Oliver's Hunger
Page 29

 Tina Folsom

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“Yes, it’s a little complicated,” Oliver offered.
Blake chuckled. “I’ll explain it to you if you want.”
She shrugged. The more she found out what and who she was dealing with, the better. Other than that, she wasn’t in the least bit interested in what their family circumstances were. Right.
Clearly excited that he had something to talk about, Blake launched into his explanation. “I’m actually their only blood relative and—”
“If you must tell the story,” Oliver interrupted, “then please keep your facts straight. I carry Quinn’s blood, so I’m as much a blood relative as you are.”
Ursula gazed at him, finding it odd that he seemed slightly upset at Blake’s words. As if he wanted to make sure not to be left out.
“Well, okay, so I used the wrong words, big deal! Anyway.” Blake turned back to look at her. “Quinn and Rose are my fourth great-grandparents. They had a falling out two hundred years ago and only reunited a couple of months ago.”
That explained one thing: Rose and Quinn were vampires. However, something else of Blake’s story couldn’t be true then. “Vampires can’t have children. I overheard the guards talk about it.”
The knowledge had somehow filled her with satisfaction: at least it meant that vampires couldn’t procreate the way humans did, and therefore one way of replenishing their ranks was closed to them.
“Not entirely true,” Oliver threw in. “Vampire males can father children with their human mates. But in Quinn’s and Rose’s case it was different: they were both human when they had a child.”
Blake nodded eagerly. “Yes, and that’s the line I come from.” Then he pointed to Oliver. “Oliver is only related to Quinn, not to Rose.”
Oliver glared at him. “Which doesn’t make me any less family.” Then he relaxed his facial muscles. “Quinn is my sire. I’ve been working for Scanguards for over three years. I was human then, but I knew what they were, but Samson, the owner, he took me under his wing. I was his right hand, his eyes and ears during the day when he was vulnerable.”
Ursula couldn’t help but notice the proud sheen in his eyes when he spoke of his boss.
“I was with them out of my own free will. Until . . . ” He hesitated and stared at his shoes.
She didn’t say anything, simply waited anxiously for him to continue. How had he become a vampire? Had he chosen it? Or had they finally forced it on him?
“Anyway, I’m sure you’ll be comfortable here.”
Then his look darted past her toward the bed. Whatever he saw there made him approach. She held her breath, wondering if he’d suddenly attack her. However, he walked past her, making her turn.
Reaching for something on the nightstand, he mumbled, “Just a precaution.”
That’s when she saw what he was doing: he unplugged the small black telephone that had blended in with the dark color of the furniture. Darn! She hadn’t instantly noticed it upon entering the room, but she would have seen it once she made a more careful assessment of her surroundings when she was alone. Too late. Her chances of calling her parents had just decreased.
She swallowed away her disappointment and met Oliver’s gaze. His blue eyes shimmered with what looked like regret. She shook off the thought. No, vampires didn’t feel regret. Maybe she was simply too exhausted to think clearly.
As if he sensed her frustration, he said, “I’m really sorry, but we can’t risk you calling anybody. It might not only put us in danger, but you too. I know you want to talk to your parents, but what if whoever captured you watches them now that you escaped? They must know that you’ll try to contact them. It would give your hiding place away.”
Grudgingly, she had to admit that he was right. Her blood was too valuable for them to lose her. They would try to recapture her and use any means to do that. But Oliver didn’t know that.
Without thinking, her next words left her lips. “So you believe me?”
He seemed to contemplate his answer while he swept a long look over her body, one that strangely enough make her feel hot and tingly.
“My gut feeling tells me that you told us the truth, but I can’t always trust my gut. I need proof, because too many things don’t make sense.”
“Like what?” she countered.
“Why they would keep you captive for your blood when it’s freely available on the streets.”
Her blood wasn’t freely available on the streets as he put it, but she couldn’t tell him that. Once he knew what her blood did, he would want it too. He too would see the potential to make a lot of money by pimping her out to other vampires, just like her captors had done. No, she couldn’t divulge that kind of information.