“Did I?” He laughed, sounding wonderfully exhausted. I had worn him out, and his laughter sent tingles all through me. “Oh my god, Alice. I didn’t know it could be that good.” He collapsed back on the bed next to me, and he pulled me into his arms, so my head would lie on his chest. “Oh man. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on that.”
“I know,” I giggled, feeling girlie and buzzed. I snuggled up as close to him as I could, loving the way my skin felt pressed to his.
“Wow,” Jack laughed tiredly again. “You may not know this, but you are the single most amazing person I have ever met, and I am crazy in love with you.”
“Good.” I kissed his chest and smiled up at him. “Cause I feel exactly the same way about you.”
The loss of blood and the exhaustion of pleasure left me drained. My vision started to clear from the haze of lust, and the pain in my stomach kicked in, but I was too tired to deal with it. I just wanted to stay in Jack’s arms forever and listen to the sound of his heartbeat. Our bodies were slowly returning to their normal temperature, and Jack pulled the blankets up over us, tucking them neatly around me.
I just stated drifting off to sleep when I heard my phone ringing. It sounded like it was coming from the bathroom, so I decided it was faint enough for me to ignore. It stopped, so I settled back into his arms. A second later it started ringing again, and I groaned.
“Should I get that?” Jack asked.
“No, it’ll stop,” I said, hugging him even closer to me. If he got it, that meant he would have to be away from me, and I wasn’t ready for that.
It did stop, only to immediately start ringing again.
“Sorry, I gotta get that.” He untangled himself from me and I grumbled in protest, but I let him go. He slipped on his boxers, and I watched him as he walked to the bathroom, following the sound of the ringing.
For one second, watching how gorgeous he was, my heart swelled as I realized that I got to be with him. He belonged to me, and it delighted me endlessly.
The phone stopped ringing again, and Jack sighed. “I’m still getting it, in case it starts to ring again. Where is it?”
“I don’t know.” I sat up, holding the blankets over my chest.
“Of course it stops when I look for it.” He poked around the hamper, since I had a tendency to leave my phone in my pants pocket, but it started ringing again. He went over to the medicine cabinet and opened it. “Alice, why is your phone in the medicine cabinet?”
“Maybe when I got the mouth wash?” I shrugged. “Just shut it off and come back to bed.”
“Uh oh.” He came out of the bathroom, holding my phone out to me. “It’s Jane.”
“I should probably answer that.” I held my hand out. I answered it just before it went to voicemail, and Jack sat on the bed next to me. “Hello?”
“Alice? Oh thank god you answered!” Jane sobbed in relief, but her voice was shaking. “I’ve run into some trouble, and… Oh god. I am sorry. I don’t know-” She sounded absolutely terrified, and she knocked any of the warm fuzzy feelings out of me.
“What are you talking about? What’s going on?” I asked.
“I don’t know! They just made me call you!” Jane said, then she shrieked and her voice got farther away.
“Jane? Jane!” I shouted.
“No, it’s not Jane,” a male voice returned to the phone, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. It was strong and deep with an accent I couldn’t place. Almost British, or maybe German, but softer. “This is Alice, I presume?”
“Where’s Jane?” I demanded, refusing to answer his questions until he told me what was going on. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jack getting dressed. I’m not sure if he could overhear the conversation, or if he just saw my panic.
“If you want to see her again, I suggest you come and get her,” the voice said. There was something sinisterly playful in his voice, and I heard Jane crying in the background. “Where are we? You need to tell us if you want your friend to come rescue you.”
“You son of a bitch!” I growled. “Leave her alone! When we find you, we’ll kill you!”
“We?” He chuckled. “Even better.” Jane screamed behind him.
“Loring Park!” Jane sobbed in the background. “We’re at Loring Park! But Alice! Don’t come! They’re going to-” She screamed again, cutting off the rest of her sentence.
“As you can tell, we’re in a hurry, so act accordingly,” he said, then the phone went silent.
- 32 -
Immediately after the phone hung up, I tried calling back, but it went straight to voicemail. Jack had already pulled on shorts and a tee shirt, and he was struggling to put on his Converse. My stomach lurched, and panic and hunger were mixing together, making me feel volatile and frail.
“Alice?” Jack asked. “Where is she?”
“Loring Park,” I told him numbly. “I don’t know who has her, but I think they’re going to kill her. And they want me to come. She’s bait for me.” He pursed his lips and looked at me thoughtfully for a moment.
“You stay here. I’ll go get her,” Jack decided and made a step for the door.
“No!” I jumped up, holding the blanket around me. “If this is about me, there’s no way you’re going without me.”
“Alice, it isn’t safe.”
“Exactly!” I ran to the closet to put on clothes before he left. I don’t think I’d ever gotten dressed so quickly in my life. “I’m a vampire now. I can take care of myself.” This I said while struggling to put on a pair of jeans and nearly falling over. “I beat up Jane’s boyfriend or whatever before. If you can handle it, I can handle it.”
“No. I’m much more skilled than you are, and you just lost blood.” He crossed his arms over his chest and tried to look resolute.
“I don’t care.” I slipped on my shoes and walked up to him. “We’re together now, forever. That means if you’re in danger, I’m in danger. Jane needs help, and we’re going together.”
“I don’t like it,” Jack relented.
“I don’t care.” I pushed past him, knowing that we had to hurry to save her, and I had to hurry before he changed his mind. He couldn’t stop me from going, but he could slow us down with unnecessary arguing.