I swallow a mouthful of blood, open my eyes, and look up at Culebra. I need more but I'm unsure if I should continue.
Culebra's arms are crossed on his chest. He isn't paying attention. In fact, he looks bored, and when he feels my eyes on him, he shrugs and says, "What?"
My thoughts reach out. Should I stop?
His own come back. Have you had enough?
No. But he keeps moving.
He rolls his shoulders again. He's been well paid. He's here because he wants to be. He is not a virgin, you know. He's done this many times before. He moves because he finds it pleasurable. Watch his hands.
I do. They're at his crotch, caressing a bulge in his jeans.
Oh my god. Is he...?
The lines on Culebra's face deepen as he grins. You could make it more pleasurable for him, you know. All you would have to do is-
I gulp two or three more mouthfuls. I know what he's going to say. All I want is the blood. Just what I need to refresh and restore. I've learned to ignore the other sensation, the thrill that spirals into powerful sexual hunger if you let it. When I finish and pull away, the kid actually groans louder and reaches up to pull my head back down to his neck.
Culebra laughs. I hear as well as sense it.
I reach down and help the kid into a sitting position. "Are you all right?"
His mouth curves upward in a grin, but his eyes are clouded. He makes no move to get up. "You didn't have to stop, you know." It's a combination of a growl and a whine. One hand remains between his legs and the other is on his neck, though there's not a mark to show I've drunk.
I always make sure of that.
I raise an eyebrow at Culebra. Next time, I want someone who does it just for the money.
Again, the shrug and the upturned palms. As you wish.
I follow Culebra out of the back room of the saloon, leaving my libidinous donor to his own devices. It's September, late afternoon, and bright sun pours through the swinging doors. In the glare, dust motes dance and twirl on an invisible draft of air.
The place is almost deserted. Two humans, friends of the guy in the back, wait for him at the bar, nursing drinks. One vamp couple sit, knees touching, at a table against the back wall. Their thoughts are hot with desire. As soon as I pick up on it, I shut down. Vampire telepathy is not always a good thing. The sexual energy they're emitting makes me edgy, especially after feeding.
We cross to the bar where the bartender greets Culebra with marked deference. The bartender is human, another of those who find it exciting to be in the presence of supernaturals. He asks what we'd like to drink.
Culebra waves him off, reaching into the cooler under the bar for two beers. Culebra owns the place. In fact, he owns the entire town. Without a word, the bartender moves away.
Culebra pops the tops and hands me one of the beers.
I take a long pull. It goes down easily, washing away the salty aftertaste of the blood, refreshing in the way that an icy drink satisfies after eating peanuts or spicy foods. Consuming liquid is the only form of human sustenance left to me.
Culebra is watching me. When I meet his eyes, he nods. What happened back there, it's not perfect, but it's the best we can do.
I know it's true. I don't have to like it.
He leans across the bar, sharp eyes acknowledging a response he's plucked from the air. His face is ageless yet old, the surface covered with tiny lines and wrinkles etched by the stylus of a life I know nothing about.
He shuts me out of his thoughts now,
Anna Strong was a tough-as-nails bounty hunter, until the night she was attacked-and changed forever.
Now a vampire, Anna discovers that her long-dead brother may have had a daughter-and the girl's in serious trouble. There are some very dangerous people after her, but they're about to learn that to a bounty hunter with an unnatural thirst for blood, even the deadliest human predators are easy prey.
- Anna Strong Chronicles Vol.2
- Verlag: Ace Books
- Seitenzahl: 297
- Altersempfehlung: ab 18 Jahre
- Ausstattung/Bilder: 2006. 220 p. 6.7 in
- Abmessung: 172mm x 108mm x 21mm
- Gewicht: 144g
- ISBN-13: 9780441015092
- ISBN-10: 0441015093
- Best.Nr.: 22510587