Oliver's Hunger
Page 23

 Tina Folsom

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“And what do you do?” she asked before she could stop herself.
“Me? I’m a bodyguard.”
“Enough of talking about us,” Cain suddenly interrupted, his eyes narrowing somewhat, as if he was suspicious of her. “Why don’t you tell us what happened to you, so we can determine what to do?”
Ursula swallowed hard. Cain’s mouth was set in a hard line, which made him look determined and unyielding. Instinctively she realized that he wouldn’t allow the others to give her any more information than they had already.
Oliver exchanged a look with Cain, then nodded before looking back at her. “No offense, Ursula, but we’ve already told you more about us than we would tell any human under normal circumstances. You have to understand we need to protect our secrets.”
Secrets? Of course they had secrets. All vampires did. And they would not show her the skeletons that were in their closets.
“Tell us,” Maya insisted, her voice softer than Cain’s, but not any less urging. “What happened to you?”
Ursula hesitated. How much could she tell them? What if they were connected to the other vampires after all and returned her to them once they found out where she had escaped from?
When Oliver crouched down in front of her again and encapsulated her hand in his large palm, she shifted her gaze to look into his eyes.
His lips moved and expelled two whispered words. “Tell me.”
As if under a spell, she opened her mouth. The words were out before she could stop them. “I was imprisoned by vampires.”
Shocked, Oliver sucked in a breath. Had he heard right, or was the fact that he was so close to this beautiful girl screwing with his senses?
He briefly glanced at his friends, but they looked as stunned as he, clearly having heard the same words from Ursula’s mouth.
Her big brown eyes were wide like saucers, and she appeared as surprised by the revelation as he was. Had she not wanted to reveal this or was she making up lies? Or was she simply a very good actress?
Maybe Cain had been right to cut off her questions, so he wouldn’t reveal too much about Scanguards. After all, she was a stranger, and even though she’d been bitten by a vampire, it could have all been a setup to get close to them, to infiltrate Scanguards. What if some group of vampires was using her as bait? Even now, she could be under their control. Despite his physical attraction to her, he had to be careful. If he got involved, it would only end badly when it turned out that she was working for the enemy. He would never go against Scanguards, not even for the hottest woman he’d met in a long time. His eyes involuntarily dropped to her chest where her small breasts moved up and down as she breathed. At the same time he noticed how clammy her hand was and how fast her heart beat.
When he raised his gaze to look into her eyes again, he realized that what he was seeing were signs of fear. Did she fear him and his friends, or did she fear the vampire who had bitten her?
“Please,” he urged her. “Tell me what happened.”
Slowly, she pulled her hand from his. Reluctantly he allowed it.
“They held me for three years.”
The words choked out from her throat as if she had trouble speaking.
Stunned by her words, he remained silent and waited for her to continue. She took several breaths, looking at his friends then turned her head to the side, avoiding eye contact with him.
“I was a student at NYU when they captured me one night after I left an evening lecture. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Vampires didn’t exist! They couldn’t exist. They were just myth, folklore. They only existed in movies. I never thought . . . ” Her voice broke.
Oliver wanted to say so much, but his throat felt parched all of a sudden.
“They took me to a building where they kept me locked up. I wasn’t the only one. There were other girls like me.” She looked up and met his gaze. Her eyes were moist, but she wasn’t crying.
Of its own volition, his hand came up, wanting to stroke her cheek to comfort her, but in the last minute, he pulled it back, not wanting to expose his feelings to her or his friends. He had to stay impartial. It was the hallmark of a good bodyguard. Cain had been trying to teach him that very fact, and Gabriel had reinforced it countless times.
However, it didn’t change the fact that he was affected by her words. He felt compassion.
“What did they do to you?”
Ursula thrust her chin up, her mouth setting into a hard line. “They pimped us out as blood whores.”
“Blood whores?” Maya gasped in disbelief.