Oliver's Hunger
Page 30

 Tina Folsom

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“It happened, but I don’t know why,” she lied, trying not to blink when their eyes locked. Could he tell she was lying?
“Let’s just say there was a compelling reason, just for argument’s sake,” he conceded. “Then I find it very strange that you were able to escape at all. You said they had guards to watch you.”
Ursula pushed her shoulders back. “Yes they did. But the guard was called away to another room when there was trouble. I used the opportunity to escape.”
Oliver shook his head. “And the other vampire? The one who fed from you? Where was he? See how that doesn’t make sense? Surely he didn’t leave the room too.”
“Of course he didn’t.”
“Don’t tell me you overpowered a vampire by yourself.”
The mocking look in Oliver’s eyes got her dander up. How dare he make fun of her?
“And what makes you think I can’t do that?”
“Look at you! You’re what, five three, five four? And how heavy? A hundred and twenty pounds? You couldn’t even overpower a human male, let alone a vampire. Somebody must have helped you escape.”
Angrily, she fisted her hands at her hips and glared at him. But she kept her tongue in check. “The jerk didn’t care! Okay? He had gotten what he’d come for and let me walk out of the room! He didn’t know I was escaping. He probably assumed that I was going back to my room.”
When Oliver stared at her with suspicion in his eyes, she withstood his gaze without blinking.
“I don’t believe it.”
“Can’t you leave her alone?” Blake griped behind him. “What’s so important about it now? She escaped. End of story.”
“What are you not telling me?” Oliver insisted, ignoring his half-brother.
“There’s nothing.”
He didn’t believe her; that much was clear. She couldn’t even blame him.
Slowly, he stepped back. “Fine. We’ll talk tomorrow. You’re tired and you’ve been through a lot. Make yourself at home. There’s a TV, music, books. If you’re hungry, Blake will bring you some food.”
Then he turned and left the room. She heard his footsteps fade as he walked down the hall.
“Are you hungry?” Blake asked.
Blake nodded and turned away, leaving her alone.
For now, she had dodged a bullet, but how much longer could she keep the truth from Oliver?
Ursula sank into the warm water, allowing it to caress her tired body, taking pains to keep her injured arm out of the water so that the bandage didn’t get wet.
She had not only locked the bathroom door but also wedged the clothes hamper underneath the door handle as an extra precaution. She wouldn’t put it past Oliver—or Blake—to barge in so they could look at her naked. Both of them had stared at her with lusting eyes. With Blake, she knew for sure he wasn’t lusting after her blood, but with Oliver she had her doubts. Maybe he wanted both: her body and her blood. After all, she’d offered him her body before. Perhaps he wanted to collect on her promise, now that she was out of immediate danger.
But she hadn’t made this promise to a vampire—not knowingly anyway. She’d made it to a handsome young man, a man she’d believed to be human, and she’d made her promise out of desperation. Things had changed since. He had turned out to be the enemy.
That thought sobered her. How could she not have seen the signs? After three years living with vampires, she’d developed a sense for recognizing what features gave them away: their fluid, graceful movements, the alertness in their eyes, their seemingly perfect and flawless skin. And then of course their speed. But Oliver had simply stood there, not moving when she’d met him, eliminating the possibility of recognizing him as a vampire by his movements.
His blue eyes had mesmerized her, blinded her so that she hadn’t seen anything else.
She jerked her thoughts away from him. There was no use crying over spilled milk. What was more important now was to work on a plan of action—just as soon as she finished her bath. However, feeling how the warm water relaxed her aching muscles, how it soothed her tired body, made her want to simply close her eyes and allow sleep to take her away to a safe place. Maybe if she could just take a moment and rest, everything would look less desperate, less hopeless.
But no, she couldn’t allow herself to weaken. Determined to remain strong and alert, she reached for the shower gel and lathered her body, ridding herself of the last traces of blood and dirt that had accumulated during her escape from her prison. She scrubbed harder and harder as if by doing so, she could scrub away the scars of the last three years.