Oliver's Hunger
Page 8

 Tina Folsom

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Her lungs burned from exhaustion, her arm hurt from its encounter with the metal rod, and she could still feel blood trickling down her neck. If she couldn’t close those wounds soon, she’d bleed out. She had to find help. At the same time she had to get away as far as possible from her captors, because they were like bloodhounds. They would smell her blood and be able to track her down.
Turning into the next street, she didn’t slow her furious sprint. She was running on empty, and she knew it. But she wouldn’t give up. She’d come this far, and freedom was just around the next corner. She couldn’t let it slip through her fingers. Not when she was so close.
Before her eyes, everything became blurred, and she realized instantly that the blood loss was robbing her of her remaining strength. She stumbled, then caught herself. Her hands got hold of something soft. Thick fabric. Her fingers clawed at it, then hands pulled her up.
“What the fuck?” a male voice cursed.
“Help me,” she begged. “They’re after me. They’re hunting me.”
“Leave me alone,” the stranger ordered and held her away at arm’s length.
She lifted her head and looked at him for the first time. He was young, barely older than herself. Attractive too, if she could even make that kind of judgment in her foggy state of mind. His hair was dark and somewhat ruffled, his eyes piercing, his lips full and red.
Despite his words, he hadn’t let go of her arms, supporting her weight which would have made her knees buckle otherwise.
Looking straight into his stunning blue eyes, she pleaded again, “Help me, please, I’ll give you anything you want. Just get me out of here. To the next police station. Please!”
She needed help. Not just for herself, but also for the other girls. They had promised each other that whoever managed to escape would send help for the others.
His eyes narrowed a fraction as his forehead creased. His nostrils flared. “What’s going on?”
“They’re hunting me. You have to help me.”
Suddenly his hands clamped tighter around her upper arms, and the pain in her wound intensified.
“Who’s hunting you?” he hissed.
She couldn’t tell him the truth, because the truth was too fantastic. He wouldn’t believe her, he’d think she was some crazy junkie if she told him about the vampires. Still, she needed his assistance. “Please help me! I’ll do anything.”
He looked at her intensely, his eyes boring into her, almost as if he was trying to determine whether she was drunk or crazy, or both.
“Please. Do you have a car?”
She noticed his eyes briefly wander to a dark minivan parked at the side of the road. “Why?”
“Because I’ve got to get away from here. Or they’ll find me.” She darted nervous looks over her shoulder. So far, the vampires hadn’t caught up with her, but they couldn’t be far behind. But she also noticed that this man was still the only one in the vicinity. If he didn’t help her, she wouldn’t make it. She couldn’t run any longer.
“Listen, I’m not interested in whatever trouble you’re in. I’ve got my own.” He released her arms, and she would have fallen, had she not quickly gripped the lapels of his coat.
He glared at her. “I said—”
Desperation made her say words she thought she’d never utter. “I’ll sleep with you if you help me.”
He stopped dead in his movements, his eyes suddenly traveling over her, his nostrils flaring once more. Afraid that he would find something he didn’t like, she slung her arms around his neck and pulled his head to her. Her lips found his an instant later.
Oliver felt the warm lips of the strange Asian girl on his mouth, kissing him, while the scent of blood wrapped around him. Was he delirious? He had to be. Nothing else made sense. Why else would a beautiful young woman just throw herself at him and offer him sex in exchange for a ride out of this seedy area? And why would she smell so enticingly of blood when he knew he was sated after feeding only minutes earlier?
Without another thought, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer. Her lips tasted sweet and clean. It told him that she didn’t live on the streets. Her body smelled fresh, despite the scent of blood that clung to her. Had she been in a physical fight or were his senses so sharp tonight that he could smell her blood as if it were oozing from her body?
When he swept his tongue against her lips, they parted instantly, allowing him inside to explore her. Despite the fact that he was a stranger to her, she invited him to play with her, to tangle with her tongue, to lick her teeth, to kiss her more passionately that he’d kissed a woman in a long time. Was this a preview of how she would be in bed? Passionate, sensual, wild? Had she really offered him sex?