About a Vampire (Argeneau #22)(5)


by Lynsay Sands

Someone was definitely fashion challenged, one part of her mind thought. The other part, however, was having a bit of a panic attack. These were not her clothes. They weren’t even women’s clothes. They were a man’s clothes, and not a man she knew. Holly couldn’t think of a single person she was acquainted with who would wear these items . . . and whose bed she should be naked in. At least, not that she could recall . . . although, for some reason, the sight of the clothes raised fear in her.

Suddenly desperate to get out of there, Holly quickly turned to tug open the drawers in the dresser along the wall, hoping for other clothing options, but there was nothing but a bit of dust. Not even boxers or briefs. Apparently the mysterious man who liked black also liked to go commando. She tried not to think about that as she moved back to the closet and pulled out a pair of black jeans and a matching T-­shirt.

The pants were big on her, but she fixed that by rolling up the bottoms and making use of a belt she found on another hanger. The T-­shirt was large as well, blousing out over the puckered waistband and hanging down almost to her knees. Holly caught the hem and tied a knot in it at her side to make it more of a shirt and less a dress. She then pulled on the leather jacket to hide the mess she was wearing.

Holly headed for the door, only to pause when she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror as she passed the open bathroom door along the way. Dear God, Holly thought with disgust, if she were to wring the grease out of her hair there would be enough to fry something. On top of that, it was a horrible mess, sticking out in the back in a forest of knots. It was the hair of a woman who had been thrashing her head around during crazy, hot, monkey sex.

Not that she’d ever experienced crazy, hot monkey sex . . . that she recalled, Holly tacked on grimly as she glanced toward the bed. But her roommate at college had always looked like this in the mornings after her boyfriend visited. She claimed it could be blamed on her boyfriend for being so good at “doing the nasty.”

Holly tried to tame her usually sleek black mane with her fingers. When that didn’t work, she quickly searched the bathroom for a brush. There wasn’t one, of course. Why would anyone have a hairbrush when she needed it? Rolling her eyes, she gave up on that and instead began to search for something to wrap around her head to at least hide her bad hair. Holly was afraid if she went anywhere like this, she’d be locked up as a madwoman. Certainly, she’d draw attention to herself, and at that moment, she was thinking the less attention the better until she knew exactly what had happened and how she’d got here.

A hat or bandana would have done the trick, but apparently the mysterious man in black didn’t have either of those. Blowing her breath out on a sigh, Holly shifted briefly from foot to foot, and then snatched another T-­shirt off its hanger and began tearing at it until she had a nice, sleeveless square. After quickly wrapping that around her head and tying it, Holly once again headed for the door.

She needed to figure out where she was, how to get home from here, and then . . . well, once she was safely home she could sort out what had happened and what, if anything, she should do about it.

“Her name is Holly Bosley,” Lucian announced.

“Yeah. Anders told me that the first night, when he got back with her purse,” Justin said impatiently. He was only in Lucian’s room because the man had insisted he had to speak to him. Lucian wasn’t someone you refused. But Justin didn’t want to be here; he wanted to be back in his own room across the hall with the woman presently in his bed. She’d been sleeping restlessly for two days and nights, something that had worried him. Every other turn he’d witnessed had gone more quickly, with the turnee thrashing and screaming their way through.

Justin had been very concerned at first by how silent and still Holly was . . . until Lucian had told him that Stephano Notte’s turn had gone just as quietly and had taken several days. Oddly enough, Stephano’s turn had been preceded by his being stabbed in the chest too. Lucian had speculated that it was possible the wound decided the tempo of the turn.

Justin didn’t care. All he cared about was Holly surviving and waking up. He had no idea when that might happen, but he wanted to be there when it did.

Hoping to speed this conversation along, Justin now added, “There was a car in the cemetery parking lot with a purse in it. Anders broke the car window to get to her purse, searched it and found her driver’s license. Holly Lynne Bosley. There were no car keys though, and she didn’t have any keys on her, so Anders had to hotwire the car to get it back here to the hotel.”

“He went back to the cemetery last night and found the keys near where she fell,” Lucian announced. “I put them in her purse.”

Justin glanced to the purse sitting on the table when Lucian gestured to it and found himself shaking his head. He still couldn’t believe she hadn’t been sleepwalking. He’d been sure that must have been the case when he’d spotted those pajamas of hers. The lack of anything like keys or a purse had just seemed to back that up. But it seemed she’d had both, just not on her. What the hell had she been doing at the cemetery at that hour of the night in pajamas?

“Holly is a temp, presently working in the office at the cemetery,” Lucian said as if that might explain it.

To Justin it didn’t and he pointed out dryly, “Yeah, well she wouldn’t work in her pj’s.”

Lucian shrugged. “She must have recalled something she left behind and returned to collect it after already preparing for bed.”

“That makes sense,” Decker commented, drawing their attention his way. The dark-­haired man dressed in Enforcer black was reclining on one of the two beds in the room.

“After midnight? In her pajamas?” Justin asked dubiously.

Lucian shrugged. “She probably didn’t expect to encounter anyone at that hour.”

“She was in the crematorium, the only place there would be anyone at that hour,” he pointed out.

“So she was,” Lucian agreed and then pointed out, “Only she can answer these questions.”

“She might have been bringing down paperwork,” Anders said, entering the room through the open connecting door.

When Lucian raised one questioning eyebrow it was Justin who explained, “The shuffle of papers and a moan are what drew our attention to her presence. Once I saw she was in pajamas though, I just assumed the papers had been lying on the floor and she’d kicked them or something as she walked.”