Michael shot out of bed. “There was a woman here.”
“The vampire who dealt with the MacKenzie wolves,” I told him.
“Is that what I smell? Why my bones hurt?”
He frowned. “What happened? Why don’t I remember anything?”
“She thralled you.”
The blood drained from his face. “Vampires can’t thrall us.”
“This one can,” I said. “You saw her glamour Michael. She’s not really a beautiful woman. Trust me on this.” I shuddered.
“What did she say? What did she want?” He climbed back onto the bed and grabbed my shoulders, checking me over. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, actually.” And I was. For the first time in days I didn’t feel the hot breath of imminent danger breathing down my neck. “She didn’t kill my parents. They died in the infighting before she was forced to cull the rest of the pack.”
“And you trust her?”
“Somehow, yeah. She wasn’t like I thought she’d be. She was…kind of nice?”
He stared at me like I’d grown another head.
It was weird. I couldn’t recall everything she’d said to me, but I knew in my heart of hearts that she meant me no harm, that she cared for me in her own way.
“She just wanted to make sure we figured out the bond,” I told him. “And to tell us to be careful in the city.”
He frowned. “But why does our welfare matter to her?”
“She saved me, when you really think about it. Life couldn’t have been easy in the MacKenzie pack. We’d nearly wiped ourselves out by the time she stepped in. Imagine how I would have been raised if she hadn’t and I’d been left to them.”
“So now you’re fine with the fact that she might have killed other people you were related to?”
I shook my head. “I’m not fine with it, but not everything is black and white. She did the best she could in an impossible situation.”
He was looking at me like I was some sort of puzzle. “I still don’t trust this. Something doesn’t feel right.”
“I don’t know what to tell you. I really don’t think she means us harm.”
“What else did she say?”
“That you need to tattoo me. But make it more powerful than yours. Does that make any sense to you?”
His gaze shuttered. He locked down on his emotions.
“What is it?” I asked.
“How did she know that?”
“How did she know what, Michael?”
He stared at me. “My tattoo is a blocking spell. I’m what you call a mystic.”
I pushed his hands off of me and scuttled away, pissed. “And you didn’t think to tell me that?”
“I didn’t see a reason to yet.”
“Yet? When were you planning on it? When we got back to the city and I suddenly started shooting sparks out of my fingertips in a crowded room?”
“The tattoo negates my magic.”
“It doesn’t prevent it from being shared over the bond like everything else.”
“I was unaware of that,” he said. “Layla, before last night, we didn’t know we shared anything over the bond.”
“But you’ve known since then and you didn’t say anything.”
“I meant to on the ride home. I’ve had,” he leaned out and latched onto a strand of my hair, twirling it between his fingers, “other things on my mind.”
I pushed his hand away, and for once, touching him wasn’t distracting. “You need to tattoo me when we get back.”
He nodded. “I will.”
“What else are you hiding from me?”
In response, he clamped down on the bond harder than he had in days.
“At least you’re not lying about hiding things.” I sighed. “She knows what you’re cooking up in your labs. She said to stop it. Before she does.”
Not even his hold on the bond could contain his mounting fear. It lashed out with icy claws and wrapped around me, dragging me into his terror.
“What is it? Why are you so afraid, Michael?”
He shook his head. Violently. “The less you know about that, the safer you are.” Panic threatened. He felt like the life of his mate was at risk. “What else did she say?”
“Nothing. That was it.”
I thought back, trying to get my vague sense of our conversation to coalesce into something more concrete. My head swam for a minute, and my memories remained hazy and out of reach. What the hell was that about?
“I’m pretty sure,” I told him.
“We need to leave. Now. I have to get to Boston.”
His panic infected me. We quickly packed our things, said a hasty goodbye to my confused parents, and got the hell out of there.
The trip back was even worse than the one up. Michael drove, lost to thoughts that churned like a riptide. I tried to get him to talk to me, but he refused, the protectiveness of the bond turning him into a mute.
We hit traffic heading into the city, and arrived later than planned. Michael changed into a suit and left for Kolbeck headquarters almost immediately. A few hours later, his heavily pregnant sister showed up at our door and my life went to absolute hell.
Here’s the thing about memories. They’re important. You need them. They form the core of what makes you you. Your thoughts and beliefs are born from them. Your actions guided by their steady hand.
For instance, if mine hadn’t been stolen away by an ancient vampire, I never would have left the apartment with Amy. I would have dragged her inside and deadbolted the door. Maybe even pushed a bureau or two up against it for good measure.
And I sure as shit wouldn’t have trusted that witch a few hours later.
TO BE CONTINUED…
That’s it for Volume One of The Lunatics! Thank you so much for reading. I had a ton of fun writing and posting the first installment of the series. As a reminder, the fully edited book is available now on Amazon.
Copyright © 2019 by Navessa Allen
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.