, over the years, but nothing like the mind-blowing madness she’d experienced with Basil. All he had to do was touch her and she went up in flames. When he kissed her, all she could think about was taking him into her body and riding the pony to unconsciousness again.
Hell, he didn’t even have to be conscious for her to want him like a drug addict in serious need of a fix. After they’d escaped the linen closet and made it to her room last night, they had another very fast round before passing out from pleasure again, but this time Sherry had woken up first. She’d blinked her eyes open, found herself lying on his chest, smelled the combination of spice and woods that was his cologne mixed with his natural odor, and then found herself licking her way down his body. After passing out that time, she woke to find that Basil had decided turnabout was fair play and buried his face between her legs. She’d barely woken up in time to enjoy the orgasm he gave her before she was sent back to unconsciousness again.
Sherry had lost count of how many times she orgasmed and passed out through the night. Like a drowning swimmer, she’d come up for air, gasped as pleasure filled her body and mind, and then sank under the waves and passed out before surfacing once more to do it again . . . and again.
They’d probably still be there in her room, she thought, if Elvi hadn’t woke them with a knock at the door and a call that breakfast was ready and they could go shopping afterward. It was only after Basil kissed her cheek and slipped from the room to shower and dress that she’d become aware of the state of her body. Sherry had hickeys and love bites everywhere and was swollen and sore as hell in places that were never swollen and sore. The worst part was the realization that as sore as she was, if he so much as kissed her, she’d spread her legs and welcome the man again in a heartbeat, even here on the tabletop with Elvi, Victor, and the whole restaurant watching. She wanted and needed him that badly, and that just was not her. Even thinking this way was madness. So this couldn’t be real. It was a dream or drugs or something, but it was not real, she thought, and could have wept because she wanted so much for it to be real.
“Well, I need to visit the ladies’ room before we leave,” Elvi announced suddenly, getting to her feet. “Join me, Sherry?”
“Oh,” Sherry said, blinking away her thoughts. “Uh . . . sure.”
Standing, she forced a smile for Basil and Victor and then followed Elvi to the ladies’ room, stopping abruptly when the door closed behind them and the other woman halted, swung around and pinched her.
“Ow! What—?” Sherry said in confusion, and then Elvi opened her mouth and her incisors shifted and slid down, making two sharp fangs. Sherry staggered back a startled step and stared at the pointed teeth blankly for a moment, watching as they simply slid up and shifted again, becoming what appeared to be two normal incisors. A heartbeat later they slid back down into view once more. Fangs.
Elvi let them recede again and then arched an eyebrow. “Do you want to touch them and feel that they are real? That all of this is real?” she added meaningfully.
Sherry blinked, but shook her head.
Elvi nodded. “Do you want me to bite you so you can be sure they work?”
She shook her head more swiftly at that.
“Will you now stop trying to convince yourself that you’re dreaming or drugged and accept that what’s happening is really happening and that what we’ve told you about immortals, nanos, and no-fangers is true?”
When Sherry merely stared at her with confusion, Elvi sighed and took one of her hands in both of hers.
“Dear, I know this is a lot to take in,” she said solemnly. “I also know that right now you’re grasping at alternate solutions because you’re terrified of what this means to you.”
Sherry blinked as those words struck a chord in her body.
“You’re afraid that you’ll be expected to turn and become immortal like the rest of us,” Elvi said quietly.
Sherry bit her lip but didn’t say anything. While she’d been fascinated at first and eager to believe, now that she realized that as Basil’s life mate she’d be expected to become an immortal too . . . well . . . she was scared. Terrified even. This wasn’t like being expected to switch to Catholicism or some other religion to be with the man you loved. This was a permanent physical alteration. This was huge . . . and she didn’t know what she actually felt for Basil yet. Sure, she lusted after the man something awful, but—
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