Vampire Games (Chapter Thirty-nine)

The Pacific Ocean at sunset.

It was beautiful. Expansive. Tinged with so much color that one's soul sang. Even souls trapped in immortal bodies.

As I drove north along the Pacific Coast Highway toward Malibu, I realized that today was the first day that Kingsley had not tried to call me or text me. I had always kept Kingsley at arm's length. I had done so for a number of reasons, and one of them was because I suspected he would do something like this. The man was an infamous womanizer.

Maybe I had been too cautious with him. Maybe I had shut him out of my heart for too long. Maybe I had made it easy for him to be with another woman.

To fuck another woman.

I was pressing hard on the gas again, too hard. I was whipping past other cars at an alarming rate. I eased up and unclenched my grip on the steering wheel.

According to Kingsley, he had been ready for a relationship. He had been ready to settle down, to explore something serious. I hadn't been. I was dealing with a lot of hurt and had no business starting anything new with Kingsley. But he had been persistent, and sexy as hell…and unlike anything I had seen before.

But a tiger didn't change his stripes.

Granted, this tiger – or wolf – had a little help from above. Namely from my guardian angel who had set Kingsley up. And Kingsley, being the dog that he was, fell for it hook, line and sinker.

Bastard.

Maybe I should thank Ishmael for showing me Kingsley's true colors. Then again, maybe I should tell Ishmael to go to hell, since he'd caused this mess in the first place.

But didn't he give you immortality? a voice inside me asked. And the gift of flight? And great strength?

Had that been me asking those questions, or the thing inside me? I didn't know. Still, they were valid questions.

So I thought about them as I drove on. Ishmael had acted out of love and selfishness. Tainted love. Ishmael had put me in unparalleled danger. He had risked my life…

He had risked his own salvation for love. His love for me.

He had risked everything.

For me.

I thought about that…and I continued thinking about that even as I pulled up to Andre Fine's Malibu beach home.