“You guys are big into the insect metaphors,” I whispered.
“Here’s another: ‘Welcome to my parlor,’” Lucian smiled, this time purposely showing me his fangs. Like Violet’s, they were sharper and larger than Jack’s, and all the more frightening.
“My boyfriend is right out there, and he’ll kill you,” I warned them breathlessly. “He left Olivia in charge, and she takes her responsibility seriously.”
“That drugged out old hag?” Lucian laughed and leaned in closer to me. “She’s not going to do anything. If your boyfriend really cared, he wouldn’t have brought you here in the first place. I think he wanted this to happen.”
“That’s not true,” I said, and his eyes dropped to my throat as he leaned closer to me.
“Oh, Alice, I’m afraid you’ve really fallen into a rabbit hole this time,” he whispered, and I closed my eyes.
“Lucian!” Olivia shouted. “Oh, Hannah, will you move!” A moment later, she appeared next to me. “I told you to back off!”
“Olivia, Olivia,” Violet said, stepping away from us to take care of Olivia. Lucian leaned back up straighter but didn’t move away from me. “Aren’t you sick of that tired old blood bag you’re always taking around with you?”
“Violet, not right now.” Olivia sounded disgusted. “I’m trying to keep this girl out your hands. She’s not yours. There are plenty of other girls here that you can go crazy with.”
“I’m here too, Olivia,” Violet batted her eyes at her and rubbed her arm seductively on Olivia’s. “I know you’re always traipsing around with those little dolls of yours. When was the last time you were with a real woman?”
Olivia was momentarily distracted by Violet, and that was all the time that Lucian needed. His arms were around me, so strong and tight, that I couldn’t breathe or move or even scream.
He carried me away, quick and nauseating. The wind whipped through my hair, and he had my face pressed into the unyielding muscles of his chest. If he didn’t let me go soon, I would suffocate.
- 14 -
He let go of me, and as soon as I could gasp for air, I started to scream.
In a dim narrow hallway, Lucien dropped me heavily onto the cement. He sprawled out on the floor a few feet from me, and Jack stood between us. On the other side of Lucian, Milo blocked the door back to the club where we’d come from, and behind him, Olivia growled.
“Get up,” Jack said, his voice trembling with restraint, and Lucian scrambled to his feet. “Get out of here before I rip out your throat.”
“You shouldn’t have brought her if you didn’t want to share her!” Lucian shouted, almost plaintively.
Milo made a move towards him, but Olivia grabbed his arms and held him back. Lucian snuck past them and hurried away.
Jack glared after him for a second, but before Olivia released Milo, Jack turned and dropped to his knees next to me. He touched my forehead and let out an uneasy breath. With great effort, he pulled his eyes away to look me completely over. His breath came out in shallow rasps, and I felt a hungry panic from him that I didn’t understand.
“Are you okay?” Jack asked.
“Yeah,” I nodded. “Are you? What’s the matter?”
“I’m okay.” His hand trembled when he pulled it from my forehead, and I noticed something dark staining his fingers. “You’re bleeding.”
“Oh no,” I whispered.
“Alice… do you trust me?” Jack kept his eyes fixed on me. I nodded. “Good.” He leaned over and gently, he kissed my forehead.
Milo yelled in protest, but Olivia restrained him. Softly, I felt Jack’s mouth on my wound, and that simple touch sent shivers of pleasure through me. He wanted me so badly I could hardly stand it. I moaned, and Jack sprang back from me, panting hoarsely.
“What did you do?” Milo shouted.
“I needed the bleeding to stop!” Jack licked his lips and looked at me hungrily. “My saliva will make it heal quicker.”
“Take her out the back way,” Olivia said, sounding far more worried than I felt. “It’ll be easier than going through the club.”
I couldn’t feel worried or frightened. Jack overwhelmed me with his thirst, and that left me wantonly reciprocating.
I sat on the floor with my back against the wall, only vaguely aware of my throbbing headache. Jack crouched across from me, pressing himself tightly against the other wall. His blue eyes stayed locked on mine. He willed himself to stay there, and I wanted his will to break.
“Jack!” Milo said, and he gripped my arm painfully as he yanked me to my feet. He hadn’t gotten the magnitude of his new strength, and I was lucky he hadn’t snapped my arm in half.
“Sorry,” Jack mumbled, standing up. Milo managed to break us out of the trance, but we were both pretty dazed.
“We gotta get out of here,” Milo said, looking back over his shoulder.
“Yeah, right, okay.” Jack nodded but made no effort to move. He just stared dumbly at me, and he shook his head to clear it. “I, uh, I don’t know where the back exit is.”
“Oh, hell.” Olivia rolled her eyes. She slid in between us, her long hair brushing like silk across my skin. “Grab the girl. We have to hurry.” She was already jetting ahead, gliding lightly in her knee-high boots.
I could never keep up with her, and I was about to say that when Milo tried to put his arms around me. At the same time, Jack made the same play, and they bumped into each other.
“I got her.” Jack scooped me up in his arms before Milo could stop him.
“Just be careful,” Milo warned.
As soon as Jack had me in his arms, he flew after Olivia. We raced down winding passageways that appeared to be an intricate labyrinth in the basement. At least that’s what I could tell from what I could see, but most of it was completely black.
Abruptly, we burst through a set of heavy doors. We were outside, with a set of cement stairs leading up to the sidewalk.
At the top, Jack set me down, and I looked around. I could see the marquee for Barfly glittering brightly, but we were hidden in an alley, next to a stairwell I had never noticed before.
Olivia waited for us, crossing her arms over her chest in a way that pushed out her ample bosom. A full moon splashed in between the buildings, lighting her face, and she was even more exquisite than I had first believed.
“Thanks,” Jack told her. He moved a couple feet away from me, because he didn’t trust himself right now.