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.I wait for another three blocks, channeling my inner-bat as I trail him.“Now?”“No.” Viktor sounds more exasperated than cranky, and my spirits lift.He still loves me, and that’s a good thing because I love him to bits and pieces.He gives me one of his knowing looks.I remember he can hear my thoughts, and my face heats.It makes no sense to hold back now.I love you, you big grumpy grump of a hunkalicious vampire, you.Not now.Holy hazelnut.I can hear his thoughts.You can’t stop me from thinking, sunshine.When we get home, I’m going to cover you with icing, and lick you clean, starting with those big shovel-toes of yours.I flood my brain with sexy thoughts and silly endearments as I skip along the curb.Being a vampire is so much fun.We don’t go directly home.Viktor stops at a cute little bungalow located a block away from his big house.He knocks on the door, and I ring the doorbell, helping my technology-inept vampire lover out.A gorgeous woman answers.She doesn’t say anything, not one word of welcome, studying me with a dead expression on her face, her dark gaze sweeping over the smudges on my battered yellow shoes, pausing on the manly shirt I’m half wearing, the gaps between the buttons exposing my freckled flesh, before resting on my sure-to-be crazy hair.Did I mention I hadn’t expected to meet anyone tonight? I look like hell, and she looks perfect.Tall and thin and everything a vampire should be, she even dresses the part, wearing a skin-tight black leather catsuit I could use as a belt.The vampire chick and Viktor look like they’re made for each other, and I don’t buy that they’re not talking.I’m thinking they’re doing that mind reading thing, intentionally leaving me out of their conversation, and this hurts.No toe sucking for him, I decide, and I’m not waiting around while he mentally flirts with some undead babe.I walk away, putting an extra wiggle in my walk, shaking more booty than she’ll ever have.Maybe I’ll go find that Nico character, and we can be bitter and evil together.I’ll ask him about the bat shifting.He might know.Viktor catches up to me easily.He has a big black velvet bag slung over his shoulder, like an evil Santa Claus.“Helena is a friend.” Suddenly he is Mr.Chatty.“I don’t care.” I sniff, pointing my nose in the air.Then I ruin the effect by tripping over a crack in the sidewalk.Viktor catches me, preventing me from doing a facer into the cement, and I jerk away from his touch.I’m stressed and angsty, and I really need to bake something.That’ll make me feel better, especially since Viktor’s good “friend,” Helena, is a vampire and vampires don’t eat so they sure as hell can’t bake.I’ll whip up a batch of banana-walnut muffins, making the house smell divine, and I’ll spend hours icing them, losing myself in the joy of creation.When the cupcakes are absolutely perfect, resembling miniature works of art, I’ll feed them to the pigeons because the thought of eating anything other than blood makes my stomach heave.“You had better have bananas,” I threaten.His mouth flattens as he holds the front door open for me.“I wasn’t prepared for you.”If he tells me this one more time, I’ll scream.I get it.He hadn’t planned on turning me.He likely had his red-rimmed eyes on a woman like his friend Helena.Despite my grumbling, I take a deep whiff of his earthy aroma as I pass, because the man smells good.“That wasn’t what I meant.” He slams the door shut with a loud bang.I meet his gaze, surprised.Viktor is normally so controlled.“I can’t read your mind, Viktor.I haven’t mastered that skill yet.”He pulls me to him, our hips bumping together, his hard cock pressing against my stomach, and we turn as one, until my back is against the wall.He has me captured, his dark eyes pinning me into place as surely as any restraints.His desire hits me first, the emotion so forceful I’m thrown backward.Concern follows, and a heavy sense of failure tempered with regret.Underneath that vortex of feelings is love, a breathtaking fierce yet tender love, a love a woman would search eternity for.The room swirls around me, disappearing.In its place is a brightly-painted kitchen.I’m in the middle of the space, wearing a bright yellow apron, with a big mixing bowl in my hands.The mix is red, redder than any batter I’ve ever seen, and it smells of blood.Hanging on the wall, displayed proudly, is my mother’s muffin pan.The other me, plump with crazy out-of-control hair, is laughing.The vision disappears but the joy is left, the joy and the love, and then this vanishes also, as Viktor takes a ragged breath, sucking his feelings back into his soul, concealing them from me once more.“I thought we had more time.”He pulls my mother’s muffin pan out of his black velvet bag.On top of the rusted cups is a spiral notebook.“Oh, Viktor.” I blink and blink and blink but this doesn’t stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks.He has my mother’s pan.“I thought it was gone.I thought… I thought…” I slap him on the chest, the contact muted by his shirt.“You broke your own rules, you stinker.”“For you, Charlotte, my beloved.” Love and desire is reflected in his dark eyes.“I would break all the rules.”Sweet butter-cream.The man doesn’t speak much but when he does, he turns me into a mushy, half-baked cake.I push my mother’s pan away, and bury my face in his shoulder.I’m Viktor’s beloved, that was what the bad vampire Nico called me.I’m not up on all this vampire lore, having devoted most of my life to baking the yummiest cupcakes ever, but it sounds like a good title to have.“It is the best title to have.” Viktor places his finger under my chin, tilting my head upward [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]