When she heard someone approach, she turned around.
It was Vishous not Butch who came into the room. The Brother was wearing
black leathers and heavy black boots, but he had on a fine white shirt.
Turnbull and Asser. She recognized the cut. Something told her he’d
put it on just to see her.
“Tell me he is alive,” she said. “Save my life right
here and now and tell me he is alive.”
Vishous nodded. “He’s alive.”
Her knees buckled in relief. “But he isn’t coming, is he?”
“No. Tomorrow night. You’ll see him then.”
As they stared at each other, Vishous stood in the doorway, overwhelming
her even though he was across the room. He was a dangerous male, she thought,
and not because of the tattoos at the side of his eye and the goatee and
that warrior body. He was cold to the core and someone that removed was
capable of anything.
In the heavy silence, she feared both him and the news he brought.
“Where is he?” she asked.
“Then why isn’t he here?” She crossed her arms over
her chest. “I want you to tell me what’s happened.”
“Just a quick fight.”
A. Quick. Fight. “I want to see him.”
“Like I said, he’s not here.”
“Is he at my brother’s?”
“And you’re not going to tell me where, are you?”
“He’s going to call you in a little bit.”
“Was it with the lessers?” As all Vishous did was continue
to stare at her, panic kicked her heart into overdrive. She couldn’t
bear for Butch to be involved in this war. Look what had already been
done to him. “Tell me. Goddamn it, tell me, you smug bastard.”
Only silence. Which of course answered the question. And also suggested
Vishous didn’t care whether or not she had a good opinion of him.
Marissa gathered up her skirts and marched over to the Brother. She had
to crane her neck to meet him in the eye. God, he was so much bigger than
Butch. And those eyes, those diamond white eyes with the midnight blue
lines around the irises. Cold. So very cold.
“I don’t want Butch fighting.”
One black eyebrow cocked. “Not your call.”
“It’s too dangerous for him.”
“If he is an asset, and he’s willing, he’ll be used.”
“I don’t like the Brotherhood at this moment,” she blurted.
She started to go past him, and his hand shot out, grabbing her arm and
jerking her close, holding her though not hurting her. His glittering
eyes went over her face and her neck.
“You know, you really are the great beauty of the species, aren’t
“No... no, I am not.”
“Yeah, you are.” Vishous’s voice got lower and lower,
softer, until she wasn’t sure whether she was hearing it or he was
in her mind. “Butch would be a wise choice for you, female. He’d
take good care you, if you’d let him. Will you, Marissa? Or are
you just playing him?”
Those diamond eyes hypnotized her and she felt his thumb go over her wrist.
As it stroked back and forth, her heart rate gradually slowed to the lazy
rhythm. She swayed.
“Answer my question, Marissa.”
“What... what did you ask?”
“Will you let him be your mate?” Vishous leaned down, his
mouth at her ear. “Will you let him take you?”
“Yes...” she breathed, aware they were talking about sex,
but too seduced in the moment not to reply. “I will take him within
That hard hand loosened then stroked her arm, moving over her skin warmly,
strongly. He looked down at where he was touching her, an expression of
deep concentration on his face.
“Good. That’s good. The two of you are beautiful together.
A fucking inspiration. But I want you to remember something. You hurt
him again and I will consider you my enemy. We clear?”
The male turned on his heel and stalked out of the room.
Butch paced around the mansion’s library, feeling caged by all
the bookcases full of leather bound classics. They reminded him of all
he hadn’t read, all that literary culture bullshit he’d never
been a part of, all the higher education he hadn’t had.
Street smarts were his deal and he’d always thought that was enough.
Except now, he wished he was a fricking Rhodes Scholar.
With a curse, he forced himself to chill by the fireplace. Looking into
the flames, he fiddled with the collar of his silk shirt. Smoothed the
jacket of his Prada suit. Checked his shoes to make sure there were no
scuffs on the Gucci loafers. He wanted to be perfect for his female.
After all the misunderstandings and... the other thing, he prayed they
finally had a shot at a future.
So he wanted to at least look as if he were worthy of her.
The smell of an ocean breeze drifted into the room and Butch closed his
eyes, dragging the fragrance down deep into his lungs. He had to brace
himself as he turned around.
Oh, Christ, she was beautiful.
Marissa appeared in the doorway like an angel and his mind momentarily
seized up, seeing her not as real, but a figment of his obsession. Her
pale yellow gown and her hip-length blonde hair seemed more like a divine
aura and her body became the apparition of beauty he’d seen in his
dreams... and his nightmares. As she looked across the room at him, his
pathetic, racing heart transformed her into a vision right out of his
Catholic childhood: the Madonna of salvation and love. And he, her unworthy
“Hello, Butch.” Her voice was soft, gentle. Devastating.
“Marissa.” Man, this woman... this vampire... was everything
he’d ever wanted and nothing he’d dared ask for. Too good
for him on his very best day.
And so help him God, he wanted her.
Yet as she came into the room, he ditched the hearts and flowers stuff.
Jesus, look at how weak she was. She moved slowly, as if she couldn’t
feel her legs, and she was terribly pale, nearly transparent from a lack
Her words, too, were thin as breath. “Butch... we need to talk.”
He inhaled as he nodded. “I know what you’re going to say.”
“Yeah.” He started across the room toward her, arms out. “Don’t
you know I would do anything for-”
“Don’t come any closer.” She shuffled backward, bouncing
up against a panel of matching, blood red volumes. “You’ve
got to stay away from me.”
He dropped his hands. “You need to feed, don’t you?”
Her eyes widened. “Yes. How did you-”
“It's all right, baby.” He smiled a little, aware of a blast
of heat flaring in his body. “It’s very all right.”
“So you know what I’ve got to do? And you do not... mind?”
He shook his head. “I’m fine with it. More than fine.”
“Oh, thank God.” She lurched over to a sofa and sat down as
if her knees had given way. “I was so afraid you’d be offended.
It’ll be hard on me as well, but it’s the only safe way. And
I can’t wait any longer. It has to be tonight.”
This time, when he came closer, she let him. He knelt in front of her,
taking her hands in his.
God, they were cold. He rubbed them back and forth in his palms, warming
“Come on,” he said, aware of a thick anticipation. “Let’s
A curious expression crossed her face. “You want to watch?”
He stilled their mingled hands. “Watch?”
“I, ah... I’m not sure that’s a good idea. You can get
a little protective-”
“Wait- watch?” He became aware of a sinking feeling in his
gut. Like someone had popped the stoppers on a number of his internal
organs. “What are you talking about, watch?”
“When I’m with the male who lets me take his vein.”
Abruptly, Marissa recoiled, giving him a good idea of what the expression
on his face must be like. Yeah, or maybe she was reacting to the fact
that he’d started to growl.
Butch jacked up to his feet. “The hell you’re using another
man. You have me.”
“Butch, I can’t feed from you. I’ll take too- where
are you going?”
He stalked across the room, shut the double doors, and locked them in
together. As he came back at her, he tossed his jacket on the floor and
ripped open his shirt so that the buttons popped off. Falling to his knees
in front of her, he tilted back his head and offered his throat, himself,
There was a long silence as their stares warred. Then her scent, that
gorgeous clean fragrance, intensified until it flooded the room. Her body
began to shake, her mouth opening. As her fangs unsheathed, he got an
“Oh... yeah,” he said in a dark voice. “Drink from me.
I need to feed you.”
“No,” she moaned, tears glowing in her pale blue eyes.
She made a move to get up, but he launched at her, taking her by the shoulders,
holding her down on the couch. He moved himself between her legs, bringing
their bodies together. She trembled against him and pushed at him and
he kept her close... until suddenly she was gripping the two halves of
his shirt. And pulling him in tight.
“That’s right, baby,” he growled. “You grab on
to me. Let me feel those fangs get into me deep. I want it.”
He palmed the back of her head and brought her mouth to his throat. An
arc of pure sexual power exploded between them and they both began to
pant, her breath and tears hot on his skin.
But then she seemed to come to her senses. She struggled hard and he did
his best to keep her in place, even though he knew he was going to lose
the fight against her soon. As he was just a human, she was physically
stronger than him even though he out-weighed her.
“Marissa, please, take me,” he groaned, his voice hoarse from
the struggle and now the begging.
His heart broke as she sobbed, but he didn’t let her go. He couldn’t.
“Take what’s inside of me. I know I’m not good enough,
but take me anyway.”
“Don’t make me do this.”
“I have to.” God, he felt like crying with her.
“Butch...” Her body bucked, strained against his. “I
can’t hold back... for much longer... let me go... before I hurt
It happened so fast. His name shot out of her on a yell and then he felt
a searing blaze of pain at the side of his throat.
Her fangs sinking into his jugular.
“Oh... God... yes...!” He loosened his grip, cradling her
as she latched onto his neck. He called out her name as he felt a powerful,
erotic draw on his vein. Pleasure swamped him, sparks flowing all through
his body as if he were orgasming.
This was so the way it had to be. He needed her to take from him so she
Marissa broke the contact abruptly and dematerialized, right out of his
He fell head first into the empty air where she’d been, face planting
into the sofa cushions. He shoved himself up and spun around.
He threw himself at the door and clawed at the lock, but couldn't budge
it. And then he heard her broken, desperate voice on the other side.
“I’ll kill you... God help me, I’ll kill you... I want
you too much.”
He pounded on the door. “Let me out!”
“I'm sorry-” Her voice cracked then grew strong, and he feared
her resolve more than anything else. “I’m so sorry. I’ll
come to you afterwards. After it is done.”
“Marissa, don’t do this-”
“I love you.”
He beat at the wood with his fists. “I don’t care if I die!”
The lock sprang free and he burst into the front hall. The vestibule’s
door was just easing shut.
He ran for it flat out.
But by the time he got out into the courtyard, she was gone.
Excerpts from LOVER REVEALVED
by J.R. Ward
© Copyright J.R. Ward 2006 All rights reserved
No portion may be reproduced without the written permission of the author