The Mark of the Vampire Queen (Chapter One)
She lifted her hand. Though it was very faint, she still had a mark from the day it was burned, reaching out of the tent to hold her knight. Just as the impression of Jacob's bite on her throat from the recent blood exchange of the third mark still remained, when the punctures should have disappeared within less than a day. The images of the past and present mixed in her mind. Last night, after she'd marked him, Jacob had bathed her in the Jacuzzi tub. She'd used her fingertips to collect the water from his eyes so he could open them. Just the way she'd collected the water from the knight's eyes so he could raise his pale, auburn-tipped lashes. Like Jacob's lashes. Jacob had asked her several times now what made her change her mind about giving him the third mark. She hadn't told him about Thomas's posthumous letter. I know the prejudices of your world, certainly. You know I do. But hear me as I tell you that Jacob is the other part of your soul . . . He will not survive being parted from you again. Let him make his own choice, before you try to make it for him . . . If Thomas had been right, Jacob had followed her through time, through her life. Fought to become her full servant, despite what that meant now. She ached for a way to deserve the devotion Jacob gave her, de- spite how harshly she often treated him. She couldn't change who she was, but he didn't seem to want her to do so. His alpha nature resisted her dominance even as he was aroused by it. Just thinking of that made a response tighten in her vitals. He was approaching his thirtieth birthday. Several weeks ago, she'd proceeded to make arrangements for a special gift. She hadn't really examined why she was going to the trouble for a servant she'd had for such a short time. But he'd made many things so much easier for her already, and a wise queen was always generous. Now, the sig- nificance of what she'd chosen, something she'd initially considered a jest based on the nickname she'd given him–Sir Vagabond– nearly made her want to call it off. But she wouldn't. For one thing, she had more pressing concerns. She had to go get him out of jail.