Bad Moon Rising (Page 23)

Updating

Bad Moon Rising (Dark-Hunter #18)(23)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Aimee turned only to find the Daimon there behind her. His eyes were dark and greedy as he raked a delighted glance over her body.

"Well, well, what a tasty little morsel you are. While I didn’t order delivery, far be it from me to turn down such a thoughtful gift."

Aimee kneed him hard in the groin. As he doubled over, she went to stab him in the back, but out of nowhere a female Daimon grabbed her and slammed her against the wall.

Dazed, she turned to fight only to have three more Daimons pop in. "What was this? An orgy?"

They attacked.

Aimee ducked the first one, and headed for the most important. Cadmon. The one who held Fang’s soul. He was the main one she had to kill. The others were simply target practice.

The female kicked her hard to the ground. Aimee flipped the Daimon over her body, then rolled to her feet. One of the men jerked her around. She slugged him hard across the face, her hand throbbing in protest.

Turning, she honed in on her target and slammed her fist into his chest.

It worked. The stake went in and he burst into golden dust.

But no sooner had he gone down than the others swarmed her. Aimee screamed as the female sank her fangs into her arm. . . .

 

Fang staggered back as he felt the last piece of himself come home to his body. For the first time in months, he took a true deep breath.

Thorn smiled wickedly. "Welcome back, wolf."

But he wasn’t back yet and neither was Aimee. He was still trapped in this nether hell. "Can I go to her?"

Thorn grimaced. "That’s a little tricky. It breaks quite a few treaties to send you into a realm we don’t technically control."

Fang panicked as he watched the scene on the wall. Aimee was losing.

Badly.

"They’re going to kill her, Thorn." Then Fang did the one thing he’d never done in his entire life. He begged. "Please."

Thorn held a hand out toward the wall where the images were displayed. "The doorway’s open. Better run for it."

Fang didn’t hesitate. He ran at the images, half-expecting to crash into the wall and break his limbs or his neck.

He didn’t.

Instead he found himself in the room with Aimee and the Daimons. He grabbed the one who had her fangs still buried in Aimee’s flesh and pulled her head back. Manifesting a dagger, he stabbed her straight in the chest and let her dust fall all over him.

Aimee moved to kill the newcomer until her gaze focused on his face. Disbelief filled her.

"Fang?"

He manifested another dagger and put himself between her and the Daimons. He stabbed one and kicked another back. "Get out of here. Now."

"Not without you."

Fang couldn’t believe her as she took a post behind him, her shoulders pressed against his. "Aimee, listen to me. We’re in ground zero for the Daimons-there’s no way we can fight them all off. I need you to get out of here and wake me up. Then we’ll both be safe. Now go."

Aimee hated that thought. But he was right. They couldn’t fight every Spathi Daimon here and if the Destroyer caught them . . .

As Xedrix said, it would suck to be them.

"Don’t you dare die on me, Fang." She ran for the door and headed to where she’d left Kyle and Xedrix. "Get me home now."

Xedrix teleported them out immediately.

Aimee scowled as she realized she was back in his club and not theirs. "I meant Sanctuary, Xed. Damn!" Growling, she flashed herself back to Fang’s room.

There he lay, still and unmoving.

Her heart pounded in terror and guilt for having left him alone to face the Spathi. Was he still alive? "Please don’t let those Daimons have gotten to you again." She didn’t know if she could hunt them down anymore.

Terrified, she ran to the bed and shook his body to wake him. "Fang?"

He didn’t respond. Just as before, he was limp and cold.

Tears filled her eyes as emotions choked her. "Damn it, wolf! Don’t you dare do this to me. You better get up. Now! Do you hear me? Fang? Fang!"

Then she felt it. It was like spark of electricity jolting him as he jerked hard in her arms. One moment she held a wolf and in the next, he was a nak*d man looking up at her with confused wonder.

One tear slid down her cheek at the sight of him alive and whole.

"Fang?"

Fang looked around the dark bedroom in disbelief that he was really back and that this wasn’t another dream that would turn into a nightmare. The scent of Aimee anchored him and held him grounded. He cupped her head in his hand and held on for everything he was worth.

"I’m back. . . ."

She squeezed him and laughed. "I was terrified they’d gotten you again."

His laughter joined hers as he pulled back to show her the bleeding welt on his arm. "They tried." Then he looked her over. "You weren’t hurt, were you?"

"Not really. Just the one bite, but it’s not too deep. I just can’t believe that you’re here again." She braced her hands on each side of his face and smiled down at him. "Buddy, you need a shave and a haircut."

Fang laughed. "Yeah, I can imagine."

Her eyes danced with mischief and tears. "You know what this means, don’t you?"

"I need a bath more than I need a shave?"

Her smile widened as she teased him. "Well, yeah, that too. But no. You’re obligated to me. Big-time."

"Your eternal slave. Always." He leaned his forehead against hers. "Thank you, Aimee." Those words were so paltry compared to the real gratitude he felt.

She’d saved him from an unimaginable hell. Without her, he would have never escaped. . . .

"You’re very welcome."

He kissed her on the forehead before he lay back down on the bed and pulled a corner of the duvet over his lap. "I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck."

"Well, we’ve been trying to move your limbs while you were a wolf, but sometimes you were so stiff we couldn’t."

Fang tried not to think about that. It was probably when he was being attacked by Misery and her crew. But all of that was behind him. He was back where he belonged.

Aimee brushed his hair back from his face. "Are you hungry?"

"Famished."

"I’ll grab you something to eat and be right back."

He took her hand as she started away. The warmth of her skin caught him off guard. In the other realm, she’d felt differently. Now he felt the true heat and softness of her body. "Stay with me a little longer."

He’d been alone for so long that he didn’t want to be that way right now. He was afraid that if he was, somehow they’d suck him back into that hell realm.

Aimee heard the need in his voice. "I’ll summon Dev to bring you something." She helped him tuck himself under the covers while she used her powers to ask Dev to bring food and water.

Fang lay on his side, quiet and still. He had one arm tucked under his head while his eyes danced around the room as if looking at all the shadows to come alive and attack him.

And still he managed to look delectable to her. Even with his shaggy hair and unkempt beard. Even though his body was much thinner, he still sent a jolt of desire through her.

"What are you thinking?"

Those dark eyes met hers and held her spellbound. They also stole her breath. "How grateful I am that you didn’t give up on me."

She took his hand into hers and squeezed it gently. "Wolves aren’t the only ones who are loyal, you know? We bears have a pretty good reputation in that department too."

Dev knocked lightly before he pushed the door open. His jaw dropped as he saw Fang awake. "Holy shit. The wolf lives."

Aimee got up to pull the tray from his hand and set it on the dresser. "Why did you think I asked for broth?"

"Thought you’d had a head injury or something."

She rolled her eyes.

Dev shut the door and came forward to stand next to Fang’s bed. "So when did you get the last one?"

"A few minutes ago."

His look hardened. "Alone?"

"No. Kyle was with me."

That didn’t help his glare in the least. In fact, it intensified. "Damn it, Aimee. You risked the cub?"

"He’s not just a cub."

"You’re right. He’s the passenger who fell off the short bus. Damn, Aimee, of all the people to take with you into a fight-"

"Dev!" she snapped, her own anger igniting. She was in no mood for his lecture.

He shook his head. "You know the kid. He doesn’t exactly think most of the time. The bricklayer left half his stash at the factory."

Irritated, she pointed at the door. "Get out."

When he refused to do as she said, she pushed him through the door, then slammed it in his face.

"That was really rude, sis," he yelled from the hallway. "You actually hurt my tender little feelings." His voice sounded like a kid’s.

"You have no feelings, Devereaux. That bus passed you by a long time ago."

"Oh, yeah. I forgot. Fine. Be that way. I have more important things to do anyway. I have a hangnail that needs my attention."

Aimee rolled her eyes again as she took the broth from the tray to Fang who had been remarkably quiet through their exchange.

"Is he always like that?"

She wished she could say otherwise, but she couldn’t. "Basically yes."

Fang took the bowl from her and sipped it like a cup. "It’s a wonder you haven’t killed him."

"Isn’t it, though?"

He paused as if he realized what he was doing. He gave her a sheepish look. "I’m supposed to use something to eat this, aren’t I?"

That question touched her deeply. That he would be concerned about offending her after all he’d been through. It was unexpected and it warmed her. "Don’t worry about it. I know you’re starving."

Fang nodded. She was right about that. His stomach ached so badly that it was all he could do not to attack. He downed the soup quickly and then swapped her the bowl for the glass of water. "You know, I could really use a steak right about now."

"Your body isn’t used to real food. Carson’s been keeping you on IVs and we’ve hand-fed you liquids all this time. I don’t want to make you sick by putting something solid in you until I talk to him."

Fang looked down and realized just how thin he was. "Damn. I’m half my size."

"Not quite, but it will take time to heal."

Still, he shuddered. He didn’t like looking like this. Most of all, he didn’t like this weak feeling. He was a fighter, not an invalid. "I need a bath."

"Can you stand?"

That question seriously offended him. "I’m not helpless."

"Oh, look!" Aimee exclaimed in an exaggerated falsetto. "Mr. Macho is back in all his glory. Hello, Mr. Macho, it’s so not good to see you again. But you know, Mr. Macho, that you’ve been bedridden to the point that your legs aren’t used to carrying your weight and you’re not really human. So if you want to get up and fall, gods forbid I do anything to stop it. After all, I live for America’s Funniest Home Videos. Should I fetch a camcorder now?"

He wanted to be angry at her. At the very least offended, and yet he found her strangely entertaining. "Shut up and help me get to a bathroom."

"Okay, but you might want to put some clothes on before Maman, Papa, or Dev has a stroke. On second thought, we want Dev to have one, but my luck it’ll only be Maman or Papa who sees us and that wouldn’t go well for either of us."

Smiling at her humor, he dressed himself in a pair of jeans and a shirt. And as he tried to stand he realized just how right she was. His limbs were like walking on damp noodles. But with her help, he was able to get to the bathroom and into the tub. He dissolved his clothes as Aimee turned on the water and adjusted the temperature.

"Should I ask about how at ease you are with me nak*d?"

She pulled a towel down and set it next to the tub. "I have many brothers."

"That you’ve seen nak*d?"

She dropped her hand into the water to test the temperature. "Bear nak*d many a day and more times than I’ve ever cared for. Plus I help Carson out in the clinic." She folded her arms on the edge of the tall, claw-foot tub and rested her chin on her hands. It was an adorable pose and made him wish he had the strength to pull her into the tub with him and ease the ache in his groin.

"If it eases your ego, you are a very attractive wolf." She handed him a washcloth and bar of soap, then placed a razor, shaving cream, and mirror on the floor within his reach. "However, I do need to leave before Maman or Papa happen to catch me alone with you. Neither of them would be happy and I went through too much to save your life to have them end it now."

Fang really didn’t want to be alone again. He’d spent so much time that way these last few months, but he knew she was right. The last thing he wanted to do was get her into trouble.

"If you need me, call."

He nodded as she walked out the door like a normal person. But she wasn’t normal and neither was he. They were two animals who had no business interacting with each other.

Sighing, he lathered the cloth and set about cleaning himself up so that he didn’t offend his own olfactory glands. Gah, how had Aimee stood being near him? He was disgusted by his own scent.