The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(72) by Lynsay Sands
And then there was Basil. He said they were life mates and wanted to turn her so they could spend the rest of their lives together. But last night he’d offered to turn her just to ensure that she was safe. His giving up his one turn was an even bigger deal than her agreeing to the turn, yet he was ready to do it despite the fact that she hadn’t yet agreed to be his life mate. She could have let him turn her and then gone on with her life without him, leaving him high and dry. Yet, he’d been willing to do that to keep her safe. If that wasn’t love, she didn’t know what was.
She’d been offered love by two wonderful men, welcomed by all the others now standing around her, and she hadn’t appreciated any of it until this very moment, when it might be too late to do so. She was more than an idiot, she was a moron, and it was time to stop acting like a helpless idiot and do something.
Clenching her hand around the letter opener, Sherry suddenly jammed it back into Leo’s leg. He shouted in pain, and when his hand loosened on her chin and arm, she pulled away and stumbled several steps to the side until she collided with a hard chest.
“Sherry, thank God,” Basil gasped, his arms closing around her.
She started to lift her head, but then swung it around to peer back toward Leo as a whizzing sound cut the air behind her. What she saw was Leo, bent forward, clutching at the handle of her letter opener. It hadn’t hit him in the leg, as she’d thought, Sherry realized. More like his groin. Basha was taking advantage of his bent position, and as Sherry watched, she brought down the sword she’d just raised, beheading Leo in one clean motion. At least, Sherry suspected she beheaded him. She never really saw. Basil grabbed her head and turned her quickly back to face him and she missed the actual blow.
She wasn’t sorry about that. The sounds that accompanied the act, and the blood that rained out over them and across the wall behind her and Basil . . . well, the combination was quite disgusting enough. She was more than grateful when Basil scooped her into his arms and hurried back toward the store’s back door with her. She didn’t want to see what Leonius Livius’s expression was like in death. Was he surprised that his mother actually ended his miserable life? Or grateful for it?
Personally, Sherry was quite sure he’d come looking for his mother to have her kill him. Why else would he be stupid enough to come to Toronto, where the Enforcers’ base was situated?
Despite not wanting to see Leo, Sherry found herself shifting her head to peer back at the scene behind her. She was in time to see Basha collapse into Marcus’s arms, weeping. Sherry supposed the woman was weeping for the child she’d raised rather than the man he’d become, and knew this was probably the hardest thing Basha Argeneau had ever had to do. She hoped it was, anyway, and felt for the poor woman.
As Sherry watched, Marcus scooped Basha up into his arms just as Basil had done with her. Only he carried the woman out of the alley in the opposite direction.
Sherry’s gaze shifted over the others. Victor was ushering Elvi after her and Basil, but the others—including her father, Alexander—all stood around the body in the alley, talking quietly.
“I don’t know his name.”
Basil glanced to Sherry and saw that she was peering over his shoulder at the scene he’d just taken her from. “Livius,” he said. “His name was Leonius Livius.”
She shook her head. “Not him. My father. I know his first name is Alexander, but I have no idea what his last name is.” She stiffened suddenly, her eyes shooting to his face as she asked, “He isn’t an Argeneau, is he?”
“No. We are not related,” he assured her at once.
Sherry relaxed with a little sigh. “Good. I mean what would it make us if you were my cousin or an uncle or something?”
“It would make us most unfortunate,” he said dryly.
“I’ll say,” she muttered, and then glanced around when he stopped. Seeing that they had arrived at the door, she reached out to pull it open for him without being asked. Basil caught the bottom of it with his foot and kicked it open wider, then ducked inside with her. When she sighed and leaned her cheek on his shoulder, he held her a little tighter, wanting to keep her there, just like that, forever.
Basil had never been more scared in his life than when he’d rushed out of the store and spotted Sherry in Leo’s grip. The moments before it had been stressful as well. First, Bricker had called in to say he’d spotted Leo’s boys in a coffee shop directly across from the mouth of the alley behind the store. Lucian had ordered him to park and pursue them.
Bricker had headed across the store then, intent on reaching Sherry and making sure she was okay. Lucian had followed, calling Basha as they went, and getting ahold of her just as she reached the entrance to the coffee shop and spotted the men inside. Bricker had heard him order her to wait for him and Alexander and then to help them handle the four men. Basil had barely hung up when Elvi suddenly burst out of the door to the office ahead of them. He hadn’t needed her to shout that Sherry was gone or to tell him there was a problem—the woman’s pale face and horrified expression had been enough to make him race past her and up into the office. He’d come to a shuddering halt on the upper landing, however, when he saw that Sherry was indeed gone.
“The back door,” Lucian had barked right behind him, and Basil started moving again, charging down the stairs and out into the alley. He would remember the moment when he’d spotted Leo and Sherry for the rest of his life. It was burned into his mind, into his very heart. The monster had his woman, and he was helpless to do a damned thing to save her. Still, he would have tried. He’d rushed forward, intending to tackle the bastard, which probably would have gotten Sherry killed or at least hurt, but he hadn’t been thinking. Fortunately, Lucian was, and had caught his arm to stop him.
Reaching the office now, Basil moved to the chair behind Sherry’s desk. He’d intended to set her in the chair, but once he got there, he settled in it himself with her on his lap. He wasn’t ready to let her go. He might never let her go again.
“What do I do?” Sherry asked, and he peered down into her face.
“You let me turn you like I wanted to do last night,” he said firmly, and when her eyes widened in surprise, he found himself suddenly angry. “You could have died, Sherry. Leo had you and there wasn’t a damned thing I could do about it. You could have died.”
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