Sins of the Night (Page 11)

Sins of the Night (Dark-Hunter #8)(11)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

"If you change your mind, Danger…"

"I won’t."

Damn. It was one of the reasons why he wished Acheron had sent him to a male Dark-Hunter. By now a man would have been on the prowl for a woman of his own which would have allowed Alexion ample time to find a bedmate for himself.

He somehow doubted Danger would be open to taking him out to get laid.

"I understand," he said to her.

Yeah, right. He might mentally understand, but his body wasn’t listening. It wanted a taste of her so badly that it was all he could do to remain seated.

His celibacy was hard enough on him in Katoteros. On earth, it was unbearable. To be so close to a woman and not have her…

He actually whimpered.

"Are you all right?"

"Fine," he said, wishing a cold shower would work. But he was long past that. He’d been so long without a woman’s touch that nothing except release would help him.

"So do you have any cheap friends?" he asked.

She gave him a disgusted glare. "You are a pig!"

"You go two hundred years without sex and see how you feel," he said defensively. "It’s easy for you to sit there sanctimoniously while you condemn me, but you can have sex anytime you feel like it. All I have are the next few days. After that, I have to pray for a Dark-Hunter uprising to have another shot at a woman. Have you any idea how often those happen?"

"So you look forward to killing us?"

"No, but after a couple of hundred years, you do start having some radical thoughts."

Danger stared at him in disbelief.

"And it would help if you had chosen a movie where people kept their clothes on. You know, Disney makes a damn good movie too."

He was unbelievable! "I can’t believe you’re Ash’s chosen whatever and all you can do is think of getting laid. You are such a man-slut! You don’t even care who you sleep with."

"That’s not exactly true. I do have some standards. Granted, not many, but still…" He sucked his breath in sharply. "I’m so hard it’s painful and when you consider the fact I don’t really feel pain like a human does, that says a lot." He actually pouted and that succeeded in making her feel sorry for him. But only a little.

"You’re just having a really bad night, aren’t you?"

"You have no idea." He expelled a heavy sigh before he got up and headed for her hallway.

"Where are you going?"

"I’m going to walk around your house and try to think cold, disgusting thoughts."

Danger didn’t laugh until he’d left the room. Part of her really did feel for him. Then again, it’d been nearly that long since she’d last slept with someone. She just didn’t like getting nak*d with a stranger. Like many other female Dark-Hunters, she wanted the one thing she could never have again-a relationship. That was the hardest part about their immortality. With the exception of the Amazons, who were born to never have a relationship with a man, the rest of the female hunters missed what they’d had as humans.

It actually bothered her some nights how much she missed her husband. Up until the moment he’d betrayed her, she had loved him more than anything else in the world. Michel had had that debonair charm that won over everyone he met. Unlike Alexion, her husband had never once placed his foot in his mouth.

But then, Alexion, according to his words, hadn’t been around many people.

"Oh, don’t do it, Danger."

But it was too late. She was already getting up to go check on him.

She found him downstairs, holding one of her DVDs as if it were a foreign object.

"You okay?" she asked.

He nodded even though he was scowling. "What is this?"

"It’s a DVD. That’s what we were watching upstairs."

"DVD?"

He didn’t know what a DVD was? Was that even possible? "Yeah, isn’t that how you watch movies at home?"

"No. They just play."

She scowled at that. "What do you mean, they just play?"

He acted as if there were nothing unusual about his declaration. "Whenever Simi or Ash want to watch something, it just comes on."

"Without a video?"

"Yes."

Such a thing wasn’t possible. "You mean you have streaming movies?"

"We have anything we want whenever we want it. At least I do if Simi’s not there. She tends to be a movie hog when she’s home."

There was that name again. "Who is this Simi person you keep talking about?"

Alexion stood up. At first he wasn’t going to answer, but there really wasn’t any reason to keep it from her. It wasn’t as though the information would cost him anything. "She’s a cross between an adopted daughter and an annoying little sister."

"And she lives with you and Acheron in his house that no one knows exists?"

"Yes."

Danger was actually surprised she was getting something personal out of him. Hoping for more, she asked, "No one else ever comes to visit?"

"Only Artemis and Urian."

Artemis she knew. "Urian?" Before he could respond, she answered for herself. "Wait. Let me guess. He’s ‘other.’"

"Yes."

"Is Ash the only non ‘other’ there?"

His features immediately went blank, as if he were hiding something.

Danger caught herself before she gaped. "Are you telling me Ash is ‘other’ too?"

"I’m not saying anything about him."

He didn’t have to. His omission said it all. She wanted to ask more about what Ash and Simi were, but it had been futile enough tonight. She was rather tired of banging her head against the proverbial wall.

Sighing in defeat, she looked over at her plasma TV, which had had a miraculous recovery while she’d been upstairs. "Did you fix my TV?"

"It only seemed right since I was the one who broke it."

She walked over to it to inspect it. Everything looked normal. As soon as she was in front of it, it came on.

Danger jumped, especially since its remote was lying on the bookshelf in front of her. "How did you do that?"

"Same way I always do it." The television shut off.

She quickly moved away. Just how much power did this guy wield?

He moved to stand behind her. His presence there was disturbing to her well-being. She was more aware of him than she had ever been of any man before. There was something about him that was electrifying and magnetic.

"Don’t be afraid of me, Danger," he whispered near her ear. Chills shot through her body. "Unless you threaten Acheron, I will never harm you."

"No, you just intend to harm my friends."

She felt him pick her braid up and hold it close to his face so that he could inhale her scent. "I really wish you wouldn’t do that."

"I know." He set her hair down and moved even closer. His presence was overwhelming. Powerful. She could feel his desire to hold her.

Yet he refrained.

Alexion ground his teeth as he imagined what it would be like to pull her flush to his body. To reach around her and cup her br**sts in his hands. It would be so easy to slide his hand underneath the waistband of her flannel pajamas… To brush his fingers through the triangle of hair between her legs so that he could stroke her. Touch her. Hear her moaning in his ear as her breath tickled his flesh.

He could already feel the slickness of her.

His mouth watered hungrily for a small taste. Carnal pleasure was the only thing that he could still experience as an immortal with the same degree that he had known as a human. It was why he craved it so much. There for a few minutes, he could forget his icy, lonely existence and feel truly human again.

He could feel connected, almost wanted.

But she didn’t want him.

His bitter loneliness tore through him, shredding his heart. It was ever his destiny to want and not have. In many ways, he was Tantalus. He could see what he wanted, but every time he’d ever dared to reach for it, something came along and took it away just as he grasped it.

Damn.

Grinding his teeth, he stepped away from her. He sensed her instant relief and that saddened him even more.

"So, do all the male Dark-Hunters pimp for you?"

He shook his head. "No. They just tend to frequent places where… shall we say… loose women congregate." And normally those women threw themselves at him. It was a pity Danger didn’t follow their actions.

"I’ll bet they do."

He ignored her dripping sarcasm. She had no idea how important such contact was to him. She interacted with other people nightly. He didn’t. His only contact with the world was through the monitors and the sfora in Katoteros. It was cold and sterile.

Like me.

That was true enough. Every century seemed to get a little harder for him. Like Acheron, he lost more and more of his humanity. That was one of the reasons why it was so important for him to try and save Kyros. This was the first time in centuries that something had truly gotten to him.

He really did want to save his old friend.

But that would have to wait for now. He could already sense that dawn was about to break.

Danger looked to the window as if she sensed it as well. "It’s getting late. I think I’ll turn in."

He nodded as she left him alone.

No sooner had she vanished from his sight, than he felt the prickly sensation of being watched again.

Alexion rubbed the back of his neck uneasily. "I swear, Simi, if that is you messing with me, I won’t lock up your credit cards next time. I’ll shred them."

Chapter 9

Danger spent a fitful day in her bed, trying to sleep and finding it almost impossible. It was barely six in the evening when she woke up, her heart racing, her mind whirling from horrible images.

Wicked dreams of Alexion had mixed with nightmares of him trying to kill her. No matter how hot the dream started out, it always ended the same way-Alexion locking her into a cramped, dark room that held other Dark-Hunters. Ragged and ill-kempt, barely more than human skeletons, they begged for mercy until they were led outside, one by one, to the Place de Greve where the guillotine in its red-painted frame waited to behead them.

The haunting swoosh of the eighty-eight-pound blade falling down rang in her ears, along with the sound of the crowd of humans and Daimons cheering their deaths.

But the weirdest, most disturbing part of her dream was the image of Alexion sitting to the side of the crowd, a la Madame DeFarge, knitting a list of all their names so that the executioner (Acheron) would know who next to murder.

Damn you, Charles Dickens, for that image! Her own memories of the Revolution were bad enough. The last thing she needed was for someone to add to them.

Danger lay in bed, clutching at her throat. The horrifying screams of the past rang in her ears. Over and over, she saw the faces of the innocents who had been killed by a hungry mob bent on vengeance against an entire social class of people. It had been decades since she’d last recalled her human life.

Her death.

But now it tore through her with stunning clarity and acidity. Even worse, she remembered the time not long after the Revolution when it had been fashionable for Parisians to hold Victim’s Balls where the only people who were allowed to attend were those who had family slain by the Committee. The attendees all wore red ribbons tied around their throats in remembrance of Madame La Guillotine’s handiwork. It had been gruesomely morbid and had sent her fleeing her homeland, never to return.

She hated these memories. She hated everything about them. It’d been so unfair to lose everything because of one man’s greed. A man she, herself, had brought into the family. But for her, her father and his wife and her brother and sister wouldn’t have died.

Why had she ever believed Michel’s lies? Why?

The guilt and shame of that was still raw inside her.

She had killed her own family because she had fallen in love with a lying, beguiling ass**le. Tears gathered in her eyes as her throat closed so tight that she could barely breathe.

"Papa," she sobbed, aching anew for the loss of her father. He had been a good man who had taken care of the people who worked for him. Never once had he neglected either her or her mother. In fact, he had wanted to give up his noble titles so that he could marry her mother when she’d become unexpectedly pregnant.

Had he done so, his life would have been spared… But her mother had refused his suit. Self-reliant and bold, her mother had never wanted a husband to tell her what to do. She was one of the most renowned actresses of her day, and her mother had feared that her father would insist she give up the stage for home and family.

Even after her rejection, her father had pursued her mother, begging her to marry him while he made sure that both of them had everything they needed. It was only after Danger had reached maturity that he had given up hope of her mother ever changing her mind.

It was then he’d found himself a lady to wed.

Even then, both he and his lady-wife had always been kind to her. Her stepmother had welcomed her into their home with open arms. Maman Esmee had swathed her in love and devotion.

Not much older than Danger, the lady had never looked down on her illegitimate status. She’d quickly become one of her dearest friends and confidantes.

Even now she could see their faces as they lovingly teased each other. See Esmee’s face as she took her shopping for hats-Esmee’s one great weakness in life. Never could she pass by a shop without dashing in to see what they had. She would spend hours in the haberdashery trying on every bonnet and hat they had while her father watched her and laughed.