The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(48) by Lynsay Sands
Lucian growled something under his breath and set the chips down to pick up his sandwich.
“You didn’t have to pick up anything,” Harper said, ushering Drina and Stephanie into the room now. “There is food here, Lucian. And I told you to make yourself comfortable. That included eating whatever you want.”
Lucian shrugged and merely unwrapped his sandwich. “I did not feel like cooking.”
“No need,” Harper assured him. “I told Ms. Parker to get in some frozen meals and to cook up a couple of meals a week in case you dropped in.”
Basil raised his eyebrows. “Why would Lucian need to eat here? I understood Leigh was an amazing cook.”
“She was,” Lucian said, sounding glum. “But she saw some damned thing on the Internet about cruelty to farm animals and she’s gone vegetarian.”
“Oh dear,” Basil said with a wince. “So she only cooks vegetarian now?”
When Lucian merely grunted and shook his head, it was Harper who said, “Leigh still cooks main dishes of meat for Lucian.”
Basil raised his eyebrows. “Then what is the problem?”
Lucian swallowed and repeated in dry tones, “She’s vegetarian now.”
He said it as if that should clarify the matter. It didn’t. Basil simply stared at him blankly, not comprehending.
“Leigh no longer tastes what she’s cooking if it has meat in it,” Bricker explained with amusement. “So it’s a coin flip as to whether it will be good or not. Sometimes it’s underspiced, sometimes it’s overspiced, and sometimes it tastes like tonight’s dinner.” He glanced to Lucian and asked lightly, “Cow patties in cream sauce, wasn’t that what you said it was?”
“Country chicken,” Lucian corrected grimly. “But it tasted like cow patties in cream sauce.”
“Oh dear,” Basil said, sounding suspiciously like he wanted to laugh.
“Hmmm,” Lucian muttered, and glanced to Harper. “I was glad to get your message.”
“Gave you an excuse to avoid eating Leigh’s cooking, hmm?” Harper asked with amusement.
He nodded, and picked up his sandwich again. “Which is why I am not as angry as I should be.”
“Leo makes all of us angry,” Basil said quietly as Lucian took another bite of his sandwich.
Lucian didn’t even look at him. His gaze was locked on Drina as he chewed. Once he swallowed, he asked, “Why did you bring the girls back?”
“I explained everything in my message,” Harper said with a frown.
When Lucian didn’t even glance his way, but continued to stare at Drina, she said, “Leo found the girls.”
“No. He didn’t,” Lucian said, and took another bite of his sandwich.
“Yes, he did,” Drina assured him. “At least he found Sherry. He approached her at a mall in London. We were concerned that Leo might have followed them back to Port Henry.”
Lucian nodded as he swallowed and then said, again, “He didn’t.”
“He didn’t follow them back?” Drina asked with a frown. “How can you know that?”
“Because he didn’t approach her at the mall,” Lucian said grimly.
“What?” Drina asked with confusion.
“It’s Susan all over again,” Lucian announced.
“Susan?” Sherry murmured, glancing to Basil questioningly. However, he merely shrugged, apparently not knowing what the man was talking about either.
“I don’t understand,” Drina said slowly.
“Port Henry,” he reminded her. “The attacks there. You all assumed it was Leonius.”
“But it wasn’t,” Drina pointed out. “That time it was Susan.”
“Yeah,” he agreed. “And this is the same thing all over again.”
Drina shook her head. “This is nothing like the last time, Uncle. There haven’t been any attacks. And this time it is Leo. He approached her at the mall. We saw him in Sherry’s memory.”
“Did you?” Lucian asked mildly, peering into the bag of chips and picking one out to sniff suspiciously before popping it in his mouth.
“Yes, we did.” Stephanie spoke up now, scowling at the man as he winced, his cheeks sucking inward as if he’d bitten into a lemon. “We all saw it in her memory.”
Lucian didn’t even glance at the girl. Returning his gaze to Drina, he chewed, swallowed, and said, “Look again . . . and this time really look . . . as you would if you had no idea who it might be.”
Sherry wasn’t surprised when Drina immediately turned to her. She was a little dismayed, though, that everyone else did too. Well, everyone but Lucian. He turned his attention back to eating as Drina, Harper, Stephanie, Bricker, and even Basil turned to eye her. Basil was the only one who wasn’t staring at her with that weird concentrated expression, but then he was the only one there who couldn’t read her.
Resigning herself to it, Sherry recalled the moment they were looking for and simply waited.
“See,” Stephanie said with a nod. “She was wearing the outfit she has on now. Someone knocked at the dressing room door. She opened it and it was . . .” Stephanie shook her head with frustration. “It looks like Leo, except—”
Sherry tilted her head at what Stephanie had said. It twigged a memory for her. She recalled exactly what Stephanie described. She had been wearing the jeans she now had on and the sweater. A knock sounded at the door. She’d opened it, expecting it to be Elvi, but . . . Sherry frowned and shook her head. It was all very fuzzy. She saw Leo standing outside the dressing room, but another face kept trying to replace his, and the image was overlaying his, or perhaps his image was overlaying the other so that it was a confused picture, like a double-exposed photo.
“It was a dream,” Stephanie said suddenly, her eyes wide. “It was fuzzy the first time, but I can see it better now. It’s like a digital recording that’s gone whacky. It must have been a dream we’ve picked up on.”
Sherry let her breath out with a little sigh of relief. That made sense. As she’d suggested back at the house, she’d been having nightmares about Leo and his little trio of monsters since the attack in her store. Why wouldn’t she have one during her faint?
“It’s not a dream,” Lucian announced, and took another bite from his sandwich.
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