About a Vampire (Argeneau #22)(11)

by Lynsay Sands

“Sure, no problem,” Justin said and then snorted. “She doesn’t even believe we exist or that she is one of us. How the hell am I supposed to train her?”

“She’ll believe the minute she tries to bite her husband or someone else,” Lucian said reasonably. “I suggest you stay close and ensure she doesn’t succeed. Once she loses control and then regains it, she’ll realize you are not crazy, that we do exist, that she is one of us and then she will allow you to train her.”

Justin lowered his head and took several more deep breaths at the thought of having to train her. Being close enough to touch and kiss, but never able to actually do it. Knowing she was his life mate and that a mere caress or kiss would send them both up in flames, but never being able to ignite that fire . . . Dear God, it would be torture.

“Decker,” he said abruptly, raising his head.

“Decker isn’t doing this for you,” Lucian announced, preventing his asking just that. “This is your responsibility. You turned her. She is your life mate.”

“Who I can never claim,” Justin said bitterly.

Lucian nodded solemnly in acknowledgment. “Perhaps not. Or you might be able to claim her some day and just have to wait to do so.”

Justin peered at him in question. “What do you mean?”

“She could divorce, or be widowed,” Lucian pointed out and shrugged. “You might have to wait ten, twenty, or forty years, but eventually she may be single.”

“So long as she doesn’t die before her husband does, or before they can divorce,” Justin said grimly.

Lucian arched his eyebrows. “She isn’t likely to die, Bricker. You turned her.”

“Oh. Right,” he muttered and realized he must truly be overset to have forgotten that for even a moment. Shaking his head, he met Lucian’s gaze and asked, “What do I say about telling her husband? I mean, once she realizes it’s true and she is immortal she’ll want to explain it all to her husband. She’ll have to explain her not aging and—­”

“She cannot,” he said simply. “Not until I have met with them both and say it is all right to do so.”

“I see marriage to Leigh hasn’t taught you a thing about modern women,” Justin said with disgust. “She won’t agree not to tell him just because you say so. She has no idea who you are.”

“Then I suggest you ensure she knows who I am and why she should listen to me,” Lucian said silkily. He allowed a moment for that to sink in and then added, “You should be on your way now. She wasn’t feeling any hunger when she left, but who knows how long that will last? We don’t want her biting anyone before you catch up to her.”

“I don’t know where—­” Justin paused as Anders picked up the purse on the coffee table and walked over to hand it to him.

“Her license with her address is in it, as are her car keys,” he reminded him. “And her car is down in the parking lot.”

Justin took the purse and stared at it briefly. Married. He couldn’t read her, had turned her, and she was married. He hadn’t had a clue. There had been nothing to tell him that, no wedding ring, no . . . blinking, he glanced to Anders. “Was there a wedding ring in the purse?”

When the man shook his head, Justin let his breath out on a sigh and turned to the door. As he headed out into the hall, he wondered about that. Why hadn’t she been wearing a wedding ring? The question plagued him all the way down to her car. He forced it away though as he got in and quickly started it. Doing so didn’t help much. He couldn’t shut off his thoughts and as he drove toward the address on her license, he found his thoughts a confusion of . . . well, confusion.

He knew he was lucky he’d found his life mate while he was so young, even if he couldn’t immediately claim her. Many immortals waited centuries, or even millennia, to find their mate and he was just over one century old. He was very fortunate in that way. Her being married, though, was a wrinkle he’d never considered. He still couldn’t believe she was. What were the chances? Well, really, he supposed, pretty good for him.

Seriously, if there was anyone who was likely to meet their life mate only to find they were married, it was him. He had that kind of luck—­really amazing, and really bad all at the same time. His life was full of such examples. Losing his wallet leading to meeting a really hot girl. A car accident leading to meeting a really hot girl. Being given a shit job, one no one would want on a hunt . . . leading to meeting a really hot girl.

Okay, so a lot of his examples included a hot girl. He couldn’t help it. He was young, healthy, and basically horny. He liked girls, hot girls especially. But best of all was today’s hot women. When he’d first reached the age of dating back some ninety years ago, wooing his way into a woman’s bed had been a lot harder and more work. Good girls back then simply hadn’t had sex unless they were married to the man they slept with. Nowadays though, women were much more sexually free. Good girls did have sex with men they weren’t married to, and it didn’t take months or even weeks of wooing to get them there anymore. Justin had taken full advantage of the benefits of this era . . . and he’d enjoyed it.

Now, however, it looked like his catting-­around days were over. Maybe . . . or maybe not. He didn’t know at this point. He had a life mate who was married, someone he couldn’t claim. Technically, he could still cat around if he liked . . . but would he want to? Would other women hold any attraction now that he’d met his mate? Or was he now as good as a eunuch? Christ, Justin thought with horror, this had to be some cosmic joke.

“Here you are, lady. That’ll be sixteen bucks even. Hmmph. That’s a rarity. It’s never an even buck, there’s usually some change tacked on there too.”

Holly forced a smile for the driver and peered out the window to her home. Much to her relief, James’s car was in the driveway. She would have been in a real pickle if he weren’t home. She still might be, she acknowledged grimly, and then cleared her throat and glanced to the driver. “I’ll just run in and get the money for you.”

“What? Oh, hey, no, no, no.” The words were accompanied by a clicking sound as he used the automatic button to set the locks. “Your friend can come out and pay for you, but you aren’t getting out of here and taking a runner on me.”