Home > Meant to Be Immortal (Argeneau #32)(6)

Meant to Be Immortal (Argeneau #32)(6)
Author: Lynsay Sands

“So, you aren’t from Sandford?”

CJ blinked at the man, noting that the lights from the GPS screen and various other dials and whatnot in the car all seemed to be glowing on him so that she could see him quite well. Dear Lord he was gorgeous.

“You mentioned staying at the bed-and-breakfast,” he explained, apparently thinking she was gaping at him from surprise rather than simply goggling at his male beauty. “I assume that means you aren’t from town.”

His comment served to bring her out of her momentary fog of lust, and CJ forced her gaze back to the road ahead and nodded. “Yes. I mean, no, I’m not from Sandford.”

She didn’t expand on that, but clenched the steering wheel and told herself to keep her eyes on the road. Safety first, she reminded herself, and it was definitely all kinds of safe for her to concentrate on driving and ignore the man next to her. She managed to do that for the forty-five seconds he let pass before speaking again.

“You’re here to help the police?”

CJ was silent for a minute, her mind taken up with the way he slid in and out of formal speaking. Sometimes he used contractions sounding much more informal, and sometimes he didn’t. It was kind of weird, she decided. She’d only seen that in people who learned English as a second language.

“Ms. Cummings?” Mac asked when she didn’t respond.

His words managed to pull her from her thoughts, but then dropped her into a new one, and that was to wonder how he knew her name and why it sounded so naughty when he spoke it. Simpson must have told him, she decided, and forced herself to the topic at hand, but it was oddly difficult. It took her a full minute to recall his earlier question.

“Right. Helping the police,” she muttered, and then shook her head. “No. Definitely not. I’m here to investigate them. I only agreed to help out tonight because they were in a pinch.”

There, that sounded perfectly normal, she reassured herself, not at all like she was a drooling idiot preoccupied with wondering how his soft lips might feel on her body.

“Wow! Where did that come from?” she muttered to herself with dismay.

“What?” Mac asked. “Where did what come from?”

CJ was so surprised by the question and the fact that it meant she’d apparently spoken out loud that she glanced over at him askance. Fortunately, he was busy peering worriedly out the front window, apparently trying to see what might be ahead. Mouth tightening, she forced her attention forward again and said, “Nothing. A deer just ran across the road.”

A complete and utter lie, she acknowledged, but better than admitting she had been talking to herself. Out loud. About this sudden lust she had for him. Puffing out an exasperated breath, she reached over and turned on the radio. At least they couldn’t talk that way, which seemed the safer bet.

“Perfect,” she breathed unhappily as “Burnin’ for You” by Blue Öyster Cult filled the car. Obviously, the universe was laughing at her, because that was a pretty good description of how she was feeling at the moment. But at least with the music on she could pretend she was alone and ignore the man seated beside her. Or try to. He was hard to ignore. CJ was aware of every movement he made as he shifted to a more comfortable position. She was also aware that he was watching her. She could actually feel his eyes on her skin. Or it felt like she could, and she wanted to yell at him to keep those silver-blue orbs to himself. Instead, she just straightened her shoulders and stared grimly ahead for the next seventeen and a half minutes until they’d reached the police station.

Mac shifted uncomfortably in the passenger seat, trying to take pressure off his backside. He didn’t know why, but while the rest of him was mostly healed, that area seemed to have been left for last. He was pretty sure the blisters were gone but there the area was still tender. The only thing he could think was that since it was mostly cushioning and wasn’t as important as his hands and feet, the nanos hadn’t considered it a priority. It was seeming like a pretty important priority at that moment, though, as pain vibrated through him from sitting on it, but since there was nothing he could do about it, he resigned himself to the discomfort for the duration of the ride. Once at the police station, Mac hoped to be able to get the blood he needed to finish the healing, and supposed he should just be grateful that he had managed to heal as much as he had before CJ Cummings had appeared at the back of the ambulance. Had she arrived even twenty minutes to half an hour earlier, she would’ve seen the evidence of those blisters and lobster-red skin that Officer Jefferson had mentioned.

That thought reminded Mac that he still had work to do tonight before he could retire. He needed to find this Officer Jefferson, and erase the memory of what he’d seen from the man’s mind. Mac hoped that was the only person he’d missed but couldn’t be sure. He’d thought he’d got them all before CJ had mentioned Jefferson.

Turning to CJ he tried again to read her mind, but he was just as unable to penetrate her thoughts now as he had been when she’d first approached the ambulance, and he suddenly wondered, why her? The question made him look her over more carefully. He hadn’t seen her in what most people would consider proper lighting, but with his eyesight it didn’t matter. He could see her as well as he would have in a lit room. CJ had intelligent green eyes, full lush red lips, and a slightly tipped-up nose in an oval face framed by long blond hair. She was an attractive woman. But he’d seen more attractive women in his life, women so beautiful they could almost have been a work of art, and yet not one of them had stirred him the way she did, and had from the moment he’d first spied her approaching the back of the ambulance. Tall, slim, with long legs and a confident stride, there had been something about her that had drawn his interest right away.

Still, it had been a shock when he hadn’t been able to read her mind and control her as he had everyone else tonight. Before he’d realized he couldn’t control her, Mac had thought he had two more blood donors to help him heal, and two more memories to rearrange. Up till then he’d been putting the thoughts in the paramedics’ and firemen’s minds that the house fire had been a result of faulty wiring, and that he hadn’t been injured. But once he’d realized that he couldn’t do that to her memory and that she and Officer Simpson had already found proof that the fire had been deliberately set, he’d had to change his plans. While Simpson had gone to collect his evidence kit, Mac had quickly gone into the minds of the firemen and paramedics again and changed their memories to arson, but left the part about his escaping without serious injury.

Of course, Mac had been annoyed at having to do it. A nice, naturally caused fire from electrical issues or something would have been less memorable and therefore more preferable. His kind did not like attention, and arson would invariably draw that. But now, as he watched the way CJ was studiously ignoring him, and speeding in what he could only assume was a desire to be rid of him as quickly as possible, Mac couldn’t help thinking that perhaps having to go with arson might be a good thing, after all. Because CJ Cummings was showing a dismaying resistance to his inimitable charms.

Oh, he could tell she was attracted to him. The way her face flushed, her eyes dilated, and her heart rate sped up when he drew near told him that. But those were all physiological signs that were automatic and involuntary. And, unfortunately, they were also immediately followed by protective, closed-down responses like averting her eyes, tightening her jaw, and hunching her shoulders slightly to draw her arms in closer to her body. Ms. Cummings’s body might want him, but her mind definitely wasn’t in agreement. If he hoped to get anywhere with the woman, he’d have to find some way to stay close to her, because he was pretty sure her plan was to dump him at the police station and avoid him like the plague from that moment on.

It was starting to look to him like the act of arson at the house he’d just rented and barely moved into might be his only hope of keeping close to her. The problem was how to work it. She wasn’t a police officer, although from a couple of things said tonight, he was pretty sure she had been at one time. He’d read Officer Simpson’s mind to learn more about her, but Simpson hadn’t known anything about her other than her name, that she was in Sandford for some sort of investigation into an arrest that had gone bad for another officer, and that, as she had said, she was just helping them out in a pinch at the fire site.

His gaze slid over her tense shoulders and stiff jaw, and Mac considered that her not being a police officer here in town presented a problem. It meant there was no reason for her to be the one to guard him and have to stick close to him at some sort of safe house . . . unless he could make sure there was no one else to do it and that she had to continue to help in this pinch.

If that failed, he could always rent a room at the bed-and-breakfast, Mac supposed. That would put him close to her at least some of the time. She must be staying at Mrs. Vesper’s, he knew. It was the only B and B in town. Mac had stayed there himself when he’d been scouting towns, and then again when he’d come to see about a house to buy, but there hadn’t been anything on the market in Sandford. He’d almost given up and decided to try another town when Mrs. Vesper had told him that the owner of an old farmhouse outside town wanted to rent.

Mac hadn’t been too keen on the idea of renting at first, but as the dear old woman had pointed out, it would give him a chance to see if he liked it in Sandford before he actually purchased, and if he did, she suspected the homeowner would be willing to sell somewhere down the line if he was patient. So, Mac had contacted the homeowner via an email address Mrs. Vesper had given him, and arranged to rent the house.

It had all happened quickly after that. Mac had used e-transfer to send first and last month’s rent to the homeowner and made arrangements for monthly withdrawals to cover future rent. He’d then arranged for the renovations he’d wanted for the basement so that it could be used as a lab. Once the renos had been finished he’d flown back to New York to arrange for his house there to be packed up and sent north. Then he’d flown back and booked into the bed-and-breakfast again to wait for his belongings to be driven up.

Most Popular
» Magical Midlife Meeting (Leveling Up #5)
» Magical Midlife Love (Leveling Up #4)
» The ​Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash
» Lover Unveiled (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
» A Warm Heart in Winter (Black Dagger Brothe
» Meant to Be Immortal (Argeneau #32)
» Shadowed Steel (Heirs of Chicagoland #3)
» Wicked Hour (Heirs of Chicagoland #2)
» Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland #1)
» The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club
» Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #
» Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)
vampires.readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2024