Oliver's Hunger
Page 20

 Tina Folsom

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“You want a fight?” Oliver challenged.
“Damn it, Oliver!” Maya cursed and grabbed his arm. “Cain!”
A moment later, Cain attacked him from the other side. Furious, Oliver let go of Blake and spun on his heels. He felt his fangs extend to full length and caught sight of his hands: they had turned into claws. Yes, he was spoiling for a fight.
Raising his head, he looked at his two attackers, whose fangs had also extended, when he caught a movement in the corner of his eye. His head whipped in its direction.
Ursula, the girl he’d rescued from an unknown vampire, stood in the door to the living room, her eyes wide in shock, her hands gripping the door frame for support.
“Oh God,” she said breathlessly. “You’re one of them. You’re all like them!”
With disbelief and horror, Ursula looked at the scene in the entrance hall. How could this have happened? She’d stepped from the frying pan into the fire. Nothing had changed. Her entire daring escape had been for nothing. She was still in the hands of vampires, only different ones this time. Despair spread inside her, pushing tears into her eyes.
There was no use in running: all four of them blocked the entrance door. Besides, she was aware of a vampire’s speed and knew that if she tried to make it to the French doors in the living room that led outside to a terrace, they would catch her in no time. Particularly since she was still weakened from the recent blood loss.
Gathering all her remaining strength, she stared at Oliver, the man who’d rescued her. Well, maybe rescue wasn’t the right word after all. He’d captured her. His eyes were red now, his fangs extended, and his fingertips were topped with razor-sharp claws. His mouth stood open, and his lips looked red and plump. And still inviting.
God, no! Her stomach twisted as she remembered the kiss they’d shared. She’d kissed a monster, the very creature she hated most in this world. And she had liked it; even now, there was no denying it. Her body had burned with desire, and she could only hope that it was solely an aftereffect of the feeding she’d been subjected to a short time earlier. Because she could never desire a vampire.
Before her eyes, the red in Oliver’s eyes dissipated, and the tips of his fangs pulled back, disappearing in his mouth. Even his claws vanished as if she had simply been imagining them.
“You’re vampires,” she repeated, her voice flat.
Oliver shook off the hands of Dr. Giles and the dark haired vampire, who had been holding his arms. Dr. Giles? She probably wasn’t even a doctor.
“I’m sorry you had to see this.” He took a tentative step closer.
She flinched. Immediately, he stopped in his approach, his eyes looking at her full of regret. Regret? No, she had to be mistaken. She’d never seen any vampire exhibit such a feeling. Their feelings were limited to greed, hate, and lust.
“I won’t hurt you.”
She listened to Oliver’s words and suppressed the urge to laugh hysterically. Of course he would hurt her, just like the other vampires had. So why pretend? Why lie to her? Why torture her? Maybe he was more cruel than even Dirk was. More cruel because he came in a package that had almost made her trust him, almost made her feel safe. Only to dash her hopes later.
The tears that she’d held back until now escaped from her eyes, making their way down her cheeks, burning hotly. She didn’t dare take a breath.
“Please don’t cry.”
His voice was soothing, and when she closed her eyes, she could imagine surrendering to it. Maybe it was time to give up, to stop struggling and accept her fate. She would always be a blood whore to them. They would never let her go.
She would never see her parents again. And she wouldn’t be able to help rescue the other girls. With her next breath, a sob tore from her chest.
“I want to go home.”
Her knees buckled, her vision blurred. She saw them move all at once, coming toward her. Would they drain her tonight? Would this finally be the end?
“I’ve got her,” Oliver said to his friends, his voice sharp and unyielding.
Then she felt him lift her into his arms and carry her back into the living room. The gentleness with which he placed her on the couch surprised her, but maybe she was delirious. As soon as she sat, he pulled the blanket over her lower body and stepped back.
“You’re safe here,” he claimed.
The other three had entered the room behind him and stood close.
“Who is she?” one of the men asked.
The doctor turned to him. “Oliver brought her here.”