Home > Immortal Unchained (Argeneau #25)(13)

Immortal Unchained (Argeneau #25)(13)
Author: Lynsay Sands

Domitian shifted his gaze back to her, his eyes getting caught on her jiggling breasts as she tossed the empty bag aside.

Sarita turned back, scowling when she saw where he was looking and snapped, “Hey! Eyes up here, buddy!”

He jerked his eyes up to meet hers, and she scowled and shook her head. “Look, we have to get something straight here. Dressler said we’re life mates or some such thing and mentioned a bunch of twaddle about great sex and yada yada, but I’m not interested. Got it? There will be no kissy kissy, gropey gropey . . . or sex. Entender? No sexo!”

Domitian bit his lip to hold back the laugh that wanted to escape him. He suspected she wouldn’t see what was so amusing here, but really, he’d imagined their first meeting repeatedly over the last fifteen years. But not once in any of them had she been a feisty little bit of goods in a sexy-as-hell see-through gown telling him “no sexo!”

“Got it?” she repeated.

Domitian nodded mildly, allowing a smile to curve his lips. “As you wish.”

Sarita’s eyes narrowed, his words hitting on some memory in the back of her head. When she couldn’t access it, she just let it go and straightened to prop her hand on her hips as she looked him over. Reluctant concern entering her expression, she asked, “How are you feeling?”

Domitian couldn’t hide his surprise at the seeming change in attitude.

“I mean are you full or what?” she explained, and then apparently not wanting him to think she was actually concerned about his health, added, “Full enough not to bite me if I unchain you?”

“I will not bite you,” Domitian assured her solemnly, and then just because he felt quite sure it would annoy her, he added, “until you ask me.”

“Yeah, well that’ll be when hell freezes over then,” Sarita muttered and suddenly ducked out of sight.

Startled, Domitian lifted his head and strained against the chains to glance over the side of the table, relaxing when he saw that she’d merely dropped to sit cross-legged on the floor so that she could examine the chains under the table. But he frowned when he noticed the smears of blood on the floor where she’d been standing. And those red ribbons he’d thought were part of the gown? They were crimson rivulets of blood trailing from her upper thighs down, he saw.

Domitian had just opened his mouth to ask if she was all right when she announced, “There’s a padlock holding the chains together.”

“Are you—?”

“It’s okay. It’s a number lock padlock,” she growled.

Forgetting his question, Domitian let himself lie flat again and asked, “Why is that okay?”

“It’s one of those padlocks with four number wheels on it. You have to enter the right numbers to open it,” she explained and he heard her moving around and the jangle of chain.

“And that’s good because?” His tone was dry this time. It didn’t sound all that good to him. If the padlock was on the top of the chains around his waist, he could have just broken it and got himself free. But not being able to reach it made that a problem and he knew without a doubt she wouldn’t have the strength to simply break it herself.

“It’s good because I had a boyfriend in high school who showed me how to crack these suckers,” she informed him. “I think he was trying to impress me,” Sarita continued dryly. “But really, all it did was convince me that he’d be one of the guys I’d have to arrest one day when I became a cop, and that I should never use these kind of padlocks again. At the time, I had one for my bike,” she explained absently, and then added irritably, “You’d think Dressler would have left the combination in his letter.”

“Hmm,” Domitian murmured, but he was wondering if the boyfriend in question was one he’d received reports on. After her first couple of boyfriends in high school, he’d told the private detective not to bother reporting on them in future. While he’d wanted her to grow up and have all the usual experiences a young woman had, Domitian had found he had a terrible jealous streak. Every mention of a spotty teenage mortal taking her to a dance or film had made him want to get on a plane and go claim her. Fortunately, he’d restrained himself.

“So,” he said when the silence drew out with just the clanging of chains, “you wanted to be a police officer even in high school?”

“Since I was thirteen,” she answered, her voice growing husky and sad.

Domitian merely grunted. Thirteen was when her mother had died. He didn’t doubt for a minute that was the reason she’d decided to become a police officer. It was a subject that obviously still hurt her, though, and he found he didn’t like her sad. He preferred his “feisty Sarita,” so, knowing it would annoy her, he suggested, “Perhaps you should look around and see if he left a combination somewhere here in this room.”

“I don’t need a combination,” she ground out with obvious irritation. “All you have to do is pull firmly on the shackle and spin each of the wheels from the farthest one out, to the one nearest the shackle. As each wheel hits the right number, it locks in place and the shackle slides out a bit and you move on to the next. It’s easy and—” she gave a hoot of success and then finished “—done!”

Her fist flew up with the removed lock in it and then Sarita popped back into view. Her air was triumphant, but he didn’t miss the wince that crossed her face as she straightened next to him. A determined expression took over almost before he’d registered the pain, and she quickly began to unravel the chain from around him and the table.

“I’m not sure where we are,” Sarita said as she worked, drawing the end of the chain across his body, letting it drop under the table and then reaching across him to grab the now-longer length of chain and pull it across him again. “Dressler said it was his first home here in Venezuela. Where he and his wife lived while they waited for their island house to be built. We’re on the coast, but I’m not sure where, and there’s no road access, just a dock and no boat. We’re going to have to walk out of here to find help.”

“You’re bleeding,” Domitian said the minute she stopped speaking. “He hurt you?”

“What?” She paused in removing the chain to look down at herself. Her gaze stopped on her bloody chest and she shook her head. “You’re the one who got me all bloody. While I was feeding you. Remember?” she said, trying to prod his memory.

“Not your beautiful breasts,” he said solemnly, and was surprised to see her flush and appear a little flustered. Apparently, she was not used to compliments like that. A situation Domitian intended to change. “I was referring to your shapely legs and feet.”

When she peered down at herself again, he craned his head to get another look at her blood-streaked lower body and feet.

Sarita scowled at her injuries and shook her head again as she returned to unraveling the chain. “That wasn’t Dressler.”

“Then what happened?” Domitian asked at once.

“I stepped on broken glass,” Sarita said with a shrug as she drew the chain across his body again and let it drop.

That explained the bloody footprints and her hopping, he acknowledged. But—“What about the blood on your legs?”

Sarita was silent so long he didn’t think she was going to answer, but finally she grimaced and admitted, “I stabbed myself with steak knives.”

“What?” he asked with disbelief. “Why?”

“Well, I didn’t do it on purpose,” she said with irritation. “It was an accident.”

“How the hell do you accidentally stab yourself with a steak knife?” Domitian asked with disbelief.

“Four steak knives actually. Well, a paring knife and three steak knives,” Sarita corrected and then explained, “I had them tucked into my thong, forgot about them, bent to pick up something, and—” She ended with a shrug, and then suddenly stopped working to glance toward the door. In the next moment she’d grabbed the knife she’d set on the table and started to hop away toward the door.

“What are you doing?” Domitian asked with concern. “Stop that, you will hurt yourself. Finish unchaining me and I will see to your wounds.”

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