One Lucky Vampire Page 40

“Possessed,” the man said and frowned uncertainly, obviously not sure what to do now. “What—?”

The word ended on a surprised “oomph” as Nicole wielded her pillow. Much to Jake’s surprise it seemed to pack quite a wallop. She must have stuffed it with rocks or something, he thought as he watched in amazement as Ball-Cap Boy flew sideways under the blow, crashed into and bounced off the table, then slammed his head on the island counter as he stumbled and fell forward.

“I did it!” Nicole squealed, jumping up and down in her ridiculously sexy heels, the heavy pillow held aloft. “I saved you.”

Jake rushed forward now, kicking the gun away from Ball-Cap Boy’s body, and sparing a moment to be sure he was unconscious. He then turned to catch Nicole in his arms mid-jump and planted his mouth on hers.

She immediately collapsed against him. Her arms slid around his shoulders even as he heard the pillow hit the floor with a loud thud and slosh that made him wonder what the hell was in it. When she opened her mouth to his with a moan, Jake stopped caring about the pillow or anything else and lifted her off the floor with his arms around her waist and started to turn, intending to carry her to the bedroom and do exactly what he’d thought of doing moments ago.

Some very small part of Jake’s brain knew he shouldn’t, that he should deal with Ball-Cap Boy first, but it was a very small part. There wasn’t much blood left in his brain right now. It had all raced south to fill his still-growing erection. Cripes, if he didn’t find release soon he was pretty sure his erection would explode like an overfull balloon. Pop, no more penis, he thought.

“Don’t worry, we’ll handle things here.”

Jake paused and frowned against Nicole’s mouth at that dry announcement. Fortunately, he had enough blood left in his brain to tell him he should stop and see who the hell was yipping at him. Breaking their kiss, he turned with Nicole still held off the ground and peered blankly at Dante and Tomasso.

“How’d you get here?” he asked with surprise.

“A car,” Tomasso said drolly.

Dante gave a laugh, but explained, “We pulled up just as Nicole was slipping into the kitchen. Seeing her getup, we almost backed out to give you some privacy, but then Tomasso spotted this guy”—he gestured to the unconscious man on the floor—“through the kitchen window.”

“And his gun,” Tomasso added.

Dante nodded. “So we thought we’d best come see what we could do.”

“Only she handled it while we were crossing the deck,” Tomasso added, and then smiled at Nicole and said, “Nice pillow work.”

“Yeah,” Dante agreed. “What do you have in that thing? Rocks? It sure knocked him for a loop.”

“Water,” Nicole said, blushing, but didn’t get to explain further. Jake didn’t give her the chance to. He was turning away with her again, and continuing out of the kitchen.

“Hey,” Dante called. “Who is this guy? Is he the one who poisoned the hot tub and messed with the SUV?”

“Yeah, but I don’t know who he is,” Jake answered, not slowing. “Never got his name. He’s just a lunatic who tried to kill one of my clients at work. He thinks angels talk to him and he’s supposed to kill politicians and pretty much everyone I know because I stopped him, so we must all be in league with the devil.”

“Hmm,” Dante said directly behind him and Jake set Nicole down to sit on the side of the bed, then propped his hands on hips and turned to scowl at the man for following them.

“Nicole and I need to talk,” Jake said firmly. “Go deal with sicko in the kitchen.”

“It’s not talking you’re thinking of doing,” Dante said dryly, his gaze sliding to Nicole and a smile curving his lips as he admitted, “And I don’t blame you. Nice outfit, Nicki,” he complimented.

“Thanks,” she murmured, blushing.

Dante turned his attention back to Jake. “But talking is what you should be doing.”

Jake stiffened at the solemn words. “Why? About what?”

“About your situation and whether she’s willing to be your life mate,” Dante said calmly, and then pointed out, “Lucian will want this whole situation settled at the same time rather than sending people out to do a three on one on sicko in the kitchen, and then possibly having to return to do the same for Nicole if she isn’t willing to be turned.”

“Lucian has nothing to do with this,” Jake said stiffly. “Ball-Cap Boy is a mortal.”

“But his target wasn’t,” Dante pointed out. “Or should I say targets?”

Jake almost asked how he knew that, but then realized the man had read his mind while following him in here. He probably knew everything Jake had seen and heard since finding Ball-Cap Boy in the kitchen. So he knew the man wanted to wipe out him, Nicole, and every other person he’d seen enter this house, most of whom were immortals.

“He’s sick,” Dante said quietly. “His family know that and haven’t done a damned thing about it, but hire lawyers to keep him out of trouble and on the streets. They’ll do the same this time and then he’ll be a threat again, not just to you and Nicole, but to us, your parents, Neil, Marguerite, Christian and Caro, Tybo—”

“Basically everyone who he’s seen me with,” Jake interrupted wearily.

Dante nodded silently.

“Right,” Jake said stiffly. “I guess I’d better talk with Nicole then. Would you like to leave so I can do it?”

Dante turned away and headed out of the room for answer.

Jake followed him to the door and pulled it closed, then took a deep breath and turned to face Nicole. One glance at her on the bed in that getup though, and he whirled to face the door again. Damn! How the hell was he supposed to just talk to her with her looking like that?

“Honey, can you maybe get out of that outfit or pull on a robe so we can talk?” he asked in a pained tone. He really didn’t want her out of it, he wanted to make love to her while she wore it . . . well, minus the panties. He’d like to rip those off of her . . . maybe with his teeth.

Jake heard Nicole moving around behind him, some rustling, and then she said, “Okay.”

Letting out a breath, Jake turned to look at her and felt his knees go weak. She’d taken off the fedora and pulled on a short black silk robe that didn’t cover a damned thing in the pose she’d assumed. She was reclining on the bed, one leg bent, the other flat out, resting on her elbows, her hair and the robe hanging down to gather on the bed and cover absolutely nothing.

“Nicole, please,” he pleaded weakly. “We have to talk.”

“Yes,” she said and he blinked in confusion.

“Yes, what?” he asked uncertainly.

“To whatever you want to ask me,” Nicole responded at once.

Jake hesitated and then said, “I want to ask if you’d be willing to at least consider being my life mate.”

“Yes,” she repeated.

Jake frowned. “You will?”

Now she looked uncertain. “Am I not supposed to say yes? Did you want me to say no?”

“No, of course not,” he said at once. “But . . . don’t you want some time to think about it?”

Sighing with exasperation, Nicole sat up and scooted to the end of the bed, the robe trailing out behind her. “Jake, I just took on a gun-toting sicko with nothing but a pillow to save your life. I’m pretty sure that means my feelings for you are pretty strong.”

She tilted her head and smiled crookedly. “You’re smart, I respect you, and . . .” Nicole hesitated and then confessed, “That day in the SUV when the brakes went out, all I kept thinking was, “Thank God it’s Jake at the wheel.” She eyed him solemnly. “I trust you with my life. I’m pretty sure I love you. But more importantly, I like you.”

“That’s more important than love?” he asked with amusement.

Nicole nodded solemnly. “I have relatives I love, but don’t much respect or like. I couldn’t live with them if my life depended on it. But I like and respect you. I enjoy your company and I can imagine a future with you.”

Jake simply stared at her in the silence that followed. His heart had felt like it expanded with every word she’d spoken and now it felt so swollen it ached. She liked and respected him. The way she explained it, that was the best thing in the world.

When Nicole stood up suddenly, looking uncertain, and muttered something unintelligible as she turned toward the bathroom, Jake realized he’d been silent too long.

“I like you too,” he blurted, catching her arm to stop her leaving.

Nicole hesitated and then turned slowly back, eyes still uncertain. “Really?”

“Oh, yes, really,” Jake assured her, pulling her against his chest so he could wrap his arms around her and hold her close. “I love your talent, your brain, your sense of humor, your body”—his hands began to move over her back and bottom as he continued—“your passion”—he slid the robe off her shoulders, leaving her in only the sexy outfit and urged her back to get a better look as he added, “your taste in clothes. Cripes, this is the sexiest damned thing I’ve ever seen.”

“I wanted to apologize for getting short with you about suspecting my brother. He was the best suspect,” she admitted.

“But not the culprit,” Jake pointed out dryly and then ran his finger lightly down the lacing on the front of the top, brushing along the curve of one breast between each narrow strip of black leather that held the nearly see-through scraps of the top together. “And if this is your idea of an apology, it’s a damned fine one and I love that about you too.”

Nicole gave a breathless laugh and shivered under his touch, her nipples hardening under the thin cloth. The sight of it made his mouth water, but he asked, “Are you sure you’re willing to be my life mate?”

She nodded, and said breathlessly, “If it means you’ll make me feel like this for the next century or two, then definitely.”

When Jake paused and frowned with concern at the answer, Nicole sighed, and raised her hands to frame his face, saying solemnly, “Jake, I have never been good at choosing men. My husband and every guy I’ve dated have been jerks. But your mother assures me that the nanos never make mistakes, and that you’re a good man. Maybe it’s just because I want to, but I believe her and that makes me feel for the first time in my life that my instincts are right and we’ll work. That my love has been given to the right man this time. So . . .” She kissed him lightly on the lips. “Yes, I’m sure I want to be your life mate.”

“You know it means becoming one of us?” Jake added solemnly.

Nicole glanced up, the first flicker of uncertainty crossing her face, and making him hold his breath, but then she straightened her shoulders and nodded.

Relief rushing through him, Jake picked her up by the waist and tossed her on the bed.

Nicole landed with a squeal and a bounce, and then pushed herself up to watch him rip off his T-shirt and jeans with more haste than grace. He couldn’t get them off quick enough. They’d had their talk, she’d agreed, and now he fully intended on accepting her apology and making love to her until she couldn’t stand up straight. Well, okay, until they both passed out, which ought to be about two or three seconds. Jake didn’t think he’d last much longer than that at this point, and could only be grateful that the nanos would ensure she experienced the same pleasure he did.

“Will it hurt?”

Jake was hopping on one foot, tugging off a sock when Nicole asked that with trepidation. Straightening, the sock in hand, he peered at her uncertainly, and then his brain cleared. With his thoughts on making love to her, he’d thought she was asking if sex would hurt. But they’d had sex before. It was the turning she was talking about, he realized.

Jake hesitated, thinking back to his own turning. He’d been stabbed in the chest, which had hurt like crazy, and then had passed out and woken up several days later feeling like he’d been left out in the desert sun for days. He’d been incredibly thirsty, but pain free as he recalled.

“I don’t think so,” he said finally, hopping on his bare foot to remove the other sock now. “But we’ll check with someone.”

Nicole nodded absently. Her gaze had shifted to his groin, her eyes widening at the sight of him.

Jake finished pulling off the second sock, tossed it aside and stepped forward to crawl onto the bed, his hands and knees on either side of her body as he moved up the bed until he was directly over her. Looking down into her precious face, he said solemnly, “Nicole, I promise that no matter what happens, I’ll never hurt you like Rodolfo did.”

Prev Next