Estimated reading time: 3 – 4 minutes
Nicole blew into Lily’s mouth continuously. Julian slinked closer. No response moved the unconscious girl. She lay like a stone. His eyes bled to gold and his fangs scraped his lips. “Nicole, if she dies you die.”
The blond gave no notice of his proclamation. She continued to breathe into Lily. Julian cocked his head. Surely Lily would come to. Air was all she needed and she had it so why wasn’t she waking up? Did he misunderstand the function of human anatomy?
Julian perked up, head cocked like wolf distracted from the serious business of food.
Lily slapped a hand over the feminine mouth descending over hers. “Ugh, what are you doing? I’m not into girls.” She coughed once. “Did that nasty SOB come up with this after trying to kill me? Sick…”
“You’re very rude, Lily. Nicole just saved your life.”
Lily twisted her neck. Fever-bright eyes blinked slowly. “You.”
“Yes. Me.” He dared kiss her forehead. “You live to waste another day. Happy?”
“Not even close.” Chagrin mixed with futility made its mark on her pale face.
“You’re not just trying to be witty, are you? You mean it.”
“Oh, be quiet.” Lily pushed back against the head still attempting to descend. “Call your bitch off.”
Lily blew out a long breath. It overflowed with impatient suffering. “No. Here’s a piece of advice that I’m willing to give you for free—watch your back, Douglas. I will pay you back for tonight.”
“Nicole. Go back to sleep.” He waved his hand, presumably to keep his lover from falling atop Lily. “There.”
Lily sat up with more than a bit of difficulty. Julian, not surprisingly, did nothing to help her. Instead, he maintained his perch on the bed’s edge.
“Nothing about you is perfectly predictable. I thought I knew exactly how you’d behave and react.”
“You don’t know me at all. I doubt Ian ever did either.” Lily made a face as she swallowed. Although the lingering soap residue in her mouth left a lot to be desired it helped to wash away the imagined taste of Julian’s paramour.
“No, I think he knew you all to well. It was me he didn’t know.”
“Narcissist. How did this come back to you?”
Julian smirked. “Because I’m infinitely more interesting than you.”
“Because I’m mostly human and you’re not, right?”
“Wrong. Because you haven’t aged enough to become interesting yet, darling.”
Lily felt like crashing back onto the bed. However, she resisted being more of a spectacle than she already was. Barely.
“Jesus Christ, you make it so easy to hate you.”
“Really? And which part pushed you over the edge? Tell me. I really must know.”
She shot him a sour look. “You like that? I insulted you, Douglas.”
“I know you attempted to.” Julian smoothed the hem of her dress. “Douglas is too formal for us, darling. You may address me by my first name.”
Lily stilled. Her tongue became too heavy for her mouth. “Whatever.”
He used his preternatural speed to encroach on Lily’s personal space. “You’re blushing. Surely not because I’m being a tiny bit nice to you?” The vampire’s words dripped with playful scorn.
Julian traced the curve of her jaw with one finger. “I do.”