One Lucky Vampire Page 30

“Okay, we’ll go, baby,” he said soothingly.

Nicole stood uncertainly, eyes wide. “But Jake is making coffee and—”

“I don’t drink coffee,” Melly reminded her.

“Well, he’s boiling water for you,” Nicole said grimly.

“I don’t care. I want to leave.” Melly said simply and then turned to Joey and demanded imperiously, “Take me shopping, Joey.”

“Of course,” he said quickly, taking her arm to usher her to the stairs. “I’ll buy you something shiny and pretty.”

“And expensive. It should be expensive to make up for this,” Melly informed him.

“Of course,” Joey assured her.

Nicole stared after them with amazement as the couple descended the stairs out of sight. She couldn’t believe what she’d just seen and heard. Good God—

“She must give one hell of a blow job.”

Nicole jumped and turned at that dry comment from Jake. He stood behind her, hands on hips, a disgusted look on his face. Eyes wide with amazement, Nicole asked, “What?”

He shrugged, his mouth twisting. “Well, it’s true. She must be beyond amazing in bed for Joey to put up with that crap. She’s a bitch and he grovels and panders to her like a peasant in the presence of a queen.”

“Yes,” Nicole agreed on a sigh, glancing out the large front window as Joey ushered Melly to his car in the driveway. “She’s perfectly horrid.”

“Hmm.” Jake nodded, watching the couple as well. They both simply stood there, silently watching until Joey had Melly in the car, got in himself, and backed out of the driveway. As the car drove out of sight along the road, Jake announced, “The coffee should be done and the cake is sliced up. Want some?”

“Oh yeah,” Nicole said with feeling, turning to lead the way into the kitchen.

“I cut four slices,” he commented. “I thought slices rather than bringing the cake out would help prevent Melly from eating three or four slices to purge.”

“I guess we’ll just have to have two slices each,” Nicole said, brightening somewhat. Chocolate always helped, and she suspected it would take two slices to help rid her of the bad taste in her mouth. She couldn’t believe Joey was with that horrible woman. Melly was rude, and arrogant and—Really, Nicole couldn’t think of a single nice thing to say about the woman . . . except, “She’s beautiful.”

“She would be if she kept her mouth shut,” Jake responded dryly as he fetched two cups and began to pour coffee. Then he added, “Actually, no that’s not true. She’d have to stop thinking too. I was trying not to listen, but could hear her thoughts plain as day and not one of them was pleasant. What she actually said was the cream of the crop. That was just selfish stuff. The rest was nasty, critical crap.”

Nicole tore her gaze away from the four plates with cake on them that sat on a tray on the kitchen counter, and peered at Jake curiously. “You were trying not to listen? You make it sound like her thoughts are a radio playing. Don’t you have to actually read people’s thoughts?”

“Sometimes,” he said with a shrug. “It’s different with different people. It’s—” He stopped, frowning as he carried the coffees to the table. Nicole suspected he was trying to figure out how to explain it and waited patiently. As she did, she picked up two of the plates, grabbed a couple of forks and followed Jake. They were seated and fixing their coffees with cream and sugar before he continued.

“Okay, close your eyes and imagine you’re in a room full of people. At an art show maybe, a big art show and everyone is standing around talking,” he said.

Nicole took her spoon out of her coffee, set it on the edge of her plate and closed her eyes. The scene he suggested immediately sprang up in her mind. A room full of people, drinks in hand, circulating, talking, laughing . . .

“Now, hear their voices. Some are louder than others, right? I mean you can stand in the middle of the room and while most of the talking is just an indistinguishable murmur, you can catch bits of conversation from others more clearly. There’s a sudden burst of laughter to your right. Someone to your left is saying in a high, distressed voice, “Oh my God, I can’t believe he did that to me.” Behind you a sharp angry voice is saying, “What a bitch.” Someone else is telling a joke in a too-loud voice that’s clear as a bell above the rabble and so on.”

“Okay,” Nicole murmured when he fell silent. She could picture the whole scene pretty clearly, and imagine the conversations.

“Well, that’s what it’s like for me with people’s thoughts,” he explained. “Most of the time, when I’m out in public, there’s a constant buzz of people’s thoughts and to actually hear a specific person’s thoughts I have to focus on them, block out everything else and concentrate on what they are thinking. That’s reading them.”

Nicole nodded slowly.

“But,” he added, “There are other people out there, who think more loudly than others, or whose thoughts are sharp and distinguishable from the general rabble. For them you actually have to try to block their thoughts, but it’s like plugging your ears when someone’s shouting at you, it usually still gets through.”

“And Melly is a shouter with her thoughts?” Nicole asked, finding this information fascinating.

Jake grimaced and nodded. “Her thoughts are deafening. I couldn’t even hear the murmur of Joey’s thoughts with hers screaming at me.”

Nicole picked up her coffee and took a sip, thinking about what he’d said and then she frowned. “It sounds . . . noisy,” she finished, but wasn’t satisfied with the word. “I mean, you’re saying that not only do you hear actual sounds when you’re out in the world—and all of them since you say your hearing is superior—but there’s also the constant hum of people’s thoughts?”

“Unless I’m alone,” Jake said, and then added, “Or alone with you.”

Right, he couldn’t read her, she thought.

“That’s one of the reasons why a life mate is so special,” he said quietly. “To avoid the constant barrage of sound and thoughts, an unmated immortal has to isolate themselves and too much isolation can lead to an immortal going rogue. But an immortal with a life mate can find peace while still enjoying their company. They don’t have to isolate themselves, and the peace they find with that life mate recharges their batteries and allows them to better handle being out in the noisy world. A life mate is soothing.”

“I see,” Nicole whispered, and she did. She now understood how a life mate would be special. But she grinned suddenly and teased, “So I’m kind of like a tranquilizer for you.”

Jake blinked with surprise, whether at the suggestion or because he was surprised to find it true, she didn’t know. But then his eyes began to glow and he admitted, “Kind of. But more a cross between a tranquilizer and Viagra.”

Nicole felt her face flush. It wasn’t with embarrassment. She recognized that silver glow in his eyes. The more passion he experienced, the stronger the silver was in his eyes. She didn’t know why that was, but was aware of it and knew his thoughts had shifted to more carnal matters. And that knowledge had her own thoughts heading in that direction as well. Her body was beginning to tingle, her nipples were hardening, and the familiar dampness was growing between her legs.

Damn, all he had to do was look at her and she got wet . . . like some upside-down version of Pavlov’s dogs, Nicole thought.

“The chocolate cake is good,” Jake said suddenly.

Blinking, Nicole glanced down at her cake. She hadn’t even tried it yet.

“But you taste better,” Jake added.

Nicole stilled, and then slowly raised her head to peer at him. Oh yeah, his eyes were on fire now . . . and so was she. How the hell did that happen so fast? No kissing, touching, nothing. Just a couple words and she was ready to go.

Jake picked up his plate and coffee and carried them to the island, then returned to stand beside her. Nicole tipped her head back, expecting him to kiss her, but instead he caught her chair and turned it so she faced him. He then scooped her up and set her on the table where his cake had been moments ago.

“These have to go,” Jake announced, reaching for the button of her jeans. “You should wear skirts and dresses,” he added conversationally as he slid the button free and started on the zipper. “It would make things much easier.”

“I’ll have to buy some,” Nicole said breathlessly as he slid the zipper down.

Jake woke up slumped at the kitchen table, his head in Nicole’s lap, exactly where he’d been when he’d passed out. Damn, this life-mate sex was intense, he thought, sitting up and giving his head a shake to try to wake up fully. Pounding and the sound of some power tool caught his attention, and he glanced toward the kitchen door, but the sound seemed to be coming from the main floor.

Wondering what was going on, he started to stand, but then paused as his gaze fell on Nicole again. She was flat on her back on the tabletop, bare from the waist down and legs spread, knees on either side of him and dead to the world. Despite having just woken up from a post-coital fainting spell, the sight was tempting. Although, it hadn’t really been coitus, he supposed. Maybe he should move on to that now, Jake thought, his hands sliding up her legs of their own accord.

A smile curved his lips and he began to harden when Nicole shifted on the tabletop and murmured sleepily in response to his touch. The idea of waking her with kisses, pulling her to the edge of the table and sliding into her warm welcoming body grew in his head, and Jake’s erection grew with it. Damn, even when unconscious and drooling, the woman was the sexiest thing he’d ever seen.


Head shooting toward the door, he quickly stepped away from Nicole and rushed to the entry to peer into the living room. Dante was just stepping off the step, heading toward him.

Jake was about to ask him to stop where he was when Dante did so on his own and announced, “Just a heads-up. Those workers you called in to take care of the pictures are done downstairs and ready to start up here.”

“Oh.” That explained the noise, Jake thought, glancing over his shoulder to Nicole.

“I’ll tell them to give you two minutes,” Dante said turning back to the stairs before adding, “That way you can wake Nicole and get her dressed before they come up.”

Jake’s eyes shot back to the man, but he was already out of sight on the stairs.

“And that is why living with immortals who can read you is a pain in the ass,” Jake muttered, turning back into the kitchen. His cousin must have read his mind to know Nicole wasn’t dressed. That or he’d already been up here before this and had actually seen it, Jake thought and scowled harder. He really needed to remember to make sure they were somewhere private before jumping Nicole. The problem was, he found it hard to think when she was near. His brain seemed to have one mode right now and that was the “Let’s get Nicole naked and . . .” mode. The part after the getting her naked changed with the situation, but it always involved getting her naked. Though he didn’t even seem to be able to accomplish that fully, most times. Out of the four interludes so far, she’d been completely naked only once.

Jake didn’t wake Nicole, he merely scooped her up and carried her out of the kitchen to the bedroom. But by the time he set her on the bed she was stirring.

“Hi,” he said softly when she opened her eyes as he straightened.

“Hi.” She smiled uncertainly.

“We had to vacate the kitchen. Workers were about to invade,” Jake explained.

“Workers?” Nicole asked, sitting up and peering around with a frown. “Where are my jeans?”

“Oh, crap. Hang on,” he muttered and hurried back to the kitchen to retrieve her jeans and panties from the kitchen floor. Men were just coming into sight on the stairs as he hurried back through the living room. Jake slipped back into the master bedroom and then paused. Nicole wasn’t on the bed anymore. He relaxed when he heard the water turn on in the bathroom, and then set her jeans and panties on the bed and slid out of the room again to head to the bathroom outside his own room.

Jake quickly relieved himself and washed his face and hands, then headed out to investigate what had been done in the house so far. He nodded in passing at the men working in the loft living room and then hurried down the large, open winding staircase to the main floor. Dante and Tomasso were settled one on each of the couches in this larger living room, working on two large pizzas that lay open on the coffee table between them. An action movie was playing on the big-screen TV at the end of the room.

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