Crescent Moon (Chapter 21)

I glanced at the door – still closed. Then the windows –  broken but not open. How had he gotten in without my hearing him?

I wasn't sure I wanted to know. If he was a vampire, did I plan to put a stake through his heart? I was fresh out

"Well," he drawled. "Do you?"

While the appropriate response to that question would be Of course not! instead, I snapped, "How long have you been there?"

Adam shoved away from the wall and stalked toward me. His hair tangled when he shoved it out of his face; his bracelet caught the moonlight and sparkled. He wore a powder blue short-sleeved dress shirt, unbuttoned, and his chest rippled beneath a sheen of sweat that should have been unattractive but wasn't. Combined with the ragged jeans and bare feet… I wanted him so much I couldn't think straight

He stopped directly in front of me. I had a perfect view of his crotch, which didn't look half-bad, either.

Because I wanted to lean forward and pull down the bulging zipper with my teeth, I stood. On the way up, my breasts brushed his chest, and he hauled me against him.

"You think I'm a vampire, Diana?"

The question should have been foolish. We should both have been laughing. But we weren't.

His fingers bruised my skin. His erection pressed against my stomach. His blazing blue eyes seemed to pierce my brain.

"Are you?" I whispered.


The word came off his tongue sounding French. When he kissed me, there was a lot of French in that, too.

He tasted of hickory coffee – no, wait, that was me. Thick cream, heavy sugar – definitely him. I licked his teeth, wanting more of that taste, since I never dared drink my coffee anything but black.

With Adam I got all of the flavor and none of the calories. Only later did I realize, I'd also been checking those teeth for a razor-edged sharpness. I'm not sure what I would have done if I'd found some.

We were frantic again, pulling at each other's clothes. My top flew one way, my bra the other; his shirt slid from his shoulders and onto the floor. Why was it that every time we came near each other we couldn't seem to stop this from happening?

I was on fire, barely able to stand still, desperate for a release that I wasn't going to get from a kiss, when he backed me against the wall. How had he known I was weak in the knees?

I murmured my approval, lifting my arms around his neck as he ran his palms from the outside of my breasts to my hips.

He started, stilled, and stepped back, taking his hands and his mouth with him. I nearly fell on my face without his support

"What's this?" He unbuttoned my pants, and the fleur-de-lis chain spilled out.


I studied his face, but, as usual, I couldn't get a read on him.

"I – uh – got it today."

His eyes lifted from their solemn contemplation of my jewelry. "Why?"


"From vampires?' Adam's lips curved. "There's no such thing, cher."

"Then why did I see Charlie in town?"

His lips flattened. "Dead Charlie?"

"Not anymore. Or maybe again. He blew up."

Adam glanced out the window, then back. "You're not makin' any sense."

"I saw Charlie, chased him to St. Louis Number One – "

"You nuts? Never go there alone."

I hadn't been alone, but that was beside the point

"Charlie released a woman from her crypt According to the obituary, she died two days ago, but she was walking pretty well last night"

"No one gets buried so quickly."

"That's all you've got to say?"

He touched my forehead. I slapped his hand away. "I'm not feverish or insane."

"You saw Charlie and a dead woman walk; then they blew up."

OK, when it was spoken out loud, I did sound nuts.

"And you think they were vampires?"

"Maybe. Cassandra said they weren't zombies."

"Who de hell is Cassandra?"

"Voodoo priestess."

He stared at me for several seconds. "My, you have been busy."

Why did his words sound like a threat?

Because I was paranoid as well as crazy. Oh well, the two went together like franks and beans.

"You don't believe me," I said.

"It doesn't matter what I believe; it's what you believe."

"I don't know anymore."

He brushed my hair from my cheek, and this time I let him. "New Orleans would spook anyone. There are ghosts here, can't help but be. But de things you're speaking of…" He shook his head. "I don't think this little old chain will protect you from them."

My chin tipped up. "You have a better idea?"

"No." His gaze lowered. "I like this one."

In a surprising movement, he dropped to his knees and tugged my jeans over my hips. His breath brushed my thighs, warm and inviting. My underwear followed the same path to the floor.

"Would you tell me if you were?" I asked.

"What?" When he glanced up, his eyes were unfocused, his mouth still swollen from mine.

Having him kneel at my feet, so gorgeous and tousled and aroused, filled my mind with too many possibilities. Nevertheless, I managed to choke out the question: "Would you tell me if you were a vampire?"

"Of course not, cher."

Leaning forward, he pressed his mouth against the fleur-de-lis chain, against my belly, and suckled. Skin, metal, tongue, and teeth – the sensation was exquisite.

If he were a vampire, wouldn't he be –

Catching fire? Disintegrating into dust? Howling? Crying? Running?

He did none of them. But he did do other things.

The chain – both hot and damp, dry and cool – slipped from his mouth. He kissed me again. Lower.

My legs wobbled, and he cupped my hips with his big hands, pinning me to the wall as his tongue did amazing things.

Maybe he was a vampire? Maybe I didn't give a shit

My fingers tangled in his hair, holding him closer, urging him on. How could a tongue be so hard and yet so soft, so clever and yet so tentative? Whenever I was on the verge of orgasm, he retreated just enough so I never came, driving me closer, higher, with the next stroke.

"I think you've had enough."

My eyes snapped open. He stood in front of me.

"No." I reached for him, and he took my hand, tugging me to the sleeping bag.

"We're not done." He gave me a little shove, and I toppled onto the covers.

As he stood over me in the faint moonlight, I memorized every ripple and curve. Just looking at him made me breathe a little harder.

He followed me down, brushed a stray strand of hair from my breast. "When you come, it's all I can do not to come, too, just watchin' you."

I wasn't sure what to say, so I said nothing.

"You're so alive." He laid his palm against my chest, dark against light, and pressed until I was supine. "So warm and soft and – "

He broke off, took a deep breath, and let it out "I can't sleep nights thinkin' of being inside of you."

In one swift movement he covered my body with his and slipped in. I bit my lip to keep from making an embarrassing yummy noise at the contact

"You're so tight" His forehead dropped against mine as he struggled for control.


"No." A puff of air that was laughter hit my cheek. "That's good, so good."

I tried to relax, but I couldn't keep still. I had to have friction. My hips had a will of their own, pumping against him.

He cupped my breast in one hand, pressed his thumb to my skin. "I can feel your heart beat." His eyes seemed to reflect the three-quarter moon, glowing silver, fading to blue. "Makes me want to do all sorts of bad things."

"Just do me." I clenched around him. "Now."

I could feel his heart beat, too, in a completely different place. The pressure, the rhythm, the thud, thud, thud, made me shatter at last.

When I could see again, breathe again, we lay side by side, him tracing patterns across my stomach and breasts with one finger. "You still want to search for de wolf that isn't there?"

"You're awful accommodating for a man who doesn't believe we'll find one."

"I'D be as accommodating as you like, cher, if you keep accommodating me."

I pinched his arm and he laughed. I got a warm, squishy feeling right above the fleur-de-lis. This was nice.

Too nice.

I took his hand, meaning to push it away, but something flickered in his eyes, almost a wince. Instead of letting go, I held on.

"Of course the wolf isn't there," I said briskly.

His eyebrows lifted.

"The moon's nearly full. This is a crescent moon loup-garou."

If I hadn't been holding his hand, I wouldn't have felt the slight jerk of surprise. "Where you hear that?"

"I can read the newspaper, Adam."

An odd expression came over his face.

"What's the matter?"

"No one's called me by my given name for a long time."


"I don't see many people."

I tightened my fingers on his. "Why me?"

His lips curved. "Why not you?"

Well, that was flattering.

I suddenly remembered something I'd meant to ask. "When I left your place, I – uh, walked around a little."

"Mmm," he said, rubbing his thumb over my palm. I found it hard to think when he did that.

"Under the bedroom window it looked like you were going to plant something."

"Really?" His expression was as bland as his voice.

"I just wondered what"

"You a big gardener, cher? I never would have thought."

Well, what bad I expected him to say? There were wolf trades there and since I'm hiding one, I didn't want you to see them. Like that would happen.

Why didn't I just ask him straight out? He already thought I was loony because of the zombies. If I started talking about my dead husband walking, a mythical black wolf, tracks that weren't there, Adam might go away and never come back. I wasn't ready for that yet

"You want to wait to search de swamp until de crescent moon returns?" he asked.

"I'm not sure."

His free hand played with the fleur-de-lis chain. At least he could touch it without bursting into flame.

He pulled me against him, spoonlike, and I was so shocked, I let him. With his breath in my hair and his hand at my hip, I drifted on a cloud of satisfaction and exhaustion.

Right before I fell into the abyss that was sleep I heard him whisper, "Better if you wore a silver chain. Two birds, one stone, that way."

I tried to stay awake. Tried to make sense of the comment

Silver. Was that a hint? Or a warning?

I was too tired to ask. Too tired to do anything but fall.