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Stitched(Rylee Adamson #8.5)(15) by Shannon Mayer

I slid from his back, fell to my knees and heaved until the dry heaves brought sweat to my face and tears to my eyes. I wiped the back of my hand across my mouth. “Damn.”

Peta says that’s what you get for laughing at her freaking out.

I couldn’t even lift my head, but I managed to give her a thumbs up. “Got it. Where are we?”

Doesn’t matter, and better you don’t know, I think. Call Faris when it’s dark.

“He’s tied to Alex, not me.”

Blaz grunted and dug a claw through the rocky ground. Don’t be so sure about that. I think he’s tied himself to you somehow. Maybe even through Alex.

Finally, I raised my head. “Through Alex, or through Berget?” A memory surfaced of Faris and me standing in the basement apartment I’d had while I was in London. Of his mouth on my neck, of the flood of lust he’d spurred in me as he’d taken my blood. Damn, could he still be hooked into me from that? It would be like him to hide the fact he could still find me. Secrets. That one was all about the secrets, bastard that he was.

I shook my head to clear the thoughts and let out a groan. Even that simple motion made my stomach roll. Laying down, I curled up on my side, waves of nausea cascading through me. I closed my eyes. “How long ‘til dark?”

An hour.

Saliva filled my mouth as I sat up and I forced myself to swallow. Pushing to my feet, I looked around. Blaz had brought us to another jungle island, though this one had a rockier beach.

I realized we were missing something. “Where’s Peta?”

Hunting. She’s going to bring something back for you to eat.

I gathered up some sticks and piled them up on the beach, Blaz lit them, and within minutes Peta was back, some sort of bird in her mouth. Blood dripped along its feathers, and I had a sudden flash of fear that I would be throwing up instead of eating. But my stomach growled again, and my hunger spiked.

Definitely Liam’s kid if the sight of a dead bird makes you hungry and not queasy. Blaz picked up the bird by one leg and blew a stream of flame over it, searing off the feathers in short order, then lowered it over the fire we’d put together on the beach. The sound and smell of sizzling fat had me drooling in minutes and all I could think about was tearing into the flesh, biting off huge chunks.

A half hour passed and I couldn’t wait any longer. “Give it to me.” I wiggled my hands as Blaz snorted.

It isn’t cooked all the way through yet. I don’t think—

I snatched the bird off the stick we’d jammed it on and ripped a leg off. I bit into the flesh and let out a groan as the juices slid down my throat. No, it wasn’t cooked all the way through, but then again, I was carrying a wolf hybrid child. I didn’t think a little blood was going to bother the baby. As if in answer, the baby gave a kick. I didn’t slow down, just tucked into the bird and found myself licking my fingers far sooner than I’d thought.

“Thanks, both of you.” I looked up to see Blaz with his thickly ridged eyebrows high. I turned to Peta who had a similar expression on her face. Half horror, half fascination, all surprise. “What?”

I’ve never seen anyone clean off a whole chicken in under five minutes.

I frowned up at him. “I didn’t eat that fast.”

You did. But I suppose you haven’t been eating much and the baby is going to start demanding you chow down. Especially once you manage to speed things up.

I looked up at the sky, thinking. “True, but that won’t matter if we don’t get some vampire blood.”

I stood, went to the water’s edge and washed my face and hands. The salt water stung my hands and I turned them over to see some small cuts. I’d not noticed them when I’d been fighting Spider, but two of them were quite deep. I pinched the one closed and hissed at the sharp pain. Damn.

“Faris.” I said his name and imbued it with the need I had for him. A true need, not just a simple want. I Tracked him too, and felt him moving toward us—fast.

Peta let out a growl and I turned to see Faris walking across the beach to me. The sun had just set and the last of the light kept the sky glowing, highlighting his figure. Blond-haired and blue-eyed, he cut a striking image, his body lean and muscles cut as if defined by a sculptor. Dressed in khakis and a white shirt, he was very bohemian looking, an unusual outfit and style for him. And then there was the missing arm. He moved as if it didn’t bother him, though I had no doubt it did. The loss of it made him look weak and vulnerable, not something any vampire could afford.

“Rylee. I’m surprised you would call on me.” His voice was as smooth and cool as expensive ice cream and I knew he was trying to spell me.

“Still? What the fuck, man. You’d think you’d figure it out after all this time I don’t do the whole spelling shit.” I put my hands on my hips to emphasize my position. That I was in charge and wasn’t going to put up with his games.

He smiled at me, a small smile that allowed his fangs to peek out. “You can’t blame me for trying.”

“Why, because you left me to die the last time I saw you?” That was the other reason I was surprised he came to see me so easily. He had to know I was still pissed about that. He’d closed the veil between me, Erik, Pam, and Alex, and the safety of London. Just to keep Doran safe. Now even if I understood that part of his decision, he could have at least tried to get us to somewhere else.

He shrugged. “I’m a realist. So are you. That’s why we work so well together.”

Fuck, I hated that he was right about that. I grimaced. “Look, I need your help.”

He spread his one hand. “Depends.”

“I need some of your blood.”

His eyebrows shot up. “You what?”

I repeated myself and he slowly shook his head. “No. I don’t do that.”

“Why the fuck not?”

He frowned, his face closing off, giving me no emotion. “I don’t share my blood with anyone, it isn’t just you. There is too much power in a vampires blood to just hand it out.”

“I’m hardly a blood whore standing on a corner and begging you to give me a fix,” I snapped, closing the distance between us, knowing what he was pushing for. “What do you want?”

His face went from frowning to smiling in an instant, and he lifted his hand to touch my cheek. “Well, if you really want the blood that badly, I supposed I would consider it. If you give me what I want, that is.”