The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(77) by Lynsay Sands
“Thirty-three years,” Alexander finished for him dryly when Basil paused with sudden realization. “Now you know where I disappeared to and why.”
“Your father’s still alive?” Sherry asked Alexander with surprise, and when he nodded, turned to Basil and said, “And you know his father?”
Basil nodded. “Alexander’s father, your grandfather, is on the council, Sherry.”
Her eyes widened incredulously when he said the word grandfather. She had family besides the aunts and uncles she saw only a couple times a year? She had no idea how to feel about that.
While she turned that over in her mind, Basil eyed her father and said, “I know where you disappeared to, but not necessarily why.”
Alexander grimaced. “My father is a very controlling man, and—”
“Shocker,” Sherry interrupted dryly, and her father’s expression filled with chagrin.
“Yeah, I guess the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, honey,” he said with a sigh. “I am sorry about controlling you. I couldn’t think of anything else to do at the time, and I was so worried about you, but today, when you got upset . . .” Alexander shook his head. “What you said wasn’t unlike what I said to my own father before storming out of the house the last time we argued,” he admitted.
Sherry raised her eyebrows at this and asked, “How old are you?”
“Fifty-two,” he answered quietly.
“So you were twenty when you met my mom?” she asked with surprise. Every immortal she’d met until now had been over a hundred. Her father was a baby in comparison, practically like a mortal.
“Nineteen, actually,” he admitted, flushing, and then added, “A very arrogant, ignorant nineteen who thought he knew everything, and as it turns out, didn’t know a damned thing.”
Sherry turned to Basil. “He was just a kid. I mean, practically a baby for you guys. Surely the council would take that into account?”
“Sherry,” Alexander said quietly. When she turned back to him, he shook his head. “I don’t want you to worry about the council, or my punishment. That isn’t your concern, and,” he added firmly when she started to protest, “I am willing to take whatever they decide is my punishment.” He paused and smiled wryly. “I mean, I’m not looking forward to it, but . . .” He shrugged. “I earned it.”
“Listen to me. I need you to understand,” he interrupted quietly.
Sherry sighed but closed her mouth, then glanced around and smiled in gratitude when Basil shifted behind her to pull her back against his chest and hold her again.
“As you said, I was a kid, but I was headed down the wrong road. I had a friend, Ben, who got me into mixed bloods, and—”
“What are mixed bloods?” Sherry asked with confusion.
“Blood from mortals who have ingested alcohol or drugs,” Basil said quietly.
Sherry’s eyes widened. “You were biting mortals?”
“No,” he assured her. “I hadn’t gone that far off the rails. It was bagged blood, and only alcohol mixes. They sell it at the Night Club or you can order it by the case if you want it for home.”
“Oh.” Sherry relaxed.
“Anyway,” Alexander continued, “I started overindulging, going a little wild, doing stupid things. Just petty things, really, but it was enough. My father pulled me in to rake me over the coals. I decided in my arrogance that he was a stupid old fool who didn’t have a clue, told him to go to hell and stormed out.”
“I find it hard to believe Reg took that well,” Basil said dryly.
“Yeah, I figured you knew him when you called him Reg the first time,” Alexander said with a wry smile. “He makes most people call him Regulus. Only his friends call him Reg.”
“We have served on the council together for a long time,” Basil said with a shrug.
Alexander nodded. “To tell you the truth, I don’t know how he took it. I wanted to get as far away as I could, somewhere he wouldn’t find me.”
“And you chose Canada?” Sherry asked with a wince. “Why not somewhere warm and balmy like Florida?”
“Honey, you have an hour and a half more darkness here in southern Ontario in the winter than Florida. For a couple of young vamps eager to party, the longer the darkness lasted meant the longer the party. Besides, someone told us the girls here were . . . er . . . friendlier.”
“Those were your deciding factors?” she asked dryly. “Darkness and hos? Really? God, you were young.”
“We all were once,” he said with amusement.
Shaking her head, she waved at him to continue. “So you and Ben came to Canada, and . . . ?”
“Yeah.” He sighed. “I was away from home, my father wouldn’t know what I was up to and so couldn’t chastise me, and I went a little crazy. We were always partying. We bought bagged mixed blood by the case, and to tell you the truth, I think Ben might have slipped in a couple of black market bags, stuff we shouldn’t have been touching. There were a couple of times when I know I had more than an alcohol buzz.” He paused briefly, his expression reflective, and then he sighed and shook his head. “Anyway, that’s the state I was in when I met your mother.”
Alexander met her gaze and admitted, “I said I didn’t know she was married, that I merely dipped into her head to see that she was attracted to me and that was it. And that’s true, but the fact is, I was in no shape to dip deeper than that. I was so out of it, I’m not even sure I didn’t get some whiff that she was married. I mean, it’s possible one of the other girls said something, isn’t it? If so, I was too far gone to pick up on it.”
Basil shifted behind her, and Sherry glanced over her shoulder to see that he was now frowning. After a hesitation, he said, “The nanos would have cleared your system relatively quickly. You said you sat with them until they left. You should have been clear-headed by then and—Oh,” he ended on a sigh.
“What ‘oh’?” Sherry asked, frowning now herself as she turned back to her father.
“Basil just read my mind,” Alexander explained to her, and then said, “What he found was that, like I said, we were buying it in boxes. We had a box in the back of our car most nights, including that one, and we would excuse ourselves saying we were going to take a leak, but instead of going to the men’s room we would slip out to suck back another bag or three. We did that any time our buzz showed the least sign of wearing off.”
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online