by Marteeka Karland
Josette knows what she wants -- and more important she knows what her men need. She's been waiting patiently for over a decade for her mates to see she's no longer a child, to acknowledge her place in their lives -- and in their bed. Now another stands in her way. One who would claim her men -- or take their lives. But if the bitch thinks she can take what Josette knows is hers, she's about to get a life lesson on territory.
No one -- not human, not Vampsblood -- is going to come between Josette and her mates.
They had been together for centuries, exchanging blood as needed, merging their minds at will. It had made for a stronger triad and a nearly invincible stronghold. Together, they could stretch their senses to encompass nearly a mile in any direction.
"I know. We'll need to hunt soon. And feed." Valael scanned their surroundings once again, looking for... something. There had been another pack of Vampsblood close to them lately. Not quite in their territory, but close. "They venture closer today. I can't quite tell where they are -- they are talented at shielding themselves -- but they are close. We need to be at full strength and not distracted by sexual frenzies."
"I don't want a male this time, Valael." Harael mumbled his declaration with a deceptive softness.
Anyone who didn't know the big man might think he was merely making a statement. Valael knew better. They all were in need of the satisfaction they could only find in a woman. Unfortunately, very few females could tolerate them, human or otherwise. They rarely took their pleasure one at a time and, in all their centuries, they had never met a female who could stand their brand of sex more than once or twice. Particularly since one session could last days. Or weeks. "I know."
What else could he say? They all needed it. Needed blood. And sex. Blood was the elixir of life, but sex could control the strongest man. Valael tried to choose strong women, but not so strong they couldn't be controlled. He didn't trust the Vampsblood women at Shiffley's bar, or anywhere for that matter. They weren't true Vampsblood, but they were plenty dangerous just the same. Not so dangerous any one of his triad couldn't handle them, but he preferred not to have to worry about whether or not he'd have to regenerate his cock afterward. And he'd hate to have to kill a woman.
Valael let his senses flare around him as he knew Harael and Relaren did. The more time they spent together, the better and stronger their link became. Valael had begun to believe their power was only limited by their ability to believe how much they could do.
"What do you do with the women you hunt?" The high-pitched, feminine voice above them almost caused Valael to raise an eyebrow in surprise. Almost. Not because she spoke, but because she was there. Because she had finally managed to sneak up on them. The little scrap of a girl had been trying to do just that for years.
Valael glanced at the others. None of them showed the least bit of surprise, but he felt it. They hadn't been aware of her presence either. Careful not to look at her, Valael feigned indifference.
"I don't see how that's any of your business. What Vampsblood do is of no concern to a human girl." Relaren stretched in a deceptively lazy manner. In truth, Valael knew him to be hyper aware of their surroundings now. If Josette could sneak up on them, someone else might be able to as well, and considering the nagging presence of the other pack, it was better none of them got too comfortable.
It was a true statement, but Valael would have told her anything she wanted to know. He'd tell her what she wanted to know this time, too, if only to keep truth among the four of them. She was the only person in their entire lives they had been completely truthful with, and he'd hate to ruin that trust now. Why, Valael didn't know. All he knew was it seemed imperative to be honest with her, child though she was.
She seemed to consider his words.
"Probably not," she answered. "But how am I supposed to know how to be a Vampsblood if you don't explain things to me?"
Relaren almost choked on the water he was sipping, but covered it by clearing his throat and shifting his position on the plush chair. Valael had to admit, her declaration was the last thing he'd expected, but he suspected they were in for trouble.