Evernight Page 65

I took a couple of breaths, then walked to Lucas’s bed. He looked up at me, disbelieving, but lifted up the cover to invite me in.

“Just to sleep.” My words came out as a whisper. My pulse pounded in my veins, and my voice sounded thin and strange even to me. I felt warm all over, even between my fingers and my toes.

“Just to sleep,” he promised. I wasn’t sure I believed either of us.

So I slipped into the bed, and Lucas drew the blanket over us both. I lay my head upon the pillow, only inches away from his. The twin bed was so narrow that we couldn’t help but touch each other—my bare legs brushing against his, his boxer shorts rough against my thighs, my breasts close enough to feel the body heat of his bare chest.

Lucas’s eyes never left mine. “I need to know that you believe I’m doing the right thing.”

I considered that. “I believe that you’re doing what you think is right.”

“Close enough,” he said wearily.

“I love you.”

“And I love you.”

At that moment, I wanted to pull him against me so we could get lost in each other and forget about everything else. I didn’t care if we were safe, if we would ever see each other again, even that it would have been my first time. But before I could make a move, Lucas simply folded my hands between his, as reverently as someone about to pray. “We can’t get carried away,” he murmured. His eyes burned into mine, as if there was nothing in the world he wanted more than to get carried away.

My voice shaky, I ventured, “Maybe we could.”

His hands tightened around mine, and something inside me leaped in response. Still, Lucas didn’t move to kiss me. “We can’t.” He said it like he was trying to convince himself as well as me. “We’re both too close to changing into vampires as it is. If either of us lost control—if we both did—You know it could happen, Bianca.”

“Would that be the worst thing?”

“Yeah, I think it would.” Before we could start arguing again about what vampires were and weren’t, who was good and who was bad, Lucas added, “Besides, we’re meeting up with a group of vampire hunters tomorrow. Maybe it’s a bad time to be a vampire.”

Okay, that made sense. It didn’t mean I had to like it. “All right,” I murmured. “But, Lucas—”



His voice rough, Lucas repeated, “Someday.”

I closed my eyes and lowered my face so that his fingertips touched my cheek. I could sleep now. I could believe that everything would be all right. Maybe it was only another dream, but we were in the place for dreaming.


I heard the woman’s voice through a haze. At first I wondered why Patrice was talking about Lucas, then realized it wasn’t Patrice speaking.

Startled, I sat upright. The events of the night before flooded my memory, dazing me, even as I blinked in the sudden light. Instead of waking up in my dorm room, I was lying in bed next to Lucas, who was pushing himself up and running one hand through his rumpled hair—and a woman in her forties was standing in the doorway of our motel room, staring at us.

Lucas swallowed hard, then grinned. “Hi, Mom.”

Chapter Eighteen

“OKAY, IT’S THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, SO I never thought you’d wait until you were married.” Lucas’s mother leaned against the doorjamb and folded her arms across her chest. “But honestly, Lucas. You knew I was coming. Do you really have to throw it in my face?”

“It’s not what it looks like,” Lucas said. How could he be so calm? Instead of stammering out apologies and explanations like I would’ve done, he simply put one hand on my shoulder and smiled. “Bianca and I shared a room because we’re broke. We had to hock something even to get this. And nobody made you pick that lock either. So take it easy, all right?”

She shrugged. “You’re almost twenty. You make your own choices.”

“You’re twenty?” I muttered.

“Nineteen and change. Is it important?”

“I guess not.” Compared to everything else I’d learned about Lucas in the past day, what did it matter that he was three years older than me?

Lucas smoothly pushed himself out of bed. Just my luck: The first time I saw him wearing only boxer shorts, and I couldn’t even relax to enjoy the view. “Bianca, this is my mother, Kate Ross. Mom, this is the girl I’ve told you about, Bianca.”

She gave me a friendly nod. “Call me Kate.”

Now that I was awake enough to focus, I could see how strongly she resembled Lucas. She was tall—even taller than Lucas, maybe—with chin-length golden-brown hair only a shade lighter than his and the same dark green eyes. Like Lucas, her face was angular: square jawed and sharp chinned. She wore faded blue jeans and a maroon Henley shirt tight enough to outline the sculpted muscles in her arms. I didn’t think I’d ever met anyone who seemed less like a mom. I mean, what kind of mother found her son in bed with his teenage girlfriend and just smiled?

Then again, it beat having her flip out. I held up one hand in an awkward wave. “Hi there.”

“Hey yourself. You guys must’ve had a rough night. Let’s pour some coffee into you and figure out how to help Bianca.” Kate nodded toward the street. Lucas was already running his hands through his hair and grabbing his jeans, unembarrassed in front of his mother. I wanted to wrap myself in the bedspread or something, but that would have been even more humiliating; instead I bounded out of bed and into the bathroom in about two steps.

Once inside, I recovered a little of my dignity by getting dressed again. My clothes were now dry, if rumpled. I loosened the braid I’d slept in, and my hair fell down around my face in soft waves. Not much of a hairstyling trick, but that was what they’d relied on in the seventeenth century. With a pang, I remembered my mom showing me. “Let’s go.”

Lucas shot me a look as we went out the door, perhaps trying to evaluate how I was holding up. Kate might be fooled by my false bravado, but he knew me better than that. I lifted my chin proudly, so that he’d know I was determined to make the best of our increasingly odd situation.

Kate led us to a battered old pickup truck from the 1950s, one with faded aqua paint and headlights shaped like the engines of the starship Enterprise. The whole time we got in, she kept looking around us, scanning every single passerby. “Do you guys think you were followed? The teachers can’t look kindly on runaways.”

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